Tag Archives: Christmas

Be Keeping SH*T Real

There is a pervasive message in our culture that is saying “stay positive”, “think positive”, shift your mindset to be more positive and everything will be AWESOME!

Those that know me, know that I do have a positive mindset, but I did not, I repeat, I DID NOT, get there by being positive all the flipping time.

Rails and Trails, 2018

Let me tell you a little story about these three geniuses above:

My boys were 7,4 and 2 years old when my mom was dying. This grief experience would become the greatest gift that our family has been given! Plus, isn’t it amazing to know that we all having the incredible Nana waiting for us in heaven. When we were given this gift of grief, I spoke with my counselor, a tremendous amount, about how we grieve as human beings She taught me, and my children showed me, that the very best grievers are actually children. What they do is feel things very deeply, stay in each moment and move in and out of grief very quickly. This was exactly our experience. They would see or remember something from Nana, wham, the tears would come. Then they would see their favourite LEGO and wham, they are smiling and playing again. My counselor taught me that the best thing I could do for them, and myself, was to sit with them in their grief, feel things with them and wait for them to shift or helps them slowing shift after being present with them. Rarely, did I need to do anything but merely sit and be present with them.

Imagine this same grief journey, if I constantly put on a positive face, ignored their feelings and told them to be positive. “Just be positive” said over and over and over again.  In a child’s world, this would be completely invalidating their feelings and not give them the permission to feel or grieve. I wonder what counselling they would need later in life to get over not feeling the feelings they had during this time?  

This year is going to be our fifth Christmas without my marvellous mama and I must admit that I have become an expert at negotiating grief. I sit with myself. I feel things deeply and then gently move myself when I know I am ready.  I cried in the pool this morning while swimming lengths. I feel the feelings, I let the tears flow. 

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Robyn’s wedding, 1998

I am blessed because I can now see and sense this grief process working in others and I easily give them space to move through the process. We do this often with relationships, situations, and even with our food.  I can see people giving themselves lashes for not being positive enough or at all.  I can see people trying so hard. 

This brings me back to the positive rah rah that is overpowering our culture.  I WANT TO BE A PERMISSION BEARER.  As I observe and grow a business in this culture of a constant positivity, my message has clearly become “keep sh*t real”. The more honest my customers can be with me, the more I can walk with them. The more we can sit with each other in the real sh*t that exists in this world, the more we can move each other into positive places. We have to sit together, listen together and then move!

Feel the feels. 

Sit in them. 

Then look, seek and find solutions and that positive place. 

When you look around and feel like sh*t because you aren’t positive enough, pretty enough, doing enough or…. <insert what it is for you here>… keep it real and sit with your sh*t. And realise that when I look around and see the pervasive positivism overwhelming my feed, it’s usually being put out into the world by men, young couples or empty nesters. You don’t often seen mom’s waking up to puking kids or having to put every single thing they had planned that day on hold because of a child with a fever, spewing the positivity message 24/7.

It’s about keeping sh*t real. Finding a way to keep taking one step forward every day towards where you want to go. Surrounding yourself with people who will cheer you on and be positive even when you have spit up on your shoulder and haven’t combed your hair.  Find that tribe that keep things real and can be positive when you can’t be.  

If you aren’t feeling that you are good enough, positive enough or that you are doing enough, STOP that sh*t.  Remember my lessons from grief that my boys taught me.  

God has given you many talents that you may not be able to see right now.

That’s okay.

God is taking you through a season that is going to give you great strength.

That’s amazing.

God is going to reveal everything to you in EXACTLY the right time.

That’s incredible.

BUT, life isn’t always okay, amazing or incredible.

But you “Cann”: 

Always hold hope.

Always brings peace.

Always hold love.

Always keep sh*t real.

Even when the positivity police try to overtake you.

Learn from my greatest teachers, my boys, in this upcoming season.

Sit exactly where you are.

Feel things deeply.

Move when you are ready.

Always hold hope.

Always bring peace.

Always hold love.

Always keep sh*t real.

😘 Joanna Cann

Be “UnBusy”

Right now, I can sense a whirling of energy around me.

Fluttering here and there.

Cars driving quickly.

People walking swiftly.

All around the city.

This way and that.

Me, I choose to be “UnBusy”.

Busy is the swear word of the season.

Right up there with the f-word.

Beside the bar of soap that my mouth got washed out with.

Busy?

Keeping ourselves occupied?

Have a great deal to do?

These are a choice.

Being busy is a choice.

What’s on the ‘to-do’ list is a choice.

Yes, it is 100% up to us.

Fluttering here and there.

Driving quickly.

Walking swiftly.

All around the city.

This way and that.

Or not at all.

I used to rock the ‘to-do’ list.

This list would make me feel productive.

Make me feel occupied.

Now I have created space to be.

Sitting here.

Moving there.

Talking here.

Wondering there.

I purposely move slowly and with ease.

Walking quietly in the crackle of snow.

All around my beautiful city.

Wherever my boys or mind take me.

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Incredible beauty surrounding us in this season.

Ready to envelop and shower us with peace.

Right now, I sense a purple energy all around me.

Loving.

Being.

Seeing.

Allowing.

Peace in this season.

 

Be Celebrating a “Cann”tastic Christmas 2015 

Celebrating friendship, Jesus’s birth, family, and just being together!  We had an amaaaaazing Christmas.  Love a duck, I do have to say it was “Cann”tastic! 

    
 There were so many coincidences and blessings that came our way.  The opportunities we have to talk and sit with people were inspiring.

Skiing.

Skating.

Bowling.

Road Trip.

Lego.

Sleds.

Food.

And discovering a ski sign with our last name on it.

A “Cann”tastic Christmas! 

Be Finding Solace on Skis 

Being present to what we are feeling and thinking takes awareness, especially during the holiday seasons.  

It is easy to let time zip by in busyness, unaware of our body, mind and spirit.  It is easy to get wrapped up in wrapping just doing without being.  

Holidays are often wrapped up in a beautiful package of past memories and experiences that create our present life.    In my book, I talk about my ‘be enough’ mindset and allowing myself space to care for my soul.    

This year, I continue to unwrap past Christmas seasons, grieving the loss of my mom while being aware of my desire to create magical memories for my brood of boys.

I chose to be enough by strapping on my sticks! Heading off in the early morning on cross country skiis, solo. Allowing the thoughts float on by, in silence, in beauty with birds chirping me on as I pass by.  

I chose to be enough by strapping on my boards.  Heading off during the day on downhill skiis with my boys.  Allowing laughter to pour out, looking for jumps, in beauty with my boys hooting and hollering as I go by. 

Creating space to be.  

Exactly where I am.  

In body, mind and spirit.  

Finding solace on my skiis.  

Being me.  

 

Be Knowing What DRIVES You!

Have you ever wanted something so bad that all you could do was talk about it, think about it, dream about it?

Perhaps you wanted a pony as a child.

Maybe it was to make it to the Olympics.

I wonder if it was thinking about getting married.

What was that “something” that just drove you into perpetual conscious and unconscious thought which caused you massive action?

This morning it started with a question from a personal development course that I am doing: What drives people?

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Luckily I have an inner circle that is very tolerant of my philosophical questions coming out of thin air, so I started by texting one person.

Princess P ended up saying: “People that I love and enjoy, nature, adventures… Celebrations and traditions power me.”

Next I texted another person, Dr. K to hear what she had to say: “Before coffee: coffee”. (I must admit that I get up so early and excited for each day that I forget people may still be sleeping.)  After coffee, she text back and said, “Health and Happiness”. And then Dr. K asked her mom and she said, “Live in the moment and look to the future… not stuck in the past with regrets.  Also strive for excellence not perfection.”

Then I texted a few people more because I was oh so curious.  I love PEOPLE and I loved hearing what drives them.

One friend shared that she was contemplating this exact question.

Awesome A shared, “Creating a loving home for my family.”

Double D (the one who keeps giving me back my hat!), said, “My family” and

RvZ said “Work, play, laughter, kinda combo. Achievement. Getting stuff done. But the days that I spend in nature are pretty top.”

When you have great conversations like that all day long and ponder such a question like “What drives you?” the answers come clearly.

What drives me?

Harmony.

Freedom.

I seek harmony in the world around me through relationships, nature, and within myself.

I move towards freedom to be my authentic self, freedom poured out for others to be exactly who they are, time and financial freedom for my family and friends.

What drives you?

Here is my “drive” story for today: Before dinner, my boys, spied a digger down end of our road.   They had this incredible drive to go and see this digger.  The talked about this digger and wondered why it was there throughout the entire dinner. They ate without complaint and then they were off out the door without a word, just so that they could get an eye on this digger.

Drive.

Target.

Success.

The boys reached their target!

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Our brain is a cybernetic system and unless you pick a target, your unconscious brain will choose something for you.   Think about these three boys and yourself as a child, what drove you?  What did you love to talk about, think about, dream about?

Today, why don’t you find what drives you and then choose the target?

Go for it!

You “Cann” do it.

Be Hitting the Targets I Set!

One of the best hockey players in the world, Wayne Gretzky, was once quoted as saying: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take!”

Before I wasn’t even in the game.

I was working very hard.

Going no where.

I was floating.

Listening to all the chatter around me.

Now, I am listening to the still inner voice inside of ME.

In my life right now I am taking a TON of shots.

Saying “yes” to new opportunities.

Being open to the possibilities.

Allowing myself to feel deeply and go deeper still.

This week, I was on the phone with M, someone that I have known for almost ten years… She is twenty-something and she is a FORCE.

I was sharing with M my last sixteen week journey of setting goals and achieving them.

Here is a photo of this first journey:

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Now after a very fun sixteen weeks of achieving many goals, I was in a quandary. Weight loss is no longer one of my MAJOR goals.  Hmmmmm… Now what?  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with this second challenge and I expressed my ‘unknowing’ to friend/business partner.

Later in the day, she send me her ideas via text.   My ‘unknowing’ brought out a ‘knowledge’ in her that profoundly helped me and spurred me on.  Isn’t it awesome that she even thought of having “party tricks” as a goal!!

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Here is what I came up with because of her awesome inspiration:

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And here is me getting started to see where I am at: (It wasn’t pretty!)

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4 push-ups (the last one was with VERY shaky arms)

No chin-ups (I could barely hang there for 2 seconds)

And NOW I am off moving towards the targets that I set for myself.

The ULTIMATE goal is to be the healthiest ME and live the most energetic, positive-infused days of my life with my brood of boys, family and incredible circle of friends.

Be on a Threshold

How do you explain something with words that is just a feeling?

What do you say to describe a place where only you may be at?

I have been searching for weeks to describe this sense of where I am as I begin 2015.

Suddenly, as I read another woman’s story, it hit me:

“Threshold.”

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A word to describe where I am at.

The best one that I can conjure up.

I am neither living in my past, nor do I feel that I am moving anywhere in the forward direction.

Sitting.

Holding still.

On a threshold.

For those that know me well, they know that holding still is not my forte.

Give me a list.

Tell me what needs to be “done”.

Ask me to organize.

I am your woman!

But not now.

Maybe not again.

My head is still fuzzy.

The grief I feel is deep and raw.

The hole my mom has left in my life is vast.

So I sit, peacefully in my home.

Happy on the ski hill.

Surrounded by love.

Glancing back.

Looking forward.

Just being.

On the threshold.

Be Filled with JOY

I think many people are quite curious about me in this season of grief and remembering wrapped up with Christmas.

Curious as to my state of mind.

Wondering how I am doing.

I think I may ‘appear’ to be too happy for some people in my life.

But I am here to tell you I am not happy about many things…and my life has nothing to do with happiness right now.

For me, joy comes with or without happiness.

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It hits me no matter my daily circumstance or season.

Joy is not from me, but a gift from God.

Gratitude, love, joy!

Flooding me, pouring out, flowing in.

It is nothing I am ‘doing’.

I am just ‘being’.

Being present with the people God has surrounded me with.

Allowing my sadness to hit me.

It is one year, less one day, since my mom’s death.

One more ‘first’ to live without mom.

In my sadness, I know JOY will be coming.

The joy of the Lord is my strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)

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Leaning into Him through my struggles.

Thanking Him for ALL I am grateful for.

Watching JOY fill this season.

Merry ‘joy-filled’ Christmas to you and yours.

Be the Power of a Penny

This blog post was started in the summertime as I was playing a “healthy living” game with my friend Penny and an old neighbour and her friend T.  I had to add to the post after our ski vacation a few days ago… and finally introduce you to one wonderful human being and friend.  Formally know on my blog as Princess P and now just Penny.

Here is a photo of the people playing our summertime game: My teammate Penny and I on the right and our wonderful opponents on the left. 20140704-135917-50357437.jpg

Here are my boys sharing some after dinner books at Auntie Penny’s house. My boys cherish the wonderful books she had for her own children.  We love going over to their house for dinner!

20140704-135916-50356828.jpgPenny made a special point to celebrate our middle guy’s fifth birthday before she went on an European summer holiday. He was thrilled with the very special transformer and book she bought him.

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And now while they were working hard to renovate their bathrooms and get ready for their own three wonderful children’s arrival, Penny and Bob came to spend a few wonderful hours with our family on the ski hill.

Penny knew my mom always made PJ’s for my boys at Christmastime and look what she got the boys:

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One of the other gifts that my mom has always given me over the years is a knitted scarf and look what I pulled out of the Christmas bag from Penny:

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A very lovely, hand-loving-made scarf!

The depth of gratitude I feel is incredible.

When you lose someone important in your life, there is a HUGE hole.

Forever.

The greater the love, the deeper the hole.

But others will lean in and close the gap.

The hole won’t pull you in and down.

People are holding me up right now in prayer and physical presence and “knowing”.

Penny has brought us such joy through these beautiful, thoughtful, handmade gifts.

These were very important to our family.

Healing through fabric.

My mom is gone, but never forgotten.

She lives on through all of us who “knew” her.

Generous.

Thoughtful.

Caring.

Kind.

Mom.

And now the power of a Penny!

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Be Snowball, Bumps & Jumps and Magic Carpet Rider

Merry Christmas from our boys:

Three Year Old Magic Carpet Rider

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Seven Year Old Bumps & Jumps

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Five Year Old Snowball

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Laughter in the midst of tears.

Winter amidst the desert.

Rowing my boat of grief.

Riding my skis down the slopes.

Taking it ALL in.

Living it now!

Deal with it now rather than later.

I ain’t no sweeping it under the carpet kind of girl.

But I do love riding the magic carpet too!

God is gracious to give me these three amazing boys.

I love you Magic Carpet Rider, Bumps & Jumps and Snowball.