im sitting on my deck, sipping tea, listening to the birds sing and the children make a soup of some kind in the sandbox and reflecting on yesterday.
yesterday was overwhelmingly hard. I was certain my kids were trying to end me. I didn’t bend, I broke. I gave up and crawled into my bed and cried and waited for the day to end.
and when I walked through the yard last night after the children went to bed and saw that nearly all the blossoms were on the ground I reminded myself gently, the meaning of the Cherry Blossom; that, life is overwhelmingly beautiful, but it’s also overwhelmingly short.
The hardships too. They’re moments in time and then they pass. And the feeling that hardships last longer than happiness is simply our perspective of it. And your perspective is a choice you make.
I woke up this morning and set the intention of having ‘the best day ever.’ I’m hoping your day is too.
lately, I’ve been in a “low vibe state.” And what I mean by that is, we are all beings made of light and energy, and therefore vibrate at certain frequencies. Everything does. And you can change your vibration according to how you live, and your thoughts. The higher the vibration, the better, the more attuned you are.
You can get an idea of your vibration by asking, “how do I feel?”
Do you feel light, energetic, and assured? Or do you feel scattered, maybe depressed, or feel lost?
and lately, I’ve been feeling not myself. Lethargic. Irritable. A bit apathetic. And my inner world is matching my outer world. I keep accidentally hurting myself and dropping things and those around me are kind of feeling and doing the same. And it’s a total bummer! But your vibe attracts your tribe…
So, how do you fix it?
Well for me, I fully believe that in order to change you have to be in a spiritually aligned place. Meaning, Center yourself, connect back in with Spirit, release what’s blocking you, and begin again. My favourite way to do this is with mantra meditation using a Mala.
Be seated in easy pose, hold your Mala in thumb and first finger on bead number one. Then recite your mantra, and move to the next bead. It’s the Buddhist form of a rosary basically.
My favourite mantras are,
•sat nam (truth identified)
•so ham (I am (one with the universe)) and of course
•Ohm (which was said to be the first sound at the beginning of the universe and unblocks the throat chakra.)
You can say these in your head, or aloud. Or you can make your own depending on what you need.
•I am enough.
•I am beautiful.
•I am strong.
•I am a being of love and light.
It’s your practice. Choose what works for you. And any amount of time is beneficial. Start with one minute and work your way up to 11. And if you really don’t want to do it, then you should do it twice. I promise you’ll feel better.
About this time nearly seven years ago I found myself in the office of a surgeon, discussing an upcoming day surgery to take care of an embarrassing issue; stemming from years of eating poorly, dysfunctional digestion and constipation. I’ll save you the TMI, don’t worry. Anyway, I was nervous, embarrassed, but also determined to not have to deal with this again, and was in full prevention mode.
“So, obviously I don’t ever want to deal with this again, so should I be doing some kind of cleanse or detox periodically to clean out my gut?” I asked.
The Lemonade Diet/Maple Syrup cleanse or whatever was all the rage at this time. I also was working at Shoppers Drug Mart and part of my job was to merchandise the shelves, finding expired products, and putting new product on the shelves. My favourite was the Vitamin section because I liked reading the backs of all the medicines to see what was really in them. It was kind of like one long bathroom break when you forgot reading material, in a time before smart phones. It got me through some rough shifts. Anyway. Herbal Cleanses and Chili detoxes lined the shelves (lets face it, still do) and I was genuinely interested as well as enticed to try them.
The surgeon breathed out deeply running his hand over his cheek. He folded his hands on his desk and looked directly at me.
What he told me was the most important piece of information I think I have ever received from anyone, let alone someone in the medical field, and one that has changed my life forever.
“Don’t bother with the detoxes, the cleanses….its all just,” he waved his hand in the air. “You don’t need pills. You need food.” he cleared his throat. “The only thing you need to do is to Eat from the Earth. You do that, and all of your digestive problems will disappear. Eat as close to the Earth as possible.”
I sat there staring at him, both a bit surprised but mostly confused. Did he just prescribe me plants? A surgeon?
I shook his hand, thanked him and left. I also put the idea of pills to bed.
I went home and began looking at all the things I ate. Everything I merchandised at work I read the back before I put it on the shelf. Was this from the Earth? How did this product become this? How much did it have to go through and change in order to be in this form? What the hell is high-fructose-corn-syrup? Why was there dye in this? How was that even a necessary ingredient? Is dye bad for you? What the hell is this? What the hell is that?
Google became my friend.
His advice also dawned on me more and more.
Calories no longer mattered to me anymore. What mattered was how long the ingredients list was. I was both terrified and angry at the food in my cupboard, the food that was available in stores that bragged to be a HEALTH PRODUCT or LOW IN FAT, that in all honesty belonged in the chip aisle. And slowly, over the next few weeks it all disappeared or was thrown away and I began asking myself, can I make this myself?
Turns out, yeah, a lot of stuff you can buy in the store is very easily and might I add cheaply made at home. Things like broth and crackers and yogurt. Things that from a store are laced with toxins, dyes, sugar and aspartame.
The snacks foods I ate, such as chocolate covered rice cakes (lets be honest its basically sugared cardboard) for a “Low cal treat” slim fast/whey protein shakes, and Fibre One bars left my cupboards. I ate apples, nuts, or vegetables for snacks instead. Ants on a log, cinnamon covered apples, trail mix and homemade granola became my staple. And the weird thing? The ten pounds I had enticed with slim fast for a time that never budged just melted off me. Despite eating loads more than I had been. It didn’t really matter the amount I ate, it matter what I ate.
Its been a seven year journey for me, but I feel I am finally where I wish to be with how I eat. I’m sure it will evolve over time too, everything does, but my diet is a far cry from how I used to eat.
So as the New Year looms and the dreaded resolutions and shitty pills, commercials and health vultures come out to play, I’d like you to maybe pause for a moment. Pause and ask yourself, Is this from the Earth?
I can promise you, and assure you, that what you need is not a gym membership, or a shake, whey protein, or an herbacleanse. You need a prescription for plants, a pair of boots and the willingness to see whats in your backyard. Be in nature. Its much more exciting that plugging away on a treadmill in a room that smells like onions and probably full of coughed on doorknobs.
And if you don’t believe me, Dear Reader, then ask my surgeon. Or my intestines, which will give you the thumbs up.
Happy New Year and much love.
Nearly two months since I have written here in this space. Two months since I’ve written really anything at all. What happened? I’ll be honest as always, I’m really not sure.
As the shift from summer to fall began I felt myself…sinking. It was strange. I wasn’t depressed per say, but I didn’t feel myself. I felt entirely melancholy for a reasons I didn’t know. So I took it as a sign to spend a little more time inward and to myself.
Social media, my blog, visits and playgroups have been on the back burner the past few months. And with this hiatus has come another change for me. I always said I would have another shift as I near my 25th birthday, despite feeling like the last one never ended; and I can confirm that to be true.
In the past two months nothing has changed yet everything has. I see the world differently again. I eat differently, adopting my vegan diet again, banishing gluten and sugar without struggle, something I tried to do for over a year with near constant failure. Yet this time, it happened with ease. I’ve paired down my possessions (again) cultivating a more minimalist lifestyle. Instead, focusing on quality, and what I really need instead of just spending and consuming. I am also focusing on the environment more. Planting more trees. Choosing items with less packaging. Homemaking beauty supplies and remedies. Buying in bulk instead of purchasing bagged items. Recycling more plastic. Picking up more trash. Using less water. Turning off lights and unplugging televisions and other electronics. Spending more time walking instead of driving. I’m choosing healthier options when it comes to my home, my clothes, my dish ware, my food.
Social media means less to me. I feel like I see it for what it really is. Instead, while I am technically doing less, I am living more intentionally. Which is hard in a world where everything is going a mile a minute. It is hard being this way in this world too, I struggle to see where I fit in. Part of the reason I quit eating vegan was the flak I caught from everyone. I was tired of having to explain myself and deal with people berating me for trying to eat and be healthy and do something good for animals and the environment. The other part was, I was afraid it was contributing to my depression, which was entirely and utterly false. So adding gluten and sugar free to the mix, albeit mostly temporary (I plan to indulge in the future after my treatment protocol is finished, but otherwise stay gluten and sugar free) has certainly created riffs, people chuckling, and the throwing of the word “hipster” around. But I digress.
It has been a strange yet imperative time for me. I have continued to remind myself that it will pass eventually, that with all evolution typically comes discomfort. To embrace the seasons of letting go and change; because with every death comes the birth of something else and so often something far greater than we could ever imagine.
a geometric figure representing the Universe
Mandala means circle in Sanskrit. It represents wholeness, unity, togetherness. It is a reminder of our infinity into the cosmos. It reminds us how we are all one. That the light in me is the light in you. That we all are of the same energy, created from the same place of Love.
Mandalas can be used to tell a story; your story, and illustrate your journey as you make our way through your days.
Mandalas are used in meditation, to absorb one into the design, to set intentions, and then pray to manifest them. They are used to calm the mind, let the mundane thoughts slip away and focus in to your true self.
I get questioned lots on ‘how does this help? how could this possibly make the world better? how does prayer do anything?”
And it is the fundamental aspect of unity, the change of self , that makes a difference. Because when the Ego falls away, when judgment, comparison, and separation of self dissipates, and we see everyone for what they are: A Soul, the same as us- a miracle happens. Think, if everyone thought to see each other a beings of Love instead of labels – how beautiful a place would we live in?
Its hard to change the world, but its easier to change yourself. So start there. Set the intentions of love, peace and compassion and they will ripple out into the Universe. This ripple will reflect back, as the Universe is an echo, leaving miracles and peace in its wake.
(mandala dress by California Moonrise)
I grew up in a small town, tucked away in a valley in the foothills. The stores closed at six, there was a few restaurants, and only one grocery store. I spent my days playing in a field behind my house, until we moved and I had a forest instead to play in. I climbed 80 foot spruce trees, collected little treasures from the forest most of it in my hair, played in the creek, and always, always came home absolutely filthy. Once in awhile we trekked to the city, for dental appointments back to school clothes and to go to Wal Mart (it was a big deal back then.) Every time we went we begged to go the to the studio and see Rick.
The studio was formally called the Rock and Gem Studio, and while I forget the name of the street it was on, my feet can take me there even today. I knew we were headed there next just by the way the car swayed with turns. I’d name the stores as they passed by my window, anxiously waiting. I always thought magic was a bit made up…my mum did everything she could to keep it alive, to keep us believing in faeries and santa and whatnot; but this place really sealed it for me and had me believing magic was real. The air buzzed when you walked in, five steps down into a basement suite. The lights were low, floors wooden, gemstones everywhere, out in the open to touch and feel. The gentleman who ran it, Rick, was the epitome of magic.
Here we learned about all the treasures of the earth. He would tour us about his store, excitedly grabbing different clusters, “you HAVE to feel this one!” he would say and would wrap our fingers around it. We would leave, pockets brimming with Tiger’s Eye and Rose Quartz and Black Tourmaline. Our necks adorned with jewels, wrists jingling. It was here my brother created incredible jewelry, a wolf howling over a piece of Moonstone he carved and polished for hours. It was here I received my first Amethyst and Rosewood wand, delicately crafted, brimming with energy. We picked up books on Chakras, and read about meditation. My brother and I would sit cross-legged reading together, thumbing through rock books and dumping out our treasures to examine.
I also believe it was here, the seed was planted for all I was to become, to fulfill my true purpose someday.
I think we tend to underestimate the power that a single moment can have on our life. To some, it was just a little memory. But when I felt like I was losing it all, and I couldn’t for the life of me seem to find a direction, somewhere to plant my feet; I turned to my roots and tried undoing all that had been done since I first felt lost.
Like following a rope blindly through water to the shore, I traced my way back, through years of heartache and fear until I was looking at that fearless girl I once knew. Defiant scowl, blonde braid, dirty fingernails. The one who wasn’t afraid of anything. The one who was so sure of herself.
I decided then and there to just do the things that felt true to me. No matter how weird, or what someone might thing of me. I don’t care much for what people think of me, yet there are those select few, decided by some unknown criteria unbeknownst to me, who’s opinions seem to mean the most. I did it anyway.
The past is just memories, it holds no power and means nothing. I don’t live there, and I don’t try to recreate it. I’m thankful for those memories, and gratitude is all I have for the past. But I do believe these moments are tucked away in me, on a cellular level, and in moments of desperation, and in moments of deep integration, I can call upon these answers nested away in me. I have everything I need within me, all the answers, all the directions, and all the motivation.
Hoping and wishing for you, Dear Reader, to connect and find that Inner Child too.
The new moon is among us, and for me, reading into a bit of an explanation into what is going on Astrologically has been relieving. Perhaps you’re rolling your eyes at the thought of Astrology, but I heard a comparison today that made complete sense as to why reading what’s going on in the stars can benefit us. Cassandra Bodzak (here you can RSVP for her free/donation based workshop and meditation,) compared it to the weather report. Basically you can turn on the weather report and know it will rain and be prepared, or it can catch you by surprise. Tuning into what is in play in the stars can set you at ease because you know you’re not alone in what you’re feeling. You can honour the times you need space, respect when communication perhaps isn’t totally clear, or answer the opportunity your gut is yelling at you to take.
Of course its not a science, and it was always something I thought was just “fun,” but nothing I ever followed seriously. Not until I read into Mercury Retrograde and everything it did. It eerily portrayed my life at the time and now I am seeing how karmic circles are playing out. I’m reading that the events that have happened in my past are coming to a close now. That they had a divine meaning in it all, and have lead me to where I am right now. Which I think is really friggin awesome!
What really has resonated with me about this New Moon in Gemini is finding our truths are really high-lighted. With Gemini being the ruler of self-expression and the throat chakra we are inspired to speak how we truly feel. Mercury has just gone straight again, and everything that was exposed while it was in retrograde is coming into play here. Its exposed pieces of the past, things we need to let go of, things that are no longer serving us, especially in relationships, finances, ours truths and careers.
This couldn’t be more spot on for me.
I’m saying goodbye to the word fashion blogger. Its been a short, although fun ride. Perhaps most of you didn’t even know, or see me as one anyway.
I did it because I was curious. I was interested. It was fun. I love to dress up, feel pretty, furry vests and flowing frocks.
I did it because I was afraid.
Afraid people would laugh. My ego tried to warn me, “You’ll look dumb,” it said. So I went for it anyway.
And now that I have decided to ‘quit’ per say; not dressing up oh no. I love fashion and it will always be a part of me, just quit the rat race of the f-blogging world. The desire for the latest trends, the greatest accessories. The best purses and shiniest time pieces. I’ve quit because I got a call again. A call to do what I was doing all along. And now reading into what is going on in the stars I feel 100% supported in this decision. It is no accident I awoke one morning to the voice of my Inner Guide, that voice inside my head, the one akin to a Mother’s voice, so reassuring and calm saying ” You know your purpose, you know what to do. You can quit asking. Find your True North again and just Go. For. It.”
Ego tried to call me a fraud.
It laughed at me for trying.
I was dumb.
What a waste, it said. Of time. Of Money.
But on my mat. My Guide said otherwise.
“But darling, it was FUN. You enjoyed something you were curious about. And in the end, you found something you weren’t and confirmed what you were. You let go of fear. You embraced something new. You solidified your love of fashion, but just not talking about it; the world of convincing people they need something.
“When really you’re about the business of convincing people they have everything they need right there inside of them.
“Embrace the beauty, but answer the call knocking on your door. Swing it open, shut your eyes, and jump in with both feet.”
Breathe in. Breathe out.
And so it is.
Wishing you all the blessings that come with the New Moon. Take time to make space for yourself tonight. Light a candle, drum up some dreams; if something has been eating at you, begging to be released, its because its supposed to be. Go for it, the stars are on your side.
here you can read more about the New Moon in Gemini.
I went for a bike ride today as my daily exercise (because I kind of loathe the gym.) In fact I have been walking almost daily, for the past week. I forgot how much I love going for walks, whether it be to somewhere or just for leisure. As I rode, the pedals going up, down, up, down, grinning ear to ear, head swaying left to right as I scanned the beautiful road-way, smelling sage and sweetgrass, the last of the lilacs, the beginning of the cotton woods releasing the white fluff into the air, I had to ask myself; Why don’t I do this more often?
I feel like a lot of us do that. My mum quit painting ages ago despite loving it. I know dads that quit playing guitar and sports. And instead we fill our days with errands and tasks and kid stuff and more errands that all it seems we make time for is television, or something that requires no energy and its a bloody shame.
I went for coffee with a good friend and when she asked me what I’ve been up to, I shrugged, “the usual,” I said. “Kid stuff, house stuff, blogging and yoga, gardening…” I paused. “taking naps,” and she laughed.
“Oh good, its not just me!” she says. “Thats kind of refreshing, it seems everyone I talk to when I ask that question they answer with ‘busy. I’m busy, just so so busy.’ Why is everyone so busy?!” she said throwing her hands up. “When did busy become a badge of honour?”
Now I laughed. I only laughed because what she said is true, and once upon a time I wore it like a badge of honour too.
For one, I really just didn’t know what else to say. I suppose I wanted to seem like I was doing something interesting, when really I was doing the usual. Work, eat, sleep, repeat.
It was after having Mila and attempting to go back to work and everything else I did before kids, getting pregnant again in the midst and having my world turn upside down, I realized, ‘hey all this busyness sucks.’
So I cut my schedule down to nothing and started over.
Now I’m almost always free. My schedule is loosely planned, I can fit anyone in for coffee. I spend a lot of time alone with the kids, floating from one task to the next. Hitting up the odd play group, appointment, Calgary trip. I’m really really un-busy and its kind of fucking awesome.
I’m not trying to make motherhood and homemaking a cake walk- it isn’t. It is stressful and it is a 24/7 gig. But it is because of these factors, I simplified it to this point so it is enjoyable. Before, for me, it wasn’t. I have also decided to spend my time more wisely, doing things I love, instead of spending my time on things I don’t enjoy.
No, I can’t spend my days skipping down a wildflower path, but I sure can walk to do my errands. House work is always there, its endless, theres a time and a place for that, but its not during Nap Time. I always, always spend the kids’ nap time doing something quiet, gentle and restful for myself. It is my time to ‘just be.’ When they wake, I wake, we work together. The errands are done over the span of the week. The laundry piles and is done in one day, usually after Justin complains of no socks, or Mila runs out of dresses. Toys are picked up periodically throughout the day and entirely before bed, everyone helps. The rest of our time, are just moments strung together that make up a day, broken up by meals and snuggles, tasks, reading and naps.
Perhaps not everyone can cut their schedule down to what mine is, but I encourage you to take a look at it, and see if you can in fact take more time to do something you love. You are not meant to work and work and work and work to pay for a vacation once a year so you can attempt to recover from working yourself into the ground. Life is meant to be enjoyed. There is beauty and simplicity all around you if you choose to see it and allow yourself a break amongst the chaos. I encourage you to join me in my #findingbeautymovement. Share with me your moments, the ones you that really speak to you. Share them so that they may inspire someone else to see the beauty in their life too.
Sending beautiful vibes your way, dear reader.
Have you ever screwed up?
Yes, that was sort of a rhetorical question, because of course you have. Me to.
What did you do about it?
-swallow your pride and own it?
-Agonize about it for weeks?
-Obsess and constantly remind yourself of your short comings?
-Finally let it go?
I do all the above and eventually end up at my mat, on my knees praying for release, and guidance. The pressure releases when I do, when I surrender and give up control.
My mat never fails to not be my best friend and confidant.
It says, “its okay, let it go You don’t need a big announcement. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. Just surrender and peace will come.”
Breathe in. Breathe out.
And so it is.
It doesn’t matter what its about. It doesn’t matter how many times the same situation occurs or bothers you. Quietness and space is always the solution. So find a few minutes and let them be empty and quiet. Expand them with breath and forgiveness and love.
My daughter lost her beloved Bwanket (Blanket) this weekend. We didn’t realize until we were already on our way home that it was missing. She was falling asleep in the truck, chilled from the air conditioning, eyes heavy from all the walking and excitement the city has to offer. She whined to me, eyes closed, lips downturned in a pout, “mummy, I want my….Bwanket!” she managed the last word with a bit of drama.
I flipped around in my seat and began scouring the back of the truck with my eyes. It wasn’t there. In fact, I hadn’t remember seeing it since we were out walking in the middle of a city through a residential section. Why were we there? For a community garage sale. It was my husband’s idea, one that I was reluctant to agree on (I had had other plans) but sometimes you just do things for your spouse when you see that look in their eye saying “I really want you to come.” We went, it was a disaster (two kids yard-saleing, HELLO) but there is where I will leave it, because what is done is done.
I semi predicted the disaster awaiting us, but I could never have predicted the loss of Bwanket. You see, when you become a parent and your child chooses a Lovey, you protect that Lovey with your life. You do not leave home without it. You do not leave your location without double checkin, triple checking it’s availability. If it is not in their hand it is within your reach. AT. ALL. TIMES. It is the Ultimate Pacifier.
She fell asleep in the truck fine without it as I frantically ripped apart bags and any compartment, looking for it even though I knew it wasn’t in there. I felt sick. It was gone. I even found one on Ebay and scooped it up before we were home because I felt so awful. I knew she wouldn’t want it, because it wasn’t HER blanket. Hell, I didn’t even want it. Ebay Blanket hadn’t gotten puked on in Costa Rica because she was carsick. Ebay Blanket didn’t know her newborn smell. It wasn’t there for sleep training, Saturday morning cartoons, airport layovers, sick days, weekend trips and hotel stays and picnics. I couldn’t help but cling to the idea that the fabric somehow held those memories and without it I would lose them. Without it, Mila was somehow less like Mila.
Mila is my tough, live-in-the-moment girl. She is like a little Faerie, she doesn’t walk, she dances on her tip toes everywhere she goes. When things happen it’s like water off a ducks back, nothing seems to affect her. She rarely pouts for more than a minute. She’s never butt hurt, she doesn’t hold grudges and she doesn’t compromise who she is because someone didn’t like it. She is so far into the moment I am inspired by her. So when I explained to her Bwanket was gone, she frowned and looked down at her hands and slowly said “okaaaaay…” took a deep breath as if digesting this horrible information and went back to playing. At bedtime she reiterated she knew Bwanket was gone but that we would find it soon. She didn’t even cry until day two. And I was crushed even more over that.
Didn’t she miss it? Didn’t she need it? Or was I the one who needed it more than her? Was I the only one who associated its presence with her identity?
I think we do that with most material possessions and that is why they are almost a bit of a poison to us. We associate them with our worth and self image, without realizing thats not our True Self at all. It feels like our true self, despite it really only being our Ego. Our True Selves do not need possessions, labels, images or judgments. Our True Self does not desire for more, or cling to past events as fundamentals of our identity. Our Ego does.
Despite all of this I still went to the ends of the earth for find Bwanket. I looked because I still believe in treasuring some things. I think its healthy to surround yourself with things that truly make you happy, and Bwanket most definitely made the cut. I knew possibly where it was, but I was no where near the city to go and look, so I took to Facebook for help. By the evening, after many shares and posts to additional Facebook pages, it was found.
I felt utter relief and joy that it had been located. I snuck into Mila’s room and told her the good news and her face lighting up made my life. That blanket sparks absolute joy in that girl, and while the reminder that possessions can at times be a burden if they cement you into a box of self-imagery or the past; when something sparks joy, it should ultimately be loved and kept and treasured.
Bwanket is home now. Safe and sound in her arms. Mila was beyond thrilled, and me? Well you could say I was over the moon too.