vancouver life coach

Mental Health: The “Silent Epidemic” Killing Men

Mental Health in Men

The epidemic may be silent but enough is enough, men, we need to continue and raise the conversation on mental health. Did you know that suicide rates are higher among men, than in women, and that this seems to be a global trend? Furthermore, the suicide rate is steadily increasing with age, which means, guys, the longer we keep bottling up our emotions and suppress what we feel, we’re only more likely to arrive at that point of no return. There's hope though, but keep in mind my advice and concern can only go so far. In truth, only you can truly save yourself, but you’ll have to drop the ego to do so, and let go of every way in which you define yourself as a ‘Man’.

Despite what we’ve been led to believe, we’re not born fearless heroes and we’re not born to rule the world. I promise you that the world will not fall apart if we express a little emotion and communicate the truth about how we feel. In-fact, we’ll be doing the world a favour by doing so, making it more equal and life more liberating for all.

I coach a wide variety of clients internationally, but this year alone I have worked with more men. The number of men I worked with in Vancouver alone has also significantly increased, and first off let me tell you, mental health does not discriminate. Whether you're white and powerful or you’re brown and proud, no one is protected from this. If you're old and wise, or young and resilient, you are not protected from this either. Money, sexuality, what you do for a living, your relationship status, your good morals, your tough exterior, your balanced upbringing, and whichever other way you define and associate yourself with, will not protect you from the emotional ailments that feed on the suppression of truth. So if you think that this does not apply to you, you are very very wrong, and is just another reason why this problem among men has been dubbed a “silent epidemic

Coaching both men and women, I’m constantly learning of the many perspectives people have of the modern day man, and the issue restricting men really comes down to representation and how it shapes expectation. For example, what parents expect of their sons, what partners expect from their men, and what men expect for themselves is something that is probably learnt and not naturally inherited.

Hero

Everywhere we turn there seems to be a representation of men being brave, bold, strong and successful, predominantly fearless in the face of a challenge and affirmed in his character. Physically weaker men and emotionally sensitive men are often portrayed to desire a stronger more masculine exterior, for they’re usually presented as inadequate and unattractive; as the ‘lesser-man’. Watch nearly any mainstream superhero or action movie, and it won't be long before you see these characterizations.

Men with emotional ailments are taught to “man-up”, because, again, it is taught that it isn’t natural for a man to suffer emotionally. It seems the message we receive as boys teaches us that our self-worth is determined by our masculinity, and what it means to be a “Man” - which is a message that is very much incorrect. Now I’m not saying that these representations are negative traits, I mean as men we have little to complain about when it comes to positive representation, but if that’s all we’re represented as, then is it any wonder we have a difficult relationship with vulnerability?

We’re rarely represented in a vulnerable light, which is why the world doesn't expect us to be vulnerable, nor do we really know how to be vulnerable without compromising our emotional integrity. It’s why we fear being seen as vulnerable too, because it conflicts with our learned expectations. As men, we need to widen the representation pool and campaign for more vulnerable depictions of the male identity, and we can only start this process when more of us open up about how we feel behind closed doors. It seems as if we’re programmed to forget that feeling vulnerable is a human trait, and that every man is human. Which I suppose is an accurate statement to make, as we only have to look back at religious texts dating back many millennia - the media of the day - to realize that most Gods and God-like characters in society were referred to as “he” and depicted as men.

God

I work with motivation for a living and as my career develops, I realize everyday the fundamental mistake we make when defining ourselves as men and why so many of us, all genders included, fail to attain any sense of self-realization. Truth is, we put our gender identities before our very own existence. We somehow fail to realize we’re human, and that our conscious experience is a human experience first and foremost, not just a gendered one. Any emotions you see depicted, and every single emotion you experience, they’re all human emotions, and any emotion that humanly exists can impact any one of us at anytime. It’s entirely a myth to believe that men aren't affected by certain emotions, such as: insecurity and anxiety, nor are we resilliant to depression, because they’re all human traits designed to help us navigate through life. Therefore, to deny or suppress such emotion is, from my experience and understanding, an extension of self-harm.

Being a “Man” is the equivalent of playing a character, and it’s when you don't feel like that character, is when you fail to perform - in every interpretation of the word. It’s a human trait to want to survive, so if you’re not feeling like you can go on any longer, and you’re losing the will to live, then drop the role and realize you’re having a human experience, instead of a male one. Don’t think about resolving your issues like a man, you must resolve your issues like a human, unbound by gender.

Crying is a human trait; sadness is a human trait;  fear is a human trait; expression is a human trait; desire is a human trait, and anyone who judges you (yourself included) for any human trait, is just another being who has lost touch with their humanity, and submitted themselves to a restrictive human-like character.

Our human potential is where our focus and attention should be, and exploring life as a human as opposed to just a man, will detach us from the roles and ideologies which meddle with our self-worth and esteem. Deal with your emotional ailments as any human would, and set yourself free from the limiting beliefs of Man.

"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!

Jason-Silva-Vancouver

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.

 

Now accepting Bitcoin!

Life_coaching_Bitcoin

We now accept Bitcoin on all coaching programs and packages!

Contact booking@vancitylifecoach.com to schedule a complimentary consultation.

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.

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 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

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