What I Want my Daughter to Know

For many years, I chose not to have a voice.  I held my opinions within. Through my teen years, I wasn’t always treated with respect, and I didn’t realize I held the key to demand respect. I started off my tender teen years as a victim survivor of a sexual assault and it shaped my perspective on what it is to be a woman in a different way. In a way, that I wasn’t ready for. I feel like I’ve overcome the shame and the pain that is carried over from my past…along with other traumas that I will never share here.

And then,

out of nowhere,

it rears it’s ugly head…

starting out so innocently at first,

but inwardly spiralling out of control.

So, how do I teach my daughter what it is to love and respect herself so much that she treasures the woman she is and accepts nothing less? How do I convey to her the importance of living life authentically where she is true to who she is within and isn’t afraid to let her light shine?  How do I explain the life lessons I learned the hard way and will she listen?  I am passionate about helping women move forward for a reason, and it’s very close to my heart.  I want to scream it from the roof tops now all that I’ve learned, and I’m so thankful for continuing to learn from some pretty amazingly strong women in my life. Thank you all you strong women with a powerful voice!

I’m also sick-to-death of the stereotype of strong women as “feminists”, like it’s a foul word. We are all just people. Equally deserving of respect.

Ok, I got off track! My daughter is not a teenager yet, so thankfully I have some time to teach and build on all I wish for her to know. But in thinking about it today, this is what I want my daughter to know.

~You teach people how to treat you.

~Stand up for what you believe in with passion and speak from your heart.

~If you are respectful, kind, supportive, accepting, and giving…it will come back to you ten-fold and you have every right to demand what you freely give to others.

~Give yourself permission to honour the path that is right for you.  It may not be a path that is right for someone else, but if it’s right for you…continue on it and make no apologies for it.

~Forgiveness is a choice.

~You ARE enough. Surround yourself with people that lift you up and believe in you.

~Shoulders back, head held high.

~Committ yourself to life-long learning. We are never done learning. There is no finish line. Just more life to be lived, and more amazing life lessons to be learned.

~Pass on what you’ve learned, don’t keep it in. If you can share and help someone move forward then do it, but do so with respect because belief systems are sacred to another.  Don’t push your beliefs on another person. Just live out your reality.

~People know authenticity when they see it. When you share in an authentic way, you will attract like-minded people into your life, and that’s a blessing!

~Never ever give up your power to another person (there are not too many “never ever’s” in this world, but I believe this is one of them!)

~Don’t silence your strengths for the benefit of another’s weaknesses.

~Just because you have other roles “Mom, Wife, Business Women, insert role here” doesn’t mean you have to lose who you are.  It’s OK to be carefree, to have fun, to take time for yourself. Your needs are not last.  To be a good Mom, you need to have a life aside from your children to grow as a woman. Your children are watching you.

~You are the property of no one.

~You are not defined by what you look like, the clothes you wear, or the shape and size of your body.

~Smile often.

~Love others. Love yourself just as much.

~Mean girls are also filled with jealousy and insecurity. Just smile and move on.

~Invest in your future, find a career you love. Because when you love what you do, it just doesn’t feel like work.

~You will make mistakes, everyone does. Just be sure to learn from each mistake you make and move forward.

~It’s OK to show weakness. You don’t have to be strong all the time.

~Sincere appreciation. It’s a gift you can give to others.

~You are stronger than you even realize.

~Do not forget the things that fuel your passion. Don’t give those up for anyone.

My extraordinary daughter, I will always attempt to teach you all that I’ve learned, but I know that many things you need to learn for yourself. If you learn anything from something that once caused me pain, then there is purpose to it. All I can hope for is that you feel comfortable to talk to me about anything. I hope you realize what an amazing gift you are, how loved and cherished you are, and that you are worthy. Life is meant to be lived with passion. Live it with pride, because you my darling daughter are simply amazing just the way you are.

And when you do find someone to give your heart to, may they also realize just how amazing you are.

From my heart to your heart,


Mind, Body, Spirit

I was reminded this past month, that the quest for a balanced happy life full of purpose needs to involve not only the body, but the mind and spirit too.  It can’t just be about weighing X amount of pounds, or fitting into a certain size, it has to be more than that.  I’m not defined by what I weigh, my happiness doesn’t revolve around what the scale reads in the morning.

These three elements need to work together because when one area is lacking, the other two also shift as well and the balance just isn’t there.  The trick is to find what it is that feeds your mind and spirit too!  That special something that fills you with purpose, happiness, and thankfulness within.  It can be difficult because the demands of daily life often get in the way of taking time for yourself…which you need to do.  It’s not selfish to put value on yourself.  It’s essential.  When you are fulfilled within, you have so much more to give to others.

There are moments when I feel like a failure, when I let people down, when I feel completely overwhelmed, when I feel sorry for myself, when I lose track of what’s important in life.  Then there is a life changing event that occurs that snaps me back to reality and forces me to re-evaluate what life is all about.  That’s just life…you take the good with the bad. The hard times remind you how important it is to cherish the good times.

Life is all about perception.  We can choose to dwell on the things we wish we could change, the things that annoy us, the things that are hard to deal with.  It’s a part of everyone’s life!  Or we can choose to focus on all the amazing things in life to be valued and treasured; most importantly the relationships that are built on acceptance and love.  Surround yourself with people who bring you up and make you want to be a better person, and in exchange give that back in return to those you love.

At times I get caught up in the complaining game about the little things that put me out.  How selfish is that!  I am healthy. I have three healthy children. I have a warm home to live in. I have a big, funny, loving, supportive family. I have amazing friends.  I have a career where I get to document love and connection.  I have the freedom to choose to follow whatever path in life I like. What do I have to complain about?  Absolutely nothing!

Life is good and I want to live it! I want to truly experience the best of life.  I have found the most freedom in taking control of my health and changing my perceptions.  Life is a gift and it’s my responsibility to choose to live it with a heart full of gratitude.

When I go for a run, and my mind starts doubting that I can keep going or that it would be better just to park my butt on the couch, I just have to remind myself of my sister who can physically no longer run but would absolutely love to.  I CAN run. It’s a gift I take for granted. It’s all about perception.  It’s humbling when I actually stop and take stock of all the blessings in life that I take for granted.

So today I am going to take some time out of my day and go for a walk, and I’m going to use that time to count my blessings which are too numerous to count.  I am thankful for your support and the time you take to encourage me.  I want to encourage you as well to enjoy the amazing life you have been given, and to remember that you are loved, valued, and cherished.

And at the top of my iPod playlist today will be this song…

From my heart to yours,