A New Year, A New Start

Happy New Year everyone!!! Hope your 2018 is off to a wonderful start. Have you set any new year’s resolutions? Here is my list of ten resolutions for the year:

  1. Visit 10 hot spots in Ottawa with my friend Hetal
  2. Be more like my Mom (this may take many years!)
  3. Get a job I love, pay down debt, be financially savvy
  4. Complete my Creative Writing Certificate at U of T (it’s my final year!)
  5. Turn 39 (LOL I have to make sure I achieve at least one of these)
  6. Travel to a place I haven’t been before
  7. Take part in Walk In Her Shoes in Ottawa (perhaps Sophie Gregoire will be there again this year?!)
  8. Read lots of good books
  9. Dance, smile, and laugh a lot… and learn to let go
  10. Visit my friends in T.O. as often as possible

Also here are a few foundational things that are important to do on an ongoing basis, that set the stage for accomplishing any goal, and ensuring that I live healthily and happily.

Tools/Ongoing Practice:

  1. Eating healthy and cooking lots
  2. Regular yoga practice
  3. Spending lots of time in nature
  4. Facetiming my grandparents
  5. Lots of laughter!

I’d love to hear your resolutions if you have any!! It’s always easier to get things done with the support of others, and especially knowing that the universe has your back. And finally, even if nothing gets done… there is always rebellion. ;-)



The Girl and The Golden Key

Wednesdays are always great because I have my toastmasters meeting at SickKids. Like meditation at the Shambhala centre, it was something I picked up years ago, and then I stopped going. At the time I was really really frightened of public speaking, and even more so scared of not appearing put together, letting my insecurities show. I could barely even introduce myself! This time around things are a little better. I’m more comfortable with myself and more willing to look foolish. What a relief it is to allow yourself to be vulnerable! Rejection is never fun (I say this as I await the response to a question I just asked a friend), but once you get used to it, a lot of doors open for you. Because the worst that can happen is the person says no, or you don’t get the job, or you fail. And for me it feels deadly. Like it actually sears my heart. But I’m getting stronger and I think I’ve just had a lot of practice in getting rejected!

The theme of today’s meeting was ‘striving’, and the word of the day was ‘optimal’. The table topics are the best part, where the table topics master prepares a list of fun and interesting topics that relate to the theme, and people go up and choose one and deliver an impromptu speech between 1-2 minutes. The topic I chose was: “Many movies describe strivers and their journey towards achieving their challenging goals and dreams. What is your favourite striver movie?”.  I chose to talk about Wild, a movie about Cheryl Strayed’s solo journey along the Pacific Crest Trail. Reese Witherspoon was amazing in this movie and really portrayed the emotional journey with rawness. I related a lot to this movie because sometimes I feel as though my struggles with depression and anxiety are never-ending, but each step along the way, there has been wisdom gained and also heart-breaking beauty. I can’t say that it’s been worth it but I know that it has opened my heart. One of the topics that was presented beautifully by Lynna (who wants to start her own statistical analysis consulting business) was: “You have turned your hobby or passion into a thriving business. Describe the process and the challenges along the way.”  I loved this topic because I am planning to start my own consulting business! It’s actually really exciting and unbelievable. I never thought I was the entrepreneurial type, but turns out I don’t like being told what to do and I like to do things my own way!

After the toastmasters meeting, I sat in the Sick Kids cafeteria and edited my friend Daniela’s beautiful children’s book (the picture above is one of her illustrations). It is a story about a girl who is given a magical golden key and eventually finds that it is the key to eternal happiness and laughter. She experiences loss, adventure, and encounters many wise souls along the way. I loved editing this! It reminds me of my Mom’s dream of publishing a children’s book. Hers was called Tom Makes A Difference, and it is a wonderful story about a boy who is always nice to everyone and willing to help, and through his example inspires others to change. I hope to help Mom publish this book one day!

Went to Freshii and had my favourite tex mex burrito, and read the newspaper. I came across an awesome commentary on Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau’s bizarre singing of “Smile Back at Me” that she wrote for her daughter. I love how she is unafraid to bare her soul and be herself no matter what anyone thinks! I have faith in our prime minister simply because he is married to her! Great line from the article:

Yes, Gregoire-Trudeau’s performance was painfully awkward, ill-timed and in some places not quite in tune. But can you really dis a woman who bares her soul in such a weird and spectacular way? Even if she chose to do so at a profoundly inappropriate moment, are we not all richer for it?

Yes, yes, and yes!! So inspiring and makes me feel better about my ill-timed baring of the soul. :p



New Years Resolutions

2016. A new year and exciting opportunities ahead. It was so stressful coming up with these resolutions but I finally have a list!

  1. Teach my kriya meditation to my friends or whoever is interested, and complete the Shambhavi meditation course
  2. Complete at least five toastmasters speeches
  3. Take three Creative Writing Courses at the University of Toronto
  4. Do my yearly Walk In Her Shoes campaign, this time walking 10 km once each week and blogging about my experiences
  5. Launch blog, advertise, think of ways to increase visibility
  6. Help Mom to complete her children’s book
  7. Take flamenco dancing classes at the Esmeralda Enrique Dance Company
  8. Speak to a classroom of students about my experiences with anxiety and depression
  9. Perform at a comedy club and this time actually invite my friends!
  10. Get my first project management contract either through my own consulting business or through an organization

Tools/Ongoing Practice

  1. Daily kriya meditation (2x/day)
  2. Body scan meditation (4x/week)
  3. Yoga (3x/week)
  4. Eating healthy and cooking lots


Better Than Before

Today I finished reading “Better Than Before” by Gretchen Rubin, a book about habits. I loved this book because Gretchen reminds me a lot of myself, a little neurotic and obsessed with the process of self-transformation. How do we continually strive to make ourselves better while at the same time living life fully, as if everything is exactly as it should be?

A few years ago I left my job in order to pursue my other passions, and also to develop some new habits that will transform my life. Here are a few that I’ve put into place:

1) Daily meditation
2) Toastmasters
3) Walking long distances each day

These three habits have the power to transform my life. For years I’ve avoided attending toastmasters, because I felt that it wasn’t useful or I didn’t need it or I didn’t want to put in the effort, but the truth is, that there are many instances that I want to speak up and I struggle to find my voice. I want to speak out about injustice and the right for every person to live freely, and sometimes I struggle to find the words. Especially when things are emotional for me,  I find it difficult to express myself authentically.

Is it possible to be better than before, through something as simple as changing your everyday habits? I hope so! I will test it out and let you know.