When you stop looking, you'll find it.

When you stop looking, you'll find it.

There was a time when I'd lose something or something would get lost, like a house key or my glasses. I'd worry about memory loss, wrack my brains trying to find whatever I lost and usually never could.

A causal search would swiftly turn into a frantic search. I'd get others involved in my quest, like my partner, and spread my frustration and panic onto them. And yes, I may have even gone a little berserk. 

Slowly but surely this has changed over the years.

It's not that I don't still lose things, it's that I'm more likely to let things be. When I lose something, one of the first things I do now, is I intentionally say to myself, "It will show up, I know it will." 

And you know what? It always does.

How To Get Life Back On Track

How To Get Life Back On Track

If you could have one wish granted, what would it be? 

For some, getting life back on track is a deep wish. 

It might be you want to get your life back on track after vacation, or perhaps get back on track with fitness, or financially. Maybe you want to get back on track after feeling lost in your work, or perhaps you want to get a relationship back on track.

We want to get back to a place of happiness, success and normalcy. We want to get back to that time and place when things were easier and life was more smooth sailing. And we want to stop the feeling of stress and anxiety.

But how do we get to that better place?

Before answering the question, let's consider the words of Eckhart Tolle, who said...

How Mindfulness Benefits Leaders

How Mindfulness Benefits Leaders

Some may argue mindfulness is so mainstream it's become a bit of a fad and is at risk of becoming part of the self help movement.

I don’t think this is a big issue (after all it's been around for thirty-five hundred years).

But it does make it more important when choosing a mindfulness advisor or consultant, that they have a deep daily personal practice and check their bio to make sure they're qualified or certified. 

Many people are now using this ancient practice to improve leadership skills. Not only does training in mindfulness help increase happiness and reduce stress, but it also promotes clear and creative thinking...

Finding calm in a noisy world

Finding calm in a noisy world

What if I told you that the secret to finding stress relief and calm was to stop trying to get calm or relaxed?

I'm not saying that lying on a beach, taking a vacation or going to the spa are the wrong things to do. They have a place in our life and are important. But when it comes to meditation and finding ways to relax and calm down, the last thing you want to do is say to yourself: “Man I’m feeling stressed. It feels like my head is spinning. I have to find a way to clear my busy mind.” 

One of the biggest myths about meditation is the belief that you have to somehow empty your head of thoughts, and achieve a kind of 'uber-focus' - like a zen monk.....

21 ways to bring mindfulness to your day

21 ways to bring mindfulness to your day

One of the things which often surprises people about mindfulness is how simple it is to bring it into your day. For those who don't feel like sitting and doing a formal meditation practice, there are many options and possibilities to try.

One of the most common benefits of practicing mindfulness is the decrease in stress and burnout and increase in resilience, focus and work-life happiness. And yes, the more you practice, the greater the benefits, but if you're just looking for a place to start there's some very simple things you can do, which don't require any extra time. 

Enjoy these twenty-one simple ways to bring mindfulness to your workday...

Mindfulness: No longer for hippies, now for CEOs

Mindfulness: No longer for hippies, now for CEOs

If you’d walked into a corporation 10 years ago to discuss the benefits of mindfulness and meditation for cultural effectiveness, leadership and the bottom line, it’s quite possible security would have discreetly ushered you out of the building. How would you have reacted if you saw your boss or colleague sitting at their desk with their eyes closed apparently doing nothing? Let’s be honest, you’d probably be at least a little skeptical and thinking your colleague’s either out to lunch, or playing hooky and avoiding work.  Fast forward to 2017 and you’ll discover a different reality....

How to calm the voice in your head

How to calm the voice in your head

I was heading to an appointment not long ago, it was one of those rare days when I wasn't rushing to get somewhere on time.

As I eased my way into the busy waiting room, I noticed there was only a short line-up at reception. What a stroke of luck! I headed straight over to register.

After letting the receptionist know I'd arrived, I asked her how she was doing? I knew a little bit about her, I knew she was interested in running or jogging at one time. So I casually asked her if she had done any running lately?

She shared with me that she hadn't been running nor had she been to the gym lately.  I remember the look on her face, she looked resigned and disappointed.

It's what happened next that I really want to share with you...

4 Simple Steps To Better Sleep

4 Simple Steps To Better Sleep

Do you have trouble sleeping? Maybe you wake up a lot during the night or have to get up to do something and then find you can't get back to sleep. Perhaps your thoughts are very active at night and it's hard to settle your mind. 

If this is you, you're not alone.

Most of us lead busy lives. So much of what we do is based on speed and being connected online 24/7. We get to the end of our day and we're exhausted. We may even get frequent head aches. It's no wonder when it comes to sleeping, it's really hard to settle our buzzing minds and relax. 

According to a study conducted in the UK, sleep disorders and sleep problems are more common than we think. Canada may be the third most sleep-deprived country in the world, with nearly a third of Canadians feeling like they don't sleep enough....

Your breath. A powerful ally.

Your breath. A powerful ally.

"As long as you're breathing, there's far more right than wrong with you no matter how ill or hopeless you feel." Jon Kabat-Zinn

If the only thing you do today is breathe, it's all good.

From the moment we're born, we breathe. It's instinctive. We don't learn how to breathe, it just happens. The trouble is, as we get older, we forget how to breathe. In fact, we aren't even consciously aware of our breathing. 

So we don't focus our attention on our breathing.

How to turn wounds into wisdom

How to turn wounds into wisdom
"Sometimes it takes great suffering to pierce the soul and open it up to greatness." Jocelyn Murray

Often we think of pain as something that has been inflicted on us, a stroke of very bad luck, the result of an unfair world, or bad fate in some way. An immense obstacle that propels us into primitive survival mode. It's ugly, uncomfortable and lonely. 

I'm going to throw caution to the wind here and say, I believe it is a gift to feel discomfort, and that when we avoid, ignore or try to hide from it, we are missing one of the greatest lessons that life has to offer. Every person wanting to find true peace and happiness should know this....

You are exactly where you need to be

You are exactly where you need to be

How would things change for you if you knew that wherever you are in your life, is exactly where you should be?

In other words, regardless of whether you're satisfied or unsatisfied with your life, or experiencing immense happiness or working through an extremely difficult situation, that any and ALL of these experiences are exactly where you should be?

On the surface, it might not be easy to wrap our minds around these ideas. After all, aren't we happier when we're constantly keeping busy, achieving things and in pursuit of something better? Yes, perhaps, at least for some of the time, this might appear true. 

But when we're constantly focused on the road ahead, as opposed to where we are right now, there are some surprising consequences.....

The realization

The realization

Do you find you go through periods in your life when everything feels pretty good? It’s kind of like those times when there’s nothing really significant going wrong and life feels, dare I say it? Complete. Maybe you just had a great family vacation, maybe you’re starting a new relationship, maybe business is growing, maybe you just published your first book. Basically - you’ve got it going on!

And then, in what seems like a split second, everything changes.  

The expectation trap

The expectation trap

I'm going to write about a small change in mindset that could have a major impact on your life.

It's to do with letting go of expectations.

I fully appreciate this may seem like a strange idea.

We all have expectations. Expectations of how we want others to be. Expectations of who we think we should be. Expectations of what we want to achieve. Expectations of what we want for our children, family, friends. We expect things about our bodies, our jobs, our lives...

What's the point of silence?

What's the point of silence?

I remember my first retreat only too well.

I had announced to some of my work colleagues at the time, that I was heading to a monastery for 8 days of total silence with a bunch of monks. The look on their faces said it all. Heck..I had the same look on my face, which equated to: "Am I nuts? I'm a globe-trotting marketing executive and I'm voluntarily going to go spend my vacation with some monks in complete silence, sitting and meditating all day." 

So what's the point in silence you may be wondering...?

Why you're more than your thoughts

Why you're more than your thoughts

Before I started meditating years ago, I had no idea I could disentangle myself from my busy mind. Our constant thinking and wandering mind, often leaves us feeling completely exhausted, stressed, and relieved to get to the end of each day. You know that feeling? When your inner voice says: "Thank god it's almost the weekend, so I can forget about my challenging week for a while." The trouble is, it's our constant thinking which pulls our attention in a thousand different directions, in very subtle ways, that we're very rarely aware of. This is what we call continuous stress.

Do you know your Why?

Do you know your Why?

I've been asked some provoking questions recently that have made me stop and consider more deeply what Wake Up Kate is all about.

After carefully processing each question, I realized they all came down to one single question:

Why Wake Up Kate?

Wake Up Kate originally started as a call to action to myself to WAKE UP in my life and take greater care of ME. 

I soon discovered that staying awake in my life and practising self care wasn't just another 'to do'... it was a habit that became a way of life.

That's one of the secrets you need to know about how to maintain any kind of REAL change in your work and life........

How I stay motivated in stressful times

How I stay motivated in stressful times

Here's what I tell my audiences, my clients and myself... 

YOU CAN ALWAYS COME BACK TO THE BREATH.

Last year I walked away from stability and a healthy six figure income to launch Wake Up Kate, a mindfulness and stress resilience consultancy. What can I say?... It's been amazing. A truly powerful experience. It's the most incredible rewarding work I've ever done and I have to pinch myself sometimes that this is really happening. But as we all know (and sometimes forget) great things take time. You have to think of it as a 'ten year project'.... so I can assure you, there's plenty of impatience, frustration and worry to deal with as well. 

Actually, something happened while I was writing this blog, that should have caused a complete meltdown (aka significant stress) but it didn't. Read on to hear about it....

The holidays, stress and mindfulness

The holidays, stress and mindfulness

I'm somewhat disconnected from the mad rush of Christmas, because my family and I have chosen to spend it this year focusing more on creating small but meaningful experiences throughout the month of December, rather than giving many gifts.

Christmas is of course one of the biggest holidays of the year for many of us.

A time of joy and celebration, and yet it can also be a time of emotional worry. The mad rush of last minute shopping, waiting in huge lines, feeling frustrated, having frayed nerves.........

The truth about meditating

The truth about meditating

It was exactly one year ago today I went on a 9-day silent retreat. 

I remember a sinking feeling in my stomach as we approached the monastery.

I felt nervous. But most of all what I remember were thoughts screaming at me: "Why on earth am I going to a monastery to spend nine days in silence with some monks?"

We pulled into the parking lot and my husband offered to carry my bags into the reception area. I told him to leave me there and just go. I wanted my family to depart as quickly as possible, or else I'd be too tempted to jump back in the car and go with them!

I checked in and found my room. The door next to mine led to a chapel and prayer room. There was a crucifix above my bed. Nothing else on the walls. Oh god, what had I let myself in for?.......

This one thing could change your day

This one thing could change your day

Curiosity.

It's the gateway to creativity, care, change and possibility and has gently shifted my ability to face adversities in life.

We're all curious by nature, it's innate in us. But many of us lose it over time. It vanishes. Partly because of the way our brains map experience and partly because of our conditioning, culture and education.  

Adopting a mindful attitude of friendly curiosity means......