The Sacred Alone

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Be Ground.
Be crumbled, so wildflowers will come up where you are.
You’ve been stony for too many years.
Try something different.
Surrender.

~ Rumi

This e-course I am taking is something I recommend for anyone who needs a little time to get reacquainted with themselves. It is time for you to befriend yourself and give yourself the care and love you are giving to others. I’ve taken many of Susannah Conway’s e-courses but this one has got to be the most linked to ‘being’ instead of ‘doing’.  What is your sacred alone? What does it look like and feel like? Does it exist?

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13 for 2013

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There were many things to be grateful for in 2013.  Here are a few highlights of this past year that made 2013 unique. They are now fond memories and moments I can affectionately return to in my mind and in photographs.

a year of firsts

1. Celebrating a year of firsts: Happy Birthday Claire. xo

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2. Blogging, Photography, & E-courses: Creativity

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3. Warmth, sun, & sand: Bahamas

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4. Food, beer, & blue: Toronto Blue Jays

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5. Red and juicy: Strawberry picking

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6. Broken Social Scene: Field Trip Music Festival

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7. Solitude and relaxation: A day at the spa

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8. Beautiful & alive: NYC

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9. Catchin’ the Money Bow: Cottage

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10. A weekend of celebration: Bachelorette

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11. Making Promises: Tie the knot

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12. Moments like these: Being home

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13. Celebration of friends: St. Lucia

What a year really. Don’t get me wrong, many moments were absolutely filled with uncertainty and struggle. We wouldn’t be who we are without the shitty stuff too.

Reflection brings us back to moments and times that we need to appreciate and be thankful for. For me, photographs are a really great avenue to get me there.

I hope your 2013 was filled with moments that left you feeling full, warm, and grateful. One of my grade three students said it better than I could have myself:

“Gratitude is loving everything we have.”

~G.W

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2014

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Happy New Year  to you all! I hope you are all spending the first day of January 2014 in a way that is right for you.

I have come across this journal workbook that you may really enjoy completing. I have shared it with many of my close friends and I have been really impressed with how much they are into it. The idea is not to create “New Year Resolutions” but rather reflect about 2013 and ways that you may want to spend your time and energy in 2014. You are encouraged to find a “word” for the year and have that word be a focus for you. My word for 2013 was “Pause”. The word “Pause” truly allowed me to stop and be more mindful of the beauty around me and it also really tied in my photography wanderings. It prompted me to stop and really feel the little everyday moments, these moments being life.

I have come up with my word for 2014…

RE·VEAL

 :to make (something) known

: to show or prove that (someone) is a particular type of person

: to show (something) plainly or clearly : to make (something that was hidden) able to be seen

This word can be threaded through a few avenues of my life both professionally and personally. I am excited to see where this takes me.

I wish you all a wonderful 2014 filled with everything you hope and wish it to be.

Here is the link for the workbook for Unravelling The Year Ahead 2014. What will your word be?

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NYC

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A place everyone should make a point to visit. It does something to you. I was fortunate enough to experience this city this summer and I plan on going back sometime soon.

In New York
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothing you  can’t do
Now you’re in New York
These street will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Hear it from New York!

Alicia Keys

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“There is no question that there is an unseen world. The problem is, how far is it from midtown and how late is it open?”  Woody Allen

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When I’m in New York, I just want to walk down the street and feel this thing, like I’m in a movie. Ryan Adams

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There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless. Simone Beauvoir

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New York was a city where you could be frozen to death in the midst of a busy street and nobody would notice. Bob Dylan

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I can’t with any conscience argue for New York with anyone. It’s like Calcutta. But I love the city in an emotional, irrational way, like loving your mother or your father even though they’re a drunk or a thief. I’ve loved the city my whole life — to me, it’s like a great woman. Woody Allen

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so I got married…

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Photo credit: Blush Photo Studio

I have never been the type of girl who dreamed of her wedding day and had everything visualized and picked out before the age of 10, or before there was even someone to offer a ring. Not that there is anything wrong with that, that just wasn’t me. I didn’t even really think of marriage until a few of my girlfriends started to throw around the word engagement in my mid twenties. Since I have seen many of my friends tie the knot, “marriage” had me really thinking deeply about what that word meant to me.

Things happened differently for us. We had a child first, and I wouldn’t of had it any other way. Our daughter taught us more than I could have imagined about supporting one another and working as a team. We thought we would get married when it felt right.  When our daughter was no longer dependent on me as her main source of food was when we started to have some conversations as this allowed us a dose of flexibility that we hadn’t seen in about a year.

So we got engaged. Holy shit. I entered into this new world of ridiculously inflated prices and incrediable pressure to make sure I had all of the “traditional” elements included for “my” special day. Basically, the planning started turning into something that did not feel right for either of us. We wanted to feel as comfortable as we could on our own wedding day, so we did what felt right and offended some people along the way, I’m sure. We had to make some choices and that were hard for us, but essential to keep the integrity of our day.

I often have people asking me “Was the day was everything you thought it would be?” or “Was it everything you have always wanted?” I didn’t really know how to answer those questions because I didn’t have this predetermined expectation of what the day would look like or be like. When I look back and reflect on the day, all I know was that we had people that love us show up and support us, delicious food, gorgeous flowers, an amazing energy and vibe, a talented photographer to capture candid moments as the day unfolded, beautiful speeches that were straight to the point and shot right to the heart, and my now husband there by my side to enjoy every moment with and create some really special memories. What else could a girl ask for? It felt real, authentic, a reflection of us, and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

Some people hold the belief that a child secures a couple for the future. Yes, two parents are attached to each other for life because they share the most precious thing together, their child. Some people believe that buying a house together means a they are making a promise of commitment to each other for their future. Even if there is a child, a dog, a house, or a joint bank account, there was something special about making that promise to each other on our wedding day. I’m not saying that people need to get married in the traditional sense to make this commitment to each other, it can look however a couple wants it to look. Just something to celebrate the love of two people for rich and for poor, for better and for worse, and everything in between.

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30 lessons for 30 years

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30 Lessons for 30 Years

It has been too long since I’ve been to my online corner where I do what I love. When people say life got in the way… I know what they mean. When you are distant from something for too long it takes you to make the first move to come back, and I just did. I decided to take my this e-course with Susannah Conway called Unravelling: Different Ways of Seeing Yourself. So here I find myself on Thanksgiving Monday sitting outside with the sun shining on my face. I feel more thankful than ever because I feel like I’m coming back to connect with myself. Be with myself.

Here is the post I meant to write the day I turned 30 which was September 19th. One month late, almost to the day, but its better late than never right? Here are lessons I’ve learned along the way and still continue to learn and remind myself.

In no particular order…30 Lessons for 30 Years.

30. People are often doing the best they can with what they know or have.

29. When faced with a choice, does it always have to be either/or? Or can it be both/and?

28. Be gentle with yourself.

27. When you are stuck with something, give yourself the advice you would tell your best friend.

26. Balance in life at times can be unbalanced. It is important to sit with the unbalanced for a while instead of trying to change it right away. You never know what it could be telling you.

25. Gratitude is a practice not an attitude. Start today.

24. Animals are therapy.

23. Try to connect with something other than people.

22. We have become who we are because of our struggles.

21. Do not manipulate natural beauty, after all, it wont be real.

20. People are always trying to keep up with the Joneses, but don’t realize that the Joneses are actually broke.

19. Often times people hide behind a mask. This will make one feel more alone because one will not be seen for who they truly are.

18. You cant change people, you can only change your reaction to them. All you  can do is show up being you.

17. Perhaps changing your perspective can help you get through something tough.

16. Boundaries are essential and it is important to know when an who you need them with.

15. It’s okay to say NO.

14. Take some risks, even if they are little. Life could be a little more exciting!

13. You don’t grow within your comfort zone.

12. Think about whether your actions mirror your values.

11. Find your creative side. Everyone has one somewhere deep inside.

10. Walk through life being mindful. Stop and notice.

9. Enjoy simple pleasures.

8. Learn to be a good listener.

7. The more you are vulnerable, the more you will feel connection and joy.

6. Be kind to your body.

5. Get enough sleep.

4. Before you place judgement, know that everyone comes with a story, you never know where they’ve been.

3. Know your wants from needs

2. In time, wounds can be healed.

1. There is no better day to start than today, right now in this moment. Tomorrow could be too late.

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a photo a day in may…my style

20130428-194441.jpgAs I mentioned in my post an alternate route, I was unable to complete the photo a day in may  photo challenge. Ever since I started experiencing the beauty and connection I feel with a camera in hand, as well as reading about inspiring photographers and their photo challenges, I’ve always wanted to try one. This particular photo challenge didn’t work out for me for a variety of reasons. I didn’t do well with the timeline because it was too hard to work, be a mom, get my rest, and then go out and find/photograph the word of the day. As I have thought about it more, that was one of the main challenges for me. I felt pressure to capture the daily word. This didn’t work for me. I needed more time to feel what that word meant to me and what would capture it fully. So I guess the conclusion I came to was this..

1. I prefer to capture something I deem beautiful in the moment and then label an emotion to it as I view it later.

2. I don’t do well with timelines, especially daily ones.

3. I would love to try some type of photo challenge that had one word for a month.

So, this post includes the photos I did take that represented the daily words. It is not in the right order, it s not complete from where I left off on Day 9, but it completes this photo challenge in a way that feels right to me.

EAT

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SEE

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BELONG

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SMELL

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CREATE

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SMILE

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RELAX

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NATURE

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PLAY

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SLEEP

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