I receive a daily email from a meditation guru named Light Watkins and one day a few weeks ago, the email that landed in my inbox said this:
“I had a conversation recently with someone who left her job and became a successful (and happy) entrepreneur.
Long story short, she had always envisioned leaving her office job, but was afraid of the unknown, and it never made sense to give up her stability to follow a dream—until she had multiple run-ins with her new passive-aggressive boss. Then she knew she couldn’t stay another day.
I’ve had similar situations with ex-bosses, ex-landlords, and ex-girlfriends, where the situation became so intolerable that I had no choice but to take a leap of faith into the unknown. And every time it worked out for the best.
I’m now convinced that these people who force us to take a leap of faith by making our lives a living hell are the real angels, sent to help us evolve and grow.
The Universe isn’t stupid. It knows that we don’t grow and evolve as much when we’re comfortable, and most of us aren’t going to leave a comfortable situation on our own accord—not without a “divine” push.”
Very interesting perspective and I thought of times in my life where this kind of dynamic had to happen for me to move forward. A situation literally had to become unbearable before I would take the sometimes painful steps toward growth. And then I sheepishly thought of times that my bad behavior had made me an “angel” to someone in my life.
A humbling thought but also a thought to spark some healthy self awareness and growth.
I had my first Artist’s Date yesterday. It wasn’t anything over the top and didn’t even involve the art gallery the way I had originally planned it to.
It did, however, involve happy dogs running through the snow.
It also involved my inner child, who grew up in snowy Ontario, feeling an incredible amount of joy at the unexpected West Coast snow storm.
I made snow angels, ran through snow banks with wolves (aka. off leash Kitsilano dogs), looked in wonder at the heavy, snow laden boughs on the neighborhood trees, stuck my tongue out and caught snowflakes on it and just, in general, marveled at the beauty of nature.
Then I went home and wrote this in my morning pages:
“Maybe after journeying through all of these years, occasionally having to jump through rings of fire, now is the time to gather all of the joyful things back into my life. To notice and remember every day all of the things, big and small that give me joy.”
It was a successful 1st Artist’s Date.
And now for some nourishing food:
Raspberry Banana Smoothie Bowl
- 3 large bananas
- 1/2 cup of coconut or almond milk
- 1/2 cup raspberries
Blend together and top with Love Crunch chocolate granola and dark chocolate sauce.
Last weekend was the beginning of Chinese New Year. The Year of the Dog has began.
A new year, full of possibilities and a clean slate to write anything you would like on it.
This year my biggest goal is to get back in touch with my creative side, a side that I have largely ignored since grade 9 in high school.
I used to be an avid sketcher, painter and dreamer and, sadly these pastimes all fell by the wayside a long, long time ago. Of course they would resurface in little spurts and gasp for air throughout the years but I always pushed them back down again, regarding them as trivial.
But 2018 is the year to lovingly restore my former artist back to health. My tool to help me do this?
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.
This book is a time tested pathway right back to your sweet, forgotten artist’s soul.
2018 here we go!
Ps. In case you’re wondering, yes, I’ll be blogging about my morning pages, artist dates, discoveries and epiphanies, so please stay tuned. The adventure is just beginning.
As beautiful as the Holiday Season is, it also can be a time of hectic schedules, overeating and drinking at holiday parties and occasional family frustration. All situations that mindfulness can help with.
What is Mindfulness?
“Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you carefully observe your thoughts and feelings without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to your current experience, rather than dwelling on the past or anticipating the future.” – Psychology Today
How do I practice Mindfulness?
There are many ways to practice mindfulness and all techniques are a form of meditation, but the goal of any technique is to achieve a state of focused relaxation. You achieve this by sinking into your body and paying close attention to thoughts and sensations – without any form of judgment. This allows the mind to completely focus on the present moment.
Basic mindfulness meditation:
Sit quietly and focus on your natural breathing or on a word or “mantra” that you repeat silently. Allow thoughts to come and go without judgment and return to your focus on breath or mantra. Notice each part of your body starting at your heads and ending at your toes. Allow any emotion to be present while doing this without judgment. Practice a relaxed naming of emotions: “joy,” “anger,” “frustration” etc. as your mindful meditation continues. Accept the presence of the emotions without judgment and let them go.
What are the benefits of mindfulness?
- Higher brain functioning
- Decreased stress
- Increased immune function
- Lowered blood pressure
- Lowered heart rate
- Increased awareness
- Increased attention and focus
- Increased clarity in thinking and perception
- Lowered anxiety levels
- Experience of being calm and internally still
- Experience of feeling connected
Gaining these benefits can be as simple as closing your eyes and being silent for ten minutes a day. This is a practice that is so easy, anyone can do it!
When I feel the need to flee the city, unplug, relax, be immersed in the wild and just let myself breathe, there is no better place to travel to than Port Renfrew.
A sweet little hamlet of a little over 200 people surrounded by the rugged beauty of Vancouver Island’s west coast, this part of the world is a pretty magical place. Let me show you a few reasons why:
Beaches with hidden caves and crashing waves..
The magic of old growth forests..
Sweet BC sunsets..
And places to swim..
Who could ask for a better place to recharge your batteries?
Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us. — Maya Angelou
I love walking through a fall forest, even when our west coast November rain is pouring down and the trees are shrouded in mist. Actually I sometimes love it even more because the forest leaves are glistening with dewy rain drops and transformed into a mysterious, enchanted forest.
It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon a persons heart, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.
Robert Louis Stevenson