Category Archives: writing

Be an Inner #Influencer

#influencer

Who else has noticed the hashtag and word #influencer pop up all over social media?

It is everywhere, chosen by many people as the hashtag of 2019 to grow businesses and get their message out there. I am not buying the #influencer message and here is why: We need to be an #innerinfluencer and not just unconsciously digest the #influencer around us, with their edited pictures and image of the “perfect life”!

These are my three reoccurring thoughts about why we need to be an #innerinfluencer:

First, do you remember taping up posters of famous people on your physical walls and saving them on your computer desktop? It was dreamy. It was wondrous. It was also very fake! The pictures were staged. The smiles probably were too! And now with the invention of photo filters, everyone can have these pictures too! When you open a magazine or even a friend/acquaintance’s social media page, it is most likely filtered, photoshopped and staged just like the pros. Who knows if they had a fight with their husband two minutes before or are a million dollars in debt? The pictures won’t show or let us know what’s really going on.

It’s really doesn’t matter though, because in the 21st century YOU are the star of YOUR life. Go on a journey to look at your own unique gifts and talents. Look back to your childhood and when you were free and hanging up those posters of Ricky Schroeder or Backstreet Boys. What did you truly love to do and what did you want to be? This will be the greatest influence in your life. Be an #innerinfluencer. We can no longer allow ourselves to be influenced by magazine pictures and social media posts by celebrities or friends, it truly is only an illusion.

Second, do we really know the lives of the people that are calling themselves #influencer and do we want to have them influencing our lives? I was truly shocked to hear about the divorce of the Bezos. (He is the CEO of Amazon and they had build their business together.)

I have seen the power of outside influencers over and over in education where one child and even one word from another child can shift the personality and culture of individual children and an entire classroom. For example, just this year, one of my boys walked away from a beautiful friendship. This friend of my son’s is a heart-centred, kind and so much fun. My son and I have watched this boy become mean and moody because of the influence of another student in the class. My son lovingly created space and allowed his #innerinfluence to guide him. He walked away from this friendship. This is the greatest lesson my son has had with friendship in his short life and it has been a gift.

Take time to know the people who have influence in your life. Ask yourself three hard questions: Are you allowing yourself to be influenced by people who have your values and desires? Are you choosing to be influenced by people who mirror who you are and where you want to go? Can we really know these things about people not in our inner circle? Boom shakalaka. Three hard but very important questions to ask about influence. Here they are again:

1️⃣ Are you allowing yourself to be influenced by people who have your values and desires?

2️⃣ Are you choosing to be influenced by people who mirror who you are and where you want to go?

3️⃣ Can we really know these things about people not in our inner circle?

Lastly, the greatest influencers in my life don’t even participate in social media. Where do your greatest influencers exist? My influencers are my Sexy Neck, my three boys, my mother in heaven, my Heavenly Father, and a circle of friends that share their lives with me. I love the music of many musicians. I love the acting of many actors. I love the athleticism of professional athletes. I am inspired by many social media personalities with their beautiful quotes and pictures. BUT, rarely do I allow this group of people, unless I know them personally, to influence my life. I choose to be an #innerinfluencer, leaning into my gifts and talents, looking at where I need to grow and living as a human “being” with my tribe every day of my life.

I believe we are living in a world where reality is shifting, what we see is not really the way things are. The reality is the prettiest pictures and the slickest words get the greatest amount of attention, if we choose to pay attention. I want to encourage each of us that read these words to be looking outside with eyes open wide and looking within with hearts open wide.

You are a unique human being. There is truly no single human being in the world that is just like you.

May my words be an #influencer for you to look within as an #innerinfluencer because this is where the juicy dreams live in the 21st century.

😘 Joanna

Be Learning Life Lessons from a Lab

I was a cat girl growing up. Now, I am a lab girl for life!

I loved cats independence. Loved their gentle purrs and how they would sleep with you in the most obscure ways. My cat, Boots, loved sleeping right on top of my neck or chest.

Enter in Sexy Neck into my life in 1992 with a visit to his family home which was definitely a dog family. Their little dog, Mandy, was a sweetie. Someone to walk with, someone to greet you happily every single time you walked in the door and a great companion for everyone.

This cat girl growing up didn’t stand a chance! Nineteen years ago, I became a dog person, more specifically a Labrador retriever girl. My life would never be the same!

Over these years, I have had the privilege to learn from our two labs, KT and Summer. These are the specific lessons from Summer as this was a very Holy day celebrating her life.

💫 LIFE LESSONS FROM A LAB 💫

💫 Enjoy all the seasons, especially winter. Rolling around and sliding down slight inclines on your side is especially fun!

💫 Wag your tail at everyone but bark at the mailman.

💫 Always be on the lookout for food. You never know what you will find. Even things that you need to lick off the pavement are enjoyable.

💫 Be a baby watcher. Stand as close as you can with your wet nose on the baby blanket. Diapers are the best things to smell on babies. (We called Summer our “Nanny dog”.)

💫 Pour out love to the humans CLOSEST to you. Always be happy to see them. Always greet them at the door. Always look up to them with adoring eyes, especially when they have treats for you.

💫 Love children. All children. Always love those children that will rub your ears, your belly and play fetch with you.

💫 Take your master cross country skiing at all hours of the day. Be their companion and confidante listening to all their stories. Don’t get stuck in the powder!

💫 Be content being with, playing with and taking care of your core group of people. It’s the simple things.

💫 You are never too big to cuddle or have your ears and belly rubbed.

💫 Don’t leave the food you like unattended on the table. It might disappear! (This is a lesson from my boys: Nine and eleven year old. This is something Summer just started doing last year, which was ironic because her arthritis was so bad that we had to lift her into the car. That piece of toast on the table, though, no problem!)

💫 Don’t trust strange dogs.

💫 Be present

💫 A little mess doesn’t matter.

💫 The stuff you leave behind is meaningless. It’s the memories, the cuddles, the smells and the moments that create a MAGICAL life!

🙏🏻 LIFE LESSONS FROM A LAB 😘

Magical memories with this puppy: swimming, always being happy to see us, chasing golf balls, cross country skiing, eating every crumb off our floors, shedding a small dog every day, being my comfort and companion, witnessing the birth of all three of our boys…

Thank you faithful friend. Thank you for the life lessons that I will take with me for the rest of my life. I will miss you every day!

February 5th 10:28am 💜 Summer 🙏🏻

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 Getting Messy 

God embraces mess.I embrace mess. 

M

E

S

S


Look at the tree branches. 

How moss grows 

And water flows. 
Look at the mess. 

No straight lines.  

Only curves and twists. 

It is so enchanting! 

Mesmerizing. 

Keep looking deep within. 

Feel the mess inside. 


No more perfection. 

No more square corners. 

No more self-imposed rules.   
Colourful. 

Colouring outside the lines. 

Broken crayons. 

Using what I have. 

Where I am. 

Amongst the mess. 

Beautifying.  

Being open to the flow. 

Freedom to go. 

Where I don’t know. 

Embracing the mess! 

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 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 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 Holding a Vision

“We become more able to articulate our own boundaries, dreams, and authentic goals. Our personal flexibility increases while our malleability to the whims of others decreases.” (The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron)

In my mind, I am holding a vision of a life where I spend more time with my brood of boys and close friends than I do currently.   

Expansive hours together.  

Cooking, drinking, talking, shaking things up! 

Magical memory making moments all over the world.  

Eating breakfast in Germany, lunch in France and Swiss fondue in a mountain hut.  

Riding and boating through the canals from Amsterdam to Budapest.  

Skiing, surfing and visiting our friend’s south of the border.  

Big visions. Big dreams.  Big ideals… that will be exciting to watch unfold.  

I have been holding smaller visions and watching them unfold, so I just hold and watch, hold and wait.  

Taking little steps every day! 

Two weeks ago, we watched our neighbourhood Block Watch signs go up.  In September, I held the vision that our neighbourhood would have a block watch.  I talked to a few people, collected names, we attended a meeting and viola, the block watch is in place with 100% participation. 


Two years ago, when I started my health journey with my nutrition company, I envisioned that our family would rent a place at a local ski hill.  I didn’t have expectations on how but I knew it would happen.   I started talking to people and looking.  Soon, a friend heard we were looking and viola, we are now enjoying our second year at the condo.  


Allow me to be a living testimony that you can create beautiful, wild, wonderful visions for your life.  Hold tight to them and don’t allow the expectations of others or the ‘old stuff’ in your life to hold you back.  

Being myself.  

Listening to my heart.  

Living my life.  

Holding my visions.  

Comment below if you would like to share your vision: 

Being vulnerable.  

Adding accountability.  

While watching your visions unfold.