Focus on 2020

Last night I attended a fire ceremony. It came at a perfect time for me as I am preparing to head into 2020 with some personal growth goals both mentally and physically. In case you are wondering what a fire ceremony is , or why it’s preformed let me explain.

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A fire ceremony is performed any time you are feeling stuck, creating something new, or need to shift the energy. It is used to release unwanted energies and attachments from the past and make space for new intentions. A fire ceremony can be used to release unhappy memories, fears, negative emotions, and anything that you are holding onto that doesn’t serve you anymore . By releasing these unwanted energies and old patterns into the fire, you are healing at the soul level. “I’m all about taking care of that soul” We started with some light yoga and meditation to get ourselves into a peaceful grounded state and then on a piece of paper we wrote down what we wanted to release.
For me the process began the moment I put pen to paper. Just that conscious awareness that I was about to release these thoughts, and things from my life made me feel sad but so very strong as well. We took turns lighting our pieces of paper and watched them burn.
As I watch my paper burn, I could visualize my unwanted thoughts rising up in the smoke, being released from me. A deep breath and I let go.

20190618_181530Today I turn toward the future. I am visualizing what I want to experience in 2020 and how I want it to take shape. I think a new vision board for 2020 is on my to do list in the next month.
It’s all about selfcare. It’s so important to take care of our mind body and spirit so we can show up for ourselves and those we love in the happiest, healthy way possible.

Be well and journey on my friend 2020 will be here soon. Set your intentions and have a plan in place.

Pauline

Self Talk

Getting caught up in a funk can happen to anyone. I’m anyone! Being on holidays can sometimes take us away from our routines, not exercising as much, not eating as healthy. It was the last day of holidays when I started to feel that funk setting in, a week of little exercise other than a walk here and there, a whole lot of not so good food choices had left me feeling blah, like I’ve really messed up now. I asked myself “what advice would I give a friend if they were feeling this way?” Self talk, it can make you or break you. I always tend to give the same advice because I find from my experience it always seems to help and so I told myself what I would tell a friend. “IT”S OK” … “Always do your best to keep it simple, embrace your life, try to understand it, find a healthy comfort zone, reset your goals, but don’t quit, put yourself first, your self care is important, change up the routine, don’t forget to try something new and being a little spontaneous at times is good for the soul”.

Another piece of advice I swear by is “to head outdoors”. Nature can have a huge positive effect on your brain and lowers stress. Nature stimulates creativity, find a path and take it, sit and enjoy. Journal, or just sit with the sounds and daydream or meditate. Let the creative juices flow. Remember why you started on your journey to health and wellness.
Why you are important. Why you deserve it.

We are only given one life to live, take care of you, find peace within.

On the last day of vacation I took my own advice, jumped in the truck, found myself on a dirt road, taking a dirt path that lead me to this magical place. It was a spectacular spontaneous day! Just what was needed to set the tone for the week ahead.

Next time you’re feeling in a rut go find yourself somewhere out in nature and enjoy the beauty of this universe. Enjoy your week ahead my friends and never stop exploring your surroundings as well as yourself, keep evolving and never settle for less than you deserve.

May your week ahead be all you wish for and more.

Be Well,

Pauline

Just Follow The Path

There’s so much power in the path!
I was thrilled when one of the young men I work with asked me about hiking. He and another employee have been putting in a ton of hours and just wanted to chill and get out to do something different. Instead of just giving them the info on hiking, I offered to take them on a hike with me. I was surprised, they accepted. I had the perfect place. They wanted to spend the day, have lunch and relax. So that’s exactly what we did at McCrae Lake Conservation Area.
I also invited my son and his girlfriend along for the hike because they’ve been wanting to go on a hike as well.
I usually hike solo and this would be my first time leading a hike.
I was a little anxious.
I hope I picked the right spot, I hope the bugs aren’t too bad, I hope it’s not too long, I hope it’s not too hard, I hope everyone enjoys themselves. So many thoughts.
It’s 9:30 a.m. Go time!
We all meet up in the parking lot and just like that all those thoughts disappeared as soon as we hit the path.
The excitement in Hillary’s voice as she spots wild blueberries, lilies, jewel weed, sweet fern, wild strawberries and cuts through a waterlily root was all the proof I needed. This was the right spot. It was such a pleasure to have Hillary sharing all her knowledge on the different plants we encountered along our way.
To watch as her and Eric harvested some plants to take home was more proof and to see Patricio so interested in what they were doing and intrigued by the beaver dams and Lucas saying this place is “Dope” well, I knew it was all good.
It was nice to hear them say they wanted to return with friends and maybe even camp there.
Of course, I was happy, I was in the woods doing what I love, being one with nature.
I was so happy to share my love of the woods and this special place with friends. To have them experience the view from the rock outcropping at Crow’s Cliff, and the beauty and sound of the rushing water at the rapids, the scent of the trees, and the warmth of the sunshine as they all jumped in the river for a swim.
To just chill and lay on the hot rocks as Patricio played his guitar. We couldn’t have asked for a better day. 30 degrees Celsius, bugs not so bad and it’s 5 hours later and we are on our way home.
A full day. So refreshing and restorative.
The land is our oldest and wisest teacher, we can learn so much from walking a path in the woods.
I hope they all return back to this magical place with friends and enjoy the woods for the same reasons I do. A place to go where we don’t have to focus on everyday things that mentally drain us. Instead, we can appreciate the beauty of the woods, the water and observe the plants and animals that thrive in that environment. Become mindful and always leave feeling restored.

Here’s a peak at our day! May be you will be inspired to just follow a path. Get outdoors, recharge!

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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.

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