Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy 2012.....

A couple of days ago I received an email from a dear friend of mine.  She had taken the time to visit this blog and sent me an email stating:
“You, my friend, are a lovely wonderful individual who only needs to start understanding that you are living and stop thinking about how to live....  I feel that you need to start saying "YES" no matter the consequence!!!  You will feel liberated! I love you!!! “
I got teary eyed.  Sometimes the most powerful words come at such a good time.  I believe that it was Iyanla Vanzant that once said in her book Acts of Faith that “some people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.”  As 2011 comes to a close I have to say that I feel such deep gratitude to have such special friends in my life. 
With no further adieu I would like to present my revised blueprint to living in 2012 (aka: my New Years resolutions):
  1. Move into a family oriented neighbourhood in the east end of Ottawa – It’s time to say goodbye to the concrete jungle of downtown.  This area treated me nicely when I was a single girl living it up in my late twenties and early thirties, but the mama in me is seeking some greener things in life like trees and grass.
  2. Obtain my G1 Drivers Permit – No.  I don’t have my drivers license.  Now get your jaw off of the floor.  Here in Ontario, Canada we have what is called Graduated Licensing.  Due to the fact that I felt no need in my youth to obtain my driver’s license, I missed the window of opportunity to avoid this new program that was implemented.  Now at the tender age of 36 I am feeling the push (my own push) to get this over with. 
  3. Let Go – I have been hanging onto some issues (and people) from my past that had a big impact on my life and my spirit.  At this particular juncture, these are no longer mutually beneficial relationships but because they are familiar ones I am having the hardest time letting go.  When I say “Let Go”, I am referring to leaving the relationships as they are.  That’s not to say that in the future they can’t be revisited.  Anything is possible as long as it’s best for both people involved.  Marsha Petrie Sue said it best: Stay away from what might have been and look at what will be.”
  4. Learn from the relationships that didn’t work out – This resolution actually ties into “Let go” but I felt that it needed a point all its own. I came across this article by Laurenne Sala on the Tiny Buddha website.  Have you ever read an article that mirrored your thoughts in such a way that it resonates with you long after you’ve read it?  Yeah… me too.  That’s how I felt after reading this clever commentary.  It was validating, refreshing and fun.  Check it out when you have a chance.
  5. Move into a rewarding, well-paying job complete with good benefits and a flexible option to work from home on an as required basis.  Enough said.
  6. Be healthier and active – In an earlier post I disclosed that my One Little Word for 2012 is MOVE. 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.  The time has come to move off of the couch and towards better health and wellness. Mind, Body and Soul.
  7. Join a group/ organization in support of women’s issues – There are so many great associations in the world right now.  I am looking forward to finding one to lend my hand to .
  8. Step boldly onto the path of consciousness and enlightenment – I have to say that with all of the changes that I have been through in 2011, digging deep within myself helped to get me through a lot.  I would like to become a student to the more spiritual side of things and align myself with a great spiritual teacher.
  9. Get published – While it is the dream for many to see their name in print, I feel that I actually have a shot at making this a success.  The Epic Adventure Series may be the beginning of something, well, epic! So if you are reading this, please feel free to share my work with your friends or anyone that you feel may benefit from it! 
  10. Free myself of emotional toxins – I am an emotional sponge.  If you are feeling something while standing in close proximity to me, odds are, I will pick up on it.  That isn’t really much of an issue.  The problem lies in the fact that I have the hardest time ridding myself of O.P.B. (Other People’s Baggage).  Some people can just shake it off but I have to make a concerted effort.  In 2012, effort is required!
“You don’t have to change the world, you just have to change yourself”. – Yogananda
All of the best for 2012!
Until next time, friends….


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Listen.

Tyson and I - December 2011


2012 is proving to be a potentially busy and overwhelming year.  I can't predict the future but my instincts are speaking volumes and I'm choosing to listen to them.  I've decided to move away from seeking life affirming counsel from others and have alternatively been working to find some affirmations within myself. 

I admit that I'm a bit of a personal development and self-help junkie.  This isn't something that I would normally just "put out there" but I feel that since this is my blog, I can open up as I see fit.  There's alot of stigma surrounding anything related to self-improvement and some people perceive that only lonely, needy people hang out in the self-help section of a bookstore.  Those people couldn't be more wrong.  So many people have been turning to external resources in the hopes of grasping a better understanding of who they are.  I can attest to having more than my fair share of "feel good" books on my shelf. For a long time I let the voice of strangers set the course for next steps that I took in my life. In preparing for the upcoming new year it dawned on me how ridiculous it is to keep investing in the advice of strangers before listening to what I am feeling about my life.

Up until this very moment I haven't trusted myself to live the life that I know that I am capable of living because of the possibility of success.  How would it change things?  What kind of sacrifice will be entailed?  Here are my answers: 
  1. Things would change for the better simply because I would be living up to my potential  and
  2. Any sacrifice required is necessary to move me out of living safely into living fully
Wow.  That's what I call a reality check.

So over the next couple of days (and for countless days going forward) it's will be crucial for me to carve out even just a few moments each day to listen to myself.  I'll check in with you to share my findings.....

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays to Everyone!

I was thinking about the best way to approach making a blog entry at such a crazy time of the year.  I thought about being witty or insightful. I decided that the best approach was to stick with the "tried and true" heartfelt one.  The one that speaks from your soul as opposed to your brain. 

I wish everyone peace. The kind that helps you to sleep at night and feels like a thousand pounds have been lifted off of your shoulders.

I wish everyone love.  It was Oprah that said it best when she said, "Because you are here, you are worthy".  It's so true and if more people (including myself) took the time to live to their greatest potential love would be everywhere.

I wish everyone health.  Our health is one of the most precious gifts that we have and yet is taken for granted so often.  Make a commitment to caring for yourself (mind, body and soul) and reap the rewards that follow.

All of the best to you this holiday season and please enjoy this beautiful videoclip of a duet with Mary J. Blige and Andrea Bocelli singing "What Child is This?" (one of my favorite holiday songs of all time).  Thank you, Nicole for bringing this version to my attention!

Until next time, friends...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Makin' A List, Checkin' it Twice....

Alright, I was originally going to write a post entitled, “My Christmas Wish List” but after some thought I realized that it’s not the direction that I want to take.  The reference to a “Wish List” made the post seem too cotton candy pink and fluffy.  The fairy tale connotation that the word “wish” evoked was too much for me to bear.  Instead I am presenting my “Action List” and I’m not going to pigeon-hole this list to Christmas or any other time of year.  I am just going to set my intentions on getting things done and having a bit of fun along the way.
Find my voice – I will be the first to admit that if I had as much confidence speaking as I do writing, I would be an incredible force to be reckoned with.  I have alot to say about a variety of things and I look forward to just “putting it all out there”
Seek salvation in the written word as opposed to the bottom of an ice cream container – My time on maternity leave in the earlier months found me reaching for comfort within one arms reach.  Unluckily for me that need often placed me in the kitchen with my son cradled in one arm and a Ben and Jerry’s container cradled in the other.   The good news is that I found my way to writing again and as long as I keep it going, I reap the benefits of creativity and somewhat more controlled waistline.  Don’t believe me? Go ahead, just try typing and eating simultaneously!
Keep the faith – Since I was a little girl I was raised within (what I know now to be) the seemingly rigid boundaries of religion.  For me it felt like trying on a shoe that was too tight.  I liked the style but it wasn’t a good fit for me.  My faith is now a built on a more spiritual and mystic foundation.  I think that I am going to enjoy taking a bit more Eastern philosophy and seeing how it can apply to this Western life that I’m living.
Detox, Detox, DetoxDefinition of DETOXIFY (transitive verb)
1          a : to remove a harmful substance (as a poison or toxin) or the effect of such from
b : to render (a harmful substance) harmless
2          : to free (as a drug user or an alcoholic) from an intoxicating or an addictive substance in the body or from dependence on or addiction to such a substance

I look forward to examine ways to not only detoxify my mind and body but also relationships.  No one should ever feel obligated to keep people around them just because it seems like the right thing to do.  I am going to work on nurturing the relationships that feed my soul and pray that I can reciprocate the honour. The people that you choose surround yourself with can tell you a lot about yourself.
I am going to stop my list there for now.  I have a tendency to get overly ambitious and because of that I feel like this list feels like a good place to start from.  I can’t wait to see what unfolds!
Until next time, friends!

Friday, December 16, 2011

T Minus 15 Days..... It's Got Me Thinkin'

I cannot believe that there are only 15 days left to 2010.  It seems like only a little while ago I was making my plan of attack for the new year in my 2009 year end wrap up!  2012 is going to be epic :)  I am so looking forward to moving into new ways of thinking.  I am excited at the prospect of meeting new people and I anxious about all of the changes coming my way (anxious but open).

I am having a really hard time getting into holiday mentality this year.  I'm not feeling particularly "bah humbug" (for lack of a possibly much better word).  It's just that I find this time of year causes several people alot of stress and I think that it's important to have a look at that for a moment.  For the past few days I have been asking the typical question: "So what do you have planned for the holidays?".  More often than not the responses that come back to me reference how much shopping there's left to do, how much food remains to be prepared or how much packing needs to be done for a family vacation. 

When did we lose track of the spirit of giving of ourselves and our time?  Neither puts a huge dent in our wallets but the value within such pursuits exceeds anything that may be contained in a little velvet box.  I stand amongst the population that I am referring to when I say that people have far too much attachment to the "things" in life.  The jewellery, the electronics, the high end brand name clothes, the toys.... all of it.  Don't get me wrong.  Alot of pleasure can be derived when these items are in your possession, but would you function the same if you were stripped of them?  If so, then by all means ENJOY them.  If not, it's time for some personal reflection.

Since becoming a mother, I've had to make some adjustments and do without certain things in order to make other things a higher priority.  No more beauty counter make-up or impulsive clothing purchases for a party.  I'm not trying to write a song of woe-is-me here.  In fact, it's quite the opposite.  The point to my story is that without these things I'm pretty much the same person and more than that, I have survived!  What I have or don't have doesn't need to define me.  When the time comes around where I have the option of being a bit more liberal with my purchases, I will appreciate what I choose to own alot more than I did before.

Going into the new year I am going to make a concerted effort to give more and expect less.  It's going to take focus to ensure that I stay on track but it will be worth the effort.

What kind of goodness are you going to bring into 2012?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Challenges May Appear Bigger Than They Really Are...

Tonight I decided to go for a walk.  I was exhausted from the efforts of a long day and while it would have been easier to curl up in front of the TV for an hour or two, I gave in to the calling from the universe to get outdoors.  When I finally stepped outside, it was raining and incredibly dark.  I decided that my destination was going to be the public library (when I am feeling out of sorts, a good book often helps to relax me).

During my journey, I questioned why I didn't stay at home. I have quite a few books there already that I have been meaning to read and the weather was miserable to say the least.  I thought that the universe had been trying to send me a message and that apparently wasn't the case.  I looked around for a short cut that would get me to the library ASAP and back home in record time.  There was an empty lot to my left with what appeared to be a barricade separating me from the quickest way to my targeted location.  Was there a way around it?  I wasn't sure and at that point if I had to climb over it or dig under it, I wasn't going to let a fence stop me.

I crossed the lot and arrived at my perceived obstacle ready to face it head on only to find a path right beside it.  This path was quite literally a dry clearing under the umbrella of a big tree.  Crisis averted!  I was a little bit smug with satisfaction and quick to celebrate my triumph over doubt. That is when the message from the universe came to me loud and clear. 

When a challenge is keeping you from where you want to go, you can choose to take the long, safe route around them in the hopes of avoiding the challenge all together.  More often than not, this will probably leave you tired and thinking that there must be a better way.  Instead, try to face the challenge head on.  Walk right towards it and have faith in your conviction to get past it.  You may be surprised at the open path that is revealed to you.

On what feels like your darkest (and coldest) of days, there is always a way out.

Until next time, my friends....

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Who Are You Now?

“There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I'm going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts.”
Elizabeth Gilbert

With 2012 just around the corner it is often tempting to take a look back over the past year to see where we have been and use that as fuel to determine where we are going.  I am only recently starting to learn that this line of thinking may not be the best way to move forward into the future.  While it is important for me to know what my family roots are and which life lessons have made the biggest impressions on me to date, I can't use those things to define who I am now.  My past certainly will not be used to paint the picture of what lays ahead for me.
Simply because I won't let it.  The past has zero impact on who I am now because I have made it decidedly so.

"Whatever someone did to you in the past has no power over the present
- Oprah

Someone one in the past may have called you ugly, fat, stupid, opinionated, bitchy, untalented, outspoken or something equally painful.

Someone in the past may have broken your heart, neglected you, smothered you, limited your options or tried to contain your spirit.

Work hard to let those things go.  They happened and may never be forgotten but they are not who you are now.

For a long time, I have lived a life in a way that barely had my feet touching the ground.  I was never really rooted in a moment because there were so many things that I had to do and become before I...

... got married
... had children
... turned (16, 21, 30, 40, 50 or any other milestone age) or
... died (morbid perhaps, but true nonetheless)

I put so much pressure on myself to become what so many people wanted me to be "someday".  I often kept looking over my shoulder, comparing myself against the "old" me.  Any lack of noticeable improvement was viewed by me as a setback.  Thankfully that pressure is slowly but surely starting to alleviate as I move through my epic adventure into finding myself.   One of the greatest lessons that I am deciding to embrace is that the things that happen to me will be based on decisions that I make.  This seems so obvious and yet it has eluded me for many years.  Who knew that accountability is a product of awareness?

20 days are left until the new year.  I couldn't be more excited to move forward.

“You are now at a crossroads. This is your opportunity to make the most important decision you will ever make. Forget your past. Who are you now? Who have you decided you really are now? Don't think about who you have been. Who are you now? Who have you decided to become? Make this decision consciously. Make it carefully. Make it powerfully.” 
- Anthony Robbins

Side Note: Sadly I had to let Project 365 go for now because I didn't want to take something fun and make it feel like work.  I have enough things going on right now and coming up to keep me busy.  I'll take the pictures that come along with the adventure(s) and post them accordingly.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Today's Top 3 Moments

My Vision Board


It is important for me to try (on a daily basis) to think back on the best parts of my day and realize how truly lucky I am in so many ways.  Here are today's top 3 moments:

  1. My 14 month old son decided that it would be fun to wake up at 2 am this morning; I know... less than ideal, right?  While I laid with him and tried to lull him back to sleep,  he looked me dead in the eye, turned my head and gave me a loud zerbert on my cheek.  This was followed with him breaking into a fit of giggles and my heart nearly exploded with love.  Well worth the sleep deprivation.
  2. Although I have decided to write for pleasure, I have to admit that I was a bit curious about this blog's traffic. I am proud to report that readership (or at least page views) have gone up from when I started (consistently) in November!  So really that means that one of today's top 3 moments has been made possible by you... my cup of gratitude runneth over...
  3. One of my closest friends emailed me today suggesting that we go to New York in September to celebrate our birthdays next year.  While I am making a sincere effort to live in the moment, I am really excited to plan a trip to the Big Apple.  I have always wanted to go and what better time?  I am sure that the planning and the trip itself will provide plenty of good material for future posts.

What have your favorite moments of the day been? 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Breathe.


When I initially started writing this blog I had all sorts of grand ideas about the posts that I would write and the audience that might read it.  I certainly don't know everything but writing allows me to express myself in ways that I can't get out otherwise.  Little did I know how much I would need this forum.  A part of me hopes to reach someone in cyberspace that might identify with where I am coming from and the path that I am on in this life.

As mentioned in earlier posts, things are going to be amping up and changing alot for me in the next few months.  In my quest to move forward I am forced to look at things from a different perspective.  Nothing has changed more for me over the course of the last year and a half than my relationships.  My interactions with my friends, family, child and spouse have undergone some serious renovations.  There have been ups and downs; I have been blessed with some belly laughs and I have succumb to a few tears.  Some of my relationships have had vigorous emotional workouts and because of that they require some time to rest.  That's right....

... they need space to breathe;
... time to recoup and
... they need to be handled with care.

I'm learning that often times the best thing that you can do when trying to salvage a relationship is to step out of it for a while.  What's done during the time apart will have the significant impact on the story ends for those involved.  Will you come together again or part ways?  It's not possible to heal without resting.  The hurt won't end if it's not tended to.

Sometimes we need to fall into the comforting arms of solitude in order to hear what is in our hearts.  Take a moment to breathe and rest when required in order to nurture the good in all of the relationships that you have.

Until next time...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Love, Love, Love....



I have been reading another really great book called, "The Joy of Doing Things Badly" by Veronica Chambers. In chapter five of the book she said something that truly resonated with me and that I think will stay with me for a while.  She brilliantly states: 

" A life beating myself up and telling myself off is like going to the World's fair and spending the entire day in a Porta Potti.  If not a colossal waste of time, then a very sad way to spend what could have been a marvelous day".

It is amazing how much more love, compassion and understanding we can muster up for everyone but ourselves sometimes.  In my case, the startling part of this revelation is that I often am not even conscious of how often I do this.  I currently working to evolve from being my harshest critic into my biggest cheerleader.  If I don't know what the best parts of me are, how can I possibly expect anyone to find them? 

Becoming aware means becoming accountable. That much I know for sure.  Realizing what we put out in the world comes with owning all of it without the convenience of blame.  But here's the thing.  Once you become accountable, work to push past whatever your "thing" is.  There is no sense in hanging on to it and brow beating yourself.  It's counterproductive, emotionally taxing (not to mention spiritually toxic).

Try to derive the good in what may seem to be a crisis on the surface. If you sit with a problematic situation for a minute, can you see the a positive outcome anywhere in the layers of angst?

For example:
  • A financial crisis can present the importance of finding value in what you have as opposed to what you don't.
  • A failed relationship can be an opportunity to spend time giving yourself the love and appreciation that someone else can't at the moment.
  • A physical ailment can sometimes re-focus your attention to finding ways to nurture your body and mind.

In all of the situations noted above, beating yourself up will be a colossal waste of time!  Find ways to be more forgiving to yourself.  Treat yourself as well as you would any of your prized possessions and I will continue to work to do the same. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Blogging Intermission

I have not forgotten about you fellow goddesses! :)  Lots going on but I will be back within the next 24 hours.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sometimes a Song Says Things So Perfectly....

This song, "Me" (sung by the beautiful, Kina) is for all of the Girls in My Circle... You know who you are and I love you so much!  The lyrics follow the song:


Me
Sung by: Kina

My heart's jumpin'
God, I'm feelin' open
Spent a long time mopin'
Get a load of me, feelin' free
No pain no more
No blockin' up my own door
All anger out my back door
God, it's good to see

Life,
Got kinda hard, I faced it
Fought and cried and almost gave in
All negative forces faded
Love of me just walked right in

I'm just me, I'm enough
With myself I'm in love
I've been weak, I've been low
Made me strong, now I know
I'm just me, I'm enough
Nothin' less, nothing more
I wish everybody could just feel this kind of love

Feels good, feels fine, feels good, yeah
My mind's older
Chip's fallen off my shoulder
All need to prove is over
Good enough for me
Found willingness
Found will to be courageous
No need to feel defenseless, Peace

I'm just me, I'm in love
With myself I'm in love
I've been weak, I've been low
Made me strong, now I know
I'm just me, I'm enough
Nothin' less, nothing more
I wish everybody could just feel this kind of love

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Isn't it Ironic?



In the past year I've had many breakdowns and few breakthroughs.  Simply put, at this point in my life I have been resistant to any indication of what appears to be change.  I think that alot of that can be attributed to what has been a marathon of events that has occurred in the past 4 years. 
  1. I was living the fast paced single life and moved into a committed relationship. 
  2. I started a new job.
  3. I moved further into the depths of my relationship by getting married and then
  4. I silenced the ticking of my biological clock with pregnancy followed by the arrival of our son,Tyson.
Did I mention that all of this occurred in just 4 seemingly short years?

The idea of addtional change occasionally freaks me out.  I 'm just trying to catch my breath!  But alas, the one thing that is guaranteed in life is change.  I have been resistant to making more breakthroughs in my life because doing so calls for change.  It's impossible to make significant progress by doing the same thing all the time.  I'm not doing myself any favours by fighting the inevitable; as a matter of fact in his book A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle says it best:  "“Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

Today was one of those days where I was resisting.  Who am I kidding, I wasn't resisting as much as I was fighting, clawing and flailing for some semblance of order.  The more I fought, the worse things got and before I knew it I was a hot mess of tears in my office bathroom howling about life's horrible injustices.  Then I decided that crying was futile and that I needed to sort my stuff out and get a grip.  I had to just deal with the things that were in my control and let go of the things that weren't.  It sounds simple in theory and it is in practice as well .... if you let it be.

When I finally stopped taking swings at the inevitable forces of change, things were far from perfect but they weren't as hard to deal with.  Doris Day was onto something when she crooned, "Que sera sera, Whatever will be, will be.  The future's not ours to see.... Que sera sera...."

<Sigh>  So true.

The moral of the story?  Choose your battles wisely my friends.  Some are just not worth the fight.

Until next time....