Two and a half weeks have passed since we appeared in Canada on Christmas Eve Eve, unannounced. It was such a big surprise. The days that followed were a hazy dream of jet lag, sleepless nights and finding my way, and my space in this new place.
We are staying with Julien’s mama, while we decide where to settle in this big old land. Much of that depends on where Julien finds the work that he wants to do. His love for community, conservation, animals and nature are driving him to work for the government in BC somewhere. A part of me hopes we end up on Vancouver Island. Something about that place calls to me.
A part of me is wise enough to know that I must trust what comes, and learn and grow from it. For so long I have whimsically chosen places based on what I feel. Yet, I know I am being called to become stronger than that, and actually invest my energy into a place that might not measure up to my desires for open, like-minded folk and rolling oceans nearby, at first. To create the space instead of so easily step into it.
Everything is new and different and familiar and warm. Canada is having the coldest winter in memory, some days it’s down to -20°C, and there’s endless white and snow, as far as my eyes can see. I am told I am lucky to see it this way. It’s most beautiful when the world is covered in magical soft white powder. The alternative is brown, ugly slush as everything melts. I am not as adverse to the cold as I thought I would be. Everyone offers central heating and fire-places and kindness.
Julien’s papa took me snowshoeing on the 1st day of the year. I wasn’t so sure at first. It was really cold and the snowshoes were big and uncomfortable. I felt like an ungraceful yeti with a limp, trudging through the snow-covered pine trees. But after 15 minutes I started to feel warmer and opened my eyes to the pristine beauty that surrounded me and breathed in the crystal clear air. It really was magic. At the top of the mountain we met a group of fellow winter-enthusiasts in a little cabin. They spread out a picnic of crackers and cheese, hot chocolate and spiced rum, mandarins and corn chips, and encouraged us to join in, our little pink noses glistening with snot and snow. Those moments up there on the mountain left a warm glow around my heart.
Julien’s mama wrapped me up in a big hug the next day. I cried. I cry every time I think about it, including right now. I cried because I cannot remember ever receiving such nurturing, expansive, unconditional love from a mother figure. My own mother loves me deeply but has been unstable and emotionally unavailable for most of my life. I love and forgive her, and accepted a long time ago that she has her own journey and lessons to go through.
This loving contrast both warms and startles me. I want to receive it and be engulfed in it. I am also a little afraid of it. I know with time this will change. Maybe this is a mother-like relationship will help heal this part of my heart.
A few days later Julien to me to the riverside park to see the white swans and Canadian wild geese. They are so fun to watch, especially when the geese fly in to land and awkwardly stumble across the frozen water, slipping and sliding. I got too excited and too close, and they started chasing me thinking I had food for them. Julien laughed as I ran and slipped across the ice to safety, terrified by the idea that I might turn into bird food.
For Christmas he gave me an unlimited pass to hot yoga. I go every day, to move, stretch, sweat and defrost. It’s a big, warm studio, full of happy, smiling Canadians. It feels good to show up on my mat again everyday. When we were traveling through Asia, I rarely returned to my practice, mostly because I didn’t have a yoga mat, but maybe that was just an excuse. Every day the class I go to is different. Every day it seems that the classes are getting better. The 2 hours that I carve out for yoga every day are all mine. I love them.
Since the New Year, I’ve been finding my way back into my business. The first week was all about getting clear on the direction I want to take this year, reconnecting with some of my previous clients, and putting systems and processes in place, so things run efficiently and smoothly. It always surprises me how long that takes. Some of those planning structures I am sharing in my free video workshop on how to make 2017 the best imaginable. Over 100 enthusiastic folks have already signed up, leaving me so excited and grateful.
It is the best feeling, when you love your work. The beautiful tribe of women (and small handful of men) who have been enchanted by my words, offerings and vibes truly make my day, everyday, with their dedication to create a better world through their choices, beliefs, actions and work. My days are filled with supporting inspired folk to take their lives to a new vibrant level, whether it is an alignment that has to happen in their business, or a softening in the personal lives. Next to that I get to create beautiful things straight from my soul: marketing material, courses, classes, workshops. I am so blessed to have this job, and I also know how hard I worked on my beliefs and actions to create it. It’s always a balance of inner and outer work, when we want to create change and attract something new, better, more fulfilling, into our lives.
This year, I am increasing my exposure and stepping up to be seen in a whole new way. I bought myself a new Nikon D5300 with plans to take my photography skills up a notch. Photography has always soothed and filled my soul, and has been a large part of my business since the beginning. I am thrilled to taking it to a semi-pro level.
I have started doing a free Q&A style monthly Facebook Live mentoring session on the 1st Saturday PST of every month, where you can ask anything you like about anything. Here are some time zones, to make it easy:
SATURDAY 1pm PST (Los Angeles)
SATURDAY 4pm EST (New York)
SATURDAY 9pm GMT (London)
SUNDAY 8am AEDT (Sydney)
I am currently looking for a graphic design intern to support my projects this year, and have recently added an amazing videographer and film editor to my team, to help with video content and classes that I am creating. I learned in the past year that I cannot do it all, and need to ask for help in some areas of my work (and life) if I want to fulfil the vision and lofty dreams I hold for myself.
Alongside my everlasting optimism and delight for all the creative potential that this year holds, I sometimes find myself with moments of doubt and anxiety. What if I don’t fill my mentoring spaces like I did last year? What if my courses and classes don’t match my launch hopes and goals? What if I don’t do all the things that I say I want to do? I know, from a few years of experience, that this is a normal thread for self-employed folk. When you literally create your own sense of security, it’s easy to sometimes feel overwhelmed and frightened by that kind of personal responsibility. In those moments I remind myself of 3 things:
- Patience and trust are my biggest allies, always and forever.
- I wouldn’t want to live any other way. (The alternative of working for someone else is impossible for me.)
- My real job is to guard my thoughts, take care of my health, and commit to vibing at a high level. This is what attracts the people, life and work that supports and fulfils me.
Every morning when I wake up, I look out the window to see a giant, snow-covered mountain shining back at me. Some days the sun is out and everything looks incredibly bright. On others I watch as the snow swirls around the trees and corners of the house, looking for a place to lay. I am starting to find my routine amongst those around me, often moving from kitchen with steaming cups of tea, to the fireplace to write and stay warm, to the little makeshift office space I created in a spare room for when I want privacy to speak with my clients.
Every day I receive a new note, or meet a new soul, welcoming me to my new home, people who I’ve never met before. People who know me better than I know them, because of the way I share myself and little pieces of my soul with you here. This ability to connect with you, with strangers, with potential friends, sparks my appreciation for the world we live in today. I can imagine I would feel much more lonely if there wasn’t a digital thread that connects us all. We live in a wonderful world. And I am so glad to be able to share it with you.