My Deer

The more I see of deer, the more I admire them as mountaineers. They make their way into the heart of the roughest solitudes with smooth reserve of strength, through dense belts of brush and forest encumbered with fallen trees and boulder piles, across canons, roaring streams, and snow-fields, ever showing forth beauty and courage.
John Muir

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2018 – A Clean Slate

 

It’s 2018!

A new year, full of possibilities and a clean slate to write anything you would like on it.

For me, this is my year of uber-health and aging gracefully. It’s time to stop eating chocolates (unless they’re dark and organic) and drinking too much prosecco and (re) dedicate myself to a super healthy, anti-aging diet and fitness plan.

I’ve been doing a bit of research over the holidays and found that the most anti-aging, health giving food are the following items:

  • Berries
  • Olives
  • Plant milks
  • Seeds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Dark chocolate (yes!)
  • Fish
  • Honey
  • Turmeric
  • Fruit
  • Veggies
  • Beans
  • Oatmeal

I am going to dedicate this year to creating a diet full of these items and incorporating a kick butt fitness plan into my life.

Stay tuned for some great recipes and healthy living inspiration.

Here’s to health and happiness for 2018!

An eco-friendly dog birthday party

Yes, you read the title right. An Eco-friendly doggie b-day party happened a few days ago for the Nickster’s 8th birthday.

What made it eco-friendly and why am I having a birthday party for my dog? Good questions.

I’ll start with the why. I never had kids and totally missed out on the fun of having little rugs rats running around, excited and on over-drive from a chocolate cake sugar buzz. Now that I’m a dog mom, I get to invite my friends over for wine and cake and get to see a bunch of excited pups run around barking and chasing each other. Close enough.

And how did I make my fete eco-friendly? In so many ways that I’m excited to tell you about.

Here are the top ten:

  1. The (super elegant) crystal stemware I used is from craigslist
  2. The beautiful turquoise bowls were from Salvation Army
  3. The chocolate cake was vegan
  4. I asked for the plastic to be removed and re-used when I bought the flowers
  5. I picked some of the flowers from an abandoned lot
  6. The (people) menu was vegan
  7. The only gifts allowed were edible, ie. treats
  8. I asked that guests didn’t use packaging for the gifts
  9. The wine and sparkling wine were local, from the Okanagan
  10. The napkins were from the Salvation Army

And, with all of this eco-friendliness, the party was still very chic, and very easy on the budget. Simple is elegant, easy on the earth and cost effective too. xo

BC Day

Beautiful Pacific Spirit forest.

Our province is on fire with gorgeous forests like this one going up in flames and there’s no end in site. Forest fires are getting bigger and stronger the past few years because of global warming and this tragic situation is making me incredibly sad and anxious.
Humans are heading to the edge of a cliff and we need to decide now if we’re going to save ourselves or topple into the abyss.
What if we all shifted our priorities? Ego and greed could be the first to go. They don’t make anyone happy anyway. What if we made caring for our beautiful earth job one?

Here are a few ways we can do it:

1. Drive as little as possible. Walk (it’s amazing and good for you) or take transit (it’s not that bad. Really. I promise.) instead.

2. Stop eating meat (or eat as little as possible. The greenhouse gasses produced by animals raised for food are astronomical. A side bonus of this is that less animals will be treated cruelly and you’ll look and feel better too).

3. Stop buying a whole bunch of crap oops, I mean stuff, you don’t need. Products made for retail are the 2nd biggest polluters in the world (oil and gas, you’re # 1). Forget retail therapy and get some nature therapy instead. Trust me, it’s way better for the soul.

Do these things and collectively we can all help our beautiful, little green planet re-balance itself and come back to health. As David Suzuki says “You may think that you’re only one drop in the bucket but if there are a million drops, things are going to change radically.” Remember your power in being able to make a positive change and we’ll have this gorgeous province to call home for many more moons.

Keeping the Peace

As I read through A Course in Miracles, I notice that a recurring theme is not allowing people or situations to steal your peace. Peace of mind is one of the many goals of the workbook and thinking about internal peace has revolutionized the way I walk through the world and how I show up in my relationships.

In my last romantic relationship peace of mind certainly wasn’t my goal or even a consideration really. I wasn’t happy with how the person I was dating was showing up for me or how I was showing up for him so, instead of realizing that this just might not be a good fit, I put all of my energy into changing him/myself/the relationship with very little success. Trust me when I tell you that this is not a happy or peaceful place to be in. Finally, after two years, I decided to stop focusing on how great the relationship would be in the future when it got better and decided to start focusing on how I was feeling in the present, right now, when I was in his company. And I realized that a low level of anxiety seemed to live in the pit of my stomach when we were together. I felt lonely often as he often created a fair amount of emotional distance between us and my ability to be triggered very easily undoubtedly added to the distance between us.

So, when I finally started checking in with myself and realizing how unhappy I was in the present in this relationship (and the present is really all we have) I couldn’t let the situation steal my peace any longer. The breakup happened naturally and it was drama free. It just didn’t make sense to be together anymore. When you realize that a healthy relationship involves two people coming together in love, with the intention of creating a safe space to help each other heal their wounds and then grow as people, it becomes very difficult to stay in a connection that doesn’t provide those things.

Sometimes we stay with people who are less than optimal for our health, happiness and self esteem because we’re afraid of being alone. If there is one thing I’ve learned in the last few years, it’s not to sacrifice your peace of mind for anyone. Being single has its challenges at times but also a wonderful sense of freedom. Being single also gives you all of the space you need to do a little soul searching.

Ultimately I believe that we all have someone out there waiting to meet a partner with our quirks, strengths, sense of humor and our weak points too. And I believe that we meet them when the time is right. I think we all have love waiting for us when we are ready. Our only job is to make sure we are in the right place to be able to recognize this love and in a place to be able to receive it too. And then, we we find it, another adventure begins.

A Return to Love

My cousin was the first one to tell me about A Return to Love about a year ago. At the time, I was beginning to be interested in spirituality but didn’t want to read anything too heavy and certainly nothing that would require me to change in any significant way.

After my cousin’s glowing recommendation, I decided to buy the book and slowly made my way through it. There were things I liked and could relate to and things that I thought “No WAY!” Too idealistic I said. We’re living in the real world. This isn’t doable at all. Also, the ego isn’t a bad thing, I argued with her. Hasn’t the author heard the term “healthy ego”?

The book quickly found a place in the corner of the bottom shelf of my bookcase and life went on.

Flash forward a year and 12 energy healings later. The healings were with an amazing woman named Karen Heywood. Find out more about her here. All of a sudden I found myself craving the words and wisdom of ‘A Return to Love’. I dusted off my copy and opened a page. And, wow, what a different experience. Now Marianne Williamson’s words made total sense. There was no healthy ego I realized as I read the words all over again. Finally I felt ready to learn what this book had to teach me and I couldn’t wait to dive in. When the student is ready, they say, the teacher will appear. In my case, I guess, the teacher will appear again.

I’ll be writing more about this amazing book in upcoming posts but, in the meantime, here are a few of my favourite thoughts and quotes I’d like to share with you. I hope you like (read: love) them as much as I do:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. You playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

It takes courage…to endure the sharp pains of self-discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.

You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not for what you think. The truth is that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think.

Do what you love.
Do what makes your heart sing.
And NEVER do it for the money,
Go to work to spread joy.

May my heart be your shelter, and my arms be your home.

Love in your mind produces love in your life. This is the meaning of heaven.
Fear in your mind produces fear in your life. This is the meaning of hell.