10 Ways I've Simplified My Life

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Since discovering and embracing the power of minimalism I have come to appreciate all the ways my life has become simpler. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and exhausted all the time, I feel in control of my life and am enjoying the extra time I have created. 

Many of the ways I have created more balance in my life are simple habits that have the power to create significant changes for the better. Here are 10 things I have done to simplify my life that you too can use to escape the overwhelm we so often experience in our day to day lives.

1. Turning off notifications for ALL social media apps.

If you only choose one item from this list to implement in your life, this would be the one. 

Turning off notifications for social media has been a total game changer for me and has brought a level of simplicity into my life that I hadn't even realized was possible. 

I used to live in a reactive state on a daily basis and allow these notifications to pull me away from what I was doing in the moment and check my phone. 

It was exhausting trying to keep up with every single Facebook comment, Snapchat, and Instagram like that showed up on in my notifications centre and the number in the corner of the app would always draw me in as soon as I opened my phone.

Now I check my social media apps a few times a day, tops. Usually once in the morning, afternoon, and evening, which allows me to be in control of when I am using the apps and how much time I spend on them. 

Give this a try for at least a week and I promise you will notice a huge difference in how you feel and how present you are in your daily life. 

2. Creating a Capsule Wardrobe

If you are anything like me you have spent much of your life standing in front of your closet, looking at rows and rows of clothing and saying to yourself, "I have nothing to wear."

I used to think the more clothes I owned, the easier it would be to put together stylish + beautiful outfits everyday. I thought the reason I couldn't find anything to wear was because I was just missing the one perfect piece that would make each outfit work. 

What I have come to realize since discovering minimalism is that the complete opposite is true. 

I could never find anything to wear because I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices I had to make just to complete the simple task of getting dressed in the morning. 

Now that I have fewer articles of clothing to choose from I find it extremely easy to get dressed each day. Every article of clothing I own works with at least three other pieces so I am never struggling to find the "perfect match."

This has saved me so much time, stress, and even money, as I now only purchase clothing when I need to replace an article that has become damaged or too worn. 

3. Everything has a place + everything in it's place.

This little life hack has been wonderful in helping to reduce the amount of time I spend cleaning + running around looking for things that have been misplaced. 

When I walk in the door at the end of the day everything I bring in the door with me gets immediately sorted + put where it belongs. 

My keys have a hook, my purse has a designated home, junk mail goes straight into the recycling bin, + my jacket gets hung up as soon as I take it off. 

I used to be that person who draped their jacket on the back of a chair, threw my keys wherever, + then could never find anything if I needed to rush out the door. 

Once you embrace minimalism + begin to reduce the number of possessions you have in your home, this can be an amazing way to keep that home tidy + organized at all times. 

4. Having only ONE of each kind of item. 

As someone who used to have about ten partially filled journals, five half read books, and a dozen personal development worksheets on their bedside table at one time, this particular tool has been a life changer for me. 

I now only have one journal, one book, one personal development worksheet, etc on the go at any given time. 

I also only own one umbrella, one pair of running shoes, and one jacket for each season. 

For anyone who isn't living a minimalist lifestyle at the moment this may seem a bit extreme, but for me this has been extremely liberating. 

By reducing the number of decisions I have to make each day I have freed up so much time + brain power, as well as making it incredibly easy to pack for any kind of trip.

5. Choose one type of schedule + put everything in it.

Bonus points for this one if it's a digital calendar app + even more extra points if it can be shared with other members of your family. 

My tool of choice for this is an app on my phone called Fantastical. This app allows me to have multiple different categories of calendar, sync calendars to my husbands iPhone, and set reminders for important events. 

It's features are very similar to the standard iPhone calendar app, but I much prefer the visual layout and easy to use interface on Fantastical. 

You may prefer to go old school and keep a physical day planner where you write out all of your appointments + that's okay. As long as you use it every single day + write everything down in it this will help you so much in staying organized. 

Your brain can only remember so much information at one time so take a bit of stress of yourself and let your calendar be the one to remember dates, time, + appointments. 

6. Doing tasks that take 5 minutes or less as soon as I think of them. 

I am a pretty big fan of lists, and I keep them for pretty much everything. I have lists of things I need to get done, shopping lists, lists of places I want to go, + on and on. 

I used to write things down on my To-Do list with the best of intentions + then still have things sitting on them months down the road that really should have been done by then. 

A wonderful way that I have managed to tame my To-Do list is to not add anything to it that would take me less than 5 minutes, even if it's something I don't feel like doing. Chances are I still won't feel like doing it a week down the road + it will just be sitting on my list, nagging away at me. 

Some of these things include responding to an e-mail, cleaning my bathroom sink, + putting things back in their proper place when I am finished using them. Better to do it right away than let it sit in the back of my mind long term.

7. Get my inbox to zero at the end of every day.

This ties in well to the point above, as one of my examples of a less than 5 minute task is to respond to an e-mail. 

Hands up if you have ever let an e-mail sit in your inbox unanswered for a couple days? A week? A month? 

Yes indeed, me too! I used to be extremely guilty of this + it caused me so much stress every time I opened up my inbox. I would respond in my mind over + over again, yet somehow I wouldn't actually take a few minutes to write out my response + hit send. 

It was not an easy process getting my inbox to zero the first time around + I highly suggest taking your time to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the task, but once you do it's a magnificent + liberating feeling. 

8. Only run errands once per week. 

I have already mentioned my love of lists + two of my favourites are my Shopping List + my Errands list. In an effort to become proactive rather than reactive in most areas of my life I have started only shopping once per week. 

Rather than running out to pick things up as soon as I run out, I add it to the list + pick it up at the end of the week. This helps me save lots of time, as well as saving money spent on gas from making multiple trips. 

9. Saying no to things that don't light me up.

As a "yes-person" in recovery this has been a work in progress that has brought so much simplicity + value to my life. It's been difficult to get comfortable with saying no to invitations + requests, but it's such a liberating feeling to only be putting things on the calendar that bring me joy. 

This has included things from turning down invitations to events I wasn't excited to attend, declining requests for help on projects that don't appeal to me, + not filling up my schedule with tedious tasks that don't bring me joy. 

This is something that takes a bit of work to master, + I am still working on it, but it's brought a wonderful amount of simplicity into my life. 

10. Embracing the motto "Done is better than perfect."

I am also a recovering perfectionist + adopting this motto in my daily life has cut my stress levels in half. Where I used to end each day feeling drained + disappointed that I hadn't completed every task on my To-Do list, now I choose to just let that mindset go. 

When I feel the urge to try and perfect something I recite this mantra over + over until I remember that there are so many other things I would rather be doing with my time. 

Do I really need to scrub the bathroom from top to bottom every week when I could be spending quality time doing something really fun with my hubby?

Do I need to spend hours perfecting one graphic for my website when I could be practicing a bit of self care to feel refreshed + renewed?

There is no such thing as perfect, so it's quite fruitless to try + achieve it. Allow yourself to just let it go + accept that done is always better than perfect. 

Now it's your turn beauty!

Come on over to my free Facebook group Less Stuff, More Love, and drop me a line with your favourite tip or trick for simplifying your life! 
 

 

A Divine Awakening in Glastonbury

There is a beautiful little town named Glastonbury in England where I stepped off the bus and instantly felt like I had come home. 

It is a town that is absolutely filled with magic, divine feminine energy, and the ability to set you on a spiritual journey of healing and discovery. 

I am a large believer in the power of the Universe to guide us to where we are meant to be in each moment of our lives. If you tap into the power of your intuition and listen to Her guidance She will take you where you are meant to go. 

I had intended on reading the book Rise Sister Rise by Rebecca Campbell in June, before leaving for our Summer of travelling around Europe, where I knew I would get to meet her at the Beautiful You Coaching Academy Paris Inspiration Day (more to come on this in a later post.) 

As it happened I was so busy preparing for our wedding, our trip, and squeezing in visits with friends and family, that I didn’t get a chance to even start reading it until last week. 

Instead I found myself reading the chapter in which she speaks of the power and inspiration that lay in Glastonbury while working on a beautiful little farm in the countryside in England. 

My soul felt instantly drawn to this magical little town on Glastonbury where so many light-workers are called by the balance between the divine masculine and feminine energies that occur through the intersection of the Michael and Mary meridian lines. 

Out of curiosity I looked up Glastonbury on Google Maps and found out that I was a mere 30 minute bus ride away!

Job well done Universe for showing me all the signs I needed to bring me to this beautiful place. 

One of the places I knew I absolutely had to check out while I was exploring the town was the Glastonbury Goddess Temple where women often go to bask in the radiance of the Goddess and to meditate and pray in the presence of a Priestess of Avalon, and other beautiful souls who are drawn to honour the Goddess. 

The moment I stepped through the doors to the Goddess Temple my body, mind, and soul felt like time had stopped and I was exactly where I was meant to be in that moment. 

I lit a candle, placed it on the altar in front of a beautiful portrait of the Goddess of Avalon, and sat down on a cushion to simply breathe and soak up the energy that existed within the temple. 

My body began to feel light, my mind felt at ease, and my soul felt loved, supported, and held by the Goddess and by those around me in this beautiful space. 

The past few years I have felt a calling to work with women to heal past wounds, to connect with the divine feminine within, and to step fully into my higher purpose on this Earth. 

Until this moment I had not felt ready, nor had I felt like I had any right to do this work. Who am I to help women on this journey when I am still fumbling along myself, trying to find my way. 

Yet in this moment, I just felt so sure that this is exactly what I am meant to be doing. 

I am a light-worker. 

I am a leader. 

I am a healer.

I am a woman worthy of the love I so willingly give to others. 

I was beginning to feel all of these things welling up inside of me that I had been pushing away for so long. 

Next thing I knew I was feeling called to stand up, and ask the Priestess who was present that day at the Goddess Temple to do a smudging ritual for me. 

I felt as if I had floated up and made this request, as if it was beyond my bodies control, and I was being physically guided by the Universe. 

She asked me if I had anything that I wanted to let go of and release. 

I remember hearing myself say, “I am ready to let go of old stories and negative parts of my past that are holding me back and no longer serving me.”

She held both of my hands in hers and I could feel a connection that has never existed between myself and complete stranger. She felt like a sister I had know from a past life. 

She began to allow the fragrant smoke to billow around my body, and I closed my eyes to fully experience the release of things I had been holding onto for much too long. 

As soon as I closed my eyes I could feel the tears begin to stream steadily down my face. 

I let go of my masculine desire to wipe away the tears, and instead stepped fully and completely into the divine feminine energy within me. 

I felt like a door had opened within my heart and I was allowing my tears to heal old wounds which I had buried for so much of my life. 

I could feel the energy of every women I know, every women who came before me, and every woman I have yet to meet surrounding me in this time of healing and grace. 

I began to cry so much that the sobs shook my entire body and all I could do is breathe deeply and let it all go. 

I could feel a release of an entire lifetime of living in my masculine energy, trying to control outcomes, trying to force myself to fit into societies standards for me, and trying to stifle my tears for fear of being seen as weak. 

It all came crashing down around me and I could feel myself becoming lighter and lighter. A weight was lifted off my shoulders and my heart became so full I thought it might burst. 

I felt like a phoenix rising from the ashes. I was stepping fully into the woman I am meant to be in this new phase of my life. 

After the smudging ceremony I wrapped my beautiful new sister in my arms, and we hugged each other for what was probably only minutes, but felt like an eternity in the most beautiful way. 

The hug was a communication between us which could not have been expressed with words alone.

Thank you sister. I support you. I see you. I know you. I love you. Blessed be. 

7 Badass Girl Bosses That Inspire Me

There is definitely something to be said for the level of inspiration that one can find in watching other women shine and succeed at something they are truly passionate about. 

This is a list of just a few of the incredible female entrepreneurs that have been my inspiration in the last year of building and launching my business. 

Cassey Ho

CEO and Founder of Blogilates + POP Pilates + Popflex Activewear

This amazing woman started out filming workout videos for women in her living room and has since then built an empire that is worthy of so much recognition. 

She dedicates her life to inspiring and empowering others through her sparkling personality, drive, and determination. 

She has helped millions of women get fit, and in the process form a healthy relationship with their bodies. 

I feel blessed to be a part of her community as a Certified POP Pilates Instructor and to have the honor of helping her to build a community of women who are supporting one another in achieving their goals. 

Check this badass babe out here

Naomi Arnold

Certified Beautiful You Life Coach + Award Winning Business + Life Passion Coach

I stumbled across Naomi a little over a year ago and was shocked to learn that she has only been in business since 2014. In that short period of time she has accomplished so many inspirational things. 

She has been awarded International Coach of the Year, been featured in over 50 print and digital media sources, became the first Engaging Women Ambassador, and launched a podcast that helps inspire so many people. 

It was through Naomi that I discovered the Beautiful You Life Coaching Academy and signed up to begin my journey to becoming a Life Coach. It was her warmth, creativity, and passion towards helping others that made me certain that I wanted to become a part of the Beautiful You community.

I am incredibly thankful that I will have the opportunity to work with Naomi later this year as one of her coaching clients. I am very much so looking forward to experiencing her talents first hand.

Learn more about this amazing woman here.  

Julie Parker

CEO + Founder of the Beautiful You Life Coaching Academy

This radiant woman is the creative genius behind the Beautiful You Coaching Academy. She is one of the warmest, most passionate, and most caring women I have ever NOT met and yet still feel like I have known for years. 

She is such a positive person and her light shines so brightly that even just seeing one of her posts on Instagram can light up your entire day. She embodies love in absolutely everything that she does and I can hardly wait to meet her in person this summer.

It is so rare that you meet someone who truly puts her heart and soul into everything that she does and Jules is a prime example of that. 

She has been such an inspiration to me during this first phase of my entrepreneurial journey and I look forward to learning more from her in the years to come. 

Connect with this beautiful soul here

Carrie Green

CEO + Founder of the Female Entrepreneur Association + Author of She Means Business

I stumbled across this lovely lady in my search for female entrepreneur inspiration a little less than a year ago. Since then I have learned countless things from this driven boss babe, like how to grow my e-mail list, how to create a stunning website, and even the importance of self care. 

She has created a tribe of female entrepreneurs who connect with and support one another over in her Members Club. I am so thankful to be a member, as I have learned so much from both Carrie and the other members. 

I have turned to her informative videos, beautiful printables, and inspirational newsletters more times than I can count. She never ceases to amaze me with her can do attitude and with the way she always shows up with a beautiful smile upon her face. 

She is remarkably humble for such a successful woman, and she continues to add value to the lives of women all over the world on a daily basis. If you are a female entrepreneur I highly recommend checking her out. 

You can find this exceptional lady here

Jess Lively

Creator of The Lively Show + Life with Intention Online

I stumbled across this wonderful woman just last summer when I did a search for "inspirational podcasts for women entrepreneurs". Since then I have been absolutely hooked on her podcast "The Lively Show. 

I went back and binge listened to nearly every single episode, which by the way is currently sitting at 187 episodes. Needless to say I am in LOVE with what this lovely lady has to say and how she has impacted my life. 

I was so in love with what she has to offer that I signed up for her signature course Life with Intention Online last fall and I can't stop raving about how amazing it was. I connected with myself, my intuition, and my values on a whole new level than ever before. 

Jess has spent over 12 years learning the things she teaches in her course and on her podcast and I am so grateful that I stumbled across her when I did. She has changed my life in ways I may never be able to repay her for. 

Learn about what this intuitive goddess has to offer here.

Amy Porterfield 

Social Media Strategy Consultant + Creator of The Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast

This gorgeous lady is the founder of the only other podcast I stuck with after my google search turned up about 20 podcasts. She is such an inspiration and has found a way to make what I used to consider the dull side of business more fun and interesting. 

When I first began my entrepreneurial journey I was incredibly overwhelmed with all the technical things I didn't know and just how much learning I had ahead of me. I had no idea how to build a website, create a blog, start an e-mail list, or schedule social media content. 

For the first 6 months everything I did was both very sporadic and intensely overwhelming. When I discovered Amy's podcast I knew the universe had sent me to her for a reason. 

Since then I have learned so many valuable things, such as how to get my e-mail inbox to ZERO on a DAILY basis. That's right! Daily! I have also learned how to create content for you, my wonderful subscribers, and how to do so without pulling my hair out over something I can't figure out. 

If you are a fellow entrepreneur and need a bit of help with the technical side of things check her out here

Marie Forleo

Owner of MarieTV + Marie Forleo's B-School

I came across Marie just over a year ago when I was trying to decide if I should go back to school for a business degree. I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur, I knew I wanted to be a Life Coach, and it seemed that the best way to go about it was to improve my business knowledge. 

Well thank you universe for showing me that there is another way, that in my opinion is also a better way. I have learned so much from Marie about what it takes to be a confident, independent, and successful woman and entrepreneur. 

Last year I applied for a scholarship to Marie's B-School program, and was not selected for a spot. Looking back on it I am very thankful that I didn't. At the time I had no idea what direction I wanted to take my coaching business or how I was going to get there. I also had a lot of my plate with school, yoga teacher training, and working full time. 

The application process for B-School Scholarships opens up in February and you can bet your beautiful butt that I am applying for it. I finally feel ready to take on the challenge and to grow my business into something amazing so that I can help more women just like you achieve their wildest dreams. 

To find out more about this multi-passionate boss babe click here

That's it for now gorgeous. Until next time, I would love to hear from you. 

Who was the biggest source of inspiration in your life this year?

Comment below and let me know. 

Intention - My Theme for 2017

I have decided to take a completely different approach to goal setting and deciding what I would like to focus on for 2017. 

I have had too many years where I write out lists of things I would like to achieve, only to leave them sitting in a journal somewhere, not to be looked at for another year. 

This year I am taking the approach of setting INTENTIONS rather than GOALS. 

What exactly does this mean?

It means that instead of listing off what are essentially "To Do" list style items like "Lose weight" or "Read 50 books", I am shifting my focus to living my life with certain intentions in mind each day. 

Last year I took two online courses that revolved around the theme of Intention and I must say that I am hooked. 

Through Instagram with Intention I was able to learn so much about how to create a beautiful feed that helps me connect with ideal clients and represent my brand in an authentic and visually appealing way to grow my tribe. 

Through Life with Intention Online I learned about the difference between Intuition and The Ego, how to create a life centred around values and intentions, and the difference between living life with force or allowing more flow to occur in your life. 

Reflecting on all of this made it perfectly clear to me that this is my year to decide to live from a place of intuitive intention and to create space in my daily life to allow for more flow. 

Here are a few examples of intentions I have created for myself this year just in case you feel the urge to take a different approach to 2017 as well. 

"I would like to spend my time, energy, and money intentionally by treating them like the rare and valuable gifts that they are." 

"I would like to evaluate all of my possessions and decide whether or not they serve a distinct purpose, and/or add value to my life. If the answer is no, I will let them go."

"Create massive change and make a positive impact in the world by fearlessly and authentically sharing my story, passion, and knowledge with others."

"Embrace a lifestyle of simple abundance, created through meaningful, intuitive, and intentional living."

"Help women achieve balance in their lives and beat overwhelm by teaching them to love their uniquely beautiful selves and connecting them with their inner feminine badass."

I am very excited to see what the universe brings into my life as I live each day focused on these intentions. I feel deep down in my gut that 2017 is going to be one hell of a ride and I can hardly wait to experience it all.  

12 Books I am Dying to Read in 2017 (Part 2)

Hello again lovelies, 

I hope you are all having a truly fantastic start to your week. 

Last week I published Part 1 of this post, with the first 6 books on my 2017 reading list. If you haven't had a chance to read it yet you can find it here

Now I am going to continue with the second half of my list of 12 Books I am Dying to Read in 2017.

Let's jump right in.

7. Light is the New Black by Rebecca Campbell

This is the second book by Rebecca Campbell to make it on my 2017 reading list, which was actually written prior to Rise Sister Rise. It's been sitting on my bookshelf waiting for me to read it for quite some time. I love the concept that by doing the things that light you up you will in turn light up the world and those around you. I can hardly wait to dig deeper into this topic and learn so much about it. 

8. Soul Searcher Handbook by Emma Mildon

I am starting to think I may be horrible for hoarding beautiful books without reading them, as this is another book that I own and have been dying to read. It's been sitting on my shelf for most of 2016 and I am so excited to dive into this incredible resource with information on topics from meditation to healing crystals. It's like a handbook for New Age women and I am very excited to see what kind of amazing things I can learn from this book and implement in my self care practice. 

9. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

I am a huge Elizabeth Gilbert fan and am very happy to finally be making the time to dig into this amazing book of hers. I have read and re-read Eat, Pray, Love many many times and am looking forward to seeing what other wisdom and inspirations come from reading more of this wonderful woman's work. I have heard nothing but great things about this book from fellow creatives and am happy to have it on my list for the New Year. 

10. Wanderlust by Jeff Krasno

This book is an absolute beauty and I began reading it last year, then got sidetracked by our move and return to school. This full color book is packed with incredible photos and wise words and I am so excited to dig into it in the upcoming year. It is a top bucket list item of mine to attend a Wanderlust festival, and it is something I feel I can fit into my 2018 plans. This year though I will live vicariously through the beautiful photos and stories contained on the pages of this gorgeous book. 

11. Pussy: A Reclamation by Regana Thomashauer

I believe the first I heard of this book was on Instagram. It began popping up on my feed almost daily as the book was close to it's launch date and I new instantly that I had to read it. The boldness of the title drew me in and I was impressed to see such a badass standpoint made by the amazing Regena Thomashauer. I have heard so many great things about this wildly popular book and I am very excited to dive into a book that is centered around feminine power and self confidence. This should prove to be one incredible read. 

12. The Goddess Revolution by Mel Wells

This book was the most recent addition to my reading list and actually replaced another book I was planning on listing. I stumbled across this book in the "Suggested for You" section of Amazon and new immediately that it had to make it on my list for 2017. For those who don't know I have struggled day in and day out over the years with my eating habits and my body image. This book is all about shifting your mindset and the way you view your self worth in order to embrace your body for the beautiful, unique, and powerful thing that it is. I am very excited to spend some quality time with this book learning to adapt a new way of thinking about my body and improving my self confidence. 

Now it's your turn...

What is the number one book on your reading list for 2017?

What was your absolute favorite book that you read this year?

All You Need is Less

With the preparation for the holiday season in full swing it is all too easy to let things get out of hand and overindulge, overspend, and over-stress.

It is important to take some time to slow down, breathe, and embrace a bit of minimalism in your holiday season. 

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you embrace a minimalist mindset during this holiday season.  

Give Less

This may seem counter intuitive during a season of giving and you may be thinking to yourself that I am nuts, and how could you possibly do such a thing on such a major holiday. Hear me out though. 

We spend so much time and money racing around looking for gifts for everyone in our circle of friends, family, and co-workers. Then there is the time we spend wrapping each gift, and stressing over whether we have an equal number or value of gifts for each person, etc etc. 

This year instead of giving everyone and their dog a gift, spend some quality time with your loved over a hot drink or a glass of wine and enjoy the pleasure of each others company. The memories you will make together will far outweigh the joy you could find in any material possession. 

Indulge Less

Every year there seems to be this viscous cycle of eating and drinking too much over the holidays, followed by the guilt and shame over the extra weight we have put on, which leads to some pretty drastic New Year's resolutions. 

This year take some time to plan out your indulgences ahead of time. This will both give you something to look forward to and make you feel much less guilty over the indulgences you do choose to have. 

I am a big fan of sweets and wine over the holidays, and I am by no means saying not to have any. However, I do think you will feel better both physically and emotionally if you take a minimalistic mindset towards these treats. 

Spend Less

The holidays can be very taxing on our financial situation with the costs of gifts, travel expenses, and other miscellaneous things adding up quickly. 

One of my favourite ways to alleviate the financial stress is to do a Secret Santa style gift exchanged. This doesn't have to only apply to co-workers. You can draw names out of a hat for family members and friends also. 

It's also helpful to get everyone in your gift giving circle on board with a price limit.

Commit to Less

It seems that it has become common practice around the holiday's to jam pack our schedules with as many events as possible. Between staff parties, Christmas Recitals, and various family celebrations it is all too easy to feel as if we are running around non-stop all holiday long. 

This year take a moment to look at your holiday plans and eliminate the things you don't actually want to include. Do you dread the time commitment of sending out Christmas cards? Don't do it. Do you loathe spending hours socializing with co-workers you hardly know at the office Christmas Party? Just pop in and show face for one hour and then be done with it. Or even don't go at all. 

The holiday season is about doing things that fill you with joy and being surrounded by people you love. If your schedule is already full of things you are dreading, start crossing off the things that aren't important to you. 

Stress Less

You might be thinking to yourself "Well if it were just as easy as that don't you think I would just do it." Which is half true, and yet half just an excuse to not make it a priority. 

If we allow it, the holiday's can be loaded full of stress. If we make a conscious effort to stay stress free through things like the above tips and a daily meditation practice we can actually have a very stress free holiday season, 

Our life is what we make it and all we have to do is make the decision to lead a life free of stress and not let the silly little things bother us. We cannot control every thing that happens to us, but we can certainly change how we react to them. Allow yourself to embrace a more relaxed and easy going mindset this holiday season and just watch your stress levels melt away. 

So there you have it lovelies. A few tips and tricks to put in your tool belt to help you lead a minimalistic lifestyle through the holidays. 

Now it's your turn. 

Are there any tips you have that I have missed in this list?

What is your number one takeaway from this post?

Leave your response in the comments below and then head on over to the Get Social part of my site to Subscribe and be the first to hear when I post new content. 

12 Books I am Dying to Read in 2017 (Part 1)

For those who don't already know, I am a bit of a bookworm, or as my fiance may tend to put it, a book hoarder. 

I always have multiple books on the go, and my tiny little apartment is more full of books than anything else I own, including clothing. 

As such it seemed appropriate to share with you guys what I have on my Personal Development reading list for 2017. 

I can't wait to dive into these beautiful books and then tell you guys all about what I learned from each one. 

1. The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein

I'll admit I am cheating a little, as I couldn't wait for 2017 to dive into this beauty of a book. This is currently taking up residence on my nightstand and so far is proving to be an incredible read.

I have dedicated myself to a chapter per night and am finding myself struggling to stick to it as I am constantly thinking to myself "just one more page". 

I am a big fan of how wildly honest and vulnerably open Gabby is in this book and I feel like I can truly connect with a lot of what she has to say. 

2. The Desire Map by Danielle Laporte

This book has been on my list for most of 2016, but I have yet to get around to it. In truth I think I have been waiting for life to slow down to allow for enough time to give it the focus I feel it deserves. 

With 2017 already ramping up to be an even busier and more chaotic year than 2016 I am challenging myself to simply go for it and dive in feet first with this beauty. 

I look forward to all of the things I will learn about myself and my core desires during the course of this read. It should prove to be quite fascinating. 

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3. Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

I first heard about this book on an episode of Marie TV while watching an interview with the author. Within the first 3 minutes I knew I absolutely had to read this book. 

The trials this amazing woman has been through and overcome are just astonishing. She truly is a warrior of a woman and I am looking forward to learning more about her brave and inspirational journey through life. 

4. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle 

This book has been on my "Must Read" list for years and years, and recently was brought to the front of my mind by the lovely Jess Lively during a podcast on the Lively Show. 

She recently went on a retreat with Eckhart Tolle and had so many valuable lessons that she gained from studying under him. It felt like the universe was nudging me to put this book back on my list and give it a good read through. 

5. Rise Sister Rise by Rebecca Campbell 

This book has been popping up all over my social media feeds and is waiting for my in the "Recommended for You" section every time I log onto Amazon.ca. 

Many of the lovely ladies who have been raving about this book are women I find to be truly inspirational, and whose characteristics I aspire to emulate in both my professional and personal life. 

This is another book that the Universe thinks I should have on my reading list for 2017 and who am I to argue with the Universe?

6. Wellth: How I Learned to Build a Life not a Resume by Jason Wachob

Stumbling across this book was a happy accident whilst perusing my local bookstore one rainy afternoon. I had just recently become aware of and greatly fond of the word "Well-th" and had made it a goal of mine to shift my focus toward achieving more of it in my life. 

It was an added bonus when I discovered that the author was the founder of one of my favorite companies, MindBodyGreen, which had already produced loads of content that I had spent hours of time devouring. I am greatly looking forward to learning a lot from this book. 

So there you have it. My first 6 reads for the New Year. 

Now I want to hear from you... 

What books have you been dying to read?

Do you have any book suggestions that you feel belong in the next 6 for 2017?

Have you read any of these and want to offer your opinion?

Comment below to join in the conversation.

And before you go, if you haven't done so already, please Subscribe to my weekly Newsletter to receive your password to the Freebies Library! 

www.lexxellins.com/subscribe

Creating Success Through Morning Rituals

One of my favourite quotes of all time is that "Self care in not selfish, rather it is essential." I know so many people who think they should spend as much time as possible making others happy and caring for those they love, and they never take time out of their days to do things that bring them joy. 

I used to be one of those people, until I realized how badly it stressed me out and left me feeling drained and exhausted nearly all the time. My tanks were all running on empty because I was constantly giving to others without first taking the time to fill them back up. This is never a good situation for anybody involved. Truth be told this sort of lifestyle made me a little miserable to be around because my mood was up and down like a rollercoaster. 

Since designating myself an hour each morning to do the things that fuel my soul and bring me joy I have become a much more positive and pleasant person. I take this chunk of time to quiet my mind, allow my creativity to flow, and to surround myself with things that make me feel inspired and motivated.

This post is designed to show you the things that I do during my morning me time. I challenge you to use this as a starting point to develop your own morning routine. You will notice the difference in your life immediately when you start your day off doing things that bring you joy. If you love running, do it! If you like to paint, do it! This is your time to do anything you wish that will put you in the right mindset to succeed in anything the day puts in your path. 

Here is a list of the things that I do each morning to put myself in the right mindset to create the life of my dreams. 

Meditation

This is the key to getting myself in the correct mindset to start my day off right. I am still a fair bit of a newbie to meditation and truth be told I don't do so well with just sitting and breathing. Being a Type A personality who is always on the go, I am a huge fan of guided meditations. I LOVE the app Omvana for this as it is full of some pretty awesome FREE meditations. They are all varied in type and length, but one of my favourites is a 12 minute Abundance Meditation by Melissa Ambrosini. It puts me in a wonderful mindset that helps me to attract more of the things I want in my life. I also love using my noise canceling headphones for this so that I can drown out any external noise and distractions. 

Yoga

This is another essential for me every single day. Being a yoga teacher it is all too easy to get lazy and just say that the classes I teach are my practice for the day, but I notice an immense difference in my wellbeing and my mental state when I take even just 10-20 mins in the morning to get my yoga on. When I teach I am so focused on talking everyone through the poses and what is coming next that I don't actually get to properly breathe. Yoga is first and foremost a practice of breath so I take a bit of time each day to at least do a few sun salutations, some standing and balancing poses, and an inversion or two. Both my body and my mind are very thankful for this part of my morning me time. 

Journaling

I absolutely love to both read and write so I find it so fulfilling to go through my Simple Abundance books and write down anything that they inspire within me. These books are truly fantastic as each of them is only a page long read for each day, but they really make you think. I look forward every single day to reading these books and then pouring my thoughts out onto paper. Another part of my journaling practice is my gratitude and mindset work. I like to jot down at least 5 things each day that I am grateful for to remind myself how many wonderful things I have in my life. Then I follow that up with setting intentions about how I want to feel throughout my day. If it's a day that will be filled with working on my business I say that I want to feel driven and focused. If it's going to be a day where I focus on self care I set my intention to be relaxed and thoughtful. Setting your intention for the day is a very powerful way to ensure you are starting your day off on the right foot. 

Sensory Awareness

I love to be surrounded by things that stimulate my senses in an uplifting way and create an environment that brings me joy and peace. This is the reason why I buy beautiful journals, pretty coffee mugs, decorative frames, and inspirational pens. This is the same reason why I absolutely love essential oils, scented candles, and the taste of coffee in the morning. It is a wonderful way to enjoy the beauty in the small things in life. I enjoy lighting a vanilla scented candle and breathing in the aroma as I meditate and journal each morning. I also love to wear my inTune doTerra rollerball on my temples and my chest to allow me to focus fully on the present moment. These tiny things are such a huge part of my morning me time as they allow me to feel so comfortable and calm. 

Scheduling & Prioritizing

I am and quite possibly always will be a huge planner junkie. In previous years I have had more than one on the go at a time because each one did something different. Ever since discovering the Passion Planner that Angelia Trinidad designed I have been able to stick to this one planner each day for 95% of my needs. The only other planner I use is the one where I brainstorm all of my social media and blog posts.  The Passion Planner is incredible because it focuses on mind mapping out your goals and using that visual to create your schedule around your goals and ambitions. It's the most wonderful planner I have come across thus far and it is a great way for me to see a visual of my day, including where I have some white space to do with as I please. I am big on leaving white space scheduled into my days to allow myself to flow with what my intuition says I should be doing next. I schedule in the mandatory things like work, exercise, clients, classes I teach, my morning me time routine, and sleep. The rest I leave blank to allow myself the freedom to decide what I want to do with that white space. Sometimes I fit productive things into it, like working on my website or developing a new product, and other times I take that time to just be in the present moment, reading, writing, or relaxing in another manner that brings me joy. 

So there you have it. This is my Morning Me Time Routine that I use to set myself up to be wildly productive and successful each and every day. Success isn't all about hustling and grinding, but rather it is something that is achieved by ensuring that you have taken time to set yourself up for it through mindset work and taking time out of your day for you. 

Now it's your turn to do the talking by commenting below and letting my know what your morning routine looks like.

What do you do each and every day that sets you up for a successful day?

How Hitting Rock Bottom Led Me to Overwhelming Joy

Hello lovely! 

I want to tell you all a story that I have been itching to write for a very long time, but have been holding onto because of fear and ego. I am here to get wildly open and honest with you about how hitting rock bottom turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to me. I went from coasting through life on auto-pilot to being fully alive and thriving over the span of two very trying years. 

Let's take a little trip back in time to early 2014, before I left the military, before getting a divorce, and before going bankrupt. I was just cruising along in life, with little to no direction in mind for my long term plan. I had a general idea that I wanted to specialize in Explosive Ordnance Disposal - or more commonly known as the "Bomb Squad" - within my trade as a Combat Engineer. I was working hard to study up and get ready for the upcoming courses I needed to be fully qualified. 

While on my courses I was very excited about what I was learning, and yet I had an overwhelming amount of anxiety about the direction my life was heading both career wise and in my personal life. I was having loads of financial issues, my marriage was slowly deteriorating, and I couldn't shake the feeling like I was headed down the wrong path. 

As it turns out the Universe had a whole new life path in mind for me. One that I had never even dreamed was even a possibility. Over the months that followed my courses in New Brunswick, my now former husband and I decided to separate and I moved in with my best friend until I could get on my feet. I began to feel an overwhelming sense of loss, both for my marriage and the life I was starting to leave behind. I spent a few months turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms to get through everything (*ahem* whiskey, wine, and beer), before I had a wake-up call and realized that I needed to get my sh!t together and start living my life. 

In January 2015, after six years of serving my country, I made the difficult decision to leave my career in the military and go back to school. I also knew that in order to make room for change and new things, the things that were no longer serving me had to go. I filed for a bankruptcy that same month and took the first step of many to gaining control of my finances and my future. 

Every single one of those changes was incredibly terrifying and right before I took that leap of faith I felt like I was at an all time low.  I had hit rock bottom and I had hit it hard. I felt an intense amount of sadness, disappointment, fear, failure, and self-loathing. How had I managed to fail at so many things in my life and in such a short period of time. I felt miserable, overwhelmed, and spent much of my time wallowing in self pity and tears. 

The beautiful thing about hitting rock bottom, is that there is literally nowhere to go but up. Now this doesn't mean that all of a sudden all the pain and suffering was gone and I was on to living my dream life. No sirree! Not even close. It does mean however that I was finally on the path that the universe had planned for me. 

Things began to naturally fall into place and the more I embraced them the more the things I was longing for deep down began to manifest in my life. A large part of being able to work through my emotions and begin building my dream life was thanks to my daily yoga practice. I started doing yoga to reduce the amount of stress in my life, and I instantly felt drawn to the idea of becoming a yoga teacher. I became obsessed and spent hours researching and learning about what I needed to do in order to start teaching others how to use yoga to change their lives for the better. 

Since discovering my passion for the Health and Wellness industry my vision of my dream job has changed a number of times, and continues to grow and evolve as I do. I LOVE to teach and I feel incredibly blessed to now be certified as a Yoga Teacher, POP Pilates Instructor, Personal Trainer, and Group Fitness Instructor. My job allows me to meet some of the most fantastic people and to help them become the best version of themselves possible. 

I have worked so hard over the past couple years to embrace the Universe's plans for me and to become the best version of myself possible. I strive each day to be true to my authentic self and to live my life in harmony with my core values and beliefs. I have come a very long way from the place I was just over two years ago. I have replaced fear with tenacity, sorrow with joy, and anxiety with passion and purpose. 

I am sometimes blown away with how much I have accomplished and persevered through in the past few years, especially when I know deep down in my core that I am only getting started. If there is just one piece of advice that I could offer to anyone feeling lost, stuck, and unhappy in their current life, it is to listen to your intuition and take BOLD and BRAVE actions towards creating the life you are longing for. It won't be easy, and that voice of your intuition might be as quiet as a mouse at first, but the more you listen to it, and the more you embrace the plan the Universe has for you, the more abundantly joyful your life will be. 

By starting to live outside my comfort zone a little more each day and being open to change I have created a life that I couldn't have imagined in even my wildest dreams. I have met and fallen head over heels for the love of my life. I adopted two adorable fur babies that I wouldn't have been able to care for if I were still in the military and constantly being sent away from home. I have multiple jobs that fuel my passion for helping others each and everyday, and I am on my way to becoming a Certified Life Coach so that I may continue to help people in a further multitude of ways. I challenge you to dig deep inside of yourself and listen to that tiny little voice of your own intuition and discover a life that fills you with joy. If I can do it then you most certainly can too!

 

Now I want to hear from you!

Drop me a line in the comments below and answer the following two questions for me. 

  • What is your intuition and the Universe drawing you towards?
     

  • What fears or challenges are blocking you from embracing your authentic self and life's purpose?

Until next time, get out there and be brave you beautiful badass. 

With love, 

Lexx <3