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.

 

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

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.

Homeless & Cold

“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.” – Saint Basil
With the hustle and bustle that the holidays bring, often we forget to just take a minute and slow down. Time to remember those less fortunate. We forget about the important stuff. With that in mind, I wanted to share my random act of kindness with you in hopes it will inspire you to do a random act of kindness for someone. Let’s call it the Holiday Kindness Challenge and I challenge you to be a part of it.
No matter how old you are, where you live, or what you do, we all can make kindness a priority. Try to see the positive in a difficult situation, to encourage others, to listen to your friends and family, to treat others with respect and to volunteer your time, energy, and resources to help make this world a better place.
It should be fun, easy and will bring the best in the holiday spirit. Let me share with you my random act of kindness.
A neighbor of mine had posted on her Facebook page an article about a trend happening around the country that was catching on like wildfire! I jumped on the bandwagon.
The radio had been issuing a snow warning alert for the Barrie area with the temperature at -4, factor in the wind chill -14. I’m about an hour to the city of Barrie but make many trips there. Last week while at a dentist appointment I couldn’t help but notice how many homeless people were hanging around in the park across the street. When I heard about this new trend I knew exactly what I had to do. So, I acted on it.
I filled a bag with scarves & mitts and headed back to that very park. Attached to each item was a tag that read “I’m not lost! Please take me with you if you are cold. Stay warm. God bless!”


Bundled up in my winter wear I went to the park and tied scarves around trees and put mitts on the benches. There was no one around at the time so I headed back to my car and waited and watched to see if anyone would notice. Soon after, a man with a bike and backpack walked up to one of the post and took a scarf -I was so excited. I ran up to see if I could take his picture and he said yes and thanked me- it worked! Tonight, someone will be a little warmer because of me. As I watched him wrap the scarf around his neck and smile my heart was like “this is what it’s all about!”

dsc_0053I had some things to do in Barrie but made a point to go by the park on my way home…the feeling I had when I saw that all the items were gone. Priceless! So grateful that I am able to share..it might not be much, but it doesn’t have to be.
I challenge you to a random act of kindness. If we all do our part what a better world this would be.
Be Kind
Pauline

Spend Your Dash Wisely

Yesterday I spent the day with some truly amazing people. My Rocky Crest Family. It wasn’t a day of fun and games but a day of remembrance as we all gathered to share our stories and say goodbye to one of our members and dear friends Mr. MacLellan after his courageous journey with cancer.

It was a beautiful service with both his son and daughter sharing with us their stories, a slide show of pictures and his beautiful wife Sherry , who raised a glass for all of us to toast Scott. The number of friends, family, business colleagues that attended was a testament to what we already knew about Scott. Scott was truly admirable and touched many lives. Scott lived his Dash!
“The Dash” A poem by Linda Ellis that was read at the funeral and although I had heard this poem before it just had me. I Can’t stop thinking about it. Maybe because I am on my own journey of personal development, the journey of me consciously evolving as a person, regularly improving my life mentally; physically and spiritually. I heard the words this time for what seemed like the first time. Heard it! You know that old saying “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. ”
If you have never heard or read the poem, it talks about how we make note of the year that the person was born and the year they died, which say nothing, when it’s more about what’s between those dates, the dash, which represent the years of that person’s life. The poem makes you think about how you spend your dash and when your eulogy is being read, will you be proud of how you spent your dash?

RIP Scott MaCLellan and thank you for touching my life.

Life is short spend your dash wisely.

Here is a link to Linda Ellis Poem , The Dash. It’s certainly is inspirational.

http://www.linda-ellis.com/the-dash-the-dash-poem-by-linda-ellis-.html

Anxiety Does Not Define Me

I find that People always share the shining side of things, especially in our world of Social Media. Yes, I am guilty. It’s easier to share the highlights of your life than to talk about the negative, but I think it’s also important to show we’re all human, we all have failures, we have things that are more difficult to cope with.

Admitting vulnerability has the ability to connect people. I hope that with this blog I connect with you & give you inspiration.

Everyone has struggles in life – it just happens that anxiety and depression are mine.

Anxiety. At some point in life you will face it. A public speech, job interviews or the first day at your new job, you’ll get nervous, do whatever it is that is making you nervous and then go back to your usual self. This makes me incredibly envious.

The stigma around having a mental health issue causes a lot of people to hide it. That’s why a lot of the time when you find out someone has anxiety or depression it comes as a surprise.
SURPRISE!

I am not an expert on anything. Most days I struggle with being the expert on me, but that is the only thing I come close to being an expert on.

People are puzzled by me — I come across as outgoing but introverted, very social but rarely wanting to go out and socialize. My alone time my safe place.

Despite many physical symptoms of anxiety, I’m a master at hiding it.

While I may not be able to prevent stress or anxiety from showing up at inopportune times, my remedy and a great place to start is by taking a deep breath and remembering I don’t have to have it all together all the time. Or even some of the time. The best thing I can do is live honestly with myself. I’ve also been through a couple of episodes of depression. Luckily, I have had the strength and guidance of professionals to get through them along with amazing support of family & friends.

I think a couple of my favorite pieces of advice for when feeling down is “it’s OK not to be OK” and “Sometimes we fall down because there is something down there we’re supposed to find”

I know this might sound strange, but I am grateful for my Anxiety and Depression even though I would not wish them on my worst enemy, but they have had a huge impact in shaping who I am, and in developing some of my biggest strengths. I’m proud of my kindness and empathy. Being familiar with struggle makes a person appreciate the goodness in life so much more. Life is good, and life is short, and for that reason I will make my journey count.

Anxiety and depression do not define me, but I am truly very grateful for the life lessons I have learned in working to overcome and manage them, and of the person I am.
I have become more proactive to stay healthy, especially when my mental health is at stake and have come to the conclusion that I will never let my most personal decisions be influenced by the opinions of others. I have to believe the right decision lies deep in my heart. I believe in the knowledge I have and trust myself enough to embrace the unknown.

The prescribed medication I take for anxiety attacks does not define me. I am OK with my decision to take medication when needed to help me with my anxiety. A decision that came from acceptance, not shame. A decision that allowed me to start down a new path on my journey.

My one piece of advice to anyone dealing with anxiety is to never let anxiety fool you into thinking you’re not strong enough for something. 8edbf8af8f9b1546b55e86bed33c060b
Not everyone experiences anxiety in the same way. This is based on my own individual experience.
No one knows you better than you know yourself. Always stay true to you 🙂  Always remember…Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness!