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

Time Spent In Nature

Walking in the woods really does mellow you out.

For me time spent in nature decreases feelings of anxiety, and depression. A time to recharge. A source of solace and inspiration.
Being in nature allows both my body and mind to explore, which leads me feeling refreshed.

Researchers believe that it has to do with the wood oils in the trees–the natural aromatherapy. There have even been studies that show that dirt itself contains natural antidepressants.

I post a lot about getting out in nature or just getting outdoors. At a time in my life when I needed something more, nature was my healer. I advise others who come to me feeling down, stressed or out of sorts to seek the same “treatment” I did when it was needed. “GET OUTDOORS!” “MOVE!”

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Being outdoors in nature helps distract your mind from negative thinking, you then become less filled with worry. Life gets put on hold when you’re in the woods.

Get outdoors, exercise, explore, walk, run, listen, sit by the waters edge, take in the beauty, notice the little things. Feel the breeze on your face and you will never be the same again, that’s my promise to you.

My interactions with nature have become a part of my normal lifestyle. I need the woods. Especially when life gets busy. Stressful situations pop up and just like that I’m feeling sour, drained, like I’m slipping away.  I can hear the woods calling me in.

I try to combine my nature outings with my regular exercise when I can. ( I love this the most ) other times it could be a walk, some quiet time by the water and a good book that I’ve tucked away in my backpack.

Eco therapy has become my therapy of choice.

I read a lot and recently I read that in Finland, public health officials now recommend that citizens get 5 hours a month, minimum, in the woods, in order to stave off depression. This is evidence-based. They found that people need this time in order to preserve their mental health. I couldn’t agree more.

Some much needed time in the woods today and I feel like I have come out standing taller than the trees. Nature never disappoints. Refreshed!

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Give it a try! Set a goal to spend at least 30 minutes outside every day. It doesn’t seem like much, but it will make a big difference. Like everything else in our lives, small and simple changes add up and can keep the fire inside burning bright.

DH Lawrence may have stated it best “Nature shows us that the world is full of many more layers than we notice in our day to day lives, that there are always new things to explore.”

I would love to hear your experiences with the healing powers of nature.

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.

 

The Power of Journaling

It’s been some time now since I’ve last posted anything on my WordPress blog. Over a year and a half to be exact. That went by fast! Other than just everyday life getting in the way, there are a couple of other reasons. One being, I have been sharing more on my Instagram Blog, shutting down the laptop and getting outdoors to explore more, and I’ve taken up Journaling in that time.

With today being a rain day, with little to do I decided to update my blog site to tie in more with my Instagram account and to share a post with you about Journaling. Why I love it and how it has helped me.

I keep 2 Journals. One I use as an emotional, stress release, on an as-needed basis, the other I use weekly.  In my weekly journal I write down 3 things that I am grateful for in my life, plus things that give me hope and make me happy. The gratitude journal creates a positive mood.

Both Journals are equally important for keeping me in balance.

Journaling has allowed me to clarify my thoughts and feelings, while gaining valuable self-knowledge. It has become my go to as a problem-solving tool to release stress, putting down on paper what I don’t want to burden others about.
Journaling about the stressors in my life helps me process them by fully exploring and releasing the emotions involved. Once they are on paper, I leave them there. I tuck the book in a drawer. They no longer take up space in my head. I also have found, that putting pen to paper has helped me to come up with solutions more easily.

As for the health benefits of journaling, no need to take it from me. It has been scientifically proven. Research shows the following:

– Journaling decreases the symptoms of asthma, arthritis, and other health conditions.
– It improves cognitive functioning.
– It strengthens the immune system, preventing a host of illnesses.
– It counteracts many of the negative effects of stress.

I hope my experience with journaling will help inspire you to start your own journey with Journaling.  You may not need 2 journals, or you might. My suggestion starts with a gratitude Journal, once a week, working your way up to daily. Write 3 things you are grateful for. I prefer to write in the morning in my gratitude journal to start my day on a positive note, or sometimes I will write before bed, to reflect upon the day. It doesn’t matter when you write, just take the time whenever you can squeeze it in.
Before you know it, just like that it’s a habit.

If you are already someone who Journals, I would love to hear how it has helped you.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, I will do my best to post a blog at least once a month about this amazing Journey called life.
Stay 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)

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!