We are each gifted with an incredible superpower. Its something that is always with us no matter where we go and if honed, has the power to transform our life is we are willing to listen.
Our intuition is that gut response, that tug tug on our heart and the feeling when you just know. Our intuition comes before the fears, doubts and limiting thoughts... it is our soul trying to make contact and guide the way.
A few things I've learned about intuition along my journey is that once you see, you can't unsee, meaning when your intuition sends you an answer to a question it will go from a whisper to a scream if you if you don't take action on the message.
When I was younger, I always dreamed about living in LA. I loved the vibe, the warmth, the nature and the people. Flash forward to my adult life living in Toronto where everything in my life was going well but I still had a nagging feeling - "don't forget about your LA dream." It didn't make much sense to move. I had a ton of friends and family, a thriving business and owned my condo and was not American, but still I heard that voice. So I listened.
It took a lot of work to move past the fear and doubts I had about moving to another country, far from friends and family to run my business in a place where I had to rebuild my community from scratch. After taking the leap, it was like the little voice inside my head let out a great big ahhhhh and I am armed with the knowledge that when you listen to your intuition, anything is possible.
Our intuitive gifts are not just available to some, we all have the ability to access this power, however you must learn how to get quiet enough to listen. It can take time to develop the discernment between our fear and our intuition, and to know which internal voice to listen to because it isn't always the rational one.
What to lead with your intuition but aren't sure how to start? I've got you covered.
Harness your Superpower
1. Tune in: Our intuition is often the loudest when we get quiet. Build time into your schedule where you are truly in silence. Turn off your music, put your phone on airplane mode, remove yourself from the distractions of Netflix or even a book and just sit with yourself. The longer you sit the more your mind might drive you crazy, but once it settles, what's left behind is the soft quiet voice of your soul.
2. Write it out: Often our intuition comes out through automatic writing. I practice this by journaling out my thoughts first thing in the morning as a free flow of whatever comes through. If you're searching for an answer to a question or guidance on a decision, try this tip. Write out the specific question or situation you want guidance on as the last thing you do before you close your eyes and hit the pillow. When you wake up in the morning, before turning on your phone, brushing your teeth or even getting out of bed, grab your journal and write down whatever comes up. This is the voice of your intuition, before you have had the chance to fill your mind with the noise of the day. Chances are what you're seeking will come through on the page of your automatic writing.
3. Feel: We have 85 billion neurons in our minds, 100 million in the gut and 40, 000 in our hearts. We fall into the pattern of only listening to our minds when there are other centers in the body to inform us of answers. Feel into what the body has to say. An example is a feeling in your gut as a warning when something is off or an openness in your heart when something feels in alignment. When you go about your life, notice how things feel in your body as opposed to how you mightthinkabout then in your mind.
Last week we talked all about control and what we actuallyhave control over in our lives (instead of perceived control). If you missed it or want a refreshed read , you can check out the full post.
Today let's explore the flip side of control, the concept of surrender.
The most popular book on the subject is Michael Singer's The Surrender Experiment, which is his own personal story experimenting with practicing surrender. He decides to no longer let his personal fears and desires dictate his life and decides to surrender to what life had in store for him. This radical decision lead him to both challenges and successes, all the while on a journey of living life on his terms.
Surrendering into the flow of life is something I've worked hard on over my years of being an entrepreneur and despite what it seems, still continue to work on. Surrender is not something that came naturally to me, being a perfectionist with an A-type personality. I've had to learn where to soften into what is, to let go of the control that I thought that I had and to adapt to situations as they change.
It is NOT easy and will always be a practice but it is SO WORTH IT.
Here are some tips I've collected on the way and found super helpful.
Tips for Surrendering
1. Life is happening FOR us not TO us: This simple change in perspective has allowed me to surrender into nearly any situation that comes my way, knowing there is always a lesson and purpose even in the challenges. This has allowed me to be okay with the natural ebbs and flows of life.
2. Releasing timelines + expectations: SO much of our disappointment and desire for control come from preconceived notions, expectations and timelines we've set out for ourselves in an attempt to control outcomes. There is usually a bigger power at work on our behalf, so each day it's important to notice where you're projecting your expectations, holding onto a timeline and taking yourself out of the present moment. Experiment with letting that go focus on what is going well. See if anything changes.
3. Determine what you can and can't control: In any given situation there are things you CAN control and a lot that you can't. You can always control how you respond to situations, the thoughts that swirl in your mind and ultimately how you move through your day. That's it! You can't control what others are thinking, how they will behave or what external situations come your way, so by focusing on you and what you can control for yourself, you ultimately surrender the rest.
4. Make no plans: Full surrender might not work for you all the time especially because as humans we thrive on structure and boundaries. One way to bring surrender into your life slowly is to block off 1 afternoon, or evening a week where you make no plans and have no agenda. Dedicate this time solely to yourself and ask 'what do I want to do, and what does my body need', and see what comes up. Surrender to what you need or desire in that moment and play around with what happens. Maybe you find yourself somewhere you never expected or in a different situation than you're used to. The possibilities are endless!
Your own personal architect
Let's talk about control...
There is SO much in this life that is out of our hands and that we truly have zero control over, yet we drive ourselves crazy thinking we do.
Have you ever stopped to think about what you do have control over? The truth it's actually not much, except for what is happening in your own mind.
Focusing energy on controlling your thoughts helps you to understand yourself better and also helps get the desired results in your life.
There is so much evidence to support the power of positive thoughts. When you choose good thoughts, it literally raises your vibration. You attract more positivity and opportunity in your life, and they are literally healthier for your body, mind and soul than negative ones.
Negative thoughts are like junk food, they feel SO GOOD to indulge in and are often the path of least resistance but at the end of the day, week, month, year, they leave us feeling empty, with lower energy, and attracting more negativity which then perpetuates the downward cycle.
Neuroplasticity shows us that what we think, do and pay attention to, changes the structure and function of our brains. Meaning that what you focus on expands.
Think of your thoughts as the architects of your destiny. When you choose ones that are positive, they help build and create the destiny and life that you're dreaming of.
Are you ready to take more control over your life?
Here are four simple ways to keep your thoughts positive and on track to building out the life of your dreams.
1. Surround yourself with positive people: We are the sum of the closest people to us. Take stock of who you spend the most time with in your life. Is their attitude positive or negative? How do you feel energetically around the people you spend the most time with? Do they raise you up? It's important to spend time with positive and inspiring people, because guess what, positivity is contagious!
2. Intentions: Setting an intention at the beginning of every day is a great way to refocus on creating positivity and striving towards your goals. Take a few minutes each day to write out how you want to feel.
3. Practice Forgiveness: Humans aren't perfect, and no matter how hard you try to think positively all the time, that just isn't realistic. When a negative thought comes in, begin to practice forgiveness and self-love. Be aware of the thought, forgive yourself, then let it go and strive for choosing positively the next time. Progress over perfection always.
4. Do activities that make you feel happy!: This may seem like a no brainer but I'm telling you, we often FORGET to do things that make us smile! Toss on your favourite tune and sing and dance around your kitchen, get outside and move your body, LAUGH, watch a funny movie... whatever it is that raises the corners of your mouth, do it often to keep the vibes high and the living fun :)
Have you ever planted a seed in your garden?
Do you come back the next day and think - why the heck isn't this seed a full plant or flower yet?!
If you are anything like me, you have probably done something like that once or twice before...
We consciously KNOW that it takes time for a seed to grow into a full plant. But when it comes to the seeds we plant in our lives, we are often a little less patient.
I've been learning about vertical leadership development and what it takes for us to grow from one stage to the next.
A key trait of an interdependent leader (the highest tier) is the ability to take yourself off the roller coaster of emotion associated with success and failure and embrace uncertainty as a constant.
An interdependent thinker thinks strategically, has a longterm vision and actively ENJOYs and appreciate the process of creating something new and watching it grow over time.
Essentially, and interdependent thinker learning how to enjoy the process of tending to his or her garden, knowing that there will be both bloom and death.
So let me ask you...
What kind of thinker are you?
1. Dependent thinker: You are generally a conformer, a team player, a faithful follower, reliant on authority, seek direction and align with others.
2. Independent thinker: You are an achiever, someone who is self-directed, drives an agenda, takes a stand for what you believe in, and are guided by an internal compass.
3. Interdependent thinker: You are a collaborator, you see systems, patterns and connections, are a longterm thinker, hold multi-frame perspectives and holds contradictions.
Check out these reflection questions to support your 'thinking' about how you think!
1. Which definition did you most relate to and why?
2. What longterm goals are you working towards?
3. Where can you bring more patience into your personal or professional growth process?
4. How can you enroll others in your vision?
5. Are you actively celebrating small wins while staying committed to the process?
This week with Canada Day & the 4th of July happening, two holidays that celebrate freedom and independence, I've been thinking a lot about what freedom means to me.
Freedom is having the ability to act or change without constraint. It is the ability to think and do what you want without consequences. It is the gift of just being as you are.
Freedom can also be applied to choice. Having the freedom to create your own work schedule, freedom of creative expression, choosing who you love, where to live and what faith you believe in. Freedom comes in choosing courage over comfort, love over fear and living a life with intention.
I've been extremely blessed in my life with the privilege and citizenship that gave me the freedom to choose these things and where I felt able, safe and supported to make choices for myself that embodied freedom.
Others have not been as lucky. I am ready the book The Choice by Dr. Edith Eva Eger, a 91 year old Holocaust survivor who endured time in Auschwitz and lost both her parents and beloved to the war. She was robbed of all of her choices during that time except the ability to choose her mindset.
Her story is incredibly inspiring to me. It shows that no matter what situation you are - you always have the ability to choose.
This week, whether you are Canadian celebrating Canada Day, American honouring the 4th of July or from somewhere else in our big beautiful world, I invite you to reflect on freedom and what it means to you with the following journaling prompts.
1. How do you define freedom?
2. Where in your life do you feel free to be exactly who you are? Where do you not?
3. What can you do to be more free this summer?
4. How can you celebrate the aspects of your life that are full of freedom?
5. How can you support others in feeling free?
Ahhh summer, can you feel it in the air? The days are nearly at their longest, energy is palpable, and nature is in full bloom.
We as humans are a part of nature, so naturally, as the seasons ebb and flows, so do we. With the Summer Equinox coming in a few weeks I can feel the winds of change bringing in this fiery new season we anticipate all year long.
Summer brings in more energy which means that we are generally more productive or creative and also tend to want to socialize more. You may feel called to take risks, stay out late enjoying time with friends, travel, take advantage of summer Friday's at work, or indulge in happy hour on a patio. We are truly solar powered beings, so with more hours of sunlight, we take the sun's rays and turn it into energy we can use.
Have you thought about what you're going to do with the extra daylight hours?
If you're like me, I ALWAYS want to do ALL THE THINGS, and this get's magnified in the summer. I am all for taking advantage of this surge of energy, however it's helpful to be strategic in order to maximize the time you have, not get burnt out or overwhelmed and fully take advantage of all summer has to offer.
Make the most out of Summer
1. Set an Intention: There is so much we can take advantage of each summer; social events, celebrations, trips, that long list of things you kept putting off all winter. Setting an intention and creating a prioritized list of what you truly want and can realistically accomplish will help keep you focused on what is truly important.
2. Schedule in down time: A tricky one to do anytime, but it's extra important over the summer. This is our time to enjoy the energy, but also to recharge so we can carry forward this momentum into the Fall and Winter. The sun acts like a huge battery charging us up so make sure you get in some times to soak up the sun, relax, read a book and chill too.
3. Stick with your non-negotiable routines: I've talked about non-negotiables before + lately about morning routines to help me ground before the day begins. While you may feel relaxed during the summertime, don't let the important habits you have put into place fall to the wayside. Maintaining your healthy behaviours will help to stay on track and avoid a crash in energy once the summer ends.
4. Use Nature's Momentum: This time of year everything is growing and there is a budding life force pulsing through everything around us. Use that creative energy to work on your own projects! Try a new activity! Make new friends! Summer is a great time to grow your skillset both internally through externally.
Are you in the habit of prioritizing your own needs?
I play around with the concept of selfish/selfless all the time. We think that being selfish is bad, but showing up for yourself, asking what you need, and speaking your truth is the most important thing that you can ever do.
So let me ask you.. do you do everything for everyone else before doing the things you need for yourself? If that's true, it's OK, and recognize how important it is just to notice that this may be a habit for you.
Being an entrepreneur, this is something that I've had to learn how to navigate. When my business is built on supporting others, there is nothing more important to do in my day than take care of myself first. This past weekend I lead 25 incredible leaders through the 6th edition of SPACE Retreat and it was incredible. I taught people how to live in their 'zone of genius' that place that feels effortless AND propels you to success.
Facilitating these retreats are where I am in MY zone of genius zone - BUT - the day after I host, I always take a day to take care of ME and I make sure to schedule it in.
Now you might be thinking, this sounds great and all but what does this actually look like in real life when there are a million things to do, people to answer to and expectations to live up to?
Here are the strategies that I use.
1. Morning Routine - I can't stress this one enough. Waking up a few minutes earlier to have some quiet time alone and unplugged, is the most helpful tip to start your day. Leaving your phone on airplane mode until after you'd had time to tune into yourself is a game changer. Maybe this looks like a walk, a meditation, writing a few pages in your journal, enjoying a cup of your favourite hot beverage or some daily yoga stretches to get the day going, this is the definition of putting yourself at the top of your TO DO list. I recently wrote a blog sharing my morning routine, check it out here.
2. Speak up - When something doesn't work for you and compromises plans you've made, communicate it! People will treat your time with more value if you start to as well.
3. Give yourself permission - All these tips are great, but they will truly only make an impact on your life when you ALLOW them to. That's right, you have to give yourself permission to receive these benefits and to know that you DESERVE to put yourself first, and that it isn't selfish - but truly an act of LOVE. So write it out for yourself if you have to, put sticky notes all over your apartment to reminder yourself that YOU ARE ENOUGH and that you give yourself PERMISSION to take time for you every single day.
Ahh routines, something we love to hate them. I used to HATE routines. Going to the same office, wearing the same clothes... it was just not for me. I wanted to be all FLOW all the time. So I quit my job, moved to a new city, created a business in an entirely different industry and basically had no routine. I thought I'd LOVE this, but it actually DROVE ME CRAZY.
What I've learned over the years of being an entrepreneur is that the structure of routines actually helps me to create more flow and ease in my life, and has allowed me to live life on my own terms. I need both FLOW and ROUTINE in order to thrive. Routines provide the container through which creativity happens.
Routines are helpful due to their consistency, a trait that is key when introducing game changing habits into your life. Without consistency, nothing sticks. So naturally, when you allow yourself to enjoy the consistent routines in your life, you feel grounded, and are therefore more likely to find ease in what you are doing. Just like the centre of the Oreo, it wouldn't stay together or taste as good without the supportive cookie on either side.
This exactly why I created SPACE Retreats. You can expect them to happen consistently throughout the year, every 2 months, and follow a similar structure throughout the day. This allows the community to dream, grow, relax, and create. I've loved this community building routine, and it wouldn't be possible without my own personal morning routine, which has been one of the biggest contributors to my success.
My Morning Routine
Wake up between 7-7:30pm with alarm - yes I am guilty of keeping my phone next to my bed but it is ALWAYS on silent. I also think it is important to mention that bedding and sheets are white - there is nothing like getting into and out of a white bed - I personally just feel cleaner.
I meditate for 15-20 minutes. Sometimes I do silent meditations and other times I will go on youtube and do a guided one. I have really been digging Adyashanti these days.
Then I journal. Sometimes I will write a list of things I am grateful for and other times I just free write down whatever is on my mind.
I walk and feed Frankie and usually like to get my workout done in the AM. I have been loving Pilates at Studio Elevate lately. It is a great workout and I can walk there from my house.
I come home and shower and make a matcha. I have never been a coffee drinker, but I have been enjoying something warm in the morning. Ujido is the brand I have been using and it is delicious. I love making something myself in the morning as opposed to going out and buying it. I find it very grounding and a nourishing way to start the day.
I usually finish all that by 9:30.
What is beautiful about this process is that I can do some form of this no matter where I am. Maybe it's not always Pilates or the matcha is not always homemade but I try and get in some time for reflection, movement and grounding before starting my day - it makes the world of difference!
So you want the key to happiness? Are you ready for it?
It's found in this one simple word, gratitude.
We've all heard this word before, or been told in some way shape or form to count our blessings, give thanks and be grateful for what we have. I'm sure there are some eye rolls going on as you're reading this and might be thinking that the secret to happiness is really in this one concept we've known about our whole lives?!
Ok ok, not much of a secret but developing a strong gratitude practice is literally one of the best superpowers we have in our tool box to keep us high vibe and in our zone of genius. Gratitude can truly transform any situation from an ordeal to adventure. It alters our vibration and has the power to move us from negative energy to positive energy. It's fast, effective and has been a common practice among the top leaders in the world.
Are you ready to embrace your own attitude of gratitude?
Unlock your own path to feeling lighter, happier and more in flow by implementing the strategies below into your daily life.
I'm already grateful they resonate with you.
See what I did there ;)
1. Gratitude Journal: Take a moment either first thing in the morning or just before bed to write out 10 things you are grateful for. This takes less than 5 minutes and will instantly put you in a better head space to either start your day off of zen you out with a smile before sleep. Taking stock of all the great things in your life is a great way to reflect, focus on the positive and honour the blessings you have. Feeling super grateful and have more than 10? Awesome! Write as many as you feel called to. You'll be surprised how many great things are already in your life just waiting to be recognized.
2. Letter of Gratitude: Write a hand written letter to someone you've never properly thanked. This can be recent or from a time in the past. Writing gratitudes for yourself is wonderful, but sharing it with others takes it to the next level! Hand deliver or send via snail mail to have a greater impact than emailing or texting your gratitudes.
3. Turn everything into a gift: Life is always happening FOR you not TO you and turning everything into a gift is a great way to align with the belief. Instead of your normal morning coffee, think of the cup of java as a gift for you. Instead of a long commute, think of it as the gift of time to listen to an inspiring podcast, or sing along to your favourite song. The gift of laughter, the gift of a smile - the gifts are endless!
4. Internal Gratitude: Showing gratitude and appreciation for the externals of your life is hugely important, but it is equally important to turn the gratitude inwards and tell yourself you are grateful for YOU. Practice looking in the mirror and saying "I'm so grateful for you,". Saying it out loud and hearing it in your own voice will help you to solidify it internally and create a new neural pathway in your mind.
5. Gratitude is Contagious: In neuroscience we learn that 'what fires together, wires together', meaning that when you focus on something you start to become more aware of it and therefore see it more often. So, if you choose to focus on the positive things in your life, your brain will naturally start to pick up on more things to be grateful for. The more you practice gratitude, new neural pathways will form in your brain, making the act of seeking of gratitude effortless.
I just spent the weekend in Vancouver, B.C. with my incredible mastermind group and I am feeling inspired, fuelled and excited for all the new creative ideas that came out of this supportive and productive weekend.
What is a mastermind? It's when people come together from different business fields to support each other in levelling up business and personal goals.
My mastermind group gets together once a quarter to discuss our goals, dreams, struggles and ideas. We come together to guide each other through new ideas, to give perspective, to solve problems and to connect to a greater purpose. The unique perspective of each individual really helps the group to grow and helps each of us see things in our businesses that we would not have seen otherwise. This is a concept that I didn't know existed coming from the fashion industry, where competition is the dominant atmosphere. The competitive nature is something I did not take with me when I left the fashion industry. With a mastermind, it's all about collaboration, empowering others so that we can all rise together.
Although we are all in different industries, we are united by our authenticity, integrity and trust in something greater.
Masterminds speak truth to the famous quote,
"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."
When you surround yourself with people who are doing (or being) great things, great things happen.
What does creating a mastermind look like? How do you find your tribe? It takes alignment in your own vision and goals to attract your vibe using the strategies below.
Are you ready to find your tribe?
Finding your Tribe
1. Get clear: In order to truly leverage the brilliance of a mastermind and connect in a meaningful way with like minded individuals, it's imperative to be crystal clear on your vision, goals and dreams. Take time to clarify what your WHY statement is. This is your purpose, your reason and the WHY behind what you do. Knowing this is crucial to being ready for support from others and in offering your own unique perspective to other potential mastermind members.
2. Find your tribe: Think of the people in your life who inspire you. These can be people you're friends with, acquaintances or new people you'd like to meet and connect with. Opening up the conversation about a mastermind can be as easy as saying 'hey, want to support each other so we can both grow in our goals?'
3. Structure your mastermind: In my group, we meet once a quarter and each mastermind member gets a chance to host in the city that they live in. So far, we've been to LA, Vancouver, and have Toronto and Puerto Rico to look forward to this year. We also have a monthly call to connect and stay accountable to each other as we take inspired action towards our goals. The most important thing here is consistency and accountability. We're in constant dialogue through a text chain, lifting each other up and providing support when needed. Because let's get real, entrepreneurship can be a lonely road of days behind your computer - so this way it feels like we are working together.
4. Commitment: Masterminds only work when everyone is committed to the work it takes to be involved in a mastermind, with time and energy, and committed to the growth of the others in the group. These groups work when there are defined expectations during meeting times, and a plan for the year to stay on track and accountable.
Samara Zelniker is a yogi, wine drinker, pet lover and travel junkie.