Health/Well Being · Thoughts

Weekend Challenge

Image result for love yourself more weekend challenge
This is my weekend challenge to us.

There’s a great deal of chaos and stress going on in the world, and in many people’s inner world. I say this time and time again, but the energies seem to be relentless as far as giving us opportunities to rise above, to learn lessons, to become refined versions of ourselves. I trust the process; however, it’s challenging. It sucks. I feel you. You are not alone. I promise you this. Being an empath, I can feel it too, even though I personally haven’t got caught in this round of crazy energy, as much as those around me.

I also know it’s easy to get caught in a negative spiral. So I challenge you this. Pick one day this weekend – or all weekend if you’re up for it – to be extra aware of that inner voice. You know the voice I’m talking about – the one that analyses, judges and critiques the behaviours etc. of ourselves and others. The one that doesn’t have anything good to say. Yes, that one. When that inner critic comes creeping in – shift your focus…

Image result for shit weighing you down meme
If Steve Urkel was stress…Not this weekend, you’re not. Not this weekend. Challenge has been accepted!

I challenge you to make a list – mental or on paper – of the things that make you feel good this weekend. I’m talking anything – smells, tastes, activities, peoples, experiences, thoughts etc. I’d like to take it a step further and challenge you to go out of your way to find and plan for these feel good things!

I want to hear all about it in the comments below!

It’s easy to get caught in our day to day routines, and schedules that we often forget to do or notice those feel good things. The purpose of this challenge isn’t to encourage you to “hide” from your troubles and stresses, the “reality” of the world affairs, etc. and bury your head in the sand. Not forever. Just For Today. Just for this moment in time – consciously change your perspective, give yourself a break from the negativity and all the shit that is dragging you down. You deserve it. And maybe today will turn into tomorrow, and those hard times you find yourself in may become a little less heavy on your heart and a little easier to get through. That is my wish for you. (Aside from having the best of everything!) 🙂

For today, and always – big love,
S.

For The Soul · Thoughts

East Coast Road Trip: Just What I Needed

As some of you know, I headed out to Eastern Canada for a road trip this week with one of my best friends. If you have never done this, I highly recommend doing it! We just got home last night to Ontario, after a long 16 hour car ride. We made stops in New Brunswick, PEI, and Nova Scotia. Canada is absolutely beautiful. I saw some of the most beautiful places: Singing Sands, Hopewell Rocks, Dickson Falls, Halifax Harbour, the open ocean, Peggy’s Cove, and so many other places along the way.

 

I met some really nice, welcoming people. The vibe I get from the East Coast, PEI in particular, is ease. Everyone I met was laid back, welcoming, helpful and friendly. I see why people love it out there because I fell in love with the East Coast.

I have come back with a heart and soul so full, it brings me to happy tears as I write this. This trip is exactly what I needed – to be free, to go with where I felt led to go, to not have an agenda and let go of my ego’s desire to always plans things, and to get out of my comfort zone. To laugh and laugh and laugh until I couldn’t breathe, every day.

There was one day where it was rainy and cold, and my vibe was low and really not feeling like myself for no particular reason at all. My mood tends to match the weather, and being curled up in bed is where I wanted to be. But I made the best of it – this day we grabbed $1 ponchos, went to Hopewell Rock and Dickson falls, and had so much fun. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Making the best of it, and not missing out on an opportunity when it presents itself. Mother Earth is truly an incredible place.

Another day, with trembling legs and my heart beating out of my chest, I jumped off a high wall – maybe 20 ft. high – into the ocean current below. I was terrified. I’m not a good swimmer. I don’t like heights. But I watched as all these children were so care free jumping over and over without hesitation, laughing and having so much fun. I felt I had to. “That’s living!” I remember saying to myself. We can learn so much from kids. I don’t want my fear of the unknown to get in the way of truly living. I wanted to use this as an opportunity to get out of my own way, and to prove to myself that I could do it. I scrapped my knees, and almost lost my bathing suit bottoms into the open ocean, haha, but woo! It felt damn good!

I could go on and on about what this trip has reminded me of or the adventures we went on, but I will leave you with this. As often as possible, forget your To-Do list. It will be there tomorrow. Go on adventures as often as you can. Go to places never seen before – in the outer world and in your inner world. Spread love wherever you go – I promise it will be reflected back to you. Do the things that scare you – that’s where life gets really interesting. Above all else, be easy and listen to what your soul tells you – the universe really does have your back.

With so much love,
S.

For The Soul · Thoughts

A Test I Didn’t Study For

Hi lovelies. Let’s talk.

I was speaking with a close friend of mine today and she made a remark that this month has been like a test she didn’t study for (thank you for the inspiration, G.). Several of my closest loved ones are going through some significant life changes. A common theme is the ending of their long-term relationships, and all the things that come along with that. Myself included. At the beginning of the year, I made the choice to leave my long-time boyfriend of 8 years.

This was one of my most challenging, heart wrenching, soul expanding decisions and transitions I have made in my almost 31 years around the sun. One to which I am still adjusting to. However, when we choose happiness over comfort/insert why reason why we stay, it is short-term pain, for a long-term gain(s) as cliche as it sounds.

Ending of relationships are incredibly difficult, especially when it’s just a matter of growing apart and no longer vibing on the same wave length. Deal breakers make it much easier to decide to move on. Yes, saying good-bye can feel tragic, but what is really tragic is when people settle. And I’m not just talking about in relationships. I’m talking about with any area of our lives. That isn’t a judgement, because I have done it. I empathize and it makes my heart sad for those that feel stuck. It’s a terrible feeling. But we have a choice. We always will. Our freewill can never be taken from us. We deserve more. We deserve to break free from the chains we lock ourselves into. We deserve the best of our hearts desires.

I’m also noticing another general theme of this year, which seems to have carried over from last year, is letting go of what no longer serves our highest good (this ties into the ending of significant relationships). I realize that this is probably an underlying, life-long theme for anyone on a spiritual/self-betterment journey because the nature of being self-aware. But. It’s definitely amped up! *wipes sweat from brow* I have been thrown what feels like a steady flow of opportunities to practice what I know, and to let go of all the shit that isn’t doing me any good any more. Many of those that I have talked to recently have said the same. Maybe you are as well?

I am thankful for these opportunities, because on the other side of the spectrum of emotions and clearing I have been doing, I know I am and have been making room for the really sweet, juicy, awesome stuff. I’ve had some really great things happen this year so far. But I’m also tired and it hasn’t been easy. I’m over trying to let on that everything is okay all of the time. I was guilty of this in my earlier days in my spiritual journey, in part because I was in a funk and wanted to feel good, so I made my initial commitment pure positive focus. I felt I needed that to get out of the darker place I was in and it helped. We can only do that for so long, until it becomes emotional bypassing a.k.a. not dealing with our stuff, which is not in our best interest. I also thought that if I admitted to my struggles (to either myself or others) that it made me a hyprocrite and that I wasn’t walking the talk of the (stereotypical) spiritual person we’re conditioned to believe that walks around farting rainbows, frolicking about, oozing nothing but positive vibes. Amen to letting that shit go! 🙂 I resisted the human part of me, the one that feels everything so deeply – positive and negative emotions – which ironically is one of the same as the spiritual part of me. There is no separation. What’s most important is what we do in the times that we’re not okay.

So lots and lots of self-care these days/months. I encourage you to keep yourself on the top of your priority list, and ask yourself often, ‘What would someone who loves themselves do?’ That may mean letting yourself have a good cry – you know the kind I’m talking about – the bring you to your knees kind of cry. Maybe a spa day, or sleeping in is exactly what you need. It could mean going to the gym or saying no to plans with friends and staying home for the night. It could mean having that conversation with a loved that’s been weighing heavy on your heart. It could also mean having one too many glasses of wine, and letting loose on the dance floor until 3 a.m. You know what is best for you (despite what we are conditioned to believe). Having clear boundaries, and not over-committing has really helped me keep my head above the water, and not just a bit but enough where I can see the horizon.

I’m more than ready for the global shift into this new wave of consciousness to sweep the planet! But in the mean time, while the 3D stuff continues to make it’s way out kicking and screaming, I need to remind myself often to be easy on myself, and on others too. To remember that everyone, myself included, is going through something. To know that when all the layers are pulled back, each of us comes from the same beautiful Energy Source – call it what you want – God, Universe, Source – it matters not.

19224860_1090089387793563_1834839989297952812_n
p.s. they are only mistakes if we refuse to find the lesson in the pain. 😉 It’s there. Some times we have to dig deep.

I dedicate tonight’s post to all of you going through a hard time right now. I want you to know that you are loved and that it’s okay if you don’t feel okay. Better days are ahead. I know this because you’ve survived the worst of the ones you didn’t think you would. You are not alone. Keep being your bad ass self, even if you don’t feel like your truest self. Find your tribe, love them hard, but love yourself even more (yes, this is possible and I recommend this book, Shadows Before Dawn by Teal Swan, for practical tools to help get you there). I recommend it as it is the only book I have come across and read so far that actually gives practical tools on how to get there. We know we need to love ourselves, but we need to know the HOW.

Deep bow in appreciation for your humanity. It’s not easy coming here doing this human thing; it takes courage. So keep that chin up, Souldier, I See You and you got this!

Big love to you.
S.

 

Health/Well Being · Thoughts

An Abrupt Reminder From The Universe

Here’s a little observation I’ve made, or should I say have been reminded of this week – if you ignore the taps on the shoulder by the Universe when it is trying to tell you something, those reminders will eventually become a ton of bricks falling onto you and we’ll be forced to pay attention to the message.

3 days ago, I was enjoying a beautiful, gentle yoga session under the pear tree at my dad’s in the country. It really doesn’t get much better than an outdoor yoga session – Am I right? We went about our day and played around on the inner tubes in the river, after having a photo shoot on the hay bails. It was so much fun. But here comes the ton of bricks. I’m not sure exactly what has triggered this, but I have been in an immense amount of low back pain since. I spent the rest of that day having a hard time walking and doing every day tasks, hunched over like I have some pregnancy swag going on.

I thought I was on the mend when I went to bed last night; I was feeling much better than when this first started. But I woke this morning at 4 a.m. because I tried to roll over and my back was in so much pain. I have never experience pain like this. It took every ounce of my energy to get out of bed to get some pain relieving cream. I broke down in tears and felt like I was partially paralysed. I sat for 5 1/2 hours to get a tattoo done and that was less painful than this. Back pain is no joke.

086785f88ef04415d9d654c415ab9a2e61a62a8ba0cc90124bae0736536004bb
Happened and it’s a lie. FML. Haha!

This has been a mentally tough for me as well and I am active 4 days out of the week and I really miss working out. But I understand that my body is asking for a rest. I understand that I have missed the signs somehow that the universe was trying to tell me to rest. So I am focusing on this – that it is time to rest. There’s still the old part of me that I am working on clearing, that thinks that my efforts of getting in shape will be reversed now that I am essentially tied to a chair or laying on my back until I heal. But the bigger part of me know that I will be in worse shape, if I do not listen to my body.

I am also in deep appreciation for that my body can do and does do on a daily basis.I feel so fortunate to have great health. Having an injured back affects so many things since our core line and spine is at the centre of our being where all of our motions stem from. For example, try wiping your butt without twisting your back and only moving your arm. Yep, I went there. We get creative when we have to. 🙂 I’m doing my best to find some humour in this so it does not dampen my spirits too much, as I would like to enjoy the last few days of vacation before going back to work in a few days.

Moral of my story (rant) and why I wanted to share this experience with all of you, as this has been a very obvious reminder about the importance of listening to the signs and symptoms our life presents to us, so we can avoid as much pain and suffering as possible. We’re never going to get rid of the adversities in our lives. This is where we grow and evolve into better versions of ourselves. But we can certainly make it a lot easier on ourselves along our journeys. When we ignore the subtleties, we will be presented with more and more obvious (and often more painful) experiences until we pay attention. This isn’t some form of punishment. This is the Law of Attraction at work and the universe is just responding to your vibration. I still have no idea what signs I missed, and that’s okay too. Going forward, I will be more diligent to hone my acute awareness skills so I don’t find myself here again.

I am going to amp up my self-care routine and get myself back in action, mentally and physically, when my body tells me it’s okay to.

Be easy,
S.

Health/Well Being · Thoughts

What Do I Do? More In-Depth Look At My Health and Wellness Journey

Last night, I posted on my personal Facebook page my excitement and proud moment of how I’ve lost a total of 11 pounds and a handful of inches in the last 2 months. A dear friend asked me for some motivation and healthy eating tips, and what I do for physical exercise. I started to write a novel in the comments, but I’ve decided to write about it on here instead in case I can help any other folks as well. Thank you for the inspiration, Jenna!

I will caution though that this isn’t a one-size-fits-all journey and that I am by no means an expert. I’m simply a woman who got tired of my outside self not matching my inside self. I am a woman who got tired of living most of my life never fully loving my body. I am a woman who was tired of feeling uncomfortable in my own skin and often feeling the need to hide behind my clothes. I got tired, had a pity party for myself, and then got angry and said “enough is enough!” after this experience. As painful as that experience was, I am so thankful for it. It’s given me motivation that I hadn’t felt for years.

Everyone of us is so uniquely different and what works for me isn’t necessarily going to work for anyone else. It’s about trial and error and discovering what works and the willingness to change things as needed. Our bodies will adapt and will require more or less of certain things and we need to be flexible.

My focus has been on creating a healthy lifestyle that consists of maintainable habits that I can carry with me the rest of my life. All other times, I focused on “needing to lose weight,” which stemmed from a “I’m not good enough” vibe. I was often left feeling deprived and that I was punishing myself for carrying extra weight. In my experience, the body doesn’t respond optimally if we we’re coming from that place. I’ve focused a lot on loving myself, and not just my external self, and I’ve noticed that I crave exercise and movement, and healthy foods. Our bodies know what it needs in terms of movement and food and I’ve learned to trust it. I learned that I deserve to feel and look my very best.

More specifically, I do 90 minute yoga classes 2 times a week, and lift weights another 2 times a week. Sometimes this works out to being 4 workouts in a row, other weeks, I have a rest day after 2 days of exercise. The latter usually makes me feel better. Prior to the last 2 months, I was doing strictly yoga 3 – 5 times a week for over a year and not getting the physical results I wanted so I added weight training (Body Pump Classes at Goodlife Fitness). Yoga will always be part of my life – because it’s so much more than exercise – it connects the mind, body and spirit. It’s literally part of who I am.

Most important part in terms of exercise is that I LOVE it! I already said how much I love yoga but I love lifting weights. I feel badass, powerful, strong, and I love seeing how each week I can lift more and more. I love seeing the definition it’s starting to give certain areas of my body. Hear me roar!! 🙂

Yes, I’m talking to you!!
In terms of healthy eating, I’m a strict vegetarian and I follow an intermittent fasting cycle every day. My eating window is 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. The research I’ve done says that is really effective for weight loss and I believe that we really don’t need to be eating all day long. Digestion requires a serious amount of energy and I like the idea of giving my body a break, so I thought I’d give it a try and it’s been successful. I’m quite strict on this time frame. If I’m hungry before noon, I’ll eat and just keep my window to the 8 hours. A few times where I have eaten past my window and I didn’t get ample amount of time to digest before hitting the sack, I slept awful and woke up feeling like I had a hangover.
intermittent-fastingI use the Fitnesspal app on my phone to log my food, exercise, and progress, which has been very helpful! I’ve heard good things about other apps, so I’m not promoting this specific one, it’s just the only one I’ve used. It’s really helpful to keep me accountable. I’m not on any kind of diet – I just eat healthy foods, while having a treat periodically and not feeling guilty about it. Let’s be honest, some stuff that isn’t so good for us tastes really good and I’m not going to deprive myself of that experience. I do notice though that I crave those foods less and less, and food with a lot of salt and sugar have become really noticeable to me and I don’t enjoy them like I used to. I’ve read our taste buds become rewired when we change our eating habits and I’ve noticed that in myself as well.

I don’t have a specific meal plan – I eat what I like and when I’m hungry (within my window) and stick to my caloric intake according to my Fitnesspal app. I stick to water, and every now and again I’ll have fruit juice – which is only maybe a few times a year.

I don’t strive for perfection in any of this and neither should you. I’m repeating myself when I say this, but the most important piece of “advice” I can give to someone who doesn’t know where to start is find an activity you love and do it often, eat foods that you like and know are healthy, and be good to yourself. This shouldn’t be complicated. Don’t hold yourself to expectations that you know are unrealistic in the long-run. ENJOY the process and your body will respond accordingly. There’s a huge energetic/mental aspect to all of this. If you hate what you’re doing and eating, stop it right now. Your body will respond much more positively and quickly if you enjoy the process. I speak from personal experience and from my understanding of how energy and thoughts works.

As cliche as this sounds, life is about enjoying the journey so what is the point if you’re hating every minute of it? Yes, it’s a challenge to get started, but it feels so good once you do. I still get my ass kicked in the gym and at the yoga studio [and if I eat cheesecake like I did yesterday for my birthday (I felt sick afterwards)], but I still do it because I know I’m worth every bit of time I spend taking care of me. I also have much more to give my loved ones when I take care of me. Life happens outside of our comfort zones. After all, you’re only given one permanent home to live in so why not make it as strong, vibrant, healthy, beautiful and glowing as possible?  You deserve nothing less than the best. I know this because you’re alive. It is your divinely given right.

With love,
S.

I’d love to hear from you; please feel free to post in the comments below. xo

 

For The Soul · Health/Well Being · Thoughts

On Days Like Today

Sleeping in on my weekends off seems to be a thing of the past. My body has finally adjusted to the early mornings I get up for work. I’m laying here, on the couch, in the living room with the window wide open. The scent of the cedar mulch surrounding the patio infuses my nostrils, as the cool breeze comes in like a blanket over top of me. It’s rather delicious. The sound of the leaves moving about in the breeze is music to my ears.

Nature is divine.

It’s a gloomy Sunday, overcast with a light drizzle, and a pending thunder storm may be under way. The complete opposite of the beautiful, warm, sunny day yesterday. I absolutely love this time of year. Living in Canada, the changing of the seasons helps me appreciate my favorite season more. We appreciate things more when we don’t always have them or get to enjoy them.

a1dc-1275-4328-9465-d8b0a049173a

On days like today, where the sun is hiding behind the clouds, and everything is wet and grey, my mood tends to match. There were some things I wanted to take care of but in this moment, right here is where I want to be. Forget the to-do list for now. Maybe I’ll get around to it later on today or maybe I won’t. We need days of forgetting the to-do lists and doing the whatever-I-want lists.

All is and will be well either way.

**********************************************************************

For those of you who are interested in how I’m progressing with my new health and wellness plan. It’s going great! I have lost 5 pounds as of about a week ago when I weighed myself. Interestingly enough, I look and feel different, but my measurements don’t show a change. I think what has happened is I’m gaining definition that I didn’t have before, and losing fat where I haven’t measured. For example, my arms aren’t any smaller by measurements, but I’ve gained muscle definition so they appear smaller. And my waist isn’t any smaller (which is where I measured in week 1) but I’ve definitely lost inches on the “dreaded pouch” below my belly button.

But regardless of what exactly has happened in the last month, I don’t care; I’m not getting caught up in all of those numbers. I am getting caught up on how I feel, physically and emotionally. I’ve gained back a confidence that I didn’t know I lost so much of. Lifting weights makes me feel bad-ass and I like seeing how I can lift more from week to week. Feeling strong is empowering! I love feeling in control of my health. I love not feeling deprived. I still have treats from time to time, I just don’t go overboard. I’m learning about what works for me and what doesn’t. I’m loving every minute of it!

This is what motivates me below in the picture. The only constant there will ever be in my life is me, so I believe I owe it to myself to take care of myself, on all levels. I know better so I do better; I really feel there is no other choice.

healthy-quote-1
Big love all,
S.

214870-Funny-Lazy-Sunday-Quote
Maybe not the bitch part, but hey! 😉 We can never have enough humour in our lives!
Health/Well Being · Thoughts

Challenge Accepted: Kicking Things Into High Gear

Spring time always gets me in the mood to cleanse – whether it is organizing around the house and donating/throwing out what is no longer being used, or cleansing my mind, body and spirit by re-evaluating what is working and what needs to go. I hibernate in the winter, as I am fuelled by the summer time warmth and sunshine, so when Spring rolls around I get so excited by Mother Nature coming to life again!


This Spring I have decided to give my fitness and wellness plan a much needed update and improvement. I’ve known for the last while I needed to change things up if I wanted to get to my goal sooner. I’ve been getting impatient. I’ve been craving weight-lifting. This was reinforced with an appointment I had at my doctor’s. The assistant asked me to step on the scale. So feeling good about my progress, I stepped on the scale for the first time in years. This is a whole other topic, but I don’t like scales for this reason:


I have always gauged my progress by the way my clothes feel and measurements. HOWEVER, and this is a big however, I was in shock and disbelief with the number on that scale. My out loud response was, “Oh my god, do shoes and clothes weight very much?!” The reality is I weight more now than ever, despite all of these great things: the fact that I have fully committed myself to consistently adopting a healthy lifestyle, never felt this good in my body, have lost weight and gained muscle, flexibility and strength, since I started last January. WTF! ran through my mind more times than I could count because I don’t think I look like that number on the scale. And I was admittedly on the brink of tears for a few hours after my appointment, but I was at work and needed to keep it together. I wanted to ball my eyes out. It felt like all my best efforts during these last 17 months were a waste. That I was a failure, and a hypocrite. And so far away from where I wanted to be. This really hung a job on me…

Did I stay in that dark place for long? Oh hell no! I got home that evening and had a really honest conversation with myself. I looked at the facts. Everything from my blood pressure, to my ECG and blood work results, to what I eat, how often I exercise, how I feel etc. etc told me I am very healthy. The reality is a very healthy 5’5″, (almost) 30 year old woman does not weigh 199 pounds, no matter what way you cut it. There’s a part of me screaming inside because I just shared that number with you…the whole of the internet.Oh.my.god.  $#%&!  *deep breath* The number doesn’t matter as much to me as being honest and fearless about where I am at. No more shame.

I was shown quite literally that I needed an overhaul. I needed change. I needed to lose weight. But I wasn’t going to nor will I let that number on the scale beat me down.Or define me. Or take away from all the other amazing accomplishments I’ve made this year. I am using it as inspiration. And it has put a fire under my ass like you wouldn’t believe! I refuse to continue to live my life where I feel like my insides never quite match my outside. Where I’m always this close to being the version of myself I want to be. F*ck that!

Here we are just over a week into this new chapter in this part of my life. So far, so good! Why? Because I refuse to let it be anything else. If you want me to bore you 🙂 with the details on what I’ve changed so far, let me know in the comments below and I’ll do another post on it. I’m proud of myself for using this situation as motivation to be the best version of myself. To love myself even more than I did the day before. This is a big deal for me. I have always struggled with body image issues and circumstances like this has often just made me feel awful about myself, killing my self esteem, bringing me down the road of self-judgement and criticism. Not this time! I’ve reminded myself I can still love my body even if I’m still working on it. I refuse to only love my body fully when I “get there.” I can’t fully love myself if I don’t love ALL parts of me. And I am going to remember that even though I’m not exactly where I want to be (yet), I still look pretty damn good!

With Love,
S.

Health/Well Being · Thoughts

Juice Cleanse Challenge Accepted

Back in December, I watched the documentary, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” I was immediately fascinated with this new (to me) concept of juicing and before the documentary was over, I decided I was going to do my own juice cleanse in January. Admittedly, I wanted to enjoy all the goodies that x-mas had to offer since I decided to do an only juice cleanse, no solid foods. I also wanted to be prepared – I needed to buy a juicer, gather recipes, etc. so I’d be set up for success!

Yesterday was Day 1 of 10. Pictured below was my breakfast. What you see is exactly what I used for this recipe.

And after getting the swing of things with the juicer, albeit slightly terrifying with the grinding, an apple getting stuck and carrots swirling around in the feeder, I was impressed how good this juice tasted and how it easy it was.

I went about my day – drank water, made my dinner juice (tomato, celery, and carrot combo), had a herbal tea…but by 10 p.m. I was so hungry, like hangry hungry! This is where things went downhill. It is expected to be hungry the first few days but then after a few days (many say by Day 3), it subsides. I wanted to eat something solid so bad but I knew I’d feel like a huge failure if I did. It was only Day 1 and I couldn’t believe I wanted to cave in so soon. But no big deal right?

Well, here’s the thing…my ego doesn’t like not being successful/good at something the first time I do it. I have been this way for as long as I can remember. I’ve always set high expectations (some times too high) for myself and beat myself up when I don’t reach them, forgetting that I am human. It’s not coming from a place to be better than anyone else, I just think I am suppose to be amazing at everything that I do, the first time I do it. “Failure” isn’t something that sits well with me. I know what you’re thinking – it’s ridiculous, it’s a part of life – and it sounds ridiculous to even type it. The bigger part of me knows all of this but my human-ness struggles with this. Over the years, I have become easier on myself, thanks to admitting this to myself, but last night was not one of those nights. I had to make a choice because limbo is not a fun place to be in. I wanted to move forward on the rest of my evening. I caved – I ate a meal- and it was damn good!

Then I had to be honest with myself. I didn’t set myself up for success, despite thinking that I had and I was in for a bigger mental challenge than I anticipated. I only had 2 large glasses of juice, 3 large glasses of water and 1 herbal tea. From my research, it is recommended to do a minimum of 4 x 16-20 ounce juices. I wasn’t being mindful of the time passing and making sure that I got all my juices in. I essentially just substituted the 2 meals I normally have for a glass of juice. Not good. I know having the 2 additional glasses of juice wouldn’t have cured my hunger pains but I know it would have certainly helped me feel more full. Not to mention, I’d be getting the proper amount of fiber, minerals and vitamins.

I prepared myself well by getting recipes, stocking my fridge so full of produce I can hardly shut the door, signed up for a free 5 Day Reboot  (juice cleanse) with the same guy who did the documentary I talked about but I didn’t plan out my day well enough. I wasn’t being mindful. This isn’t something you just fly by the seat of your pants, just like all other things in life. I believe in being a conscious creator, not a willy-nilly navigator. But clearly I’m not always good at being this all of the time.

I also didn’t prepare myself mentally. The biggest lesson I learned  reminded myself of was the importance of being easy on myself. So what things didn’t go exactly as planned – it’s okay, it’s more than okay actually, that it didn’t. I don’t expect anyone else to be perfect – to always say and do things “right” – so why do I expect that of myself? Why is it not okay to make a mistake? Why is it not okay to do better tomorrow? Who decided that I am the perfect expert at everything that I set out to do, especially when I’ve never even done it before? What would someone who loves themselves do…?

So today is a new day! I’ve brushed myself off, put my ego back in check, tucked away this lesson I was reminded of, and have set forth for success! Here’s my breakfast this morning and there was enough left over as you can see for my lunch. Nailed it!


I want to hear from my fellow juicers! Tell me about your experiences – the good, bad and in between. Those of you who haven’t juiced, have you recently been reminded of the lesson I shared today? Tell me in the comments below.

“You were born to be real, not to be perfect.”

Big love,
S.

p.s. check out my blogging buddy. Isn’t he the cutest?! 🙂

12508755_10153408369512794_635536152946234835_n[1]

For The Soul · Thoughts

Happy Anniversary To Me! What?!

Today marks my 3 year anniversary with WordPress. And although this year I have been rather neglectful on posting regularly, I always come back to this place. There’s something to be said about writing – whether it’s on my keyboard or with a pen in hand – I really enjoy it.

As this year comes to an end, I naturally reflect on the last 12 months. I won’t bore you with all the nitty, gritty details. But there are some things I would like to share. First of all…time.needs.to.slow.down! I celebrated my 29th birthday this year and it seems like every year prior to this one goes by increasingly fast. This serves as a constant reminder to me to be in the now, get my head out of the clouds dreaming about the future and my heart focused on the past.

slide3

This year has certainly been a crazy, interesting one! One filled with high highs and low lows. I had the honor of walking my best friend down the aisle – what a beautiful day that was! I’ve successfully and consistently committed to my well-being on all levels – mind, body and spirit – and established a consistent yoga practice, changed my eating habits, and challenged myself so I can be better than I was the day before. I’ve stepped way out of my comfort zone and it was so much fun  – lip sync battle anyone?! I’ve also had some amazing paranormal experiences.

I’ve also had to re-define my boundaries, learn to let go of significant relationships, habits, thoughts etc. that no longer serve me (and haven’t been for a long time), re-learn to love myself completely again and the importance of self-care. I’ve learned to let go of how things should be and made room to accept things, people and circumstances exactly as they are. I’ve re-membered it’s okay to feel whatever I am feeling and the importance of not abandoning myself emotionally when I feel unpleasant emotions. I’ve learned how precious life is and how it can literally change in an instant.

Someone-I-loved-once-gave-me-a-box-full-of-darkness

That ‘someone’ was some times myself, other times it was someone else. It’s been a year of huge personal growth and I can honestly say that despite the tears, heartbreak, and confusion, there’s been a whole lot of love, happiness, laughter, connecting, courage, growth and proud moments. And damn, it feels really good! I have a choice, just like all of you, to find the silver lining among life’s lessons or I can let it break me and dampen my light. But I refuse to be a victim to my circumstances. I have created my life, the good, the bad and the in between and with this knowing, I owe it to myself to create the best life with what I have within me. It’s not always easy but we were never promised easy, we were promised free will. We can’t get to the goodness without tasting what’s on the other side.

With all of this being said, I wanted to share this with you because it’s important, especially for those of us on a spiritual path, to make room for and express the human You. I’ve been guilty of shooting rainbows and sunshine up my ass -metaphorically speaking, often ignoring the very things that will help me on my spiritual path, because it wasn’t “spiritual.” I won’t make myself fit into a box created by anyone, including myself. For me, it’s all about balance, not perfection. It’s about eating kale salad after yoga then sitting down and eating an entire tub of ice cream while I watch Netflix. It’s about cursing and getting pissed off but then reflecting on what that moment has taught me. It’s about drinking 8 glasses of water a day but then having the same amount of wine in one evening. It’s about crying my eyes out then laughing until I cry about a completely “inappropriate” joke. It’s about maintaining privacy and then completely oversharing about almost everything. My hope is for you to find that imperfectly, perfect balance. The one outside the box.

3265108
“We got to give a little love, have a little hope…”

Big love,
S.

Thoughts

My 2014

2014 will be coming to an end soon and WordPress had sent me a pretty snazzy report of this year, as some of you may have already received yours. It’s interesting to see the breakdown of the numbers and have it all summed up. 2500 views, most of them from the U.S. *cough, cough* Where’s my Canadian peeps at? 🙂

I tend to get a bit nostalgic at this time of year; as the inevitable end of one year rolls around the corner, I can’t help but look back on the last 12 months – new job, new apartment to name a few of the ‘biggies.’ One of the things that stands out the most to me is how fast time has been speeding up. It’s like as each year that passes and with that, time goes by quicker.

This has been quite the roller coaster of a year for me, personally and I believe collectively, I sense from speaking with others. Despite some things not going as smoothly as planned (I need to let go of this notion of life actually caring about our plans) :), there have been some amazing moments shared with some of the kindest souls I have come to know in this life time. And those are the memories, I choose to hang onto.

And let’s be honest, life would be rather mundane if it wasn’t sprinkled with a little bullshit every now and again…right? 🙂

Whether we’ve never met and you only know me through this blog or if we’ve been part of each others lives since forever…I appreciate you. Your piece brings together the larger part of my puzzle in this beautiful, crazy life.

Keep shining your light in whatever way feels right for you. I truly hope 2015, like all other years, is filled with the love and joy that you encapsulated when you first were born onto this planet.

images
That’s my plan – what about you?!

With Love,
Me!

Thoughts

Happy Anniversary To Me!

Happy-Anniversary-10
Today marks my 2 year anniversary with WordPress! I remember the evening I decided to put my thoughts out into the world for everyone to read. It took me some time to decide if I was going to “put myself out there” but I am so glad I did. And while as of late I haven’t been writing as much, I am so thankful to you for coming by and taking the time to check out my little piece of the puzzle. Whether you are new to my blog or you’ve been following me since the beginning, I appreciate you! Go here to check out my first post – short and sweet!

And ironically, on the anniversary of my blog, I want to share this short video with you. As some of you know I don’t own a cell phone (I know, “strange for someone my age”). I did periodically over the years; It’s been in the last year and a half I stopped using it. Perhaps I will in the future; I just don’t feel I need one right now. And some of you may remember me discussing the importance of taking a media holiday – giving yourself a break from technology and doing things that feed your soul as often as possible. It’s amazing the things you’ll accomplish or catch up on.

I definitely think, like all things, technology has its place; however, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s really important if we aren’t conscious of the present moment… of who’s in front of us. Some of us are better at this than others. There’s no better gift to give someone or yourself than your time and undivided attention. Maybe during this holiday season, give the people you love something that can’t be wrapped – your time. Memories do last a lifetime…

I love you all.
-S.

Thoughts

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

The following is the majority of the speech I was asked to write at graduation. I wasn’t the one in school; however, I do work at a college as part of the administration staff and many of our students graduated last week. This was my first time speaking in front of so many people. There were about 200 people in the crowd that evening – students, family, friends, co-workers, the CEO – and it’s been about 6 years since I’ve done any type of presentation or speech. So you can imagine how nervous I was…

But what’s on the other side of discomfort? Confidence. Pride. Growth. I am happy I stepped out of my comfort zone and I think it’s important to “do one thing every day that scares you.” Shake life up a bit. 🙂 I have to admit that I am proud of myself. After the first few paragraphs, my nerves subsided and all went better than anticipated. But isn’t that the way it usually goes? The anticipation is always worse because it gives our ego minds time to think of all kinds of crazy things that…very seldom actually play out.

With all of that being said, I wanted to share my speech with you. If you were given the opportunity to speech with a large group of individuals who are about to venture into a whole new phase in their life – what would you want to tell them? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

“As a graduate of 4 years of college, I understand how much work and dedication it has taken each of you to be here today. The school-work-kids-life balance isn’t easy. I commend you. Today marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another one. Many of those feelings you experienced when you first started attending Trillium, I am sure have resurfaced as you start a brand new journey. I distinctly remember feelings of excitement with a mixture of anxiety. I hope today, you are more excited than nervous.

The following is a quote from Steve Jobs. It’s ironic I chose his words since I used an iPad for the first time the other week and am regularly teased by my hilarious co-workers about not owning a cell phone. But he was successful and shared some wise words back in 2005 I thought may hit home for you. He said, “Your time here is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of everyone else’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

He’s right, as cliché as it sounds – we don’t know what tomorrow may bring so you may as well devote your time to what you want to do, living the life you want to lead. Because when all is said and done, success is seldom measured by what you do, it’s measured by your happiness. Your time is one of the most valuable things you have to offer so it’s important to stop and ask yourself from time to time, “Am I really following my own dreams or have I been subconsciously following the hopes and dreams of what someone else – friends, family, or society – thinks I should be doing?” If you answered yes to the first part of that question, then you’re on the right path.

Don’t let the noise and opinions of others drown out the part of you that knows what is best. Because despite what many of us are told by well-intentioned, loving people, you do know what is best for you. So as wild, unconventional or unattainable others may think the path you are taking is – go for it anyways! In my experience, it’s easier to pick yourself up and dust yourself off than it is to live with regret.

And how do you know what is best for you? By having the courage to follow your heart and intuition. In other words, if it feels right, it is right. Have the courage to trust yourself – the knots and butterflies in your stomach, being drawn to certain people, jobs, places or things, your passions and hesitations – are all trying to tell you something. The tricky part can be figuring out what exactly that message is. Some times, it isn’t easy – things can be as clear as mud and that’s okay too. Some times you just have to throw caution to the wind, take a risk and trust that regardless of the outcome, you made that decision at the time because you felt it was best.

Congratulations to each of you! You did it! And that is certainly something to be proud of. I wish you much success and happiness in your future.”

comfort-zone