Sunday, July 20, 2014

{life reflections} Yoga and Healing

p.s. This was written on Thursday, for the date reference… not that it matters. ;)

As I sit here sipping on a rather blissful blueberry hemp smoothie on the deck of Sweet Cherubim, sweat still dripping down my spine, and hair still wet from the shower after my first Bikram Yoga class (think an intense 90 minutes of yoga in a 40 degree room), I can't help reflect on this immense shift in my life. To say that I have learned a lot about myself this past month would be a huge understatement. To say that I have entered an immensely healing period in my life with profound opportunity would also be highly under stated. Life itself is a healing journey, but to what I am referring is this new chapter of deep conscious healing I have recently begun, really tackling personal issues and past traumas to reach a better state of "enlightenment" and happiness in my life.  
These sorts of drastic life changes and challenges are not particularly new to me, but they always strike me all the same as incredibly profound, filled to the brim with lessons and opportunities to grow and discover new parts of myself. Through all my turmoils, I have definitely learned to embrace change, to seek the positive in any given situation. This process allows us to be more adaptable, allows us to grow and learn, allows the waves of turmoil to wash on by instead of getting stuck. 

Now, it's easy to dismiss things, to play things down when we start to compare our lives to others, or for an outsider looking in. Perhaps you are sat there thinking to yourself, but my life is incredibly difficult, for there is This and That going on, and This that needs to be done, and That which needs fixing, and This person is giving me grief. Well, this is no different than my world (or a lot of people's worlds), and I don't believe in making our current (or old) circumstances our excuses or clutches to negativity. At any given moment we have the opportunity to turn a situation into something that enriches our lives, to empower our beings, or we can allow it to cripple us. This is a basic, hard, blunt lesson I have learned through the tornado of my life. Attitude is everything. Having an Attitude of Gratitude is even more advantageous. 
I think--no, I know--that my attitude to any given situation has helped me through the negativity, through the bumps, through the sticky parts that weigh me down. I know that my gratitude has brought me more things to be thankful for, as well as deep, heart-warming gifts. The truth is, now that I sit here and reflect, that two of my happiest times in my life have also been during the most tumultuous. I don't mean like little bumps in the road, I mean a wrecking storm intent on destroying my inner and outer life; I mean absolute chaos; I mean the sorts of problems and challenges that bring you to tears and make you question why the Universe can be so cruel; I mean… you get the idea. However, through this emotional tornado, the brightest lights have shined. Perhaps it is because I look for things to be grateful for (Law of Attraction 101), or perhaps because I choose to see the positive, I therefore welcome the good to reenter my life. Good things come to me. Not because they land on my lap without effort, but because I choose to see them, embrace them, and challenge them to make me a better person. I actively participate in my happiness, in my life, and I encourage you to do the same with your own life--it is the only way you will grow and change for the better and create a place of happiness for yourself. 
So, yes, I am in a state of healing. I believe that was the point of today's "inspirational" post…  

Bikram Yoga
It amazes me that once we welcome healing into our lives how the opportunities are presented to us. Yesterday I was sat outside Sweet Cherubim (I just love Commercial Drive in Vancouver, and I love this little vegetarian/vegan place!), writing out a blog post, and a lovely gentleman complimented my tattoos and handed me a card for the Bikram Yoga studio directly above. The card was for a free yoga class. Ironically (actually, more like manifestation) I have been wanting to do a yoga class again for a while, and I have always been intrigued by hot yoga and have wanted to give it a try. The opportunity was perfect. So, the next day (today) I checked the schedule and headed over. I won't lie, I was slightly intimidated. Ninety minutes of intense yoga in a 40 degree room, sweating out toxins (you can burn a whopping 945 calories in this class!!). What I didn't expect (for some strange reason) was the healing that came from this class. There is something about being pushed to your limits, testing your perseverance, and enduring against the odds that will really teach you something about yourself. This class, this experience, was exactly what I needed in this healing journey I have been currently immersed in. I don't think I have ever sweated this much in my life. I don't think I have ever been tested this intensely to my physical and mental limits at the same time. There was a point I thought I might pass out, a point I thought I was going to puke, and a point I didn't think I could go on. If it hadn't been for the warm-hearted instructor at the beginning of the class telling me that these things were normal, I might not have endured. But, I pushed through, took a short breather, and jumped back in, pushing through the dizzy spills and nausea, focussing on breathing, and committing myself to the entire practice. Oh did it ever test me. But it was incredibly empowering, and incredibly rewarding. Feeling the blood circulate, the energy rushing, the toxins dripping out in sweat. Wow! It is a rewarding feeling when you push through something so challenging and feel rejuvenated afterwards. I'm not sure I can quite describe the feeling, but it was certainly healing, and profoundly rewarding. Mind over matter is a powerful thing, and a tool that can take us many places in life when we don't think we can endure. It proves we can do anything, proves we can push through anything. We all have that power within us. 

We all have the power to heal. We all have that power embedded into our DNA, embedded into our bodies, embedded into our minds; we just require the courage and perseverance to do so. But we should never underestimate our inner power. Ever. I encourage you to find yours, to follow it passionately, and to welcome the healing into your life. It may be a rough road, it may challenge you, but the end result is worth it all, and it will make you that much stronger, and that much more prepared for the next challenge in your life.

As always, so much love to you all!  

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

♥ Iconic Locks - Dreadlock Extensions ♥

Custom premade and made to order synthetic dreadlock extensions and accessories. 

Extensions are fun for a girl who doesn't want to dye or damage her own hair, dreadlock extensions are extra fun for a girl that loves to change up hairstyles but doesn't want to cut her own hair. Yes, I'm explaining my personal love for extensions. It has been a long time since I've dyed or done anything spectacular directly to my own head (as any of my regular readers will know), so I rely on extensions to add the splash of colour and the playfulness back to my hair. 
In my years of fashion fun, I have used plenty of dreadlock extensions to add that whimsical and earthy, fun and "hippie" look I often love. I have had everything from just a few colourful dreadlocks to a full head of extensions of varying colours and varying brands. Amongst those, Iconic Locks has been my favourite to date. My search for my latest desire (a set of turquoise and blue) led me to searching through etsy once more. When I found Iconic Locks, I instantly fell in love. 

First I will say, oh the colours! I love a shop that has variety and diversity and catches my eye and presents their products well. The colour selection is nothing short of outstanding. I also love the customer gallery on their Facebook page that displays the fun different extensions; it helps to get a comparison with different skin tones and colour combinations, not to mention inspiration to make your final decision in your own dreadlock selection. 
Next, I will say the quality--which is certainly more important than just colour options--is absolutely perfect. The size and texture of the dreadlocks are perfect, thick but lightweight, with great movement, and are incredibly realistic. This is a huge requirement for me in good dreadlock extensions; you don't want your dreadlocks to look fake or badly made, otherwise it looks simply awful and you've wasted your money. It is absolutely worth paying the money for good extensions, through and through. Dreadlocks are more than just an accessory (unless you are wearing a dread fall), they are braided into your hair or added to the end of real dreadlocks, so you want them to look fabulous and realistic, not tacky and cheap. Do it right, that is certainly some good advice when choosing dreadlock extensions, especially when there is such a large variety to choose from on the internet. Another obvious reason I love and recommend Iconic Locks is that I love love supporting small business owners and creative individuals. The heart and work that goes into making such beautiful wearable art should be appreciated, and certainly adds to the overall satisfaction and enjoyment of wearing such awesome products. Someone poured their heart and soul into that work! How amazing is that? 

You can order your Iconic Locks in a variety of lengths and colours, and Katherine, who runs the shop and makes the lovely items, is incredibly helpful. She helped me ever so patiently pick out exactly what I desired and was very friendly about it.   
This also may seem silly, but I love that Iconic Locks is based out of Portland--the city is such an artistic and inspiring place that I love to visit, and therefore I feel like the beautiful skill and creativity of the dreadlocks at Iconic Locks is a perfect depiction of this artistic scene. 

Overall satisfaction with my set of dreadlocks from Iconic Locks is absolute perfection. It's nice having a great quality shop to turn to. So check out the shop, get yourself a pair for any number of fun reasons (including festival season upon us!).  

Find Iconic Locks: 


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Friday, July 4, 2014

☺ Where'd the Posts Go?! *Update!* ☺

The ReLove blogs have been sorely neglected, this I apologize for. Sorry, and not sorry; not out of being self-important, but out of the feeling that apologies aren't required for many things in life in which we feel the need to apologize for--but I'll get to that in another post as I am already getting off topic (that was fast!). 
Where did I go? Why so quiet? Where are the positive posts and other fun stuff you're used to seeing here? 
Well. My life sort of fell on its head the last couple of weeks (yes, apparently my life has a head). Actually, when being honest, my life sort of fell on its head a couple of years back, or at least that's when the spiral commenced. Long story short, my husband and I are separating. Before you break out the box of tissues and the sad violin, a couple of things I'd like to note on this…  
1. I am not looking for sympathy; nor do I feel this is a place where people need to say "sorry to hear that" which seems to be the most common response to people finding out. 
2. This is a Good thing. While my partner is an amazing individual and I am not leaving him out of anything against his person (he really is an amazing person with so much to offer the world and others), the decision was based off a need for myself and my own (and I do believe his) personal growth and journey. We grew apart. By association, our relationship became neglected and I fell out of love. Simple as that. Which is not so simple, but that's it described in its most basic form, without all the details and mess and emotions and road that led to all of this. I will always love and care about my husband, but our lives were taking separate paths and we were perhaps not as compatible as we had thought to be. People change. Life Changes. It was time for me to be honest with myself (which was gruellingly difficult) and to listen to my heart (which I shut out for so long). While emotions are understandably running high and flailing about, I do feel positive about this decision. It was time for me to rediscover a piece of myself that I lost. And I do feel that I am already rediscovering and exploring these sides of myself. 

Okay, so that being said, the blog, and my work for that matter, are being neglected. Not because I don't want to blog--in fact I feel incredibly inspired through all of this to write, write, write--but because life is changing and complicated right now. I am in the process of moving out, packing, and manifesting my perfect little bungalow. My life is changing immensely. IMMENSELY! I have spent the past ten years with my husband, from the time I was seventeen and still in high school, and so the world is a brand new canvas for me to paint, rediscover and uncover other parts of my soul. 
I am excited. I am enthusiastic. I am positive. And I am guilty as hell for feeling those things, but learning to allow myself to be happy and To feel those positive emotions. I would love to (and will very soon) write a more in-depth post about Allowing Ourselves to Be Happy (in the face of other misery), because through this experience it has been one of the biggest challenges and blocks I have discovered about myself that I have held onto since I was a child; and has been one of the greatest obstacles to moving forwards. 
Sometimes we hold on to guilt as if it will make the other person feel better. It doesn't. Guilt only serves to burn you. And letting go is one of the most rewarding and healing lessons to any hardships we face in life, and especially so in our relationships. 

Life can be strange. Unexpected. But it is also beautiful. I am and always will be a huge believer that everything happens for a reason and that everything falls into place in the end. I know this to be truth through my own experience. I can see the magic still glowing around me and it is certainly inspiring. And so, I invite you to continue this journey with me, as I enter a new chapter of my life and while I share my experiences and lessons in hopes they may serve you or awaken a part of yourself that also may be dormant (as it has in me). We are all here to learn from one another, and I can't say how fortunate I feel to be sharing my journey with so many of you who appreciate my posts. It means the world to me. Thank you.  


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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

❀ The Good News ❀

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Stop watching the News on T.V. filled with lies, propaganda, and made to make you feel helpless and afraid.

With all the negative news in the world, it's time to give you hope and inspiration. It's time to the weekly Good News! 
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A victory for our planet: Oil company Soco not to drill in Virunga World Heritage Site 
Oil company Soco International PLC announced this week that it will end its operations in Virunga and stay out of all other UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 
Virunga is Africa’s oldest and most diverse national park. Its extraordinary landscape is home to an incredible array of wildlife, and 50,000 families depend on Lake Edward for jobs, food and drinking water. Together with government champions and activists within Democratic Republic of the Congo, your support helped remove this immediate threat. 

Step Forward for Climate Change!
Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency released a historic proposal to limit carbon from power plants—the single biggest source of the carbon pollution that is driving climate change.

In Rural Kenya, Women Are Breaking Barriers to Bring Clean Energy Into Their Homes

Victory! Super-Toxic Rat Poisons Will Be Pulled From Store Shelves
Animal advocates and environmentalists are celebrating an announcement that the makers of d-CON will stop producing a number of super-toxic rat poisons and pull products from store shelves by early next year. The announcement came as part of an agreement that was reached between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Reckitt Benckiser Inc. to cancel 12 d-CON products that don’t currently comply with EPA safety standards. 
Environmental, public-health and animal advocacy groups have been fighting to get these products pulled from the consumer market for years over concerns about their inhumane nature and the risks they pose to wildlife, pets and children.

Great news for whales - World Court rules against 'scientific' whaling‏
The UN's International Court of Justice ruled that Japan must stop whaling in the Antarctic.
The decision was focused on Japan's so-called "scientific" whaling in the waters of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary around Antarctica. The government of Japan claimed it could lawfully kill as many whales as it liked, so long as they were killed in the name of science. Over the last decade, Japanese whalers killed thousands of whales, with little scientific results produced from the slaughter of whales.
Australia, New Zealand and conservation-minded countries around the world had long criticized this practice and called upon Japan to stop. Last June, after years of preparatory briefs and written arguments, world class legal teams for Australia (supported by New Zealand) and Japan argued the case. Nine months later, the World Court has released its decision.
The court ordered that Japan should withdraw all permits and licenses for whaling in the Antarctic and refrain from issuing any new ones under their current lethal whaling programme.
IFAW has campaigned to end commercial whaling for more than 30 years.

Breaking News: Amazon Protected for Life‏
History has just been made in the Amazon. The Brazilian government, WWF and others have implemented a model of conservation for the world—an innovative finance approach that will ensure that the planet's largest network of tropical forest protected areas can be properly managed and monitored for generations to come. Located in the Brazilian Amazon, this network is an area three times larger than all the US national parks combined. 

Sunder the Elephant Wins Court Case!‏
Court Rules That Sunder Be Released! Sunder is a young Indian elephant who has spent the last six years chained up in a temple, miserable and alone, and endured beatings and abuse. After an epic campaign by PETA India, the suffering of this abused young elephant held prisoner in an Indian temple could finally be at an end, the court ruling in favour of releasing Sunder to a Sanctuary.

Victory on Organics!‏
Thanks to your actions, the U.S. organic standards will no longer allow antibiotics to be used in organic fruit production, and the National Organic Standards Board delayed the process for factory-farmed fish to be labeled organic!
Patty Lovera, our Food Program Director, delivered 25,000 public comments from Food & Water Watch supporters on these two issues at the National Organic Standards Board meeting in Texas last week. Patty has been attending organic standards board meetings for years, and works closely with a strong coalition to monitor the USDA's actions around organic to make sure that the standards stay strong.

Kijiji Canada: Stop puppy mills and prohibit the sale of household pets - UPDATE
After asked us all to join in asking more advertisers to drop their ads from Kijiji in the campaign (to stop puppy mills and prohibit the sale of household pets), Tangerine (formerly ING Direct), zulily and National Bank have all removed their ads from Kijiji Canada pet sales pages within 24 hours!

Sierra Club Canada Foundation congratulates CBC for new conflict of interest rules
Sierra Club Canada Foundation congratulates the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) for putting an end to the practice of allowing its staff and freelance hosts to accept public speaking requests from companies, political parties or other lobbying groups “trying to influence public policy”.
More on the conflict of interest:

Mexico City Bans Circus Animals in Shows
Mexico City has joined six other states within the country, banning animals in circus acts.

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Thanks for reading this week's "Good News!" Join us every week and feel inspired! 
Be sure to sign up for Care2's newsletter for some real news around the globe, to make a change, and to open up your mind to the Real World!

See that your actions count and get out there and do good! Be the Change!  


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