Inspiration for living a luxuriously and balanced life

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Accepting Change - 5 Tips to help you get there

Change is inevitable, whether you realize it or not everything in life involves change. But, change is not always easy to transition through - even when we initiate change, the unknown of how the change will impact us can leave a very unsettling feeling. And when change in our life is not of our choosing, especially when it's unexpected can send us onto a roller coaster of emotions such as: shock, denial, guilt (you could have done, been more), blame (someone else caused this), and eventually you will think with a clarity you didn't think possible, and accept what has happened. Once you accept the change - you will be able to start moving towards creating a new life.

5 Tips to help you Accept Change:

1. FEEL the emotions and carry on: Too often we don't allow our emotions to be felt - we've all read and possibly shared phrases such as "put your big girl pants on" or "suck it up butter cup"or "build a bridge and get over it", you get the idea. By suppressing our emotions we are setting ourselves up to keep holding on to whatever has occurred. 

You will go through a series of emotions (fear, anger, joy, relief, grief,sadness etc.) - there is no "magic" order in which you will experience these emotions or if you experience one, a few or all; the length of time each will last; nor the repeat of these until you accept what has occurred (this is isn't to say even when you have reached the AH HA moment of acceptance that some of these emotions may not creep up from time to time). But having allowed yourself to experience them in the raw - will make it much easier to acknowledge should they creep up again, and not let them take over your life.

2. ASK yourself the question WHY - you are feeling so depleted by the change: is it that you are letting ego get in the way? is that losing a loved one - makes you realize your own immortality? after a break-up is that you are feeling lost, alone, betrayed, unsupported? When we are able to identify why we are feeling a certain way - it helps us to put the situation into perspective, which then enables us to put action steps in place to help us through the healing process.

3. Be THANKFUL for all the amazing people and things you have in your life. Take a look through your gratitude journal if you need a little reminder. Don't have a gratitude journal - perfect time to start one. Start writing down at least 3 things that happened in your day that you are grateful for - could be as basic as food to eat, a roof over your head, conversation with a dear friend or a stranger that smiled. Make a point each evening or morning to add to your gratitude journal.

4. LOOK for the silver lining, sometimes you may have to really look but, I promise you there is always one! Loss of job, could lead to a better career or opportunity to go back to school to study a subject you have always wanted; loss of a loved one, appreciate the family members you still have; the end of a relationship, frees you to explore other parts of you which you may have forgotten about or not realized existed.

5. BREATHE ... whatever the change, know that as long as you are breathing you have an opportunity to create an amazing life. It will be different - but know "The Best Is Yet To Come"!

Take care of you!

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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Light Cafe on Baldwin

Whether you are looking to satisfy your appetite, sweet tooth or looking for a hot/cold beverage Light Cafe is serving up a great selection of gourmet cafĂ© food and drinks with a contemporary twist. Super friendly and welcoming staff. A great up beat vibe, lots of natural light filters in from the floor to ceiling window ... and the live plant wall really is a wonderful touch of green - it's like being outside indoors.

The Lobster Bisque is scrumptious!!

I fell in love with this yummy treat! The strawberry mille feuille is a delectable melody of light flaky pastry, cream, fresh strawberries, a petite scoop of strawberry ice cream, and an infusion of strawberry puree. It really is a party for the senses!!

Feeling a little parched or looking for a place to enjoy a hot or cold beverage? Light Cafe has you covered with their extensive offering: espresso bar, slow drip hand brew coffee, infused loose leaf tea, au laits, and refreshing alternatives.
On a recent visit ... I took a little break from my writing day with leisure reading and a cup of Earl Grey Rose Au Lait!! ( lovelies if you enjoy an Au Lait, you must try this one, you will thank me!)

Light Cafe is located at : 23 Baldwin Street
Easily accessible via the St. Patrick TTC Station or the 505 Dundas street car McCaul stop.
See menu here or visit their website: LightCafe.ca
NOTE: this is a CASH only establishment

If you have experienced Light Cafe, would love for you to share your fav menu item in the comments. 

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Friday, August 4, 2017

Life Direction Recalculating No Warning ... 5 Tips to Adjust to "This"

When you are driving along, and the GPS begins to say "Recalculating" it's often because you have taken a different path than originally mapped or perhaps an unexpected event(s) occurred ahead - and the GPS is directing you towards a more efficient route to reach your destination. The Universe is like GPS for life ... if we are straying from where we are suppose to be, events will occur that will help steer us back. Unfortunately these events may not always happen in the form of a joyous occasion, most often they are gut wrenching, WTF kinda of events.

Our first reaction, may be to want to stay on the path we know, even if we sense it could be chaos, overwhelming or dangerous to are well being (emotional, mental and/or physical health). A long time ago I recall someone saying to me ... "when something happens to us, it is good to wait at least 48 hours - this way you will be acting on what has happened instead of reacting. After all what happened will not change, but how you see it and respond to it may". I recently found myself practicing this advice, and I have to say my initial response and how I view a recent life changing event has changed drastically from my initial ego and fear driven thoughts. 

I'm not going to sugar coat it lovelies, it is not easy choosing to take action vs reacting, and in all honesty when my heart was pulled out and stomped on like it never in my 50 years had been; not allowing ego and fear to take over was like trying to give a bath to a cat -who hates water!  The days, and weeks that followed became filled with more questions than answers. "This" became one of those moments where I realized nothing would ever be the same. I think actively practicing regular self care and love has given me the wisdom and sound foundation to examine "this" with a clarity that may not have otherwise existed; and I also knew that I was not going to let "this" destroy me

  5 Tips to Adjust to "This":

1. Take TIME: When we are feeling betrayed or hurt, it is instinct to reach out to people who care about us - but in the next few hours, days - try to allow yourself time to process what has become your "new reality". While well intended, our friends and loved ones will go into protective mode of us - and we can easily take on their thoughts on the situation. Give yourself time to figure out how YOU really are feeling about the situation.

2. TALK to someone: If you are needing to talk - reach out to a psychologist, or other professional who can remain objective and help you through the initial processing of what has occurred. I am a firm believer that we should all have a psychologist on retainer and on speed dial.

3. Be SELECTIVE: When we are hurting, our need to feel loved, protected and connected can leave us vulnerable to blurting out our personal life to anyone who will listen. Seriously, the sales lady does not need to know your business. Limit your discussion to a handful of friends/loved ones - this is what our besties (see below) are for. 

4. KNOW your besties: While our besties have our back ... in the days following the avalanche of your life - you will have days when you need the bestie, who will snap you into reality - no sugar coating tough love; other days you need the one who will hold your hand and draw on her experiences to help you process; and yet other days the one who just listens without interruption, judgement or I told you so. Of course they will all be ready with bubbly, a cup of tea, chocolate and ice cream - because you have the best BESTIES!!

5. Allow yourself time to GRIEVE: No matter what "this" was whether it was for the best or whether it really doesn't make sense, it's important to grieve the loss of what once was your life. Ensure you take off the rose coloured & bitter glasses, reflect on the good, the bad, the ugly, and the WTFs. But don't linger too long .... accept what has happened and start looking forward.

Bonus Tip: 

FORGIVENESS - what has happened cannot be changed, life will never be the same, you will never be the same, BUT ... when you forgive (be it yourself or another) you release the hold the past has on you ... and when this happens, the magic of new beginnings emerge ... and oh what a beautiful life you have ahead of you!! ( you just may not know it or be able to see it yet).

Lovelies remember, when the life we ordered has been discontinued - look at it as an opportunity to recalculate and set a new course for you and your life.

original image : Google Images

Take care of you,

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Being Social & Friendships in the Resilientista Years

The gals of Sex and the City are a great representation of the ease in which friendships are made in our 30s. The opportunities for social outings with other women seemed limitless and friendships were easily made. Why does that seem to change as we get into our late 40s and 50s? Is it age or is it something else?

I pondered this question recently, and thought about my own situation; at first glance it was easy to paint it as an age thing. But with further thought, I believe it's more of a life stage thing, and not being able to make friends after 50 really is a limiting believe. There is no friendship cut off age and as life changes (think geographic moves, divorce or loss of spouse/partner, illness, semi/retirement, empty nester etc.) or, current friends no longer offer the support and encouragement that makes a friendship, many people find themselves needing or wanting to make new friends.

Most notably when I found myself with unexpected free time on my hands and reached out to my gal friends for an impromptu gals nite. While everyone was excited about the idea and so wanted to attend - most already had other commitments for that evening. What I learned is that impromptu may not work the way it once did - as many have spouses, children, grandchildren; others are back in the dating scene or already filling their weekends way ahead of time (one friend in particular is booked every weekend past Labour Day!). 

Does this mean that social activities as your life stage changes is limited to mostly family or solo activities? ABSOLUTELY NOT! ~ one only has to click through Instagram to see women in their late 40s, 50s and beyond actively having amazing social lives with their gal (and even male) pals.

Here are 8 ideas to start cultivating new friendships:

1) Step outside your front door: this may seem like a given, but you will not meet new people unless you get out your front door.

2) Give Back : volunteering is a great way to help others, feel a sense of belonging to a community and meeting new people.

3) Make Friends with Yourself : take yourself out on dates, and outings, get to know what you enjoy (and equally important what you don't like) doing. When you are your own friend, you are exuding an air of happiness, confidence, and love; and that will be the friends you will attract.

4) Take a class: It doesn't matter what the class is - so long as it's something you enjoy. You will already have one thing in common with your classmates. So sign up for that pottery, yoga, sewing, spin etc. class.

5) Travel with a Tour Group: If you enjoy travelling but all your friends are busy or you have no one to travel with, don't let that enjoyment go. Travelling with a tour group, offers the feeling of traveling with someone as well as the opportunity to meet new people who may turn into a new friend.

6) Reconnect with Friends: Sometimes friends drift because of life circumstances. If there is a friend you really enjoyed doing things with reach out to them, who knows you may be able to pick up where you left off or may have an amazing new friendship. If it doesn't go beyond the initial contact - that's ok too!

7) Create a Social Routine: Especially if you work from home, are (semi/) retired, that gets you out of the house. Once or twice a week - have coffee at a particular cafe; go for a walk; or meet friends after after work.

8) Use Technology : Whether you find yourself in a new city or your life stage has changed  MeetUp.com  is a great way to meet new people with common interests.

Would love for you to share in the comments 
your experiences and ideas for making new friends in the Resilientista Years..

image credits: 1) Google Images 2)Diamond

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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Relationships & What I've Learned at 50

1) All relationships have an expiry date, and too often we remain in a relationship hoping "the person" will change their spots, despite how many times they let us down. 

2) When a relationship has come to an end no matter how long it may not have been good - you still need to take time to heal, reconnect with yourself and recharge yourself. Jumping into another relationship will only provide a band-aid solution and you may find yourself in the same predicament in the months, years to come.

3) If someone's actions threaten your well being - be it health, financial, emotional or physical well-being;while your heart may want to give them an opportunity to make things better, it's also important to set a time limit for things to be rectified. Let the person know ... and then do not cave! Walk away. If you let them know how something is making you feel and they don't take steps to make you feel secure - then they are being about them self only - and have no interest in comprise (or your feelings).

4) If someone is not happy with your reaction to their original action, that you brought to their attention - and goes on to further break your trust and blames you because of the reaction ! RUN!! as much as your heart may not have caught up with your head. KNOW it takes two to make things work or not - if he takes no responsibility for his part, know he has given you a gift of freedom, even if it's rocking your very essence and being to the core and it hurts like hell!

5) Each relationship teaches us something - if we take the time to reflect and identify the lessons. Knowing the lessons will better equip us to apply them in future relationships, thus breaking the cycle and not having to relearn the lesson.

6) Forgiveness is key to moving forward. Forgive for your own well being - even if you don't tell the other person you forgive them. Try this mantra "I let go, and forgive him" - keep repeating it until it's true. 

7) A man will always tell you who he really is. If he says "you are too good for him", "he is a bad boy" BELIEVE him. This was something a good friend's mother once told us - while I have never forgotten this - I may not always have put her very wise words to practice.

8) Relationships are hard work and I do believe that almost everything can be worked out. But if the person you are with has not worked out his relationship with himself - don't expect things to be smooth sailing.

9) The early days, weeks, months and even years may run smoothly, after all it's shiny new. Even if its built on the ruins of the past relationship. But in time cracks will appear. Until each person has dealt with their pain of a past relationship and has a healthy relationship with them self - they cannot truly have a healthy relationship with another.

10) Even healthy relationships can come to an end. The difference is though some things may not have worked - RESPECT and LOVE has always been present. You both cared enough to recognize you may not work as a couple, and that's OK .... but you are able to maintain a friendship. 

The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself.” — Carrie Bradshaw

What relationship lessons have you learned? 
Would love for you to add to the above in the comments.
images via: Google images

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