Push Your Boundaries

LEAVE your Comfort Zones

I've always believed those who leave their comfort zones will find an unexpected beauty, a new opportunity, a connection that leads them to something greater. A happiness that is found outside the worlds of mediocrity. 

Traveling has always forced me to push the barriers of comfort and interact in a new way with the world. The nooks and crannies I find, strengthen my sense of curiosity and in return, heighten my creativity. 

If you have the chance, explore a new a place. You don't have to go far. 

Push your boundaries of comfort. 

#SpreadYourAwesome

@Claire.Bouvier

 

 

Not Everyone Likes Pineapple on Their Pizza

Pineapple

A late night chat with one of Kingston’s finest, Sean Kelly, reminded me that not everyone is looking for what you have to offer. Not everyone shares your taste. Not everyone wants a slice of your pineapple pizza.

But, there are people that do. And that is what is important.

Understanding this can profoundly change the role you play in this world.

Do we find some days that we are watering down ourselves just to reach a greater audience? If so, you might risk not reaching anyone.

Over the past year, I have had the chance to work with some incredible innovators and game changers in the creative industries. One thing I have learned is that each one of these leaders shares one thing: authenticity.

They have a beautiful ability to be confident - both personally and publicly - in what they have to offer the world. These individuals of impact have accepted and embraced their blemishes and failures. Yet they continue to push, improve, be grateful and share their process with those that are willing to listen.

These are the people that are spreading their awesome. These are the people that are positivity changing our world.

These people are happy.

We all have something beautiful to share with this world. The hardest part is to recognize it but, once you do, your life will change. It will be blooming with opportunities and other pineapple people ☺ !

 

Get out there friends and #SpreadYourAwesome

I Love You

 #BellLetsTalk

#BellLetsTalk

I remember when I was 5, I would cry at the kitchen table before going to bed.  I was scared that I would never wake up and miss out on everything in life.

 

What a sad and silly thing for a five year old to think, right? However, I have realized over time that these worries at a young age are normal but they can easily manifest into bigger things, bigger problems when we get older… UNLESS we learn to admit and embrace these worries, embrace these struggles, embrace who we are at the very core. Let’s be honest, we all have a little mess. We all have our battles. We all have our misfortunes. We all have moments of loneliness. We all have hurts somewhere tucked away.

 

To my family, friends, therapists, counsellors and mentors, you have given me strategies and tools to take life one day at a time. But most importantly, it has been your love that has been the greatest gift of all. Thank you.

 

So, today and everyday, make a special goal to embrace your pains and allow yourself to be open to others’ love in your life. Rejecting suffering will only make your pains stronger. 

Together let’s talk. 

You are never alone.


I love you.


#BellLetsTalk
#SpreadYourAwesome

Getting Lost in the City

I've left home for a while and am currently working, traveling and soaking up the beauty of Belgium...

Follow my adventures here on INSTAGRAM @claire.bouvier + @clairebouvierphotography

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.
— Saint Augustine

A Song for Cambodia

 Tribute to The Killing Fields

Tribute to The Killing Fields

 

Your smiles have been buried in the ground
Your story still haunts this forsaken town

You took everything 

You come 

      but you were never here to stay

Look into my eyes.

empty
cries.

Stories untold
Secrets withheld

Memories knotted in mysteries

Maybe i won’t tell 

But I won’t forget
But I won’t forget
But I won’t forget

dear God, please help me forgive
this debt.

 

Something on the other Side

Accepting the Here and Now

It's easy to drown in worry about what we think we might not find and yet so hard to let go of what we think we've lost.

Keep moving forward. 
Push through.
There is something on the other side.

Keep careful watch.

There will be magic.

 

After the Darkness

 Child in the Streets of Cambodia

Child in the Streets of Cambodia

The night is quiet. 

The streets are empty. 

But I cannot sleep.

As the rain pit patters on my window, I find myself unsettled in the darkness. My mind is exhausted with thoughts and images of today's tragic attacks. The sadness of Brussels weighs heavily in my safe and quiet loft. 

My heart feels heavy.

Maybe yours does too. 

Social media platforms and news outlets continue to push content and bombard with updates. It becomes overwhelming. You might feel helpless and confused.
I do. 

Questions lead to a place of blame. Blame leads to resentment and then what? 
I don't know.

In the quiet hours though, I have come to learn that despite the destruction and disaster, there needs to be hope. Where there is hope, there is love. If we stop hoping, we kill the light. And then love grows cold. We grow cold.

And more than anything, love needs faith. The foundation of truth. If we have faith that there is good, we will find in ourselves an abundance of hope. 

As you read this, feel the weight of tragedy and embrace its pain. But hold onto your hope. Have faith there is good
and love.

Love.










 

Super Team Secrets

 Secrets to the Super Team

Secrets to the Super Team

The Two Secrets to Create your SUPER Team
both at home and work

 Why is it that Google has been ranked by Fortune as one of America’s top workplaces? What is it that makes a place like Canada’s Shopify so desirable to work at?

Workplaces like google and shopify are considered some of the top places to work because they dedicate a lot of attention, money and time to “people’s analytics”. They are always trying to increase workplace happiness and productivity.

In the last few years, I’ve been particularly interested in learning about the studies conducted for optimal workplace happiness and productivity. Perhaps you’re reading this and feel completely disconnected from the office worlds such as google and shopify and that’s okay! However, the results from these amazing studies can also be applied to your personal life and to your home life.

Imagine if I could tell you right now the two secrets to having the best team, the best family, and the best relationship? Well, heck, here we go…
 

Psychologists over the last ten years have devoted special attention to answering the question, what makes a “SUPER TEAM?”. You might be assuming it would be comprised of superstar individuals but interestingly enough, not at all. According to Duhigg's book Smarter, Faster, Better the super team is essentially composed of average people that work collectively in order to take their individual “averageness” to team “superstar-NESS”.

 To have a super team you need the following:

1) A SHARED VOICE  

2) A SOCIAL SENSITIVITY

 The Claire Closet Camp

The Claire Closet Camp

A Shared Voice

Any team can become a SUPER team when every person has equal speaking time. This is important because each person needs time to be validated and respected. Their speaking time provides individuals to share their thoughts without feeling embarrassed or the fear of being punished. When there is an imbalance of talking time, team members become isolated and others become less respected. However, when each team member has the chance to speak, there is equilibrium and a shared vulnerability that effectively fuels the camaraderie in order for the SUPER TEAM to form.

 Social Sensitivity

The second secret to the SUPER team is when team members share a heightened sense of social sensitivity. This means that you can easily read others’ facial expressions and react appropriately in that moment. Being socially sensitive is a powerful tool. For example, if you can sense someone is feeling left out or confused, those with a heighted social sensitivity would notice and subtly give him or her the attention and encouragement needed for them to feel validated and respected. When you have a team of empathetic individuals there will always be a subtle, yet driving force of needed harmony.

Have you ever heard of The Reading the Mind in the Eyes test? This test developed by Professor Cohen at Cambridge University and has the ability to see if you are able to read the emotions of others. “The ability to read the emotions of others is linked to social intelligence which, in turn, is linked to performance on team-based problem solving tasks.” Take the test and see where you score: http://socialintelligence.labinthewild.org/mite/

 Queens University Soccer Team

Queens University Soccer Team

REMEMBER the most important point is that THE TEAM LEADER must set the example. If the team notices your vulnerability and empathy towards your team members, it will be positively echoed by your teammates.

So, if you want to create your SUPER TEAM.

1.     Give each member EQUAL SPEAKING TIME

2.     Encourage your team to become more AWARE OF OTHERS’ FACIAL EXPRESSIONS

Like anything awesome, it cannot happen overnight. However, start to nurture this newfound ideology in the teams that you are a part of. Overtime, I will guarantee there will be a little more awesome coming your way both in your work and home life.

Let me know how it goes and keep spreading your awesome!

Share Your Sorrows

 Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Deep down we feel a deep need to share our insecurities and our fears. When we are brave enough to do this, we nervously wait and hope that the world will be generous and support this courageous act of vulnerability.  I applaud those that have been brave enough this week to share in these personal obstacles of life. You have selflessly opened yourself up to the world in order to help others and break down social barriers that have paralyzed many of us.

Thank you for your bravery.

I challenge all of you to live everyday with this beautiful sensitivity. Let all your relationships humble you and comfort you. We all walk around with different weights of life. We all have moments where we feel lonely and misdirected in this busy world.  Continue to share your sorrows and seek support.  We are all in this together.

You are never alone.

 

 

 

 

Leap into Another World

TRAVEL profile pictures.jpg

Leaving the comforts of your home can be scary. The 'unknowns' make us feel uncomfortable and can prevent us from exploring new places. But the world is an exciting place with even more exciting people. 

Trust in the unknowns. Leap into another world. 

Let the world give you something new and wonderful to take home with you.

It will continue to surprise you and give you gifts for the rest of your life. 

Grab it While You Can.

grab it while you can

Set time aside and remove yourself from the digital world.  Soak in your environment without electronics. Start to train yourself to be more observant with the little details around you. Sitting quietly and watching will give you a package of amazing benefits and wonderful surprises as you move through your life.  

Learn to slow your life down and enjoy its wonderful subtleties. In the quiet you will discover beautiful moments where answers to your questions will be revealed. 

In this moment, appreciate the revelation and go for what you want in this life.

Grab it while you can.

Anything can happen.

 

 

Crawl in Curiosity

IMG_4542.jpg

Wherever you are in this world, know that you have an amazing ability to bring something awesome to this place. Deep down inside we all have the desire to find our purpose in life. You might have talents that you are aware of and you might have a few ninja talents that you had no idea that you possessed them.  It’s interesting how much time we spend focusing on our weaknesses and our fears when really we need to start embracing our strengths. So. It's time to embrace and share the talents you have and discover the talents you had no idea you possessed. 

Take a leap of faith and crawl into the unknowns.

These unknowns will welcome you to new worlds of opportunity. These opportunities will gently force you to experience something new. These new experiences will invite you to try something different. It will be along this journey that you will be connected to your deeper sense of self AND give you something beautiful that you just might not have found if it wasn't for your wonderful sense of curiosity and courage.

Be curious and keep spreading your awesome. 

 

 

Rain or Shine.

 Lake Ontario

Lake Ontario

You have to remember that life can turn on a dime. Everything could change. For the good. For the bad. For the awesome. We have no control what will happen. So today, embrace the sufferings, embrace the celebrations. Live the present and your heart will continue to expand and to learn.

You have so much to give. Keep your head up, carry on and #spreadyourawesome.

 

Confidence in Creativity

Confidence in Creativity

Being creative requires you to take a leap of faith. Be confident and trust your abilities. You ARE awesome. You have something creative to bring to both your personal and work life. Go out there and take a chance at being creative. Start by changing a small part of your routine today. For example, walk a different way to work or approach a problem in a new way.  Spread your awesome and be confident in your creativity.