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.

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!

 

 

 

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/

 

A New Challenge

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”
 – Buddha

I decided to start blogging because I have always been best at getting my thoughts and feelings out on paper. The person I am comes through in the words I write.

DSCF1661 If by blogging about my life, my struggles and my journey, can keep me positive, focused and inspire even one person out there to see that the journey to a happier, positive you begins with you and one small step each day. So worth it!

We all struggle with something at some point in our lives. It’s these struggles that make us stronger.

Changing your thoughts, changes your attitude,changes your life!

What one small step have you taken to a stronger you?