Thursday, December 31, 2015

Looking back and looking forward

2015 was quite a roller coaster of a year.  Loss, new additions, more loss, grief, healing, sorrow and joy.  Years like 2015 separate the strong from the weak and teach us more than we ever hoped to learn.  I was lucky enough to get to spend the tail end of the year on a wonderful family vacation filled with love and healing.  

One of the biggest lessons of 2015?  Life is short and needs to be lived in the present.  Mindfully and with intention. Find joy.  Seek it out.  The negative hard stuff finds us all too easily, but everyone single one of us needs to look for the joy.  It's there, peeking from behind the tough stuff and it will definitely take work to get to it, but it's so worth it.  Joy sustains us and gets us through the bad times.  Without joy, what do we have?

Looking forward to 2016 is exciting.  I will continue my yoga journey, hope to travel and blend work and personal interests in meaningful ways.  My feet are itchy and want to move.  A million ideas are twirling around in my head and just need to get out.  I hope to write more, which means more blog posts as I work things out.  

Big Magic and Rising Strong were two important reads of 2015, and I'm working toward putting all those brilliant thoughts into practice.  My friends will know that my mind never stops and "out of the box" is a fairly accurate descriptor.  My plan is to spend as much time outside of the box as possible in 2016.

Perhaps most importantly, I've dismissed the idea of balance as my intention for the year.  I have never achieved it, and you know what?  I'm fine with that.  I can dream about being balanced, but it's not natural for me. I'm all or nothing and in trueness to myself I'm embracing that.  My intention in a word? Joy.  That's it.  Seeking joy, giving joy, all things joyful.  Maybe another pipe dream. But won't it be fun along the way?

I'm seeing lots of bright reds, oranges and pinks in my life in the upcoming year.  Can you imagine anything more joyful than those colours?  

I hope this meandering peek into my mind serve every single person who reads this, in some way, no matter how minor.  That would bring me joy.

On to the joy of baking butter tarts while listening to the Strumbellas.  Can't think of a better way to end 2015.  Listening to a Canadian band that brings me joy and baking my family's most requested treats of the holiday season.

Much love and New Year's wishes.  xxoo

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Pink washing fatigue

I have to say, the month of October has brought up some difficult feelings.  While I acknowledge the importance of breast cancer awareness, the amount of pink washing makes me feel slightly ill.  I think we've lost some perspective.  Buying pink anything does not necessarily mean that there will be any money given to support breast cancer research.  Or any kind of cancer research.

And I think we've lost the perspective that there are many more kinds of cancers that impact women's health and indeed kill them.  We all need to have an increased awareness of the symptoms of all kinds of cancer.  Early detection of ANY cancer is key to treatment and survival.  In the sea of pink washing, I think we've lost sight of that.

So I'll be over here wearing a burgundy ribbon for multiple myeloma awareness, along with a black one for melanoma awareness.  Or maybe yellow for all cancer awareness.

Don't fall into the trap of forgetting about the other cancers.  They could take your life, just as breast cancer could.

For the haters out there who will disagree with my opinion--I have done my part and raised thousands of dollars for breast cancer research.  I just think it's time to broaden our horizons.

#missmymom #cancersucks

Sunday, September 20, 2015

yoga (r)evolution

You may have noticed I have changed the name of the blog again.  As time moves on, we all evolve and my previous blog name didn't really fit anymore.

I have started Yoga Teacher Training, as a therapeutic and necessary next step in the (r)evolution of my life.  It's about so much more that the asana, or physical aspect of yoga.  So, of course it makes sense to have a yoga (r)evolution!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Exhaustion, resiliency and keeping the faith

I've pondered the issue of resiliency before, and I still wonder how some folks remain resilient even after a seemingly endless run of crises and trauma in their lives.  Case in point; a very stressful job, a year long terminal illness of a parent, nearly losing the other parent in health crises twice within 8 months, all while nurturing a grieving family and showing up to previously mentioned stressful job with a smile pasted on and ready to solve every problem that crops up.  And yet I keep plugging away, one foot in front of the other.  There are lots of days that don't feel good, that tears are close to the surface, but I keep going.  How is it that I am able to keep being resilient?

I don't think of myself as particularly special, my whole family is dealing with the loss of our mom, and nearly losing our dad (AGAIN).  But I wonder, what sets us apart from others who throw in the towel at the slightest provocation?  The past week has been brutal, I'm exhausted (as are my siblings), and yet we brush away tears and keep going.

I wish I could attribute it to faith, but frankly, my faith has been shaken.  There is a belief amongst many of my faithful friends that God only gives you what you can handle.  I don't buy it.  I topped out on that in February, and yet it just keeps coming.  My heart has been wrenched into two several times over my life, and I'm done.  It's not a lack of knowing the Bible (when I was 4 I memorized more Bible verses than any other kid, even those twice my age in my Sunday school--my parents first clue that I might be a little "different" than the other 4 year olds), I know it.  I understand the teachings within, to the extent any regular person does.  I'm happy it works for others, but the tests that I've been given are making me question the veracity of the core beliefs with which I was raised.

So I question-what does faith have to do with resiliency?  Anything?  I don't know.  I'm inclined to believe that gratitude has a great deal to do with resiliency, as well as some pretty good brain chemicals and positive self-esteem.

I am incredibly grateful that my dad is still with us, despite the very scary crisis a week ago.  I can't even imagine losing him while the grief of losing my mom is so fresh and painful.  The thought is quite frankly, paralyzing.  Pretty dramatic I know.

And I question, what makes it possible to keep going to work, dealing with the stuff of everyday life and managing some grace while doing so?

I am sure that I can't possibly endure anything else for a while, that I need a break.  

In the meantime, I make plans for a return to regular exercise, a diet that will preserve my health and with any luck at all will prevent the diseases that have afflicted my parents, and to look for ways to turn off my brain.  I suspect if I master the last, the others will fall into place.

Or maybe I'll just move to a shack on the beach, and spend my days watching the water and sleeping.  That sounds like the best plan of all.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

If you can't say something nice.....

My blog has remained silent for 3/4 of a year.  Mostly because I didn't know what to write.  At the end of February 2014, my mom was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow.  Mom fought and beat cancer 5 years before that, so a new cancer diagnosis was like a kick in the stomach.  Some things are too painful to write about, some things too private.  And as I alluded to i previous posts, some things are better left unsaid because although misery loves company, it's kinder to keep negative things to yourself.

Sadly, in early February of this year, my mom lost her hard fought battle.  It's hard and it causes anger and feelings that are just too difficult to express.  Cancer is horrific, and watching someone you love slowly lose the battle that she is fighting because she doesn't want to leave her family--not for herself, but for her family--is painful and not something to write about.'s been a long, painful, shitty year.  And because of all the stress, I've added adrenal fatigue to my cocktail of health misadventures.  I'm working on it, and will continue to work on it, but it's a long road.  There is no easy, quick fix.  The first thing is to get healthy.  Lots of rest, healthy foods, stress reduction and yoga.  Time being grateful for my family, and the year that we got with mom.  I want to wave a magic wand and be magically the picture of health, but that's not how it works.  First you put in the work, then you get the results.  Healing and dealing grief is the absolute first step, and nothing will change until that has been done.  Easy to say, hard to do.  But I'm working on it.

I am thrilled though that I had my annual melanoma check up and am healthy!  For that I am incredibly grateful.

The one thing I've been reminded of this year is that there is so much for which to be grateful.  Life is precious and short (and long), and difficult and wonderful all at the same time.

As I. Heal and have nice things to say, I will blog.  If I don't, I will maintain the golden rule--if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.