Well this is my last post for a couple of weeks… I leave tomorrow for a Vipassana Meditation retreat that is done in total silence.  Meditation has become a very important part of my life.  Growing up I struggled with anxiety and did have periods where I was medicated.  I never liked the side effects and always wanted an option to help deal with my anxiety.

First I discovered running, something about the solitude of running has always brought me peace and a feeling of calm.  Exercise in general is great for calming feelings of anxiousness.

When I first tried meditating it didn’t go that well.  After 20 minutes I had literally no enlightenment and I didn’t know what the meaning of life was and to top it all off my foot fell asleep.  It was a couple of years before I tried again.  This time I went to a course with Becky that was amazing.  It taught the Sudarshan Kriya that was developed by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.  It involves very precise breathing techniques to put a person into a very deep meditative state.  This was truly transformative for me.  In fact it was during this program that I had the epiphany about coaching as a profession.  Since taking this course meditation is an (almost) daily practice for me.

Anywho back to the 11 day retreat I’m going to.  It is a meditation practice called Vipassana which is taught worldwide in over 150 centres.  I’ll be taking the program in Merritt BC.  For more on Vipassana check out this site

I’m very excited/nervous about this program.  For 10 days there is no talking, no reading, no journaling, no exercise, no iphone, no music and no eye contact with other participants.  I will be sitting in meditation for 12 hours a day.  The daily timetable is below.

I’m thinking about this as a reboot, in the old days you had to defrag your computer all the time to reorganize the systems so they ran efficiently.  Well I’m going to defrag my mind, body and spirit over the next 2 weeks.

I will be sure to let all of my readers (Hi Mom) know how it goes when I get back on June 9th.

Wish me luck and namaste,



The following timetable for the course has been designed to maintain the continuity of practice. For best results students are advised to follow it as closely as possible.


4:00 am Morning wake-up bell
4:30-6:30 am Meditate in the hall or in your room
6:30-8:00 am Breakfast break
8:00-9:00 am Group meditation in the hall
9:00-11:00 am Meditate in the hall or in your room according to the teacher’s instructions
11:00-12:00 noon Lunch break
12noon-1:00 pm Rest and interviews with the teacher
1:00-2:30 pm Meditate in the hall or in your room
2:30-3:30 pm Group meditation in the hall
3:30-5:00 pm Meditate in the hall or in your own room according to the teacher’s instructions
5:00-6:00 pm Tea break
6:00-7:00 pm Group meditation in the hall
7:00-8:15 pm Teacher’s Discourse in the hall
8:15-9:00 pm Group meditation in the hall
9:00-9:30 pm Question time in the hall
9:30 pm Retire to your own room–Lights out



My Journey

My Journey

Okay that’s maybe not the best image of My Specific Journey… but I do love the song ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ 🙂

Alright enough monkey business…  I’ve been having some really great conversations lately with some really interesting people.

As I move through this process of learning to be an Ontological Coach I have been recruiting potential ‘Coachees’ to volunteer for the final part of my training.  So far the people who are interested are amazing to talk to.  They are smart, interesting, intuitive people who I can learn so much from.  I’m so grateful that they would even consider being a part of this process with me.  I still have a couple of months before I will actually do any real coaching but the conversations so far have been so energizing.

I know in my heart this is how I want to spend my time.  Building genuine connections with people who are passionate about growth and want to fully step into who they truly are.  The holistic approach to these conversations is why they they have the power to be so transformative.  Discussing the power of language as a tool for action, the influence of moods and emotions and how they are manifested in our physical self is rich and diverse terrain for discovery.

I already have the opportunity in my day job to build one on one connections with new people all the time, but I’m a Recruiter so there is a defined business motive to these meetings.  This means there is a limitation to how deep a conversation can go.  I’m very fortunate to have the opportunities I do and I’m grateful to those around me for allowing me to explore this new path.

I’m so excited to be a coach!

I was speaking with someone the other day and we were discussing that since I don’t have kids I will forfeit the experience of helping a person grow and develop into a good person.  This experience is unique to parents.  However she pointed out that a good coach does exactly that, a coach can help clear away the clutter and enable a person to step into who they truly are.  This was an amazing moment for me to consider that.

For me the idea of being a coach is to be in service to other people.  To see the light in another person and help them see it in themselves feels like important work.  This is my journey and I will work hard and strive to make the world a better place one conversation at a time.


And because I used the picture…

The Experiment – Updates

The Experiment – Updates

Day 3-5:

I stopped updating how my phone withdrawl was going because it was going so well! I really didn’t feel bothered on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. I turned my phone back on Friday after work and still haven’t really looked at it. I’m happy and relieved to know that I wasn’t as hooked as I thought. I’m still going to be mindful about using my phone to avoid being present or feeling bored. One thing I really noticed was how feeling bored wasn’t as boring as I thought it would be.

Day 2:

Made it through day 2 in good shape! The anxiety of missing something is subsiding a little bit. I went a for a walk at lunch and just spent some time with no phone, no book, no work, no nothing. As I was eating lunch I was surprised how quiet I felt. I wasn’t being bombarded by information or distracting myself from the moment. I felt a bit bored, but in a really good way.

Day 1:

You know that feeling that you have either forgotten something or that perhaps your fly is open?  That’s the best way to describe today.  I made it through better then I thought I would.  I felt an underlying anxiety that something would happen and I wouldn’t have my phone on me, but nothing happened 🙂

I’m ready for Day 2

An Experiment…

An Experiment…

So I’m attending a 10 Day Vipassana Meditation retreat at the end of May.  I’m incredibly excited to do this retreat.  I love meditation and this will certainly be the deepest I have ever gone.

This difference with this retreat is that it is  done in total silence for 10 days.  No talking, no writing, no reading, no exercise and above all NO PHONE!   I have never gone 10 days without all of these elements, but surprisingly the one I am kind of the most nervous about is 10 days without my phone.

I’m an admitted addict, I get the phantom vibrations when I don’t have my phone near me and I would rather be without my wallet then my phone (my Starbucks app would still allow me to buy coffee).

I think I’m going to do next week without my phone.  From Monday May 5th – Friday May 9th I’m going to turn it off.  I’ll post a quick update everyday here so everyone can enjoy my withdrawal!  Wish me luck 🙂


Come What May

Come What May

I recently had a Career Planing session @ work with my Manager.  Every quarter I meet with my Manager and we talk about my personal goals, my work goals and what training I need to take to achieve my goals.

I’ve always enjoyed this process… well “enjoyed” is the wrong word, I get value of out of the process but it can be overwhelming to try to plan the unknown. I’m a person who has (does) struggle with anxiety so planning for an unknown future can be nerve racking. A great example would be if the “Plan” is that I eventually move into a Management position, not knowing if that’s the best option, not knowing when exactly it’s happening is going to be a problem for me. I can quickly lose sight of the present and start to worry about when the planned future will happen and if it will be exactly like I imagine it to be.

This anxiety actually posed a real problem for me at work a couple of years ago. I had the opportunity to back fill my Manager while she was away on Maternity Leave. I got so anxious about whether or not I would do a good job and what was going to happen to my career when she got back that it actually impacted my health. I gained 12 lbs, I couldn’t sleep and I was drinking more than I was comfortable with. Basically this “opportunity” was taking it’s toll on me and I was counting down the days until my Manager was back. Once she returned to work I thought everything would go back to normal… nope! I went from feeling anxious about the future to feeling resentful about the year that had passed. I felt undervalued as though my internal sacrifices (that no one knew about) were not being acknowledged. I realize now how strange that sounds.

In hindsight this was all my doing, my personal expectations of myself and others were not reasonable.  It wasn’t until I began studying to become a Coach through The Newfield Network that I began to unravel my part in all of this internal drama.  When I could see the Observer I was and the story I was telling myself I had a sense of clarity about what had happened and what was coming down the road.

I’ve mentioned “The Present Moment” in other posts and this was the big lesson for me.  Focus on living the best life I can now and that will influence the future I want.

My career planning sessions have changed these days, and I happy to say for the better.  Now the focus is more about the activities I’m doing today.  I’m focused on the journey, not the destination.  Are there still moments of panic and anxiety about the future?  You bet, but those moments don’t define me, they remind me that the Path to Mastery (a topic for another post) is about appreciating every moment along the way.

It’s funny, the less I worry about the future, the more excited I am about it.



I think most people are familiar with the latin phrase ‘Cogito Ergo Sum’ which means ‘I Think Therefore I Am’.  It’s from Rene Descartes ‘Discourse on Method’ from 1637.

What very few people would know is that it was also my 1st tattoo.  I got it when I was 16 and had just discovered Albert Camus, Jean Paul Sartre and of course Descartes.  In one fragile year of intellectual discovery I effectively shut down my emotional self and discarded any possibility of a spiritual life.  I reasoned that all I needed was to trust in myself and my logic and if I couldn’t see it, it wasn’t real.  I became one of those very annoying “Bullet Point Atheists”, my arguments were literally only skin deep.

It didn’t take long before I realized that I didn’t have the knowledge to back up my arrogance and I stopped showing people my tattoo.  I felt like a fraud to have that phrase on my arm when I didn’t even really understand what it meant.  The idea of what it represented was what I was attracted to.  I didn’t want to acknowledge my emotional side (too painful) and as far as spirituality went, I felt truly abandoned by any kind of God.  That only left logic and reason.

My teen years were challenging,  it sucks to be a teenager no matter who you are but I don’t think I had the tools to handle the challenges that came up.  My feelings were dark and depressive during that time, I know I retreated into a world of reason & knowledge, not to learn but to hide.  I couldn’t handle the loneliness of those years and I reacted to the environment I was in by shutting out anything that could hurt me.

For 13 years that tattoo was a real regret on my part.  Whenever anyone saw it I would pray they didn’t know what it meant, I would always make up random meanings for it to change the conversation.  I was so embarrassed of what it represented, while I felt like a fraud when I was younger, I felt like an pretentious idiot as I as got older.  I realized that trying to live in just one domain (mind) for so long was limiting my growth and joy.  If I wanted to really engage with the world I needed to be comfortable in my own skin, and that meant learning to be comfortable with my emotions.  It also meant I had to get that damn tattoo covered!

Well the tattoo is long gone, I had it covered by a Japanese pagoda 10 years ago.  It took a while to step into my emotional self and feel okay, it’s a work in progress, but the work is really satisfying.  In the last 18 months I have really found my spiritual side.  Meditation has become a very important part of my life.  Through meditation I’m feeling the connections all around me and it’s amazing.

I think about that 16 year old kid who got a dumb tattoo to show the world he didn’t need to be vulnerable or to be protected.  I used to feel sorry for him but I don’t feel like that anymore, I’m proud of him.  That tattoo was his shield and I‘m proud that he did what he had to do and he made it through.