Category Archives: Wordsmith

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 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 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 Living A Brut-iful Life!

img_8886 As I sit, ponder and let my mind wander, I think of all of you reading this 2017 message. Each of my Facebook friends and all 996 of you that follow my blog. I want to pour out extra love to everyone going through their sprinkling of brutal and beautiful as I did three years ago.  Couldn’t that be all of us?  Isn’t life imperfectly perfect?  What a brut-iful life we are living here in the stunning Okanagan Valley!  A sprinkle of brutal, but ALWAYS beautiful!

Three years ago, I walked with my mom as she was being released into heaven.  I walked as a daughter, an advocate, a pain reliever, a massager, a water getter, a midwife and had to make phone calls that I never thought I would have to, I think back at how brut-iful these moments were.  Brutal moments where I just have to lie down and cry and beautiful moments where I lie down and rejoice!  All magically weaved together into living each day with the gift of grief.

My boys were playing in their “Astronomer’s Lair” a few days ago, and I was very surprised to walk in and see them playing with old Tupperware bins.   I experienced one of my brut-iful moments when they proceeded to inform me that the extra bed was a place for their beloved Nana.  It was a lying down rejoicing and crying kind of moment!  The boys were 2, 4 and 6 when my marvelous Mama went to heaven, but she is still very much present in our lives!   It is slowly moving from brutal memories into beautiful moments.  Don’t underestimate your power to leave an impact on peoples lives!

img_8912

As I send  you wishes for an healthy, energetic, adventurous 2017 filled with dreams, may you savour all your brut-iful moments knowing that they are neither good nor bad, they just are.

Day by day.

Beautiful.

Brutal.

Memory-Making.

Healthy.

Living EVERY day.

Brut-iful living.

Brut-iful life!

Smooch, Joanna

img_8910

 

Be Saying Goodbye to the Backup Boyfriend

You remember in high school when you dated that guy?

That guy that you kind of knew was not the ideal match for you?

That guy that made you look around and think, “Well, if this doesn’t work out, no worries, I could date  _______________ (insert name of another guy)!”

Do you remember your backup boyfriend?  That OTHER guy that was your friend and that you knew you could always fall back on.  Perhaps its the same backup boyfriend that you made a pact with to marry if you were both single at thirty?

Well tonight, I am saying goodbye to a whole bunch of backup boyfriends.  There are no more backups for me.  I am taking 100% responsibility for my life.   My decisions are mine.  I run my thoughts.  I create my actions.  I can do whatever I want.  I am closing the book on a whole bunch of backups in my mind!

IMG_5331[1]

Goodbye to my beautiful backups:

  • My job that was ‘safe’ but not fulfilling, but had a good pension and benefits too!
  • The stuff I keep holding on to because I may “miss it”!
  • A mindset with certain family members that they will always be there if I “need them”!
  • Clothing or workout equipment that I keep around because I may wear it or use it one day!
  • People in my life that are beautiful to look at, but really don’t add any value.  People who aren’t fun nor stretching themselves.
  • Food that stuffs me down, rather than fueling me to rise up.
  • Trying to swim close to shore because “you never know”.
  • Any backups that you could add as you let this land on you?

I can no longer doubt my abilities relying on the backups to help me move forward.   I need to believe 100% in myself, letting go of the backup mindset!

Doubt and belief cannot live in the same space that I am creating.

Growing.

Without backup.

With excitement.

With gratitude.

For all that I am and all that I can do.

Being enough.

Being me!

Be Off Track

I was a racehorse running a race on a track that I hadn’t signed up for.

Living the life that I thought was expected.

Trying hard to be ‘good” to all people, but myself.

I was running hard and fast.

I was constantly pushed around the track by the daily winds and the other horse and riders.

Feeling like I could never train enough, do enough or be enough to run the race.

IMG_4401[1]

One day my main cheerleader, my amazing listener, my main supporter, my incredible mama died.

This horse stopped dead in her tracks.

I chose to hit the pasture in the middle of the race course.

I made a decision to eat some of the best food on the planet right now.

I decided to rest with the other horses on the inside of the race course.

I stopped in my tracks.

I went off track!

Yup, that’s me in the middle of the race course hanging out, living out of this race called life.

I am off the track.

AND I FLIPPIN LOVE IT!

My expectations on myself and those I choose to be in relationship with are GONE!

My idea of what my life could look like has completely changed.

My time is precious, the greatest gift that I can share on this earth.

I am full of gratitude!

I am able to be myself.

Full of thoughts tumbling in my head and words pouring out of my fingers as a Wordsmith.

Energy radiating out of my being as I move through my day.

Love flowing from my heart for those I see living life around me and through the beautiful medium of Facebook.

Peace sitting within my being as I hold and allow myself to be imperfectly where I am.

Honest, authentic and often waaaaaaay to blunt for some people’s likings.

Yup, me hanging out off track!

AND DID I TELL YOU HOW MUCH I LOVE IT?

Love a duck, I am the most fortunate woman in the world.

I have found my path in life, the way I am meant to wander.

IMG_4407[1]

Off track.

In the trees, like I am ten years old.

Playing in the powder with my boys.

Full of emotion, wet kisses and lots of hugs.

Having the time of my life as I play, make mistakes, learn and LIVE in all areas of my life!

I am alive!

Off track.

AND LOVING IT!