Focus on your strengths with Erin-Brie Warwick

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  • Take a Deep Breath

    Last week, I had a chat with a good friend. During our conversation, when we found ourselves talking about the Christmas season I began to hear panic in her voice. She spoke faster and faster as she discussed the cooking and baking and family gatherings and holiday-party-attending and gift buying issues. I absolutely love this season, but goodness it can be stressful!!

    Even if you don't celebrate the holiday, you can hopefully relate to this post...to the sheer craziness that the month of December can evoke. So, how can we enjoy this "most wonderful time of the year" with less stress, less emotional turmoil and more joy, peace and...calm?

    Lets take a look at 2 things, pressures and expectations. These can result from internal thoughts and/or external influences. Sometimes, we're truly our own worst enemies. We expect ourselves to: decorate like Martha Stewart, make 20 different holiday dishes (without burning any of them), find the perfect gifts, and the list goes on and on.

    You can't do it all. Or maybe you can, but there's a good chance that your body and mind are going to feel the feel the impact. Look at your to-do list and prioritize. What's the cake and what's the icing...so to speak.

    If you feel over scheduled with holiday events, remember that your own health and sanity is paramount. Everyone is extremely busy and people will understand. If you can, drop in and stay for a short while, or alternatively, thank them for their kind invitation but decline and offer to get together in the New Year when life slows down. In short, stretching yourself thin and stressing yourself out will not benefit you nor the people around you. Ask for help when needed and learn to say no when necessary.This is not an easy thing to do and something that I am continuing to work on myself.

    Another important consideration is your own health and well-being. With life in fast-forward mode, we can find ourselves out of sync with regular routines that keep us level. Sleeping, eating, meditating and exercising patterns change quickly and our bodies and minds struggle to adjust. This also applies to other members of our family, such as our children and spouse...and even the pets! As much as possible, attempt to keep up a normal 'routine'. Try your hardest to keep yourself balanced and practice being kind to yourself. Really. It matters.

    Lastly, I think that at some level we begin to believe that the holiday season is one that should resemble the picturesque scene on the front of boxed cards. That it should have happy families, perfect gifts, smiling children and incredible food. It is difficult to match this level of perfection...and is it even realistic for us to want to? As well, the unspoken expectation in those holiday songs, stories, movies etc. that the holidays are a time of togetherness and love can be heartbreaking to those who are experiencing loss, loneliness, and heartbreak. Having expectations for ourselves is a good thing....but searching for what is truly important for each of us is the most important thing. What the holiday means to me is most likely not what it means to you. We have different interests, beliefs and customs. But I ask you to go back to the source...is it religion, or family, or a sense of peace and good will? Try to focus on the true meaning of the season to you and your family, and look at the rest of it as window dressing....pretty decorations on a strongly rooted tree.

     Seasons Greetings and best wishes for health and happiness.

    Moving you forward, WLS

  • Take a Leap

    You may be able to personally relate to this or in the least, know of people who are undergoing changes (or major overhauls!) in their lives that lead them to new and exciting places.

    Oftentimes, that leap of faith is a difficult one to take. Many of us - most likely all of us at one time or another - find ourselves in a rut, going through the motions of life not feeling much in terms of passion and excitement. Instead we may feel that we are circling in monotonous boredom. This boredom can be an excellent red flag, alerting you to the fact that change is needed. That doesn't mean we have to make drastic changes to our job, relationship etc. but it may mean that we need to set new challenges or goals to achieve.  

    Change is scary stuff. It's one thing to be able to identify that you need to shake things up (and kudos to you for recognizing that change is required) but actually doing it takes much courage, effort and oftentimes, a leap of faith.

    So take a few minutes to think of the big picture. Ideally, what do you see yourself achieving? Where do you want to be?? Take a moment to think about what you love to do, where your talents lie, and at what you're willing spend time growing and improving. Then write it down, draw of picture, cut out photos and quotes, and pin them up. Do whatever it takes to inspire you and to create that clear vision. Don't bite off more than you can chew...take one small step at a time. As a coach, I work with clients to achieve their desired goals. Once that vision is created and goals are formed, it is important to remain accountable to yourself. The path to reaching your goals is often a rocky one. You have to be prepared to stay the course through the ups and downs.

    Remember, that brave first step is often the hardest but to quote Walt Disney, "If you can dream it, you can do it."

    Moving you forward, WLS

  • A Hideaway from the Everyday

    If “a little change will do you good” then a little change of scenery will do you great! I was very lucky to have had the opportunity to spend some time at beautiful Falcon Lake in the ‘Whiteshell’. For those unfamiliar with Manitoba, the Whiteshell is a large provincial park full of everything wonderful that our Canadian Shield has to offer. Although the bugs were out in full force, I can’t really admit to roughing it. The beautiful cabin accommodation certainly didn’t test my camping skills, but did create a space where I had no choice but to slow down and relax for a couple of days (relax...what!?). It’s a strange realization that in fact, it is possible to forget how to truly do that. It was as if I was given the permission to slow down with no obligations and no distractions to divert my attention. What a blessing this was. Although I had to return to reality, I was grateful for the moments that I had to slow down and experience ‘quiet’.

    In our busy lives, how many of us regularly take a few minutes in true ‘quiet’ and find a space where we feel peace and serenity? You may wonder if that’s even possible with kids and/or the busyness of work and life. Of course there was noise at the lake, but it was a different kind of noise. It was awakening to chirping birds, hiking to the top of a cliff and hearing only the wind rushing through the trees, listening to the sound of water against the lakeshore and of a canoe paddle cutting through calm waters. It was peaceful and calming. I returned rejuvenated and ready to tackle the week. Although living in this environment would be sheer bliss, it is not the reality for most of us, so I asked myself, “How can I find this quiet space in my everyday life?” How can I feel that way again in an entirely different environment with so many external distractions that are out of my control?

    Do you have any suggestions on what works for you?
     Moving you forward, WLS



  • A Little Change would do you Good

    Change is inevitable, unavoidable, unquestionable...

    I do believe that life gives us many opportunities for change but we have to be open to these possibilities that surround us and lie before us. Sometimes, however, our lack of awareness of what exists both around and ahead of us comes from our fear of really seeing what is possible. Fear can be almost tangible – causing us to create obstacles to progress or to even set up our own roadblocks. Sometimes it’s easier to maintain status quo than to face the unknown and venture into uncharted territory, exposing ourselves to something new and different. But where is growth without change or triumph without challenge? And how can setting our fears aside and embracing change help move us forward to places we’ve only dreamed of?

    As a coach I am grateful to be a part of the journey that my clients take to identify goals and roadblocks and make the desired changes in order to live their best life. Welcome to Warwick Life Strategies! 

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