What Matters Mondays – Feb 29, 2016

February 29th, 2016 by admin Leave a Comment

I have been in bed sick since Friday with the worst hacking cough I’ve ever had, fever, aches. You get the idea. So the blog today is simple:
Cancel what you have to.
Practice Self-care.
I do not need to be a hero today. I cannot be a hero today. My body needs rest to recuperate.
I am giving myself permission to rest until I am well.
I am giving myself permission to cancel workshops so people around me don’t get this horrid thing.
And when I’m better..I’ll be so grateful!
One of my value words is health so it’s hard to be sick. But I’ll lean into it, and love myself enough to give it what it needs.
That’s it!
What permission do you need to give yourself today?





What Matters Mondays – Feb 22, 2016

February 23rd, 2016 by admin Leave a Comment

Five years ago, my friend Kelsey McQueen and I sat on her back deck and talked about how her role as a personal trainer and my role as an educator and life coach could come together to benefit young people. Within a few hours Fit+Fierce was born! It started as a dream…we wanted to create a place where girls could become strong in mind and body. A place where girls could find common humanity…where other girls would say, “You aren’t alone. I feel that too.” A place where there would be laughter and fun mixed in with learning about how to be yourself, how to let go of the pressures to fit in, and how to find friends that allow you to be who you are. A place where healthy snacks would show them that all that green stuff isn’t actually yucky. A place where workouts would be fun even when you are sweating! A place where it would be safe enough to ask questions and know there would not be judgment. A place where you could share your greatest struggles and get helpful tips or just a big hug. A place where the only rules would be to SHOW UP and be who you are. A place that could change your life.

Here we are five years later…and I sometimes cannot believe that this dream became a reality. In fact…it is better than either Kelsey or I could have dreamed. We have the privilege of working with the most amazing girls every Thursday evening, and we end every one of those evenings feeling so grateful and inspired by these girls!

Fit+Fierce started with two groups in 2011-12 (27 girls), two groups in 2012-13

(30 girls), grew to three groups in 2014-15 (37 girls) and four FULL groups in 2015-16 (56 girls). We have several girls who are now in their 2nd, 3rd and 4th year of Fit+Fierce.

Mark your calendars…Fit+Fierce registration opens March 1,2016, and we are anticipating that it is going to fill up fast! If your daughter is in grades 4-12, you will want to continue reading to learn more about this program. Registration and more information can be found at www.fitfierce.ca


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Here’s what a few parents have said:

My daughter came home laughing and said she had a blast at fit and fierce….she said it was fun!  She is a super high anxiety type of kid and had a stomach ache all day yesterday because she was nervous about her first session….thanks so much for doing such important work with my young daughter.  These sessions make a real difference and she will benefit so much for her time with you both.  I’m so glad you run this program and that our paths continue to cross.

I believe the work you are doing with the girls is soooo essential, meaningful and important. My daughter does not say a whole lot about her experience with FF, but she will share her creations. But I know she is absolutely internalizing and absorbing the discussions and experience she is having with you. She has had some challenges with friends like many jr high girls from what I understand, and I know the values and lessons you are sharing and emphasizing have helped to ground her and keep her anchored with what is real, true, integral, and essential. And so, I sincerely THANK YOU both for going out on a limb and investing yourselves and time and talents into our lucky girls. The world needs more of what you are doing.

My daughter told me she really loves the way she feels about herself when she leaves Fit+Fierce. She said that Kelsey is really smart and knows so much about health and your body.  She also said Danielle has so many creative ideas and loves the projects and conversation that are generated. She said that you really connect with her.  Let’s just say we are very happy with the Fit & Fierce program.

I truly cannot thank you enough for what you and Kelsey did for her last year. She saw herself in a different light, and no matter what we told her …she finally got it with your group. Thank you.

To parents considering F&F for their daughter, I would mention that mine now has the skills to empathize with others, mostly her peers; using the language, skills and examples from the sessions.  I have also witnessed, as well as heard stories from her, about situations she found herself in and had the skills and confidence to navigate through and make hard but good choices; whereas before F&F she often doubted herself and would often take the easy road or make poor choices.

Fit and Fierce has had a huge impact on my daughter and it only reinforced it when I hear the way she speaks and the conviction she speaks with. Her decisions are reflecting a young girl who is confident, who once wasn’t.  She is proud and far more certain of who she is and where she wants to go.  I am BEYOND words.  How do you thank someone for having this type of influence? You have both left such a positive impression with my daughter and I will be forever appreciative for your guidance.  It has helped her become aware that she is the one deciding how she wants to live this life of hers.  You have provided exceptional tools which will lead her to success yet teach her to accept failure and to learn and grow.  I find my teenage daughter is  true to herself, content and grateful where many others at this age are going backwards.

I love the conversations my daughter and I have after I pick her up from Fit+Fierce! She is so positive, empowered and energized after leaving! She explained the value flower to me, she said that she picked her values because they represented her the most and she will put it on her mirror to see everyday and she wants to live by her values because then she will be happy and everyone will like her for who she is. She went on to explain that when you use your values you are using your value compass which means you’re on your path! This is amazing!! Thank-you ladies for being who you are! And empowering our precious children!!


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What Matters Mondays – Feb 15, 2016

February 15th, 2016 by admin Leave a Comment

Today is FAMILY DAY in Alberta, Canada…and I wanted to share a story that I recently put in my monthly newsletter.


On February 15, in Alberta, we celebrate Family Day. In our family we have the coolest tradition ever and I wanted to share it with you! As far back as I can remember, on Christmas morning, my grandparents used to leave a scroll in the tree for my sisters and myself. Inside the scroll were a bunch of two dollar bills. Every year we were so excited to open the scroll and choose something to buy with the money from our grandparents. After my grandparents passed away, my mom and dad continued the tradition. However, they added the most amazing twist. Rather than a scroll filled with money, they put a scroll in the tree with hints and a Family Day date that we would all participate in as a family. You see, for my mom and dad, it was not so much about money as it was about spending time together. So for many years, on Christmas Day, we always look forward to the scroll. We read it and try to guess what we are going to do on Family Day. My parents never tell us much…it’s the secret that makes it so much fun! Let me tell you about some of the Family Day events that stand out to me…
-The Amazing Race around St.Albert – my dad hid clues around town, put us in teams, gave us buffs for each team and sent us on our way. After a full day of laughter and fun we ended with an awesome dinner.
– One year my parents told us a time to be ready and they showed up in a 15 passenger van and took us all for a weekend to Pigeon Lake where we went on walks and played board games.
– One year we had an Olympic theme. We were on teams and we had to go to the lake and participate in Olympic events. Snowshoe races, skating races, street hockey games…it was a blast!
– Once we went to the Athabasca Hostel. My parents booked a room full of bunk beds in the hostel for us all to stay together. We cooked in the communal eating kitchen with other people. We sat in the snow by a warm fire, we hiked, we played man tracker and we laughed a LOT.
– Last year we went out to Chickakoo Lake and we had a big scavenger hunt. We had to find all kinds of things in nature. Then we had a snow soccer game. I am telling you…it was one of the most fun times I can remember…do you know how hard it is to play soccer in the snow.
There are so many more incredible FAMILY DAY events we have enjoyed and I know there will be many more. In fact, today is the next Family Day surprise and we cannot wait to get going. What will we do? I don’t know. But what I do know is that this is the greatest Christmas gift I receive each year, and it is a tradition that I will continue on. My kids absolutely LOVE Family Day because they get to spend it with the people they love, they get to laugh and play and they are reminded about the importance of FAMILY and of spending time together. What a gift my grandparents and parents have given us all!


What Matters Mondays – Feb 8, 2016

February 8th, 2016 by admin Leave a Comment

Yesterday I attended the funeral of an amazing guy, a great friend and someone who always made me laugh until my belly hurt. His life was cut way too short. At his funeral I learned a few important lessons that I wanted to share with you.

First, always make time for fun and as he’d say, find more time to “recreate”! My last few blogs have been about the importance of finding more time for play as we let go of busy and about being here now. Not waiting for another day. Not waiting for the right moment. Not waiting until we have enough money, enough time, enough _____________, but instead doing it now. As I watched the slide show of his life, I realized that I need to “recreate” more. I need to stop waiting for the right time. I need to trust my intuition and when it feels right I need to do it! And, I need to be here now as much as I can. I need to listen to the laughter of my boys, I need to feel the squeeze of the hugs, I need to taste the food, I need to look at the sunrise & sunset, I need to stop in the moments of my days and be grateful for what is right in front of my eyes because one day, it won’t be there anymore.

Secondly, I learned about the importance of friends. As I looked around the room yesterday there were so many faces of people who really matter to me. I am so blessed to have such incredible people in my life. It’s time to make time. Not next month, but now. Time with people who make me laugh, fill my soul, make me smile, people who I am so incredibly grateful to call my family and my friends.

I’m not sure why it takes such sadness to remind us about what matters, and to align our life with those things, but that is the reality. In moments of loss, we hold closer those we love, we find time to be together, we stop to realize how precious our lives truly are and we vow to appreciate every moment more.

My promise to you my friend, is to “recreate” more, to be present in each and every moment that I can, and to hold close those who I am blessed to have in my life.

It was a privilege knowing you, laughing with you (I still remember our camping trip where we jousted all night for the spotlight to be on us…who can be funnier? One of my favorite memories) and I want you to know that all 3 of my boys absolutely adored you! We will miss you dearly!

Today, go out with intention…have more fun, be here now and spend time with those you love!


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What Matters Mondays – Feb 1, 2016

February 2nd, 2016 by admin Leave a Comment

The glorification of busy is such a sad epidemic in our world today. Don’t you have those people in your life who always answer, “Tired, busy or exhausted” every time you ask them how they are? I know I do. But I ALSO KNOW I USED TO BE ONE OF THEM (and I can find myself back there if I’m not careful)! Brené Brown says that in order to live a wholehearted life, we need to let go of exhaustion as a status symbol and our productivity as our self worth. HOW you ask? By cultivating more PLAY & REST in our lives.

I know….the busy, exhausted people will say there is no time for play and rest. There’s too much that has to get done.

Vince Gowman will say that it’s not time. We use time as our excuse. The reality is, we don’t have a willingness to let go.

Think about it…if we think our self worth is tied to our net worth then of course, we have to be busy. It means we matter. And I say WE because I can easily get caught back into the busy world too!

Here are a few things that have truly helped me shift toward a more wholehearted life where I’ve allowed myself more time to play and rest:

  1. I did the values work and discovered that BALANCE was a key value for me. On days when I was balanced, I felt awesome. Days that were not, I felt horrible, snappy, not myself. So my decision was either to keep sweeping that value under the carpet and ignore it (which meant I was going to continue to be grumpy and unfulfilled) or take a good look at my life and start to make choices about what I needed to say YES to and what I needed to say NO to. Game changer!
  2. I took a good look at what PLAY meant to me. I’m not crazy about running around and playing hide and seek. I’ll be honest! But play to me looks like going for a walk, reading a great book, playing board games with my family, snuggling and watching a good movie with my boys, going for coffee and an awesome visit with a friend, a quick 15 minute break in the middle of a work day to have some fun…there are so many ways to have play in your life. What does play look like for you? Can you carve out 15 minutes in a day?
  3. I read an incredible article a while back called, “Are You Living Your Eulogy or Your Resume?”. In the article it says, people aren’t going to remember you for how many lunches you ate at your desk or how many little league games you missed to stay late at work, or how many friends you had on Facebook. No matter how much a person spends his or her life burning the candle at both ends, chasing a toxic definition of success and generally missing out on life, the eulogy is always about the other stuff: what they gave, how they connected, how much they meant to the lives of the real people around them, small kindnesses, lifelong passions and what made them laugh.

Last night, at one of my workshops, we had an incredible discussion around the need for more play and rest in our lives. One of the brilliant women said to me that when she is busy and people ask her how she is, she says, “I’m full.” Full of all the right things, full of the things she chooses, full of the good stuff. What can you say yes to or no to today so that life is FULL instead of BUSY and EXHAUSTING?





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