My Journey – Part 2

Two weeks ago, I made the decision that I was going to become the healthiest version of me that I could become. A long overdue visit with my family physician was just the wake up call I needed.
For the most part I eat a pretty healthy diet and have a moderate exercise routine. So, when the Dr. told me that my blood pressure was dangerously high, like stroke high I was a little taken back. Medication was prescribed and yet another new journey begins for me. Journey #2

Let’s start with Journey #1.
October 2013, I left a job that sucked the life out of me, the negativity around me was too much and left me dealing with Anxiety & Depression, I made myself a promise to never let anyone or anything ever take away my love of life again. My focus was to increase the positivity in my life. I knew I had to take responsibility and make it happen, because no one else could do it for me.
I just wanted to be more positive! I was so frustrated with the negativity that my thoughts seemingly force upon me. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I was ready.
I found myself seeing a therapist, reading books, googling positive quotes that inspired, encouraged, and motivated me. It didn’t matter to me that I already knew what the book was all about, or that I’ve seen the same quote 2 or 3 times before or that people might think she’s crazy seeing a shrink. What mattered was that I continually feed my mind with positive and inspirational material. The more time I spent in the land of the positive, the better I was becoming. So, what happened was gradually I found myself here today, one of those happy, positive people that can handle any adversity. I still work on this Journey daily and continue to practice random acts of kindness. I just love making people smile!

This takes me to Journey #2
The same process I followed in Journey #1 for personal development is exactly the process I will follow to supercharge my life with a gym membership to meet my health and wellness goals.
I’ve Joined a gym!!
No doubt that intimidation is an unavoidable part of life. I know there will always be that someone who I feel is better than me in some way, but that doesn’t mean I should run from those feelings. I need to trample them under my feet. It’s unfortunate, and I know I am not alone on this one, people feel intimidated at the thought of joining a gym. I get it now, walking into room with mysterious machines is tough and what’s worse is that everyone there seem to be in great shape and know exactly what they’re doing. The hardest part about going to the gym for the first time was getting myself there. dsc_0019_1
I set up an orientation with a trainer who showed me around and taught me how to use the machines. I asked a lot of questions and felt a little silly but once all my questions were answered and I knew how the machines worked, I felt much more comfortable about showing up for my work outs on my own. I might have initially felt awkward following the trainer around the gym, but to me an hour of discomfort seemed much better than days of confusion at the gym.
It’s hard in the beginning, (only 2 weeks into it) because I’m trying to change something that my body isn’t used to. I’m o.k with that. I have decided the best look I can have when going to the gym for the first little while and trying to overcome the anxiety is one of confidence, because if I look like I know what I’m doing, I’m golden. Fake it, till you make it-lol

So, I will throw my ear plugs in and zone into motivational music that will silence the other gym goers and give me the push I need to keep going. My goals will give me focus and purpose.
Each day as I walk into the gym, I will tell myself that I am there to give it my very best and it doesn’t matter how everyone else looks. My first two weeks is not comparable to someone else’s 52 weeks. I’ve got this!

Gradually as with Journey #1 The happiest version of me I will also become the healthiest version of me Journey #2.

Thanks for reading, feel free to leave a comment.

Be Well!

Pauline

 

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!

 

 

 

Planting The Right Seeds

People ask me so often why are you always smiling?

Well it’s because I believe that smiles physically and mentally heal.

Not only are they for my benefit, but for those around me.

Some people think it’s okay to mope around, they think life is hard, everyday is a struggle and yes, at times it can be. But, yes there it is, BUT!  It doesn’t have to be that way.

You can change it by planting the right seeds.

Oh no the word CHANGE!

Nothing will happen unless you decide it’s time to change. I hope this blog will inspire you.

You’ve got in in you! Think of your body like a garden. Plant the right seeds, tend to it,keep it alive and flourishing. Dig in the dirt! Pull out the weeds.

Doesn’t the garden always look so much nicer once the dirt has been turned over & the weeds pulled out. Almost like it’s smiling at you for taking such great care of it.

Do the same for you! Will it be easy? No, but it will be very rewarding!

So my answer to the question, why are you always smiling? ;

When I Focus on things that make me smile then it’s like I am planting seeds of happiness inside me and once planted they just tend to grow. So the secret for me to always be smiling is about the type of seeds I plant in my heart. I Plant positive ones, turning my frown upside down, pulling out the weeds and turning the soil everyday.

I work on it, it’s a process friends.

“I Hope you find a reason to smile today!”

Start planting your garden & watch it grow. Like any Garden it takes time.


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Clutter Free = Mind Free

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a blog, but with a New Year 2015 approaching, thinking of what I would like to accomplish in the New Year I thought I’d share with you my New Year Resolution. I am a pretty organized person to start with, but there’s always room for improvement & this is what my resolution is; maintaining a clutter free lifestyle.

I once read that cluttered spaces and thoughts affect your productivity and overall enjoyment of life? The general idea of decluttering is to get rid of things, thoughts, and ideas that don’t work for you and don’t contribute positively to your life.

It’s like this – when you get rid of clutter, you free up a much needed space not just physically but also in your head (emotionally). Soon, you’ll realize like I have that you’re not so stressed out, overwhelmed, frustrated, or just feeling yucky.

I’ve put together some ideas on how to do this and am sharing with you my friends so you to, can live clutter free and add to your enjoyment of life.

While most dream of being more organized, actually getting that way can sometimes be a challenge! If you struggle with too much clutter try the process I use for myself;

Sizing down the number of things you already have is the first step of the battle. I suggest starting one room at a time. Give yourself permission to only keep the things that are currently useful, despite who gave them to you or how much they cost.  This can be really hard, especially at first. Believe me it does get easier when you begin to realize that freeing your home of clutter frees your mind of clutter. As you begin to sort through your things, ask yourself these questions:Do we use it, wear it, or play with it? If it is clothes, does it still fit?

  1. Is it in good working condition?
  2. Does it enrich our lives in some way?
  3. Does it have sentimental value?
  4. Could someone else use it more?

I also find it helpful to set up 4 categories:

1.) Things to keep in this area

2.) Things to donate (or in my case-sell on my online thrift shop)

3.) Things to throw away

4.) Things to put elsewhere (keepsake box, seasonal items, or things that belong in a different room)

Once you’ve cleared an area and put away all the items that belong elsewhere, move on to the next area.  Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

And this my friends is how I stay organized and clutter free. Sometimes it gets away from me and that’s when I go back to the beginning & start again. The Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. is the key. Stay on top of it – easier said than done. After all we are human-not perfect-lol.

declutter-your-mindAn amazing feeling to sit in a room without clutter & just chill.

May your New Year be clutter free and all that you wish for.

Happy 2015 & Thanks for taking the time to read & follow my blogs through out the year.

PC

 

Mindfulness Slipping Away

Loving the outdoors this time of year.

Took some time out in my day to take in this beautiful scenery near the railroad tracks, some time to think, breathe. Everything is silent. I find myself deep in thought when suddenly I hear a noise in the distance. The sound of the train coming down the tracks brings me back to reality. The faraway place I was becomes no longer important and the moment that matters is now. Sometimes being mindful slips away from me. It’s like ever thing else, we must take the responsibility into our own hands to stay in the present.
The sound of the horn, the buzzing noise of the train on the rails, finds me getting excited! I wanted a picture. I’m pumped to have the opportunity to get this great fall shot-at that moment nothing else mattered to me except for the beauty of the moment I was capturing. Everything else forgotten.

Beautiful fall scenery in Sequin Township, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

Beautiful fall scenery in Sequin Township in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

Staying in the present takes time to develop. It is hard work and there are times when I feel like I want to throw in the towel. I know I will face challenges, obstacles, and problems, but I also know that if I am determined, I will get through them.
I do realize that life is not perfect, nothing is perfect or normal and there will always be obstacles. I also realize that these obstacles are nothing but teachers on my journey. Since I started on my mindfulness journey, keeping myself aware of my thoughts and staying in the now, my life has improved. I have reduced stress and I am a lot calmer, more at peace, and happier. I am able to see things in a whole new way and get great burst of insight at times that change my days from blah to WOW!

Look into the future and you see worry, look into the past and you see regret, look into the present and you shall find the purpose of life.

Nature, The Best Medicine

Getting outdoors to somewhere full of bright beautiful colors, the calming sound of the water is so peaceful and is the perfect natural antidote to stress and anxiety.

Muskoka Beauty

The Muskoka Beauty in the month of October is stunning.

I said it before & will say it again, Fall has always been a favorite season of mine. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale. Like with fireworks displays.  Hope you are able to get out and explore the beauty of the season and reflect on everything that you are grateful for.

More of the Muskoka Beauty in October.

More of the Muskoka Beauty in October, just can’t get enough. Love it!

Just An Ordinary Day

“What a great day!” A well-deserved break from work.

To top it off my husband (Jim) was off as well so we could spend the entire day together. Apples PC
Often times we are not off on the same days and I am off gallivanting on my own not making it home till later in the evenings. Jim will always ask “What did you do all day?” I laugh and say “I went shopping”. He doesn’t get it. For Jim shopping is just achieving a goal or a mission. Need new shoes, try them on, they fit, get them, get out. So today Jim came and spent the day with me just to see what a real Pauline day looks like. I am a person who is very passive at shopping. I can’t select a thing quickly; I need to get satisfaction, the item needs to speak to me-I know as soon as I see something if it’s for me. I’m not a mall shopper I’m more of a thrift shopper. Love the consignment stores and thrift shops.
Life changes – there are people out there that have quality home furnishings and accessories that are in “like-new” condition and they no longer fit into their lifestyle or decorating scheme, so why buy new when I can practice the three R’s – Reuse, Reduce, Re-cycle. You never know what you might find that fits perfectly into your lifestyle or décor. I almost always find something.
So here goes our day.
“Jim I would like to go to Collingwood today to get apples from the Orchards”. In case you don’t know where Collingwood is it is a town in Simcoe County, Ontario, Canada. It is situated on Nottawasaga Bay at the southern point of Georgian Bay. They are known to grow some of the best apples there.
Ok, first we need to stop at the transfer station because I forgot to take the garbage out yesterday, also when we are there I would like to check the shed of not so dumpy stuff to see if there is anything there I can maybe refurbish-oh, by the way there was a beautiful solid wood chair that was just left there to die. So I took that & will work on refurbishing it one day.

Jim just shakes his head and loads it into the Mazda. Driving out from the transfer station Jim says there’s a rattlesnake on the road, so I make him pull over so I can take a picture.

Rattle Snake

Rattle Snake

I didn’t get too close because I couldn’t tell if it was dead or just playing dead. Picture taken and we are on our way. Next stop Tim Horton’s for a large green tea-now were off.

Along the way we make a detour through Wasaga Beach.
Wasaga Beach is the longest freshwater beach in the world, it is a very popular summer tourist destination, situated at the southern end of Georgian Bay and a neighbor to Collingwood. This time of year the beach was deserted so I made Jim stop so I could take a picture.
As we drove into Collingwood the smell of fresh apples is unforgettable. If you’ve never been you need to visit and experience it for yourself! The honeycrisp apple is my favorite apple of all times, it’s “explosively crisp,” snapping off in great chunks when you bite into it. It has a coarse texture, but is light and juicy, with a flavor that’s a balance of sweetness and tartness. I make the drive there just for those each year. So apples, pears and plums were purchased and we moved on.
A pair of crazy animals

A little further down the road was a great display of the fall harvest, squash, gourds, pumpkins and more, so I made Jim stop so I could get a picture. Yep, he shakes his head. As we drive away I tell him I would like to check out a couple of my favorite consignment stores in town so off we go.

First Stop Restore, nothing too interesting in there but when I went to leave I could not find Jim. I look outside and there he is sitting all relaxed with the car door open just waiting & whistling away. What a trooper. A store I Love 2

Only two more shops to go. I think he actually enjoyed these other two shops, he spent time checking things out and yes, I did find something to bring home from one of them. Two beautiful candle holders.A Candle holders
Off to Penetanguishene.The town I grew up in to visit with my parents and bring them some freshly picked apples, but first another stop at the Real Canadian Superstore for Cat food, which lead to a visit to the Joe Fresh department, cosmetic department & ending with the purchase of cat food, 2 chocolate bars and a potted mum in my favorite color.A Plant
Now we have arrived in Penetanguishene for a wonderful visit with my mom, dad, brother and even my favorite uncle stopped by. What a nice surprise. Perfect day to sit outdoors and get caught up on the news and reminisce.
It’s time to leave, Jim has to be home for darts at 7. He belongs to a local league. So off we go once again. Mactier still an hour away. A final stop for Pizza on the way home for dinner. Well except for the next stop that I wanted because the colors are looking so beautiful I needed to take a picture. LOL.
So Jim is at darts with the boys having a few beer, probably not discussing his shopping adventure and well, I’m here relaxing writing all about it.
Now as I sit here writing my blog I realize that each time I write it brings me closer to developing the habit of gratitude. I want to savor all the good moments throughout each day. Spend time thinking about happy memories. And at the end of each day, have a few things I am grateful for. Today I am grateful for Jim Miller my soul mate, the loved ones in my life, the delicious apples and soft place to lay my head tonight.
Life is short – treasure it – be with the people and go to the places that set a spark within you. If it does not nourish your mind, body and soul…then find someone or somewhere that does.A Jimmer
Thanks to the person that sets a spark within me and allows me to be whom I am.
Now Jim totally gets my day adventures & how I get caught up in my surroundings. Will he come along again? Most definitely. We had some great laughs.

Happiness is a way of Life, not a destination.