Raise Your Glass! It’s Time To Celebrate!

My week in pics: Learning how to make the perfect Mate (a BIG part of the Argentinian culture), exploring the city and hanging out with my new friend I met on the airplane, walking tour of Buenos Aires (and going to the famous grave of Eva Perón, aka Evita!), getting dressed up to go to a famous Speak Easy to celebrate some birthdays, which are all the rage here!

Raise Your Glass! It’s Time To Celebrate!

 

Happy Friday!

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE finding an excuse to celebrate! Birthdays, anniversaries, because it’s Friday, or JUST BECAUSE! And no, you are never too old for balloons!

Well today, we’re going to talk about celebrating, and the importance of it! And moreover I’m going to share 3 reasons as to why we don’t always take the time to celebrate, and 3 ideas how we can change that!

Enjoy!

(transcript below)

Have a FAB week!

Carol - high res

 

 

P.S. Are you ready to ‘Unleash Your Powerful Woman Within?!?‘ There are still a few tickets left for our event in Toronto on Monday! JOIN US! 

 

 

TRANSCRIPT:

Happy Friday!

I’m Carol Schulte, and welcome to my Happy Friday video blog.

Today is all about celebration!

Why? Well, it’s Friday, I happen to love celebrating, and it just so happens to be the celebrating BIG day in the 5-Day Living Big challenge!

You see, I love a good excuse to celebrate. Birthdays, anniversaries, and I also love balloons! (And I believe you can celebrate with balloons at any age!)

But I also don’t think we necessarily have to wait for special occasions to celebrate. In fact, I would argue you can find a reason to celebrate each and every day, if you choose to see it that way.

So why is it that so many of us have a hard time taking the time to celebrate?

Today, I’m going to share with you three reasons why, and three ideas how we can conquer them.

 

  1. As my friend and colleague Nina Spencer writes in her book describing her experience climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, ‘Sometimes you can’t see the mountain when you’re already on the mountain.’ Which means, sometimes when you’re so busy doing what you’re doing, you’re not able to take that bird’s eye view and look at how far you’ve already come. It’s good to be focused on where you want to go, however also we need to celebrate where we’ve come from and all we’ve already accomplished.

 

  1. We’re really good at saying ‘I will celebrate when.’ When I get there, once I’ve done that, once I’ve reached that goal, or met the man, or had children… then, then, THEN I can celebrate. We’re always waiting for that next big milestone before we can celebrate, instead of recognizing we already have so much to celebrate, right where we are right here. So make sure you take the time to recognize that, celebrate that!

 

  1. Sometimes we get so caught up in looking around at what everyone else is doing, that all of a sudden our achievement or accomplishment doesn’t seem so great anymore. So be careful of that. Don’t compare where you are to someone else’s middle or even end game. If you’ve conquered an action, if you’ve done something you’ve set out to do, celebrate that! Don’t look at what everybody else is doing, it doesn’t matter! After all, they’re not on your journey.

 

So today I challenge you to find something to celebrate. And however you choose to do it, whether you get some balloons, or you get out a glass of your fave bevvy (don’t worry, it’s just water, I’m still working!) or you want to write out a celebrations list, do something to celebrate who you are and where you are right now.

This is actually something we do every Friday in The Tribe, and I’m excited to do that later on with them. I want you to stay tuned because on Monday I’m going to be sending out a very special invitation for you to join The Tribe.

It’s an amazing and powerful group where you get the accountability, the support, and the inspiration you need to continue to go after your dreams and make them happen. And furthermore, to live your biggest life!

So, it is celebration time!

Happy Friday, have a wonderful weekend, and if you have someone in your life who you think would benefit from this video, please share it with them!

And until next time, don’t forget to dream big, play big, and live big.

Carol

 

What is YOUR Living Big Hedgehog? (Watch this video to see what I mean!)

My week in pics: Having a fabulous time wine tasting in Mendoza, taking in the magic and beauty and splendour that are Iguazú Falls, getting SOAKING wet on the boat ride (that literally went under a part of the falls!) and visiting Las Tres Fronteras, the intersection of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. 

 

What is YOUR Living Big Hedgehog? (Watch this video to see what I mean!)

 

Happy Friday!

And greetings from… My Dad’s house back in Canada!

Yes that’s right – after four flights, five airports, and over 24 hours later – I’m back on Canadian soil! And it’s pretty exciting, I have to say.

I’m home for almost two weeks, as I have two exciting conferences I will be speaking at, and a Women Living Big Habitat For Humanity build, plus lots of friends and family I’m pumped to be seeing!

However that’s not what this week’s video is about.

This past week I spent a few days in beautiful Iguazú, where I was able to take in the magic, the splendour, and the beauty that is Iguazú Falls. And then I visited Las Tres Fronteras, the point where three countries – Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay – meet at the interaction of the Iguazú River and the Paraná River.

It’s a pretty powerful place. And it got me thinking about the power of three, and moreover where they intersect.

Some deep thoughts in this video as I share about Jim Collins’ Hedgehog Concept, and moreover what my Living BIG Hedgehog concept would be! Watch this video to find out what I mean…

(transcript below!)

 

And now I want to hear from YOU! What would YOUR Living Big Hedgehog be? Please share your ideas in the comments below, or over on my YouTube Channel.

Let’s keep the conversation going! So please share your thoughts and ideas below.

Have a FAB week!

Carol - high res

 

 

 

P.S. Ready to live just a little bit BIGGER? Join me on our upcoming 5-day Living Big Challenge

 

TRANSCRIPT:

Happy Friday!

I’m Carol Schulte, and welcome to another video edition of my Happy Friday blog. Greetings from Puerto Iguazú, where I’ve been the last few days taking in the majesty, the wonder, the splendour, and the beauty that are Iguazú Falls.

One of the seven natural wonders of the world. And it’s no wonder, as they make up almost 3km of natural waterfalls. Just gorgeous.

And I’ve been looking at them from both the Argentinian side, where I am now, as well as the Brazilian side, which is actually just across the river. But where I’m coming to you from today is at Las Tres Fronteras, or the Triple Frontier. Which is a pretty important point, because it separates not only Argentina and Brazil, but also Paraguay, and at the intersection of the Iguazú River and the Paraná River is the pinnacle, or the border, frontier, triple frontier… where these countries connect and come together. It’s a pretty powerful place.

It got me thinking, where are there other ways, other places where we can look at the intersection of three things. No doubt you’ve heard of the Venn Diagram, and there are lots of famous concepts and theories that talk about the power of three, and moreover where they intersect. One of the more famous examples being Jim Collins’ Hedgehog Concept. He talks about this concept in his book, Good to Great.

Now, funny fact. How did it get its name, Hedgehog Concept? It’s based on an ancient Greek parable that looks at the fox and the hedgehog. The fox is always trying to get at the hedgehog. But no matter what he tries, what strategy he applies – pouncing, sneaking, playing dead – the hedgehog always wins. Why? Because the hedgehog is really good at one thing: defending himself. So the poor fox always ends up with a lot of needles in his nose!

Jim Collins expanded on this idea and works with individuals and organizations to figure out what is going to bring them the most success. And it’s based on three circles, three questions that he asks.

The first being ‘What are you the best in the world at? The second, ‘What are you most passionate about? What do you love to do?’ And the third, ‘What is going to fuel your economic engine?’

And where those three circles connect, where they intersect, is where your powerhouse is, where your power lies. It’s where you are going to enjoy the most success, and happiness.

So it got me thinking. Now I talk about this idea of living big, and so I thought about what my circles would be, what would my questions be, and where would they intersect. Because no doubt that is where I could live my biggest life. And this is what I’ve come up with:

 

1. What am I the most scared of? Or where will I be living at the edge of my comfort zone?
2. Where am I living the most authentically? According to my own values, passions, goals?
3. Where am I living with the most purpose, meaning? What do I want my legacy to be?

 

And where those three answers intersect, that is where I am going to be living my biggest life.

Now I know living big means different things to different people, so I’m curious: What would your circles be, and what questions would you want to ask, so that you would be living YOUR biggest life?

I want to hear from you. Let’s keep the conversation going! So please share your thoughts and ideas below.

And furthering this idea of living big, I have a 5-day Living Big Challenge coming up. Five days, five ways, five small actions that you can take to live even bigger. And I hope you’ll join us!

And please, if you know someone in your life who you think could benefit from this video, please share it with them!

Until next time, I’m Carol Schulte, and don’t forget to dream big, play big, and live big.

Rituals are rad. Three reasons why!

My week in pics: Saying goodbye to Lima… watching this EPIC fountain and light show, barre class on the roof, last roomie dinner, receiving an AMAZING package from the women in TheTribe (and being moved to tears), trying to be convinced to get on snapchat, saying goodbye to new friends, gorgeous views from the plane, exploring the city during our first few days in Córdoba! 

 

Rituals are rad. Three reasons why!

Happy Friday! 
(And happy Cinco de Mayo for anyone celebrating!)

Greetings from Córdoba, Argentina! We’re now into month five of this Remote Year experience. Pretty crazy how time flies!
And the topic as of late has been on home. Perhaps missing the comforts of home, and what home stands for.

Luckily, there are ways you can feel at home no matter where you are in the world. And having rituals is one such important way. And for you at home, these ideas will help you, too!

Watch this week’s video to find out what I mean!

(And if you would prefer a read, please see the transcript below.)

 

What daily, weekly, or other rituals do you have in your life? And why are they important to you? 

Please share your thoughts and comments below, and be sure to SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel!

Exciting news! I have space to work with two more brave folks who are ready to play bigger in their lives and in their business, and really make things HAPPEN. If this is you, let’s book a discovery call!

 

Have a FAB week!

Carol - high res

 

TRANSCRIPT:

Happy Friday! I’m Carol Schulte, and welcome to another video addition of my Happy Friday blog.

And greetings from Córdoba, Argentina! Where I’m coming to you live from the rooftop of my new co-working space, and in front of El Paseo del Pastor, and the beautiful cathedral behind called Capuchinos. Yes, that is actually the name of the cathedral. And another fun fact for you, did you know that Córdoba is nicknamed the city of the bells, as there are between 30 and 40 different churches and cathedrals in this city alone? Pretty neat.

So, it is now month five of our Remote Year journey – pretty crazy to believe how quickly the time is going by. And some of the conversations this month have been centered around the idea of home, missing home, and how we can feel at home regardless of where we are in the world.

So that is what I want to talk about today, and more specifically, for those who may be at home, the importance of having some rituals in your day-to-day life.
Now I bet you have daily or weekly rituals, even if you didn’t necessarily realize it.

And I’m going to talk about three ways, three ideas, of how they can help you on a daily basis.

 

  1. Rituals can add a bit of structure and stability to your life.

    Whether it’s a morning ritual, perhaps you like doing some yoga stretches or your morning exercise. Maybe you’re someone who enjoys a cup of coffee while reading the newspaper, or filling in the crossword. Or maybe you’re someone who likes journaling or setting some affirmations for your day. Perhaps you’re someone who has nightly rituals like watching the news, or flossing while doing some lunges. Or maybe you want to reach out to someone to say goodnight. Maybe you have some weekly rituals, like going to your fave grocery store every Friday afternoon, to set yourself up for the weekend. Or maybe going for a walk in your local park on Saturday or Sunday morning. Whatever it is, having some of those rituals can add some structure, some stability, some regime and routine. So you feel in control, even if life can get messy or you’re in a different environment.

  1. Rituals can aid in our decision-making.

    What do I mean? We are inundated with choices and having to make decisions every day. Barry Schwartz talks about this idea called the Paradox of Choice, and it’s a real phenomenon! Sometimes when we have so many choices and opportunities around us, we don’t know what to choose and it keeps us stagnant! But having certain rituals can help. Whether it’s having that favourite brand of tea that you always drink, or your local grocery store, or having a place you like to get your hair or your nails done. Having some of these things in place can take away from having to make so many trivial decisions on a regular basis. And, can leave some more bandwidth for those more important ones.

  1. Rituals can give us a sense of security, or a sense of home regardless of where we may be.

    I’ve had a few conversations with Remotes here in the group, and one of the first things many of them do when we arrive in a new place is to scope out where their local coffee shop is going to be, where they’re going to do their exercise – be it a local park or a gym – and what they’re going to do in order to have some of their rituals from home. Be it their morning juice, or snacks that they like, whatever it is that reminds them of home. Some of them may also make sure they light candles or burn incense. Having smells or music from home can make you feel like you’re at home and you’re secure wherever you may be.

 

So there are three ideas of how rituals can aid in your day-to-day life. Now I want to hear from you! What rituals do you have and how do they help you on a regular basis? Share your ideas in the comments below. And if there’s someone in your life who could benefit from this video please share it with them!

Make sure you subscribe, and let’s keep the conversation going!

 

Until next time, I’m Carol Schulte, I look forward to hearing from you, and don’t forget to dream big, play big, and live big.

 

P.S. Don’t forget to leave your comments below or on my YouTube Channel! – and be sure to subscribe!

It’s time for me to get real. To be vulnerable. (Plus 3 tips on how to deal with fear!)

My week in pics: Experiencing Semana Santa in Ayacucho, Peru (and what an experience it was… the running of the bulls, beautiful processions, crazy Easter festivities…) more surfing, touring around Lima, Remote Year birthday BBQ, indulging in a DELISH meal at La Picantería!

It’s time to get real. Be vulnerable. (Plus 3 tips on how to face those moments…)

 

Happy Friday!

So, you’ve seen me share about some of the amazing adventures I’ve been having so far on my Remote Year experience, as well as some of the insights I’ve gleaned.

And now it’s time to get real, to be a little vulnerable with you.

Because the truth is, despite the excitement, every day is not all rainbows and unicorns!

In fact, this week I had a moment. And seeing as how I’m all about living big and getting outside of the comfort zone, I’m going to do just that and be a little bit vulnerable with you today…

(and for those who would rather read about it, transcript is below.)

Screen Shot 2017-04-20 at 11.35.48 PM

So, this is me getting real with you today!

And now I invite you, too, to get a little vulnerable… please share your thoughts, and/or fears, in the comments below. Because chances are you’re not the only one feeling that way.

 

Have a FAB week!

Carol - high res

 

 

 

TRANSCRIPT:

Happy Friday! I’m Carol Schulte, and welcome to another video edition of my Happy Friday blog. Greetings from inside the cacti on the rooftop of my Lima, Peru apartment.

Brené Brown, a writer and researcher extraordinaire, and someone I greatly admire, speaks about the importance and power of vulnerability.

Now while I certainly believe in this idea, and definitely do with many people in my life, it’s another thing to share publicly in a video such as this one.

However, if I’m all about living big, which I am, that sometimes means doing things that are out of your comfort zone and make you just a little bit uncomfortable. While for some that may be bungee jumping or skydiving, for others that may be opening up about your true feelings.

And today, it’s the latter.

Here’s the thing. Yes, I’m on this epic Remote Year adventure, living and working in new cities every month, having some incredible experiences (like last weekend going to Ayacucho, where they celebrate Semana Santa – the week leading up to Easter – with beautiful processions, the running of the bulls, and crazy festivities…) and by the time you watch this video I’ll be on my way to the Amazon, which I am super pumped and thrilled about.

And yet, that doesn’t mean everyday is filled with nothing but rainbows and unicorns!

In fact, I had a moment this week where I found myself in a serious conversation about marriage and babies and single women in their thirties and well, I may have just about cried.

Although I’m happy with where I am and what I’m doing, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have fear around the idea of finding the one, settling down, and having a family one day. And I know I’m not alone. The Sex and The City phenomenon is real. And sometimes our expectations of where we thought we would be at certain points in our life – either professionally or personally – don’t come into fruition. And that’s okay.

So there you go. Being real and vulnerable with you today.

It’s okay to have moments, days when you’re down or off, or when your fear hits you in the face. We’re human after all!

And so next time you experience a moment, your fear becomes very real, or you’re about to have a mini panic attack or want to cry, remember these three things:

 

  1. First, breathe! And then sit in it. Allow yourself to be uncomfortable. Be with your feelings.

  2. Get some support. Reach out to a friend or family member who you can honestly share your feelings with. Chances are talking it out will have you feeling a whole lot better.

  3. Jump back on the faith and belief bandwagon. Yes, it’s a fear of mine, and yet I do believe deep down there is a man out there for me and I will have a family one day. So, I’ve created some new affirmations and I’m feeling a whole lot better right now.

 

So now I’d love to hear from YOU! How can you be a bit vulnerable this week, and perhaps share one of your fears? Chances are you’re not alone. 

And, if you think there is someone in your life who could benefit from this video, please share this with them! And be sure you sign up to receive my Happy Friday blogs.

Until next time, I’m Carol Schulte, and don’t forget to dream big, play big, and live big.

 

What REALLY happened on my epic adventure… (plus 3 Lessons Learned!)

What REALLY happened on my epic adventure… (plus 3 Lessons Learned!)

Happy Friday!

SO I just found out mercury was in retrograde last week.

That explains a lot.

I was all set to go on this epic adventure – a few days on my own along the coast of Colombia to see Tayrona National Park, and then to meet up with a group in what I’ve heard is a beautiful old colonial town, Cartagena. And finally, off to a remote house on the water ‘Casa en el Agua’ for a few days of disconnecting and unwinding.

I was hoping for clarity, peace, and rejuvenation.

Instead, however, I had a series of ‘mishaps’ shall we say along the way… a different kind of epic than I was hoping for, however epic none-the-less!

I’m switching it up this week, and going to share my story by video!

(You’re not going to want to miss this one… there are some pretty hilarious happenings I share. Good thing I can smile about it now!)

And so now I’m curious to hear from YOU!

Can you think back on an adventure you’ve had where, in the moment it was perhaps a little challenging, however looking back there were important lessons gleaned?

Leave your comments below.

Have a FAB week!

Carol - high res

 

 

 

P.S. Do you prefer watching videos or reading blog posts? Let me know!

Wanna Be More Productive? Try Being Lazy. Allow me to explain…

My week in pics: Visiting a coffee farm, going horseback riding (with my new bestie Higa!) jumping in a waterfall during a rainstorm, doing a barrio tour, embarrassing myself during rumba and hip hop classes, indulging in a 13-course tasting menu (at one point we had to wash our hands in one chocolate!) enjoying a full day hike in a beautiful national park in the rain… 

Happy Friday!

And happy St. Patty’s Day! I have my green shamrock earrings on (yes, made sure I packed them when I left back in January… good thing I have my priorities straight!) and hope you’re sporting some green, too.

 

I had an epiphany this week. Contrary to what may make sense intellectually, maybe I’ll actually accomplish more by accomplishing less.

What do I mean?

It seems I’m trying to force being all one way all of the time, when it’s just not possible.

 

You want to be more productive? When was the last time you allowed yourself to be lazy?

You want to be happier? When was the last time you embraced your sadness?

You want to feel more connection? When was the last time you enjoyed time on your own?

 

Here’s the idea.

You can never be all of only one side of the spectrum, and none of the other. It just doesn’t work. And as long as we try, we’ll never win.

We’re never all one way with anything in life. We can’t ever just be one spoke of the wheel. We’re the whole wheel.

When I was completing my masters thesis, I used a theory called relational dialectics when examining end-of-life conversations.

Now stick with me here, I promise I’m not going to get all morbid on you, nor too academic.

However the theory speaks to the fact in every interaction, and in every dialogue, there are tensions at play. The three main ones are:

 

Autonomy-Connection:

We want to be connected to another individual, however at the same time be able to hang onto a sense of our own autonomy.

 

Openness-Closedness:

In our desire to build connection, we want to self-disclose certain information about ourselves. And, we also want to be sure to keep other things private.

 

Novelty-Predictability:

In our relationships we crave some newness to keep things exciting, however we also want to ensure we have certain rituals that make us feel comfortable and that we’re used to.

 

One of my ongoing struggles while being on this crazy Remote Year journey thus far, is trying to strike a balance between working and experiencing. And I’m not sure I’ve quite struck gold yet on that front.

And maybe it’s unrealistic to think I ever will.

First of all, I’m not sure balance even exists. And it’s not about being all in on one side without also embracing the opposite side, with respect to anything.

It’s about integration.

You’ll be more productive when you realize it’s okay to feel less than, or dare I say ‘lazy’ on occasion.

You’ll be happier when you realize it’s also okay to have off days.

And I bet you’ll experience increased connection when you realize you’re also perfectly fine on your own.

We don’t live in a black and white world. It doesn’t always have to be all or nothing. And although I’ve often said ‘go big or go home,’ perhaps that’s not necessarily the case.

So welcome both sides of the spectrum this week. Embrace it all. And perhaps in being okay with doing less, you’ll realize you’re actually doing more.

 

Have a FAB week!

Carol - high res

 

 

 

What are your thoughts on striving for integration instead of balance? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

An eye-opening visit to a Colombian Prison…

My week in pics: Last few days with the family in Turks & Caicos, jet skiing, view from the flight home (LOVE airplane window pics!), first few days in Medellin, interviewing some amazing women…  

Happy Friday!

And happy belated International Women’s Day!

I hope you somehow celebrated… I will share more about my day soon enough (which included holding on-the-spot interviews in a local park and square… and hearing some amazing stories from local women here in Colombia.)


However today, I want to share a bit about my experience visiting a local prison before I left Bogota…

 

Our visit to a Colombian Prison ~ A good thing or more like Poverty Tourism?

 

Although it looked like a run-down apartment from the outside, after 4 different passport checkpoints, having our fingerprints taken, being smelled out by dogs, there was no mistaking we were entering into a high security prison.

And as we got closer, you could see the faces and the hands and the hollering coming out of the crowded barred windows. It was almost like a scene out of a movie.

We were eventually led to Patio 6 (they call the different sections of the prison patios…) which we would soon learn is for the extranjeros, the foreigners. It was also apparently the safest of patios, and the inmates had special privileges (like having visits from the ‘tourists’…)

It was pretty real and pretty raw.

One gentleman from the Philippians, although now a yoga teacher and turned very spiritual, told us he carried around his special pen, with a blade as the tip, just in case.

Another man from Russia explained he was transferred here from another prison after 11 months. He seemed to have an extremely positive attitude, had been rewarded for good behaviour, but admitted he had no idea when he was ever getting out.

And yes, this was the prison where it was just revealed there was a pile of bones discovered under the woodworking shop (where we also visited… it was actually quite impressive some of the things being made.)

It was eye opening in many ways and for many different reasons.

And yet, what was arguably the most disturbing was that we were visiting in a way as though they were animals in a zoo.

I know we were going with the best of intentions, and with a local volunteer organization that do a lot of good work. And yet the time actually spent with the inmates was not sufficient enough to really make an impact, in my opinion. (Although I’m sure they got a kick out of the banana cheer I was asked to do to break the ice!) We spent more time being shown around, asked if we wanted to buy any of their handmade crafts and bags, and getting through the various points of security.

I actually do believe some of the conversations we had did potentially make some of them think. And I’m sure they enjoyed some new faces. And yet, they must have also felt strange about having these tourists looking into their lives, in a pretty vulnerable way.

When I was volunteering in Calcutta for a short period of time with Mother Teresa’s Missions of Charity, I remember having similar feelings in that yes, we were there to ‘do good,’ but were we actually doing good, or simply there to feel good about what we were doing?

I realized early on, unless I was prepared to stay there for a significant period of time, and really get to know the infrastructure and find out what was truly needed, I wasn’t really helping or doing good at all.

It’s a delicate subject, and a difficult conversation.

However I shall end with a small insight I had. In the moments of conversation and connection I did have with a few of these gentlemen at the prison, I saw them as people like you or I. And when you look into someone’s eyes, it is simply one human being looking at and connecting with another.

And that is ultimately what it’s all about.

We come from different backgrounds, grow up with different privileges, make different mistakes, and yet we’re all still people. And people need connection, and they are starving to be seen.

So don’t be too quick to judge – anyone for anything. We don’t know their story, and don’t really know what’s going on behind the scenes…

Enjoy a real moment of connection this week. Look into someone’s eyes, see them for who they are, and allow them to see you for who you really are.

 

Have a FAB week!

 

 Carol - high res

 

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this delicate matter…  please leave your thoughts below.

Is it about maximizing the moment, or experiencing the moment?

Is it about maximizing the moment, or experiencing the moment?

Happy Friday!

 

Greetings from Turks & Caicos, where I’m enjoying some fun in the sun time with my amazing family. (It’s true – jetsetting from Colombia to the beach… I’m a spoiled girl, extremely lucky girl… however also a very grateful girl!)

In this moment, I’m sitting by the pool, watching children splash and play, watching drinks splash and swirl, watching people splash and smile.

I’m witnessing a moment in time.

And it may just be this moment right now, wherever you are, perhaps an insignificant moment you may not give much thought to, that becomes a special moment in your life.

Perhaps it’s the epic soundtrack music I’m listening to, however in this moment, although not jumping out of a plane or climbing a volcano, I‘m still having an experience, right here, right now.

Now I’ll admit I’m a self-confessed maximizer.

I want to make the most of every situation, say yes to every opportunity, squeeze in every experience possible.

However in an effort to want to maximize my time, maximize every experience, I wonder if sometimes I end up minimizing some of the moments that truly matter.

These moments, like the one I’m having right here, right now, are the ones that make up your life.

And yet if we’re trying too hard to create a moment, or force a moment, we may end up losing out on the moment.

I like doing things. And, if I’m honest, I also like feeling as though I’m doing things. Checking things off the list so to speak.

This week, I haven’t done a whole heck of a lot. At least, not with respect to ‘checking things’ off any list.

But maybe I’ve done more than I realize.

I’ve enjoyed time with my family. I’ve had special conversations. I’ve played with Elmo, danced on the stage with Cookie Monster and other Sesame Street friends, had lots of fun potty trips with my niece and nephew, and lathered on a whole heck of a lot of kids’ sunscreen.

I like maximizing. I like doing things. I like lists. And yet perhaps I’m realizing it’s not always about checking things off any list at all.

 

Living your life cannot be captured in a do-to list.

 

So this week, at some point I challenge you to put away your list, and be open to experiencing a moment in time, this moment in time, and enjoying it for what it is. No need to maximize anything. Just experience.

Deep thoughts from sitting in the sun, HA!

Have a FAB week!

Carol - high res

 

 

What are your thoughts on maximizing versus experiencing? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Level 3 Fun, Explained…

My week in pics… going paragliding, potluck fun, visiting the local prison, speaking to another group in Medellin, and then an epic hike and an epic ride through the Colombian hills. Read on!)

Level 3 Fun, Explained…  (and getting lost in the Colombian hills… )

 

Happy Friday!

Yesterday, while hiking in the Colombian hills, I got a tad lost.

And the day before that, while driving through the Colombian hills, we got totally lost.

Now although the situations were very different, and one perhaps more out of my control than the other, both were trying, taught me some important lessons, and eventually allowed me to experience a little bit of level 3 fun.

Allow me to explain.

When we first began Remote Year, at our orientation one of the staff introduced us to this concept of ‘level 3 fun.’ When you find yourself in a totally unexpected situation or location, or having a random unplanned experience, you may just find yourself getting completely enraptured in the moment. That’s level 3 fun. (She used the example of her once falling asleep on a train ride en route to a town she was excited to visit, ending up waking up in the middle of nowhere, and found herself frolicking with lamas.)

Well, I found myself to be experiencing my own level 3 fun in these two challenging situations… (although it didn’t feel like ‘fun’ in the moment!)

 

The drive.

So we were en route to the Medellin airport, as I had been there for a few days delivering a presentation to another Remote Year group. Bless our little Uber driver, who looked about 18, and clearly had no idea where we were going. What was supposed to be a 45-minute drive, ended up taking us over two hours, causing us to miss our flight. Oops.

But that wasn’t the worst part.

It was the drive up and through and then down the mountains, totally unnecessarily, taking the curves and corners and hairpins at what seemed like 100 miles an hour.

He was likely stressed, we were definitely stressed, and at one point we were holding on for dear life and hoping not to hurl!

 

The hike.

There’s a hike not far from the city I’ve been wanting to do for a little while now. And seeing as how today is my last day in Bogotá, I knew yesterday was my only chance to do it. So I got up at 5amhoping to catch the sunrise – after a long day of travelling, determined to make it happen.

I got there alright, was making my way up (I must have been a little sleepy, however, as it was harder than I had anticipated!) when all of a sudden I found myself in a shaded forest, soft and crunchy ground beneath my feet, and no path anywhere to be found. I went right, left, up, down – and panicked. I debated turning back, although at this point I didn’t even know where that was, and then thought about how defeated I‘d feel if I never actually made it to the top.

Suddenly, I heard voices (not those kind of voices, voices from real people, thank goodness!) and began to make my way towards them – through the bush, up a steep slope, clinging onto trees and roots as I went, and luckily got reacquainted with a path. Phew. It kept going, and going, and going…

Eventually, however, I made it. Hallelujah. What I then found out, however, was that I made it to the ‘Point of the Cross’, a beautiful tip with a breathtaking vista, however totally not the tip of the hike I was supposed to be at!

No wonder it was tougher and longer than I thought!

When I finally made it back down alive (I actually somehow managed to get lost on the way down, also… in fact even worse… and yeah I may have been fighting back tears!) I realized I had had a little bit of fun.

 

And same was true of the crazy drive the day before.

In moments like these, which I know you’ve experienced too, you have a few choices.

You can get all worked up, feel your blood pressure rise, feel like screaming or crying or both… OR, you can give in to the moment, and to the experience.

 

You can let go. Surrender. Breathe. Trust.

 

And fortunately, that’s what I did. And that’s what got me through. And I’m happy to report I’m still here to tell the tale.

So next time life hands you an unexpected event, or you find yourself lost somewhere in the woods (or the Colombian hills!), simply surrender and allow yourself to experience that level 3 fun. I dare you.

 

Have a FAB week!

Carol - high res

 

 

 

Have you ever experienced level 3 fun? I want to hear about it! Share your stories in the comments below.

Show me the LOVE! 3 ideas to practice some self-love you so deserve…

Show me the LOVE! 3 ideas to practice some self-love you so deserve…

 

Happy Friday!

 

So, did you feel the extra lovin’ this week?!?

 

Valentine’s Day, if it’s even celebrated where you are, can mean different things to different people.

 

There have been times in my life where I found it an extremely exciting day, others where it was just like any other day of the week, and others still I likely wished it didn’t exist at all.

 

This year, instead of worrying about whether or not it would be a day I may be tempted to feel lonely, I decided to change it up a bit.

 

I declared it a self-love fest day!

 

And to that end, I ran a Women Living BIG ‘Loving BIG Valentine’s Day Self-Love Fest Brunch, used this as the theme for our monthly Tribe call, and hosted a webinar on what Self-Love REALLY means.

 

I have to say it was a powerful day.

 

On the whole, we don’t do enough to shower ourselves with the self-love we so deserve.

 

In fact, I would go so far as to say many of us don’t know what self love even means.

 

It’s different than self care, although the two are certainly related. I believe once you cultivate a deep self love for yourself, which is internal, you will take the actions you need for your own self-care, which is external.

 

It has to start from a place of love you have with, and for, yourself.

 

During the ‘Self -Love Fest Brunch’, and on the training and calls, we completed some powerful exercises on this idea of self-love, and I’d like to share 3 of them with you here.

 

(Now, you could simply skim through them and think, ‘Oh, that sounds interesting,’ or you could actually engage in the work. I challenge you to do the latter…!!!)

 

1. Write yourself a love letter.

 

When was the last time you wrote yourself a love letter? Have you ever written one?

I invite you to try it. I DARE you.

No doubt you’ve written love letters in your time, and now it’s time to write one for YOU.

If you find it challenging to write to yourself in the present, than perhaps you want to write one to your former self, or from your future self…

So go out and get a pretty piece of stationery, and start waxing poetic about yourself. You deserve it.

 

2. Create a List of 10 Things That Make You Smile

 

What lights you up? Brings a smile to your face even when you’re having a bad day?

Perhaps at different points in your life there will be different things that make you happy. Wherever you are right here today, identify some of those things that light you up.

Sunshine on your face? The sound of children playing? The smell of freshly brewed coffee? Sweatin’ it up on the dance floor? Ice cream?

I bet even writing this list out will have you grinning ear to ear. Ready to take it one step further? Ensure you experience one of the things on your list this week!

 

3. Complete this phrase: ‘Because I Love Myself…’

 

Choose ONE thing you want to begin doing for you, today.

Maybe it’s mediation. Perhaps it’s flossing. Or committing to shutting off all of your devices half an hour before bed, or drinking 8 glasses of water a day.

Yes, this could be considered self-care. However because you’re beginning with ‘Because I love myself’ it’s not just about doing an action you know would be good for you to do, it’s actually stemming from a deeper place of self love. And when that is the case, you’ll likely enjoy doing it more, and chances are a lot greater you’ll actually stick to it.

 

I strongly encourage you to choose at least one of these actions to complete this week, or go all out and do all three!

Because YES, you deserve it.

Continue to sprinkle the love on yourself today, and every day.

Love is like so many things in life. The more you give (to yourself, as well as to others) the more you’ll get in return.

Have fun feeling and sharing the love this week!

Carol - high res

 

 

SO, which idea are you going to take on this week? Or are you going to commit to all 3? I want to hear how it goes! Share with me in the comments below.