Friday, May 30, 2008

"Maybe we could be each other's soul mates"

Photo: MTV

Sex & The City is a series that captured my heart early on and has continued to keep it tight in its grip, as I have watched the episodes over and over and over again through the years. Right off the bat, I felt personally affronted by this show and the characters. Plus, I lusted over countless pairs of Jimmy Choos and Manolos, Cavalli dresses and Vuitton handbags amidst years of exquisite couture.

The much anticipated release of the movie is finally upon us, and I had the opportunity to watch it for the first time last night. I'm not going to do a review or a re-cap post, because I think that would be redundant at this point, especially considering that you can read two fabulous takes on the flick from a couple of the ladies I saw it with here and here. What I will say is that I absolutely adored the film. I laughed out loud at times and I cried and cried and cried at others- thankfully we had a box of Kleenex on hand.

It struck me while watching the film last night that what I love about Sex & The City is that it's a show about women helping each other through difficult relationships, being constant to each other, being family. The idea that you are no one until you’re with someone is outmoded; it’s better to lean on your friends and not be in a relationship than be with a man out of desperation. This is at its core. This is what I can relate to most about these women.

For those of you who haven't seen it yet, I suggest that you get your butts to a theatre near you as soon as possible. You will not be disappointed. I promise.

Photo: Daily Mail

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Almost Time!

The excitement is damn near killing me...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

After Glow

My fingers and toes were numb from the breeze that still felt like a spring night, despite the hot day of sun. I sat on the grass by the beach outside of my apartment before bed last night... breathing the air from the water, watching the tiny spots of clouds that scatter the skies. The brightness of the moon made everything a thousand shades of blue. These times, alone with my thoughts, these are important moments.

Photo: Betty Braun on Flickr

As I walked to yoga class with Keira in the sunshine yesterday, I was apprehensive about the pain that I could feel in my back. It was as though all of the negative feelings about myself and my body which had surfaced during our practice on Saturday had become tangled up in a knot, which had fixed itself right below my shoulder blades.

When the class began, we were reminded to focus on our breath. As soon as I made a point of doing this, of breathing into the parts of my body where I felt tension, the pain vanished. At first, I was conscious of the fact that I have a tendency to actively disparage my body. I was not going to do this. Instead, I chose to work on starting to develop a more loving relationship with my body. Towards the end of class, our instructor made mention of the fact that we should have gratitude for our bodies. We should be thankful for coming to class, for allowing our bodies and our souls to connect. I knew that she was right.

I left feeling completely fulfilled. The class was peaceful, but it also really worked my body. Yoga is a heart led practice. The role of our heart is to integrate and balance the different parts of who we are into a radiant sense of wholeness. Yoga is inclusive, not exclusive. I can't even begin to describe how lovely it is to practice in a non-threatening, unpretentious atmosphere. I think that I needed those negative feelings to surface in class on Saturday in order to move past them. They were a blessing in a sense, because they forced me to re-focus. Right now, my emphasis needs to be on body awareness, self-acceptance, and self-love. When you remember who you are and align yourself with what is truly important to you, you can return to your true nature of health and happiness, I have found.

On our way to pick up some delicious Indian takeout for dinner (plus a couple of very tasty treats for dessert,) I felt as though peace surrounded my heart, vibrancy was beating in my soul and I could feel the glow of positivity all around me.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Hung Up

On Saturday morning, I attended another Hidden Language Yoga class with the ladies. I had been looking forward to it with great anticipation, because the last time was such an intense and positive experience for me. I couldn't wait to get my butt back in there. The last time, I was overwhelmed by how connected I felt. For perhaps the first time ever in a yoga class, I felt completely comfortable in my own skin. I was able shut off my mind from external distractions and control my thoughts in a way that I had never experienced before.

This time, for whatever reason, I could not connect. I felt awkward and uncomfortable. I was extremely conscious of the pain in my knee and down my back as I moved through the postures. I found my mind wandering away from what I was supposed to be focusing on, and instead getting clouded up with feelings of dissatisfaction with my appearance. I started to feel anxiety about my body parts. As the class went on, the words I wrote down and the thoughts in my head became centered around shame over my flaws, real or imagined. This aroused a self-consciousness that I just couldn't shake until we were doing the final relaxation phase of the class, and I was able to cover myself up with a blanket.

Photo: R054 on Flickr

Body image is something that I have ferociously struggled with for as long as I can remember. I've blogged about it so much that I'm sure I sound like a broken record. I've allowed my body to be the target of some of my harshest judgements and at times, the barometer by which I measure my self worth. I wish I didn't do this. I wish that at 26 years old, I wasn't still hung up on this. I am well aware that my body does not define me, and shouldn't.

I know that the important things are who and how we love, why we believe what we do, what we give credence to, a recognition of our inner talents and joys, our spiritual values, our philanthropy, or anything else other than how we look to others. As much as I pray that it did, even knowing this doesn't stop me from wishing that my face wasn't so full or that I had a flatter stomach, smaller boobs or thinner thighs; but I can't allow these distractions to be my focus or to hold me back from honing in on what's actually important.

Photo: Keira-Anne on Flickr

Over the last little while, I've really developed the good sense to aspire to have a fresh and inquiring mind, body, spirit and soul. I have wonderful friends around me whose positive energy and souls light up my world and inspire me constantly. I want to live a well rounded life. I need to allow my body some room to breathe; to be what it is. I want to thank it for serving me well, for walking, running, stretching, all of it. I want to thank it for being healthy and able and putting up with my ingratitude for all these years. This is where I get off the self-hating diet wheel. This is where I stop offending my body. Stop the ungratefulness. Stop the ingratitude. When I look in the mirror, I want to look and love. Look and SEE.

Friday, May 23, 2008

B-B-B-Benny and the Jets...

...This song follows me, I swear. At one point, I had it stuck in my head for three whole months. (Remember that, Dad?) Now tonight, it's back...I love it.

Despite the fact that it was technically a short week, it has felt like an excruciatingly long one for yours truly. Weird sleep patterns, lots of commitments and a sick tummy have left me feeling drained and exhausted.

Being that it's finally Friday (at long last), I couldn't wait to get home from work tonight, put on my comfies and settle in for a quiet night to myself. After preparing and then feasting on greens, some Comox Valley brie and a yummy baked yam, I curled up with a cup of tea and a blanket to watch a bonafide chick flick. Quite honestly, I can't believe I still hadn't seen: 27 Dresses. Oh, I'd attempted to see it on a couple of occasions while it was playing on the big screen, but fate would not have it. Tonight, on the other hand, a solo night avec girlie movie was not only my destiny, but also just what the doctor ordered.

Photo: Wikipedia
The story is about Jane. She's idealistic, romantic, completely selfless and absolutely unable to ever say "no" to anybody. (Ok, I could relate just a little...) Weddings are her great passion in life. She's also single and hopelessly in love with her boss. She has been a bridesmaid twenty seven times over; but, when she meets a handsome yet cynical "Commitments" column writer (enter, hunky James Marsden), she begins to examine why her own happy ending never seems to be in sight.
I'm going to admit to you right here and now that I happen to have a soft spot for cheesy romantic comedies. I'm not going to tell you that this is some brilliant film, but it is enjoyable. As we all know, a little cheese is always good on a Friday night, so not only did this movie "melt my little black heart," and make me laugh out loud, it also made me tear up and cry like a baby a couple of times.
Plus, leading lady Katherine Heigl is too adorable for words. So on that note, here's a little tribute to Miss Heigl's personal style, which I have been admiring since I first asked my mom to french braid my hair like hers' in My Father The Hero. In my opinion, she walks the line between sexy and sophisticated better than most.

**Photos are not property of Work In Progress. All images in this post have been taken from various websites and stockpiled in the "style" archives over the years. If your photo has not been credited and you would like it to be, please e-mail me.**

Walnut Grovers Reunite

Photo: Beyond Robson

Last night, I skipped down to Jules in Gastown after work to finally meet up with the delightful Melissa, who is in town for a conference. We weren't able to connect the last couple times that I was in Saskatoon, due to my crazy showing schedule (and that little food poisoning incident) so we were super excited to finally have a chance to get together. Jules is quite a darling little French bistro. We felt as if we'd just walked off the street in Paris, even more so as the wine continued to flow. I just loved the casual, unique atmosphere. It was a perfect place to have a relaxed meal and catch up with a friend. The two of us sat in the window for over four hours, eating divine food, consuming copious amounts of delicious wine, and talking our little hearts out. The fantastic conversation was easily the best part of the night.

Photo: Source

Melissa is an absolute doll; we have more in common that you can imagine and there is no end to the things we have to talk about. There is true beauty in finding souls that you connect with. I can't wait to get together again with this lovely lady very soon!

**Note: I absolutely hate how I look in this photo, but it's the only one I have from the evening and Melissa looks as beautiful as ever, so I have chosen to put my vanity aside and post it anyway. That's my very awkward "trying not to fully show my teeth cause they may be stained with red wine" smile for our waitress, who is taking the photo at the end of the night.**

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

They'll make you cry, baby and then blame it on you

Photo: MTV

Something that has always been a great mystery to me, is why some girls can be so awful to one another. I just don't get it. What exactly is the purpose of trying so hard to make someone feel like crap? What is the need to get in shots whenever possible? Is it jealousy? Is it insecurity? A combo? Either way, it has the tendency to quite literally suck the life out of those who become victims of this type of behaviour. Not only does it get tiresome, but it can be damn hurtful. It can become increasingly difficult to keep one's sense of self intact, even for the most well adjusted women.

Girls are biologically and socially conditioned to be nurturers who bond with each other, experts say, but the relational aspect of femininity has a powerful dark side where sugar and spice can become curry and cayenne. When underlying insecurities and the resulting rivalries flare up, the culture of girls--rather than one of supportive sisterhood--can become vicious.

"Relational aggression" is the new buzzword for girls who tease, insult, threaten, maliciously gossip, play cruel games with their best friends' feelings and establish exclusive cliques and hierarchies in high school. Sadly, it doesn't seem to end at that age level. I wonder if perhaps this is an outcome and result of a culture and a society that believes we are separate, that has dehumanized many of us, so that my pain isn't yours and yours isn't mine. It seems to become possible for some girls to look at each other as objects to be managed and controlled, and ultimately conquered. This further allows that the only thing that matters is getting what we want, and the idea that we have an inherent right to have what we want, that annihilation of any opponent by any means is acceptable. This is a view that is doomed to implode--and should-- I believe.

Why are so many successful women so harshly critiqued by their own gender and held to a double standard in their accomplishments? We need a revolution in this way of being. As women, we need to love and support one another. We need to be there for our girlfriends. Unfair criticism is not being supportive. I'm sure you've heard the line, "a true friend will tell you when you have dirt on your face." That being said, a true friend also won't push your face down into the mud so you come up all covered in shit.

Enough of the cold hearted bitchetudes, ladies. Especially as I get older, I choose to surround myself with a group of kind hearted and supportive women. I haven't chosen to cultivate friendships with people who are not of that nature. I realize and appreciate the rare and precious value in friendships that are qualitative. I pray for my own friendships to be like the ocean, with soft currents, maybe waves at times. Our deepest friendships offer a sense of continual discovery, but they can also provide a sense of consistency during years of change. I believe that we should be able to genuinely enjoy another person's gifts, not feel threatened or envious of them, but rejoice in them as if they were our own.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I Love Weekends

It has been one jam packed long weekend, without much time to write. On Friday night, I jumped in the VW and bombed out to the 'burbs to see Beeuwke, my friend and hair colour master who is just back from her maternity leave. To my delight, she happily pumped up my mane, and made me feel like 'me' again. Blondes really do have more fun, it's true.

The 'rents came to the city on Saturday to spend some quality time with their daughter. Sunshine, sushi and shopping. Then as a belated Mother's Day celebration, my mom and I were off to Element Spa for Nails in Yaletown (thanks K) to be pampered for just over an hour. The two of us were treated like queens. We walked out relaxed, with beautiful hands and feet. Afterwards, we met up with my dad again for drinks on the water at Nu followed by a yummy dinner and delicious Spanish wine at Fiddlehead Joe's. We finished up the evening with ice cream goodness from The Marble Slab. It was an absolutely perfect day.

On Sunday, I hit up H&M for some summer essentials and then it was off to my aunt and uncle's for a big family BBQ to celebrate all the May and June birthdays.

Today, it's dark and dreary and drops are falling from the sky, so I'm not feeling guilty about the fact that I slept in until 10am (which I never do) and have spent the rest of the morning primarily watching OZ in bed. I'm down to just four episodes remaining in the final season.

Going back to reality tomorrow is going to be tough...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I was a short fuse burning all the time

Photo: Pete Woodhead on Flickr

We all make mistakes. And the thing about mistakes, is that you can't take them back. No matter how much you pray, or how much you want to, there's absolutely no way to turn back time. One of my high school teachers used to always say, "Hind sight is 20/20"...well ain't that the truth!? How often do we wish we could go back in time and change something. Looking back, there are always things that you wish you could have done differently. What was I thinking? Why did I say that? Why did I do that? One of the worst feelings in the world is the regret of having made a bad decision. You want to think that you're a smart and strong individual, that you're in control and that you'll always make good choices; but inevitably, we all make mistakes from time to time. I do believe that everything happens for a reason. We need to seek out those reasons in life so that we learn; because when things come clear to you, no matter how you have to get there, as long as you grow and come out the other side of it, it's all worth it. That's so much easier said than done though, isn't it? I know that overanalysis complicates everything...but I am Queen of Overanalysis, nonetheless. And isn't it easier to come down really hard on yourself when you make a mistake, rather than just taking responsibility and moving along?

Deepak Chopra has an interesting view of responsibility. He believes that you should not blame anyone or anything for your situation, including yourself. Having accepted this circumstance, this event, this problem, this mistake, responsibility then means the ability to have a creative response to the situation as it is now. All problems contain the seeds of opportunity, and this awareness allows you to take the moment and transform it into a better situation or thing. Once you do this, he says, every so- called upsetting situation will become an opportunity for the creation of something new and beautiful, and every so-called tormentor or tyrant will become your teacher. Chopra believes that reality is an interpretation. And if you choose to interpret reality in this way, you will have many teachers around you, and many opportunities.

It's natural to punish yourself in your own mind when you do something wrong, or something stupid. It's difficult sometimes to take the lessons as they come and not feel like a failure or an idiot when you get yourself into a bad situation. As I've said before though, no will or prayer can change the hands of time. Regret is wasted energy. Chin up, take the lesson and move along. I'm trying so hard to do that in life.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Distance never separates hearts that love

“Life is partly what we make it, and partly what is made by the friends whom we choose.” -Tehyi Hsieh

Once upon a time, there lived five smart, beautiful women who were all the best of friends. Despite how diverse these women were, they connected like you wouldn't believe and had more fun together than you could ever imagine.

In two days, one part of the fivesome will depart for Australia with her husband, where they will live for two years. All the other ladies, though excited for their friend's new adventure, know that they will miss her smiling face like crazy.

On Thursday, Liane and Colin will board a plane to a whole new life. I'm quite sure that the reality of them being gone for such a significant period of time hasn't quite hit me yet, and probably won't until I see her tonight, for the last time before she leaves. I couldn't sleep at all last night. I rolled around uncomfortably on my stiff from pilates abs, tossing and turning until the sun rose and lit my apartment this morning.

Tonight kind of feels like the season finale of Sex and The City or something. We're having a "Farewell" dinner, which is bound to be wrought with emotion, quite likely even more so that at Liane and Colin's wedding last April.

Liane is quite honestly one of the kindest souls that I have ever known. She'd not speak a hurtful word of anyone and would go to the moon and back for her friends in a heartbeat. Not to mention, she's completely down to earth and a total babe. She will, without any doubt, leave an irreplaceable hole in the group while she's away.

So on the brink of this new phase in life, a (temporary) "end of an era" so to speak, I want to wish the happy couple all the best abroad. We can't wait to hear their stories from Down Under and the rest of us will be here, with open arms when they get back.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Monday afternoon ramblings...

This past weekend was one with perfect amounts of fun and silence, and I suppose it wouldn't have been complete without some drama thrown in...for good measure (?) For an articulate and detailed description of last night's drama, click here. We had to laugh or we'd have cried. We were just happy to be in it together (and ok, a crowbar may have come in handy...)

Photo: Keira-Anne on Flickr

Being that it's Monday, and my head is full of thoughts, I'm about to unleash a very stream of consciousness post on you. Try to follow me.

I've always aimed to surround myself with amazing souls, I suppose we all do. It continues to floor me how many genuine, kind and sparkly, bright lights I have around me, and am lucky enough to continue to find. I am so blessed.

People are all very diverse and unique; in fact, no two are exactly alike. We all have different emotions, thoughts, perspectives and ways of dealing with things. We compliment and balance one another in various ways. We go through life making connections, bonding, inspiring, being inspired, loving and being loved. Sometimes we think that we know what we want when in fact, it ends up not being what we want, or need, at all. Sometimes something feels good for a while, and then it doesn't anymore. Friendships and relationships can grow, evolve and change into something entirely different. These are all the experiences that make our lives rich and textured. Over the last little while, I've learned that it's really important not to lose sight of the big picture. As I've said before, I've always been somebody who has let her emotions cloud her judgement. For the first time really, I'm seeing the world, and my life, with a new found clarity. And that's not to say that I'm not still an emotional person. When something is on my mind, there may very well be waterworks... the important difference, is that I'm discovering how to make the best choices for myself, despite the emotional stuff. Maybe it doesn't have to be so complicated.
I think that as we go through life, we really begin to figure out how important self awareness is. We can't live without dreams. We are spiritual people. It's really what feeds us. We're creative human beings. We create arts, we move and change people. We should be thoughtful. We live our lives in front of each other, so all we can do is be honest, I think. We're all just doing our best, you know, and as long as we're working towards something, we're going to make mistakes but that's alright.

Friday, May 9, 2008

All you need is your own imagination...

Photo: Freeland Elleblogs

"Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street. Fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening." Coco Chanel
Fashion is one of the great loves of my life. I get goosebumps just thinking about shopping. Whether I'm rummaging in thrift stores or burning a swath through sample sales, outfits are my great passion, my little pieces of art, my raison d'ĂȘtre. I've always loved putting together looks. I've been studying and analyzing fashion and style for as long as I can remember. When I was a little girl, I would stare at ladies in the mall or on the street. I would examine their outfits closely, head to toe, and submit what I saw to memory to be drawn upon later. My inspirations come from past and present, different cultures, people & my own imagination. You know how when you see magazines or watch runway shows with models in ridiculous outfits, you think, "who the hell would ever wear that?" Well, I would. Years ago, I went through a phase of wearing themed looks. I'd be "asian girl" one night and then "cowgirl" or "80's punk rock chick" the friends were constantly getting a kick out of these very specific themed outfits. Many nights when I'd arrive to go out, my friends would giggle upon viewing the look du jour. I'd laugh too, because it is funny and pulling things off is my little game.
Photo: Shoewawa
I've always felt exhilarated when putting clothes, accessories, hair and makeup together to create the particular look that I envision so clearly in my head. Even as a kid, I would have a precise idea of something that I was looking for when I went shopping because I wanted to bring this 'image' I visualized to life. Playing dress up was my favourite thing to do, Hallowe'en was my favourite holiday. What really makes great personal style? Lately there seems to be a change in the fashion current. There's a new wave of women who are experts at putting an outfit together that doesn't necessarily look like it belongs on a mannequin; but rather, just casually has a certain je ne sais quoi. Inherited shortcomings are no barrier for the truly stylish today-an errant mole, a hawkish nose or crooked teeth can be worked to one's advantage. I've always said that my aim is to walk the line between looking clownish and looking totally sophisticated. That's what high fashion is all about: the shock of the new. Being memorable means being elegant and excessive all at the same time. You can pull anything off if you're confident. I can still remember my friend Danielle's face the night I went to a local pub in hot pink tights and black pumps. And the first time I wore a dress over pants or jeans tucked into knee high boots. There's a great deal of fun in walking that line. Some call it "quirky sophistication" others call it being a "funny" dresser; but I've somehow always known that pulling anything off is all in the proud little thrust of your chin. You can get away with any crazy outfit by not feeling like your outfit is crazy. If you're comfortable being an eccentric person, you won't feel out of sorts. The attitude you've got to have is always smiling. Anybody can give me their flinty snickers, pointing fingers or sideways looks, because I feel good about what I'm wearing.

Photo: WhoWhatWear Daily
The late Diana Vreeland, past editor of Vogue, said "Never fear being vulgar, just boring." Fashion is more than style. For me, my style is a direct reflection of the way I feel. It changes depending on my mood and what my influences are at the time. I love quirky accessories. I love to shop vintage. I get so excited when I find something a little bit provocative, a little bit different. I've just always loved clothes, shoes, accessories and the dance of being a woman.

However, as fun as eccentric looks and whimsy outfits can loves extremes, so...there is something equally as appealing about a more pulled together, classic style. Coco Chanel could walk into a room now and look fabulous. She set a standard and was adventurous but chic at the same time. Her style was timeless. That's the beauty of fashion; anything goes. It's all about having fun and creating a look that you feel comfortable with, because money can't buy you fashion sense, but confidence and a keen eye can. So that leaves the question; can style be learned? I think one must be willing to observe, to experiment, to be daring and to be confident. Differences are what distinguish us from one another. Embrace your own personal style, no matter what that is. Your own uniqueness is your most precious gift.

Tips For Aspiring Stylistas:
-Treat your flaws as assets.
-Follow Chanel's lead and start with black and white.
-Your clothes should fit you perfectly. Too tight is never stylish.
-Invest in quality. It's better to have one good than 10 mediocre things.
-Be impeccably groomed.
-Don't fuss with your clothes.
-Embrace drama.
-Know what suits your body type.
-Develop a style opinion. All over the map style suggests insecurity.
-Love thyself, confidence is irreplaceable.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

"There is nothing to do but be..."

Do you ever feel like life just whizzes by? The time only seems to go faster the older we get. The weeks are long but the years are short. I feel like I'm always asking myself where the time goes. I'm learning that living in the present brings the one thing most people spend their lives trying to achieve: peace. Relaxing in the present moment puts you in a state of calm. I've come to cherish the moments in life when I can take time to reflect. It's important to me that I take some silence every day. No phones ringing, nobody asking me to do anything; a brief escape into my imagination.

Today, my work load at the office was significantly lighter than it has been in quite some time. I decided to take advantage of the fact that I could actually take a full lunch break, and I wandered down to the waterfront. After doing a loop along the path, admiring the bright, spring flowers and soaking up some much needed vitamin D, I found a spot on a bench and took a deep breath. I sat in silence, watching playful dogs run around in front of me and listening to the waves wash up on the shore.

Many of us race through life, always on our way somewhere, to do something. I'm really trying to take the time to enjoy the ride; to stop and smell the flowers, as they say. I think it's important to allow yourself to really live the moment. Appreciate the experiences that you have. I'm not saying that we should all just float through life; only that we should pause occasionally and allow ourselves to be fully rooted in a moment and feel a sense of peace as a result.

What's simple is true

She had, of course, the hair; but I think that it was her effortlessness as a comedian that made Rachel Green so lovable. You never noticed Jennifer Aniston being charming or hilarious or deeply touching. She just was. In fact, we didn't realize the depth of our love for her until there she was in ''The One With the Prom Video,'' pressed against us in perhaps the world of sitcom's most perfectly passionate kiss. Well, pressed against Ross, but no matter — we were just as smitten. I can remember being a little copycat at 14 years old, replicating exact outfits that Rachel wore on Friends. A little white v-neck top with a short black skirt and black chunky heeled loafers was one of my favourite looks at that time.

Jennifer Aniston has become a style icon for a lot of women these days because she conveys a minimal, streamlined, casual look. Her strength, I believe, is that she knows what suits her, and she wears it well. From city shorts with teetering espadrilles, to tailored Galliano suits with oversized accessories; from jersey dresses with knee high boots, to streamlined, neutral coloured gowns with super-straight or beachy waved locks, Jennifer exudes a classic, conservative and yet individualistic style that is so superstar and yet so achievable for the average copycat.

She has a fashion sense that is very accessible. The thing that sets Jennifer Aniston apart from most of the other female celebrities is her natural beauty. Jen looks better in a pair of jeans and a tank top than most celebrities in a designer skirt, halter and heels. She downplays her style because she wants to be classic, she wants her natural beauty to overpower her makeup, clothes and hair. The result? Jennifer ends up looking beautiful all the time.

**Photos are not property of Work In Progress. All images in this post have been taken from various websites and stockpiled in the "style" archives over the years. If your photo has not been credited and you would like it to be, please e-mail me.**

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Revelations are coming to me like lightning

Photo: Keira-Anne on Flickr

If there's one thing that I have realized over the last few months, especially in travelling to different parts of the country, it's that I am, without any doubt, a West Coast girl through and through. I love Vancouver, I really do.
When Keira, another true West Coast babe, suggested a Saturday morning seawall walk, I knew that getting up and out there bright and early with her would do me a world of good. I couldn't have imagined a better way to start the weekend. The two of us walked and talked for hours in the rain, taking time to explore the incredible starfish on the beach, leave our footprints in the sand and photograph the beauty around us. It was an amazing morning.

On Saturday afternoon, Shando popped by for tea and girl talk. She brought me an original work of art as a gift. To say that I am touched would be an understatement. I am beyond honoured to hang her work in my apartment. Shando's creative flair and passion for following her heart are a true inspiration to me.

"Be brave enough to live creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can't get there by bus, only by hard work, risking, and by not quite knowing what you're doing. What you'll discover will be wonderful: yourself." Alan Alda

Last night, I busted out to Langley for an evening of drinks, laughs and Vanessa's trademark potatoes. After watching the Canadiens lose to Philly in game five (and subsequently, having a minor breakdown about it), we were off to the pub for a few more cold ones and some quality time together. Casual nights of this kind are my favourite. Good friends are the greatest treasure in the universe.

I've realized over the last few days how much I am blown away by authenticity. This has been a weekend rich with authentic people and authentic experiences. Time goes by quickly, and with that in mind, I think it's important to take too many pictures, laugh too much, and love like you've never been hurt because, as they say, "every sixty seconds you spend upset is a minute of happiness you'll never get back."

Friday, May 2, 2008

Headlights before me

Photo: Glassy Eye on Flickr

"There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life."

Recent conversations with a friend who is going through a rough time have stirred up a myriad of thoughts in my busy mind.

Release is defined as the act of letting go. In every situation, you can either take responsibilty and attempt to make things happen, or you can choose to let go. Is one option better or worse? Obviously, every situation is different. If you're talking about a toxic aspect of your life, there's a good chance that you will need to let go in order to create a better reality for yourself. That's just so much easier said than done though, isn't it? Many emotions and beliefs can be lingering inside our heads which prevent us from creating a better reality for ourselves. Sometimes negative thoughts can clutter our minds and take up the space needed in order to imagine and create a life based on what we want. The reality is, it's unfortunate that bad things happen to us, but they do. Clinging to the psychic debris left behind can sometimes do even more damage than the actual event itself.

The human heart is remarkably resilient. I forget that sometimes. I've learned that although it may be difficult at times, it's important for me to trust my heart in order to release the aspects of my life that stagnate me.

I've never understood why people talk about letting go like it's so easy. If letting go was easy to do, I wouldn't have spent so much time with Mr. All Wrong. What's the point of clinging to something not worth hanging on to? Is it just that there isn't anything else that seems more appealing at the moment? Is it the faint hope that a situation or a person will change, or come to their senses? I think that sometimes we need to let people leave their mark on us, even if it scars.

I've come to the conclusion that all I can do is be honest; honest about who I am, about what I want and what I deserve, honest about what I'm giving and what I'm receiving. Beyond that, I suppose it's just up to the graces of whatever.