Thursday, April 29, 2010

Outdoors at Last!

Warm weather is upon us and it just got easier to get some much needed exercise! Is anything more motivating than sunshine and new gear? I bought myself a new pair of running shoes today, and I can't WAIT to run in them! I broke them in with a nice walk after dinner tonight, but they SCREAM "Exercise in Me!" So, who am I to deny them that pleasure???

It's never easy getting into a new routine. There are all the previously failed attempts, but that's the great thing about life--every day is a chance to do something differently.

Now, I'm not one of those people who has exercised her whole life. I've always liked playing sports (although I was never really good at any), and I've always loved to walk and hike, but it's not until I started getting older and really appreciating what my body does for me on a daily basis that I decided to start giving back. I'm grateful that I'm able to get out of bed every morning and just move, so continuing to do so is going to be another motivating factor to get my butt back in gear.

So, will I ride my bike to work tomorrow? Well, I am a wuss in bad weather, so if the Weather Gods are right in predicting warmth and sunny skies, then YES! I'm definitely going to ride. For those of you who are already in warm-weather-exercise mode, then remember to eat right before and after! Carbohydrates before for fuel, and protein afterwards to help repair and rebuild muscles. You'll be ready get moving again in no time!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


It's funny how you can be travelling along life's highway and suddenly be thrown onto an unrecognizable dirt road that tosses your whole sense of balance off kilter. It's been like that for me for the last couple of months. Can anything teach us the real lessons of life better than death and birth? Time seems to stand still in both cases. More questions with even fewer answers than ever before suddenly present themselves.

The trouble with this is that, of course, sometimes there just aren't any answers, so after frustration and inner turmoil have run their course, perspective ensues. Suddenly, a person doesn't require all the answers anymore. The moment to moment living becomes much more precious, and maybe that's all the answer anyone can really ask for.

As depressing as it sounds, the beauty of life and the loss of it are the only things creatures of this Earth all have in common. That alone should bond us in all our triumphs and fears.

Sometimes we just have to revert back to our formal selves, the selves who were happy with less, worried less. The fear attached to all the unanswered questions is what eventually brings us to our knees, but isn't it better to use that energy on reclaiming life? If we're only ever afraid of what's going to happen, then what's happening right now? It sounds cliche, but it's amazing when the reality of this sentiment hits you. Too many of us in today's busy society stop to "smell the roses." It's that one little act of smelling the roses that reminds us of all that we have--starting with the ability to enjoy something so perfect and simple and being truly present during this tiny but profound act.

I'm going to make a more concerted effort to smell the metaphorical roses. I'm reminded of the joy of holding a loved one's hand, or seeing a red-winged blackbird soaring through the trees.

Feeling connected to anything is what keeps us grounded, so let's try and remember that we are all connected, to each other and this Earth. It's what we all have in common, even if that fact is forgotten from time to time. Pain and joy are shared on a daily basis by everyone, and it's a good day when more joy is shared than pain.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sweet Universe

About 6 weeks ago, my wallet was stolen. This wreaked havoc on my blood pressure and had me peering over my shoulder for a while (a couple of weeks, anyway). I wondered who it was out there who had my personal i.d., but the worst of it was a couple of priceless things I couldn't replace. One of these items was a small card given to me by an aunt 9 years ago, as a memento to remember I was loved right before embarking on a journey to Japan. The other was a note that accompanied flowers sent to me by my husband for my birthday. Silly though it may sound, once my cards were cancelled and replaced, these were the items which made me sad to think about.

It wasn't until very recently (maybe a week or just over), that I resigned myself to the fact that these items were lost, and it didn't matter because they did not represent my relationship to these people--they were, after all, just "things." I finally just let go. It isn't the tangible items we're left with on this journey through life, but the emotions they evoked.

That being said, I received an unexpected phone call yesterday from my boss and friend who happened to receive a phone call from an office down the street from where I work (where my wallet was stolen from). The wallet was thrown into an elevator! After nearly a month and a half, whoever had my wallet decided to dispose of it down the street, in an office where a kind woman had the foresight to locate a business card inside it and phone my workplace, letting my boss know of the wallet's whereabouts. So, today I went and retrieved it, and though my credit cards and debit card were gone (long since cancelled, anyway), my priceless card and note were there, as was everything else.

Now, was the Universe waiting till I learned my lesson of letting go? Perhaps. But, even still, I was overjoyed at having these items back. So, thank you Universe, and thief, for that matter, for not having tossed my wallet into an abyss of lost-ness forever, and for showing me the power of letting go.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


For many years now, I have silently chosen heroes I've come across. Sometimes it's been strangers who I've seen do something sweet and endearing which reminds me of how good humans can really be, and sometimes it's just some personal actions which inspire me. The stories vary--a couple of weeks ago I spoke to a man and his daughter on the subway who had these two adorable dogs with them. The dogs were previously abused and saved by this father-daughter team. It warmed my heart.

This week, my hero is a woman who has faced numerous adversities in her life, and she continues to rise above it all. She uses the obstacles as motivators, and this time is no different. Lynn Manwar has psoriatic arthritis, which makes some days extremely difficult for her. She has decided to do something extraordinary for her cause. She is going to climb Mount Everest in October of this year. This is an incredible feat for anyone, let alone a woman who has days which sometimes make it difficult to walk. Many of us take advantage of our ability to walk a few blocks to the store or to the bus stop. For this reason, I'm posting the link to her website on my blog in hopes of helping her achieve her goal. If you read her story and are inspired, then let her know. If nothing else, I hope that this at least reminds us to be grateful for the simplest things in life we take for granted.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Craving Chocoate? Have Some Tea!

It's 9pm, and all you can think about is that piece of chocolate left over from whichever occasion last occurred. The more you think about it, the more it calls to you, until finally you eat it, and then berate yourself for not having held onto your will-power for just a short time longer before bedtime. A day's worth of restraint out the window!

Well, first of all, do NOT berate yourself. The moment is over, and there's no use in dwelling. Instead, enjoy it, and better equip yourself for the next time that craving hits. Enter the all natural and delicious Rooibos (Red Bush) tea! Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) is a South African plant used to make a herbal tea which is rich in antioxidants and also helps calm nerves. It is naturally caffeine free and has a sweet, almost chocolaty taste. It can also aid in digestion, and when bought loose at specialty tea shops (like my favourite, Teaopia--check out the "Yummy Tea" link on my blog), it can be found blended with other flavours, such as vanilla or cherry, to create a dessert-like treat.

So, the next time you find yourself craving something sweet, make yourself a delightful cuppa and relax!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

D is for De-railing illness!

This is the time of year when people get depressed and ill. Why? A lack of sunlight causes a deficiency in Vitamin D for most people. This is a necessary, immune-supporting vitamin we get from sunlight, so it's not uncommon for people to be more susceptible to cold and flu viruses when their D supply is diminished. Do yourself a favour--D supplementation, plus adequate amounts of sleep and exercise, will help you get through this winter stronger and healthier!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's Never Too Late!

The wonderful thing about health is that it's NEVER TOO LATE to feel better! It's a fantastic and empowering feeling--knowing that the decision I made yesterday, or even 5 minutes ago, does not define me. We all need to take a good look at who we are in this present moment and constantly redefine ourselves as we WANT to be defined. This is a new moment! Live in it and leave the past where it belongs!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Prayers for those in Haiti

Good thoughts and heart-felt hope and love are going out to Haiti from all over the world. I truly hope that for those who are trapped and alive, rescuers find you soon.