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.

Homeless & Cold

“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.” – Saint Basil
With the hustle and bustle that the holidays bring, often we forget to just take a minute and slow down. Time to remember those less fortunate. We forget about the important stuff. With that in mind, I wanted to share my random act of kindness with you in hopes it will inspire you to do a random act of kindness for someone. Let’s call it the Holiday Kindness Challenge and I challenge you to be a part of it.
No matter how old you are, where you live, or what you do, we all can make kindness a priority. Try to see the positive in a difficult situation, to encourage others, to listen to your friends and family, to treat others with respect and to volunteer your time, energy, and resources to help make this world a better place.
It should be fun, easy and will bring the best in the holiday spirit. Let me share with you my random act of kindness.
A neighbor of mine had posted on her Facebook page an article about a trend happening around the country that was catching on like wildfire! I jumped on the bandwagon.
The radio had been issuing a snow warning alert for the Barrie area with the temperature at -4, factor in the wind chill -14. I’m about an hour to the city of Barrie but make many trips there. Last week while at a dentist appointment I couldn’t help but notice how many homeless people were hanging around in the park across the street. When I heard about this new trend I knew exactly what I had to do. So, I acted on it.
I filled a bag with scarves & mitts and headed back to that very park. Attached to each item was a tag that read “I’m not lost! Please take me with you if you are cold. Stay warm. God bless!”


Bundled up in my winter wear I went to the park and tied scarves around trees and put mitts on the benches. There was no one around at the time so I headed back to my car and waited and watched to see if anyone would notice. Soon after, a man with a bike and backpack walked up to one of the post and took a scarf -I was so excited. I ran up to see if I could take his picture and he said yes and thanked me- it worked! Tonight, someone will be a little warmer because of me. As I watched him wrap the scarf around his neck and smile my heart was like “this is what it’s all about!”

dsc_0053I had some things to do in Barrie but made a point to go by the park on my way home…the feeling I had when I saw that all the items were gone. Priceless! So grateful that I am able to share..it might not be much, but it doesn’t have to be.
I challenge you to a random act of kindness. If we all do our part what a better world this would be.
Be Kind
Pauline

Spend Your Dash Wisely

Yesterday I spent the day with some truly amazing people. My Rocky Crest Family. It wasn’t a day of fun and games but a day of remembrance as we all gathered to share our stories and say goodbye to one of our members and dear friends Mr. MacLellan after his courageous journey with cancer.

It was a beautiful service with both his son and daughter sharing with us their stories, a slide show of pictures and his beautiful wife Sherry , who raised a glass for all of us to toast Scott. The number of friends, family, business colleagues that attended was a testament to what we already knew about Scott. Scott was truly admirable and touched many lives. Scott lived his Dash!
“The Dash” A poem by Linda Ellis that was read at the funeral and although I had heard this poem before it just had me. I Can’t stop thinking about it. Maybe because I am on my own journey of personal development, the journey of me consciously evolving as a person, regularly improving my life mentally; physically and spiritually. I heard the words this time for what seemed like the first time. Heard it! You know that old saying “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. ”
If you have never heard or read the poem, it talks about how we make note of the year that the person was born and the year they died, which say nothing, when it’s more about what’s between those dates, the dash, which represent the years of that person’s life. The poem makes you think about how you spend your dash and when your eulogy is being read, will you be proud of how you spent your dash?

RIP Scott MaCLellan and thank you for touching my life.

Life is short spend your dash wisely.

Here is a link to Linda Ellis Poem , The Dash. It’s certainly is inspirational.

http://www.linda-ellis.com/the-dash-the-dash-poem-by-linda-ellis-.html

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

 

Waiting At Heaven’s Gate

Someone I care deeply about is dying. My best friend has exhausted all curative treatments after a year long journey. Surgery, Chemo & Radiation have stopped & the cancer continues to take over her body.

She now finds herself in the final stages of lung cancer, Brain Cancer and with the news cancer has spread to her liver, the doctors have sent her home saying it could be anytime. BABY MACKENZIE & GRANDMA

From the day she found out she had 7 months, then 3 months and now they say anytime, I keep asking myself “what I can do?”  I just felt so helpless throughout her journey. This girl has been so strong, positive and dealt with whatever was thrown at her with courage. I just tried to be there, to listen, to talk to laugh & to inspire hope & faith.  Always keeping in touch. It’s all I knew how to do for her at this point. Support her through this difficult time.

enjoying our time together

enjoying our time together

ANGEL FAITHI knew her Dr. Appointment was coming up and told her to let me know how she made out. Well she called the next day to tell me the news. “It’s not good Pauline, the Dr. said it could be any day” and then the next thing she said, was “I have a beautiful Angel I want you to have, it says Faith on it” Unreal! Throughout her Journey I have always encouraged her to have Hope & Faith. I even got a kitten and named it Faith in her honor, something I could take comfort in.

Today was the first time I have seen her since our phone conversation a week ago, I stopped to pick her up and was feeling a little uncomfortable I didn’t know what to say to her, I held the tears back, she came to the door with a smile on her face and the Angel Faith held high for me to see. She was so excited to see me and give me the angel. It wasn’t about her dying it was about me. Making sure I had something to remember her. This is when it hit me “oh my god, she’s going to be gone soon” but then just in that moment I got it. I answered my own question “what can I do?”  I can be there for her, take it one day at a time and continue on with the listening, the laughing and whatever else she wishes for. It’s all she wanted.   I cannot begin to imagine the thoughts that run through her head. I look into her eyes as we talk and it’s hard not to think of what’s to come. For now, though, I will accept the reality of my friend’s condition, if only with my head. I know I will later come to accept it with my heart.

The day i was given my Angel Faith.

The day i was given my Angel Faith.

My best friend is on her way to heaven’s gate and as she told me today” Heaven can wait, I ain’t ready yet” That’s my friend and I love her spirit.

So here’s to a few more stories being told, a few more laughs and a celebration of her 49th birthday next month.

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