High vibe life

Festival life with my 5-year-old

February 15, 2017
Transformation Festival

Hate me now festival goers. I brought my 5-year-old to a 5-day festival. Yes I’m one of those moms that brought her kid and I’m so grateful for the discovery.

Now, before I go on, I must say that this particular week long festival was not a music festival. It was more like a transformational (spiritual/hippie) festival or gathering with communal meals, workshops, dance parties and it was kid-friendly. In fact, there was a Family Camp, full of alumni who finally surrendered to the child-rearing phase of life.

There was music and full-on nudity; the standard transformational festival oddities like eye gazing circles and bizarre costumes; and yes, probably a lot of psychedelic drugs. There was also art ~ everywhere; creative expression and a beautiful mash-up of non-conformists. No, we did not see people doing or smoking drugs ever and no, we did not witness anything terribly inappropriate.

Most important, there was community, friendship, acceptance and non-judgement.

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We camped in a tent, in a wi-fi free forest for the week, among other families whose children had names like Valor, Shanti, Ocean and Sky. We nature bathed in the grass during the day while the kids played shoeless in the dirt and strolled through the forest, among the creative, themed tent areas in the evenings. We ate vegan food (what else?) and drank spring water, danced to psytrance and swam (bathed) in a pond.

Yes our ‘family’ experience was quite different from what might be considered a typical festival experience.

Overall though, it was a wonderful educational experience for us all. I learned the kids are completely unphased by transgender nudity but more confused by transgender playmates. They learned about stereotypes and equality. I learned that a week without Wifi is liberating; they learned how to play outside, without toys, for days on end.

My tent mate was a girlfriend with her child who had never camped or even glamped, and even she was transformed by the simplicity and connectedness.

Transformational Festivals (AKA Counterculture Festival or Spiritual Lovefest or Intentional, Eco, Conscious, One Love Community Gatherings)

In this time of newly formed human consciousness and the need for connection, transformational festivals are becoming much more popular. This particular event was intimate at less than 2000 campers, but some like Burning Man draw 70,000 into the desert. Many others in North American, Costa Rica and Australia host up to 10,000 people plus who take part in these multi-participatory, evolutionary jaunts.

Intrigued even a little? There are now festivals happening all over this easterly part of North America (it seems they been doing this awhile in the West). Do a Google search for something that remotely appeals to you. Chances are, there will be families there and if willing and open, you will find a warm welcome.

For me, I’m certainly a convert and am already looking forward to another summer in the forest.

Family Wellness

Optimal Wellness: Important Things I Learned Lately

February 9, 2017
Tools of Titans book

In this series, I write about life changing health and wellness tips for the family.

  1. The One Minute Workout

    Three 20-second bursts is all it takes to significantly improve your health. One minute.
    The catch? You must simply make it a very intense minute. A McMaster University study was published in April 2016 and shows that one minute of high intensity exercise (HIIT or Maximum Intensity Training Interval aka MITI) can have the same benefits of exercising for 45 minutes. And seriously, who can’t do something, anything for one minute a day? Do a YouTube search for one minute workouts or simply do three, 20-second sprints to get your daily dose.

  2. I recently read Tim Ferris’ new book, Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers.

    This is definitely going to be my most gifted book, it’s that good. Not just a good book, but more of a reference guide to life or “ultimate notebook of high-leverage tools”. It’s huge – full of interviews with some heavy duty, world-class performers, from athletes to billionaires to Special Operations Commanders, who share how they excel in life.
    This book covers topics from money to health to happiness and offers a ton of useful, inspiring and practical tips that are more than worthy of taking up precious desk space.

  3. ย What?! A Non-Invasive, Affordable Cure for Cellulite

    This is huge on Instagram but new to me. Apparently many, many women are getting rid of their cellulite, in their own privacy, using a simple massage-like tool. The theory, stated by sports performance trainer Ashley Black Guru, is that cellulite is not a fat issue, but caused by distortions in your connective tissue or fascia. She created the FasciaBlaster – basically a plastic rod with claw-like things attached to it that you briskly rub on your skin, to breeak up bad fascia, restore good fascia and reduce cellulite. Really, there are so many more benefits to this process. This story is not over – I’m intrigued so stay tuned for the follow up ๐Ÿ™‚ In the meantime, if you’re as intrigued as I was, check out the FasciaBlaster YouTube videos.

Soul Centered Success

Wherever you go, there you are…dealing with wanderlust

January 20, 2017

I am in a constant state of wanderlust (and a Gemini/Tiger).
Well, as I learn more about mindfulness and the Law of Attraction, my angst is getting better. Basically, I dream of being somewhere else in the world, of travelling and exploring new frontiers all the time. I read travel magazines, I search airline fares often just in case and I am always planning my next trip, just in case it can happen. No, I am not sad or depressed. Yes, I probably am quite bored at times.

Although a romantic notion, feeling wanderlust can be somewhat debilitating. Especially when you feel trapped, or when you don’t have the means to travel or when you have children to care for and can’t just get up and hop on a plane whenever you like!ย  And really, this isn’t limited to just the yearning to travel. There are thousands, actually millions of people who simply want a change from the mundane of everyday life.

I was recently having this conversation with a friend (an Aquarius) who doesn’t share my sentiment. She doesn’t have the travel bug. During her years in college, she posted a quote on her mirror that helped changed her views on life:

“Wherever you go, there you are”
– Dr. Seuss

What a notion! If you let this settle in, it’s definitely something to think about.

Yes, it’s wonderful to travel. Amazing to explore new cities and terrain; and incredible to experience different cultures and lay your eyes on different parts of the earth. It is so great to escape grey Canadian winters, even for only a couple of weeks, to be in a colorful climate and swim in the ocean!

However, I also know it’s equally important to ensure that, no matter where I am in the world, I strive to make every day fulfilling, mindful and purposeful. I’m learning that I must focus on upgrading my everyday spaces and mindset because ‘the grass is always greener where you water it.’

As mentioned, over the past year and a half, I am finding ways of easing the unsettling constant feeling of wanderlust.

First, gratitude. As with all mindfulness practices, I remember to give thanks to the universe more and more when I get frustrated from a feeling of stagnancy. What a wonderful way to learn to better appreciate the exact space where you stand. Since making this a habit, I have really gained a new love for my own city, my province and country. I actually see it through different eyes ~ thus the need to constantly jet off somewhere else.

Second, staycations. You know, when you tour your own city as if you are a tourist? Again, a great way to satisfy the urge to explore and discover. I live in an amazing city (Toronto), but didn’t always think so. There is so much I haven’t seen and a thousand places I haven’t been. And even if that isn’t exciting enough, day trips out of the city are another great way create a balance between travel and growing roots.

Third, minimize. Not sure about other wanderlusters, but I also feel burdened by too much stuff at times. I often yearn for less; less to manage, less to store, and less to essentially worry about. The concept of travelling or changing places in the world is a refreshing contrast to managing a house full of stuff, so for this I try to get rid of a bunch of stuff.

Fourth, visualization. This is another practice I have been doing more and more. And call it what you will, but it really works! Many high achievers make visualization a part of their everyday, like some of the most satisfied and successful people on earth. Basically, I set aside some time (sometimes before I get out of bed, sometimes sitting in nature) to picture in my mind what my ideal day looks like, or my ideal life, or my ideal self.

This is a game changer. Sure, I’d love to be swimming in the ocean, but most times I visualize myself being happiest sitting on a patio eating greek food with friends or go karting with my family or bike riding in the valley – all things I can make a part of my everyday life. Even more than picturing what I’d be doing during an ideal day, is how I feel. I’m happy, energetic, laughing, loving, etc…

Travel is amazing; it’s soul nurturing, rewarding and makes for a more fulfilled life. But I’m learning there are other satisfying ways to nix the travel bug and manage the feeling of wanderlust since I can’t travel as often as I dream. Most importantly, I’m learning to be mindful about where the feelings come from and allow me to make necessary changes in the everyday. Wherever I go, there I am.


Soul Centered Success

2017 Word of the Year

January 5, 2017
Word of the Year

Have you heard of this intentional practice of setting a personal ‘word of the year’ to live by? The concept is instead of setting a long list of resolutions, just choose ONE word. One meaningful word to focus on throughout the year that represents how you want to live and who you want to be.

I started coming up with a personal word for the year a few years back and found it’s a really great way for me to focus on my main intentions. Instead of checking off small goals, my ‘word’ represents my bigger vision – and it’s something I can actually remember!

In 2015, my word was Freedom. I held onto this word throughout the year, striving to make it my mantra and guidance. By the end, I didn’t exactly find financial freedom, but I did find a whole new way of living and thinking. I shed a whole heap of old beliefs and really felt as though I grew spiritually and soulfully. I learned that we are inately free, but are chained by our own limiting beliefs and fears. Now to trust…. and leap.

In 2016, my word was Expansion. I was committed to this ‘word’ for a good part of the first half of the year. I wanted something drastic to happen; to be in a completely different place at the end of the year. Again, my thoughts mainly revolved around abundance and money. This was a really great year for us! I certainly “expanded” my small way of thinking. I took risks, rebelled against work obligations and lived more carefree. Again, although I am technically in the same apartment and job, I have expanded mentally and spiritually.

For 2017, my word of the year is Energy. This is so important to me! I set so many goals and have so many great ideas, but am always hindered by low energy. With increased magnetic, healing and inspiring energy, I feel as if I can conquer anything! With this word as my leading mantra, I am committed to moving more, eating better and keeping my mind functioning well with more meditation.

If you haven’t already, I urge you to give this a try!
Please share – what is your word?