Category Archives: God

Be Learning About Shame/Guilt 

Brene Brown is the shame expert in our generation, but I want to add my two sense as shame has been my game for most of my life.  I have been shamed, shamed others and watch people shame.  It’s powerful emotion and one that can be used as a tool to destroy! 

Your spirit.  

Your belief in yourself. 

Your belonging.  

Your being.  

First, let’s talk about the difference between shame and guilt to get this emotional, mindset roller coaster rolling down the track.  


For me, the difference between shame and guilt involves the external versus the internal.  Have you every had anyone ‘put’ something on you, that’s most likely shame.  My most recent example was when someone criticized what I said during a conversation they overheard and then, without me asking for feedback, they told me what I ‘should’ have done.  When I get ‘should’ on, I know it’s shame.   Someone is trying to tell you what to do and wielding the shame sword to get you to do it.    My father recently told me that “I thought mom and I had brought you up better than that.” Yup, I am 43 years old and that is called good ‘old’ shame.  

No should.  

Just could.  

No shame.  

Just guilt.  

No swords. 

Just freedom.  

Guilt for me is a super power that comes from within.  It moves you to deeper places.  It helps you grow.  It’s the feeling inside, “Oh, I could have done that!”  You realize your mistake and seek answers to make it better for next time.  It completely happens within.  It could have been triggered by an external event or conversation but no one ‘put’ anything on you.  It’s 100% coming from you.  This happened recently with something I ate.  I felt guilty afterwards because it wasn’t fueling my body but instead was feeding an emotion.  My guilt allowed me to move into a new place thinking about fuel versus feeling foods.  

Your spirit. 

Your belief in yourself. 

Your belonging.  

Your being.  

Free to live your life.  

Free to make mistakes. 

Free to listen within. 

Everyone living without shame ‘put’on each other.  

Free to get off the shame roller coaster.  

Free to step aboard the guilt train. 

Be Free.  

Be Enough.  

Be Searching for Something 

As I sit watching the sunset, I ponder that ‘something’ I search for.   That ‘something’ that will fill feelings of grief, sadness and overwhelm.  

That space that I try to fill every time I open my phone to check Facebook. 

The hole I avoid when I run away from what I am feeling.  

The darkness I turn from every time I sit in numbness, not wanting to feel, not wanting to go down old trodden paths of pain.

But sometimes life doesn’t give us a chance to avoid.  

It allows us the privilege to sit up, to notice, to see our grief journey clearly and how much pain we have turned into gratitude.  

This search for something that is really nothing outside of us at all. 

We can’t avoid living life and why would we want to. 

The privilege to be with our people, to see into the eyes of their souls and to get to know them on a deeper level. 

Yes, Facebook could do that. 

Walking away could help us reflect. 

And that darkness I talked about, well, that only helps us see the brightness of the light.  

See, I have learned to let go of my sense of judgement as things are neither good nor bad, they just are.  I have also learned to be present with what I am feeling, as these feelings are neither good nor bad, as well, they just are! 


So, as you search for that ‘something’ today may you first look within your soul, your beautiful unique self sitting within you.  Resting in your spirit.  

Being you! 

Then may you look around you at those imperfectly perfect people around you. Building Knex, asking about the birds and the bees, reading books, playing with pillows… are what my people are currently doing. 

Being them! 


Search for that something that is already within you. 

Beautiful.  

Imperfectly perfect. 

Neither good nor bad. 

Just being. 

Full of strength.  

Overflowing with hope.  

Sitting in the presence of His peace.  

Knowing you are loved.  

Searching for nothing. 

Found! 

*written for a special person in our life on this significant ‘something’ kind of day! 

Be Leaving a Legacy 

Words often can’t do moments justice, except maybe if you are an Inuit person who has fifty words to describe snow. 

Today, I had an incredible moment where my mom showed her heart and the legacy that she has left myself, my boys, her family and her friends.  I pray that my words will do this moment justice.  

Since my mom died three years ago, there are a few memory making places that I haven’t been back to because of circumstances or choice.  The beautiful Cottage Day Spa with the extraordinary human being, Pam, was one of those places I chose not to go.  The Cottage Day Spa holds a very special place in my heart as it is a place where my mom felt peace and was truly cared for, in body, mind and spirit.   Pam has a gift to share and a beautiful Cottage to share it in.  


For my mom’s last birthday, I planned an elaborate surprise birthday party including a limousine scavenger hunt, poster collage, brunch at her favourite restaurant and an afternoon with Pam at The Cottage for a facial.  

Jump forward three years and I hadn’t made an appointment to see Pam. Before Christmas of this year, was when I ran into Pam for the first time.  I hadn’t seen her in years.  I then ran into Pam a second time in the parking lot of our ski hill about a month ago and I knew it was time to go back for a visit. 

Today, I stepped into The Cottage Day Spa.  The memories of coming with my mom enveloped me. She was always so full of joy coming here.  Truly free and truly happy. Today, I was shocked when I sat down and Pam pulled out this note from my file: 


Before my mom died, she paid for my treatment today! Pam honoured my mom’s legacy gift to me from over three years ago and today I was given the most relaxing, kind, beautiful, mom-inspired facial.  

Legacy. 

Living legacy.  

Loving. 

Learning.  

Giving.  

Thoughtful.  

Kind. 

My mom’s legacy.  

What will you be leaving as a legacy through your thoughts and deeds? 

My hope is to leave a legacy of:

✨ My love of ALL people. 

✨ Being a river of money, constantly supporting and passing on. 

✨ Home being a place of peace and joy. 

✨ My desire to be strong and athletic.  

✨ My moments of creativity and inspiration through solitary actions of writing, painting and photography. 

✨ My gratitude for God’s divine moments in our lives woven through people, greatness, mistakes and living imperfectly perfect.  

My legacy. 

My mom’s legacy.  

My inheritance.  

My heart interwoven through her constant encouragement and presence in our lives. 

Forever and always. 

Amen. 

Be Finding Forward

Forward.

Moving not backwards.

Forwards.

Moving in a direction.

Which one will we choose?

Moving from the west to the east.

Finding the dance that takes you forward.

Into your dreams.

Into your spirit.

Into your spidey sense.

Presence.

How does one stay present?

Moving forward?

This is what I have learned and this is what propels me forward.

Taking peeks into the tiny, narrow, rear view mirror to pour gratitude into where I came from.

Gratitude.

Love.

Letting go.

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Looking straight-forward into my large, expansive windshield watching the exciting places I am going.

Joy.

Peace.

Light.

Eyes, wide open, looking for the gold thread of hope woven throughout my day.

Holding my empty hands of faith.

God’s goodness poured out over all our lives.

Into my hands.

Will we choose to look for it?

Will we choose to have open hands to receive it?

Moving forwards.

Dancing the dance of my life.

Trusting.

Fun.

Faith.

Forward.

Smooch, Joanna

Be on a Negativity Fast and Positivity Feast 

I have learned how to cleanse. 

I love the freedom it brings my mind and body! 

I have previously fasted from Facebook, sugar and books. 

I loved the awareness that it brought. 

And when I heard about a negativity fast and positivity feast for 40 days of Lent, I felt like this was the best idea yet! 

I love the possibilities that this will bring. 

I believe that every word that I speak and write has power, seen and unseen. 

I believe that one person, me, can change the world around me by being positive in thought and mind. 

I believe that if I am intentional about being positive, I will find positive!  

Anyone want to bite off a huge chunk of positivity and feast with me for the next forty days?  

Here is what Igniting Hope Ministries talks about during this season:  

    
 Let’s all take a big chunk of positivity in uses well as through us and watch what will happen!  
This post is inspired by the incredible work Igniting Hope Ministries does affecting the seen and unseen world.   

Be a Super Nova 

One more peruse of facebook as I lay my head down on the pillow.  

One scroll. 

One glimpse. 

With shock and awe I read this incredible comment from Jodi who has just finished my book.  She told me she had to share this quote as it reminded her of me: 

  
For any fellow human being to take the time to send me a quote, I am honoured. 

I have had three beautiful peeps forward “word love” my way this week! 

The greatest gift we can give each other is time.  

Time to shine light.  

Time to share inspiration. 

Time to share words. 

Time to be our sparkly star-shaped selves. 

Time to pray and sit holding space with each other. 

Time to embrace our ridiculous awesomeness. 

Time to shine like a freaking supernova. 

Love a duck! 

A supernova. 

Me? 

Gotta love the “facebook love” as you lay your head down to sleep. 

life, 

Be Creating a Culture of Honour (Panda Style)

When you desire a culture of honour and have the privileged to see it face-to-face, it is humbling.

Win or lose.

Good or bad.

Honour stands.

It gives freedom.

It shows respect.

It is empowering.

It involves healthy discipline not punishment.

Culture of honour for me is thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Honour.

Freedom.

Respect.

Empowerment.

Healthy discipline.

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My CC, was able to sit in a circle of honour last weekend.

Surrounded by warrior athletes, who sacrifice to help their team become its best year after year.

They are led by their empowering coach, my coach from many years ago when I played Varsity volleyball.

Despite losing last weekend’s match, my son was welcomed into the fold to stretch, hangout and be amongst these warrior women and coaches.

Being present.

Creating space.

Growing.

Allowing being.

culture of honour)

I am reading this amazing book as I seek honour.

Within myself.

With my Sexy Neck.

With my boys.

With my family.

With my friends.

In my community.

Within my business.

Culture of honour.

Honouring myself, which honouring every person who comes across my path.

Be a Dream Car

I fell in love with a car!

Way back in 2001.

I had the great privilege to commute with an amazing group of human beings to a small outlying “VIlle” to teach.  I taught  thirty-three grade six and seven students and had a third of the school in my class, even though there were 6 teachers on staff.  The school was declining in size!  I was fortunate to learn many new things, fall in love with my students and the staff and find my dream car.

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Is it weird that I had never had a dream car before?

Is is strange that my dream was a van?

Perhaps, God knew about the brood of boys that were coming into our life six years later.

I have fallen in love with how he prepares me for “events” in my life.

Day by day.

Person by person.

Story by story.

In 2001, we commuted in a brand, spanking new 2001 grey Honda Odyssey.   On those 5:45am pick-ups, this vehicle was luxury.  With its captain seats and personal water bottles, I thought that I had it made! And that was how my dream was created.

One day.

Some how.

I would own a 2001 Honda Odyssey.

Ten years later, in 2011, we decided to look for a Honda Odyssey as we awaited the birth of our third and three car seats would not fit in the back of our current vehicle.

Enter stage left, a beautiful grey 2001 Honda Odyssey that we could pay cash for and enjoy every day until last Friday.

She decided to stop on the side of the highway.

Just like that!   She sat there for three days while we pondered and prayed and wandered and wondered.

A few friends sat together in our wonderings.

And we are so grateful!

This van taught me how to dream, about cars.

Now she is reminding me how to dream in others ways.

Perhaps our life is meant to be with one car?

I wonder what will happen in the next weeks so that we could pay cash for a new car?

I am excited.

I am leaning in with anticipation.

I am dreaming.

I am so grateful for this dream car!

 

Be Pondering String, Puppies and a Lion 

Lying on the ground. 

In silence. 

In peace.  

Tangled woven fabric all around me, across my face circling my body. 

Standing arms flailing. 

A puppy, playfully pulling around, like he’s chasing his tail, helping me unravel. 

Around. 

And around. 

The puppet strings are cut. 

I no longer need to wrestle or perform. 

I can be. 

Me. 

  
A lion walks beside me. 

He smells like heaven. 

Lush and green. 

Warm and luscious. 

We are walking freely.  

Together. 

Alone.  

In peace. 

Enough. 

Enuf. 

Nuf said. 

Giggle. 

Giggle. 

Giggle. 

(Thank you to lovely Linda for helping me be and amazing Ang for the inspiration! Glory!) 

Be Writing a Book and Remembering ‘How’ to have Big Hairy Audscious Goals 

As I have the privilege of living with and watching three wee boys grow I am conscious of big hairy audacious goals.  

My five year old wants a jeep. 

My eight year old would like a humongous Lego railroad. 

Our youngest would just like everything that his older brothers want. 

Each day these three beautiful boys share their dreams, large and small. They never worry about how it is all going to work out, but the goal is forefront in their mind and their smiles are humongous. 

I have always wanted to write a book. 

Somewhere in the last ten years, I have realized that I have forgotten about my big hair audacious goals.  I had become caught up in the what and the how of daily life. 

And now I am dreaming again and dreaming BIG.  (Just take a look at yesterday’s post!) 

I am living as a ten year old and recapturing what I used to love to do and how my mind loves to wander and wonder.  

The barriers that were placed in front of me as I grew are gone.  The visions and dreams to create in my life are mine alone. 

I  AM FREE!  

Free to dream. 

Wonder.  

Live.  

Free to be me! 

Free to write a book and publish it on Amazon. 

  
Right before ‘I am Malala’ on the list.  Woah!  I am humbled!