A Year in Review – Books Read in 2016

2016 was a record year for me (in terms of reading, anyway) Firstly, because I actually managed to keep a record of what I’d read, and secondly, because I’d intended to read more and actually followed through with that intention. (yay, me!) Continue reading “A Year in Review – Books Read in 2016”

Happy Canada Day, from Ireland 

Nohoval cove, Cork 

For the last two weeks I’ve been travelling the southern Coast of Ireland from Dublin to Cork. Originally visiting for a wedding, we’ve managed to squeeze in a few sights amidst all the drinking and catching up with friends.

Here we have a few stormy shots of Nohoval Cove in County Cork.

After a short but steep walk up the cliffside you get some amazing views from the top. 

A beautiful spot, we had all to ourselves! If I wasn’t travelling with a local I’d have never found this place in a million years. 

Wheat fields blowing in the wind behind usa stop into Kinsale for lunchWe were after a pint of Stonewell Cider, made in Nohoval. Found it here at the Bullman in Kinsale. 

A great day of food and fresh air! Excellent cure for a hangover… Or so I’m told! 

June 8th- Today I’m grateful for…

First remove shammy, Then have a drink

Friend’s who ride bikes!
These 3 lovely ladies and I met up in Whistler, BC for a trail ride around Lost Lake Park. I think the feeling was mutual when I say what a perfect fit the 4 of us are together as riding buddies. Followed by parking lot beverages and raunchy debate on preferred terms for the word Vagina- because no all-female ride would be complete without acknowledgment of ones lady parts!

June 01, A Fresh Start

Here I am again- MONTHS after publishing my last post.

Now, instead of unnecessarily justifying my excuses for not writing, or allowing myself to feel guilty about it- I’m just going to start over…

There, that was easy!

As of late, I’ve been feeling that nagging, annoying nudge to write, and I’ve been ignoring it mostly. But today, after I finally picked up my journal -and after experiencing that renewed sense of calm and accomplishment- decided hey, why don’t I re-start that ol’ blog again while I’m at it!? So here we are.

…Never without an intention, though!

I’ve decided June will be the month that I track what I’m grateful for. I spend far too many hours consciously (and subconsciously, I’m sure) focused on what’s missing in my life; when I have so many wonderful things to be happy about. This morning I had my daily coffee with my bare feet in the grass, enjoying the warm spring sunshine on my face; followed by a 10 minute guided meditation and 5 minutes of quiet reflection- just me and my journal.

It’s amazing, the mental shifts that can occur in such a small period of time- if you allow yourself. Did I have to force myself to turn off my phone and drag my ass out the door to do so? Of course! BUT when I did… I experienced a rush of creativity and imagination and felt that old momentum ball start rolling once again. Tons of ideas popped into my head and I felt so excited to start anew- I actually had to dial it back a few pegs, as staying consistent for me, means taking small steps, day by day- as opposed to running 100 miles an hour, straight into a wall!

My Objective:
Over the next few weeks I’m going to continue to practice this ritual, and use it to create a list of motivational guidelines that allow me to feel fulfilled- everyday (stay tuned) My ultimate goal here is to build my Manifesto- What makes me, ME- the best possible Me?  What attributes can I bring to the table that are unique, purposeful and meaningful  to my life? I look forward to sharing them with you!

I won the “KICK-ASS” Award

Today, I left my morning job feeling shitty…

Although my morning got off to a decent start (I had coffee on the go, enough time to defrost my car and arrived on time) I left feeling pissed off and annoyed at the whole process. I work in close proximity to a woman who is vile, crusty, small minded and IMPOSSIBLE. Most days, I’m able to laugh off her ridiculousness without taking a word of her bullshit to heart- but not everyday. Today I had to face her- and today I failed and let her get the best of me. It left me feeling deflated, useless and completely out of control- in regards to my work situation.

As I grumbled into my second job, just to drop off some paper work I was greeted with a smile and a bag of coffee, as the last instalment of our workplace “who Kicked-Ass this week” contest series. Each week a different employee is recognized via nomination. Today’s winner, was me! the below caption was a coworkers telling of my efforts:

“Mare never ceases to amaze me with her broad skill set and versatility as a staff member at Brennan Park. Mare does it all, from program leader and skate patroller to yoga and babysitter training teacher, and she is always cheerful and positive! I really look forward to working with her more closely since she will now be joining our team as a casual Recreation Facility Clerk. She also brings us tasty treats like her gluten free coconut bars;) “

it just goes to show, it doesn’t take a lot to turn your day (or morning) around. The prize, although simple made me feel special, and appreciated, which couldn’t have come at a better time- Thank you!

Thoughts on writing… 

I originally wrote this post after revisiting my blog after a 16 month hiatus- I was annoyed that in “typical Maré fashion” I’d given this up just as soon as I’d begun. After re-reading this post, I find the words ring as true as the day I first wrote them…

“WOW… 1.5 years later” OH WELL! 

I think a year ago I would have went over a few self-criticizing points about my lack of commitment, laziness or general disinterest in writing this, but I realize now how my perception held me back, how making excuses doesn’t change anything, and more importantly- how none of this even matters!

I’ve realized a few things since then- about patterns in my life, about motivation and about creativity :

I realized I wasn’t posting to my blog because I was too busy being a perfectionist! I focused too much on what others would think and wasted precious creative time over trying to make it all come across a certain way. Every post had to be a special life lesson, or some thought provoking “a-ha moment” and LENGTHY at that.

I remember my excitement (and fear) in starting this blog only to quickly let it fall by the way side when I found I wasn’t posting consistently or for the right reasons- I beat myself up for not staying committed and ultimately gave up because of it.The completely self-limiting All or Nothing approach.

I realized I don’t need to please anybody to do this. I gave myself a break and decided I don’t have to post on any type of schedule or to any particular specifications. By limiting myself under such guidelines I killed any joy I’d originally found in doing this.

I realized IT’S OK… that I was doing this only for myself, that I don’t have to share these words or bother worrying about “but what will everybody think!?” -It doesn’t matter! I was given the license to do this for me- to seize the moment when I feel it and be proud of the process instead of the result. Proud that I dedicated a small moment in time to document a happy moment in my life.

So that’s all this needs to be. My personal collection of inspiring moments- challenging moments- perhaps life changing moments-or just thoughts and pictures, funny insights, and words.

Kythira Island, Greece 2013

Kythira Island, Greece 2013

As it rains here in Vancouver I am remembering Greece and this beautiful sunset

I have been feeling reminiscent of my travels lately. Reading travel blogs, looking up ticket prices (just out of curiosity) and day dreaming about warmer climates and the pure freedom that is associated with traveling, it leaves me with the taste of MORE!

So I posted the shot above, taken by a fellow yogi on a Kundalini Yoga teacher training/retreat on Kithira Island, Greece. Now, initially I didn’t like this photo, I wasn’t happy about my body weight during this time and like most girls, picked the image apart and ruined it for myself. In fact I have only 3 or 4 images of myself during 6 weeks of travel- simply because I am too judgemental about what I see.  I realize how stupid this is… so I’m sharing it with you now as an act of defiance- against myself! I was not posing, I was having a beautiful moment with myself in the sunset, I can literally feel the wind on my face still and can see by my expression that I was having an absolute blast- there is nothing I should be ashamed of about this photo. I took the journey of a lifetime- and it was a wild series of events that even lead me to Kithira in the first place. I was so fortunate to have this experience, make lasting friendships and learn so much about myself in the process. This trip inspired me to start teaching yoga when I got back to Vancouver and to start this blog… which is a work in progress.
I want everything I write (and do for that matter) to come from a place of inspiration, just like this trip was for me and even this specific photograph. Its a reminder to me to be content and to be proud of what I look like and who I am. A reminder to try and live my daily life with as much passion and presence as I felt when this picture was taken. Full of bliss, totally free.