Don’t We Know?

You are loved.
You are important.
You are beautiful.

You are whole
And don’t need anyone
To fill you up.

You are intelligent
And have a voice
That should not be suppressed.

You are not property.
You do not have to do anything
To please another.

Your skin is gorgeous
And your body is
perfect just as it is.

You are not “emotional”,
You are a human being
With a precious gift to feel.

You can ask for help.
It is not a sign of weakness
But a source of strength.

Your thoughts are not silly.
How you see the world
Is completely unique to you.

You can love yourself.

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Panic Attack

Stress is a dangerous monster,
It builds slowly, silently. 
You have to make everyone else happy, 
Keep the status quo. 
But odd symptoms of the body 
Open the window to the monster inside. 
And you ignore it. 
There’s nothing wrong, 
Don’t be so sensitive, it’s life. 
However the smallest puncture
Of the balloon that is your emotions, 
Explode into a fury on the body, 
Uncontrollable, frightening, suffocating. 
What’s happening to me, 
What is this? You say. 
But deep down inside you know,
You are overwhelmed. 
So many changes and worries
You can do nothing about, 
Except to find an escape
So you can breathe in air again.

Summer Reflections

Color

Summer is slowly winding down, but luckily while I write this post I’m enjoying the last bits of radiant sunshine! I am so grateful for the past few months where I experienced  many things, both new & old, as well as meeting some interesting new people. I valued this summer more than others because in the months before it seemed a lot of people, including myself, experienced a family loss. With this in-your-face sign of how fragile life is, I did not want to take my summer for granted.

With this motivation in mind I pushed myself to try new things. I chose to make time and go cycling, travel the world both near and far, learn to ride a motorcycle, visit the aftermath of a nearby flood, participate in the Color Me Rad 5K, practice my photography, meditate, read, take care of my garden, and spend time with people I care most about. Some of my goals weren’t that easy but I stuck with it and accomplished my summer goals.

The warm weather of the summer sets us free to do anything we want to. Now that fall and winter are creeping upon us, we shouldn’t think of it as a limiting experience but as an opportunity for growth and development. Will we learn some new skills, perhaps take a snowboarding or skating lesson? Or will we put our self out there and meet new people? Let us make some new goals for the winter to accomplish before summer comes calling again!

Meditation

Elk Island ParkThis year I’ve been trying to incorporate meditation into my life. I’ve heard of the many benefits of doing it regularly so I wanted to try it out. I do it as often as I can and when I get busy I remember to do it the next day.

At first I started simple, sitting quietly for 3 minutes, focusing on my breath with my eyes closed. This 3 minutes out of my day fits in easily because it doesn’t take much effort or planning at all. Now I have increased the time to 10 minutes at around the same time each day and I always feel in a better and in peaceful mood afterwards. I hope to add a morning meditation on top of the afternoon meditation I currently take part in.

Meditation is an easy task to repeat because after meditating I find myself at peace with whatever my day has confronted me with and I find it easier to get over stressful situations. Whenever something troubles me I take a moment to focus on my breath and refocus my attention on what is important. Sometimes our minds need to slow down & relax just as much as our bodies do, so when we take the time to meditate our minds will become stronger and better able to cope with anything.

If you are interested in meditation but don’t know how to begin I highly recommend reading the post Meditation: The Most Fundamental Habit written by Leo Babauta. I love reading his posts because they are very inspiring with simple steps that anyone can follow; enjoy everyone!

Renewed Motivation

Purple Flowers

This evening I feel renewed. I worked out with my weights and did some cycling under the lovely, open sky. Being active always makes me feel revitalized no matter what mood I’m in beforehand. My body feels strong and healthy as well as my mind. I’m ready to take on all my goals in the near future as well as the ones far, far away. As long as I stay focused I can accomplish anything! Have a great day everyone.

Yoga Night

20130502-234804.jpg

It’s almost time for bed, but being in a reflective mood I thought I would share my thoughts on the day. I have been very productive: taking care of errands, raking the grass then finally going to Restore & Renew yoga. I always find it revitalizing to end the day with some yoga because it allows you to release all the tension from the day, both physically & mentally, and it prepares your for a good night sleep. I was also in need of some good stretching because my muscles were so tight from all the yard work. Once class began I could feel my tense muscles slowly releasing and bringing me back to focusing on my body and what it needs at that moment. Sometimes we forget to listen to what our bodies need and get stuck on autopilot, always on the go. We need to take the time to slow down and acknowledge what our bodies are telling us so we don’t end up overwhelmed by everyday stresses.

My Year of Experimentation

Ducks

This year I have been determined to accomplish many things I’ve always wanted to do. I have always thought it would be cool to run at a charity run or that it would be good to not eat meat, but in the years before 2013 I never actually thought little old me could do them. To me, it was always the determined people with their whole lives figured out that did all these great things, not me, a lost, twenty something that’s going with the flow until I figure out what to do with my life. So this year I’m experimenting with as many things as I can!

Most recently I colored all my hair purple! I have never had all my hair in one funky color before and after thinking about it for a couple of months I just said to myself screw it, this is what I want to do. I was scared about it at first because I worried what others would think, but then I realized this is my life and I gotta do what I gotta do!

Another recent experience that I’m signed up for, that I have wanted to do since I was young, is getting my motorbike license! My Dad’s influence is the main reason I want to do this because he has had bikes & scooters since I was small and riding on them is just so freeing. Also, I’m determined to get this license because I’ve always been told I can’t because I’m a girl so I will do the exact opposite to prove people wrong! I knew one day I would have my own bike and signing up for classes brings me closer to that goal.

An item that has been on my bucket list is to do a charity run. I have seen the many images of the Color Me Rad 5k on Pinterest and Instagram and the colorful mess at those runs looked super awesome so when I saw that this run would be in my town I signed up right away. Check, check and check!

This year I have already accomplished some goals that I am very proud of. So far I have learned to eat and stick to being vegan which I had always thought was impossible but somehow, with strong determination, I did it. With this new healthy lifestyle I decided to exercise more by going to Hot Yoga classes. It is difficult to get out of the house sometimes but every single time I go to class I feel awesome because I accomplished my goal. These classes provide me with “me” time and I feel so refreshed and ready to take on the world afterwards.

Now since it is only April, I am curious what other experiences I will fall into and learn from…

Herb Garden

SuppliesIt’s that time of year again to do a little gardening. Now, looking out my window it may not seem like a great time to start gardening but that’s not going to hold me back because I’m ready for spring!

So last week I went out to get some supplies, and I found a nice greenhouse that would be perfect to start my herb garden. I’ve thought about starting one for a while, and since I’ve been cooking a lot this year (My Vegan Challenge) I figured it would be better to have herbs on hand. Plus, it saves you money by picking ingredients from your garden and not the grocery store.

So I picked up some seed packets (cilantro, dill, parsley and basil), watered the little disks of soil, waited for them to expand then planted my seeds. I’ve place this greenhouse by my bedroom window and now just wait for the magic to happen!

Greenhouse

My Vegan Challenge

Vegan Stir FryAbout three weeks ago I decided to be vegan. I came to this decision after watching the documentary Vegucated plus I always thought it would be better to eat more veggies and less meat. I didn’t really understand the difference between vegetarian and vegan, but after watching the documentary and researching them both, I told myself I would take on the challenge.

The first week I completely cut out meat and limited my intake of milk and eggs. At first it was ok, I did some grocery shopping and started cooking some basic meals. The first few days were good, but after three or four days it became a pain having to plan and cook all of my meals. That weekend I wanted to get a quick bite to eat but I had no idea where I could go! This frustrated me and I felt like giving up. However I decided not to give in and take this change one step at a time. Right now I consider myself a vegetarian making as many vegan choices as I can.

Now that I’m easing into veganism, I feel happy. I am learning a lot and it’s getting easier planning meals and cooking. After asking around I found out what vegan options are available and I’ve visited an organic grocery store that has so many great options for me! This experiment so far is working and I’m feeling great with more healthy food in my body, hopefully I stick with this for a long time :)

(The photo up top is a Ginger Beef Stir Fry recipe replacing beef for Seitan)

It’s in Our Nature

Life.

Hello all and thanks for the ‘likes’ on my last post; I’ve reached 100 total ‘likes’ for all my posts and I appreciate it! Your feedback encourages and motivates me to create content for you to enjoy.

On that note, I have decided to expand on some of the content of my blog. If you haven’t noticed already at the top of the page, I have made a new category called Nature. I’ll use this topic for posting anything that has to with the natural world, whether it be healthy recipes, DIY projects, recycling, gardening, etc. The subject of living with nature already fascinates me, so it will help me post more often and I think it will fit in perfectly with my blog.

One thing I would like to share with you is an easy hot drink recipe that’s great for colds. I was browsing Pinterest and found this nice “Special-Tea” at learningherbs.com. The only ingredients are ginger, lemon juice, honey, and hot water with a soothing taste and a little kick. I made it last week when I felt a cold creep up on me and fortunately I only felt sick for the day. I don’t know if I felt better because of this drink, but a nice hot drink with some natural ingredients couldn’t hurt when you’re feeling under the weather.

I really like this drink and have been making it just for fun these past few days to keep warm in the snowy weather. In fact, I could have some right about now… I guess I’ll chat with you later, bye-bye!

Ingredients