Browsing Category

Personal Devleopment

Personal Development — lifestyle

Give The Gift Of Attention

It’s Christmas time.

A time of giving and goodwill, so we are all out shopping for gifts and rushing about. In last weeks blog, I encouraged everybody to take the time to slow down and stop. To be patient and experience this time of the year.

Though I joined all the madness and got out there to contribute to the materialism that drives Christmas I would like to suggest another gift that we can give to anybody we chose this year and it costs nothing.

Our time is valuable and I agree that it should be treated so, but attention can be given freely.

It can be given in different ways. You can make your attention a gift to yourelf by sitting in silence by the Christmas tree and really enjoying the moment, or walking through the lights at the Van Dusen Gardens and really experiencing it. Or you can truly feel the silence and softness of the snow covered trees while you showshoe in the mountains.

Van Dusen Gardens (Dec 2017)

We can also give our attention to others. When we spend time with our family and friends, we can be fully present with them. Drop the phone or turn it off and experience Christmas dinner with no interruptions. Or keep the phone on and reach out to family or friends.

If we are making the 12 pubs of Christmas happen or if we are out with our friends for New Years eve we can be there with them and appreciate the moments with these people that we may not see again for months. We give our full attention even if only for a short time.

We also shouldn’t forget about the odd 3,500 people who are homeless in the Greater Vancouver area (or wherever we live).

Certainly, we can donate our time or money to help, but that is not always possible.

We can, however, give them our attention. We don’t have to hurry past them without so much as a glance. I think the gift of attention will be appreciated by the homeless more than anybody as they are invisible to a certain extent. It can be as simple as a smile or a greeting.

So maybe consider what is important this year? The materialistic objects out consumerist lifestyle (I’m guilty too) encourages us to buy or the people around us and the experiences we have at this time of the year.

Thanks for reading.



PS If you enjoy the blog please share it

Why Do We Want to Manage Our Time?

For years I left things to the last minute. Studying for exams was a classic case. I would avoid study right up until the week or few days before an exam. I spent more time on extravagant timetables than actual time studying. I would end up pulling all-nighters and sit the exam exhausted and ill prepared.

University was a period where I struggled with managing my time evenly between the major areas in my life: school, relationships, self-care, health and financial. As a young adult I was incapable of saying No to a night out on the town or working an extra shift in work. I always seemed to find the time to socialize and work. There was minimal time for school, self-care and exercise. I had met George while I was in University, so we saw each other at the weekends when I returned home. We both worked part-time jobs, so we would catch up with each other after in the pub.

I am still amazed at all the things I did achieve during university, I worked almost full-time hours for the majority of Uni. I tutored 7 students at the weekend before work and I always managed to save enough money to go on a holiday.

However, if I had spent less time on socializing and working, I could have had excellent grades, a healthy body and more free time to take care of myself. Not to mention a pile of savings! Lol!

Now that I am a little older and my priorities are much clearer, I schedule my time around those focus areas. You will be happy to hear that socializing has dropped way down the list😉

Warren Buffet recommends we write down the 25 goals in life we really want to achieve in no order of importance. Then number each goal from the highest priority to the lowest. Cross off 10 of these goals. Review your list and cross out another 10 goals. You are now left with your top 5 goals you want to achieve in your life. For you to achieve these goals you must spend time everyday on working to complete these. When or if you complete a goal, you can then replace that goal with one of the originals goals from the list of 25 you had originally.

The whole reason behind writing down the 25 goals and crossing out 20 is that you are deciding to not spend time on lesser important goals. This way you do not waste time or procrastinate by working on semi important tasks when you should be spending time on your top 5 goals you want to achieve. This simplifies what we spend our time on and encourages you to complete a goal or a task, so you can work through your list if you want.

My major goals are:

  1. Learn to speak Spanish……so one day I can live and work in a Spanish speaking country and teach my children another language
  2. Learn to cook healthy meals……..So I can teach my children the importance of healthy food and diet. Live by example
  3. Be financially free…………. to start our own business and work for ourselves
  4. Have a healthy body & mind………to life a long and healthy life right up until it’s time to go
  5. Learn & grow everyday……be open to learning new things and ideas up until our last breath😉

What can we do everyday to achieve our goals and when can we find the time to do it?

This is the fun part.

If TV is not a priority for you, stop watching TV.

If spending hours on your phone is not one of your top 5 goals, stop browsing on your phone.

If drinking and socializing with friends every evening did not make the cut, then learn to say no!

Free up time by dropping all the unnecessary wasteful habits you do now and replace them with good habits that will help you achieve your goals.

For example, we no longer watch TV during the week, Friday night and Saturday are our nights to watch a good movie or a TV show we really like. No trash TV anymore.

We go to bed earlier, so we can get up earlier in the morning to work on our goals.

The above changes have given us so much time. We generally do not meet friends during the week unless they want to join us for a yoga class which is a goal of ours.

How do I work on my goals everyday?

Learn to speak Spanish: Every morning I listen to my Spanish Audio books on the way to work 20 minutes, on my break I go for a walk and Listen to my Spanish Audio for another 30min (1-hour daily)

Learn to cook healthy meals: At the weekends research cookbooks and on Sunday mornings or evenings will spend 2 hours prepping lunch and dinner for the work week (3 hours once a week)

Be financially free to start my own business: Created a budget that I review at the end of each week to ensure our savings are on track. We spend very little money during the week and bring our lunches to work every day. We are embracing a waste free lifestyle and try to only shop when we need something…..I do love clothes and will buy some nice pieces each season. We have become more mindful shoppers which prevents us from spending on a whim…although it can still happen😉 (2hours once a week)

Have a healthy body & mind: We meditate each morning for 15-20minutes. We have gratitude diaries. We go for walks on our lunch breaks. We practice yoga 4 times a week and will go on walks or cycles on the other days. (at least 1 hour daily)

Learn & grow everyday: Reading books, blogs, articles, listening to audio books & podcasts and watching documentaries are all ways we learn and grow. We also like to write our own blogs, short stories and novel (George). Each morning we will read for at least 30 min, as we are doing the dishes or getting ready we will listen to our own audio books or podcasts, I like to listen to my audio book on my second walk during work, we both read for 30min before going to bed each night also. We will write short blog posts for Instagram & Facebook in the morning and spend time on our website blogs one evening a week (2hrs)

Once we stopped wasting our time on activities that were not our primary goals we have freed up so much time to work on the things that are important to us.

I have been listening to 12 Rules For life by Jordan B. Peterson. There is a very emotional part to this book when he speaks about creating meaning in life. What can we do everyday to bring meaning to our lives……what can we do everyday to make tomorrow better?

So many of us just let each day drift by and not really think about what we achieved that made us a better person than the day before. For me the most important thing about time management is what you spend your time on.

We have so much time in the day, we need to spend all that free time before and after work on the things that make us better human beings with meaning in our lives. The world would be filled with content, caring and better humans if we all figured out why wake up every morning.

What are your goals? How will your free up time?

Have a great week,


Theresa xx

Be Selfish – It’s Good For You

I was at a party once. I wasn’t drinking for whatever reason. Maybe I was training for a specific goal or maybe I was just trying to be healthier. The host, a good friend of mine, told me she didn’t have any boring drinks for boring people. On another occasion I told the same person that I was training for a 27km trail run (I finished last – ha ha, but who cares). It was early summer. Her response was – “Oh, your going to be boring this summer then.”

I am no longer friends with that person. Here’s why.

We all try to do the best for ourselves. In a world of instant gratification where anything we want is at our fingertips that can be difficult. Our willpower is easily depleted as our vices are in our faces at every corner. This is why we need support to succeed at anything. We need the support of good people. We need people to hold us up and keep us strong in our moments of weakness. Whether we are trying to lose weight, exercise more often, write a book, climb a mountain or meditate.

We don’t want to be dragged down by negative people. If you want to do something, then go and do it. If you want to succeed, then go and succeed. There will always be those who want to hold you back. Cut them out, you will NOT regret it. Put yourself first, look out for yourself. Toxic people will drain your life. Negativity is contagious, but so is positivity. Surround yourself with what you want to receive.

We have the power to change our own circumstances. We have the ability and strength to achieve whatever we want. We have the power to cut the ropes. Free yourself. People may stop liking you. That is when you know who your true friends are.

I have so many good friends that I don’t see as much as I want. How do I know that these people are such good friends? How do I know that they are dependable? They are there no matter what. Time passes and days turn to weeks and sometimes, regrettably, weeks turn to months and we haven’t spoken. But things haven’t changed. We are still strong. There is no accusation, no bitterness, only celebration to see each other again. These are the people I treasure.

The people you want around you are the people who make you stronger. Is this selfish? Maybe, but is it selfish in a negative way? No. If the people in your life are strong and positive and they support you then it works both ways. This can only be good.

The only ones you owe an obligation to are those who support you and those who carry you. You owe an obligation to those who congratulate you on your success, those who stand by you with strength when you need them, those who are there in your darkest hours.

When you are prioritizing your goals, there is no selfish. Your true friends will support you no matter what.

Your time is your most valuable commodity. Learn to say no. Who is worth your time? For me, as an immigrant I spend the majority or my time away from those closest to me (apart from my wife) so I am very aware of how valuable my time is.

It is not selfish to put yourself first – it is SELF-FULL.

A Course in Miracles tells us that “When you give to others so much that you are sacrificing yourself, you make the other person a thief.” You cannot look after others unless you look after yourself. You cannot achieve your goals unless you look after yourself.

Jim Carey says that “the effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is.” It works both ways. By being selfish or self-full, by cutting the negative influences out of your life, you make space to focus on yourself and those who really matter to you like the friends and family who are there for you. These are the people you have a true obligation to. It is not imagined. These are the people who were there for you and those who you will be there for. The people who are still there even though the weeks or months may pass.

If you are not making someone else’s life better, then you are wasting your time. The only way to make someone else’s life better is to focus on YOU. Clear the space. What do you need to clear out to focus on what really matters?

I try to let go of the past grudges I carry. A grudge is like radiation. It hurts the one who carries it. Let the grudges go. Put them down and let them fade.

Keep your own cup full and focus on you. Work hard on yourself. Be full in yourself and you will have plenty to give to those who you have made space for.






Reading for Self-Improvement, Entertainment & Knowledge

We love reading in our home. We ensure to make time everyday to read. 10-15 minutes in the morning, 20 minutes during lunch breaks, 30 minutes after coming home from work, 30 minutes before bed time. In total I read for about 1hour 30minutes per day. For some people that may seem like a lot for others its nothing. For me during the week this is realistic, the weekend however, I can get an additional hour of reading done.

I like to read 3-4 books at a time. My aim each month is to read 4 books. I like to read very different books from different genres. For example, this month I have read Give a Shit by Ashlee Piper, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng and I am currently reading Principles by Ray Dalio.

Give a Shit is guidance on how we all can reduce our carbon footprint by making small changes like:

  • Carrying a reusable bag and not using plastic bags,
  • Carrying a to-go mug with us so we can avoid the paper mugs,
  • Replacing our paper towels with old rags

We are trying to reduce creating waste in our home and this book is a great source to help motivate us and remind us why we need to stop creating unnecessary waste. It highlights how ‘The Power of 1’ really can change the planet, if we all did a little to reduce waste the oceans, forests and animals would be cleaner and safer.

Little Fires Everywhere (Fiction) tells a story of an artist Mia and her daughter Pearl. When Pearl and her mother move into the ‘perfect’ neighborhood their simple way of life is turned upside down by the Richardson Family. Secrets, betrayal, love and revenge, this book has it all. A great book describing many mother daughter relationships, and all the complicities that go with it. This book is a great read and one you will complete quickly.

Principles by Ray Dalio is a book based on a set of principles Ray has learned throughout his career in the financial sector. He wants to share what he has learned so others can achieve their goals in Life and Work. This is a 2-part series, the other book is more financial, and investment focused. I am only at the beginning chapters of this book, so far, I love it. However, do note I love reading financial books on investing, and personal finance so this may not be everyone’s cup of tea😉

Having a physical book in my hand to read with a cup of tea beside me is my ideal Sunday morning. However, I don’t have the time to sit and read all day. That’s why other mediums like audio books and eBooks are an excellent tool to maximize my reading time. In work I listen to my audio books on my breaks, I listen to audio books in the car too as I cannot read in any form of transportation. It makes me feel ill!

eBooks are great to have on my phone so that if I’m getting my hair done or I am waiting in a long line up I have a book to read. I prefer this to browsing social media. I have times of the day I like to browse social media and I try to stick to that for no more than 15min at a time.

I read a quote somewhere years ago that I will completely mess up, but it was something like…. having the ability to read and not using that gift doesn’t make you any better off than a person who is illiterate.

I think this statement is so powerful. I think we can take the ability to read for granted. We spent years of our life learning to read and write. We all should be reading more and writing more to broaden our way of thinking and expanding our knowledge. Humans would benefit deeply if we did.

What are your thoughts?

What are your top 3 books ever?

Have a great week.

Chat soon,

Theresa x

What Am I Currently Reading? An Overview

Hi all,

I thought it was time for a follow up post on my post, The Power of Reading with a little overview on what I am currently reading.

I usually read more than one book at a time. I have a mainstay which I try to commit to reading ten pages a day on until I finish and then I have a couple of others on the go if I want a break or want to do a bit more reading.

Below is a quick list of what I am currently reading or have recently finished before I go into them in more detail:

Meditations from the Mat (paperback) by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison

You are the Universe (EBook on my I phone) by Deepak Chopra

The Future of the Mind (Audio book) by Michio Kaku

Slade House (EBook on Kindle) by David Mitchell

Einstein’s Dreams (EBook on my I phone) by Alan Lightman

Getting Unstuck (Audio book) by Pema Chodron

Meditations from the Matt

This book has taken me forever to read and not because the author encourages reading it one chapter per day over the period of a year – I’ve just been busy and I’m a slow reader.

I was happy to let it drag out as it is one of the most inspiring and enlightening books I have ever read. It was part of the recommended reading for Yoga Teacher Training with Semperviva and I have taken so much from it that I will apply in my classes when I begin to teach regularly. Originally I had a library copy but I decided to buy it as it is one of those books I felt the need to highlight and make notes all the way through. It is definitely one I will read again and I cannot recommend it enough. I look forward to reading Meditations on Intention and Being from the same author.

Each short chapter begins with a quote, almost all of which are inspiring and the book itself is broken down into eight parts, each one dealing with one of the eight limbs of yoga.

It highlights how one can turn their life around and change for the better like the author did. A truly inspiring man, who overcame alcoholism to be a leader in the yoga world.

You are the Universe

I am reading this one on my I phone or I pad using the Overdrive App for eBooks and Audio books rented from the library. I used to be against reading from screens as I use reading to wind down and spend enough time on screens as it is but I find it really useful when I have a few minutes to kill waiting in line or on lunch break.

So far I am taking it slow and I am 16% through it. I didn’t know anything about Deepak Chopra but I expected a spiritual book as his name came up a lot in the above mentioned Meditations from the Mat. On the contrary, so far it is a scientific book talking about the origins of the universe and space time.

So far so good, it is very enjoyable.

The Future of the Mind

I am using overdrive for this book also but listening to the Audio book. I usually alternate between Podcasts, condensed books on Blinkist and audio books when I’m driving but I also listen to it for fifteen minutes in bed before going to sleep. Audio books are a great way to help me shut off my mind.

I first heard about Michio Kaku during an interview on the Big Think Podcast and was amazed by his theories of the future of technology.

In this book he explores the human mind and where we are going from the point of view of a physicist and his insights are absolutely amazing. Some of the things he speaks about which have actually been accomplished in real life sound like utter science fiction (mind reading, recording video clips of dreams). It is absolutely amazing what has been achieved according to Kaku and where we are going with both technology and the mind.

Slade House

I am reading this on my Kindle. I love my Kindle because I have so much books on it and it is not a screen with a backlight, it looks and reads just like paper.

Slade House is a horror novel set modern day England. It is apparently part of a series which I have not read the previous installments but that has not affected my enjoyment. I’ll reserve judgement on this one until I have finished as I am not that far into it.

Einstein’s Dreams

This was a very interesting one. To my knowledge it was very successful when released. I had no idea what to expect going into it but it is a collection of short fictional stories (Dreams of Einstein) set in a Swiss town where the laws of physics behave differently in each version.

For example, time moves at different speeds in different areas or gravity behaves differently. It explores the effects this has in different ways.

The book doesn’t really give us a main character to grow attached to, the only recurring characters were Einstein and his friend Beso in but a few chapters. Because of this I found it difficult to become attached to the book but it is an easy, short read and the ideas put out in each chapter are fascinating.

Getting Unstuck

Pema Chodron is a Buddhist Nun based in Newfoundland. This audio book is a recorded lecture she gives. She is extremely down to earth and common sense and also has a great no bullshit attitude which I love. There was not a specific, single message I took from listening to it but I feel listening to and reading work from people like Pema Chodron help ground me.

I look forward to reading more of her work.

If I was to recommend any one of the above it would be, without hesitation Meditations from the Matt, even if you are not a Yogi. I guarantee you would become one after reading this.

I will repost on my reading again when I bang through a few more.