In our do more, have more, get more world, there is external and internal pressure to perform. To be a success in the eyes of a world that gauges success not on who we are, but on how busy we are, and what we own. We need to continually strive for “more”, and sadly, it is driving us to the point of exhaustion in body, mind, and spirit. This “success” mindset does not allow a middle ground. It teaches us that we must be all in or we are not doing our best … I have heard that if we don’t give 110% to the task at hand, we are “failing”. Seriously? None of us have 100% to give to any one thing, let alone 110%.

I believe that success is not simply about material gain. Success is about our relationship to ourselves, our connection to Spirit, and how we show up in the world. My favourite definition of success is from a long-time business acquaintance, Jennifer Lyall (

“Success is a feeling, a state of energy, a way of being.” ~ J. Lyall

Have you ever taken time to write down EVERYTHING you did in the course of your day? All of it! Everyday tasks as simple as having a shower, making your bed, cleaning the kitchen, preparing food, running errands, answering texts, scrolling social media, engaging with others, going to work, the gym, a yoga session, putting fuel in your car, or any other activities you are involved in?

Try it. For a day, a weekend, a week. At the end of each day, reflect back to the moment you woke up and then list EVERYTHING you did, include as much of the minutiae that you can remember. I bet you will be amazed by how busy you are simply maintaining your life. It may help explain why there never seems to be enough time or energy to follow your dreams, not even the tiny ones, like going for a walk, or reading, or lying on a yoga mat, or learning a new skill, or having afternoon naps … Most of us are incredibly busy, just trying to keep up with the life we are living.

Taking time in the evening to acknowledge all that we have done in the course of our day is a mindfulness practice. By physically writing it down we can clearly see where our time is spent, and we are reminded of all we accomplish on a regular basis. This journaling practice gives us a behind the scenes look at our selves. Through that lens we are able to develop discernment. We can sift through the vast list of “to dos” and gently realign priorities, figure out what tasks and habits do not support or inspire us (for me it’s scrolling down social media rabbit holes!), and create space, time, and energy to start moving our dreams into reality.

In March of this year, I decided I was important. I was spending the vast majority of my time “doing” rather than “being”. I was caught on that hamster wheel of busy where I was doing lots of things but accomplishing nothing. I was frustrated, grumpy, and tired all the time. I was not in a good place. In order to shift things, I reminded myself of the self-care teaching that suggests one has to be selfish in order to be selfless. We cannot serve and support others if our personal reserves are drained and our busy-ness has left us exhausted. Over the past few months, I took time to journal about what inspires me, what gives me energy, and what feeds my soul. I took naps. I lay on my yoga mat in Yogi Nidra when I couldn’t sleep at night, releasing the need to stretch or move or think or worry or “do”. Eventually, I wrote down five personal goals that I felt I might accomplish this year. Goals based on dreams of “one day I would like to …”, not goals based on shoulds or have tos. 

One of these was to get myself on my bicycle regularly, with an end of summer dream to ride “around the bay” – Hamilton to Burlington to Hamilton. I had tried this ride a number of years ago and failed miserably … exhaustion, tears, frustration, couldn’t finish, and lots of “poor me” pity pot stuff, which is definitely fodder for another blog story … And I came to the understanding that I needed to let go of the fear of not being able to complete the ride, and enjoy the process of working up to the possibility of being able to do it!

For me, there is great freedom in gliding along on my bicycle. It reminds me of being a kid again. The memories of hopping on my bike to meet up with friends, or riding to the convenience store, or through the pathways to the park by the waterfront, all come flooding back when I ride. I remember there was a little store at the front of a house near the park where you could buy “penny” candy and fill a tiny brown bag with sugary treats for the price of two quarters. Similar to the bulk food bins we now find in major grocery stores, but your fifty cents certainly went a lot further!

As I ride my bike as an adult, I am grateful to my honey for re-introducing me to cycling when we met fifteen years ago. He found a Supercycle that someone was putting out for the garbage, cleaned it up, put on new breaks and handlebars, and I was off and riding! It was a struggle at the beginning. I was often winded and needed to rest regularly. With patience and practice my legs and lungs strengthened and my “slow and heavy” rescue bike was keeping up with my Sweetie and his skinny tired, lightweight, road bike! I have since “graduated” to a road bike of my own with racer handlebars, skinny tires, and shoe clips. Our rides tend to cover more ground, less stops, and offer an often-sweaty workout … and I love it. There is great freedom in gliding along on one’s bicycle for no other reason than the joy of riding! Whether or not I actually ride down by the lake and back this year doesn’t matter. I have successfully met one of my “goals” for this year because I am riding my bike regularly, and it feels fabulous!

On our neighbourhood Gifting with Gratitude Facebook Group, someone offered the mug in the photo, and I was so delighted when they gifted it to me! Isn’t it perfect?  “Life is a beautiful ride” … And it really is!

Create an awesome week – Remember to smile at strangers!

Wendy xo


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