News and Announcements

Welcome!


Become a fan on Facebook!


Follow me on Twitter!


On Sunday, May 2nd, I will be a part of a Holistic Seminar, hosted by SOL Pilates FIT. Please join me for a chakra clearing meditation. The event will be held at the Extraordinary Beginnings unit at 5261 Hwy 7 in Markham, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. To register call 416.948.SOUL (7685) or email lynne.stewart@solpilatesyoga.com

Do you live in the Greater Toronto Area? Please join me for a
meditation class at SOL Pilates and Yoga Studio in Markham. The class will be held at 7 p.m. on alternate Fridays. Please contact me for additional details.

Do you long for a relaxing treatment for your mind, body and spirit? I'm now accepting clients for Reiki treatments. To register for a class or to book a treatment, please contact me. I look forward to seeing you!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Seeking Out the Best: Working in Partnership


Photograph: 'Pond Partners' by P. Grodecki


In our workplaces and even at home, we often find ourselves among individuals with whom we may not get along. Many of us know at least one person who ‘rubs us the wrong way.’ How often do we stop and think about why a certain person seems to be a less than perfect match for us? And even more so, how often do we find ourselves working in close proximity with that person? When we find ourselves in such situations, what thoughts run through our minds?



In my personal experience, when I find myself frequently working with a certain person on a project, it is because there is a lesson hidden somewhere within the experience, meant for me to seek out, find, and contemplate. I like to think of it as a scavenger hunt. Thinking of the experience from this perspective helps me to make the best of a seemingly annoying situation. Instead of repeating to myself that I do not enjoy working with the certain person and that I wish to be paired with someone else, I like to try to seek out the best qualities of my partner, and reflect those qualities back to him or her.



Those who are familiar with the Law of Attraction understand the principle that the qualities we exhibit are often the qualities that will be reflected back to us by others who surround us. When we project certain negative expectations toward a person with whom we are asked to work, we may often find that those expectations manifest in less-than-pleasant behaviour and attitudes exhibited by our partners. You may have heard psychologists refer to this as a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy.’ We may also put a positive spin on the same idea. When we expect the best from the person with whom we work, and when we seek out that person’s best qualities, we may often find that these qualities will shine through and the negative personality traits that used to annoy us about the person seem to fade into the background. Overtime, we may even find that the person with whom we work seems to have actually changed for the better by allowing his or her best qualities to shine brightly. This may be due to the encouragement that the person has received from others.



It is also very possible that, even with our most positive expectations, we may find that our partner does not reciprocate the respect and positive expectations that we project onto him or her. Such experiences may often have additional lessons that await us in the creases of the fabric, and to find those lessons, we may need to smooth out the creases of the fabric to uncover hidden gems. It may very well be that working with someone who is not a good match for us is meant to teach us patience, respect for the opinions of others, or to speak out for ourselves instead of allowing ourselves to be bullied by someone who wants to do things his or her way and does not wish to consider the opinions of others. Sometimes, it may be difficult to acknowledge, but working with a less-than-pleasant individual may provide us with a mirror to examine our own personalities and the different traits that we may possess. Often, what ‘rubs us the wrong way’ about someone’s attitude is precisely what we do which may also annoy someone else.



So, if you are currently working with someone whose attitude may annoy you, you may choose to take some time to consider what it is, exactly, about that person, that makes you upset. You may ask this question during a meditative exercise. Simply ask the question of Spirit and look for an answer in the form of a sign, idea, or even something that someone may say to us. Perhaps it’s our own attitudes that play a major role in the creation of the conflict that we may experience. Ask yourself about the lesson that may be a part of the experience. And remember to seek out the gems that may hide in the creases of the fabric with which we work. Take time to smooth out the creases and uncover what lies beneath. We may find that the fabric itself is, actually, beautiful.



Affirmation: ‘I seek out the best in everyone I meet today.’



Wishing you a wonderful week, and may the fabric of your day be easily smoothed to reveal many beautiful hidden gems.



Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Starting in the Middle


Photograph: 'Ambitious Perspectives' by P. Grodecki


Is there a project that has been hanging over your shoulders like a dark cloud? Has it been nagging you, and you feel you wish to escape from it? I find I tend to procrastinate about certain things and tackle other projects with great enthusiasm. While I often wish to escape from those nagging projects that seem to hang over me like thunderous clouds, I find I do force myself to sit down and attempt to work on them. And yet, standing outside under a thunderous cloud is only bound to inevitably leave us soaked from head-to-toe. Opening a giant umbrella also will not save us from the cold drafts that come along with the rain, and though we may remain dry under this temporary shelter, we would rather be in a warm and cozy place, in our comfort zone. We do not allow ourselves to seek that comfortable place until we have dealt with the issue at hand, and yet, we also don’t hurry to address the issue.


At times like that, it is often best to start in the middle. Instead of attempting to figure out a stratagem to deal with procrastination, and wonder why we just can’t ‘get going,’ sometimes it’s best to just do it. Start somewhere – anywhere. Once we are able to let go of the idea that we do not wish to tackle the project, for one reason or another, and are able to focus on the task at hand by addressing one aspect of the task, all the other pieces of the puzzle begin to fit together as if by magic. I am not referring here only to work-related projects, but also to personal projects in our daily lives. With the tax season upon us, have you been struggling to file your taxes? Perhaps you have been ‘trying’ to clean your home or organize your desk. There are myriad reasons why we find certain projects or tasks cumbersome. Perhaps we do not enjoy our work, or we may enjoy it but would rather be somewhere else, doing something else. And let’s face it: very few people enjoy filing taxes. Yet, while we contemplate the reasons why we do not enjoy certain tasks, those tasks are not going to simply disappear unless we make them disappear.


Make an appointment with yourself and write it down in your calendar. Allot two hours for the task, and vow to start somewhere. Take a deep breath, and as you exhale, release any worries or tension that you may feel in connection with the task. You may visualize these worries or tension easily floating out of your body and mind and dissolving into thin air. Continue this exercise until you feel completely relaxed. Next, take a few additional deep breaths and as you inhale, feel your body and mind filling with energy that recharges every cell of your being. When you feel ready, say the following affirmation: ‘I enjoy being highly focused as I complete the project before me.’ And finally, begin to work on the task. Before we know it, the two hours we had set aside for the project will have flown by and we will find ourselves so deeply engrossed in the task at hand that suddenly, the prospect of completing that project will not seem as big a nuisance as it may have seemed to us at first.


I wish you a happy and productive week!


Affirmation: ‘I enjoy being highly focused as I complete the projects before me.’



Monday, April 13, 2009

Kaleidoscopic Views: Staying True to Ourselves

Photograph: 'An Endearing Selection' by K. Grodecki


Are you the type of person who tries to keep up-to-speed with the latest goals that you have set for yourself? I once used to be such a person, and the constant rushing of ideas through my mind and the race to live up to my own expectations of myself left me feeling flabbergasted. And what about the idea that extroverts are more successful than introverts, because it’s easier for them to make connections and network? It often seems as though extroverts and Type A personalities are the ones who thrive in today’s world, while everyone else falls behind and appears not as successful as our more ambitious counterparts. At least, that’s what many of us are led to believe. And such beliefs can often leave those of us who prefer to work in solitude, without ‘putting ourselves out there,’ feeling inadequate.

I have always been a shy introvert and even as a child, enjoyed spending much of my time on my own. While other children were running outside playing hide and seek, I had developed a passion for crafts after my grandmother taught me to knit, and would work on perfecting this skill. Later on, I lived in a country where introverted attitudes were not easily understood and my peers as well as adults dreaded the idea of someone spending time alone. They wondered why I didn’t have as many friends as many other children my age, and had assumed that I must be miserable. After a session with a psychologist, it was determined that there was nothing wrong with me and that being an introvert is, actually, as natural for some children as it is for others to have a wide circle of friends. However, the outside pressure from teachers and other children my age had left a mark on me that it took me a while to heal. Such pressures truly make us second-guess ourselves with each step of the way, making us wonder whether we are performing in accordance to the standards that our society sets.


Many years later, I can honestly say that I feel proud to describe myself as shy and an introvert. I have come to love this major aspect of my personality. Although my attitude varies, depending on social context and how I feel on any one day – which is, of course, also true for other people – no matter how hard I might try, I will always remain shy, calm and quiet. Similarly, I am certain that many extroverts have also faced pressures from other people while growing up, being asked to not socialize as much and listen more, learn to work independently, etc. It’s incredibly unfair to people of any age to be asked to change our essence.

So, how would you introduce yourself to someone who wishes to know more about your personality? Would you say you are outgoing and love to network, or are you shy and prefer to spend time on your own? What does your personality say about your lifestyle? Are there particular hobbies or interests that are dear to your heart and about which you may, perhaps, have been afraid to speak to others? Just as animals have their own unique personalities, which we may find endearing and quite adorable, it is more than okay for us to be ourselves. Just as we wouldn’t chastise a cat for chasing its tail, why should we be critical of someone whose personality differs from our own, just because we may not understand it as well as we understand others whose personalities are close to our own?


This week, I invite you to journal about your personality and what it means to be you. At the same time, try to remain mindful of the personalities of others around you and without necessarily trying to understand why someone may be a little more shy than usual, try to accept that person as he or she presents him or herself. It’s a beautiful kaleidoscope, if we choose to see it as such. And really, it would be quite drab of us to look through the lens of a kaleidoscope and instead of admiring what we see, begin to scrutinize the pattern and, ultimately, each colour, saying that it would look better if only the purple shapes had additional edges.


Have a wonderful week!

Affirmation: ‘I enjoy the kaleidoscopic views and admire all their colours and shapes.’