How do you want to feel?

Oh, that Danielle. How do you want to feel, she asks.

Like a heat + clarity-seeking truth missile, how do you want to feel locates the core  of it all…and detonates with the light of a thousand suns.

When I first got my hands on the Desire Map, I devoured it and allowed the juices to run down my chin and arms. Delicious fruit can be eaten no other way.

And then, in February, 2013, I was invited by Team D to share my core desired feelings with the Desire Mapper community. I was honoured, touched and a little shy. Naming desires can feel, so, public. Even selfish? Ooooh yeah…THAT. Maybe I’ll be judged for the flimsiness of my desires. Maybe my desires aren’t enough.

You read that correctly. “Maybe my desires aren’t enough.” Given that this is the work that I do, THAT feels hard to admit. Because here’s what I know to be true…at the very foundation of it all, this life, this VERY life is short. And deeply precious. Your purpose is rooted in what you desire. And living a life of purpose, to me, is what it’s all about. Circular sweetness.

It’s called evolution.

In celebration of Danielle’s new site, and my desire for YOU to name your desires, I wanted to revisit my responses from February to see what has changed in the past 11 months. Much has, but not my core desired feelings.

Q+A with Team Danielle (February 2013)

1. What are your core desired feelings? Or even tell us just one.

Joy, joy and more joy.

“Don’t postpone joy” was my Mama’s mantra and it has informed how I’ve lived (and loved) for the last couple of years of my life…which, not surprisingly, have been the most joyful. (Mm hmm.)

And for me to feel my personal brand of joy, I must feel prosperous, gorgeous, generous, in connection and grateful (ever grateful).

2. What have you stopped doing so that you could create one/all of these core desired feelings?

I’ve given up the empty calories of regret. Not postponing joy has required me to stop living in the past. Bemoaning twists and turns, zigs and zags has always left me feeling insufficient, ugly, stingy, disconnected and selfish. Unhooking myself from coulda woulda shoulda’s feels infinitely lighter…more me.

3. What are you doing THIS week to generate any of your core desired feelings?

I’ll be in NYC at the end of the month for the wrap-up day of The Golden Ticket (with Michelle Ward). I’m bringing my family and I just booked a pretty sweet hotel room (with plans to do it up right). That’s mighty aligned with how prosperous feels to me.

(Update:: it.was.a.blast.)

I’m gorgi-fying my work space this week. New paint, new furniture, framing the kid’s art. I’m also gorgi-fying my post-holiday self-care. Things got a little, erm, “festive” over the holidays (read: I apologize if I didn’t leave any brie and prosecco for you). But instead of berating myself with the coulda woulda shouldas, I’ve got a plan in motion that feels as gorgeous as I want to feel.

The desire to feel generous + grateful have led to daily inquiries: Who can I help today? What am I grateful for? Turns out, these are muscles that are quite loose and limber already, so I know there’s an opportunity for me to dive deeper and strengthen them.

As for connection, there’s a way that the first week of the year feels like it’s all ABOUT connecting: like the holidays have shone a light on the relationships that matter. So the work required for me won’t be this week: it will be in ensuring that I keep this light on throughout the year.

4. What are you listening to that gets your core desired feelings revved up?

All music that I can hear in my heart makes me feel grateful.

Iron + Wine’s Trapeze Swinger and Bon Iver’s Holocene are two mainlines for me to feel connected with my own fine self. A little kitchen dancing to Michael Franti brings my family’s heart back to centre.

Old-school Annie Lennox makes me feel gorgeous.

Music that makes me feel generous or prosperous? I’ll get back to you on that.

{Side note: children singing the national anthem and bagpipers in parades makes my heart melt from something that feels like joy, but that includes a confounding cocktail of sweet sadness, frisson, and inexplicably, silliness.)

So this morning, I checked in with the question:: How do I want to feel? And the answer:: As ever, generous, in connection and grateful (ever grateful), prosperous and gorgeous.

What I’m doing in 2014 to keep those lit up.

There’s always room for me to deepen into generosity. There is no doubt that this aspect of my realm wants some more attention. How can I offer more of my time, talents and attention in ways that are helpful, loving, and truthful…this is my continued enquiry. I’m gaining on it.

It’s the “in connection” piece that has been troubling me. Oh, my natural set-point as a 2 on the Enneagram and a Myers-Briggs ESFJ makes good ‘n sure that that I pay extra attention and offer exquisite care to my family, friends and clients. But my list, the lovely human beings who have offered me permission to contact them with my words…I’ve been wanting to find more meaningful ways to connect with them. And so, desire leads to action and I’m currently working on a Monthly Missive (so much more gorgeous than “newsletter”, non?). It will offer Backstage Access to what I’m working on, appreciating, sharing and will invite readers to go deeper in their own enquiry (as desired). And swag bags, yes yes yes…treats every month. (I’d get on the list if I were you. And you can thank Danielle later.)

How do YOU want to feel? Get out the Map.

Get out the map
And lay your finger anywhere down
We’ll leave the figurin’ to those
We pass on our way out of town
Don’t drink the water
There seems to be somethin’ ailin’ everyone
I’m gonna clear my head
I’m gonna drink that sun
I’m gonna love you good and strong
While our love is good and young.

 - Indigo Girls (Get out the Map)

Knowing the answer to how you want to feel WILL transform everything. How you relate, communicate, love, work, cook, sing, plan, parent, create. Everything. Danielle and the Desire Map suite of goodness will guide you through the elegant process of getting to the heart of (what) matters:: your desires.

So…how do YOU want to feel?

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Things I love in 400 words (2012 edition)

Long, long ago, a friend returned from a trip to Europe with 100s of developed pictures. And I looked at each and every one. Correction: I SAVOURED each and every one. This to me felt significant because I barely look at my own pictures of trips to Europe with that level of reverence.

But these were different, these were truly beautiful. I mean, sure, I got nice shots of the Seine, flower carts, rolling hills of vineyards, ancient fountains and the requisite snap of my husband with the Eiffel tower (and other landmarks) sticking out of his head.

The difference, I realized, was that Elly saw beauty in everything. Everything. And though she would argue that she’s  not a skilled photographer, she was able to CAPTURE that beauty in everything. Everything.

What a gorgeous way to move through the world.

I don’t believe that my gift is in seeing (and capturing) the beauty all around me. But I do see the grace. It’s everywhere, ready to be witnessed and savoured.

I’ve been invited to speak at a Gratitude Tea this Sunday in Toronto. It’s a fundraiser and the intention is to bring someone who has shaped your life to celebrate your gratitude for them. Celebrating gratitude, ummmm, yes please. (And there’s still time to get your ticket).

And so, with gratitude on my heart and in my writing, I’ve decided to reprise the post I did a year ago inspired by Elan Morgan (a woman I’m becoming increasingly grateful for).


Grace is a circular blessing. The more grace enters your life, the more grateful you are. The more grateful you are, the more easily grace seems to enter.

- David Brazier

Among other things, I love:

Full-hearted people who show up…even if you barely know them, baked potatoes with greek yogurt + chives, the stiff and uncracked spine of a new book, the soft and dog-eared pages of an old book, making lists, that moment of removing high heels, forgiveness, everything about the Sound of Music, impromptu dinner parties, the stage, generous people who make me want to be more generous, pizza night (though VPN pizza is a close second), witnessing acts of courtesy among strangers, TED red toenails, “it’s handled” emails from my VA, nanaimo bars near Nanaimo, the infectious quality of enthusiasm, wood-burning fires, retiring long-held beliefs that no longer serve, crossing guards who care, garden yoga, heart-to-hearts, reading just the right words at just the right moment, getting my makeup done for me, the ahhhhh of white space, staplers that mean business, the stillness of a stilling question, Erasure’s “A Little Respect” (like, every couple of years), clearing out my inbox, the song of Riedel glasses, new levels of appreciation, bagpipes in parades, the magic that lingers in a group long after a Board of Your Life session has ended, most cheeses beginning with “St.”, the perfectly picked gift destined to thrill someone, the memory of that Christmas Eve in Innsbruck, co-working with Jamie, pressing checkout on Kiva donations, making homemade ravioli (it’s never about the end product), Dropbox, my daughter’s current love of fluorescent pink, eye contact, humility, crisp linens, letters from Santa, firm black plums, the smell of grinding coffee, shifted (and shifting) perspectives, farmers’ markets, finding a full book of stamps, Staedler Triplus Fineliners, the “pop” of a champagne cork, the perplexing power of intention, dividing and sharing hostas, Dad’s borscht, genius ideas straight from the muse that cannot and will not wait to be captured until morning, fresh-picked cherries still warm from the sun, acts of courage, Scandinavian spa silliness with my husband (we are lousy at staying hushed), camping with our wonderful and wonderfully prepared friends (we are lousy at being prepared for camping), April in Paris (or September in Paris, or June in Paris, or…), kitchen dance parties, the way my Instagram feed feels like receiving postcards of peoples’ lives, inari sushi, knowing where the hand-crank flashlight is at all times, beach glass, freedom, sleepovers with my sister, getting to do my heart’s work, coming full circle, the sheer brilliance of The Desire Map and Gratitude Teas.

Yes. More please.

And you, Dear One? What do you love?


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Today is End Sex Trafficking Day

As the title of this post suggests, today IS End Sex Trafficking Day. Can you believe there even needs to be a day dedicated to this? That such horror exists?

It does.

Women and children are bought and sold every 30 seconds around the world.

How many ways can we say: unacceptable?

When Erin Giles reached out to me in the spring to tell me about End Sex Trafficking Day and her desire to curate a book to help end this madness, about the project, I was an immediate and effusive, YES.

Buy a copy of End Sex Trafficking for $20 — a collection of 60 essays on love, knowledge + freedom by trailblazers like Seth Godin, Danielle La Porte, Jonathan Fields and yours truly (I wrote about love: “The Wisdom of the Beaten Heart”) — and all of the authors proceeds goes to the Not For Sale Campaign an organization fighting to abolish slavery every single day.

None of the essay contributors, the publisher or the editor is taking any money from sales. It’s not just a book, it’s a chance to change the world.


More than 27 million human beings are enslaved in the world in 2012. So — you want to stand up for freedom…today?


Let’s get this pressing message to all the hearts and lit up screens we can.

Thank you, you free and compassionate soul.

Click to tweet:

Just bought a copy of End Sex Trafficking. $20 = Women Freed + One Step Closer to abolishing modern slavery #ESTDay2012

Tweet to free lives, help us end sex trafficking today on End Sex Trafficking Day #ESTDay2012.

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You’re Invited: Toronto Firestarter Session Launch Party (April 19th)

Oprah’s not the only Hot Shot coming to Toronto the week of April 16th. My friend and business crush Danielle LaPorte  is coming to town to celebrate my mention in the May issue of Canadian Living.

Okay. Maybe not.

But she IS coming to town to launch her (hothothothothot) book: The Fire Starter Sessions. (The very book that has yet to leave my side).

New friends. Old friends. And DANIELLE!

Click on the invite to get your ticket. See you and your dancing shoes on the 19th at the Gladstone Hotel.

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Thing Finding with Danielle LaPorte of White Hot Truth

You know I love me some Danielle LaPorte. Told you so here, here, here and here. In my mind, she is THE High Priestess of Passion Persuasion and a sublimely generous friend. So when I decided to dive into the realm of Thing Finding, there was zero doubt who I’d be contacting for an interview. This was actually recorded a good while ago, but like all things golden, it has stood the test of time.

Danielle is the author of the Spark Kit (got yours yet?) and most recently co-authored Your Big Beautiful Book Plan with Linda Sivertsen.

When I was asked to review this latest tome of gorgeousness, I said this:

“It’s a rich buffet of ideas, tools and resources, delivered with soulful practicality and sizzling pragmatism.”

I still say that.

In this video, we talk about wooing your thing, how gratitude can be used as key evidence in the process, the killer of thing-finding {spoiler alert: comparison}, and you’ll bear witness to her best impression of a saboteur (not to be missed). She’ll also share with you (drum roll, please) THE FORMULA.


Interview with Danielle LaPorte for Thing Finding Thursday

How delightful is this woman, I ask you? Time spent in her presence, time spent in her words, is like time spent at an old-school Nordic spa for the mind. Hot submersion then cold plunge, then back to off-the charts heat again. Invigorating and ultimately oh-so restorative. And do you see what I mean about her flagrant generosity? Now please go ahead and spread the love inherent in her wisdom with your peeps, will you?

Tweetworthy Danielle-isms (for your sharing pleasure)

  • Practicality and passion are a wicked combo. – @DanielleLaPorte to @TanyaGeisler #TFThurs 
  • Go on a comparison diet. – @DanielleLaPorte to @TanyaGeisler #TFThurs
  • Take the charge out of finding your genius. Like, what makes you happy? – @DanielleLaPorte to @TanyaGeisler #TFThurs
  • There is nothing original out there. – @DanielleLaPorte to @TanyaGeisler #TFThurs
  • We are not doers, we are deciders (from the Book of Runes) via @DanielleLaporte to @TanyaGeisler #TFThurs
  • I don’t get off on failure. – @DanielleLaPorte to @TanyaGeisler #TFThurs
  • Appreciate what you have. That’s the formula. – @DanielleLaPorte to @TanyaGeisler #TFThurs

Transcript of edited interview (for your reading pleasure)

Tanya: So something that you have written always, always, always piqued my curiosity and got my juices going. The enthusiasm is the genuine yes that will uncork your genius. That’s sublime. I absolutely love that.

Danielle: It’s so juicy. You’re so uncorked anyhow.

Danielle: Well, I think first you need to believe that you have genius. That’s sort of half the journey. I know it’s in there somewhere. I haven’t uncorked it. I haven’t stumbled across it. I’m certainly not making any money off of it yet, but it’s in there somewhere. So just believe that it’s in there somewhere. I’m often telling people that whatever is showing up in your life in the form of gratitude, people being grateful for you and appreciating and thanking you, whatever you’re getting thanks for is an indication of whatever your gift is or your genius.

What are people showing their gratitude for? When do you feel no sense of time? When do you look up from whatever you’re doing, whether it’s baking cookies or writing a blog post or tinkering with something, and five hours have gone by and you don’t remember how you got there? That’s the sign of being in the flow as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says. Aren’t you impressed that I can say his name?

Tanya: So impressed.

Danielle: So those are some indicators. I think we also need to take the charge out of finding our genius and just start in a gentle way like what makes you happy. Soft and happy. Just start there.

Tanya: I think that that sometimes scares that away, you know, this whole energy of like bigness, bigness, bigness. So I think that that’s possible that there is a bit of a story. What if it’s more just kind of a whisper? Do you know?

Danielle: Yes. And it can be more than a whisper. It can still feel hot, electric and juicy, but it doesn’t mean you need to go make money on it necessarily. It would be great. I mean, I’m aiming for the ideal that that’s what you can do. It doesn’t mean you need to launch it or go back to school. So I think if we just take the expectations off of finding out what it is it will help us get there sooner. It’s like falling in love, right? Are you the guy? Or it’s like the old Dr. Seuss story, “Dr. Seuss, are you my mother?” He doesn’t find his mother until he’s just hanging out. Do you know?

Tanya: Yeah.

Danielle: Yeah. You let it go and then, poop, it will pop up.

Tanya: What are things that people are coming up against as they try to woo their thing?

Danielle: As they try to woo their thing? That’s such a great – Oh, comparison. It’s toxic. It’s a killer. Don’t do it. It goes like this. What I want to say has already been said. Her brand is like my brand. She got there, he got there to market before I did. Who am I to do this? I’m not qualified. They have more qualifications. They, they, they, they, they. Guess what? You’re an original just because it’s all coming through your lens, your perspective, your voice, your experience, your drive, your level of interest. So nobody has said what you’re going to say. By the way, there is nothing original out there. It’s been said. What I’m saying, what I say on it’s perennial stuff. You can find lots of teachers that talk about it. But nobody talks about it in the way I do. So comparison sucks. Just stop and knock it off. Just go on a comparison diet.

Fears in wooing stuff. Well, there is the what if I fail? Just make a decision and do it. Just decide. Just do. There is a great saying from the book of the Runes, “We are not doers, we are deciders, and once we decide the doing becomes easy.” So doing something and making a mistake is superior, underlined, italicized, to not doing anything. Now that doesn’t mean you don’t have to wait some things out and everything, especially business, so much to do with timing. But you do something and you fail, you will still be further ahead. Even if you’re in the hole financially, you will still be further ahead.

You will have more courage. You will have more faith. You will have more acumen. You will have more contacts at the bank. You will have more resources for your next thing. Just do something. Find out. And in that regard, quit soon and fail fast. If it sucks, leave it. Of course, there is time. I mean, everything I talk about is contradiction. So let’s get that on the table.

Tanya: Love it.

Danielle: Of course there are times where you persist and you endure and all that stuff. But if it’s not working, can it and leave it. Seth Godin in his book, The Dip, about this, “Winners quit sooner.”

Danielle: I also have a contradiction to that.

Tanya: Bring it.

Danielle: Fail fucking sucks. I want to be clear that my focus here is about executing. It’s about creating. It’s about doing so you can go on. Failure is often part of it, but it’s not – Some entrepreneurs get off on their failures. I don’t get off on failure. I have learned a lot more from my successes than I have from my failures for sure.

Danielle: Do I have a saboteur? Yes. Yes, I do. I’ve never articulated so we’re having a live moment here. I can tell you my saboteur are all those little – I really dislike them.  I need to be careful here. My saboteur is a 30 something, Adidas wearing, running show wearing, geek, social media addicted guy from Silicon Valley. He is a bit spiritually vacant and highly fucking cynical. That personality, that kind of avatar is my saboteur. So sometimes I think I’m being too spiritual or I’m not being grounded or, yeah, too out there, too Abraham Hicks. Is that guy behind me going, “this doesn’t work in the real world?” Do you know what I say to him? I say, “You haven’t been properly hugged in months, mister. You probably have sex like a robot.” And you know know what I got is hot. And that’s how I deal with my saboteur. I tell him to go fuck himself.

Tanya: Oh my goodness.

Danielle: Yeah, that crowd scares me definitely. But I’m almost over it.

Tanya: Sorry, I’m not finding – That’s really, really good. I just got to tell you, I wanted to hug him too. I just wanted to hug him too like he needs to be properly hugged like heart to heart, man.

Danielle: Saboteurs they really need love. They’re just coming to the table. Love me.

Tanya: Do you have any final desire for our viewers, people who are picking up what’s my thing? What do you want for them, Danielle?

Danielle: Don’t quit your day job. It is your birthright to have your thing. Be practical about your passion. Practicality and passion are a wicked combo. It’s perfectly alright to want to be happy the majority of the time and it can be done.

Tanya: Yeah.

Danielle: Appreciate what you have. That’s the formula. You want to find your thing. You want to move ahead. You want velocity. You need to appreciate everything that’s going on in your life right now. You need to appreciate that you have a bitchy boss. You need to appreciate the money that you are making. You need to appreciate that you’re stuck. You need to see the beauty in the people that you’re working with.

You need to realize, and if you’re watching this, you probably live in the western world. The fact that you’re watching this on the computer means you have the democratic choice to do that and the financial means to do that. So I’ll leave it on this note. Whatever you got going you got it good. Be grateful for it. When you appreciate that, you will attract more into your life to be appreciative for. It just gets better.


If you haven’t already, you can find Danielle at White Hot Truth and on Twitter.


What's YOUR Thing? If you’re trying to find your thing, then signing up for updates is the thing for you. Get Thing Finding Thursday updates, plus:

Top secret and supershiny notices, events and discounts.

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You are not alone. Not by a long shot.

As I write this, I am on a bumpy flight home from NYC after attending the awe-inspiring Selling Your Soul love-fest thrown by the sublime Danielle LaPorte and the sass-tastic Marie Forleo.

If you run in the same blog-reading circles as I do, you’ll read tons of great stuff about the shin-dig in the coming days. It will all be true. Danielle and Marie are BRILLIANT. They know their genius. They know what their people want…and they deliver. Profound R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

D+M will be releasing a digital version of the juicy content covered later in the summer, so I’ll not be dishing any of their delicious goods here. You can sign up for the info about the digital soul product here. And you really want to.

Howevah. Here’s what I WILL dish on as it’s coming up for me as we barrel through turbulence (or, as the captain of this craft so delicately stated: “a patch of air”). It feels important.

I had some time to myself on Wednesday afternoon. By design, I am seldom alone. I generally prefer the company of, well, company.

So I decided to sink into the rarity of this opportunity. Sunny afternoon in Manhattan + nowhere to be + dead iPhone = perfect people-watching conditions.

As I watched the hustle and the bustle of all manners of folks, I made up stories about them based on their shoes, expressions, age, posture etc. And I wondered what made them tick. I wondered what was universally true for everyone that passed by. I made wild generalizations. It passed the time and I felt quite a bit less alone. Mission accomplished.


The next day, at Selling Your Soul, I savoured the off-the-charts energy of 140 other Lovelies. I listened to the heartful questions that were asked of Danielle and Marie about passion, profit and purpose. And some of those stories that I had made up on 5th and Broadway started to crystallize.

I’ve talked before about the myth of everyone. Now here’s what I am starting to believe to be the immutable truth about everyone.

Everyone does indeed have their own brand of genius.
Everyone feels fear.
Everyone is trying their best.
Everyone makes mistakes.
Everyone wants to know their value.
Everyone wants to be recognized.
Everyone wants to make a difference.
Everyone has a story.
Everyone wants to be acknowledged.
Everyone has pain.
Everyone wants freedom.
Everyone has something that needs to be released.
Everyone desires more (and less).
Everyone feels they may not be enough.
Everyone is afraid to make the leap.
Everyone wants love.
Everyone cares about how they show up.
Everyone has doubts.
Everyone has someone else they look up to.
Everyone wants to deliver.
Everyone has money “stuff”.
Everyone has it goin’ on in someone else’s eyes.
Everyone has a hunger.

This is you. This is your clients. This is your partner. This is all of us.

You are not alone.

So keep on going.

Because you are needed. You, yes YOU, are needed. Oh yes.


Know what my personal brand of genius is? Helping people find their THING. And then help them rock it out. I’m taking three more clients into my coaching practice before my rates go up at the end of May, 2011. Are you one of them? Click here.

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Inspirational Women’s Day

Of the many, MANY things I am grateful for in my life, having an abundance of inspiring women around me rates pretty high. Their gifts fill my heart, soul and mind.  {Allow me to state this: I am blessed to be surrounded by many men I adore and whom inspire…howevs, it IS International Women’s Day, so, I’m sticking with my sisters.}

Inspiration  = in + spirare (latin for breath). And it is sooooo important to breathe, isn’t it?

When I am a quart low of inspiration, these are the women I turn to. You see, I believe that inspiration is all around us. It taps you on the shoulder all the time – you just may choose to ignore it. Stated more prettily:

Inspiration is very polite. She knocks softly and then goes away if we don’t answer. -  Mary Pipher

So I am pretty intentional about going out and huffing it in when I need it, like a sleep-deprived travelling salesman at an oxygen bar. I fill up my lungs with the good stuff.

Some of my sources of inspiration, you’ll not meet on-line. And how they inspire me may not be of interest to anyone else. Like my Mom for teaching me that living joyfully is really the only sensible way (more on her teachings in The Joy Pages, over on the right hand side of this site), or my sister for showing me the grace in contentment.  Or my beloved clients for the bravery they show in their desire to step boldly into their best selves. Or my Mother-in-Law for epitomizing commitment. Or my Aunt for being a beacon of strength. Or my close friends for the meaning of unconditional love. Or my daughter for the reminder to slow down even as she grows at a breakneck speed.

Apart from my Future Self, here are my sources of inspiration that you CAN find on-line:

When I need to explore wholeheartedness, I breathe in Brené Brown.

When I need courage, I breathe in Lisa Chandler.

When I need to some wide-eyed wonder, I breathe in Teresa Deak.

When I need a shot of whip-smart sassiness, I breathe in Kelly Diels.

When I need a model of “no” AND of generosity, I breathe in Danielle LaPorte.

When I need to find soul-nourishing beauty, I breathe in Jamie Ridler.

When I need to know resilience and “never-too-latedness”, I breathe in Debra Eve.

When I need nice (ONE of my favourite four-letter words), I breathe in Carrie Klassen.

When I need to remember to savour AND serve, I breathe in Jen Louden.

When I need to find the middle ground between heart and mind, I breathe in Laura McGrath.

When I need to be return to the feminine essence, I breathe in Dara McKinley.

When I need to see the power in vulnerability, I breathe in Lindsey Mead.

When I need to be reminded about what wonders are available to all beyond the cubicle, I breathe in Pam Slim.

When I need to bring back the fabulous, I breathe in Katia Millar.

When I need to see the value in connectedness, I breathe in Tia Singh.

When I need some bombastic instigation, I breathe in Dyana Valentine.

Please do find them. Soak in their goodness, their teachings and then, breathe out. Energized and inspired.

Kind of like love and money, inspiration is meant to be shared. My request is this: take a moment to share in the comments which women inspire YOU.

And then, just because it will feel so damned good: tell them.

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Soooooo much better late than never

Danielle (around these parts, the “LaPorte” isn’t necessary) recently wrote about visualizing your dream as a done deal rather than mere possibility. Single minded, cosmically-charged manifestations of the highest order.

Hell’s yes!! Scrumptious.

So, you’re clear…you know your thing:

  • You want to be the makeup artist to the stars. OR,
  • Create new technologies for clean-burning stoves for developing nations. OR,
  • Own your own TV network. OR,
  • Write award-winning children’s books.

And you know you’ll get there. You see it as a “done deal”, bright as day. Fan-freakin-tastic, Rock Star! Buckle up…it’s gonna be a wild and memorable ride to hotness!!


What if you DON’T know what your thing is?


Hear that? Me too. Sounds like crickets.


No one likes to talk about this. But let’s do it anyways. In fact, let’s do some clearing.

Kind of annoying, isn’t it? Everyone all over Facebook and the twittosphere loving what they’re doing, their success assured while there YOU are slaving away at a job you don’t much care for, KNOWING there must be something more for you yet not knowing what it is. Besides…it pays pretty well, so…no reason to rock the boat, right?

And yet, you keep kind of searching. I mean, really. Everyone else really does seem a lot more fulfilled professionally. You deserve that same, right? Self-development-types feeding you trivialities about living your values and tapping into your strengths and focus, but you keep coming up short. Much to the glee of your saboteurs who cackle: “how long are you gonna dabble in this and that before you decide to give up on finding your THING?”, “you’re 44…isn’t it time you figured this out?”. ARRRRRGH!!!!!!!

Done clearing?

Here’s another fundamental belief I hold to be sacred:

You have a “thing”.

In fact, I know you have many, MANY things, but I know you have IT. And IT wants to come out; to be noticed; and, to be loved into greatness.

But the environment is hostile, isn’t it? Kind of like a creepy Steven King circus. From time to time, your thing whispers to you that it wants to peek out. And then the “that’s never gonna happen, fool” saboteur shuts it down with the slam of a whack-a-mole mallet. Or the mocking question “HOW?” dances before you in that surreally distorted way of the fun-house mirrors.

So your thing retreats. Again. ‘Cause it’s not stupid, your thing.

And the “you’re too old to figure this out” saboteurs continue to have their way with you.


You are not too old. Not by one single day.

Every experience you’ve ever had your entire life has led you here. It’s a time for exploration, for introspection. For digging deep and getting quiet. For powerful questions…like, “what’s possible?”

Send your saboteurs on a vomitous roller coaster ride while you commune with your thing on the tunnel of love. It may take some time. It needs to learn to trust you after all the thing-bashing that’s been going on.  Sit with what COULD be and bask in the luxuriousness of what comes up. Don’t judge what DOESN’T come up. It may need more time still. Forcing it ain’t gonna work for your thing. That’s been proven. You may want to phone-a-friend, have a Board of Your Life session or talk to a coach. Asking for help = power.

Your thing is possibly a late bloomer, and the point is, under nurturing conditions, it WILL bloom when it’s good and ready. And when it’s ready, it will reward you with the most intoxicating fragrance. I promise you that.

Then you can chart your course to “done deal”. And when you choose to get bogged down in “how” remember that your Future Self has some pretty cool perspectives about your path.

To visualize “done”, you’ll need to open up yourself to what’s possible first.

Enjoy the unfolding.

Then you’d better buckle up, too, Rock Star. Your very own cosmic super highway to greatness awaits.

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Tea with my Future Self

How woo-woo is the title of this post is? I mean, really. Tea? With my “Future Self”?

Yet, there it is. Because I’m sharing this part of me in service of you.

Here’s why.

I love reading people’s letters to their 20-year old selves. If they knew then what they know now…that sort of thing.  And as much as I feel like I could tell 20 year-old Tanya (“enjoy shooters now because you’ll find them repulsive soon”), I’m more interested in what 20-years-from-now Tanya has to say about things. She’s one smart cookie, that Tanya.

I know this because I’ve “met” her. Over a year ago in coach training with CTI…we did a Future Self visualization that blew me away. I saw, quite clearly, the woman I will be in 20 years. She is the sum of who I’m becoming.

The z in the formula x + y= z. And she’s got it going ON.

When faced with a tough choice, I’ll check in with my Future Self and just know what she’d do. Course corrected, wrong righted, inspiration reignited.

Given my propensity to interview inspiring people (Ray, Danielle, Krystyn, Dyana,  and Emma, to name a few), I thought I’d do the same here with my Mother-of-All-Inspiration, my Future Self.

Here we go…cue the dream sequence music and wavy picture.


I walk up the front walk way of a stunning home. Gardenias in full bloom…peppery floral scent sweetens the air. The door opens before I can knock it. 57 year-old Future Self Tanya knew I was coming.

There she is: Empress-like in her posture, a wicked gleam of fun in her eyes and warmth in her smile. We hug (heart to heart…the only way a hug counts). I notice she still wears our necklace.

In the living room, I settle in to a comfy armchair and take in the space. It’s Dwell meets French country. Reclaimed plank floors are scattered with Persian rugs. Pictures on the impressive mantle tell of a life of family, fun and travel. Colourful abstract art adorns every white wall.

She pours me a cup of tea (Mariage Frères, natch). A little milk and a little sugar. She takes hers black (I wonder when that happened).

(2010 me) – So, you look pretty happy here in 2030. How did we get here?

(Future Self) – You can call it following your heart, your north star, your values, your passion, your truth and it would all be correct.

I call it following my intuition. In 57 years, it has yet to steer us wrong.

And good people. We have very good people.

What am I doing now at 37 that is setting us up for where you are now? I guess I’m asking what you’re proud of me for doing in 2010?

Am proud of so much.

That you started to really respect cash and learned to be with money rather than without money.

That you decided not to let your weight control you (as much as you want to control your weight).

That you do your work with joy in your heart. And that you decided late in 2009 to only work with partners and clients that you really wanted to work with.

That you always smile at strangers.

That you realized that life balance is like an oasis – appealing from afar and yet ever elusive. Kind of dull too, frankly…always the same palm tree and pond. That you realized an alive life is what you wanted and would fight for.

That you stopped living for others, but continued to love them fiercely.

That you do love fiercely.

That you learned to say “no” so you could make room for so many “yes’s”. And there’s more work there for you too, Darling.

What do I need to let go of?

Needing to be right. It’s wrinkle-inducing. You’ll always LIKE to be right (that hasn’t changed) but it’s no longer a need.

The fact that not everyone will like and agree with you. It’s so much more than okay.

Mistrust…of others, but mostly of your own sweet self and your decision-making.

The “shoulds”…fully and completely. Recognize that they are like cigarettes – addictive and smelly at the same time.

Quantity. You’ve always known quality is where it’s at, so sink into it. In everything.

Do you think I should do the project that I’ve been invited to do?

You’re reluctant to because you don’t see it as being aligned with your path. And it may not be,as you see it. Yet the partner that you are considering to co-create it with is the right one. This could be a fun process with unexpected outcomes.

What does it mean to have a life of no regret?

To live a life free of regret is to be free of regret. Simple. It’s a wasted emotion…and there are so many other, juicier emotions to be with. It’s self-indulgent goop. We don’t do that anymore. We dropped that as a gift to ourselves when we turned 40.

What do you still do that we used to do at 16?

Eat cookie dough.

Belt out Trooper’s “We’re here for a good time (not a long time)” when I hear it like it’s my job.

Where else in my life can I be digging in deeper right now?

The success is coming. So you can stop fretting about that.

Take that found energy and spend more sacred time with your family and friends. Be patient with Dad. You’ll be glad you did.

At home, play lots more. More puddles, more balloons, more “cooking classes”, more ant-watching.

Final question, when did we start to drink our tea black?

Great story. Funny as hell…but I’ll let you find out for yourself. Let’s just say it happened en route to India.

I thank her for the visit, and we hug again. Like friends who’ll be seeing each other soon.


Back here in 2010, I am inspired and recharged. And I am clear about what my next steps are regarding the project. Crystal clear.

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Diving in to the 21.5.800 Challenge

I love a good challenge. In fact, I sometimes even co-design them. And I rarely back away from a good one.  Rarely.

And yesterday, I almost did.

Last week, my family had the snot kicked out of it with some fabulous news delivered in a crap wrap. Much more on this later. (Dramatics aside, we are fine, together and with the exception of an unrelated sprained ankle, all healthy).

I’d been hearing about Bindu Wiles’ (fabulous Brooklyn-based Buddhist Writing Coach)  ”21.5.800” community project: yoga and writing. While these are two of my favourite things, I am master of neither. (Ooooh…I LOVE the smell of possibility in the morning!)

The challenge: for 21 days, do 5 days of yoga a week and 800 words of writing per day.

Problem was, given that I’d allowed myself to be bullied into a corner by the crap-tastic news last week,  I didn’t jump in to the challenge. I demurred. I abstained. I sat on the fence.

Then I did the math and it went something like this:

Resonant (read: exciting) challenge + awe-inspiring group of participants (Julie, Danielle, Dian, Hiro, Lianne, Jen, Marianne, Tia, Kelly, Andrew, Roseanne, Emma, and 230 OTHER coaches, writers, yoginis that I have yet to read/fall in love with) – being in a snot-kicked out of me kind of space = precisely what I need

So, I have jumped off the fence and am splashing around in the cool early June water. Refreshing and bracing.

Today is day 1. For the next 21 days, I’ll write 800 words a day…whatever I am moved to write (blog posts, strat/comm plan, workshops, journal and anything else that is begging to be expressed) and practice yoga 5 times a week. It will nourish me, heal me and should I find myself in the Dastardly Dip, I’ll know what to do.

I’m number 181 in the growing list of participants. Will you be next? What might it give you? Bindu’s made it easy for you to start wherever you are.

Go check out Bindu’s challenge…and please thank her for me.

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