It’s a marathon, not a sprint :)

One of the misconception I come across about growth, wellness and goals is the idea that one day, we’ll have “arrived”. There is no such thing in my opinion. I believe we are in a constant state of change, evolution, or degradation, depending on what one is doing. There is a constant movement to life, which is another reason for me to love dance so much, dance is life.
That movement can go in various direction, hard, soft, long, short, positive, negative. It never stops though. How we move defines the outcome: did we get the result we wanted, or not.
It appears that as we incorporate new habits we get to a certain level that feels more comfortable and closer to the top goal. I’ll agree with that. I believe in celebrating milestones for what didn’t exist in our life before and is now here thanks to work and dedication. That can go away very quickly if it’s not maintained though. So as we grow and incorporate new things in our lives, we still want to maintain what we want to keep.
In business it looks like this: retaining existing customers as well as developing new markets. A business will not thrive on just one of those, we need both dynamics to grow.
I’ll admit that some things get easier with time and productive habits incorporated in the past can become the new norm. It’s always in good form to check in friends and coaches about where we’re at. Feedback is the breakfast of champions!
I’ll embrace the idea of plateauing for short periods of time, taking a vacation and enjoying the view for a little bit. Then it’s back to work.
We have a whole childhood, and/or past lives depending on your spiritual system, to clean up and own. There is enough there to keep some of us busy for a while.
Then we have our own dreams and desires: what do we want most, why do we want it, how will we get there? That’s an endless source of opportunities to learn new things, to grow in other areas.
Are you planning on not dreaming anymore at some point? Will you check out from the dream train and settle for whatever has been accomplished so far? If the answer is no, then you know there will always be work, always a new habit to incorporate, always a new star to shoot for. That’s the yummy stuff in my opinion: the endless possibility of a dream life, for as long as I live 🙂
How about you? What’s your dream? How are you going to get there? Share below!

Reach for the greatest version of yourself!
Paola
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“It’s my time now!”

For all the Al Pacino fans out there, do you remember that scene in the Devil’s Advocate with Keenu Reeves when Al’s character, the Devil, claims: “This is my time Now!” ? I’ve always loved that part. I believe there is a pivotal time for each of us in our lives, sometimes several times in a lifetime, that tips the scale and leads us to glory. I told a dear friends months ago: “this is our time now” referring to the women movement. The recent events have shown that this is going forward at an exponential rate. I’m beyond excited at the prospect of the feminine being more present in our world, there are strengths and skills to be shared that will make a difference. I also want to share some words of wisdom and caution for the feminine and the masculine.
The feminine may enter this new phase with assertiveness and gusto, and not always enough experience to express in a kind way what we have been repressing for so long. I think of myself as a rather vocal person, and I know I have learnt to be quiet because it was expected or because it required less energy than to convey my true feelings of frustration. As we communicate more freely, we may enter a phase called by Marshall Rosenberg, the “obnoxious phase”. Verbalization is taking place, not always as compassionately and productively as it could be. It’s part of the process though. It won’t be perfect, but at least, it will be happening. Keep going, tweak as you go.
The masculine will have a hard time too. Not for the obvious reason that the men used to getting their way no longer will, but for the kind men that unknowingly have raised themselves offering micro aggression and never knew they were a source of pain. That’s because they were never told. I request patience for the masculine that does wish to be part of the new movement but was never held to develop the vulnerability the feminine craves.I especially feel for them as they have actively supported the feminine, we just didn’t give them all the tools to do the ultimate job. We believe we must be kind and understanding. This is going to be a big change.
I applaud any individual that has the courage to look at life in a different angle and change their way to best honor their authenticity.
Regardless at which stage of your life you do it, know that you are victorious. Some people will die and never experience that glory. High Five to you!

Reach for the greatest version of yourself!

Paola
Grow

Next!

There is an upside and a downside to becoming aware, we’ll talk about the downside today: we become aware of the consequences of our actions. Why is it a downside? Become we need to own our decisions too, which is not always easy.

As long as we are unaware and we just react to what’s happening in life, we can be dismissive, we justify our actions conveniently and we disregard consequences. Becoming aware includes facing up. We’re no longer hiding behind our ego, which can be hard. We then know that the tough conversations do have to take place. We do want to live up to our full potential as a human being and we don’t want to regress. We’ve come that far after all, and going back is more painful than being there in the first place.

What I find really relevant in the state of awareness is when to call “Next”.
I’ve become in the last few years a dedicated networker. I’m all the more dedicated considering I’m a hard core introvert and I taught myself to network. Mingling requires energy and focus for me. I’ve worked hard at developing those skills and I’m all the more excited to use them often and successfully. I learnt to call “Next” after hours wasted listening to individuals showing up for themselves, meetings without the structure I was looking for or a group whose values, or food service, didn’t resonate with me. Regardless of the prestige or potential gain, I learnt to call “Next” to keep serving my authentic self, and therefore, offering to others the best version of myself at that time.
As I mentioned above, I have to own that too. I learnt to share why I no longer do business with some individuals, why I left the party, or the group, or how I felt about the food being served. And I did it in the most kind, non-judgemental and helpful way I knew at the time. That’s a lot of flipping work! And it’s so worth it!

Result? I’m the Queen of time management. I feel surrounded by love and appreciation, most, everywhere I go. And I can truly say that I’m living my purpose. I didn’t even used to give a crap about purpose 5 years ago. Comes to show anything is possible, if we reach for the stars instead of the gutter. That’s the upside of awareness: knowing anything is possible 🙂

Reach for the greatest version of yourself!

Paola
Grow

The Exercise of Gratitude

I mentioned a few weeks ago the difference between conveying gratitude and actually experiencing it. I still stand by that, however, I’m witnessing that many individuals right now are struggling with just finding any gratitude at all. These times are hard and the overall consciousness is gearing more towards negativity, fear and stress than positivity, faith and peace.

Experiencing gratitude has more impact on our life than just having a pleasant moment or enjoyable time with friends. Gratitude is the very foundation for connection and happiness. If we don’t find something to be appreciative for in our life, we’re disconnecting from it. I strongly invite you to stay connected, that’s so important!

What to do if you have a hard time with gratitude right now? Start small.

We all need something to believe in, right? What do you hold as absolute truth in your life that you can be grateful for? It can  be anything. It can be coffee, seriously, start with the fundamentals. Allow yourself to hold for true that coffee is always there for you, it always helps you and you can be grateful for coffee. The point is not coffee, or chocolate, or your best friend. The point is the exercise and the attitude, the approach and the practice. The thought process involved in being grateful for coffee is the same than being grateful for our job, the people in our lives and even the political climate. Gratitude can be found everywhere, it’s harder to find in some areas than in others, that’s all.

There are some things in life we stop doing, for one reason or another, and we go back to doing again at a later date. Like bicycling for example, the body doesn’t forget. Gratitude works the same way. We all know how to be grateful, sometimes we stop, for one reason or another, and we can get back on that bicycle just the same. It will take a little practice and awareness at first, I know you can do it though.

Reach for the greatest version of yourself!

Paola
Grow

Don’t you just love making lists?

I love making lists, it’s the over accomplisher, slightly OCD side of me. I make lists for groceries, to-do’s and fun stuff. I have a list of goals too! And it’s January so let’s talk about goals. Rather let’s talk about ONE goal.

Over 80% of individuals make resolutions every year, that they quit on by the end of January. Why? Resolutions are made to be quit on, compared to goals that are made to be achieved. I invite you to trash your list of resolutions immediately, if you’ve made one. Resolutions come out of frustrations, social pressures and guilt from over indulging during the holidays, that’s why they don’t stick. Your ego comes up with resolutions, your authentic self comes up with the goals.

Goals are dreams with a game plan attached, which makes them more likely to come to fruition. Goals also have a true intention.

For example, a lot of individuals will plan on losing weight gained thanks to Mr Cookie and Lady Champagne. Do we want to lose weight to be healthier? To please our mate? To fit the social standards? The intention will define the outcome. Making a decision based on what other people will think will likely bring resentment and frustration. Setting a goal based on our core belief will fuel us to meet, if not surpass, that goal.

We don’t always meet our goals, we need to tweak the game plan, and that’s alright. That’s part of the process of getting better at whatever we learn to do. Be kind to yourself, be patient. All successful individual have one thing in common: they don’t quit, when it gets hard.

I invite you to:

-Set ONE goal that resonates with your true self

-Make a game plan, measurable, achievable, rewarding

-Reevaluate and tweak as needed

-Treat yourself when you reach your goal (very important)

-Repeat

By setting one goal at a time, you’re more likely to stay focused and make better use of your energy and headspace.

Change is hard, it is achievable with the proper method and intention though. You can do it!

Reach for the greatest version of yourself!

Paola

Grow

For the lucky ones…

First of all, I don’t believe in luck! I’ve been known to say, and often, “there is no such thing as luck!”. I said it once to a high level executive, in front of the store managers during a corporate visit, which stopped everybody on their tracks. It’s good to give individuals something to reflect on, right? And reflection took place, as my favorite manager at the time came to me later that day, and said: “It works both ways!” to which I wholeheartedly agree. I had taken credit for my success that day, and I was ready to take credit for my failures just the same.

I’m really stimulated by people that own their stuff! We live in a blaming culture. we blame the government, the weather, traffic, our coworkers….you get the idea. That being said, we’re very quick at taking credit when we feel we contributed to a successful outcome. In my opinion, as my then manager stated it, it works both ways. you’ll get what you put in.

Is the government acting in a way that doesn’t resonate with you? Did you vote? did you tell your friends to vote?

Is the weather bothering you? You can work with it or against it, the weather is out of your control, how you relate to it is all about you.

Too much traffic? Have you considered a different route or reorganizing your schedule?

Are your colleagues driving you up the wall? There is only so much you can do about how they want to act, however, we always have room to empathize and relate to others.

If any of those comments triggers you to an answer along the lines of: “she doesn’t understand, she doesn’t get it, I have so much to do and there is no other way to do it,..”

I hear you, I’ve been there, there is a way! You can take my word for it or ignore it. That being said, I do wish for more individuals to appreciate that they are the creators of their reality, that they are so powerful and capable. The more we focus on being the victim, the less we have energy to be the creator. I invite you to be a creator as I believe you already are one. Just do it!

So there is no such thing as luck in my opinion. Although I did use that word this morning with a friend and she caught it. She agrees with my perspective of creation. So I paused and I reflected. I felt lucky at that moment in the conversation relating to the fantastic things happening in my life right now. I felt lucky in a grateful way, in a blessed way. I felt lucky to be part of a system, world, planet, community, however we want to call it. Because when you’re part of something bigger than yourself, you want to create more than you may think you’re capable of. And you may find yourself, blessed, happy, voire lucky.

I invite you to create today, and feel grateful for your powers!

Reach for the greatest version of yourself! Don’t miss a post, Subscribe to my blog HERE.

Paola

 

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Embrace mediocrity. Wait! What!?

There is one ongoing thought present with me, pretty much at all time: “How can I do better?” I’m driven, to a fault, to reach excellence. I’m hungry for growth and knowledge, always have been. In my businesses, consulting and dancing, as well as in my private life, I’m always looking at the next level or how I can improve on the present version. It’s a talent and a strong desire, which equips me to help individuals to reach the next level of their life, or a more productive version of it.

I’m also a problem solver, a fixer, aka a-pain-in-the-neck, when that talent is not solicited. All that knowledge accumulated to make things better can work against me when the present version is actually perfect. We don’t want to improve on perfection, there is no need for it. No need either to fix what’s not broken.

So what to improve? And when?

It boils down to a very interesting emotional dance, pun intended, with oneself. That’s when it’s vital to shut down the outside, and inside noise, to really listen to our inner self. What are the emotions at play? Can you name them? The heart never lies. If a situation is welcoming, your heart will tell you. Let’s keep in mind that appearances can be deceiving. A seemingly perfect experience may send your heart for a disturbing spin. On the other hand, a less than extraordinary experience may have your heart at peace. Why is that?

Your heart is the absolute indicator of what needs to be fixed, improved, changed. Or not! Appearances can be confusing and deceptive but your heart never lies. How many times have you had a conversation with a friend stating that they had the perfect job, relationship, vacation planned, but there was no glimmer in their eyes… We’ve all had that conversation, on each side of that table. There is what perfection looks like, and what perfection feels like. I encourage you to focus on the feeling. We live in a culture that is so focused on appearances and what success and happiness is supposed to look like. At the same time, each one of us is absolutely unique. The cultural standards do not possibly fit everybody’s heart’s desires, it simply doesn’t work!

So I invite you to embrace mediocrity in any area of your life because it takes courage to face a situation that is less than ideal. Once you know the area that can use improvement you will start moving in a productive direction. Most importantly, in a direction that is authentic and leads to true happiness.

As always, I’m here to help!

Paola

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