What is Integration?

At the start of 2017 I officially launched a complete integration program, and started harm-reduction consulting too, as additional services of my life coaching practice. Traditionally, I’m serving clients engaged in, and/or post, psychedelic therapy. However, upon developing the integration program, I've found that the needs of this service actually stretch beyond the revival of the psychedelic and spiritual revolutions.

In my work, I define the service of integration as helping people integrate an awareness of two or more ‘systems’, for lack of a better term, into one. These systems can be likened to an individual connecting with different truths; ideas; beliefs; ideologies that cause an unsettling. Being aware of each system causes the individual to question one, or the other, or all systems, in order to seek a truer understanding of themselves and/or the world around them.

A further personal conflict arises when an individual believes that they must commit to just one system, and that only one way can be the right way. Therefore, first, integration helps the individual acknowledge and accept that each system coexists with one another. Then, the process guides them on utilizing the positive aspects of each, in order to direct their lives forward, and guides them on developing from the negative aspects of each, to reduce harm and difficulty in life. Thus, integrating the two systems into one; integrating the alternative system(s) into a primary one.

For example, say you spend most of your life believing that if you go to school, study hard and get a really good education, that you’ll secure a good job with lots of benefits. A job that will provide you with a lot of money, give your life purpose and meaning, and allow you to live happy and fulfilled. Let’s call this your primary system, the one you've spent most of your life investing in.

Then, let’s say you meet someone who proves to you that there is an alternative way to achieve happiness and fulfillment, a way that doesn’t rely on money perhaps. They have now presented you with another system, and your belief in their system now causes you to question your primary one. So, you find yourself feeling unsettled because you have a belief in two systems that are causing you personal conflict, because you’re unsure of the direction moving forward:

  • Do you dismiss your primary system? To which you’ve already invested most of your life into.
  • Do you dismiss the alternative system? Which you also believe in and is personally desirable.
  • Which system is better for you? As they both seem to offer personal benefits.
  • Which direction should you take? As each system causes distrust and uncertainty upon the other.
  • What if that person is wrong or was misguided?
  • What if you’re wrong and have been misguided?
  • How do you decide?

It’s like these systems are people who have both positive and negative influences on you, and integration is the process of evaluation and reflection to establish who is most beneficial to you, and when. Like who you can turn to for motivation when you need it most, and who can help you maintain your responsibilities, and who will inspire confidence, and so on. Integration enables you to give each system purpose, and by doing so it works to reduce a lot of inner conflict.

I like to refer to integration as finding a healthy balance, or middle, by merging very distinct life experiences into a mindful one. After all, it’s our experiences and beliefs that shape and navigate our identities, and we shouldn't dismiss parts of who we are just because it doesn't fit with a certain life model. Perhaps, you could consider my integration service as helping you develop your very own life model to live by. A safe process that allows you to accept and explore each system openly, to understand and utilize them, and encourages you to be your best self, and to live your best life.

Our minds are designed to think openly and without restriction, and when we shape our lives to the minds design, we realize our human potential.

If you wish to learn more about my integration services, please email: info@vancitylifecoach.com. To learn more about the role of psychedelic in the treatment of mental health, check out the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, (MAPS).

Disclaimer: Please note that VanCity Life Coach Inc. does not condone the use of illicit drugs. It is recommended that drug use, of any kind, be under the observation/recommendation of a licensed professional, and in accordance with the law.

An Understanding of Depression

Depression

Depression is a heavy burden to carry. Day by day it breaks away at our identities and pulling ourselves out of a depressed state, is incredibly challenging when we struggle to recognize our own self-worth.

From my perspective, depression, along with most other negative mindsets, develop from the disconnect between the mind and body. I firmly believe that our emotions are the true senses of our consciousness, and that our physical senses merely help us navigate our conscious experience. With this in mind, I’m learning that depression and other mental structures alike, are the result of neglecting the truth.

Our life experiences should invigorate our identities. We should be constantly learning new things and expanding our zones of comfort to learn more about ourselves, and what we were put on this planet to do. This is how we strengthen our minds against negativity. Most of us know when we’re in a situation or environment that isn't right for us and restrict us from developing who we are. When we go against the feedback from our minds and physically remain in restrictive situations or environments, we stunt our human experience.

It’s not entirely our fault though, all of us start our lives in a blissful state but when we naturally go in search of meaning, most of us are derailed. The messages we receive from very early on in life cause us to feel insecure. There’s not much room for self-exploration and self-expression, in a world that often dehumanizes anyone who doesn’t fit the profile of what it means to be human.

When we force ourselves to live life against our true nature, the mind soon takes notice and wants us to do something about it. It may start small, perhaps in the beginning we brush off our negative thoughts as being ungrateful. However, the longer we neglect the truth the harder the mind will try to encourage the body do something about it, and a few negative thoughts grow into destructive ones. Eventually we begin to develop a desire to run away and get away from it all, but the insecurity keeps us attached to the lives we’ve invested so much in. Soon enough, we're stuck in a cycle of thought and our minds start to disconnect from the unrecognizable lives we’re living, and the false identities we’ve developed. As we continue to neglect the truth within, the wounds of this neglect deepen and the mind will want to end this neglect and will start to look for a way out.

We should investigate the motivation behind these negative thoughts, and what we’re fueling our minds with. For example, if our minds are telling us we’re not good enough, chances are we’ve fueled this thought by exposing our physical senses to this belief. If we’re feeling like we don't belong, chances are we’re not being encouraged to be ourselves. We're more consciously involved than we like to admit, we just have to become consciously aware to navigate change.

My advice, if you have the opportunity to travel and explore, do so. If you don’t and you have responsibilities, then break into new territory in your home environment. Put simply, if your current practice of living isn’t working, then change as much of it as you can. Try new things and experience the energy of new people. Fuel your sensory inputs with new stimulus and if there is nothing that engages you, be the creator of something new.

This post is just the start of a much lengthier discussion, but I hope it encourages you to evaluate and reflect on a few things. I’ve said this many times before but it’s worth repeating: you’re only conscious of this one life so make the most of it. Guide your physical experience to where the spirit yearns to go, and reconnect your mind and body to embrace your soul.

Empower Your Identity, and Plan Your Life in A Group Life Coaching Program

I’ve always tried to make life coaching accessible for as many people as I could, and it’s this mission which has encouraged me and my team to develop this one of a kind group coaching program, right here in Vancouver B.C.!

Spread across 8 weeks, group members will embark on a course in empowerment. They’ll learn to harness the power of their individual identities, and tap into their potential. From the very first workshop they’ll experience a sense of liberation, and feel ready to take control over their lives.

They’ll learn how to effectively evaluate and reflect, understand how motivation works, and how negative behaviors develop. Then, they'll progress into identifying the changes they need to make in their lives, and connect with the things they want from life. The group will also learn how to set mindful goals, and how to successfully achieve them. I want people to realize that the future is theirs to decide, and this group coaching program will show them how to manage the unimaginable.

Each person will be placed in a group associated with a key demographic, so group members will have something in common with the people they’re mutually supporting, and each individual group will form a larger cluster. Furthermore, everyone gets an individual coaching session. After the program, they'll be invited to a social gathering where they'll get to connect, and network with members from the other coaching groups.

The model I have developed is fueled by the psychology of motivation, and utilizes principle marketing tools used to manage and grow corporations. Furthermore, I’ve incorporated functional spiritual practices such as: mindfulness, detachment, and balance. Having assembled these three focuses to work in unison, people will learn how to navigate their lives into complete fulfillment, and succeed in doing so.

My aim is to coach as many people as I can into fulfillment, and in this type of group setting, people will not only feel supported, they'll be part of a community. Additionally, they'll be able to guide others with their new found confidence, enriching their own networks and communities.

The first set of group sessions will commence in May of 2017. If you're interested in learning more and/or attending a free information session, please sign up below:

 

 

The Personal Development Cycle

The Personal Development Cycle

The Personal Development Cycle

I’m unsure if you feel it too, but there is a lot of positive energy in the air and I hope all of you are taking a moment to soak it all in. Perhaps it’s because we’re all happy to see the back of 2016, (I don’t think we need another recap of last years events), and that this year represents a fresh new start. However, I can't help but be aware of the fact that we’ve done this before. We start a new year eager and hungry for change, only to settle into old habits and complacent behaviours when it gets too hard.

If 2016 has taught us anything, it’s that we can no longer sit and wait for positive change to come knocking on our doors, we actually have to invest the effort and energy to drive our lives forward, in the direction we want them to go. Fortunately, we can kick start positive change by investing time in personal development, and it doesn't have to be a daunting task either, for personal development works as a cycle that functions in both directions, and we can start wherever we feel most comfortable:

Develop an awareness before committing to an investment.

First off, let’s change our attitude to the way we see the world, because realistically it isn't all that bad. It may seem that way because of our access to information, but that's the force behind change, awareness. For example, we have less racial inequality now than we did 5 years ago, although there is still a ways to go, we’re closer to equal rights for all than we ever have been before #blacklivesmatter. We’re also becoming aware of global elitism, and how a small group of people seem to impact the wellbeing of our everyday lives, both home and away. We’ve become so aware of our ignorance, because we’ve made ignorant decisions fueled by anger and frustration; #brexit #trump2016. Yet still, that’s the beauty of awareness, it makes us curious about things that were once not so clear, and feeding that curiosity inspires us to become even more aware.

As an additional note, even though my personal opinions were so against certain political directions, we must never forget that we’re in this together. We all desire the same emotional experiences in life and unfortunately, these desires can be manipulated and used against us if we’re not aware. If we’re shown something that we truly desire, associated alongside something that seems to get it for us, a lack of awareness can really fool us into believing the association to be true #propaganda #advertising. Therefore, it’s important that we develop an awareness and increase our knowledge and understanding of something before committing to it. We have access to the world's knowledge at our fingertips, it’s time we all realise how lucky we are and make use of it. Let’s collectively become aware of the world that surrounds us, by first becoming more self-aware. Let’s look for, access and accept the truth wherever it resides, and then drive change.

Learn to face and embrace your truth.

The best advice I’ve ever given, can ever give and I believe I will ever give, is to be true to yourself and live honestly. Until we face our inner truth, life will not move in the direction of our truest desires. As mentioned earlier, we are all striving for the same emotional experiences in life and these experiences will not be felt earnestly, unless we’re living true to who we are and how we feel.

Furthermore, our purpose in life becomes ever more apparent when we live by this philosophy. Distractions also become less of a bother and emotional restrictions, like anxiety and depression, start declining. I wrote a personal post not too long ago titled ‘Live Life with Integrity’ and mentioned how I was liberated from a lot of fear and anxiety, just by accepting my truth and sharing it with the world. It set me free to explore life in order to uncover my purpose, to trust it and then stand by it. Living true to ourselves enables us to get on with, and pursue the lives we want to build, and encourages us to make life the best experience possible.

Becoming more aware really does help us connect to and enter this stage of truth, because we soon realize what truly matters in life; we soon become aware of the benefits of living more honestly, not only for ourselves, but for our relationships too. Becoming aware of poverty and war for example, like our brothers and sisters from Syria fleeing their homes for their lives, should make us appreciate the opportunities we have available to us, and inspire us to drop the insecurities that restrict us from pursuing them.

On the other hand, as we start accepting truth we slowly start becoming aware of the things that we’re not so clear before. I personally realized that I was choosing to hold onto fear and that I could’ve let go a lot sooner, had I sooner accepted my truth. It really opened up my mind and made me aware of a world full of opportunity, it made me feel confident to explore curiosity, because I became curious about the things I had once feared and avoided.

Get comfortable exploring curiosity.

Exploring curiosity is one thing that can really propel personal growth and development. Just as children grow and learn by being curious, we must hold onto this quality for the entire duration of our lives. Life is meant to be explored and being curious is the best way, perhaps the only way to explore it completely.

Our awareness increases as we’re curious, becuase we learn more about ourselves, about our capabilities and also about the world around us. Curiosity is life’s teacher and can really help us answer so many unanswered questions, and it helps us to develop confidence and strengthens self-belief. For example, I had a client who was unemployed and believed she was uninteresting and that no one would ever be inspired by her, a belief based purely off of perception. So, I signed her up for a volunteer program she had always been curious about, but never pursued because of her belief. I only encouraged her to feed her curiosity and the rest she developed naturally, today you should see how her identity shines. She never realized how much she actually had to offer people. She was able redefine her personality traits from what she dubbed as “passive” and “timid”, to comforting, supportive, open-minded and kind. Now she’s putting herself through school and carving out a career as a Nutritionist.

We develop confidence whenever we push the boundaries of comfort, and as we expand our comfort zones, we hold onto the confidence we develop. Confidence is all about ownership so as you can imagine, the more confident we become the more sense it makes to live life more openly and honestly, and really take ownership of our own lives. Lastly, we realize that life is much more fruitful and exciting when we’re constantly engaging with something that’s fresh and new.

That old saying ‘live each day like it’s your last’ seems so limiting to life experience to me, so I say, live each day like it’s your first! Make each day a brand new day to get excited about, be aware, be true and be curious, and don’t live another day in vain.

Happy New Year!

Why Do People Breakup?

why do people break up?

Relationships are the assembly of individual identities. They’re about support, equality, balance and most importantly, acceptance. - vancitylifecoach.com/about. Preserving these types of values keep relationships alive, and help us rise above a lot of relationship challenges. However, if these core values are neglected, communication starts to breakdown, intimacy begins to dwindle and we’ll no longer feel understood by each other. Which then establishes the foundation for every disagreement and difficulty that soon proceed. Indeed, it’s drifting away from core relationship values which carry us into ‘breakup’ territory.

We’re all conscious beings full of complicated emotions, and we’re driven by what we desire from life. When two of us decide to align our lives together, we do so because we’re enthralled by each other's identities. As we explore each other’s physical and metaphysical worlds, an intimate bond develops, and makes it easy for our emotions to intensify, and for our personal desires to get blurred. In these moments, we become very present and nothing else matters but the here and now. We want nothing but to hold onto these feelings for a lifetime; we want nothing to change because of how we feel within ourselves.

We all want to be completely understood and want to be accepted and embraced for who we are, and it’s never more realized than in newer relationships. When we meet people who make us feel this way, it’s easy to develop an attachment towards them. It’s about how we feel. We long for these traits because they help us believe in ourselves and help affirm our identities, and this is how we need to feel in order to fulfil our own desires. Being truly understood, accepted and embraced, these are the innate, underlying intentions we all share when pursuing a relationship, because they allow us to love ourselves. If we’re not feeling any these fundamental emotions within, love, generally, cannot grow and the relationship will struggle to fulfil its purpose. Instead, we can find ourselves holding onto an attachment that lacks substance, and that’s when the doubts and uncertainties start to arise.

We tend to forget, or pay very little attention to, our own contributions during the growth stages in relationships. In the beginning, everything is new and exciting, the future is brighter, we’re feeling good and if, by, some sort of sorcery, we manage to become just as valuable to our partners as they are to us, but it’s easy to lose sight of that for a number of reasons...

We become so mesmerized by the other person in the beginning, that we’re not mindful of the conscious exchange that’s at play. If the balance of the exchange is not maintained, and the scales tip in favour towards one person or the other - i.e. we receive more love, appreciation, understanding and acceptance e.t.c., than we give, or, give more than we receive, or, don’t give each other any at all - a pressure or burden begins to amount and that’s when we start drifting apart.

...for one, we live in a world abundant with messages that reinforce a certain ideology of love, and we get so caught up in these ideas and ideals, that our natural intentions get skewed. It’s a wicked conditioning that uses our motivations against us. We’re bombarded with associations of what love and belonging looks like, sounds like, tastes like and what it’s like to touch and smell love. These imitations reinforce a belief that love is limited to our 5 physical senses and as a result, we start moulding ourselves to appeal to these senses. It’s a reason why ‘profile dating’ even exists, and why it’s difficult to develop the courage to strike up a conversation and get to know somebody. It’s a reason why inequality is still a struggle today, because we’ve been taught to believe that love is not blind, that love is biased and that true, genuine and honest emotion can quite possibly be bought.

Political, social and economic conspiracies aside, we shouldn't be entering relationships being understood, accepted and embraced, for qualities that do not represent who we are. Qualities that do not represent the conscious being within (our trues heart's desire). Otherwise, we’ll find it difficult to sustain any emotional connection with anyone, because the core relationship values would’ve been built upon a fallacy. I think all of us can agree that no matter how hard we try, the truth of what we’re feeling will always find a way to surface. The weight of that truth will continue to get heavier and more unavoidable over time, and places a strain on our relationships.

If truth cannot reside within a relationship, how much longer an individual go on feeling misunderstood? How much longer can two people live with misaligned desires? How much longer can an individual live complacently?

However, there are still many of us who have managed to escape the influences of the world and have established and maintained very honest relationships. Breakups that do occur in these sort of bonds are the result of mutual understanding. If we’re constantly being honest about how we feel, and we completely unveil our truths as soon as they surface, then issues are given the opportunity to be resolved. We can avoid a lot of prolonged upset and heartache, if we preserve an environment where we can open up and communicate. After all, a lot of arguments and frustrations are the manifestations of unresolved problems.

In summary, relationships should empower us to explore life fully, so that we can each discover and/or fulfill our individual purpose. When we form a relationship, we enter a mutual agreement based on this very philosophy. We don’t enter them to feel restricted or suppressed, nor do we want that for our partners.  Therefore, if any of us are ever feeling this way in our relationships, we have duty to ourselves and to each other to open up about how we feel, and work towards a resolution so that we can each continue to progress our lives forward.

Live Life with Integrity

Meditation

We don’t honor ourselves enough. You and I are designed to accomplish great things, we’re built to withstand tough challenges and we each have a unique purpose for being here. We do ourselves a great dishonor whenever we allow anything, or anyone for that matter, convince us that we’re not worthy enough or that it’s not possible for us to follow our true calling in life.

We often talk of purpose as if it’s some cosmic gift from above or some declaration that society hands us and because of this thinking, we never feel like we’re quite good enough unless someone else affirms it. We’re constantly doubting ourselves and we’re seeking validation through notifications to which hold no real value. We diminish our self-belief because we’re not seeing purpose as a natural birthright; we’re to own who we are and to be free to explore life, so that we can grow into our purpose and courageously stand by it.

What I’ve written already may sound a little cryptic, but I’ve recently experienced a shift in perspective and discovered why so many of us struggle in our daily lives. A lot of us don’t feel supported enough to share how we truly feel and therefore we burden ourselves with our truths rather than opening up about them. We then learn to cope with our burdens instead of overcoming them and we hide away our truths under a guise of denial; resentment; anger; sadness; frustration; silence; avoidance and so on, always a guise nonetheless. I’d bet that many of you feel misunderstood, but that feeling isn't going to shift until you drop the guise, set free your truth and allow the healing to begin.

Too many of us are good people working hard and trying even harder to build happy and fulfilled lives. Even at our lowest of lows, we muster whatever energy we have left and rise out of bed in the morning to live through another day. I’ve coached enough people to understand that this statement resonates within a lot of us, as it did with me for a very long time. I’ll even admit that I’ve thought about ending all this despair too, because if I can’t live openly then for me there’s no reason to live at all.

I grew up in a Sikh household and the very first words that appear in the Guru Granth Sahib (the Sikh holy text) are “Ik Onkar, Sat Naam” which roughly translates to: There is one God, Truth is his name. Now anyone reading this believing that there is a mystical being in the sky shaping our lives really hasn’t understood what this ancient teaching is trying to clue us into. The only thing we should live our lives by and the very thing we should actually honor, seek out, respect and worship is the truth. It really is that simple.

It’s said that the truth will set us free and my God does it ever. Think about it, the reason why many of us feel isolated or alone, outcast or trapped, or even misunderstood and lacking purpose is because we’re not living truthfully. We lock up how we truly feel; who we truly are; what we truly desire from life because we’re too attached to mass produced ideologies that misrepresent us. Our attachment to these ideologies cause us to judge one another as we’re conditioned to follow each other like sheep and lead the same old meaningless lives over and over and over again. You and I are worth so much more than that and if you ever want to get over your burdens, you need to liberate yourself from them and live life with integrity, if you genuinely want to feel like you matter.

The day I felt self-realized and more confident was the day I decided to live true to my nature and embrace the very traits that make my identity as exceptional as the mind I have. Just as exceptional as you are with the remarkable mind you have. So I’ve decided to write this post today to encourage you all to free yourself from any burden you feel buried under, because you are way too valuable to live your life in vain.

You all know me as Terry but not many know that my true name Is Talwinder Singh Sidhu, a name that I’ve only recently learnt to be proud of and respect. I believe we are all born equal in an unequal society and the only way we’re going to make positive change, is if we stand up and continue to fight for equality on all platforms. On that note, I’ve also recently accepted that gender isn’t a factor for me when it comes to relationships and sexual attraction. However, sometimes I’m not even attracted to anyone at all and although you may associate me with a specific label (trust me I’ve tried on many) I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m free-sexual and so are you. Furthermore, in any relationship albeit personal, professional or intimate, I only hold onto people who have crystal clear integrity, so you can imagine how long it took for me to build a positive relationship with myself. I don’t believe in God, well not in the traditional manner anyway. I do believe in rebirth and I reckon evolution is a profound indication of it. I no longer fear people who judge, because I know those who do judge ultimately fear being judged themselves. I know I’m really good at what I do because I’ve accepted that there is always so much more to learn. Lastly, I believe that every single one of us on this planet is destined for greatness, but only those who live truthfully will achieve it.

Living with integrity will help you uncover your purpose and give you the courage to pursue it, because you’ll no longer feel bound to the same life design everyone else is following. Your relationships will improve because you’ll only support ones that are mutually supportive and as a bonus, your tolerance for ignorance will increase too. Finally, when you do step out from underneath your guise, you’ll finally give people the opportunity to understand you fully. Although it can seem incredibly terrifying at first and there may be some 'consequences' to face, in time you will realize that you'll have nothing left to fear and that freedom will get you to wherever it is you need to be.

I’m going to march on forward with my own life now and continue to live each day trying to fulfill my purpose, because when the time comes to guide the next generation, I’ll do so with pride, honor and without regret.

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5 Ways to Harness the Power of Negative Emotion

depression

Negative emotions tend to make us feel powerless, but the powerful effect of negativity can be quite useful. Negative emotions cloud our identities and restrict us from building fulfilling lives. The longer we allow negative emotions to linger, our thoughts turn destructive and we begin losing hope of ever feeling truly happy/happy again.

Negative emotions are always a burden and coping with them is certainly exhausting; maintaining a positive presence is difficult to upkeep, especially when we feel like we’re crippling inside. However, with a little guidance and support, we can channel that negative energy into something useful.

I’ve found that negative energy can be an opportunity to increase self-awareness. Think of how we feel when we’re physically hurt, the pain makes us aware of the wound so that we can heal it. Is it so naive to think that our negative emotions work in a similar way?

  1. An Indication to Evaluate and Reflect Behavior.

We can get so wrapped up in negative thought that it’s easy to overlook this key indication: to wear our objective lenses and pay attention to the way we’re living out our lives. We must acknowledge our feelings first, assess negative behaviors and then investigate how we arrived at such a burden, to understand the triggers and piques.

We should become aware of indulging activities that leave us feeling regretful and shameful, such as: overeating or loss of appetite, short tempers or feelings of emptiness, frivolous sexual pursuits or lack of sexual desire and self-loathing and obsessively comparing ourselves to others’. These are just a handful of examples that feed negative emotions, but we must become aware of behaviors that are deceitfully healing, because they actually deepen the wound.

  1. Realize That Life Is Directed by A Series of Choices.

I believe that every single one of us has an opportunity to achieve great things. What's standing between us and a great destiny, is a series of choices. Wherever or whenever we feel like we don't have a choice, know that it’s down to a negative perception of reality; fear and a lack of understanding is all that keeps us from making the choices we really want to make.

We can choose to go to the same boring job everyday, or we can choose to invest any free moment looking for new opportunities. We can choose to indulge negative behaviors, or realize that we can employ positive ones. We can also choose to be happy, if we choose to deal with negativity head on.

  1. Embrace The Opportunity for Change.

Prolonged negativity should act as a catalyst for change. When we’re feeling like we’re ‘stuck-in-a-rut’, disconnected from life and/or living complacently, it’s time for change. What’s the point in perpetuating a life that’s negative, when we have the power to change it?  We just need to remember that change is a process. Often what deters us is the uncertainty, but when we break down change into manageable steps, anything becomes completely doable.

When we’re feeling negative we get frustrated and when we feel frustrated, we become disheartened and impatient. It’s probably why many of us seek out ‘quick-fixes’ to cope with negative emotion. If we become more aware of the changes we need to make and take the first step towards directing change, even if it’s just research to begin with, we counteract and overcome negative emotion with positive behavior.

  1. Identify and Let Go of Any Enablers.

When a person is given a chance to be honest, their identity shines through. When we begin to understand one another, we notice how special and unique each of us truly are and we can help each other overcome our obstacles. How many people in our lives allow us to shine? How many of them can we be truly honest and vulnerable with, without fear nor judgement? I evaluate the people around me by this philosophy. We shouldn't need to be anyone else other than who we are and if there are people around us that restrict this birthright, then we must rethink some of these relationships.

Furthermore, our identities need to shine in order to learn and grow. If we have people around us that restrict our identities, then it only reinforces the message that we’re not good enough, not worthy enough or perhaps that there is something wrong with us. Honest relationships are crucial to personal development. I’ve personally found by being honest myself, I’m also creating an opportunity for others to open up and be honest themselves too. Slowly but surely if we all adopt this same philosophy, we can help each other get through life. We can nurture an environment that’s safe enough to be vulnerable in and together, we can grow and prosper. We must learn to let go of dishonest relationships and embrace those who are accepting of others.

  1. When All Else Fails, Take Some Time Away and Go Alone.

Nothing works better than entering a new and unfamiliar environment alone and realize how many challenges we can face and overcome. I believe it’s why many of us find travel so liberating and probably why many people find India in particular, so life changing. If our physical senses are overrun by overwhelmingly new sensations, what energy do we have left to upkeep a negative attitude? At some point that survival instinct kicks in as we’re forced to overcome one hurdle after another and we have no other choice but to trust ourselves. A change of scene almost forces us to look objectively into our lives and highlight the negative aspects of them.

Having some alone time allows us to honestly connect with the way we truly feel, as opposed to rationalizing our negative emotions to coexist with current ideologies we feel entangled in. Going away to a foreign place alone, is like embarking on a pilgrimage to self-realization; to realize that we all have purpose and that we’re capable of overcoming anything.

How to Cope With Isolation

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You may notice that I tend to disappear for a while and I hope that the message in this post will help you understand why.

I grew up feeling segregated because I didn’t feel connected to the world the same way my peers did. I remember my insecurities developing because of an eagerness to fit in and become like everyone else. I would find myself trying to adopt trends I didn’t agree with and personas I didn’t I identify with, just to associate myself with what felt like a herd heading towards their own slaughter. Each day I denied myself the opportunity to be me and do the things I wanted to do, I restricted my potential and kept my aspirations at bay.

Although I found success through traditional pursuits, the success never felt genuine. It felt more manufactured and less actualized because it lacked authenticity; it lacked me and my presence. As I followed the rules and marched on like a good corporate soldier, I could feel my identity slipping away.

Living a life I was unhappy with, I began feeling the negative burden of isolation quite quickly. Mentally, my thoughts would always wander into a depressive abyss. Always reasoning with negative thought, I would convince myself that I was alone in feeling this way and that I should feel more grateful and fortunate for my situation, even though I felt like crap.

Physically, I’d become incredibly aware of my isolation. When we’re physically alone it’s hard not to face the emotions we shy away from, so naturally I filled my time with as many distractions as possible: going out and connecting with the wrong type of people, binging on alcohol, fueling my body on the worst kinds of food and indulging on unimaginative TV and media. These were the vices I funneled my misery into.

Needless to say I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the way I was living my life and decided to neglect many aspects of it. From my health through to my relationships, I felt like there wasn’t a reason to take care of any of it. When we face struggles like this in life, awareness and acceptance of the truth is what we must face.

I remember being offered a promotion, or at least the option was on the table and I thought to myself “This is it. This is what my life is going to represent.” There was no excitement, just expectation. There was no passion, just resistance and I’d never felt more disconnected from the aspirations I once held for myself. I’ve always wanted my life to mean something, I believe we all do, and I just felt like I couldn't dishonor my own existence anymore.

What turned my life around and helped me nurture the confidence to make the bold decisions that drastically altered my destiny, was my relationship with isolation. I figured, if the world I’m living in doesn’t understand the way I’m feeling, and I’m feeling like I don’t fit in, then my isolation will be the safe haven to exercise my identity.

Rather than reason with my negative thoughts I embraced them, I lifted up the rug and faced the emotions I had swept under it. At first, trying to cope with them internally felt crippling so I started to externalize my thoughts by writing them down. I would end up writing thousands of words about how I felt and without really noticing, I was developing and facing an awareness I had long spent avoiding. Upon reflection it was like writing a tragic novel and it was about my life! Seeing my misery displayed back to me was incredibly awakening, and I could foresee where my life would end up if I continued to perpetuate a life I was unhappy with. Whenever I would return to my life and exit moments of, what I started to call 'therapeutic isolation', I’d feel uplifted.

Slowly I started feeling like myself again and although I wasn't ready, rather unsure about the next step I should take, I knew I wanted to continue down this path I had embarked on. I started to make use of my isolation to research and construct my next move and change the course of my story. The first step was quite simple and it was to stop fueling my own misery, first thing to really change were the people I surrounded myself with.

In my isolation I felt empowered and excited. I was always exercising my own identity and connecting with stimulus that encouraged me to think freely and openly. I felt my isolation also acted as a form of measurement, of who I am against the reality of who I was becoming. Eventually I began falling in love with the freedom I felt when alone, so I began gravitating towards a life that felt the same way.

I felt encouraged to connect with people who allowed me to think and live as freely as I could on my own. Anything less than acceptance and understanding wasn’t enough for me. I eventually started to move into places I connected with and in these places I seized opportunities that truly spoke to me. Through honest challenges, I eventually found success that did feel genuine.

Today my isolation is my sanctuary: a mental and physical space to explore the depths of my identity and engage a state of flow. Moments to set myself free and exercise my own potential. A time and space to explore and develop my ideas so that I fully understand them first, then prepare myself to confidently present them to the world.

You don't need to feel trapped when you feel isolated, nor do you have to view isolation as a negative aspect of your life. Use moments of isolation to refuel your identity and realize that you can develop a life worth living.

Post by Vancouver Life Coach:

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Where do you find love?

Post by Vancouver Life Coach, Terry Sidhu.

Love

I recently came back from a trip that made me realise the unspoken struggles we face alone, beneath the surface of the identities we present. Having reconnected with loved ones after many years and establishing brand new connections, I came back from this trip more aware of the emotional experiences we’re all striving for in life. Experiences that many of us will fail to achieve, if we continue to overrule what we’re truly feeling with rationalisation. The experiences I’m talking about, have to do with Love.

Love is an emotion that has baffled great minds for millennia, and I’m learning that the only way to understand what love is and the purpose it serves, is to first accept and embrace it. To realize that it exists and that it sits at the very core of all human emotion.

Sometimes I feel my work simply involves reconnecting individuals with love. Albeit helping individuals accept and embrace who they are and develop a love of themselves, through to helping individuals uncover a path that feels genuine and purposeful. Then there’s the relationship aspect of my work, where I help people reconnect with the feeling of love, rather than merely presenting the idea of it.

Although I began my career with a subjective understanding of love, my work has helped me develop objectivity on the matter. I’m understanding that love is an authentic connection to an honest energy, where one feels completely accepted by and accepting of said energy. Love is the most liberating of all emotions, which is why I feel we should navigate our lives by it. Learning about the impact of love and how it can influence even the most stubborn of minds, I finally feel I can write from the heart and of the heart, about this alluring topic.

I feel human consciousness or the gateway to human consciousness, has a lot to do with the awakening of our emotions. I think to when a baby is born, the very first thing a child experiences in life is raw and uninterrupted emotion. I feel my understanding of emotion is that they’re our awareness of existence. I feel our emotions are the true senses of our consciousness, and it’s trusting and relying on these senses that will guide us to the best conscious experience possible. Perhaps then our traditional, physical senses, are the gatekeepers that help us manage and construct our conscious experience.

I imagine human consciousness as a vast garden where seeds of emotion are planted. I think these seeds sprout at birth and from then on, the way we live our lives shape the way this garden grows. For example, a lot of negative life experiences will probably result in an unappealing garden full of negative emotions. Weeds that overshadow or restrict the potential of an appealing garden from blossoming; a garden full of flowers of positive emotion. If we can imagine our emotions in this way, like plants that need to be nurtured, then we can appreciate the value in nurturing positive emotion. Understand the effort it takes to maintain positivity and how easy it is to neglect and let negativity take rule over time. Therefore, to nurture and grow positive emotion, we must make the effort in our everyday lives for positive life experiences.

I use this analogy in order to help my clients understand the work it may take to revive their identities, and manage their lives into the fulfilment they seek. It’s a matter of managing and maintaining our “gardens” so to speak. It also helps us understand that all our emotions exist and are present within us, and just like the plants that grow in our gardens, we need to nurture the right ones. We must work to grow a garden worth presenting; to live a life worth living, and where relationships are concerned, we must develop a garden worth visiting; a life we’re confident sharing.

I’ve always noticed, or rather envied how children seem to have an innate ability to embrace love so easily. It makes me think that love is the emotion that grows in the centre of our conscious gardens. A tree that branches into emotions like passion, hope, enjoyment, confidence, excitement, happiness, liberation and so on. I think naturally we’re supposed to, and are allowed to, live our lives this way and I suppose that’s why it’s said that happiness is a choice.

I think our negative experiences in life and the mass, repetitive messages we’re surrounded by impact our emotions so much so, that we lose sight of our positive emotions. Our positive emotions become defined for us and reinforced by messages that tell us how we have to look and behave. Our gatekeepers, our traditional senses, are so overwhelmed by these messages that we’re convinced that love and happiness is something we must strive to earn, even though they already exist within.

As an example, think about the last time you’ve really wanted to settle a curiosity, or wanted to be spontaneous in life and just live, but you’ve stopped yourself because of a fear of what others may think?

If we continue to limit these potentially positive experiences in life, we nurture and grow negative emotions like insecurity, isolation, hopelessness, sadness, fear and so on, until they take over that tree and transform it into hate. If we can realise that we are in control of our lives, that we are the caretakers of our own gardens, we can actively take charge of how we feel. We can consciously choose to grow love.

Emotions have always been key to our survival and well-being and as the world has evolved, I fear we’ve learned to rationalize or turn a blind eye to what we’re truly feeling. Think about it, how many times have you had to convince yourself that “everything’s fine”, because from the outlook you should have nothing to worry about? You may have built a life that looks good, but how many of you reading this can honestly say you’re living a life that feels good?

It’s really simple actually, because we can easily distinguish what feels good from what feels bad and more importantly, we can distinguish what leaves us feeling good and what leaves us feeling bad. We just need to start listening to our emotions in order to guide our lives in a positive direction. We must learn to neglect and move away from all things bad, and educate and strengthen our gatekeepers to focus on all things good.

My apologies if this post sounds more spiritual than usual, but the happiest people I’ve come across lead their lives with love. I see that they’re surrounded by an abundance of love because they’ve let this emotion take reign over their lives. They love what they do, they love who they are, they love others easily and most importantly, they’re easily loved. How many of us can say we feel this way everyday?

Today we can to stop contributing our own misery, by facing the truth that is rooted in our emotions.

Vancouver Life Coach

Let’s talk about race.

Racism

Let’s talk about race.

I’ve wanted to write about this topic for a long time now, because I’m tired of seeing so many people, myself included, being judged and defined by skin colour. It’s just a colour, it has no meaning and it’s unwise to define our lives by it.

I was exposed to the same education and environments alongside peers with all different shades of skin colour, yet we all had different ideas of where we’d all end up in life. Our upbringings differed from home to home, our own decisions and our own motivations encouraged our individual paths in life, and it’s our individual experiences that influence these decisions and motivations. Unfortunately, when we accept messages that define us by the colour of our skin, we lose sight of our individual freedom and rights as we conform to stereotype and ideology. Enough is enough, we’re all worth so much more than the labels that define us.

Why are we so foolish to associate ourselves with untrue stereotypes? Why shape our lives based on the representation of our skin colours? It’s an issue that’s irritated me my entire life. Personally, I grew tired of feeling stuck in-between what felt like, a rock and a hard place; never feeling completely embraced as an individual because "he’s so white-washed" or “he’s so brown” were phrases that echoed through my entire existence.

Just like all of us, I am a product of my environment and a slave to the nature I inherited and as a result, I’ve become who I am… and it has very little to do with pigment. It’s just a colour, it has no meaning other than the clues it leads to my ancestry. With that said, we innately have more in common to unite us, compared to the differences we’re taught to separate us.

Who I am and who you are cannot be defined by any single label, prejudice or idea. Yes, there may be traits and traditions I share with others of similar cultural heritage, as do we all, but no, it’s not specific to the colour of my skin. Nor does my cultural heritage completely represent my identity, I’m much more than that too.

So, to the officer that profiled me, the employer that overlooked me, the group that rejected me and the politicians frightened of me. Generally to the people that choose to judge me because of my skin colour or any other prejudice for that matter, I will not continue to perpetuate hate by getting angry, nor will I hide away in shame or embarrassment. Instead, I’ll use the avenues I’ve embraced that showcase my identity in order to educate and inform. Although I may have to work a little harder in prejudice environments, I will not allow them to restrict my potential. It’s just the colour of my skin, just like the colour of my hair or the colour of my eyes, it doesn’t mean anything.

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Vancouver Life Coach

Image source: click here

Why You May Struggle With Productivity

productivity
productivity

Productivity is not actually that difficult to engage, just ask anyone building a life they’re passionate about. If you’re wanting to increase productivity, understand that the challenge isn’t necessarily in the tasks you must complete, but rather in defining and connecting with the purpose and value of such tasks.

First you might want to measure your level of fulfillment within your own life. If you discover you’re generally unhappy or unfulfilled with the life you’re living, then you’re bound to procrastinate and avoid completing tasks. It may be that these tasks represent despondency and act as reminders of the unfulfilling life you’re living. Therefore completing these tasks only perpetuate this unfulfilled life; there’s no fulfilling gain so you’ll distance yourself from them and create a burden.

Productivity kick-starts with pro-active decision making: if you want to be more productive, you need to start feeling more in charge of your own life. In order to change how you feel, you must evaluate different aspects of your life that restrict you from feeling liberated. You first need to determine aspects of your life that restrict your identity, and keep you from building the life you truly desire. I call it making a list of misery. These are areas of your life that generally cause you stress and frustration, because you don’t feel free to do the things you’d rather be doing. It could be your job, it could be your financial situation, perhaps some family members and friends, or even your relationship.

Whatever restrictions you determine, the next step towards productivity is to break your contribution to your own misery. For example, if you find yourself in financial difficulties, cut back on spending. If you hate your job but you can’t quit it, then don’t work towards a promotion that’ll keep you there. If you’re around people that cause you misery, remove yourself from them and if you can’t, be honest about how you feel and work through your issues. The purpose behind this undertaking is to ‘de-clutter’ your life of anything negative, so you can connect to a positive outcome from the tasks you need to complete.

As you begin taking these pro-active steps towards reducing misery, you’ll reboot an optimistic mindset. You’ll begin feeling more like yourself as you’re empowered to manage your own life. You’ll have realized that you’re capable of directing your own life, and it’s up to you to navigate it into fulfillment. As you lift these restrictions in your life, allow your mind to wander into awe and inspiration and start constructing an awareness of what you really want for yourself. Even if the details are unclear, you’re reconnecting with the emotional fulfillment you seek and simply maintaining this self-awareness will help you form the details.

As you align yourself with a brighter future and the tasks that you struggle to complete will be given purpose. Knowing that you’re in control of your life and that it’s your direct input that dramatically affects its direction, productivity will not only keep a bright future bright, it’ll be valued as a crucial component to your well-being.

Vancouver Life Coach
Vancouver Life Coach

How to Make Decisions

Post by, Vancouver Life Coach

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Life is full of choices, and it’s the choices we make that shape our lives. Therefore the question remains, how do we make the right choices?

I’ve been asked this question over and over again. At first, I couldn’t give anyone a definitive answer because mindful-decision-making stems from the root of your identity. To know if you’re making the right choices in life, you must first evaluate your own identity:

  • Do you feel liberated and free to be yourself?
  • Are you restricting your identity just to fit in?
  • Are you struggling to open up about your problems and restricting yourself from seeking support?
  • Are you making meaningful connections with others?
  • If you’re in a relationship, does your partner see you for who you are?

In summary, are you yourself completely?

Before making a decision in your life, reconnect with yourself. Become self-realized and aware, and establish how much of your life is being experienced by you, versus a version of you that appeals more to your influencers. Think of influencers as things in your life that restrict, or have the potential to restrict, who you are and the great things you’re capable of. From people through to places - are you a product of your environment, or is your environment an extension of your identity?

Work to understand and unleash your identity and you’ll realize how to make the right choices. Whatever decision you’re faced with, you must always side with the choice that keeps your identity intact.

For those that have a responsibility to others such as children, ask yourself if a positive impact on your own life will strengthen your relationship to those you’re responsible for. You shouldn’t make your decisions out of obligation, but rather so that you can fulfill your obligations happily.

Many people come across this blog seeking answers, but the answers readers seek are buried within themselves. Hence its purpose is to encourage readers to be themselves; tune in to who you are, and you’ll find all the answers you’re looking for. Tune into your identity and you’ll begin to recognize happiness as an emotion waiting to be set free, rather than an aspiration to work towards.

Vancouver Life Coach

How to Measure Happiness

post by, VanCityLifeCoach.com

happy

Happiness isn’t exactly the easiest emotion to grasp; I used to believe that people were either happy or not, I used to think that happiness was as clear as night and day. However, I’m learning that happiness is a development just like every other emotion that we experience, we have to contribute to our own happiness and it lies within the choices we make.

I’ve found those that contribute more to their own well-being and work on developing a purpose, tend to be happier than those who work to accumulate things to define their value. When we start to free ourselves from conformity, we begin working with our own emotions rather than against them and as a result, we live life more truthfully and with less compromises.

When I gave up trying to conform and began following my own desires, I also realised that it was easier to communicate and understand others. I also began connecting with like-minded people who actually appreciated my identity and my own pursuits, and vice-versa. I had inadvertently created a positive environment for myself that stimulated the courage and confidence to pursue a life worth living.

When I think about the happiest moments in my life, I’m reminded of liberation and feelings of complete detachment, I feel like I can take on the world and there’s not much that can keep me from blissfully embracing the present moment. Contemplating these memories and feeling untethered to my everyday responsibilities, I began exploring ways to measure happiness in a world where responsibilities command our lives, impact our emotions and often cause us to overlook our own well-being.

Psychology and Spirituality teach us the importance of maintaining balance... Even the cosmos need to maintain a certain balance to ensure we continue to exist on this planet. Most of the problems we face in our lives can be a rooted back to some sort of imbalance: when we’re overworked, overindulged, lacking empathy, emotionally numb/sensitive, over thinking and even struggling to sleep, these problems and many others stem from an imbalance within our own psyches.

Measuring happiness is to assess our lives in terms of imbalance, to assess how much of our lives are being spent satisfying our responsibilities (super-ego) versus, how much of our lives are spent indulging our inner desires (id). Too much of one or the other will lead to and fuel misery, therefore sustaining happiness is to ensure both parts of our psyches are equally valued (ego), if not, then we must work to restore balance in order to feel happy.

Delving into this Freudian theory has made me realize why so many of us struggle with the lives we’re living, and why many often feel overworked and underappreciated. In a society where we schedule our lives around work and responsibilities, I started measuring happiness by asking my clients the following question?

“If you could make a decision for yourself, consequence free, what decision would you make?”

If answered honestly, I found this question allows us to gain insight into our own imbalances. It allows us to essentially measure and restore happiness by understanding how much of our inner desires are being fulfilled, or rather how much we restrict this significant part of who we are. It also helps us understand the difference between setting goals and mindful goal setting. If our inner desires aren’t expressed nor fulfilled, the less happier we’re likely to be.

For example, if you have a deep desire to travel someday, but your current responsibilities restrict this desire, then you’ll probably find that you’re not that happy with your current life, because your life lacks direction and purpose and a significant part of who you are is being suppressed. However, if you allow this desire to filter into your life, you’ll begin to navigate your life to fulfill this desire. Your responsibilities will have purpose as you'll set your goals accordingly. Furthermore, you’ll also find that you’ll gravitate towards connections that echo these desires, from obtaining the appropriate skills to meeting like-minded people. You’ll ultimately live a lot happier knowing that your life isn’t being lived in vain, and that you’re staying true to your identity and what you want from life.

Just imagine living life with a little angel (super-ego) and devil (id) on your shoulders, if you predominantly listen to the angel you’ll run the risk of losing sight-of-self. If you let the little devil have rule over your life, then you run the risk of losing touch with the life you’re trying to build.

Measuring happiness is understanding which one of these characters you’ve allowed to govern the majority of your decision-making. Let them both share equal amounts of control and you’ll live a much more balanced life, and a much happier one.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

The Key to Maintaining Health and Happiness

Post by, VanCityLifeCoach.com

Awareness

Sometimes we find ourselves in a state of lasting bliss when all aspects of our lives, have reached a level of fulfillment we’re satisfied with. Although we may not be exactly where we want to be in life, health and happiness will seem to flow easily and we’ll begin feeling assertive and aligned with our aspirations.

When we arrive at these blissful moments in life, we’re prone to complacency and avoidance because moving forward may involve risk, which could disrupt this new equilibrium. Therefore it’s crucial to develop a healthy awareness of self, others and the world around us, in order to continue our pursuits to that dream life we’ve always envisioned.

Awareness is an extension of mindfulness and it teaches us to pay attention to how we impact our own lives. Whether or not we’ve reached a stage of fulfillment, our choices have dictated this destiny that’s currently being played out. Awareness helps us upkeep involvement and control over life; paying attention could be the difference in feeling like life is falling apart, and feeling like life's falling into place.

Awareness begins with honesty. The first step is to focus on emotion, because it’s the emotions we feel that highlight the truth. When we hurt ourselves physically, we’re often very quick to notice the imbalance and work to resolve the pain as effectively as possible. However, how many of us can honestly say we do the same with our own state of mind.

As a relationship and life coach, I come across many broken souls living life irritated and insecure as a result of avoidance and complacency. On the other hand, I have clients that feel great within themselves but struggle to pursue new opportunities, in fear of losing something deemed safe and secure. The next stage of awareness, after uncovering present emotion, is to look back on the journey up until this point in time.

Many of us may not realize it, but our pasts hold many of the answers we seek to find about ourselves and our lives. How did I end up here? Why do I put up with this? How can I move forward? Why am I…? However poignant the question, the answer could be lurking within a previous moment in time. Investigating the past will help develop an awareness of motivation, uncover the triggers to motivation and we’ll learn how to avoid or promote certain behaviours.

If you’re looking to maintain health and happiness in your life, or if you’re looking to secure it, assess your current level of awareness and you may just realise where your life is headed. Today choose to take control, choose to eliminate fear and choose to overcome the insecurity you live with; Pay attention to how you contribute to your own misery and bliss, and you’ll become aware that you own your life.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Reform Your Relationship with Opportunity

post by, VanCityLifeCoach.com

Overcoming problems

Happy New Year, folks! 2016 is officially here and before you run out and sign up for those gym memberships, before you start your detox and worry about the debt you’ve accumulated over the holidays, let’s talk about you for a moment.

The world is moving toward a new paradigm and the traditional way of living and earning seems to be changing. You may have noticed how little control you have over your own life, as you cling to the conventional methods of living. Perhaps the 9-5 model simply isn’t getting you where you want to be in life.

You may also find yourself molding and adapting to incompatible identities just to avoid being alone, while life seems to just pass by without purpose. The routine is getting old; Perhaps you find yourself lacking energy and living for those rare moments of happiness and joy as you exist within the bounds of procrastination and complacency.

Though this isn't the case for everyone, maybe you've noticed such tendencies in family or friends, or feel that the instances above resonate within your own life. 

There’s a new energy that arrives each time you ring in a new year and it encourages you to seek opportunity. We make resolutions and promises within our lives just as easily as we upgrade our already perfectly functioning cell phones, only to realize that the fulfillment gained from these impulsive decisions was merely temporary.

To kick-start your life and navigate it into lasting fulfillment, you must first deal with the biggest problems that rule your life. You need to resolve the very problems that germinate the recurring, negative thoughts weighing heavy on your mind. It’s time to lift up that proverbial rug and clean out the problems brushed under it. If you're seeking purpose and value this year, then you must work on developing the courage to attain them; unresolved problems break down the courage you need to develop. Your problems restrict the energy required to propel your life towards a reason of being.

Your immediate goals this year should be focused on overcoming the troubles you're facing in life. This year, if you’re feeling numb and lacking satisfaction, you may want to reflect on your behavior in previous years, because clearly something isn’t working if you're feeling deflated and unmotivated.

The longer you hold onto or avoid a difficult situation, the easier it becomes to talk yourself out of an opportunity; your problems will keep you from moving forward. Liken it to being in school, where each problem you solve in a subject- take math for instance- leads to a feeling of genuine confidence and encouragement, inspiring you to move ahead.

The opportunities you seek in life are available to you. Granted, some of us have to work harder than others to secure them, and I agree that the world isn’t exactly perfect and equal. However, working on and overcoming your troubles will make room for the encouragement and determination you need to succeed. The self-esteem you need to build and the tenacity you require can only develop when they have room to grow. Hold onto or avoid your problems for another year, and you’re only contributing to a life you simply aren’t happy with.

So if you’re stuck in a relationship that brings you more misery than joy, repair it or end it. If you’re in a job you hate, don’t work towards the promotion, work your way out of the job. If you’re feeling lost and alone, then work on developing the courage to admit it and seek support, rather than suppressing your feelings in an attempt to appear fine. If you’re dealing with an insecurity, or insecurities that lead into negative behavior, then work to uncover the root cause of it, in order to stop them from ruling your life any longer.

Want 2016 and the rest of your life to mean something, then reform your relationship with opportunity. Make room in your life to seek and secure opportunities confidently by dealing with your immediate problems first. Deal with the troubles that restrict your identity and limit your potential, and fix the problems that keep you from moving closer towards your aspirations.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Why Personal Advice from Friends and Family Is Often Biased

post by, VanCityLifeCoach.com

Advice

As a Relationship and Life Coach, guiding others is a job I find incredibly fulfilling and I’m always eager to support my clients. I coach passionately and as a result, what I do has sewn itself into my identity and has become a part of who I am. As this becomes more evident, I’ve noticed more people within my personal network are coming to me for advice, albeit their intention or not.

It’s difficult for me to ‘switch off’ from what I call “Coaching Mode”. I’m often like a child who has discovered something new about themselves and I’m eager to share it with everyone I run into. Therefore it can get difficult leaving “The Coach” behind, when connecting/reconnecting with people within my personal network.

Think about the number of times friends and family have come to you seeking your advice or opinion. Now, for instance, think about the number of times you’ve had to lie or bend the truth in order to protect their feelings.

Before stumbling onto this path, I never had an issue with saying and doing the appropriate thing in order to protect the people I care for from getting hurt. However, what I’ve learnt about myself and other people through my work and professional experiences, the appropriate thing to say and do, isn’t necessarily the right thing to say and do. It’s a fine line that I’ve become weary of in recent years, as I continue to connect with people in my personal network both past and present.

As a coach, I’m hired to give my honest and professional opinion. I’ve been hired for a specific reason and to achieve results, complete, and sometimes brutal honesty is required at all times. As a neutral party, my only concern is the well-being of my client and his/her actual responsibilities. However, in my personal network, whereby I’m emotionally tethered, maintaining neutrality is very difficult. In some circumstances where I’m asked for advice, support, guidance or even just an opinion, I find myself facing the following dilemmas:

Do I, a. Compromise my work and what I know and do well, just to keep those nearby happy and content? Or, b. Advise with complete integrity and run the risk of stirring up conflict within my personal network?

I’ve learnt that the answer to either question often depends on how I’m regarded among those close to me. For instance, to my parents, as their youngest child, I’m still very much the “baby” in their eyes. Fortunately my clients don’t see me that way, otherwise I’d make a terrible coach, however this entire adjustment has made me aware of two prominent biases that arise when advising friends and family. Biases we should all be aware of when seeking or giving advice.

Bias #1: Personal Gain.

Most of us probably won’t admit it, but we run the risk of advising friends and family based on personal gain. Or, to avoid the perception of personal gain and potential blame and conflict, we also run the risk of sharing biased advice.

It’s often difficult to offer an unbiased perspective when we’re personally involved. For example, think about the people in your life today and how convenient it would be for you, if they changed certain aspects of their lives? Changes although convenient for you, could result it disastrous consequences for them.

Personal gain is something to be very aware of with advice you offer or receive, as there are a number of ‘sub-biases’ that can lead to erroneous advice. Biases such as: personal insecurity, strength of relationship, trust and access to multiple connections within the same personal network, are to name a few.

Bias #2: Nondisclosure.

Full disclosure is important when seeking or offering advice. It’s important for the advisor to develop a complete awareness of the problem or dilemma and it’s the responsibility of those being advised, to make the advisor fully aware. Therefore, complete honesty and openness is required in order to understand and to be fully understood.

If you feel restricted or reluctant in any way, then already you’re adding layers of bias to advice. For example, think about asking your parents about relationship advice, but leaving out all the intimate details of your desires, because it feels too inappropriate or awkward to discuss. Again many of the ‘sub-biases’ that arise with personal gain are also relevant here too, especially when sharing advice among an established peer group.

In conclusion, to avoid, or at least limit bias when exchanging advice with friends and family, both parties must learn how to emotionally detach in order to establish mutual understanding. However, keep in mind that you also run the risk of jeopardising the personal connection too, because once something is shared, it cannot be taken back, and you have to rely on and preserve trust in order to maintain the relationship.

Therefore in summary, establish authentic trust before seeking or giving advice and be aware of these prominent biases.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

How to be Happy

post written by, VanCityLifeCoach.com

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Every single person is on the same page when it comes to life. The details of our individual lives probably differ drastically, but the emotional experiences in which we wish to encounter, they're exactly the same.

I’m happy. Perhaps not all the time, but nowadays I can say with confidence that I’m living blissfully most of the time. I’ve walked away from the dark places I had convinced myself I was safe in, and I’ve stepped outside of perception and sought out truth. Many people make the mistake of “searching for happiness”  as if it’s some mystical treasure waiting to be found, but I’ve learned now that the key to happiness is much more internal, we just have to face it and let it out. It was the smartest thing I ever did.

To be happy, I needed to...

…accept and be proud of who I am.

This was the most effective contribution to my happiness. I grew up in an environment of expectation, everything from how I was expected to act and what I was expected to achieve in my life. To follow tradition and fulfill a role I simply wasn’t born to play. As my own identity did not fit the criteria of such expectation, it caused conflict within my mind which led to anxiety and depression...and up until a few years ago, it ruled my life. Today however, I feel free and unburdened, I can confidently explore life to seek answers; I am free to do what I want and be who I am. As a result I’ve found purpose and passion, I’ve learned about myself and what it is I love to do. It all began when I decided to live life by the traits of my own identity, it allowed me to define my own aspirations and as I progressed down my own path, I began uncovering a sense of pride and self-respect.

…find joy in not knowing and embrace the freedom of discovery.

If you look at how kids explore life, you realize the fun and joy it is to discover and seek answers. When I went traveling, I would freely ask questions in order to understand what I didn’t know. Each and every time I learned something new, it added a new layer of awareness to my identity. A sensation that made me feel empowered to explore life further, to immerse myself in the unknown so that I could understand and connect with the world a lot better. I’m not saying travel changed me, but it encouraged me to raise questions at home and in my everyday life whenever I had any feelings of doubt and uncertainty.

…place emphasis on mindset and its key role in success.

I reflect back on moments I first shared this blog with my friends on Facebook, and how much I feared judgement and ridicule from those who thought they knew me. Today I share it with the world and also coach individuals into fulfillment. I realized that if I want to be happy, I should stick with what I love to do. Although coaching is an avenue towards bigger aspirations in my life, I love the process. Everyday, at this current moment in time, I feel I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. Rarely do I fear how life will end up, because however long it may take, at least I'm on the right path. Happiness isn’t something you can earn or accumulate, it’s something you contribute to and on this path, I'm contributing to my own happiness. 

…submit to fact and adapt my behavior accordingly.

Living blissfully in ignorance is not happiness and personally I think we choose to be ignorant. They say misery needs company, however ignorance actually has it and plenty of it, and it's easy to join a herd to feel like you belong and fit in. However happiness is personal, you won't find it following trends or chasing myths.

I started my own journey for my own peace-of-mind and happiness, for nobody else. The proof is in my own well-being and if whatever I pursue turns out to be wrong, I've learned to move on until I discover what's right. If corporate gigs made me miserable, then I had to accept that to move forward. I did, and I ventured onto something far more valuable. It took me about 5 years to figure it out, but that time is experience, it signifies growth, it means something, it doesn't feel wasted and I already have so many lessons to share from them and I continue to learn.

Perception can be and often is blurred, waking up to reality and adapting my behavior towards the truth, definitely led me to a happier life. If something is factual and proven, and there’s no logical reason to challenge it, accept it and move on.

…take the time to better understand others.

Understanding other people better and getting to know them for who they really are, allowed me to better understand their actions, their perception of others and of me. For example, I realized that malicious intent was more about an internal conflict than it was about causing harm. We all desire happiness and fulfillment, but sometimes our own insecurities and troubles can make us act out in unintended ways. If you work to understand how much a person isn’t happy and fulfilled, you’ll be able to connect with them and reason with their actions.

If you take the time to learn about someone, you can learn to accept and communicate to them. In many cases, you could probably help them. There’s an empowerment that comes from this, because you begin realizing that we’re all more alike than we’re actually led to believe. It helps you ease the pressure of living with what other people think of you and it makes you feel less alone and more connected.

…overcome fear and make it a priority.

I don’t have many fears today and now I’m currently learning to overcome my fear of snakes. However other fears, like the fear of what people think of you, the fear of not succeeding or even the fear of not fitting in, will soon eradicate if you nurture the “law of awareness.” Put simply, you only need focus on being present and in the moment, for it’s the choices and actions of today that impact your future and control your past.

I’ve spoken to enough senior members of society to conceptualize regret, so get your head out of non-existent moments in time, wake up to now and allow your emotions to guide you through your reality. Which is how I made overcoming fear a priority, because overcoming it helped me regain control. Now I feel there isn't much that can stop me from chasing down my aspirations, especially no-one. 

…directly challenge those that threatened my vulnerability.

There are a lot of prejudices in the world and a reason why a lot of it still exists, is because many people feel powerless to direct change. However, if you’re unhappy, perhaps change is what you actually need. I personally grew tired of people trying to understand me through the connotations that came with my skin color. I grew tired of keeping my emotions at bay, because of the connotations that came with my gender. I grew tired of having to accept everyone’s definition of success because I had my own ideas. With tiredness came frustration and frustration led to self-doubt. So I decided the only way out of this endless torment, was to face those that made me feel inferior in any way.

We’re all equals, that’s what I grew up learning and that’s what I ended up exploring and accepting. Any opportunity someone had to put me down, I simply asked them why? I’d respond in an attempt to understand rather than with a negative emotion like anger. When you give people the response they want, they win. Don’t give them the response they want, they’ll provoke. Challenge their motivation and intent and in my experience, they’ll back off.

In situations around the workplace, among your social circles and even at home, attempt to understand, educate and hopefully inspire. I don’t have time anymore for circumstances that make me feel worse about myself. I’ve learned to pay attention to how I feel, my emotions are the most honest thing I can rely on, so I’m going to protect them.

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As I navigate my way through life, I may come across a more concise way to discuss how to be happy. However, what I realized as I put this blog post together, to be happy, I never really had to ask for or do much, I just had to allow myself the opportunity to be me, to be happy.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Relationship Advice

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Don’t lose sight of self.

Don’t lose sight of her/him.

If you get lost, work to navigate yourself back to the moment and realisation, to which you felt safe enough and secure enough, to be vulnerable and open with the person you gave your all to.

The world is full of many people who don’t understand you, who simply won’t get your identity and everything you’re about. Are you ready and willing to let go of that one person, a person among billions, who actually saw you and accepts you for who you are?

On the other hand. Relationships, don’t jump in so naively.

Just because the media, society and every other member of influence tells you you’re supposed to, remember:

Only Like If You Have Truly Been Seen,

Only Explore If You Are Madly Interested,

And Only Love When You Are Deeply Accepted.

Otherwise there just isn’t any reason to Do.

Cheesy-90's-love-song reference aside, learn to be yourself and completely open and honest about who you are and let others learn what you’re about. Otherwise, you’re simply leading your relationships into misery. Give yourself the opportunity to find love blissfully, completely and honestly. Anything less or alike is a mere an imitation or illusion.

Love, genuine love for even merely a moment, is worth much more than a lifetime of hypotheticals and regret. Take it from someone who has lived and lost this infatuation and works with the people entangled by this phenomena for a living:

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

The Courage Found in Creativity

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Our imagination can take our minds to places we never thought possible. We all have this beautifully engineered component which gives us the capability to, safely and securely, explore alternate realities and ideate to our hearts content.

It’s through exercising this ability we’ve been able to progress and evolve as a civilization. Many of the things we take for granted today, are the result of someone courageous enough to pluck an idea from an obscure reality and make it real.

One of my favorite pieces of advice to share with people who lack courage - is to create. Creativity is the key to unlocking our minds and understanding our own identities. It’s the opportunity and freedom to be ourselves as we explore the world within.

Being creative; that first brush stroke or note, that first idea or theory,  that first movement or moment…it’s like switching on an engine, shifting into first gear and beginning that journey towards courage.

Engaging in our creative abilities allows us to confidently explore the truth within and explore the depth of our potential. As we shift into higher gears and really begin to indulge our identities, as we navigate through the limitless multiverse that is our imagination, we’ll begin to see sense in our creations and stimulate a unique purpose for our own lives.

We all start our lives living on instinct and raw emotion. As children we have that confidence and courage to explore and be open and expressive. As children we yearn to be understood and accepted, yet as we grow older, the paradigm shifts as we climb into a box and try to fit in; in fear of being different.

As we nestle into these boxes, a dilemma soon arises when we become increasingly aware, of how lonely it is living life boxed in by perception and the classification of normality. They limit creativity and curb our opportunities to innovate and express ourselves, because we continue to play within a space which we naively consider to be harmless. Yet it weakens courage and dwindles confidence.

They also limit our connection to others. They restrict how much we are willing to share and how much others have available to explore. Eventually, stepping outside of our proverbial boxes becomes a nonsensical notion, as we deem those living blissfully free from these restraints: brave, inspiring and/or foolish.

So if you’re sitting there reading this with hopeful desires, wishing and waiting for that one day, that one opportunity to lead your life into greatness. Then let your imagination soar and express your creativity and as you continue to create, you’ll find the courage to step outside of your box and showcase your identity.

VanCity

How to Discover your Passion and Purpose

How to find your purpose

If you want to live passionately with purpose and reason, then you need to access the traits of your very own being. You need to listen to and respond to your emotions, as you navigate your way through different experiences in life.

The journey into fulfilment begins with mindful experiences. You must be and feel fully engaged, in each and every experience you encounter. You must be completely invested and emotionally present through every experience, to determine what speaks to your identity and what doesn’t.

I’ve come across too many irritated individuals living life on auto-pilot, complacent in routine and living numbly. I know this feeling because I used to live this way; a life not worth living, lacking fulfilment and wasted potential.

We’re all beings with untapped potential and within us is the determination and drive to become all that we aspire to be. If you’re noticing that life seems to be passing you by, then you just need to regain control and pay attention to what your emotions are telling you.

Throughout my life, the one lesson I’ve relied upon to stay on track with my aspirations, is to listen and pay attention to emotion. Emotions indicate your truest intent and genuine desires, therefore ignoring how you feel will only lead you into an unfulfilled life and further away from discovering your passion and purpose. A deception that will blur your identity and cause you to drift away from what you truly desire.

Thought vs. Emotion

You can change and manipulate thought, even if a negative thought enters your mind you can counteract it with a positive one almost instantaneously. To demonstrate: if I ask you to think of a Lemon, you can do that without effort. Now if I ask you to think of a Red Lemon, you can also do so instantaneously and change the perception of reality within your own mind.

As thoughts can be manipulated, altered and misdirected so easily, what you think you want, may not necessarily be what you truly want. This is why it’s incredibly important to pay close attention to emotion in order to maintain control over your life. Your emotions are like truth-tellers, they can help you navigate your life towards the bliss you’re in search of, and into the fulfillment you desire. I can’t tell you to be happy because we’re not really capable of altering emotion like we can thought. If you want to change your emotions, then you may have to change your reality.

In Summary

To discover your passion and to find your purpose in life, you must pay attention to emotion. Your thoughts may rationalize a negative experience, however we cannot fully trust thought as our thoughts can easily be manipulated and influenced. However we cannot deceive emotion, therefore as you navigate through life’s experiences, pay attention to what you're feeling. If you find that an experience contains no emotional fulfillment, then move on and keep experiencing until you discover the fulfillment you seek. Until you uncover your passion and define your purpose.

VanCity