your legacy

What is your legacy?

What are you leaving behind in your wake?

“Legacy is the story of one person’s spirit inscribed on another person’s soul.”

I am leaving my beautiful lululemon team here in Whistler to pursue my next career goals. It’s been a bittersweet time of late. This team has supported and nurtured my growth and development, and is no doubt the reason I am now pursuing bigger, loftier goals. But more than that, since being away from home, this team has become like a true family to me.

Last night in our staff meeting, I received the most beautiful parting gift – A bound copy of everyone’s goal sheets that I helped contribute to through my coaching. The note on the front page read –

“Thank you for always taking the time to make sure we are living in a life we LOVE. We will miss you so much. You truly elevate the world of each and every person you touch. You have left a beautiful legacy. We love you.”

My heart felt like it would burst.

Up until this point I had spent some time thinking about what I wanted my legacy to be – but this was the first time I witnessed it in action. The power of acknowledgement is amazing. What an absolutely flooring experience.

Every single one of us leaves a legacy.

Your very existence has an impact on the world – whether you intend it or not. So, how do you want to be remembered?

Often we don’t realise our legacy, as it’s the impact we have on people when we leave the room, or when we’re away from people, and too often than not,  when we’re gone from this world for good.

It’s clear to see the impact we have on people while we are still there, in the moment  – but what are the lingering effects that we leave behind?

Eulogies are all about legacies – summing up your life’s beliefs, actions, connections and contributions. They are always magical, inspirational messages – but I’m sure many people never actually sit down and think about their legacy. Yet we get to choose, every second of every day, what legacy we want to create.

It’s our responsibility to make sure we are living this legacy.

responsibleenergy

Ask yourself, “If I died today . . .”

  • What would I want people to say about me?
  • How have I helped other people?
  • Have I done my best, given my all?
  • Did my life have meaning and purpose?

You want to make sure your responses to these questions are authentic to you. Not what you think you should say, or what other’s expect you to say – but what truly resonates within your own body.

Be true to yourself. Use your intuition, it will guide you.

“Our days are numbered. One of the primary goals in our lives should be to prepare for our last day. The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives. What preparations should we be making now? The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day.”  – Bill Graham

After some thought, I think I have settled on the definition for my legacy:

My legacy is to leave others more in love with their life for having known me. Put simply – my legacy is to elevate people’s lives.

Working towards a legacy keeps us motivated and performing at our best. It gives us access to our very best selves, giving a higher purpose to our life and work.

Above all, it helps you share the fullest of what you are.

How do you want to be remembered?

legacy

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women’s liberation?

Watch out, I’m about to drop the dirty ‘F’ bomb . . . Feminism.

I recently finished an insightful book by Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, titled “Lean In. Women, work and the will to lead.” I couldn’t put it down.

Below are some of the shocking statistics that were revealed – try to read them without dropping your jaw:

  • There are 4.4 million women and girls worldwide still trapped in the sex trade.
  • 30 years after women became 50% of the college graduates in the USA, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry.
  • Success and likeability are positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women. ie/ When a man is successful, he is liked by both men and women. When a woman is successful, people of both genders like her less.
  • Women still do the vast majority of childcare. As a result, becoming a parent decreases workforce participation for women but not men. 43% of highly qualified women with children are leaving careers.
  • When a husband and wife both are employed full-time, the mother does 40% more child care and about 30% more housework than the father.
  • Gender bias influences how we view performance and typically raises our assessment of men, while lowering our assessment of women.

Let that soak in for a minute. . . Scary huh.

How have we come so far since the women’s rights movement, yet still be so far behind true equality?

I guess I was surprised by these statistics as I have always had strong female role models in my life. I was bought up to believe that I could achieve anything my heart desired, that nothing was out of my reach. My mother worked full-time in law for 30 years, my Nana is independent and determined, I have always had female managers and department heads, plus I have worked in female dominated industries my whole life. Working with lululemon, I am continually surrounded by inspiring, entrepreneurial women who stand for each other’s greatness. So for me, becoming privy to these facts was a major wake up call to the true state of affairs.

The word feminism has received a bad wrap over the years, and now has such a negative connotation. It’s a shame that this term has been muddied and taken away from its true meaning. Feminism needn’t equate to man-hating, bra-burning lesbians anymore.  It’s all about deconstructing and ‘dusting off’ this world to re-define it; a recent study revealed that only 24% of the women in the United States say that they consider themselves feminists. Yet when offered a more specific definition of feminism – “A feminist is someone who believes in social, political, and economic equality of the sexes” – the percentage rises to 65%. Hallelujah, that’s a step in the right direction.

“When the suffragette’s marched in the streets, they envisioned a world where men and women would be truly equal. A century later, we are still squinting, trying to bring that vision into focus.”

– Sheryl Sandberg

10.jpg.CROP_.article920-large   1911-suffragettes

“Women have been subtly striving all our lives to prove that we have picked up the torch that feminism provided. That we haven’t failed the mothers and grandmothers that made our ambitions possible. And yet, in a deep and profound way, we are failing. Because feminism wasn’t supposed to make us feel guilty, or prod us into constant competition over who is raising children better, organising more co-operative marriage, or getting less sleep. It was supposed to make us free – to give us not only choices but the ability to make these choices without constantly feeling that we’d somehow gotten it wrong” – Debora Spar.

So then, how and why has our progress stopped?

Beyoncé says women run the world, however the blunt truth is that it is men. “Out of 195 independent countries in the world, just 17 are led by women. Women hold only 20% of seats in parliaments globally. A meager 21 of the Fortune 500 CEO’s are women. Women hold about 14% of executive positions, 17% of board seats, and constitute 18% of our elected congressional officials. (The gap is even worse for women of colour, who hold just 4%, 3% and 5% respectively.)”

“This means that when it comes to making the decisions that most affect our world, women’s voices are not heard equally.”

Sandberg explains that it is not only society that is holding women back, we are also holding ourselves back – “In addition to the external barriers erected by society, women are hindered by barriers that exist within our selves. We hold ourselves back in ways both big and small, by lacking self-confidence, by not raising our hands, and by pulling back (from our career) when we should be leaning in. We internalise the negative messages we get throughout our lives – the messages that say its wrong to be outspoken, aggressive, more powerful than men. We lower our expectations of what we can achieve.”

Communication is the key to change, “We need to disrupt the status quo. Staying quiet and fitting in may have been all the first generations of women could do; in some cases, it might still be the safest path. But this strategy is not paying off for women as a group. Instead, we need to speak out, identify the barriers that are holding women back, and find solutions.”

“Talking can transform minds, which can transform behaviours, which can transform institutions.”

The majority of people I coach are women, so this research has really opened up my eyes to how much more support, encouragement and outright cheer-leading the women of today need. It’s time to amp up this conversation, and for us to champion and promote our fellow women.

As a life coach, I don’t necessarily have power to change our cultural and institutional inequality; the sex trade, the stereo types, gender biases, salary differences, unequal child care policies – but I do get to have a big impact on individuals; the way they see themselves and their place in the world.

My job, more than ever, is about empowering women to live a life they love – to clear self-limiting beliefs, to encourage them to dream big, to jump onto the playing field and achieve their full potential.

I love that Sandberg isn’t advocating that every woman should want to be head of state, or a CEO, but rather – whatever our goals are, to pursue them with gusto. To fulfil our potential.

We all are the hope for an equal world. It begins with finding something you love and doing it with all your heart.

Ask yourself, what would i do if I weren’t afraid? And then go do it.

So am I a feminist? You’re damn right I am.

Social gains are never handed out.

They must be seized.

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Click here to view Sandberg’s inspiring TEDTalk on “Why we have too few women’s leaders”. 

taking the plunge

It’s been over a year since I made one of the scariest decisions of my life.

I bought a one way ticket and took a plane to the other side of the world.

My plan was to travel through South America for 3 months, and then go and live in Canada. Beyond that, it was very vague.

‘How long was I going to be away for?’ No idea. ‘Did I know anyone on the other side?’ Nope. ‘Can I speak Spanish?’ err Si? ‘Where will I live?’ Umm I’m not sure. ‘What will you do for work?’ I haven’t organised anything yet. .

These were questions not only running through my own mind, but ones asked by people who were generally concerned for me. For a person that generally has control in their life, not knowing the answers was truly terrifying for me!

I still remember heading to the airport in the early hours of the morning. I was so nervous that I barely slept a wink the night before, and I couldn’t even speak on the drive out there. I don’t think I have ever experienced anything like it, I was completely consumed with fear. I had an awful dread in the pit of my stomach and was totally caught up in my own worry of the unknown.

As I said goodbye to my nearest and dearest at the airport, part of me was asking myself ‘What the hell am I doing?!’ ‘Why am I leaving these beautiful people behind?’ ‘My life is really good here!’ ‘What if I fail?’.  .  It’s like I floated up out of my body and looked down on the situation. Here I was about to leave my comfortable life behind, to venture out into the unknown. Was I making the right decision?

And then I remembered the quote that fuelled this adventure. The one that my dear colleagues wrote in a travel journal for me –

marktwainquote

Oh yeah, that’s why I am doing this! I had been feeling uninspired, bored and listless for the past few months, I knew something had to shift. It was time for a BIG life change.

I looked around me and saw people buying houses, getting engaged, having babies, tying the knot – and I was incredibly happy for them, yet as much as I wanted those things, I knew that it wasn’t yet my time. That was a hard thing to grasp, because most things that I had wanted in my life up until this point I had been able to go and get.

I got caught up comparing myself to others, which lead to thinking of all the things I didn’t have. I sat in a place of missing out, and that only made me feel incomplete.

Then one day I decided enough is enough. I no longer want to feel this way. I have the power to choose something else. To chose adventure, challenge, fulfilment – to choose my unique life.

I get to create my life.

I started to shift my focus to what i did have. As soon as I did this, my whole outlook changed – I began to look at my situation as a wonderful opportunity. I had no partner, no mortgage, no kids, no pets – no ties or responsibilities whatsoever! I had the novel realisation that this was actually a good thing. Why not take advantage of the situation, and use my freedom? This chance may not come around a second time.

It had always been a goal of mine to live in another country at some point in my life, but I just had never got around to actually doing it. The timing was never right, I was caught up in my career, or in a relationship, or saving money (which ironically helped fund this trip!). I thought, well if not now, then when? I was waiting for some illusive moment that may never arise.

Time was ticking and running out to be eligible for a working visa in Canada, so the decision to leave was almost made for me. Which was great as it meant I didn’t have to think too much about it. (Remember hesitation is devastation!).

I’ve now been living overseas for over a year, and what an incredible journey it’s been.

I’ve seen so much beauty in the world, both in nature and in people. My travels have been even better than I had imagined – not even in my wildest dreams could I have predicted some of the incredible experiences I’ve been lucky enough to have.

I focused on having fun, and living in the moment for the first time in a very long time.

It was exactly what my soul needed. I am so glad I listened to the faint murmur in my heart, the one that was yearning for something more.

What are the niggling little voices inside your head asking for?

What does your heart truly wish for?

What plunge are you ready to take in your life?

Perhaps it’s your time to throw away the bow lines, and sail away from your safe harbour.

EXPLORE.   DREAM.   DISCOVER.

I was here

Sometimes music just hits the nail on the head, and more often than not, it’s a song that I need to hear.

I am crushing goals right now, travelling on an amazing adventure with my twin sister to celebrate our 30th birthdays (more on that later!).

On one long leg of our flight the other day, a song came on that made me sit bolt upright and pay full attention – in fact, i had to listen to it twice to make sure it all soaked in.

The lyrics resonated so strongly with me.

It is titled ‘I was here’, by the ever powerful Beyonce.

(Click here to watch her amazing performance at the United Nations ‘World Humanitarian Day’: “One day, one message, one goal. To inspire people all over the world to do something good, no matter how big or small, for someone else”.)

This song is completely aligned with living a life you love, and for that reason I wanted to share it here with you –

“I Was Here”

I wanna leave my footprints on the sands of time
Know there was something that, meant something that I left behind
When I leave this world, I’ll leave no regrets
Leave something to remember, so they won’t forgetI was here
I lived, I loved
I was here
I did, I’ve done everything that I wanted
And it was more than I thought it would be
I will leave my mark so everyone will know
I was hereI want to say I lived each day, until I died
And know that I meant something in, somebody’s life
The hearts I have touched, will be the proof that I leave
That I made a difference, and this world will seeI was here
I lived, I loved
I was here
I did, I’ve done everything that I wanted
And it was more than I thought it would be
I will leave my mark so everyone will knowI was here
I lived, I loved
I was here
I did, I’ve done everything that I wanted
And it was more than I thought it would be
I will leave my mark so everyone will know
I was hereI just want them to know
That I gave my all, did my best
Brought someone some happiness
Left this world a little better just because
I was here

. . . Yup, some powerful lyrics right there.

It got me thinking about legacies.

What mark am I leaving on world?

What do I want to be remembered for?

Have you ever thought about what your legacy is?

We all leave a wake in the journey of our lives, and we all have the power to determine what that looks like. Actually, it’s our responsibility.

What are the things your heart wants to do but you keep putting them off? Get clear on why you are denying yourself and get in action to make them happen for you.

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” ― Shannon L. Alder

This trip is something my sister and I had the idea for a while ago. We made plans and made sh*t happen.  Now we are together for the first time in 14 months, making incredible memories that will last us a lifetime.

We could have put it off till a more convenient time, when we had more money, or more of our friends were available to join us. But truth is, there’s never a perfect time is there? All we have are these moments in time to seize with both hands.

We are ticking things off our bucket lists left, right, and centre – and it’s been more than we thought it would be.

I am so blessed, and feel so grateful to be sharing these experiences with my sister. I feel re-energised and inspired to make my contribution to the world.

We lived, we loved, we were here.

onepreciouslife

ditch plan B

“Ditch plan B. Go all in on plan A, plan B is a distraction from your dreams. When you go in all in on plan A, not only will plan A happen, it will be better, because what the divine has in store for you is so much greater than you could possibly imagine, and it’s mot going to look anything like what you want. Please ditch plan B. That would be my only advice”     – Mastin Kipp, The Daily Love.

WOW.

This statement has literally just stopped me dead in my tracks.

I was just about to curl up in bed, but instead I’m now writing to you in response to reading this.

I have always had a plan B. I have never imagined my life without a plan B. I never even thought for a second that having a plan B could be a negative thing! (That’s the planner in me, I like to have an element of control).

Could having another option to fall back on actually be an enormous distraction from my true dreams?

My dream is to grow my business, coaching people on how to live a life they love. I want to continue my one on one coaching sessions, and also expand out into group workshops, business development days, youth workshops, programs for the underprivileged, school and university sessions and more!

My vision is to create a ripple effect of people who are actively creating their lives, authoring their own destiny, doing what lights them up and makes their heart sing. (Not being a passive observer of their life that hopes for the best and then gets disappointed with the result).

People who are willing to do the work to authentically define who they are and what they want. And then have the courage to go out and make it happen, to bring their dreams to life. I encourage people to live from a place of possibility. To step outside the self-imposed restraints, and consider – what if anything was possible?

My 10 year BHAG (big, scary, audacious goal) is to have a vision and goals program on the curriculum of Australian primary and secondary schools. Yup, it certainly is big.

I want to make a difference in the world.

That is my plan A.

Plan B on the other hand puts this dream on hold.

Plan B belittles me and tells me I’m not yet ready for that yet, that I should continue my day job and slowly, very slowly, build towards plan A. The practical, logical (probably fearful) voice in my head tells me that is the right thing to do.

Hmmm . . .  that seemed like a good idea up until 10 minutes ago.

Now I’ve hit the pause button. I’m forced to reassess, and to review my thought process. Isn’t it amazing the power inspiring words can have on us?

The questions I am now pondering:

  • What if went all out and put everything I had into plan A?
  • What if i backed my dreams with the same encouragement, positivity and certainty that I back other people’s dreams?
  • What would be possible for me then?

** Note to self – I NEED TO BE MY OWN CHEER LEADER.

I’m not proclaiming we should all quit our day jobs tomorrow and blindly chase our dreams. However, check in with yourself – do you have some big aspirations, lofty dreams that you keep putting off? Waiting for that perfect moment, the perfect time – when everything in your life is aligned, then and only then, can you can finally pursue those dreams?

Why do we impose these restricting guidelines on ourselves?

If that is what we truly desire, why would we put it off? Why are we choosing to restrain our velocity –  to walk when really we could run?

Perhaps it’s time to bring some of those big goals forward . . .

Maybe it’s time to ditch Plan B.

waittillready

power from passion

I am high on life.

It sounds corny I know, but it’s true.

I feel alive. My heart feels bigger and is brimming with gratitude.

All because I truly LOVE what I do.

I have just finished a group vision and goal coaching session. This is one of my biggest passions, and when expressed, a powerful energy flows through me. I feel like I can accomplish anything! (To read my post on living your passion click here)

I haven’t always felt this way. In fact, this is probably the first time in my life. And it’s solely the result of consistently focusing on what I love:

communication. inspiration. personal growth.

By focusing on these things, I have brought more of what I love into my life. It’s the law of attraction working.

For me, the barrier between work and play has been removed. I don’t live for the weekends, I no longer dread Monday or celebrate Friday. I have a true balance in my life. My time ebbs and flows effortlessly between my personal, professional and social lives.

To tell the truth, I never really believed it was possible to feel this way. A few years ago I thought that stress, anxiety and the pressure of the daily grind were just part of life. Nope, turns out it was just part of the wrong life for me.

I yearned for something more. I made some big changes. And with those changes opened up new possibilities.

I now know my purpose.

I know what I was put on this earth to do. I have found my happiness through teaching happiness.

Its taken many years for me to stand in this place, and I’m forever grateful for the winding journey. I dedicated a lot of time towards self exploration and enquiry. It was frustrating at times, wanting to know all the answers right NOW! I tried to remain patient, as I knew that with time what I was searching for would come organically.

I now know more about myself, and as a result feel more connected to who I truly am. To what’s authentically me.

So my advice to you – get out of your head, and listen to what your heart is saying.

Listen again .  .  .  listen harder.

Your body intrinsically knows what it truly desires.

What do you LOVE to do? The more you pay attention to your heart – to your passions, to what excites you – the clearer the message will become.

It will become so loud that you can no longer ignore it, or push it aside for a rainy day.

It will force you to act upon it, and your life will never be the same again.

passion

dream day recipe

You know the days when you’re floating on cloud 9?

Everything just falls into place and your day is full of all your favourite things. You have a lightness in your heart and a smile permanently planted on your face.

I’m so grateful for those days. For me, those days are what life is all about.

Maybe they are so special because of their rarity. But have you ever stopped to think that every day could be that way?

Next time you experience a dream day ask yourself – What made today so special? What activities did I do? Who was I with? What was my frame of mind?

With this precious information, you can make the recipe for a dream day any day!

My dream day recipe

1 handful of loved ones

lashings of outdoor adventures

2 cups of contribution

1 sweet sweat session

1 sprinkling of food shared together

1 gallon of laughter.

My best days are always spent connecting with people I love, getting outside the house and into nature, doing any kind of sweat date (yoga, hiking, a bike ride, or a swim in the ocean) and wrapping up the day sharing food and laughter together.

What things do you love? What’s authentically important to you? What are the things that bring a smile to your face?

With that in mind – What do you now need to make time for? What do you need to schedule? Who do you need to enrol?

Get to planning your days, weeks and even months – full of all of these things. Start to plant the seeds for many abundant dream day harvests!

Don’t leave your happiness to chance, to the whim of others, or to circumstance.

Make your happiness a priority. Today.

What is your dream day recipe?

Use your recipe to float on cloud 9  all weekend  🙂

maketodayhappy

integrity

I recently attended my first yoga retreat. It’s been one of my goals for a while now – tick!

I felt so grateful and privileged to be there. I was a part of an amazing group of women who undertook a journey of total body and mind transformation.

When I checked into my room, I drew an affirmation from the ‘be the change’ card deck – it was Integrity.

20130610-090723-AM.jpg

This definition struck a chord with me . . . to live my truth.

I’d always thought of integrity as having strong moral principles,  and in the disciplinary sense – ‘doing what I say I will do, when I say I’m going to do it’. This affirmation shed new light on an age-old concept for me.

At the retreat we called this “dusting off” words, shaking off the restraints of old definitions, beliefs, stigmas around language, and stepping into a whole new realm of possibility. It’s literally polishing old words to be shiny and new again. This ensures our communication is always powerful because we are aligned on the meaning behind our choice of words. Interesting huh?

To me, living my truth means spreading light, joy and love.

This message empowered me on my journey through the retreat, something I reflected on and consciously acted out. I focused on ‘living my truth’ during my solitary moments of reflection, when I interacted with others, and during my yoga practice. Aligning my thoughts, words and actions. Integrity. It felt dam good.

It made me more responsible for the energy I was bringing not only to my environment, but also to myself.

I got to thinking, this is something that could benefit me every single day. I don’t have to wait to attend a special retreat to be conscious of who I am being.

We all have a choice moment to moment as to what energy we bring into the world.

We are responsible.

Don’t wait, start NOW.

How will you live your truth today?

one small step

Welcome!

You know what they say – all great journeys begin with a single step.

So here I am writing my very first post, on my very first blog.

I also ran 11 km for the first time this morning – it’s a day of firsts people!

Here is a place where I can share all the things that inspire me to live a life I love.

I hope they light a spark in you too.

This is my life vision and goals in action. I am so grateful to everyone that believes in me.

stay tuned . .

take-first-step

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