The Secret to Creating a Masterpiece

by Maria Koropecky, Spiritual Wellness Coach

If you’ve lived in a city for any length of time, you’ve probably watched a building go up in a space that was once a parking lot or a vacant lot with tumbleweeds. 🙂

It seems one day it’s the same fenced in property that you’ve walked past a thousand times and then the next day, you notice a big square hole in the ground the size of a city block, and a crane, and people wearing yellow construction hats carrying 2×4’s, and big loud trucks pouring cement.

foundation of new construction.

This goes on for weeks and weeks with no visible progress to write home about, but at the same time, it’s fascinating to watch! I’m sure having a birds’ eye view of an active construction site with silent cameras zooming in on different trades and jobs would make for a great tv show — just like the burning log at Christmas time. I’m serious!

Then all of a sudden, one day, the fence is gone, the crew is gone, and a huge condo and office complex is standing there proudly, and you say, “Where the bleep did that come from?!”

Capital Park.
Leeds Certified, Capital Park, Victoria, BC. 2018

And you also may be thinking, “What does this story have to do with the secret to creating a masterpiece?”

Well, a masterpiece can be anything like a skyscraper, house, painting, sculpture, photograph, novel, poem, song, dance, meal, garden, lecture, business, invention, product, idea, or goal that captures a unique moment in a grande manner. It’s timeless and it’s technically near flawless.

A masterpiece can also be something more ethereal or ineffable like a relationship, or a conversation, or a political movement, or a meaningful life. There’s something breathtaking about its energy.

Would you like to know the secret that leads to creating any of these types of masterpieces? The truth is, they all start with a solid foundation!

Yes, the foundation is the secret!

In a construction site, the foundation sets the tone for the rest of the structure: if the foundation is sound, the whole building will be strong. That’s why they spend such a big chunk of their time, energy, budget, and resources at the foundation stage. That’s why it seems like nothing is happening at the ground level for so many weeks and then the rest of the floors go up in what seems like a matter of days.

Foundations are all about integrity, stability, intention, respect, rules, trust, and vision. If you focus on building a strong foundation first and keep these values in mind as you’re launching your project, you will create a magnum opus!

But if you take short cuts or cheat or skip the foundation all together, you’re building a house of cards on a pile of sand that will topple in a soft breeze. Yikes!

rayner institute logo.When I was in coaching school, we spent many hours talking about the importance of a strong foundation and establishing our foundations. You might say the idea of the foundation was drilled into us! 🙂

We learned that taking the time to build a solid foundation at the beginning of our coaching conversations would lead to amazing transformational and transcendent breakthroughs for our clients — and it’s true!

Once the foundation is established, the rest of the coaching conversation is fluid and easy and even healing! It just goes up and up and up and it feels amazing!

So, if you want to talk to a spiritual wellness coach who takes the time to establish a strong foundation with you by asking thoughtful questions and listening with reverence as you express your deepest thoughts and feelings, and you also aspire to create your own masterpiece, whatever the looks like for you, please contact me, Maria, to talk. I’m looking forward to meeting you!

Wellness Coach Maria Koropecky.

Crystal Mapping Sessions Available

Would you like to have some spiritual guidance on this topic? Consider signing up for a Free Crystal Mapping Session with Spa Therapist and Spiritual Wellness Coach, Maria Koropecky. Email Maria and book your free Crystal Mapping Session today.

Do You Look For Signs From The Universe?

by Maria Koropecky, Spiritual Wellness Coach

“Welcome a reminder out of your trust rather ask for a sign out of your need,” ~ Kyle Gray

welcome a reminder out of your trust...

Do you look for signs from the Universe when your trying to make a decision or when you need a little extra comfort and reassurance? I do.

When we see a sign, (like “City of Victoria, population 84,289”) it means we’re near Victoria and we’re heading in the right direction (if Victoria is where we want to be). Although signs aren’t the actual, physical destination, they are pointing there, which helps.

So when we ask the Universe for a sign, and we’re open to receiving a message in anyway it chooses to present itself, and a sign suddenly appears out of nowhere, it feels pretty amazing!

It’s about trusting the Universe to deliver and trusting our intuition and senses to notice.

For me, when something unexpected shows up in my life, I like to think it’s more than just a random occurrence and it means something special.

Life is full of little gifts and nods of encouragement — you just need to keep your eyes and ears open! And when you spot a treasure from out of the blue, say “thank you!” out loud!

When I was in high school, I took a photography class from a journalist and he said,

“when you’re shooting photos, look for the unusual amidst the usual…”

And that’s my philosophy of life. I always like it when things happen that I just can’t quite figure out or explain, like there’s more to it, something mystical going on. It’s like when people say, “you just can’t write this stuff…”[because no one will believe you].

In my world, signs of life, light, and love appear in many shapes and configurations. They all seem to tell me: there’s something more going on behind the scenes. Here are some of my faves. Perhaps you’re tuned into these types of signs as well.

  1. Coins“Find a penny, pick it up, and all day long, you’ll have good luck!” I once found a coin that wasn’t in that spot a half hour earlier and no one else was there either, so where did it come from?
  2. Animals — Many people believe in spirit animals. Every time I go for a walk in my neighbourhood, I like to take notice of any animals that may be on my path like, birds (robins, quail, ducks, eagles, crows, owls), bees, butterflies, dragon flies, squirrels, bunnies, deer, cats, dogs, lizards, snakes, raccoons, etc.
  3. Dreams — As we process our events of the day, dreams speak to us in our own short hand so they’re worth exploring.
  4. Books — Books are loaded with meaning on many levels. Have you ever had a book drop off a shelf for you? And have you ever opened a book to a page and found an answer to a question? Pay attention to books. I have a friend who makes a point of reading any book someone recommends to him.
  5. Self-seeded plants — Every now and then, I find cheery plants — like pansies and tomatoes and artichokes — in the oddest places!
  6. Songs on the Radio — I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a song on the radio that was meant for my ears in that moment. It all started when I was a kid and my friend started singing, “Like a Rhinestone Cowboy” and then we turned on the car radio and there was Glen Campbell singing his song!
  7. Smells where you can’t see the source — Once, while I was alone, driving my car on my way to pick up my brother, I could smell gin and cherry pipe tobacco which instantly reminded me of my late father and I’m sure he came along for the ride in spirit.
  8. Overhearing other people’s conversations — Sometimes I can’t help but eavesdrop on other people’s conversations. Once, I was listening to someone tell a story about a girl going to a rock concert and how she met the band and they signed her t-shirt with, “Rock on, Maria!” which is my name too! True story!
  9. Power outages — Make a note of what else is going on in your life when the power goes out. Someone may be trying to tell you to slow down, rest, and take a break.
  10. Cloud formations — When was the last time you looked up at the sky? Whether you see the sunrise or sunset or somewhere in between, the sky is filled with beautiful colours and patterns including unusual cloud formations. The next time you see a cloud in the shape of an angel, take a photo and put it up on Pinterest!
  11. Repeating words — I always think it’s neat when I read a word and in the same moment, I hear someone else (like on TV) say the same word! Have you ever noticed that?
  12. Repeating numbers — Many people find number sequences significant. If you always wake up in the middle of the night at the same time like say, 3:33am, that number means something to you.
  13. Compliments — Whenever someone gives you a compliment, hear it and accept it graciously!
  14. Found objects — Recently, I found a white calcite rock in a parking lot as I stepped out of my car. It was pretty so I picked it up and took it home. I felt like angels had left the rock especially for me to boost my spirits.
  15. Chance meetings — It always astounds me when people bump into each other far away from where they would normally frequent. In these cases, someone always says, “Small World.”
  16. Flashing lights out of the corner of your eye — Occasionally, I’ll see a flash of light come and go from nowhere. I’ve also seen cats following something “invisible” with their eyes, too.

Often these signs are quite subtle and are easy enough to overlook but the four-leaf clovers are there! I personally enjoy catching a glimpse of something spiritual and I’m open to woo-woo experiences. How about you?

When I notice something new or different around me, I’m reminded that I’m not alone and in truth, I’m OK. That’s the real message and the gift.

Like for example, the other day, I went on a wellness walk through my neighbourhood. I decided to go to my pond to visit my ducks. As I approached the entrance of the pond, I could see someone had left eight roses at the gate for anyone to take.

There they were, eight roses, three reds, three whites, and two yellows, left as a gift, by a thoughtful soul.

I had seen similar roses in that spot about two and a half years ago but not since. The roses were like bookends for a recent big chapter in my life and I feel like now, that rough patch is behind me and I can move forward again.

The flowers just made me happy because they were an unexpected surprise and I felt like someone up there (maybe my late father, maybe my guardian angel, maybe my future husband) wanted me to find those flowers to tell me that I’m loved and I’m on the right track and everything is working out for the best.

That’s what I mean when I talk about signs from the Universe!

bouquet of roses.

Although the roses were a little past their prime because they had been waiting outside, loose for me for awhile, I still thought they were a lovely blessing so I took them home and put them in water and a little vase and took this photo.

The intuitive message I got was, “Late but not dead.” 🙂

And the funny thing is, as I was walking home with my flowers in hand, I passed a house that was blasting Van Morrison’s song, “Into the Mystic” towards the street. Did you know, the angels have a sense of humour, too?

Experiencing new surprises like finding roses means you’re not caught up in the same old, same old rut. It also means you’re allowing more love in! It also means you’re living in the present moment!

Thank you for reminder and for the roses, generous benefactor, whoever you are!

Crystal Mapping Sessions Available

Would you like to have some spiritual guidance on this topic? Consider signing up for a Free Crystal Mapping Session with Spa Therapist and Spiritual Wellness Coach, Maria Koropecky. Email Maria and book your free Crystal Mapping Session today.

Wellness Coach Maria Koropecky.

If I Owned a Ferrari…

by Maria Koropecky, Spiritual Wellness Coach

Of course I noticed the burnt orange Ferrari in the grocery store parking lot in the midst of all of the pick-up trucks and SUV’s and shopping carts on that sunny, Friday afternoon!

When I see something extraordinary in my day to day life, like a $250,000 sports car, I like to wonder about the people involved and what their lives might be like.

man driving in sports car interior.

This time though, not only did I see the car, but I also got a chance to see the driver/owner before he went into the store. He was an older gentleman and he caught my attention because after he parked his car, he got out and spent a good few minutes just admiring his car from all angles, like he was really pleased with his purchase and the aesthetics of the vehicle.

This observation got me thinking.

If I owned a Ferrari, I’d do my best to take really good care of it!

  • I’d wash the outside of the car weekly;
  • I’d keep the inside clean (no trash and junk cluttering up the space);
  • I’d keep the inside smelling nice like a new car (no junk food leftovers or cigarette butts or old gym bags);
  • I’d put high performance fuel into the tank and would keep it filled well above empty;
  • I’d bring my car to my mechanic for regular maintenance;
  • I wouldn’t drive recklessly (no drunk driving, no distracted driving, no texting while driving, no road rage, no show-off speeding, no stupid stunts);
  • I wouldn’t go into sketchy neighbourhoods;
  • I wouldn’t let strangers drive it; and
  • I also wouldn’t keep my car up on blocks under a tarp hidden in a garage somewhere and only take it out on special occasions, if ever.

And then it occurred to me. Although I don’t own a Ferrari, I have something far more precious and valuable! Something you can’t put a price tag on and it’s not about a status symbol or how much money I make an hour or what my life insurance policy says I’m worth.

I have a unique, special, and a one-of-a-kind, never to be repeated in the history of the Universe, BODY, MIND, and SPIRIT! — I HAVE MY LIFE!

Being alive, right now, is really extraordinary in the grande scheme of things!

I decided in that moment that I was going to be more mindful about how I treat myself and to honour my own existence. I can’t take my life for granted and that’s why I’m so passionate about self-care.

Just like the Ferrari, it’s important for me to cherish myself and do nice things like:

  • being well-groomed and doing an occasional spa treatment;
  • keeping my space clean, organized, and tidy;
  • fuelling my body with nutritious food (and avoiding toxic or poisonous substances);
  • going to see my doctor for regular check-ups;
  • not venturing into potentially dangerous situations;
  • not letting other people speak or think for me because I’m in the driver’s seat of my own life;
  • and not keeping myself as the best kept secret and never going out and enjoying new experiences!

Most of us aren’t going to be high-performance, Olympic athletes like a Ferrari but it’s still really important to practice self-care as if we are the most precious beings in the Universe, because we are — we all are!

Spiritual Guidance Available

Would you like to have some spiritual guidance on this topic? Consider signing up for a Free Crystal Mapping Session with Spa Therapist and Spiritual Wellness Coach, Maria Koropecky. Subscribe to this Crystal Clear Coaching blog and book your free Crystal Mapping Session today.

Gratitude is the Secret Sauce of Life!

by Maria Koropecky, Spiritual Wellness Coach

I’m going to start off by saying Thank You and Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you’re enjoying this time with your family and friends and you’re tasting all of your favourite treats like turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy and pumpkin pie and all of the fixins’ that come with this special holiday.

I’m sharing this day with family-friends and I’m counting my blessings. I have so much to be grateful for in my life! It’s always nice when people invite me over and serve delicious food made with love.

Two men are shaking hands in front of a photocopier to say thank you.

Most of us (especially polite Canadians! 🙂 ) are taught to say “thank you” after we receive something and that’s great. It’s an acknowledgement of an energy exchange.

Usually, the order is:

  1. Someone gives something to you or does something nice for you; and
  2. You receive it; and
  3. You say, “Thanks!”

But today I want to turn that order on it’s head and suggest saying “thank you” first!

Whaaattt???

When we say thank you and are grateful for what we have, it means our needs are being met and therefore, there’s no need to fill anymore. Everything is taken care of and it’s a wonderful position to be in.

Sometimes, though, the things we most need and want seem to be missing. So, the question is: How do we create what we want to have and bring the good things in?

The answer is gratitude! Gratitude is the secret sauce when it comes to having what we want in life!

I’ve been studying the work of Dr. Joe Dispenza and he says, “Gratitude is the ultimate state of receivorship.”

The idea is, be grateful first, as if you already have what you’re asking for, and then you’ll receive it.

I know at first glance that what I’m talking about seems to put the cart in front of the horse and it may even sound like a downright lie. But I promise, once you get the balance right, it’s quite elegant!

Gratitude Spectrum

There’s a sweet spot on the gratitude spectrum that will make asking for what you want and receiving all kinds of gifts and blessings way easier.

On the one end of the spectrum, when you’re asking someone for something (like your parents, spouse, boss, or the Universe) you may be crossing your fingers and hoping and praying and saying, “please, please, please!”

Unfortunately, pleading is not a sustainable or optimal method of manifestation. Sure it works sometimes because people may feel sorry for you, but pulling at people’s strings comes across as really desperate and needy and weak and will more than likely turn people off. It’s also quite manipulative.

As Dr. Joe said in one of his interviews, “hope is a beggar.”

And then on the other end of the spectrum, declaring what you want in no uncertain terms is also a misguided approach. It’s a “Give this to me or else!” expectation. It brings to mind robbing someone at gunpoint and making a demand and scaring the daylights out of people in the process.

Using force comes from a place of fear and hostility and never ends well. And ultimately, being overly demanding never includes gratitude.

Gratitude is the sweet spot

As it turns out, gratitude is the sweet spot between begging and demanding! Gratitude is the secret sauce when it comes to allowing and receiving the good things in life!

Do you know why? Because gratitude is a giving energy! It’s generous and it creates a space for things to happen.

Gratitude is giving thanks that we already have what we’re asking for. Gratitude is coming from a place of faith and trust that what we want and need are already in our magnetic field and are on their way to us and it’s just a matter of time before they show up in physical form.

I know that when I finally receive something I’ve needed, I feel a sense of relief on top of the gratitude. When I feel relief and gratitude, I can relax and know that things are going to work out and I’m OK. Isn’t that way better than worrying and doubting and feeling fear?

Try this next time:

  1. Say thank you and be grateful for what you want to have, do, be, or give;
  2. In your imagination, see yourself having what you want and feel what it would be like to have what you want; and
  3. Receive and have and enjoy what you want!

So the next time you’d like to create something in your life, say over and over again, “I’m so happy and grateful and relieved now that I have….” (especially before you start seeing any evidence that what you’re doing is working) and really feel deep in your heart what it would be like to have what it is you’re asking for and really honestly, sincerely, and authentically, feel grateful in the present moment for everyone and everything that you can think of, including what you want to create.

It’s an amazing feeling!

As you can see, there’s no need to beg, borrow, or steal in our abundant Universe. There’s more than enough for everybody and it all starts with gratitude!

Thank you!

Spiritual Guidance Available

Would you like to have some spiritual guidance on this topic? Consider signing up for a Free Crystal Mapping Session with Spa Therapist and Spiritual Wellness Coach, Maria Koropecky. Subscribe to this Crystal Clear Coaching blog and book your free Crystal Mapping Session today.

7 Inspiring Celebrity Self-Care Quotes

by Guest Blogger, Paul Joseph from Health and Fitness Travel
and Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Now a trillion-dollar industry, wellness has become a buzzword and a lifestyle of choice for many. Each day, as countless people are becoming more proactive about their health and wellness, new companies are sprouting up to serve them. With all of the choices out there, sometimes it’s hard to know what to do next to keep things fresh.

That’s why I’ve teamed up with Health and Fitness Travel to write this piece. As avid promotors of healthy living, Health and Fitness Travel, the wellness holiday specialists, explore the famous faces responsible for inspiring us to shift our attitudes towards wellness, self-care, and healthy living. From actors, to musicians, to athletes, here are 7 celebrity self-care quotes to inspire and encourage you on your healing journey.

lounging in Cali.

1) Self-Care Tips From A Friend: Jennifer Aniston

With her sparkling blue eyes and phenomenal figure, you can just tell Jennifer Aniston takes good care of herself. As a long-term yogi and an open advocate for organic nutrition, Jen promotes a wholesome diet, getting your beauty sleep, and applying nourishing skin care products daily to encourage a healthy mind, body, and soul.

“Sunday is my spa day. I usually do a little mini facial time where I just give myself a good scrub, use a mask, and then the new Aveeno hydrating facial. I leave it on overnight and when I wake up, I have that dewy, glowing, twinkling skin,” ~ Jennifer Aniston

spa treatment.

2) Music For Mental Health: Zayn Malik

A long-time sufferer of anxiety, Zayn Malik, the ex-One Direction singer, has shined a light on the topic of mental health, especially for men. After pulling out of the 2016 Capital Summertime Ball because of his struggles, this defining move opened up the conversation and lead him to the recent #ITSOKAYTOTALK campaign that has raised an alarm to the growing male mental health crisis. With the single biggest killer of men under 45 being suicide, many celebrities including Ricky Gervais, Matthew Lewis, and Harley Bonner are taking part in the campaign to give men the confidence to talk about their mental wellness. Regardless of whether you’re a man or woman, or older or younger than 45, if you’re going through a mental health crisis, please reach out to someone and get help right now. #ITSOKAYTOTALK

“This is for girls who have the tendency to stay up at night listening to music that reminds them of their current situation. Who hide their fears, hurt, pain and tears under the smiles, laughs and giggles on a daily basis. The girls who wear their heart on their sleeve. The girls who pray that things will work out just once and they’ll be satisfied. The girls who scream and cry to their pillows because everyone else fails to listen. The girls who have so many secrets but wont tell a soul. The girls who have mistakes and regrets as a daily moral. The girls that never win. The girls that stay up all night thinking about that one boy and hoping that he’ll notice her one day. The girls who take life as it comes, to the girls who are hoping that it’ll get better somewhere down the road. For the girls who love with all their heart although it always gets broken. To girls who think it’s over. To real girls, to all girls: You’re beautiful,” ~ Zayn Malik

3) Age Is Just A Number: Cameron Diaz

One of Charlie’s Angels is now a vocal advocate for the natural process of aging, stating that beauty is not just about your face… it’s about how you take care of your whole body. Her principles, accompanied by a healthy dose of science, are printed in ‘The Body Book” and “The Longevity Book.” Together, these are revolutionary wellness bibles on how to look and feel well. Her wholesome, holistic, and all-loving approach to aging is truly refreshing, especially these days where women are constantly pressured to keep themselves looking young.

“It is the responsibility of every human, not just dancers, sports stars, kids, and Olympians—to move. To embrace movement. To become movement. To live movement. Because moving can turn a regular Monday into an extraordinary start to your week. It can turn Tuesday into a quest, Wednesday into an adventure, Thursday into a triumph, Friday into a feat. No matter how you spend your days, claiming your right to MOVE is like claiming your FREEDOM,” ~ Cameron Díaz

Beach fitness.

4) Feeling Fabulous: Kate Hudson

Kate Hudson is incredibly passionate about inspiring others to lead happy and healthy lifestyles. In 2013, she started her own line of athletic wear called, ‘Fabletics’ and it has truly taken off! With her stunning and inspiring Instagram posts of her cardio and Pilates routines, it’s no surprise that Kate has inspired both men and women to ramp-up their fitness while having fun and looking fabulous, too. She’s also been known to emphasize the importance of good skin care, stating that she loves a facial massage and toner to keep her skin looking fresh and rejuvenated.

“The irony is that when we take care of ourselves first, we are in a much stronger place to take care of those we love,” ~ Kate Hudson

5) Meditation For Peace Of Mind: Russell Brand

With Russell Brands’ loud personality and flamboyant wardrobe, it’s hard to imagine him in a moment of serious quietness. After years of struggling with addictions, he realized that to recover, he needed to dig deeper within and confront the side of himself that he’d been trying so hard to cover up. With the help of meditation, the well-known comedian, actor, and activist was able to find peace. A true inspiration within this wellness revolution, he’s also the author of “Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions” and is now helping others by sharing his story and promoting the David Lynch Foundation, which provides transcendental meditation classes to people in at-risk communities.

“You need only allow gentle hope to enter your heart. Exhale and allow hope, and give yourself some time. This is a process of change that requires a good deal of self-compassion, which is neither stagnant nor permissive. We can just start by being a little kinder to ourselves and open to the possibility that life doesn’t have to be bloody awful.” ~ Russell Brand

man in pool.

6) Serving Up The Sun Protection: Maria Sharapova

Playing tennis all day and living in the “Sunshine State” certainly have their perks, but like Maria Sharapova will tell you, you have to remember to take care of your skin health while you’re out there, too. Following sound advice from her mother, the international tennis champion grew up with a great awareness about the effects of the sun on our skin. Inspired by shocking skin cancer statistics, Maria co-founded the sun-cream brand Supergoop to encourage others that no matter how old or young you are, or where you live on our planet, the time to start wearing sun cream is now!

“I still love things that you don’t even need to pay for. Going to the beach and being around five of your friends and having a good time means so much more than going out and spending hundreds of dollars,” ~ Maria Sharapova

7) Queen Of The Green: Beyoncé

After confirmation that Beyoncé would be headlining the much-anticipated Coachella Festival this year, the ‘Single Ladies’ star went vegan. She followed a 22-Day Nutrition meal planner, a program which she co-founded with her husband, Jay Z, and celebrity trainer Marco Borges. The aim of the program was to challenge both themselves and the public to move towards a plant-based lifestyle to benefit not only personal health, but also the health of our planet. She’s a Green Leader through and through! With environmental awareness growing and the love for animals spreading, veganism has been hailed as the single biggest way to reduce our environmental impact on Earth.

“We have to care about our bodies and what we put in them. Women have to take the time to focus on our mental health — take time for self, for the spiritual, without feeling guilty or selfish. The world will see you the way you see you, and treat you the way you treat yourself,” ~ Beyoncé

So, that’s it for now. If you’d like to refresh your wellness and self-care practices with some new ideas, we hope these 7 celebrities have inspired you! Whether you’d like to fuel your body with more nutritious food, or change up your skin care routine, or become a Green Leader in your community, or lengthen your meditations, or spice up your wardrobe, or try a new sport, the important thing is to just go for it starting today!

Looking to go on a Wellness Holiday?

With offices in London, Melbourne, Manila, and Toronto, Paul Joseph is the co-founder of Health & Fitness Travel, the Wellness Holiday Specialists. For advice, guidance, and booking, visit: www.healthandfitnesstravel.com or call 0203 397 8891.

Spiritual Guidance Available

Would you like to have some spiritual guidance on this topic? Consider signing up for a Free Crystal Mapping Session with Spa Therapist and Spiritual Wellness Coach, Maria Koropecky. Subscribe to this Crystal Clear Coaching blog and book your free Crystal Mapping Session today.

Give No-Phone Zones A Chance!

by Maria Koropecky, Spiritual Wellness Coach

In 1993, I had a chance to go spring skiing in the Austrian Alps. I remember climbing onboard a tour bus along with several seasoned skiers of all ages on a mild, Saturday morning in April. We left from Munich, Germany and headed toward the “Sound of Music” neighbourhood of Salzburg, Austria. The drive through the chiseled mountains was spectacular! I stared out my window the entire trip and I marvelled at how beautiful the views were, from each bend in the road to the next.

But while I was enchanted by all of the natural beauty around me, the other people who were travelling with me, who had been up and down this road many, many times before, could care less. I was struck by how they were more interested in their Game Boys (remember, this was before everyone had cell phones) than they were in awe-inspiring mountain vistas that other people from other parts of the world would spend big money to see with their own eyes!

That was the first time I noticed that people were choosing technology over real life experiences.

Fast forward to 2018. Over the weekend, I was in a restaurant eating brunch and I noticed a couple sitting together at a small table but she was more interested in her cell phone and a magazine than her husband. He clearly wanted to have a good conversation over breakfast and occasionally she would look up and say a few words and then go back to her activity. I was sad for him.

“Play with me, not your phone!”

play with me not your phone.The next day, a friend of mine posted this telling photo on Facebook. “Play with me, not your phone!” is from a campaign in the U.K. that’s urging parents to put down their cell phones and be present with their kids.

It hurts me to think that kids are feeling neglected because their parents are more interested in something or someone out there more than they are their own kids who are right here.

I don’t know how you feel when someone you’re sitting with is replying to an interrupting text to someone who isn’t even in the room while you’re talking and trying to express yourself, but I sure don’t like it.

And believe me, if kids are feeling ignored in their formative years, this will cause some damage in their future relationships.

Unfortunately, being distracted is nothing new. Cell phones and digital devices are just a modern version of an old problem.

Remember the 1974 song, “Cats in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin?

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man in the moon
“When you coming home, dad?” “I don’t know when”
But we’ll get together then
You know we’ll have a good time then… 

A song worth listening to, for sure!

So, here’s our chance to be more mindful in our relationships and not let technology, (that still has its place in our modern lives), interfere with face-to-face conversations.

Create 3 No-Phone Zones Starting Today!

Take a stand in your relationships and be clear about these three no-phone zones. Tell everyone that in these three situations, cell phones and laptops are not allowed. Instead, try to encourage real, meaningful conversations with all of the people you care about. You’ll be amazed at what people have to say!

1. Meal Times at the Dinner Table

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner offer great opportunities for people to connect. I know many of us are on different schedules and have different food preferences, but that doesn’t mean we can’t share meals with each other. It’s a perfect time to work together as a team preparing meals and cleaning up. It’s also a chance for everyone to tell a story about the topic of the day!

2. Bedroom

People who don’t bring technology into the bedroom — like tv’s, laptops, and smart phones — sleep better. Also, as you’re winding down from your day, this is the perfect time to connect with your partner and have some pillow talk. It’s also a magical time to spend with your kids as you’re putting them to bed.

3. Car

Of course, this is more of a safety issue but you can also use the time in the car to check in with all of the passengers. And if you’re on a long-distance road trip, well that’s a perfect time to get to know each other better!

I hope this blog post inspires you to give the no phone zones a chance!

But if this idea pushes your buttons, ask yourself, what’s that about? What are you trying to avoid? Why do you feel your phone is more important?

Just remember, if you continue to choose your smart phone and technology over the real people in your life, you’re missing out on the beauty that’s around you!

Spiritual Guidance Available

Would you like to have some spiritual guidance on this topic? Consider signing up for a Free Crystal Mapping Session with Spa Therapist and Spiritual Wellness Coach, Maria Koropecky. Subscribe to this Crystal Clear Coaching blog and book your free Crystal Mapping Session today.

Listen to my Rainbow Meditation Recording for Free!

by Maria Koropecky, Spiritual Wellness Coach

It’s your lucky day! I have a special gift for you. It’s a free Rainbow Meditation that I’ve recorded that I’d love to share with you.

Here’s the link to the Free Rainbow Meditation on my Crystal Clear Coaching Youtube channel.

I created this Rainbow Meditation to help people relax and manage stress. This recording is also a great complement to any self-care practice.

Feel free to listen to this 21-minute Rainbow Meditation anytime you need to relax, feel better, and share some loving energy with the Universe.

I’d love to read your comments below and please connect with me, Maria, from the Crystal Clear Coaching Group anytime. Peace and blessings to you.

Sobriety and Spiritual Awakening

by Maria Koropecky, Spiritual Wellness Coach

Many people don’t know this about me because I don’t talk about it much, but on August 28, 2018, I celebrated my “Soberthday,” my 2-year anniversary of being sober. Yay!

We all have our reasons to start living sober. It’s a scary proposition to change a habit because habits can be stronger than steel.

For me, it was about my health. I read somewhere that “wine is not a health food” and somehow that was enough to get me thinking. I told myself that at my age, as I’m heading into peri-menopause, I might make things easier for myself if I didn’t complicate my hormonal mix with alcohol.

That was probably a wise decision on my part, but I’ve also learned that there’s way more to living sober than I initially thought. Sober living is also a spiritual quest.

I used to love drinking wine. That was my go-to beverage. There was something about crisp white wines on sunny days and warming red wines on rainy days that kept me going year round.

I liked the romance of drinking wine and the socializing and the dinner parties. I liked the deep conversations that came after a few glasses of “truth serum.” I liked turning off the worrying and the anxiety for a few hours.

But I didn’t like the hangovers and the headaches and the mood swings and the foggy brain and feeling tired all of the time. I didn’t like not being able to drive my car home after a night out or carrying extra body weight or saying mean things to people.

And drinking’s expensive! I shutter to think about all of the money I spent on bottles and bottles over years and years, and on top of that, all of the time I had wasted sitting around and drinking and then recovering the next day.

I’m glad those days are behind me.

keep climbing your mountain anyway.

That’s not to say that suddenly my life became a breeze once I gave up the hooch. Not at all. In a sense, my life actually became harder.

These last few years have been difficult — not because of feeling deprived though — not drinking is relatively easy for me — I haven’t really had any wine cravings to speak of.

And I’ve had my share of opportunities to drink in the last two years. I’ve been to weddings and funerals and even on my worst days…

  • like when a celebrity cancelled a massage appointment within 2 minutes of me starting the session,
  • having my heart broken,
  • my cat dying,
  • loneliness,
  • financial stress,
  • not getting hired after job interviews,
  • more rejection,
  • more disappointments,
  • betrayals from so-called friends,
  • bad weather,
  • all of the recent, crazy world events, etc., etc., etc.,

I didn’t really have to fight the urge to pour myself a glass of wine to help numb the pain or to cope. Somehow it didn’t occur to me to drown my sorrows with wine anymore.

My life has gotten harder because I am now on a spiritual path that is requiring more from me. My new choices are bringing all of the things that I had been covering up and avoiding to the surface of my life and now I have to face them head on so I can finally let them go.

I think the Serenity Prayer, as recited in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, eloquently touches on the relationship between spiritual truths and sobriety and that’s why it’s so enduring and powerful:

Serenity Prayer
Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.
Amen.

The Serenity Prayer acknowledges the spiritual truths of acceptance, courage, wisdom, being present, trust, and surrendering to a higher power, and these, among others, are the principles that I am learning to embrace in this new, healthier chapter of my life.

A spiritual life is not necessarily easy (though it can be). Unfortunately, most people, including me, have to struggle through suffering for awhile before we can enjoy our blessings.

The beauty is, there’s a wonderful life waiting for us on the other side of the obstacle course. We just have to keep going.

“You let time pass. That’s the cure. You survive the days. You float like a rabid ghost through the weeks. You cry and wallow and lament and scratch your way back up through the months. And then one day you find yourself alone on a bench in the sun and you close your eyes and lean your head back and you realize you’re okay.”
~ Cheryl Strayed, Brave Enough

If you’ve tried to make healthier choices for yourself, like living sober, but are struggling and suffering on your journey, and aren’t sitting on that “bench in the sun” yet and think it would be easier to give up and go back to your old ways, take a breath and keep climbing your mountain anyway.

“Hold on for one more day,” as the Wilson-Phillips song goes.

Ironically, suffering is life’s way of giving you an opportunity to break the chains from your past so you can move forward. Don’t suffer just to suffer. We are not meant to suffer in this life.

But if you are going to suffer, don’t let it go to waste. Use the suffering to propel you into a better, kinder, more compassionate version of yourself. Let the suffering and the sobriety be part of your spiritual awakening.

Spiritual Guidance Available

Would you like to have some spiritual guidance on this topic? Consider signing up for a Free Crystal Mapping Session with Spa Therapist and Spiritual Wellness Coach, Maria Koropecky. Subscribe to this Crystal Clear Coaching blog and book your free Crystal Mapping Session today.

How I Found Out About the Rayner Institute

Editor’s Note: I originally published this article on my Homespunspa blog back on September 19, 2015. You may still see the expired link when you do a search. I’ve decided to re-post the article here on this coaching blog because it fits better on this website.

Over the past few years, many people, who have been looking for a coaching school, have reached out to me because of this blog post and I think that’s great.

If you’re trying to decide which coaching school to sign up with and you’d like to talk to me as well and ask me any questions about the Rayner Institute as a coaching school, please contact me, Maria, by email, anytime.

How I Found Out About the Rayner Institute

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Secretly, I’ve wanted to be a life coach for at least a decade but it didn’t seem like it was possible for me. I would not have known where to go to get coaching training even if I had given the thought any serious consideration.

I hired a business coach back in 2005 and I loved our conversations about the spiritual laws of the universe but this particular coach made things more about her than they were about me (as the client) and after a few months, she pushed me away and that was that. We’ve not spoken since and that experience left a bad taste in my mouth about coaches in general.

I’m glad I didn’t give up on coaching forever because of one bad apple. Much has changed in the coaching profession in the past few years and life coaches are being recognized for doing some wonderful work for the people of this planet.

I wish I had had the sense to become a coach sooner but the timing wasn’t right for me. I still had a lot of living to do first before I could embark on this career. Like for example, I had to go to esthetics school in 2010 so I could awaken my healing and nurturing side and learn how to work with people hands on.

Had I just jumped ahead and gone to coaching school at that time instead, (which would have worked for other people), I personally would have been missing some key ingredients for my recipe and my coaching practice would not have flourished. I also would not have opened my mobile spa, which, as you’ll see, is integral to this story.

Anyway, fast forward to the summer of 2014. It was a challenging summer for me personally. My finances were not in good shape and on top of that, my Uncle, who was also my Godfather, died and then my friend from high school had committed suicide. In the bigger picture, you may also recall that in August of that year, Robin Williams committed suicide and Joan Rivers died as well. The world had taken on a serious tone.

Meanwhile, I got a call from a woman who was looking to hire someone to give her 90-year-old mother a manicure. So, I went to the seniors’ care home, just going about my business, and that was the day I met June, her daughter, Carol, and Carol’s husband, Peter. I had no idea how pivotal that day would be for me.

The manicure appointment went well enough that they called me again for another appointment and I started visiting June every five weeks or so. Often, Carol was present also.

In November, Carol mentioned something to her mother about going away for a week to upgrade her coaching training and my ear’s perked up.

Rayner Institute logo.“Did you say coaching???”

As it turned out, Carol is a coach and a facilitator at the Rayner Institute and she said there was a course starting in February, if I was interested. So I took her card and thought about it long and hard.

Eventually, in April of 2015, I took the plunge and enrolled in the Self-Actualized Coaching and Mentoring Program at the Rayner Institute and I have since passed my exams and graduated.

Currently, I’m going through the program again but this time as a Ride-Along where I get to hold a healing space for the new students and support them on their journey as they enter the coaching profession and become certified coaches themselves.

And last night during class, I had my own personal insight that made a big difference in how I see my life. Mark Rayner, the founder of the Rayner Institute, was coaching Carol to show the students the beauty of a transformational and transcendent coaching conversation.

(Normally, I wouldn’t share what goes on in a confidential coaching class but I will have asked for permission from Carol and Mark before publishing this post).

Carol spoke about her mother. She wanted to enjoy the time she spends with her even if it’s just flipping through a catalogue together. She said that 18 months ago, her mother became very ill and she was in hospital in Calgary for a month, and they didn’t give her much time to live. Somehow during that difficult time, they sold her mother’s house and moved her to Victoria.

As I listened to Carol describe the process of moving her mother to the Island where she would be closer to the whole family including her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, I marvelled at how those events and decisions also affected me, someone they didn’t even know existed yet. It struck me that an act as personal as caring for an elderly parent could also have so much influence over other people’s lives, known and unknown, as well.

To me, if June hadn’t moved to Victoria and if Carol hadn’t gone looking for a manicurist for her mother and if Carol hadn’t mentioned coaching, then I would not have found the Rayner Institute and I would have probably postponed my dream of becoming a life coach indefinitely.

Suddenly, the timing was right. A lot of things had to happen behind the scenes in order for me to get to this place in my life and my point is, you can’t write this stuff, you can’t script it, and you can’t force it. You just have to follow your heart wherever it wants to go.

Also, and this was my insight last night,

you have no idea whose lives you touch even if you never, ever meet them directly.

That’s the beauty of coaching. You get to touch the lives of people and help them get to where they want to go just by being you and doing what you do. And in turn, the people who are getting coached are also spreading love and kindness and healing energy to the people in their lives and day by day, the world becomes a better place for all of us.

I’m truly grateful for June and Carol for leading me here and for my extraordinary coaching training at the Rayner Institute and now I can pay it forward as a coach to my friends and clients.

Wellness Coach Maria Koropecky.If you’re thinking about becoming a coach, I’d be happy to talk to you about the Rayner Institute. Also, if you’re thinking about hiring a coach, feel free to contact me to make an appointment.

We’re all connected and don’t think that what you’re doing isn’t affecting someone else’s life. The ripples in a pond are endless.

 

Girl Friday at Your Service!

by Maria Koropecky

Did you know the term, “Girl Friday” comes from the movie, His Girl Friday (1940) with Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell?

Here to help.A Girl Friday is:

  • a ‘go to’ girl;
  • someone who will help you get things taken care of;
  • a person you can count on to help you out with your to-do list;
  • someone you can rely on when you are in need of extra assistance;
  • an extra pair of hands on a big project; and
  • someone who acts as a ‘jack of all trades’ and is capable of doing almost anything!

Contact Maria Koropecky today. Services starting @ $22.

Conversations

Life Coaching; English Tutor; Conversational English practice; Visiting; Reading Stories; Interviews (you interview me or I interview you); Speaking at conferences, events, & retreats; Speech Rehearsal.

Writing

Website Content; Blogging; Social Media Posts; Co-Author Books; Biographer; Journalism; Letters; & Resumes.

Proofreading, Editing, & Formatting

Books; Articles; Blogs; Reports; Essays; Websites; & Resumes.

Photography

Events; Weddings; Workshops; & Websites.

Websites

Creating; Updating; Content Writing; & SEO using HTML, WordPress, & Shopify.

Personal Assistant

Admin Assistant; Virtual Assistant; Event Planning; Organizing Collections; Trade show Booth Set Up & Sales; Shipping & Receiving; Estate Sales; & Personal Shopper.

Spa Therapy

Chair Massage; Relaxation Massage; Facials.

Spiritual

Prayer Requests.

Food Prep & Catering Support

Menu Planning; Party Prep; Cooking Food; Serving Food; & Hosting.

Pets

Cat-sitting; House-sitting; & Dog Walking.

Driving

Pick up/drop off; Errands; Long Distance; & Car Washes.

Travel

Travel Companion; Tour Guide; Location Scouting; Packing; Photographer.

Seasonal

Fruit Picking; Weeding; Snow Shoveling; Gift Wrapping; & Home Staging.

Not available for:

Electrical, plumbing or any construction trades; Car maintenance; Nursing; Childcare services; Outdoor or high window washing; Exterior painting; Carpet cleaning; Hoarders’ trash removal, & obviously anything illegal.

Let me know if I can help you out in any way!