Won’t you be my Neighbor?

I grew up watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood- it was a staple in my Canadian childhood.  But as time passed, I moved on.  I probably thought I was too grown up, important or busy to watch a “kid’s show.” It was slow and predictable- exactly the opposite of everything else on TV.  Honesty, and compassion are the values on which he built a community, aka the Neighborhood, for everyone. As I step into my role as a parent, friend, neighbor, the simplicity of his message acts as an anchor.   


Maybe it’s having kids myself now, and remembering the things I enjoyed when I was younger, that brought me back to this icon. Lately, I’ve been seeing more about him, and each time I see that happy dependable face, it reminds me of the comfort and stability he offered for all those years.

So, I picked up the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood DVDs from the library to (binge)watch. I was immediately brought back to my own playroom when I was young.  The words to the songs, Make Believe land, and the calming presence of Mister Rogers himself had me feeling all gooey inside.  His earnestness, joy and mindfulness resonated with me; they comforted me. No rushing, no running, no busying from here to there. I always have a project on the go, places to be, businesses to run, schedules to organize, errands to run, but now I’m reevaluating that.  I think my endless multitasking is adding, rather than subtracting to the chaos and distractions in my life.

And so, where were we? Oh yes, how easy it is to get distracted. 

As we watched Mister Rogers, I also watched my daughter.  I wondered, would she think this show was as sweet as I do? Would she find it corny or dull? After all, she’s growing up surrounded by YouTube influencers, unlimited subscription services, reality TV and live streaming. But, you know what? She loved it.  Maybe it was a relief to slow down or refreshing to have a character talk to her, rather than at her. To have things explained patiently and respectfully.

How can I take these lessons and apply them to be the best neighbor and ultimately, person I can be.
1. Slow down. Taking the time to do a task, and do it right. Being present in every moment and practicing patience with myself and others.   
2. Recognize and accept my feelings. Give them my attention rather than allowing them to overwhelm and frustrate me. Also, give this same respect and attention to the feelings of other’s. 
3. Show the love and acceptance that was so proudly modeled on this show, reminding us that everyone is worthwhile, that everyone has a special role to play in the neighborhood.
4. Live with integrity to my true self.  By letting my little light shine bright in the world, by literally being me, I can make the world a better place.
5. And of course, always look dapper and have a pair of inside shoes handy.

Mister Rogers’ recognized that times were changing and his ability to speak and listen to children (let’s be real, to everyone really) was his gift to the world. His message, needed more than ever, was ahead of his time and won’t ever go out of date. Never wavering, Mister Rogers stood firm in his beliefs that all of humanity are neighbors, and that’s an idea that will never become old-fashioned.

Won’t you be my neighbor?   




Buckle Up! A Yogi’s Race to Control Time

My kids are off to grades 1 and 9 for another exciting chapter in their lives. Bless their hearts- and bless mine too, because this mama wasn’t prepared for the sheer velocity of how quickly time flies. Seasons change, day turns to night, the car needs another oil change and with their engines revving, my kids are growing up.  It’s exhilarating to have this VIP spot, to be so close to the action as they bolt, full throttle and turbo-charged along their journey of life.

Drivers, start your engines. This life: it’s a ride, isn’t it?! A high-performance, pedal-to-the-metal, fast-moving course of obstacles, quick decisions and wear and tear- a place where dreams and heroes are made. It’s a race against time and man, sometimes I feel like I need a little more torque just to catch up. It still feels like only yesterday I held my son in my arms, my heart exploded with love and time accelerated. (That was 14 years ago). Or how 8 years later, when I held a second bundle of love and time shifted gears again. Cruising high-speed through the exhausting and rewarding years of caring for my very own pit crew.  So this week, when I sent two older, taller, growing, amazing humans to school, my heart skipped a beat of joy.  Joy and pride tinged with a bit of sadness at the fact that, not only are they growing older, but I am too.  And no matter how hard I try to hold on to time, to stop it from moving so fast, it zooms by at breath-taking speed.

On a recent field trip with my daughter’s kindergarten class, her hand tucked into mine, her curious blue eyes looking up at me, I got completely choked up.  The innocence, the eagerness, the love that comes so freely at this age, it had me in tears. (For real, you probably think I’m kidding, but I cry everywhere.)  I started missing my daughter at this age and all it’s sweetness while I was literally immersed in it. I thought: If I could only stop time, and stay in this moment, I’d always be happy.  And with that naive and simple thought, something shifted in me.  I can’t stop time but I can be in the moment, this one right here, and be happy.  Be present, be mindful, be love, be grateful, be vital- they all go hand in hand.  And my worrying about the future stealing what I have, that was what was actually robbing me of my happiness.

Yogis have a set of guidelines called yamas and niyamas which are like a map helping navigate you on your life’s journey. Simply put, the yamas are things not to do, while the niyamas are things to do. Together, they form a moral compass of yogi ethics and virtues. The yama, Aparigraha, is a fancy Sanskrit word for unattachment.  It translates to non-greediness, non-possessiveness or non-grasping and reminds us to take only what we need, keep what serves us in the moment, and to let go when the time is right. So you see, my endless circuit of trying to grab hold, control and somehow change time had created a figure-8 of worry and lost traction.  I can’t stop time from passing- I can only hang on to the “oh shit” handle bars and enjoy the ride. Merging, passing, refueling. You may not need a license to drive, but the ultimate champions are the ones that can maneuver it’s challenges with finesse, courage and stamina.

So race fans, a yellow flag. If you expected to find the winning prototype for your very own DeLorean within the words of this blog, consider me disqualified.  I admit, I’m still a rookie driver on this championship racetrack called Life.


This is me: The song in my heart

Who am I? This question has been hammering through my head lately- beating a relentless march in my heart, soul and mind.  Normally, I would say I know myself well but lately I’ve not been so sure;  I’ve made some decisions that have really got me questioning myself.  I’ve been listening to The Greatest Showman soundtrack and one of the songs “This is me” is on continual repeat.  I can’t get enough- its message of love, acceptance and self-worth speaks to my very inner workings. So as I listen to this song over and over, it’s affirmative statement of “this is me” has me feeling uplifted, inspired, and truth be told, disappointed in myself.  Forcing me to face the fact that things just don’t feel right: I don’t feel in sync with my authentic self.

I’ve always felt I understood myself well: what makes me tick, what fires up my soul, what moves me, sustains me and thrills me.  But I seem to have stepped off the path of self-recognition into some unknown territory.  I know you have to get out of your comfort zone and walk the untraveled path to live a life of greatness and fulfillment. (I even wrote a blog post about it.) Therein lies the problem: I’m walking along a new path, but something about it doesn’t seem right, or inspiring, or well, me.

How did I get here?  I used to know exactly who I was and who I wanted to be. Then we made some big life decisions that somehow, along the way, knocked me off the path towards my true self.  I was worried that our lifestyles couldn’t sustain our new money commitments and I balked.  I took on jobs I wasn’t truly passionate about, spreading myself thin and thus, setting into motion my current almost-identity-crisis.

I didn’t notice the impact the changes had on my life until recently. Maybe because the changes at first were unnoticeable, or they were noticeable, but I brushed them off as a part of my new identity, the new me.  I was learning new skills, balancing ALL my tasks with finesse and ease (so I told myself), keeping my head down and getting shit done.  (Note that “getting shit done” here means earning a paycheque.) Then, little by little, I caught myself making choices I previously wouldn’t have considered.  And to top it off, making excuses for those choices.  A freaking domino effect of life choices gone astray.

A friend suggested I let go of my new commitments which, I know, makes perfect sense.  In a perfect world.  But the reality of it is, there are people counting on me and I’ve come to count on the money.  I feel pulled in opposite directions with my mind screaming like a banshee about dollar signs ,while my heart is lovin’ on joy and freedom.  Is this the rhythm I want to drive the soundtrack of my life, this feeling of stumbling down a path of discontentment?  How easy it was for me to trade my values of time freedom, trail blazing and living to the beat of my own drum for the almighty buck.  Unfortunately, too easy.  So how can we hang onto our ideals and everything of importance in our lives when there’s so many distractions that can knock us off the right track?

I consider myself a hustler, a mover, a shaker, a warrior. Believer and confidante of the universe, strong and authentic, a square peg in a round hole.  Did I tuck my tail between my legs and sell my soul when things got tough? Or can I look at this from a different perspective and act less passively towards growth and self-discovery? Can I  resolve to come through every challenge and experience better, braver and maybe more like the me I’m becoming: More bruised, bust up in the arena of life and proud of every scar.  It’s in putting the pieces back together that we get to know ourselves even better.  So maybe I’m still on the right path.  A detour with a view straight into my soul, a scavenger hunt full of ups & downs, hide & seek and sidesteps.  A one-way ticket to evolution, self worth and pride. A passport stamped into my very essence with this unique journey of wrong turns, corrected directions and the ultimate thrill of getting there.

In true Warrior style, I’ll certainly get knocked down on my way to being my truest and best version of me, but I’ll ground down and root up, with one hand in the future and one in the past: Strong, centered and able to roll with the punches. Moving forward with grace and persistent determination and courage. Releasing my need for non-change and instead of looking back on what I used to be, allowing myself to focus on who I’m meant to be.  To borrow the lyrics from my fave song: Look out ’cause here I come and I’m marching on to the beat I drum, this is me!

Are there times when you find yourself out of sync with your true self? What are some of the ways that get yourself back on track to self love and good vibes? Let me know in the comments. xo

This version of the song is a real tearjerker and I just wouldn’t be a good friend if I didn’t share it here with you:


Faith, Trust and Puzzle Dust: The Universe Has Your Back

To be clear: I’m a goal junkie.  I love setting goals; the bigger and more bad-ass the goal, the more excited it makes me.  But commitment: it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.  And it’s not because I think I have a problem with it- or well, maybe I do.  I seem to have no problem committing to my yoga club box subscription, kids, husband and other domestic things that make most people run for the hills.  It’s apparently with the goal setting that really trips me up. (A conundrum as you can imagine because goals and commitment go hand in hand.)  I’ve noticed in my life that I set out with great goals (put your hand up if this sounds familiar) and I really really want to achieve them.  They seem attainable, do-able and so inspiring when I set them.  I research them, I journal about it, I keep tabs…. But then something happens- let’s er, call it life.  I get in my head, things take longer than I originally anticipate and I get discouraged.  And confession time: I start working less hard, believing a little less passionately and moving towards my goals with less gusto.  And dare I say it, on one or two occasions, I may have even given up.  It seems to be a “thing” I do.  I give up right before my goals are realized. It’s the stupidest thing ever and it has literally taken me over 38 years to figure out my pattern.

And here’s the kicker of it all, looking back on old goals through the 20/20 lens of hindsight and my new realization, all my work and dedication were getting me where I needed to go.  I was doing the work, but my damn mind started playing tricks on me.  Its endless barrage of: Who are you to achieve this? Who do you think you are? This taking longer than expected. This isn’t for you. The list goes on and on.  The endless shit I allow my mind to tell myself is utter non-sense. It’s sad, useless and total garbage.  So maybe by seeing this pattern, I can nip it in the bud.

I thought I was aware of the ways around the head trash.  For years, I’ve been addicted to self-development books, Ted Talks, podcasts, you name it.  I would half-joke that they were like my armor in a world of negativity, faster faster faster, go go go, want want want. So why then is it so hard for me to actually absorb the information?  I can see potential in my colleagues, friends, family or even the folks on tv, BUT for myself, I am relentlessly putting myself down for not being good enough, rich enough, successful enough, calm enough- you name it, I’ve probably beat myself up over it.

And here’s another thing (wow these thoughts are coming fast and furious now), in saying goodbye to 2017 and making plans for 2018, I was ready to throw in the towel.  I thought about all those big hairy scary goals I enthusiastically set out last January and was giving myself a hard time over the things I didn’t achieve:  I started a blog that I didn’t post to as often as I “should” have, I didn’t drink as much water, I didn’t do yoga every single day, my business wasn’t where I wanted it to be, blah blah blah.

But as I muddled over a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle at Christmas, I let my mind wander to all the amazing things that I did do this year:  I started a blog (a good one 😉), I ate healthier and drank h2o more than before, I did yoga at least 5 times a week and have been even more active since adopting our puppy in May. My husband and I paid off our debts and bought a cottage (which has been a lifelong dream of mine) and even took trips to Las Vegas and Jamaica.  I tried yoga classes of all kinds and sought out far more experiences outside of my comfort zone than ever before. I gave to more charities and volunteered more, enjoyed enriching experiences and even took a singing class (which I’ve always wanted to do). Most importantly, I learned to love and appreciate my body.

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So why why why do I undermine all of my hard work?  I wholeheartedly believed that I would finish that daunting jigsaw puzzle.  I had no problem seeing it through to the end.  Thinking back after it was complete, I couldn’t even remember how all those pieces got there.  Sometimes it almost seemed as though, the pieces were guiding themselves and just fell into place.  Or metaphorically, the universe wanted me to complete my goal (the puzzle) and had my back the entire time.  I know it’s easier said than done, but what if I treated all my goals like I did that puzzle?  Knowing it would get done, dividing it into small chunks, not giving up when the going got tough, asking for help and trusting that the universe will help the pieces all fall into place.  Then before you know it, and before your very eyes, it creates a big picture, your vision technically, and all your hard work comes together and it’s absolutely beautiful.

Here’s a picture of the completed puzzle- I’m sure you wanted to see it.  😉



Love is the way. A plea to humanity

Today I feel so sad, so disheartened.  After another weekend of senseless loss and tragedy, I feel like the box to Pandora’s hell has been ripped apart.  I feel the fragility of humanity weighing me down.  The News gives me anxiety, the future scares me shitless.  I have kids and I wonder about the world they’ll be inheriting.  What will happen when I’m not there to shield them from the sorrow that seems so prevalent these days.  No matter how careful I am to protect myself from negative energy, it’s just always there.  My heart is breaking.  Yesterday I spent the day crying.  Thinking about the incredible loss of what seems to be everything- and I just couldn’t stop.  Maybe I’m naïve but it’s so plain to me.  It’s all about love guys.  That’s why we’re here: to love each other. To accept, acknowledge, appreciate, support and LOVE each other.

What in the heck is happening out there that we’re making it so damn complicated?  I’m sick of worrying about hate, injustice and grief.  Humanity is so beautiful with it’s endless rainbow of colours, voices, ideas and possibility.  What greater gift could you ever need? Life, nature, opportunity. It makes my heart swell when I think of it- but then it shrinks right back down.  Afraid of what we can lose (there’s a a lot at stake). Climate change, presidents and dictators, gunman and hatred- it’s got me all tied up in knots.  “What can I do?” I ask myself, pulled and tempted down a narcissistic path of pity, fear and paranoia.

It’s not like I don’t know, in a cliche sort of way, that life has it’s share of hardships for everyone.  But experiencing them, personally living through and playing witness to them, well that’s when it gets hard.  That’s when it gets painful and messy.  And yet through pain comes some of our biggest learning and aha moments.  Some of our most profound personal growth.  Pain is part of beauty- inside all the hurt, love is beauty and pain.  It’s so clear, but somehow, along way, the message has gotten muddied.

We have to clean up our acts (literally). We have to do better.  Better connecting, encouraging and loving on one another. Beauty and joy are all around- we just have to choose to see it.  Be aware of the daily miracles and send that frequency of positivity out to the universe.  The good is there. It will always be there, we just have to make sure we never lose sight of it.  Tune into the small moments in your life- those are what make up a lifetime.  Cherish those little gifts- it’s a present from the universe.  Love is everywhere.  It’s in my daughter’s laughter when she plays with her daddy, it’s the gleam of mischief in my son’s eyes when he knows he’s taking a risk, but that we will be there to catch him, to love him, no matter what.

Now here’s my plea: We must take this beauty, this fire, this promise of a better day, (a better way) and turn it into an evolution of growth, respect, peace and acceptance.  That little light of goodness is burning inside us all.  Take that light and beam it out onto the universe, care-bear style.  Together, we can make an endless rainbow of magic, light and community shining out for eternity, pushing back the dark, made stronger by love.


walking among zombies: staying present in the time of social media

I admit, it’s been awhile since I last wrote and lately I’ve been feeling like a blogging fraud.  I was waiting for inspiration to strike, the most clever title and perfectly arranged pictures popping up at just the right time, my deep thoughts streaming from my fingers in a rush of wit, ingenuity and creativity. But, it wasn’t happening and the longer I went without posting, the worse I began to feel about it.   How had I already fallen off the proverbial wagon? I had started with such gusto and was just settling in the total fun and funkiness of a blog when this took hold.

What had happened to all the incredible ideas that I thought would flow to me now that I was doing yoga daily? Already five months in, I was feeling…. well, kinda the same. Actually to be fair, I feel leaner and more muscular and continue to follow through on this journey (a small accomplishment on it’s own).  But I’m still me. I goof up on a regular basis, I forget things all the time, my house is still a mess, I lose my temper when I feel overwhelmed or stressed and I often say the wrong thing.  Did yoga “fix” these for me? Nope. I guess I thought I would become enlightened and would suddenly be able to “solve” the universe’s problems, starting with my own.

I thought about this one one morning while my daughter and I colored and chatted. Lately, I’ve really been making an effort to stay in the present and give my friends and family my undivided attention when I’m with them. Too often, the siren song of our smart phones and social media platforms pull us away from what’s important. Some of my friends have started actively avoiding social media and I admit, at first, I thought this idea was a) impossible b) unnecessary c) weird.  But I began noticing that I was feeling anxious after being immersed in my social media. The mindless scrolling, the inundation of news and crisis, the distraction – the noise of it all. So I too began making efforts to reinforce more boundaries around my personal and professional use of social media. I quickly found the less time I spent online, the less time I wanted to be there. I understand that technology is an important tool with lots of neat-o features but all in moderation right?! So when I see kids out for dinner with their parents in front of ipads, it breaks my heart. Or when I overhear young students in my daughter’s class talking about their video games, it unnerves me.  When I see adults out with children, ignoring them while they stare at their phones, it worries me. Or teenagers waiting at the school bus stop, with their heads down, staring at their screens, oblivious to the beauty of the day, it concerns me. Everyone looking so disconnected, addicted, overstimulated and empty. Could this explain our culture’s current obsession with zombies? Is it that so many people can identify with the listless, non-communicative, trapped humans with no free will? It breaks my heart to be honest and worries me for our future generations.

So as I “dragged” my laptop outside on a gorgeous day to write, I wondered: does my new attitude towards the zombie-like effects of these glowing screens have something to do with my recent lack of posts?   The conscious effort to remain present, to be mindful of our precious time, to be curious, aware and engaged in this gift called life- could this be part of the blogging hold up? If I’m not in front of the computer as much and I feel less of a pull to be there, it’s likely to affect the amount of times I post. So problem solved, right? Not really.

Now the challenge will be to find the balance between these two worlds. I run an online global business so completely eliminating social media won’t work for me. I know I’ll need to put boundaries in place, such as where and when I check my social media, reduce the amount of notifications I receive, and set aside specific offline times to work. In essence, I must be smarter about my smart device.  I’ll continue to stay the course, remain present and not allow social media to control my life. And again isn’t that what yoga is really about? Living a life of mindfulness in a world of clutter and distraction. Coming back to my focus even when I am sidetracked or unhinged.  Recognizing that these are life’s lessons through which I learn and transform. Ultimately making me more flexible, less anxious, more aware, more engaged. And way more agile to fight off those zombie motherfuckers.




I Heart-Chakra You! A Tale of Unconditional Friendship

While out for an impromptu brunch with some of my oldest friends, I looked around the table and saw the faces of three of the most caring and genuine women in my life.  We’ve been causing trouble and bailing each other out through good times and bad, together since our primary grades.  Through all of life’s moments, from surprises, losses, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, families, arguments, advice-giving and ass kicking, we’ve been through it all.  Across countries, road trips, hang overs, rule breaking, tears, laughter: you name it, these girls have been with me every step of the way. We’ve held each other’s hands and raged together through some of life’s most agonizing and mysterious moments.  We’ve been there to build each other up and in all honesty, there for some of the tearing down.  And no matter what, we’ve said: “it’s ok. I’m here- I’ve got you.”  And it’s always been true.

On the drive home from brunch, a scene from Sex and the City, one of my fave shows of all time came to mind.  In it, Charlotte turns to her girl group and suggests that they be soulmates.  And without sounding cheesy, her words settled in my heart.  I mean, not only has this friendship stood the test of time, it really is worthy of a sitcom.  Every dramatic, gory, embarrassing and touching detail, we’ve got it covered. These women have truly become my soulmates. Through thick and thin (sometimes that’s our waist sizes), we’ve held each other up, motivated, encouraged, supported and loved.  I can’t think of a better definition of true friendship.

So what does this have to do with the chakras?  A chakra is an energy centre in the body and can be imagined almost as a swirling wheel. This invisible energy is an important life force that keeps us vibrant, healthy, and feeling alive.  The heart chakra itself, represents love, joy and compassion and is located in the chest at the heart level. In Sanskit, it’s pronounced Anahata which literally means “unhurt”.  Anahata moves love through our lives. It’s our sense of caring, feelings of self-love, empathy, kindness and community.

In essence, this friendship is like a heart chakra to me: a living, breathing, changing force of energy, love and positivity that flows through my life.  With it, bringing nourishment for my soul, healing for my hurt, gratitude for my blessings and an unconditional friendship like none other.

Here’s some pictures of us through the years… It was harder to find pics of us when we were really young, but these ones stretch back at least 20 years.  Pretty incredible when you stop to think about. Pretty incredibly blessed. ♥

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