be THAT girl who makes discipline her bitch.

You will NEVER ALWAYS be motivated, so you must learn to be disciplined….

75 Days.

75 Days of progress.

75 Days of dedication.

75 Days of becoming.

75 Days of making me as a priority.

75 Days of growth.

75 Days of discipline.

I don’t actually know if I can put into words exactly what this challenge has done for me. In fact, it’s taken me a few weeks to just sit and reflect on what I just accomplished.

For those of you who didn’t follow my journey on my Instagram story, let me just briefly explain what the 75Hard Challenge is.

75 HARD™ IS A TRANSFORMATIVE MENTAL TOUGHNESS PROGRAM. NOT a fitness program!!! This is a program that can change your life … starting from the inside. Are there physical changes? Yes. But trust me when I say the physical changes you see on the outside are a FRACTION of the results you earn by completing 75 HARD. 

  • Drink 1 gallon of water a day
  • Follow a healthy diet (no cheat meals)
  • No alcohol
  • Read 10 pages of a self-help book a day
  • 2 – 45 minute workouts per day and one has to be outside (even when it’s yucky)
  • Take a progress picture every day

If you miss any one of these things or cheat at all…you start again! 

I want to share more of the mental transformation in another blog post. It’s very personal and will take some time to put into words. For now, I would love to share my results of each of the challenges.

DRINK 1 GALLON OF WATER A DAY….1 freaking gallon of water is a shit ton of water!! I usually struggled to get in half of that in a day, so to go from that to 1 gallon was damn hard. I think one of the other struggles was not being able to add anything to your water. I usually added an Arbonne Fizz stick or Mind Health to begin my day. For the first couple of weeks, I thought I would never get used to drinking all of that fluid BUT eventually my body got used to it and it became easy. Now, will I continue to drink that much water. Maybe some days BUT there will be fizz added! Haha!

FOLLOW A HEALTHY DIET….The choice to follow the Arbonne 30 Days to Healthy Living was a no brainer for me. Recently I had decided that I was going to go all in with my Arbonne business. I have been using the products for years and LOVE, not only the products but what the company stands for. If I am going to part of something, it better be something that I fully support! I had tried the Arbonne 30 previously to this challenge but had not fully committed which turned into me using excuse after excuse to only do what I could fit into my lifestyle. (insert face into palm)

Let me give you a rundown on just what the Arbonne 30 is:

  • Avoid the following as these are foods that are generally not beneficial for overall wellbeing: Artificial sweeteners (e.g. sucralose, aspartame)
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Dairy
  • Wheat- and gluten-containing foods
  • Soy (however, fermented soy such as organic, non-GMO tempeh is an acceptable vegan protein option)

There is obviously more to this program but I won’t go into detail here. I’ll post a link for you to check it out!

30 Days To Healthy Living

https://www.arbonne.com/ca/en/arb/TJAneca/healthy-living/30-days

NO ALCOHOL…holy moly! Didn’t think I could make it that long BUT it was actually easy. Once I made the decision to go forward with the challenge, it was not an issue.

READ 10 PAGES A DAY OF A SELF-HELP BOOK…I am a lover of ALL self-help books…IF they are on audio!! LOL! I actually surprised myself and finished 3 books and started a 4th while doing the challenge. I have fallen in love with holding an actual book in my hands and reading it. I did discover that I need stronger reading glasses! AHHHHH…I’ve reached that age!

I read:

  • Think Like A Monk by Jay Shetty ….*****
  • Atomic Habits by James Clear….*****
  • GUT by Giulia Enders….*****
  • Mind-Gut Connection by Emeran Mayer (still working on this one)

TWO 45 MINUTE WORKOUTS A DAY, ONE WORKOUT MUST BE OUTSIDE (EVEN IF IT’S YUCKY)...this one was a bit of a challenge. Since we started our challenge in April, we had fairly good weather. A few crazy days but for the most part we were pretty fortunate! One thing I noticed was after 14 day of 2 workouts, my body was screaming for a break. I was used to 1 workout 5 days a week so this was definitely kicked my ass. I remember a friend of mine who had finished the challenge herself, gave me wonderful advice….Tj, you don’t HAVE TO go hard all of the time, you can do two walks. This here saved my body. When I felt like my body wanted to quit, I slowed down and went for 2 walks.

TAKE A PROGRESS PICTURE EVERYDAY…this here was the BEST! I dreaded it everyday BUT I am so happy that I had those pictures to look back on! Even after 14 days, I could see progress and it helped push me through. I didn’t see the changes when I looked at myself everyday but after 75, it was really cool to see how I had made a difference in my body composition.

I learned a lot about myself during those 75 days. Was it life-changing? Yes. Was it worth it? Absolutely. Could I do it again? Yes. Would I do it again? I don’t need to.

be THAT girl that goes all in…

Stop doubting yourself and just go all in!

tj

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am!

A little scared. A little anxious. A little over-whelmed. A little nervous. But so ready.

A while ago I came across a podcast where one of the ladies spoke briefly about 75 hard. I was intrigued so I did a bit more research and loved what I found. This resonated with me on a whole new level. I love a good challenge but this one had me fired up. This one is going to stretch me….especially my mental toughness. I have been making excuse after excuse of why it’s not the right time to do this challenge. Well…those excuses are pure bullshit and I need to beTHATgirl, call myself out on it and go all in!! Keeping promises to myself is something that I hold very dear. It means more to me than anything. I know if I can conquer this program then I can do ANYTHING I set my mind to.

THINK OF THIS AS AN IRONMAN FOR YOUR BRAIN ~ andy frisella

So, what is 75Hard? (www.andyfrisella.com)

THIS IS NOT A FITNESS PROGRAM

75 HARD™ IS A TRANSFORMATIVE MENTAL TOUGHNESS PROGRAM. If you’re looking for a new fitness program or challenge, this is not it. This is a program that can change your life … starting from the inside. Are there physical changes? Yes! But trust me when I say the physical changes you see on the outside are a FRACTION of the results you can earn by completing 75 HARD. 

  • Drink 1 gallon of water a day
  • Follow a healthy diet (no cheat meals)
  • No alcohol
  • Read 10 pages of a self-help book a day
  • 2 – 45 minute workouts per day and one has to be outside (even when it’s yucky)
  • Take a progress picture every day

If you miss any one of these things or cheat at all…you start again! YIKES! Now, will anyone know if you’ve cheated or missed something? Probably not but this is where that personal integrity comes in. YOU will know and that’s all that matters! At the end of the day you are responsible for YOU.

For myself, the first step is knowing my “why”. So here it is…life is too fucking short to sit back and admire from the sidelines. Trust me on this one, it’s time to start living like each day is a gift. It’s time to get uncomfortable and start stepping into my fears and my limiting beliefs and start using them to fuel me. It’s time for me to take control of my mental toughness because that is what is going to help me throughout my entire life.

Second…”what” do I hope to get out of all of this?

  • SELF-CONFIDENCE
  • SELF-WORTH
  • SELF-ESTEEM
  • SELF-GROWTH
  • SELF-LOVE

There is NOTHING more rewarding than achieving something that you have worked your ass off for. Challenging myself has been pivotal in building my confidence these last few years. Every time I completed one of my self-made challenges the more I started to realize that I can do hard things. Did I always complete them? Nope. I had more failures than wins sometimes but I learned to dig in a little deeper the next time and do better.

I know that this program is going to test me in ways that I probably don’t even realize. It may even push me to the point where I am going to want to give up. I can’t and I won’t. This is for ME and I am going to prove to myself just how much I value ME, love ME, appreciate ME. I am worthy of everything I have ever needed or need and maybe even a few wants!

If you are interested in joining a few of us beginning Monday, April 5th, then let me know so we can cheer each other on! You can follow my journey on my Instagram story! bethatgirl_tjaneca

be THAT girl who sits with it….

sit with it

sit with it

sit with it

Even though you want to run. Even though it’s heavy and difficult. Even though you’re not quite sure of the way through. Healing happens by feeling.

Sit with it. Feel it. Heal it.

I want it to be over.

I want to feel normal again. And not the “new normal” because this is NOT FUCKING NORMAL!!

I want to hug my friends in public and not feel judged.

I want to let my kids go hang out with their friends without guilt.

I want my kids to go to school and experience actual school.

I want my toddler to know that wearing a mask isn’t normal.

I want to go shopping and be able to smile at people.

I want to be able to hug my brother and his family!!!

These thoughts have taken over my mind and my body these past few months and I know that I’m not alone in feeling this way. I’ve been feeling sad. Lonely in a way that I’ve never felt….ever. I’ve lost hope that we will never get out of this state of emergency. I feel like I am carrying boulders on my shoulders. Everything has felt hard and heavy. Most of the time I don’t even know why I’m upset but I cry. I hear people say, “Things could be way worse”, and I want to throat punch them so they stop talking. No shit sherlock…we all know that but don’t downplay what is happening. It’s hard!!

I know that I am not alone in feeling this way. Many of my friends and family have expressed that similar thoughts and feelings have shown up in their lives as well. This pandemic is a lot to process. None of us have ever had to navigate life through, what seems like a never-ending pandemic! This is tough. And I think we all need to acknowledge that. We need to sit with our shit! We need to give ourselves permission to feel all the feelings that are happening because this situation we are in IS SO NOT NORMAL!

With that being said, this is not a place where I really want to stay. It’s not comfortable nor does it support the kind of life I want for myself and my family. I remember reading something by Tony Robbins where he talks about changing your state of mind. “State of Mind” is defined as the quality of one’s consciousness as it relates to the outside world, as well as the perception of their inner thoughts and emotions. He states, when you’re in control of your state of mind, you’re the master of your emotions and you understand that life is happening for you, not to you. THIS right here….hit me like a ton of bricks! I do not have to stay stuck! I do not have to allow a constant stream of negativity into my thoughts! I do not have to accept that my emotions are out of my control!

I have been trying to really hard the last few weeks to take my power back and change my state of mind. I’m not saying this is the answer for everyone. Our mental health is so so important and if you are suffering from depression and or anxiety, you should go see a health care professional and seek medical help. I just wanted to share what has been working for me.

  1. MEDITATION: I used to think that this was for weirdos. Not sure why, but I did. Needless to say, I guess I am one of those weirdos because I LOVE it!! First, I downloaded the “Insight Timer” app on my phone. I love this app because you can choose the length of meditation you’d like to do and it gives you many options. There are a lot of free ones on there to try. As soon as I open my eyes I grab my phone, get comfy and put on my morning meditation. Meditation is a great way to begin your day because it has been found to release feel-good chemicals such as endorphins and serotonin.
  2. GRATITUDES: By journaling what you are grateful for each day, it starts your day on a positive note! You can start with one or ten things you are grateful for, it is up to you. As soon as I am finished my morning meditation I grab my journal beside my bed and get writing.
  3. READING: I have never been a huge reader but I do love to read. My preferred books include self-growth and biographies. I recommend choosing books that bring you joy and happiness! Even 5 minutes of reading a day can help change your state!
  4. MOVEMENT: Any type of movement can change your state. Even sitting up straight with your shoulders back can improve your state. Just move! Make it a goal to start with just 5 minutes and then add a minute everyday. I promise that you will feel better! I hated…like hated working out but I made it a goal to do it at least 5 days a week starting with just a few minutes a day and now it is such a habit that I crave it even on my “rest” days. My body loves the rush of endorphins it gets from a good sweat sesh!

These are just a few suggestions that have been working for me. If you have a routine of what works for you then keep doing it and share it with others! I know I’d love to hear what works for you!

I want each and every one of you to know that we are all in this together. The more we talk about how we are feeling, the more we realize that we are not alone. I’m going to reiterate that this nightmare we are all living right now is NOT NORMAL nor will it ever be normal. This is merely a chapter in our own novel and we are the authors! We may not be able to control what is happening but we can definitely control US.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

WE CARE ABOUT YOU.

YOU ARE LOVED.

YOU MATTER.

YOU ARE STRONG.

YOU ARE AMAZING.

YOU ARE WONDERFUL.

Take your power back and change your state of mind. If you can change your state of mind, you can change your life.

be THAT girl who enjoys the journey…

Find Joy In The Journey.

It has been a few minutes since I have hit these keys….well I’m back.

The other night we had a family movie night and watched “Soul” on Disney Plus. What a great show! Have you seen it yet? If not, you should. That night, I was up late having a fabulous discussion within my own head while everyone else was fast asleep. Haha! Do any of you do that or is it just me? Those are some of the best conversations I’ve ever had! As I lay there discussing the movie with Tj, I had so many thoughts swirling around in my head. Unfortunately, I didn’t want to wake up the fam so I made mental notes…which did not stick like I wanted them to because I’m getting old and my mind is not what it used to be when it comes to remembering anything!

The next morning, my girls and I ran some errands together which gave us time in the car to discuss the movie! I love car rides with kids…it is the best time for chats! They each shared what they thought the movie was about. At first we were all confused thinking that this movie was going to be about music and how you feel it in your soul but we were so wrong! It was more than that. Their take-away from the film was that you need to LIVE everyday and through living you will find your purpose. Can you imagine how beautiful life would be if we allowed ourselves to do that? To live in each moment of each day.

We have all heard the quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Life is a journey, not a destination”….correct? But have you accepted that? I believe we set certain “destinations” as the finish line but when we get there, we discover that making it didn’t fill the void we thought it would fill. How may of us say to ourselves…when I do “_____”, I will be happy? When I make this much money, I will be happy. You will feel a brief moment of joy but will it last? Maybe, but I’m going to guess probably not. So, what will bring us joy and happiness? For myself, it’s the journey. Living each day with intention. If we are genuinely valuing ourselves, valuing others, and adding value to each other’s lives then I truly believe we will create a purpose for ourselves. Get living and your purpose will show up.

I love this part of the film….

Dorothea: What’s wrong teach?
Joe (Main Character): It’s just I’ve been waiting on this day for my entire life. I thought I’d feel different.
Dorothea: I heard this story about a fish. He swims up to this older fish and says, “I’m trying to find this thing they call the ocean.” “The ocean?,” says the older fish, “that’s what you’re in right now.” “This?” says the younger fish, “This is water. What I want is the ocean.”

Sometimes we take our days for granted. What you are searching for is right where you are. So, open your eyes and enjoy the journey my friends.

be THAT girl who inspires others women to connect

CONNECTION is why we’re here; it is what gives us purpose and meaning to our lives

~ brene brown ~
Carrie Doll ~ The Inner Circle Community on Facebook

Today has been one of those days where things are feeling extremely heavy on my heart. I can’t really explain why or even exactly what it is….but they just are. I know I am not alone in feeling this way. A friend of mine suggested that it could be “pandemic burnout” which really resonated with me. I do feel like it could be just that.

Is anyone else feeling this way?

If there is any one thing that I have learned about myself over the last 8 months, is that I need CONNECTION. It was amazing being quarantined with my family for 2 months. What a great time to reconnect and just get to enjoy each other but I needed more. I felt like I needed to connect with other like-minded women that I could draw inspiration from. We were, and still are, going through a lot. Most of us are carrying loads that we have never had to bear. Losing sleep, losing jobs, losing direction, losing loved ones, losing purpose and sadly…losing hope.

This morning I was fortunate enough to get to listen to a live interview between Carrie Doll & Ashley Mielke that was literally all about Hope. It was exactly what I needed today. I have been part of an amazing community that I want to share with all of you. Carrie Doll, who you will all recognize as being one of CTV’s former news anchors here in Edmonton, wanted to create a space for women to connect, network, share ideas, learn, educate and empower. And that is exactly what she did. She created “The Inner Circle Community” on Facebook. I have to tell you that this community has been a game changer for me. I have met so many amazing women that I can honestly say are my friends. We have laughed, we have cried, we have shared and we have healed. We hold space for one another to be courageous and vulnerable. But it is also a space where we can have a lot of fun! Our Friday Virtual Happy Hours were awesome during quarantine. We were introduced to a lot of great restaurants and chefs that taught us how to create some fun dishes, appetizers and of course some fun drinks! We have also met some kick-ass women who are killin it in business. Their interviews have been so inspiring! The stories they have shared with us are incredible. I have to say that my absolute favourite part of being part of this community has been learning that we all have a story to tell and when we share that story with others, it is not only inspiring for the receiver but it is healing for the person sharing it. Fortunately, I was able to be one of those people. With Carrie guiding me, I was able to share a life-changing part of my story. I’m not going to lie….I wanted to shit myself thinking about using my voice. I’ve never felt so nervous, anxious, and vulnerable in my life. But as we chatted, Carrie and the Inner Circle Community wrapped their virtual arms around me and I felt peace come over me….a peace that I had been searching for. I felt free. I felt brave and most importantly, I felt heard.

Friends, if you are looking for a place where you can feel connection with like-minded amazing women then this is the perfect place for you. I share this because I truly believe that being part of this community has helped me grow in so many ways and I want this for you as well. Right now, life is hard and it is heavy but together we can lift each other and help each other thrive. HUGS to all of you today.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/InnerCircleWithCarrieDoll

Carrie also has an amazing podcast with so many more stories. Do yourself a favour and go give it a listen. You will LOVE it. So many inspiring humans!!

https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/the-inner-circle-with-carrie-doll/id1438898194

be THAT girl who shares her story…

When someone shares with you a piece of their story, they’re giving you a gift.

Tj Aneca

“Babe, I need to talk to you about something”…

Not the words I wanted to hear in that moment that night. I remember it like a broken record in my head. Those 9 words changed my life in ways I could never have imagined. Thirty-nine years, living a life that was working and with that one sentence my whole world flipped. Not how I saw my life playing out at all.

Thinking that he needed to talk to me about the kids, as we lay side by side in the dark as we usually do right before we fall asleep, I asked him “what’s up?” “Teej, I can’t do this anymore.” Silence. “I can’t continue to help lead a congregation when I don’t truly believe that this religion is true.” Silence. “I am leaving the church.” Tears. “If you and the kids decide you want to continue to go, I will support you and go with you but just know that my heart is not there.” More tears.

So many thoughts were swirling around in my head but none of my words would come out. Just tears. I don’t think either of us really slept much that night. You could feel the sad tension between us. In my mind I played out every scenario. We continue to go and I ask him to join us. The kids and I continue to go without him with us. I take the kids and leave. I kick him out. We get a divorce. Weeks went by where we continued to go and put on our brave face. I could see how miserable he was which broke my heart. So, I did what I had taught my young women to do, I questioned.

Now questioning beliefs within some religions is not exactly welcomed. I never had because I was the girl that believed what her parents, friends and leaders said was truth. I just trusted that they knew and that was good enough but those 9 words challenged me. They made me dig deep and go somewhere I had never even considered going.

I remember I was alone that day. I had several hours where I would have absolutely no interruptions. As I sat on my bed with my phone in my hand, I put my hand on my growing belly and made a promise to my baby that I would try to make the best decision I could, not only for him but for the rest of us. I landed on the official church website. As I pondered what to search, I thought about one of the many topics that I had always felt uncomfortable with but was too afraid to question. I’m not going to get into specifics about WHAT I read but what happened next brought me to tears. As I read, I actually couldn’t believe what I was reading. My heart broke. In fact, I think a piece of it actually died. I just sat there in silence, tears streaming down my face. I remember actually saying a prayer out loud pleading for an answer. Asking for a sign to help me in my decision. Looking back, I knew. I knew that that aching feeling in my soul was telling me exactly what I needed to know. In that moment, I knew that this religion was not for us anymore.

I could not imagine life without my best friend in the whole world. The one who holds me when I need holding, the one who humbly corrects me when I’m wrong, the one who has seen me at my worst yet still seems to love me, the one who supports my crazy whims and ideas. The fact that I entertained the idea of letting go of that amazing human definitely opened my eyes. I need to question EVERYTHING! I may not always find the answer. Sometimes I just need to trust ME. Trust my own intuition because most of the time my gut feeling is right. The beauty of it all….this is a gift we all hold. We all know “that feeling” that we try to ignore. Maybe try giving it a chance. You just might find the next chapter in your story.

There is so much more to my story and I plan on sharing it over time. One day, this will be a book. A book titled, “Free To Be That Girl”. A story for my children about my journey and how I discovered my authentic self and my true purpose . This is not easy to write about because I fear hurting people I love but those that truly know me and my heart know that this comes from a place of healing. If there is one thing that I have learned thus far is that I have a gift to share and by allowing myself grace and kindness, I can help others find their true purpose.

be THAT girl who knows her weight is not her worth….

I am an absolute fucking babe and my weight does not define me

Real talk today….

Hands up if you have ever felt fat! {insert my hand going up}

How many of you have tried a “quick fix diet”? {insert my hand going up}

How many of you have tried throwing up? {insert my hand going up}

How many of you skip meals in hopes that you will lose the weight? {insert my hand going up}

How may of you feel this way right now?

I am going to get real with you all today. Most people don’t know that these are things that I have struggled with. I know you are thinking….as if, you are so skinny. My skin crawls when I hear those words. Just because a person look skinny to someone does not mean they automatically feel that way. The reality is, no matter how thin or curvy we are, we all have our insecurities and struggles. No one is immune to it friends! We are bombarded by it on the daily by media telling us that we need to look a certain way to be attractive.

I was probably in grade 9 when I really started to feel like I was not enough. My acne was horrible, to the point where kids would ask me what was on my face, I was getting my “mature” body in all the wrong places and I had heard from a friend that some boy was grossed out by my back acne. All the fun things! When I hit high school I quit my sports and started partying with my friends on weekends. I remember being told that people could tell I was gaining weight because I was partying so much. So, I decided to try throwing up so that I could still party with my friends on the weekend but not gain weight. Made perfect sense to me. I couldn’t actually make myself do it. I tried and it never worked. I ended up slowing down my partying and I maintained my weight. Still didn’t change the way I started to feel about myself. I felt ugly. I felt fat. I felt worthless.

Fast forward several years….I had babies and my weight fluctuated like a pin ball machine. Obviously to be expected when creating and growing tiny humans in your body. When I hit 30, I had a plan to get in shape and get control of my weight. That would happen every so often when I would feel guilty for eating crap that I knew wasn’t good for me. I wanted to try every fast weight loss pill there was! None worked. As soon as you stop taking them, weight comes back. I would start working out and then stop because I didn’t have enough time. I had 5 kids you know and they took up every waking minute of my day and even some of the sleeping hours. I was just too exhausted. That’s the lie I would tell myself anyways. I could basically talk myself out of anything. The reason I wasn’t invested in my health like I should’ve been was because I didn’t love myself enough to make time for the things that really mattered. I was more concerned that my kids got to do all the things. I put everyone elses’ needs before my own because that is what I was taught. Serve others and worry about yourself last…at least that was the message I was receiving.

Yesterday, I sat down and made a list of what my body does for me:

  • allows me to breathe
  • allows me to create life
  • allows me to be a MOM
  • allows me to think thoughts
  • allows me to walk
  • allows me to speak
  • allows me to sing
  • allows me to dance
  • allows me to see
  • allows me to touch
  • allows me physical activity
  • allows me to feel

I know that this is not everything but seriously…LOOK at what our body can do for us! Now think of this…if your best friend in the whole wide world, gave you these gifts, what would you do for them? I want you to picture one of your very best friends and think about this.

Would you look at them and tell them that they are fat? Would you tell them they are ugly? Would you look at them and tell them they are disgusting? Would you tell them that they need to stop eating the things that make them happy because it makes them look gross?

NEVER EVER EVER!!!!!!

So, why do you tell yourself that? Why do you treat your body, your best friend, that way?

I was listening to an interview between Jen Hatmaker and Hillary McBride, where Hillary had the best suggestion. When we speak about our body as an it, we are objectifying it. When we speak about our body as a Her, we are turning Her into an actual subject. Now, think about that for a minute. If you name your body, it literally changes the way you start thinking about Her. We are wired for connection, give your body a name and connect with Her. Become Her friend! Speak to Her as if she is your bestie.

This past 9 months I have promised myself that I would get healthy. I have been loving my journey. It has not been easy and I have wanted to quit so many times but I know that if I want to be around to see my kids have kids and maybe even their kids have kids, than I need to take control of myself. Over the years I have taken many “before” pictures so I could see the change that I was going to make when I committed to my latest diet and exercise regime. Want to know where they are….I deleted each and every one of them. I never wanted anyone to see how “fat” I was. Ya. Sounds crazy but that’s how I was feeling at the time. Yes sometimes I wish I had them but it is a reminder that in all actuality, those pictures don’t matter. I know how far I’ve come and that’s what matters.

I have ONE life, ONE body, and ONE mind. It is up to ME to make sure I am fueling Her properly! Most days, I do something for my mental health, my physical health and for my nutritional health. What that looks like for me may be different for you but I can tell you that these have helped me become a much happier, stronger, and positive human. I no longer rely on the number on my scale to define who I am and how happy I get to be. I will continue my journey to become even stronger in all areas of my life. I believe my purpose is to help others to see that they are unique and beautiful regardless of size, shape, race, or sexual orientation. Take back your control. Let yourself decide who you are meant to be! Get comfortable in your skin. It is completely up to YOU!

On a side note…I have created an accountability group on Facebook for the ladies if you need a little direction on where to start! It is a great group to help encourage, empower and inspire you to get started and take control of your life. If you have any questions, you can shoot me a message through Messenger or Email, tj@aneca.ca. Always happy to help you!

be THAT girl that is socially aware

i’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and your’re not in this world to live up to mine

BRUCE LEE

Day 21 of quarantine….how are you all holding up? For myself, I am okay. I am trying to keep some sort of routine just to help me stay sane. I am so impressed with the amazing teachers out there that have had to readjust to fit the new “curriculum”. Gosh…how lucky are we to have these humans to help hold our littles’ in a time of such chaos. HUGS to all of you doing your very best. I think I can speak for most….THANK YOU SO MUCH! We love and appreciate you all.

Our next lesson for our C.A.L.M Class is on Social Awareness and Social Management. Again…this is an add on once we have become aware of our purpose, our core values, our character, our feelings, and taking responsibility for our behavior and well-being .

SOCIAL AWARENESS is the ability to understand and respond well to the needs of others. This is something that is going to be used everyday in our lives whether it be at work, at school, at a party, at a family function, even social media….we need to be able to “read the room” as some might say. Being able to notice other’s emotions and respond empathically will help us become more aware of what others need or want from us. One thing that I have been working on is learning to manage my expectations of individuals or situations so that I don’t get offended or become disppointed.

I have been noticing, on social media or even when I go to the grocery store, people becoming very defensive and some just down right ass holes to each other! Where there is crisis, there are scared feelings which a lot of the time are presented as anger. This is the time that we all need to be socially aware of what each of us is feeling and try to give each other some grace. Some of us need to make sense of it all. Some of us can’t make sense of it all because it causes too much stress and anxiety! Let us all be aware that we do not think or feel alike so BE KIND! You do not know or understand everyone’s mental state right now. We are all in this together just trying to navigate through this experience. In the words of Ram Dass…”We are all just walking each other home.”

Let’s be the positive influence to and for each other while we manage through this. When we are socially aware of each other’s needs then we can begin to manage ourselves socially and become a positive force to be the change!

Be the change you want to see in the world

Gandhi

be THAT girl who is self-aware

the start of all growth is the introduction of higher states of conscious awareness…

Leo Tolstoy

Something I’ve learned on my own journey of self-growth is that in order to begin we need to understand what it means to be self-aware. That self-awareness allows us to pivot onto a path of self discovery that we should all be working towards.

Yesterday’s lesson and today’s lesson go hand in hand so I wanted to make sure I had covered both topics before I posted about each one of them. Yesterday we discussed self-awareness and today we built upon that and discussed self-management.

SELF-AWARENESS is the ability to focus on how our thoughts, emotions and actions align with our core values. If you haven’t had a chance to write down your top 10 core values from most important to you and so on (not that any aren’t important), then refer back to my previous post about that. When we are self-aware, we focus on the reality of our behaviour versus the story we tell ourselves about ourselves. Basically we stop trying to convince ourselves that we are someone we’re not. One way to help become more self-aware is to pretend you are looking at yourself through someone else’s eyes. Really look in the mirror and study what you actually see. We all have our own self-image of ourselves but it is not always the reality of the situation. For example…we might call ourselves OCD when it comes to cleaning our house but in reality, we live in chaos. Don’t be fooled by the image of yourself that you have convinced yourself of being. This is a time to get really honest with ourselves and become better aware of our reality.

Another step to becoming more self-aware is to not ignore our feelings or intuition. The more we ignore that feeling the more anxious and stressed out we become which causes us to feel stuck. I spoke about feeling our feelings a few posts back. If we do not acknowledge those feelings they will not go away. We can learn to repress them but they will resurface at a later time and may become increasingly difficult to deal with causing a major reaction that is hazardous to our health.

We asked our kids to help us list some ways that can help us to become more self-aware

  • Journaling our feelings multiple times a day
    • making sure we journal how we are feeling throughout the day Noticing positive, negative and meh feelings
    • ask yourself, where is this feeling coming from?
  • Recognize when our energy is high, low or meh
    • most likely it will coincide with our feelings and emotions

Once we become more self-aware, we can start to work on our self-management. We begin by taking responsibility of our own behaviour and well-being. One thing that I have learned and live by is, responsibility breeds empowerment. I know we all love that feeling of being empowered to do something. This is why finding balance in my life has been so important to me. Now, when I say find balance that doesn’t mean that each part of my life is going to get equal attention. That is IMPOSSIBLE!! It just simply means that I acknowledge the 4 cornerstones of MY life. Spiritual, Physical, Mental and Social. If I can do one thing a day in each one of these “bubbles” then I feel like I have some balance happening. That is going to look different for all of us.

Again, we asked our kids to give us an example of something that may help them manage themselves….they came up with…

  • Create a Routine
    • having a routine is definitely a key element in helping us create good healthy habits
  • Consistency
    • being consistent is what we, as humans, crave. We are built for boundaries and thrive when we have them.

As much as this situation isn’t ideal, I enjoying the time we have to reconnect with each other. Life get’s so busy and full of “schedules” that sometimes we forget to say NO to things. This has been a great reminder that we could be better at creating a routine where connection is more present.

I hope you are all hanging in there! Keep your heads up and search for the silver lining because there is one friends. Stay safe and Stay home.

be THAT girl that communicates effectively

the worst distance between two people is misunderstanding…

How many times have we heard, or repeated, that “communication is key”. I find the way that people communicate with each other to be quite fascinating! Quarantining in a home with 8 people for an extended amount of time is going to prove itself challenging if we don’t understand how each one of us communicates and then receives that communication. We are definitely going to have a few misunderstandings if we don’t become better communicators.

Today in our C.A.L.M Class with the parentals, we discussed 7 essential elements of communication skills. We wanted to build upon our topic yesterday of “What is our purpose and what are our core values”. We feel that if we know each other’s core values then that helps us to better understand the WHY in others choices.

So, here is our list of the 7 Essential Elements of communication skills…FYI…we did not make these up. I found them online.

  • Listening
  • Non-Verbal Communication
  • Being Clear
  • Being Concise
  • Being Confident
  • Being Personable
  • Being Patient

Listening is such an important skill when it comes to communication. This is something that I think I do well for the most part but could always do better. There is nothing more frustrating in a conversation than someone who is not 100% present. In order to fully understand someone and what they are conveying, we need to be fully engaged in our conversation. It shows the other person that you respect their time and what they have to say….even if it is not what you want to be talking about.

Non-verbal communication…now according to my kids, I am the master at this one. LOL! Apparently they can quickly tell when I am upset because I am more aggressive when I do my “angry” clean! Who knew?! And let’s be honest, what Mom doesn’t have the “I dare You” stare nailed down. Body language can definitely say a lot through our posture, gestures and our eye movements.

The next two are pretty similar…being clear and being concise. When choosing our words we need to make sure we are choosing the best words to deliver a message that’s easy to understand. That hardest conversations are the one’s where you walk away going, “what did they just ask me or what was it that they are trying to tell me?”

Being Confident. This is something I have struggled with my ENTIRE life. I was painfully shy as a child and into my teen years. I started to come out of my shell a bit when I met Awesome but even then it was only because I trusted him . I felt comfortable and safe. To this day, I still struggle in this department but not even close to where I used to be. I have worked hard on my self-worth through personal growth to get where I am today. I have also surrounded myself with humans that accept me for who I am so it’s easier to be confident when I have their support.

Being Personable. I know we all know THAT person that is super personable in our lives. The one where you just crave being in their presence. The one who greets you with a smile and a happy tone in their voice. The one who exudes light and love. Now, think about how that makes you feel….now go make someone in your household feel that way the next time you see them. Since we are all quarantined with our families, this is a perfect time to practice it. As soon as you get up….give your loved ones a big smile with a friendly tone when you say “GOOD MORNING (insert name)!” I bet you will instantly be able to see their body language change….and if not, it’ll change how you feel for the better anyways so it’s a win-win!

Being Patient. This one can go both ways. So, being patient when listening to a story that you have absolutely no interest in hearing or being patient when trying to convey a message. I find sometimes people can speak too fast because they are nervous which makes it hard to listen to. I even find at times when I get excited and have too many thoughts going through my head that they come out all messed up and then everyone is confused…including myself! Hahaha! It is important to be composed and not rush when you are trying to get your message across for effective communication.

Going through our list and having a discussion about each element was interesting. Each kid had a different story that they could share so that we could understand where the communication break-down took place. What I think I’ve learned from our discussion is that we need to try to do our best by using these key elements to communicate with each other. We need to think about what our intention is behind our message and what result we are trying to create. In saying that….we CANNOT control how that person is going to receive our message and what their reaction is going to be. We can only control OURSELVES.

I hope you are all doing okay! I am definitely missing being able to meet up with friends and family. I love to be social! If you see or know of someone struggling, let them know how much you care and ask what you can do to help them. Zoom coffee calls or zoom dates are a fun way to stay connected without spreading the virus! I encourage you all to hop on and try it.

STAY SAFE!