I want to tell you about a man who never knew how amazing a parent he truly was – my father

My father was the first father in Oakville to be awarded sole custody of his children….I was four years old and my brother was only one. My dad made every weekend an absolute delight. We hiked, biked, canoed, camped, and skiied regularly. We spent hours and hours at the library, Ontario Place, Harbourfront, Bronte Park, Algonquin, Grandview ..and so many other incredible places. We travelled all over Canada. He took us to meet Eskimos in the Yukon, went panning for gold and it was there that I caught my first fish with a smaller fish inside…

He made us tiny pancakes, cut all sorts of incredible shapes out of apples, made us ice cream cones with delicious candies embedded inside. We watched “Emergency”, the “Beachcombers” and Disney movies every Sunday night. He took us to the variety store where he taught us how to spend money wisely; he also taught us how to save. He converted an old tv into a puppet theatre. He watched every show my brother and I put on for him. He converted boxes into robots. We made forts with him in the snow and the leaves, as well as in our blankets and chairs inside. When it was a special occasion, he cut footprints out of paper and we had to follow them around the house to find our presents. He bought us big helium balloons and special, meaningful gifts. He went to a lot of work every April Fools’ Day. And Christmas was so abundant. When I only received one toy but a lot of clothes one Christmas, I cried. My Dad comforted me and explained that I was growing up and I didn’t need that many toys anymore. When we got home from visits with our mom, we found newspaper clippings on our desks that he thought would interest us, small items he thought we would like, and notes he had written us.

When my father put my brother and myself to bed, he told us wonderful stories that he made up all by himself. We spent hours each night in an even more beautiful world than this one. I used to have many nightmares. One night, my dad picked me up from my bed in my nighty and took me to the end of the driveway and set a fire there for me. We roasted marshmallows together.
My dad called me “Twinkle Toes” because of my zest for life. He told me I was brave. He told me I was important. He told me I could do anything and I knew he believed it. He told me when I made smart decisions. He helped me sort the lies out from the truth; I could always count on him to always be honest with me. He taught me values. He modelled integrity and hard work. He helped me with my school work, explaining the tricky concepts to me. My brother and I respected him so much that we never misbehaved. And we both knew how much love our father had for us; his eyes said it all.

When I reached the age of ten, my dad remarried. Our whole world turned upside down. My father put my stepmom in charge of raising us. We hardly saw him after that. He climbed to great positions in the corporate world. Years later, I came to realize that my Dad never knew his importance in our lives. He never knew what an incredible father he had been to us. My mother, nanny and then stepmom caused such pain for us that subconsciously he felt he had failed us.

My dad no longer speaks to me. He lives across the country from me. I never was able to convince him of what an amazing father he was. He has other children with my stepmom and they are a big part of his life now that he is retired: I am happy he is not alone. But I believe he hurts every day because he feels he failed my brother and me. I will always love my dad and be grateful for those first 10 years of my life with him. I hope that whatever my dad is doing today, he has a good Father’s Day.

Lens of the Heart

Here are some excerpts from the hour long talk I gave at the Mindful Parenting conference last fall. You can see that there are many simple steps one can take to improve their relationship with their child and themselves. 🙂

I help parents understand this material in one-on-one sessions as well.

A Letter to My Daughters This Mother’s Day

When I met the father of my girls, I told him that having children would be the most important thing I ever did with my life. This baffled him because I was such a corporate girl, at the time. Shortly after we were married, I even went so far as to tell him that I thought we should apply for adoption, in case we were never able to have children. That’s how important having children was to me.

Giving birth and raising my girls has been the greatest pleasure of my life. And having my girls led me to my calling. Because of what they taught me, I get to be a “mother” to many individuals, through my company “The Resourceful Mother”.

I am dedicating this blog post to my girls, Taylor and Paige. Oh boy, the tears have already started welling up in my eyes…

Dearest Taylor and Paige,

Your bodies taught me the value of eating healthily and we can see the results of doing so in all aspects of our lives. Your emotions have shown me the value of truly feeling, then encouraged me to learn how to process those emotions properly and, in turn, allowed us to always find the perspective we needed to heal from any situation. Your minds have challenged me to find greater wisdom, guiding us to learning unique information about this world. Your spirits caused me to probe deeper into what lies beyond that which we are able to see and, as a result, we know that we are never alone on this planet and that there are a multitude of beings that help us each and every day. Your hearts, open wide right from the start, pried mine wide open, which then allowed us to keep our hearts wide open, as we navigated the trials of being human.

I was not truly living until the two of you entered my life. I owe my energetic body, my deep joy, my unique wisdom, my deep connection to spirit and my great love and respect for myself and others to the two of you. And I now know that this is an opportunity that EVERY parent has when they give birth and raise a child.

We have spent almost 18 years learning from one another. This fall, you head off to university, Taylor. I don’t feel any pulls at my heart strings because I know I have done my job and you have done yours; I have full confidence that you have everything you need to venture forth in this world. And Paige, you will enter grade 11, and through your co-op, you will decide the direction you will take in venturing forth in this world. I have full confidence that you will make the right decision for you. Whether or not either one of you makes the large contribution to this world that you plan to make, our souls have evolved in the direction they were meant to go in.

I am infinitely grateful for the two of you. I thank you for the depth of our connection and for the profound joy and never-ending love that we experience. I thank you for giving me the family I always wanted so badly. Thank you for allowing me to celebrate the gift of YOU each Mother’s Day and every day of my life.

All my love and appreciation,

Mama

Easter – A Time to Love and Respect Ourselves

In Part One of this blog, we learned how to forgive another.

How do we know when we have forgiven another?

We have forgiven another when we can be around them or speak to them without being negatively affected by them. We no longer let what they do or say to us control our self-respect or well-being. The state we reach is called “detachment”. When we are detached, we can disagree with another but still love them. We no longer feel that we have to defend ourselves nor do we fear that they will trigger our old hurts. We see their pain or suffering, often coming to the realization that they don’t love themselves. And we know that their lack of love for themselves has NOTHING to do with us. As I say in my second book “If we can eventually reach the point where we no longer blame another but say instead, “I don’t believe the part of you that hurt me is who you really are,” then we know we have forgiven.”

It is important to know that once we forgive another, we don’t need to remain in a relationship with them. If they continue to disrespect us or refuse to act with love in their heart, the relationship can safely end.

In Part Two of this blog, we learned how to forgive ourselves.

How do we know when we have forgiven ourselves?

We have forgiven ourselves when we replace self-rejection with self-acceptance. When we don’t like ourselves, we attract people and events that reflect those negative feelings about ourselves; we see this turning around once we have forgiven ourselves. When we start taking responsibility, we start feeling worthy of receiving what we desire; we let go of our unhealthy patterns and decrease the frequency and intensity of the negative experiences in our lives. This results in greater self-control and a calmer existence. The forgiveness leads to accepting, respecting and eventually loving ourselves – even when we act crazy or feel jealous or sad at times! When we can truly love ourselves for who we are, that is the beginning of our freedom as humans and that is when everything good comes into our lives; we literally reprogram our future. We can refer to this stage of our lives as our “rebirth”.

On this Easter Sunday, I want you to have a glimpse into what it means to experience rebirth from an emotional standpoint. Our rebirth means we have come to love and respect ourselves like never before and have let go of our biggest unhealthy patterns. Throughout our lives, we work on loving and respecting ourselves more and more.

What does our rebirth feel like?

I provide a many-page description of this in my second book but I want to give you a glimpse of this stage of our lives for it is truly incredible, once we reach it. When we love and respect ourselves, we have taken responsibility for our actions and words, worked with our emotions and set healthy boundaries with others. Because of taking these steps over and over, we feel safe and others feel safe with us. We move away from conflict and drama, no longer needing it to fill our egos, and our lives become more peaceful. Our happiness and peace are no longer attached to people behaving in a certain way or things going our way. We are happy, peaceful and in a state of grace, even if things don’t go the way we want them to. The amount of peace we feel becomes our measure of accomplishment. We don’t become immune to pain but we become better equipped to handle it. When we love ourselves, we apply love to each situation and get faster at seeing the gift in every circumstance. We see life as a gift; we are grateful for that gift and life delivers. We luxuriate in the richness of life because we know we deserve it.

If you need help with any of the steps to forgiving others or yourself or experiencing your rebirth, I am here for you. Helping others heal physically and emotionally is my BIGGEST passion and I truly know how to do it. Wishing you the happiest of Easters and sending each of you an Easter bouquet of love, compassion, peace and joy! Your Easter Egg hunt of reading my three blogs and taking your inner journey over this important weekend is now officially over…. or is it?

Easter – A Time of Forgiveness and Rebirth

It is Easter – a time of forgiveness and rebirth, if we so choose. I have come to realize that there are three main reasons why many of us are reluctant to forgive:

  1. We think that forgiveness means that we condone the actions of another or agree with their incorrect thoughts on something.
  2. We think that we need to tell another that we forgive them, essentially rewarding them.
  3. We don’t have the information we need i.e. the truth to forgive them.

Forgiveness does NOT mean we condone the actions or agree with the thoughts of another. It does not mean that everyone suddenly gets along and lives happily ever after! It does not mean we are weak or lacking in principles or intelligence. Why our society has been led to believe this is beyond me and we have been so inhibited by this incorrect definition of forgiveness.

In my second book, I explain that “Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves.” Forgiveness means that we consciously decide that we are not going to let another take over our lives or our thoughts. We are not going to remain angry or seek vengeance nor are we going to act like a victim, as a result of the actions or thoughts of another. And we DON’T need to tell another that we have forgiven them; we can if we want – it is our choice! I further explain in my book that “Forgiveness is the only way we can heal; we need to forgive for our own health and well-being…the gift of forgiveness is emotional freedom. It gives us peace of mind. If we hold onto our resentment, we give control over our emotional well-being to the person who hurt us…when we hold grudges, our love for ourselves cannot grow. We remain victims and we deprive ourselves of healthy, fulfilling relationships, allowing unhealthy patterns to take hold.”

Forgiveness means coming to see those who hurt us with new perspective. It IS easier to forgive another if we have certain information; for example, if we were emotionally abused by our parent and we learn that our parent was emotionally abused by their parent, our hearts can be filled with compassion more easily. But we don’t need to glean information on another in order to forgive them. We can simply come to understand that a person CANNOT hurt another, unless they are in pain themselves. Every single individual that is unhappy or is acting without integrity is hurting inside. When we know this, we can stop seeing what another did to us and we can look at their pain instead.

On this Easter weekend, I invite you to make a list of the individuals you have not forgiven. I invite you to spend time reading and re-reading the above words to remind yourself as to what forgiveness really is. I invite you to really see the pain those individuals are actually experiencing, every single day of their lives. If you can’t see it, ask someone that knows them well if they can see it. One thing I have learned well from coaching others is that EVERYONE knows when they have done wrong by another, unless they have a mental illness.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog where I will teach you about forgiving ourselves. Easter Sunday’s blog will be all about our rebirth. As you watch a child in your life discover one egg after another on their Easter egg hunt, I will imagine you making your own discoveries, on your own Easter egg hunt, reading my three blogs. For any of you that know me, you know this will be the greatest gift I could receive this Easter weekend.

Happy Easter, Lovelies!

Christmas Hearts Wide Open

christmas-hearts-open-wideThere is no other time of year where our hearts collectively open this WIDE. May you notice this in yourself and in those you love and drink it all in, along with some other choice beverages 😉

My girls and I wish you the merriest of Christmases and the very best this holiday season, xoxo

Meredith

Life Coaching for me…

life coachingI was recently on a boat with a group of men that I didn’t know…yes, myself and four men…and they were guy’s guys, hard working, down-to-earth men. A few hours into the trip, they asked me what I did for a living. When I told them I was a life coach, one of them said “Well, I always thought that was rather a bogus profession. You are not a therapist and you are not a psychologist; what can a life coach really do?” Oh, how I love honesty… and challenging individuals; it must be the Aquarian in me. I responded by saying “Well, actually, the people I help the most with life coaching are guys in their twenties that are suicidal. They don’t want to see a therapist or a psychologist; most people don’t. I help these guys see themselves, their lives, and the people in it, with new perspective.” The men asked me if I had ever lost one of them and I was happy to tell them that I had not.

They asked me who else I help. I told them that one of my favourite things to do is to help family members or couples, who do not get along, forge a closeness they haven’t experienced in years, if ever. I told them that I could help any two individuals become close to one another, as long as they had the desire to become closer to one another. I explained that I have them stand on hearts and speak from their hearts to one another (as opposed to speaking from their heads) and that by the end of emptying their hearts, they stand together, on their two hearts, fully understanding one another and united.

The men were definitely interested in this. They asked me what helps me the most in my coaching. I said “My lack of judgment; I have come to understand that it’s very rare. When people know that I truly understand and love them, they feel safe to really open up and share their deepest fears and regrets with me. Their ability to be completely honest with me, allows me to truly help them.” This, of course, begs the question “How can you love people you have just met?” And my answer is “Because when you go through challenge after challenge and you come to love and forgive yourself, as well those that hurt you, you can’t help but be brimming with love for everyone that crosses your path.” Thank goodness, we didn’t have this part of the conversation or the guys would have likely thrown me overboard!

There are four other tools that help me with my life coaching:
1. The powerful questions that I ask so that my clients can search within themselves for their right answer and insight. I can never know the right answer for a client nor can I know when the timing is right for them to make a change.
2. My knowledge of holistic nutrition so that we can determine if there is a nutrient deficiency contributing to their lack of energy, depression or other challenge. And so that I can explain the emotional connection to their physical challenge or to any food/drink cravings they might have.
3. My ability to present individuals with options as to how to look at things and how to move forward. I find that people can’t always have the perspective they need on their own lives.
4. This one is my secret…only my clients know it!

I have been an accredited life coach since 2012 but I have studied people physically, mentally and emotionally my whole life. Don’t ask me about world events, finances or technology. Ask me about people and I will tell you everything you want to know. I am honoured to have been asked to help the suicidal teens in Woodstock, Ontario; I go there tomorrow with a group of other life coaches.

If you love this blog, won’t you vote for us?  You’ll find the link in the sidebar to the right of this post. If you are reading this post via email, please click here to be taken to the website where you’ll find the vote box.  All you have to do is click on the box. There is nothing more required!  This automatically registers a vote for my blog. It’s quite simple.  Thank you for your support.

As always, I welcome your feedback. Would you like to connect? You can reach me via email or phone, leave a comment right here on the site, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website.

Until next time,

Meredith

Stress – Its Underlying Cause

what causes stressStress is the underlying cause behind much of the illness we experience. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a perfect example of a stress-induced illness. But what is the root cause of stress? When we experience stress, we are resisting the flow of life. Stress is not caused by the circumstances of our lives but by our reaction to the choices we have made that result in the circumstances of our lives.

When the circumstances of our lives or people don’t meet our approval, we focus our energy on trying to control or change our external circumstances or the people in our lives. Or we bend over backwards to please the people in our lives. Why do we give our power away in this way?
We expend a massive amount of energy trying to change our external circumstances or other people. We also expend a massive amount of energy trying to conceal the pain of our past. Anything we want to change or we’re afraid of or angry about or refuse to accept will keep us attached to our past and the beliefs or expectations that stemmed from our past. Resisting what is will never make it disappear.

How do we recognize our stress?
We know we are resisting i.e. experiencing stress when we experience physical manifestations such as a stiff neck, clenched jaw, headache, stomach ache, sighing and tightness in the chest, just to give a few examples. Once we recognize where our resistance or stress is anchoring in our body, we are able to identify it and the triggers more easily.

The root cause of all stress
The root cause of all stress is a lack of love and belief in ourselves. These feelings generate fear …fear of saying “no”, fear of setting boundaries with others, fear of putting our own needs first, fear of not having the approval of others, fear that we cannot survive without a certain job or partner….

What do we need to do to let go of our stress?
“The crucial times to let go are when you feel the strongest urge not to” (The Path to Love by Deepak Chopra page 170).

Once we accept that this is the way it is going to be with this job or this situation or this person or this quality about ourselves that we don’t like, we can stop resisting and let things flow effortlessly. This concept is referred to as “surrendering.” Our ego mistakes surrendering for failure and the end of power, but when we surrender, we transcend our ego and let go of control of circumstances over which we really never had any control anyway. We can stop forcing things and simply allow things to happen. We are most powerful when we are working with life rather than against it. Surrendering is stopping ourselves from doing the things that make us miserable, crazy or self-hating. When we stop abusing ourselves, love and healing can move in. This is when we can determine what we need to do to create joy in our lives.

What are you going to do differently in your life to ensure you experience the most joy in your life this holiday season?

If you love this blog, won’t you vote for us?  You’ll find the link in the sidebar to the right of this post. If you are reading this post via email, please click here to be taken to the website where you’ll find the vote box.  All you have to do is click on the box. There is nothing more required!  This automatically registers a vote for my blog. It’s quite simple.  Thank you for your support.

As always, I welcome your feedback. Would you like to connect? You can reach me via email or phone, leave a comment right here on the site, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website.

Until next time,

Meredith

6 Ways to Protect your Family from Viruses, including Ebola

ebola virusPretty much every year, the media scares the majority of us with news of the latest virus that is making individuals sick or worse. Viral infections that have hit the world in recent years include H1N1, West Nile Virus, Norwalk Virus, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and Ebola, amongst others. Here are 6 areas of our lives to focus on if we want to protect our families and make them virus resistant and the healthiest possible: Continue reading

4 Dietary Causes and Other Help for Sleep Challenges

kids trouble sleepingIf babies awake a few times a night, that’s normal. However, if babies are up every few minutes or every hour, you may have a sleep challenge on your hands. When it comes to children, it is ideal for them to sleep for at least 8 hours in a row. If a child awakes and feels rested within 5-10 minutes, they are getting enough sleep. When a child is tired, nothing is easy. Here are 5 possible repercussions of insufficient sleep including dietary causes:

  • The challenge of feeling tired.
  • A compromised immune system, increasing susceptibility to food sensitivities and sickness.
  • Diminished mental function, increasing their risk of harmful accidents
  • An increased focus on the negatives rather than the positives
  • Appetite changes (a child might eat more to gain energy or eat less because they are too tired)

Here are 4 dietary causes of sleep challenges: Continue reading