Category Archives: christmas

Be Keeping SH*T Real

There is a pervasive message in our culture that is saying “stay positive”, “think positive”, shift your mindset to be more positive and everything will be AWESOME!

Those that know me, know that I do have a positive mindset, but I did not, I repeat, I DID NOT, get there by being positive all the flipping time.

Rails and Trails, 2018

Let me tell you a little story about these three geniuses above:

My boys were 7,4 and 2 years old when my mom was dying. This grief experience would become the greatest gift that our family has been given! Plus, isn’t it amazing to know that we all having the incredible Nana waiting for us in heaven. When we were given this gift of grief, I spoke with my counselor, a tremendous amount, about how we grieve as human beings She taught me, and my children showed me, that the very best grievers are actually children. What they do is feel things very deeply, stay in each moment and move in and out of grief very quickly. This was exactly our experience. They would see or remember something from Nana, wham, the tears would come. Then they would see their favourite LEGO and wham, they are smiling and playing again. My counselor taught me that the best thing I could do for them, and myself, was to sit with them in their grief, feel things with them and wait for them to shift or helps them slowing shift after being present with them. Rarely, did I need to do anything but merely sit and be present with them.

Imagine this same grief journey, if I constantly put on a positive face, ignored their feelings and told them to be positive. “Just be positive” said over and over and over again.  In a child’s world, this would be completely invalidating their feelings and not give them the permission to feel or grieve. I wonder what counselling they would need later in life to get over not feeling the feelings they had during this time?  

This year is going to be our fifth Christmas without my marvellous mama and I must admit that I have become an expert at negotiating grief. I sit with myself. I feel things deeply and then gently move myself when I know I am ready.  I cried in the pool this morning while swimming lengths. I feel the feelings, I let the tears flow. 

Germany, 2003
Robyn’s wedding, 1998

I am blessed because I can now see and sense this grief process working in others and I easily give them space to move through the process. We do this often with relationships, situations, and even with our food.  I can see people giving themselves lashes for not being positive enough or at all.  I can see people trying so hard. 

This brings me back to the positive rah rah that is overpowering our culture.  I WANT TO BE A PERMISSION BEARER.  As I observe and grow a business in this culture of a constant positivity, my message has clearly become “keep sh*t real”. The more honest my customers can be with me, the more I can walk with them. The more we can sit with each other in the real sh*t that exists in this world, the more we can move each other into positive places. We have to sit together, listen together and then move!

Feel the feels. 

Sit in them. 

Then look, seek and find solutions and that positive place. 

When you look around and feel like sh*t because you aren’t positive enough, pretty enough, doing enough or…. <insert what it is for you here>… keep it real and sit with your sh*t. And realise that when I look around and see the pervasive positivism overwhelming my feed, it’s usually being put out into the world by men, young couples or empty nesters. You don’t often seen mom’s waking up to puking kids or having to put every single thing they had planned that day on hold because of a child with a fever, spewing the positivity message 24/7.

It’s about keeping sh*t real. Finding a way to keep taking one step forward every day towards where you want to go. Surrounding yourself with people who will cheer you on and be positive even when you have spit up on your shoulder and haven’t combed your hair.  Find that tribe that keep things real and can be positive when you can’t be.  

If you aren’t feeling that you are good enough, positive enough or that you are doing enough, STOP that sh*t.  Remember my lessons from grief that my boys taught me.  

God has given you many talents that you may not be able to see right now.

That’s okay.

God is taking you through a season that is going to give you great strength.

That’s amazing.

God is going to reveal everything to you in EXACTLY the right time.

That’s incredible.

BUT, life isn’t always okay, amazing or incredible.

But you “Cann”: 

Always hold hope.

Always brings peace.

Always hold love.

Always keep sh*t real.

Even when the positivity police try to overtake you.

Learn from my greatest teachers, my boys, in this upcoming season.

Sit exactly where you are.

Feel things deeply.

Move when you are ready.

Always hold hope.

Always bring peace.

Always hold love.

Always keep sh*t real.

😘 Joanna Cann

Be “UnBusy”

Right now, I can sense a whirling of energy around me.

Fluttering here and there.

Cars driving quickly.

People walking swiftly.

All around the city.

This way and that.

Me, I choose to be “UnBusy”.

Busy is the swear word of the season.

Right up there with the f-word.

Beside the bar of soap that my mouth got washed out with.

Busy?

Keeping ourselves occupied?

Have a great deal to do?

These are a choice.

Being busy is a choice.

What’s on the ‘to-do’ list is a choice.

Yes, it is 100% up to us.

Fluttering here and there.

Driving quickly.

Walking swiftly.

All around the city.

This way and that.

Or not at all.

I used to rock the ‘to-do’ list.

This list would make me feel productive.

Make me feel occupied.

Now I have created space to be.

Sitting here.

Moving there.

Talking here.

Wondering there.

I purposely move slowly and with ease.

Walking quietly in the crackle of snow.

All around my beautiful city.

Wherever my boys or mind take me.

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Incredible beauty surrounding us in this season.

Ready to envelop and shower us with peace.

Right now, I sense a purple energy all around me.

Loving.

Being.

Seeing.

Allowing.

Peace in this season.

 

Be Celebrating a “Cann”tastic Christmas 2015 

Celebrating friendship, Jesus’s birth, family, and just being together!  We had an amaaaaazing Christmas.  Love a duck, I do have to say it was “Cann”tastic! 

    
 There were so many coincidences and blessings that came our way.  The opportunities we have to talk and sit with people were inspiring.

Skiing.

Skating.

Bowling.

Road Trip.

Lego.

Sleds.

Food.

And discovering a ski sign with our last name on it.

A “Cann”tastic Christmas! 

Be Merry Christmas-ing

Merry Christmas from here to there. 

Whatever your internal or external season.  

Whomever you are surrounded by or whether you are alone or lonely. 

May you feel this Merry Christmas  wish. 

May my unfolding story bring you hope.  

With joy and gratitude for what can happen in one year.  

Finding freedom to live my life.  

Being me. 

Pouring out my heart. 

Being each moment.  

Imperfectly perfect. 

Beautifully imperfect. 

Living in freedom this Christmas season. 

Wishing each person that knows me or my words a very Merry Christmas.  

Happy birthday Jesus! 

Jesus, the giver of great gifts and the ultimate giver of freedom, grace  and love.   

Be Finding Solace on Skis 

Being present to what we are feeling and thinking takes awareness, especially during the holiday seasons.  

It is easy to let time zip by in busyness, unaware of our body, mind and spirit.  It is easy to get wrapped up in wrapping just doing without being.  

Holidays are often wrapped up in a beautiful package of past memories and experiences that create our present life.    In my book, I talk about my ‘be enough’ mindset and allowing myself space to care for my soul.    

This year, I continue to unwrap past Christmas seasons, grieving the loss of my mom while being aware of my desire to create magical memories for my brood of boys.

I chose to be enough by strapping on my sticks! Heading off in the early morning on cross country skiis, solo. Allowing the thoughts float on by, in silence, in beauty with birds chirping me on as I pass by.  

I chose to be enough by strapping on my boards.  Heading off during the day on downhill skiis with my boys.  Allowing laughter to pour out, looking for jumps, in beauty with my boys hooting and hollering as I go by. 

Creating space to be.  

Exactly where I am.  

In body, mind and spirit.  

Finding solace on my skiis.  

Being me.  

 

Be Having a Snowy Epiphany

More snow than in over seventy years.

First ‘snow’ day school closures in over forty years.

Days of snow falling.

Big thick snowy flakes pouring from the sky.

Great memories with friends and the three brothers playing together.

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Hours upon hours of creativity and outside snow time.

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/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/491/14178302/files/2015/01/img_7953.jpgIt has been a monumental Epiphany.

Nope, no epiphany for me today.

Another kind of Epiphany.

We are celebrating the twelfth day after Christmas that symbolizes the three wise men arriving from the East to worship the newborn King, Jesus.

Here’s the boys Epiphany play:

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The wise men have spent the last weeks traveling from a faraway box land arriving in our bookshelf stable in Bethlehem.

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We created three ice candles and placed them in our front yard, which is coincidently (or not) to the East of our home. We didn’t realize this was the East until JC pointed it out.

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Sexy Neck read about the three Wise Men and we eventually talked about how we both came to know God personally in a private manner.

My beginnings with God began, coincidently, with a writing journal in my bedroom and for Sexy Neck, he came to know God through snow. Another coincidence?  Hmmmm….

It was a privilege to celebrate Epiphany today and it is an even larger privilege to know a personal God where snow is the gift of “Epiphany”.

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Be Filled with JOY

I think many people are quite curious about me in this season of grief and remembering wrapped up with Christmas.

Curious as to my state of mind.

Wondering how I am doing.

I think I may ‘appear’ to be too happy for some people in my life.

But I am here to tell you I am not happy about many things…and my life has nothing to do with happiness right now.

For me, joy comes with or without happiness.

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It hits me no matter my daily circumstance or season.

Joy is not from me, but a gift from God.

Gratitude, love, joy!

Flooding me, pouring out, flowing in.

It is nothing I am ‘doing’.

I am just ‘being’.

Being present with the people God has surrounded me with.

Allowing my sadness to hit me.

It is one year, less one day, since my mom’s death.

One more ‘first’ to live without mom.

In my sadness, I know JOY will be coming.

The joy of the Lord is my strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)

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Leaning into Him through my struggles.

Thanking Him for ALL I am grateful for.

Watching JOY fill this season.

Merry ‘joy-filled’ Christmas to you and yours.

Be Snowball, Bumps & Jumps and Magic Carpet Rider

Merry Christmas from our boys:

Three Year Old Magic Carpet Rider

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Seven Year Old Bumps & Jumps

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Five Year Old Snowball

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Laughter in the midst of tears.

Winter amidst the desert.

Rowing my boat of grief.

Riding my skis down the slopes.

Taking it ALL in.

Living it now!

Deal with it now rather than later.

I ain’t no sweeping it under the carpet kind of girl.

But I do love riding the magic carpet too!

God is gracious to give me these three amazing boys.

I love you Magic Carpet Rider, Bumps & Jumps and Snowball.

Be Going on a Ski Vacation

We had the great privilege to spend three days and two nights up at a ski resort.  Ski in/ski out, eat in/eat out, ride up/swoosh down, sunshine/snow.  It truly was a vacation for all of us, including Papa.

A break from routine.

A diversion from the upcoming one year anniversary of mom leaving us for heaven.

A snow-filled, sun-filled, winter-activity weekend.

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Our great friends, Baron Bob and Princess P came and visited us for the evening.  The boys went tubing with them for the first time and even go to try the mini-snowmobiles (one day later, once the worker could get them started!)

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Nordic skiing down the Bridal Path where we saw snowmobiles, horse-drawn carriages and a few other skiers. IMG_7661[1]

Playing some hockey on the pond with Papa.  Everyone got into the action this year!

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Tubing… three year old OC looked a little small for the tube, but he was allowed.

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The boys were very, very excited to go on the mini-snowmobiles.  JC ran into a snow fence, CC managed to zip around him and come back around the loop.

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It was a wonderful pre-Christmas vacation!

May the Lord hold you close this Christmas where ever you are physically and within yourself.

What a wonderful season it is to celebrate Jesus’s birthday.  

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