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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.

A Fine Balance

A Fine Balance

Despite my hopes, January 2022 looks a lot like January 2021. It feels like we are stuck in the same place with many things still out of our control. COVID cases are on the rise. Restaurants, gyms and movie theaters are closed. For me, the lack of control is difficult and I am longing for a real connection with others. To counter these feelings I am focusing on the importance of one word. A word...

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Would You Rather Be Smart Or Be Right?

Would You Rather Be Smart Or Be Right?

I recently spoke with a client about the idea that it is better to be smart than to be right. Understanding the difference can bring a new perspective into our lives and our relationships.   Being right: Is about proving that you know best and that your position is the correct one. Is about choosing to focus on the fact that you are right regardless of whether that will result in the best...

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What’s Your Word?

What’s Your Word?

What if ONE WORD could help us make everyday choices more easily? Even though the choices we make each day are so varied and under many different circumstances, I believe it’s possible to have one word or phrase to guide us. Allow me to explain. To make good choices, we need to first trust our instincts and understand ourselves. We need a true sense of our values and be clear about what we want...

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Make Small Changes.  Make a BIG Difference.

Make Small Changes. Make a BIG Difference.

The change from fall to winter is often wet, grey, and miserable, especially in my home city of Toronto! It's cold and the days are short. To compound this, it's flu season and we have last year's corona virus as a warning of what to watch for. Last year, the flu virus caught up with me. I thought that because of my cancer journey I would never take my health for granted. But, I got caught up in...

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VALUES EXERCISE

VALUES EXERCISE

Thank you!   You can download your copy of my Values Exercise Worksheet here. Did you learn something new about yourself?  Let’s chat about your results from this exercise and figure out how it can help you make decisions that align with your values. 

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Feeling Seen and Acknowledged is a Universal Need

Feeling Seen and Acknowledged is a Universal Need

The Importance of Feeling Seen and Acknowledged My grandmother “Tita Sarita''  as we called her was an amazing woman. She made everyone feel that they were unique and special. I really thought I was her favourite, until one day after she died when I was having lunch with a large group of my cousins and we realized that we all felt that we were her favourite. How amazing that she could make each...

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When Perfection is the Enemy

When Perfection is the Enemy

Sometimes, perfection is the enemy. We hear a lot about “giving it our best” and “nothing less than 100 percent” in order to be successful in life. But are there times when achieving 80 percent might be good enough? Of course, there are certain tasks where only 100 percent is acceptable. We would expect nothing else from a pilot or surgeon, for example. But for most of us, perfection is not...

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The Power of No

The Power of No

"No" is a powerful word.  And not always a negative one. In fact, “no” can be quite positive. Saying “no” can liberate and empower us. It can help us move forward. It can strengthen our relationships, clarify our communications, and give us the space we need in our lives to say “yes” to what we truly want. Lately, I’ve felt frustrated when people around me didn’t say “no” when they clearly...

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Celebrating Our Differences

Celebrating Our Differences

“I treat others how I would like to be treated.” A client recently repeated this familiar refrain to me during our discussion about disagreement in the workplace. I understand the sentiment and it’s a great starting point, but I would argue that this isn’t what is needed in our relationships. Here’s why.  In relationships, it’s not enough to simply model the way we want to be treated. We need to...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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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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...

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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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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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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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The Endless Cycle of Never Enough

The Endless Cycle of Never Enough

Recent conversations with my clients have reminded me of the complexities of our everyday lives. There are endless roles to be executed and things to be done, and we all have too many priorities and not enough time. It can leave us feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. In addition to this, we are faced with having to ‘succeed’ (whatever that means) and feel fulfilled while constantly being on the...

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Accepting Help: Just Say “Thank you!”

Accepting Help: Just Say “Thank you!”

Why do we so often respond to someone doing something for us by telling them that they shouldn’t have bothered or that it wasn’t necessary? My grandmother Sarita, one of the wisest people I have ever known, would get upset if you gave one of these polite responses when she did something for you or gave you something. She would tell you to simply thank her or tell her that you appreciate it. I...

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Stop Setting Goals: Do Something More Important First

Stop Setting Goals: Do Something More Important First

Goals aren't enough on their own. Every year at this time, my clients tell me about the goals that their companies organizations are working on for the upcoming year and the resolutions that everyone is making.  Goals are important.  They help us connect to our vision, and, if done correctly, they can help us stay on track and measure our actions. I believe, however, that there is a crucial...

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Time for Change

Time for Change

Choose changes aligned with what truly matters to you.I like to think of September as an opportunity each year to stop and reflect on where we are, what we have accomplished so far and what changes we might want to make going forward. We make many daily choices in our lives that create our journey. If we don’t stop and reflect, we can’t make choices based on what is important to us. Change is...

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BE THE CATALYST FOR CHANGE:

BE THE CATALYST FOR CHANGE:

HOW TO BETTER COMMUNICATE FOR STRONGER RELATIONSHIPS   How we interact and feel in our personal and professional relationships is an essential predictor of our fulfilment and well being. Find the courage to change the things you can control in your relationships. You can be the leader and a catalyst of positive change. How we interact and feel in our personal and professional relationships...

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Negative Emotions: Can Positivity Be Toxic?

Negative Emotions: Can Positivity Be Toxic?

Negative emotions are actually vital to our happiness and wellbeing.   Life is a complicated, challenging, amazing and fulfilling journey. The pandemic has certainly shown us how uncertain life can be. The idea that we are supposed to have a happy and fulfilling life has become a sort of cultural movement during the past few years that in many cases has been taken to the extreme. Instead of...

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What’s Your Word?

What’s Your Word?

What if ONE WORD could help us make everyday choices more easily? Even though the choices we make each day are so varied and under many different circumstances, I believe it’s possible to have one word or phrase to guide us. Allow me to explain. To make good choices, we need to first trust our instincts and understand ourselves. We need a true sense of our values and be clear about what we want...

read more
Allowing Unhappiness

Allowing Unhappiness

If you have been following my work for a while you will know that I am a positive person, constantly learning and always ready for what comes next. I try to inspire others to pay attention to what is positive and what we have control over in our lives.     AND (my favourite word in the dictionary)...    Despite all of this, it felt so good this week to let go and complain. To cry a...

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Allowing Unhappiness

Allowing Unhappiness

If you have been following my work for a while you will know that I am a positive person, constantly learning and always ready for what comes next. I try to inspire others to pay attention to what is positive and what we have control over in our lives.     AND (my favourite word in the dictionary)...    Despite all of this, it felt so good this week to let go and complain. To cry a...

read more
Personal Growth is a Life-Long Journey

Personal Growth is a Life-Long Journey

Early in my coaching career, I came to an important realization: Personal growth never stops. Stepping outside of our comfort zones, adapting to ongoing changes, and learning new things; It’s ongoing and it’s hard work.   Life by definition is challenging. Even though we may wish someone else could do the hard work of learning, adapting and growing, it’s only up to us. After all, only we...

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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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Find your values, find your way

Find your values, find your way

With so many questions about what is happening in the world right now, I have struggled with what to write. But whenever I question what my ideal role should be during uncertain times, I always return my core beliefs and foundation. In other words, I return to my values.    Now, I fully recognize that it might feel superficial, at a time like this, to focus on our values, but I would...

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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...

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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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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...

read more
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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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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Accepting the unknown

Accepting the unknown

How accepting the unknown can transform your life The transitions we face in life — whether they are big or small — come about in many different ways. Whether they happen because of conscious decisions, or subconscious choices, transitions can be difficult. They can paralyze us. And often, to avoid facing the change, we try to hold onto something that is not good or healthy for us. We try to...

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