Me Too

Many of us have closely followed the media attention with regards to the number of very brave women coming forward to share their experiences of sexual assault at the hands of some very powerful men. It has taken me awhile to get to sharing my perspective. My experience/reaction has needed time to breath, to process before I collected my thoughts …

On Saying “I’m Sorry”

My friend once jokingly told me, “Wow, you really are Canadian now!” after catching me say “I’m sorry” three times in five minutes. Twice instead of saying excuse me, once because I didn’t hear what someone said, and I was asking them to repeat it. I wanted to say I’m sorry for saying sorry too much. There’s a lot of …

get along with your mother-in-law

Dear Vaishali: How do I get along with my mother-in-law?

How do I get along with my mother-in-law? Out of all the relationships that I’ve helped my clients, friends and family with, the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship has been the trickiest to navigate. If you think about it, it’s easy to understand why. In many cases, the daughter-in-law is replacing the mother-in-law as the most important woman in the partner’s life. There …

Shades of You

My son once corrected me on something I had no idea about. I referred to pink as a colour and he was quick to share that pink was actually a shade of red, not a colour itself. Although I passed it off as semantics, as shades are also colours, it did make me recognize the association of pink with red …

old self

Dear Vaishali: How do I go back to my old self?

I have a pair of rollerblades that I’ve held onto for years, but haven’t pulled out since before my first child. What should I do with them? How do I go back to my old self? It is inevitable after having children that our identities change. You may not feel like your old self anymore. Our centre of focus completely shifts from …

The Difference Between Humility and Self-Deprecation

Often, when I give my friends a compliment, they minimize it or don’t accept it. To be honest, sometimes I do that too. Sometimes it’s because I don’t believe I deserve the praise; sometimes it’s because I don’t like being in the spot light. At times, I will even go as far as to point out what was wrong with …

how do I make friends as an adult?

Dear Vaishali: How Do Adults Make New Friends?

I made most of my friends as a teenager, but we’ve grown apart. How do adults make new friends? Not everyone is fortunate enough to have BFFs from high school who stay BFFs into adulthood. Most of the time, because of life transitions (a career, marriage, a move, a baby), many of us grow apart from the friends we had …

What if Midlife Crisis is a Second Adolescence?

Who reading this remembers adolescence? The changes in your body, the peer pressure, the emotional effects of hormones? For me, and for many people, adolescence was a crisis! Well, in my teenaged mind it was. Not having the right clothes or make up would be the end of my world. How many of us wished we could run away from …

stop yelling

Dear Vaishali: How can I stop yelling?

I love my children but keep losing my temper. How can I stop yelling? We’ve all been there. You’re in the middle of your usual chaotic rush, one little thing goes wrong and you lose it. You’re trying to send one last email while the mac and cheese is on the stove, while also helping your daughter with her homework. …

Cultivating Self Worth In Our Young Girls

Last year at a Bliss B4 Laundry retreat, I ran a workshop on self-compassion, and a mother and daughter pair attended. They were both in tears after, stating that neither of them knew how the other was struggling, and were grateful to have shared this experience. Watching them, and having numerous conversations with women about how to support the young …

Compassion in 2017

I try to focus on work but like most people, I am struggling. Struggling because I am continuously processing what is happening in my home country, and how that is affecting the world as a whole. I am an average citizen. I vote; I attempt my best at being informed; and I have healthy respectable discussions about mainstream political issues. …

mom guilt

Dear Vaishali: How Do I Deal With Mom Guilt?

How do I deal with mom guilt? I feel responsible for everyone’s happiness. Meanwhile, I’m miserable. I often joke about how I’m a c-suite woman… of The Patel Household. I am always the COO, often CEO, CFO, and of course CWO (Chief Wellness Officer). As a mom, I feel I am responsible for the wellbeing of each member of my …

You Are Not Lazy!

Not too long ago, my younger cousin was sharing with me his thoughts on the girl he just started dating. They are in their early 20s, and he described her to me as “lazy.” My first thought was, “Wow, that’s a judgment!” Then I wondered what it was about her that made him think she was lazy. Finally, I fantasized …

working mom

Dear Vaishali: Being a Working Mom is Totally Overwhelming. Help!

I am completely overwhelmed. Being a working mom is making me crazy. Help! We often assume that being a working mom means having the best of both worlds. Yet, when we’re in the throws of chaos we feel we’re actually getting the worst of both worlds. When we’re trying to master two roles that often pull us in opposite directions, …

The Worst/Best Christmas Gift Ever

This year, Christmas came right after a hectic work week, just 2 days after deadlines, meetings, and emails. There was no “ease in” or “prep for the holiday” time. I even had things to take care of on Christmas Eve. However, my computer had other ideas. For Christmas, my computer gifted me a break before I was ready for it. …

When should it be Wine O’clock?

“I need a glass of wine!” How often have we said that (or something similar) when our children have misbehaved, when we’ve had a setback at work, when we’ve had a big fight with someone, or when any kind of big stress has come our way? We pop the cork, sip, and shake it off. Then we go back to …

When Women Gather

I just got back last week from a Bliss B4 Laundry retreat – the most amazing experience – where women come together to learn about wellness and nurture themselves. This was my fourth time attending these weekends, and each time I am in awe of what happens to the women who attend, including myself. I have often praised the organizers, …

Is Makeup A Choice Or Obligation?

Makeup wearing has always been a practice I’ve teeter-tottered on. After Alicia Keys made a big splash for going to the VMAs bare faced, I decided to re-examine my stance on makeup. I read her article in May on Lenny about the NoMakeup movement. She made a compelling argument on why we should all abandon makeup because it physically covers …

What to do When Self Care Just Isn’t Enough

Recently, a number of stressful matters fell on my lap around the same time. Possibly, each of them individually or even paired could have been handled with some ease. However, that they were coming to me all at once made it more difficult for me to spring back. I knew I needed to amp up my self care, instead of …

Your Internal GPS

Recently, my friend Mita turned her private journal into a public blog. This was something she had been sitting on for months. Even though she was nervous about exposing her personal thoughts to strangers, through some support from her friends, she decided to share her beautiful words with the world. I went to her launch party to celebrate, despite my …

Pockets of Joy

The other day in the car, “I Think We’re Alone Now” was playing on the radio, a song I hadn’t heard in decades. I was singing along. My son asked how old the song was and he was surprised that I still knew all the words. He had a point: I can’t go past helium on the periodic table without …

What’s Self Love Got To Do With It?

How many of you have that ”one” person? • That person in front of whom you can completely be yourself • To whom you can always turn for support, and they are always there • Who never judges • Who knows your deepest darkest secrets • Who always sees your true value/beauty, even on your bad days Often that person …

Do You Know Your Purpose?

Recently, I watched a video with Elizabeth Gilbert where she talked about passion. Her take on it was quite interesting. For years she was a proponent of finding and following your own passion. She said that in the years that she had been preaching about sticking to your passion, she never acknowledged that some people just never found their passion…at …

Is Multitasking Actually Good For You?

The other day my phone was running super slow. I was trying to find the address for a cafe I was going to and it just wasn’t coming up. I was getting frustrated. I was waiting for minutes… which is unacceptable for a new phone.  Then I decided to close the other apps on the phone. I came to see …

Becoming Your Own Friend

I have a confession to make: I slipped with my blogging schedule and, for a while, I was really hard on myself about it. I often try to take the summers off from non-essential work, which is basically anything other than seeing existing clients. The goal is to relax and reenergize, then pick everything back up in September. Well, I picked …

Fitting in Vs. Belonging

Remember high school? Remember when peer pressure made you do utterly stupid things? Or how about simultaneously idolizing and despising the most popular mean girls in the school? Were you really good at something, but hid it for fear that you’d be ridiculed? In adulthood we can look back and recognize that as teenagers all we wanted to do was …

A Lesson about Anger

One cold February morning I was rushing to catch the 8:53 bus at 8:52, and as I got onto the street, meters away from the bus stop I saw the bus approaching.  I started running, waving my hand, and the bus drove by me.  I stood in frustration and anger; I murmured some inappropriate phrase.  I caught a glimpse of …

The Power of Nine Minutes

The alarm goes off, and you think for a split second, “I can’t get up! Can I afford to hit snooze? Will it throw my whole day off?”  Did you ever think that 9 minutes had so much power? During the day, you are functioning like a zombie. Inside, something is telling you, “Just take a break!” But you ignore it …

Lessons I Learned from The Giving Tree

I grew up reading Shel Silverstein.  I had my own copy of Where The Sidewalk Ends as a child.  I often mention some of the poems when talking to my children, such as encouraging them to play hug of war, instead of tug of war; or referencing Jimmy Jet to teach them a lesson on the detriments of too much TV (that only works until …

Why You Should Be Your Own Valentine First

Why is it that we are not taught that loving ourselves is essential, that it can fulfill our lives so much more than just relying on receiving love from other people? Now, get your mind out of the gutter, or you can keep it there if that’s how this blog will best serve you. Why do we feel we have …

Your New Year’s Wake Up Call

So, a New Year a new you, right? Well, how is this year going to be different? How are you going to be different? I’m not talking about your typical New Year’s Resolution. I’m talking about the things that are happening in your life that are just down right pissing you off, things that you are dying to change, because …

Are You A Perfectionist?

Are you a perfectionist? Even with just some parts of your life? I admit that on a bad day, if the dishwasher is not loaded “correctly” I will unload, then “properly” reload the dishes into the dishwasher. On these days, I can’t release that feeling of frustration: the angst of repeatedly telling family members how to rinse and properly stack …

Are We Passing Superwoman Syndrome on to Our Daughters?

Growing up, I used to look at my mom and think “This is what I’m supposed to be when I grow up”.  However, my mom wanted more for me than she had, and she often told me that in our conversations.  She did not get a university education; she did not pursue a professional career; in fact, she didn’t make …

Do You Give Like A Martyr or A Goddess?

As women, it is in us to give, to support, to nurture.  The act of giving is a vital part of most women that we can’t turn off.  When it comes to the topic of equality in the home, most of us wouldn’t drop our giving/nurturing roles completely.  Rather, we’d like to share those roles.  And this is fine as …

Having It All

Do You Really Want To Have It All?

There are tons of books out right now on how to “have it all.”  It is interesting to note, however, that there are quite a few renowned women (Oprah, Madeline Albright, Anne Marie Slaughter, Sheryl Sandberg) who have articulated that while no one can have it all at once, they can have different things at different times in life.  What …

How Negative Thinking is Like Winter Weather

How Negative Thinking Is Like Winter Weather

Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny. -Laozi Every winter, I am reminded of how much more time it takes to get the family out of the house due to weather conditions. To begin, we have …

Superwoman Syndrome

The Epidemic of Superwoman Syndrome

You know that woman who has a great career, has no cellulite, has two kids in two activities each, can make no-fat/no-gluten/no-calorie muffins that taste delicious, volunteers in her down time, has the perfect doting husband, has regular women’s night outs, and is always smiling?  You know, Superwoman?  Well, guess what? She doesn’t actually exist!  Everyone has their kryptonite, the …

Car Vs Self

Proactive Wellness: Why Do We Take Better Care of Our Cars Than Ourselves?

We’ve all heard the phrase: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” right? Most of us have adopted the principle behind this phrase into our healthcare practices: we take medication when needed; we go to the doctor when we are in pain; we rarely act before something goes wrong.  If you think about it, we take better care of our cars than we do ourselves.  We get regular oil changes, …

Wellness- It’s About Choices

Wellness. It’s a simple word. It’s a common word. I see it in grocery stores, pharmacies, internet sites, government documents, and scattered about my home and office in books and magazines. I see it so often it is easy to overlook. So, I decided to take a moment to think about this word I use so often. What does it …

My Dance With Wellness

In my Master’s program I took a course in wellness. Before then, I kind of knew what wellness was; you know, health and wellness, spas, water springs, massages, stuff like that, but I really did not get a concept of wellness until taking this course. I learned that wellness is all encompassing, that it is proactive, and that it requires …

What exactly is wellness?

So, whenever I tell people that I am working in wellness, the first thing that they ask is, “What exactly is ‘wellness’ anyway?” There are a number of different interpretations of what wellness means. The definition that resonates with me the most is the conscious choice to engage in living a fuller life, which integrate body, mind, and spirit. It …