Living Your Best Life – Part 3

If you are waiting for your ideal life to materialize, it’s time that you realize your life is waiting for you!

Here’s where change happens! This week we are going to take the first step to living life on your terms.

What are you hoping to take from the “Living Your Best Life” series? My best life starts with you…I love blogging, I love putting together the videos. My passion is helping you discover yours. My reward is sharing in your journey so please keep in touch. I would love to hear from you 🙂

Embrace your awesomeness!!

Living Your Best Life – Part 2

We’ve finally fully completed and uploaded Part 2 of Living Your Best Life! I hope you are as excited about this little adventure as we are 🙂

“Living Your Best Life” doesn’t have to feel like some grand gesture or mission impossible. It’s simply about living every day on purpose – making each day significant. Sometimes even putting it that way can sound a little daunting. Fortunately, it doesn’t need to be.

Through a series of videos, I would like to take this journey with you – from surviving each day to fully enjoying each day, going from content to being genuinely happy.

“Life’s Journey is surely not to arrive safely at the grave in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways totally worn out shouting WooHoo! What a ride!”

Here’s to making every day count! Please keep in touch, if something in these videos has struck a cord with you or you notice changes in your life as you take this journey with us, we want to hear about it!

Embrace Your Awesome Self 🙂

Take Owness For Your Ripples!

challengeWhat would happen if the only resolution you made for 2013 was to love yourself more? What if 2013 was the year you focused only on fully owning and embracing your inner awesome?

When you look at the world, what you see is a reflection of your thoughts within. If your thoughts within were kinder, gentler, more loving, and accepting, you would see a kinder, gentler, more loving, and accepting world reflected back to you.

I have spent the last few years testing this theory, time and time again. I’m not finished learning, I am a far cry from becoming a master at the craft, but here’s what I’ve learned so far; when I feel balanced within, everything in my world feels balanced. When I feel positive and hopeful, I emanate positivity and hopefulness to those around me. When I am kind and loving, others are too. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying everyone magically starts dancing around with daisies. I’m saying those who are kind and loving hold your attention, and those who are not, don’t.

When you love yourself more, you love others more. When you fully own and embrace your inner awesome, you will find it easy to accept others exactly as they are. When you feel love within, you emanate that love outward and onto everyone around you.

People are curious creatures. Our world sees unimaginable pain, suffering, and darkness. Positive thinking won’t wash it all away but let me ask you this…If everyone resolved to love themselves more and truly embraced their own inner awesome, there would be no room for anything less than love, kindness, and acceptance. There’s a glimpse into a true visionary’s mind! I can hear every realist out there now….NOT GONNA HAPPEN!! Well, I’m an idealist and I say “maybe not, but each person who gives it an honest shot, focusing only on igniting their own internal flame, it’ll change THEIR world, and the ripple effect caused by that one person can touch countless other lives and that’s good enough for me! The question is…is it good enough for you?

Think about it this way…Positive or negative, your thoughts, actions, and attitude create a constant ripple effect. What kind of ripple effect are you causing?

This year I challenge you to take owness for your ripples – ignite your internal flame and embrace your inner awesome – may the ripple effect you cause boomerang right back to you one day 🙂 Please take a few moments to feed your soul with this video 🙂

Your 2013!

2013While Christmas holds the magic, New Years hold the promise. The promise of change, renewal, and reflection.

Out with the old, in with the new!

Resolutions are made with the best of intentions and they are at the top of everyone’s New Years list….well, it seems like everyone’s list but mine…I’m not a big fan of reserving resolutions for January 1st. As a free spirit with a fear of commitment, I’m more of a resolution-anytime-I-feel-the-need kind of gal. I tend to make a lot of resolutions a lot of the time.

Want to hear my secret to a successful resolution?

Before narrowing in on your resolution of choice, take a moment and fully absorb all that you have accomplished this year. I mean, REALLY take it all in.

Did I just stump you there?

It’s much easier to think about the many areas in which we can improve than it is to give ourselves credit where credit is due. Am I right? Doesn’t mean it’s mission impossible, it just means it can take a little time. No worries, you have my word, it’s time well spent.

Think about where you were last year, where you are now, what you have accomplished, and then consider where you’d like to see yourself next year. Consider every area of your life; relationships, financial, spiritual, work, health.

What’s important to you? Your answer holds the key to the whisper in your heart.

purpose

Here is my promise to you – When you follow your heart, you will never go wrong.

If you’re a fan of resolutions, make a resolution that resonates with your hearts desire.

Find a goal that excites you so much that it will challenge your every capacity to be and do your best

Don’t forget! Allow yourself to fall short of your goals every now and then. As human beings, it’s our nature to mess up. Do the best you can, and when you fall, learn, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep moving forward.

Mistakes are the stepping stones to success, they offer the precious gift of life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Be thankful for your mistakes and allow yourself to succeed sloppily.

Always remember, if you need a pick me up, my gift is to help you see yours. I’m always cheering you on!

This year is your year! In the words of my dear friend Temba Spirit, it’s time to reclaim your power!

Thank you for being a part of my 2012.

I Fully Embrace Your Awesomeness!

01 funny2

Unleashing The Hero Within – A Tribute to my Momma

No, it’s not Cancer. My Momma is a wine-loving, bling-wearing, bald-headed freak Goddess. My Mom has Alopecia.

Alopecia is a medical condition that means “loss of hair from the head and/or body”.

In the fall of 1995, my Mom began showing signs of Alopecia. Not wanting to worry my grandmother, she kept this a secret from everyone around her.

Four years ago, she started noticing more clumps of hair on her pillow, in the shower, as well as in her hair brush. I remember when she first told me…I could tell by the look on her face that she was concerned. I didn’t want to add to her stress by sharing with her the instantaneous stress I felt when she showed me her hair. I knew all too well what it could be. Nope, it wasn’t Cancer. It was Alopecia.

My Grandmother had Alopecia. Since she was just a toddler, my Grandma had no hair. Not on her head, not on her body. When she was young, her parents couldn’t afford to buy her a wig, so she grew up bald. As you can imagine, she was teased more than a time or two, but her sister (my great Auntie) took care of some of the relentless taunters….yes, and I do mean with her bare hands. I never noticed anything different about my Grandma except that she was the only Granny in town who’s hair never grayed. She always wore a wig and she always looked fabulous (plus she had the most sexy smooth legs anyone could ever wish for).

I was well aware of the possibility that my Mom could loose all her hair. And being a bit of a fashionista when it came to her jewelry, hair, and make-up, I knew this would be hard for her. Still, I knew stress was likely a trigger for even more hair loss so I refused to entertain her worries and add to her stress.

As the months progressed, so did her hair loss. Her hairdresser had mastered a multitude of styles to cover the many smooth patches making their way all over her scalp. The more she denied Alopecia, the further it spread. Although she always held strong in front of her family, when I looked in her eyes I could see that she struggled with the reality of it when she was alone. At this point, you might be thinking “it’s only hair”, I’m here to tell you that hair is a very real part of a persons identity – especially women – and one we often take for granted. It was easy to see, and yet so hard to watch…there were days when I could see her grief even when she was smiling.

Eventually we got to talking about wigs; my Mom, my sister, my sister-in-law, and I. Although we girls were all excited to go wig shopping, my Mom was anything BUT excited. She hated the idea of a wig. She said they were hot, itchy, and she’d rather go bald than wear something so unbearably uncomfortable just for the sake of meeting society’s perception of normal. The more we – as a family – talked and joked about my Mom’s inevitable baldness, the more comfortable she became…with us anyways. She still wasn’t comfortable talking to others about it.

Life took a drastic turn when she entered the world of Facebook. She was able to connect with others also affected by Alopecia. She began to feel more comfortable, more confident. Touched by so many stories, she dedicated herself to raising awareness. She never said, but I believe, that she found her passion through Alopecia. She didn’t want for any man or woman to suffer through the same loneliness she had in the silence of Alopecia. She didn’t want any child to grow up feeling they were different, or to suffer being teased by others who didn’t understand the condition. Kids – as well as adults – could be very cruel at times…and she wanted more than anything for everyone to feel accepted and understood.

Mom & my Great Auntie

In the months that followed, we watched my Mom free herself from her own cocoon. She organized a fundraiser and courageously shaved her head in front of all of her family and friends. She encouraged all of us – her children, her grandchildren, and her friends, to take turns shaving off what little was left of her hair. As her hair fell to the floor, we watched my Mom transform into a butterfly. She stood tall and proud, her eyes sparkled.

She had Alopecia. Alopecia did NOT have her.

On July 14th, 2012, My Mom headed to Sudbury to meet with a little girl named Maya. Maya Papaya, as her parents call her. Maya’s parents were taking part in The Dragon Boat Races. They had entered a boat to raise awareness of their daughters condition…Maya has Alopecia. My Mom was so excited to meet this little 5 year old beauty and her parents. A true miracle occurred when Maya saw my Mom proudly sporting her bald beauty. Maya’s eyes gleamed. Without missing a beat, Maya brought her hand to her head and pulled off the bandana covering her head, throwing it to the ground. She ran to my Mom with her arms opened wide. My Mom was greeted with a great big hug. In that moment, my Mom’s inner hero emerged. And Maya Papaya had helped her to unleash it.

Today my Mom is a bald beauty. She inspires others with Alopecia to find and embrace their beauty by sharing hers.

Today and every day, I fully embrace her awesomeness!

It’s time to change society’s perception of  “normal”…We are all different – that is what is “normal”. By sharing this blog today, you will help spread the word about Alopecia so that Maya, my Momma and anyone else affected by this condition can proudly sport their natural beauty and hold their heads up high.

What would you say to my Momma? What about little Maya? Would you sing their praise and embrace their courage? Would you have the courage to proudly sport your bald beauty? We want to hear from you! Take a moment and share your message for them in the comment section below.

Not-So-Solo Trip To Toronto

My husband (sporting the Movember look) and I on Young Street in Toronto

It would seem that all the excitement from my recent solo adventure in the big city had caused my husband enough anxiety to insist on joining me when I was booked for another one day orientation back in Toronto 🙂

Now, I’ll be honest with you…as much as I was looking forward to this mini trip, I had my reservations. My husband tends to be a little impatient in rush hour traffic when we go to Ottawa. He gets a little agitated when if he gets lost in the city. He can be a bit of a firecracker in highly populated areas. Did I mention that my orientation was booked in Toronto at the same time as the 100th Grey Cup game? And we were staying at The Madison Manor which was located just a couple blocks away from the stadium? As apprehensive as I was, I was excited too. We rarely get time to ourselves, just the two of us, it felt like I was dating my husband!

The drive down went surprisingly well…okay, I fell asleep 3 times. Toronto was congested with football fevered fans. There were people everywhere all dressed up, blowing horns, screaming, and cheering. We decided to grab a bite to eat at a place named “famous” for their wings. We ate the wings…we both agreed, they couldn’t be famous for anything other than a walking heart attack, they tasted like grease and we both knew our stomachs would pay for it later that night – if we even made it that long!

Our hotel was great. Not great in a fancy, over-the- top way, fancy in a cozy, quaint, old fashioned, hospitable way. It was nice. Perfect actually.

Being the fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants (aka never-plan-anything-until-the-very-last-moment) kind of people that we are, we scrambled to find some entertainment. Of course, it was the Sunday night of the 100th Grey Cup…there was nothing else going on. NOTHING. We headed out to Kensington Market and arrived just in time to see all the shops close. I must give my husband credit here – he (like most people I know), doesn’t remotely relate to my sense of style. But, (I suppose to allow for me to bask in my happy place) he accompanied me to every hippie clothing store that caught my eye and with a curious look of bewilderment on his face, he smiled and nodded as I excitedly pointed out multicolored bags and jackets full of peace signs and banners with New Age quotes. (I think he was secretly relieved the market was shutting down.)

When we headed for the movies and I fought the urge to beg him to watch Breaking Dawn (why would I put myself through that movie again you ask? Read here lol) we got tickets for Freefall instead. It’s the least I could do considering I had fallen asleep 3 times while he drove for 5 hours and, well, we can’t ignore the hippie stores 🙂 Note to self: Next time we find ourselves heading to Toronto during the 100th Grey Cup game, buy tickets to attend.

Monday night we took a short stroll down Young Street and ate dinner at Milestones before heading back on the long drive home…I don’t remember the last time we had a quiet dinner out just the two of us. It was weird nice. We talked about our days and at one point he told me I should become a Financial Advisor. I laughed and told him that maybe one day he would have the opportunity to marry one. He looked at me and said “I don’t think I would ever be able to get along with a Financial Advisor” Perplexed, I asked why then would he ever suggest that I become one. He simply replied “Well, that’s different. You and I, we don’t usually ever see eye to eye anyway. It would just be more of the same.” Great! 🙂

Heading back home in the dark, I was determined to stay awake so he wouldn’t be driving alone. No worries, there….my insomnia never lets me down! Snow started to fall. At first it was light and beautiful. It gradually made it’s way to fast and furious. You know when you’re driving in a blizzard,  you look out the window and it feels like you’ve been transported into a Star Wars space shuttle flying through the universe? Don’t tell me I’m the only one who sees it. I know you’ve seen it too.

We were both starting to get a little anxious about visibility – or lack there of – so I did all I could to calm our nerves…I started to sing. Hmmmm…..the look on Curtis’ face told me that my singing voice sounded better in my own ears than in his. He tried his best to keep a straight face. Well, at least it made him laugh 😉

The further we drove, the worse the roads became. At one point we couldn’t see anything. Not the middle of the road, not the side of the road, only millions of giant white snowflakes coming right at us. We both looked at each other and wondered how we would drive any further. There were no hotels nearby and nowhere to stop to wait it out. At that exact moment, the radio played “We Will Die Young”. I kid you not! We just looked at each other wondering out loud if this is how it ends? Does everyone get a sign like this when their time comes?

I told Curtis that if anything were ever to happen to me, he deserved to find someone who “had it all together”, someone who was always well prepared for each and every day, someone who would take good care of him, and be able to find their keys, someone who was my exact polar opposite. My heart swelled when he shook his head and said that no, he wouldn’t want his life to be any other way than what it was right now. I never knew until the moment I heard those words coming out of his mouth, how much I needed to hear them.

The roads cleared, I continued to sing, Curtis continued to practice tuning me out, and life returned to normal….with a just a hint of even-better!

Isn’t it beautiful how life finds a way of working itself out so imperfectly perfect?

Embrace your awesomeness, and the crazy beautiful world in which you live!

The Truth about My Marriage

My husband drives me nuts, and I drive him equally mad. All too often I’ve wondered how it is that we ended up married at all. From what I can gather, our marriage was based on a total misunderstanding. He was under the impression that because I was employed by the government working at a financial institution, I was a secure and stable girl and as an added bonus, I was a financial expert. Boy, was he in for a shocker!

At the time, my husband was doing work he loved as a Sheet Metal Worker. He was a caring father to his son and we always had a blast. We would take off on vacation at the blink of an eye, never making reservations, sometimes not even really being sure about where we would end up. In my eyes, I saw my husband as a carefree risk-taker, someone who took life as it came and had fun with it. Oh, if only I knew!

In our first year of marriage, we were blessed with a baby girl. My husband became the stable and secure provider. I, on the other hand, looked into my baby girls eyes and saw life through a fresh new lens. I vowed to teach my daughter to choose happiness throughout her whole life, and how could I do that without leading by example? I became the carefree risk-taker focused primarily on joy and being the best mother I could be.

My husbands career was stable and secure while mine was virtually non-existent as I bounced from one interest to the next never taking into consideration my husbands dream of a stable and secure life. I had quit my  job to open a home daycare. I took a dozen different courses and trained with best selling authors and spiritual leaders in my quest to find a source of income that would allow me to be the best me I could be while providing me with time for our children. The journey I took in finding myself was anything BUT stable and secure. The more I spread my wings, the more stable my husband became. I took his secure world and turned it completely upside down. As he worked to build stability, I fought to live a bubble of possibility, a beautiful bubble, but a bubble no less.
Every time I lost my keys, he sighed. Every time he talked bills, I rolled my eyes. When I talked memories, he spoke of the future. He sung “tried and true” and I shouted “been there done that”. Home renovations never came to be because we couldn’t agree on anything. I’m not going to lie, some days it was a virtual shit storm! We were throwing each other far outside our comfort zones. I misunderstood his discomfort and unease with my freestyle approach to life as a disappointment in who I was.

Things are rarely as they seem

Thankfully, becoming a published author has allowed me to find a happy medium and prove that I could achieve more than even I thought was possible. I still live in my beautiful bubble, I’ve learned to invite my husband in as well. He seems to like the bubble for the most part, he shares in my dreams, and agrees that what he may have considered impossible at one time, might not be so impossible after all.

The truth is, life is always divinely organized. For who better to teach me to keep my feet on the ground than him? And who better to teach him the beauty of life unexpected and the possibility of achieving the impossible than me?

I owe the life I’ve had the privilege of living to my husband and his stability. Without him, I wouldn’t be me.

Today, I choose to fully embrace my husbands awesomeness and the gifts he has brought to my life.

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Staying Positive in a Badass World

I’m not always positive. There are times where I feel like my world is falling apart, times where I feel lost and alone. I get depressed.  And there are times when it takes every ounce of strength inside of me not to frickin’ loose it! But for the most part, I do try to live positively.

This is a practice that takes discipline, hard work, and patience.  So here it is, my no-fail positivity booster list. Even when I’m going thru a particularly rough time, these habits have the power to raise my spirits. The only challenge is remembering to practice them. The more I do, the better I feel. The more often I practice, the happier I am.

* Be grateful. A dear friend and I have a tradition to gift each other with gratitude journals on birthdays since filling their pages have had such a powerful impact on both our lives. It helps to keep perspective especially on particularly rough days. “I am so grateful that my children are sleeping safely in their beds” – that kind of clarity has the power to make for a pretty damn good day.

* Give love freely. Receive love freely. It’s easy to give love to those who love us back but loving those who don’t reciprocate takes practice. Practice!

Easier said than done. Am I right?

* Surround yourself with people who bring you joy.

* Learn to love what is. Here is the golden rule:

If you’re unhappy with something change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude about it.

 * Design your life. Decide what you want in your life to look like and create it!

* Sing in the car, loudly every single chance you get. Be mindful of the road and everyone else on it but if you can pull off dancing too, do it! Yes, if you have children they may complain but they will get over it.
 * In trying times, always look for lessons to be learned and try to keep in mind that things are rarely as they seem. Life is always trying to teach us something and let’s face it, we’ve all got room for improvement. Well, I certainly do anyways!

Good times become good memories, bad times become good lessons.

* Trust that God’s plan is better than yours. Accept that some of God’s greatest gifts are what we may perceive as unanswered prayers. Sometimes what seems like a disaster is a blessing in disguise.

I got your back. Love, God xo

 * Always look for the humor in every day challenges. Losing your keys, forgetting to take out something for supper, pets eating the furniture, misplaced lists, getting lost – it all brings a little adventure to your already exciting life. Stuck in traffic? Okay so you’re late for work and you can sing a little longer.
 * Allow yourself to screw up. Royally and otherwise.

 * Forgive yourself for screwing up and embrace your humanity. We are all here to learn and grow, and we can’t learn if we don’t make mistakes.

 * Celebrate the lessons you learn along your journey.

Every day is an opportunity to make tomorrow even better.

* Celebrate everything!

* Listen with compassion. Every person you meet comes with valid concerns, opinions, input, and suggestions. Remember that we are all doing the best we can with what we know. Listen and you will always learn.

Alone we are strong, together we are stronger.

* When you find yourself frustrated at the world around you, allow yourself to be frustrated. Sometimes life stinks. Accepting what is, isn’t always easy.

* Love yourself exactly as you are. For who you were, who you are, and who you will become. You are not perfect, it’s not reasonable to expect that you should be. Nor is it reasonable to expect others to be perfect. Imperfection means we are halfway normal. We all have unique gifts to offer those around us. Actively seek out the gifts in yourself and in everyone you encounter.

Here’s to your Happy!

Bernard Charles

@thecolormage - color stylist for your soul

The Juicing Nomads

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” ― Oscar Wilde

StevenDavisUK

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Lavender Reflections

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