Enough. W.I.S.E. Project 2016

enough

The couch was a rich shade of red earth brown distressed leather. It was soft to the touch with classic rolled arms and a button tufted back, reminiscent of days gone by. The length was beyond generous and you could immediately imagine yourself kicking off your heels and curling up by the warm fire for a night cap. The room was littered with navy wingbacks adorned with fuzzy pillows in hipster fabrics but neutral shades. An eclectic mix of nautical and old world accessories cohabiting on tables of different sizes and shapes, some sleek and glass, others a chunky chocolate brown wood.

In Burnaby’s Metrotown district it feels more like Greater Vancouver’s SoMa meets Shaughnessy , hipster meets posh, Spumante meets Cristal.

There was a time when I would never have imagined myself sitting alone in an upscale hotel lounge by myself, sipping a nice red wine by the glass and feeling comfortable in my own skin. There were times it would have been more likely for me to walk by the lounge en-route to my hotel room, wistfully thinking what a quaint place it was but never going in alone.

I would never have been confident enough. I would have needed someone to accompany me.

Not this day.

This day I sat sipping on an easy drinking house red, in front of a warm fire while rain drizzled against the tall glass pane windows and I finally felt like I was enough.

It was more than OK to enjoy my own company.

Nobody tells you about the nights you will spend alone enveloped in sadness, waiting for someone to complete you. Wrapped up in covers and wreaking of guilt, shame and inadequacy. Even if they told you, you would never have believed that where you were cracked wide open would one day be the spots where you were filled with light. That you would have amazing adventures and endless laughter, the ocean would soothe your soul and the mountains would bring you a peace you never thought possible. People would love you, all of you.

All of your thoughts and perfect imperfections.

More importantly you would love yourself.

They would compliment you…but not complete you. You complete you. You are ENOUGH. You always were.

The Sound of Silence-W.I.S.E Project 2016

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We are almost at the end of March and it hasn’t all been perfect but I have embraced every bit of it and to be honest most of it was damn good. I hope yours was too.

Through the W.I.S.E. Project I am continuing to learn a great deal about myself. I worked on my well-being this month,  not just physically but mentally. I have been learning to recognize the things that make me feel “well” and happy. I gratefully embrace the moments that I feel pure joy.  I have learned to focus more on the here and now, being mindful and grateful for the blessings I have in my life right now. I am still learning to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of the present moment without out stressing  about the past or the future. It is a task that needs daily of practice but it really does put things into perspective.

I have continued Floating or “therapy” as I like to call it. Each time I float I try to go in with an open mind, hoping to achieve an inner peace that I know is possible when your mind, body and soul are in sync. I recommend Floating to anyone who is interested in mindfulness and wants to free their mind and enjoy the pure bliss of feeling whole. It really is a challenge to shut down the thousands of browser tabs your mind keeps open and buffering at any given time and welcome the freedom of just being, instead of doing, but it is really worth it.

I am striving to learn more ways to practice being content in the moment without constantly having to do. I still struggle to enjoy quiet moments without feeling like I have to be “doing” The bigger challenge is to spend more quiet time, without the distraction of TV and electronics to fill in the blanks. It is hard to sit still or even read a book without playing with my phone every two minutes. (A work in progress)

I know that with work and a busy family that it will be up to me to commit to creating quiet moments for myself and continue to make my well-being a priority.

As I mentioned at the end of February sometimes things look differently at the end of them month then you had planned and that is OK. To be happy and mindful we have to learn to eliminate the unreal expectations that we often have. People who are able to live free of expectations are happier because they are not constantly disappointed when situations don’t turn up the way they presumed they would.

This month my husband came home after working away for 10 weeks. My focus shifted and for the last week everything has changed including my eating habits. I have had more wine but less water, less sleep but more laughs, less focus but more fun. I am grateful for my family and sometimes we eat cheeseburgers and stay up way to late…that is just the way it is.

My April W.I.S.E. Principles are:

Wisdom-At age 42 I feel I have gained lot of wisdom, I want to reflect on the things that I have learned over the years and I what I once believed to be true as opposed to what I now believe to be true. I want to continue to gain knowledge that will help me to lead a better life and understand how the wisdom has helped me evolve and be happier.

Integrity– I think being an honest person,  having good morals, and being considered someone of good character is an admirable thing and I want to continue to live my live with intention while trying to be sincere and truthful.

Sincerity-Being virtuous and speaking and acting truly about your feelings, thoughts and desires, acting and communicating earnestly is a wonderful character trait but I know that a lot of people struggle to live and speak their truth. This month I will get very real about my thoughts, feelings, struggles and triumphs.

Education– The capacity to learn is a true gift. As humans we have very few true instincts. Most of what we know has been learned. Willingness to continue to learn is a powerful choice, a choice that I intend to continue to make every single day. There is a world of knowledge out there and I want lots of it. I have never been numbers smart but I have a fair bit of wisdom and  knowledge. Learning promotes understanding and I seek to bring more satisfaction and joy to my life by actively seeking opportunities to learn and understand.

I am still so excited about Robert Waldingers Ted Talk about Living a Good Life. Robert is a Harvard psychiatrist, Zen priest, and psychoanalyst. He directs the Harvard Study of Adult Development, which is possibly the longest study of adult life ever done. About 60 of the original 724 men are still alive, still participating in the study, most of them in their 90s. They are now beginning to study the more than 2,000 Baby Boomer sons and daughters of these men. I am currently reading George E. Vaillant’s book Triumphs of Experience. George was a director of the study as well.

From this study, one important lesson about what makes for the good life  kept emerging time and time again.

“Simply put, good relationships keep us happy and healthy.”  

Robert Waldinger 

 

You can listen to Dr. Waldinger’s facinating talk HERE.

It was enlightening to me. I have always told my kids that you don’t need a bunch of friends, just a couple of good ones. It validates for me how important it is to focus on making our important relationships good one’s. People will come and go from our life, the people that are meant to be there always will be. It makes sence to focus our energy and time on those relationships, and making sure that they are good for us.

He also made me pause and think about the things that that really matter to me and how important it is to prioritize living a life that is rich and fulfilling instead of a life that is frantic and busy. It strikes me how we flock to cities with bright lights, traffic and noice, we fill our lives with electronics and the next best thing, we fill our calendars up with borrowed time and what we long for more than anything else is to get away from it all, to be free of it. To go to a quiet place and be still.

I have been so inspired in fact that I am committing to go on a silent retreat for three days in September. I will be going by myself and unplugging from the world for three days. No phone, internet, cable or radio. I am already scared but equally excited!!

On my walk tonight I was thinking that maybe I would text or call Kirk and the kids once a day but I know that defeats the whole purpose and it is only three days out of my life. I also decided that taking the dogs would be cheating too.

I will be taking wine and chocolate, to do otherwise would be irresponsible.

Could you totally unplug from the world for three days? Can I ?

“Silence is sometimes the best answer”

-Dalai Lama

 

 

 

 

 

Creating Happiness

Happiness is yours to create.

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Hello All,

We are well into March and I hope you are all striving to work on your well-being, Inner Peace and embracing all of the wonderful changes that mindfulness and living in the moment can bring.

Happiness is a choice. Every second of every single day you can create your own.

If you haven’t joined me on my journey to get W.I.S.E. it is never too late to start! If you have a couple of minutes I would love to share some things with you. Grab a drink and let’s chat!

Listen here https://www.spreaker.com/user/michd74/creating-happiness-w-i-s-e-project-2016

xo Michelle

Misery loves company but it won’t get mine- W.I.S.E. Project 2016

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There are lessons I have learned in my life that I wish I had known much sooner. I guess we all have to put in the time and make the mistakes and then choose where to go from there. I know that my parents, especially my Mom,  made a great effort to share her wisdom and lead me in the right direction, the straying from the path and believing I was right was all my doing. Another point for Mom.

An important lesson that I finally learned is that as much as Misery loves company, it won’t be getting mine. Something inexplicably draws our young minds to drama and toxicity. Relationships and emotions are a funny thing, such a delicate balance between giving our support and taking the entire weight of others problems. Navigating this winding road of being a good mother, friend, co-worker and spouse but putting the right boundaries in place is essential to your well being and I hope you can figure it out quicker then I did. I won’t get into a long winded sermon about what you need to do because I am sure your Mom already told you and if you wouldn’t listen to her then why in the world would you listen to me.

I will say this, relationships should not take more from you then they give, you are not responsible to carry the burden of stress that does not belong to you and it is okay to distance yourself from toxic people. You can support and encourage your loved ones without indulging in drama, negativity or carrying the entire weight of their world on your shoulders. You can lighten the load that another carries just by being there for them. We are only ever expected to carry what we are able to, financially, spiritually and physically. At the end of the day, everyone is responsible to bear the weight of their burdens. Being mindful of this will allow you to lead a better life.

Put yourself first because you are worthy!

A wise friend just gave me a really good analogy. When the flight attendants are giving the pre-flight instructions prior to take-off they always instruct you to put on your oxygen mask first before assisting others. It is essential that you take care of you. If you do not, you will not be any good to others.

You will find that the right people will remain in your life no matter what, even if they are not present everyday, you are in their thoughts and they quietly cheer you on from afar, just as you do them.

“Everybody needs you, but you need you first, don’t help everyone and neglect yourself. Love your neighbor, as you love yourself, not instead of yourself.

~ @TonyGaskins

You are worth it! Be inspired, simplify and empower! Most of all be W.I.S.E.

xo Chat soon

Michelle

 

 

A Good Life -W.I.S.E

Hi there,

We have reached the end of the January blahs and I have uploaded a Podcast with my journal notes on what I have learned from this months W.I.S.E. Project as well as introducing February W.I.S.E Principles. Check it out HERE

Thanks for following along, choose a good life!

Shit Shit Shit – W.I.S.E. Project 2016

One of the greatest lessons that I have had to learn is to not take everyone else’s shit and put it in my bucket, it turns out I have enough of my own. I have posted this before but choosing to be mindful and happy is a choice we make consciously every single day and I think this serves as a good solid reminder for me and possibly for all of you.

 

“Bucket of Shit” written by Unknown & Adapted by Robin Mohilner

 We all come into this world with two things:

A bucket of shit AND a shovel.

What matters in life is not what causes the shit in our buckets.

What matters is what we do with the shit we have.

Now we have some options for what we can do with our shit and our shovel:

1.) We can spend our life digging through the shit to figure out what it is and where it came from.

The shit won’t change. It will still be shit. But we have every right to sift through our shit and smell it for as long as we want.

2.) We can use our shovel to take our shit and put it in other people’s buckets.

Then we get to say, “I have no shit! This is your shit!”

3.) We can stick our shovels into other people’s bucket of shit and use our shovel to carry their shit into our bucket.

Doing this will allow us to take responsibility for everyone elses’ shit.

Everything will be our fault. We will stink and feel bad.

(This is what we do when we take things personally, by the way)

4.) We can use our own shovel to protect our bucket of shit to keep other people’s shit out of our bucket and keep ourselves from giving other people the shit that belongs to us.

Now when it comes to the shit itself…we have some options….

We can hide the shit from the world and pretend that we don’t have shit.

We can go around being stinky and unkind to each other.

OR

We can use the shit as fertilizer and plant the things that we desire to grow in our lives.

What you do with your shovel and bucket of shit is up to you.

Be W.I.S.E., be mindful, be happy and don’t take everyone’s shit!!

xo Michelle

THE SHACK

The Shack/The Missy Project

The Shack

Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity

The Shack is not a book I would normally buy because it confronts the grief of a father (Mack) after the brutal murder of his young daughter. Having daughters it is a subject matter that I would normally back away from. I was with Haley at her School Book Fair and something drew me to it. I picked it up and put it down several times before deciding to take it home and spend an evening curled up reading.

The Shack confronts grief and heartache in a very real and relatable way. It explores the power of forgiveness, faith, hope, grace and love. It asks questions, it helps you seek and find answers, it shows you beauty and truth and for me reinforced some things that I believed to be true.

The Shack wrestles with the timeless question “Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?”

I became absorbed in this book and I found that the answers that Mack was seeking were often to questions I had asked myself. It took me on a brilliant journey, both compelling and daring, shining a spotlight on things we all struggle with, our faith, our beliefs, our shortcomings…

From beginning to end it painted a vivid picture of human emotion. Sometimes wonderfully eloquent and others deceptive and ugly.

I was captivated, I cried, I was angry, I was justified, I was redeemed, I passed judgment in haste, and I was enlightened.

It is a book that will weave it’s way into your heart and fill up all the cold and empty spaces. I believe in one way or another it will have an impact on you. Powerfully clarifying and gracefully simple, if you read it, you will be changed.

I felt compelled to join the Missy Project to get the word out about this fascinating tale. If you have read let me know what you thought or give it a read and let me know.

Michelle

The Shack/Missy project