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”

Could They Be Out There?

This is one of my favourite episodes I’ve recorded and figured it was time to share it in a post.

Fire Works

“If an answer is meant to be found it will be in it’s time, so never let a mystery get you down for it has it’s time and purpose”

To New Things

It seems I have lulls in my writing from time to time, but I manage to pull through and get back on. I do want to express my gratitude to everyone that provides feedback and who takes the time to read my posts regardless of time between each one.

I sit here with some fun instrumental music playing thinking of what I should write about… I have some idea’s yet it’s always difficult to figure out where to start. Funny thing is I usually write and feel like I don’t have much to share and then next thing I know I have to proofread 5 paragraphs :P.

Well to start he’s some awesome cheese fries I made the other day ^_^

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Work has been pretty steady, lots of people quitting smoking and coming back super happy that they feel much better and save a ton of money. The only problem that I’ve been having is keeping things in stock. I’ve been pretty diligent in putting in orders before things are required… then Canada Post or for some other reasons things get held back. It’s pretty tough to run a happy customer base when you lack product that people want, I’m waiting almost two weeks or more to get things that I need. Regardless I’m plugging away and doing the best I can with what I’ve got.

Sagan has been pretty good and I recently picked up another kitty named Bella to keep him company when I’m not around. Things were iffy at first, Bella was really shy and Sagan just wanted so badly to be her friend. He would walk up ever so slowly to see how she was doing and say hello, but she would always hiss at him and swing a paw… funny seeing such a cute little cat look so menacing :P. After a few days they mutually began to chase each other which is nice. They aren’t really into cuddling each other which I was hoping would happen but only time will tell right! They do tend to mimic each other when they sleep or nap but it seems like right now they have a real love hate relationship.

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I had a game night the other day but due to unfortunate circumstance it was cancelled so in the mean time I decided to Built a Kitty Castle… Catstle Dare is say :P. It’s done yet but the kitties like to play in it.

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Lately I’ve been trying to make more of an effort to have less waste and using more natural products. I’ve started to make my own toothpaste and am offering it for sale as well. Glass containers and combo kit with compostable Bamboo toothbrush, at the very least I’ll have toothpaste without a ton of chemicals and no more wasteful toothpaste tubes.

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I got my longboard re-gripped with a nice funky green tye dye pattern, I have to say it actually took some getting used to having full grip on my board… I have to semi re-learn my balance because now I have to lift my feet more instead of sliding them across the board.

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Started to play Dungeons & Dragons with some friends and I find we mesh well, which is pretty exciting for me since as much as I like people… it’s exhausting to be around many people when you don’t share similar views or being around people who don’t respect them. Maybe it’s just me but I do a lot of conversing at work as it is, so I think I have my fill of “public”.

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D & D seems to have a sort of stigma attached to it or stereotype and to be honest it’s way more fun than I ever expected! It’s pretty much adult story telling with friends… when did we learn or become conditioned to lose our imaginations or story telling. Sure we can express it through other forms of art but I find creating stories really helps expand your mind and creativity… don’t bash it till you try it right!

I’ve been watching a ton of Dragon Ball the original series with subtitles, to be honest I think I like it better than the DBZ series… it’s comical and I love little Goku’s voice and reactions; such innocence <3. It’s really neat to learn how all the connections of the characters came about too ^_^.

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Oolong, Bulma & Goku searching for the Dragon Balls

I also realised that Japanese culture conditions kids to sexual content and makes it less of taboo subject; to be honest I don’t even see it as a bad thing. It seems in North America sexuality is created to be a topic not to be spoken about, but that makes it so much more troubling to talk about when you have desires but feel they may be wrong. In reality they may be a common thing… I’m not speaking about anything specific but just in general… Some people feel certain ways and should never feel ashamed of how they feel or who they are. In life we need to be comfortable with who we are and not let society dictate who we become.

I think that’s all for now I hope to keep this motivation going for future posts, thanks again for all the support… hoping to motivate myself to get another Zoticusslife video up soon be sure to pester me about it ;).

“Fear is something that is created by imagining something that hasn’t happened yet… that near insanity. Don’t be mistaken danger is real but fear is merely created”

Coexistence

A lot has happened in the recent month and a bit, I’ve done a lot of firsts which I plan to continue pursuing!

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The summer is finally here I attended a Solstice party with some friends around a fire, tried out paddleboarding which was an absolute blast and would suggest it to anyone. There has been many beach visits, backyard fires and it’s only the beginning of the summer <3.

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I had the opportunity to use my Photoshop and photography skills lately which was rather exciting, in the sense that I was compensated for my efforts :). I did two posters for a friend that works at a youth centre and some photography for my buddy that’s an arborist. It’s nice to be able to use the talents you’ve “trained” in or made efforts to really learn; it’s a little bummy sometimes having to work a job that is really only a mean to make an end. I do really enjoy landscaping don’t get me wrong, I get to be outside in the nature take care of tree’s and properties and enjoy the sun and mountains, but there’s a point where your efforts deserve a little more recognition.

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I had a great conversation with my friend Sara and Dayton the other night about women equality in the workforce and how there is still a gap but that it’s closing. I made a point that I felt equality was evening out but in the sense that it’s my generation that’s evening it out… unfortunately we do not make up the majority of the work for at this point only having an age range from 18-28 for example vs. 28-60 . Maybe I’ve become complacent to the idea, but in all honesty I try to see it as there shouldn’t be a difference in the first place; we’re all human beings, we all breathe air and have thoughts and a conscience. By not having equal rights or working ability we are only stunting ourselves as a species… why cut our brain power 30/70 or what ever numbers you want to pull… it just doesn’t make sense. Pretty much what I’m getting at is don’t ever look at someone’s gender… you know what the only thing we should be doing is listening to everyone “Blindly” (in the sense it doesn’t matter what they look, hear or sound like) hearing what they have to say and analyse it all; it doesn’t matter if you’re female, male, gay, straight, black or blue, Buddhist or Muslim we all have a place on this planet and we should all be respected equally… We are all one and interconnected.

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Festival season is upon us and I’m counting down the days until I go on my festival journey… Actually I’m not counting the days I’m just going with the flow to hold down the over excitement. I have to say festival’s are what make my year… they are what reminds me that we are an amazing group of creatures on this planet and how we can really join together as one and just share so much love and fantastic company from strangers and friends alike. I can de-stress and flow free at festivals and enjoy nothing but great music, people, and just all around atmosphere. I’ve decided I will be hitchhiking this year to my festivals as to save money on gas, it should be a wonderful experience… will be sure to let you know how it went.

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Art work by Dayton Andrews Blue Kyanite

Like I said there’s been so much going on that I can’t even keep track anymore but I’ll be sure to try to keep you up on the summer wonders here in the Okanagan! Since I don’t have much to “share” here’s a bunch of photo’s.

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My Cascadian home

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Panda!

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Side walk art in front of our home

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Smile you all have a beautiful soul

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“Love yourself because that’s who you spend all your time with <3″

Everything is important

I’ve been watching a lot of Cosmo’s (one of my favourite shows) as I love our Universe and space and everything within our own planet as well. I feel very strongly about climate change and I feel that everyone should educate themselves… not just on climate change but the Universe itself. It doesn’t pay to play ignorance.

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Hail Storm/ Flooded streets

I was going to post this on Facebook but it got a little lengthy and since I haven’t posted lately I figured I’d share here :).

Personally I think that this century will be one of the most important in human history; the deciding factor of whether or not we can save our species.

Studies show that if the earths surface reaches approximately 2 degrees Celsius we could be set up for an irreversible Greenhouse Gas effect. At the current rate if nothing changes to how we are living, by the end of this century the earths surface is looking at a  temperature of 4 degree! Double of a projected irreversible state.

Educate yourself and make a difference, not only for you but the future generations to come. Today’s day and age “Legacy’s” have seem to lost importance and selfishness has been replacing it. Be wise and look out for the future of your family and our Home… Earth.

Rainbow after the hail storm

Rainbow after the hail storm

A friend expressed this to me the other day and it made so much sense. We’re trying to get into space and learn to inhabit other planets; it’s great but what good will that do if we can’t even sustain our current habitat?

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Let’s start caring for each other, living more green; be respectful to one another and all living things on this planet… we’ve only been able to survive on this planet and we are all one. Pollution does not recognise fences, border and continents it only know our globe.

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Earth “The Pale Blue Dot” (3.7 BILLION miles away)

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.” 
― Carl SaganPale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

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”

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”

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!