Category Archives: life

Be Leaving a Legacy (5th Anniversary)

December 26th, 2013 7:00am

The lady that will leave the largest legacy in my life left the earth.

Five years ago.

She breathed her last breath.

My dad at her side.

My boys and I sleeping at her house.

December 26th, 2018 7:00am

I set an alarm.

I woke and took a deep breath.

I began to ponder this adventure we have created these last five years and I must admit that I am shocked it has been five years living on this earth without my mama.

Some days, my breath gets taken away with grief and it seems like just moments ago that I was told that my mom had died. Other days, it feels like she has been gone for a hundred years. It truly is like the disciple Peter says: “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. “

On days like today, I am able to look back and see five distinct legacies that my mom created for me and my boys:

  1. My Mama was thoughtful! She was incredibly present with her people and truly saw how she could add value to their everyday life. She used her “spidey sense” to buy the best gifts. She really saw people and what they needed. Most days, she was the gift people needed.
  2. My Mama was a “mover”! She was cycling in Mallorca, Spain eight months before she died, cycling up to 90km per day. If she said that she was going to do something, she did it. Plain and simple. Joanna, “I was to learn Spanish!” Boom, at 65 years old she signed herself up for a Spanish class. My Mama was an athlete her whole entire life from living on the farm, to playing basketball, to being one of the first moms to join a gym and finally her passion for cycling, hiking and cross country skiing. My mama was woman of her word and a mover to boot.
  3. My Mama was creative! Whether it was when she was quilting, creating in the kitchen or working in her garden, my mom always added her own flare to what she was doing. She was never afraid to try new recipes or create something with our boys, even if it involved sparkles. My Mama was a creator.
  4. My Mama was not perfect! She was the person who gave me permission to be perfectly imperfect. I saw her shed tears over the things that her relatives chose to do to her and I saw her unsure at how to respond. I saw her get angry and apologize. I heard her speak about other people and also then apologize. I watched her when I was younger as she moved jobs and share what it was really like to work as a teacher in an antiquated system. My Mama was a human “being”.
  5. My Mama was LOVE! At 7:00am in the morning when the boys wanted to watch cartoons, she would let them crawl into bed with her. Whenever we showed up at her front door, my Mama always gave the very best hugs and made space for us in her life. Every time, I needed to talk with her, she listened. She listened really, really well. Time. Hugs. Listening. And so much more than my simple words can convey. Who could ask for anything more? Pure love!

Today on December 26th, we put on our skinny skis and went down the nordic trails to remember my Mama and my boys’ super Nana. We talked about the legacy that she has left for each of us. We cried. We laughed. We sent a balloon up to heaven. In rememberance. As a symbol of our connectness and the legacy that will never leave each of us.

With gratitude for every moment that I could spend with my Mama here on earth.

For the legacy she left.

With gratitude for the Mama that I now get to be for my boys.

For the legacy I will leave.

Thoughtful.

Mover.

Creative.

Imperfect.

LOVE.

And the greatest of these is love.

Unconditional.

Unwavering.

Unforgettable.

LOVE.

Remembered on the trails today.

And every day as we live out our legacy now!

Leave a beautiful, imperfectly perfect legacy my friends.

Love, Joanna

I am ENOUGH 

Well folks… it has taken slightly more than seven years and a weekend in a narrow hotel conference room to come to the realization about this blog and my life.  These last seven years have been about feeling like I am never enough and the journey to be enough.  Yup, all these post have been all about me trying to figure out what the f*** is going on from the inside out but my lense was focused from the outside in. 


I was trying to figure out how to be enough, do enough and to truly find fulfilment and meaning while being enough. 

But I was blowing in the wind. 

By others. 

By circumstance. 

By the season. 

Without any reason! 

Two and a half weeks ago, I was sitting in a hotel conference room at a weekend event with my nutritional company and incredible teammates.  (And as you read this you will realize that my business is built on so much more than a brown box of super foods but the super foods were what got it all started three years ago.)

This weekend, for me, was about getting honest with who I really am and how I wanted to show up in the world every single day.   The little sister, the high performance athlete, the mediocre student who wanted to be enough was going to be found that weekend and transformed from the inside out. 

At the beginning of the weekend, I shared how I always felt bad. Really bad! Truly, feeling like I never could be enough to anyone nor myself.   I spoke this out loud.  

I was brave. 

I dove all in. 

I shared my journey. 

Always striving. 

Always seeking. 

Always driving. 

Always trying to figure things out. 

Well folks, I figured it out!  The heavens parted and the light poured in.  I saw this Vision Triad: 


Three sides of a triangle and wham, I had figured it out. 

My identity was broken and a burden to me! I hated myself and who I perceived myself to be through other people’s lenses.  My vision and my purpose have always been strong and joy-filled with thinking about where I want to go with my life and why.  

I am a wife to Sexy Neck and a mama of boys. 

I am a jock. 

I am a wordsmith who loves to play with words and record peoples stories.  

I am a heartfelt friend who is very loyal.  

I am a child of The Father. 

I am a growth junkie.  

I am business builder for the most integral health and wealth company in the world. 

I am a guide in seeing people be set free. 

I am a millionaire who is a reservoir and river of money. 

BUT, why was I feeling held captive and why was I feeling bad all the time? I was missing my identity.  The third corner of my triangle was a crumbled mess focused on broken relationships, performance, perfection, peoples words and never being able to be enough.  

Cue angels signing. 

Cue butterflies fluttering. 

Cue laughing children.  

Cue zoom shot to my face. 

IDENTITY discovered!  Yup, that’s what this smirk is about.  

I found my fulfillment and meaning through many years of playing with words here with you alongside intentional growth all brought together in one weekend. 

What MUST I do in my life? What MUST you do in yours? 

I MUST be with Sexy Neck and my three boys creating magical memories and peaceful, joyful mundane moments.

I MUST express my energy with movement and set goals with a little bit of competition intertwined. Do you want to make a bet on it? Yup, always a competitive jock! 

I MUST share my love of words, my teacher’s mind, my growing mama’s heart by sharing my stories and others. 

I MUST surround myself with likeminded heartfelt friends who are honest and loyal

I MUST remember my ancestry, my scrolls and that I am a child of The Father. 

I MUST always be growing. 
I MUST always share mine and others transformational stories as a business builder for the most integral health and wealth company in the world. How is it possible the same systems can help people release a hundred pounds or gain twenty pounds in lean muscle mass? Yup, that is integrity. 

I MUST help set captives free as I know this former prisoner life. 

I MUST be a multi-millionaire who creates change in the world starting with our family, city, province and country. 

I am a strong, kind, intelligent woman. 

I am a shit disturber. 

I am significant. 

I am valuable to others. 

I am standing. 

I am grateful.  

I am a lighthouse. 

I am a Big Spirit. 

Success is lovely and I am having the time of my life. 

Being free.  

Being enough.  

I am freeeeee! 

I am enough! 

The bathroom mirror at Cafe St. Germain told me too: 


Thank you Rod, Ashley, my fellow Top 50 teammates and especially to Sexy Neck and my brood of boys for giving me grace and enthusiasm to be catapult me into exponential growth.  

✨🙏🏻Glory to God who’s power in us is infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. 

And that’s all folks.  Til we meet again on the other side of being enough. 

With gratitude for this journey with you. This isn’t goodbye, it’s a see ya later alligator. 

Xoxo 😘 Joanna 

I am ENOUGH 

Well folks… it has taken slightly more than seven years and a weekend in a narrow hotel conference room to come to the realization about this blog and my life.  These last seven years have been about feeling like I am never enough and the journey to be enough.  Yup, all these post have been all about me trying to figure out what the f*** is going on from the inside out but my lense was focused from the outside in. 


I was trying to figure out how to be enough, do enough and to truly find fulfilment and meaning while being enough. 

But I was blowing in the wind. 

By others. 

By circumstance. 

By the season. 

Without any reason! 

Two and a half weeks ago, I was sitting in a hotel conference room at a weekend event with my nutritional company and incredible teammates.  (And as you read this you will realize that my business is built on so much more than a brown box of super foods but the super foods were what got it all started three years ago.)

This weekend, for me, was about getting honest with who I really am and how I wanted to show up in the world every single day.   The little sister, the high performance athlete, the mediocre student who wanted to be enough was going to be found that weekend and transformed from the inside out. 

At the beginning of the weekend, I shared how I always felt bad. Really bad! Truly, feeling like I never could be enough to anyone nor myself.   I spoke this out loud.  

I was brave. 

I dove all in. 

I shared my journey. 

Always striving. 

Always seeking. 

Always driving. 

Always trying to figure things out. 

Well folks, I figured it out!  The heavens parted and the light poured in.  I saw this Vision Triad: 


Three sides of a triangle and wham, I had figured it out. 

My identity was broken and a burden to me! I hated myself and who I perceived myself to be through other people’s lenses.  My vision and my purpose have always been strong and joy-filled with thinking about where I want to go with my life and why.  

I am a wife to Sexy Neck and a mama of boys. 

I am a jock. 

I am a wordsmith who loves to play with words and record peoples stories.  

I am a heartfelt friend who is very loyal.  

I am a child of The Father. 

I am a growth junkie.  

I am business builder for the most integral health and wealth company in the world. 

I am a guide in seeing people be set free. 

I am a millionaire who is a reservoir and river of money. 

BUT, why was I feeling held captive and why was I feeling bad all the time? I was missing my identity.  The third corner of my triangle was a crumbled mess focused on broken relationships, performance, perfection, peoples words and never being able to be enough.  

Cue angels signing. 

Cue butterflies fluttering. 

Cue laughing children.  

Cue zoom shot to my face. 

IDENTITY discovered!  Yup, that’s what this smirk is about.  

I found my fulfillment and meaning through many years of playing with words here with you alongside intentional growth all brought together in one weekend. 

What MUST I do in my life? What MUST you do in yours? 

I MUST be with Sexy Neck and my three boys creating magical memories and peaceful, joyful mundane moments.

I MUST express my energy with movement and set goals with a little bit of competition intertwined. Do you want to make a bet on it? Yup, always a competitive jock! 

I MUST share my love of words, my teacher’s mind, my growing mama’s heart by sharing my stories and others. 

I MUST surround myself with likeminded heartfelt friends who are honest and loyal

I MUST remember my ancestry, my scrolls and that I am a child of The Father. 

I MUST always be growing. 
I MUST always share mine and others transformational stories as a business builder for the most integral health and wealth company in the world. How is it possible the same systems can help people release a hundred pounds or gain twenty pounds in lean muscle mass? Yup, that is integrity. 

I MUST help set captives free as I know this former prisoner life. 

I MUST be a multi-millionaire who creates change in the world starting with our family, city, province and country. 

I am a strong, kind, intelligent woman. 

I am a shit disturber. 

I am significant. 

I am valuable to others. 

I am standing. 

I am grateful.  

I am a lighthouse. 

I am a Big Spirit. 

Success is lovely and I am having the time of my life. 

Being free.  

Being enough.  

I am freeeeee! 

I am enough! 

The bathroom mirror at Cafe St. Germain told me too: 


Thank you Rod, Ashley, my fellow Top 50 teammates and especially to Sexy Neck and my brood of boys for giving me grace and enthusiasm to be catapult me into exponential growth.  

✨🙏🏻Glory to God who’s power in us is infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. 

And that’s all folks.  Til we meet again on the other side of being enough. 

With gratitude for this journey with you. This isn’t goodbye, it’s a see ya later alligator. 

Xoxo 😘 Joanna 

Be Living in a Beautiful State

My thoughts are mine.

My motive does matter.

I manage my state. 

To create a beautiful place. 

Energy. 

Flow.

Holy Spirit is what I know. 

God’s the man who creates this flow. 

This energy. 

This place.

This greatness I know. 

He guides my steps. 

The people who cross. 

The ones I speak into. 

The ones who speak into me. 

Making me free. 

Like the wind through a tree. 

Bending and moving.  

In summer and winter. 

Providing shade and light  

Throughout this groaning earth.  

Free to roam.

To find my home.

Within.

Without anything missing.

As I live in state.

In this beautiful place.

Within.

Every day of my life.

NOTE: With gratitude for Tony Robbins whose divine wisdom has changed the path of my life.  My mind and spirit are truly free to create this beautiful state that is unique to me.  No shame. No guilt. No justification.  No excuses.  Just 100% completely free to be me.

IMG_2277[1]

Be Awake 

Awake.  

The world around me sleeps. 

Calm, rhythmic breathing, like a heartbeat.  

Steady.  

Predictable.  

Breath.  

Awake. 

Pondering the dying.  

Their raspy, grasping breath, like a tight fist holding on.  

Wavelike. 

Unpredictable.  

Breath. 
Awake.  

Allowing my thoughts to tumble.  

My thoughts to jumble. 

My heart to mumble.   

Mumbo jumbo. 

Awake.  

Allowing myself to be, just as I am.  

Awake.  

Open. 

Pondering.  

Unafraid to feel. 

Deeply.  

Awake.  

Alive.  

Outside in. 

Coming out of the fog of oversaturated information from the world around me. 

Going within. 

Fully alive and awake to what is happening around me.  

Living inside out.  

Rightside up.  

Standing strong. 

Weak in the knees.  

Pondering a future on earth without one of my role models, my overcomers, my heros! 

Awake.   

Steady.  

Feeling.  

Inside out. 

Facing forward.   

Looking into the unknown.  

Be Having a New View 

When do you feel your knees shake or your mouth turn to sandpaper?  What makes your mind spin with emotionally charged random thoughts? 

For me, up until today, it was that building with the gigantic H on the top of it. Yessiree Bob, the hospital. 

Knee shaking. 

Sandpaper mouth. 

Mind blowing. 

Emotional muscle building hospital. 

I walked through seven years, um I mean days, of hospital time with my mom exactly three and a half years ago. If you followed my blog back then you know this meant pain, excruciating pain, worried nurses who thought they were going to kill my mom with pain meds, a stolen chair, sleeping on said chair and a final ambulance ride in the snow with my mama to the incredible hospice house. 

Hell 

Healing.  

Stretching. 

Restoring. 


Today, I walked into the hospital to see another dearly beloved family member.  I didn’t want to go, but my peeps are so much more important than any discomfort that I may feel.  I put on my armour, remembered what I learned in my last journey and walked through the doors.  

Walked through the doors with a “New View”, knowing that I had experiences that could help, a story that could support others and the keen sense to find tea, be in the right place at the right time and know the questions to ask when that magic right time happens. 

Shit, I have learned something and grown into it!  

I walked through the valley of he shadow of death, embraced it, rowed the waves of grief through it and now I can see the sun! I can see hope!  I can see a completely New View.  

Standing strong. 

Calm, steady words. 

Mind calming. 

Emotional muscle built hospital. 

The gift of grief keeps on giving and will for the rest of my life. My mom’s life and death had been one of my greatest teachers.  It brought me to my knees and helped me learn to stand.  Let this five all my fellow grief journeyers hope.  

Standing in my truth. 

With my experience. 

Soaring in my gifts. 

With my journey. 

Soaking in my New View. 


With love and gratitude for all that I can do and share. This post is dedicated to a beautiful couple who are our role models and the hospital that is supporting them in their journey. 

Be You/Do You 

Yup, do you!  

Two words that I heard a few weeks ago and they have been spiralling around in my brain like a bad swear word that you wouldn’t want to say in front of your mom.  It kind of sounds dirty but it was profound for me. 

I realized, in a light bulb moment that, I am doing so many other people in my daily life that I am forgetting to ‘do me’! 

Nothing like a good sexual innuendo, isn’t there!  

But, you know me and my fairly open-minded conservative diatribes, so what in the world am I talking about. 


What I am actually talking about is the beautiful metaphor of putting the oxygen mask on yourself before helping those around you.  

As I walk through my life I literally see people running out of air.  I watch them rush to drop off their children at school. Rush to pick them up.  Rush to activities.  Rush to make dinner.  I think you can see the ‘rush’ I am showing you.  This ain’t one of those good ‘rushes’, if you know what I mean!  They are holding their breathes through life, like I have the last few weeks.  

So, what am I suggesting that we do with this naughty analogy? 

🥇 First, stop doing everyone else.  Look around at the people in your life, look at your “to-do” list that you are creating on a daily basis and ask yourself “How many of these things on the list do I want to do?”  

🥈 Second, find a way to ‘do you’.  

Be you.  

From within you and then out to others.   

What pleases you? 

What do you enjoy? 

Doing you. 

How did I figure out how to live this “Do you” philosophy in life? Because really inspiring quotes and words are only great when we create some ‘action’ to go along with them.  Right?  Here’s what I did: 

I looked at the ambiance I wanted to create in my everyday life: I realized that I like having music playing while I make dinner and a candle lit when I am on Zoom calls for my nutritional coaching.  

I wondered about who I do in my life: I saw that I am able to have authentic, real and beautiful relationships without shame. I don’t have to stroll down the ‘walk of shame’ no matter what happens!  That shame thing was old stuff for me.  

Lastly, I looked at my assets and what I could give to the world: I realized I was giving away my greatest gift like a floozy, my time. I can choose what I want to do with my day and what I want to wear while doing it.  I am 100% responsible for my greatest asset, time.  I have started to treasure, organize and find freedom with my 86,400 seconds each day (and not be so free in throwing it away to anyone that walks by.) 

Ambiance. 

Relationships. 

Assets.  

How to ‘do you’! 

What are three simple things you could think of to ‘Be You/Do You’? I know it will be simple.  It may even be fun along the way.  Ponder all the energy and vitality you will have to share if you ‘do you’ first.  

No one else. 

100% you.  

Just you.  

Getting to know you.  

All day long. 

Do you! 

Be Living Reality 

Ask anyone I taught with, I was a reality tv junky. 

Addicted? 

Probably! 

The Bachelor.  

Big Brother.  

American Idol.  

Survivor. 

At the schools I worked at, I used to organize Survivor Pools where we each would ‘be’ a character and we would see who would be the ‘Sole Survivor’! 

Hours upon hours of reality tv, where my week would be organized around the specific day and hour the show would be on. 

Survivor was Thursdays.  

8:00pm. 

5:00pm if you had an eastern channel!

I loved it when my mom moved to town because she had that eastern time zone channel. 

Yup, imagine revolving your whole week around a reality tv show?  I did it!  Yes, I did! 

When my oldest, who is now nine, was four months old, I knew I had a wake-up call from tv land and I realized I had to make a decision.  

I had just started maternity leave and was home full time with JC!  I was moving from an incredible, full 14 hour days as a teacher, to home and my Reality tv land.  Can you see where I was going?

I knew I had to make a choice: watch reality from the couch or live it everywhere I went.   We decided to live it.  We stopped paying for cable television.  We started being intentional about what and when we wanted to watch tv shows on the Internet or via DVD’s.  We saw less commercials.  Our boys have rarely seen a commercial in their lives and often find them annoyingly interrupting to what they are watching.  

(Sidenote: The constant Oil of Olay commercials on the children’s network, Treehouse, also persuaded me to cut cable. Did I want my boys to think that women’s faces looked like that?)

Now, I live in reality every day with my brood of boys.  

I live it everywhere I go.  

Television shows and movies are rare. 

Connecting with others and creating space to be is happening every day. 

I have space to let my mind meander.  

I have nothing ‘pulling’ me away from my vision of what I want my daily reality to look like.  

My living ‘reality’ involves copious amounts of food in somewhat strange combinations, refereeing wrestling matches, going off the beaten path and lots of high energy activities.  That sounds exactly like reality tv, doesn’t it? 

Survivor anyone? Who will be the sole survivor?  Some days it’s me!

Big Brother? Me and my houseful of boys.  


Really real. 

Living life.  

Awake.  

Aware. 

Alive.  

Perfectly imperfect.  

Being me.  

In my reality.  

Hmmmm…. maybe it’s time to get rid of Facebook?  But that’s really real, isn’t it? 😂

Be Wondering About Writing

As I wonder and wander through my daily life and hangout with my peeps, many of you have asked, “What are you going to be writing next?”

A few of you might now be wondering, “What do you mean next? What happened to the book that I have been editing for the last year?”  Well this happened:

i-am-free-book

I decided that this beautiful book about finding freedom on the inside and outside as a human being was just for ME!  And here is the book cover:

i-am-free-book-cover

Yup, it took me slightly over a year to edit and I decided to put this little baby into the filing cabinet.  And I feel free!  It was just for me.  It has been an incredible year of growth and seeing it written on the pages of a book over twelve chapters has been humbling and freeing!  I released it into the filing cabinet and for the last two weeks I have been wondering what WILL I be writing next?

I write every morning to pray and meditate over.  I write to hold and create my vision.   I write to pour out from within.  I allow my words to come out from pen to paper without judgement and without stopping.  It just flows from within, uninhibited, flowing wherever it wants to go.  I write to edify others.  I write to pour out inspiration on facebook.  I write because words do matter, they are the sword of the spirit.  They come from within and wield power.  My sword is covered with white chocolate and is meant to be sweet and easy to savour.  I pray my words always fill the sweet spot in your soul!

img_9135

Now what am I going to write, I wondered? And then I remembered these beautiful journals!  Letters to my boys that I started writing when I was pregnant with each of them.  Letters that I wrote daily or weekly about what I was observing as I have the privilege to watch them grow.  Writing between a mama and her boys, from my heart to theirs.  I stopped writing when my mom was living with cancer and since 2013 these journals have moved homes and sat in a cupboard.   And now as I have been set free from the book I completed, I am now going back to my boys.  Backwards to move forward.  Slowing down to speed up.  Writing to them, for them and with them as I watch them grow!

If writing isn’t your thing, what will you wonder about and where will it take you?

Wonder.

As you wander.

Be a human being.

Be present.

Be awake.

Be.

Enough.

img_9138

 

Be Doing Imperfectly Great Things

Striving to be “perfect”?

Without flaws.

Without mistakes.

Living the perfect life.

Making the perfect decisions.

Constantly striving to live in a state of “being” perfect!

Are you exhausted just reading that?

I feel fatigued just writing it as I think about my former mindset and my former decision-making process.

I am now striving to do imperfectly GREAT things.

Just doing the do.

Writing.

Talking.

Loving.

Being.

Present to whatever comes my way and knowing that I will NEVER be free from flaws nor mistakes, but I have a depth of spirit that will allow me to apologize and change course as needed!  I am easily adaptable because of the grace that I am constantly given and the grace that I can give others.  I know that great things come out of just being present and imperfect.

IMG_3908[1]

Tuesday and Thursday mornings are the time when I have all three boys in school. I fill my time with a bit of exercise, writing, and connecting with people.

This morning, I awoke to one sick, JC, my current sidekick for the day!

Previously, I would feel deep anguish over the plans for my day having to be adjusted.  I would feel stress in my shoulders and a turning in my tummy as I pondered how to make the day work.

Today, I felt InCrEdIbLe! An opportunity to hangout with my oldest.  My “to do” list was thrown out into the abyss to be pondered for another day.   I love being able to spend time with each of my boys together and individually.  My “doing” can always wait, but my “being” is the greatest gift that I can give to myself and others.

Being present.

Doing great things.

Through the imperfections of life.

With flaws.

With mistakes.

Loving.

Being.

(Toque courtesy of UofAlberta Alumni!  Huge hugs going out to my UofA Panda Alumni that are celebrating the retiring Panda volleyball players this Saturday and are hosting an Alumni auction in Edmonton, Ab. Drop in and bid on something if you are close to the game!)