How ‘The Help’ Helped Me

My FAVE affirmation deck; Love Powered Co ‘Femme’

I often get asked *how* I got through the pits of recovery and out the other side. How I mustered the strength to keep going, even on the really hard days.

The truth is- I really don’t know.

I just did it.

I told myself I would get better, I told myself I would walk, and live a beautiful life… so I did.

It wasn’t until YEARS later that I realized I was using affirmations as a tool to succeed.

When I was in first year university, so lets say around 2012, the book The Help was being turned into a movie. It’s an incredibly important story if you haven’t read/seen it, and if you have you maybe remember Aibileen teaching the young girl “You is kind, you is strong, you is important”.

After reading the book, whenever I felt stuck or overwhelmed at school, I would say that to myself for comfort.

I know I could have chosen my own words, but I really didn’t know what those words would even be. All I knew was that little mantra from the book series reminded me that I WAS kind, I WAS strong, and I WAS important.

After my accident I was told many times to be prepared for a very different sort of life. Nobody could tell me what the end result of my recovery would look like, because nobody had survived this kind of fall the way I had. I was ADAMANT that I would be up dancing in no time. That I would be living without pain, and without being on government assistance because of brain trauma.

I would watch videos of professional athletes making incredible come backs after insane injuries, and I convinced myself that if they could do it then I could as well.

I would constantly talk to my body saying “I am safe”

I would remind myself “I am loved”

When I felt pain in my body I would talk to those parts as if they were a small child. Letting them know its okay that we’re hurting, but that it won’t last forever.

I wrote down all the things I knew my future had in store for me- not just surgeries and pain medication. But love, and happiness, and community.

I had no room for anything that wasn’t going to help bring me forward. Because when I did let the intensity of my reality set in, it sometimes felt hopeless.

I was using affirmations before I even knew what they were, and they helped me literally make it through the darkest parts of my journey.

Now I use them ALL the time.

My current favourite is reminding myself that

“yes I can”

Whenever I feel like I’m about to embark on something extremely challenging, or I’m falling into imposter syndrome, I remember YES. I can do ANYTHING I want.

I fell 20ft onto concrete steps, and survived and have a fully gorgeous life, for crying out loud.

Side note; one of my best friends likes to remind me I am

“Dominique, fell of a f*cking balcony Cheshire”

Which I feel like is a very special affirmation in and of itself ๐Ÿ˜‚

If you’ve never tried an affirmation before, here’s what I recommend.

If your best friend, or small child came to you, what would you want to say to boost them up?

“You are amazing”

“You are beautiful”

“You are talented, smart, kind, funny, capable, strong, brilliant”

Say those things to yourself. Everyday.

And if anything tries to creep in to tell you otherwise, say “no thank you”

Because you deserve all of those good thoughts, you ARE all of those beautiful things.

Yes I can, and so can you!

D xo

Body Love (?)

Hanging out in my Knix, as per usual xo

I’ve shared openly about my journey with PTSD, recovery, trauma, and mental health. All of these things happened TO me, and I found a way to cope through them.

What I still find tricky to navigate is talking about my journey with body dysmorphia and disordered eating.

I honestly don’t even really know how to start, because I think most people wouldn’t even remember me going through anything like that. I was ALWAYS verbally adamant that I was completely healthy and fine, that I wasn’t struggling. Every now and then someone would make a comment that I was smaller than they thought, ‘skinnier’, and I would take it with such pride as confirmation that I was doing the right thing.

Here’s the thing; I was never bulimic, and I don’t think I was anorexic? I definitely went for very long stretches of time without eating. I was constantly finding ways to ‘earn’ eating. But I don’t think it stemmed from wanting to be smaller at all.

For me, it was a way to control my body, maybe even punish my body. When I was 16 I stopped dancing because I had become so riddled with injury I couldn’t move without being in pain. I was also highly anxious, and leaned towards some obsessive behaviours (that I really tried to keep secret). So for a time, it felt like the only thing I had any say over when it came to my body was food intake.

I remember making up calorie counts in my head, looking at my body in the mirror and saying horrible things to myself. I once went through a period of time where I set alarms on my phone to remind myself that I didn’t deserve to feel good.

I actually have only ever shared that with one other person, so we’re getting really vulnerable on here today.

I have learned through all my accident related recovery stuff that sharing is important, community is important.

I started seeing a councillor at my high school, but after a particularly hard assignment I didn’t go back.

She asked me to write a list of 5 things I liked about myself.. I couldn’t do it. I had to text a friend, who sent me a LONG list of reasons why I was fabulous.

I felt like because I was never ‘as bad’ as other people who I knew were suffering with EDs, that it meant I was different. Controlling maybe, obsessive maybe, but I wasn’t where they were which made me okay.

I have been learning a TON about eating disorders, and especially treatment in Ontario recently. I have been learning that it has the HIGHEST rate of mortality out of all mental health categories.

After the accident I was in, I gained a little bit of weight. I had a moment where I was looking at myself in the mirror, completely unable to fit into my clothes. At first glance all I saw was rolls of flesh bunching up on each other as I tried to squeeze myself into my jeans.

Then I looked again

I saw a leg that was slowly working on building muscle.

I saw a foot that wasn’t even able to weight bear yet, but that still moved perfectly.

I saw a chest that had been bruised and smashed against concrete, but could still support my breath and spine.

I saw a head that although has been split open, held the face of a strong, beautiful woman.

And that’s when I decided it didn’t matter. Fitting in to a pair of jeans didn’t fucking matter.

I had survived something so incredibly dangerous, that most people die or are paralysed.

My body didn’t deserve mean words, it deserved love- I deserved love.

Everyday I work on making sure I send my body only lovely thoughts and vibes. I eat food that makes me feel nourished, which sometimes even means brownies and chocolate covered almonds.

I make sure to laugh, and to moisturize, and use sunscreen.

I notice when the negative thoughts creep in and CHOOSE to change them.

The power of change really comes from choosing.

I choose to notice the moments when I don’t feel my best, and ask myself why.

Sometimes its because I’m really tired- so I go take a nap.

Sometimes its because I haven’t moved my body in a loving way- I go and take a class.

Sometimes its because I’ve been obsessively watching instagram stories about people doing cool things, and not doing my own cool things.

But mostly I just talk to myself the way I would talk to a young girl who I loved.

Remind her that she is powerful, loved, amazing, brilliant and beautiful.

And my friend,

So are you

D xo

Giving Birth

Okay, so when I say giving birth, I don’t mean actual birth.

I mean creative birth.

I’ve heard creators describe their process as labour, and the energy required for their launch as the ‘final push’.

I thought this was maybe just a comparison, until I find myself actually in the thick of it.

I have been in labour creating The Embodied Alchemy Podcast, and I cannot believe we release TOMORROW!

NOT ONLY, is it a release day, its specifically an episode around my story, my journey. My pain, and my resilience, and my joy.

AND I’ve already have feedback from you about how excited you are to hear it!

I’ll be honest, I recorded my episode with as much genuine emotion as possible- and although its been edited, I haven’t personally listened to it. I wanted to keep it so so real for whoever was listening.

So I’m nervous.

What if my baby isn’t received by the world with as much love as I have for it? What if people don’t like my baby?

While I could run myself in circles wondering ‘what if this, what if that’ here’s what I know;

  • SO MUCH of the creation process was divine timing. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt flow state like this before. New people who were exactly what I needed started appearing in my life.
  • My heart has been FULL. Like, so full. Every time I find someone new to interview, I get a little buzz. Everytime we sit down to record, I want to be my best self to support them, witness them.
  • Every time I finish recording I am F-L-O-A-T-I-N-G. Like honestly floating.
  • I am NOT tech person, and I was absolutely happy to learn ALLLL the tech stuff
  • Sponsors appeared, and wanted to work with me!
  • That regardless of what happens, I am SO proud of myself, the humans I had the pleasure of interviewing, and my baby for just forking DOING IT.

We launch TOMORROW! So be ready to listen to the first episode HERE

See you there!

D xo

Ps. Check out all the behind the scenes over on insta

Calming Regina

photographer; @evajoellephoto

I’m going to be honest, I really didn’t want to write this post.

I reorganized my computer folders, I checked insta 1000 times, I made a tea.

And here I am, looking at my screen, thinking about something I feel a little ashamed to admit- I get jealous.

I am so so lucky to be surrounded by people who are ready to be #1 cheerleader. Women who want to collaborate, connect, support. Encourage, help and learn from one another. I feel all this positivity from the inside out, about 95% of the time.

But sometimes, that sneaky 5% gets the better of me.

I look at friends doing the same things I’m doing and feel like they’re so much further along than I am. They are constantly creating at a level that I can’t keep up with.

They are organized in a way that honestly just stresses me out.

They are so consistent it intimidates me.

So I get jealous; of their productivity, of their success, of their accomplishments. I write stories in my head about how I could never perform at the level they do.

In the past, these feelings could be pretty destructive- getting in fights with friends, personally giving up (or not even starting).

BUT now, I can see these feelings for what they are.. my OWN insecurity. Nothing to do with these amazing people I get to call friends and colleagues.

Now when I feel these things bubbling up I have a little protocol;

  1. I recognize my inner mean girl has taken the wheel
  • I can sense her by the energy behind my words and thoughts. If suddenly I’ve become really angry (for no reason), and my heart is beating really quickly, its probably my inner Regina George coming out to play

2. I take a second to observe what she (mean girl) has said/thought

  • Do I have any proof that any of these things are true? Do I actually mean them? How would I feel about saying these thoughts to that persons face? Would they still feel true? 99.9% of the time the answer is no, not even a little bit.

3. I ask my inner Regina what that actually issue is here. It’s always about something to do with me, and nothing at all to do with the target of my jealous thoughts.

  • *usually* its because I feel SO overwhelmed that I’m stuck
  • Often I feel this way because I haven’t taken time to celebrate MY accomplishments

4. I make a plan to figure out exactly what needs to get done, and when it has to be done by

  • Podcast deadlines
  • Blog deadlines
  • Any teaching/workshop related emails
  • Instagram materials

5. I plan time for me DAILY;

  • Restorative Yoga (hellollooooo yes, everyone needs a daily restorative practice please)
  • Movement practice (this can be a gentle 20 mins mobility, or an hour at the gym. Whatever is going to make me feel good that day)
  • Food schedule (tbh, I’m always crankier if I feel like I haven’t been eating well)

6. Plan my days OFF

  • I also get jealous when the people I admire for their work ethic also seem to be able to have time off?! HOW do they do that when there’s so much to get done?
  • The answer? It’s how I’M organizing and prioritizing. If I’m jealous of someone else being able to take a break, I probably need less Netflix and more efficient scheduling. More efficiency- the more time I can take off.

A turning point for me re. handling jealousy/anger really began when I was able to practice taking a step back. Emotions like that usually have nothing to do with the person we’re angry at. *Most* times it’s our own insecurities/frustrations projected on to someone else.

Not to get all Forrest Gump on you; but life is like running a half marathon.

There might be others who reach markers before you, but ultimately they’re always there, waiting at the end to cheer you on. We run at our own pace, because thats the pace unique to us.

To all my friends cheering on, thank you so much for your patience, encouragement, and love.

We’re all in this together (including our inner mean girl <3)

Love, love, love

D xo

PS. Did you know we’re growing the blog in to a podcast!? Make sure to click here to subscribe so that you never miss an episode. Official launch JANUARY 30TH!

My favourite Knix

If we hangout together on Instagram, you’ll likely know by now that I LOVE the brand Knix. If you aren’t familiar, they are a Toronto, female owned business that designs and produces intimates. They believe that we should all be able free to live our best lives, with their goal being to design products that allow their customer to feel comfortable in their own skin (not trying to match up to any sort of standard).

PHEW. YES. PRAISE THE GODDESS. More of that please.

I started wearing Knix products about a year ago; I started with an evolution bra in a lovely teal colour, and a body suit.

WELL, I was so impressed with the fit and comfort of them that it wasn’t long until I had more body suits, more underwear, and more bras.

I have been on an image related self esteem rollercoaster my whole life, so to have a product that I felt so comfortable, so confident in I wanted to post about it on social media? HUGE deal for me. I have actively avoided having my picture taken for pretty much my whole life.

I have also been very fortunate that the Knix team started to see my posts and sent me a box of goodies in exchange for writing for them (you can read that here).

SUPER exciting for me, because I have already purchased so much of their line on my own. Since that post, I’ve had a lot of questions about what I love and why, so here are my top 5 MUSTS from Knix!

The Dream Short

Soz for the quality, stole this from my insta stories hee hee

Ummm KAY. If you are a person who menstruates, and you’re tired of all the current night time solutions I HIGHLY recommend getting yourself some shorts.

I have a light flow, but I fully trust that even with a medium to heavy flow these would hold up. The first time I put them on they felt a little bit diaperish because they have such a great absorbent pad, but within maybe 5 seconds I was over it. I love the way they fit around my hips and thighs, and that the moment I sense I might need some night time protection I can just slide these on. I have used all the other solutions; pad/tampon (wake up at 3am to change it), and cup and honestly, the dream short trumps them all.

Leakproof High Rise Thong

So I definitely had no idea how life changing a high rise thong would be in my life, until Knix sent me this one to try.

I get really intense period cramps, and the feeling of my underwear coming all the way to my belly button is a DELIGHT.

Having the higher cut creates a much more seamless line underneath jeans/leggings which (as I LIVE in leggings) I really appreciate.

A++ from me

  • I will say that I can only vouch for a light flow here, I don’t know if they would necessarily last you all day/have the same security with a heavy flow.

Cheeky Everything

I have the cheeky in leakproof, and in regular and I love them both. The top rim is a bit stickier, so there are no worries about the uncomfortable ‘undie slip’ (looking at you running and half roll backs #matpilates)

They will leave a little bit of a pantyline with thin leggings, but otherwise are totally fine. I recommend sizing up in the leakproof

Catalyst Sports Bra

Let me take a second to talk about my boobs (if we weren’t getting personal already). I had a fairly small chest up until I took a break from dance from about 16-18. At that time I bloomed in a way that I had never even anticipated. Then I started dancing again, and *pop*, everything went down again. THEN I was in the accident, and gained some weight and HELLOOOO they were back. THEEEEEN I started being more active, eventually ran a half marathon, and now I’m back to a smaller chest, that has been stretched and mildly abused with activity.

All of that is to say that my boobs have changed shape so many times, that I now feel like I can’t find a sports bra that supports their new shape.

Using the Catalyst bra was the first time I felt like I was supported no matter which way I was facing (being upside down has been a wee bit riskay up until now). It was comfortable, supported but somehow also flexible?! I love it. I use it running, yogaing, pilates, and weights. It never feels like the wrong time. Even though this one was sent to me by Knix, I will 100% be buying more for myself.

Ps. I’m a size 1!

The Every Bodysuit

The purchase that started it all. I LOVE these bodysuits. I love that they are adjustable from both the crotch and the straps, which allows the fabric to fit the way YOU want it to. I have worn them dressed up with fancy pants and shoes, with overalls, with casual jeans, with literally nothing else because I like to parade around my apartment in just the suit.

I feel supported, and free to move. I love the way it hugs my bod, and I hope you do too!

That’s it friends! My top 5! If you’re totally sold on trying some of the Knix goodness, I have a code for $15 off any purchase of $100

What are you going to get?!

Let me know!

D xo

PS. The Catalyst sports bra and cheeky undies were sent to me by Knix in exchange for writing a blog post for them! You can read it here!

Lessons from a House Plant

I LOVE plants. I grew up pretty much always having a backyard, and with that different kinds of gardens. My mum was always tending to vegetable patches, growing flowers, sprouting herbs and sharing home grown tomatoes. It very much came as a surprise to me, when I seemed to show ZERO ability to take care of plants.

I mean really zero. I remember when I was 7 trying to get my gardening badge in Brownies, and completely forgetting about my little indoor patch until my mum had to literally throw it out because everything had gone so terribly.

When I moved into my most recent apartment I knew that I was desperately going to need some green space, and the only way to do it was get my (green) thumb dirty and ask for help.

The first plants brought in to my life was an Orchid and a money tree. The orchid had already bloomed so I thought Yes! Fantastic, I just have to maintain this. The money tree seemed simple enough, so no real problems there.

A few weeks later, I adopted a peace lily and a second orchid, growing our little plant family to four.

We chugged along quite nicely for a couple of weeks- me, filling the plant pots up with water, letting the roots soak them up, and then emptying what was left over.

And then the leaves started to fall.

I had NO idea that orchids were flowers that bloomed and then fell in their own cycles, and was immediately filled with dread when slowly but surely the petals started to fall.

I thought the falling flowers meant that the plant was now dead. Although it would have made sense to dispose of it, something made me keep on to them. I thought maybe I could will them back to life?!

After a few weeks of abandoning my two blessed orchids in a corner, I realized there’s a Sheridan Nurseries very close to me, and that if I swallowed my pride they would probably be able to help me.

I packed up my orchids and peace lily for a field trip, and made my way over to the nursery.

Given that I felt like I had completely failed and was about to get scolded for plant abuse, you can imagine my surprise to hear they were actually totally okay! That the falling petals were normal AND despite the recent neglect had really healthy roots! I was given a quick and thorough lesson on how to take care of Orchids properly (turns out they are actually one of the trickiest plants to take care of), and after a repotting and orchid feed purchase was on my way back home.

Two months later the first of now FIVE flowers has blossomed on Orchid one, and Orchid two is close behind it. Every day since our visit to Sheridan Nurseries I have spoken to my plants, sang to them, told them they’re beautiful and strong. To see them blossoming now literally fills me with such happiness and pride.

Because it doesn’t even really feel like it’s about the plants. I feel like they represent exactly how life ebs and flows. We aren’t designed to be in blossom all the time, because we will eventually stop appreciating it for the beauty it is. Plus, each time we shed a layer, we grow again, potentially even more vibrant than before.

I swear, these plants are built with such grace and resiliency, it makes my heart smile. Now if you are not a plant person, this all might feel a little extra dramatic. And maybe it is. BUT it is honestly the pride I feel knowing that even though I wasn’t sure what I was doing for a while there, I found the people I needed, and now every day I get to look at something living and beautiful that brings me joy.

Thank you Orchids for teaching me about patience, grace, eating right, and blooming big.

D xo

Manifest 2020

HAPPY NEW YEARS DAY MY FRIENDS!

If you celebrate New Years for January 1st- welcome to the first day of the next decade.

As we get inundated with messages about new years sales, improving ourselves, and goal setting I offer you the chance to get really really clear on what you want this next week, month, year, and decade to look like! Keep your list short and sweet

  1. Keep your list short and sweet
  • This is contrary to a lot of theories, but this is why I suggest keeping it minimal; Imagine your energy as a jug of water, and your goals empty glasses. If you have 4-6 glasses in front of you, chances are you’ll be able to fill them up! If you have 10 or 12 glass to fill, you’ll only be able to offer a little bit of water to each (and have loads more dishes to do!)

TIP; I like to choose one or two major goals for specific areas of my life;

  • Personal (ex. boundaries, self care, health/wellness)
  • Finances (ex. paying off debt, increasing savings, increasing income)
  • Relationships (ex. experiences with friends, planning dates with family/partner)
  • Growth ( ex. spiritually, travel, education)

If you’re a big dreamer (like me) this can seem IMPOSSIBLE. There are a million things I want to do, so many that it’s hard to differentiate between what is exciting, and what is truly the most important to me. It’s actually an incredibly empowering practice to get crystal clear on what you really deep down want.

2. Replace “I want” with “I commit to”

“I want” implies less responsibility on ourselves, and more on it just happening for us.

“I commit to” implies that WE are going to take the steps to completing our goal

Ex. I want to run the Scotiabank Half Marathon โค I commit to running the Scotiabank Half Marathon

  • I also love that when we say “I commit” it includes all the steps along the way that would get us there so we can keep the goal clear (step 1) without losing the importance of the small steps along the way.

TIP; Play around with this if you use “I am” statements, see if it changes at all!

“I am wealthy” โค “I commit to being wealthy”

3. Create a visual

This is where we can add some playfulness to the process! Once you’ve nailed down your one really specific goal in each category, find a visual representation. Pinterest, google searches, and magazines are GREAT for this! You can leave them in an album, make them the background to your phone/computer, or create a vision board with these super specific pictures!

TIP; Sometimes I’ll actually do this with step one. If I feel like I don’t *quite* know what I want, I collect pictures of everything in an album. By the time I have 30 photos, I can usually tell pretty quickly which ones are the MOST important to me, and those are the ones we want to print!

4. Let it marinate

I don’t necessarily believe that you have to chant these commitments every day (I KNOW WOW! Maybe a little controversial). I believe that if you’ve taken the time to get clear, write it down and have a visual somewhere, you don’t necessarily neeeed to then listen to it on repeat or write it out everyday.

That being said, if you already have that sort of practice and find it super helpful then go for it!

What I do believe, is that every time you’re faced with a decision; how am I spending my time today, how am I taking care of myself, where can I create opportunity, where can I look for help to grow- they should absolutely come back to the goals you’ve created for yourself.

For example; In October my goal was to launch The Embodied Alchemy Podcast in January 2020. I didn’t create a pinterest board- but I did start researching how I would do this and what I would need. After the initial excitement wore off, I kept checking in with myself,

“What have I done this week to keep this project moving forward?”

“Where can I find time today/this week to get a little step closer”

And guess what?! You can keep your eyes peeled for The Embodied Alchemy Podcast Launch January 30th 2020!

I don’t really dive in to this process until about the second week of January. I keep it in mind, and I allow myself the space to brainstorm, but I find there is so much busy-ness over the holidays that I can’t sit down to get clear without feeling stressed out. This process is ideally NOT stress or anxiety inducing. This is our time to really get to know ourselves, what we really really want.

I have SUCH good feelings about 2020, I can’t wait to celebrate our journeys together!

Happy New Year!

D xo

ps. I created a list of helpful prompts if you’re having trouble starting! You can find it here

2019, Year in Review

2019 was a BIG year, and I feel like 2020 is revving up to be even bigger.

As we constantly have our eyes on the magic and goal setting of the future, I think it important to take stock of lessons learned and goals accomplished so far.

Here are my highs and lows of 2019, may all the lessons learned move forward with me into the potential of the new year โœจ

JANUARY

  • I sent in my Final video exam for my Roll Model Method Certification. This was super special because Tigor helped me a TON with it. It was our first super important collaboration moment. He was a wonderful example body for me, and didn’t bat an eyelash over the amount of times I had to say “take the balls”
  • I took a course with YogaFit on Trauma Sensitivity in Teaching. I had a really hard time being open to this. It’s tough to be in an environment learning about something you’ve experienced personally without feeling emotional
  • I was BLESSED with the experience of meeting Eva of @evajoellephoto. This was the first time I had a professional photographer take pictures for me, and the first time I reallllyyy had to think about branding. I’m not inherently comfortable in front of the camera- I’m super self conscious about my teeth, but we have a WONDERFUL day!
This was such a fun day. Eva totally changed my mind on being in front of a camera!

FEBRUARY

  • I covered classes at Octopus Garden ! This is where I did my 200hr YTT and have had them up on my vision board as a place I would LOVE to teach at!
  • End of the month had a bit of a scare with cysts & ovaries- we definitely DO NOT get enough education on women’s bodies and all the complicated amazingness that happens in our reproductive centre.
  • Reconnected with an old friend, who is now a dear friend. The city feels a little less lonely knowing there are more people to be friends with ๐Ÿ’–
source

MARCH

  • I find a space to offer Reiki, and adore being able to connect with people in this way
  • I take a SUPER liberating class at Misfits, and it reminds me how much I love (and miss) dancing
  • I spend ALL my free time preparing for a pilates teaching exam that has been causing me GREAT anxiety
  • I take a HUGE step and decide to get Invisalign! If I’m going to put myself out there more, I really want to take care of this insecurity.
It is genuinely such an honour to be able to offer Reiki to folks xo

APRIL

  • I have a full blown anxiety attack in a very important meeting. I cry and hyperventilate, and am totally embarrassed. But then the meeting facilitator calms me down and reminds me that we all have our stories, and that I’m moving forward for myself, to prove to myself that I CAN do hard, scary things. Spoiler alert; she was totally right.
  • I co facilitate a SUPER fun workshop; laughter yoga with a friend I met travelling in Colombia!
  • I attend an INCREDIBLY inspiring doTERRA event. The power of informed natural solutions is absolutely amazing.
Rising tides raise all ships โค

MAY

  • I dove in to some DELICIOUS sound alchemy education in Prince Edward County with Megan Marie Gates. I HIGHLY recommend her to anyone interested in learning about the collaboration of sound and healing in the body
  • I DID THE EXAMS!! I took myself out for a manicure after my written, and a week later sweated my way through my practical. It wasn’t perfect, but the fact is I DID IT. Something I had been putting off for YEARS out of fear, was done and dusted.
  • I ran my first 10km race with my Mum! Little did I know what it would lead to…
10km down, 1 million more to go haha

JUNE

  • I had the most intense, authentic spiritual experience of my life. Spice Girls on tour in the UK. It was honestly the most unbelievable, magical, girl power experience I think I will ever have.
  • I went to Taco Fest in Toronto.. twice. no regrets, I highly recommend.
  • I started training for the Scotiabank Half Marathon. Goddess have mercy I was not at all prepared, and only 75% committed.
  • Also become deeply invested in the Fast and Furious franchise this month.
Casually worshipping at the temple of Spice

JULY

  • I have my first appointment back in therapy. It took me a little while to find someone in the city I was comfortable with, but I ended up connecting with a trauma specialist, who works with buddhist principles and EDMR. It was such a relief to be back in therapy and have a space to process all the thoughts/feelings that bounce around in my head.
  • I go to Prince Edward Counties first Yoga Festival with one of my besties and it was WONDERFUL!
  • I have finally decided I need to advocate for myself and the respect I deserve as a person and instructor at a studio I teach at (working up the courage to do it isn’t quite there yet)
Even though I burn easily, I am SUCH a sun baby. I LOVE the sunshine

AUGUST

  • Back in the UK for TWO wedding celebrations!
  • ITS MY BIRTHDAY! Hello 27!
  • I have the difficult conversation with my boss, and ultimately it ends in being told we have differing opinions on what I ‘deserve’. If you are a person offering a service, YOU decide your worth. Don’t let anybody try to tell you differently.
Me and Mama en route to wedding number 1

SEPTEMBER

  • Get treated to seeing the amazing Jonathon Van Ness in Toronto with my bestie.
  • Celebrate the final wedding of the season of two beautiful souls
  • Decide to take Half Marathon Training seriously and officially register to race!
He’s literally the best โค

OCTOBER

  • I attend two mind shifting Toronto Business Babes events- these have been so important to my growth personally and in business. The final event I officially decide it is time to plan the Embodied Alchemy Podcast!
  • We (finally) host a themed party- Halloweeeeeeeeeeen!
  • I RUN A MOTHER FORKING HALF MARATHON! 2:22:46
I literally cannot even believe I did this. AND I got to cross the finish line with my running bestie!

NOVEMBER

  • Podcast recordings are are in FULL SWING and I can’t even believe it!
  • I spend a magical evening at Horsehoe Tavern embracing the power of music with Rising Appalachia
  • I spend the first of two weekends learning the importance of Restorative Yoga with Andrea Peloso
We also had a team photoshoot at 889, and I felt SO much more confident with my *almost completed* smile

DECEMBER

  • The podcast recordings continue, and my heart is literally expanding with joy
  • I attend my first dance class in YEARS. I super recommend Gaga to anyone who loves moving their body, without the limitations of a specific technique
  • The orchids that I thought I was never going to be able to take care of bloomed! If this isn’t the most amazing sign of goodness for the new year, I don’t know what is
This is one of my FAVE pictures from this year!

Whatever you’re celebrating this season, I hope you can take some time to reflect on all the amazing things you’ve already accomplished!

I am so excited to share this year, and all the years to come with you!

Happy Holidays friends!

D xo

Heart Revol(a)ution

My heart has been absolutely bursting the past couple of weeks, all from the seed of an idea I had earlier this year.

January 2019 I knew I wanted to start a podcast. I had the blueprint of an idea, but couldn’t quite nail down how I wanted to go about it.

Would I do a series of solo episodes? Maybe record a facebook live?

Would I focus it on me and my experiences?

Do I have the energy to create something long term?

I was also considering my patterns of creativity. Sometimes I can an idea that’s only half complete, get really excited and move full steam ahead, only to realize it was really just a dead end. Other times I have a great idea, and totally run out of energy to complete it. I really didn’t want this to be either of those scenarios, so I took some time to ask myself if this was something I really wanted. This questioning was answered with a resounding, soul filled yes from deep within.

I decided to let it marinate, and throughout this process little bits of magic started to happen.

This entire year I’ve been ‘serendipitously’ meeting people with amazing stories of hardship and resilience. I’ve seen myself in their journey, and seen how others react to their story.

My marinating began to take more form. No- I wasn’t going to make it just about me. How could I when there were LOADS of beautiful stories to share, each with their own unique experience.

No, I wasn’t going to base this off of any other form of media. I like to record when it feels authentic and real for me and the people I’m interviewing, without the pressure of knowing people are watching.

My next quest was to see how expensive this whole process would be. I was prepared for the worst, but guess what?!

It’s REALLY not that bad!

I started with one yeti mic that I bought second hand to reduce cost. Coupled with Garageband, that’s all you really need to start off.

My next big hurdle was a HUGE mindset block;

Why would anyone want to talk to me?

I don’t have a huge following on instagram, the podcast isn’t even out yet for crying out loud. Why would anyone want to share their vulnerability with me?

Around this time I started reading the book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck”

The major takeaway for me?

Just start. There is no such thing as failing, you either achieve the goal, or you learn from the process.

So I put on my big person pants, and I sat at my computer. I took some deep breaths, I closed my eyes. I started to record my story with as much heart and vulnerability as I possibly could. I cried a few times, and when I finished recording I was reminded that my story, my struggle is worth something. That it could serve as a reminder to someone else not to give up, and that there is a way forward. Which is when this project stopped being about me and my insecurities, and became about all the people who needed to be reminded that their life is meaningful.

I reached out to all the people I could think of I had met over this year (remember those ‘serendipitous’ meetings?!) I sent them an email or voicenote explaining what my project was, and included my podcast recording to the email.

Every single person I reached out to said yes.

Every. Single. One.

Because guess what? We are ALL working through something sticky, or have worked through something sticky.

We are ALL working towards the best life we can, no matter how many insta followers exist on an account.

I have learned so so much through this process, and feel like I’m being lit up from the inside.

My biggest lesson? Be mindful of the stories I write in my head about myself, and ESPECIALLY be mindful of the stories I write about other people.

At the beginning of the year, I believed that nobody would have any interest in my little pod project. I believed that my story and voice were insignificant in the world of story telling, and that nobody would want to listen anyway.

So far, I’m 0 for 2.

When I launch January 30th 2020, I hope to be 0-3.

Our stories our important, YOUR story is important.

So please don’t be afraid to share, it might be exactly what someone needs to hear.

love, love, love

D xo

PS. Follow @embodiedalchemy.pod on insta for updates !

Apologize, Forgive, Gratitude, Love


source

Part one.

When I was first introduced to the Hawaiian prayer Ho’oponopono, I struggled to even say it, never mind practise it. It’s a four part system designed to offer forgiveness and release from memories/energy that is not serving you;

‘I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you’

At the time of our introduction I was unknowingly pretty angry. With some distance now I can totally see this, and understand why. However at the time, I really battled with the idea that I had to apologize for the way someone else made me feel.

Honestly, the audacity.

So I would start with a good intention, choose a memory that was bringing me a particular kind of grief and then begin.

“I’m sorry” – I’m sorry you can’t see how much you’re hurting me, or that you’re hurting and putting it on me. That sucks.

“Please forgive me” – TBH I don’t think I need to ask for forgiveness so we’re going to skip this one.

“Thank you”- Thank you for your time, thank you for listening.

“I love you” – Yes okay easy enough. You’re a person, I’m a person, we love.

I was pretty quick to decide that this practise wasn’t for me. Even though it has come up a million different times as an honoured and respected practice from people I admire, I just felt like my pain was too different or deep to be applicable.

Part Two.

I had a childhood friend who I really really loved. Let’s call her Bee. I thought she was super cool, super interesting, super cute, and had a lot of qualities I admired.

Bee and I crossed paths in weird and wonderful ways in our adult life as well, and eventually were hanging out pretty regularly (with her group of friends).

When the accident I was in happened, I legally had to serve the tenants of the house with a notice of suing. These tenants were also the close and personal group of Bee. I was devastated- we were all students, and I had no interest in suing them. Plus I felt like I was betraying some sacred level of trust. There was a brief moment where it was suggested Bee might need to be served as well and I was sick to my stomach about it. How I could I? I was having a hard enough idea with how this would affect a group of people I barely knew, never mind someone who I considered a dear friend.

Part Three.

Gratefully I didn’t have to serve Bee, but the whole process really shone a light on who I considered to be friends. For the first couple months I had loads and loads of visitors- which I think was both for their healing process and mine. But over time, as the PTSD set in, the behaviour patterns, the sadness, it became very clear who was around to support, and who was not.

Part Four; return of the prayer

It’s been *just* about two years since my law suit settled, 5 years since the fall happened. I can’t even remember the last time I saw Bee, or that particular group of friends. When I moved back to Toronto it crossed my mind we would bump in to each other at some point, but the more time went by, the more I settled in to my new chapter of life in the city.

A few days ago, completely unexpected I happened to be at the same hangout spot as Bee, one of the tenants I had to sue, and another friend from that group.

I think Bee noticed me before I noticed her, because as I did my double take she was already looking at me. In both slow motion and too quick for me to remember, one at a time their heads turned in an equal amount of surprise as we found ourselves in the same space. I was so close to them, I easily could have gone over to talk. But I didn’t. I waved, and then I left.

For the rest of the night I kept exploring,

Should I have gone over and said hello?

Is it weird that I didn’t?

Do they feel sort of weird about this too?

And before I even had time to consciously choose, I was saying to myself “I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you”

“I’m sorry” – I’m so sorry we all lived through this incredibly difficult experience. I’m so sorry for the pain and confusion that must have caused you.

“Please forgive me” – I genuinely wish only the best for you. Please forgive me for having to put you in a position that would even question that.

“Thank you”- For your time, for your friendship. For being such beautiful people in my life, and for the experiences you taught me. You will always have a special place in my memories.

“I love you” – You are all such bright, wonderful humans. I see that, and I love you.

As I chanted this to myself, I could feel the confusion and scattered energy start to calm, and then slowly leave.

I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.

D xo