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Every month on this blog, I share my professional views and ongoing learning about life, change and relationships.

These posts are my personal reflections that offer tips and guidance for people looking to live their best lives possible.

Reclaim Control in Uncertain Times

Reclaim Control in Uncertain Times

  In the past few weeks, as we try to adjust to “new normals,” many clients have expressed wanting to reclaim control in their lives in these uncertain times. Many have said: “I don’t like change” and “I am feeling uncomfortable with so much uncertainty and a lack of control.” There have also been many questions about “when will things go back to normal?” which had me thinking about why so...

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Time to Slow Down

Time to Slow Down

Time.  Time to be. Time to stop and appreciate what is around you and to do something for yourself. Appreciation is an important concept in positive psychology. It is important to practice being grateful for what you have and for what is around you. Most things that make our life meaningful and happy are typically the small things that happen every day. “When I appreciate the good, the good...

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Find Your Strength.  Find Yourself.

Find Your Strength. Find Yourself.

Do you know where your strengths lie?  What do you feel comes naturally to you? Imagine we were able to flip the lens through which we view ourselves. What if, rather than focusing on our areas of need and weakness, we focused entirely on seeing ourselves through our personal strengths? What would that look like? And how empowering would it feel? We live in a world that is challenging and full...

read more
Put Down Your To-Do List

Put Down Your To-Do List

Turn off "I should" and "I have to"!Personal growth, learning, introspection and new habits—as a personal development and relationship coach, I am all for these things. I personally live and breathe these positive practices and I encourage my clients to do the same. Yet, today I want to give you another option, that it’s okay to do the opposite. It’s okay to just be. Do less, not more. Focus on...

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Swinging Through Transition

Swinging Through Transition

Change. It’s constant. And it’s in every area of our lives: health, work, family, and internally. I say it often because it’s true: change is the only constant in life. It’s a part of life. Period. So why do we have so much trouble with it? As humans, our dislike for change is so strong that even when we are unhappy with something, we are reluctant to modify it. We often just keep things as they...

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Managing Relationships in Difficult Times

Managing Relationships in Difficult Times

Managing relationships is difficult at the best of times. As we face the global COVID-19 pandemic, we are reminded of how small the world really is and how similar we are. At the same time, we cannot help but see just how unique we are as individuals.  One thing that I am reminded of during this time of physical isolation, is our deep, unwavering need for human connection. We need each other. We...

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Do you need praise and acknowledgment?

Do you need praise and acknowledgment?

“That was great!”    “You are fantastic!”    “You are so talented!”     Compliments are so important to our well-being. For some reason, however, they are also hard to receive. We want compliments, but then we don’t.    For some of my clients, as we discover and clarify their qualities and strengths, I can see how hard it is for them to hear their positive attributes said out...

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Healthy Conflict, Healthy Relationships

Healthy Conflict, Healthy Relationships

Why You Should Disagree With Others You should disagree with others. No, really. And then you should agree to disagree.  Recently, after a day of coaching sessions focused on conflict and relationships, I realized, once again, how little we are trained in life on how to create strong, fulfilling relationships. So many of us try to avoid conflict in our lives, yet it is often the very thing that...

read more

Finding Your Courage

Finding Your Courage

As more weeks pass during this pandemic, and we continue to adapt to a “new normal” that keeps changing, I have been exploring the concept of what it means to have courage.   Does courage mean that we feel in control and are not feeling afraid? Does courage mean that we are constantly positive and taking action?    The dictionary defines courage as “the ability to do something that...

read more
The Secret To Thriving Relationships

The Secret To Thriving Relationships

In a recent post, I shared the story of my paternal grandmother’s “magic” rings. Whenever someone in our family gets married, she shares her parents’ wedding rings with the bride and groom for the wedding ceremony. After the ceremony, she immediately takes them back. But, with the rings, my grandmother believes she is passing along the “good luck” of the successfully married couples who...

read more
Paradigm Shift

Paradigm Shift

A paradigm is a frame of reference. A person's paradigm is how they see the world based on all the information that they have gathered and the beliefs that they possess.  At times of crisis, it is often helpful to reflect on the paradigms that we have set for ourselves. These can affect our perspective and even impact our ability to cope—good or bad—during difficult periods. As I prepared this...

read more
Managing Relationships in Difficult Times

Managing Relationships in Difficult Times

Managing relationships is difficult at the best of times. As we face the global COVID-19 pandemic, we are reminded of how small the world really is and how similar we are. At the same time, we cannot help but see just how unique we are as individuals.  One thing that I am reminded of during this time of physical isolation, is our deep, unwavering need for human connection. We need each other. We...

read more
Healthy Conflict, Healthy Relationships

Healthy Conflict, Healthy Relationships

Why You Should Disagree With Others You should disagree with others. No, really. And then you should agree to disagree.  Recently, after a day of coaching sessions focused on conflict and relationships, I realized, once again, how little we are trained in life on how to create strong, fulfilling relationships. So many of us try to avoid conflict in our lives, yet it is often the very thing that...

read more
Don’t Assume. Just Ask.

Don’t Assume. Just Ask.

Making assumptions is common in relationships, but it is also what leads to conflict. Many people in relationships assume that the other person knows what they mean and what they want. Alas, most of the time this is NOT the case. Valentine’s Day is today and even though it’s not something I celebrate, I realize it offers us a great opportunity to highlight the importance of asking our partners...

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Make 2018 Meaningful, Not Just Nice

Make 2018 Meaningful, Not Just Nice

Welcome to 2018! A new year offers so many new possibilities. What are your wishes for 2018? Who do you wish to be? Personally, I have been thinking about this a lot. Over the break, I watched the movie The Last Word about an older woman at the end of her life. I loved the movie and one of the quotes from the main character has stuck with me: Please don’t have a nice day....

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Managing Relationships in Difficult Times

Improve Your Relationship By “Double Clicking”

It always amazes me how two people can view the exact same situation in completely different ways. Before I begin a mediation or relationship coaching session, I always meet with each person individually to hear their own viewpoint. I want to learn more about their reality and better understand their perspective. What’s fascinating is that what each person shares with me always makes sense to...

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Why You Should Fail Spectacularly

Why You Should Fail Spectacularly

Just a few weeks ago my daughter and I were stranded in a hotel room during an unexpected ice storm. With no place to go, we sat together and rewatched The Last Word. In the movie, a young woman hates her job but is too afraid to make a change. The older main character, who is dying, advises her to “fail spectacularly”: “You don’t make mistakes. Mistakes make you. They make you smarter. They...

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Reality Bites, But It Doesn’t Have To

Reality Bites, But It Doesn’t Have To

Good or bad, we choose how we behave, react and think. It is these many small choices that make up our overall life course. Do you have a favourite book that you return to again and again for guidance or inspiration? For me, Tal Ben-Shahar’s Choose the Life You Want: The Mindful Way to Happiness is one. This wonderful guide inspires me to live and work better. Ben-Shahar’s central premise is...

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What Do You See When You Look In The Mirror?

What Do You See When You Look In The Mirror?

I consider myself to be a life learner. Right now I am in the middle of a year-long certificate in Positive Psychology. It has been a fantastic journey and last month, as part of my training, I attended a week-long retreat in the beautiful town of Tepoztlán, Mexico (picture above). In this intensive week of scientific learning and deep introspection, one of the lecturers put on the Michael...

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Reality Bites, But It Doesn’t Have To

The Choice Is Yours

I am writing this post at 8 am on a cold Monday morning, after rushing out the door for an early morning meeting. There was no time for exercise or a healthy breakfast this morning. And I had to take the subway during the most crowded hour of the day. After all this, my meeting was cancelled at the very last minute. And so here I am, alone in a downtown café. In the past I would probably have...

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It’s Okay To Say “No”. Here’s Why

It’s Okay To Say “No”. Here’s Why

As a young university student, I remember being unable to decide what I wanted to major in. I liked so many different things. Medicine, education, psychology…. I even considered engineering! I was all over the map because I was trying to keep all of my doors open. This is what I had been taught was a wise thing to do. Unfortunately, it left me feeling quite overwhelmed. Today, the older and...

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Make September Count!

Make September Count!

SEIZE THAT OPPORTUNITY September is here. Kids are back to school and the days are starting to get shorter.The arrival of this month often marks new beginnings with new routines and new energy. And this is what makes it an ideal time to ensure that 2017 ends the way we want it to. With just a third of the year left, here is our opportunity to give one last push toward reaching the goals we set...

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Just. Be. You.

Just. Be. You.

I was very fortunate to spend a week in London, England, with my children and parents earlier this summer. While we were there, we went to see a musical that my mother chose: Kinky Boots. Despite knowing little about the show, I ended up loving its music and message. One message particularly struck me: “Be yourself, because everyone else is taken.”  This line is so true! I think it...

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Find Your Strength.  Find Yourself.

Find Your Strength. Find Yourself.

Do you know where your strengths lie?  What do you feel comes naturally to you? Imagine we were able to flip the lens through which we view ourselves. What if, rather than focusing on our areas of need and weakness, we focused entirely on seeing ourselves through our personal strengths? What would that look like? And how empowering would it feel? We live in a world that is challenging and full...

read more
The Secret To Thriving Relationships

The Secret To Thriving Relationships

In a recent post, I shared the story of my paternal grandmother’s “magic” rings. Whenever someone in our family gets married, she shares her parents’ wedding rings with the bride and groom for the wedding ceremony. After the ceremony, she immediately takes them back. But, with the rings, my grandmother believes she is passing along the “good luck” of the successfully married couples who...

read more
Finding Answers in Difficult Times

Finding Answers in Difficult Times

A few years ago, when I had cancer, one of the things that helped me through that very difficult time was to regularly ask myself a couple of questions: “What am I supposed to learn from this experience?” And “What good can I take from this?”  These daily questions slowly began to offer me different answers in different areas of my life.   Today, our world is in crisis. We are experiencing...

read more
Find Your Calm in the Chaos

Find Your Calm in the Chaos

It goes without saying: these are unprecedented times. As the world grapples with the spread of COVID-19, there is a lot of uncertainty. And, knowing that this virus could have a major impact on our wellbeing and our loved ones, it is no surprise that many of us are feeling anxious and scared. That is a common response when things happen beyond our control.   As countries close their...

read more
Turn off the “Should” to get to what you “Want”

Turn off the “Should” to get to what you “Want”

A few weeks ago, the world lost a special human being. This beautiful soul was a client of mine for the past year. Every two weeks, we would get together to chat. Our discussions often centered around his special philosophy of life or his worries about the future, but the one thing we regularly discussed is something I think many of us struggle with: what we believe we should do versus what we...

read more
Small gifts of gratitude. Big impact.

Small gifts of gratitude. Big impact.

The holiday season often brings many opportunities to visit with friends and family. As human beings, it is our connection with others that makes us thrive. Here are two simple ways to make someone else—and yourself—smile this month. Show gratitude Science confirms it: expressing gratitude has a profoundly positive effect on both the person who receives the message and the person expressing it....

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Find the “motion” in “emotion”

Find the “motion” in “emotion”

I apply many of the teachings from the science of Positive Psychology into my life. The one that I have integrated the most, however, is the concept of “being human” and accepting our emotions. We may not have control over what we feel, but we do have control over our responses to those emotions. We can still choose how we behave and move forward, despite our feelings. September brought many...

read more
Calling Time On “Being Busy”

Calling Time On “Being Busy”

How many times do you hear yourself or others declare, “I’m so busy!” We are a society that privileges being “busy.” Somehow our worth or sense of success is tied to our ability to multitask and to appear busier than everybody else. A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to hear Tom Raths speak at the Canadian Positive Psychology conference. He spoke about the importance of making...

read more
Finding Your Courage

Finding Your Courage

As more weeks pass during this pandemic, and we continue to adapt to a “new normal” that keeps changing, I have been exploring the concept of what it means to have courage.   Does courage mean that we feel in control and are not feeling afraid? Does courage mean that we are constantly positive and taking action?    The dictionary defines courage as “the ability to do something that...

read more
Find Your Strength.  Find Yourself.

Find Your Strength. Find Yourself.

Do you know where your strengths lie?  What do you feel comes naturally to you? Imagine we were able to flip the lens through which we view ourselves. What if, rather than focusing on our areas of need and weakness, we focused entirely on seeing ourselves through our personal strengths? What would that look like? And how empowering would it feel? We live in a world that is challenging and full...

read more
Paradigm Shift

Paradigm Shift

A paradigm is a frame of reference. A person's paradigm is how they see the world based on all the information that they have gathered and the beliefs that they possess.  At times of crisis, it is often helpful to reflect on the paradigms that we have set for ourselves. These can affect our perspective and even impact our ability to cope—good or bad—during difficult periods. As I prepared this...

read more
New Video Series

New Video Series

Physical Isolation - A Time of Personal Growth This is a series of 60-second videos that offers tips and guidance on how to take this time to focus on the things that matter to you and to help you develop better insights into what makes you happy. I'm sharing these videos on Facebook, Instagram and my YouTube Channel, as well as posting them here on my blog, so you have lots of ways to follow...

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Finding Answers in Difficult Times

Finding Answers in Difficult Times

A few years ago, when I had cancer, one of the things that helped me through that very difficult time was to regularly ask myself a couple of questions: “What am I supposed to learn from this experience?” And “What good can I take from this?”  These daily questions slowly began to offer me different answers in different areas of my life.   Today, our world is in crisis. We are experiencing...

read more
Find Your Calm in the Chaos

Find Your Calm in the Chaos

It goes without saying: these are unprecedented times. As the world grapples with the spread of COVID-19, there is a lot of uncertainty. And, knowing that this virus could have a major impact on our wellbeing and our loved ones, it is no surprise that many of us are feeling anxious and scared. That is a common response when things happen beyond our control.   As countries close their...

read more
Turn off the “Should” to get to what you “Want”

Turn off the “Should” to get to what you “Want”

A few weeks ago, the world lost a special human being. This beautiful soul was a client of mine for the past year. Every two weeks, we would get together to chat. Our discussions often centered around his special philosophy of life or his worries about the future, but the one thing we regularly discussed is something I think many of us struggle with: what we believe we should do versus what we...

read more
Find the “motion” in “emotion”

Find the “motion” in “emotion”

I apply many of the teachings from the science of Positive Psychology into my life. The one that I have integrated the most, however, is the concept of “being human” and accepting our emotions. We may not have control over what we feel, but we do have control over our responses to those emotions. We can still choose how we behave and move forward, despite our feelings. September brought many...

read more
Why Is It So Hard To Change?

Why Is It So Hard To Change?

I have been enjoying the slower pace of summer by reading some interesting books, relevant to my work. One of the books, Changing to Thrive by James and Janice Prochaska, explains the different stages people go through when making important behavioural changes in their lives. I first studied the Prochaska model of change during my master studies some 20 years ago. So much has changed...

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How to Reach the End Before you Begin

How to Reach the End Before you Begin

Just as nature shows us every year, transitions are a part of life. Soon after one season begins, another arrives. Change is the cycle of natural life and the natural cycle of our own lives as well. With these constant changes in nature surrounding us, we might assume that humans would adapt easily to the constant changes in our own lives. For some reason, however, we often cling to what we had...

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Celebrate motherhood and the changes it brings

Celebrate motherhood and the changes it brings

In front of me, as I write this post, are pictures of me over the years with my kids. There they are as newborns, with me looking completely exhausted. Soon they are toddlers, then school-aged and, suddenly, they are taller than me! Each step in their development meant a new stage for both of us. Their needs would change and my role would have to adapt accordingly. This often meant me needing to...

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What is the right way to live?

What is the right way to live?

Is there a right way to live your life? As a certified coach I spend a lot of time reading, researching, and considering the meaning of life with my clients. Is there a better way to live? What does happiness really mean? And how do we reach the end of life and be at peace with the life that we have lived?There are many different ways to live a fulfilling life and it is up to us to find what...

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Why Is It So Hard To Change?

Transitions & new beginnings

What I’ve learned and why I wish I’d had a life coach My own life, like so many others', has been the exact opposite. Either through destiny, chance, or life choices, I have been challenged to start over and redefine myself many times. I predict new beginnings will continue to happen. I sometimes wish my life had gone in a straight line. I’m sure you’ve heard about people like that. People who...

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Our Values. Our Life Guide.

Our Values. Our Life Guide.

Quick! Name five values that are most important to you. Did you easily come up with five or are you stuck at two or three? Do you have more than five? Are you clear on what a value truly is? Your values are the things that you believe are most important in life. They are the principles that guide the way you live and how you work. Values can include many different things, such as family,...

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Menopause transition

Menopause transition

The untold story of menopause: One of the hardest transitions in a woman’s life Life is filled with transitions. And some can be particularly hard as they challenge us to adapt and change to new and unknown realities. At the same time, transitions can also provide opportunities for new possibilities — ones that we may never have imagined before. Menopause is a transition that all women...

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In the “busy-ness” of life, are we missing out on life?

In the “busy-ness” of life, are we missing out on life?

Where are you running to? When I recently called my good friend Sandra to wish her a happy birthday, she said: “It seems like we are always running and, as I get older, I have started to ask myself what are we running towards or maybe running from?” These are such important questions — and the basis for what I want to write about today. In our western culture it seems that we place a high value...

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Want to learn more? Email Claudia to find out how she can help.