Updated: Oct 29, 2022
What’s your definition of success? Do you see it as a specific accomplishment of an aim or purpose? Prior to his death, Steve Jobs the Co-Founder and CEO of technology giant Apple Inc, whose net worth was an estimated 10.2 billion, said: “I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In other’s eyes, my life is the epitome of success. However, aside from work, I have little joy.”
The Ottawa region is home to many highly accomplished individuals. Small businesses are woven into the fabric of our City. In my ByWard Market studio, as a Life and Health Coach, I have the privilege of meeting various focused, dedicated professionals and business owners. They share their stories and big plans, and they understand the value of commitment and hard work. Although they’ve managed to reach a notable level of success in their careers (having even achieved so despite the deep isolation of the Covid pandemic), they often privately share that they are overworked, overwhelmed and just feel really unwell. When it comes to their life and health, these strong-willed Leaders feel like they lack will-power or motivation. They regularly come to me out of urgency (or necessity rather) than for a tune up. Or, simply, to find more connection and mindfulness in their life, health, nutrition or fitness.
Your health is your wealth. What if you truly believed that? I teach people that the future is now; that you cannot live for the dream. The dream starts now. In your circle of life, there are several needs that allow your entire being to thrive when you’re in balance. When you’re out of balance there’s a ‘disturbance in the force’. Those who live in the Blue Zones for example (which are regions of the world thought to have a higher than usual number of people who live longer), follow a set of lessons for longevity. The lessons of the Blue Zones are examples that teach us that we must respect and honor at the highest level, balance. I normally conduct a full evaluation that allows me to determine where the imbalances are, and then work with the client to ensure that we create a plan. This way, their lifestyle becomes everything that they need and more.
Although there is so much that we discuss and that we consider, I introduce nourishment, natural movement, rest and stress relief as the basis of your Foundations. I’ll share some of that information with you today as my gift to you. Remember, consider that if you’re healthy, you’re wealthy. If this is all you focus on, you’ll notice some powerful and immediate changes in all areas of your circle of life. Let’s take your life, career or even your retirement to the next level!
Why do so many capable and devoted professionals say to me, “I don’t know why but I can’t get myself to exercise.” I ask, “What kind of exercise? Why do you want to exercise? Does it feel natural? Or, are you exercising because you ‘should’ and you’re doing activities that, to even get them started, feel like no fun and may be even painful to do or start?” And so, you don’t. And the less you move, the less you want to move. The Covid Pandemic has really affected our natural movement habits and so people are struggling more than ever to even get started. Maybe you get back into your work, hoping that perhaps tomorrow, or next Monday (or on January 1st of next year) you’ll find solutions to this problem - especially once you’ve found even more ‘success/freedom’ in your career and finances. Ask yourself these questions:
Are you doing activities and hobbies that you really love and genuinely look forward to?
Does your lifestyle allow for natural movement?
Are you taking the opportunity to move in the morning, during the day, after work and on weekends?
Is Wellness your home, work and organizational culture?
Are you exercising to become healthy, vibrant, flexible, balanced, glowing, lean and strong?
Are you consistent with your movement to ensure that your organism and systems (metabolism, immune, joy and many other hormones) are thriving?
Do you bring your friends, family, co-workers or employees into your wellness? Side tip – this is how you find that extra elusive time to be physically active.
Fitness - ByWard Market Ottawa
Mindset matters and the mindsets of those around us matter, too. We all loved to play and naturally move as children. I help people who are beginners, or rather looking for a new beginning, to reconnect to physical activity on a different level - either with myself as their Coach, but especially by making new connections to the local movement resources and community.
Prior to Covid we already didn’t move enough. In a post-Covid world, I believe that a lack of movement will soon become the next Epidemic if we don’t recognize, start to value and take action on natural movement. When I ask clients a simple question “At what point in your life did you feel your best?”, absolutely everyone shares a time in their life where they used to move for fun or where they were busy and happy! The longer you haven’t moved, the more careful you have to be with your healing; focus on flexibility and mobility. Yes, it will take time, but it’s OK because remember ‘the future is now’.
Get some help or some accountability partners, or both, and you’ll instantly feel better once you’ve taken a small, but very literal leap forward that you’re genuinely excited to take. There’s nothing I love more than to help someone to trust and reconnect with natural movement.
Do you eat or do you nourish? As a mother and a small business owner, people often ask me ‘how do you manage to balance it all?’. The simple answer is: I take care of my Foundations. All four of them, equally. How I nourish is a big determining factor in how I will feel including the energy and enthusiasm that I need to stay emotionally balanced and on top of things. I strongly believe it was a big determining factor in my continued success over the past couple of years. I managed to save and even grow my business during Covid 19 and I didn’t do it by sacrificing my Foundations. I invite you to take some time to notice how certain foods make you feel.
Nutrition Coaching - ByWard Market Ottawa
Foods that are processed and often include bar codes give you a quick ‘high’ and then a quick low. Whole foods keep you feeling balanced over-time. They are foods that come from nature. I teach people about nutrition because it’s such a gift to connect with food, to fall in love with food but in a different way; the kind of way that feels natural and that keeps your blood sugar, weight, stamina and emotions balanced. Try the following, as you prepare to win but also to find that mindfulness over food that maybe you’ve only dreamed of to date:
Look for the highest quality of ingredients. Don’t confuse your body. Choose organic, wild and local as much as possible.
Increase your water intake and fruits and vegetables and reduce (I didn’t say eliminate) everything else. Focus on lean proteins, good fats and healthy whole grains and starches.
Focus on simplicity. We don’t need a ton of variety. Too much to think about and too much to prepare. Make prepping for your week as easy as possible by choosing only your favourite whole foods. Look for single ingredients and make a simple plan and simplify even that plan.
Use the “first/then” rule. First, I will make the optimal choice and then I’ll see how I feel.
Planning and prepping your nourishment for the week means one less thing to think about AND it’s THE most important thing for your success!
Notice your patterns and try “problem-meets-solution”. For example, with evening or night snacking, weekend crashes, holidays and get-togethers, plan ahead and use the “first/then” rule.
Same as with movement, bring your people (work and home) into your wellness. ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’ and shamelessly ensure that you and those around you are always well nourished!
‘The work is in the rest.’ I don’t like to live by the rules but rest is fast becoming a rule for me. Rest allows the body and the brain to slow down and engage in the processes of recovery. When you don’t rest, your processes are short-circuited and this affects your thinking, concentration and energy levels. If you have insomnia, ask yourself if you’ve been outside today? Your eyes need sunlight to make melatonin. It shouldn’t be all about that next vacation. It’s not healthy to go all in and then all out, all of the time. You need to learn to rest every day. But how? How can someone find the time to work full-time, plus (maybe) parent, meal prep, move and rest? Yes, it takes high levels of wellness and discipline but there’s an ease to the process over-time. You do it because you get addicted to feeling good. Your values change. When you go to bed early, take time to relax, take a moment to just ‘be’, or when you meditate, you release. Your thoughts become clearer. You feel ready to begin again. You’re not living on auto-pilot. You’re saying “I’ve done enough” and “I am enough”. One of my general rules is ‘there’s always enough time’ (for your Foundations). And magically, more time appears if/when needed for everything else.
Life Coaching - ByWard Market Ottawa
On the topic of stress and anxiety, I consider anxiety to be a friend. I am receiving a signal from my unconscious mind and body that something is out of balance. Thanks for speaking up! I hear you and I can feel you. I don’t like feeling this way, breathing this way. So, I check my Foundations. Am I moving, resting and eating well? Am I fueled for success? If yes, then I look at other key categories of my life: my career, my finances, education, relationships, home environment, social life, creativity, spirituality and overall joy.
What is out of balance so much so that my body and my mind are sending me signals of distress?