Ages Heh?

Holy smokes it’s been ages hasn’t it? There always seems to be something holding me back from writing… I think it’s called life or something of the sort. I guess when it comes down to it there’s always room for an excuse not to write and just as many to write! At the end of the day I see an excuse as just that… an excuse whether it be good or bad.

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‘Quick take a picture of me in the supermarket’

So wanna hear what they are? no… yes? well if you want to get through this post you’re just going to have to read through and maybe you’ll get caught up with what’s be going on :). Alright let’s start the list… I’ve been spending tonnes of time with this girl I love oh so dearly and here’s the kicker her last name is Bacon and she’s vegan… figured I’d get that out of the way, I’ve heard most of the jokes and she’s heard probably 20 times more of them then I have!

I’ve moved… twice but that sounds a little crazier than it might actually be haha. I originally moved up a floor in the current house I was in which wasn’t too bad, other than that spiral staircase that could have been used in the medieval time to stop troops from charging up the tower… let’s just say Zombie Apocalypse golden zone place to live! Downside, well it’s 4 floors up from the outside. The second place I move was a little tougher… we had to take everything down that zombie proofed staircase down three more flights of stairs through the snow and into the moving truck. After that it wasn’t too bad getting everything into our new place other than a semi slippery slope down the side of the house that in time was turning into an ice slide. It took 3 good days to fully get out of the old place but we did it!

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Packed up for the final move!

I have a few other endeavours I’ve been working on but due to some semi conflict of interest I’m going to keep that on the downlow until next blog ;)… guess that means you’ll have to subscribe to find out what it is ‘muahaha’ (my attempt at an evil laugh).

Other than that I guess my girlfriend and I are trying to watch all of the ‘Once Upon a Time’ episodes. Quite an interesting twist on the traditional stories I was used to as a child… cool side note we have the book with the Brothers Grimm short stories that tell their own side of the story as well!

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Our new room!

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My lovely girlfriend’s dog who is now living with us as well!

I’ve been a bit overly distracted from getting back to my writing so I’ll be posting what I have so far with some much needed updates in the next few weeks!

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Halloween with my love Harley & Joker

“Not a day goes by that you can’t choose to better yourself”

What is Success?

What is success… such a loaded question if you ask me. I had recently read an article talking about my generation (Millennials) starting to “set back” their career to enjoy life more.

I’ve talked about this topic with a few friends of mine as well, so what is the meaning of success? I guess in all reality there is not a specific definition… well I mean if you look it up it’s something along the lines of:

1. The favourable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavours; the accomplishment of one’s goals.

2. The attainment of wealth, position, honours, or the like.

But I mean inside of you, what do you feel success really is? To really sit down and think about it can really make you ponder some inquisitive things. Here in the Okanagan, you can see it really holds different values for many people. I see individuals with “Alberta Money” who buy huge homes on the cliffs or on the water, they have big boats and lots of toys to go with them… yet they only use it two to three months of the year. Sadly that’s their image of success is work very, very hard for most of the year and then play a little (I’m sure they play hard but compared to their work I view it as little). Don’t get me wrong some of these individuals love this and it works for them, but I couldn’t imagine spending the majority of my life working for such little enjoyment/fulfilment.

Is it money, "things"?

Is it money or “things”?

What do I see as success in my life? To start the less stress in life the better! But ultimately making a few really good friends, having a couple nice things… even then good company trumps material goods. I want to do things now when my body has the ability to recuperate after doing some crazy sport or trip or hike, I don’t want to wait until I retire before I start to enjoy my life. The experience I have are worth more than money can provide to me.

Is it being in the moment?

Is it being in the moment?

I read an argument about someone who’s an architect and that he’d spent a few years in school and another couple interning and is now in a job he enjoys working 40 hours a week, and will be able to enjoy himself before he retires because he worked hard. I applaud this person for his determination and enthusiasm but not everyone has the patience to do these things (Is financial security that really matters?). Does this make us lazy? Hardly, everyone has different ambitions and goals… and some of us just don’t have the mental capacity to break our backs for 8-10 years to finally start having fun and enjoying life… some of us want to live now because there may not be a tomorrow.

Moving to British Columbia I think was one of the best things I had decided to do, the people are such inspiration to grabbing life now and making the best of it!

Look from one generation to the next and see the contrast from Ethics to Fashion and Ideologies… they change constantly. I’d say every generation dating back hundreds of years think they had reached the best point in humanity, and that how they live is the way to be. Maybe each generation was right in their own respect but we are ever evolving intellectual creatures and will continue to change our values for many years to come.

Is it friends and special connections?

Could it be friends and special connections?

I originally wanted to talk about how I see success and what it means to me… but as I continued to write I just want to inspire others to stop for a minute and think about what success means to them. It might be a happy family, secure job, lots of money… or a life filled with amazing adventures with little to no money. There’s always something you can change in your life and never be afraid to do it… but it’s okay if you are because change is strange 😛 but your happiness is more important.

Success can take time and determination; my slacklining is a great example, I have people tell me how amazing I am (I know I have much further to go)… It really is very humbling because I can still remember the first day, the second, and even the third; I would get up and fall, and fall, and fall again. All I wanted to do was just stand and walk! If you’re going to be scared, you’re better off being afraid of doing something new than the same old thing!

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Is it doing something you love?

Success is what you make of it, if you’re not happy change something… it may not always about the best job or the most money, but to me, success is what brings you the most joy in your life without the sacrifice of your smile.

Be happy in what you do

Be happy in what you do

If you’re interested in writing a guest article, don’t be shy and leave a comment or email me at Zoticusslife@gmail.com

Lucid Living

Find appreciation for the small things to the big things and you can change how you see the world, you will be able to find love in everything!

“Love is everywhere it’s up to you to search it out and create it”

Journeys Continue

I was really split as to what to do once we got down from the mountain. There was a free vegan lunch at the park for the community and I really wanted to go; at the same time I had already skipped almost 2 days of a festival I had already paid for. I hung out at Cottonwood Falls mulling it over with great people around as usual and in the end I left before the free lunch.

The decision to leave felt right… most of my trip I went with what seemed right in the sense of I should do it and by letting go of my comfort zone in the process. I started off with the long walk to the orange bridge that was seemingly so far but only took my about 30 minutes to make it there. It’s amazing what determination can do for you… keep in mind there was still an overly large pack on my back.

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The Orange Bridge

I waited about 45 minutes to an hour before I was picked up but it all worked out as the guy drove me right to the ferry. I found some great sweaters at the dock that I’ve always wanted and I managed to strike up a deal with the women and got one for cheaper than I expected. Just before I took off I saw she had some wire wrapped crystals and I offered up some of my nice quartz I found up at the crystal caves for her generosity she offered me. I’d given more away hitchhiking despite having had less than before, but no matter what happened I seemed to be provided for; generosity is undervalued today and even just a smile can perpetuate wonderful things.

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This sweater

The ferry was nice to ride with mountains and water surrounding you, being the one of maybe two people who boarded on foot was kind of neat sensation too. I arrived on the other side of the water in Crawford Bay where there was two kids playing harmonica together… the skill and synergy they had, blew me away. I walked up to the little hut on the hill and picked up some yummy ice-cream after being in the hot sun for a while (first time I really paid for anything since my trip started). I was taking a moment to appreciate everything that had already happened and great experiences to be had, when someone began to strike up conversation with me about my Starbelly sign… next thing I knew I had a ride to the festival!

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I paid my camping fee… even though I could have easily snuck in without a car. I made camp in the back of the field for some nice peace and quiet, got ready for a jammin’ evening and off I went. Once inside the gates it was such a cozy small festival, very family oriented which made it feel so peaceful and lovely. I began to peruse the vendors and found some really neat things, unfortunately I had a pretty tight budget but did manage to get some great scores. I had been looking for a waist pouch (many pockets not a fanny pack :P) for a while but could never find any masculine ones that I liked… and fit me, but I found one that works just perfect! What an amazing start to a festival season! I later found a ring that snagged my interest… and I’ve maybe worn one or two other rings ever so it’s a big deal :P. The evening music and later on into the night was fantastic. I got to meet many great people unfortunately I didn’t get much info from anyone there but it was fun and those memories are now locked away :).

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Sunday night I headed in a little bit early so I could get a bright start in the morning hitching back to Nelson. Unfortunately there was a group of younger kids/ adults that were blaring their “obnoxious” music and towards the back of the large field… it was a huge field but the music went all the way. I was getting very angry and just wanted to sleep, and normally I can sleep through anything. At one point I was about to yell out at them to turn off their music very aggressively  but instead I decided to go and ask politely. One of the guys walked over and apologized right away and turned it down… from there I pretty much passed out when I got back to my tent. What did I learn here? You don’t have to choose the aggressive or rude route to solve things even if you think it’s the only way such people will react; The outcome turned out peacefully and how I would have liked it dealt with if I were in their situation. That night I went to bed with a peaceful mind and a sense of accomplishment.

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***All photo’s are in raw form as I had to reformat my computer and didn’t re-install my editing software, enjoy the originals 😉 

Unfortunately this writing has taken longer than I expected and I will be back with more fun stories from my Adventures! What’s next? To Nelson then to Nakusp Hot Springs…

“Be grateful, and never be afraid to ask for help… The Universe is working in your favour.”

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.

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Drive Changes

I feel so refreshed to say the least, I’ve been participating in yoga sessions on the front lawn of my place with an amazing instructor Satyama. Satyama comes by every so often offering by donation yoga instruction and she is an amazing teacher. The cool thing about this yoga is not only the benefits I’m receiving but how it brings everyone from the house together and even people from the holistic type community.

Other than yoga I’ve been doing a lot of different odd jobs to make some money but may have a handle on a job at The Mobile Shop.

Even bigger news I’m starting my own business! I had never seen myself as being an entrepreneur but when I got more interested in the work I plan on starting I felt this amazing Drive, the same drive I felt before I left for Haiti and before moving to Edmonton, Alberta and then British Columbia. This feeling of power and dedication is so positively overwhelming that it puts me in such a great mood and I feel so much ambition to succeed. The last few weeks when I wasn’t looking for work, I would spend countless hours in research for starting a business, improving the knowledge on the services I’ll be offering and acquiring grants or loans. The great news is, I’m done my business plan and all my other research, I have a registered business already I just need the funding so come Tuesday morning (tomorrow) I’m off to search for future success.

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I may have said it before but when you search for your Personal Legend aka your passion in life even if you don’t know it yet the world will manifest itself to help you attain that goal. I find God has laid out the earth and the universe so perfectly that through him and his creations we are able to attain anything our true heart desires. With all of that being said I made a new friend a little bit back and he loved my idea and owns shop with a store front being opened up and he offered me a cheap place, how awesome! Anyone interested in finding out what I plan on opening here’s the site (keep in mind it’s still in development). InnerPaths.wordpress.com (once I have the funding the site will be converted to Innerpaths.org). If anyone if interested in trying it out or booking appointments or just curious, feel free to comment here or message me on the website.

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This blog is a little short but most of my adventures the past week or so have been yoga, meditation, longboarding… oh yeah, I went longboarding the other day and it was scorching hot like Haiti hot… crazy! And finally I spent the majority of my time on my business keep tuned in to see how my Walk of Life continues.

 

Here’s by far one of my favourite quotes, it’s probably not the first time I’ve posted it and probably not the last ^_^ enjoy, and don’t forget to smile.

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~ It’s not about weathering out the storm; it’s about learning how to dance in the rain

Long Haul Part 2

It’s tough to sit down and write blogs when you don’t have a proper desk but I’m making an effort to keep everyone up to date on my life!

Here’s part 2:

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Driving through Saskatchewan was really interesting… seeing all the stereotypes that it’s flat, and let me tell you that when it’s flat it is as far as the eye can see. As the day light began to rise I saw some of the most beautiful sights, Sask. was one of my favourite sections of my drive despite being the longest leg in a Province/ State. There were some parts I drove across that had really awesome hills and some awesome spots to go longboarding… if I ever get good enough to Bomb a hill at 75 Km/h or more.

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IMG_0659It was nice to get out of my car and take some photo’s… I had really fallen out of touch with my photography and spending even the 10 or 15 minutes I spent taking photo’s really gave me an awesome feeling. Just reminiscing on the photo’s with the rolling fog gives me a lovely feeling. The feeling I felt was probably a  lot of things from remembering my passion to, I’m happy I’m walking around on my two feet instead of sitting on my butt for hours on end. Most of my drive in Saskatchewan was on empty roads, I didn’t see many people other than in little towns/ cities.

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There was a point where I was getting Scarily tired and I had to pull over, and taking the last swig on my single energy drink I had been milking for the past 20 hours just made things worse… it also seemed like there was no rest stops in sight more miles upon miles, finally I came up on one, put some gas in my car and pulled around back for a nap. This nap I took was only about an hour and a bit for two reasons, one was that it was too hot and the other because I was so close to my new “home” only about another five and half hours or so away. I woke up from this nap really confused not really knowing where I was, I was so groggy and messed up from the amount of driving I had done and lack of sleep. I put my shirt on hoped in the driver seat and followed my GPS. After about 25 minutes of driving I snapped back into things and was all smiles from there, my adrenaline was racing at the idea I was almost at the home base… a new adventure.

Welcome to Alberta said the sign I think… never the less I was cruising, and there was much more traffic now than there was in the past few hours. I managed to make it to a rest stop just before Edmonton, I could actually see the Edmonton City sign I was so close but I needed a pee break and to stretch my legs since I didn’t know what kind of congestion the city would have. I took out my longboard did a few rounds of the building jumped back in my car and off I went. My cell services finally kicked in and I had internet everything my generation is sucked into, I was able to post on Facebook and message friends that I had finally made it.

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It was around 3:30 in the afternoon and I had made it ahead of schedule… approximately 4 hours ahead of schedule which was great because I wasn’t looking forward to arriving in town just to go to sleep then start working at 7Am the next day. I started working with an insulation company and it was great money but the waking up at 5:30 AM was honestly taking a toll on my body. I’ve heard it a million times that your body will get used to it… it won’t, not for me anyway. I had been in the Military for many years along with doing pipe fitting where I was waking up at 5 AM everyday but to no avail I was never able to get used to it. I had started going to bed around 9 or 9:30 at night which by the way it’s still daylight here at those times. It helped with my general awake fullness during the day but still I was dreading the mornings. The job helped get me on my feet a bit but there’s still much growth to be had.

What I’ve taken away from Edmonton so far is the Pedestrian Crosswalks which are non-existent in my home town of Windsor, but huge here (you’ve got so much power stopping all the cars!). If someone steps out into the Ped. Crossing lines every car stops regardless of your speed… which is crazy most of the crossings are just signs I much prefer the ones with lights at least you can see what’s happening farther ahead if someone wants to cross. There is a ton of spots for longboarding so that I can expand my skill… and get hurt as most of you have seen on my Facebook.CAM00116

This hurt really bad!

This hurt really bad!

Let me say one thing about Edmonton… the roads are Crap… I figured for a major city the roads would be much nicer but they really aren’t I think they are pretty at par if not worse than Detroit roads. I guess one other thing I’ve noticed is everything is pretty much Privatized here in Edmonton for example speeding… you don’t see police doing traps and such it’s all photo radar which are sneaky buggers, but I have yet to get a ticket, since I don’t speed. I actually find myself doing the speed limit almost bang on but I think it’s because most of the drivers drive super slow here usually 10 under… which is usually 50 Km/h which in fact is the normal posted speeds in my province I guess it’s nice to be able to drive 60 Km/h on the regular and not worrying about getting a fine.

I still have so much more to share but I have to get ready for work at my new job with Donorworx/ World vision. ^_^

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“New Me”

– Everyone has a dream; don’t just chase yours, help others find and fulfil theirs.

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The past week has been an interesting one. Emily’s friends came by to help out around the yard as previously promised and it was a great day! All of us worked together to clear out the back yard of most of the garbage… there’s still around 3 feet burried. The group got rid of most of the rubbish, the kids even helped as well. After the big clean-up one of the guys who was dubbed “the wood guy” put together some swings off a tree in the back yard, some soccer posts and a see-saw. Big thanks to everyone that came out to help and for the continued support!
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The same night after all the work we did, Emily and “the family” had a chat; we went over sanitation, respect for others and helping out around the house. Emily strives to have a childrens house not an orphanage… although an orphanage is what it is, she’d rather it have a warming connotation to it. The disccussion seemed to go well… we’ll see how the next few weeks go. Early in the month we had two volunteers from Eastern Canada who had spent a few days with us then headed off to another orphanage in Montrouis, a few days ago they returned and we’re now back to almost a full house. On Saturday we all headed back to Medishare to check on the baby we brought in from Montrouis… good news he’s pulling through despite the odds, keep him in your prayers please. After Medishare the group of us went to Munchies which is a great place for lunch… or dinner… or any meal haha. Emily, Maddi and I had gone there the day before and ordered Pizza, so after Medishare we got the Cheeseburger combo instead of pizza which is one of the best choices there. Munchies was a nice break to the day and we all almost ate too much.
The same day all of us went to Mother Theresa’s Home for the Sick and Dying. I had been there a few times already with Emily, and it’s always emotional but I’m usually able to walk away and be fine after we leave and go on with my day… this time it was really different. We all started off in the first section of babies (younger ones), as usual we got tasked to feed them AK100, it’s acutally tasty I’ve had it back at our place before. Once the staff were done mopping the second section with the slightly older kids we wandered over, Emily and I poked a few kids getting some chuckles out of them then we got to the back of the room where there was two kids a boy (5) and a girl (8). The boy was very talkative and energetic, I teased him about me eating his food and he gobbled it right up. Emily grabbed the bowl of AK100 in the 8 year olds crib and started to feed her since she was somewhat lathargic and very malnourished; the girl actually look like an old lady, her skin was dried out and looked very aged… she looked like a minature 80 year old not eight. Em went off after to talk to some other kids and I started to play with despite aged look, the most precious and beautiful Hatians I’ve seen yet. We shared some laughes playing peek-a-boo and tickling. I went off for a bit and came back as Emily was taking her out of her bed to take her outside to play along with the five year old we had been playing with. As I was walking over I asked if she needed help carrying them she said ‘sure’ and begun to hand over the boy as I got closer my new friend reached out to me with her frail arms. Needless to say I took the little princess outside with me. The kids we brought out with us all went crazy on the swings and slides, they were so happy to be out and playing; I asked my companion if she wanted to go on the swings or slides but she kept saying no… she just had no interest, I picked her up and she whispered to me in Creole ‘I just want to sit in the shade with you’. We found a nice spot that was in the shade I sat her down and then I sat myself, as I sat down she came over and sat in my lap wrapped her arms around me and placed her head into my chest; I looked down at her and her eyes were shut as if there was nothing more peacful than being embraced, having human contact and hearing the beat of another’s heart. At that moment I had made a connection that I hadn’t really felt yet in Haiti… let alone most of my life. It was time to go and she walked off to her crib, everyone was leaving and I had to go and say one last goodbye. Watching her climbing into her bed was a tough sight, it looked like a usual chore for her, someone leaving and she’s just going back to her “home“. I scurried on over and helped her into her bed, gave her a hug and said my last goodbye; Turning back looking at her there was no more smiles, no more laughs just a plain face, she wasn’t frowning but it was in her eyes that she was sad that, I was going and may not see her again. This past visit to Mother Theresa’s really made an impact on me, there’s been a lot in Haiti that has changed me and made me think, but nothing like this. I came back to the house and was almost at a loss for words, this little girl had reached my heart in places that I almost forgot existed. I had lost motivation to do much afterwards I just layed in bed listening to music and thinking about this angel and wondering what’s in store for her life.
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I fell asleep with a tear in my eye, drained emotionally but with a warmed heart that I could bring a smile to a fragile soul. Later that night after I woke up from my three hour nap all the volunteers, Em and I played some cards blew off some steam and called each other names; all in good fun of course!
As much as I really don’t want to go back to Canada I’m still raising money to return to the home Country, I still have a month and a bit left on my Visa though.
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– “Life is precious, enjoy the finer momments in life… even the harder ones it makes us who we are.”