Tag Archives: musings

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:

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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:

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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

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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 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.

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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.

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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 Walking out your Grief 

It is such a privilege to walk with someone and hear their story about living through the death of their precious mama.  

This is a treasure. 

It is an incredible gift to hear how someone is truly feeling about their life on any given day because of packed scheduled, presentations, or sleepless nights. 

This is rich.  

It is profound to get to know so many people negotiating grief while experiencing divorce, death, dog bites, loss of jobs, moving… The list is endless.  

This grief journey is priceless. 

I am blessed to be having these deep conversations on a daily basis now that I have been sitting in my own gift of grief. 


I am now learning to walk it out.  

Honesty, most days I still want to hide.  

I am broken inside. 

I am softer and more affected by life.  

My heart leaks out of my eyes at unexpected moments, like today when beautiful Crystal told me she was proud of me.  

I want to lie on my laundry room floor and pray and wonder and ponder and rest.  

But, I know I need to walk it out. 

My lying down days are gone.  

I have lying down moments, like today in Superstore, which I still really enjoy. They no longer need to humble me for the whole day. 

I get out and walk. 

I talk. 

I swim. 

I write and play with words.  

I run. 

And I talk to people, lots of them because I love people.  

I bike.  

I workout.  

I do this to keep working things out. 

My body moves. 

My relationships grow. 

My minds ponders.  

My gift of grief keeps unpacking itself.  

Into this deep place where I am now able to have the privilege to walk with others.  

In their grief.  

On their own personal journey.  

Walking it out.  

What a blessing. 

I am blessed.  

I am enough. 

Each breathe. 

Each day.  

I am enough.  

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” 

Be Living Lavish (not lacking a thing!)

Lavish luxurious living.

Not lacking a thing.

Could you imagine it?

Really?

I am living it!

Truly!

My mind has shifted from living in lack, in scarcity.

It has moved into a place of abundance, of lavish luxury!

I have realized that I have everything I need, in this moment.

I am listening, looking, learning and living as I talk about in my book, “I Am Free!” 

Inside and Out!

I previously believed,  I never had enough time or that time was ‘slipping’ away.  My lists seemed endless and my priorities were blowing in the wind by others visions for me.  I was flitting here and there trying to get things done and make up for “lost time”.   Now I know that I create my time and I have enough each day.  I enjoy and savour moments throughout the day.  The moments create a beautiful life.  I know that I have enough time.

FAITH! (not lacking faith!)

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Before, I would worry about spending money $$$$, didn’t enjoy spending it nor never thought that we would ever have enough.  I budgeted, spreadsheeted, pondered and prayed about how to make our finances “work”.  Now I know that we can create the financial future that we want by being awake to how we are spending money, by saving practically and enjoying the journey along the way.  I now find money EVERYWHERE and my boys do too!  It is fun to see how this currency we have created is coming our way.

FINANCIAL FUN! (not lacking a cent!)

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I used to think, that I was a border collie when it came to relationships.  My role was to herd everyone together and to make sure that everyone was okay.  I would endless reach out to people and communicate in a way that I thought would “make things better” by often listening to gossip or by saying I am sorry are just a few examples.   I now know that I am a loving, strong woman with a wonderful tribe of people surrounding me, with their own personalities and traits.  Everyone is responsible for themselves.  I no longer am responsible for the herd, but choose to enjoy those that are attracted to my golden retriever personality.

FRIENDSHIP (definitely not in lack here!)

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I am humbled to admit that before I never thought that I could do enough. EVER!  I ALWAYS felt that I was at fault if something went wrong. I ALWAYS felt that I was never able to meet anyone’s standards, even my own.  It was pressure, my friends, pressure to perform to the MAX.  I rarely rested.  I never let my mind sit, afraid of the lengthy to-do list that would push my face down into the pavement.  I now know, that I am enough.  I am doing enough, each day, with my gifts and imperfections.  I ALWAYS know that I can add value to people.  I ALWAYS feel freedom just to be.  My mind can sit and I often find myself lying down on the ground in awe of the divine moments that come my way!

FREEDOM (soooo much freedom)

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What are the possibilities for you to move from lack into lavishness?  Is it related to your thoughts on food, friends, exercise, sleep, sex, communication, spirituality, writing…?

As we enter the season of the new school year, may we all move into a place of lavish luxurious living!  This is my hope for everyone who reads this post!

SMOOCH, Joanna