Death, Digging and Diwali

As much as some people gripe about the cold, fall is an amazing time of year. I think a lot of women especially love it for the change in fashion. I love getting out my fancy boots, sweaters and ponchos. And, I gotta say, I’m a sucker for darker lipstick and growing out my hair just a little bit more.

I have to say that it’s all a welcome change after crazy-hot summer we had here in Toronto that basically melted away any fun I tried to have in the makeup or fashion department.

And now it’s cold and rainy and the leaves are brown, red and shades of gold that look nearly unnatural. And not to get too Mufasa on you but it really is all a great reminder of the cycle of life.

Today I was in my garden, raking up the last remnants of the root vegetables and tidying things up before the snow comes. In all honesty, I should have had this done weeks ago but every day I wanted to get out there, it was either raining or too nice a day to be stuck pulling weeds and raking.

So today was the day.

I got my ‘farming jeans’ on, which are not fashionable at all, my big ugly hiking boots and my thick gardening gloves and went to it.

My husband held the bag while I shoved some of the dead and diseased vines in; the healthy stuff we threw in the giant compost bin in the corner of our yard.

We raked the dirt left behind and threw in some mulch to keep it yummy for the spring.

I collected some last herbs that still seemed to be okay, despite some light frost we’ve had. I know that’s not the ‘right’ way to do things but I like to think that city farming has some different rules.

As I work I’m thinking about how I’m so grateful for being able to have grown some our own food this year. I’ve already picked and cut several squash and put them in the freezer to make some belly-warming soup when winter comes. The peppers and brussels sprouts and beans are all in there too, ready to be used up when we need them.

As we go I’m also thinking ahead to next year and what I want to plant again and what I don’t think we need. We definitely don’t need as many tomatoes. They grow and ripen so quickly I can barely keep up sometimes. But I loved having the suicide hot peppers on hand to throw into pasta and quinoa dishes, so those are a new staple. 

I guess all of this put me in a contemplative mood and now I’m stuck thinking about death and dying and rebirth.

As an added bonus, today is Diwali, the Hindu festival of light. It’s a really beautiful celebration of light over darkness and the cycle of life and death. I’ve always loved this festival because it’s sort of the combination of my two favourite holidays of Halloween and Christmas. I hope that doesn’t offend anyone because all I mean is that it’s a celebration of harvest, good over evil, peace, and being with your family.

I love how Diwali and Halloween remind us that time is passing and also worth celebrating. The changing seasons can make me think of how change is inevitable and we always have to keep moving forward to the next chapter. And, sometimes things have to die for new things to come in.

In our lives, there are maybe situations or people that are just not working. Maybe you feel a change coming on but you’re afraid of what the future will bring if you let it go.

All I can say, and you don’t need me to point it out, is that nature always finds a way to put us through this cycle of downturns and upturns – by your thirties you’ve been through many. So the point is, change isn’t something to be afraid of. Sure, it may be the ‘death’ of one idea but you can be sure that it is the birth of something brand new – a new season or chapter.

So whatever change you’ve been avoiding, use this change of the seasons to inspire you. Sure, the New Year is a great time to start, but why put it off?  Plus, FYI Diwali is the Hindu New Year – no one said it had to be the Gregorian standard one.

And if you think you still need a push to move on from one thing into another, I’m always here to help! Get in touch at support@ashewoodward.com.

And remember to grab your FREE guide to adulting in The Thirtysomething’s Guide to Successful Goalmaking HERE

Happy Diwali and Happy Halloween!!

When You Just “Can’t Even”

I need to be totally honest today – I don’t feel like writing this right now. It’s a brisk, beautiful fall day here in Toronto and I want nothing more than to have a glass of wine, my quinoa surprise, and curl up to watch something romantic and indulgent on Netflix.

But I’ve been in this habit for over three years now so it’s become hard to ignore even the smallest of urges to write something about life in my thirties every Sunday night.

So I set a timer today and here I am – showing up for just 25 minutes of writing, I told myself.

And look! I’m writing!

And to no one’s surprise (my own) I’m enjoying it by only the seventh line. I’m off and running and already imagining that these words are falling into the your world and inspiring you to forward your success and happiness. 

As I said, I’ve trained myself to do this, but I also learned this habit from somewhere else, sort of unexpected – the gym.

As many of you I’m sure would agree, we’d very often be doing anything else than going to the gym. But I also know, I’d rather look fit than unfit, so I just tell myself I will go – even for a short workout. Lowest effort possible.

But by the time I’m in my adorable gym outfit, I’m happy that I’m there. I usually end up feeling completely energized and I do a full workout. And the kicker is that it is always when I think I’m too tired that I end up having an amazing workout and breaking my personal records – just to prove my lazy self even more wrong.

So, tonight, as I write here, I do have Netflix and Quinoa on my mind (maybe the next big hashtag?) but I let the habit take me over and, in the end, that’s what I want.

I know that repeated effort will yield results – so I continue to write, go to the gym and do my daily meditations. It’s not easy, but neither is a life of only wishing and dreaming.

So get to doing this week and let me know how it goes by emailing me directly (see below) or sharing on Facebook.

For more on this idea and effect, I recommend reading The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. It’s not my favourite self-development book, but the main idea is one of the most important if you want to be successful at anything. Period.

And if you’d simply like a synopsis from yours truly and a little bit more about how I’ve turned small daily habits into 2 successful home businesses, I’d love to have a chat. Get in touch at support@ashewoodward.com.

And remember to grab your FREE guide to adulting in The Thirtysomething’s Guide to Successful Goalmaking HERE

#NetflixandQuinoa

Time is on Your Side (or at least it can be…)

The phrase, ‘time management’ can really make my skin crawl. Partly because it’s such a buzzkill of a thing to learn but it’s also a confusing topic that has so many tips, tricks and hacks, that the information out there has become difficult to navigate, watered down, sometimes boring and at others, just plain ineffective in motivating me or anyone to improve.

But I do love the concept of time. I’m fascinated by it, actually. Focusing on a certain age group for my life coaching has forced me to really analyze time in so many new ways.

Thirtysomeones especially are quite prone to bringing up the topic in coaching sessions, whether it’s about not having enough hours in the day to do the things we have to do, let alone the things we’d love to do – or having enough youth to try all the things life can offer. Honestly, I think thirtysomeones are obsessed with time. Yours truly included.

In case you haven’t noticed, a lot of productive adulting requires superb time management. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of confusion out there about what goes into managing your time effectively. And, most of the advice is pretty dry and is filled with setting alarms on our phones and concentrating on getting in, “Just 10 Minutes A Day” for our dream projects.

Some of these tools are great and I do believe that some of us need to set those alarms and some of us really do need to see things as just taking 10 minutes a day consistently. BUT – I also see a much bigger underlying issue plaguing all of us in the adult world.

Our relationship to and with Time, capital ’T’, is broken and until we heal it, there’s no use in trying to make it work for us.

Think of your relationship with anything or anyone. If you abused that person or the fundamentals in that relationship over and over again, do you think they’d want to do you a favour? Do you think they’d even stick around?

Ummm, NO!

And our relationship with Time is no different.

So how are we abusing Time? Take a look at a few tell tale signs your relationship with Time needs attention. If you’re known for doing any of these consistently, there’s, let’s say, room for growth.

Constantly complaining about not having enough time.

We all do it sometimes, but some of us more than others. When your partner or friend asks you what your day will look like or how it was, do you stand there and create an aggravated list on all ten fingers and toes? Do you sigh with exhaustion at the question?

Furthermore, let me ask you: When someone asks how you are, is your answer always something like, “Busy, busy!” or “Hangin’ in there.”? Or do you take it as an opportunity to let this person acknowledge you in the present moment and realize that the only acceptable answer is, “Great, thank you. How are you?”

I know that you may not be “Great” or “Fine,” but that’t not the point. In that moment, someone has bothered to acknowledge you. And if you’re alive and kickin’ to experience that, then, yes, you are “Fine.”

And as far as not having enough time, I get it. We’re all busy. But we all have the same amount of hours in our day and the choices we make are our own. If you feel like you can’t get it all in or done, you’ve got to sacrifice some busy time for some real introspection and some things just may not make the true priorities list and they’ll have to be cut or at least benched for a while.

But you do have to make some choices. Complaining about it doesn’t do anything except reassure yourself that there’s never enough. If you believe it, you’ll attract more proof of what you believe.

So why not..

Believe that everything has its moment and some things can be left for another day.

Believe that you are doing your best.

Believe that you are supported by the perfection of the Universe and that means that everything happens in perfect timing when it’s meant to be.

Being consistently late.

You know who you are. You know it’s a problem but you just can’t seem to fix it. You try to leave early and something always happens. The advice out there says to leave 15 minutes earlier than you thought you should, respect other people’s time, set your watch ahead. Sure these are all great tools, but what’s the real issue?

Are you spending more time on getting ready to go out than you should? Are you procrastinating because you have social anxiety? Do you genuinely loose track of time? How does this happen? What are the triggers? (HINT: Social media is often a huge distractor nowadays).

Figuring out what distracts you from keeping your commitments is one of the first steps in practicing avoiding these triggers and eventually being able to focus on the task at hand which is to get out the door!

Plus, recognizing that you’re late and trying to remedy it shows that you know that time is valuable. Show Time that you acknowledge this by respecting the Time of the person or people you’re meeting with.

This also got for answering texts and phone calls. Respond promptly (doesn’t have to be immediately). This is all practice and repetition that will train you to be more punctual and you’ll begin to get a reputation as a professional and a great person to work with and be friends with.

Only focusing on the past or future. We go through good times and bad – that’s life. That’s how we grow over time. So to say to Time, “Oh, I’m only looking forward to the good stuff, can we skip over this hard part?” or, “I’m so focused on when that happened that I’m not going to move forward,” is a slap right in Time’s face.

Time wants to be a great teacher for you. But you have to be open to listening to the teachings of the present. But as I’ve mentioned before, it’s not so easy to live in the moment or ‘be present’.

Here are my top tricks

  1. A few times a day, when you’re bored or drifting off into a daydream maybe, notice how your tongue is on the roof of your mouth. And then let it fall and relax. It will eventually make its way back, but for that one moment, you’re only focused on what your tongue is doing in the now.
  2. Take a moment to love. Kiss your partner, your kids, your dog. Hug a friend. Ask someone about their day. You may do all of these things anyway, but notice these things a little more for how beautiful they are and how they have nothing to do with the past or future – just the present moment.

These small steps can eventually lead you to see how Time wants to be there for you, not against you; how Time wants you to revere each moment you share together.

And above all, remember that Time heals.

It frickin’ heals us! Think about that for a minute. Time is one of the greatest healers of our pain. It gives us distance, perspective potentially the space to forgive. Time gives us a new day, a second chance – and sometimes third and fourth and fifth chances. If that’s not enough for you to give your full attention to creating a positive relationship then I don’t know what is.

So, yes, mark up your calendar, set your alarms, read a good book for 10 minutes. In other words, manage your time. But remember that it’s not just hours in a day. This is your life and the time you spend here is precious. Spend your time, like money, wisely. Respect yours and others’ time and you’ll see more of it come to you. You’ll start to see gaps for silence and rest open up to you.

And remember, Time is on your side…or, at least, it can be.

I truly love this topic and I could go on and on but I won’t. Not here.

But if you’d like to continue the conversation with me, leave a comment on the Facebook page or get in touch to work together on healing your relationship with Time. Contact me at support@ashewoodward.com and check out more of what I do at ashewoodward.com.

And remember to grab your FREE guide to adulting in The Thirtysomething’s Guide to Successful Goalmaking HERE

Don’t Miss it This Time

Hi thirtysomeone,

Thanks to so many of you who checked this out and participated in the recent ELMS Online Summit.

If you weren’t able to get in on it the first time around, let me tell ya – don’t miss it again! (Read on to find out how).

My friend Natalie Rose put together an amazing FREE online series, **Elite Life Mastery Secrets: Unleash Your Intuition, Reclaim Your Power and Take Charge of Your Life** and it’s generating quite a buzz.

We’re getting great feedback from people all over the world who are experiencing powerful motivation, inspiration and new awarenesses from watching these interviews (including mine, yay!)

I was hooked to the series all week long and I can tell you that this is a lot of value all for FREE! (SIGN UP HERE)

If you’re feeling stuck, indecisive, like something is missing in your life or you just need some reassurance that everything is going to be okay, then this summit is for you – THIRTY experts sharing their stories, practices and experience to help you be more confident, connected and fulfilled.

Seriously, this doesn’t disappoint.

Not only all of that but these are professionals who literally give away their secrets to success! I was truly inspired by the stories I heard and not only did I get some great tips but I also truly got the message that success is for anyone and everyone.

Honestly, I’m newly inspired to tackle my challenges head on for my next year in business.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, you’re in luck! There will be an open replay of ALL interviews all week long so you can watch and listen to EVERY ONE. (Productive binge-watching! Yes, it IS possible.)

Check it out here and take charge of your life now: LINK

I’d love to hear what you think about the interviews (especially mine *blush) on the Facebook page.

And if you’re finally ready to go for success full on, let’s chat about working together to get a plan in motion before 2016 is gone for good! Email me at support@ashewoodward.com or tweet to me @ashewoodz ad we can set up a time to chat. Let’s talk soon!