welcome

darkening, simplifying, adventuring & creating





It’s easy for me to slip into mindless consumption, social media addiction, digital distraction, and information overload.

Gemma Stone See You in 2015I want my world to be dominated by presence and creation. So I’m …

… darkening
… simplifying
… adventuring
… creating
 
 Darkening

I’m going dark until January 6th – no social media, no articles, no interviews, no podcasts, no newsletters.

I’m logging off the internet, popping an auto-responder on my email, and deleting my social media apps.

With the exception of serving a few clients in December, I’m taking a holiday from the online world and exploring how I can make 2015 matter.

Simplifying

I’m cleaning up my life, my house, my computer, my phone. I’m deleting stuff I don’t need, tossing stuff I don’t want, and donating stuff I could do without.

I’m making space for clarity. In all ways.

Adventuring

I’m whisking my boys off to my favorite island to spend time with my loved ones. My soul is pining for coastal air, hugs from my mama, and heart-to-heart talks with my sister.

I’ll be easing into the New Year with another island adventure infused with sacredness, substance, and sisterhood.

Creating

It’s time to tune into my soul and design 2015. I’m contemplating a massive {secret} project to add a hefty dose of love to the world. Over the next few weeks I’ll be surfing from contemplation to clarity to creation.

 

This will be my last missive until the New Year.

Let’s make 2015 matter.

Love,

imagegetter-1

 

 

 

 

 

a sneak peek at 2015





I’m writing to you from the snowy alpine landscape of beautiful Banff, Alberta. The fire is burning, jazz is playing, and apple cider is wafting through the air.

It’s the perfect time to reflect on what was in 2014 and to dream of what will be in 2015.

The biggest thing I learned in 2014 is this …

 …when you follow your truth, even if it’s crazy scary, beautiful things can happen.

I’ve crafted a soulful plan for 2015 and it includes a few fun things I’d like to share with you.

A website.

My psychology practice will live over at StonePsychology.com and there will be a new digital home at GemmaStone.org. My designer is remarkable, he’s made me squeal with delight multiple times and we just got started yesterday. We’re launching in February – change is coming.

A book.

My new book, The Art and Science of Designing a Life You Love will be published in March {soooooooo excited about this!}. The final manuscript is with my ultra-talented editor right now – she’s infusing it with an extra dose of love before we go to press.

A retreat.

We’ll be gathering in the Rocky Mountains for the annual Great Life Redesign retreat in April. If you’re interested in meeting in real life with a tribe of like-minded conscious, courageous, and kind people this is for you.

A celebration.

Life is worthy of celebration. In April we’ll be celebrating life and making living easier for a community across the world by raising money for charity: water. Circle the date for the Great Life Celebration — April 18th.

An adventure.

In October, I’ll be taking a small group of people to Peru. We’ll explore sacred places and jam on life design, psychology, soulful living … anything goes.

Does this sound like your kind of adventure? Hop on the interest list by sending a note to gemma @ gemmastone.org.

 

There’s a lot going on in 2015 but, above all, I am devoted to creating things to help you live a life you love.

I really want to know … how can I support you?

I’d love to hear from you! Would you fill in the blank and email me your thoughts? {gemma @ gemmastone.org}

If there was one thing you could do / write about / create to help me love my life just a little more it would be _______________.

Let’s make 2015 great! I know we will.

Always love,

imagegetter-1

 

 

 

pure love is worth the risk





While I’ve always been a truth-seeker, being a truth-teller has never been a strength of mine. I’ve been too afraid.

Afraid of causing pain to another.
Afraid of judgment.
Afraid of rejection.

 

In our desire to maintain our relationships and to avoid confronting our worst fears we hold back.

We loose track of our truth.

In order to move through fear we have to be willing.

Be willing to let them go.
Be willing to be judged.
Be willing to be rejected.
 

A heart-stopping, throat clenching fear may bubble up. Speak the truth anyway.

Love requires vulnerability.
Love requests courage.

 

Honesty can be uncomfortable, but deep connection and authentic vulnerability requires truth. Not just easy truths like, I felt hurt when you said that thing you said. But the complex, sometimes dark and desirous, truths too – our deepest longings, shadowy desires, raw fears, secret fantasies, and fiery passions.

Let them see you.

This is all of me … the bright corners of my heart and the dark edges of my soul. I don’t know what will happen when you see who I truly am, but I’m willing to risk it because I need you to know the truth. I will only be truly seen, loved, and known if I have the courage to be honest.

Your fears will be there, but you get to choose whether you let your fears filter your truth.

Resist the urge to soften your fears by tempering your truth.

Gemma Stone LoveLost truth leads to closed hearts. And, it’s difficult for love to find its way into a closed heart.

You may be abandoned.
You may be rejected.
You may be judged.
They may be hurt.

 

Or maybe not.

Either way, you will make it through.

Brave vulnerability and compassionate truth are the gatekeepers to pure love.

Pure love is worth the risk.

imagegetter-1

 

Photo credit :: Catherine Just took this one.

 

 

9 strategies for surviving the holidays with an open heart





The holiday season can be a mixed bag – joy, laughter, generosity, drama, triggers, conflict.

For some it’s a season to look forward to; for others it’s a season to dread. No matter how you feel about the holiday season there are practices you can engage in to survive the holiday season with an open heart.

1. burn your to-do list

You know the list that has been running your life for the last month, year, decade? Burn it along with your Yule log. It has no business following you into the holidays, they are stressful enough.

If it’s really important you will remember it.
It will get done.

 

When the holiday spirit moves you into action, let yourself be moved. Until then, watch the fire burn.

2. schedule what matters

Over the holidays, schedule days to be completely off – nothing wiggles into your day{s} off except for what opens your heart.

It’s a day to spend time in nature, read the book you’ve been wanting to read, make green smoothies, call someone you want to call, sip herbal tea sweetened with raw honey, feel what you are feeling, write gratitude cards, do some belly breathing, share a meal with a person who opens your heart, go for a run, lay in Savasana.

If you don’t schedule what matters, the holiday stress may swallow you up and spit you out in the New Year.

3. sleep

Block off time in your schedule for extra sleep so your mind and body can recharge and recover.

When you block it off, schedule it in and make space for it, it’s much easier to stick to it. Putting it in your schedule makes it official and gives you permission to keep your commitment to yourself.

4. indulge

Indulge in things that nourish your soul – soaking in a bubble bath, creating a rockin’ playlist, throwing paint on a canvas, making snow angels.

When your soul is full, it’s easier to not fill up on things that make you feel gross {one more Nanaimo bar will compliment this bottle of Merlo perfectly!}

5. return to your roots, with love

When you spend time with family consciously choose to share happy stories, fond memories, and good times. No matter how small or fleeting those things were, they were there.

Often we’re so caught up in the drama we forget the peace.
Pay attention to the peace and it will grow.
 

Listen to positive songs from your past, reminisce over delightful photos, bring out the childhood book you loved and read it again.

6. gratitude

Make gratitude a daily practice – cards, text messages, phone calls, flowers, thoughtful gifts you can afford.

Think of all the awesome things in your life.
These things didn’t happen without the love and support of others.
Acknowledge and appreciate the good.
7. examine expectations

Expectations of how we should be, our family should be, the holidays should be are crazy-making.

When we expect to give the perfect gift, get the perfect gift, cook the perfect turkey, or have the perfect conversation we miss the messy, beautiful, imperfection of life.

It’s the imperfection that makes life real and interesting.
Honor it.
8. slooooooow down and tune in

You have a reliable internal guidance system. How is your body feeling when you say yes to making 6 dozen squares, hosting a 30-person dinner party and providing gifts for everyone? Are you light and energized? Are you heavy and exhausted?

Say yes to what you want to say yes to.
Say no to what you want to say no to.
Invite the people you want to invite.
Bake what you want to bake.
 
If you don’t want to buy presents, try giving the gift of your presence instead.
9. hire a pro

Holidays can be a rough time — emotions run high, triggers are flying, people are crying, drama is soaring.

You may be able to manage it and you may not.

If you can’t manage it on your own there are professionals who can help you. Reach out to your favorite psychologist or local distress center. You are not alone.

 

For better or for worse, the holidays only come once a year.
Follow your heart, do what matters, remember to love.

imagegetter-1

 

 

 

continue reading →
Posted on Nov 20, 2014 | Posted In: thoughts & musings

5 ways to boost your energy





There are soulful goals you want to achieve, places you want to explore, and passions you want to pursue. In order to live a life you love, you must do more of what you love.

But, wait! Who has the time? I get it, life can be crazy.

Living by your sacred yes and honouring no will help you create more time.

But really, I think the bigger issue is energy. Maybe you don’t need more time, maybe you just need more energy.

Here are five ways to boost your energy so you can step more fully into your great life.

1. Be mindful.

Practicing mindfulness will help you avoid getting lost in stories of the past and wound in anticipation of the future. Living in the past or the future for too long zaps energy and can lead to depression and anxiety.

Play with this practice to bring you into a state of mindfulness.

  1. Notice three things you see and say them out loud.
  2. Notice two things you hear and say them out loud.
  3. Notice one things you smell and say it out loud.
  4. Now, take deep three breaths and focus on the sensation of your breath moving through your lungs.
  5. Repeat the process until you settle into the present.

More mindfulness means more energy.

2. Spend time in nature.

Nature is energizing and healing. By soaking up the sun you’re welcoming a natural dose of Vitamin D, serotonin, and melatonin into your cells.

Feeling depressed? Difficulty focusing? Struggling with weight? Low energy? You might be experiencing Nature Deficit Disorder.

The solution?
Go outside.
Get grounded.
3. Develop an intimate relationship with your body.

Every body is different. What works for my body, might not work for yours. Despite the plethora of gurus shouting about what to eat and how to exercise, only you can know what your body truly needs. Notice what makes you feel light, energized, inspired, and nourished.

Does your body feel rested and refreshed after six hours of sleep, or do you need eight?

Does your soul feel energized when you dive into the pool and fall into the hypnotic rythmn of your stroke or does it want to bump and grind in a pole fitness class?

How about breakfast? Notice what your body feels like after you enjoy a hearty breakfast compared to sipping green juice and watching the sunrise.

Does coffee make you anxious?

Does sugar make you crazy?

Noticing what nourishes your body will boost your energy and your health.

4. Consciously create rituals.

How we live each day is primarily a result of unconscious ways of being and subconscious rituals – the food we eat, the way we talk to our children, whether we pour ourselves a drink at the end of the day or go for a run, how we spend our money, the way we deal with emails, how we feel in relationship, what we think when we look at ourselves in the mirror. More than 40% of the actions we take are based on subconscious rituals.

What kinds of rituals will add energy to your life?

A series of sun salutations to greet the morning? Using half of your lunch break to go for a walk? Greeting your kids enthusiastically by exclaiming I’m so happy to see you! Drinking a glass of warm water with lemon every morning? Lighting a candle and slipping into a hot bath at the end of the day?

Rituals are used all over the world, by all kinds of people, in all kinds of ways. While there’s tremendous variety in the types of rituals performed, they all have one thing in common — people who perform rituals report feeling better about their lives.

5. Explore.

Try new things – routines, habits, schedules, driving routes, meditation practices, book genres, foods, entertainment, music, fitness classes, words, ways of relating, clothing styles.

Just because you’re trying something new doesn’t mean you need to commit to it. Exploring different options will help you deepen your self-awareness.

What do you like?
What do you dislike?
What brings you pleasure?
What would you rather avoid?
 

Make it playful – explore one new thing each week.

Curiosity, exploration, and self awareness can add energy to your life.

Your great life is waiting for you.
Boosting your energy will help you live it fully.
 

Only love,

imagegetter-1

 

 

 

 

continue reading →
Posted on Nov 13, 2014 | Posted In: thoughts & musings
1 / 35 Older