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

 

The Value of the Present

June 14th, 2018

I’m sharing my writing for this morning.

Today, I ask that I speak with intention and bring peace and understanding into my interactions. Within seeking my goals and purpose, I loose a thread of understanding within the fabric of this life…to live that purpose within the stage I’m currently in. The now.

Us humans always want “more“. We get lost in the pit of not enough.

But what if the job, the social network, the family, the stuff that fills a home, the car, the frame we currently walk around in, the clothes on our back…whatever it is that makes up our current life..is enough.  And what if it was taken away?  Then what value does it have?

There is always someone less fortunate that you. Always. Whether that’s within skill, emotional development, health, or wealth.

Perspective…

The body you have now is someone else’s goal. And that can come down to  the ability to walk, run, or simply move.  The legs you wish were smaller, another does not have the ability to move on their own.

The children you raise, is another’s heart’s desire.

The partner you dismiss or ignore is another’s wish for one last moment with theirs.

The annoying tasks in life such as grocery shopping, doing laundry, standing in line at a bank to deposit a pay check…taking care of life’s little responsibilities…is a flicker in the eye of a past that once was to someone who lost it all.

The good health you wake up with, is yearned for by another in a hospital bed.

So in framing it all in that way, maybe this place I’m in right this second is part of a bigger plan, or maybe it is the plan.

Can I be humble to recognize the priceless quality within my many blessings?

Can I be thankful for the work required to keep  this life, this body, these relationships, this home that keeps us safe and warm running on quality?

Can I find purpose within the ordinary?

Can I be the example to my children they deserve?

Am I giving my all to the job I have right now?

Can I have the courage to let go of the elements that do not support my happiness and self-worth? And can I release those elements with love for all that I learned (that is the better question)

We all have gifts, use them as a way to enrich this beautiful life for others.

It’s not in “what can I get“, but rather, “what can I give” that enriches not just my soul, but others.

If you can make another laugh or smile. Do that!

If you can teach, then teach.

If you have learned valuable lessons found within some of your toughest life challenges…ask that you use those for purpose. I promise you life will bring to you someone who desperately needs that knowledge and understanding in their right timing.

There is always beauty in the present if you open your eyes.

I will remember this as I go into holidays this summer. To enjoy time with my family camping, and be grateful that I can actually take that time to build more memories.

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

 

 

 

 

On Passion

At a very early age, it was in my nature to question everything. At times it was fuelled by self-doubt, but mainly to get to the root of Why.

To give purpose to.

I’ve always sought the purpose for my life. There HAS to be more to this life than work, eat, sleep, repeat.

I will spin it back to one word: Love.

To explore passions and empower/encourage others to do the same.

I do not choose a mediocre life. Now, the word “mediocre” can mean something completely different to me as it does to you. Perhaps a more accurate statement is that I choose to be conscious and intentional with my time, energy, and words. I want my words to match my actions: which is integrity. I seek Quality living which is not found within titles or things or status.

As a child, I recognized I had the power to transform any “perceived” reality within my mind’s consciousness.

On my childhood farm, we had this path lined with towering spruce trees. The path was not well-worn, so wild grass grew freely. I know I was very young, because I remember the childhood clothes I had on before I reached double digits. I would lay down on that path and stare up to the sky. I still have that scene in my mind’s eye…the tips of spruce trees reaching up to expansive blue skies where birds surfed currents of freedom. The advantage to living so rural is there is pure silence there. What you do hear is nature. And I remember realizing how small I was, but there was a big world out there. That scene reminded me that I will find freedom one day. My own wings.

I didn’t have dreams to be a Ballerina or an Astronaut.  I had dreams to just love, accept, support and empower others. I know that’s who I am not only since it lives within my first memories, but also because during my darkest hour, I chose that.

I chose that within some of life’s trickiest times when I could have chosen revenge, insecurity, bitterness, and negativity.

Bring it back to Love.

What does that mean for the everyday?

Choose Quality.

What makes you feel alive?

What makes you feel most in tune with your spirit side?

WHO makes you feel alive?

What makes you laugh, and feel true happiness?

Where does your passion lie?

For me, I have become very intentional with my time, words, and creating a harmonious, loving, peaceful environment.

I identified my feel-good elements and in my free time (because we all have a 9-5 that carries an environment not always full of awesomeness), I choose those! Not even feel-good…some are feel-amazing.

I find it within my Miracle Morning.

Moving and eating the way my body is designed to work best. With balance; not lack or restriction.

Going for a walk or run outside.

Soak up the sun, feel it on my face. Breath in some air. Take in some nature eye-candy.

Explore.

Finding beauty within the ordinary and the extrodinary: Photography

Meet new people, because absolutely everyone who crosses your path can teach you something. Both in what you want, who you want to grow to be; and who you don’t want to be. When I meet a closed off/guarded person, I’m curious with genuine care how they came to be that way. I feel empathy for it, because it’s a pretty lonely existence to never trust and go through life denying the connection with others. I refuse to choose that nor do I take it personally if it’s directed my way.

You do You. I do Me.

Most importantly, I choose strong links in my chain. It’s easy to see who those people are. Not only will they stand beside you within your low-vibe days; but they are truly happy for your successes. They want as much happiness for you as they do for themselves. That’s called being secure within yourself.

Find people who remind you not to take yourself or life too seriously. Carve little moments of time out for those people. We are all “busy”. Give me an hour with my girls, I’m energized for days.

It’s cold for spring, but I can turn on my fireplace with a good book, talk to my bestie Darina on the phone for hours laughing about nothing and everything, buy some tulips for my table. I don’t actually have to wait for them to pop out of the snow on my neighbours yard. Turn up the music…whatever makes me feel something. Dance in my kitchen while I cook high-quality foods I know will give me energy for my busy week. Open a window, pull back the drapes, let the sun shine in.

Good Vibes Only.

Fill my home with little mementos that remind me of my goals and values so I’ll never lose my way.

The stack of vintage books from the old Windermere school in Vermilion my Mom gave me: Never stop learning or dull the quest for continued knowledge.

The hand-painted canvas of owls my daughter made me: Freedom and creativity.

Allan Sapp’s painting “Baby is Sleeping”: My roots and my Grandma Perkins

The Buddha photo I took while visiting with soul-food friends: Harmony

The WW bobble head on my mantle that was gifted to me by my Kismet spirit/truth-teller/mini gang: Know your fackin’ worth and embrace your inner power. Own it.

Whatever you choose to do with your time, I wish for you Quality.

Top-Shelf living with passion, love, and Zen Joy.

Life is beautiful and you have the power to create an amazing one.

From my heart to yours,

Christine

 

How to Tweak your Program as Life Changes

I am figuring out a new schedule in the pursuit of balance. I am finding my way! I was honestly worried how I was going to balance it all, and keep on top of my health and wellness as I started a new job (which lacks movement).

It comes back to the tools…

I recognized early on in my losing phase, that I have these 3 core tools at my disposal. Ideally, they all work together for balance. But if I can’t focus as much on one side of the triangle, there are two others I can use and some weeks, just one (as I’ve come to understand).

When I had more time in my week (and at times my energy levels), I could eat well, get my cardio and strength training in and my healthy weight always stabilized.

Now…I have less time for the cardio/strength part, but I still make time for 3 workouts a week in. I schedule these as an important appointment I will not miss. It’s a choice. I now focus more on the nutrition/water side.

Which means weekly big cooks on Sundays so I always have healthy proteins/good carbohydrates/healthy fats on hand. Create a no fail environment as best I can.

My week-ends are my two big workouts, and I will not put them on hold for anyone. It’s a non-negotiable time because I know how important this element is to my mind/body/soul. I’m no good to anyone if I don’t take care of myself.

After Christmas I was up in weight, as I am every year. No biggie, but I also knew I was about to start a new job which was behind a desk. It’s been years since I did that type of work, so I was nervous.

I’m so happy to see what transpired by shifting focus and creating a new program. I was able to lose my holiday weight and stay on track. I’ve focussed on full body workouts and 4 main strength movements that are compound exercises (meaning more than one muscle group).  I’m working around a shoulder injury as well as healing an Achilles.

Squat

Deadlift

Rows/chinups

Presses/pushups

I start with cardio. 20-30 minutes and move into strength. I’ve added core work within the movements (engage core, add in a bosu, adjust lever length, put myself off-kilter like a single-leg deadlift, etc).

I’m sharing this today, because I had that urge to fall into my own excuses and self-imposed limitations. Ooooh, the urge can be so strong.

“I have no time”

“I have an injury”

There is always time if you make it.  There’s a gift in intentional time…I spend less time on elements that do not impact my life in a positive way.

I can work around my injuries and allow time to heal.  I do not focus on my weakness, but rather my strengths.

I alone am responsible for my health and wellness.

And I’m so thankful for the many tools at my disposal as life shifts and changes. Because it will….  There will always be changes and limitations.

I am the designer of my life (as are you). Quality life. Whole-hearted living. Balanced and joy-filled.

From my heart to yours,

Christine