How to: Patience AF

but patience is HARD

I’ve been quiet for the last little while but quiet doesn’t mean stagnant.  I’m working.  My head is down, my eyes are open, my mind is processing.

Werk.  Werk.  Werk.  Werk.  Werk.  Werk.  Every once in a while I poke my head up to take a look around.  Take a look back.  A quick check to what I’ve left behind (won’t miss you) and glance forward to make sure I’m still in line for what’s just ahead (and further still).

Promising myself that I will be patient as fuck and failing every once in a while with a volcanic eruption of anxiety prompting me to check & correct myself.  Reminding myself that…

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I’ve realized that while I’m the one in my circle that people come to when they want a raw, uncut opinion, I don’t often take my own advice.  Tried a little experiment the other day when I was feeling especially anxious and worked up about something.  I wrote down what I would say to one of my friends if they came to me in the same mental state and then made a voice recording of myself saying it.

Listening to my little rant two nights in a row was enough to kick those negative vibes.

I realized that the reason why I communicate in this blunt, tough love kind of way is because that’s the type of communication I respond to.  While it doesn’t work for everyone, a lot of people respond to it as well.  If you’re one of these people, try it.  It couldn’t hurt – just saying.

There’s something to this recording and listening to myself talk to myself as crazy as it sounds.  I’m sure I’m onto something.  In the meantime:

Werk.  Werk.  Werk.  Werk.  Werk.  Werk.

Patience.  Patience.  Patience.

Why apologize for being authentically you?

The miseducation about 30 something women

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As I’ve got a fresh new piercing and on the brink of completing my half sleeve, I recalled a comment made to me along the lines of women in their thirties having a late 1/4 life crisis scenario and rebelling against, well whatever it is they feel they need to rebel against.  Desperately attempting to feel young again.  I’m guilty of this judgement too just a few years ago and now I feel like a royal bitch (and not in that boss ass bitch kind of way) for thinking it.

I remember being at the hair salon many times in my early and mid-twenties, getting every kind of funky colour you could imagine put into my hair.  The ladies a bit older than I was at the time stank eyeing me heavy.  Mind your business boss!!!

I remember a pretty thirty something woman once.  She was getting her blonde touched up but steady creeping the pink in my hair.  Do it!!!  She hemmed and hawed for a bit and eventually went for it.  I thought to myself then,

“This poor girl.  So afraid to try something new.  Something she clearly wants.  So worried that what?  It will make her seem undesirable?”

But to whom?  And why should that matter if it feels good to you?  Yet also thinking, how lucky to feel so liberated by a single decision.  “She wants to feel young again” and now feel guilty for those thoughts.

Thirty something ladies making moves aren’t having a late 1/4 life crisis or any other fucked up label you want to put on it to make yourself feel better for your own fears and complacency.  They are coming into their own.  Accepting who the are.  Making decisions on the grounds of that zero fucks given platform necessary to create what ever happiness means to them.

They aren’t trying to be something they’re not.  They’re doing the polar opposite.  Being exactly, truly, authentically who they are.

Maybe even for the first time in their life.  Rejecting projections that were forced upon them.  Embracing that they are their own women.  Acting not without consideration to what others think but with conviction for what they think.

Unapologetically. Exactly.  Who.  They.  Are.

 

Why embrace those negative vibes???

Should it always be good vibes only though…

I had one of those moments this week.  You know the one.  Where everything seems like it’s crashing down around you and there’s no end in site.  Where everything else is forging forward and you’re left behind.

No attainable goal in sight, or there is, it’s just so far away in your eyes that it may as well not be there at all.

I was tempted to push these negative feelings away.  To pretend this wasn’t happening, to convince myself this wasn’t really what I was feeling right now.  To say, ‘calm the fuck down J; let this shit go’.  This is what I usually do because maybe if I pretend it’s not happening, then its not real.

And then I checked myself.  Nawwww.  Let’s feel this.  Let’s feel all the anxiety, pressure, frustration that is this moment.  Let’s fucking soak in it (but not drown) and feel every last sorry, uncomfortable, impossible, unbearable second of it.  Absorb it all until there’s nothing left

And use it.  As fuel.

A Plant-Based Lifestyle Starter Pack

Thinking about trying a plant-based diet?

IMG_3706When people first find out I’m vegan, the second question they ask is,

But how did you do it??

Truth is, most of it was not that difficult.  Once I was enlightened and choose not to ignore but accept my true feelings and values about our treatment of animals, I couldn’t un-see it.  Consuming animal products was over for me and there was no way to turn back.  I’ve summarized what helped me into the four tips below:

One…  Educate yourself and form your own opinions

What started this all off was watching Cowspiracy.  Watch documentaries.  There are many others; just google it or check Netflix.  Read books and articles.  Do your research but whatever you read, also have your own mind.  Consider that any piece of writing, research, content is likely biased in one direction; sometimes even scientific articles (consider who funds the research).  There are always agendas.  I accepted some things as they seem logical to me and others I may reject because I find them too extreme.  Use what works for you and if you’re undecided but want to be decided, dig deeper.

I also did Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s 30-Day Vegan Challenge.  It was a really easy way to consume a lot of helpful content in small bite-sized doses.  Each day you will receive an email with either a short article to read or Sound Cloud audio clip to listen to.  I found it much easier to consume the info this way rather than getting overwhelmed with trying to get through a book.

Two…  Plan + Prepare

You will need to have instructions and options.

Instructions

Or in other words, what will you make?  Pinterest, YouTube, even Instagram are great resources to find good and more importantly free recipes.  You don’t have to go out and spend your paper on cookbooks.  You can sometimes find author’s recipes on their blogs/Instagram accounts for free – try them out, then decide if you want to buy their books.

Options

This one’s a big one.  You may be fine with eating food just to eat it even if it doesn’t taste good, but make this as easy on yourself as possible.  Aim to make delicious food; at least at the start.  Know which grocery stores have the best and freshest produce and try to find one close to you, because you will be eating a lot of it.  See if they have a vegan/vegetarian section, if they have plant-based milks, cheeses, plant-based meats.  Visit the spice/seasoning section.  Seasonings are gold for me and there’s so many interesting varieties available – mango chipotle,  siracha lime, mediteranian sundried tomato… Check the ingredients; most of them are 100% plant-based.  Find a good health food store close to you in case you need ‘specialty’ ingredients that you can’t find at your regular grocery store like nutritional yeast or egg replacer.

Look into what vegan options are available at the places you eat out at currently and/or research places you haven’t been to before that are full vegan or have vegan options – make it a point to try them out.

Three…  Know your vices.  Be flexible.  Be kind to yourself.

Of all the things you will no longer be eating, what is it that you think you will miss the most?  Mine are cheese and baked goods.  Not that you can’t get these cruelty-free but they can be more difficult to find.  For example, I no longer get a donut or cookie when I grab a coffee from Timmies.  Which is probably good for my pocket as well as my stomach.  But I made sure to look up recipes to make vegan baked goods, I looked at which bakeries I could get them from and which grocery stores had them already prepared.  I looked up recipes on how to make my own nut cheese and I know a couple of places where I can buy some.

Know that you will slip up.

Sometimes you will forget to read the ingredients before buying something prepackaged and it turns out it had milk powder in it (sneaky fuckers).  Or you didn’t bring your own vegan treats to the party and now everyone’s eating cookies and you desperately want a damn cookie laced with cruelty.  Don’t beat yourself up about it.  Let it go and move on, you don’t have to be perfect as you are already better than you were before.

Four…  Know your why!!!

You better believe that people are going to ask you why you’re vegan and they may be judgey AF about it too.  Oh well do you wear leather?  Do you drive a car, that’s bad for the environment too.  Wasteman!  STFU.  You do not need to explain yourself to anyone. But if this is going to bother you, just be prepared with an answer.  No one can logically tell you that your reason isn’t good enough because it’s your truth.  Many times when someone pokes at you, it’s really because they want to poke at themselves.  The only person that has to live with your decision is you.  So own your truth.

 

Why YOU don’t always have to be IG worthy

StockSnap_2HLCI51VQ8Just in case you haven’t read some of my other posts, I’ll give you a quick run down.  I have “untraditional” views when it comes to dating and relationships.  I don’t feel that innate need to have kids and I have no desire to get married.  Click here if you’re interested in more about this.  This doesn’t mean that I’m not open to love or a long-term partnership.  It does make me less susceptible to pressure by family, society, media to ‘settle down’.  Man, fuck that shit!  The only person who has to live my life is me, so you better believe I’m going to make damn sure my choices ensure my happiness.

I will not be a proxy for someone else’s dreams, aspirations or shortcomings.

Alright, rant over.  Single life is allowing me to explore myself and people in ways I never imagined.  The learning is fascinating, exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time.

What you see is what you get with me.  I will say what I want and don’t want plainly (without being hurtful).  Plus my face and my body language read like an open book.  If I’m upset, I couldn’t hide it if I tried.  This stems from confidence and decisiveness.  None of these traits can be helped.  I mean that I couldn’t pretend to be unconfident, indecisive or fake happiness when I’m mad.  I cannot believably pretend to be someone who I’m not because not only can I not imagine ever wanting to do that but I’m just physically incapable and always have been.  And this is where the problem comes in.

If you present as something, the expectation is that is who you are and you mean what you say.  Why?  Well because that’s what I would do, duh!  I have no energy to waste on acting like someone I’m not or saying something I don’t mean.  There is no real and long-term return on that investment so why the fuck would anyone do that?  Here’s what I’ve discovered:

ONE:  They’re playing a short, disconnected game.

Yeah man.  Of course.  Instant gratification.  Who doesn’t want to get what they want right when they want it???  To be present, be in the moment and all that good shit.  But your life is not a series of disconnected snaps.  It’s fucking Game of Thrones.  It’s a series of connected events where every decision you make affects another, whether it’s now or years from now.  I’m playing a long game and while five minute shorts can be intense and exciting eventually you have to ask, how does this serve me?  I’ll stick with the holistic approach.

TWO:  They’re in recovery.

Everyone has baggage.  Everyone.  Myself included.  This doesn’t need to be discussed on a first date or anything but don’t pretend that it doesn’t exist.  We make decisions based on our past experiences.  We compare partners and relationships to past partners and relationships.  It’s impossible not to do; we do it to comprehend this new data (person).  To organize and understand how it fits with us.  So fucking accept it people!  Accepting that we do this is the first step towards not using it to condemn the new person.

THREE:  They don’t really know what they want.

I’m learning about motivations.  That the drive behind what people say they want is more important than what they are saying.  My drive behind saying that I’m not looking for a traditional relationship is that I’ve realized I need to be free.  I’m my best, most creative, happy self when I’m not in a relationship.  While I desire sex, I don’t desire companionship in the way others do.

Now while some say they feel the same way I do, it doesn’t mean their drive is the same.  Their drive to be single may be that they’re still in recovery.  Deep down they actually don’t want to be alone.  So why is it so fucking hard to say that you’re confused, conflicted, lost?  Why does that have to be a sign of weakness?  We say something and then change our mind, that’s cool; own it.

My drive allows me to not be afraid to fall for someone.  If it happens, it happens.  If it doesn’t work out, sure I’ll be sad for a bit, but I will get over it.  It won’t define me.  Now if someone’s drive to be single is that they’re in recovery but they really don’t want to be alone, well I’m thinking they’re going to be terrified of falling for someone.  Terrified of failure.

I’m terrified of failure too.  But, no matter how terrified I am, I refuse to let it cripple me.  Every aspect of my life doesn’t have to be Instagram, showreel worthy and it isn’t.  I promise you, yours doesn’t either.  The long-term benefits come from authenticity and I’m not concerned about how this will turn out.

Do you self care?

Why self-care is truly self-less

IMG_3548I’m very much THAT person.  The one who does everything she needs to do before what she wants to do, or at least I have been.  I’m in recovery.  I used to belive this was the best way to be productive, to get the to-do list done, to take care of the people I care about.  I’m learning that this might work in the short-term but it’s a shit plan for the long-term.

When you don’t prioritize self-care people get what’s left of you instead of the best of you.

Not my quote, but I’ve read it in a number of places.  It’s truth.  There have been a few times in my life where I’ve held on to so much stress and been so overwhelmed but keeping it 100 on the outside that it eventually manifested into physical sickness.  I mean that I was incapacitated with migraines and throwing up violently because of the pain and nausea.  My body’s way of telling me to slow the fuck down by literally taking me out.

I had this to-do of self-care Saturday festivities and woke up with a splitting headache Saturday morning.  WTF body!  Thanks so much for fucking up my plans.  So I Peppermint Halo’d it up and laid in bed for a bit thinking.  I realized my body was trying to tell me something and forcing me to listen.  I didn’t need to do this whole pamper day thing in order to qualify my day as a ‘self-care’ day.  Self care is what ever it is that makes my self feel cared for when ever it is that I can.  I realized that what I needed was to be present.

Yah yah.  I try to be present every day but true story my mind is always going a million miles per hour.  It’s very difficult to be present but I work on it anyway.  That’s what I’ll do then.  I’ll do those everyday things that I always do to get to the next thing on the list, but do them JUST to do them.  Focus on being present in those little moments.

So here’s my five quick self-care rituals:

One.  Make a cup of coffee (or tea).  Every other time I’m drinking my coffee, I’m typing or reading or answering an email.  This coffee, is just coffee.  Sit in your most comfortable chair in silence.  Smell, sip slowly.  Think of nothing else except how heavenly this moment is.

Two.  Do a hair or face mask.  Guys, you can do this too; don’t knock it til you’ve tried it.  I prefer this one over giving myself a mani or pedi because there’s less work involved.  I can just put the mask on and then sit, doing nothing else.

Three. Massage.  Using a foam roller, one of those hand-held massagers, a massage bar in the shower.  Bonus, because your hands are occupied you physically cannot do anything else.  No checking your phone, no writing on any lists and the repetitive motion can help you zone out.

Four.  Take a walk.  I walk Gannicus everyday but the morning walks are rushed.  They’re part of the routine and also a step in the ‘get-ready’ schedule.  It’s much easier to be present with him, with nature when I’m not thinking about how bad traffic will be or getting my ass to work on time.

Five.  Take a nap.  Even if it’s just a 20 minute power nap.  It’s different from going to bed at night because you have to.  It’s giving your body a rest because you want to.

I’m definitely still all for full out pamper days but if you don’t have the time and energy, isn’t doing what you can better than doing nothing at all.  So how do you self-care???

Why Prioritize Strengths?

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Go all in on your strengths.

I’ve been hearing this a lot lately, packaged in different forms but the message is the same – the loudest from @garyvee.  It’s simple and logical AF, so why does it seem so earth shattering???

Probably because we’re conditioned to focus on weaknesses and work hard to get better at them.  Okay.  True; I can see why this has some importance.  In school when you get a low grade in a subject or score poorly on a test, you’re told to improve, try harder.  Cool.  I’ve experienced this myself.  I struggled with calculus in both highschool and university.  Just couldn’t get into it.  So while I was barely motivated I tried twice as hard and focused twice as many resources just to pass those classes.  It worked fine as a short-term investment to pass but guess what?  Never have I ever been in a situation up until now where I’m like, ‘fuck, you know what would really help me solve this problem right now?  Calculus’.  I also sucked at Physics.  Zero interest.  Against my parent’s advice, I dropped that class.  Guess what?  Never have I ever been in a situation that I couldn’t get myself through because I didn’t waste my time and energy on trying to pass physics.

Now don’t get it twisted.

I’m not saying formal education hasn’t helped me at all.  Chemistry and Biology helps me understand processes and organize information that aren’t even science related.  Kinesiology and Fashion Design guide the way I live my life.  The difference is that I’m strong in those areas.  The return on my time was well worth the investment.

Your parents, friends, society are likely the ones telling you to focus on your weaknesses.  Telling you to get better at this thing that you suck at but I choose to take those words with a grain of salt.  What is the return on my investment of time to go in on my weakness?  My parents, friends, society; they can’t answer that question for me.  Only I can.

Do you even know what your strengths are?

Maybe you do, maybe you don’t.  Maybe you are strong at some things that you wouldn’t even think of.  Ask your friends, coworkers, your boss.  They can offer insight because they’re viewing your strengths from the perspective of how they benefit them the most.  Or go backwards.  What are you passionate about?  Sometimes we’re not passionate about the things that were good at, so fuck that static, those aren’t the strengths I’m talking about.  Sometimes the things we’re passionate about are our strengths – these are gold.

What would be the return on your time if you kept it 1000 on your strengths and passions rather than your weaknesses?  I don’t know for sure but you better believe I’ll find out.