Over the Holidays this year, much like millions of other people do, I found myself reflecting on my life, my likes and dislikes about where I am right now, and what things I want to tweak to ensure that I am living my most ideal life RIGHT NOW. 

With this I came up with my 2014 New Years Resolution: Bust Through The Bullshit. 

This feels good to me. This resolution symbolizes my need to stand up for myself on a regular basis. It symbolizes my need to let go of things and people in my life that are weighing me down. It symbolizes my need to quit making excuses and just ACT. And most importantly, my need to eliminate my constantly aggravating negative self-talk. 
One morning in early January I was working at my part-time gig at Lululemon, browsing through the beautiful, colourful and ever-so-useful workout gear. I was attempting to justify and convince myself that it was okay to purchase yet another pair of lulu tights. Just as I was almost convinced, a brief memory popped into my head of me standing in my walk-in closet just two days prior, criticizing myself for hoarding so much clothing! Does one person really need an entire roll bar of zip-up sweaters? When was the last time I even attempted to wear that pink sweater dress? In that moment, while clutching those lulu tights, I decided to bring awareness to my needs instead of giving in to my extremely clever wants. I do not need  anymore tights.. I have enough. What I really need, is clarity and space in my home. Bringing home a new item that will simply take up more space seemed like such a burden. And thus.... my month of January's goal was born.
January 2014: Consumables Only.
For the entire month of January I focused my attention on acknowledging and then letting go of my constant desire to accumulate more things. It doesn't matter what store I am in, I am always itching to consume more. Whether it be a new picture frame, a pair of lulu tights, a great new pair of boots or even something so seemingly useful as a new water bottle. The fact is, I DO NOT NEED any of these things. I have everything, or at least access to everything, that I could possibly need to support myself in my daily activities. 

Last month felt...uplifting. Having really recognized my constant desires to accumulate and then allowing them to simply drift away showed me exactly how much power I can have over my actions, if I choose to take it. My visa was eliminated of little surprises... that sure felt good. I spent more money on food, but that felt great because I knew that it was going to a great cause (my health!) and was worthy of my money. And all together I felt a sense of accomplishment. I stuck to my goal... even when there were days when I was pretty shaky and close to cracking. (*ahem* has anyone noticed all the "Boxing Week" sales that happen all throughout the month of January!?) 

As I look at this new month of February, and glance back at the whole 31 days that I dedicated to being a bit more mindful of my need to accumulate, I feel proud of myself. I even feel ready to go through my closet and belongings and have a "spring time" purge a little early this year. Busting through the bullshit... one un-used item at a time. 

Sweet Dea

Did you set any 2014 New Years Resolutions? What areas of your life did they focus on?

Are you still following any of them as we've moved into the mid-way through month 2 mark?

After spending a year travelling in a new country, you cannot help but remember your favourite places and spaces from your home. One of my all time favourite summertime places is Sombrio Beach on Vancouver Island. This spot has all the beautiful West Coast scenery that this girl needs. 

I recently spent a night camping on the beach with my boyfriend, best friend and her boyfriend. It was the perfect combination of people and place to make my heart happy. 

After an extremely wet, cloudy and dreary day, we were graced with the beauty of a stunning sunset. Here are some images of the glorious sunset we had the privilege of experiencing:
photo credit goes to Tyler Bourne and Luke Green

Sweet Dea

It all began with a simple but essential question posted to Facebook:
"i would like to worry about the future a little bit less.. any tips, tricks or advice?"
I felt that I was in a rut, and while in this rut, I could not stop worrying about what was to come in the future. I felt that I would never leave this negative space, I would forever feel exhausted and un-inspired, and I began questioning every life decision I had made and would soon make. Heavy stuff right? I wasn't a fan either! So... I turned to the guidance of Facebook - and was AMAZED by the response I received. 
It was mind blowing how my one question affected so many individuals so strongly that they felt the need to comment and share their wisdom. Some of these individuals I haven't even spoken with in years - clearly the question hit a nerve. It was amazing and supportive to learn how many others are/or have been struggling with the same challenge that I face on a regular basis. Sometimes in life we continue along our path and keep our struggles to ourselves, or at least to our close circle of friends. But to put yourself out there and show your vulnerabilities leads to great awareness and acknowledgement. Yes it can be scary to show the world (or at least your Facebook world) that you're not perfect, that you have hard times and that you need help. But the payoff is astronomical. That feeling of belonging to a community, even if that community is based around overcoming a challenge, can allow your insecurities to rest and listen to and trust your intuition. It doesn't matter your country, your job, your marital status or favourite thing to do - we are all human and we all face challenges. Why not face them together, or at least help others learn from the disappointments and successes that you have celebrated?
If any of this resonates with you and you need a little boost in the positivity department, please take the time to forget whatever it is that's bullying your mind to focus on it, and read the insightful and thoughtful suggestions that were given to me:
"Throw yourself whole heartedly into every day as it comes. Focus on the now!"

"When you find your thoughts wandering, recognize that and try to bring yourself back to the present. Read Wayne Dyer and Eckhart Tolle."
where do you want to focus your time? image found at: http://alacartespirit.wordpress.com/2012/07/15/past-present-future-where-to-live-where-to-look/
"I used to get anxiety thinking too much about what is to come. The truth of the matter is that no one knows, anything is possible, and even the most bizarre / random / catastrophic things can happen to you and yours at any time. For the past few years I have stopped worrying about it and my stress levels are at an all time low with my enjoyment of every day being maximized as I am not wasting time "fretting." Today try and worry about these 3 things: How are you going to enjoy the sunshine, what to eat for dinner, and what movie u are going to watch before bed. I promise if that is all u worry about today you are going to have an awesome day! After all Deanna no one can promise you that today won't be your last."
enjoying the sunrise at Mana Retreat Centre, Coromandel, New Zealand
"I just came across a great piece of advice in my old leadership coursework: Mentor activity rather than outcome. If all you are doing is focusing on the end result and feeling instantly defeated when you are trying to figure out how to get from where you are to that end result, then what you should try is to focus on rewarding your activity. Reward yourself for the positive steps you make everyday/week/month that build towards achieving that goal. Whether that's reaching out to your network to continue your relationships, professional development, training, completing online courses or reading articles to build your skillset. I can say that it has helped me alot! Without realizing it, focusing on the positive steps helped to lead me to my desired outcome."
a beautiful image of a cat befriending a mouse - image found at: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/tiny-mouse-takes-on-tabby-cat-762483
"Deanna! We are in the same boat. This is what works 4 me: I close my eyes & breath deep. Then I think: "Everything is well". (Do this 3 times). Then I breath again and say: "I am peaceful' (3 times). Then I smile. It feels soooo good. Then I go & do something that brings joy back into my life (even if it is eating a little piece of chocolate :))."
"...say "yes" to everything!"

 "Live in the moment..."
The beautiful scenery during a yoga/5 Rhythms Dance Retreat at Mana Retreat Centre, Coromandel, New Zealand
"...my fave yoga teacher yesterday was talking about setting an intention for the day and focusing on the success of the intention rather than the outcome. For example, you want to get a lot of work done. Do your best to do it but if/when it doesn't happen, be happy with your effort."

Thank you to everyone who contributed to my exit out of and recovery from the previously mentioned "rut". I really appreciate your support, your courage in sharing your vulnerabilities and your kindness in helping out a friend. 

Sweet Dea

One of the three companies I am now partnered with is the Victoria Yoga Conference. VYC is an annual event that brings together yogis and yoginis from British Columbia, Alberta, the state of Washington and then some. It boasted 400+ attendees this year at it's very first event and apparently made a pretty strong impact on the yoga community of Victoria. Sadly, I was unable to attend the conference as I was enjoying the final leg of my travels through New Zealand and Australia. 
As an attempt to immerse my mind into what the Victoria Yoga Conference was, I am connecting with a variety of presenters from the event and doing interviews to experience it through their eyes. 
I have now done three interviews and my response: 
All three individuals I spoke with are powerful people. They are all so uniquely different in their approach to yoga, business, lifestyle, spirituality and even simple phone mannerisms. But one thing they all have in common is the need and desire to tell their story. As people all we ever really want is to be heard by someone. To feel listened to, valued and appreciated. It is my pleasure to have given this gift, and to continue to do so, with each VYC interview I do. As soon as one interview completes, all I can do is close my eyes and just experience the energy, passion and inspiration that flows through me - simply from speaking to one other person about a piece of passion in their life. Amazing! 
If you would like to read my first published blog post from these interviews, 
click on the image below:

Sweet Dea

do you practice yoga? is it a lifestyle piece or simply an action of fitness? :o)
Welcome to a new chapter in my life. My daily lifestyle has changed drastically in the past few months. I spent a year backpacking around New Zealand, worrying primarily about where to eat dinner, where to sleep and whether or not we had enough money for a beer that day. And now, I'm working full-time in a position that I love, contributing to my community in a way that fulfills people's needs and helps create a society of mindful individuals. Wow.. what a change! I am proud, and happy with the new road that I am on. In the first two months of being back from my travels I managed to generate an income in a field of passion, find a dream home for myself and my boyfriend, connect with a lot of old friends, and simply enjoy being in my favourite city in the world! Congratulations to me! And the best part in my eyes, it's all right before the beautiful season of summer hits... when everyone cannot help but be happy and blissful. Woohoo! 

Here's a beautiful quote I'd like to leave you with. It is hanging in my office, directly over my desk. I think it is so beautifully simple, real, and to the point. Why are more of us not already doing everything that we want to do? Why are we allowing ourselves to stay in positions that bring pain, discomfort and unhappiness? Often the answer is right under our noses, we just have to stop and smell the flowers to find it! :o)

Sweet Dea