I’m a coffee lover. Not that I drink gallons of it every day, but I am very attached to that morning brew and those first few perfectly hot sips of happiness.
I started the day with a luxurious, frothy coffee during a recent stay in Edmonton and I questioned why I haven’t had this cup of goodness in my life thus far! It was a nice little perk to start the day.
It was a sunny, crisp morning that had me reflecting on the blessings in my life. We were attending the celebration of the life of Albert Karvonen. If you were lucky enough to have met him, you already know what an amazing human he was, not only for his accomplishments in the wildlife film community, but as a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, mentor and friend.
I was feeling grateful for the ability to be there to support my partner who was mourning the loss of his mentor and friend, to be staying in comfort, to have access to the ‘big city’ stores, to be in the presence of friends and to feel their warmth and love.
I’ve been fortunate in my almost 53 years on this planet to have had very few experiences with loss, in fact, I was in my mid-thirties when I experienced the first loss of my cousin to a tragic work accident. It’s naturally an awkward and uncomfortable situation and one never quite knows what to say. Being a strongly empathic person, I have to prepare myself to be in these situations as I take on the emotions of the people around me.
My rituals help me with staying centered and balanced. Every morning I start with the heavenly beans that sing to my soul (LOL – dramatic much?), then some positive inspiration including motivational videos or meditations.
I know it makes me sound like an old hippie – well I guess I am an old hippie, but anyway… Several years ago, when I was a “business woman” I suffered from insomnia and anxiety for a variety of reasons – at that time I was working too many hours, trying to be super mom and just super woman in general. You know – all the things that we think we need to do/be in our youth until we figure out that the world won’t collapse if we are less than media’s depiction of perfect.
But I digress. What I’m trying to offer as a suggestion for anyone who needs a little “aaahhhhhhh….” in their life is to try listening to meditations, relaxation music/videos. About a decade ago, I was desperate enough for sleep to give them a try and guess what – it worked!
Better than a Pill
I’ve since used them to prevent or alleviate headaches/migraines, to destress, to start the day. There are meditations and relaxation music for everyone from thunderstorm sounds to rainfall, to piano and flute music, to monks chanting and more. Some are guided for visualization and others are just the sounds.
I invite you to have a listen to my meditation channel called Meditations for Life on YouTube. Tell me what you think. Have you listened to meditations or relaxation music in the past? What do you like the best? I will be releasing new videos each week and will try to incorporate your requests as I add new content.
Without further ado…
I’ve just released the second video – why don’t you gift yourself some relaxation and have a listen?
I had a conversation with someone who was stressing about a number of things including finances as we head into the holidays when businesses shut down but bills are looming and it caused a bit of a spiral mentally for them. They started lamenting about situations that took place long ago that contributed to some challenges over the years and how they should be so much further ahead in life.
Welcome to the club!
Let’s start with the word ‘should.’ Have you ever stopped to acknowledge that ‘should’ implies judgment? We are all best served by leaving that to whatever higher power you ascribe to. Having been on this planet for over half a century, I’ve learned a thing or two from the many mis-takes I’ve made along the way. I write it as mis-take because I don’t like to frame my experiences as errors necessarily, but trying out what works for me and if I didn’t hit the mark on the first take, then perhaps I would hit it on the second, third, fourth, fifth or more takes.
One key lesson that I learned is that life is more likely than not to turn out very different from what you imagined it would be – time and again.
We are on a planet that is spinning through space with meteors, debris and explosions all around it. A planet that is covered with billions of beings that exercise varying degrees of free will. A planet that is subject to weather occurrences of all extremes of heat, cold, wind, rain, shifting, eruption, drought, famine etc. A planet with birth, death, creation and destruction. Any one of these things can derail our lives in unforgiving and epic proportions.
Let it Go
As I look out my window at the -51C ice fog and wiggle my cold toes inside my thick, cozy socks the Frozen reference seems especially fitting. The point being – if you can’t change it, if it’s over and done with – clear out the clutter. Don’t let it take space in your brain! Acknowledge what sucked, figure out how you will avoid the suck in the future and focus your attention on what you can do today and do that again tomorrow and the next day and the next time you stumble.
The earth is about 4.5 billion years old. Our lifespan is roughly 2 millionths of 1 percent of the age of earth. If one human lifespan of 85 years was the earth’s lifespan, then one human life would last 141 seconds. Basically 2 minutes. And I have 2 points to make on that – one – all of our problems are pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of the universe and two – make your two minutes count!
Are your needs being met?
Whenever I’m worked up about some catastrophe in my life, I remind myself to breathe and recount my blessings starting from the most basic needs to the abundance of luxuries in my humble existence. I have a roof over my head, food in my cupboard, good health, family, friends, talent, skills, opportunities.
We all have them, like invisible little gifts floating in the air around us. If you can move your body, you have the opportunity to exercise and be strong, strong enough to become an Olympic champion if you choose to make the most of that opportunity to move your body. If you have a modicum of intelligence you can use your mental resources to create anything that you can imagine.
Naked and screaming
One of the sayings that my children have heard many times over the years is “we’re all born naked and screaming.” My logical mind overrules any doubt or fear when I want to accomplish something and I just go about my business and give it a shot. Sometimes I hit the mark, sometimes I learn a lesson and always I gain experience.
The key is in your thoughts, in your determination and consistency. That driving force of your thoughts that keeps the vision of what you want firmly planted in the forefront of your mind and shields you from the negative distractions. Do not underestimate the power of your mind.
Consider the difference in how you frame the following situation:
Ken R. is a middle aged person who was left with four hungry children to care for and very little financial prospects ahead of him
Ken could become depressed and lament about his woes, allow himself to wallow in the role of victim, spending his thoughts, words and energy on recounting the bad things that have happened to him, spiral into a state of self-destruction.
Or Ken could give himself some time to grieve the situation before putting it in the past where it belongs and think of what he can do today that will bring him one step closer to his goals. He could start by being thankful for the friends and family that provided love and support, helped him find a place to stay, a source of income. Opportunities to start anew. This is how I feel about a blank page in my notebook.
A New Year
This time of year I have the habit of becoming reflective. I love the ritual of looking back at the past year and summarizing how I spent my most valuable resource – time. I look at my photos, journals and my day planner, scrolling from January through December, noting whatever stands out to me. I compare what actually happened to what I thought would happen and usually find it’s a mix of making incremental progress toward my goals, getting temporarily sidetracked, and pivoting because external forces caused me to change my course. Those external forces could be positive like opportunities or negative like Ken’s challenges.
I published 11 books this year!
What?! You may have seen my launch posts talking about my children’s books BUT, because of a course that I’ve been working on for quite some time, I learned of a new opportunity that would make great use of some of my paintings, photos, and the skills that I’ve acquired for creating, editing, formatting and publishing on KDP Amazon.
Stationary love affair
Writers love to write and there’s nothing more soothing to my soul than taking pen to actual paper to write a note, a story, do a brain dump, make my never-ending to do lists, plan my week, set my goals, take notes, copy recipes, outline new stories – I could go on and on. I love notebooks, so I created a series of my own.
11 Units in December – WOOOHOOO
I was so tickled to log in to my account this morning to see that I have sold a total of 11 units for all of my books for December, including my notebooks and the guided journal called Design Your Life that I created for those who want to walk through some of the things that I have found useful in sorting out how to set and achieve goals.
Most of these purchases come from family and friends, but one of those purchases of my newly published notebooks came from Japan! I am incredibly grateful to my family and friends for their support, but it’s like breaking a bit of a barrier to generate sales from complete strangers.
I am one more sale on my journey toward my goals.
And in case you want to check out my notebooks, just go onto Amazon and type in Lisa Nantais or visit my author page here. Perhaps my notebooks will be a useful tool for you in moving toward your goals!
Visit me on Amazon
Book Two – Old Fort Point and Big Horn Sheep
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