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 Simplistic Beauty of Giving

My reading this morning was on the spirit of giving.

Simplistically beautiful giving.

As I go into my workday, I will focus on uplifting others who cross my path.  Working at a bank, there’s many in a day.

How can I uplift their spirit within that 5 minute window?

The smallest kind word can create grow in impact; you never know what another is struggling with. But you can feel it within the way they hold themselves, their tone, how they interact.   There’s  nothing more monotonous than standing in line at a bank, I remember that by the time they reach me.

Just give a little kindness and understanding.

That’s literally all I’m going to focus on within every interaction today.

I have 100 some odd chances to brighten another’s day today. That’s how I think about it…how many chances will I get today to spread a little good?

Giving does not have to be grandiose or extravagant. The spirit of giving lives within a welcoming smile, a door held open, a genuine compliment, a listening ear, within the song of laughter.

Have a great day! I hope someone shows a little kindness to you today. You are loved.

From my heart to yours,

Christine

Magic Forks and Cracked Molars which turn into Banking Jobs  

There’s a phenomenon in my home, that I’m sure many others can relate to.

Along with the mystery of the missing one sock in the laundry pile, forks also go missing in my house.

What the fork, where do they go?

I was shopping the other day and was drawn into one of those kitchen stores; stocked with pretty kitchen-ey type gadgets.  I picked up a set of forks. It pained me to buy them when I had perfectly good forks just months ago; so I put them back on the shelf.

As I was washing the same 4 forks so we could eat supper; I inwardly made fun of my frugal self for not buying the forks. Later that day, I went downstairs to organize my unfinished basement turned sweat-freely-in-home-gym.  In the corner I spied a wooden box; like there was a spot light on it.

I opened it slowly, like it was a treasure chest. I realized it was a beautiful cutlery set gifted to us by my parents on our wedding day. The weirdest part of about this is I swore I already dumped the whole set into my everyday drawer years ago. I even wrote about it. Maybe I only used half of them; but I was staring in shock at a complete set of beautiful silverware.

I asked for a fork.

I found not just any fork; but a set of fancy forks.

Perception is everything: there was a part of me that lamented not using those fancy forks back when I was married; I am only now breaking out the “good china” now that I’m divorced? Oh the irony.

I think the real message here is within asking and receiving.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye
shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you

What I’ve learned these past three years is that my prayers/affirmations/thoughts turn into things.

Some small…like a fork; and some huge like careers and a happy home built on love with my children.

Like that time when I broke a tooth; which turned into a banking job.

Stay with me….

I cracked a  molar eating ice. I don’t know why my molar couldn’t handle some ice chips, but it was my favourite molar. The one that does the most chewing. Of the meats.

At the time; I had no benefits. And that one molar ended up costing me $3,200.

It was a complicated molar.

Oh the things you do for your favourite molar.

That week; I received some help from my parents via a card in mail with a handwritten note and a CQ.

They are still my tooth fairy.

What was an amazing blessing to me is that I didn’t ask them for help.  They just intuitively knew that I was very much struggling at that time. Thank you

Three weeks after that; I got a job offer at a bank. I had never considered working at a bank; but a friend approached me knowing my skill set. She told me it came along with benefits. For the teeth. 😉

I had a huge smile as the day before, I had also set a goal to learn more about investments and finances. I had even looked into taking courses and said aloud “bring me opportunities to learn about finances.”

I was gifted a learning opportunity which came with benefits.

This is how it works in my life lately.

I trust and surrender.

I have confidence in myself and my abilities.

I stay the course and work hard.

Focus on the good.

The blessings.

Gratitude.

Humble awesomeness.

I’m taken care of.

I have all that I need.

Skeptics may say; you always had fancy forks in your basement…

But I choose to see the magic within Synchronicity.

Beautiful timing within need.

Thanks for the forks.

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.

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

 

 

 

 

Lifting the Veil

I read an article today that really made a whole lot of sense to me (thanks Patti): https://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/05/what-kurt-vonnegut-taught-us-about-the-science-of-happiness/ 

I will wait here while you read the article so we can be on the same wavelength. Insert elevator music here.

Neuropsychologist Rick Hanson explains that positive and negative experiences accesses different memory pathways within the brain. That negative memories are like velcro, and positive experiences are like teflon.  The positive experiences don’t hold within our memories the way the negative do.

In his book, Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm and Confidence, Dr. Hanson says that most of us don’t stay with positive experiences long enough for them to be “encoded” into our brain’s neural structure.

“The longer the (brain cell) neurons fire, the more of them that fire, and the more intensely they fire, the more they’re going to wire that inner strength—that happiness, gratitude, feeling confident, feeling successful, feeling loved and lovable.” Dr. Rick Hanson

You have to feed the positive memories. Give breath and life to them. Bring all the senses into that experience as you weave it into a memory. Consciously focus and remember the textures, sights, sounds, aromas, touch within that good experience.

Tell the story.

As a photographer, I can appreciate that! While I’m shooting, I often think about that. This one hour together is just like any other hour this family might have in their day. A little walk down a sun kissed pathway where trees bend to form arches (if you are lucky to find that scene). Yet, it becomes a tangible memory because it’s documented within a photograph.

It allows us to capture and freeze a fleeting moment. To lift the veil on the ordinary. Create beauty and meaning within the everyday.

Within the article linked above, a quote from Kurt Vonnegut left an impact with me. I will carry it with me into my days…

If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.

There are so many tragic events within the world. It makes no sense. While it’s important to stay informed and focus attention there, I choose to do so in a way that breeds compassion and empathy.

The true gift in life is to celebrate and cherish all the beauty. Give meaning to it. Soak up the good. View life as a beautifully ever-shifting evolving cycle.  The terrible can also be a reminder of what it is to cherish the little moments of good within every single day. Because there are no guarantees. Life is precious and fleeting.

Even a tiny moment of connection with a stranger can tell you that we are all ONE. We can be united within understanding that we all grieve, laugh, and experience the high highs, and the low lows within life.

But truly living…is meant to come with feeling and creating memories out of moments.

Give life and breath to the positive ones.

I think that’s why I love lifting so much, I feel the entire time. It’s a challenge I can tap into at any time. How much do I feel when I’m tuned out on the couch, watching TV or scrolling over the daily FB highlight reel?

I have to remind myself to WAKE UP! Feel this life in all it’s phases…inhale the good stuff, exhale the bad stuff.

If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.

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