Sunday, December 23, 2012

BESTTTIEESSSSSSSSSSSS & Everything in betweeeeeeeeeeen!!!!

So officially doomsday has passed and the world continues :) Hope you all did your lists and are enjoying your second chance at life!!!! It was hilarious to read about the end of the world and we are saved parties, and regardless of how ridiculous these seemed, i think everyone had the right concept to be enjoying life and simply living in what could be our last or first few moments of life.  

And as much as I wanted to take part in the shenanigans of these parties just so I could simply report on them, this massive annoying flu bug had me completely sacked. In fact after arriving back in Toronto, I spent the wee hours of doomsday in the ER. NOW DON'T, I am okay. But this intense flu bug that is upon us this season does weird things to you, believe you me I have come to live it. And after being ordered to have some solid bed rest, I have emerged somewhat back to life thankfully, full of even more wisdom than before of course.

So as I lay in the my very own room and stretcher in the ER, I was slumbering with one of my besties. While the location wasn't ideal, it felt as though we were 10 years old and in my parents basement with a flashlight under the covers telling stories.  Remember those days?!? The days of childhood sleepovers and late night conversations and games of truth or dare??!  I mean I know you all can admit that you still have them - whether we are playing video or board games or watching a million episodes of some TV show we have grown obsessed with or are trading war stories from the day, our childhood or dreams of our future - it's inevitable that we will continue to live these moments. And why shouldn't we?

I mean in the midst of a situation that seemed completely scary to me in the inside,  it was pretty awesome to know that in all the intenseness that was going on around me, I could really just forget about it all and get lost in being a child and be comfortable with admitting my worries, fears and insecurities and still have a giggle or too with one of  my besties. Life doesn't get any better than moments like these. Wouldn't you agree?

I mean who doesn't want to be surrounded by people that let us be as silly, goofy and annoying as we want be, laugh so hard that our tummies hurt, hold our hands while we go through wild and crazy experiences and still let us have those quite moments where we can actually talk about the things we have been holding onto inside with out feeling like we will be judged by how crazy, abnormal or weird our thoughts and ideas are. These are the best kinds of people - BEST FRIENDS, or as I like to call them BESTIES.

And the best part about them. Is that no matter how much time goes by with out being able to see or talk to them. The minute you come face to face or ear to ear over the phone, it's as though nothing has changed. The fights, the distance, the overwhelming life events and the everything in between that could separate you, disappear, as you are overwhelmed with how happy you feel to be around someone that accepts you as you and that knows what you are saying or thinking with out having to utter a word.

The idea of these people, friendships and relationships in our lives are so amazing. And I know I have talked a lot about living in the moment and all that hoopla. But I think the one thing that me and my bestie learnt as we were slumbering in my stretcher in the ER, listening to all the conversations around us,  was that LIFE IS SHORT, SHORTER THAN WE THINK. And it's not about embracing the moment and living crazy, it's about embracing the moment by recognizing everything that surrounds us and understanding that while it could get better, often times what we have around us is already pretty damn amazing.

So this holiday season, I ask all you running shoe kids out there to take a moment out from running and really just think about all your weird and annoying habits, traits and interests, your insecurities and fears and your crazy life experiences to date and then think about the people that accept and love you for it all. These are the special ones in your life, the ones that through good and bad, you will get to be silly, goofy, happy and giggly with.

And with that I return to following doctor's orders :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

JUST IN CASEEEEEEEE.....The World Ends!!!!

So it's official, the end of the world is near - NEARER THAN WE THINK!!! Yes, that's right!! As mentioned in a previous post the end of the world according to the Mayan Calendar is tomorrow - DECEMBER 21, 2012 - which means upon us is what could be our LAST 24 HOURS on Earth. And while, I will likely spend my last 24 hours, wrapped up in a billion blankets, surrounded by millions of medications, trying to peer out at my TV as I attempt to recover from what could be the worst flu bug I have ever been hit with, I wish you all an amazing last potentially 24 hours on earth!

With that in mind, I thought it was imperative that I least leave you all with a  post in case I never get to write again. And well, if the world doesn't end than you all in cyberspace will have the blessed opportunity to continue reading  my babble :)

So with that, I continue onto my post, which I thought would be best dedicated to reflecting on my 30 years of existence in the form of my TOP 10 SO GLAD I GOT TO DO OR EXPERIENCE THAT LIST, followed by a IF THE WORLD DOESN'T END, MY TOP 5 THINGS TO MAKE SURE I DO IN MY SECOND CHANCE AT LIFE :) So here we go - please note that none of this is in any sort of sequence, my brain is too filled with fluids to  think that logically right now, lol.


1. So glad, I got to be born :) I know that sounds almost weird, but arriving 2.5 months earlier than expected, my father was presented with the challenging decision of whether to save his wife or unborn child. Luckily we all know how this worked out, we both survived and 30 years later I am still left with that feeling of knowing I WAS MEANT TO BE HERE FOR  REASON, not quite sure what that is yet….BUT I KNOW I WAS MEANT TO BE HERE!

2. So glad I got to live through the 80's as a youth. So while I got to indulge in the music that still makes me want to break out into the running man and roger rabbit, at least I didn't have to suffer through the ridiculously weird fashions like frizzy perms and acid wash jean jackets (although I am sure I owned one at some point), at this age I was lucky enough to be have my mom dress me in all of kmart's finest fashions, lol.

3. So glad, as ironic as this sounds to have been a fatty teenager, that had absolutely no sex appeal to the male sex. It not only made me be the bookworm that I am at heart, but also allowed me to go through the experimenting stages of weird bangs, perms, bright makeup and clothes that make me think I must have been on drugs to have ever liked them. And now because of all that I am the confident 30 year old I always wanted to be, with the short hair I always wanted but was afraid to have and a big butt that looks pretty wicked in my skinny jeans that I have come to love and embrace.

4. So glad that I got to embrace my inner dare devil and challenge myself to do things on my own that I never thought I could do - such as learning how to surf by conquering those blustering waves that were taller than me, white water rafting the crocodile infested waters of the Nile River and driving up the up the Californian coast all by my lonesome.

5. So glad that I have gotten to experience many people's firsts with them. And before you get any idea's WHAT I MEAN is being able to experience things you have seen or done before with someone who hasn't. It's beautiful  to watch the enthusiasm on someone's face when they look down on the glass floor of the CN Tower for the first time or see the inside of top shop on oxford street or have their first ever lick of an ice cream cone.  It makes you remember your inner child and really smile from inside out.

6. So glad I've gotten to surround myself with the BESTEST FRIENDS EVER. No matter what ups, downs and sideways bends I have had along the way, the past bit has really made me feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have the bestest, healthiest and most honest friendships ever.

7. So glad I've gotten to be a teacher. Whether it has been to my amazing African or CA or high school students, being a teacher has allowed me to live such happy and proud moments through the eyes of my students and taught me the importance and value of patience. It's also made me have unwavering faith in people, their words and their dreams.  

8. So glad I have had the chance to experience love. Whether it has been through relationships, friendships or family. It is one beautiful feeling that can fill your heart with more warmth then you ever imagined, while giving you the ability to really see and believe the best in people. Scarey at times, but so beautiful and worth it.

9. So glad I have gotten to live out some of my childhood dreams (I'm only 30 remember, there is still way too much I want to do!!). Whether it was to travel the world or to represent a class full of amazing like-minded individuals who had struggled just as much as I did to succeed, I am fortunate to have never given up and believed in what I wanted.

10. AND NUMBER 10....Which should have been number 1 in retrospect. But I AM SO GLAD, that I have been born into the most amazing family ever. Good, bad, ugly, annoying, you name it, I wouldn't rather any others :)

And now onto my next list (promise it will be short!)


1. Continue to surf the biggest waves, raft even bigger rapids and possibly climb a mountain or two.

2. Continue to live out my childhood dreams no matter how big, fierce or unattainable they may seem.

3. Experience new worlds, sites, tastes and sounds. And it may seem pretty broad but why limit yourself to choices of 1-3 things when you can be open to trying anything and everything with the people that cross your life.

4. Return to doing more work that means more to the world, than process maps, consulting speak and number crunching.

5. EMBRACE EVERY MOMENT THAT I HAVE. And maybe, I've just done that by putting this all out in cyberspace, pretty ballsy i know. BUT I MEAN IT. No more living in fear of the unknown, of not being sure or of negativity repeating itself. I want to live life like a naive child - brave, excited, full of hope and ready to lay it all the line no matter what happens.

So as I sign-off and get ready to drink my bottle of Benylin in hopes that it will knock me out on my flight home and allow me to have nice dreams of the life I have had and the life that I will have, I challenge you all to do your own lists of what you will do with your second chance of life. Take out some markers, crayons and funky pens and have fun with your list and when you are done, post it high up on a wall where you can look at it everyday and be reminded that you are still here, so it's never too late.  

Until our second chance at life begins!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

HEYYYYY YOUUUUU!!!!!!!! Whattt are you doing at THIS EXACT MOMENT?!?!?!

Now imagine this. A dark room, lit up only by candles and tiny tea lights. The room is slightly heated and the energy that fills the room is the kind that makes you feel like you could do or be anything you wanted. The music that's blaring through out makes you want to dance around like no one is watching and really just live out those backup dancer dreams (come on - you know we all wish we could!). And while you are immersed in dreams of having it all, you look straight ahead and into one of the most powerful phrases that I have come to know and love. "The Power of ONE".
So where am I you ask? Well I am out experiencing my latest obsession. Spinning and no this is not like any spinning class or studio you have been to, trust me. This class combines all the encouragement, positivity and enlightenment of a yoga class with the crazy, adrenalin pumping, motivating feeling of a spinning class. It's really the best thing ever. I mean, I am by no means a Lance Armstrong want to be and have no desire to have a crazy sore ass from sitting on an uncomfortable bike seat, but quite frankly these classes are so contagious, I can't help but suck it all up and pretend that I want to be the next Tour De France Winner. Not to mention the fact that biking is doing wonders for my butts, lol.

Anyhow, Last night as I got into the studio and onto the bike (front row centre, teachers pet of course!), the MUSIC WAS SO AMAZING. Seriously as the tracks moved from the Black Keys, to Kanye West, to Neyo, to the Black Eyed Peas, to some crazy trance like house stuff I happened to fall in love with I couldn't help but want to unclip my spinning shoes and dance like a crazy woman all across the room. You know arms waving, butt shaking and tonnes of fancy feet movement in between all the bikes. And while I'm sure the locals would have appreciated a colored person with some rhythm I figured it would be best if I channelled my positive, happy energy and good vibes into other more important things.

Which of course got me thinking :) And no not thinking of a billion questions to make you all in cyberspace think. But it got me thinking of this thing I most recently came across called the "Enlightenment Movement" - The video is under  3.5 minutes, so JUST WATCH IT! The concept is genius - combing physical activity with paying it forward.

Now, for most of you that know me, you know that i am addicted to physical fitness and eating healthy, mainly because as a former fatty, I vowed at the age of 17/18 that my adulthood would never be filled with low self esteem and confidence issues. It's the reason i am obsessed with the Clinton Foundation's Healthier Generation's Initiative and it's also why this Enlightenment Movement has gotten me so pumped! I mean who would have thought!! For every minute, hour, day that you spend committed to your physical health you could benefit other's out there! So think about it!!!

And no I am not asking you all to buy into this package - but rather I am asking you to think in general about paying it forward, especially during the holiday season. Think about all the selfish things we all do to make ourselves happy, and then think about the things we could do to spread a bit of that happiness to others. You could do a million things - donate food, lend a friend a hand, serve food, hand out flowers, give hugs, ANYTHING - but why wait for the ABSOLUTE NEED?!?!? JUST DO IT. I mean take the Connecticut massacre for example, at any given time anything could happen and bam your chances are gone, so why wait? Why spend endless hours pondering what you could eventually do, when you could do it now and LITERALLY EMBRACE THE MOMENT, rather than lose the moments and let them pass you by.

No matter what it is - I challenge you all to pay it forward and be reminded of just how lucky you are to be surrounded by the love, support, people and things around you, even if today at this moment you are questioning, resenting and hating everything. JUST TAKE A DEEP BREATH, BREATH IN POSITIVITY, FAITH AND BELIEF AND GOOOOO!!!!!! 

And on that note I sign off, Wishing you all nothing but the strength to REALLY EMBRACE THIS EXACT MOMENT.

Monday, December 17, 2012

1, 10, 20, 30, 40 years & counting

I always like to think  that in my 30 years of living, I have managed to figure it all out when it comes to love and relationships. So much so, that when my 19 year old niece talks to me about love I can smile sweetly and think to myself, she has no idea what's coming. And as bad as that sounds I think most of us can agree that we have grown out of the impulsive love stage we were in when we were kids and moved into a much more mature state by understanding that love means more then the fact that the guy has a nice ride or that the girl is smoking hot with an ass of steal. I mean we all still want those things, LOL, but we understand that there are certain qualities that last a bit longer and that over time skin will get saggy, looks will fade and nice ride's become mini-van's (hopefully BMW mini-van's).

And so as wise as I would like to think I am, I am often reminded that I still have some things to learn as I did this weekend, when I had the honor of spending time with one of my most favoritest couples that happened to be celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary, my parents :) And I know what you are thinking HOLY F 40 THAT IS A LONG DAMN TIME, because it's my sentiments exactly. But I think that's what makes it as beautiful as it is. And in honor of this occasion,  I wanted to get my parents to do a guest entry, but let's be real, my English is already hard enough to understand so I can only imagine what you would have gotten had I allowed them to write. LOL. Therefore I will take this one on for them, and hope that I can do it justice.

So as I was saying, this weekend began with a call from my mom, who sounded like a giddy teenager. She called me to tell me how lucky and blessed she felt not only to have two amazing daughters that she was proud of, but also to have a husband that regardless of his flawed nature at times gave her a reason to want to enjoy each and every day. I couldn't help but tear up in such happiness as she continued to talk about my dad.  All  I could think to myself was how amazing they were together and how much they had overcome. I mean I have witnessed it all - the worst fights, hardcore screaming, yelling, slamming doors, crying,  lies and anger used to get out of things, along with the beauty of them working together to get over these hard life and relationship struggles whether it's communication, hurts that have stung so bad it has taken years to overcome, job changes and struggles, money, children and family issues, distance, travel,  you name it. No matter how bad things ever got, their commitment, patience and love for each other never stopped either of them after days, weeks or months of not talking to turn around and say I love you, I'm sorry let's talk.  I have watched them put their pride away, admit defeat, apologize and overcome hurdles that neither of them including my sister and I though they could overcome. They tell me it's because they stayed positive, I think it's because they are committed. Or maybe it lends itself to the nature of their arranged marriage versus  being surrounded by so much choice that it is easy to run in times of difficulty, rather than face them head on.

While they both would like to think they are - NEITHER OF THEM ARE PERFECT,  which is why over time they have both made compromises to make each other happy. And it's these compromises that will have my mom admit that she would rather not wake up to anyone else's annoying snoring and my dad to admit that there is no one else he would rather fight and bitch at. And I know we never want to admit that our parents are in LOVVVVVEEE because well there is a whole slew of mental images we would like to ignore, but in this case I am accepting this fact and realizing that it has made me a huge part of who I am. 

You see I am committed. Committed to the bad, the good and the ugly. It's the reason I never gave up on my dreams of becoming valedictorian after being rejected many times along the way,  it's the reason I never gave up on my CA Exams after experiencing so much failure, it's the reason I have never given up my student's who struggle with their CA Exams, It's the reason I stuck it out in Africa when every part of me wanted to run home at times,  it's the reason why I never gave up on the GMAT and my MBA Dreams no matter how stupid I had come to feel, It's the reason I drag myself out of bed early on Saturday mornings to make it to dragon boat practice, It’s the reason I stop and think of the people around me and try to do little things to make them happy - even if it's as small as leaving a note behind that says I love you or taking the time to really listen to what they are saying, It's the reason why with every mistake, failure, argument, relationship/friendship issue, I have had the ability to admit failure, defeat and apologize and work to better myself for not only me, but for those I love and it's the reason why I have never given up and remained patient in the face of any situation.  And you may think I'm crazy for enduring It all, but the truth is, that after overcoming challenges like these ones, the feeling of surviving, succeeding and being happy is something you appreciate so much more along with the people that always believed in you.

Anyhow, before I let this drag on too much, I leave you with a picture (several actually) of my parents to introduce the happy couple- the most amazing set of best friends ever - so that I can dedicate this post to them. And I also leave you with their wise love lessons for the next generation.

In relationships it's inevitable that things will get hard. Your love and commitment to each other will be tried, tested and put through the ringer at many points along the way. There will be days that you come home feeling like you hate your partner and want to escape, but those are the times you have to hold on tighter and be as open and honest with them as possible, no matter how difficult those conversations can seem. The love you have for each other will always prevail and keep you too together, you just have to remain calm, positive and full of belief in your partner's commitment to you. After all that's what the two of you are meant to be - Partners in Crime and Best Friends that are willing to face everything and anything together. You are meant to conquer the world, and no one ever did that with out a few hiccups along the way.

So with that I sign-off and wish you all nothing but the strength, positivity and patience to believe in the ones you love most :) Til we meet again.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

We're higher then a BEEEEEP...What's your Soundtrack?

As I left one of the yummiest dinners ever last night, I knew I had a long walk home, which didn't seem all that bad, until the freezing rain pellets started coming down a bit harder and the wind just seemed to get stronger. Regardless, I was determined to walk off all that food!! So I popped  my head phones into my ears and blasted one of my newest and MOST FAVORITEST play lists on 8track  - I'm dancing with myself. And suddenly it was as if the those freezing rain pellets poking me in the face and the wind that was blowing me in every direction didn't matter. I was lost in a musical trance of some of the happiest music and if anything I was probably beginning to use the wind and rain pellets as props to my back-up dance that I was making up in my head. You know a little bit of the roger rabbit, a side step, followed by a blow in the wind and a poke by an ice pellet. LOL.

No matter how ridiculous i could have looked as I walked home, I knew there was this extra hop in my step and swing in my arms because the music was putting me in the bestest mood ever. Have you ever noticed how music can do that? It can make you giggle out loud, throw yourself into dance moves you never thought you could do and sing out loud no matter what the lyrics are or the sound of your voice is. It also opens you up to seeing things in a completely different light. I mean, no matter how bad the weather was last night I didn't seem to notice or care. Instead I found myself smiling at how beautiful the city looked at night, the random couples I saw walking hand in hand, the friends that were wasted out of their minds and giggling uncontrollably, the Christmas lights and colors that washed over the city and the wind that was blowing me from left to right so hard that I was giggling at the thought of falling face flat (how typical of me!). And as I got into my apartment, I didn't want those feelings to end. I found myself blasting the music on my TV and dancing around from room to room, finally crashing into the deepest slumber ever with a smile on my face.

How I thought waking up this morning is it possible for music to have that affect? And isn't it that wonderful that we have free therapy at our fingertips? I mean, no matter what your mood or thoughts are of a given situation, just pop in a happy song or song that reminds you of something amazing and its like all that bad stuff in your head - the worries, the anxiety, the pressure, the stress - just go away and seem so much more manageable, workable and worth it.

So on this wonderful Sunday, when the rain and clouds outside could have you down and depressed, I challenge you all to pick your favorite play list, song, band, whatever it may be (maybe even a combination of them all) and blast it to your hearts desire. And allow yourself the ability to think positive, be happy and to follow your heart :)

I know I will be :) So for all of you in the downtown King West Area if you hear a tone defed version of Nikki Manaj's Starships, you know where its coming from :)

Starships were meant to fly, Hands up, and touch the sky, Can't stop, 'cause we're so high, Let's do this one more time, Starships were meant to fly, Hands up, and touch the sky, Let's do this one last time, Can't stop.....We're higher than a motherf-ck-r....ANNNNND CUE CRAZZZZY DANCE, LOL.

Dancing my way out of this blog post y'all, til next time :)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wise lessons from a Yogi

With dreams of becoming a pro-female boxer after a couple years of being dedicated to the sport, I was forced into trying a yoga class that was sworn to change my life. I still remember walking into my first moksha studio in Toronto and thinking to myself, what the hell have I gotten myself into and what time is the next boxing class so that I can bolt outta here early. It never dawned on me once that, that one yoga class would change my life. And yes I know that sounds a bit  dramatic, but proof is in the pudding y'all , my dreams of going pro in boxing quickly changed after that class to wanting to be a devoted yogi, teacher and studio owner at some point in my lifetime.

Now while I have never forgotten my yogi dreams, I can tell you that the lesson that I learnt on my first day of class about life is something that I often forget, but am always quickly reminded of. And as I sit here in this Boeing 747 enroute back to Toronto and read "The Last Lecture", its happened again - I have been slapped by one of the bestest lessons I ever learnt through Yoga.  And here is the story that is to blame -

"Jai sent me out to buy a few groceries the other day. After I found everything on the list. I figured I'd get out of the store faster if I used the self-scan aisle. I slid my credit card into the machine, followed the directions, and scanned my groceries myself. The machine chirped, beeped and said I owed $16.55, but issued no receipt. So I swiped my credit card again and started over. Soon two receipts popped out. The machine had charged me twice.  At that point I had a decision to make. I could track down the manager who would have listened to my story, filled out the form, and taken my credit card to his register to remove of the $16.55 charges. This whole ordeal would have lasted 10-15 minutes and would have been zero fun for me. Given my short road ahead, did I want to spend those precious minutes getting that refund? I did not. Could I afford to pay the extra $16.55? I could. So I left the store, happier to have 15 minutes than $16 dollars."

Now I know what you all are thinking - how does this story even remotely tie to Yoga? Well the truth is that for every yoga class you take you always walk out feeling a bit wiser about life thanks to the life lessons that the teachers tend to share. And this story resembles my first Yogic Lesson - Time is finite, so breath in the positive experiences and moments to help let go of the negative ones clouding your judgment.  Why waste your life  bitching, whining, complaining and getting angrier. When you can spend it turning all your negative thoughts and experiences into positive ones? And I know we are not all saints and often get consumed by all the anger, fear, resentment, pressure and worries in our heads, but it is a possible state to achieve, maybe not all the time but at least 85% of the time. I mean why would you spend time being afraid of what could go wrong, when you could spend time being positive about what could go right?

To add to this thought, I read somewhere that for every positive experience/thought you have it is 100 times more powerful and more effective than any negative thought/experience. And while I am also guilty of letting my stresses, emotions and pressures of letting people down get the best of me at times, I always try and turn the situation around even if its just in my head. A little bit of talking inside your head never hurt anyone. And there are so many things you can do. My favorite one is starting off your day by saying something positive about whatever you are feeling negative about. And then instead of thinking anything negative, you just focus on that positive instead. They say that you can turn a lot of things around by clearing your head of the negative - so why not try it? and whole heartedly? What do you have to lose? Because not trying it can hold you back from something so positive that you just failed to let yourself believe, due to clouded judgment. Often times people let some of the best things go because they are so caught up by the stresses of the moment.
Anyhow, that's my take on that. I think the one thing this has really taught me is to always see the positive in people because focusing on the negative just brings you down for those moments and also stops you from really seeing the entire big picture. I mean think about how many times you have met people and hated them immediately and then spent some more time with them and then grew to like them - It's because you cleared out the negative :)
So on that positive note, I end this post and get into bed. Do me a favor and when you all read this in the AM - think of something, someone or anything that has affected you lately and try to think of something positive in relation to it instead and focus on that. Let your belief in the good take over, because the negative with time will always subside and go away. Just gotta believe.
Nite Nite :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Attention - The World is Ending!!!! Will a Spaceship really SAVE US?

So I promised myself that I would take a night off from writing, however as I walked into an appointment this evening and over heard two people talking about the end of the world coming, I was compelled to come rushing home to my lap top. It's times like this I wish I had a cute little apartment in New York City and my own personalized blogging lap top, like Carey's from Sex and the City. Oh the life I could lead, writing about anything and everything all day long and going out on fancy lunches that were "research assignments". In a perfect world I suppose.  

Okay, okay sorry, back to the topic at hand - The end of the World (I need some sort of an instrumental piece to follow this statement, if only I could transfer the sound in my head into words...if only, lol). So the premise of the conversation I overheard was of course the Mayan Calendar, which logically made me think back to the movie 2012. I remember seeing that movie a few days after returning from my volunteer teaching assignment in Uganda and walked out of the theatre thinking that I should have stayed in Africa, that's the only way I am bound to be saved. Well, I think it may be a bit too late to book a ticket to some African country, considering all the shots and meds I would have to get and take, so does that mean I am doomed? I mean I didn't pay for some VIP spot on the spaceship that will save me, but according to the online sites I read on, it isn't too late to rob a bank so I can secure a spot. SERIOUSLY. If this all really happens, then at least I will have this blog post to slap me in the face like karma, but REALLY, who ACTUALLY BELIEVES that some giant spaceship will save us from the world ending? And if there is/was such a thing, I'm pretty sure there are a whole lot of a-list celebrities that are way ahead of me. Can you imagine being in that line and walking up to Kanye West and being like, "Excuse me, think I'm in front." I'm pretty sure whatever he did with Taylor Swift would be two fold on my ass and i would most definitely not be getting on that spaceship anymore.

So I guess, what I am saying is that I am accepting, that the world may end in a short while, and well as a result of it I may no longer be. And no, I am not turning this into a morbid post, but merely accepting a reality that could turn out to be true. So you all know where I am going with this now. If the world were to come to a screeching hault tomorrow and you knew that, how would you spend your last day on earth? I know everyone is thinking safe and securely with my loved ones, which is a sound logical answer, but I am being serious. HOW WOULD YOU SPEND THAT DAY? WHAT WOULD YOU EAT? WHAT WOULD YOU LISTEN TO? WHAT WOULD YOU READ? WHERE WOULD YOU BE? AND WHO WOULD YOU BE SURROUNDED BY? I'm talking about a full 24 hours to really live before it all ends. What would you do? You all have to have some idea, no?
I think I have some idea's. I would most definitely eat all the gluten and dairy I could get my hands on, even though I would spend my last day living with painful stomach aches!! And this list of food would have to include the greasiest pizza and largest ice cream cone EVER!!! I would most definitely kick off the day, with a yoga class, to ensure I am as close to being reincarnated as something amazing, post death as opposed to coming back as something I just wouldn't want to be! I would definitely spend some time cuddled in a blanket, watching re-runs of any of my new favorite TV shows with my favorites. I am pretty sure I would attempt something I have always wanted to do, but been to scared - like jump out of a plane or do the 360 walk on the CN Tower. I would make sure I laughed so hard that my tummy hurt. I would skype with all the people that were too far away to hug. I would go get the biggest and bestest hug ever from who I love most. I would probably learn some new board game, talk smack and then lose to everyone who actually understood how to play the game.  And of course I would spend time with the ones I love most dancing and singing out loud and being as silly as can be.

I know my list has a lot - but really its a WHOLE 24 HOURS!!! There is soo much you could do!!! And with that I turn to you all out there and ask HOW WOULD YOU SPEND YOUR LAST DAY?

And as you ponder your response, I sign off with asking you all another question. Consider your responses to how you would spend your last day and all it's various components and now look at your lives and ask yourself if you are doing any of the things you would do on your last day now. I bet a lot of you would say no. And so I ask WHY? Why would you wait to spend your life the way you want to, doing the things you love, with the people you love most until there was a drastic reason to really snap out of your life? Wouldn't it just make sense to step back, assess and dive in?

Just a thought you know, from your favorite lady blogger :) Happy last few days of living.

Til we meet again.

From fighting through Brick Walls to being the Brick

My latest read, challenges members of academia to put together their last few PowerPoint slides and deliver what will become known as their last lecture. And not because they are being fired, but because they are being asked to think of the morbid reality of their parting words to the younger generation, if they are unable to deliver another lecture again. The book focuses in on one particular professor who actually is dealing with the reality of dying and so what he puts forth is a lecture that he wants to have air for his children in years to come since he won't be around. He asks attender's of the lecture to remember their inner child and spirit, while he delivers an unforgettable ode to childhood dreams.

Coincidental in reading this book, as well as a post from one of my writing inspirations Hannah Brencher
( I have been forced to stop in my tracks and answer the infamous "WHO THE HECK AM I" question.

In the last lecture, Randy Pausch talks a lot about facing brick walls in your life, and that often times these walls are put up in front of you to really test how badly you want things. Over time you walk away from the things you care about least and fight to push through those walls for the things you care about most. The concept seems pretty normal for what we have all heard before - you fight for what you believe in and don't ever give up. But in times when we are faced with challenges that seem out of our control we often cry out for help, push people away and fall in weakness rather than putting on those boxing gloves and charging through those walls.  We often give up when we can't see the light at the end of the tunnel and let our fears get the best of us. But the truth is, if we look inside we always know deep down that, that fight is worth it, we just have to muster up the courage to live through the tough times so we can scream for joy in the good.

Now linking Randy's concept of the brick wall to Hannah's post on "being called a brick" it's clear that while Randy asks you to break through those brick walls, Hannah makes you realize that as a result of all your fights and battle wounds, you are able to be the brick, that intricate layer of foundation that supports the ones closest to you, when they come to you and admit their failures, weaknesses and fears. At the end of the day we are all fighting through life to support one another as we continuously make mistakes, implement changes and get better. At every point in our lives we are either falling on a brick or being the brick for someone else.

But can we all actually identify with this reality? I mean are we all strong enough to realize who the hell we are? And what that means to people? And does it make your stomach turn or are you grateful for that person you see in the mirror? Are you okay with knowing that your whole life will be spent in this constant role reversal of falling and being fallen on?

The truth is that while we make mistakes or face failures it makes it harder for us to look in the mirror and really face ourselves head on. We question who are are, and are afraid to say as Hannah says " This is me. Broken, yes. Learning, yes. Trying, always. But this is me." We all are in this impulsive race to get through life with out ever really accepting our fears, failures or defeat.  

I think in answering the "WHO THE HECK AM I?" question, I have come to be able to look at myself in the mirror and say just what it says above - This is me. Broken, yes. Learning, yes. Trying always. But this is me. - only I will take it one step further and say I am proud of where I have come from, the battle wounds I have faced and where I stand now. It's only because of these battle wounds that I am able to embrace the challenges that lay in front of me and be the brick that the people around me need. I wouldn't rather be in anyone else's skin and I know that the world needs me.

Now I ask all of you in cyberspace, to take a long hard look in the mirror and ask yourself, WHO THE HECK DO YOU SEE? And are you grateful for who you see? Or is your stomach turning? And those battle wounds, have you let them consume you so that you run in fear, or are you using them to make tomorrow that much better?

I know I have been pushing this whole reflection idea as of late, but I think its fitting for the time of year. With the holiday season and the new year around the corner, its our chance to really right our wrongs, pat ourselves on the back and move forward knowing that we have bricks all around us to catch us when we fall.

And with that I sign off :)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

More Love Letters - I dare you to pause, reflect and write your own love letter

In recent weeks, I have begun my own letter writing mission, which is why it seemed so ironic when I came across the Ted Talk by Hannah Brencher, a 20-something year old from New York City ( In just under 5 minutes, Hannah did for me what cars and electronics must do for guys. She not only reinforced my passion, but solidified my belief in the power of the written word and made my eyes open so wide with excitement, I haven't been able to stop talking about her venture since.

With just some stationary, pens, postage and a mission Hannah started using the old school concept of writing letters to spread joy, comfort and hope across the globe. Her mission is clear, bringing life back to basics and away from the craziness of social media to really lighten up peoples lives and make a difference.

This idea really brings me back to my childhood, when the Internet was a booming new concept. I would watch my parents week after week receive letters from loved ones overseas. The joy on their faces as they got those letters and tared them open was amazing to watch. It was as though a piece of paper, some written words and the time and effort put in to writing had made such a difference in their day, their week, their month and  even their spirit. It was incredible to watch. I also think back to exchanging letters with friends between classes in elementary school, high school and university even. The giggling, the sharing of crushes, heart ache, fights and funny anecdotes all filled those papers that were always folded in the most peculiar and mysterious ways. Do you remember those days? 

Then I think back to whats changed since the Internet emerged. Originally we all had email, which erased the need for the paper, pen and writing but still allowed us to write endless notes that covered off our days, weeks, months and years as we strived to stay in touch with people more frequently across the globe. But then the likes of facebook, twitter and others emerged and pretty soon those long emails, sappy cards and heart felt letters got replaced, just as Hannah said by a swift 140 characters. There has been no need to really take the time to reach out or connect with people when we can use status's to really inform the world of our problems, tell people how we truly feel or air dirty laundry. I guess in reality this does link nicely to us running shoe era folks who are just too busy to really take the time to write a letter, a long email or even have a long heart felt conversation.

But where is the sense I ask in all of this? I know as we get older life is meant to get harder to balance, but doesn't that mean that we should be taking the time to really connect with the people we care with most and spread some joy into their lives whether they are stressed out, going through a rough time, celebrating something exciting or even just needing a pick me up? I realize we all need this in our lives sometime, but check your email inboxes, or go through a box of cards or letters you have saved and realize that we all have had them. We just just need to keep them going. As I said to most of you in my introductory email, the power of the written word is so great that it proves and provides a sense of commitment to your word. It's not just the words on the paper, but the time that was taken to write it that really stand for the care and heart that we all have for another. It goes back to basics, to the little things and to the reminders that no matter how crazy life gets we all have a sense of heart, sensitivity and compassion for the people that surround us. Writing a note always solidifies how we feel, reinforces our words and encourages people even in the hardest of times to believe not only in themselves but the people around them.   

So I turn to you all in cyberspace and ask you to take a moment to stop, think, and reflect on your lives and the people that have come, gone and are still around even in spirit. Think about the good and bad times, the things they have done for you and allowed you to see, the encouragement and strength they have provided and the care they have showed you. And then grab a piece of paper and a pen and write them something, even if its as simple as "Thank You". You would be amazed, at what that little note could do months from now when the two of you are questioning life, each other, jobs, goals, visions and the list continues.  

I will even go as to far to  encourage you all by admitting that even in the midst of my letter writing mission, I took a pause to embrace this concept and wrote my own love letter to someone dear to me. Here is part of the letter I am willing to share:
" No matter what your story, your fears, your worries or your concerns are, I am here to tell you that I too share the same. They may sound or feel different but they are matched with the same level of vulnerability that you feel. However, regardless of their daunting, scary and overwhelming nature, I can promise that by facing them together they will never feel this way again. You have me to lean, trust and depend on no matter how grey, happy or overwhelming the days may seem."

Now as I sign off from this post, I ask you all to grab a piece of paper and a pen and really just pause and reflect and then begin to write.
I am no longer just a certified blogger, but a letter writer as well. And if you too are interested in becoming a letter writer, you can sign up at

Happy writing

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Welcome to The Running Shoe Diaries

"The Running Shoe Diaries" is a concept that I came up with almost two years ago, while on one of my morning runs, while visiting my sister in the UK. At that moment, I knew that I loved the way the concept sounded, but wasn't really sure what it meant. Then months later, I pondered this concept with friends and loved ones and still had thoughts on what it meant, but no clarity on what it really meant for me. But then while, reading an article not to long ago, the idea of the running shoe era emerged. The era represents us 25 -35 year olds (and yes I fall in this range!!), who are so full of interests, aspirations and life, that we tend to spend most of or lives really running from one place to the next. We are obsessed with the idea of doing it all and ensuring that every minute that we spend in our days is full of life and some interesting story to tell. We are almost afraid to slow down and watch life actually unfold. I guess in reality, we are afraid to become "old, boring and mundane".

And with that, I realized that "The Running Shoe Diaries" was a perfect title for my blog. And not because I am a certified and trained runner, but because being a part of this era I am guilty of that same obsession. While my day job keeps me locked into the corporate world, there is a hunger and thirst inside me to live beyond these concrete walls. I am full of interests in fashion, music and art, but also in current events, new and exciting companies/ideas and of course challenging the status quo. Beyond all this I am like anyone in this era addicted to trying and facing new challenges, maintaining my social status and at the end of it all coming home to someone I truly love. In essence, like most in this era I want it all.

Most days I find it a challenge to fit anything in aside from work, but have come to realize in the passing months that life is to short to waste it being dedicated to the money man itself. I also realize that life is to short, to waste it looking for perfection - whether it be the perfect job, relationship, friends, food, etc - because the truth is that everything takes a bit of time, hard work and dedication which are things everyone in our era know about.

And so while I continue on my journey as being a part of this era, I realize that there is a huge part of me that wants to take a step back and really enjoy and savor the moments that really matter, the moments that most take for granted. I don't want to get lost in every day chaos and forget about all the little things that matter - you know things like someone holding the door open for you, a home cooked meal by someone you love when you have had a busy day, a simple note that says your awesome or I love you,  a call from a long lost friend, and the list continues to grow. And while, i head on this journey I invite all of you out there in cyberspace to join in. Whether its through reading and commenting on posts, emailing me with new ideas and thoughts or simply starting a blog on your own, I invite you to join in, have a read and take a moment to breath and enjoy being where you are today and at this exact moment.

I can't guarantee that I will only talk about one topic or another, but I can promise that there will never be a dull post :) 

Here's to the beginning of an amazing blogging relationship.

Follow the blog on twitter @RnningShoeDiary