Progress Not Perfection

 Progress Not Perfection 

By: Jenn Donovan

 My name is Jenn, I am twenty-four years old and I am an Alcoholic.

Now lets just soak that into everyone’s brain for a second. I have a disease called alcoholism which is defined as the following: a chronic and often progressive disease that includes problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, having to drink more to get the same effect or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease of stop drinking. If you have alcoholism, you can’t consistently predict how much you’ll drink, how long you’ll drink, or what consequences will occur from your drinking. 

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Everyone has this preconception that an alcoholic is someone who needs to drink everyday, every hour and every second of the day. Wrong. And I was never like that. I rarely ever drank. Mostly on the weekends.. some nights during the week (especially during college, but that’s what we believe is the norm). The problem was when I drink it starts this sensation of craving. What this means is that I just cannot have one drink. I cannot just have two drinks…. there is no stopping me once I start drinking. And that’s where my problems start…. I have no filter, no off switch. I drink to complete oblivion. I black out every single time that I drink. I have given myself alcohol poisoning more than once.. and more than twice. And after those wonderful binges I would get the bright idea to switch what I was drinking, or change the order of how I drank or try to stop after a couple of drinks and I just can’t. No crazy method or philosophy worked. It never does. No matter how sick I got from the previous time and how many times I swore I wouldn’t drink anymore I still did it.. And the same things still happened. Growing up for me was interesting to say the least. My parents divorced when I was seven years old. My mother worked long hours to care for my brother and I and she raised us all on her own (thanks Mom you are a wonderful woman and I don’t tell you that enough). My father was a truck driver and he was always gone. He had us every other weekend and tried to be the best dad he could be. At the age of twelve I stopped seeing my father on a regular basis. He had married this “delightful” woman who tended to make my life hell and she in turn made my father’s life hell also… Aka my father was an alcoholic. Most of my memories growing up my dad was a very happy man, always smiling, funny. I was totally and completely a Daddy’s girl… but alcohol got in the way of our relationship. During the next few years I saw him on and off but it was only for quick visits when he had time. [Side note: I just want to make it clear that just because my Father was an alcoholic doesn’t mean that it was his fault, or the way I was raised or anything to contribute to why I am an alcoholic myself.] The first drink that I ever had was the night of my grade eight graduation. I had some coolers and some peach schnapps that my friends mom had bought me and I was ready to go to the after party with my friends. Since the moment that tasty sugary drink touched my lips I was hooked. I drank all my coolers and half of the mickey of schnapps and I don’t remember much after that. I was hooked. Progress Not Perfection 

Then came high school, which consisted of beer tours, bush parties and weekends at the cottage. And I loved a good beer tour! Country living was good to me and beer was awesome! High school I always had a hard time fitting in completely with everyone. I played sports and people were nice to me and I could get along with anyone. But I was the girl who was the art kid, wore a lot of black, dark makeup, listened to heavy metal, had crazy amounts of piercings (and eventually tattoos), and I always didn’t seem that approachable. I wouldn’t always go to parties and such but when I did I don’t remember a lot of the nights and I don’t really remember getting home. This happened to me frequently throughout my drinking career. After high school came college (took a year of Art)… aka a lot more beer! I drank on weekends and sometimes during the week depending on what was going on with my friends. I was never felt super comfortable just being me. I was always worried that people wouldn’t like me or that I wasn’t doing well enough, or pleasing the right people. As soon as I got a drink or two into my system I felt so confident, and I could get a long with anyone. And everyone thought I was awesome!

My second year of college I switched to Interior Design. Right before that semester started.. August 31, 2010 to be exact I was at home and was woken up by the police at 3AM at my mother’s house. My father had died. He took his own life. After that my life went on a downward spiral… I was dealing with a lot of grief, unanswered questions, resentments etc. I drank a lot over the next year (same binge drinking as usual). I was also in a relationship at a time and I really let myself go… I was overweight and really miserable and the relationship wasn’t the best either because I felt like I wasn’t getting the emotional support that I needed. My brother also went out of control because of the loss of our father and our relationship hasn’t been the same since.

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I had bought a new car, I was working two jobs and things were going okay. But then I didn’t have my priorities straight, I wouldn’t ask for help and I definitely wouldn’t listen to anyone who thought that they could give me advice. Within a few years I was in a lot of debt, falling behind on my payments and just struggling to be happy. My relationship with my boyfriend at the time ended and by the fall I had given up my car and moved back to they city to live with my Uncle (who I am so grateful for them taking me in when I really needed it.. otherwise I would have nowhere to go). In October of 2013 something happened. I was waiting at a bus stop to go to work and a man got off the bus on the other side of the street. He crossed the street and walked into this gym behind me. He then approached me with a business card and offered me some personal training. A free session to start and then see if I was into it and go from there. I was supposed to meet him at the gym the next morning. So I did. We ended up talking about my goals and what I wanted from life etc (I have and still want to get into the military but I was not in any shape to do it well). Then we ended up talking about life and why I seemed so angry all the time and I ended up spilling my guts to this complete stranger. He then hands me this little booklet from AA and gets me to go through this checklist basically in order to see if you can prove yourself to be alcoholic. I was eight things on this list… more than three you are considered to be an alcoholic. This man Progress Not Perfection 

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brought me to my first meeting that following Friday. I walked into the room not knowing what to expect. It was a birthday meeting, which means that they were celebrating someone’s sobriety for an increment of years that they were sober. The man who spoke at this meeting was only a few years older than I but he had been sober for five years. I don’t remember much about the meeting but I just remembered bawling my eyes out, relating so much to what he said and how he felt, and just feeling like he understood… that everyone understood what happens to me when I drink.

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Since then I was going to two meetings a week.. I met a lot of younger people in the program too. I got a sponsor and I started doing the steps and praying every morning and every night (this is not a religious program.. a lot of people believe in a God of their understanding.. just to clarify). Once I started working the steps, and starting working on myself I started to feel better about myself… I became more humble, more understanding, patient and kind. I do not get angry or frustrated as easily and I really try just to be nice to people and make sure that I am not harming others. Around the time that I got into AA I also started hitting the gym hard. I always made excuses before about not working out or being too tired, it’s too hard to eat well etc. And you know what.. that was all BULLSHIT. There are 24 hours in a day and you can find time to go to the gym. I currently work two jobs, I go to the gym 5-6 times a week, I attend meetings, get together with my sponsor, I am upgrading courses so I can apply to University in the fall and I eat really well 98% of the time. This is ultimately why I chose to write this excerpt for Justin. But first you needed to know my journey and how I got to be where I am now.

image[2]When I first started out I started posting a status whenever I was at the gym, whenever I made a really healthy meal, or I was just posting a gym meme about something gym related. And then stuff starting happening. People started to notice. I am not saying this to be naive or vein… but my friends noticed that I was living this positive, healthy lifestyle. I had people saying to me that I inspired them to go back to the gym, to get healthy, and I motivated them to push harder. How fucking cool is that?!?!?! And even cooler than me motivating someone else they have motivated others too! It’s like this crazy chain reaction that I thought I was just doing all these posts for myself and it’s just Facebook nobody really cares about that shit anyways but, I was totally wrong! So many people guys and gals have thanked me for being such a positive and great inspiration and role model. And you know what… That now keeps ME going! How could I just stop now when I have motivated so many people to live a better life!? To not practice what I have consistently preached for the last 6 months?! And yes… I have only been doing this for six months.. that’s as long as I have been sober and hitting the gym. And honestly I have never been happier! I surround myself with positive people, I look for the good in others and I just try to give out more than I receive. And you know what it works! Me being so positive and happy reflects on other people (unless they are just downright miserable but that’s their business). People react to me Progress Not Perfection 

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differently now and they engage me in conversation and they want to talk to me and they like talking to me. Whatever it is, positivity is totally my key to happiness. Working out and being sober, eating well and just being happy with who I am is the key to my positive outlook on life. Everyday isn’t perfect and I certainly am not one to say that I am perfect either. Just waking up every morning and being proud of who I see in the mirror is enough for me to love my life. One year in a birthday card my father actually wrote me a handwritten note in regards to not being around all the time and wishing he had more time with me. At the end of that note he wrote these very words: “Wake up every morning and be proud of who you see in the mirror”. And for a long time I wasn’t proud and I wasn’t happy. But I can happily say that since I have changed my life for the better, I am 100% happy with living my life one day at a time, seizing the moment and remembering that in life there is progress, not perfection.

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In life there is progress, not perfection

Just Keep Going

It’s been 2 years and a day since I opened my blog so that I could fundraise to go to Haiti, so what better time to post a blog!

 

So much has changed since May 2012, I now live in BC and comparably as happy as I was in Haiti. I live with great people there are mountains outside my front door in any direction and green everywhere!IMG_1251

There’s been a lot of new development in the past few weeks as well. I’m moving into a bigger place on the same property mind you on the 1st of June… I’m excited to be able to take showers… instead of baths (What were you thinking I didn’t baths? silly people). I’m still in the process of getting my car to pass BC safety standards, the sad thing is my car is better than most on the streets here. I got a new windshield today because there was two chips in it, but now it feels like I’m driving a new car.

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While my car was in the shop getting fixed I decided to longboard since it’s super warm out… T-shirt and shorts weather. It’s nice to get out and “exercise”, I’m going to need it as I start a new job soon doing landscaping. I’m leaving The Mobile Shop because I can’t bear to be cooped up inside a grocery store selling phones anymore, especially not in the beautiful weather that is here and it going to continue to shine in the summer. Another reason I’ve decided to leave my current employment is the fact I’m surrounded by something that I’m so against… such consumerism and plastic everywhere; I know you can’t eliminate all the plastic, but every new holiday there is shelves upon shelves of crap from gimmicky plastic cups to ornaments and one time use decorations that we are littering our earth with but I digress.  I’ve been doing customer service long enough; I do really enjoy helping people but I’d rather be doing it some other way like therapy, life coaching, or just giving someone a smile.

There's snow up on the Mountains but none in town ^_^

There’s snow up on the Mountains but none in town ^_^

The yard is really coming along, Dayton and I did a walk around the property climbed a tree or two and just talked about life and plants and the earth. Our fire pit is set up and we are already having movie nights again. Our first official fire was about 3 weeks ago and random people kept showing up but it was great, guitars and music were playing.

I’ve begun to record things going on at “The Hostel” to make a keepsake video for everyone. I have some Jam sessions, some fire nights and gardening… maybe we’ll even make a music video.

I wanted to throw an update out there as I’ve really slacked off huge on updates so here one is! It’s super nice out so I’m going to cut this one short, hope everyone is having a great week if not, take a step outside look at the sky smile at the clouds, sun, rain, or even stars we live on a tiny marble, let your worries go for a bit and enjoy the moment.

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Namaste ❤

“Change is the only constant” ~illogic

Florida Makes Off-Grid Living Illegal

I’m taking no credit for this article but only sharing as I feel this must be made more public. It’s very upsetting when we lose our right to take care of ourselves. I understand that in some instances people may have done a poor job in constructing their own form of “off the grid”, but in this case it’s preposterous  with what is going on.

Side note – 10 Reasons sustainable living is nothing short of amazing!

Click me: 10 Reasons Why EarthShips Are F!#%ing Awesome 

ARTICLE:

It’s no secret that an opposition to sustainable living exists. Earlier this year, Texas state brought several SWAT teams to a sustainable community and threatened to shut it down. Each one of the community members were initially handcuffed at gunpoint. It was called “The Garden of Eden Community,” and was totally self sustainable. You can read more about that here.

This time, it’s Robin Speronis that’s come under fire. She lives off the grid in Florida, completely independent of the city’s water and electric system. A few weeks ago, officials ruled her off-grid home illegal. Officials cited the International Property Maintenance Code, which mandates that homes be connected to an electricity grid and a running water source. That’s just like saying our dependency on corporations isn’t even a choice. The battle to live without most utilities has been ongoing for Robin, the self-sufficient woman has lived for more than a year and a half using solar energy, a propane camping stove and rain water.

In the end, she was found not guilty of not having a proper sewer or electrical system; but was guilty of not being hooked up to an approved water supply.

So what exactly is off grid living?

“It means living independently, mainly living independently of the utility companies. Providing your own power. It does not mean living in the stone age, it’s not about bush craft. It’s about generating your own power, your own water, dealing with your own waste. Probably as part of a community, not living on your own like a hermit. It’s also about being more self-reliant and being less dependent on the system. Perhaps realizing that the system isn’t really protecting us anymore and we have to look after ourselves.” – George Noory

Our potential as a human race is quite extraordinary, we just don’t realize it. Sustainable living is not about giving up a certain lifestyle, can still have all the modern amenities, design and beyond. Living off the grid wouldn’t be a problem, we have technologies that can generate over-unity power, we have technologies that can provide unlimited amounts of clean energy. I’m talking about free energy, which goes far beyond solar energy. We can have neighborhoods exactly like we do today, even better. They would be totally green, off the grid and self-sufficient.

The only problem with off the grid living is that corporations lose their ability to control others. With a completely self-sustaining life style, no body would ever have to work. What would happen then? Think about that for a moment. We would be free to expand and create, to discover our full potential as a race and move forward into the world of exploration and discovery, all the while living in harmony with nature, not against it.

We’ve accepted the monetary system, and deem it necessary for the proper function of society. Money doesn’t ever have to come in the way of necessity, we’ve just been made to believe that it does. It’s time for the human race to move past the concepts of competition and greed into one that benefits the whole.

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozled has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” – Carl Sagan

The human race does not need to be dependent on these corporations. While we continue to feed this dependency, the planet continues to suffer. In order to move forward, we must start cooperating with each other, and realize just how much potential we have to create something magical and amazing. Bottom line, anybody who has the desire to live off-grid should not be hassled for it, it should be a free choice.

Sources:

http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/the-stream/the-stream-officialblog/2014/2/25/florida-court-challengesoffthegridliving.html

http://www.offthegridnews.com/2014/02/22/court-rules-off-the-grid-living-is-illegal/

It’s About Love!

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve blogged… to be honest it’s just laziness or the fact I hadn’t had any motivation to post because it is pretty exhausting. Surprisingly it does take a lot out of you to write; I take anywhere between and hour or two to post a basic blog let alone one with full pictures and details. So I thank you for keeping your interest in reading my posts!

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I want to start this blog by discussing part of the book I’m reading which I’ve also let fall to the side a bit. The Valkyries has a lot of good material but there’s a lot in the book that seems almost useless… I guess it may have something to do with having such high expectations from reading The Alchemist. At one point the author Paulo Coelho writes about Love doesn’t create Peace and that we always destroy that in-which we love. I can kind of agree we tend to destroy the things we love to an extent, but the fact that he states it doesn’t bring peace… I dunno about that.

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Can’t wait for this to turn into a beautiful garden!

I feel like a lot of life has to do with Love… and I’ve discovered that more than ever since living out West; love is what drives most things from what you want to do in the future to who you want to spend your life with. If you can share love for something… for everything you are on a path to peace. I’ve found more peace of mind, of body, peace of life in the past year more than I ever have. Haiti was the start of who I was to become and continue to be. Once I started meeting similar minded people from Edmonton to Vernon to around the world! My general my outlook on life is a lot more joyous. I get deemed a Hippy from time to time just because a lot of people find me “chill” or super relaxed and caring, and I don’t mind that, I embrace it. We lack a lot of love in this world and it’s been replaced with money and things but if you can just find love in everything from day-to-day you’ll find you feel much better.

I don’t know the answers to life but I sure feel like I’m taking a step in the right direction… and you can too! When you wake up in the morning take some time to lay in bed and enjoy the sounds around you, think about the sun even if it’s behind the clouds. Once you’re up and going take a look in the mirror, tell yourself how beautiful and sexy you are even if you don’t believe it… do it until you do! Because you are only as beautiful as you let yourself be, your brilliance shines from within and will show on the outside. When you love yourself you’re ready to face the world. Maybe you think that you’re not good enough for someone because you’ve never dated or have issues dating… do you love yourself? Would you want someone who’s conflicted with themselves to be your partner; I say no because without self-love you can’t love someone else.

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Most days I’ll put on music in the morning whether it’s a vinyl record of the Beatles to some EDM on my computer or phone; it doesn’t matter what it is as long as you can appreciate that someone put love into their music and made it ring in your ears. Heck it could be Country or it could be Heavy Metal… what jives with you?

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New tunes!

Ever get mad at someone for making a mistake on your order or anything even? Ever heard of the word sonder? It’s a word I suggest most people to acquaint themselves with. To sonder is to really stop and think about how everyone around you has complex emotions as you do… maybe their dog is sick or they broke up with their girlfriend or even had the best night of their life and are in Lala-Land. Remember they are complex beings of life just like you.

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I was going to stop my tangent on love but on my idea board Dr. Who came up and his love for everything living… it may be a Sci-fi show but when it comes down to it the Dr. doesn’t want to hurt anyone and is against all discrimination from Humans to Aliens to Cyborgs, you are a being of the world… of the UNIVERSE! Everyone is something and should always be treated equally. Oh and I found the Dr.’s TARDIS in my town!

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That’s my little tangent on Love there’s a lot more I’d Love to share but I’ll save it for another day.

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Joys of the winter! About 2 weeks ago my pipes froze! I was without water for almost 4 days… it’s amazing how crucial water is. I knew from Haiti how important it was but it was a hell of a reminder. I couldn’t clean my dishes, wash my clothes and to cook… it’s actually really hard to cook without water. Luckily before I was at my wit’s end the pipes opened up and I went on a major clean spree.

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Dirtiest my place has ever been!

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I decided to finally get out and take some photo’s for people to look at and to fill my blog… since the snow has been out I’ve been struggling to get myself outside to take pictures, it’s just way to cold for my liking.

Cool Little bird house Daytpm and I found in the yard ^_^

Cool Little bird house Dayton and I found in the yard ^_^

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I was fooling around on Facebook and saw all the places I had visited and was just so grateful and am super excited to travel more of the world. As much as I’ve seen there is so much to discover as the maps below show where I’ve been for the most part.

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My wonderful adventures ❤

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“Things may seem like they are going in the wrong direct… but it’s to help put you in the right direction”

7 days in…. And I’m feeling it.

A good friend of mine Liz is fasting to raise money to visit and aid children in Haiti. This isn’t her first trip or fast she’s done and I’m sure it’s not going to be her last. She’s powering through 4 weeks of fasting and plans on keeping everyone up to date. Here’s one of her posts.

My Blog

Today is day 7 of my Fasting to Feed. Initially, despite the hunger, being ‘hangry’ (hungry + cranky), and tired I was still feeling pretty good. I still had energy, and was able to continue with my day as if I was eating normally.

Lately however, I am not feeling that way. Since Wednesday I have been tired, not having the energy to go about my day regularly. One night I slept for 12 hours and still didn’t feel like it was enough. The headaches began on Tuesday and have continued. Mix that with the dizziness and it is not a good feeling.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining whatsoever. It is SO exciting knowing that I have made it though a week of fasting, and only have 3 weeks to go. It also is a wonderful reminder of how blessed we truly are in Canada. If I…

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The Majesty

There isn’t much to report on this week but I’m feeling like I’m in a writing mood!

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Yesterday was a strange day I was kind of in a funk a lot of the day at work and my fantastic co-worker Maria was trying very hard to make me smile. Maria without trying to make someone smile is a character, so yesterday she was going all out. Unfortunately she hadn’t made much progress through the day until… I decided I was craving junk food. I purchased a Kinder egg and some “double sour” Skittles (that’s what the label said anyway). The Kinder egg was a let down as it wasn’t even a toy… it was a cheapo key chain; now how am I suppose to amuse myself with that! I figured it was time to open up the Skittles, as usual I didn’t find them too sour but Maria on the other hand… that’s where my day turned around, watching her face twist and contort made me split a gut and the day was nothing but uphill from there. Terrible right? Becoming happy off of someone elses torment, it was all in good fun though 🙂

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I wrote on my blackboard about my carbon footprint and the responsibility about it, I don’t quite remember what I was on about specifically but I know it was good! So I’ll just share what’s on my mind about it now. A lot of people choose to eat meat and as many of you know I’m vegetarian, I am by no means angry at meat eaters I think that everyone deserves the right to live their life how they please… within reason as always. My main reasons for choosing such a diet are mainly moral driven which in turn aim at carbon footprints. I think it’s important to take responsibility for how you are affecting this earth as there are no borders of pollution or connectivity with the earth. I feel with my choice not to consume animals I am making a difference to the living creatures, the amount of water required to process these foods as well as less petrol consumed involved in the entire process. I know I’m not saving the world by my choices but it’s a start and starting to make change is better than standing still; I feel more conscious and responsible for my decisions. Anyway that’s my little blurb on that I could go on for days.

I purchased a new book and it came in today! The Valkyries by Paulo Coelho, I was so blown away and took so much from the last book of his I read “The Alchemist”. I’m really hoping to be inspired by this next book as well, and if so I’m excited to read the many more books he’s written. I’ll be sure to keep you up to date on how the read is.

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The Universe… Isn’t it grand? I’ve always been interested in history and just knowledge all together it’s all so amazing (as did Alexandria). I had a binge the other day about Alexandria possibly one of the best civilizations in existence which was unfortunately taken down by what I’d consider “close mindedness“. One major influential person of its time was Hypatia a female of great knowledge, before it was even acceptable.

Speaking of History and our majestic Planet Earth there is so much that we have yet to discover and keeps me in awe; Outer space is what I’m getting at… the Universe has so much to offer from energies, brilliance and it’s ability to create. I’ve taken a lot of time recently to help organisations catalogue Galaxies, stars, and anomalies of all sorts. Just taking the time to look at what’s out there and its immense size really took takes my breath away. I think about it everyday ‘How big are you’, which coincidentally is what I named my painting I created in the summer. Look at the mountains and see how big they are, then the sun and then our solar system, galaxy… and it just keeps going. Now imagine hundreds and thousands of galaxies spewed out in our cosmos. I like to think about the size while in meditation it’s relaxing and helps you really brings your problems down to size. Maybe what I’m getting at (not even sure myself) is that when life is becoming overbearing on you step back, close your eyes and dream or imagine the vast size of our entire existence. Take a breath and two seconds to reflect then go back on with you day it’s been put together for you to exist and create within it.

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“Alone? You don’t have to be you have your entire imagination <3”

Shakra + Meditation

Guest Post

>>Your Inner Core<<

You are not a human being having a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being having a human experience. Each and every one of us homosepians have 7 energy centers called the Chakras. These chakras are like spirals of energy, each one relating to the others. Using the seven colours of the spectrum, Colour Therapy aims to balance and enhance our body’s energy centres/chakras and also to help stimulate our body’s own healing process.

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First you have a crown chakra bringing personal identification and oneness with peace & wisdom. Second, you have a third-eye chakra clearing the subconscious to channel intuition, and brings devotion and balance. Third you have a throat chakra, bringing you the ability to verbalize. Letting you express truth through the power of spoken words. Next, you have your heart chakra letting you express love in action and releasing emotionally repressed trauma. Then, comes the solar plexus bringing you positive use of personal power, assimilation experience, manifesting goals, and digestion. Sacral Chakra is next giving you utilization of creative forces into all aspects of being and bringing you direct self-toward devotion. Last, is the root chakra letting you gain ability to work lovingly on this psychical plane.

Now everyone finds comfort and peace in their music they dig, right? It makes complete sense how music stimulates these chakras through frequency and vibration. These healing centers are one of the beyond beautiful things that we are gifted with.

>>Meditation<<

There are many different ways of meditation and it can also mean different things to different people on each sides of the spectrum. Meditation is part of a normal day practice and ritual for a mass amount of people, whether religious or not. Whatever the practice means to you can be enormously helpful as a way of calming the mind, finding your inner peace and has beautiful long-term effects on the body, mind, and soul. This place of inner peace is where we can open up to our higher self, without the ‘interference’ of the ego, where we can find our higher intelligence and knowing. Meditation can be achieved by focusing the mind on a particular object, for example a flower, or a simple shape, a sound, a visualization, or even the process of you painting a picture is a form of meditation.

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The most helpful meditation of all is closed eye transcendental meditation. This is the simple act of closing your eyes and staring into your crown chakra. (your lower middle forehead) As simple as this sounds, a mass majority of people cannot even seem to find their minds be still and from wandering off into the realm of infinite thoughts. But with practice, it is beyond achievable in a beautiful manner. Meditation is not only good for all cores of your being, but can help psychically, and very much so mentally. Either removing stress, clearing energy blockages, often some people even find themselves with great ideas after their practice. Meditation should be practiced at least 20 minutes a day, twice a day for each individual. There are many helpful tapes, CD’S, videos around to help with meditation, as they will take the listener through stages of relaxation, or to help build a ‘picture’ in the mind’s eye of tranquility.

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With practice, shortly you will find it much easier to meditate, find yourself less stressed, much more stability, both relaxed and having more vitality in a balanced manner, more happiness and making it much easier to be able to ‘switch off’ any time, anywhere, when you are feeling the need for peace that is very much so deserved between all beings. If you can’t find peace in your outer core, know it is in your inner. Along with happiness, no one or thing can bring your happiness (only temporary) except yourself. You cannot depend of anyone or thing to make you happy, because that thing can be taken away from you. Once you realize this and live off of this method, you will find yourself becoming truly happy.

Breathing is very important as well as maintaining a healthy, stable mind-set and body. As obvious as stating ‘breathing is very important’ it is surprising how few of us actually do breathe ‘properly.’ Breathing is something we all take for granted, leading us to be inclined to forget about. Lack of proper breathing can often be a symptom of stress. Since approximately 90% of our energy is created by oxygen and nearly all of our body’s actions are regulated by it, is it important to have a healthy breathing technique in general, or at least to practice every week.

>>Ability<<

Finding activities to allow your self to create are beautiful ones. Whether it is taking photographs of scenery or painting a picture to express your current mood, writing a poem, song, etc. Creating things made from scratch is amazing when you find yourself coming up with awesome ideas. There is no other feeling that does justice to making your ideas happen in psychical form. This can make you realize how capable of things you are. Every one is an artist in some shape, way or form. Even if you do not believe you are an artist, what you enjoy to do most likely is an art technique. You are more than an artist. You are more than a human. You are powerful, divine, and certainly no one can compare.

Submitted by: Christina Teller

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“We are busy beings but without introspection how can you truly see?”

Up & Up

It’s been over a month since my last post and I do apologize, as I usually tell people ‘Life happens‘. I’ve been really busy getting my business up and running, working a lot, and visiting family in Ontario.

Before my trip news; I purchased some really good skates for cheap and have been skating a bit here and there… it’s nice exercise and fun 🙂 .999914_10153703720535022_1710676587_n

My adventure to Ontario started when my first flight was cancelled due to Toronto’s outrageous  -40 weather… everything was pretty much shut down. I scrambled on the phone so that I could get another flight and push my time I had off for work. I decided just to fly into Toronto and then take the Robert Q (really comfy bus) to Windsor, which is usually a 4 hour drive or so. I managed to get a flight the following day (overnight)  and off I went. My travels went pretty well without a hitch. I landed in Ontario took the bus to see family in Windsor. I have to say that the sights really are strange to me now not having been able to see mountains around me.

Windsor is a really strange and interesting place, I was speaking to a friend about it and what we came up with was: Looking into a city/ culture from the outside; I guess I had lived my entire life within this place and never really saw how everyone there lived culturally. I almost had anxiety going out into public… not that I was afraid but more so I felt uncomfortable at the fact that everyone was in such a hurry and so impatient, along with just seeming to only want to help themselves. Living in Windsor I always seen that people were in a hurry and that you almost do have to take care of only yourself. Having travelled and experienced many different environments in the past few years has really opened me to see how important it is to be there for yourself but without being selfish; seeing the majority people in Windsor blasting around and just observing others in public really opened me to see how selfish we can be. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying all people in Ontario/ Windsor are grumpy and miserable, it was just a very common recurrence.

I did manage to see one of my favourite people and long time friend Natalie, we met through wrestling in high school and since both of our schools were french it wasn’t odd our teams saw each other as “team mates”. There was something spunky about this beautiful lady and we’ve been friends since, she’s one of those friends that you can always confide regardless the subject. It’s been a wild ride helping each other over the last few years. The one night I visited her family as we’ve all become rather close over the years, they always keep me on my toes with my french which I enjoy. Little Mich, Nat’s sister I could have sworn was 16 yesterday but is now 20… it’s wild how time fly’s. Since the St John’s have a hot tub naturally we took advantage, it was one of the most enjoyable nights in town sitting with her family talking jokes and catching up.

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One of the nights I teamed up with Em’s mom to surprise her… pay back for her surprising me at my fundraiser. It was a bit of a challenge because I wanted to post about my travels online but also didn’t want Emily to realise what was going on… eventually she kept asking questions so I just told her I was flying to New Brunswick to see the country. I think it worked because I walked in the door and Em was wide-eyed and we shared a haven’t seen you in ages hug. It was a fun night drinking wine and reminiscing on past stories and where we want to be in the future. I ended up spending the night since I had a few too many glasses of wine but it all worked out as I got to see a nice sun rise on my way home.

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I did get to see a few other friends and had a good time, but it was nice to see my family over dinner, and it was really great that my nephew enjoyed playing with me seeing as I’m rarely around for him to get used to me. He’s one smart little dude already talking about hexagons, octagons when I could barely do that when I was 6! As per usual my mom and I went for a nice meal at this little place called Ashton’s in my home town LaSalle, it’s a really nice spot :).

Jules and I have had our differences in the past, we’ve gone from best friends to probably not even wanting to see a picture of each other ever again. I know I’ve done a lot of growing and regardless of what happened I think we both made mistakes and grew past them. Recently we began talking again and even hung out while I was in town… I have to say I miss joking around with Julia, she’s a great person and even better soul. I always like seeing what she will come up with next, all of her creations… I find brilliant. For one one her most recent shows she was doing 90’s paintings/ sketches on “retired” cupboard doors. I’m excited to continue our friendship good and bad!

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Jules makin’ her magic

Coming back from Windsor was a rather great treat, I made it to Toronto from Windsor then from Toronto to Calgary but that’s where the ease disappeared. I was all the way on the plane buckled in and we heard news that the last four flights were re-routed to Vancouver due to fog… so we all disembarked and waited forever in line to be re-scheduled… I was at the back of the plane meaning I was the last one in line, so I just went and sat in a chair till the line died anyway.

I was put up in a rather nice hotel “Acclaim”, there was a sky deck with hot tub… which was occupied by a couple which I decided to leave alone. My room was stunning with a king sized bed tv in the bathroom with a ceiling shower head! I enjoyed it and the hotel restaurant was very nice as well, they are known for their wine and bread. I can’t remember the name of the wine a tried but it was yummy; half a glass had me feeling good. The rest of the night I watched movies from my king sized bed. The breakfast was great and because I was put up for the night I was given food vouchers, so yay free food.

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The next day I get my ticket and find out I’m on a waiting list; off to Tim Hortons for more free food… I had to spend one of the $10 vouchers all at once so I splurged on bagel’s, yogurt, and some hot chocolate with chai tea. They started making announcement asking for people willing to give up their spots, I realised I wasn’t getting on this flight and went and got my next flight booked and compensated handsomely I might add. The lady at the counter said I was smart to come up then. I was put up in another hotel which was… okay, the Sandman was not nearly as nice as the Acclaim but I did still get a King sized room. The restaurant attached to this hotel was Moxies, I had all three meals of the day on vouchers. Since I wasn’t going to be there for lunch and was going to have breakfast at the airport I combined them for supper… that means $32 for some yummy food! Moxies unfortunately didn’t have much of a vegetarian selection but I made do.

My lonesome bag

My lonesome bag

One thing I saw a lot of was “global news” and to be honest it was a little sickening to see what they were reporting on, some things were kind of serious and others were outrageously dumb. I like to keep up to date on what’s happening in the world but the news I saw on TV seems so narrow and hides a lot. I pride myself on multi sighting pages that I read to get accurate information. One thing I learned in the past little while, it’s find the facts and become aware of what’s happening in your World. War, climate change, industrialising, humanitarian issues… none of that stuff realistically has borders, we breathe the same air look at the same sky. The only thing I would pass on to everyone this blog is to be aware. I read a question online recently: ‘If you could get rid of one thing in the world what would it be?‘ I read a lot of good answers most of which were “money” and I happily agreed, but I came across one answer that I think we should be agreeing with and it’s Ignorance. I think our biggest down fall is our ignorance… our lack of knowledge. Don’t let yourself be a fool, learn and investigate.

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When I left BC I didn’t get to see the mountains flying out since it was night-time but I did get to see them coming back and it was amazing! These huge peaks become nothing but little hills that go on as far as the eye can see… I was in awe most of the time and could do nothing but appreciate it. I actually spent most of the flight just watching them go by.

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Departure day had finally arrived without a hitch I made it back to Kelowna thankfully it wasn’t super foggy again. I had called Brent to pick me up and when I saw him I was in a bit of shock as he had shaved his long beard… now I know what kind of shock I put everyone through 😛 .

So far not much has gone on since I’ve returned home, just getting back into the swing of working and building my business. I will have a guest blog coming up in the next few days so keep your head up for a new post.

If you’re interested in posting your own little blurb feel free to click the Guest Post tab on the left menu bar.

**Oh yeah… I have yet to set off a scanner at the airport, I don’t see why people always run into issues. Tip just take the extra 30 seconds to check your pockets and take everything off and put it in the bin!

“No biggy;  Life Happens”

Thoughts Gliding

I hope everyone has had nice Holidays so far, I guess I’ve been pretty busy between work and having a expanding social life… always a good thing. I’m going to go through some of the past events and then try to go through some of my thoughts about… just things.

Cold Earth

Cold Earth

I’ve managed to nab some awesome deals recently which is really cool, I finally got my free tablet from TD that they owed me for a while… it just took some nagging to the correct people to get things fixed. I’m very pleased with it as I don’t have to keep running to my computer to write emails or check out videos. I still don’t think I’d ever go purchase a tablet but it is an awesome free addition!

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The next great deal I came across was an amazing recliner from The Brick, this awesome reclining theatre type seating was in the clearance section and was still on the high end of my budget for getting rid of my futon. I returned about a week and half later knowing that if it wasn’t there it just wasn’t meant to be. As I was walking to the clearance section a lot of the furniture had been moved but I kept going and when I arrived the couch had been turned around so I hadn’t noticed it. When I took another look… the price had dropped a few hundred dollars! Right there I said ‘I’ll take it’, and off I went with a $1500+ couch for… $200!

Yummy Grilled cheese w. Broccoli & OJ

Yummy Grilled cheese w. Broccoli & OJ

I have decided I want to begin collecting Beatles albums (vinyl), mainly starting with the Apple Records albums. My goals is to pick up at least one a month which isn’t too bad considering I can find them for 15 – 30 dollars each. There is one album that I plan on scouting for a mint copy… that’s the “White Album” . I’ve been listening to the “Blue Album” for a couple of weeks now, I love the sound of vinyl there’s not much like it.

As stated before I hope everyone’s Holidays have been good, great, or amazing. As much as I consider Xmas just another day on the calendar I tend to be drawn into dinners and parties… I’m definitely not complaining about it… it’s good to know there are people with huge hearts out there. I did get some Christmas cards which was kind of cool… I’ve never really received any before despite living on my own in the past. I ordered some for a few people because I didn’t really get a chance to get all creative and make my own… unfortunately they are late and I have yet to receive them/ send them.

My work… well my colleagues and I decided to throw a party for the holidays and let loose. It was a pretty great night with finger foods, good laughs… oh yeah and a full-sized beer pong table which made for a fun night for sure! I’m not going to lie my head did hurt a lot the next day despite how much water I drank. I don’t normally drink alcohol, it doesn’t really have the lustre is did when I was in college… even then I didn’t drink as often as my friends had.

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For Christmas one of my friends Maria invited me over for Xmas dinner with her boyfriend and his kids. Maria so kindly accommodated my vegetarian diet which she has been helping me with for great recipes since the beginning. It was a really fun night of Yatze and there was even a dance show done by the girls! Even if I hadn’t been invited by Maria, Brent and Ryan my Hostel Mate neighbours invited me to their family dinner since they know my family is back in Ontario and they already had their big Xmas on the East Coast. It’s nice to know that there’s great people out there.

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Just when I though I was catching up on bills and such, in abundance I had to get my car inspected to pass for BC plating… I now have to do a bunch of work to my car which is going to cost me a couple hundred bucks and… make her ugly 😦 ; I have to take off the tint on the windows as it’s illegal in BC and change the lights on the front and back because they are both the incorrect colour? Oh well such is life so I will do what I can myself and get er’ passed.

It has been an interesting past few weeks as things in my life seem to be settling… which to me is good and unsettling for me. I’m usually in constant movement; it’s exciting for me as I am creating new adventures all the time learning new and exciting things about the world, people and most of all my self. I continue to try to get my business on track and stay on top of my game at work.

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Frosted Bush

Some days I find myself waking up and just wondering where I am in life, where I’m headed and what my next adventure will be. To see how far I’ve brought myself is exciting knowing the successes I’ve obtained and the lessons that were learned through mistakes and gut feelings. I find myself constantly surrounded by music and different types everyday, it’s a nice escape from the constant day in and out of work.

I’m really happy where I am now and things are slowly on the move in the direction I’ve been striving for, yet I’m still at a loss for words to convey how I feel submersed in my music. As I sit here writing contemplating my writing, smiling in-between pauses.

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Oh by the way apparently my girlfriend made me admin to being lame as my black board states

 

Take a moment to look at yourself now; close your eyes and breath in life, enjoy the air that fills your lungs. Every breath is the next step to a new journey. 

 

Connections

There’s much to catch up on as usual, many things have happened and many changes have come about!

Our beautiful moon

Our beautiful moon

Let’s start with work I guess; in November I managed to hit “Experts” level for selling phones. I really didn’t expect to reach it, my goal was actually only to hit 25 devices but I managed to nab the 35 (Experts) in one month. ‘Yeah big deal’, you may say but now I get personal business cards instead of having to write my name out every time on blank ones… oh did I mention I also receive benefits now ;). That’s the hype at work.

Our first bad snow day

Our first bad snow day

So it’s been on the to learn list for a while that I’ve wanted to snowboard… I’ve always been able to Ski but I wanted to be one of the “Cool kids” haha. It’s not really that I’ve always just been more intrigued by boarding. One of my co-workers managed to grab some cheap lift passes for only $20; I decided that the time was right to jump on the learning train.

Mariam & I

Mariam & I

It was a wonderful day to go great company and beautiful weather, I rented my gear and up the hill we went I was pretty anxious the whole time, despite having watched many… many YouTube video’s to hopefully aid the learning process. Caleb was the friend that was pretty much teaching the group, we all needed a bit of help; there 6 of us all together. Oh did I mention he was rockin’ an 80’s suspenders snow suit with a blond wig. I think I did pretty well, I didn’t stick by his side too much and I kind of did my own thing cruising ahead of everyone most of the time. I fell a whole bunch mind you and my butt was super sore… as Caleb put it ‘I’ve never seen someone use their butt as an anchor so much‘. I was picking things ups slowly… in my mind I was, but Caleb said I was doing exceptional for my first time. But there was something missing, everyone kept saying ‘don’t worry how fast you’re going’, my reply: “I don’t care how fast I’m going… I just. Can’t. Turn! And if I can’t turn when I go off that hill then I will be worried how fast I’m going”. 

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It was our second run… and our last because. We took ages to run the first one so it was almost closing time. I started off and wiped out twice and pretty darn hard! We hadn’t even made it to the lift yet.  I took some deep breaths held back from cursing and moved forward… to my amazement I hit some sort of good swing, I found the movement I was missing and it was all down hill cruising from there… pun intended. I was super stoked, I did it, I mastered… well figured out how to controllably turn and look like a half decent boarder, woohoo. We made it to the top of the hill for our last run and the fog began to roll in; I had finally made mega amounts of progress but now could see barely 20 ft in front of me at any given time, good news was I only fell maybe 4 times compared to the… oh I don’t know 45 from the first run.

The following day I was in so much pain I felt like I had been playing in a tumble dryer for a whole day prior. I was suggested to try this stuff called Arnica… and let me tell you it is works of magic. It comes in many different form but I go the sugar diluted 30CH, I took five 3X a day within two days I felt like brand new.

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Some exciting news, I’ve developed a great relationship with a girl named Mariam who happens to now be my partner/ girlfriend. She struck me as kind of strange at first the way she greeted me several months back, but there was a connection that just drew me to think of her more than I normally would when I meet a girl. We continued to talk for a few days with her resisting my charming self but eventually I cracked that wall and we began going on dates for a few weeks, and ever since things have been pretty good!

We went snowboarding together that day I had many falls ;). It was nice to have a caring gf around to make me feel better after the 10th, 20th… fall. Especially after I watched some guy do some cool tricks on ski’s which I can do; I think my exact words were ‘I should have just borrow a stupid set of ski’s *grunt*‘.1462939_10153564740475022_604131859_n

Mariam lives in the next town over so unfortunately we don’t get to spend as much time as we would like together but we make do… Skype is a wonderful invention :).

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Last bit of news and maybe the biggest, I’ve decided to change my diet and I am now officially a vegetarian. I’d say a few years back I could never see my self eating vegetarian, despite always caring so much about the world. I’ve grown a lot especially in the last year and I’m open-minded to learn almost anything. As my love for the earth has grown over the past few months I continue to research things online and watch documentaries, the thought of becoming a vegetarian was seemingly edging on the boarders. One day I had just had enough of seeing what we are doing to the earth and made the choice to fully commit to cutting meat out of my diet.

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I don’t want to get too much into it and no I don’t really have anything against other people eating meat, it’s their choice and everyone is entitled to live their lives how they please… well within reason that is. If there’s anything I’d suggest to the omnivore’s out there is look for free range and locally raised / produced meat products.

Thank you to all my followers, Jules is thankful for the support of her guest post and I want to invite others to email me/ hit the guest post tab on the left for your very own post to shine!

~ Everything is connected into the fabric of our lives; be respectful and you will reap the benefits.

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Who do you want to be?

Hello to all of Justin’s friends and supporters! I’m Jules, one of Justin’s long-time friends and colleagues.

I’ve been invited by Justin as a guest blogger and my topic of discussion today is something I don’t just feel but AM…creativity! It’s a burnt out opinion that not everyone can be creative and I fully intend on shattering that perception as long as I have breath in my body. EVERYBODY and I mean absolutely everyone is creative. Humans are a curious species by nature and we are all capable of taking something we think or feel on the inside and turning that outwards into a tangible item whether it be something you’ve written, said, painted, sculpted or engineered.

Art is more than just technique. It’s about feeling. It’s about expression. It’s about taking something that is purely YOU and getting it out into the world for other people to look at, interpret, and appreciate. I grew up in a small town of 3000 people in Southern Ontario and at age 6 my dad discovered my talent for drawing things to scale. We traveled to Florida a lot for summer vacations as a child and my thing was to get postcards and then bring them home and enlarge them on my sketching paper. At age 6 I could take a postcard of Mickey Mouse and the gang and enlarge it to the size of an 8×10 or larger purely from vision. I could figure out angles and measurement without the need of a ruler or protractor (something that doesn’t come easily to everyone). My father decided to put me into art classes outside of schooling. Naturally, I was totally averted to the idea as I was a REALLY timid child. But to art classes I went and surprisingly enough to me I stuck with it for 7 years. Art class became kind of “my special time”. I didn’t have the perfect childhood. Times at home could be very rough on me emotionally and art class was an hour and a half a week that I could just go and be with other artists to get away from it all. No talking was necessary. I just needed that time to go inside my own head and let whatever it was that I was thinking about or feeling come through those firing neurons down into my hand and out of my pencil or paint brush. Art for me was therapeutic, as is for a lot of other people. It’s a chance to express yourself freely without judgement or fear, and that is why it is so important to me to spread of the word, nay beauty, of art!

As I got older, teachers wanted an answer… “What do you want to be when you grow up Miss Monk?” My father pushed me to find something to do with my art. I can remember at 12 years old telling my father “Dad you can’t make any money being an artist”. Now I think, “how sad that the world we live in doesn’t encourage artists to believe in the importance and value of what they’re creating”. I sincerely did not believe I could ever have a life making art. I thought it was just something I was good at that didn’t matter. The years rolled on and I continued growing my knowledge and technique taking art in high school and finally venturing away from realism and into the surreal. Abstract. Wow! It was something new and completely different for me. For the past 5 years or so I’ve been focused on integrating my realist technique with portraits INTO an abstract kind of background or scenario for the character and my goodness what a challenge it has been. I’ve never had more fun than when I don’t know what I’m doing. It just goes to show you that in life, whether it’s creating a piece of artwork, or applying for a new job or a promotion at work, or going out of your comfort zone dating someone new…you HAVE to push yourself to attempt the unknown….you never know how you might surprise yourself and find something new that you absolutely LOVE that you didn’t think was possible or could ever happen to you.

After high school I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. My family thought medical would be a good idea. It’s a good job, with good pay and I was caring enough to be able to handle the stresses and responsibilities of nursing….yet I wasn’t convinced. I applied for a double major at the University of my Nearby City of Windsor and got it. Visual arts and communications…I wasn’t excited. It just felt like “the NEXT step”, you know? It was like I was following the succession of events that society has shoved down my throat as the normal thing to do. Go to school, get a job, find a husband, buy a house, have some kids…and then, well you know. I continued pondering what my life would be like. “Would I ever leave this area?” A lot of people would go to school and eventually follow those same successions of events and NEVER leave. That couldn’t be me. I thirsted for more. One day while lying in bed and watching “Whatever happened to?” it dawned on me, “It would be so cool to work in the movies”. A few hours later I had googled every school I think in nation for film. The next day would change my life’s path.

I got a call from my adviser at The Vancouver Film School asking if I’d like to be a part of their student body in the following terms. I told them I had thought about it maybe after 4 years of schooling at home in Windsor. They proceeded to ask me why not do it now? I couldn’t for the life of me think of a good enough reason to say no. I applied and got in. Then came the inevitable question…”how am I going to afford this?” It just so happens they had a scholarship for a FULL ride to their school. So I applied. It was an essay based off a few key questions like “Who inspires you the most? Who are you? And where do you want to be in 5 years”? I thought of all the b.s bluster they might WANT to hear and then thought…”I’m going to write it from the heart, because if they don’t like that then they don’t like me and I don’t need to go to school there”. Out of hundreds of applicants, myself and 2 others won. I would be going to school in Vancouver, for film, completely free. I couldn’t believe it. If it had not been for that curiosity provoked inside me to search for something more, to keep it creative…then I wouldn’t be writing to you today.

After school I came back to Ontario to work. That’s where I met Justin. I was his supervisor for the AM800 A team (a broadcast promotions team in the Windsor-Essex County region). We made friends immediately and began a friendship lasting well over 3 years now. Justin and I both have the same view of helping others around us whether it be locals in Windsor or all the way in Haiti, which is where we traveled next. As many of you know Justin traveled to Haiti for six months to live with Emily Hime, at Maison Ke Kontan Orphanage, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. What many of you might not know is that I filmed it. Justin and I spent about a year of our friendship fundraising and working for the orphanage in Haiti to try and make a small difference. After being in Haiti my thirst for travelling became even more insatiable and my next stint would become working as an international photographer on the high seas. For six months I traveled Alaska, Central and South America working as a photographer for a cruise line. I have a blog about it that I will post at the bottom.

Arriving back in Canada, just two weeks ago, I’ve been experiencing an array of emotions but mainly just being very thankful for this colourful life I’ve been living. One of my mantras is that “No one will fix your situation but yourself” and “If you are not trying to fix your situation, then you have no right to complain”. Before leaving for life at sea I was feeling stagnant and depressed. Living in isolation for six months has given me a profound appreciation for such things like driving my car, or watching a movie with friends which may seem mundane to the people who experience that on a daily basis but I promise you, every little thing you experience in this life is a blessing and do not forget it.

My life’s message and purpose, I’ve discovered, is to share my knowledge and creativity with the world and to inspire others to not become stagnant or unchallenged by life. So my challenge to you, whoever you are that is reading this, is to get out there and try something new. Apply to something you didn’t think you could get, try something you’ve always wanted to but were too scared to, go out and meet some new people, share some interesting conversation with a stranger, try new food, create something that is completely you whether it’s a song or a painting or a piece of furniture! If I can get one thing across to you it is that this life is short, it’s unpredictable and it’s both horrible and awesome at the same time so live life for the quiet moments you took for granted, don’t settle for a less than remarkable life and lead a life that will have you remembered long after you’re gone.

Peace and love,

J.

Please visit my photography website at www.jlynnphotographyart.com if you’d like to see what I do for a living and book a photo session. Capture those moments in life and have a tangible keepsake for years to come!

You can also check out more of my artworks and talks at my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/jlynnphotographyart and my blog: julialynnmonk.wordpress.com/!
There’s ALSO my youtube.com/julialynnmonk and my twitters at twitter.com/julesmonk and twitter.com/jlynnphotoarts.

Please do like, share and tweet my stuff if you enjoy my work as an artist. Help me to inspire others to keep dreaming and making those dreams a reality!

There’s ups n’ Down’s

This blog post is well over due and I apologize, there’s been good bad and great happening and a little bit of laziness to be honest. This will probably be a lengthy post as there’s a lot to catch up on… or I may just blast through a few things.

Cold creeping down the mountain

Cold creeping down the mountain

Let’s start with a few weeks ago I signed my lease agreement for my business to solidify thing for February now I’m just waiting for some financial stuff to come through once I apply for it.

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One of my hostel mates has a cute kitty named Panda I’m sure I’ve spoken of her before, but she’s pretty much welcome everywhere at the Hostel and she goes pretty much anywhere she desires. Panda’s an amazing cat and is very loving and I feel bad sometimes when she’s outside because it’s getting cold… she does adore being outside though. My buddy does bring her in every night so it’s not like she’s stuck out there. Anyway where I was going with all of this is I let her in my place a week ago and she always just looks around for a bit rolls around for some attention and then kind of takes off. Since it’s been getting cold she likes to just hang out by the window now and just scan the yard behind my place. The other night when I let her in she came and cuddled on my couch and took a nice couple hour nap in my cozy warm place and it was super cute to say the least.

One of the Rogers/ Fido reps. from my work had set a goal  for our store to meet and promised us a dinner and we of course met this goal so we were treated to a nice dinner… On Rogers ;). I had some awesome jambalaya that I scarfed down… elegantly; this place was also kind of upscale so obviously the food was scrumptious.

Big surprise… I cut off my hair and beard! Why? Some of you may ask well it was starting to get hard/ a pain to maintain and if I took a bath at night I had to wait for my hair to dry or it would be all crazy the next morning. Oh yeah and I was kind of missing my short hair and stubble. I actually let a girl that I was on a date with do it, it’s not like there was any real way to mess it up I was just chopping it all off… or buzzing it since we were using my clippers. She asked if she could cut the back with scissors and I said ‘sure why not‘. I have to say that it was a really weird sensation of the scissors cutting through the hair… it kind of gave me chills.

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I fooled around with my long hair at different stages while cutting it, t’was was pretty funny but once there was just the mustache and long hair… it grossed me out… so much for Movember. Ultimately I’m very happy with my decisions other than my face and head being cold outside, I like it. Most people didn’t recognize me anymore, the people I worked with just stared for a bit and were thrown off even my hostel mates were blown away… I went from a Jesus look to clean-cut I don’t know what you’d call it look. I actually had a hard time seeing myself in the mirror it was totally weird.

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Gnarly

So my book, the much awaited book… No it’s not done yet and I’ve once again kind of fallen off of the writing curve mainly because I’ve been so tired lately from lots of working. I did speak to a publishing group called Friesen Press and I may go with them for publishing and sales as it could bring in some royalties and it would be good to have especially if I decided to write more books. They are little bit costly but through much research, the most reliable and the best potential to make some coin back… unfortunately we are looking at a book release maybe in the summer instead of Christmas; sorry for the let down!

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So much typing

I finally picked up a new phone as my old one has had a cracked screen for several months and was starting to eat the dust. I picked up a Nexus 5 one of the fastest phone’s… actually it is the fastest phone I’ve ever had and it’s one of the top phones on the market today. I’ve run into a few issues with my carrier about misinformation on my plans and Tab etc… but I’m waiting for a resolution before I leave any reviews on them. *update* They contacted me and fixed the issue that they created… but we’ll see how the next bill shows up.

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I managed to pick up a TV so that I can play my PS3 which I’ve been itching to play for a while… It was a steal $150 for a 52″ DLP HDTV, it works perfect! I did have to drive with it hanging out of my trunk from Lumby (45 mins away) and then get someone to help me bring it up into my place… It’s huge to say the least but all the other TV’s were so much more expensive and for a quarter of what I currently have, so it was so worth it… I watched “Ocean Predators” last night and it looked so awesome; I also fell asleep just goes to show how tired I am.

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So what’s currently going on in my life..? A lot more than usual I’ve started seeing a girl… wait maybe that’s why I’m so tired, from texting her all night hmm girls…. they complicate everything but so far she is so worth it. The other day my cell phone invoice was very very wrong and it really upset me as I’ve been putting myself on a strict budget so that I can run my business on time. Luckily Mariam was able to help me vent a bit and my day slowly got better. The other day we made dinner together which was a lot of fun, steak, mashed potatoes and asparagus. It was such a good dinner… the mashed potatoes were interesting to make as I was short on salt so we just threw more cheese in them and it was still not right. I went and borrow some more salt from one of my Hostel Mates and we dumped a ton in there… there was a lot of potatoes (I’m still eating them) but that was honestly what was missing… the salt!

Life’s full of its ups and downs and I’ve experienced many downs this past week which really surprised a lot of people (I’m always smiling apparently) but I had to remind myself don’t forget to smile”  and it made things a little better. Keep an eye out for the people who care for you, they will always be there to help you out when you really need it. Treat these people like they are special and they will return the favour.

Keep an eye out for my daily posts about 21 habits of happy people on my Inner Paths Facebook page.

NAMASTE

To Those We Love

First off today is a major me day, I’ve been working hard from work to schooling and even language training. 

I feel great as I have a fantastic job and work with great people and just the individuals around me have been so lovely.

In my last post I said I would kind of explain about the “failed connection” I guess you could call it. Things did seem pretty great for a while but the entire time there was something not there, something that tugged at me that I couldn’t quite grasp at despite things seeming to be great… I felt it but chose to ignore it because it was so miniscule. One day we were chatting and maybe I said the wrong thing and suddenly we were “on different pages”; I have to say I was pretty torn up that morning after the dissolution of the friendship. I worked on the things that were making me happy in life and my day really turned around. I stepped back to what I’ve always told myself “never regret a thing in life“. Even when you do dumb things or have a terrible break up like I had 2 years ago, you have to be happy for the times you had; the good and even more so the bad. Look at it this way: if you never went through hurt, paint, or heart-break would you really be the person you are today? I think not. Anyway that’s kind of what happened and I’m glad for the small moments of joy I had.

Enough of this girly talk; I’ve been growing my beard for 2 months now and it’s getting pretty thick as it once was in Haiti, the only difference is it’s getting cold where I’m living now and my face is nice and warm! At work I’ve had many people come by just to tell me I have an awesome beard, or ‘many people can’t pull off a good beard but you sir can!“. It’s really cool to have people come by and compliment it… honestly I’m just growing my beard for me not to impress people but hey I’ll take it, keep the compliments coming 😉 good genetics I guess!

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Haiti Beard

 

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Canada Beard

In late October I sold 4 phones at work in one day and made a hefty commission from it which is great for me… puts me on track for comfortable living. I’ve been getting compliments from “upper managementfor my accomplishments as a newbie which is super cool, but I keep telling everyone ‘honestly I’m just doing my job“. Oh Nov 1st I kicked off the month with selling another 4 phones putting our store at 7 and #1 in BC East for the start of the month. I also keep getting told by my customers I have a very mellow/ calm demeanour and that they like that… none threatening pressure.

I’ve had a great workout sitting on my computer for over a year now and haven’t really gotten around to setting up a schedule to use it… well I finally sat down and spent at least an hour setting up my workout routine. The whole process will be over six to eight months but it’s finally started and I’m super pumped to get my beach bod! (that last statement really made me chuckle)

Still Working on Form

Still Working on Form

Some other things I’ve been up to lately me having enrolled in psychology classes online (free) that offers a diploma but it isn’t accredited… fine with me I’ll still hang the diploma. On top of that I’ve been listening to psych lectures from Yale which happen to be very fun for me to listen to. I have to say that I actually already knew a lot that is being taught on those lectures; in a sense it’s very reassuring that I find Yale lectures “easy to listen to”. Some other learning I’ve been doing but kind of slowed down on it since I’ve taken up so many other things and work 5 days a week is learning new languages. I have Rosetta Stone on my computer and I have taken up Arabic. I think it would be a neat language to learn… I mean I grew up with so many Lebanese people and always wished I knew what they were saying… I have also set out a goal to know at least 7 languages in the next 5 years and I’m already at 3.

So Halloween just went by and maybe some of you went out with your kids or by yourself, and some of you may have handed out candy… ready for a surprise I actually went out “clubbing”, yeah I know it’s def. not my scene but I was convinced to go out and have a night for myself and I’m glad I did. The night was filled with good company and well mediocre to good music haha.

I didn’t get a chance to record a Vlog this week but I’ll try to get one posted in the next few days if not tonight. 

So at the beginning of the blog I talked about how today was a ME day; last night was the first night I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night in over 3 months… maybe it had to do with me being really tired or the fact I was talking to a pretty great person last night… I’m going to stick with the latter. This morning I was blessed with a photo of my girls from Haiti… my heart bled because I miss them so much. As I reminisced on the old photo’s and the newest one with their huge smiles I couldn’t help but cry. I was getting ready to write my blog as I waited for my bath to cool down but I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I had to lay on my bed and take it in… I love the kids so much and they will always hold a piece of my heart <3.

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Newest photo

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Lily and I

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Twins and I napping

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There’s one of my real smiles ❤

 

"Enjoy every moment in life; it's the hard times that show you the good, the better, and the best!" ~ Me

“Enjoy every moment in life; it’s the hard times that show you the good, the better, and the best!” 

“Everything is the way it is because it got that way” ~ Gerald Weinberg

What Is Prayer? – Guest Post

What Is Prayer?

All prayer – no matter what the religion – has a certain power, but some techniques are more powerful than others. The easy-to-learn technique of dynamic prayer devised and taught by Dr. George King is based on yogic principles, including the chakras, visualization and the correct use of spiritual energy, which make it highly effective.

In his commentary on the second of The Nine FreedomsDr. King explains prayer as follows:

Throughout the centuries healings, which some people have described as miracles, have been brought about through the correct use of prayer.

Now, what is prayer? Prayer is a way to transmit energy from point A – the prayer [i.e. the person praying], to point B – the person who needs that prayer. The prayer energy is carried safely to its destination by the power of Love. The spiritual energy which is sent from the prayer [i.e. the person praying] to the recipient was referred to by the ancient yogis as, “prana” or “the universal life force”. But the carrier of that energy is Love…

The explanation below is adapted for this website from the book Prayer Energy:

Prayer is a way of channelling and transmitting energy. It can bring joy, inspiration, healing, peace, exhilaration – and even bliss.

Dynamic prayer is…

  •  not a dull duty or a meaningless chore, but a vibrant, living power.
  •  not the deluded hope of someone crying out in desperation, but the practical solution to many problems.
  •  not an act of fear or false piety, but one of courage and true love.

If prayer were understood and practiced every day by more people, not only would those people’s lives change, but the whole world would change. Why? Because prayer works. And once the nature of prayer becomes clear and we begin to understand how it works, the confusion and doubt that all too often haunt the would-be prayerful believer are gone.

The energy known as prana – universal life force

Everything in creation is manifested through energy. In Indian philosophy this energy is known as prana. In China, it is referred to as qi (or ch’i), in Japan as ki. It is akin to the Greek concept of pneuma and the Melanesian mana. The name is not important, though. What is important is what it is and what it does. It can be aptly described as the “universal life force” because that is exactly what it is – the force of life, which exists throughout the universe. It is life itself. And even more remarkable than this, we can all invoke and use this energy simply by the power of thought.

When we want something the desire makes us magnets for energy. We use our minds, consciously or unconsciously, to direct this to bring about a certain result. This is the power of creative visualisation, or intention, but it is not real prayer.

Real prayer is not a device for trying to get whatever we want. It is an expression of love. To pray properly we must unchain the shackles of selfishness from our hearts and condition the energy we invoke with the power oflove. Think of love as the vehicle in which the energy travels to its destination. As the great yogi Swami Vivekananda put it: “The moment you have succeeded in manufacturing love out of prana, you are free.”

The efficacy of prayer

The efficacy of prayer is not dependent on the whim or favoritism of a mythical overlord, whom some mistake for the great Divine Source. On the contrary, it is exact in the way that a science is exact. In fact, it is a science – albeit one of which few scientists seem to have much understanding. It is a scientific formula for sending energy, conditioned by love, from the person praying to the focal point of the prayer. How well a prayer works basically depends on:

  • How much energy we invoke and send out.
  • How well this energy is conditioned by love.
  • The karma of the situation or person you are praying for.

Dispelling doubts about prayer

Viewed in this light there is no need to be haunted by the specter of doubt when our prayers don’t seem to be answered. Prayer is a natural power – not a superstition. Comments such as, “I prayed for world peace for five minutes last night and yet war is still going on, therefore God does not exist” are absurdly superficial. To bring about world peace would require a colossal amount of spiritual energy. In fact, miraculous though it sounds, with the right quantity and quality of spiritual energy the world could be utterly transformed. Dr. King taught that the only real energy crisis on Earth is the spiritual energy crisis, and that until this is put right humankind will always suffer from shortages of more basic forms of energy. Prayer is undoubtedly one of the best ways to help solve this crisis.

Change your life through prayer

It matters little what you call the Divine Source, be it God, Brahma, Allah, Jehovah, Great White Spirit, The Way, Heaven, or anything else. The love in your heart is infinitely more important that the creed in your mind. Prayer is not for the chosen few; it is for everyone. It is the birthright of people of all faiths – and even of none – to experience the benefits that dynamic prayer can bring.

We can all help to improve the world and our own lives, this very moment, by being a channel for the limitless energy of love, whether this be manifested in thought, word, deed – or prayer.

And you won’t know how good this really is until you try it!

Dynamic prayer is a wonderful expression, it is a song of the soul and the soul wants to sing, it wants to express light all around itself, it wants to go forward and help and raise others who need the transmuting power output of a joyous soul. You must allow your inner soul to do this; you must allow this beautiful manifestation to take place, this great surge of energy to fill your mind and aura to such an extent that the bread you cast upon the waters is indeed plentiful and beneficial to all. And the more effort you expend in this respect, the more sure the result must be. This is the law. If you want an impossible thing it is this: you cannot send out dynamic prayers for mankind without having certain results – it is impossible, it cannot be done, the results must come, sooner or later they must come! God, if I could only get this mighty Truth over to the lazy people on this planet, we would have three and a half billion prayers, this very morning and before this afternoon, the world would be changed completely!

So, be not deluded by that allegedly logical part of yourself, your conscious mind – but do let your soul sing. It can be taken over by the higher part of you and the change will be such as to amaze you; and once you have mentally tasted this you will not want to slip back again. Be all of you thus warned: I have spoken in the light of considerable experience. Heed it, for your sakes, and for the world’s.

Dr. George King

Source: http://www.aetherius.org

Blessed Times

The last week has been pretty amazing, especially the other day everything just seemed to fall into place.

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First on the list of things, my landlord is back in town and winterizing the whole property including my Tree House; that means it will be nice and toasty in here when I do turn the heater on during snow season. I’m pretty fortunate that I really only have to turn on the heater every so often since the Tree House holds heat rather well.  Patrick and I had some good conversations and I expressed how amazing this place is and that he should count on receiving steady rent checks from me.

I had a few days off that were pretty relaxing, I forgot how fun days off are when you actually work… it kind of gives you something to look forward to after a few days of pushing yourself to do great!

Fog over Vernon

Fog over Vernon

During one of the days off I managed to nab myself a set of Encyclopedia’s… for free! They look fantastic and the owner was just going to bring them to the dump, I’m pretty happy with them so far. Going to get these books was pretty much what started my adventures up Silver Star road; the fog has been pretty heavy as the weather is slowly converting to Winter and I had to jump on the opportunity to take pictures (see photo above for reference).

These were free!

These were free!

I’m sure there was a lot more things that were some what eventful but yesterday just trumped it all. I’d have to say it was just one great thing after another… Also I didn’t write much on my blackboard this week.

The day started off by waking up to a video of the girl I’ve been talking to, which we’ve been connecting really well (I’ll explain kind of what happened in my next blog). I was a bit worried that I was to be another victim of Catfishing.

“A catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Dating sites or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances”.

I won’t get into the boring details but it has happened to me before so naturally I was cautious… but I digress. The morning was nothing but smiles, it’s hard to explain the emotion… I was relieved and happy to say the least, maybe a bit giddy.. go ahead laugh ;). Following that I had a nice breakfast then headed up Silver Star Rd for some pictures.

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I stopped at a little subdivision that was on a hill that looked over the city but the fog was a lot stronger than I had previously experience a few days prior… it made for more challenging photo’s and it was a bit chilly out, but I made do with what I had.

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I had taken some pretty impressive photo’s, they impressed me anyway! I decided to head further up the mountain to see what I could get for a different vantage point and that’s when I decided to do a time-lapse for you. The intention was to show everyone have neat the fog looked, as I kept driving I cleared the fog and the sky was blue without a single cloud. What a surprise it was the higher I went, keep in mind I’ve never actually gone to the top to Silver Star Resort.

I had finally made it to the top where the Resort is and what a strange and cool little city it is up there, the houses look like something out of a movie and in the Winter it will probably look like the North Pole with elves running around… you’ll have to follow the blog to find out! I pulled up and there were huge mountain in the distance with massive peaks and snow on them. I left everything in my car but my camera and went for a nice little walk.

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After I did some rummaging through some bushes and paths I found a nice peaceful area that the mountains just blew open, it was nothing short of breathtaking. I found a comfy spot and decided to shoot a V-log (Video Blog). This is a new experiment and I think it’s kind of fun so let me know what you think… and don’t forget to share! Oh yeah it was like another world above the fog/ clouds… I could have worn a T-shirt and shorts it was so warm.

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After spending some quality time in Nature and just listening to the sounds of the wind and the mountains it was time to head home. It would have been really cool to have filmed my way down but my camera battery was dying… fail on my part for not charging it earlier. Heading down the mountain I stopped once or twice to pull off some great photo’s hoping my camera wouldn’t die. As I descended I had my windows open, wind breezing and a giant smile. As I continued downward I actually had to shut the windows because the temperature drop through the fog and under the clouds was astonishing… like I said a whole other world.

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I got home and spoke to my friend Satyama who does massage therapy, it was also her 40th Birthday and she looks great for 40. We talked about me getting a massage since my back was still sore from the 3 months of futon sleeping, she said let’s do it now; I procured some money and went for my therapy session. Satyama has done a lot of learning from around the world (Eastern Culture) and does Chakra clearing as well during the massage; I have to tell you I have never had such an amazing massage in my life!

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Thanks for checking in again and let me know what you think of the V-logs. Don’t forget I’m opening up guest posting and to shoot me an email, the info is on the side bar at the top.

“There are no coincidences; life comes at you as it’s supposed to”