Every Moment Counts

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2016 has been a hard year. That’s not news. Personally for me, it’s been a pretty big year of firsts and with that of growth and sometimes pain. I’ve lost my way a bunch, found it, then lost it again. I’ve cried a lot of tears and I’ve learned what it is to walk beside someone else in life and share the heavy burdens of everyday. I’ve discovered that when I suffer, he suffers too and I’ve discovered that when I feel joy- likewise so does he.

It took me a long while to understand that when I live my life with someone else, it impacts them too. I think sometimes we all somehow believe we don’t have the impact we think on one another. Random encounters with strangers can have impact on their lives good and bad and of course so does the impact sit with those we live with day-to-day. We all leave an impression on one another- a residue of our energy that stays on long after we’ve gone.

I’ve thought about this through the tragic and sudden death of a young friend this year. He was kind. He lived his life in a way that shone light on others. He smiled the biggest, hugged the tightest, laughed the loudest. He had so much joy about him that in his absence, I think it’s still here. His happiness was so big you couldn’t be in his presence and not be touched by it. Isn’t that how we should all live our lives? He only got 30 years here but I think he’d figured out the secret to a full life no matter how short the years. He was present and he felt so much joy I can’t think of him without smiling.

This year has been a tough one but if I have learned anything, it has been the importance of living in joy and in being true to me. I feel like I’ve strayed from that this year more so than ever. I’ve wandered off the trail in search of happiness for others. I’ve tried to be different so I don’t upset those around me and ultimately I think it is the thing that takes me the furthest from my writing and my ability to stay in touch with who I am. The desire to make others happy is something that weighs on my mind often. Sometimes it’s like a tidal wave that takes away every true perception I have of who I am until I have no voice. Without a voice, I have no opportunity to be great in this life and I think it is the realness of this that overwhelms me most.

It’s not about the year or the circumstances within it, it’s about being true every second, making the most of the time we have, not letting life slip away. It’s about hugging one another tight when we have the chance, taking quiet moments for ourselves, being gentle with others and with ourselves always. It’s also about knowing that each and every one of us has a purpose and it is to be great in the little moments we have everyday to shine.

My friend was not famous- he didn’t invent anything to change the world and my children won’t read about him in history books. He joked a lot, laughed a lot, hugged a lot, and loved a lot. He taught me that every moment counts. My only regret this year is that I’ve wasted too many on sadness. I’ve wasted too many moments in my own head spinning wheels that make the pain of not feeling enough more real.

I’ve convinced myself that I am small when I have every opportunity to be more.

I hesitated to write this because it’s been painful but I’m taking the moments back and turning them into something I can use to be better, stronger and more resilient because truly, every moment counts.

Finding Joy

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I struggle out of bed each day, stumbling to the bathroom with my eyes half shut, taking on the day as if it’s a burden just to be me. I’m 27. I’ve only had 27 years to become this jaded but here I am. I’m cranky, and in the comfort of my home I cry for no reason- more lately if I’m honest.

I stress and worry and agonize and sometimes it’s over the things I can control and sometimes it’s over the things I can not. There’s no off switch. I don’t think the way I feel is anything out of the ordinary. I think I’m amongst friends with a whole generation of lost souls starting out with debt, a technologically-fueled competition at life and no purpose.

Every now and then I stumble onto my path in a drunken stupor and realize I’ve gained clarity in my life that has set me “right”. In those moments I feel like I have it all together and the fog clears and I have a way out. In those moments I begin to know who I am. They’re fleeting. They are like a dream I wake up from too soon. As they slip away I try to hang on to the edges so I remember what it feels like to be me.

Last week I took time away from work to join an art workshop and get re-connected with that creative side of me I keep tucked away. I’ve gone down paths in my career that have led me further and further away from the authenticity I feel when I create. At the end of the week I felt good, but I wanted the magic of creating to save me and it didn’t. I wanted it to give me back all of the things I’ve been lacking and I wanted to come off the week knowing my work reflected me and I was proud of it. It didn’t because I’ve lost my sense of what that is and one week was just a teaser. One week was re-acquainting with an old friend just long enough to scratch the surface.

Brene Brown said, “Unused creativity is not benign. It metastasizes. It turns into grief, rage, judgment, sorrow, shame”.

The visual in that is so great, it forces me to understand this as a real thing- not a hysterical making of my imagination. It is a real whole piece of me that is turning sour with suppression. It’s not the whole problem but it’s a big one. I wonder how many others are on this journey, carrying only pieces of themselves through the day-to-day?

I had to get real. I had to begin the treacherous climb out of the rabbit hole.

There is no shame in admitting that success is not a paycheque and a life that looks good from the outside. Maybe it is for some but for me, success is a joy that starts at the center of your chest and spreads out through your whole body. It’s an expression of love and a connection with your real self that is untethered to anything but your personal journey. It shines out through your eyes and breathes out through your mouth in peaceful little wisps of certainty. I’ve seen it in others, but until now I didn’t recognize its value.

 

Faded To Grey

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Today is one of those days I felt I needed to write but I couldn’t figure out how to get anything down without it reading like defeat.

It feels like defeat and it echoes like defeat in my head but the one place I couldn’t stand it to look that way is in my writing.

It’s funny that writing sometimes brings me that perspective. It’s like a birds-eye-view of my thoughts.

Today though, it hasn’t changed them and I find myself unable to edit out the truth. It’s one of those tidal-wave-of-raw-emotion kind of days that feel like drowning no matter what.

It’s one of those dark chaotic days that feel fragmented. How is it possible to give to everyone else when you feel broken? How is it possible to pretend none of it seeps into the center and cracks you from the inside when it’s digging so deep?

People can be so cruelly unaware of the way they hurt that it’s like a sledgehammer swung loose without direction. I want to believe they have no idea. I want to believe their cruelty is catapulted from a place of innocence and escalated by happenstance.

Do I swing back or let it hit me? Do I cry out in pain or keep my emotions to myself?

It’s all just as it is; A vast mouth of supple emptiness.

It’s all coloured and I’m faded to grey.

I’m curled defensively beneath the guise of protective cover.

Hoping, Wishing, Yearning- For better days.

Positivity Project Day 7

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This is it. Today is the seventh and final day of The Positivity Project. What a great experiment. I am wholeheartedly willing to accept responsibility for some of the negativity in my life and also to acknowledge that I have the power to change it. I didn’t think reminding myself of three things that I’m grateful for each day would have much impact. I wasn’t sure I’d even make it through all seven days but figured it couldn’t hurt to try. Ending each one of my days over the past week with positive thoughts has helped to change my perspective and find a little peace where before I didn’t allow it. It’s significant because its reminded me that no matter the day or the situation, I can always find the time to stop a moment and appreciate what I have in my life. 

Inspiring Quote: “Don’t let someone steal your tenderness. Don’t allow the coldness and and fear of others to tarnish your perfectly vulnerable beating heart. Nothing is more powerful than allowing yourself to truly be affected by things. Whether it’s a song, a stranger, a mountain, a raindrop, a tea kettle, an article, a sentence, a footstep, feel it all- look around you. All of this is for you. Take it and have gratitude. Give it and feel love”- Zooey Deschanel

Three Things I’m grateful for:

1. Local fruit in season. YUM!
2. Pink Voltage nail polish by China Glaze. It makes me SO happy!
3. All those who read and follow my blog. I’m still amazed that anyone would want to read what I have to say but seeing the little orange light at the top of my screen when I log in telling me someone has liked or commented on a post or followed my blog is pretty awesome. Thank you.

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Positivity Project Day 6

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Positivity Project- Record 3 things I’m grateful for and 1 inspiring quote everyday for 7 days to promote a happier, more positive life.

Inspiring Quote: “Joy comes to us in ordinary moments. We risk missing out on joy when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary.”

Three Things I’m grateful for:

1. Exceptional feedback after delivering a training session. Ie a person in my session yesterday wrote “Rhianna was truly amazing. She put me at ease on my first day.” Heart warmed. 
2. Short naps on the subway on the way into work
3. Chocolate. Specifically dark chocolate but I’m pretty grateful for all. 

 

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Positivity Project Day 5

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Positivity Project- Record 3 things I’m grateful for and 1 inspiring quote everyday for 7 days to promote a happier, more positive life.

Inspiring Quote: “Climb the mountain so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.”

Three Things I’m grateful for:

1. Country sky at night- millions and millions of tiny dancing lights on the blackest canvas
2. Smores around the campfire
3. Friends that treat me like family

I should be long in bed but I am fresh off a weekend that fed my soul a little and I wanted to write about it before I launch into a busy week. This weekend I headed north to spend time with a family my parents and I met camping about 24 years ago. They’ve known me about as long as I’ve been me and I spent my childhood either running after the three girls or being carted around by them. They now have children and husbands of their own, live in different cities (one out of province) and come together only intermittently.

On Saturday I sat at a table amongst the girls. Their mom was on the end and we were all laughing and joking and playing bingo. One man asked their mom if we were all her girls. She smiled and looked down the table. “Well those three are” she said, pointing to her daughters. “She’s more like my half daughter but she’s definitely one of the family” she explained, pointing to me. Later when they invited me over for dinner and I asked if they were sure it was okay that I crash the family affair they all laughed. Their mom bumped my arm and leaned in, “You’re always welcome here. You’re one of us you know” she told me.

I’ve spent all my time and effort lately trying to belong somewhere. It sounds crazy but I’ve been feeling, in some ways, like I don’t belong in my own life. It’s part of the reason I started the Positivity Project. I wanted to remind myself of all the ways I am lucky and loved and fortunate in my own world. I think I’ve been too easily forgetting about the good bits. This weekend I laughed until I cried, felt so much love I thought in moments my heart might burst, and remembered what that sense of belonging is like. I wanted to write it all down before I let any more of the good little bits slip through the cracks. Life is too short to let that keep happening.

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Positivity Project Day 4

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Positivity Project- Record 3 things I’m grateful for and 1 inspiring quote everyday for 7 days to promote a happier, more positive life.

Inspiring Quote: “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”

Three Things I’m grateful for:

1. Surprise bags.
2. Really great concert experiences.
3. Weekends away from the city.

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