Self Talk

Getting caught up in a funk can happen to anyone. I’m anyone! Being on holidays can sometimes take us away from our routines, not exercising as much, not eating as healthy. It was the last day of holidays when I started to feel that funk setting in, a week of little exercise other than a walk here and there, a whole lot of not so good food choices had left me feeling blah, like I’ve really messed up now. I asked myself “what advice would I give a friend if they were feeling this way?” Self talk, it can make you or break you. I always tend to give the same advice because I find from my experience it always seems to help and so I told myself what I would tell a friend. “IT”S OK” … “Always do your best to keep it simple, embrace your life, try to understand it, find a healthy comfort zone, reset your goals, but don’t quit, put yourself first, your self care is important, change up the routine, don’t forget to try something new and being a little spontaneous at times is good for the soul”.

Another piece of advice I swear by is “to head outdoors”. Nature can have a huge positive effect on your brain and lowers stress. Nature stimulates creativity, find a path and take it, sit and enjoy. Journal, or just sit with the sounds and daydream or meditate. Let the creative juices flow. Remember why you started on your journey to health and wellness.
Why you are important. Why you deserve it.

We are only given one life to live, take care of you, find peace within.

On the last day of vacation I took my own advice, jumped in the truck, found myself on a dirt road, taking a dirt path that lead me to this magical place. It was a spectacular spontaneous day! Just what was needed to set the tone for the week ahead.

Next time you’re feeling in a rut go find yourself somewhere out in nature and enjoy the beauty of this universe. Enjoy your week ahead my friends and never stop exploring your surroundings as well as yourself, keep evolving and never settle for less than you deserve.

May your week ahead be all you wish for and more.

Be Well,

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!

 

 

 

 

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

Now What?

“My Journey continues because I have conquered a lot and I know how to conquer the rest.”

I started having severe lower back pain in August 2016 that at first, I thought was a sciatic problem. A few months in and ex-rays on my back I was told it was arthritis in the lower back that was causing me all the discomfort.
Doctors kept telling me the pain I had was arthritis, which could have been part of it, but I knew it was not all of it.

After a routine pap exam in November 2016 the doctor ordered a Trans vaginal Ultrasound as soon as possible and referred me to a specialist. The results of the sonogram showed why I had pain. My uterus was enlarged and there were several Fibroid Tumors the largest being 14 cm in diameter. At this point we discussed whether to wait and see if tumors would shrink with medication or move forward with a hysterectomy. I opted for the medication at first and completed the full 3 months of it. Further testing , poking , probing had shown that the medication was not shrinking the tumors as hoped for and an updated biopsy was showing that there was now abnormal cell activity happening. I had no choice, a hysterectomy it was.

My hysterectomy was completed because I was diagnosed with Endometrial hyperplasia as well as having several Fibroid Tumors.
Endometrial hyperplasia puts a woman at a higher risk of getting uterine (endometrial) cancer. Endometrial hyperplasia means that there are more cells than there should be in the lining of the uterus. This is called a precancerous condition because it might turn into cancer.
Fibroids are muscular tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus. Fibroids are almost always benign (not cancerous).

On Thursday Sept 7, 2017, I was admitted to the hospital to undergo surgery. Laparoscopic Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy and Bilateral Salpingo Oophorectomy. (Total Hysterectomy with ovaries & fallopian tubes removed.)
I was in the hospital for two nights, because of the amount of blood loss, my hemoglobin count was very low. I was up walking a little bit, next day.
I had been doing a brilliant preparation for surgery, meditation for a period of time before my surgery so I was very calm and relaxed and this sudden change didn’t bother me at all. All the doctors and nurses commented on how calm and positive I was.

I firmly believe A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst, & it sparks extraordinary results.

My recovery so far at day 5 has been straight forward with no issues. Pain medication no longer needed and feeling not too bad.
My greatest challenge is resting! I am so used to being on the go all the time, resting is tough; but I realize how important it is to not overdo things and I am resting regularly.
I am being kind to myself and am not rushing the healing process.

I am sure there will be some fun times ahead, since I will be hitting menopause at full speed. But even so, I have not a single regret — it’s lifted an enormous weight.’

Just another part of the journey.

If I could tell women one thing I would say that all women should be advocates for their own health and well-being. You know your body. If you sense a problem, then do not stop until you feel that it has been solved. If it means having a hysterectomy to save your life, then do it.
As I sit and write this blog I can’t help but think of my dear cousin laying in a hospital bed out west who is in the final stages of ovarian cancer. May god bless her and may we all be grateful for the little things in life. Early detection is key my friends.
Be 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)

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.