New Year. Same Awesome You.

Happy New Year!

I love the fresh start of a new year but I detest all that “New Year, New You” bullshit.

It feels violent towards the self.

It feels like – YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH! FIX YOURSELF!- and I’ve gotta tell you, I’ve already wasted TOO MANY of my good years on that scam. I’m not doing it anymore. I just can’t.

How can I claim to love who I am and then try and change who I am?

It just doesn’t make sense to me.

I am a perfect being of…light…energy…spirit…whatever you want to call it, and YOU ARE TOO!

Yes, I’m yelling. I feel strongly about this one.

It just seems like such a waste of precious time. We only get so long to live and I don’t want to waste it bullying myself with a hate campaign disguised as self improvement.

So instead I use this time of year to refocus and refresh.

I choose a word that I use as a guidepost throughout the year and my 2020 word is:

FLOW

Flow came to me over the Summer. I was enjoying life, flitting from one thing to another without an anxious thought or judgement. Simply living in the moment, mindful of the moment and nothing else. I had been in flow for about a month before realizing what it was and because it felt so good, I thought it’d make a good word for the next year.

So here I am, in flow.

This word serves as a reminder to let things go. To focus on what is at hand. To let the thoughts come and go as they will. To take each second as it comes with full acceptance. To step into the flow of life with gratitude for the experience and see where it takes me.

I’m excited for this one! It feels like freedom.

Do you choose a word to start off your year? Care to care?!

How about resolutions? I found a really great take on resolutions here for those of you who like to make them.

May your 2020 be everything you wish for ❤

2019’s Biggest Lesson

Remember when I went to Tanzania, started to write about it, then never finished?

Ha Ha Ha!

It’s coming. Truly.

Truly,truly, truly!

I brought something back from Tanzania that was far greater than stories and photos and I will actually share that with you today.

For real.

No kidding.

I’m not even lying.

I’m not really a goal oriented person. I’m happy to live my life, floating along this way and that. Travelling to Tanzania was the ONE thing in my life that I wanted to do.

I wanted to see the animals and the landscape. I wanted to bask in the beauty and the wonder of a place that was so different from my home. I imagined doing so would bring magic and meaning into my life and the experience was most magical. My time there was positive and special and full of meaning and emotion.

And then* poof* it was gone.

I lived every moment of that time. I was the most mindful muthafucka there ever was ! I squeezed out every last drop of experience I could. I let the whole thing sink into my very being and when I got home life was the same as it ever was.

One minute I was there, the next I was not. One minute I was surrounded by magic, the next it was like I’d never even gone. (Did I go? I mean I know I have the photos…)

After the post trip depression cleared and I got my working brain back I was struck by the greatest piece of wisdom I’ve gained this year.

I think I’d come back from a fun weekend with family. It might have been Miss. Sassafras’s dance recital, when my mum in law was in town and my family enjoyed dinner together and lots of love and laughs.

It might have been when I had my goodbye chat with Carolyn. When it became really clear that she was not going to outwit cancer, she was not going to live with it as a chronic condition. She was going to die. And she was going to die soon.

It might have even been a day when I was sitting on my porch in the sun having a chit chat with a wild crow.

I don’t know. But it came and it grabbed me and it stuck. I am ever grateful.

The Big Moments are fleeting. They do not last.

You might think they will because they GIGANTIC but they slip right through the hands. They may be grand and spectacular but in the scheme of all things, they are just small compared to this:

The seemingly small bits in the everyday that become HUGE. These are the things that add up, to make up a life. These are the things that matter. That count. These are the things that stick with you and glow far brighter than the big moments.

A smile from a loved one. Their smell, their laugh. Going out for coffee with a friend, your partner making you a cup of tea. Family dinners, neighbourhood walks. Birds chirping, the furnace roaring to life in the dead of Winter.

The small bits of the every day are the things that sustain us , without us even knowing and become what matter most in the end.

Go and do the big things

Then come home and make a good life, in all it’s perfectly ordinary, spectacular glory. Really focus on that.

Home, family and friends.

That’s where it’s at.

According to me 🙂

What’s been your greatest lesson of 2019? What did your Inner Wise Owl tell you? Won’t you share?

❤ Love & Squishy Hugs.

Things I’ve Learned #2…

since the last time I did this little exercise!

1. I know what I want to be when I grow up!! A consistently warm and friendly person with superb social skills, who makes people feel safe and valued in all interactions.

2. The thru hiker community is AMAZING! I’m not even hiking a thru hike and I’m meeting the nicest, most supportive people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, in my life!

3. I am a hard ass about a lot of things. And sometimes I use “integrity” as a high and mighty excuse for that flaw. It’s fine to be rigid about some things but its a good idea to question yourself sometimes to make sure you’re being rigid about things that really matter and not just things that trigger your fear and ego.

4. Vanilla Chai Latte’s from Tim Hortons are really good! I was worried they’d be lacklustre but they are pretty tasty indeed. If you don’t want to pay the dollars, you can easily make one at home. Make some chai with half water/milk. Sweeten to taste. Add a splash of vanilla. Heat and whizz up some milk, float on top and finish with a sprinkle of the chai spices of your choice!

5. Homemade soup is the way to go. I mean, I KNOW this, but it’s always seemed easier to just open up a can and heat it up. I don’t think I can do this anymore. I made Split Pea and Ham Soup the other day in my crockpot and it was ten times better than canned. AND it took hardly any effort at all. I mean sure, I made stock from the bone and picked off the meat but the reward was worth it in the end. I chopped a few things and then let it all cook away until a glorious -but ugly, sorry no photos- thing was born.

Now I’ve got servings and servings of homey goodness in the freezer, just waiting for me ❤ I think I’ll try my hand at Italian Wedding Soup next…Do you have a favourite soup recipe to share?

|How about you? Have you learned anything new lately?

In Sync

In my quest to suffer less from a wonky seasonal brain, I’ve become very aware of the seasons and how they change.

( Although to be fair, I am an Earth Child anyway )

Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

A few Winters ago, I realized that while we count the Solstice as the beginning of Winter, it really wasn’t, seasonally speaking. Solstice is when the light comes back and we begin our slow climb back to Spring. It just didn’t make sense to me that Winter began then, when we were returning to the light… it seemed Winter began much earlier!

Anyone who lives in a Northern climate knows this, even if they don’t KNOW they know this. We know that snow before Halloween is light and impermanent. It’s not going to stick around long. But snow after Halloween is a different story! That’s the stuff that stays, along with the much colder temperatures. After Halloween is when weather gets real. November 1 felt like the true start of Winter to me.

Photo by Todd Trapani on Pexels.com

Once I learned this for myself, I started to question the other seasonal discrepancies. Spring starts at the Equinox, right? Sometime in mid March.

Well, if you’re paying attention you may notice Spring in the sky at the beginning of February instead.

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

How about Summer? June 21 is the Solstice…BUT it always felt like Summer in late April/early May. Right around May 1!

Photo by Valeriia Miller on Pexels.com

The Solstice is the mid point of Summer. The days start their descent into darkness. How can any of us call this the beginning?!

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

When did you notice Fall this year? For me, it was in the end of July. But the Equinox and start of the season isn’t until mid September! Doesn’t the Equinox really feel like the middle of Fall? We’ve all “called” Fall, well before the Equinox!

Photo by hiwa talaei on Pexels.com

Our calendar doesn’t match up with reality. No wonder I feel so discombobulated! I’ve been out of sync with Nature for most of my life!

I came across an excellent piece that finally put all the pieces together for me. The author puts into words all the things I’ve noticed and reading it was clarifying! Way more cohesive than my jumbly observations. Written by Hyggejem on their blog – How to hygge the British Way- this FABULOUS post, tied it all together. Humans have been noticing these things too and celebrating them, most differently than we do currently, since forever! Go and have a read. I hope it resonates with you too!

I’m changing the way I mark the seasons now too. This appeals to my witchy self of course but mostly, it just feels right. More in tune with reality. In sync.

How about you? What do you think?

Monday Ramble, Sun, Storms, Food, Bears, Death.

HellOO Friends!

Thank you SO much for your patience with the dead air here on HeartStyle and my personal inattention! Something happened last week that switched my brain into sad mode, so … I was sad and let those feelings reign.

This weekend wasn’t sad though. I woke up on Saturday and it was SUNNY! It’s been storming for AGES here and the day felt like waking up to Spring all over again. So I read an excellent book and went for an excellent walk and bought a Slurpee that was SUPPOSED to be excellent but was not.

Because instead of Lime, I got MELON. Yuck! I should have known by the colour. The sign said Lime but it was lies. ALL LIES!

OH well, it was cool and I was hot!

On Sunday, we went to K-Days here in the city and that was fun. We walked around and ate all the things:

These are just what I took pics of. I also had a brisket sandwich and a Butterbeer cone and a Beaver Tail…I may have to go back for the fried chicken skin! We got into K-Days for FREE thanks to our library cards. So thanks EPL! We had fun and I appreciate the treat! ( K-Days are formally known as Klondike Days and it’s basically an exhibition and fair)

Sooooo, what made me so sad?

One of my husband’s drivers was killed in a crash while working.

He was on his last trip of the week, heading home.

He was young and married to his beloved. He loved motorcycles and cats.

His death was so shocking to everyone. Like a lightening strike out of the blue. And so damn sad. The rainy, stormy weather at the time definitely matched the hearts of all who learned the news.

This experience taught me a lot. My end of life doula skills came in handy in supporting my husband and hopefully through him, the driver’s wife, but sudden death is a whole other thing all together. I knew that….but I did not KNOW that. I’m forever grateful for the lesson.

And you know, it felt “good” to be sad. To allow myself to be sad. I didn’t know this fellow but he was still a part of my everyday life through my hubs. It felt like feeling sad was a way to honour that he had lived. It felt like a very important thing to do.

Today the rest of us are alive, and the sun is shining again.It’s supposed to be HOT. No thunderstorms for the next little bit but just in case:

I kind of like the idea of yelling Bring it on ASSHOLE to a tornado, ha! That’s a whole mood right there 🙂 As is the last don’t too…everything changes.

This is also a MOOD! Although you know, I was outside with tons of people yesterday and I loved it! I think fairs are one of my favorite things. The delicious smells, the clacks and clicks and clangs of all the rides. The music blasting. The little kids. The people dressed in all sorts of different get ups…Mind you give me TOO much of that^ and I’m right back to this meme again, ha ha.

Well. THAT answers that question. 🙂 Have you ever seen bear poop? It’s pretty neat stuff, especially during berry season. I accidently touched it once when I was checking to see how old it was. One of my many claims to fame 😛

I haven’t tried that new aging app thingy because all I need for that is the mirror but still, this made me laugh. Then cringe. Then ponder…

Only if you’re lucky. My newest, fondest wish is that I die peacefully in my sleep. That’s my wish for all of us. Happy being alive day, to YOU ❤

Love & Squishy Hugs.

Dumpster Fire Blues.

The world is a Dumpster Fire at the moment and it’s been really getting to me. I am an anxious, pissed off, exhausted mess.

With yesterday’s energy hangover from four days with my squishy faced boy, it was especially bad. Had the world been hit by an asteroid, I would have been happy to go 🙂 but today after some rest and self care, I seem to be back to my normal self.

(The next time you’re “in a mood” remember that rest, food, water and self love are a curative thing and take care of yourself before you write yourself and the whole word off ❤ )

I’m still angry, tired and scared but with my energy stores refueled I know I can get through it all. Besides, all is impermanent.

Thank Goddess for that! Because see above re: Dumpster Fire.

( I am SO curious about HOW though! Will people finally come to their senses soon? Natural progression of our world? War? Civil uprising of everyone hurt by this racist system ? Civil uprising of *PWU and their allies? Gaia finally has enough and shakes us all off? )

*People with Uteri

I really, really, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, hope this is all just the final push before we evolve into a better, more enlightened group of humans but I just don’t know and I can’t control any of it.

It would be easy to say I’m just focussing on the negative but holy hell, there is a LOT if negative shit happening! I may not be able to control it but I CAN control myself -mostly- and so I’ve joined the Pro-Life Coalition and a few underground networks working to help people with uteruses get the medical care they need. I’m very busy online being a strong voice for choice, body autonomy and all the rest too.

I’m educating myself better on racism and stopping to observe police interactions with POC whenever I come across them, and I’m calling out hatred, discrimination and injustice when I see it too. People think Canada is a safe place with very little racism…yeah…NO! It’s always been there, hidden under our polite veneer. I don’t know whether to thank the Orange Asshat for inspiring such openness or revile him as usual. I guess it’s “easier” to fight when it’s out in the open but it’s awful all the same.

I’m doing my small part to be a responsible citizen of the Earth and not damage our natural mother any further. Plastic! UGH! We are absolutely surrounded by it! It all just makes me want to cry.

I call out and educate where I can about all kinds of different things -take your pick, there are many to choose from!

I’m practicing mindfulness and open friendly compassion for all. Especially those who are hurting others. Even though I’d really like to punch them straight in the fucking teeth. ( Just in case you think I’m some sort of saintly human…)

I know that while none of this is enough to change this fucked up situation we’re in, if each of us DOES SOMETHING, the collective CAN and WILL affect positive change.

I can’t sit by and watch the world burn. I can’t sit by and watch people suffer.

It’s very tempting to turn it all off. Avoid all media. Stop talking to my fellow humans. It’s OH SO TEMPTING to switch myself into Super-Duper Positive Lael, the being I turn into during times of stress who ignores all the bad stuff and lies to herself about what she’s witnessing and feeling. Or I could move myself out into the middle of fucking nowhere and go off grid…or hey invent a magic potion that enables me to go to sleep and wake up when this is all over.

What a luxury those choices would be!

But alas, if we all did that, those fuckers , ahem, hurting people who are hurting others would win and we can’t have that. I WON’T have that! Onward I go. I just need to be all dramatic about it first ❤

If you need to take a break from it all , take that break! If you need to scream for an hour in a field…SCREAM! If you need to do nothing but blast your favourite music and pull weeds furiously, do that!

Let’s just make sure we meet back here in a little bit and regroup 🙂

Sunshine Blogger Award

I have been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award, by Allan at: PhotoBlography. This award is peer recognition for bloggers that inspire positivity and joy.

YAY Me!

It’s super de duper nice to be recognized as such!

Thanks again, Allan. It was really fun and I’m touched that you thought of me.

Allan takes the most beautiful photographs of all the interesting places he goes and the fun stuff he gets up to. He writes poems too and has a great sense of humour! Plus, he’s a kind and decent human being. Do yourself a favour and go check him out!

Here is how this all works:

Award Rules:

Thank the blogger and provide a link to their site.

Put Award logo on your blog.

Answer 11 questions.

Nominate 11 other bloggers.

Give them your 11 questions and enjoy!

Allan’s questions-which were his nominator’s questions too- and my answers:

If you knew you would die tomorrow, except crying or whatsoever, what you would do or say? It would all depend on the circumstance of my death. Am I to fall suddenly incapacitated and require a soft surface for which to lay upon, because I am unable to do much? In that case, I’d gather my family and friends all around me as I lay on a bed overlooking the front window and eat and drink all the things, and laugh and talk and listen to music before I shooed everyone off so I could write in my journal and write notes to my loved ones and then, I would go to sleep, curious about what was still to come….

If, I was able to keep my vigor, I would head out into the wild for a hike, friends and family included. We’d stop for meals and lounging and then when I grew weary, I’d lay myself down and listen to the life around me, say my goodbyes and then meditate until I died, fell asleep or both 🙂

This is such a great question because it brings up a dilemma for me. I don’t want to be writing out notes while I’m dying! Maybe that’s something I need to do now…this is good Death Doula stuff!

Why do you like blogging?

Blogging is an outlet for my mind. A way to express myself creatively with words. I enjoy meeting new people, from the great vastness of our world. I enjoy their different views of the world. I soak up a lot of inspiration and wisdom. I learn about new things. I am insanely curious about everything. Blogging allows me to quench that in a safe, socially acceptable nosey way 😉

If you had to give up something in your life, what would it be?

Certainly not this song…

Do you believe in love?

I AM love. YOU are LOVE. So, yes. I do. I think our society focuses on romantic love waaaaay to much, often to our own detriment. If I had to do it all over again, I’d work on loving myself first, from a young age and then worry about the rest of it all later, if at all. It’d be really, REALLY nice if we would love our EARTH and her creatures with a respectful fervent devotion, too.

If you won the lottery today, what’s the first thing you do?  

Pee my pants! Ha Ha. Seriously I would probably pace nervously, call the husband and then freak out until the money was safely in my bank account. Once I calmed down, I would book a trip somewhere so I could just be and allow the wisdom to come to me about what to do and then, using that wisdom I’d set up my life, and my family. I know for certain what I would buy first, which I think is really what this questions asks. I would buy a small house on a plot of land (big enough to sustain a living) by the ocean, in my name and my name only. I would then set up a trust to ensure there is always money to maintain said house and I would bequeath it down the line to the daughter’s in my family. It will be a safe haven for my female ancestors, forever more.

Do you forgive a betrayal or adultery if you’re married?

Ha! Been there. Done that. Or rather, doing that. I could write a book on this. And I may one day, my journals tell a tale, yikes. So, it’s not adultery I dealt with but it was a betrayal. I often say I sometimes WISH it had been adultery because at least then I’d know how to deal with that. I have a very strong boundary against such things.

Anyway, my husband had a mental break and he did some things that were very hurtful. Because the catalyst of his actions were a mental break, and because up until then he had never been anything but an excellent husband, I decided with the encouragement and help of a trained professional ( which I HIGHLY recommend) to stick it out and see if this 20+ year marriage could be saved.

I’m STILL not sure how I feel about the whole thing, but I often say this: It’s not for the faint of heart.

And as I’m still in the midst of things, I really feel like I’m unable to say anything about the subject with any wisdom or authority. Some days I soar, some days I really struggle.

I’m not unhappy. I’m not suffering. I’m living my life, mostly with joy, in the now, and taking it day by day. I believe in second chances. I don’t do thirds. So, to answer the question, I think it all depends on the circumstances, and it’s an ongoing, ever changing process that I hope none of you ever have to go through or put anyone else through either! ❤

Tell me why someone should be close to you or be friends with you? (even if you don’t give a shit) 

If I was to sell myself to people I would say that I am the kind of person who wont give up on you, even when things get hard. I’m generally a bright light. I am fiercely protective and encouraging. You will not be ALLOWED to continuously talk shit about yourself in my presence 🙂 ❤ I bring a sense of whimsy and fun, I’m curious about everything and game for anything. I will support all your loves and interests and be as excited for them as you are AND I’m a great baker/cook. So…you’ll eat well!


What you really love to read, that you can’t stop or ever feel bored?

Memoirs and recipe books! I’m actually reading a book right now, that’s a memoir AND a recipe book! (Picnic in Provence. A Memoir with Recipes. Elizabeth Bard ) I’ve always loved reading about the lives of other humans. They don’t need to famous or known for anything, I love them all the same. Sometimes, the more ordinary the better because here’s the thing; THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ORDINARY! Every.single.person out there has a unique story to tell. I enjoy learning what that unique thing is. As for cookbooks: I like to eat!

What makes you happy?

All the things. Too many to accurately recount here. Today it’s:

The thought of my squishy Hot Cross Bun I plan to have with lunch. Lune. Trips. Pie. Bird song. Feeling secure. Being inside on a blustery day. Solving a challenging problem.

Have you ever read a blog post that had a great impact on you? 

Oh yes. I read those all the time. I think every blog post I read has an impact on me. Even if it doesn’t seem so at the time, who knows where it may lead me in the future?

Describe the person of your dreams, physically and mentally / emotionally. 

Ha Ha Ha! Oh boy.

I don’t think such a being exists outside of oneself. Which yes, I guess that’s why we call them a “person of your dreams” because they don’t exist but still…I’m loathe to go there. I KNOW it’s only fantasy but it just seems so unfair, to both myself and other humans. Yes, I realize I’m putting waaay too much thought into this, ha! Were I forced at gunpoint to choose, I’d say any goofy, big old dog! Humans are, well … human. I just can’t think of them as anything but.

That was fun! I love giving my brain a good stir!

I nominate:

Any of you out there who wishes to play along! There is no way I could only choose eleven of you. You ALL inspire positivity and joy, otherwise I wouldn’t have you in my life! ❤ ❤

Here are your questions. Some are the same, some are different. You may choose to use them as you wish.

  1. If you knew you would die tomorrow, how would you proceed with the rest of your life?
  2. What do you think about pineapple on pizza?
  3. Why do you like blogging?
  4. What do you wish to have done with your body when you die? Why?
  5. Would you forgive a betrayal or adultery in your romatic relationship?
  6. Who, besides your own self, is your favourite person,dead, alive, known to you or otherwise and why?
  7. What is your first memory as a child?
  8. What is one thing you thought you couldn’t do but did and made yourself proud?
  9. When are you most content?
  10. Have you travelled? Where?
  11. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Link back to me, if you chose to play. This Nosey Parker wants to see your responses!

Thanks for reading! Happy Friday and enjoy the hell out of your weekend!