We have been under COVID for a few months, during this time I had no desire to write. I was creatively stuck. I also didn't want to come out with 10 top tips for COVID or how to stay motivated. I was beginning to pull away from the norm.
I knew I wanted to do something different, be more me. I just didn't have a clue how.
Let me say it has been a great 2 months for me, honestly, it has. I have relished in the quiet time and taken a huge look at who I am and what makes me tick.
I have embraced my health and given my health a reboot with Thrive.
I was still stuck on was my blog, I worked hard to get it going; I loved it. But didn't have a clue what to write.
If I am honest, the cliche 10 tips, or what to do when isn't my jam. I am not a rule-following, do what people want kinda girl.
I am honest, share my story. I share it for healing for myself, and think I am doing good if 1 person reads it.
My first Blog The Night that Changed Everything I was myself, and it was what people wanted because so far close to 40,000 people have read it.
I got lost after that with the need to be popular, the need to have people read my blog. I wrote for people, and not for me.
No wonder I was stuck with what to write next.
Around my last birthday I had an epiphany That shook me to my core. I was brought back to the time I had a dream and the moment I walked away from that dream.
When I was a teenager I love photography, loved being able to express myself, and share with the world how I saw it. I wanted to go to Ryerson University and study Photo-Journalism.
During High School I took photography and then in grade 12, had a Co-op job working at a Newspaper downtown Toronto, run by youth for youth. It was a blast and I loved learning, being a part of the team, and being appreciated for my talent.
I also had a boyfriend and would spend most weekends at his house. My mom didn't like this arrangement so much and told me one day. "If you like staying there so much why don't you move there."
Which is what I did, I moved out shortly after that, within a week.
My parents where mad and wouldn't let me take any of my furniture or much of my stuff. The camera I was using my dad had given me to use. He asked for it back, I was gutted and at that moment I gave back the camera was the moment I let my photography dream slip away.
I closed that chapter, gave up, and moved on.
Over the years, I have taken pictures, loved it but never fully allowing myself to be free in it. Until now.
I bought myself a camera for my birthday and making my photo-journalism page. I can blog take pictures and fulfill my dream. When I remembered that moment of walking away from that dream, I also say it wasn't over and can create a new one.
Moving forward my blogs will be about my photos, my creativeness, and doing life with on the West Side.
I look forward to sharing this adventure with you.
Be sure to check out more of Anna's Blogs
The Fulfilled Life
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Ohh mornings, they can be a struggle, we can love them or dislike everything about them. There are the snooze buttons, the 5 more minutes, the OMG do I have to get up.
How we start our Mornings set up our day.
Some very influential people set up their mornings and look forward to them. Some of them are:
Why does it matter how we start the day?
Have you ever started the morning sleeping in, not looking forward to the day, you are late, spill things on your clothes, the cat throws up, the kids are moving at snail speed?
We have all been there, right? You just want to go back to bed and start the day again. And at the end of the day, you think, man that day sucked. You said FML about 20 times.
“Take excellent care of the front end of your day, and the rest of your day will pretty much take care of itself" Robin Sharma.
What if we could have the opposite effect on our day? We start with feeling amazing, we ooze positive, we are excited for all the day has for us? What would that day look like? A lot different I am sure. We might even stop and listen to the bird's chirp or notice more around us.
10 Powerful Things to do each morning.
1- Say out loud before you get out of bed. "This is going to be the Best Day Ever. This will bring in your mind the positive, and let your mind focus on this before the thoughts of the day come into your mind. Say it with energy and excitement.
2 - Write down or think about 3 things you are grateful for. What is around you that bring you joy, what are you happy for? It can be the fact you woke up, you are lying beside a loving partner, that you are single. The sun shining. Come up with 3 things.
4 - Move your Body. Get the blood flowing. When I first wake up I like to do some light stretches get out any kinks that might be there from the night before. After I eat I go for a run or a walk. I like doing my workouts in the morning so if the day goes sideways and I am needed at different places my work out is done.
5 - Journal. I have had a journal for years, I would now be lost without writing in mine. I write about my goals, my success what's going on in my life. Its a brain dump that I right all that is happening, I get out all that I am feeling. It's a good place for self-reflection I can reread what I wrote. Need help with Journals, check out a blog I wrote.
6 - Take some time to sit in silence. 5 minutes to collect your thoughts. We need more of a slow time in our lives. Take the time to breathe, meditate and enjoy the silence.
7 - Read. Grab a book and read. There are so many that are my favorites. I tend to read empowerment books, I start my day wanting to conquer the world, be better and inspired.
8 - Eat a good Breakfast. We have heard lots of talk about fasting, no breakfast a quick breakfast. Trust me I have done them all. What I know is when I have a good hearty breakfast my energy is up. I have a variety of goodness, fruit, overnight oats, smoothie. And also like the morning workouts, if my day goes from calm to chaos, I have had 1 good meal
9 - Make your bed. Yes, I am serious. I know as a kid I couldn't wait to leave home so I would never have to make my bed again. Something magical happens when we make our bed. It gives us pride in our room, and its the first task of the day. We accomplish it and we can go on to do more. Our rooms look organized and bring on a mellow vibe instead of chaos.
Trust me I was against this, but I am a firm believer now in making your bed.
10 - Set Intentions for the day. How do you want this day to be? What do you want to see, do be? Write them out. Today is going to be the best day ever. I will feel.... I will accomplish....I will be.. Shoot for the moon, claim the day before it claims you.
10.5 - Coffee. You didn't think I would forget coffee? This is a must in my mornings. I have tried giving it up, worst times ever. :) Coffee is my jam. I love it and a must to my mornings.
Something to think about.
Changing your morning routine is that change. Embrace it, it will take time. Notice the differences in your family, in you, how you approach the mornings. Be kind to yourself and ease into it. Write down why you want to change, what's in it for you? This will come in handy when the temptation is there to hit the snooze button.
Other Blogs you might have interest in.
Journaling How to Start
How to Make a Change in Your Life
The Fulfilled Life
Start off my making your Bed
31 Days of Self Care
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This year I set my intention to take time for me heal and be. If you have read my Blog The Night that Changed Everything you will know that the last couple of years have been challenging, tough and left me exhausted.
I have never been on a retreat or honestly traveled by myself. Deep in my soul, I knew I needed to go. I felt empty inside like I was dead and without any joy. I wasn't me.
I knew I had to do something.
I found a Healing Retreat fairly close to me and it was called Come Alive. The title alone was something I so wanted. To Come Alive. I had given all to my daughter in her healing, I had nothing left for me. I set my intention to regain my strength and little did I know the healing would be so much deeper.
Come Alive is held on Gabriola Island, one of the Gulf Islands of Vancouver Island. When I was accepted for the program it clicked, I didn't feel nervous or any resistance. I knew, my soul knew it was time.
The Day came for me to go to Gabriola, I was nervous excited and not sure what would happen. I would be away for 5 nights, 6 days. I said to my daughter I would be in a dorm with a bunch of other women, and I feel nervous. Her response was the best.
"Mom, this isn't mean girls, its a retreat everyone is coming for wellness."
So I kissed her goodbye, got in my car and drove away. The drive was about 90 mins away. It was a drive up until now that freaked me out, lots of accidents occur on one strip of the highway. One thing my car accident left me with is panic attacks while driving.
But what about the Panic Attacks?
The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. When I arrived at the ferry terminal, I sat in my car and was proud of myself. I drove, I wasn't scared, there wasn't a panic attack. It was this weird sense that I was on a mission and I knew what I needed to do. I came and conquered. At that point, I wondered what else would this week have in-store.
What would this week hold for me?
I think the last time I slept in a dorm was when I was in school and we went away to camp. I think of that girl who was outgoing, did things. Lived life. Where did she go? I was hoping this week would bring her back. I truly missed her
Something happened as I arrived at the Haven, peace instantly hit me. I felt like I have arrived home, any feelings of anxiousness, doubt slipped away. I met my roomies, there were 4 of us sharing a room. They felt like sisters from long ago. No weirdness of meeting someone new. We shared our why's of being there, it was open honest and raw conversations.
We instantly connected.
We instantly connected.
The program was with about 30 people or so, all arriving for different reasons but with one main goal To Come Alive. We have morning, afternoon and evening sessions. Each session was started with a dance party, this was my favorite. I danced, and I didn't care if I looked goofy or uncoordinated. I dance as a little girl, I danced in freedom. I felt pure joy and I drank it up.
I Danced and loved it.
My healing while at The Haven was intense and beautiful and I spent a lot of time crying, which was a good and wonderful release. I felt fully, I wasn't hiding. I learned about intimacy and how beautiful it is to have space held for you. I felt honored, appreciated and valued.
What brought me to my retreat was my feelings of overwhelm from the past couple of years. What healed me is going back to the beginning, what had kept me stuck for so long, why I was playing so small.
So much did happen during those 6 days, my biggest takeaways would be learning how to be open, how to trust and not wanting to settle anymore. I made a new pack to not settle in my life. Unsure what that would look like but open to the process.
I found my way back to me
I didn't realize how much I was settling in my life. How I made things like running out of food a few days before money came in OK. It became the norm. How I was OK with hiding and not being social. A long time ago I made up my mind to protect myself from more hurt, I would be in isolation.
It achieved that, but I was also very alone. I was bored and didn't do much. I very much needed to be a part of a community, have a circle of friends around me. I needed to open up and trust. It is not so scary out there.
I needed to believe if I changed then the people I would attract around me would change and being constantly hurt would be a thing that would also not be the norm in my life.
Why do you need to go on a Healing Retreat?
Who needs to go on a Retreat?
I believe if you are reading this, something spurred you to read. If you are feeling like I was lost, overwhelmed and exhausted. If in your life you have gone through some past trauma, change and stress. I think no matter where you are in life you can benefit.
Where did I go, check out The Haven? I can't say enough about The Haven and Come Alive. Seriously go check them out, they also can help out financially if needed. Bonus Tell them Anna sent you and you will save $250 and full disclosure I will also receive a $250 credit for my next program.
There are quite a few I am eyeing for my next one.
I invite you to go to a retreat this year, share this with a friend. And please let me know about your healing.
I would love to hear from you.
P.S Did you enjoy this blog? Please be sure to check out some others.
How to make changes in your life.
Anna is a single mama, living her best life with her daughter and her 3 rescue cats in Western Canada
Where to Start.
I started to journal many years ago when my girls were little. I have been always a single mom, and I found myself needing to always be on, always ready. Which often caused me to be on edge, and not finding time for myself.
Stressed out, and always looking like I was angry. I don't even remember how I started to Journal, maybe I read a blog like this or heard it from a friend. I was instantly hooked. I set my alarm about 30 minutes before the girls would get up, and sit in the silence and write.
I can tell you it was one of the first times I heard nothing but quiet at my house. :) At first, it was hard to get up early, I mean what Mom doesn't want some extra sleep? It did take a bit to get it part of my routine, days I wanted to sleep rather than write.
Why Journaling is therapeutic.
As I kept it up, I noticed things began to change, the mornings were more peaceful. I wasn't running around yelling at the girls to get up. I was more chill, I also became more positive, I was able to set goals in my journal. It was like a diary, expect no talk about the cute boys at school. It was my time and I enjoyed it.
It was a progression over time, once I noticed the change I was hooked. Now I usually don't miss more than a day or two in my journals. I honestly think we can solve a lot of problems with journals.
It also keeps your mind alive, your brain functioning and the creative.It does wonders for focus and keeping the neurons firing up.
Be sure to check your in Box, and Spam if you don't receive a Message to confirm
i hI found it was one of the few times I had hot coffee and I finished a whole cup without finding it later in the microwave. It was a time that I got to enjoy. My journals also came with me when I traveled or went away for a weekend. It was important for my self-care to keep it a daily thing.
Journals, they Matter.
I keep my journals in a bottom drawer in my dresser, every once an a while I pick one and read a few pages. One journal I wrote how I would love to visit India. I honestly don't remember ever writing that. About 3 years ago I was in India and volunteered there for just over a month. Journals have the power to make goals come true without you even realizing it.
My Journals have helped me overcome grief, they give me a place to write honestly about how I am feeling. A chance to look back and say "whoa that's not so kind, where did that come from?" I have found they have increased my self-awareness and my ability to check in with myself.
Benefits of Journals:
How to get a Journal Started.
The best thing I can say is being committed. Pick your reasons why you want to journal, less stress, self-care, healing. Give yourself 30 days to commit. Take note of how you feel starting a journal and how you feel in 30 Days.
Not sure what to write? Be sure to grab my Journal Prompts here.
So go grab yourself a Journal, buy yourself a good pen and start!
Be sure to Grab yourJournal Prompts to get you started.
P.S Here is another Blog you might like
31 Days of Self Care
Need a Journal? Here are some of my favorites:
Disclosure: This is a professional review blog which gets compensated for the products reviewed by the companies who produce them. All of the products are tested thoroughly and high grades are received only by the best ones. I am an independent blogger and the reviews are done based on my own opinions.
Hi! I am so glad you are here! I am Anna and I am a mum to 2 beautiful girls and understand how it feels to be stuck and not so brave. I asked myself one day how I became this way? This is not the mother I hoped I would be.
I loved my children deeply but I felt it wasn’t enough. I could talk about their achievements, their grades, goals and how they were doing, but couldn’t say anything about myself. I blended into the scenery and felt lost.
I sought out help and began to realize that it is OK to do things for me, self-care was a must. Little by little I began to shine and my authentic self began to appear. I embraced my brave self. This started a passion in me to reach out to other moms and share what I have learned so YOU can live your life center stage, not in the background.
How to become your Brave Self
Self-care is now the word being heard everywhere. Books, ads, magazines. But what is it?
Self-care can be defined as the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s health.
So, what is it? It is a small daily action we do to take care of ourselves to avoid burnout as well. We want to avoid getting to the point that we are stressed and are no longer able to cope.
It can be a 5-minute breather outside, a walk or a hike. Nature does our soul good. A laugh with friends. Change up your hairstyle, buy yourself a new outfit. My favorite is to go to Lush and buy a new bubble bar and have a glorious bath.
One thing I highly suggest is to watch how you talk to yourself. Do you speak lovingly to yourself? A day of saying how fat you are, I am so stupid, I can’t wait to lose 10 lbs, I am an idiot, I am so clumsy. I want you to start here, start talking to yourself with kind words. What do you like about yourself, what are you good at.
”When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, cares enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.
Jean Shinoda Bolen
One thing I find is gold to me is my journal. It’s my place that I write what’s happening in my life, my goals, what bothers me, who upsets me. It’s like a diary but for adults. I honestly feel and it been proven much can come from journal time. It’s taking that time for you.
It’s telling yourself that you matter enough to make time for yourself. It helps to clear your emotions, gives you increased focus and increased stability. I journal as soon as I get up in the morning, set my alarm before anyone else is up. It’s also my time. It starts your day off in a positive way. What I found is setting the alarm and being intentional there was not saying I don’t have time.
Here are some Journal Prompts if you need help
Buy yourself some fancy pens, and a beautiful journal and start to write.
3- Try Something New Each Day
I challenge you to try something new each day for a week and let me know how it goes. Seriously, try it. We can get stuck in a rut, doing the same thing every day. Tuesday Taco Night, Friday Pizza, Wednesday Date Night, same route for work. I challenge you to try something new each day, a new food, drive a different route to work. Sign up for a course, attempt to speak a new language. Totally up to you. 7 Days, 7 new things to try.
When we are in a rut, we need to do some new things to get out of it. Think of it as the new things are the rope thrown down to get us out of the hole. We need to reach for it. Starting tomorrow do something new, can be small like a new driving route, or how you do your hair. When you go shopping try a vegetable/fruit you have no idea what it is buying it and figure out how to prepare it. You have 7 days to try new things. Then I want you to send me an email and let me know what you did, and I will share with you what I have tried
Let’s do it 7 days 7 new things. Are you ready?
"Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending."
Reach our any time
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Change is good for the Soul
Grab Your FREE Self-Care Printable
Change it can scare the shit out of us, we can run from it, avoid it, stay stuck, do everything in our power to avoid it. Why? Why do we do that? What is so wrong with change. Join me as I dive into change because after all, we all do go through it whether we like it or not.
If we haven’t met before welcome My name is Anna and I have lived through a lifetime of change. Sometimes out of need, sometimes our of desperation and other times it was a natural process. I admit change can be scary, we don’t know what it feels like or what to do with it, or even how to begin. I have been sober now going on my 8th year, and am continually changing and learning to embrace who I have always meant to be.
First, let's talk about what is change?
Change- to make radically different: TRANSFORM
I get asked often by my coaching clients, “well how do you know when you need to change.” Well, if you are reading this or asking the question I would wager that you are being led to change something in your life. You can also feel exhausted, overwhelmed, angry, things that at once time brought you joy do nothing for you. And if we sit for a moment deep down we know its time.
OK, so we need to change, Now What?
Once you know its time to change you first need to accept it, embrace it and give in to it. Don’t listen to the voice in your head telling you not too. Our body likes comfort. I highly suggest getting some books on change, chatting with a friend, getting an accountable partner.
Get clear on what you want to change, and why. Dig deep into the why and what would happen if you don’t change? Sit with that, do you get tears? If not see if you can dig deeper, it's important to add feeling to your why. When things get tough it's your why that will get keep you going.
Now you have a Mission — To Change
Somehow we have thought that once we start on a mission to change it will be all rainbows and unicorns. We will be all Magical. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Think of it like this. Say you just started a plan to run a marathon, the first day you go for a run, granted you can get off the couch you will be very sore. The next time you run sore. Until eventually you can run and look forward to it.
Change is kinda like that, it truly sucks in the middle of it. Its painful, lost memories pop up.
I would suggest share what you want to change, eat better, take a course, create community. By sharing it we make it real. It is no longer a thought its out there in the universe. See if you can find an accountability partner someone to check in on your goals and to help you not to give up on yourself.
How to start to bring Change.
Always keep going no matter what.
You are exhausted, your skin is itchy. You are filled with anger, you want to sit and eat chips and ice cream for days at an end. All of this is natural. I remember when I first got sober and was working the 12 steps, OMG I wanted to quit, I was so angry, I had nightmares, my skill crawled. I was quite frankly a mess. I wondered why am I doing this. Then I remembered why I didn’t want to live like I was living. I knew I deserved better, my daughters deserved better.
You may go through some or all of what I described sometimes all in a matter of a few minutes. The key is not to judge it or quit. Take breaks, naps, binge on NetFlix but keep going.
No matter keep going, reach out to someone and remember your goals. Share with someone. You will be surprised and also feel blessed by hearing “oh my me too.” During times of change, we can feel so alone like an alien living in someone else’s body. If we are used to keeping things to ourselves, this can also be something we can change. Share your story, find your voice.
Something I learned on my journey and I have it hung where I can always see it
The world needs who you were made to be.
I encourage you to set some goals, journal and reach out if you need help
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I would love to hear from you.
I am going to chat about pursuing fulfillment instead of happiness. Happiness is a feeling and can come and go, while fulfillment is a way of being a state if you will. Let me start by saying fulfillment is not another word for happiness. We can be happy and unhappy at times, but still, be fulfilled. We can be angry, sad, and still be fulfilled. I think in our push for instant gratification we become tired trying to pursue happiness, we do things that make us happy. We become not so patient we want, what we want now. So we buy things to make us happy, eat things, drink do drugs, meet someone and date them because they will do. We are not into waiting and jump at the first thing that comes our way. We are happy at the moment but wake up the next day wanting to cure that happiness fix.
What will make us happy today?
Trust me I know, this was my life for so long. I drank, ate, dated the wrong people said things, didn`t say things all because at the moment it made me happy. I think sometimes this is how we end up feeling sad, overwhelmed and just blah and exhausted. We tiredly pursue being happy going from one thing to another, our brain is constantly in overload trying to get our next great fix. It’s exhausting. We can also put our happiness in our titles, and when those change we lose our happiness. We can collect lots of titles, from mum to daughter, to our work position to a friend. We commit so strongly to our work, when that shifts we feel lost, our happiness is gone. I know this personally when I have lost jobs, my identity was lost, I did not know how to become happy. I had all my happiness relying on my job, my friends my finances take that away and I didn`t know who I was or what to do.
I remember a couple of times in my life once when I finished a job that I was at for 4 years. I was in transition for a bit and was really lost. My work friends where just work friends and we ceased to hang out anymore. I lost my identity, I was confused and torn. Another pretty big part of my life was when my daughter became older and independent. Which we all want as a parent, but I no longer was the Play Group Mom, we no longer gathered at the playground. I felt unfulfilled.
This is mostly because I had all of my eggs in one basket if you may. My happiness was all in my job, my friends were from work, the outings were work parties. Take work out of the picture and well I had nothing left. Same with when my daughter grew up. I had to spend quite a bit of time figuring out who I was? What did I like, what was my passion.
Do you find yourself lost? Exhausted? Lost? Blah? Lifeless?
Maybe a search for fulfillment is the route rather than the search for fulfillment.
I have painted a nice picture of happiness :). But really what is the difference. Happiness comes from what we do, work, being a parent, eating, drinking, while fulfillment is why we do it, who we are. Happiness is short term, pleasure-based, while fulfillment is long term, giving to others, building our character. Mother Teresa, I will wage on saying she had a very fulfilled life.
How do we have a fulfilled life?
If you have any questions or comments let me know. I would love to help. firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Blogs you might be interested in
Change (Yep I said it)
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I am so stupid, dumb, a waste of space. Why do I keep doing this? Man, I am so tired, sick and exhausted. I am so fat, ugly, whats with those rolls? I am such a loser, ohh man why does this always happen to me. All I do is attract the wrong people, I will never find someone good.
How many times have you said some of these things or perhaps even worse? Imagine saying these things to your best friend, chances are you wouldn’t be friends for too long.
Why do we say it? Well, that is a good question, why for many reasons. I know for myself it was part believing what others have told me for so long, and part low esteem. I honestly didn’t like myself so much, so I constantly beat myself up, insulted myself and really talked down to myself. I was a mess, and very unhappy, and really it was no wonder I wasn’t so happy. Who could be when they were constantly being told they were fat, ugly and where crappy.
Somewhere along with my life, I woke up, seriously I did. I woke up a mess, at my rock bottom and said enough, this sucks and life have to be better than this. I don’t want to live like this, nor can I go on. I radically changed everything, who I was friends with, my lifestyle, my beliefs. I set out on a journey to learn about my life and everything in between. There have been ups downs, and really everything in between. Today I am still learning, I feel every day is an adventure, and also a blessing. I have really rediscovered me, and love what I have found. I am so passionate about it, it became my tagline for my website.
Find Your Voice
So back to you. Can you relate to what I was saying, do you find yourself in this? My first advice is to seek some sort of support, a coach such as myself, a support group, a good friend. A coach can take you into deep work to figure out who’s the voice that is telling you that you are stupid etc, and remove that tape. Share, we get power by sharing, share who you are, and what is your story.
Do a search in the library for a good book. Wander the shelves until you are drawn to a certain book. Books can be so healing.
This is what I want you to do: Go grab yourself a pen and a piece of paper. Write all the things you like about yourself. Do a post on Facebook asking friends to live a word of encouragement with the first letter of their name. Then write them all out and hang it where you can always see it. I did this and it's quite powerful,
For today, watch what you say after I am, start with something beautiful and positive. I am beautiful, I am fun, I am brilliant, I am funny, I am well, I am full of energy. We can so bring life to ourselves and we can also squash ourselves as well. Let's bring life to ourselves.
Can you relate? I would love to hear from you.
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Self Care Reboot - To get you back on Track
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