Day 60: Life is a balance of holding on and letting go…

“Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.”
Mahatma Gandhi

I have finally reached the end of my 60 day journey and I feel incredible. Some aspects of my daily life has remained the same, but many of them have changed. It has been an interesting experiment  and I am truly glad that I decided to do it especially since it forced me to take a few moments every day and really think about the things in my life that i’m thankful for. Starting each day with a plan to be happy, at peace, and calm has honestly changed the way I do things. If you recall from my earliest posts I was looking to restore a means of balance to my often chaotic life, and it was as simple as changing the way I look at things. Let me explain.

In the beginning I was heavily fixated on working my way through my bucketlist, but upon careful consideration and a pep talk from a friend realized balance could NOT be achieved if I spent the entire 2 months stressed out to finish the list especially if it included half doing them just so I could say they were completed. Instead, I’ll keep the list nearby, review it periodically and work towards completing the task at a pace that works for me and my busy schedule. If that means 1 month I complete 3 and another months I do not complete any, so be it.

I know it sounds corny, but I feel i’ve grown as a person the last little while and have made some discoveries about myself. It has been nice carving out a mental headspace that I don’t mind being in.

Oh don’t worry, i’m not a crazy person and I don’t sit around running inside of my head all day…

Nor was I a COMPLETE ball of stress before this whole ordeal however, creating balance not merely HOPING to find it has helped me see there are often much more efficient and relaxed approaches to things, i’d like to enjoy this ride known as life. Several weeks ago, I came across a quote that said

“Balance is not something you find, Balance is something you create”

DING DING DING!

Why am I waiting around for balance to stumble up to my door and introduce itself? I need to stop hoping things fall into place, I need to Create the place and usher them in. And so I did. Plain and simple, I let go of my incessant need to do everything according to plan all the time.

One of the biggest issues I’ve been struggling with is always being tired because I never give myself any ‘down’ time. I have my regular full time job as well as my second job as a healthy lifestyle and wellness coach. During the week I focus more on the office job, with evenings being coaching and on the weekends its chores, cleaning, food prep, and coaching–oh and lots of gym. Turns out my little body can’t handle the constant go go go.

All I did was sit down and think about the things I could change.Without going into detail, I essentially changed up a few things and suddenly I can sleep on Sundays.

Who knew I didn’t HAVE to meal prep on Sundays, or grocery shop, or go to the gym, etc. Most of the things that have been taking up my time aren’t even that important OR can easily be done another time or a different way. I am looking to get things done each day as simply as possible without causing giant ripples. That’s not to say that some days my life isn’t super busy; all over the place, and I’m struggling to juggle it all, because I will likely always have days like that. The difference moving forward will be my approach and thought process. It is just as acceptable to take a 40 minute nap on a Saturday if my body needs it, as it is to work for 10 hours. I’m not about to become a slacker, I truly enjoy getting things done, but on those days things aren’t getting done for whatever reason I will accept it as such, let go of the frustration, take a deep breath, and smile through it.

So friends, I appreciate you following me on this journey. I have even more things to share, but for now it’s time to get some much needed beauty rest. Tomorrow, as you know, is Halloween and then Saturday is my birthday. I am hoping to get out a blog post on Saturday, but we shall see.

Have a wonderful evening and beautiful weekend.

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Day 59: We will not be intimidated…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

 

Today Ottawa was rocked by a series of hostile events. This morning a man shot and killed a soldier standing at the National War Memorial, and then went on to run through Parliament Hill terrorizing those inside and shooting until he was eventually killed.

When I first found out, I thought there was some mistake. I was in utter disbelief. This could not be happening here, so close to home. This is the type of violence I read about on news sites, but it’s always far away. For the first time in a very long time, I experienced real fear. I remained glued to Twitter, News sites, and Live streams to stay up to date on what was transpiring. My poor parents didn’t relax for a moment until I called them from the safety of my house tonight.

Listening to Justin Trudeau’s speech, I was pleased to hear him address the Muslim community. Too often following events like this, hatred, bitterness,and outrage cloud our judgement. It’s important to note, that regardless of what evidence comes to light surrounding the shooting it is only the extremists who are doing these hateful and violent acts. We are all affected during times of crisis and it’s important to stand together.

I’d like to take a moment to thank all of those courageous men and women who put their lives at risk today to help others and ensure the rest of us were safe. As well, my deepest condolences to the family of the fallen soldier.

The events of the day, although they’ve left me slightly unnerved, have also left me feeling exceptionally grateful to be alive, unharmed, healthy, and home safe with my husband. This evening  take a moment to send positive vibes into the universe, I’m sure there is someone out there who could use them.

Be well.

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Day 58: REDRUM! REDRUM!

I am fairly certain most of you get the reference, but if not, spell out the word in the reverse order–what do you get? MURDER! It’s from one of my favourite Horror movies The Shining. 

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In case you haven’t noticed, today’s post is going to be a little different than usual, but it’s the second half of the month of October which means HALLOWE’EN is just around the corner and that means zombies, ghouls, goblins, and scary movies! I’m not typically a scary movie fan, and don’t’ go out of my way to watch them throughout the year–as a matter of fact whenever I do watch them I’m terrified (and only ever watch with 1 eye uncovered)

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but it’s part of the fun, so year after year I choose 6 or 7 movies and power through.

I must say, with each year that I do this, I find that I prefer the older horror films more than most of the recent ones. I love all that technology has to offer, my phone, tablet, 3D movies, etc but I find the new movies often rely so heavily on tech and gore that the story itself is terrible. I prefer a psychological thriller. Have you seen The Shining? When his head pops through the door, no gore necessary–I nearly wet my pants anyway.

Some of my absolute favourite older films are:

The Shining

-A Nightmare on Elm Street (I still don’t sleep with my feet untucked haha)

-Pet Sematary

-Rosemary’s Baby

-The Omen (1976 version)

-The Exorcist

-Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1973)

-Psycho (1960)

However, since i’ve seen all of those already, I decided to change it up and watch some newer ones this year. I didn’t want to watch just anything, so I went searching for suggestions and found someone’s list of the top 13 Horror movies of 2013, but since I can’t watch all 13, I have chosen the following 7.

-Contracted

-Among Friends

-Would You Rather

-American Mary

-The Conjuring

-All the Boys love Mandy Lane  *edit* Decided to watch Mama instead because I watched the trailer for this and it is FAR too much gore for me.

-Maniac *edit* Same thing, way too gore focused for me. So going to watch Drag me to Hell instead.

I am currently watching Would you Rather and it’s all kinds of messed up. Not in a traditionally scary kind of way, but well…let’s just say if you had to play the game “Would you Rather” but with a demented person giving the WORST possible choices ever then you get the idea of what i’m sitting through.

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Are you a scary movie fan? I feel it’s one of those things you either really love, or really hate–though I suppose many of us fit in that weird middle ground of terrified but can’t help ourselves.

If you do enjoy a good scare, what’s your type? Are you more of a ghost, haunting, supernatural movie lover with movies such as Insidious/Poltergeist/The Conjuring or do you prefer slasher movies like Hallowe’en/The Hills have Eyes/Wrong turn/Saw and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre?

I enjoy happy stories, uplifting feel good books and movies, and fill my days with as much positivity as I can manage but just because I like to smile and spread happiness doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy to be frightened once in a while too. We all have our guilty pleasures.

That being said, I look forward to bringing you a happier, more peaceful post tomorrow.

Have a wonderful rest of the day.

Boo!

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53: Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top…

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”

Good Evening friends,

As I near the end of this 60 day journey, I am feeling so light and refreshed.  I’ve missed blogging some days, I haven’t posted about as many topics as I had hoped, but I learned a lot about myself. Although I haven’t chronicled every single moment, I have done so many things in the past 53 days that have really changed how I live my daily life. I have discovered that beginning each day with a grateful happy heart, EVEN when I want to throw my alarm against the wall, changes my entire day, and I just end up feeling so much better. Even if you’re unaware, if you’re holding on to negative thoughts, they have a way of slowly seeping out through your words, your actions, and your attitude. Trade in the negativity for positive thoughts, love, laughter, and soon you’ll see how much of an impact it makes on your life.

As you know, when I began this 60 day journey I had every intention of making my way through my bucket list as quickly as possible. I have at least 23 things left pending, so I was looking for short cuts and ways to do them ‘partially’ so I could cross them off and be done with them by the end of the month.

A week ago I was talking to a friend of mine and she said something that I sort of ignored at the time, but that has stuck with me. She said, “Don’t do the list halfway. This is NOT you, and NOT what your challenge is about. Take a longer time and do each and every item for you–the RIGHT way.”

Say what?

Why didn’t I think of that?

So ladies and gentleman, I will not finish my bucket list by my birthday BUT I am still working on it. I also have a few other items to add to it and over the course of the next year i’ll cross off as many as possible.

My main goal in life is to find balance. I want to be happy, healthy, living the best version of me. Which is why I am going to end with a music video by Colbie Caillat tonight. Please watch the video and listen to the lyrics and you’ll understand why.

I do not wake up every day and dislike the girl I see. I spent so much of my time as a teenager and in my early 20’s obsessing over body types I will never have, and thankfully have come to love myself the way I am. No more changing to please others, what matters is that I love me. However, I won’t sit here and lie–i’m human.  I love myself 95% of the time–and i’m okay with my flaws, but that 5% of the time self doubt creeps in and HOLY SPIT BALLS BATMAN I have huge thighs.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all about how pretty you are, but on those days when you really do feel disgusting it’s nice to know it doesn’t matter. Whether I have a thigh gap, they rub when I walk, or I have 250 lbs to lose I am beautiful. Beauty cannot be measured with a tape measure, by how many layers of mascara i’m wearing, or my ability to stand upright in 5 inch heels while wearing a cocktail dress—beauty is being kind to others, it’s offering to help when one one else does, seeing a friend in need and rushing to their aid, it’s soft, it’s strong, and it’s in all of us.

So the next time you look in the mirror and think your eyes are crooked, your brows need more filler, or your thighs are too thick just remember you are perfect THE WAY YOU ARE. Love yourself first, the other stuff will fall into place.

*Namaste Friends.

 

 

 

Day 46: Sleep does the body (and mind) good!

“Be thankful for the bad things in life. For they open your eyes to the good things you weren’t paying attention to before”

Good Evening beautiful friends,

Speaking of paying attention…Today was one of THOSE days. You know, the type of day where you make simple mistakes for no reason other than that you’re distracted with thinking about anything but the task at hand. Ever had that happen?

Let me explain.

5:50am at Starbucks.

I saw a sign advertising French toast at Starbucks! Even though I can’t have any because I’m vegan/gluten free, I was instantly excited and couldn’t wait to share this information with some one.

9:30am to a friend.

“Hey did you know Starbucks is making French toast now!”

“What? No they’re not”

“Yep! I saw a sign in the store today in the corner”

“Regena, I don’t want to argue because maybe they do french toast now, but are you sure the sign in the corner wasn’t for FRENCH ROAST…as in coffee, since you were in a COFFEE shop”

“Well, Shit.”

So there you have it folks. The sign in the corner said French roast–as it should. I Googled just to make sure, and Starbucks does not sell French toast. Which by the way, my friend was sad about even after she proudly pointed out my mistake.

Something similar happened this evening, about 10 minutes before starting to write this blog post actually. I was folding laundry and thought to myself “Mmmm….popcorn”

Wait?! Popcorn? I’m not making popcorn? What is that smell?

I’m sad to announce it was my steel cut oats. I forgot all about my pot of oatmeal on the stove and it had cooked down and created a lovely burnt crust on the bottom of my pot. Now THAT is going to be fun to remove.

All this rambling to bring up a very important point–sleep is incredibly important. I have not been sleeping well the past few days (about 6 to be precise) and it’s taking a toll on me. I don’t just notice the effects on my body, I also see a very noticeable difference on my emotions, memory, and mental capacity.

Things i’ve noticed:

Physically:  I am not recovering from my workouts very well. As a matter of fact, I have the worst case of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) of life. I trained hard this week, sure, but I should not feel like this. It is not ALL because of my lack of sleep, but I assure you it isn’t helping. I’m achy, and lying in bed is the most appealing idea ever.

Emotionally: Let’s just say i’m a bit of a short fuse this week. I haven’t lost my cool on anyone, but things are bothering me much more than they normally would. I’m irritable, easily frustrated, and if I watched ‘The Notebook’ right now, i’d likely end up sobbing like a child who’s dog ran away.

Mentally: BRUTAL. I can’t spell. I can’t concentrate. Simple work tasks are a struggle, which is exceptionally stressful because I have multiple deadlines to meet. I become slightly dyslexic when i’m extremely tired, and need to focus 10x harder than usual which again just creates more of a vicious cycle because I cannot focus BECAUSE i’m tired.

The next time you feel like staying up til 2am to marathon America’s next top model (why on earth did I pick this show?) but have to be up at 7 to go to work, remember these 8 top reasons why you should turn the Television off and go to bed for some ZZZZs instead.

Some health benefits of sleep:

1. Improved Memory

2. Better Quality of life

3. More creative

4. Improved performance (as an athlete)

5. Sharpened Attention/Focus

6. Less likely to Stress

7. Less likely to gain weight

8. Probably won’t Lose your sh*t on a coworker or spouse. Okay, I made this last one up, but hey, if you’re tired and grumpy fights happen. So get your sleep.

I’m not saying one good night of sleep will completely fix you if you’re a chronic insomniac, but I know for a fact that the better i’m sleeping, the happier, healthier, and more energetic I am. Things come easier, I have better workouts, and overall like myself and everyone else more. 😉

On that note, i’m off to bed. Sleep well beauties,

*Namaste*

 

 

Things I love about fall: October Edition

“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”

                                                                         -Humbert Wolfe

Good Evening Beautiful friends,

I thought i’d share a few of the top reasons I love autumn. I actually love all of the seasons, even winter–blasphemy I know (I’ll get more into this in another post). Each season brings it’s own charms and as much as I love summer, the gorgeous sunshine, hot beach days, sun dresses, tans, etc. I also love the crisp air on a fall morning, crunching through the leaves as I walk through the path on my way to work, and let’s not forget all of the amazing fashion. At first I was sad to see summer go, but I am now ready to welcome fall with open arms. Well, at least I will be, once I dig out all of my warmer clothes.

In no particular order, here are some of the things I absolutely love about October!

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If you know me well, you’d know I wait rather impatiently starting around August for that first arrival of my love–the sweet Cortland apple. I can only get these this time of year and I double up every single day–if 1 apple a day keeps the doctor away, I am hopefully also keeping the nurses away too.

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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the perfect opportunity for all of us ladies to REALLY think about our breast health. Get check ups ladies, know your body, feel for irregularities, and speak to your doctor if you have any concerns. Please visit the website Here for more information or to donate.

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Can’t you just taste them now? This photo actually reminds me of other things I also love about October–thanksgiving, pumpkin carving, experimenting with spices. Yum. Thyme, rosemary, tarragon, sage…I want to use them all.

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I’m not buying into this ‘Pumpkin spice’ craze that is apparently sweeping through North America, but I love some simple mulled cider. It’s like a warm hug, it’s easy to make at home, and unlike the pumpkin spice lattes you can get at your local coffee shop, contain only a few PRONOUNCEABLE ingredients.

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Remember when I said the cider was like a warm hug? Well a cozy cable knit sweater with an infinity scarf isn’t LIKE a hug–it IS a hug. It’s difficult for me to want to dress like an adult with a job once i’ve put on my first scarf and sweater of the season. Bring on the leggings, the long baggy sweaters, and the scarves wrapped around my neck and head…

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Practical. Comfortable. Warm. Goodbye stilettos…haha just kidding, stilettos can stay, but only for special occasions, however bring on the ankle boots, knee highs, thigh highs, in all shades of brown, grey, and black. As my husband and messy closet would attest–I can’t get enough.

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One day all of the leaves have gone from green to these rich beautiful shades of orange, yellow, and red. I find it so utterly breath taking and romantic walking along surrounded by all of the beauty nature has to offer. I guess I should mention, autumn is an excellent time for cuddling. So be sure to snuggle up to that special someone, or even a teddy bear–heck even a glass of wine will do. Wine knows how to cuddle back–I promise.

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And finally, Halloween! Pumpkin carving, dress up (yes I still do that), and of course all of the fantastic and scary Halloween movies that scare me year after year. I think this weekend I will break out a few oldies.

There are so many things I love about fall, but these are a few of the things that stand out about OCTOBER. I will do a November post in a few weeks as there are a few things *Hint Hint it’s my birthday month!* that really get me excited.

Have a wonderful evening friends.

Be the light in the dark…

Good Evening Beautiful Friends!

I have returned! I’m finally ready to get back to my daily posts.  I’ve been on a much needed hiatus from blogging, and I appreciate your patience with me during the past few weeks. Following the call from my sister telling me that my grandfather had passed away, I knew I needed time to process my emotions, be with my family, and just BE.

It has been several weeks, I’ve been happy, I’ve been sad, I grieved, I spent time with my family, I met cousins, I relived memories with my grandpa, and I am finally ready to open up again and share with you. It has been a hard few weeks, and to those who saw me every day, i’m sure I appeared fine, but sometimes the biggest struggles are those internal ones we never talk about. Losing my grandfather caused me to realize that both of my grandmothers are also elderly and not as healthy as they once were, that my parents aren’t getting any younger, and I guess I started to let in those dark thoughts that can easily consume a person. Fear that one day they will all be gone.

I was working out a few days ago, and it sort of hit me–we lose people we love, but we HAVE the chance to love. Life is precious, and a gift, but being afraid that you may lose someone is not a good reason to be sad and depressed, instead it should drive you to love each day like it could be your last. To laugh, to smile, to bring kindness and strength to others. So in that moment I decided to stop being sad, and to let the light wash over me. It’s okay to feel sadness, to cry, to grieve, but there are so many good things in the world, so many wonderful people to love, so many amazing memories to relive—I have so much to be thankful for and I want to do it all.

I will be back to regular posting starting tomorrow and have so much to share with you! A lot has happened in a few weeks, and i’m sure much more is to come! I have 2 announcements and I think you’ll be excited! Stay tuned those are coming this week!

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Oh yeah, and I decided to flat iron my hair while I was in Nova Scotia…

Have a fantastic evening everyone! Much love.