Category Archives: the beginning

and back to the start

Welcome to 2012! With its snowy beginnings here in the Okanagan Valley, there is a bit of extra inclination to hibernate near fluffy blankets and fireplaces and that means more time to consider the year that stretches out in front of us, like a giant white canvas.

Yikes. What is more full of potential, but riles up the gremlins, than a blank canvas or page?

And so I wonder, what will the year hold for you? Will you set an intention or theme to be your North Star through what lies ahead? What are your greatest wishes for yourself this year?

In all of that wondering, I went back to the beginning. To the beginning of where I began to map out last year’s journey: the Creating Spaces Workbook. My pencils and markers are out and I am joyfully playing through that process again, will you join me?

The workbook is available for free download, so why not give it a try? It’s got to be a lot less scary than a bright white canvas.

With marker-smudges on my fingertips,



P.S. Here is a little artful music to keep you company.

thank you.

Yesterday, I received word that I successfully completed certification and am officially a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach. Amidst my happy dancing, I realized that, as hard as I worked to complete the program, my tribe worked even harder supporting me through the process: through my doubts, fears, successes and failures they held my hand, kicked my ass, cheer-led, offered help and more.

To this tribe of amazing friends, family, clients, readers, supporters and colleagues, I extend my deepest gratitude and devoted heart. And I wish you much more love and success:


To laugh often and much,
to win the respect of intelligent people
and affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends,
to appreciate beauty,
to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child
a garden patch or redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Love love love.


purposefully nice

a little kindness goes a long way: a love note to myself.

What would happen if today you spent the day being purposefully nice to yourself? If you treated yourself like you treat your best friend: with kindness, gentleness, humour and deep love. If you treated yourself like a road trip partner, occasionally checking in to see if you are okay and if you need anything. Or even like the neighbour that you run into occasionally (the one from art class that tells great stories) and stopped to listen and really see yourself?

What if for one day, you treated yourself like a houseguest that you really adore, and went about filling your rooms with lavender and your suitcases full of jam?

Make your inside voices match your outside voices: start by being purposefully nice to yourself today.


Update: Reflections on my first full day of intentional kindness are up on my personal blog, The Living Dreamboard.

treat your brain well

It is Canadian Mental Health Week and we at Gunsinger Coaching think that mental health is pretty freaking important. To put it in perspective, 20% of all Canadians will personally experience a mental illness and all Canadians will be indirectly  affected by mental illness through family, friend or colleague relationships.

We are celebrating mental health this week by starting where we are: sharing tools that positively impact mental health, with stories and perspectives, and with conversation.

The conversation is about treating your brain well. We run and do yoga, we join gyms and take vitamins and eat well and accept that treatment will benefit our physical health. Often we do not ask: what can I do to benefit my mental health? That mysterious brain, calling so many of the shots, how can I influence what is going on in there?

Waking up, I asked myself, “what can I do today that will positively impact my mental health?” so far, I came up with:

  • Breakfast of fruit (antioxidants), yogurt and hemp seeds (high in omega-3 which makes for happy brains).
  • Check in with my plant babies (gardening is a big stress buster for me).
  • Get my knit on later today (using both hands works both sides of the brain and is stress relieving too).

How are you treating your brain well today?


edit: I forgot, and remembered, a great mood stimulator: dance! Taking inspiration from Jamie Ridler and adding “dancing to Adele (on repeat)” to my list today.