Do you desire a life where you know and live your inner purpose? That instead of floating through life you know exactly what your true desires are and living to your fullest potential? Do you feel like what you are longing for is just hidden under the surface and once you discover it there will be no holding you back?
Download the Live Your Desired Life workbook and learn the 4 easy steps on how I started to live the life I always dreamed of.
While writing emails back and forth with a friend, we were describing our days to one another. Writing the highlights and the lowlights of our journey through motherhood. As I read line after line of her day I felt so envious of her life. Ashamed to be dealing with envy in my friendship with her at first, I then wondered can envy be a positive feeling?
There I was feeling like my life wasn’t good enough, that something was missing. When the truth of the matter was that my life is pretty fabulous and I can’t complain about it. I’m living a life where I’m attracting people and experiences that inspire me. And since I feel like I’m living a positive and intentional life, dealing with envy in friendships can leave me confused. But I still envied her life and started assessing why this was coming up for me.
I wrote to her telling her of my envy and she confessed that she envied my life as well.
How is that even possible? There she was living this gorgeous and beautiful life and envying mine?
It allowed us to both be vulnerable with each other, to say ‘Hey, I think your life sounds perfect, I want it…or elements of it!’.
When I assessed where this feeling of envy was coming from, I realized it was because there was more to life I wanted to live than I already was. There were elements of her life that I wanted to sprinkle into mine. There were experiences and people that I wanted to introduce into my every day.
Dealing with envy in friendship can highlight the desires you want to infuse into your life. It can bring you in alignment to your authentic self in ways you never thought possible.
Moving away from negative energy that is typically associated with envy to a positive one, has allowed me to be open to what I want to create in my life. It has allowed me to feel okay being envious of someone else, because it’s highlighting desires that I didn’t know I wanted.
Having envy pop up for you doesn’t mean that you’re a horrible person or that you should shame yourself for feeling that way. Envy can just be pinpointing you in the direction of your dreams.
Next time you find envy coming up, assess where it’s coming from and why. Welcome it positively and you never know what will come out of it.
Envy might help you create the life you’ve been looking for.
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I walked down the sweeping stairs of a gorgeous modern home with my heart in my throat and a weight being lifted off my shoulders. It felt so right, but I wondered, why did I feel so sad and as if my future has just disappeared right in front of me? I walked into the room where my friends had gathered and I pulled the diamond ring off my left hand to place it on the desk in front of me. “It’s over, we broke up, I am no longer getting married” with no tears at all. They said they were sorry in the most comforting way possible, but what I couldn’t see at the time was how happy they were for me.
I had spent the past year and half dating and being engaged to a boy that I thought was good for me at the time, but a relationship I should have never entered into.
We had known each other for years, having attended the same bible camp as teens and having the same mutual friends, it seemed rather natural that we would start dating. However, we started dating with the intention of getting married and that was the worst way to begin our relationship. Before we had gone on an official date or even decided if we were a good fit together, we had committed ourselves to each other. This of course was a product of the community that we were brought up in and believed we were doing the right thing.
Our first year together went quite well. We laughed a lot, took road trips all over and spent many night talking under moonlit skies before jumping into the car to find a cliff to watch the sun rise from. He supported me emotionally while I attended college and I supported him through the roller coaster of his health. We dreamed together and made plans for our future, and most definitely discussed our wedding.
Almost a year to the day when we had the discussion that we’re in this for life we took a road trip to our favourite beach, and there under a cloudy warm summer day, he got down on his knee and proposed.
I remember the whole world fading away, except for one man just behind us smiling and my then boyfriend eagerly awaiting my response. In a split second my heart and head had a discussion. My heart was screaming “NO! No! No, don’t do this!” My head, however, responded very calmly “Of course you’ll say yes, you said you were starting this relationship to become married, of course it’s yes”.
I said yes and we hugged and kissed, laughing at the wonderfulness of our future together. He drove me home to the house on a hill that I shared with four other girls. I hid the news from from my roommates for days, and I honestly can’t remember when I called my parents. I do remember my parents not being surprised, since he had asked them for permission, but they had asked us to a wait another year before tying the knot. I don’t really remember them being overly happy about the news.
Within days of us getting engaged our relationship started to breakdown.
We fought constantly about our expectations of the other. He made endless comments about how I dressed, suggesting at one time that I dressed like Brittany Spears from the early 2000′s. I couldn’t understand this as I was constantly in jeans and a t-shirt, never wore shorts, and had just purchased my first bikini to wear on the hammock in my back yard – I couldn’t imagine wearing it in public. I was very self conscious of my body.
One evening in the dead of the night, parked in a dark lot at the edge of a beach, we were in the midst of another argument. We yelled, we screamed, we both threw tantrums feeling like the other wasn’t listening. Suddenly he tells me he can’t deal with it anymore, opens the car door and walks toward the beach till I can’t see his silhouette against the light from a beach home. I sit there, with tears streaming down my face wondering what I did to cause him such pain? I began thinking of ways to make him happy in an attempt to fix us. Then suddenly, I realized that he walked away and left me abandoned in his car alone without keys and with no cellphone coverage. I decided I didn’t deserve to be treated this way, and walked away from the car without a note.
I walked down a dark street until I knew I’d have cellphone coverage again and called my roommate who I knew would come get me without asking any questions and without judgement. Little did I know she would ask questions, and once I was home my roommates sat me down and tried ever so gently to tell me how the relationship I was in was toxic.
At the time I didn’t see how damaged I had become or the damage I was causing him by continuing in the relationship. I was depressed, I made excuses for his behaviour, I allowed myself to be emotionally and mentally abused because we had said we were in this relationship forever. To me it was a promise I couldn’t break. The community that I surrounded myself in, I believed that if I broke it off it would be like I was divorcing him and I’d be forever looked at as a sinner.
However, my roommates saw it and knew I couldn’t help myself, so one of them did something behind my back that forever changed the course of my life.
She called my mom.
She told my mom the whole story and everything that she saw going on between us, everything that I couldn’t see and wouldn’t see. She explained how much I had changed and how I was not the person I once was or should be. She told my mom that she needed to come and get me then take me home.
That day my roommate rescued me from a relationship that would have left me miserable and utterly unhappy.
Two months later, when I called to tell him I would be late arriving at his place, he told me to not bother coming. At first I thought he meant that weekend, as if me missing the ferry had upset him. And then he tells me that he doesn’t know who I am anymore and doesn’t believe we should get married. I ask why. I ask what can I do to fix it. I say everything you can imagine to stay together, believing I have to do everything to make him happy again. In the end nothing would do, and I say “okay”.
Surprisingly, there were no tears. Just a complete understanding. The tears, however, came days later when I realized how much of myself I had poured into our relationship, how much of I had given up and given away, how I felt like my future no longer existed because it only existed in him.
As I told my friends that is was over I remember my heart feeling so much joy, but not being able to explain it at the time. I was finally free to begin living a life full of happiness and that day, a broken engagement and leaving an unhealthy relationship, set me on the path to discovering what truly makes me happy.
I hear the question repeated time and time again from women who may or may not have children, but all are wondering the same thing ‘can I be a mother in a way that feels good’, which always follows with ‘is it possible to to be attentive, warm, and nurturing to your babe(s) all while staying true to your femininity, grace, purpose, while also living a life?’
My simple answer, yes.
I am fully aware I am writing this with a fresh babe on my hip, and not with two or more children playing around my feet or years of mothering behind me, but I feel like I have found how to mother in a way that truly feels good to me. By following this process I’ve entered into motherhood with a foundation on which I will continue my practice in a truly feminine and elegant way.
And that is exactly what mothering is, a practice.
PRACTICE: perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one’s proficiency.
Being a mother isn’t supposed to be a way of living by a strict rule book of do’s and don’ts. It is supposed to be a growing role, day in and day out, where you are constantly navigating what feels good to you and your child(ren) while also living life in a way that reflects your values. Mothering, parenting for that matter, shouldn’t be a role full of fear of what other’s will think or where we pass judgement upon one another, it should be a full acceptance on how you have chosen to live your life, how you’ve chosen to mother.
Being a Mother, what that looks like and how it feels, is different for every single woman. Just like your child’s fingerprint, it is truly unique. I love how each of us as women have the ability to grow and can continue to practice how to live life with a growing babe, in a way that feels good to us.
I have been asked frequently about how I mother, how I’ve come into my mothering role with such elegance and ease. And in all honesty, I didn’t feel like I was adequate enough to give any sort of response. Who am I to give advice on how to mother in a way that feels good? But then I realized, if people were asking, it’s because apparently I do know.
I’m not saying I have it right and I’m also not saying this is the only answer. Because it’s not, but this is how I’ve chosen to mother, and it truly feels good to me, day in and day out.
Put yourself first
Before I was pregnant my vision of motherhood looked like a constant cranky baby, long sleepless nights, our marriage fallen to pieces, and me day after day in yoga pants and 3 day old chips in my hair. This is what I fully expected to happen to me. So just hours after Isla was born I was showered, hair done, a soft layer of makeup applied, and a maxi dress on so that I felt comfortable yet still feminine. Setting that intention, or being completely afraid of my vision, and a quick recovery from labour set the foundation of making sure that every day I am showered and dressed in an outfit that is flattering and that I feel elegant and feminine in since the day she was born.
My morning routine takes about 30 minutes, and every day I make sure it happens. Usually this is when Isla takes her morning nap, sometimes it’s when Mister and her spend a few moments together playing before he heads to work. No matter what, I make it a priority that for 30 minutes a day I spend some time on me as it allows me to fully concentrate on the flow of the day instead of worrying that I’m losing myself.
This isn’t selfish, it’s priorities. Just like in an airplane they tell you to put your oxygen mask on first before helping your child, the same applies here. You cannot mother to your full capacity if you are feeling like you are losing yourself in the process. Perhaps that isn’t what you would do to put yourself as a priority, it might be taking a bath, doing your nails, getting a workout in, talking on the phone with a friend, but find out what it is then do it every day so you know you are putting yourself first.
Set your intentions
Much of how I’ve decided to mother in a way that feels good to me, falls into this category. I set my intentions early on how I wanted mothering to look like for me.
My first intention is everything to be simple.
Our daily life is simple. Within a month of Isa’s birth I knew we needed to have a schedule because when I tried to do ‘on demand/with the flow’ I found myself frustrated and confused as to when she should be napping, when to make appointments, or when I would find time to have lunch to nurture myself. I quickly put us on a schedule , one that I now call a rhythm for our family. A rhythm, because some days the pace is fast like the momentum of a quick step or slow like the sway of a waltz. Because of my desire for simplicity, I only schedule one appointment/meet-up a day and always have one or two days a week where we don’t see anyone. I’ve chosen not to attend any mommy-and-me groups so that I can keep close contact with the relationships I forged before having a child – this has been extremely important to my wellbeing it has kept me grounded and feeling like I’m still in-tune with my pre-baby life. I’ve also allowed myself to say no when the day is too out of sync and I know I wouldn’t be able to give my full attention to the friend I am meeting with. Some days do go completely sideways, and I stay open and flexible so that each day has an overall sense of ease to it instead of stress. Because I’ve integrated a simple schedule into our lives it makes it easy to work around to meet with friends, plan date nights, or spend the whole day with her in a relaxed state.
My second intention is keeping a home that reflects us.
We have as little toys as possible and before it’s purchased we decide if it will fit into our home and lifestyle. Bold bright colours cause me a lot of anxiety so anything of that nature isn’t brought into our home – toys or clothing. We are made fun of because the three of us are constantly matching in our attire. We don’t do this on purpose, but everything we live with and in has been carefully considered making sure it suits us personally. We just seem to be attracted to neutral tones with classic elegant colours like black and white, navy and gray, soft pinks and nudes and that is showcased time and time again through the design of our home, our clothing, and the toys we select for Isla to develop with.
I’ve been told that Isla NEEDS to have colourful outfits or toys, things that light up and make noise. And when that is said to me I have moments of panic that perhaps I’m depriving her of developing properly, but then I realize she is perfectly happy with me and the calm peaceful surrounding we have created for her. Why would I surround myself with items that cause me to stress which then in turn would stress her out as well.
My third intention is to accept parenting advice with love.
This is much harder as it’s given to me in the most unlikeliest of places, like scrolling through facebook for example. You see people sharing posts about how not being on your phone is the best way to parent, how crying it out will cause serious damage and break the bonds of trust, how baby lead weaning is the best way to introduce solids, co-sleeping is best, no babe sleeping in her crib alone is best. Well intentioned friends and family give you guidance from their experience. Everything is well intended, but extremely overwhelming especially when navigating motherhood at the very beginning of your journey. Knowing this, I didn’t want to get my back up and feel like I was being judged or told I need to change. I decided to accept every single piece of parenting advice as a welcoming hand for guidance, a source of experience, a circle of support to create my mothering role within.
When I’m given parenting advice, whether it’s from family, friends or a parenting book, I acknowledge it and then before putting that expectation or obligation upon myself to fulfill, I make sure it aligns with the above intentions and either implement and see how it works or decide it’s not for me with no hard feelings. It has been the most freeing experience, to fully accept unsolicited parenting advice, then continuing to mother in a way that feels good!
This is the most important component on how to mother in a way that feels good to you. You must communicate your priorities and your intentions to yourself and to those who are supporting you through your practice of motherhood. This role isn’t easy and it will quickly drain you of all energy and confidence if you don’t communicate your needs and expectations to others.
We told our family and friends that we didn’t want any toys or a baby shower prior and after Isla’s birth, and I know I crushed my mom’s dream of hosting one for me, but we really didn’t want to build a registry or receive gifts from people that may not fit with us, our home, or our lifestyle. This has greatly reduced the amount of toys, clothing, and baby accessories that we own and it feels so good!
Mister and I are constantly communicating with each other about our needs as a man and a woman, husband and wife, mother and father. We talk about our goals that we want to achieve individually and as a family. We set out plans and put important events in our schedule that we know we want to experience whether it’s a girls weekend for me, or golf day for him, or every saturday morning he hikes up the side of a mountain so he can have some time alone.
You have to be willing and able to communicate your needs, especially when it comes to how you’re feeling about mothering and being a mother. It hasn’t been easy for me, to transition from not wanting children to now having one, but when I’m open and honest with myself and with Mister on how I’m dealing with life it makes it easier to say ‘I need a day off at least once a month for me to be the wife and mother I want to be’ and then suddenly being gifted with two days off with no expectations to fulfill the role of wife and mother except to recharge and do what feels good.
There is so much more that I could go into, but this is just a start of how I mother in a way that feels good to me. I’ve chosen to embodied my mothering rolevwith femininity, elegance, ease, and lots of fun as well.
I would love to hear, whether you have children or not, how you mother or how you intend to mother in a way that feels good to you.
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The fifth anniversary was one of nostalgic reminiscing while anticipating the future with an additional element of our new babe, constantly at our side.
The morning of our anniversary we woke up with the sun and enjoyed our bodies next to one another before getting up to start our day. As I stood naked wrapped in a plush white towel he asks what was new on Instagram and I tell him how a friend’s account was shut down. He turns to me and if I saw what he posted. I quickly grab my phone off my nightstand and find his post “Happy 5th Anniversary!” with my bouquet of peonies along with a robin egg blue box with white ribbon as well as a pink striped box with gold lettering. He completely spoils me with an elegant silver bracelet with a Tiffany charm as well as a beautiful black sheer and lace night dress for me to wear that evening. I am completely floored and feel so spoiled after the success of the evening before and the beginning of our celebrations.
He comes home at midday from work so that the three of us can spend the rest of the day together. When he walks through the door she is so elated to see him – eyes wide with a smile from ear to ear and her feet moving so fast. She is the highlight of his day. We walk through the city and decide to lunch at the new location of a highly desired restaurant, hubbub. He orders a pulled pork sandwich and I, my tried and true, chicken breast sandwich. As the sauce drips down our hands and we people watch from our window seat along Robson I smile at him – there is a sense of such pride that this is the man I married and still, after 5 years of marriage, a cadence of sensuality between us.
We wander into a lingerie store and he shows me the different outfits he was choosing from and I tell him he chose perfectly. We run errands together. Returning a throw pillow I had purchased for our living room but deciding I was trying too hard and it isn’t us at all. We pick up bottles of wine to restock our wine fridge. We continue wandering around the city before stopping into a café to enjoy a latte for me and a traditional cappuccino for him. All the while Isla is asleep in the pram, perfectly content to be with us as we stroll up and down the city streets.
Afterwards we decide to celebrate happy hour and step into a beautifully rustic restaurant with woodblock walls and a matte black ceiling. We order the special oysters of the day, chef’s creek, and are introduced to the most delicious oyster’s we’ve ever tasted. They are sweet with an almost fruity beginning with a smooth buttery finish. As we shuck the oysters and sip on a bourbon sour and a bacon infused Caesar, we watch a game of world cup soccer and sway Isla side to side in the noisy restaurant.
Once we’re home after a long walk in the sun we cuddle all together on our bed and spend time playing with Isla and see her eyes light up that we’re all together. She coos and laughs, along with grunts of frustration while pulling her bum up into the air to attempt to crawl. She makes it half way across the bed before she tells us she’s had enough. She’s growing so fast but we’re so proud of her drive to accomplish anything she sets her mind to.
While Mister gets Isla ready for bed I linger in a long hot shower letting the mirror steam over and the walls gather moisture. I relax and feel my muscles loosen as the water cascades over me. After my hair has been styled and a natural shade of makeup applied, I step into a navy pencil skirt and a sheer blouse before slipping on my black patent 6″ leather Christian Louboutins heels. It takes a minute for me to adjust to the height, but I feel my body place each muscle where it needs to be to walk in sky high heels. I place a string of pearls around my neck and a pair in my ears, then add on my new Tiffany bracelet to go with my Louis Vuitton handbag. I once dreamed of the designer items I now call mine, and it feels like the perfect selection to go along with my outfit. I feel beautiful, elegant, and most definitely sexy. Before we head out the door I match it all with a swipe of a deep red lipstick.
A taxi takes us to another coveted restaurant in the West End of Vancouver, a place that does not take reservations. However, we are able to secure a table, so that when we arrive, we’re swept past a line of people out the door to a table for two. It’s the perfect beginning to a romantic evening. The restaurant sweeps us into its charm that leaves us feeling like we’re on holiday. Time gets away from us as we enjoy dish after dish of recommended tapas: Spanish style scotch egg covered in a chipotle aioli, blue cheese toast topped with pine nuts, chicken liver pate with rhubarb wine jelly, spiced lamb with patatas bravas, roasted octopus sprinkled with arugula, spicy roasted romesco with saffron, zuchinni carpaccio drizzled in a mint vinegar. Each dish is beautifully paired with bottle of red wine – a full bodied tampranillo, expertly decided on by me. Between bites our conversation flows easily reminiscing the past to ambitions for the future, he spoke of business, career, and success, I express my passion for inspiring others, for business, for living life in a way that truly reflects us. We discuss Ivy League schools and headline news. There is a brief moment of discussing budgets, finances, investment and net growth. We compare living abroad in London and Amsterdam. Over the cheese course of a deep blue valdeon and manchego with honey we anticipate our future together with our new babe always by our side as we travel far and often. We finish the meal off with churros paired with a deep rich chocolate and a house-made yogurt with dulce de leche sauce. As I swirl the last bit of my wine left in my glass I look over at him, and again am so over come by the love I have for him and the life we’ve created for ourselves.
Long after the summer solstice sun has gone down another taxi speeds us home. I stay captivated in my trance that we’re on holiday as we clutch the side of the car door as the taxi driver quickly weaves in and out of traffic narrowly missing other drivers and pedestrians, mumbling under his breath in a thick accent that I cannot understand. Then finally, when we’re in the safety of our home we stand over our deeply sleeping baby holding each other close. I quietly leave the nursery to slip into my night dress and we come together with all the love and passion we’ve accumulated over the past 8 years together. This meeting brings me back to our wedding night 5 years prior, and as our bodies intertwine, it’s a beautiful movement of dedication, excitement, and warmth.
Four years ago, over looking snowy ski runs while enjoying a gin and tonic in a bubbling hot tub, I told Mister that I felt that I needed to host an event where I brought women together and somehow they would be inspired. I had no idea what it would look like or what exactly I would talk about, just that there was a pressing on my heart to do it. Being the amazing supporter that he is, he encouraged me to do it. And so I did.
Every second Tuesday for almost a year I held an ‘Inspire to Be’ event at a café in a city near Vancouver that was convenient for everyone who attended. We discussed life, dreams, aspirations, failures, and that week’s highlights and low lights. Deep lasting friendships were made through these evenings and I look back at them fondly. I hosted them until I left for Europe, and then completely forgot about them!
Recently that pressing came back, and so did all the memories of the Inspire to Be evenings. I began planning inspiring evenings in my head while I walked around the seawall. I envisioned what I would talk about, what kind of woman would want to attend, I even dreamed what kind of food I would offer. They were all just dreams, thoughts swirling around asking to be executed. And they would have stayed that way if someone hadn’t told me I needed to pick a date and host the event. And so I did.
Last Thursday, as the rain clouds came through and blanketed the city in a warm grey haze, six beautiful and wonderful women entered my home and I hosted my first event.
The evening was amazing. My living room was prepared with with layers of candles, a vase of fresh peonies sitting elegantly on the coffee table, and a newly acquired cake stand with a fresh chocolate cake stood next to gluten-free cookies and chocolate mousse. There were gold dessert forks and art deco napkins to add a graphic element to the softness of it all. Silky calm piano music played in the background to complete the space of beauty and elegance.
They slowly trickled in as it began to rain, and I handed each one a glass of champagne to which we toasted with to welcome the evening.
I was nervous and excited, but somehow composed, like I was supposed to be there, in that exact moment in time. I began by inhaling a calming breath then explained how the evening would proceed. We started with each woman telling their story – from wherever they felt the need to start up until that day. It was a beautiful moment of guards coming down and being vulnerable.
Once each woman had shared her history the last one perfectly lead into the evening’s discussion of designing your ideal day. We sat around sipping a delicious Pinot Noir while discussing different elements of our day, the struggles of limiting schedules, the demands of children and work. Pen and paper met, fingers and iPads took notes, they all went to work and what came out was truly beautiful. Someone said they didn’t need to do it because it actually made them feel worse, like they were constantly striving for something they could never achieve but reminded them to live according to their core desired feelings. Another said they needed to have events that they scheduled weekly instead of daily, as their schedules were too hectic that scheduling life daily would cause more chaos than peace. Some where able to work through their entire day and identify exactly what they needed to change to make everything happen.
There was resistance and doubt, but we worked through it. There were questions of financial worries and strain to which each person had their own view on finances and spending and interacting with money that feels authentically them. There were discussions of dreams that were different than their partners, and somehow my answer was exactly what they needed to hear. We are the catalyst to the vision of our family, and if you’re in a good relationship, all he wants to do is make you happy.
We ended the evening with discussing some bigger life dreams. With communication, designing the right steps to get you there, and making sure your dream is aligned with the desires of your heart, your dream, or a version of it, will come true.
The night slowly came to and end and as they were putting on their shoes I brought Isla out to say hello. With her in her white pyjamas and sleepy eyes, we hugged them goodbye. I was reminded that we’re in this together – we’re a team, each woman who came inspired others but also left inspired. It was exactly how I wanted it to be.
I plan on hosting intimate group coaching sessions, in my home, throughout the year, where women come together to deepen their desires through living life with intention and designing the life of their dreams. If you’d like to find out more about these evenings, please check out the group coaching page.
Space is limited as it’s hosted in my home in downtown Vancouver, but if you’d like to receive information about the upcoming sessions, please register below. There is no commitment needed to register.