Private Healing

When I finally decided to tackle my health issues, I knew I wanted to do so privately. I didn’t share with my friends or family my plan to get the weight off.  Perhaps it was due to fear of failing; but knowing who I am as  a person…it was more so because the process for me was full of healing and reclamation of a life I couldn’t live the way I wanted to.

I yearned to run down a field with my kids without getting winded, go swimming without shame, and speak up passionately for what I believed in.

You see, the excess weight for me was a byproduct of shame and loss after a sexual assault. I won’t blame the assault on turning me into a physically unhealthy person (blood pressure issues/depression/etc.); however, I do recognize it was the catalyst.

It took many years to pack on that weight; and when I decided to shed that extra layer of shame and pain…the weight went along with it. I didn’t know who I was as a woman aside from my roles as a Mom/Wife/Sister/Friend/Daughter.

I didn’t follow a plan or strict calorie intake regimen. I made a daily promise to treat me as I treat those I love. To fuel with nutrition and water. Move a little, sometimes a lot, and some days not at all…sweet rest.

These past few years I have faced equally confusing and down days as my life has transitioned during a divorce. When I feel that pull to eat away the pain or stay in bed, I try my best to spin it back to love and simply move and eat well. To rebuild my family dynamic with my children in a new way; and just love them deeper.

I struggle between lending support to others; yet still honouring my pain and healing process.  I prefer to do so privately and quietly. I struggle to articulate to those I love and pull away from that I need to do this for me.  It’s not personal to them. I can not support anyone else if I don’t support my process too. I have lost friendships along the way as I have not met other’s needs and expectations.

Some find solace in sharing openly and aloud. I envy that in many ways; I would imagine it’s easier to keep up your friendships and support circle that way vs. isolating here and there.  I do also see the irony that I’m sharing this on a public blog 😉  I also find healing within sharing in a way that’s comfortable for me (alone in my office lol)

I hope this post shares some insight into the different yet equally healing ways people process various stages in life.

There is joy within the pain. There is laughter even through some tears. There is residual anger within the forgiveness.  And there is a whole lot of love when you drop the shame and regret. I am so thankful for all that I have; it’s all that I need. I am finding my zen joy a little more every day.

Family. Purpose. Fulfillment. Love. Security. Authenticity. Love. Acceptance.

I appreciate all who are still there for me when I do some private growing and we just pick up where we left off. I have nothing but love for my friends and family.

From my heart to yours,

Christine

 

The Weeds in Life

I was weeding my yard pathway the other day. These weeds are tricky! Resilient and every time I think I’ve taken care of them, they multiply and up pop more. I’ve sprayed them, yanked them out by the root, and willed them to go away. I don’t have much of a green thumb, the pretty stuff I want to grow doesn’t; but I recognize it’s because I haven’t given them the care they need.

As I was weeding, it occurred to me that weeds are much like negative thoughts, low-vibe feelings (anger, jealousy, envy, contempt, apathy, guilt). They easily replicate, and if left unchecked, they can take over.

The beauty plants are the positive thoughts/feelings…high-vibes (gratitude, love, self-awareness, empathy, compassion, confidence, pride, generosity, synchronicity, harmony, happiness) The high-vibe will grow and thrive, but you have to take care and devote time for them to flourish. They are intentional and take conscious awareness. They are planted for purpose.

So what am I feeding every day?

Be aware of my thoughts.

Thoughts turn into actions.

I am a walking, breathing, acting symbol of my internal dialogue.

Life always comes with a little weeds, but it’s my responsibility to plant the good stuff. With care and respect for myself and those within my circle.

Have a great day! Feed the good stuff.

From my heart to yours,

Christine

 

 

The Trap of Self-Deprecation

I was outside weeding my yard the other day, and I stopped to chat with a neighbour. She told me she was going to a woman friendly gym now. She expressed that she wasn’t comfortable working out in the “muscle head” zone and was happy to find a place to sweat with just women.

And it got me thinking that I was very thankful that I found my comfort in the gym I go to; where both men and women sweat freely.  But it also made me think about the fact so many find the gym atmosphere intimidating; and I was one of those once.  I tried to remember how that view evolved for me. Because it was a slow evolution into confidence.

Again, it comes down to a shift in my perception away from athstetics to training for my health and vitality. Learning to love my body for what it can do vs. how I “look”. These legs can run, these arms can embrace, this core keeps me stable, this back allows me to bend down and pick things up. Functionality to enjoy life better.

With that in mind, I went to my gym. I saw a regular there, and we paused to chat briefly.

She explained to me her challenges within her training, specifically around the body parts she wasn’t happy with. “bat wings” and if she dieted to lose more weight, it would affect how her ass looked. It made me uncomfortable to reduce her body to outward appearance, but more so I was uncomfortable because that’s the trap I have fallen into personally…the self-deprecating trap.

I’m writing about the woman’s point of view; because I am one. 😉 I’m sure men deal with this in a different manner. There was a moment within our exchange where I  could have validated the self-deprecation by adding in my own insecurities about my body. But at that moment, I made a conscious decision not to.

I said in reply “I think you look amazing. You see yourself differently than I do. And I am happy with my body”.

Because I have learned to be. Happy with who I am at whatever weight or level of fitness I happen to be at. Fitness is my outlet to pour whatever I happen to be going through…stress, anxiety, determination, the urge to push myself and see what I’m capable of, internal conflict…and spin it back to good vibes. I don’t care how I look while I’m doing it.

I have learned my worth is not determined by my frame; or the way my butt looks in a pair of jeans. But that sure is the marketing specifically targeting women “10 tips to get a lifted butt” —-> I’d probably get more traffic to this post if I labelled it that.

OK, let’s get real for a moment here, will the quality of my life be any more fulfilled if in fact my butt was lifted? ha!

And as women, wouldn’t it be better to skip the self-deprecating bullshit we impose, and just love ourselves in all the levels body/mind/soul?

How are we supposed to teach our daughters self-respect and worth if we are picking apart our own bodies in the mirror every day?

So I make a conscious effort to give myself a nod in the mirror. To look at my body in a way of love, and respect for the vehicle it is. A vehicle to take me places, love others deeply, and explore this world.  Going to the gym allows me to build a strong foundation to move more effectively and efficiently in everyday life tasks.

I hope to be able to explore life further when I actually have money saved to do so, and I recognize that’s in my later years.

If you don’t use it you will lose it.

I want to be Betty White old. Full of vitality!

Lift to build muscle. Eat quality to fuel your daily activity. Run/move to feel alive and because I’m able. Read this for further perceptive: https://reclaiminglifeblog.com/2015/03/25/the-face-of-ms/

But I refuse to stand in a gym and talk about all the things I don’t like about my body. It’s a disrespect to myself and devalues the totality of the woman I am, which has little to do with my bat wings or my not-so-lifted-tush.

That’s all I have to say about that!

From my heart to yours,

Christine

 

On Conformity: Words to my Daughter

Last night I went to bed before my kids. That’s what happens when you raise teenagers; they outlast you more often than not.

My daughter came into my bedroom to say good night and I could tell there was something on her spirit. I have learned to elicit the truth of her heart, I simply have to ask one question.

“How are you feeling right now?”

In the split second after I ask, I just have to look into her eyes to understand the answer.

With tears in her eyes, she explained to me that she was feeling bad about fitting in and that other kids don’t always “get her”.

You see her heart is deep and pure. She has so much compassion for other’s within. She often befriends the new kid as soon as she sees a hint of uncomfortable. She will turn back to help another if they fall. She will make those around her laugh if they are sad. She reads me too after work, and sometimes even when I tell her my day was ok, she’ll come and give me a long hug within perfect timing.

She’s expressive, creative, loving, and artistic.

I inwardly asked for guidance last night to find the right words to make her feel better.  Not words that will placate or pacify; but rather to give her a long-term perspective. Words I wish I knew as truth when I was a teenager.

These are the words my heart urged me to say to her…

These teenage years; JR. High, High School, are so minute on the scale of life, but also important in that you have many choices.

Work hard, get the grades which will give you many options to build the future of your dreams. If you decide to go to college, you will meet so many people who have the very same interests and drive. It’s a little more specialized.

Do not conform. You know who you are, and you are also learning about yourself. You are growing and evolving in character. Hold your head high. It’s ok to be “weird”. Everyone is a weird, some just wear masks to hide it.

These people who you want acceptance from; they will probably not be in your life after school is over. I promise you’ll look back and wonder why you cared about their opinions. Just do you, and build that future which is so very bright and full of hope.

You are kind, and loyal. Your true friendships will adore and cherish you. I had one main ride or die friend in high school, she is still my best friend today (and we are going to visit her and her kids soon). It’s not quantity, but quality.

But whatever you do, please don’t dim your light for anyone. Walk proud and understand your worth. You are so very worthy of all you want in life.  Study hard, and use your brain. Use your words for love. It’s OK to walk away from anyone who doesn’t show you respect. Because you respect yourself.

The entire time she just held my head and nodded. This morning as she was eating her breakfast I asked her “How are you feeling this morning?”

And she replied with a smile  “I’m good” and her eyes spoke that truth. I lifted my chin up with my finger, pulled my shoulders back, and said “Head high my girl”

From my heart to yours,

Christine

 

A Post of Uplifting if you Need it

Life has ebbs and flows. High highs and low lows.

Often, I didn’t even recognize one of life’s Highs until after I passed it. Like when I’m driving to work, and I see a group of Moms huddled together with their coffee’s after dropping the older kids off at school. The younger kids are chillin’ in wagons drinking juice boxes while the Mom’s talk about life. I recognize now, that stage was one of my highs in life. Simplistic and beautiful.

However, when I am in a low…oh man, do I know it.

The times of adversity in life are easy to spot. Where it’s hard to lift the head off that pillow every morning and darkness settles in. THEN you miss those light times and wonder why you didn’t recognize that light.

So, if you find yourself in a low, here’s what I want you to know (because I’ve been there).

While it may not feel this way, you have been handed the gift of expedited growth of Mind, Body, and Spirit if you choose that. It’s easy to feel confident, strong, prideful and loving to others when you are in a high time; however, when life’s rug is pulled out from under you…that’s the true test.

You will learn so much about yourself and others. Who your true friends are. The tricky part if letting go and moving forward without holding onto anger and resentment. Let go, for nothing is personal to you. You never know what others are going through too. And sometimes our tricky times in life is simply like holding up a mirror to another.

The only person you can change is you. So now that you are in this place..

Who are you?

Who do you want to be?

What life do you want to create?

The answers to those questions are found within the lows. I realized my lows were a gift to my spirit and my character. They were and are a time of awakening. The phase I can actively choose love over fear. To rise up and meet the challenge to be extraordinary within ordinary pain. Because pain is ordinary. We all have it in some form or fashion.

We are actually not separate at all, we are one in suffering.

Be intentional with your time. Find these elements in life which make you feel alive! If the true joy in life is feeling fulfillment, purpose, and meaning…then where do you find that? Seek purpose. Identity what is meaningful to you.

For me, I find fulfillment and purpose within true giving. I expect nothing in return. It’s not “what can I get?” but rather “What can I give?”.

Develop your intuition to listen to your body/mind/spirit. Rest when you need to and then use that energy for purpose YOU believe as fulfilling.

Rebuild with quality.

Quality relationships built on respect, acceptance, and genuine care.

Quality career where you just do your best. Actions + Words = Integrity

Quality down time. In the lows there is hermit time…that’s OK! No guilt there! Rebuilding is tricky business, but recognize that you will feel recharged to go out into the world again and do the things that make you feel empowered.

Find the fun in life.

Try new things.

Explore.

Find the fun within movement: kayak, hike, go paint-balling, throw a dodge ball at  a trampoline park, swim, waterslide…find that inner kid again. Remember when you were a kid and you couldn’t wait to create and play every. single. day?

I want to encourage you to frame the lows with this truth: All the experiences in your life have brought you to this place. There are no mistakes. You are faced with forks in the road, and choices to make. Choose Love over Fear. If you choose love, you’ll mould yourself stronger than you’ve ever been. That love has to start with yourself. Treat YOU as well, or hell…even better than you treat those you love most.

You will become an elevated version of yourself.

You 2.0

The lows breed compassion and empathy.

All that pain and discomfort will transform into peace, understanding, and happiness. Anxiety and fear of the unknown is replaced with inner calm and assurance. But you have to choose that. 

Remember, you always have a choice.

Choose to stay within the discomfort and not run from it or numb it with external factors. You won’t find purpose within food, alcohol, material possessions, insert numbing facet here. Numbing just forces you deeper into the pit of self-loathing and you deserve better than that.

You deserve to feel accepted, loved, and appreciated.

Choose for yourself exactly what you hope for your children.

Choose love my friends.

Rebuild with quality.

And then one day you’ll be minding your business, and you’ll recognize the familiarity of a low within another. Some strangers. Some friends you’ve grown with for years. Some you let go of. But you’ve now been gifted and equipped with tools to uplift another because you are one within that low.

It’s also within those moments you’ll realize how far you’ve come. How much you’ve grown. How beautiful this life is and how wildly unpredictable.

One life.

Create whatever you wish it to be.

Fulfilled.

Purposeful.

Full of meaning.

All within your power.

Lift your head, it will all be OK. Better than OK!

Extraordinary. Exceptional. Top Shelf.

You got this!

From my heart to yours,

Christine.

The Two Questions That Can Change the Trajectory of Your Life

Over the past couple of weeks, I have started my day by asking 2 questions which have translated into more knowledge, faith, and in turn action.

These two questions, while they sound similar, are actually very different within their intention.

  1. What do I need to know today? Show me.
  2. What do I need to learn today?  Show me.

Show me what I need to know…

There is a rooted knowledge within which is an inner strength…your intuition. A flame that’s always ablaze although at times it may feel like just a flicker. You know what you know. It’s a part of your being and it’s strengthened through your experiences/choices. Your value systems live within your intuition. While you may be open-minded to other’s points of view, your intuition will always guide you to what is right for you…if you listen.

Asking: What do I need to know today? is like asking for your intuition to kick into overdrive so you take the right path for you and in turn those who depend on you.

Show me what I need to learn…

There are elements within each facet of life which require more knowledge to truly find fulfillment.

Careers, relationships, parenting, health & fitness, etc.

Like when you start a new job; Obviously there is a learning curve that you will climb if you seek knowledge and put in the work to retain the information.

Listen.

Observe.

Learn.

Retain.

You can approach life the very same way. By putting out the intention that you are hungry for knowledge and willing to learn, I promise you…life will hand you lessons all day. It’s crazy how that works. Please try it. I would love some company in this experiment. 😉

Those lessons will come to you through opportunities, people, circumstances, challenges, and adversity. It will be uncomfortable. Sorry, but it will.

At one time, I was disillusioned with thinking if I put out good, I would always receive good in return. While a whole lot of good came my way, there was also a whole lot of shit too (for lack of a better word).

It dawned on me, that all the tricky stuff carries with it something I need to know and something I need to learn. I’m talking about lessons about myself…not others. I can only change me.

You do you. I do me.

And I will take responsibility for my life, and the steps I take to reclaim it. Onus on moi.

Step back.

Look at the big picture.

I have this 2 and 5 year plan. I have always been a goal setter, but my goals have changed to quality of life and I have taken time to name what makes my life feel rich in fulfillment of mind, body, spirit.

Quality: High standards. Rich in experiences. Focussed on values, and the hierarchy of those values. Conscious choices. Top shelf living. Intentional and with care.

When I started asking those two questions, it also came with the realization that there’s so much I don’t “know” and need to learn. Surrender to that humility.  Be humble within my inner strength and areas requiring growth.

As simple as it sounds to start the day with those two questions…which it is…I was blown away with the experiences that came my way. Almost immediately. I could write several post about it, but to simplify…here’s a few.

~I was approached at work (bank job) with specific areas I could grow and be more successful at reaching my targets. Not just broad suggestions/ideals, tangible skill-sets that allowed me to exceed those targets and gain constructive feedback.  It’s a very empowering feeling to have knowledge that can translate to success within your career. It builds confidence and you just walk a ‘lil taller.

Show me what I need to learn: If you seek knowledge, opportunities will come to you. Ask questions, and even more comes your way. Ask the right questions, be specific.

~A bunch of things broke down in my home, and I had to find ways to structure my budget to pay for those things. It made me more hungry because it came from necessity…not just “want”. We are not talking “mamma needs a new pair of shoes” here, we are talking about plumbing, transportation, and a roof over my head…literally I need shingles.  ha!

That very month, I booked more photography sessions than I have in the earlier 4 months combined.  The right people came to me at the right time and it worked perfectly into all of our schedules. I also feel fulfillment in giving them photos/memories while being able to better support my family.  At the same time, I learned ways to save and be smart with my money via bank job. I learned to ask for help, which is intensely uncomfortable for me. Like level 10 discomfort.

Show me what I need to know: There’s a simple beauty within the moving parts of synchronicity. Trust in myself and my abilities. It will all be taken care of. I have a support system. I don’t have to do it all alone.

~The other day at my bank job, a woman came to my wicket whom I’ve served before. She has the most beautiful joyful vibe. She wore a bright tie dyed shirt, a big wicker brimmed sun hat, and a smile that lit up the entire place. She is rich in experiences and many years my senior. I respect her, and I hardly know her. We look eyeball to eyeball when we talk; and there’s always a smile that travels right to our eyes. After her transaction, she said to me: “You remembered what I told you weeks ago about my travels, my family. Thank you for your care. You have a very peaceful loving spirit”

Show me what I need to know: The true joy of life is connecting with another in a pure way through genuine care. Good eye contact, a sincere conversation where you are actually investing in learning about another. Loving kindness. It matters…oh yes it does. The gift of time and attentive interaction, even if it’s for a few minutes, is important and felt by others. One spirit to another.

I challenge you to ask those 2 questions before you start your day today.  And then open up those beautiful eyes and take it all in. Let those life lessons pour in and enjoy the change of life’s trajectory. Top shelf.

From my heart to yours,

Christine

13 Years at Goal

I missed my 13 year anniversary of reaching my goal weight as I went away to the lake to visit family.  Last year was the year of Law of Attraction (thankful that has continued) and this was the year of Course Correction.

Keeping with tradition, here’s a few lessons I learned in year 13. I’m going to write this just as I would in my morning journal. Like a little wisdom letter from present me to past me (and hope for future me).

Course Correction

Time is a gift. Use it wisely. If something within my life isn’t working, correct my course. Even if it’s a small correction…it has the power to eventually change my entire trajectory. Align my actions with my values. I already know what those are.

Develop and Trust My Instincts

Listen to that inner voice within that guides me. Make good choices. Choices that matter! In order to truly listen and tune into that inner voice, I have to build it. I have learned that meditation, prayer and quiet time can strengthen instinct. Ask questions, be still and listen. Tune out distractions. Observe and pay attention.

Carve Out “Me Time”

Stop being addicted to busy. Busy is the new buzz word. “I’m soooo busy”. Ok, so is everyone else. But there’s always time for what’s important. And it is also important to take time for myself. Even if that means getting up earlier. Learn to centre myself so that no matter where I am, I can bring back that sense of peace and calm. Create my own little zen zone. Within my home and within my mind.

Be Quiet

This is still tricky for me! I adore good conversation. The kind that makes me think and re-evaluate my position. Question my past thought patterns. I respect those who make me think (and if you make me laugh, that’s double adore). But sometimes, I get so caught up in formulating a response, I miss the point. I also enjoy those who check me when I’m not listening. Thank you. So Listen to understand. Be quiet. Someone once told me that because they were so shy and reserved, they found out so much information about others because most people are uncomfortable with silence. They will fill it with truth talk. Be. Quiet.

Love is Not Attachment

Oooh this one almost needs it’s own dedicated post. But it’s all about knowing my worth and loving others purely without conditions.  Giving others freedom to walk away if they wish, and because I value myself, my worth is not dependant on another. When others walk….is there sadness? Will I miss them?  Sure.  But that doesn’t mean I feel bad about myself in any way. Everyone deserves love without conditions or expectations placed, and if I’m truly authentic…I’ll attract my tribe. And I will KNOW what is right for me and what is not. I can create a cool little circle of trust and connection. But it’s not attachment. Love is freedom.

Give without Expectation

Give with a thankful heart. If it’s rooted in guilt or to appease another…it’s not pure giving. Giving is a wonderful thing! It’s a way to give back to another I care about. So if I’m going to do it, make sure it’s pure unconditional giving with no strings attached. It’s one of life’s happy little gifts that costs nothing, and the rewards are always great.

Do What You Love

I have a shirt I bought years ago that says “Do what you Love”

Farm girls make a wood pile. May Long 2018

That phrase didn’t mean a lot to me until I became very intentional with my time and energy. I shifted careers in search of balance with my children. I work, they school, and together we meet after the day is done. It’s been an amazing shift for my kids and I. I truly do love what I do. I literally get paid to visit and help people. No matter where I am, if it’s in service of others, I’m all about it.  I find fulfillment within giving.  I’ve learned a lot about serving others at my job. I still come home with energy and that’s a wonderful thing!

Find the Ways My Body Enjoys Movement

The best form of exercise is the one you enjoy. Run. Jog. Walk. Kayak. Go for a bike ride. Lift heavy  things. Play a sport. Just play. Enjoy the freedom of challenging the body. That feeling of being alive within movement….oh it’s so good! Because if you don’t use it, you will lose it. That’s the truth.

Sit in Grief and Then Build the Good Stuff

No more running from the tricky stuff. Do I have the courage to sit within loss? Grieve. Let go. Actually feel the feelings, no more numbing anything.  Become comfortable within discomfort. And then focus on creating positive memories. Intentionally bring conscious awareness to the good stuff by bringing all the senses into an amazing moment. You see, that’s where a memory is built. Drink it in. Mindful and with intention.

Be Ever Mindful of My Energy

Energy is infectious. If it’s off, take time to get it right agin. And then spread the happy, uplifting, positive. You never know how that may impact another. I do know how uplifting energy has impacted my life. I am so grateful for the energy-givers in my world.

Find My Voice

I think I say this every year, but finding my voice has been a very long road. Sometimes the voice I use is not authentic; and I feel it in my soul when I don’t speak my truth. When I would rather appease than speak up. When I stay silent rather than standing up for what’s right for my heart. Check myself.  Words + Actions = Integrity.

Thank you to all who continue to uplift, support, and encourage me. I hope I do the same for you. I will keep on trying to do my best in that area.

I found a whole lot of happy and fulfillment this year, and I’m excited to keep on learning and growing. I don’t even fear the tricky stuff anymore. I do not fear loss or discomfort within the new. I’ve intentionally sought ways to be uncomfortable and challenge myself this year, and surrounded myself with others who do the same.

The challenge within transition builds a strength of character. You not only find out who you are in your spirit, but also who stands tall beside you.

And whatever you do…

Stand tall and proud.

One precious joy fill life.

Live it well my friends.

From my heart to yours,

Christine