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Creativity, Learning, Spirituality

Taking Charge And Letting Go.

Our plane touched down in Toronto early Friday afternoon, shuttling us home from a much-needed week-long getaway to England. Travel has always been an important catalyst in sparking my creativity and a surefire way to maintain my sanity. For me, there’s magic in getting away from the ordinary and delving into a new place, taking in the sights, gaining a different perspective on things and reminding myself that there’s a huge world outside of my immediate context.

Travel has always been an important catalyst in sparking my creativity and a surefire way to maintain my sanity. For me, there’s magic in getting away from the ordinary and delving into a new place, taking in the sights, gaining a different perspective on things and reminding myself that there’s a huge world outside of my immediate context.

I was also feeling a need to shake things up a bit before I left – like I had to lose a monkey off my back and explore a new side of myself. And so, I did what I often do when I feel like something has to give. I cut my hair. As Coco Chanel once said,

“A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.”

She was right dammit.

Donning my freshly trimmed curls, we embraced the UK. We visited family, walked barefoot in the grass along the English countryside, wandered downtown London, patio-hopped in a medieval town and (of course) I snapped a slightly inordinate amount of photos featuring the full moon. I felt like a new woman. Minus some minor hiccups (anyone who’s repeatedly navigated someone off the wrong exit of a roundabout has felt my pain) the trip was exactly what I needed.

And so, in the spirit of uncovering something new about myself, I’ve plastered an ‘under construction’ page on my website and I’m currently working on a new look and feel. Things were feeling dated and there’s nothing like a little makeover to get inspired again.

I thought I would send this note out to see where things are at with you. Is there anywhere in your life that could use a little boost? Is there anything you can do for yourself to feel a little more excited about things? When we’re feeling like we’re in a funk about something even the littlest things can get us feeling more invigorated and inspired.

It’s all about seeing where we need those tiny tweaks, taking charge and doing something to get the mojo moving again and then letting all that shit go and trusting that it’ll all fall into place. If there’s something you’re thinking of doing to get moving again, let me know! I’d love to hear what works for you.

In the meantime and until we meet again, sending mad, mad, crazy love to you.

Authenticity, Creativity, Spirituality

It’s Been A While. How You Been?

Someone asked me the other day if I was too busy to post on my blog lately. As her eyes sparkled and her lips curled kindly she said, “It’s been a while since I’ve seen an email from you. How are things?”

And so I told her the truth. Yes, I’ve been busy. My days have changed drastically and taking on full time hours back in an office writing all day quite frankly, made it difficult to come home and continue writing. And for a while there, I was beating myself up about it, feeling like I was letting myself down in some way. After all, I know what it’s like firsthand to let the things that light you up slide in favour of ‘other stuff’. Shifting priorities sometimes means that some things will have to go on the back burner for others. But I also reminded myself that those things can only go on the back burner for so long until we begin to lose sight of what really motivates us and we begin to feel kinda ‘blah’ about things.

As I reflected on what I was doing every evening instead of blogging, I realized it was a combination of social media surfing, shitty television and some more social media surfing. In an effort to relax, I was tuning out. And then it so blatantly and brutally hit me.

I needed to continue to practice what I preach. And so I made a conscious choice.

I know taking time in the morning to squeeze in some yoga and conscious breathing makes a big difference in my day. So I do it. At times it feels like a drag but my body thanks my every time I stretch my limbs and become present with the air circulating through my lungs. Living within walking distance of the office is a blessing but rather than push my timing to the very last minute, I leave a little early now. I detour my way to work, appreciating how the trees canopy the sidewalk as I wander and I take in the sometimes sticky summer air. And I take a moment every day to count my blessings – even little itty bitty things – those things that make me smile.

And I meditate. I sit still and take the time to let my thoughts pass gently through my mind. With no judgement, I simply observe what comes through and make myself aware of what rises to the surface. I know I can handle the crap that comes along in my days better when I can apply this non-judgement to my day-to-day. I know that when shit hits the fan, I’m more likely to smile in spite of it all when I’m training my mind to observe without reasoning what’s right and wrong, good or bad. I’ll still watch The Bachelorette on Monday nights (because c’mon we all need our guilty pleasures) but it won’t define every evening any more. (This is my vow to myself).

I remind myself that in a city like Toronto where summer days are long yet pass oh so quickly, it’s important to me that I connect with the earth everyday.

My sanity depends on taking the time to soak up the sun, take in all the city has to offer and wander barefoot in the grass. Rather than wait for my next vacation to recalibrate, I decided to create a vacation in my own backyard (so to speak) and made my way to the beach. Granted, I wasn’t at a fancy resort on the other side of the world but it sure as hell hit the spot.


Sand between my toes, I wander along the water’s edge.

As I look to the sky above, birds fly in the most natural formation.

Wind at my back, I feel the chill of the lake brush against my skin.

Suddenly I realize that all my worries and fears are much like sandcastles.

I build them myself, pile them miles high.

In some sense, I cling to them and allow them to define me. To limit me. To stifle my creativity and freedom. My freedom to breathe. To live. To thrive. To open my heart fully.

I can choose to protect these sandcastles – these fears and worries – from the waves that threaten to wash them away.

Instead I choose to allow them to wash away with the tide. One by one, I let them go. I breathe a sigh of relief and know that this is healing. Rising. No longer reaching for something, I allow it all to just be.

Authenticity, Creativity, Spirituality

Celebrating The Feminine: To Create & Nurture

I decided a while ago that I wasn’t going to have children. And anyone who knows me well, knows that I struggled really hard with that choice, thinking it might make me incomplete somehow. Or that maybe I would be missing out on something big that I was meant to experience as a woman.

But we’re a living extension of our mothers, their mothers before us and all of our ancestries. We breathe life into our history everyday when we give ourselves the permission to be exactly who we are, proudly displaying our beautiful and flawed parts and everything in-between. And in turn, by giving ourselves that permission, we give life to something new.

We give life to something when we create from scratch – from a full meal made from basic ingredients, to a spring garden that blooms because we took the time to plant the seeds seasons ago. We give birth to something each time we sit down to write, apply paint to canvas or embrace a creative endeavour. We give birth to something when we take the time to move with pure intention through life and engage with people and places in a mindful and present way.

Every time we encourage someone to follow their gut and try something they’ve been putting off, we help them nurture the place inside them that needs to explore the world and our vast potential within it. The place that, when uncovered, begins to manifest crazy magic simply because it originates from a space of raw discovery.

‘Cuz that’s the crux right there.

We might not realize it but we’re creating and nurturing ALL THE FUCKING TIME.

It’s our choice to continue shifting and evolving to give birth more and more to who we are by doing the things that make us feel good. The things that inspire us. The things that challenge us. And as we do so, we set the tone for others to do the same.

And so, happy Mother’s Day to my incredibly amazing mother. Thank you for being a light in the dark, my strength when I was weak and showing me what it means to be a soul who embraces the living earth, her creative forces and soldiers on when things get rough. Know that the love I have for you surpasses time and space and that as proud as you are of me, the prouder I am to call you mom.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there who constantly wonder if they’re doing the ‘right thing’ for their kids. It’s not easy being a mother and it will test your strength, patience and resolve. Just know that you doing your best at any given time is all your children need because you’re only human after all.

To those out there who can’t celebrate today with their mother because she’s too far away (physically, mentally or emotionally) and you can no longer touch, see or communicate with her. For those who have a strained relationship with their mom and wish things were different. Know that today isn’t about fancy Hallmark cards and flowers. Know that nothing is perfect. Know that this is enough.

To everyone who isn’t a mother in the traditional sense but has created something from nothing, has breathed life into a project that needed a fresh set of eyes and a push in the right direction.

To everyone who’s made an impact – however big or small – on another person’s life and shown them that they can do something or be something that they didn’t think they could. To anyone who’s held another person’s hand, been a shoulder to cry on and lent support to help them move beyond difficulty.

Know that you too are creating and that not having the label ‘mother’ or ‘mom’ stuck to you doesn’t make you any less important to yourself or others. ‘Cuz the world needs more creators, just like you.

xo

Creativity, Learning, Spirituality, Wellness

Self-Help Exhaustion and Moving Beyond A Need for Perfection

There are plenty of things I know that work to get me feeling inspired again when I’m feeling less than creative – from painting just for the fun of it, to free-writing and doodling in a notebook.

I know what gets me feeling energetic when the blahs set in and I never underestimate how a jog or an impromptu dance party in my kitchen to a kick-ass playlist can do wonders to boost my mood.

I’ve also learned that I thrive on getting to know myself better – uncovering the things that I need to feel good and help me grow into a better version of myself.

But despite this long list of things I can reliably turn to – things I know that will get me moving – and despite the fact that I’m all about growth and finding your space in the world, I’m gonna be real straight with you. Sometimes, I’m just too goddamn tired to apply my own advice.

I know that getting active and moving can help me when I need to shift out of a funk but sometimes I just want to plunk myself on the couch with poutine and a glass of wine (don’t knock it ’til you try it) and flip aimlessly through a million options on Netflix, regular cable and Shomi before realizing that I’ve spent a listless hour trying to pick something to watch, only to end up with the realization that ‘there’s nothing on’.

And sometimes. Sometimes I refuse to stop to overthink a situation in which I’m clearly overreacting to something pretty mundane – something that fits into the ‘first-world problems’ category – in order to analyze what’s really bothering me, to dig deeper and take another look at myself to understand what I can change in my perspective. Because sometimes I just want to overreact to something, not exhaust my brain and regroup when things don’t feel so crazy and hairy anymore.

There was a time when I felt bad that I slacked off by not adhering to my self-help to-do list. There was a time when I felt guilty for not going the extra mile every single freaking time I thought I needed to take a closer look at my motivations to find another way to shape myself into a better version of me – into something closer to a poster-perfect depiction, worthy of an Oprah special. And in those moments, that’s when I realized that the work I thought I was doing to help myself and further my growth was actually hindering me and making me feel like shit because I wasn’t taking my own advice. I was judging myself for not following a prescribed set of rules. But y’know what? Rules were made to be broken.

I’m not saying we should throw out the things that light us up. And I’m definitely not suggesting that we stop moving through a space where we can see ourselves continuously changing and learning.

But what I am suggesting is that we can be willing to recognize those moments where every last inch of our being just needs to succumb to what we’re feeling at the time, sit in it, dwell with it and get lost in it.

We can be willing to recognize when we can push ourselves a bit to move forward because sometimes when we nudge ourselves through a lull, we surprise and delight ourselves with our resilience.

But sometimes we need to sit longer with the discomfort and taste it. Because sometimes when we push ourselves out of something too quickly, we actually lose the lesson in it all.

xo