Building Others Up

Today I hiked Huckleberry Rock located in Muskoka, Ontario. Canada.

It was a hold on to your hat kind of day with a brisk wind, which might explain why    there was not a soul to be seen. I spent some time sitting in this well placed Muskoka Chair overlooking Lake Muskoka in peaceful meditation, listening only to the sound of the wind. With every wandering thought I was drawn back to the wind.
With  time to journal and reflect on the week behind me, all that I have to be grateful for, along with planning for the week ahead of me I felt blessed to have this little piece of heaven all to myself.20190520_131839

Even though there was no one around on the rock today, the Inuksuks around the rock, told me many visitors had been here before me. I smile, I love these rock sculptures.

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As I took time to build my own Inuksuk stacking stones that I picked that fit well together. I thought, “you know there is nothing that holds these together, they stay up because they are balanced on each other”. Each stone supports the one above and below it.

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Wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if people would support each other in the same way?

Every Inuksuk is different, there are no two the exact same. This my friends is what makes them beautiful!
Just like you and like me.
We are all originals.
Let your authentic self shine.
Support those above and below.
Build each other up.
Leave everyone standing tall.

A walk in nature always awakens the soul.

 

The Power of Journaling

It’s been some time now since I’ve last posted anything on my WordPress blog. Over a year and a half to be exact. That went by fast! Other than just everyday life getting in the way, there are a couple of other reasons. One being, I have been sharing more on my Instagram Blog, shutting down the laptop and getting outdoors to explore more, and I’ve taken up Journaling in that time.

With today being a rain day, with little to do I decided to update my blog site to tie in more with my Instagram account and to share a post with you about Journaling. Why I love it and how it has helped me.

I keep 2 Journals. One I use as an emotional, stress release, on an as-needed basis, the other I use weekly.  In my weekly journal I write down 3 things that I am grateful for in my life, plus things that give me hope and make me happy. The gratitude journal creates a positive mood.

Both Journals are equally important for keeping me in balance.

Journaling has allowed me to clarify my thoughts and feelings, while gaining valuable self-knowledge. It has become my go to as a problem-solving tool to release stress, putting down on paper what I don’t want to burden others about.
Journaling about the stressors in my life helps me process them by fully exploring and releasing the emotions involved. Once they are on paper, I leave them there. I tuck the book in a drawer. They no longer take up space in my head. I also have found, that putting pen to paper has helped me to come up with solutions more easily.

As for the health benefits of journaling, no need to take it from me. It has been scientifically proven. Research shows the following:

– Journaling decreases the symptoms of asthma, arthritis, and other health conditions.
– It improves cognitive functioning.
– It strengthens the immune system, preventing a host of illnesses.
– It counteracts many of the negative effects of stress.

I hope my experience with journaling will help inspire you to start your own journey with Journaling.  You may not need 2 journals, or you might. My suggestion starts with a gratitude Journal, once a week, working your way up to daily. Write 3 things you are grateful for. I prefer to write in the morning in my gratitude journal to start my day on a positive note, or sometimes I will write before bed, to reflect upon the day. It doesn’t matter when you write, just take the time whenever you can squeeze it in.
Before you know it, just like that it’s a habit.

If you are already someone who Journals, I would love to hear how it has helped you.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, I will do my best to post a blog at least once a month about this amazing Journey called life.
Stay well
Pauline

Now What?

“My Journey continues because I have conquered a lot and I know how to conquer the rest.”

I started having severe lower back pain in August 2016 that at first, I thought was a sciatic problem. A few months in and ex-rays on my back I was told it was arthritis in the lower back that was causing me all the discomfort.
Doctors kept telling me the pain I had was arthritis, which could have been part of it, but I knew it was not all of it.

After a routine pap exam in November 2016 the doctor ordered a Trans vaginal Ultrasound as soon as possible and referred me to a specialist. The results of the sonogram showed why I had pain. My uterus was enlarged and there were several Fibroid Tumors the largest being 14 cm in diameter. At this point we discussed whether to wait and see if tumors would shrink with medication or move forward with a hysterectomy. I opted for the medication at first and completed the full 3 months of it. Further testing , poking , probing had shown that the medication was not shrinking the tumors as hoped for and an updated biopsy was showing that there was now abnormal cell activity happening. I had no choice, a hysterectomy it was.

My hysterectomy was completed because I was diagnosed with Endometrial hyperplasia as well as having several Fibroid Tumors.
Endometrial hyperplasia puts a woman at a higher risk of getting uterine (endometrial) cancer. Endometrial hyperplasia means that there are more cells than there should be in the lining of the uterus. This is called a precancerous condition because it might turn into cancer.
Fibroids are muscular tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus. Fibroids are almost always benign (not cancerous).

On Thursday Sept 7, 2017, I was admitted to the hospital to undergo surgery. Laparoscopic Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy and Bilateral Salpingo Oophorectomy. (Total Hysterectomy with ovaries & fallopian tubes removed.)
I was in the hospital for two nights, because of the amount of blood loss, my hemoglobin count was very low. I was up walking a little bit, next day.
I had been doing a brilliant preparation for surgery, meditation for a period of time before my surgery so I was very calm and relaxed and this sudden change didn’t bother me at all. All the doctors and nurses commented on how calm and positive I was.

I firmly believe A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst, & it sparks extraordinary results.

My recovery so far at day 5 has been straight forward with no issues. Pain medication no longer needed and feeling not too bad.
My greatest challenge is resting! I am so used to being on the go all the time, resting is tough; but I realize how important it is to not overdo things and I am resting regularly.
I am being kind to myself and am not rushing the healing process.

I am sure there will be some fun times ahead, since I will be hitting menopause at full speed. But even so, I have not a single regret — it’s lifted an enormous weight.’

Just another part of the journey.

If I could tell women one thing I would say that all women should be advocates for their own health and well-being. You know your body. If you sense a problem, then do not stop until you feel that it has been solved. If it means having a hysterectomy to save your life, then do it.
As I sit and write this blog I can’t help but think of my dear cousin laying in a hospital bed out west who is in the final stages of ovarian cancer. May god bless her and may we all be grateful for the little things in life. Early detection is key my friends.
Be Well!
Pauline

Energize Your Spirit

breathe in the beauty of nature…

If I could take you by the hand, I would take you outside to connect with nature.
It has made a tremendous difference in my life.
I love to spend some of my time each day outside observing what’s happening around me. I am beginning to notice things about the environment that I’ve never seen before, at the same time increasing my awareness of my surroundings while taking in the beauty.
I do enjoy finding the road less traveled. Dirt roads, my favorite.
Although driving along dirt roads isn’t completely natural, I find if you roll down the windows and let the breeze flow through, you enjoy the natural experience just as well.
My favorite place to be to reset or energize my spirit is by water, to watch, to listen, to just sit and be still.
After all, natural bodies of water are absolutely the most beautiful.
I’m sure we would all agree that the sound of water is naturally soothing, but it is all that comes with getting outdoors that lifts the spirit. The beauty of the flowers, the sound of wind and birds, and the feel of the breeze seems all I need to lift my spirits. Everything else at that point and time is non-existent.
The freshness and energy it provides is positive.
I once read “Staying with nature will help you to get rid of all negative thoughts, curiosities and anxieties too. These are the three things which troubles you from leading a happy and healthy life.”
So true! I’ve been hooked with staying with nature ever since.
While nature walks combine exercise with outdoor stimulation, any form of outdoor living will elevate your mood.
It has been proven that walking through a forest will reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol and reduce blood pressure and heart rate. Three things we all need to keep in check.
So take a daily walk, try your hand at fishing, or simply sit and read on the back deck, or in a park to see benefits.
I strongly recommend, whenever you get some leisure time try to engage your life with nature , not just for a day, a week. Engage in nature daily, explore, wander and continue it until it’s your favorite thing to do. Do it throughout your life, experience the difference and be well!

When coming to a fork in the road – take it (Yogi Berra)

Taking A Time Out

Oh those Feelings. Impatient, anxious, irritable & disconnected. It’s a taking a time out kind of Monday.

I find spending time alone can be therapeutic when these feelings start taking over. A Monday to just hang out in my sweats, do a little bit of blogging , lounge around, bake , whatever I want.
By spending time alone I am able to set my thoughts straight and get rid of all negativity.  You should never be afraid of being alone.

Take a day, a day just for you . Very often it helps us understand who we are, what we want, and what we can do to become better people.

I’ve always wondered if I was an introvert because I do love spending the majority of my time alone. I shop alone, I exercise alone, I go to coffee shops alone. I just really love being alone. I’ve even gone on several vacations alone. It’s confusing at times because I also have an Extrovert personality because I have no problem speaking to strangers, or initiating conversations, or even public speaking. But at the same time, extended periods around people make me feel drained that leads me to this need of wanting to be alone.

I would have to say I have a much easier time adjusting my approach towards the world based on situations as I encounter them. If that makes any sense at all.
So, what am I?
An introvert or an extrovert?
Maybe it’s neither, with a little research, sounds like I may actually be an ambivert!
Yes, an ambivert!

am·bi·vert
a person whose personality has a balance of extrovert and introvert features.

I choose to be outspoken and social when I need to. I even enjoy social activities. I simply need more solitude breaks to recharge my “social batteries.” I have come to learn that it’s OK to pause, to think, or to ask for the solitude that I need.
I think we all possess both introversion and extraversion to some degree. The more I read , the more I believe no one is ever purely introverted or purely extroverted. We are all  ambiverts  with varying degrees of introversion or extroversion.
Some think that the whole concept of ambiversion is a crock.
I think there is no right or wrong personality type. All we need to do is to live, act and address who we really are. Continue to build on our strengths, eliminate toxicity and get to know our true self.BLOG PICTURE

Although I sure do sound like an ambivert from what I have researched, I will not label myself one way or another.
As for A Time Out Monday, I just need to be quiet and think and let the superpower kick in. It’s amazing how just a solitary day with your mind can bring you peace again. Looking forward to my day.

I hope you all can find time to slow down, which in turn will allow your whole system to take a breather. Rejuvenate!

Be Well!

Pauline

Small Town MacTier

After moving here 11 years ago I wasn’t too sure about what I had signed up for, my husband Jim Miller was born & raised in this small town and at the age of 17 left to find work with the thought of always being able to come home to his roots and small town living in MacTier. He knew exactly what it was all about. Me, I was a transplant trying to make a life in a small northern town…. where everyone knows my business before I do and around town I’m still known as “Jim Miller’s wife”.
To be totally honest with you when I first moved here and told people I lived in a small town called MacTier, I would get remarks like “Shacktier” or “oh really” and other comments, not worth spending time on. It’s like I choose to move to the worst area and that the people here were all low life and that it wasn’t a good place to be.
I have always had an open mind and never like to pass judgement. After being here 11 years, the people that made those comments don’t even have a clue!
One thing I will say is that small town MacTier does have a charm of its own.
To me, what makes MacTier such a great place? The answer is simple. The people. Clearly, it’s the people that matter and you won’t find better people than those you find in MacTier and its surrounding area. It’s not just me saying so. Look around and you will see it also.
People willing to keep pushing, leaders willing to move things forward, and a community ready to come on board. You don’t need everyone but you do need a core group willing to try and in MacTier we have just that.
MacTier has community organizations that reach out to help those who need it most. Neighbors help neighbors rebuild after tragedy. We celebrate victories together and pull close in defeat. It is a tight knit group.
This couldn’t have been any clearer to me than last night as I attended a Fundraiser for a local family who suffered a tragedy. It’s the people!
I am proud to tell people I live in MacTier. I tell them, we don’t have stop
lights, kids can s13529202_10157290022745713_6330427742939861048_ntill ride their bikes around the town, we do campfires in the backyard, we trade time & goods for services and we look out for one another without wanting anything in return. What I always get back is “wow” sounds like a great place to live!” My answer “it most certainly is!”
Small town atmosphere is alive and kicking here in MacTier and for me I am enjoying the simple life it offers.
MacTier Proud!

It’s Simply Enough

This week I was asked by an individual “What is it you do for a living Pauline?”
My reply was “I work at a semi private golf course in Muskoka from May to October in the Pro Shop and in the winter, I take time for me.”
“Wow! It’s great that you can do that. Your husband must have a pretty good job”
Me: “Not really, he works 4 days a week at a grocery store in our small town. We just choose to live a simple life. We have what we need, the rest are just wants.”
Amazing the look, I received. Almost as though there was something wrong with me.
However, this conversation did inspire me to write a blog about how & why I chose to live a simple life. I hope you enjoy and are inspired to find your own way of living that lets you be your authentic self.

It’s Simply Enough
The world we live in is such a loud, busy, noisy place. Others always telling us we need to grasp for more, that bigger is better. Seems the world around us thinks we need to have this big impact for our lives to be of value or count. We ourselves seem to think that all too often as well. I was there, thinking “What if I never amount to anything when I grow up other than a mom and wife”. After all wasn’t it expected of me to become something, to make something of my life?
I leaped into the chaos of always wanting more, a higher title, a larger salary, a bigger house, a fancy car, for years I played the part and was very successful, but something was missing. This always wanting more, sacrificing my health, happiness and family time for what? So, at the end of the day I can say “I’m #1 or I’m in the Top 10” or “I make a 6-figure salary” “my house is the biggest on the block” Striving for this type of life left me worn out, drained of happiness and had me asking myself. “Am I simply not enough if I don’t have these things?” “Who am I? ”
It took me some time, tears, anxiety & depression not to mention a divorce along the way to find out that I am not cut out for the chaos of this society and cannot even begin to keep up. I know so many people with boundless energy and stamina that can live this lifestyle, balance it and enjoy it, but knew that what I needed was tons of solitude, calm and periods of unscheduled time for me to be the healthiest version of me I could be. The person who doesn’t care about expensive fancy things. Whose home is humble but is happy. Who would rather risk being judge so that I could just be my authentic self, be there for the people in my life that matter most. I want to do what I want to do not what society thinks I should do.
I don’t want to write a book or earn a 6-figure salary. I want to write because I have something to share from my experiences from my heart. I can only hope to inspire others I care about and encourage them to love and care for themselves. Because bigger isn’t always better and that they as individuals matter. That they are valuable for who they are, not the title they hold or the amount of money they earn.
I have embraced my limitations and have made peace with who I am and what I need and I honor your right to do the same.
Is it wrong to just want a small, slow, simple life?
I don’t think so. I am most happy where simple lives.