vancouver

Boost Your Cup of Coffee!

It's no secret that the people of Vancouver love their coffee! However, in abundance, coffee can trigger feelings of anxiousness - after all you are forcing your body into a wakened state. Here's what I do to hack my morning cup of coffee to last the entire day!

In your morning cup of coffee: + 1 tsp of Turmeric + Dollop of Manuka Honey (for taste)

How to Curb Anxiety and Paranoia

Anxiety is a mental health issue which affects over 40 million American Adults, 1 in 4 Canadians, 4.1 per thousand in Indians, 6 million in the UK, and approximately 100 million people in China. That’s already 200+ million people worldwide! I became curious about the global statistics as I seem to be dealing with more clients here in Vancouver and The Lower Mainland, who are battling this mental disorder on a regular basis.

Many of my clients visit my office looking for an alternative way to manage their anxiety and reduce paranoid thoughts. Imagine feeling like, believing even, that the whole world is already against you, and then being able to trust someone who hands you pills to numb these feelings. Though anti-depressants work for some they don’t work for all and let’s be honest, they don’t cure the disorder, they just suppress it.

Until I entered Life Coaching, I hadn’t realized how many different types of people this disorder affects. From business professionals and entrepreneurs, through to students and the everyday family member, it would appear that any of us can fall victim to severe panic and fear.

I’m a “look at the bigger picture” sort of guy, in fact, that’s how I help my clients step out from under their insecurities and march on forward toward the lives they’ve always dreamed of. So, when I started getting clients seeking support for their paranoia and anxiety, after having tried many other traditional routes, such as psychiatry for instance, I had to understand how mental illnesses fit into the picture.

One of the most remarkable things I’ve learned about people, is that we’re all living in different versions of a mutually shared reality. We’re all experiencing life through our own senses; we literally only see the world through our own eyes. Therefore, we can only interpret the world through our own senses too, for example, what one person sees as an opportunity, another can view as a threat. And with access to so much information and knowledge at the very end of our finger tips, we’re discovering how differently each and every single one of us interpret the world. So no longer are we alone in the way we think, it’s not so easy anymore to just dismiss our troubled thoughts.

Is it any wonder we’re becoming a more paranoid and anxious people? I mean, with so much contradicting information thrown at us on a daily basis, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to trust anything completely. Only just the other day I had back-to-back sessions with clients who were feeling anxious over the decision to go to college vs. independent online study. Back when I was growing up, obtaining a higher education from a recognized institution just made sense, and if you had the grades and could afford it, you seized the opportunity. Whereas today, it’s definitely not the only way to secure your future, in fact, in many cases it’s becoming detrimental because of the amount of debt one acquires.

I even remember back when Trump was elected president of the United States, I literally had clients concerned about this representing the beginning of the end of the world. Looking at what’s presented in the news today, it seems I can’t easily convince individuals to dismiss these feelings as paranoia. For all the information that is out there, there’s enough to justify and fuel our paranoid thoughts. From “Fake News” to Political propaganda, who and what can we have faith in today?

Perhaps this is what conscious evolution looks like? Maybe we’re in the midst of a shifting paradigm? Or maybe we’re just overworked and exhausted? Whichever way we look at this, we must learn to deal with our troubled mental processes more effectively. Otherwise, they’ll consume us to a point where we’ll start exploring more harmful ways to shut them out, because we are unable cope.

When you come across a paranoid thought, I wouldn’t be so quick to try and dismiss the paranoia. I think if your mind has entered into this perception of reality, then perhaps it’s drawing on information that you’ve consumed but have not yet processed. Almost likened to the evolutionary theory of dreaming.

I suffered from anxiety and paranoid thoughts when I was younger, and the only vice that worked for me was meditation. However, this is not what I’m suggesting to you (though I do recommend you try it), it’s how learned to interpret these thoughts through meditation, which enabled me to detach from them and keep them from infecting my conscious experience.

Each of us are experiencing the world differently, no two beings (not yet anyway) can occupy the same conscious or physical space at the same time. Think about when you go out for dinner with a friend, you sit at a table across from each other, or side by side. Though you’re having a mutually shared experience, how it is experienced physically is already quite different. Through your eyes you see your friend, but your friend through their eye is seeing you. So already our individual experience of the world is very different from each other.

Now think about all those individual experiences across a lifetime, what each of you have seen, heard, tasted, touched, and smelled, it’s all going to have an impact on the way you think and operate. So not only is your physical experience of the world going to be different, your conscious experience of the world is going to be very different from anyone else’s too.

Therefore, if you think about it, there are an infinite number of ways to experience the world, and an infinite number of way to interpret the experience. It’s so easy for an innocent dinner between two friends, to turn into a nightmarish experience for either one of them. It’s common to feel threatened by something that was said, or something that was seen for instance, simply because of how something was interpreted. No one believes that they're the bad guy and I think this is why, because our experiences justify our view of world.

When you look at paranoia and anxiety objectively, and a lot of other mental illnesses for that matter, you realize that these troubling feelings can only grow, based on how much you invest into a perceived thought. The validity of which, is based on a collection of individual experiences you’ve already had. So, one way to break the grip of paranoia and anxiety, I’ve discovered, is to develop objectivity over them.

How do you develop objectivity?

1.     Acknowledge and Accept

The first step is to acknowledge that these thoughts and feelings a quite real, after all, you feel them as if they are. Whether you believe the world is laughing at you, or you feel like the world is rigged against you, you have to accept and acknowledge that you feel this way. Don’t bury it, don’t dismiss it, acknowledge and accept that this is how you feel. This will then ease the pressure of trying to protect yourself from the thought and give you the energy to actually investigate its validity, and help you decide what to do next with more clarity.

However severe it may be, accept how you feel so that it doesn’t go unacknowledged. The reality that your mind has constructed is very much present and to deny it, only causes you to distrust your own mind and weaken your self-belief.

2.     Investigate and Learn

Remember, you’re reacting to a perceived reality which hasn’t manifested around you, it’s just present in your own mind, for now. Right now, in this moment, are you literally being laughed at? Are you literally being stopped from seizing an opportunity? If so, then you’re not being anxious or paranoid, it’s actually happening. If not, then investigate the world that your mind has created. Raise questions within until you get an answer, and with each answer, you raise another question until you develop a pathway back to conscious clarity.

The questions are a series of, who, what, when, where, why and how? Most of the time, we only ask one or two questions in this series, and then give up when we cannot arrive at any conclusion. To know the answer, you have to raise the right question. If you want to know the source of your fears, then you need to dive in and investigate the fear. Like a good reporter, you keep digging until you unveil the truth, also like a good reporter, you detach yourself from the story you’re investigating.

The answer may not come from the question, “Why am I being paranoid?”, nor may it come from “How have I become paranoid?” but it may just arrive from, “Where have I developed this paranoia?” or maybe even, “Who is making me paranoid?” – When you feel you’ve stumbled on a fragment of truth, you’ll have connected something you feel to something you’ve actually experienced, then start the series of questions again with this new information. However, this time, you’re learning how you arrived at the experience and as a result, you’re learning about the way you navigate through your life; you’re essentially developing your self-awareness.

As you explore your conscious experiences, you become aware of your conscious experience, thus, you arrive at conscious clarity.

3.     Take Action and Regain Control.

When you feel like your mind is once again clear, and you have successfully eased your troubling thoughts, you must make a decision. A decision supporting a truth you have uncovered about yourself/your life, so that you do not continue to fuel an insecure fate, or, continue a life of ignorance. If you have discovered that it’s something you’ve done, or taken perhaps, then you stop it. If you realize there’s a person in your life who is causing you to feel this way, then you move your life away from this person. If you realize that the sum of all your fears comes down to a behavioural pattern, take it as an indication to change behaviour. If you’re still unsure as to why you feel this way, then take it as an indication to seek support and maybe someone else can help you develop objectivity.

If all else fails…

…enact what I call “The Fire Drill Theory” which is something I derived from spiritual teaching. Basically, the higher-self; your imagination; the subconscious mind; or whatever other function of consciousness is at play, is working/are working together to create a ‘sub-reality’ of sorts. A reality of which you need to prepare for in case this sub-reality becomes your actual reality. Therefore, similarly to playing a virtual reality video game, you’ll need to enter your mind and successfully navigate yourself through this nightmare world, that your mind has created. For example, if you feel as though the world is laughing at you, then how are you going to do to deal with it, in a way which reduces most harm? Similarly, to the reason we have fire drills, how are you going to handle the situation and make it out alive? Preparation is confidence, so take your anxiety and paranoia as an opportunity to prepare, as a way for your mind to increase your conscious tolerance. Sort of like a contingency plan, if you will. Should ever this nightmare world become a reality, at least mentally, you’ll be ready to handle it.

Are you ready to reach your true potential?

"Why do I struggle to get out of bed?"

With the weather in Vancouver taking a dreary turn and the rain giving us yet another excuse to not get up out of bed, we may as well take the opportunity to evaluate and reflect. To help you get started, I put together a short explanation on why you may struggle to get up in the morning, and why procrastination becomes so appealing. 

Vancouver Entrepreneur - Podcast

Click to listen online!

Click to listen online!

I had the pleasure of speaking with Robert Szmigiel of VancouverEntrepreneur.ca about running VanCity Life Coach Inc. and what it's like being an entrepreneur in Vancouver, B.C. It's been an incredible journey so far, and reliving how it all begun was quite emotional, and also realizing how everyday I feel like it's just the beginning! I hope this podcast interview inspire you to share your ideas and explore your potential, the time to act is now!

For an iTunes link, click here.

Hack Your Reality: We're Sponsoring Jason Silva!

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What an amazing year it's been so far, and what a great way to enter fall.

I'm a fan of Jason Silva's YouTube series, Shots of Awe, and I'm glad that we're sponsoring his event right here in Vancouver. He's touring Canada with a series of talks designed to teach you how to 'Hack your Reality' so that you can create a life of "freedom, happiness and abundance"

He opens his tour at Vogue theatre tomorrow, October 14th @ 6PM and I have no doubt that it's going to be an impactful show, full of high energy, and leaving you feeling inspired to "spend more time in the present".

Jason has this unique ability to activate a flow state, practically on cue, and I for one cannot wait witness a stream of consciousness live and direct. As you've already gathered I'm pretty excited about this event, because it's going to be brilliant!

For my local Vancouverites, you can get your tickets here, and for my lovely's around the world you grab tickets to the Live Stream here, and join us in digital spirit!

See you there!

Newsletter: Getting Social, #techforacause, and moving.

Greetings!

It’s been an incredibly busy summer and I cannot express enough gratitude for all the support I’ve received thus far. There’s been some exciting developments this year and I’m excited about the new projects VanCity Life Coach Inc. is going to be launching and be a part of.

So, what’s new?

-       A new blog post on taming the Ego! - Success can significantly alter our path, and it’s important to keep the Ego in check to ensure we remain true to who we are and our intentions.

-       Introducing the VanCIty Life Coach YouTube channel! – I am trying to make more of an effort with social media, so please do help me spread the word.

-       I’m also very excited to announce that I’m working with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s Innovation Lab, to develop an app to help prevent and reduce domestic violence – a cause I’m deeply invested in.

-       VanCity Life Coach Inc., now also accepts Bitcoin for all coaching programs and packages!

-       New Burnaby Mountain workspace! I have finally opened the doors to my new coaching sanctuary for both clients an coaches-in-training alike, and a place I also call home.

-       Lastly, I want to introduce Sonia Hayre as my new Administrative Manager, and VanCity Life Coach in training! Sonia will be heading a lot of the operations in the new year, and soon the Group Coaching program. Sonia will also train as a Life Coach with a focus on family and relationship coaching! You’ll be hearing more from Sonia in the new year!

There’s more to be mentioned as we approach the fourth quarter, so do keep in touch for more news.

I hope everyone has had a great summer here in Vancouver, and wherever you are around the world, I hope the middle months have treated you well.  As always, do reach out if you’d like to schedule a complimentary consultation; learn about your potential and how you can navigate your life into fulfillment.

 

Always,

Terry Sidhu

Life Coach, VanCity Life Coach Inc.

 

How does life work?

The hardest thing in life is finding the courage to pick up your desires and navigating them to fulfilling life experiences. I hope this video helps you understand how life works, and the importance of navigating your life into fulfilment. - VanCity Life Coach.

In this video, I use a simple children toy to explain how life, essentially, works.

Video bought to you by, Vancouver Life Coach, Terry Sidhu.

There are two types of people in this world…

There are two types of people in this world…

Just imagine how much more successful we all would feel and be, if we could unapologetically self-express, feel safe and secure enough to present our most authentic selves, and communicate to each other honestly and openly.

This is why you're afraid.

DaVinci Vancouver

I’ve been quiet on the social media front for a while, and I’d like to say it’s because I’ve entered a new realm of self-awareness, but in truth it's been busy.

A few months ago, I successfully launched my group coaching program and what started out as a project to make life coaching accessible to the wider community, became an eye opening realization for me.

Imitation = Fear

Imitation is an expression of fear, because we imitate to blend in, to be accepted by society, and for others to notice that we fit in and that we belong. We imitate because we’re afraid of being rejected should we ever reveal our truest selves.

Many of us, predominately in the West I feel, are searching for that sense of belonging from a very early age. Think about how a toddler behaves, they walk around confidently, wearing the rawest version of themselves. Forever curious, they’re always in search of answers. Although it may not last too long, toddlers are also very compassionate, incredibly loving and confidently expressive.

I think as conscious awareness develops, there comes a time when we become curious about ourselves and our place in this world, and I think it’s at this crucial point when fear of expression starts to develop. It’s like we spend most of our lives slowly breaking free from a cocoon and once free, we’re very quickly misguided.

As we develop some independence we turn to the world around us for guidance on this human experience. However, the world is still very much an unequal place and as we receive its messages, predominantly through mass media, the majority of us feel underrepresented. When we do not see ourselves being represented, we quickly learn to feel that this is a world in which we do not belong, so what do we do? We imitate.

We buy into popular trends, we follow false idols, and we mimic those who are presented as most-self-actualized. We often do this so blindly that it becomes normal, until the distance between who we really are and who we’ve presented ourselves to be is so wide, that we become afraid to face the truth, and/or unsure of it.

It develops an anxiety of sorts, an uncertainty about the future and thus the quest for happiness continues to be a trivial pursuit. We feed fear each time we deny ourselves the opportunity to be liberated.

Creating a safe space.

In just under 8-weeks my group members had shown phenomenal personal growth. The majority of my clients started out the program feeling insecure and unsure about their future. Towards the end, they all reported feeling happier and unafraid to explore their potential, and reported feeling sure about where they’re headed in life.

I think the success of the group coaching program, was largely due to being a safe space for participants to reconnect with and explore their truest selves, and realize that they’re not alone. I think for many it was the first time they understood how their identities became so blurred and as the weeks progressed, participants became more expressive and compassionate toward one another.

The program became a safe space for them to freely explore their potential without limits. For example, I had one participant who started out as this rigid, hyper-masculine character and he joined the program wanting to learn how to be more productive, and maximize his earning potential. Towards the end, we learned that his procrastination and lack of fulfillment were down to pursuing a path he did not align with, nor particularly enjoy. He had spent so much time imitating an identity attached to confidence and wealth, that he became afraid to pursue something he was actually passionate about and good at, which was art. He learned how to set goals mindfully and how aspirations are achieved, and now he’s enrolling in design school alongside his 9 to 5, to pursue a career where he can do what he loves and impact social change.

In my trial group, I had a participant who joined the program to learn about her place in the world. She was uncertain about her relationships and felt anxious about pursuing her independence. In the program, she learned to trust her emotions for guidance and it turned out, she didn’t fit the image of conventional relationships, of which she was afraid of:

What are you afraid of?

I suppose we can measure fear by how much of our lives we spend imitating others. The world accepting us for how well we imitate it, is not the world accepting us. We’re merely helping the powers at be reinforce their egos. If we want to be represented then we must show the world who it is that needs representation. However, chances are we’re all one of a kind and when we accept this we probably won’t care for representation, because instead we’ll be seeking only inspiration.

Remember the key to fulfillment, in any aspect of life, is a strong and affirmed identity.

Be you. Be inspired. Be Inspiring.

What is Integration?

At the start of 2017 I officially launched a complete integration program, and started harm-reduction consulting 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, therefore first, integration helps us acknowledge and accept that each system coexist. Then, the process guides them on utilizing the positive aspects of each and develop from the negative aspects of each to reduce harm and difficulty in life. Thus, successfully integrating the alternative system(s) into the primary one; helping you develop a new equilibrium if you will.

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.

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 next set of group sessions will commence in July of 2018. 

Course cost: $599.00

Duration: 8-Weeks

Commencing: July 2018 (Exact launch Date tbd)

Group Size: 6 People

 

 

 

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.

This post was written by Terry Sidhu.

Don't be shy:

How to Make Decisions

Post by, Vancouver Life Coach

right-way-wrong-way2

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

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