October 26, 2013

28 days of Thanksgiving

November 27

November 26
(An awesome meeting spot)

November 25

November 24

November 23

November 22

November 21

November 20

November 19

November 18

November 17

November 16

November 15

November 14

November 13

November 12

November 11

November 10

November 9

November 8

November 7

November 6

November 5

November 4

November 3

November 2

November 1

October 23, 2012

Be Thankful with me.

I love the concept of Thanksgiving. The idea that you take a day or two to share time with people who are important to you and be thankful. 

Last year was the beginning of a Thanksgiving tradition for me of active gratitude. Over the 26 days that lead up to Thanksgiving, one day for each year of my life, I was thankful for something and made a picture about it. 

A simple 3 step process:
Decide what I will be grateful for today.
Create a picture about it.
Post it online.
You can see the compilation here: How Long Can You Be Thankful For? 

I thought it would be simple enough but as it turned out October and November held many hard days for me. While somedays the challenge lay in finding anything I was truly thankful for, when I made time to reflect on the experience of my day I always found something. Looking back I remember struggling though those months and it's comforting to see all the experiences that made those hard days easier/ warmer/ manageable. Many of those moments and lessons I refer to still when I am having a hard day. They are now apart of my 'have hope' bag of tricks. 

This year I will be writing and sending Thank You cards for the 27 days that lead up to Thanksgiving and posting a lesson I have taken from that person below. 

I would LOVE for you to join me in this. 
I'd love to:
-Hear about your stories.
-Hear of your experience doing it.
-Help you find a way that fits for you to explore thankfulness in action. 
-Just know there are other people out there being thankful too. 

Here are some starting ideas:
  • Make some art; a photo, collage, a card.
  • Write a list. (one thing a day or each day set a higher quoter)
  • Write a thank you letter and send it. 
  • Do something each days that results in you hearing a genuine "Thank You". Ask me for my starting list of ideas for this one. 
  • Look someone in the eye and say "Thank you" each day.
  • Spend time with someone each day who is genuinely grateful that you are there. 
  • Learn how to say "Thank You" in a different language each day. (good translate will help, or maybe you could just ask someone and make a friend?" Actually thats a great thought; how many ways do you know how to say "Thank you"?

27 days of Thanks Giving starts November 27 2012; I will be posting the lessons I have learnt, the links to see what great things these people are up to in the world and how you can have a piece of their action in the post above. 

September 25, 2012

It starts with a small step

My heart is still pounding. Its ridiculous because so far the only action I have taken is a few clicks and ticks on a web-page. Anyway, I'll start from what I guess is the beginning. 

A handful of years ago my young-and-itiching-for-any-excuse-to-explore-the-world-self decided that I wanted to 'grow in a different way' and the perfect solution for that was to do something I would NEVER do- a reliable formula I thought. I started to make a list of things I hate: 1) being cold.

I can't remember what number two was because I stopped the list there, reviewed number one and decided to go and live in the snow. Having never seen snow in my life and having no career aspirations I moved to Canada to trial a season at a ski resort.

As I made my way north and started to get cold I thought surely I would only last a month. 18 months and many great lessons in life, business and skiing later I discovered that for-filling the challenge of doing something you would never do; growing, changing and embracing your potential, while effective is not a sustainable formula for growth. 

Because now I know there is nothing that I would never do. OK, time for new formula: Do something I truly don't believe I can do. A test of the mind and sprit and other good things. 

I have long envied those running types. People who can go out for 'an easy 10'. So after some thought, which is often: throw a bunch of ideas out there and think about each of their possibilities until I quit searching for a good alternative and go back to what I always knew was the right decision- the first thing I thought of when I questioned: "what do I hate" or "what do I believe I can't do" I decided that I would run a marathon (or learn a lot about myself in the attempt). Ridiculous right? It gets better. 

I have some great role models for running a marathon, friends who are very relatable that have done this but it was actually 3 not very special events that inspired me into action* (*action so far being deciding to do it) 

Last year the NYC Marathon route was half a block from my apartment. It was great. We slept late, had brunch and when we saw on TV that the first runners were coming around the top of Central Park we went outside to watch. I decided that I would only ever run one marathon and it would lead me to explore this city that I love, New York City. (see photo of my first unofficial marathon steps from that day below) 

Buying sneakers with my awesome 80-something year old friend in January the guy in the running store told me that if you are a New York Road Runners member and complete 9 qualifying runs and volunteer at one in a calendar year then you are given entry to the following year's NYC Marathon. Perfect. Unfortunately I missed the 2012 cut off date so I wouldn't be running the marathon until 2014. No problems, more time to put my feet up :) 

That brings us to this heart pounding moment. Well last night actually.

2012 has been a horrible year. 2 key role models and my dog passed away at the beginning of the year, work has been consistently unstable and it was really true that  after four year I had stopped traveling. I felt like the things that gave me hope had been stripped away and I was struggling to cope with the pressures of a hard year. With support and encouragement from a couple of good friends I am picking myself back up and actively being healthier. Part of that is accepting each time someone suggests we go to yoga. I don't often want to go to yoga less than I did last night but I wanted to accept the offer in order to keep my momentum and avoid validating the excuse 'I don't feel like it.' In my post yoga glow (I felt much more like doing yoga after the hour long class) I spotted a t-shirt that had a Disney picture on it and said 'half marathon.' I was perplexed, those things don't go together,  so I said "Excuse me" to a group of 10 strangers and the intended recipient turned around- don't you love those moments? "Did you really run a half marathon at Disney World?" 

Our brief conversation covered:
"Yes I did."
"It was amazing."
"You should totally do it" and the thing that really got me:
"All the characters came out to wave and cheer you on."

Well that changes everything! Disney Characters acting as my public cheer squad? That sounds SO much better than a regular race! What could beat that? I want in! 

By the time I got home from the studio I had decided I wanted to do it. 12 hours later and I have plugged in my credit card details and signed up (ouch). More than just finding within myself what it takes to do such a thing I will have to find money for flights, accommodation and all the other little things that will add up. I'm pretty clueless about these things so here is hoping that 5 months is long enough for me to get in shape to run 21kms/ 13mi, I guess I'll find out. 

I have this strange feeling right now. I got it when I decided I was going to live in the Canada for a winter and I knew I didn't know what to expect. I think its the love child of excitement and knowing I don't know what I have got myself into with a twist of through this I will be on the verge of something great. Living in Canada turned out really well- so heres hoping! 

Who wants to join me? Check it out here, do it now as it will sell out. 

August 7, 2012

Know your list so you can use your list

This weekend I had a great chat (as always) with my friend Dana. Musing about life, love and future projections he shared this golden nugget when I challenged his theory that 'Everything in your life is enhanced when you are in a relationship.' Being the sea worthy solo traveler I am I instantly had a bag full of rebuttals when I asked him to please explain. 

"Well...think of it as having a permeant cheerleader. Supporting you everyday in every way. Everything in your life just gets better, it moves to the next level.' 

Point well made sir.

I know not all relationships are like this but throwing the ones that aren't aside, because if it's rubbish I don't want it, I love Dana's idea. 

Musing about the cheerleaders in my life I realized that most of them are silent members of my daily life. In my consciousness but not my regular interactions, they probably don't realize what a important role they play for me. But they are there when I need them, when I ask them.

Its been a really challenging year for me and thinking about the key people that have kept me motivated, surprising myself with a smile and have not brought me down a short list quickly springs to mind. Some did it with just a sincere and consistent text message each week and another stayed up late to live stream a funeral of someone they didn't know from the other side of the world- it comes in many different ways. Realizing that I am so aware of these people and what they give me in my life reminded me of the value of not just having them but knowing who they are and using them.

Cheerleaders in your daily life: get them. recognize them. use them.

If its not your partner: Sort it out or get rid of them. (Hint: part of the sorting it out may be the question "How can I be a better cheerleader for them?")

and if you feel like you have tired everything but are still looking maybe try this... 

July 26, 2012

Find Your Greatness

These words are true, weather you believe them or not, they apply to you. 

May 25, 2012

Love is EPIC

Now THIS inspires me!

Isaac wanted to marry Amy. The greatness is in the how he (and 60+ of their closest friends) got the wheels rolling...

I think one of the wonderful things about love is that it gives us a vessel to receive our output of love. Being loved feels nice but being allowed to love and having that feeling, energy and effort be purposeful is so life giving. Acceptance creates generation.

Every time you take a moment to be grateful for the love you receive also remember to say 'Thanks for letting me love you. For making room to receive the nice things I want to do so that you are happy, safe and fulfilled.' What ever or whom ever you are actively loving; cats, games, sports, family, friends, ideas, lovers they all count. If you can manage this with ex-lovers its healing.

Congratulations to these guys- looks like they will be living an epic life :)

April 22, 2012

How to: Tree Hug

In celebration of Earth Day here is my 7 step process to tree hugging- mainly shared with children but good for everyone.

Step 1 Choose your tree.

Step 2 Make sure as you step towards it your not crushing plants or homes under foot.

Step 3 Wrap your arms around the tree. I like to pick a spot where I can nestle my face in without the worry of spiders crawling over me so I can get good and cosy and present.

Step 4 Say 'I love you tree' and really mean it. Be Present.

Step 5 Go very quite and wait until you can feel the tree say it back (this part is really cool. I know it sounds all hippy but if you do step 4 and 5 with sincerity a pretty cool feeling comes over you) 

Step 6 Enjoy the hug, take a moment. 

Step 7 When your ready to step away take a moment and a deep breath, smile and say thank you :) 

I make it a 3 step process for kids (step 2, 4 & 5) because they naturally get the rest.
I developed it in the swanky neighborhood of  'The Grid Streets' in LA in 2008 and have been refining it since. 

Trees are pretty awesome. 

There is a tree to be hugged under all that snow and ice. Skiing break at Big White, Canada 2010.

Here are some other ideas on how to be earth loving:

Get involved with Greenpeace- they don't take money from governments or corporations, because if they did they they couldn't tell them what to do with respect, integrity and effectiveness when it really mattered. Being able to tell the decision makers when they are being self serving at the great expense to people and the planet is important. Your money really does go to the cause and a good cause it is. They need your voice, because  they Your voice combined with the thousands of others standing with you on these very important environmental issues does make change. Like making sure whales were not hunted to extinction 20 years go. Who wants to live in a world without whales? not me- they are awesome! But without Greenpreace there probably wouldn't be any left by now. 

Celebrate Earth day with your iPhone with these Earth nurturing apps

April 17, 2012

On the line

This is a beautiful example of being on the line. The pre-performance interviewing took me back to my days at Reach. Sitting in a room of teenagers, asking them to be honest, really honest, about what ever it is they need to get honest about and the only way to get their honesty is to bring your own. Really bring it. 

The challenge of that moment when you are really on the line is juicy. It is a place you can learn to love and when you do there is nothing that compares to it; the rush, the relief,  the feeling is amazing.

How often do you find yourself on the line like this? 

 Why do we find something in this to connect with and love? Because in the story of his journey this is the part where the hero enters the cave to slay the dragon, face his limiting factors and fears. Often it is being in the moment, not distracting ourselves from it with a laugh, or smart phone or running away that makes us victorious.  And we all know what reward is fitting for such bravery, honesty and depth of feeling. 

I just wish I could have heard more of the phone call at the end... 

April 11, 2012

Live Alive

Human potential. Far greater than what we see.

Find what frees you. Hold on to it. Immerse yourself. Dive right in. 
Live free. Live liberated. Live alive as best you can. 

April 10, 2012

When was the last time you...

Jules set Fifi this homework for the week. When was the last time you...

No problems there.
Mmm reminds me of happy salt covered summers on the Peninsular.
This weekend actually, and then we talked it out. 
About a year go.
February- for the second time ever- it was so strange at first.
Its been a while.
Also been a while.
Constantly. More specifically; at the breakfast table this morning.
When my mama was in town.
Its been FAR too long. November 2010, due to major flight delays I scored a room at the Vancouver Airport Fairmont for a night.
Constantly thanks to Mark. Enough said.
Snowshoe Sam's @ Big White Ski Resort. Thats the primary purpose of that picnic table. I couldn't let it go to waste. 
Mmm, again far to long. I always remember the delight of finding one wild strawberry and one wild Raspberry (while trying to find the blueberry patch) and discovering the radicle different tastes they offer in their natural state. 
Does on the way to work this morning because the train was late count? If not Central Park is calling my name today. 
My favorite thing to do with my Nana when I was 3 and the plan for this summer.
Summer 2009- Camp Betsey Cox for girls.
Summer 2010
I was 5, my mums friend didn't want it in her wedding. Looking back I don't blame her. 
Tick. Often a pleasant surprise, always good learning. 
There is one in the works.
Far too long but summer is coming- I Love picnics
It hasn't been my main activity for a while but I take a moment here and there. Actually im going to take one right now...mmm sun on the back of my neck :) 
A constant work in progress. Maybe I should relax on it a little and shoot without edit like in childhood. 
I have a hand full of memories of moments like this. 
Thats the aim.
Sorrow and disappointment are ok, they will happen with the natural flow of life, I seek peace beyond them. 

I'd love to hear your answers...