Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What If....



What if you decide to turn left instead of right?
What if you say "yes" to your dreams instead of "no"?
What if you follow your heart as opposed to your head?
What if you get up right after you fall?
What if you choose laughter over tears?
What if the word "can't" gets erased from your vocabulary?
Go ahead.  Try it.  What if......

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gratitude



There is something about the holiday season that evokes certain emotions and thoughts that tend to lie dormant in many of us at other times of the year.  One of the most common emotions is gratitude.  Today my colleagues and I put up the office Christmas tree and it triggered my "thankful" mode.  I try to give thanks every day but there is just something about Christmas.  That being said I have alot to be grateful for.  How about you?

Are you appreciating the roof over your head that is keeping you warm and dry?
Are you taking a second to enjoy the food that has kept you satiated? 


Giving thanks takes a second and it certainly beats complaining about what's missing in our lives.


A little bit of gratitude goes a long way....


Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 28, 2011

When Your Soul Whispers

When your soul whispers, it would be a great disservice for you not to listen.  Why? Your soul is trying to send you a message - usually an important one - and it would be wise to take a moment and hear what is being said or felt. 

Project 365 - Day 4

We have become a society that is so preoccupied with working at optimum speed, productivity and efficiency that we forget what it feels like to take a minute and process the things that have transpired in our lives or to contemplate the possibilities of things that have yet to occur.  So many people would rather avoid the opportunity to sit with themselves.  There are so many other things that have to get done, right?

I am not immune to this fast spreading epidemic.  I often find myself preoccupied with the lives of others and I have to conscious decision to "come back to into myself".  Why is that?  When did we become so detached from our lives and our minds?

I feel that we have handed over a lot of our personal power and potential to social networking and other forms of online entertainment. Fast and instant gratification is king of our castle.  I am just as guilty as the next person.  Try to take a moment right now and think about the last time you took a part of the day to just sit with yourself.  No BlackBerry, iPhone, no emails, texts or phone calls.

How great would it be to turn a little bit of solitude into a personal practice?  Show your soul some love so that it can continue to whisper.  Be present and just listen.  


I will be doing the same.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

To Sleep Perchance To....


Rest and Recharge - Day 3
The weekend went by all too quickly!  It was a culmination of playdates and teething (maybe tonight Tyson and I can get some relief).
I had a great opportunity to spend a bit of time yesterday with my friend, Nelly and her daughter Ayah.  It had been so long since we had seen each other that it was extra special that we made the time.  Friends like Nelly aren't common but I am blessed to have a few friends like her in my life because:

  • They understand when you make a last minute cancellation to plans.
  • They don't mistake your tears for weakness.
  • They tell you the hard truth about some things in a loving way.
  • They love to laugh with you and sometimes at you (to your face not to your back)
  • You may lose touch for a while but always pick up where you left off.
  • They have seen you through some not-so-smart moments and still find you endearing.
  • They see you for who you are and not who they want you to be.
  • They hear you even when you aren't speaking.
  • You don't need to preface the word "friend" with the word "best" for them to understand that they rank highly in your life. 

To all of my friends (and you know who you are... just re-read the aforementioned points), I love you!  You are a huge part of what makes my life good and it is my honour to know you.

It's off to dreamland for me... bonne soiree!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Bathtub Contemplations - This Blog Post Has Been Brought to You by the Letter "F"

Project 365 - Day 2
Dear Fear,

You and I have been together for quite sometime and I think that it's time that we break up.  I had often listened to you before listening to anyone else (even myself) and to be honest, you've kept me stagnant and you're bringing me down. 

Please don't get me wrong, I have nothing but the deepest gratitude for the potentially dangerous situations that you have helped me to avoid.  The problem is that I am avoiding some really great opportunities as well because I am holding you too close. 

I need space. I need to end things with you now because I don't want to introduce you to my son.  I'm going to teach him how to be a bit fearless. 

I'm not naive and I know that you are probably going to talk to him in the future. When you do, please be kind and gentle.  

~ Rosie

Dear Faith,

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming back into my life and giving me a second chance.  I turned my back on you and gave into Fear, and for that I am so sorry.  From now on, I choose to believe that everything really does happen for a reason and sometimes the most painful moments in this crazy life contain the biggest and most important lessons.

Fear gave me nothing but heartache.  You make things feel possible and feasible. I'm so glad we're back together.

Love Always,
Rosie

Friday, November 25, 2011

Greetings from Cubicle # 4857594


If I had to make up a statistic, I would say that 1 in 4 Canadians spend more then 75% of their average weekday in a 5x5 space called a cubicle (or a space incredibly similar to one).  Is this an accurate estimate?  I have no idea but it is seemingly so.  For this reason and many more than I can count, I encourage you to get out this weekend.  Get out of the cube that confines you, get out of the vehicle that transports you and step into your life.  Move from the everyday into a new day and why not begin now?  This weekend try to find time for one thing that you don't get to typically do during the week.  

  • Read a few chapters from a new book
  • Rent that movie that you have wanted to watch for months
  • Meet up with old friends
  • Make a new friend
  • Break a sweat
  • Soak in a bath
  • Breathe some fresh air
  • Draft a letter and go the snail mail route (emails are so everyday!)


Do something different before you stick with "the same".  You just might thank me.  
Cheers to the weekend!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Life In Pictures - Project 365

I had briefly stepped away from my writing this week because life got away from me.
Umm. No.
Correction.  I got away from life. 
Have you ever had one of those weeks where things have happened so fast that you could barely keep track or much less keep up?

It is at times like this that I feel the need to slow things down a bit and ....
  • Take a minute to listen to a song from start to finish
  • play with my son indulgently for an hour
  • read a book that has absolutely nothing to do with anything work related
  • patiently wait and watch my son

...you get the idea, right?

Then I came across a great idea that will help me to:
  • post/ write more consistently;
  • tie together a few other personal projects that I would like to pursue this year (as mentioned earlier in a few different posts) and
  • take an indulgent moment everyday to myself.
I am one of the thousands that have been inspired by Stephen Poff's 365 Day Photo Diary. If you have the opportunity to check out the article, I highly recommend it.  My idea is to occasionally stray from the self-portrait every day and instead capture a moment of my life everyday.  There are so many little things that will be cool to capture that may have otherwise gotten away.  Adding a few words to tell a bit of the story behind the picture will make everything that much more exciting.

Instead of starting this with the typical New Years kick-off date.  I am going to start this... TOMORROW!  (as in November 25th, 2011).  I would have risen to the challenge of starting now but the realist in me acknowledges that I am bed bound in less than one hour.

What do you say, will you follow my journey?  Better yet, do you want to jump in with me?  I would love the company!  Feel free to leave your comment and a link to your site below.... or perhaps a note with your feedback.

Good night :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

One Little Word

“One little word can make a BIG impact on your life.  Join the journey”
- Ali Edwards
It is amazing the influence and power that can be found within one word.  I know that it only has as much power that is given to it, but let’s face it we often put a lot of emphasis on the words that we put out into the world every day.
Words allow me to express things in a way that I wouldn’t know who to demonstrate otherwise. They can send me on a motivating high or a heartbreaking low.  Ali Edwards is inspiring woman that has introduced me to a new way of expressing myself and my life stories.  A neighbour of mine introduced me to work last year and I have also seen her name referenced on blogs that I love such as chookooloonks and Ordinary Courage .
Since 2007 Ali Edwards has kicked off the New Year with a project called, One Little Word.  It simply involves choosing one word for the upcoming year that seems to resonate with you and making it yours.  You can use it to meditate with or perhaps use it to inspire your journaling prompts.
The word that I am choosing to use this year is “Move”. 
Definition of MOVE according to Merriam-Webster
intransitive verb
1
a (1): to go or pass to another place or in a certain direction with a continuous motion <moved into the shade> (2): to proceed toward a certain state or condition <moving up the executive ladder> (3) : to become transferred during play <checkers move along diagonally adjacent squares> (4) : to keep pace <moving with the times> b : to start away from some point or place : depart c : to change one's residence or location

This word has been coming at me from all sorts of directions and I have decided to listen to my intuition and put this one little word to good use.
  • I am going to move towards all that is good for me and those that I love. 
  • I am going to move away from memories of the past and relationships that have only served to bring my spirits down.
  • I am going to move my body in new ways and treat it better than I have to date. 
  • I am going to (hopefully!) move the readers of my work into action for themselves and others.
  • I am going to move to the ‘burbs and kiss the concrete jungle goodbye after many unforgettable years.
  • I am going to move towards my creative goals.
I welcome 2012 with open arms.  It’s time to get moving! 
What will your One Little Word be?

Monday, November 21, 2011

The I's Have it....

I was websurfing one day and came across an interesting way of introducing people on the Big Picture Classes website.  I liked it so much that I thought I would give it a try.  I encourage you to try putting  together your own introduction with the help of the prompts below:

Tyson and I
i was … unsure about what I wanted from life until now.
i am … a writer.
i think … that sometimes it’s alright not to think.
i wonder … what’s in store for 2012.
i wish … there were more hours in a day.
i save … as many pictures as I can these days.
i always … have a book or a magazine on hand.
i can’t imagine … life without my son, Tyson.
i believe … in karma.
i promise … to continue to work at being the best possible version of myself.
i love … special memories, belly laughs and all things serendipitous.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Crying Over Spilled Milk

Have you ever had one of those mornings that’s going so well you can almost hear the birds chirping in your house? I had one of those last week and I almost broke out into song. Seriously. It felt that good. The sun was out (which is always great this time of year), Tyson and I were running ahead of schedule and I looked pretty cute, too! I sauntered to the kitchen in a state of bliss, opened the fridge door and grabbed Tyson's bottle for his diaper bag and that's when it happened. Milk spillage EVERYWHERE! I mean all over the fridge trays, all over the food, all over the floor and me. It turns out that my husband missed screwing the lid on the one bottle that I happened to reach for at that moment.
That was it! Birds and sing-songs be damned... I was pissed off! How could he be so thoughtless and inconsiderate? How hard is it to tighten all of the lids? Great...

... now I had to clean up everything.
... now I was going to be late for work.
... now I was suddenly having a less than stellar day.

Wow, could I be more self-absorbed? Did I really think that this little incident was all about me? It's amazing what kind of power the ego has (especially when it hasn't been stroked in a while). The fact is, mistakes happen and this milk incident was one of them. My husband was helping me out by making our son's bottles for the day. He was probably just multi-tasking (or simply tired) and he missed one lid. When I took a moment to cool off and think about things rationally it was easy to see that I had taken things way too personally. My spouse wasn't up the night before planning to stage a lactose coup in the morning.

This event reminded me to take a moment and walk a little while in someone else's shoes. Minutes earlier I would have let a small incident (although slightly inconvenient) ruin the great morning that I had going. Taking a moment to find compassion and understanding helped me to appreciate what had really transpired. Hey, maybe it was a lesson to me to slow down a bit.

Crying over spilled milk doesn't change anything; things happen. Just clean it up, get a new bottle and move on with your day.

Until the next post, my friends!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Body, My Temple



It never ceases to amaze me how often women put themselves last when it comes to maintenance of the mind, body and spirit. We read the magazines and watch the television shows that inundate us with information about the critical necessity of taking better care of ourselves and yet we often fail to really get the message.

According to the Public Health Agency Canada, “Heart disease is the number one cause of death in Canada for women over the age of 55. Women are more likely to die from heart disease than from any other disease.”

What puts women at risk for heart disease? Check out the following list:

· Menopause
· Hypertension
· Cholesterol
· Diabetes
· Tobacco Smoke
· Physical Inactivity
· Excess Body Weight
· Family History
· Race
· Social and Economic Factors

While heart disease is not the only potentially fatal illness out there, it is the one that is having some of the most significant impacts within our sisterhood today. I’m not close to 55 yet but I am not going to wait until I am to take action.

Enter one simple word.... MOVE.

Move off of the couch, off of my butt!
Move towards better health and wellness. Mind, Body and Soul.
Move away from negativity – the energy that it sucks from your life can be just as toxic as many other diseases.
Just MOVE!

This brings me to my exciting adventure. On January 1, 2012 I will be participating in Move More, Eat Well which is a workshop offered through Big Picture classes and facilitated by Cathy Zielske. I am not an avid scrapbooker and this is not what this project is about. It’s about creatively pursuing my fitness and health goals so I have a better chance at being around longer, period.
The countdown is on and if you are interested why don’t you join me? Or perhaps find another way to re-integrate health and fitness into your life. You are worth it and you are worthy.

It’s time to pay homage to my body, my temple....
 

Question of the Day


"Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?"
An excerpt from Mary Oliver’s poem “The Summer Day”

Monday, November 14, 2011

Go Your Own Way

During a rare moment of TV watching last week, I got caught up in an episode of Oprah's Life Class. Think what you will of Oprah...this show had me riveted to my seat. Oprah openly confessed to having what she affectionately referred to as a "Disease to Please”.

Whaaat??? I sat back on my couch with my mouth slightly agape. To hear a powerful woman like Oprah admit to having the same affliction that many of us "Yes-Women" suffer from was nothing short of validating. All right, then! What's the cure? I quickly assumed the "edge of my seat" position once more.

Wait for it….

The cure is to practice, apply and repeat the use of one word whenever appropriate. That word is, "No".

I felt slightly deflated by what seemed to be a rather common sense solution however when I quickly reviewed my life to date, I realized that I’ve rarely used that simple word. I’ve often been too busy thinking about how things should be and what other people might think or say if I turned down a request that my heart just wasn't into. I have often wanted to ensure the happiness of other and at times it’s been at the expense of my own. There was very little joy  left to feed my soul when everyone else at the table had been served.

I have a feeling that I am not alone in my keen observation.

So for this reason, I am going to rise to the call of self-love and self-empowerment. It's time to establish a few boundaries and exercise a bit of assertion in an effort to be better for myself and those around me. For example:

Question: "Can you take on an extra three files today?"
Answer: "No, I am actively working on the six from last week and they have tight deadlines."

Question: "Why don't you come out to the bar tonight? I promise we'll have you home by midnight!"
Answer: "No, I'm looking forward to catching up on some rest tonight. Hope you all have fun!"

Question: "Are you going to get the baby ready for bed? He seems pretty cranky."
Answer" "Actually, no. I think that it would be a good idea if you took over tonight. It'll be good bonding time for both of you."

Wow! I'm looking forward to trying this out :) I encourage anyone reading this to break free of the shackles of what is expected and forge your own path. If that's too committal, just once try doing something different that goes against the grain of the everyday but makes you happy. Happiness is often derived from simply doing what feels right to you.

Please note that there may be some people in your circle that won't be jumping for joy over what may seem to be push-back or resistance. That's up to them to work out and don't even try to take that on. The people that truly love you and want what's best for you will come around and cheer for you from the sidelines. Hell, they might even get in the game! They are what I affectionately call, "The Keepers".
  
Until the next post my friends.....

Friday, November 11, 2011

Lest We Forget

To all of those that have died in the line of duty in the pursuit of peace and freedom for others,
"Thank you."

Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream
Words and Music by Ed McCurdy



Last night I had the strangest dream
I'd ever dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed
To put an end to war

I dreamed I saw a mighty room
Filled with women and men
And the paper they were signing said
They'd never fight again
And when the paper was all signed
And a million copies made
They all joined hands and bowed their heads
And grateful pray'rs were prayed

And the people in the streets below
Were dancing 'round and 'round
While swords and guns and uniforms
Were scattered on the ground

Last night I had the strangest dream
I'd never dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed
To put an end to war.

TRO-©1950,1951 & 1955 Almanac Music, Inc.
New York, N.Y. Copyrights renewed

Thursday, November 10, 2011

While you were sleeping....

To my beautiful baby boy Tyson,


While you were sleeping I watched you for a while and I thought to myself, "He has changed so much, so fast". It feels strange to know that I haven't known you all of my life because I truly can't imagine a world without you in it. You have brought me more joy than I have ever known and for that I am eternally grateful.

I used to rush through things just to get to more things. Life was quickly passing me by. Becoming your mother has taught me the importance of being present. I am still learning, but I am also enjoying doing silly things just to hear you laugh and I treasure being one of the primary people that you turn to when you are in need of comfort.

Shortly before I gave birth to you, I panicked. I panicked about anything and everything. Will I be a good mother? What if I couldn't give you everything you needed? How would I be able to understand what you were trying to tell me? One look at you and all of those stresses slowly faded.

Raising you is an honour that I am still in awe of every day. I look forward to watching you sleep for many years to come.

All my love,

Mom

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Love. Dream. Believe.


My sister, Joan, gave me the ring depicted above one day “just because”. It is marked with the words: Love Dream Believe. Her simple instruction was for me to look at it whenever I am having a challenging time and let the words remind me of who I am, what I want and all that is possible.

Love. Every day there is ongoing discussion and news about the critical shortage of resources in the world such as food, water and money. These are all vital to various degrees but so is love. I can't recall the last late breaking news story that I watched about the "Love Crisis" prevalent in our society today. When you love, make sure that you are doing so with your whole heart. Anything less isn't the real deal. It's easy to feel or think that we are only capable of giving a solid 80% because the last time we gave 100% our hearts were broken. Perhaps we underestimate ourselves and think that we don't know how to love correctly. We are all born worthy of this thing called love and if it is something that you haven't been shown (or given) just know that it will come your way eventually if you’re open to receiving it.

Dream. If we removed the comfortable and familiar fences that surround our thoughts (also known as boundaries, self-limitations and restrictions) we would be left with some truly remarkable dreams. Never forget to ask yourself, "What if" because there are infinite possibilities to this "Choose Your Own Adventure" series also known as life. I have lulled so many of my thoughts into quiet submission with phrases starting with, "I can't" or "Starting tomorrow" or "If only". Thankfully our dreams don't die until we do (and they may live long after we are gone) so unleash yourself, free your mind and get to the business of dreaming.

Believe. I will openly admit within the sanctity of the blog-o-sphere forum that believing has been one of the bigger challenges in my life to push through thus far. A strong belief system is free of charge and yet there had been times in my journey where I felt like buying into it would cost me everything. I was wrong. Not believing robbed me of the courage to try things and it took away my faith that things would be alright. I am happy to report that I am a believer once more! I am not saying that a leap of faith is appropriate for everyone. Quitting your job while giving a single finger salute may not prove to be beneficial to your future endeavours (and it tends to burn a few proverbial bridges). Sometimes calculated and premeditated risks are necessary when your decisions have the potential to impact others in your life significantly.

Believe that there is more to your life waiting for you and make the brave decision to take a step towards making things happen.

So...

You want to be a singer? Try your hand (and voice) at karaoke.
You want to be an artist? Pick up a painting kit for beginners and carve out an hour of your time to doodle and sketch.
You want to be a writer? Start keeping a journal or perhaps start a blog...

Love yourself.
Dream big.
Believe in all that is possible.

I guarantee that changes will start to happen (even if it starts with your attitude!)

Until next time, friends!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Power of Beautiful Thoughts and Images




Today it is my pleasure and distinct honour to welcome the photography and written work of Melissa Ferrar to my blog. Melissa is a very talented writer who I met many years ago and whose friendship has withstood the test of time. Her ability to create a beautiful image through the insightful use of words is nothing short of a gift.

"I am totally loving milkweed this year…it is just so interesting – the perfectly white gossamer fluff contrasting with the rough scaly appearance of the pods–the little fluffy umbrella seeds holding all the promise of next years’ crop…flying through the air to god knows where and hopefully - if the conditions are just right where they end up - the miracle of germination…  


When I walk along the railway tracks behind my house, I pull handfuls of the seeds from the pods, lift them over our heads and let them go….they follow us through the air for several paces while we continue on then they begin their journey at the mercy of the breeze. I secretly wish them well– “good luck little seeds – till we meet again”."

Thank you, Melissa!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Confessions from a Slowly Reforming Planner...

 

If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”
~ Woody Allen

In the past few years one of my biggest life lessons has been learning how to release my death grip on planning.

Making plans,
executing out plans,
sticking to plans….
All of it.

When I got married my plan was to live happily ever after because there was no room in my plan for anything other than perfection and success. When I was expecting my son, Tyson, I actually wrote out a birth plan. It was meticulous and thorough and absolutely useless to me in the end. Why? Well, three days of contractions and a Caesarean section later I didn't care what the paper said. The plan went out the window because I realized that in some situations, the outcome to many of life's predicaments aren’t up to us.

Throughout my life planning has been directly correlated to expectation. All that can be measured and bullet-pointed can be achieved, right? But what do you do when your baby decides he doesn't want to sleep at all? Or that instead of growing together, you and your spouse are growing apart? What do you do when who you thought you wanted to become is no longer recognizable to you?

For a long time I thought that the best thing to do was cry a lot, vent to anyone that would listen, sing a few verses of "woe-is-me" and wait for the universe to send a big sign of guidance. While these coping mechanisms may work for some, I can't honestly say that they have brought me any joy, peace or results.

So instead I have decided to put plans aside for the time being and instead take action. Who knows the great opportunities I may have missed when I was too busy making bullet point "to do's". I look forward to the challenge of becoming more present and responsive to this thing called life.

Until next time, friends….






Sunday, November 6, 2011

If Not Today......



I used to be a writer. I used to lock myself up for hours at a time when I was younger and transport myself to wonderful places through the power of the words that I put on a page. It was a way to express the things that I was too shy to say and too fearful to show.

Whenever I wrote I felt tremendous relief afterwards.  While the situations that I was in still were the same, writing allowed me to feel like I had been heard, even if the only person reading my work was me. There is something to be said about writing as a practice, though.

It takes discipline.
It takes courage.
It takes a leap of faith.

I abandoned a lot of these things years ago and it is my belief now that I can get them back again. Being a first time mom has brought to light things that I think that I would not have been able to hone in on otherwise. I'm not trying to say that motherhood is the only thing that can provide a person with credible insight. What I am saying is that it's the only thing that really showed me how I have been living my life; the good, the bad and (at times) the oh so ugly.

Seeing the world at this stage in my life makes me want to:

...say something.
...do something.
...change somethings.

The written word is the only tool which allows me to do all of these things.

Fingers don't fail me now. We are about to go on an epic adventure through this thing called life. I believe this is going to be the start of something good and nurturing to my soul. I believe that embarking on this journey is going to provide food for thought. I believe that I’m not the only person that has something to say and I look forward to telling their stories as well.

It has been a long time, old friend. Let's pick up where we left off.