be THAT girl who sits with it….

sit with it

sit with it

sit with it

Even though you want to run. Even though it’s heavy and difficult. Even though you’re not quite sure of the way through. Healing happens by feeling.

Sit with it. Feel it. Heal it.

I want it to be over.

I want to feel normal again. And not the “new normal” because this is NOT FUCKING NORMAL!!

I want to hug my friends in public and not feel judged.

I want to let my kids go hang out with their friends without guilt.

I want my kids to go to school and experience actual school.

I want my toddler to know that wearing a mask isn’t normal.

I want to go shopping and be able to smile at people.

I want to be able to hug my brother and his family!!!

These thoughts have taken over my mind and my body these past few months and I know that I’m not alone in feeling this way. I’ve been feeling sad. Lonely in a way that I’ve never felt….ever. I’ve lost hope that we will never get out of this state of emergency. I feel like I am carrying boulders on my shoulders. Everything has felt hard and heavy. Most of the time I don’t even know why I’m upset but I cry. I hear people say, “Things could be way worse”, and I want to throat punch them so they stop talking. No shit sherlock…we all know that but don’t downplay what is happening. It’s hard!!

I know that I am not alone in feeling this way. Many of my friends and family have expressed that similar thoughts and feelings have shown up in their lives as well. This pandemic is a lot to process. None of us have ever had to navigate life through, what seems like a never-ending pandemic! This is tough. And I think we all need to acknowledge that. We need to sit with our shit! We need to give ourselves permission to feel all the feelings that are happening because this situation we are in IS SO NOT NORMAL!

With that being said, this is not a place where I really want to stay. It’s not comfortable nor does it support the kind of life I want for myself and my family. I remember reading something by Tony Robbins where he talks about changing your state of mind. “State of Mind” is defined as the quality of one’s consciousness as it relates to the outside world, as well as the perception of their inner thoughts and emotions. He states, when you’re in control of your state of mind, you’re the master of your emotions and you understand that life is happening for you, not to you. THIS right here….hit me like a ton of bricks! I do not have to stay stuck! I do not have to allow a constant stream of negativity into my thoughts! I do not have to accept that my emotions are out of my control!

I have been trying to really hard the last few weeks to take my power back and change my state of mind. I’m not saying this is the answer for everyone. Our mental health is so so important and if you are suffering from depression and or anxiety, you should go see a health care professional and seek medical help. I just wanted to share what has been working for me.

  1. MEDITATION: I used to think that this was for weirdos. Not sure why, but I did. Needless to say, I guess I am one of those weirdos because I LOVE it!! First, I downloaded the “Insight Timer” app on my phone. I love this app because you can choose the length of meditation you’d like to do and it gives you many options. There are a lot of free ones on there to try. As soon as I open my eyes I grab my phone, get comfy and put on my morning meditation. Meditation is a great way to begin your day because it has been found to release feel-good chemicals such as endorphins and serotonin.
  2. GRATITUDES: By journaling what you are grateful for each day, it starts your day on a positive note! You can start with one or ten things you are grateful for, it is up to you. As soon as I am finished my morning meditation I grab my journal beside my bed and get writing.
  3. READING: I have never been a huge reader but I do love to read. My preferred books include self-growth and biographies. I recommend choosing books that bring you joy and happiness! Even 5 minutes of reading a day can help change your state!
  4. MOVEMENT: Any type of movement can change your state. Even sitting up straight with your shoulders back can improve your state. Just move! Make it a goal to start with just 5 minutes and then add a minute everyday. I promise that you will feel better! I hated…like hated working out but I made it a goal to do it at least 5 days a week starting with just a few minutes a day and now it is such a habit that I crave it even on my “rest” days. My body loves the rush of endorphins it gets from a good sweat sesh!

These are just a few suggestions that have been working for me. If you have a routine of what works for you then keep doing it and share it with others! I know I’d love to hear what works for you!

I want each and every one of you to know that we are all in this together. The more we talk about how we are feeling, the more we realize that we are not alone. I’m going to reiterate that this nightmare we are all living right now is NOT NORMAL nor will it ever be normal. This is merely a chapter in our own novel and we are the authors! We may not be able to control what is happening but we can definitely control US.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

WE CARE ABOUT YOU.

YOU ARE LOVED.

YOU MATTER.

YOU ARE STRONG.

YOU ARE AMAZING.

YOU ARE WONDERFUL.

Take your power back and change your state of mind. If you can change your state of mind, you can change your life.

be THAT girl who prepares for this moment…

You have prepared for this moment. You can do hard things if you surrender to your WILL.

Tj Aneca

I began writing this post back in the fall when Ryan was diagnosed with Stage 4 T-Cell Lymphoma but I just couldn’t finish it without turning into a sobbing mess. My thoughts were all over the place and it didn’t feel right , so I paused. The last few weeks I have been thinking a lot about this chapter in Ryan’s story. Friends, there is not a doubt in my mind that we are preparing for certain moments in our lives where our strength will be tested on a scale that we cannot comprehend. Where, we ourselves, will wonder if this is worth the fight. I say this because I have watched my brother, my hero, our warrior, take on the biggest fight of his life. I recall sitting in his bonus room with him, watching a movie as he waited to see what the doctors would say about his diagnosis. To me, he looked a bit lethargic, tired, and stressed. The hardest part was watching him breath. It was so labored! As we chatted about the “what ifs”, I remember him saying, “I don’t care what it is, but if it’s cancer then let’s just get this show on the road and get it done”. From the second he said that, I knew he was prepared for his “moment”. Although his moment was unknown, he had the WILL.

SEPTEMBER 3, 2020

The last few weeks have been a complete whirlwind for our family. Ryan, one of my younger brothers, was diagnosed with Stage 4 T-Cell Lymphoma. Now, I’m not gonna lie, but when I hear cancer my mind goes to a dark place. A scary place. A place where hope doesn’t really exist. I cried…because that’s what I do to release what I’m feeling. I am angry. Angry that it is him. Angry that I can’t fix this. Angry that his family will also have to endure this as well.

My brother, although younger by 15 months, has always been my protector. He’s been more of my big brother for many reasons. I remember him teaching me how to ride a dirt bike when we were teenagers. You see, there was a boy that I was trying to impress, so I asked Ry to show me how to do it. He gave me a quick 2 minute lesson and I was on my way down the dirt road. Of course, I stalled it because I failed to listen to the part where he was trying to tell me to gear down when coming to a stop. So, here I am yelling down the road for Ry to come help me but at that point I was a km away. I could see Ry start to run towards me. As I’m waiting for him in the hot sun, cute boy that I was trying to impress drives by. Yup…complete embarrassment as he stops to ask me if I need help. Of course I say the most logical thing that my brain could think of….”oh no, I’m fine. Just stopped for a minute. I’ll see you down at the lake later” He then drove off as I waited for Ry to rescue me. He’s rescued me on several occasions…probably more than I’d like to admit. He also tried to teach me not to go too fast on gravel roads…ya, I didn’t listen and well, let’s just say that I learned my lesson. I also remember when my Grandma Takahashi passed away and I was having a hard night. I needed to just get in the car and drive. I ended up driving to Ry. I walked in his front door and he just held me as I sobbed. My brother is not an emotional guy or does he share his feelings with anyone but you just know that he loves you and that he would be there to rescue you no questions asked.

SEPTEMBER 6, 2020

I was able to be at the hospital with Ry this evening. I was so nervous. I was worried I would upset him with my tears. I know him and I knew that he would feel bad for me seeing him in the state that he was in. Again, him trying to protect me because that’s what he does. As I approached his room, he was sitting in his recliner with no shirt on and his blanket from home draped over his lap. I could see that he was swollen, way less than the pictures I had seen, but still not his strong physique I was used to. He seemed tired but he was trying to be a good host. I kept reminding him that he could go to sleep if he was tired but he wouldn’t. We had a good laugh when I brought one of our favourite childhood movies with me for us to watch together. “Back to the Beach”. We still knew some of the words to the songs! We laughed at how we used to record all of the music from the VHS to my tape player so we could sing the songs. When it was time to settle for the night I could see his anxiety set in. I had never seen that side of him, which was partly from the medication he was on, but once again, he tried to protect me from witnessing that and told me I could go. Of course I declined because if I could get more time with him then I was going to take it. After he settled and he fell asleep, I left. Leaving was hard. I sat in my car and cried for a while and then made my way home. Thankful for the time I got to spend with him.

JANUARY 29, 2021

Phone Ringing…

“Hello.”

“Teej, it’s Dad. We just got the best news. Ryan’s numbers are climbing!”

This brother of mine is an absolute beast! He is such an inspiration to not only me but to so many other’s. I don’t want to share his journey (plus, it’s far from over) because that is his story to tell but what I can tell you is, that he didn’t know it but he had been preparing for this moment all along. For those of you that know him and have followed his body building chapter, you know that he made a promise to himself to build up his strength and nothing was going to stop him. And believe me, we tried to tempt him just for funsies! But, being the man that he is, he kept that promise to himself and did what he set out to do. I believe THAT core value is why he is still with us today. In one of Brandi’s posts, in the “Raise it for Ry” Facebook group, she shared that on one of the “rocky” days where he wasn’t feeling great at all, he got up and began to ride his stationary bike. She told him that it was okay to rest that day but he replied with, “I made a promise to myself that I would ride everyday and you’re only as good as your word”, so he was getting on that damn bike even if it was a short ride. If we all share that same WILL and DETERMINATION, then we will all be prepared for our moment….whatever that looks like.

“THERE IS NO WEAPON MORE DEADLY THAN THE WILL”

Bruce Lee

For anyone wanting to donate to Ryan and his family at this time, please click on the link below and let’s “Raise it for Ry”!

https://ca.gofundme.com/f/raise-it-for-ry

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 feels the feelings

feel the feeling but don’t become the emotion. acknowledge it, allow it, & release it….

I am writing this on day 4 or quarantine…I’m sure we are all at the point where we have been feeling extremely emotional saying goodbye to our former normal. I know it has been for me and for most of my family & friends. In these uncertain times we start to let our emotions take over which does not serve us, or the people around us, well if we don’t know how to release those emotions. Let’s all be mindful that we need to feel the feelings but becoming the emotion is hazardous to our own health and well-being. Most of us have learned how to suppress our emotions from a very young age. We learn to “get over it” and not deal with that emotion which will absolutely resurface at a later time where we will repeat the same reaction of suppression.

Learning how to process the emotion while feeling the feelings is something that I am still working on. In fact…it’s something that I had to do today. I’m not an expert….let’s just state that fact….but I feel the need to share with my friends what works for me. Take it or leave it. I won’t be offended.

If there is one thing that I have learned over the years…feel your feelings. You hear people say that all the time. What does that mean? To me, it means that whatever feeling arises, I need to honor it and just let it take over my body for a while. Let that feeling come over you like a huge wave and feel it. It will be painful and it will make you ugly cry….well, at least it makes me ugly cry. Like I legit look like an Asian Yoda with tears. And even when I’m all cried out then I look like Hulk Hogan took a few rounds outta me and left me with a very swollen face. (I’m sure you get the picture) When we deny our feelings that can cause us to choose undesired or harmful behavior. Which is never good for any of us.

Once we learn to feel those feelings, we need to acknowledge where those feelings are being stored. For example, some feel tension in our muscles, some feel a sharp pain in an undesired place, some eat, some feel it in the gut and some just feel that “heavy” feeling everywhere. For myself, it us usually a heavy feeling felt in my gut or tension in my muscles. This feeling has caused many sleepless nights. Did you know that motion unwinds emotion? For myself, getting myself in the gym and working out has been the best way for me to unwind. I first started hitting the gym to lose weight but soon realized that it was serving my mental and emotional health far beyond my physical health. Some days when I feel especially emotional, I lay on my yoga mat and meditate after my workout. I turn down the lights, lay on my back comfortably, take really deep breaths and I focus on the inhale and exhale. I think about what emotion I am feeling…I acknowledge it, and then in my mind say…”thank you (emotion…whatever it is) good-bye” and I visualize the word of that emotion actually being blown out with each exhale. I can’t explain the peace I feel after I have let go of those pent up emotions. When we are unbalanced it will cause us to be in a very negative mindset which isn’t good for any of us.

I know this all may sound completely silly but I’m just sharing what works for myself. I’m curious what works for you? Feel free to share your ideas…no judgement on my part but I’d love to hear.

Hang in there friends! I will be posting more and more since I have a little more time on my hands. Haha! We are all in this together.