Finding the Happiness

Meditation

I wrote about my fist foray into meditation a few weeks ago.  You can find that article here: (What Happened When I Started Meditating)  It’s been over a month now and I’ve had a extremely cool and interesting journey with it.  Some of the results of meditation were what I thought they would be, but then other things started happening that I never imagined.  After so short a time learning to meditate I’ve discovered so much about myself in completely surprising ways.

I’ve listed and explained these amazing new things below, and I encourage you to tell me about your own in the comments below!

1.) Finding Happiness:  This is a new one as of just a few days ago.  For the first few weeks of meditation I felt good afterwards.  Calm, relaxed and ready for whatever lay ahead.  I thought my meditations were successful since after a nice 20 minute session I felt good.  I had no idea that ‘good’ was just a start.  This morning after a nice long meditation of breathing in white positive light, I stretched in bed and smiled, feeling happy.

Happiness has always been my goal.  I’ve always wanted to say that ‘I am happy’ and know that I’m being honest.  I’m so close!  A month ago it felt further away, but this morning I realized that it’s right there in front of me.  After meditating I felt happy.  Truly happy.  It doesn’t always last through the whole day yet, but it will!  Meditation first helped me find the calm, which in turn is helping me find the happy!  The point is that I never knew how to find it before.  Suddenly I have the tools to seek it out and pull it down inside of me.  If I wasn’t addicted to meditation before, I certainly am now!

2.) Work Atmosphere:  I’ve talked about my business partner several times.  He’s… hard to always be around.  His biggest flaw is really that he’s oblivious to the people around him.  For the last few months I’ve been frustrated and resentful towards him.  You know that feeling of frustration that burns right in the lower part of your chest?  Yeah, that feeling.  It built and built until I couldn’t find calm if my life depended on it!  Insert the beginning part of my meditation journey. Continue reading

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What Happened When I Started Meditating

meditation-lotusTwo weeks ago I started meditating seriously for the first time.  I’ve stumbled around the idea for years but I’ve never actually tried.  Maybe one half-hearted session here or there, but nothing substantial that could possibly have had an affect.  Then I started seeing a councillors who asked me what I thought I could do to help relieve stress and anxiety.  I told her meditation.  She asked why I’d never done it if I knew the answer.  I had absolutely no answer for her.

So she gave me my first homework assignment.  Meditate a little bit every day for a short time.  Even a few minutes, as long as it’s every day.  ‘But here’s the catch!’ she said quickly.  ‘I know who you are and I know you’re going to work hard at this.  Don’t!  Don’t try to be good at meditation or do it right.  There’s no such thing.  Just let it go’.  That advise turned out to be the key for me.

I’m an overachiever, so my ‘little bit’ every day turned into twice a day for at least twenty minutes.  I lay in bed because sitting felt uncomfortable, and I really set myself up to do it right.  I dimmed the lights, set me intentions to really give this a go, and told myself that I wasn’t going to do this right anyway so there was no use getting frustrated as my mind wanders.

I was surprised at how gentle it turned out to be.  I’m so used to working hard for everything.  I thought this would feel the same way.  But I wasn’t at all.  Once I started breathing and listening to the guiding voice, it was very gentle and soothing.  I let my mind settle, I focused on calm, and when thoughts came into my head I acknowledged them and then gently let them drift away.

Something funny happened to me after I started meditating.   Continue reading

Vega One Vanilla Chai Tea Milkshakes!

Vega One Vanilla ChaiAll I have to say about this is…. oh my god!!!  I just randomly tried something that I swear is the best treat I’ve ever had.  Now that I’m mostly Vegan, I do try and pick up some protein boosters once in awhile.  I get plenty of protein through beans and grains, but every once in awhile I’ll top myself up.  The Vega One protein smoothies are a great option.

Walking through Whole Foods yesterday, I noticed there was one of those individual Vega One packs.  This one was Vanilla Chai flavoured.  I like Chair tea during the cold days, so I grabbed one, thinking I’d heat it up and make it warm.  But when I got home all I wanted was a milkshake.  As I’m not eating any kind of dairy, I obviously couldn’t have one.  I don’t know where the craving came from, but it was there.  I had a quick look through my cupboards and found a few ingredients that sounded good in theory.

Vega One Vanilla Chai

Coconut Milk

Ice

Water (ice cold)

Stick it all in your blender and blend until frothy.  Holy crap, it was a smooth delicious goodness!!!  I took one sip and got my milkshake fix as well as that wonderful warm Chai feeling from the spices.  I’d accidentally made a desert that was healthy and so delicious I ate the whole thing.

Here are a few things to note!!  Coconut milk can be fatty.  Add more water, but don’t skip the Coconut milk!!  It’s what makes it smooth and creamy.  Almost over blend it.  The ice will crunch down, but it’s that frothy that makes it feel like a dessert.  This could be a meal!!  It packs a lot of punch.  I would make half a pack if you’ve already had most of your portions for the day and are just looking for a tasty treat.  Those Vega Ones have a ton of stuff in them.

I find that the Vega Ones don’t always dissolve all the way.  Make sure you stir it ones in awhile, or you might end up with a sludge at the bottom that is really strong.

Want to make it even more like a dessert?  Whip some coconut cream on top, or use a thicker Coconut milk to make it thicker.  Put it in the freezer for a short while to freeze it up even more than the ice!

My Face is a Roadmap

Sugar AddictionSince I was a teenager, I’ve worn everything on my face.  I mean that it a few different ways, but today I mean in terms of pimples and acne.  It took me years to figure out that what I put in my body, and how I treated myself, directly contributed to how much makeup I would need to wear to cover blemishes.

In the last two years, I have conquered the chaos that was my face.  Into my late 20’s I was still getting pimples and I was starting to give up on ever being clear-skinned.  But then my life turned around and I figured out how to rid myself of the ugly red spots for good!  How?  I found my triggers.  Mainly they are sugar and dairy.  I learned to deal with stress in a natural way without binge eating, and I studied hormones to slowly start to repair my imbalances.  I figured out an all natural cleaning regime using jojoba or coconut oils instead of chemical moisturizers.  After these steps, I officially became a person who can walk outside without makeup and look clear and fresh!

These last two months have been total chaos.  One day I looked in the mirror and I just knew I needed to start focusing on me again.  The stress of starting a new business and opening new offices was taking its toll.  I was stress eating, binging and forgetting to take care of myself.  My entire chin and jawline felt like sandpaper.  I’ve never been this bad!  I’d fallen off the healthy wagon hard and my face was exposing it to the world.

Determined to turn it around, I did a quick google search on the areas I was seeing the most problem.  The main causes?  Stress, sugar, eating before bed and hormones.  Bam.  The first four were like yup, yup, yup and yup.  In that moment, I stopped the horrible habits cold turkey.  My main focus was to clear up my face naturally again.

Sugar be gone!  Dairy went back to small amounts.  I went back on the pill and started walking and doing soft meditation to deal with the stress.  One week later I’m seeing visible differences.  Mainly there’s nothing new popping up!  I’ve carefully exfoliated with baking soda and found a good clay mask for my nightly wind-downs.  I drink water until I pee every five minutes.  I’ve borrowed my sisters juicer so I can basically inject myself with green veggies.   One week and oh what a difference.   Continue reading

Veggies for Breakfast

Veggies at BreakfastBreakfast is one of those topics that just doesn’t go away.  Every person who Googles some sort of ‘weight loss’ or ‘up your energy’ search will eventually get to the same thing.  Breakfast is what makes the world go round.  Without it, you’re screwed.

I’m not a breakfast person.  I find it hard to force myself to eat in the morning.  It’s not one food over another, it’s just that I never seem hungry first thing.  I’ve tried to bring things to work and eat at my desk, but if I forget or get instantly busy I’m screwed!  I’ve tried preparing things the night before, but I tend to crave something at night that seems gross in the morning.  I’m 29 years old, and I’ve never figured out breakfast.

Finally, my mom bought me a Magic Bullet for my birthday and I discovered veggie smoothies.  Every morning I wake up and throw together a smoothie full of green goodness, sip it while I put on my makeup, and then go about my day.  Let me tell you, veggies in the morning is fricken amazing!

I’ve noticed this trend lately that I thought I’d bring up.  At the gym yesterday I was reading a Women’s Health while on the eliptical.  Elizabeth Banks is on the cover.  There was a breakfast recipe in there that I was sort of stunned by.  It had squash and turnips or something like that (I can’t find it again now!).  What got me is that the entire dish was all veggies.  If I hadn’t seen it in the breakfast section, I would have thought it was a dinner side dish of roast veggies.  But this was a veggie mash meant to be like oatmeal.  I thought at first that it was weird.  Why would I wake up and make a bunch of roast veggies for breakfast?  But then I realized that my morning smoothies had become pure veggies so how is this different? Continue reading

October Goal

OctoberSeptember has been a difficult month and I’ve allowed things like health and energy to get away from me again.  This past weekend I realized I was back to feeling sluggish and a little irritable.  But instead of focusing on what I failed to do in Septemeber, I’ve decided to focus on October and make it my month to succeed!

I’ve learned through time and failure that I’m not good at following things to the absolute dot.  Instead, I come up with general goals that I know will make me feel fantastic and push me to keep going.  That way I start succeeding right away instead of feeling failure at every turn.  If my goal is to eat mostly vegan and today I ate completely vegan, then I had a major success today!  If one day I eat some meat, then I haven’t fully fallen off the wagon, and my month goal isn’t already defeated.

With that in mind, here are my general goals.

I’m going back to almost full Vegan.  I’ve been eating roughly 80-90% Vegan most of the summer, but September took me back to around 60% .  I’m bumping that number up to 90% for the rest of the month!  (We had an early thanksgiving this year so I’ve already done turkey and stuffing!).  I’m re-focusing on my water intake once more.  Water for me is the one thing that is the first to drop off the side.  I’m going to limit my gluten and stick to whole grains.  And last but not least, walking.  I’m not going to make big lofty goals about exercise.  Instead, I’m going to say I want to walk in this beautiful fall weather as much as I can.

I started writing out in my brand new journal exactly what my goals were.  Right away I realized that I was writing ‘no’ way too much.  No sugar, no candy, no chips, no… it’s a very negative list!  I think the first step towards failure is setting it up to be deprivation.  So I quickly tore out that page and started again.  I will not use the word ‘no’ at all in this list!

1.) Water! Water! Water!

2.) Only healthy sugars to keep energy flowing smoothly.  You know how bad you feel after a handful of candy!

3.) Whole grains and fibre rich carbs to keep me full and on goal!

4.) Let’s hit the sack! 7 hours of zzzz’s per night.

5.) Stretch and relax every day for mind and body.

6.) Enjoy this beautiful fall as much as possible.  Get out those walking shoes!

To me, this list is so much fun.  I can’t wait to go for a walk, crawl into bed at night or feel limber and relaxed.  The only ‘rules words’ or ‘only’ and a few ‘!’.  It’s a list of inspiration, not deprivation.  It’s so important to set yourself up for success rather than creating a tiny little box you need to work too hard to fit into.

What are your inspiration goals for October??  Can you re-write them so they feel fun instead of depriving?

I Stopped Showering and I Smell Great!

Body OdorIf you’d told me even a few months ago that I would be okay going days without showering, I would have snorted in a way most unbecoming.  A snort of complete disbelief.  I mean come on.  I am a girl with long, thick blonde hair that gets greasy after 24 hours!  I need to shower!  And who wants that kind of B.O.?  I mean I’m not a terrible stinker, but by the end of the day I’m usually ready for a new rub of deodorant under the arms.

Today, as I’m writing this on a Monday, I can say in all honesty that the last day I showered was Friday morning.  I’m on day four, and not only does my hair look normal, but I just took a sniff of myself and I smell great!

Here’s what happened.  First, I went blonde.  Much to my mother’s chagrin I started dying my hair a few years ago and never stopped.  As soon as I went blonde everyone started telling me that I shouldn’t be washing my hair every day because the light colour would dry it out.  Do you want hair like straw?  I certainly don’t!  Afraid of brittle hair, I spent hundreds of dollars on shampoos and conditioners to keep my hair moisturized.  It’s always been a struggle.  I tried not showering once or twice, and my hair goes greasy within a day.

And then… dry shampoo!

It took me six brands to find one that I liked.  I had to like the smell and what it did to my hair.  Dry shampoo tends to make my hair look either dull or feel like straw.  One smelled so strongly of some kind of flower it made me feel sick.  One made my hair look gray!!  I kept trying and eventually find one by Pantene Pro-V that smells nice and doesn’t affect the color of my hair.  It doesn’t feel the best, but it’s not bad at all.  I’m still hoping to find one better without having to spend a million dollars, but we’ll get there.

Back to showering.  I started going a day or two without showering because my hair wasn’t greasy.  I’m not a huge stinker, so a little deodorant can get me through a few days pretty easily.   I started showering only when I started to smell bad.  Slowly, the time between showers started getting longer.  Suddenly I was going five or six days without showering!!  I usually notice when I have B.O., but I was surprised that I really didn’t smell all that bad.  I even started getting compliments from people on day three and four ‘you smell so good!’.   Continue reading