Structure Your Life in Such a Way
That You Can Live Without Each Other
Every month I am sharing one of my 7 Take Aways on how to live life to the fullest,
learn to grieving and support others and have “The Talk” about end of life, long before
it arrives and diffuse the fear. Today, we are looking at Take Away #5:
Structure your life in such a way that you can live without each other.
We all know the couple who were married for “100” years. The husband either became
ill or died and the wife had never paid a bill. Maybe she doesn’t even drive. Or,
the same couple, the wife becomes ill or dies and the husband has never even made a sandwich. The truth is, that used to be the way it was, “back in the day.” The man was
the one “bringing home the bacon” and the wife was the housewife. I’m not really sure
what they did when they faced end of life. But here’s the thing; couples are still doing this.
We are often totally dependent on our partners for certain things.
It’s great to have jobs that you do in your house and that your spouse has his/her own
jobs. BUT… even if the person is away, is ill or yes…dies… don’t we think that we should be able to do each other’s jobs? Why would we want to face that in a crisis? (I remember a
woman telling me that when her husband died, she had no idea how to manage her house
or live on her own. She was petrified!).
So I had to make my own decisions. I needed to empower myself. So I looked at Geordie’s
(my husband) tools and toolbox. Now I have my own cute little hammer and my own toolbox.
I don’t even care what anyone thinks of my pink basket of tools. I have my own nails, screwdrivers AND I can also use the electric drill, thank you very much. I learned how
to operate the generator so that when the power goes out I can start it and not be a
“damsel in distress”.
Really something to think about; what is making you dependent in your house and what
could you do to change that? It is a hard way to live when you think, “Oh my goodness,
if my spouse was away, I wouldn’t be able to do a, b or c. Let’s stop doing that to each
other and to ourselves.
Structure your life in such a way that you are resilient and self-reliant.
Last week I was at the West Parry Sound Health Centre, and connected with Jessica Caux,
a lovely young woman who works with the hospice/palliative care team.
She was instrumental in creating a beautiful space called the Reflection Room.
I wanted to learn more about it. So I asked, Jessica, what is a Reflection Room?
Jessica: A team of researchers at Saint Elizabeth Health Care developed this project called
The Reflection Room. It was created to inspire people to share their stories about their
experience with death, dying and the overall experience with grief on their journey.
It is a space created to make it OK to talk about it, OK to reflect and OK to feel those
emotions. Then, they analyze the stories and share them on their website:
www.reflectionroom.ca and it’s great!
Yvonne: I think it’s so extraordinary! People can go to the website anytime and
share their stories! Awesome! (They can also look at creating a Reflection Room in
their community!) In my three years of hearing people’s stories researching for my book,
I realized how much people need to share these stories. But they often don’t. They don’t
know where to go or who to tell. Often loved ones are afraid to listen! I look around
and see they are beautiful stories everywhere that people have shared. Stories of love
and grief! It’s so heartwarming! What made you want to create this room?
Jessica: We live in a death-phobic society and creating this space makes it OK,
then everyone starts to jump on that train!
Yvonne: Jessica, this is music to my ears!! Thank you so much for creating this beautiful
space (with, I’m sure, a great team working together!). This is open 24/7 until
February 27th, 2018. Anyone is welcome to come by, write, reflect anytime.
Have a look at the website, share your story, get information or maybe learn
how to create a Reflection Room in your community!
Creating space to pause, reflect
and share experiences with dying and death
I’ve had the privilege of interviewing Kevin Cutler on my Hunter’s Bay Radio Show.
Kevin is a long-time educator, and we talked about Restorative Practice which he now teaches. It’s a wonderful concept I learned about many years ago at my children’s school.
Kevin, tell you about Restorative Practice and what you teach:
Kevin: What we teach is that relationships are the key to learning, productivity and life.
And when harm is done, the purpose of discipline is not to punish, it’s to teach.
We do a lot of work with schools, any organization and families around building
community, having voice, having choice, being fair and engaging people.
We do a lot of teaching around how to facilitate effective circles, effective discussions
and use them for all these things.
Yvonne: And giving everyone a voice and a safe space!
Kevin: Yes. We’ve implemented this in all the schools in the area. And I’ve just
returned from Northern Quebec and the Arctic, where we worked in 14 communities
and their schools—with the Inuit Community. This practice is based on indigenous
customs and traditions. All we’ve done at IIRP (International Institute for Restorative Practices, Canada), is probably add some science and language.
Yvonne: I encourage all of you to learn more at www.canada.iirp.edu
Thank you, Kevin, for all that you do to teach this important concept,
to help build community and create a safe space for everyone!
*From the “Restorative Practices Handbook”, pg. 7
Simply put, restorative means to believe that decisions are best made and conflicts are best resolved by those most directly involved in them. The restorative practices movement seeks to develop good relationships and restore a sense of community in an increasingly disconnected world. These practices have been applied in justice systems, families, workplaces and neighbourhoods, as well as in schools.
Help end the stigma around mental illness.
It’s easier than you think!
It’s a fact: One in five Canadians will suffer from mental illness at some point in
their lifetime. One of the biggest hurdles for anyone suffering from mental illness is overcoming the stigma. It is the number one reason why two-thirds of those living
with a mental illness do not seek help.
According to the Mental Health Commission, on any given week, more than 500,000 Canadians are unable to go to work due to mental health problems.
5 ways you can help
The words you use can make all the difference. Words can help, but they can also hurt.
What would you choose? Words to watch out for:
Not Schizo. Person with schizophrenia.
Not Crazy. Person with a mental illness.
Stigma has been around for a long time, and knowing the facts and myths about
mental illness can be a great way to help end the stigma. Read about facts and myths,
and become a stigma buster.
Simple kindness can make a world of difference. Whether it be a smile, being a good
listener or an invitation for coffee and a chat, these simple acts of kindness can help
open up the conversation and let someone know you are there for them.
Expressions like “You’ll get over it” and “Just relax” can minimize how a person is feeling. Instead offer your support and say “I’m sorry you aren’t feeling well.”
Ask what you can do to help.
Listen and ask
Mental illness is a very common form of human pain and suffering. Being a good
listener and asking how you can help, sometimes just even being there for people you
care about, can be the first step in recovery.
Here are a few examples of what to ask:
*I’m sorry you aren’t feeling well.
*I’ve noticed you’ve seemed down lately.
*Is everything OK?
*How can I help?
Talk about it
Break the silence. Mental illness touches us all in some way directly or through a friend,
family member or colleague. Stories of people who have experienced mental health issues
and who are doing well can really challenge stereotypes. Most people with mental health
issues can and do recover, just by talking about it.
Mental Health Affects Us All
Thank you, Bell.
Every month I am sharing one of my 7 Take Aways on living life to the fullest,
learning to grieve and support others and having “The Talk” about end of life…
long before it arrives and diffusing the fear.
Today I am sharing Take Away #4; to be empowered, resilient and compassionate…
Show Up For Yourself First!
Last month I shared Just Show Up, when someone is grieving,
in crisis or facing one of life’s challenges. BUT, if we want to be able to show up for others,
we need to show up for ourselves first!
Be the very best version of yourself that you can be. This means being a great self-care giver.
If you are, you will be able to show up for others, you will be able to be that village
(Take Away #2) and if you are not a great self-care giver, you will end up needing to be cared for by others. But, if you’re not, you’re probably a lot crabbier than you think!
In our family, to remind us to be great self-care givers and for times we are grieving--
I don’t know about you, but when I am grieving, I am a hot mess (and I won’t
apologize for that!) and I can’t even think—we’ve created our Self-Care Toolboxes!
My beautiful box is filled with books, trinkets that remind me of wonderful times,
letters from patients and families and many things that make me feel better.
And really soft tissue for a good cry. I dive in when I’m having a bad day, grieving or
when I need a reminder that I have value and I need great self-care.
My children have also created their own Self-Care Toolboxes because it is so individual.
We grieve differently and different things make us feel better. And that’s ok!
And Geordie, my husband, his is a dirty old fishing box with keys to the garage,
duct tape and not much else. But hey, hat’s all he needs. No judgement.
So if you want to be that village, if you want to be able to Just Show Up for others,
Show Up For Yourself First!
You have value, you matter and you are a gift to others when you are a great self-care giver. And a great example too!
Jadyn and I did a little make up, as you can see.
It’s been -40 C with the wind chill here in #Muskoka, there have been snow days and we couldn’t go outside (well, we didn’t want to go outside!). We needed to find something to occupy us. Jadyn wanted to do my make-up for “date night”.
Jadyn: “So the theme was date night and it was going OK at first,
but then I tried liquid liner, and then all of this happened! (See photos…not good!)
Me, the mom: We just got carried away, but I have to tell you, we laughed our heads off.
We laughed really hard—Jadyn says, “Yeah, my gut hurt!”
Sometimes you have to get a little silly, with make-up, your kids or whoever is with you.
It’s free and fun! Hopefully this make up washes off, or you will never see my in public again!
“Jadyn, thank you so much. It’s been so much fun!"
So on a freezing cold day, or any day,
figure out how you can get silly,
have fun and laugh until your gut hurts!
I have just recorded my Hunter's Bay Radio interview with Allie Chisholm-Smith.
Allie is the founder of Ahimsa Yoga Studio and ENLIVEN (along with Joanne McLean).
Allie: ENLIVEN is an organization in Muskoka designed to help cancer patients,
their caregivers/families and healthcare providers, with issues along the cancer journey.
Yvonne: What I love the most is that you encourage people to tell their story,
as they are struggling—just being real with it—and of course, that is a big part of my message. We have to acknowledge and allow grief and be able to have these real conversations.
You support others with whatever they need; nutrition, yoga, everything… all encompassing.
Allie: Yes, support through chemo, support if you opt out of chemo… whatever you need!
Yvonne: For those with cancer, their families, caregivers, healthcare providers…everyone.
You and Joanne started this 2 and 1/2 years ago,
and it’s growing and changing organically. Cancer is something that affects everyone!
We can’t even say “most people.” We ALL know someone who has been diagnosed or
we have been diagnosed ourselves. This kind of support is extremely important.
I love what you are doing and will support you in any way I can.
Namaste, and thank you.
It’s a few days before Christmas and I just wanted to take this moment--
from my heart to yours—to wish you a very VERY Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays… whatever that means to you!
I wish you many moments of joy. Sheryl Sandberg (COO Facebook, Author of Option B)
spoke of a gathering where they said, “All Feelings Welcome.” I think that’s wonderful.
I know that this is a hard time of year for some people. Please, ask for what you need,
give yourself what you need. Have has much happiness as possible, despite all the rest.
Here I am in Muskoka (Canada) where it’s been snowing and we’ve been snowshoeing.
And now… it’s raining! Life is like that sometimes, isn’t it?
So all the very best, take good care of yourself and
here’s to much happiness in 2018!!
As promised once a month I am sharing one of my 7 Take Aways for living life to
the fullest, learning to grieve and support others, and having “The Talk” about
end of life, long before it arrives and diffusing the fear.
This time I’m sharing Take Away #3; when someone is grieving… Just Show Up!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “I don’t know what to do,
I don’t know what to say!” So we often avoid, don’t we? When someone is facing
a crisis, loss or someone they love died, it is awkward, it is uncomfortable.
We don’t know what to do. We don’t know what to say.
But the truth is, there is no magic formula. There is nothing we can say to fix it.
We have to allow grief. We have to feel it. It is the path to healing.
We think, “What if I remind them about what happened?” I promise, they haven’t forgotten.
It is so much better to acknowledge and just be there. Just Show Up!
How? Hug, text, sit silently, cry, walk their dog, call. Do something.
We feel so strongly and passionately about this message that we started the
I Just Showed Up Movement. I’m wearing my bracelet to remind me.
We don’t have to do anything magical. We don’t have to fix it. We just have to allow
our “human-ness!” Grief can be messy. Life can be messy. We need to be okay with that.
The truth? Grief shows no mercy. It arrives unannounced and uninvited.
It does not care what else you are going through. It does not care if you’ve had enough.
It’s a part of living and loving. But it’s worth it, and our hearts will heal (never the same, battered and scarred), if we learn to take good care of ourselves and each other.
And we learn to… Just Show Up!
I just recorded my interview on Hunter’s Bay Radio with Frankie Picasso,
airing December 9th, 2017 at 8 am, then available on their podcast channel.
Frankie is one of my heroes. She is a Canadian Socialpreneur, Talk Show Host,
Champion for Change and has been helping people transform their lives for over 30 years.
She founded the Good Radio Network and she is Unstoppable!! Her Unstoppable brand
allows her to specialize in the impossible.
She has done more in this lifetime than you can imagine, and had lost almost
everything in 2003, after a motorcycle accident. She was declared “catastrophic” which
means that more than 60% of her body has been injured. She spent months in the
hospital in pain, and lost most things in her life, except her spirit. She is unstoppable
and I am proud to share her story.
Frankie has now collaborated with Alex Okoroji, a Nigerian actress and founder of
The Naked Truth. Together they have created the “I Bared My Chest” movement,
where 21 women from around the world share their truth. This book will be
coming out soon!! I am so proud to be a part of it!
Please listen to our interview, check out www.frankiepicasso.com and
www.ibaredmychest.com and if you want to be inspired by someone, meet Frankie Picasso!
I was at the Port Sydney Community Centre, for a wonderful Christmas celebration.
I sat across from a lady who was really struggling because she was grieving
(I am a grief magnet!). Her husband died a few months ago. She left the room and
when she came back she said, “I’m sorry I had to leave for a moment, I was having a
hard time”. I replied, “You know it’s OK to allow your grief. It’s OK to allow your tears.”
She smiled and in the next moment was having fun as everyone sang and kids ran around.
The most important message I want to share with everyone is:
It’s OK to acknowledge and allow your grief,
but it’s also OK to take grief breaks!
It’s OK to be a part of the festivities, even if you are grieving.
Have laughter and joy in between all the grief. Don’t ignore your grief, but certainly
take breaks from it. So, if you are grieving—you’ve had a loss, facing life’s challenges or obstacles—enjoy all the moments you can. Easier said than done? Yes, most of this is!
But it is worth the effort! If you can have laughter and joy, wonderful!
It’s all interwoven sometimes; grief, joy, laughter…it isn’t always just one or the other.
Don’t feel bad or guilty. And remember…
Take a grief break as often as possible. Enjoy every moment you can!
Today I had the privilege of speaking to some of the staff at SickKids Hospital
in Toronto. It was truly an honour. I reminded them, as I would like to remind everyone--
healthcare professionals and those who are dealing with sick children or those
with chronic illnesses—we really need to ask for what we need, and take good care
of ourselves and each other.
Show up for yourself first and then Just Show Up for others!
Reach out to your village, and be a part of that village for others.
None of us can do this alone, and certainly being at SickKids is a great reminder of that.
Go home tonight, hug your children, hug someone else’s children, or just hug whoever you can! Be SO grateful when they are healthy, let the small stuff go… it’s so unimportant.
Being at this hospital was a huge reminder of that!
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to anyone and everyone who works
with and supports sick children, their families and loved ones.
What you do is simply amazing. Thank you.
Take good care of yourselves and each other! Let’s be that Village!
As promised, once a month, I am sharing one of the 7 Take Aways, on how to live life to the fullest, learn to grieve and support others and how to have “The Talk” about end of life, long before it arrive and diffuse the fear. This month I’m sharing Take Away #2:
It takes a village to support the ill, the caregiver, the dying,
the bereaved and each other.
Many times when someone is facing a crisis, a loss or challenge, we look to
the professionals to take over and think, “Thank goodness they’re here and the person
struggling is now in good hands.” While that may be true—we need hospice, palliative care, victim services, bereavement, counselors etc.—but we also need our village.
There are many moments/hours in the day that we need our friends, families,
neighbours and co-workers. We don’t only need professional help. When people
have addictions, chronic illness or are in the dying process (which can take months),
they may not even have that support. One thing I’ve done is to learn more
about my neighbours. Here’s a great story:
One of our neighbours had cancer, was going through treatment and was absolutely exhausted and so was his wife (that’s not the good part!). Their winter wood was
delivered, they were overwhelmed and didn’t have the energy to pile it.
Another neighbour sent out a text saying her family was going over on Saturday
morning to pile wood for this couple, and wondered if anyone would join them.
And you know, 25 people from around the neighbourhood—some who didn’t even
know this couple--just showed up! We piled all that wood in one hour. It’s such a
great story and meant so much to this couple. We were that village!
So my question is, and I’d love you to be more observant and more aware, do you know
what your neighbour might need, or a need in your community? If we all open our eyes
and our hearts will we suffer less, when grief arrives.
It takes a village to support the ill, the caregiver, the dying,
the bereaved and each other.
Julie Veitch and I just recorded our Hunter’s Bay Radio interview which was great, so fun.
We have been on a journey together for many years, but in the last three years of creating
new careers for our second act of life.
Yvonne: Now you’re embarking on a new part of your adventure and moving to British Columbia, joining your husband Brian who left in August. Muskoka has to say goodbye, although we can stay in touch virtually. (And I let her know, I will be visiting a lot!).
On the show, we shared this magnificent Inner Core Coaching, you founded. Tell people about that, because I’m pretty proud to share. You helped my tremendously, with my transformation, from nurse to author and speaker. I couldn’t have done it without you!
Julie: And what a treat it’s been and will continue to be. More than ½ my clients have never met me in person. But I have this really intimate relationship with them. We meet virtually and it’s trans formative. In fact, it’s very convenient not to need to get out of their pajamas
and be in the comfort of their own home. I’ve been supporting women in midlife mainly, who’ve created success externally, but yet still feel this sense of unsettledness and dissatisfaction on the inside and don’t know why. They want something more for their lives and in their lives. But there are often these long-lasting emotional blocks that are getting in their way. So we work to uncover those. And the freedom and joy that emerge is amazing; women leaving toxic relationships, stepping into their dreams, change their careers….
Yvonne: I had so many “Aha” moments that I thought, “Ok, hang on, I have to slow down, and I’m having several ‘aha’ moments at once!” Working with Julie has been extraordinary—life-changing—and I encourage everyone to reach out at www.innercorecoach.com. She is available for people all over the world and what a gift she is! I will be Skyping regularly
and we will be doing more podcasts together!
Julie: I want to say that Muskoka has been a huge catalyst for my evolution and my ability to morph my gifts into being able to sever on a broader scale. So I have a lot of gratitude for my time here and all the relationships. They will continue and grow in a new direction.
Yvonne: So on behalf of Muskoka, I wish Julie a wonderful journey out west where she will join her family! Hear our interview on HBR podcasts anytime!
As you may have guessed, it’s Halloween, 2017. My children, as always,
expected me to dress up. So I thought, “You know what? I’m going to do it!”
So I dug into the old costume box and found Thing 2.
I had a wonderful day! I went to the hospital fracture clinic (because I broke my toe,
but we’ll leave that story for another time), I hung out with the volunteers, I went to
Staples, then to our local health store, the Great Vine. Last stop was the library.
Wherever I went I said, “HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!” and tried to make people smile.
And it worked… well most of the time. Sometimes I just got a weird look,
and that made ME smile!
That’s what it’s really about, isn’t it? Making people smile!
So, if I can do this at age 52 with a broken toe, you can too.
Maybe you can dress up next year? But in the meantime…
Any chance you get, make people smile each and every day of the year!
*Most of the magic in my life has happened when my life is shattered.
*You become real when the shine wears off of life.
*Grieving with another human being is one of the most holy places to be.
*We avoid pain, but sometimes pain and grief is the place to be with people.
It’s the realest place we can be.
*I spend some time allowing my heart to be broken open for someone else.
That’s how we end up feeling connected.
*When a friend is grieving, all we have to do is be present.
If we just accepted our presence as a gift instead of always trying to find the
right thing to say, people would feel more capable of grieving with each other.
*That’s where the wisdom is born—when everything falls apart.
*You have to let everything fall apart before you find out what’s indestructible about you.
Thank you Glennon Doyle Melton for sharing your wisdom.
Lately, there has been so many serious things going on.
And people often feel you either have to feel sadness or joy; it has to be one
or the other. We can’t have both at the same time.
I’m here to tell you that when life is serious, people are grieving or facing life’s challenges,
we should bring humour into it when we can. Why? Because it’s already serious enough!
So I’m going to dare you today, to share one of your most embarrassing moments with me. Because it you can’t laugh at yourself—you’re taking life too seriously!
I've had many situations to choose from. But this is the most embarrassing moment
that I could think of. I don’t think I’ve ever shared this before. Here it goes:
It was several years ago when Geordie and I were dating; a time when I really wanted to impress his parents… especially his mom. We were at the Hidden Valley Beach in Huntsville.
I had gotten dressed in a very big hurry, threw my bathing suit on and left.
Geordie’s mom arrived at the beach and was walking toward me. I was lying in a lawn
chair in my bathing suit. Suddenly, my friend looked over and said, “Are you wearing your underwear???” They were the same colour as my bathing suit, so I thought—when I was rushing—that I had put my suit on. My mother-in-law was close so there was nothing I
could do but lie there and hope and pray that she would not notice….that I was indeed in
my underwear! I told my friend not to say a word and to please get me a towel ASAP!!
To this day, I have no idea if Nancy, my lovely mother-in-law, realized and wondered.
Wow… I felt so hot and I know I was beet red! That was embarrassing!!
So…I dare you to share an embarrassing story so that we can all have a good laugh.
Because sometime life to too much and we go through hard stuff. We need a break.
And if we can’t laugh at each other, we are taking ourselves too seriously! So let’s hear it...
What was your most embarrassing moment???
I’ve decided that once a month I will share one of my 7 Take Aways.
These are what I share in my presentations, as an audio download, webinar (coming soon)
and they are written in my book, Love Your Life to Death.
They are the culmination of what I learned in 27 years of nursing as well as in the last few
years hearing many people’s stories. I believe they are essential, if we want to live life
to the fullest, learn to grieve and support others and to have “The Talk” about end of life,
long before it arrives and diffuse the fear.
Take Away #1: The best time to talk about, plan and prepare for grief is when we are young and healthy. The next best time is… Now!!
We are expert procrastinators! People often say, “Why should I talk about grief when
things are going well in my life?” Why? The truth is that grief can arrive at any time.
And grief isn’t just about end of life; it’s divorce, diagnosis, job loss… anything that
causes sadness or misery in our lives.
But if we talk about, plan and prepare long before we are facing grief, at least we can
create a soft landing for ourselves; in life, grief and end of life. I’ve planned my life well, knowing that there is no plan that is perfect and that change is the only constant.
At least I have a direction.
I’ve also planned my end of life and so has Geordie (my better half!).
My extended family has as well. It was such a relief for most of us. We felt empowered
(and yes, emotional). We has great conversations and sorted out things that would
have been horrible to figure out in a crisis.
It is each and every one of our responsibility to plan our life and our end of life.
Here’s something to think about:
*Do you have coping skills and strategies that will help you navigate through grief?
*Do you have beliefs about life and death?
*What else could you do to talk about, plan and prepare for before long before
it arrives and diffuse the fear?
Take Away #1: The best time to talk about, plan and prepare for grief is when we are young and healthy. The next best time is… Now!!
I just interviewed Jenny Cressman for my radio show. I initially had booked Jenny to talk about “Just Showing Up” locally and globally, and now there has been mass destruction from one hurricane after the other in many areas.
Jenny spent many years with the Muskoka Women’s Advocacy Group - who help women and children in crisis. Now she spends much of her time in Cuba, enjoying and helping the locals year after year. I asked Jenny about her new adventure:
Jenny: “Yes, I “Just Showed Up” in Cuba! That led to a new life for me. Now my focus in on traveling to and writing about Cuba. I just finished a novel, fictional but based on the resort I will be taking people to, on October 25th, 2017 (and a couple of times a year!).
Yvonne: “I love that many in your groups bring an extra suitcase full of necessities to leave for the locals, because they are in need year round.
Jenny: We’ve been able to take 2000 pounds of clothes and supplies. We’ve also brought 85 bikes; great means of transportation that make such a difference. The buses are very limited.
Yvonne: Although your area did not get hit directly by the hurricanes like many other areas, there is always flooding there. We often think “I can’t give thousands of dollars”, so we don’t do anything. Then we feel helpless and bad, and try not to see what is happening in other parts of the world. But the truth is…
Jenny: On average, Cubans make $20 per month! And some things, like a fridge or a stove can cost as much as they do here.
Yvonne: So…if we’re thinking we don’t have extra money, but we could donate $5.00…that’s a week’s ages!!! That was my “aha” moment!!
*Jenny, you are continuously helping in Cuba and are a champion for the Dubois Charitable Foundation, which is sending disaster relief aid containers to Cuba.
There is so much we can do. One of my favorite sayings: Heroes do not always wear capes.
*James Solecki does work in Turks and Caicos and has started a Hurricane relief fund.
He also donates to KIVA with every new Integra contract. To learn more click here
* I have donated some money, and I’ve donated a lot of time and clothing locally (and part of proceeds of book sales). Now I have put together a small bag of clothes and toothpaste for Jenny. I asked my son Tanner if he has some nice t-shirts he no longer wore (he grew about 6 inches this year!). He gave me 5 shirts!
Jenny, Thank you for what you do, for Just Showing Up! and sharing your hero story!
We all can make a difference. It is better to do something than to do nothing.
Just Show Up. You never know where it will lead!
I listened to my inner voice. I vacated my comfort zone and I am following my dream,
fueled by my passion. And I am creating a life I love!
But like most of us, I have unwanted visitors; doubt, fear, anxiety and worry.
Every now and then, I allow these dream "stealers" to take over my joy,
my optimism, my purpose.
I catch myself, then I reach out for support, I read something motivational or I spend
time in nature. And then someone sends me a video that helps to lift me up again. Thank you, Mrs. Kujala, for sharing with me AND for sharing with my children and your class!
Here is that video.
Watch it whenever those unwanted visitors appear and ask yourself:
Do I have the courage to grab the dream that picked me?
Video by: Prince Ea
Hi everyone! We are here in Picton, ON and it is September 16th, 2017.
We are here for a family wedding; Cousin Sam just married his lovely bride Jessica.
It is a beautiful place and a spectacular day!
It also happens to be the 2nd anniversary of the launch of my book, Love Your Life to Death.
I am wearing my launch dress too! We have had a beautiful day and we are
celebrating so many things!
Our 14th wedding anniversary is also in a few days, on September 20th.
Fun fact: Sam and his twin brother Luke were at our wedding when they were the
same age as our twins. Jadyn and Tanner!
I am just thrilled with the tremendous positive feedback we have received from you.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, to all of you who have supported us,
read and shared my book.
Just keep Loving Your Life to Death! :)
I interviewed my friend, Saree Sasson, for my Hunter’s Bay Radio Show
(which will be shared on my website!). Saree is an amazing young lady who is sharing
her story of a downward spiral into the frightening and dangerous world of anorexia.
She shares her wisdom so that others can be supported and maybe not go down that road!
Y: Saree, what is your most important message to people going down the road of anorexia and to the people around them?
Saree: The biggest thing is that it’s okay. You don’t have to be ashamed. You don’t have to be worried that you are doing to be judged (even if you are, that’s their problem!). It’s life, it happens. But you need to get help or you need to help that person. Don’t worry about what people are going to think. It’s just being there, being there for yourself. Like you said, just showing up!
There are so many people that push it under the rug.
They don’t want to talk about it or get involved.
They don’t want the pressure or to have to worry.
Y: “I don’t know what to do! I know what to say! It’s awkward, I can’t fix it!
“That stops a lot of people. I say,“Then find somebody who can. And show up anyway!” Reach out, even if your friend is going to be mad at you. When your mom was trying to
talk to you, you were angry because you didn’t want to look at your own issue. But Too Bad!!
Saree: She saved my life! If she hadn’t been that way with me, I probably wouldn’t be here today. So… even though it sucked at the time and I hated her, well, I loved her too but…
Y: You hated what was happening, being confronted!
Saree: Yes, but again, I wouldn’t be here, I wouldn’t be who I am, I wouldn’t be able to share my story. And that’s the message…you gotta say something! And now I know that I need to be there for myself as well.
Y: Absolutely! Show up for yourself first! And if you didn’t in the past, or you didn’t show up for someone else, forgive yourself and do better next time! And you keep showing up for yourself, and you are quite fabulous. Not perfect, we don’t want perfection!
Thank you for sharing your story, Saree, I have no doubt you will be helping more people than you’ll ever know. And good luck in New Zealand where you will be going to school. I think I should visit to see how you are doing. And yes, I will bring you lots of maple syrup!
If you see something, say something. Just Show up!
Here I was, once again, at Camp Can-Aqua where Geordie and his sister Lindsey
were campers then counselors for over ten years each. They talked about camp
SO MUCH I thought, “What on earth is so special about this camp?” So I became the
camp nurse for five years. Geordie and I were known as “The Doctors.”
And I found out how truly magical summer camp is.
Each year, when I come back I am reminded of the important things in life.
It is extraordinary to see kids of all ages and cultures, where no one cares if you’re a jock,
a nerd, your sexual orientation or how much money you have. Everyone just wants
to build relationships, be out in nature and have good clean fun. You learn leadership
skills, although a lot of the time you are not even aware of it, amazing life lessons
and reminders of what you can be.
To see these kids grieving because they are saying goodbye to each other tugs at my heart. They have had the greatest summer ever. They’re in their socks and sandals and messy hair,
just enjoying being together and forming lifelong friendships.
What is important? It’s what’s in your heart. We all want and deserve the same things; acceptance, respect and happiness. I thank Camp Can-Aqua for giving my children this amazing opportunity, where they feel all of this and so much more. This was Jadyn and Tanner’s 7th summer. It wasn’t easy to convince them to come home.
Thank you to all summer camps everywhere for teaching children
what can be—acceptance, friendships regardless of differences
and good clean fun!
Julie and I hiked up and sat at the top of our mountain (well, more like a big hill,
but it’s our mountain!) at Hidden Valley. We have climbed this mountain more times
than we can count, for years. We would talk, envision, dream and we wanted more--
more for ourselves, for our families, for our friends… for our lives.
The two of us have encouraged and supported each other to climb our mountains
and we each took our leap of faith. I left my nursing career and Julie left a 17 year career coaching. Julie says, “I left last year and have not looked back!” We are celebrating!
We are creating the change we want to see in the world. I’ve written my book,
I am speaking and doing all kinds of wonderful things (that’s right!). Julie is working
one on one with clients, facilitating workshops and creating presentations on
mindfulness. Working through removing emotional blocks with people so that they
can climb their mountain!!
Julie: The thing about a mountain, is that it’s one step at a time. And that’s what
we’ve done! That’s all that people have the capacity to do, is take one step in front of
the other and take whatever right action is in front of them.
Me: You don’t have to know how to get to the very top, you just have to do the next step,
then the next step and you know what? You might be surprised halfway up, and you
go in another direction and you’re going to a different place.
Right now we are both climbing the summit of our mountains and I am saying to
everybody…Look out for us, because we are doing some stuff!!
Don’t be afraid to climb your mountain at any age.
You just might surprise yourself (like we did!).
To learn more about Julie and her work visit:
Yvonne Heath is a Canadian leader, Inspirational Speaker, Blogger, Television Host, Author and Creator of the #IJustShowedUp campaign.