be THAT girl who shares her story…

When someone shares with you a piece of their story, they’re giving you a gift.

Tj Aneca

“Babe, I need to talk to you about something”…

Not the words I wanted to hear in that moment that night. I remember it like a broken record in my head. Those 9 words changed my life in ways I could never have imagined. Thirty-nine years, living a life that was working and with that one sentence my whole world flipped. Not how I saw my life playing out at all.

Thinking that he needed to talk to me about the kids, as we lay side by side in the dark as we usually do right before we fall asleep, I asked him “what’s up?” “Teej, I can’t do this anymore.” Silence. “I can’t continue to help lead a congregation when I don’t truly believe that this religion is true.” Silence. “I am leaving the church.” Tears. “If you and the kids decide you want to continue to go, I will support you and go with you but just know that my heart is not there.” More tears.

So many thoughts were swirling around in my head but none of my words would come out. Just tears. I don’t think either of us really slept much that night. You could feel the sad tension between us. In my mind I played out every scenario. We continue to go and I ask him to join us. The kids and I continue to go without him with us. I take the kids and leave. I kick him out. We get a divorce. Weeks went by where we continued to go and put on our brave face. I could see how miserable he was which broke my heart. So, I did what I had taught my young women to do, I questioned.

Now questioning beliefs within some religions is not exactly welcomed. I never had because I was the girl that believed what her parents, friends and leaders said was truth. I just trusted that they knew and that was good enough but those 9 words challenged me. They made me dig deep and go somewhere I had never even considered going.

I remember I was alone that day. I had several hours where I would have absolutely no interruptions. As I sat on my bed with my phone in my hand, I put my hand on my growing belly and made a promise to my baby that I would try to make the best decision I could, not only for him but for the rest of us. I landed on the official church website. As I pondered what to search, I thought about one of the many topics that I had always felt uncomfortable with but was too afraid to question. I’m not going to get into specifics about WHAT I read but what happened next brought me to tears. As I read, I actually couldn’t believe what I was reading. My heart broke. In fact, I think a piece of it actually died. I just sat there in silence, tears streaming down my face. I remember actually saying a prayer out loud pleading for an answer. Asking for a sign to help me in my decision. Looking back, I knew. I knew that that aching feeling in my soul was telling me exactly what I needed to know. In that moment, I knew that this religion was not for us anymore.

I could not imagine life without my best friend in the whole world. The one who holds me when I need holding, the one who humbly corrects me when I’m wrong, the one who has seen me at my worst yet still seems to love me, the one who supports my crazy whims and ideas. The fact that I entertained the idea of letting go of that amazing human definitely opened my eyes. I need to question EVERYTHING! I may not always find the answer. Sometimes I just need to trust ME. Trust my own intuition because most of the time my gut feeling is right. The beauty of it all….this is a gift we all hold. We all know “that feeling” that we try to ignore. Maybe try giving it a chance. You just might find the next chapter in your story.

There is so much more to my story and I plan on sharing it over time. One day, this will be a book. A book titled, “Free To Be That Girl”. A story for my children about my journey and how I discovered my authentic self and my true purpose . This is not easy to write about because I fear hurting people I love but those that truly know me and my heart know that this comes from a place of healing. If there is one thing that I have learned thus far is that I have a gift to share and by allowing myself grace and kindness, I can help others find their true purpose.

be THAT girl who tries to understands racism…

You Don’t Fight Racism With Racism. You Fight Racism With Unity….

As I sit here pondering how to put into words about how I feel about the brutality of George Floyd’s death….my heart breaks. I feel ashamed. Ashamed that I too have become ignorant to the reality of racism. I have been hesitant to post anything about the situation for I fear I will say the wrong thing.

I was living in Edmonton in a townhouse on the west end with my husband and a few of our children. I had been at the church attending an activity for the women. It was probably around 9:30pm when I came to a 4-way stop close to our house. When I pulled up to the stop, I was signalling to turn left. There was a car straight across from me who was also signalling to turn left. So, I proceeded to pull forward and turn but just as I did, the car facing me, who was signalling to go left changed his mind and decided to go straight therefore resulting in me cutting him off. As I headed in the direction of my home, I noticed that someone was following me very close. This made me very uncomfortable and extremely nervous. As I pulled into our parking lot, I noticed that same car park right behind me. I sat in my car for what seemed like forever to see if that car would get out of the way but it didn’t. It just sat there. I got out of my car, and as I did, I heard a man get out of the car behind me. He started to yell at me for cutting him off. I froze. I couldn’t move or say a word. I forced myself to walk toward the house and as I did, I turned around to look at him. As I looked at him he says to me….”oh…that makes sense. Why don’t you learn how to drive or go back to your own country!!”. He then got in his car and sped away. I walked into the house and I began to sob.

I had experienced name calling as a child but that was the first time I felt like an outsider as an adult. It immediately brought me back to the days where I hated the colour of my skin and the slant of my eyes. I just wanted to look white so no one would say shit like that to me.

I want to be clear that I am not saying that my experiences are the same as any black individuals. I’ve been on the receiving end of racism but I am also guilty of being on the racist end as well. Going to school in a predominantly white and indigenous community, I stuck out as different. A half Japanese girl that didn’t really look like either or. I had good friends of both of those races that treated me as an equal and I to them. There were also those that were so insecure about themselves that they had to focus the attention on others which is easier to do that when that person looks different. Because of the name calling when I walked down the hallways of the schools, I noticed the one’s who did this were white and indigenous which caused me to have some pretty negative feelings towards their race and who they were as individuals. That was not fair. Not fair to their culture and to their history of injustice. That was not right and I do apologize. I do believe that as a human race we do need to acknowledge any and all racist acts in order for us to educate each other and ourselves. We need to each take responsibility for our own actions and become more aware of the injustices that go on. You know the saying outta sight outta mind….well that shouldn’t be a thing. We may not notice it happening right in front of us but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening!! It is 100% happening and right in front of us. We are just choosing not to look, listen or learn about it. That is ignorance.

So I ask you to decide today. At this very moment. For yourself.

Will you commit to help stop the injustices that are going on?

BE THE CHANGE!

I believe Garth Brooks says it best in his song “We Shall Be Free”…

When the last thing we notice is the color of the skin,

And the first thing we look for is the beauty within;

When the skies and the oceans are clean again,

Then we shall be free.

We shall be free, we shall be free.

Stand straight, walk proud,

‘Cause we shall be free.

When we’re free to love anyone we choose,

When this world’s big enough for all different views,

When we all can worship from our own kind of pew,

Then we shall be free.

We shall be free

be THAT girl who knows her weight is not her worth….

I am an absolute fucking babe and my weight does not define me

Real talk today….

Hands up if you have ever felt fat! {insert my hand going up}

How many of you have tried a “quick fix diet”? {insert my hand going up}

How many of you have tried throwing up? {insert my hand going up}

How many of you skip meals in hopes that you will lose the weight? {insert my hand going up}

How may of you feel this way right now?

I am going to get real with you all today. Most people don’t know that these are things that I have struggled with. I know you are thinking….as if, you are so skinny. My skin crawls when I hear those words. Just because a person look skinny to someone does not mean they automatically feel that way. The reality is, no matter how thin or curvy we are, we all have our insecurities and struggles. No one is immune to it friends! We are bombarded by it on the daily by media telling us that we need to look a certain way to be attractive.

I was probably in grade 9 when I really started to feel like I was not enough. My acne was horrible, to the point where kids would ask me what was on my face, I was getting my “mature” body in all the wrong places and I had heard from a friend that some boy was grossed out by my back acne. All the fun things! When I hit high school I quit my sports and started partying with my friends on weekends. I remember being told that people could tell I was gaining weight because I was partying so much. So, I decided to try throwing up so that I could still party with my friends on the weekend but not gain weight. Made perfect sense to me. I couldn’t actually make myself do it. I tried and it never worked. I ended up slowing down my partying and I maintained my weight. Still didn’t change the way I started to feel about myself. I felt ugly. I felt fat. I felt worthless.

Fast forward several years….I had babies and my weight fluctuated like a pin ball machine. Obviously to be expected when creating and growing tiny humans in your body. When I hit 30, I had a plan to get in shape and get control of my weight. That would happen every so often when I would feel guilty for eating crap that I knew wasn’t good for me. I wanted to try every fast weight loss pill there was! None worked. As soon as you stop taking them, weight comes back. I would start working out and then stop because I didn’t have enough time. I had 5 kids you know and they took up every waking minute of my day and even some of the sleeping hours. I was just too exhausted. That’s the lie I would tell myself anyways. I could basically talk myself out of anything. The reason I wasn’t invested in my health like I should’ve been was because I didn’t love myself enough to make time for the things that really mattered. I was more concerned that my kids got to do all the things. I put everyone elses’ needs before my own because that is what I was taught. Serve others and worry about yourself last…at least that was the message I was receiving.

Yesterday, I sat down and made a list of what my body does for me:

  • allows me to breathe
  • allows me to create life
  • allows me to be a MOM
  • allows me to think thoughts
  • allows me to walk
  • allows me to speak
  • allows me to sing
  • allows me to dance
  • allows me to see
  • allows me to touch
  • allows me physical activity
  • allows me to feel

I know that this is not everything but seriously…LOOK at what our body can do for us! Now think of this…if your best friend in the whole wide world, gave you these gifts, what would you do for them? I want you to picture one of your very best friends and think about this.

Would you look at them and tell them that they are fat? Would you tell them they are ugly? Would you look at them and tell them they are disgusting? Would you tell them that they need to stop eating the things that make them happy because it makes them look gross?

NEVER EVER EVER!!!!!!

So, why do you tell yourself that? Why do you treat your body, your best friend, that way?

I was listening to an interview between Jen Hatmaker and Hillary McBride, where Hillary had the best suggestion. When we speak about our body as an it, we are objectifying it. When we speak about our body as a Her, we are turning Her into an actual subject. Now, think about that for a minute. If you name your body, it literally changes the way you start thinking about Her. We are wired for connection, give your body a name and connect with Her. Become Her friend! Speak to Her as if she is your bestie.

This past 9 months I have promised myself that I would get healthy. I have been loving my journey. It has not been easy and I have wanted to quit so many times but I know that if I want to be around to see my kids have kids and maybe even their kids have kids, than I need to take control of myself. Over the years I have taken many “before” pictures so I could see the change that I was going to make when I committed to my latest diet and exercise regime. Want to know where they are….I deleted each and every one of them. I never wanted anyone to see how “fat” I was. Ya. Sounds crazy but that’s how I was feeling at the time. Yes sometimes I wish I had them but it is a reminder that in all actuality, those pictures don’t matter. I know how far I’ve come and that’s what matters.

I have ONE life, ONE body, and ONE mind. It is up to ME to make sure I am fueling Her properly! Most days, I do something for my mental health, my physical health and for my nutritional health. What that looks like for me may be different for you but I can tell you that these have helped me become a much happier, stronger, and positive human. I no longer rely on the number on my scale to define who I am and how happy I get to be. I will continue my journey to become even stronger in all areas of my life. I believe my purpose is to help others to see that they are unique and beautiful regardless of size, shape, race, or sexual orientation. Take back your control. Let yourself decide who you are meant to be! Get comfortable in your skin. It is completely up to YOU!

On a side note…I have created an accountability group on Facebook for the ladies if you need a little direction on where to start! It is a great group to help encourage, empower and inspire you to get started and take control of your life. If you have any questions, you can shoot me a message through Messenger or Email, tj@aneca.ca. Always happy to help you!

be THAT girl that loves her Mama…

EVERYTHING I AM, YOU HELPED ME BECOME…

Where do I even begin when it comes to sharing how special my Mom is. I’m sure most of us feel the same way right? Or maybe I’m one of the lucky ones? Being a Mom myself now, I realize just how patient, kind, and selfless she actually is. My Mama is such a great example of how to be a Mother! What I love most about her though is her capacity to love. She has the biggest heart when it comes to loving unconditionally. Let me explain….

Quite a few years ago, my Grandma Takahashi was diagnosed with cancer. After years of treatment, my Grandpa couldn’t take care of Grandma so my Mom, as well as some of her other siblings, would go help them out when they could. Eventually they needed someone there 24/7. My Grandpa was deteriorating from old age and Grandma from her cancer. Mom lived with them 6 days a week for a long time. Eventually they both passed away. This was not only taxing on my Mom but my Dad basically was a bachelor most of that time. They got through it…they have the most incredible marriage…but what an act of selflessness on my Mom’s part. She doesn’t regret those years of helping them out. She was able to spend those years getting to know her parents better and was able to be there when both of them passed. How beautiful is that.

About 4 years ago we went through a huge change and made a life decision that rocked all of us. It was not an easy decision but one we felt was best for us. I remember calling my Mom and bawling to her. She just listened while I tried to form words between my sobs. I remember her saying to me, “you do what you need to do….we will still love you and support you”. In that moment I knew that regardless of whether or not they thought we were making the right decision, that her and my dad would not shame us or make us feel like we we had to follow the herd to be loved. And they have continued to do just that.

My Mom has been a huge part of who I am becoming. She continues to push me to be a better version of myself….not by what she tells me but by what she models. Her determination is one that cannot be reviled. My Mom is 68 and is in the best shape of her life. I believe it was after her parents passed she decided to take up body building and man has she ever impressed me with her discipline. 5 to 6 days a week she is in the gym working out, eating healthy and drinking all her water plus more I’m sure because she always has to do a little bit more than what is expected. LOL! I don’t know a more talented human. Whatever she wants to learn or do she does it 110%! Almost a fault….when she learns something she makes 500 of them instead of just a few.

Mom…I sure love and appreciate you and who you are. You have the ability to make EVERYONE feel like they matter. I know that there are many people that have had the opportunity to feel that unconditional love you give. My hope is that one day I can be at least half the incredible human you are for my family and friends.

Happy Mother’s Day Mama!!

be THAT girl who gets to know her parents a little bit better…

The Greatest Legacy We Can Leave Our Children Is More Happy Memories.

Well….it’s been over a month in quarantine, how is everyone doing? I can honestly say that I have had some good days and some really hard days. I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling this way. We all crave connection! It is totally normal and it is a necessity. I hope we are all connecting with our loved ones as often as we can whether it be in our own home, 6 feet away or through some sort of social media.

I wanted to share with you, an evening we planned as a family to interview my parents. I knew some things about their story but I sure didn’t know as much as I thought I did. There are only 3 of us siblings in my family so it is a little easier to coordinate than some of the larger families that I know. We asked our kids to each come up with some questions that they had for their Grandparents. With 18 grandkids that’s quite a few questions. I also found lists of questions off of pinterest that work as well. Once we had that organized, I sent the list of questions to my folks so they could review them before we all sat down together.

We set up our call on an evening that we could all just hang out together through zoom. It was nice to see all of each other’s faces and be able to connect with one another. I sure do miss my family!! Once we all settled in, we started to ask Grandma & Grandpa questions about their life. It was fun to hear how they each grew up, how they met, who’s their favourite kid (obviously ME) (wink, wink). We got to ask additional questions as they would come up. They kept saying…”ask us anything”. The kids did and they loved hearing about their stories. It was a really nice way to spend an evening connecting.

One of my favourite questions was….”What is the most important lesson you have learnt during your life?”

Just love people for who they are and where they are at.

Grandpa & Grandma Harris

Best advice EVER!! There is so much wisdom in this statement. We just need to love humans regardless of their race, religion, or sexual preference. I think sometimes we forget that we are all here just walking each other home (thank you Dr. Jody Carrington for the daily reminder). We are all in this together. This is not a competition or a race where there is only one winner. This is a marathon where the journey is the only thing that matters.

Thank You Mom & Dad for being those humans for us. You have always showed up for us and given us grace when we’ve needed it. You have loved us and supported us even when it has been hard. You are both shining examples to each and every one of us. You are definitely doing your best to help walk each of us home. Love you guys!

be THAT girl that is socially aware

i’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and your’re not in this world to live up to mine

BRUCE LEE

Day 21 of quarantine….how are you all holding up? For myself, I am okay. I am trying to keep some sort of routine just to help me stay sane. I am so impressed with the amazing teachers out there that have had to readjust to fit the new “curriculum”. Gosh…how lucky are we to have these humans to help hold our littles’ in a time of such chaos. HUGS to all of you doing your very best. I think I can speak for most….THANK YOU SO MUCH! We love and appreciate you all.

Our next lesson for our C.A.L.M Class is on Social Awareness and Social Management. Again…this is an add on once we have become aware of our purpose, our core values, our character, our feelings, and taking responsibility for our behavior and well-being .

SOCIAL AWARENESS is the ability to understand and respond well to the needs of others. This is something that is going to be used everyday in our lives whether it be at work, at school, at a party, at a family function, even social media….we need to be able to “read the room” as some might say. Being able to notice other’s emotions and respond empathically will help us become more aware of what others need or want from us. One thing that I have been working on is learning to manage my expectations of individuals or situations so that I don’t get offended or become disppointed.

I have been noticing, on social media or even when I go to the grocery store, people becoming very defensive and some just down right ass holes to each other! Where there is crisis, there are scared feelings which a lot of the time are presented as anger. This is the time that we all need to be socially aware of what each of us is feeling and try to give each other some grace. Some of us need to make sense of it all. Some of us can’t make sense of it all because it causes too much stress and anxiety! Let us all be aware that we do not think or feel alike so BE KIND! You do not know or understand everyone’s mental state right now. We are all in this together just trying to navigate through this experience. In the words of Ram Dass…”We are all just walking each other home.”

Let’s be the positive influence to and for each other while we manage through this. When we are socially aware of each other’s needs then we can begin to manage ourselves socially and become a positive force to be the change!

Be the change you want to see in the world

Gandhi

be THAT girl who is self-aware

the start of all growth is the introduction of higher states of conscious awareness…

Leo Tolstoy

Something I’ve learned on my own journey of self-growth is that in order to begin we need to understand what it means to be self-aware. That self-awareness allows us to pivot onto a path of self discovery that we should all be working towards.

Yesterday’s lesson and today’s lesson go hand in hand so I wanted to make sure I had covered both topics before I posted about each one of them. Yesterday we discussed self-awareness and today we built upon that and discussed self-management.

SELF-AWARENESS is the ability to focus on how our thoughts, emotions and actions align with our core values. If you haven’t had a chance to write down your top 10 core values from most important to you and so on (not that any aren’t important), then refer back to my previous post about that. When we are self-aware, we focus on the reality of our behaviour versus the story we tell ourselves about ourselves. Basically we stop trying to convince ourselves that we are someone we’re not. One way to help become more self-aware is to pretend you are looking at yourself through someone else’s eyes. Really look in the mirror and study what you actually see. We all have our own self-image of ourselves but it is not always the reality of the situation. For example…we might call ourselves OCD when it comes to cleaning our house but in reality, we live in chaos. Don’t be fooled by the image of yourself that you have convinced yourself of being. This is a time to get really honest with ourselves and become better aware of our reality.

Another step to becoming more self-aware is to not ignore our feelings or intuition. The more we ignore that feeling the more anxious and stressed out we become which causes us to feel stuck. I spoke about feeling our feelings a few posts back. If we do not acknowledge those feelings they will not go away. We can learn to repress them but they will resurface at a later time and may become increasingly difficult to deal with causing a major reaction that is hazardous to our health.

We asked our kids to help us list some ways that can help us to become more self-aware

  • Journaling our feelings multiple times a day
    • making sure we journal how we are feeling throughout the day Noticing positive, negative and meh feelings
    • ask yourself, where is this feeling coming from?
  • Recognize when our energy is high, low or meh
    • most likely it will coincide with our feelings and emotions

Once we become more self-aware, we can start to work on our self-management. We begin by taking responsibility of our own behaviour and well-being. One thing that I have learned and live by is, responsibility breeds empowerment. I know we all love that feeling of being empowered to do something. This is why finding balance in my life has been so important to me. Now, when I say find balance that doesn’t mean that each part of my life is going to get equal attention. That is IMPOSSIBLE!! It just simply means that I acknowledge the 4 cornerstones of MY life. Spiritual, Physical, Mental and Social. If I can do one thing a day in each one of these “bubbles” then I feel like I have some balance happening. That is going to look different for all of us.

Again, we asked our kids to give us an example of something that may help them manage themselves….they came up with…

  • Create a Routine
    • having a routine is definitely a key element in helping us create good healthy habits
  • Consistency
    • being consistent is what we, as humans, crave. We are built for boundaries and thrive when we have them.

As much as this situation isn’t ideal, I enjoying the time we have to reconnect with each other. Life get’s so busy and full of “schedules” that sometimes we forget to say NO to things. This has been a great reminder that we could be better at creating a routine where connection is more present.

I hope you are all hanging in there! Keep your heads up and search for the silver lining because there is one friends. Stay safe and Stay home.

be THAT girl that communicates effectively

the worst distance between two people is misunderstanding…

How many times have we heard, or repeated, that “communication is key”. I find the way that people communicate with each other to be quite fascinating! Quarantining in a home with 8 people for an extended amount of time is going to prove itself challenging if we don’t understand how each one of us communicates and then receives that communication. We are definitely going to have a few misunderstandings if we don’t become better communicators.

Today in our C.A.L.M Class with the parentals, we discussed 7 essential elements of communication skills. We wanted to build upon our topic yesterday of “What is our purpose and what are our core values”. We feel that if we know each other’s core values then that helps us to better understand the WHY in others choices.

So, here is our list of the 7 Essential Elements of communication skills…FYI…we did not make these up. I found them online.

  • Listening
  • Non-Verbal Communication
  • Being Clear
  • Being Concise
  • Being Confident
  • Being Personable
  • Being Patient

Listening is such an important skill when it comes to communication. This is something that I think I do well for the most part but could always do better. There is nothing more frustrating in a conversation than someone who is not 100% present. In order to fully understand someone and what they are conveying, we need to be fully engaged in our conversation. It shows the other person that you respect their time and what they have to say….even if it is not what you want to be talking about.

Non-verbal communication…now according to my kids, I am the master at this one. LOL! Apparently they can quickly tell when I am upset because I am more aggressive when I do my “angry” clean! Who knew?! And let’s be honest, what Mom doesn’t have the “I dare You” stare nailed down. Body language can definitely say a lot through our posture, gestures and our eye movements.

The next two are pretty similar…being clear and being concise. When choosing our words we need to make sure we are choosing the best words to deliver a message that’s easy to understand. That hardest conversations are the one’s where you walk away going, “what did they just ask me or what was it that they are trying to tell me?”

Being Confident. This is something I have struggled with my ENTIRE life. I was painfully shy as a child and into my teen years. I started to come out of my shell a bit when I met Awesome but even then it was only because I trusted him . I felt comfortable and safe. To this day, I still struggle in this department but not even close to where I used to be. I have worked hard on my self-worth through personal growth to get where I am today. I have also surrounded myself with humans that accept me for who I am so it’s easier to be confident when I have their support.

Being Personable. I know we all know THAT person that is super personable in our lives. The one where you just crave being in their presence. The one who greets you with a smile and a happy tone in their voice. The one who exudes light and love. Now, think about how that makes you feel….now go make someone in your household feel that way the next time you see them. Since we are all quarantined with our families, this is a perfect time to practice it. As soon as you get up….give your loved ones a big smile with a friendly tone when you say “GOOD MORNING (insert name)!” I bet you will instantly be able to see their body language change….and if not, it’ll change how you feel for the better anyways so it’s a win-win!

Being Patient. This one can go both ways. So, being patient when listening to a story that you have absolutely no interest in hearing or being patient when trying to convey a message. I find sometimes people can speak too fast because they are nervous which makes it hard to listen to. I even find at times when I get excited and have too many thoughts going through my head that they come out all messed up and then everyone is confused…including myself! Hahaha! It is important to be composed and not rush when you are trying to get your message across for effective communication.

Going through our list and having a discussion about each element was interesting. Each kid had a different story that they could share so that we could understand where the communication break-down took place. What I think I’ve learned from our discussion is that we need to try to do our best by using these key elements to communicate with each other. We need to think about what our intention is behind our message and what result we are trying to create. In saying that….we CANNOT control how that person is going to receive our message and what their reaction is going to be. We can only control OURSELVES.

I hope you are all doing okay! I am definitely missing being able to meet up with friends and family. I love to be social! If you see or know of someone struggling, let them know how much you care and ask what you can do to help them. Zoom coffee calls or zoom dates are a fun way to stay connected without spreading the virus! I encourage you all to hop on and try it.

STAY SAFE!

be THAT girl that knows her purpose & core values…

it’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are…

I don’t know about you guys but over here in Aneca Lockdown, I’ve come to the realization that this is probably going to go on longer than we all expected SO…I made us a fancy schedule to help us not get stagnant. LOL! Let’s be honest, we all need structure no matter what age we are. Being consistent will help us progress in this time of unsurety. I know for myself, I need routine. I love forming habits that serve me so here we go…wish us luck.

This is a general template for us to follow. Of course things will sometimes have to change but for the most part it gives us a guide. Awesome and I are getting up around 7:30am so we can get our workout in before we start our schedule. This morning was Day one and so far it has gone well. I think C.A.L.M class with us parentals is going to be the best class EVER! With the kids help, we compiled a list of subjects that they would like to learn about that have to do with everyday life. I wish schools offered more in this department. We also made a list of “To Do’s” , with the kids, so that we can help each other get organized around the house. You know…all the things we keep putting off to do literally anything else! Ya…that one. Shit’s gettin done around here now!

This morning’s C.A.L.M class was all about our core values. As a child and into adulthood, I was coached by a religion about what my values were so I never really thought about what values were most important to ME. In the last 4 years of personal growth, I have thought long and hard and tried to figure out what those look like! Once I knew what my core values were, I could make decisions based on those and if my decisions aligned with them. Core values frame our choices….think about that. Have you ever wondered why your children or even your spouse make certain decisions? I sure have…especially in my marriage. A lot of decisions that Awesome makes do not make sense to me but it is because his core values are different than mine! Once we know what each other’s core values are, it better helps us to understand why they made certain choices. Does that make sense?

Another question I asked the kids this morning was…WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE? Again…if we don’t know our purpose than what drives us to even get out of bed in the morning? We have to know this to progress in our lives. For myself, again, I’ve had to redefine my purpose. My purpose is to always be progressing in all areas of my life. I want to be a source of light for others and to help change lives. This is what drives me EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. I’ll share with you my top 10 core values…which I might add were hard to narrow down to only 10. These are the values that help shape my choices.

  • PURPOSE
  • CONNECTION
  • FAMILY
  • INTEGRITY
  • TRUST
  • HONESTY
  • PROGRESS
  • DISCIPLINE
  • PERSONAL GROWTH
  • OPEN-MINDEDNESS

So, with knowing my purpose and knowing my core values, I believe I can make better choices and decisions for myself and for my family. Are they going to always be the “right” decsions? Probably not but I will have a guide to help me with them and so will my kiddos.

Hopefully you find this helpful and feel free to use any of this for yourselves. I will add the list of Brene Brown’s Core Values that we used to choose from. Look friends, I’m not here to preach but I’m going to share what has worked for myself. Thank You to those of you that take time out of your life to read my blog. I appreciate your support.

be THAT human…

Racism is the refuge for the IGNORANTS

Changing it up today. be THAT human.

I have to address a problem that is happening in our own neck of the woods friends. I spoke with a friend the other day about an incident that happened to her 19 year old daughter while working in a coffee shop….

A gentleman, who really doesn’t deserve this name but that’s what I’ll call him, goes into his regular coffee shop where he orders a coffee made by one of the sweetest young ladies I know. In previous encounters, they have had great conversations but that day he was different. As she hands him his coffee he says to her, “this is all your fucking fault…your people brought this virus into our country” and then proceeded to leave. The young girl is Asian.

As an Asian girl myself who grew up in a small community where the Asian population was less than 1%, if that, I know all too well what it feels like to be discriminated against. I remember hating my ethnicity and just wanted to be the same race as the majority. That way I wouldn’t stick out and then no one would tease me about my eyes or the colour of my skin. (As a child that made perfect sense to me) After I graduated and moved forward with my life, I embraced all of me that was different and I was grateful for my heritage.

To me, racist comments like the one that was thrown at my dear friend are considered hate crimes. What was said was uncalled for, hurtful and just downright ignorant. THIS IS NOT OKAY!!! EVER!!! EVER!!! EVER!!! It is not okay to shame an innocent young girl that is just trying to do her job and brighten someone’s day. WE ARE A HUMAN RACE made up of all sorts of colour, shapes, & sizes. Should we not be holding space for everyone? Should we not be showing as much kindness and compassion towards our fellow humans? Should we not be lifting each other during such an uncertain whirlwind of emotions? Should we not be comforting those that truly need it? YES WE SHOULD! These are unprecedented times where we need to all stand together UNITED!!

STOP with the name calling! STOP with the vandalism to businesses because they employ Asians! We all bleed the same colour. We all have a heart. We are all the same species. We are all in this together. I know the anger is fueled by fear. It’s okay to be afraid. I think it’s safe to say that we all feel it. So instead of lashing out and hurting others with your words or your fists, remember that HUMANITY IS OUR RACE.

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

Barack Obama

Be the change. Be the human that people respect. Be the human that shows acceptance. Be the human that doesn’t see colour. Be the human that your kids can be proud of. Be THAT human.