HOW LETTING GO OF A GRUDGE CAN MAKE ROOM FOR MORE JOY IN YOUR LIFE

 

The Grudge That Held Me

In the end I discovered that the joy I was withholding, was causing me my own.  

I denied forgiveness, until I realized I was the one that needed forgiving.  This awareness changed my experience of life, of myself, and those around me in ways I never would have imagined.  Let me tell you how I came to be here.

When I was about 16 yeas old, I went to my fathers first birthday party.  Yes, you read that right.  His first birthday party.  You see it was his first year sober.  In Alcoholics Anonymous you celebrate birthdays acknowledging your sobriety.   At the party, my father chose a special poem to be read.  It is called the Man in the Glass.  It is the only thing I kept from my father for over 20 years.  

The poem talks about how your life is a mirror to reflect on. The poem's brilliance is that it is not about blame or shame; rather, it is an invitation to accountability. It is a call to...

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MY GRIEF PARTNER-IN-CRIME

My grief PIC (partner in crime) as I will refer to one of the closest people in my life (she would hunt me down if I used her name or gave her any credit) and I have always been really open and talked about literally everything. She was always in it with me in every way. Being as close as we are, she told me that she could feel all the different pains I felt, like it took her instantly back to the loss of her own husband 20 years ago…like it was yesterday.  I don’t like to use the term “stages” but she felt all of the different levels with me and still is almost 4 years later. I hated that I took her back there and through it again, but soon realized that no matter how much time passed, she was still in it.  My situation just illuminated it all again…and if I’m telling the truth (which I promised to do), it was so comforting for me to feel seen and known through that time.  I get it too. I think that no matter who is going through...

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YOU ARE AN ARTIST

Art is for everyone, it’s not for the talented, the gifted, it’s for everyone, all abilities.

You’re probably scoffing at me as I say this. “Yea, I can’t even draw a stick figure right” or “sure I can paint nice things or copy someone else, but I am not creative in the slightest” But I want to tell you that you’re putting too much pressure on yourself, it’s time to let go and unleash your creative freedom.

Why don’t we allow ourselves to create freely? Why do we squander our creative processes? 

“I can teach you to draw, but how did you forget? Kids do all the things adults use to do but forget when they get old. Is this why kids are happier?” Jojo, Age 11 @Fidgets.and.fries 

As children we create freely, we are little packages of flowing creative energy and joy. Sometime in our childhood to adulthood we learn that creativity is for the gifted, or our creativity is not good enough as our...

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IF BROKEN CRAYONS STILL COLOUR, HOW COME NO ONE PICKS ‘EM?

Recently, for some odd reason, I keep seeing the caption—”broken crayons still colour.”  For a long time, I too subscribed to this notion that it’s okay to be broken and functional. I now see this phrase in a whole new light, as it suggests to me that in your broken state, you’re still effective. The lie detector determines THIS IS A LIE! Contrary to popular belief, while some broken things still work, don’t be fooled, they do not operate at full capacity. Obviously, since people have a tendency to replace broken things. 

By virtue that the body has been created to heal itself, this tells me ‘wholeness’ was the original blueprint for our lives. Sadly, we have succumbed to this fake-it-til’-you-make-it culture-so much so, that it’s hard to detect an issue at first glance. Do me a favour, abandon team brokenness rocks, aye!

Do you remember “Hush ‘lil baby don’t say a word, mama’s gonna buy...

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DECLUTTERING: THE KEY TO GETTING EVERYTHING YOU WANT

Picture your dream house. I bet it’s not filled with clutter.

Do you ever find yourself ‘wishing’ for more? And then you finally get that thing, you start wishing for the next? Yes?  Me too. We all have. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with dreaming and growing, and reaching for the stars but these material things sometimes come at a bigger cost than we realize.

I did this wishing and wanting for years. I kept saying, ‘Once I get this project done’ I’ll rest, ‘once we get that piece of furniture’ the house will feel complete, once I have A, B, C, go on X, Y, Z vacations – THEN things will feel right, THEN I’ll be happy, THEN I’ll have time, space, etc to do what I really want to do. But that time never came. . . 

I always liked a tidy house but my idea of it all shifted when I read the Magic Art of Tidying up by Marie Kondo, and while her version of super minimalism and extreme...

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WHO HAS THE KEY?

Everyone has a journey they must travel to learn the lessons they are here to receive. The roads we travel mould and shape us into who we are, who we are meant to become, and lead us to the people who are meant to impact our lives so we may achieve our soul’s purpose.

Like most of the world, I carried judgement of others.

I would find myself wondering “why do they do that?” or I would question the way they behaved in the world. The funny thing is, questioning others, allowing myself to feel annoyed by others’ decisions for how they chose to live or behave, did nothing to impact them. It didn’t change the way they made their choices or how they lived their lives. What it did do was rob me of my own joy because I allowed myself to BE annoyed.

When I eventually came around to this realization I decided to release my judgments and say to myself, “not my journey, not my lessons”, and I’d wish them well, sending them off with love.

As I...

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5 TIPS TO FACE ADVERSITY WITH EASE

WHEN YOU’RE A RESILIENCY QUEEN THIS PANDEMIC IS BUT A BLIP IN THE FEAR-O-METER. 

I like to think that I’m just like everyone else, nothing more, nothing less, but I believe we all do ourselves a disservice when we don’t recognize how truly special we are. I have come to learn we are all masters at one thing or another. We need to share our experiences with others so they, too, can traverse the plains we have walked before them. If you are alive, you have a story to tell that can and will support others; it’s our duty to do that.

I want to take you back in time to roughly 8 months ago. It was a day like any other. I woke up, showered, got dressed and readied my daughter for school. Off she went, neither of us with a care on the horizon. Later that day, the government announced that March break would be extended to two weeks and life as we had always known it would change. In the weeks that followed, as people started literally fighting over toilet paper...

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BURN OUT: HOW TO RECOGNIZE THE SIGNS AND STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO BEAT IT!

author blog mental health Mar 19, 2021

Burnout, a curse and a blessing.

I have been nursing for 29+ years, and if you had asked me if I ever thought I would start to hate it, I would have laughed.  A nurse is all I ever wanted to be. When I signed up for nursing, I knew it involved long hours, working weekends and holidays, and that I would deal with death often. But what I didn’t expect was it to slowly, then very quickly beat me into the ground.

When feelings of resentment, emotional exhaustion, and honestly feeling numb to events going on in the work environment surfaced, I pushed them down, way down. These feelings hit me by surprise, and initially, I didn’t know what to do with them. But after years of avoiding my thoughts and emotions, I finally started taking note of how I was feeling and began to ask what those feelings were trying to tell me. I avoided diving into those feelings for years!

Despite thinking I could muscle my way through another challenging experience, the years had beaten me...

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WHAT MY SOURDOUGH STARTER TAUGHT ME ABOUT THE WRITING LIFE

blog publishing writing Mar 19, 2021

I killed Jolene. 

Back from a beach holiday, I opened the fridge to find my sourdough starter had succumbed to black mould. 

As I scraped my dearly departed (and very stinky) starter out of her Bonne Maman jam jar and into the compost (the irony was not lost on me), I thought about our time together and all the beautiful loaves that Jolene had mothered. I also returned to an idea that’d been fermenting for a while: making sourdough is a lot like writing. Both take time and dedication. Both rely on a blend of precision and intuition. For both, you’ve got to commit. And even still, there will be inevitable flops (RIP Jolene).  

Like so many home bakers, I joined the sourdough brigade during my COVID hermitage. In domestic exile, I had an abundance of time and motivation (lockdown carbs cravings) to try to master this intimidating culinary art.

I used Chad Robertson’s recipe, from Tartine, a revered San Francisco bakery. Chad has revived sourdough...

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THE LOST MOM

author blog family motherhood Mar 19, 2021

The Lost Mom

Some of us, we live happily ever after as man and wife. Some of us live with a man, or a woman, or multiple men or women. Some of us live with a lifelong friend, or a family member. Some of us live with our fur critters. Some of us live in co-dependent relationships and think everything is ok.

  Whatever the relationship is, we want to feel love. I myself, I based my worth on the love of others. I based my worth on my spouse of 16 years continuing to call me his wife. I based my worth on being the perfect mom, the mom who carefully attached the beautiful labels to all of their clothing, purchased them the best of the best, and washed their shoes so they didn’t go to school dirty. I based my worth on going above and beyond in my job to please anyone, and everyone, even when I was exhausted. I based my worth on everything, except what I have now learned is the most important to base my worth on. Myself.

In 2018 my life changed overnight, I was suddenly no...

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