Category Archives: Uncategorized

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 Paper Dolls 

As spring is often a time of cleaning up, incredible growth can happen when we unearth some ‘old stuff’. The beauty of ducluttering and cleaning up is you really don’t know what you will discover way down deep.  

For us this week, it was my mom’s old paper dolls.  They are believed to be over 60 years old.  Beautiful, thick, coloured paper, a few personally coloured by my mom.  The boys enjoyed touching, playing with and dressing these paper dolls.  I could envision my mom playing right alongside them. 


Did you have paper dolls? What does this ‘unearth’for you? 

Seeing and touching these paper dolls grounds me. 

I feel connected to my past and my future.  

I feel love and care, my mom sure loved and cared for us.  

I loved the conversation I had with my boys as they asked about the clothing and where the paper dolls came from.  

I soaked in simplicity.  Feeling the thick, strong, resilient paper in my hands.  Watching my boys gently play and talk together.  

The legacy left in paper dolls.  

Grounding. 

Connecting. 

Love. 

Conversation. 

Simplicity. 

All just by being paper dolls. 


May we all continue to buy useful, beautiful or legacy pieces to have around us.  

I am grateful for these. 

Paper dolls.

#befree #beenough #gratitude 

Be Floored by a Ted Talk 

Creating and playing using words is my love.  

It soothes my soul and brings me great strength in moments that I feel weak.  

Today, I watched this Ted Talk TWICE and his stories, experiences and words on rejection brought me strength as I reflected on my stories, experiences, and my words. 

May this bring you as much freedom as it brought into my day! 

Jia Jiang – What I Learned From 100 Days of Rejection

Be Open to Others Stories 

Our family got yelled at today!

Yup, “retired” guy yelled at us.  

Full on angry ‘yell’! 

Here’s the scenario and you can see the story from both sides: 

Our family of five had skied across the mountain to get to our favourite run almost on the backside of the ski hill.  It was a gorgeous, sunny, slushy-snow kind of day.  

We made it to the run right as the ski patroller was putting up the closed sign.  I spoke to him and asked if he was closing it because of hazards.  He said, “No, I am just closing it because it’s the end of the day.”  I looked at my watch realizing we had plenty of time to get down the run and then asked if we could take the run, even though he had just put the closed sign on it.  He asked if we were good skiers.  I assured him we were.  He told us to go ahead.  

As we stood at the beginning of the run, with its closed signs at the top, a “retired”guy came off the t-bar and proceeded to yell at us saying “Don’t you know the run is closed! It’s closed!”  

We chuckled and floated down the pristine, diamond-flecked snow on our skies.  And we talked about this valuable lesson.  

How often do we judge what others are doing as ‘wrong’ in our minds? 

I know none of us would yell at strangers, but how often to we do this? 

How often do we see what others are doing and create stories in our own minds about what is going on? 

Imagine now, like we did today, if we took the time to be open and get to know others stories.  


Imagine if we lived our own stories and just sat in openness about others? 

Kindly. 

Lovingly. 

Not being yelling “retired” guy in words or thought.  

Sitting in an open posture. 

Living our stories. 

Day by day. 

Being open to others stories. 

Kindly. 

Lovingly. 

Listening.  

Learning.  

Living in our story.  

Open to others stories. 

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 Writing a Love Letter to My Boys 

Dear My Boys, the ones my heart chose, 

There is nothing on earth that I love more or am more proud of. 

My “titles” of wife and mother are my DIAMONDS 💍.  

When you calls me ‘love’, ‘sweetie’ or ‘Jo’, my heart melts. 💏 You are incredible to live with, dream with and be with.  it is such a gift to be able to hear your incredible ideas. 


When I hear ‘Mama’, my heart soars. 🦋 You boys are my proudest achievements.  It is such a gift to be able to watch you grow.  


My greatest 💃🏼 moments and memories involve you four.  

My heart 💜 overflows as I write this.  

I feel warm inside.  

My mind is at peace.  

Glory to God alone for this magnificent life we are creating together.  ❌⭕️❌⭕️

Happy Valentine’s Day 2017 💋

Be Water-y

Can we all agree that air and water are basic fundamentals for life? 

Air, our bodies magically intake and expel it. 

Water, on the other hand, is a process that we ourselves need to choose to consume. 

A choice. 

A small daily choice.  

A choice. 

That can add up to a lot.  

Living giving. 

Nourishing.  

Rejuvenating. 

Water.   

Here’s my question this morning: Why do someone people choose not to consume water? 

<insert your personal excuses here>

Too busy.  

Don’t like the taste. 

I forget. 

I don’t like buying water. 

I don’t like drinking it warm. 

These are the excuses I have personally heard. Any of these resonate for you? 

As I walk with people on their health journeys to have more energy, shed some weight, perform better or age more youthfully, I always talk about water because most people are as dehydrated as the Arizona desert that I am currently visiting.   Most people don’t notice the incredible sources of water all around us, ready to be poured into our bodies. 

I could go into the science behind our bodies and water.  I could tell you the percentage of water that makes up our bodies.  I could go on and on, but I won’t.  

Here’s my heart for all people: 

⭐️ Drink half your body weight in ounces every day.  

⭐️ If you exercise, drink more. 

⭐️ If you drink coffee, tea or any type of soda, drink more as well.  


Keep putting deposits of water into your body through the day and watch the beautiful returns on your investment you will receive.  

More energy. 

Glowing skin.  

Better poops. 

Less smelly urine. 

Happy cells.  

Glorious you!  

May you be filled to overflowing on this super duper Saturday. 

Smooch 😘 Joanna 

Be Rejected 

Sit with me today and ask yourself if you have ever been rejected. I mean really rejected, back-turning, door slamming, get the f* out rejected?  I also want to talk about the simple rejections that happen every single day as we live our lives.

Have you ever been dumped?

Rejection.

Have you ever applied for a job and not hired?

Rejected.

Have you ever apologized and had that person never speak to you again?

Rejection.

Have you put in a business or book proposal and received a denial letter?

Rejected.

rejected
In the sadness, anger and humbleness of rejection, what do we find?

A new way.

A new path.

A new resiliency.

A letting go.

Or holding tighter.

A fortitude to persevere.

Or a desire to walk away.

Rejection is a true gift, a branch of the gifts of grief.

It is ready for us to unwrap in every rejected moment.

gift-giving

We can choose our path with rejection.

We can envision rejection as a branch of a metaphorical tree.

Ponder, with me, how this gift of rejection can help us grow!

Perhaps rejection has come into our life because we have been growing roots in places that weren’t in rich soil.  We may have needed more light rather than darkness.  Or maybe something or someone new may have been needed in our life to bring us new living water. Rejection needed to create space.  Our branches may have needed some pruning so that we could have new growth in our life.

Rejected.

Rejection.

Light.

Growth.

Life.

All symbiotic and much needed in our lives.

Gratitude today for EVERY time I have been rejected in word, thought or deed.

Life-giving.

Gratitude-living.

Rejection.

Be rejected.

Be Working Out to Work Things Out 

It was snowing this morning when I woke up. 🌨

Large. 

Fluffy. 

Snowflakes.  ❄️

It was cold. 

I lifted my head off the warm pillow, put on my work out clothes and headed out the door. 

Gloves and toques on. 

(Sidenote: sending love to Joan and Christina this morning💜) 

And then I ran.  

On the road, around the trails, under the ski lift.  

I ran to work things out this Thanksgiving weekend. 🍗

I work out as much for my body as for my mind. 

I have encountered grief many times in my life through friendships lost, moving, injuries, and the loss of my beautiful mama. 

I have watched people journey through grief during the process of divorce, their children aging, losing a job, gaining weight, not getting a contract and even not meeting a business goal.  

Grief is a daily journey.  It is a daily gift to take us to a deeper place as human beings. 

Awake.  

Feeling. 

Beings. 

In this grief that I have felt and witnessed through others, I see that we have FOUR choices, daily, sometimes moment by moment choices: 

1. First, we can numb ourselves with an outside substances or activity.  I tried nightly alcoholic drinks for awhile after my mom died, my greatest grief journey, but this just numbed me even more, so now I rarely drink.  If what you are doing is not allowing you to feel, then consider taking a break from the substance or activity.  I take rest days now in my workout weeks, thank you Coach Garry.  This has helped me tremendously as I choose not to numb. The greatest gift we have is to feel.  

2. Create a life of busyness and be a human doing is a second choice that I had to ponder and overcome.   This perpetual busyness allows us to keep going, feeling productive, going through the motions, but not living as a human being.  This “get ‘r done” girl knows this one well. I now purposely take time throughout my day to pray, meditate and be. It is important to feel as we live with grief. 


3. A third choice would be putting our ‘stuff’ onto other people.   We need to be 100% owners of our grief journey.  No two peoples will look the same.  We can walk side-by-side momentarily with people, but we won’t always walk together for long.  The feelings and thoughts that grief unfolds is as unique as each individual person.  Be gentle with yourself.  Be gentle with others.   Anger showered towards other people is an energy suck.  Bless and release.  Thoughts about others journeys is pointless.  Bless and release.  Telling others how it will be is a lie.  No one knows what grief will unfold for people. Who knew I would become a triathlete author who loves loves loves helping people be their healthiest selves through a nutritional system I discovered one November day at boot camp? We can only share where we are coming from and then allow other grief journeyers choose what will fit for them.  

4. We have one more choice, that I see on this journey. Sit, lie, walk, workout and stand in our grief.  Feeling it deeply with gentleness. Allowing ourselves to go to a deeper emotional place in whatever ‘position’ helps you grieve.  

My laundry room is my sanctuary.  This is where I lie. A place where I can be alone and lie on the floor, feeling my emotions. I lay there yesterday, crying, feeling, thinking and shifting.  I reached out to a divine-inspired friend, shared my heart, felt, prayed and then shifted my state.  

This morning, I ran. I worked out to give my mind time to churn. Space to think about my mom who always created magical holiday memories.   Time to be in nature and allow myself to feel.  

And now I stand.  I am ready to celebrate this magical thanksgiving weekend with my boys.  I have proactively processed and know I can react to anything that comes my way. 


Numbing. 

Busyness. 

Owning. 

Feeling. 

Our grief. 

Our feelings. 

Our journeys. 

Walking alongside those fellow awake, heartfelt people.  

Keep going my beautiful friends. 

Working out to work things out.  

You are not alone.  

Be Living In Between 

⚡️I had always thought that if you worked hard enough, you will get where you want to go.   Magically, everything would just all fall into place.  Nope I am still living “in between”. 

⚡️I had always thought there was a magic wand where “poof” healing would come after my mom had died and all would be well.  But all isn’t well. I feel things incredible deeply when I find out a friend’s mom has cancer or a preschool friend has cancer or a surgeon treats a friend poorly, just like what happened to my mom.  Sometime “in between” just sucks.  

⚡️I had always thought that if I did ‘my work’, communicated kindly and directly that all would be well.  I thought my relationships would flourish and we would all sing “kombiya” together.   I have some relationships with my family of origin that I couldn’t even consider “in between”, they are non-existent.  

⚡️I had always thought that if I reached certain goals in my life that all would be well.  I envisioned that life would be more fun and that there would be an ease or flow to it.  I have reached those goals, but I still sit “in between” as those goals have now changed.  


THIS I NOW KNOW FOR SURE… 

✨ I am “doing less” throughout my days, but I have never experienced so many more incredible opportunities coming into my life. These “in between” places are BEAUTIFUL.    I have more quiet times, more moments of “no coincidences” where I have to lie down and less ‘busyness’.

✨ My healing is a journey not a destination to be tackled. Actually, I don’t even know where my healing journey is going to take me next! Being “in between” the healing journey creates MIRACLES.   It has deepened my relationships, helped me focus on what’s important and allowed me the privilege to see into the beautiful hearts of women like Heather, whom I met today.  

✨ Relationships are like a game of baseball, each person needs to be willing to catch the ball.  I have been playing a ton of catch with my “people’s” back to me.  Imagine a baseball game looking like that?  You can only apologize so much, talk so much, and try to get someone to play for so long.  “In between” relationships are RAD because they mean I am REALLY free to be me.  

✨ It is truly each moment that makes life sweet…moment after moment.   Every day I love savouring the weather, the age of my boys, the laughter at myself when things go wrong, the watching as our dreams unfold.  Step by step, one lunch box making, wrestling match breaking, toy taking and sheer joy making day at a time.  “In between” is a SWEET place to be. 

Life is powerful when we are awake to the processes “in between” 

To the beauty and spaces that surrounds us every day.  

To people’s eyes. 

To people’s stories.  

To the sheer grandeur of the non-coincidences that unfold before me.  

The presence of God. 

Doing less. 

Being more. 

Healing and… 

Being broken. 

Playing catch. 

Facing forward. 

Leaning in. 

Moment by moment. 

In between. 

Awake. 

Savouring. 

Tasting.  

Enjoying.    

Knowing for sure that RIGHT NOW… 

I am ENOUGH! 

Living “in between”