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.

My Journey – Part 2

Two weeks ago, I made the decision that I was going to become the healthiest version of me that I could become. A long overdue visit with my family physician was just the wake up call I needed.
For the most part I eat a pretty healthy diet and have a moderate exercise routine. So, when the Dr. told me that my blood pressure was dangerously high, like stroke high I was a little taken back. Medication was prescribed and yet another new journey begins for me. Journey #2

Let’s start with Journey #1.
October 2013, I left a job that sucked the life out of me, the negativity around me was too much and left me dealing with Anxiety & Depression, I made myself a promise to never let anyone or anything ever take away my love of life again. My focus was to increase the positivity in my life. I knew I had to take responsibility and make it happen, because no one else could do it for me.
I just wanted to be more positive! I was so frustrated with the negativity that my thoughts seemingly force upon me. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I was ready.
I found myself seeing a therapist, reading books, googling positive quotes that inspired, encouraged, and motivated me. It didn’t matter to me that I already knew what the book was all about, or that I’ve seen the same quote 2 or 3 times before or that people might think she’s crazy seeing a shrink. What mattered was that I continually feed my mind with positive and inspirational material. The more time I spent in the land of the positive, the better I was becoming. So, what happened was gradually I found myself here today, one of those happy, positive people that can handle any adversity. I still work on this Journey daily and continue to practice random acts of kindness. I just love making people smile!

This takes me to Journey #2
The same process I followed in Journey #1 for personal development is exactly the process I will follow to supercharge my life with a gym membership to meet my health and wellness goals.
I’ve Joined a gym!!
No doubt that intimidation is an unavoidable part of life. I know there will always be that someone who I feel is better than me in some way, but that doesn’t mean I should run from those feelings. I need to trample them under my feet. It’s unfortunate, and I know I am not alone on this one, people feel intimidated at the thought of joining a gym. I get it now, walking into room with mysterious machines is tough and what’s worse is that everyone there seem to be in great shape and know exactly what they’re doing. The hardest part about going to the gym for the first time was getting myself there. dsc_0019_1
I set up an orientation with a trainer who showed me around and taught me how to use the machines. I asked a lot of questions and felt a little silly but once all my questions were answered and I knew how the machines worked, I felt much more comfortable about showing up for my work outs on my own. I might have initially felt awkward following the trainer around the gym, but to me an hour of discomfort seemed much better than days of confusion at the gym.
It’s hard in the beginning, (only 2 weeks into it) because I’m trying to change something that my body isn’t used to. I’m o.k with that. I have decided the best look I can have when going to the gym for the first little while and trying to overcome the anxiety is one of confidence, because if I look like I know what I’m doing, I’m golden. Fake it, till you make it-lol

So, I will throw my ear plugs in and zone into motivational music that will silence the other gym goers and give me the push I need to keep going. My goals will give me focus and purpose.
Each day as I walk into the gym, I will tell myself that I am there to give it my very best and it doesn’t matter how everyone else looks. My first two weeks is not comparable to someone else’s 52 weeks. I’ve got this!

Gradually as with Journey #1 The happiest version of me I will also become the healthiest version of me Journey #2.

Thanks for reading, feel free to leave a comment.

Be Well!

Pauline

 

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!

 

 

 

Planting The Right Seeds

People ask me so often why are you always smiling?

Well it’s because I believe that smiles physically and mentally heal.

Not only are they for my benefit, but for those around me.

Some people think it’s okay to mope around, they think life is hard, everyday is a struggle and yes, at times it can be. But, yes there it is, BUT!  It doesn’t have to be that way.

You can change it by planting the right seeds.

Oh no the word CHANGE!

Nothing will happen unless you decide it’s time to change. I hope this blog will inspire you.

You’ve got in in you! Think of your body like a garden. Plant the right seeds, tend to it,keep it alive and flourishing. Dig in the dirt! Pull out the weeds.

Doesn’t the garden always look so much nicer once the dirt has been turned over & the weeds pulled out. Almost like it’s smiling at you for taking such great care of it.

Do the same for you! Will it be easy? No, but it will be very rewarding!

So my answer to the question, why are you always smiling? ;

When I Focus on things that make me smile then it’s like I am planting seeds of happiness inside me and once planted they just tend to grow. So the secret for me to always be smiling is about the type of seeds I plant in my heart. I Plant positive ones, turning my frown upside down, pulling out the weeds and turning the soil everyday.

I work on it, it’s a process friends.

“I Hope you find a reason to smile today!”

Start planting your garden & watch it grow. Like any Garden it takes time.


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Clutter Free = Mind Free

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a blog, but with a New Year 2015 approaching, thinking of what I would like to accomplish in the New Year I thought I’d share with you my New Year Resolution. I am a pretty organized person to start with, but there’s always room for improvement & this is what my resolution is; maintaining a clutter free lifestyle.

I once read that cluttered spaces and thoughts affect your productivity and overall enjoyment of life? The general idea of decluttering is to get rid of things, thoughts, and ideas that don’t work for you and don’t contribute positively to your life.

It’s like this – when you get rid of clutter, you free up a much needed space not just physically but also in your head (emotionally). Soon, you’ll realize like I have that you’re not so stressed out, overwhelmed, frustrated, or just feeling yucky.

I’ve put together some ideas on how to do this and am sharing with you my friends so you to, can live clutter free and add to your enjoyment of life.

While most dream of being more organized, actually getting that way can sometimes be a challenge! If you struggle with too much clutter try the process I use for myself;

Sizing down the number of things you already have is the first step of the battle. I suggest starting one room at a time. Give yourself permission to only keep the things that are currently useful, despite who gave them to you or how much they cost.  This can be really hard, especially at first. Believe me it does get easier when you begin to realize that freeing your home of clutter frees your mind of clutter. As you begin to sort through your things, ask yourself these questions:Do we use it, wear it, or play with it? If it is clothes, does it still fit?

  1. Is it in good working condition?
  2. Does it enrich our lives in some way?
  3. Does it have sentimental value?
  4. Could someone else use it more?

I also find it helpful to set up 4 categories:

1.) Things to keep in this area

2.) Things to donate (or in my case-sell on my online thrift shop)

3.) Things to throw away

4.) Things to put elsewhere (keepsake box, seasonal items, or things that belong in a different room)

Once you’ve cleared an area and put away all the items that belong elsewhere, move on to the next area.  Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

And this my friends is how I stay organized and clutter free. Sometimes it gets away from me and that’s when I go back to the beginning & start again. The Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. is the key. Stay on top of it – easier said than done. After all we are human-not perfect-lol.

declutter-your-mindAn amazing feeling to sit in a room without clutter & just chill.

May your New Year be clutter free and all that you wish for.

Happy 2015 & Thanks for taking the time to read & follow my blogs through out the year.

PC

*Side note to all my friends out there, if you are de cluttering in the new year and looking for a place to donate your items I would be happy to take them off your hands for my online thrift shop. http://www.facebook.com/PCSmilesThriftShop

Attitude A Choice

21366_560737483983401_2017972483_nLast October I suddenly quit my job. Realizing that the past 6 years with this company was changing who I was. The negativity of the workplace was sucking the life out of me. I was becoming one of the negative employees I once complained about. Not someone I wanted to become. Was it scary, just quitting without a plan in place? You bet it was!

Anxiety & Depression took over my life for a couple of months until I just woke up one morning and said. “I don’t want to feel like this anymore” So I had a choice to make, stay stuck or pull myself up out of this frame of mind. A choice, something we all have.

This is when I realized the impact of choice and attitude on my life and how important it was to surround myself with positive, happy people and to make time for more things that made me appreciate the world.

Spending time exercising and helping others have helped me boost my moods and put me in a better frame of mind.
Working at developing a good attitude is so worth it! It has helped me to improve my health, my happiness, and I believe it will help me live a longer life.
Is it easy? I’m not saying it’s easy, but what I am saying is if I can do it you can too. It’s a choice!
Become aware of your thoughts, when you have a negative thought try to replace it with a positive thought. It takes some time, but what do they say? It takes 21 days to form a habit. 21 one days, give it a try. Choose your attitude, change your life! Change
Since implementing this mentality my life has improved dramatically. My health has improved. My anxiety and depression have disappeared and I have made the choice to stay aware, to practice mindfulness and to only allow people into my life who are good for me and have a positive outlook on life.
I’m at a time in my life more than ever before where I can say “Life is good” I follow my heart.
Here’s hoping this gives you some inspiration if you are stuck.

Starting the day off with a positive quote every day is a great way to reinforce positive changes in your life!

Pay-It-Forward

DSC_0001Today I am excited to share with you my newest endeavor. I have just received my Smile Cards in the mail and am so eager to start using them.

What is a Smile Card you ask?  Well that’s exactly what I wanted to know when I first heard about them. So me being me, I googled it and to my amazement I found this wonderful website called Kindspring. It explained everything I needed to know and so much more.

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and just as I am taking this journey to find the best of me, I come across this. Go figure. Awesome self-improvement tool!

I have 10 cards to pass around as I play this Pay-It-Forward game. Starting today September the 30th I will do an act of kindness for 10 straight days and leave a card behind inviting the recipients to pass them on!

I will be sure to fill you in on my acts of kindness and the responses I get. Should be interesting.

I’m most certain some people will look at me strange, but I’m also most certain it will make them smile.

If you want to start your 10 days of kindness you should visit this website, order your cards or download them. Just receiving the cards in the mail put a smile on my face! DSC_0002

Do an act of kindness and leave a card behind – See more at:

http://www.kindspring.org/#sthash.8UeXz2q0.dpuf

http://www.kindspring.org/