Choosing Love

One of the biggest questions people try to answer is this: How can I be happy? 

My answer is this: do what excites you. Pursue your passions. Choose self-love and make time and space in your life for the things you love. 

Place yourself in the situations where you will get to practice your art (whatever it may be), spend time with the people you cherish, and surround yourself with individuals you admire and who make you better. 

Here are some of the things I love to do. 

I love to be behind the camera to capture every moment around me, so that in the future I can look back on happy times and places I have explored. 

camera

 

I love to make art. Drawing mainly, but any form is fun for me. 

drawing

I love to eat healthfully and make my food aesthetically pleasing and Instagram it all. (@jessihannahjay

food collage blog

 

I love to make music. Piano, guitar, singing, writing… This was on Main St. in Vancouver. 

Main Street Piano Collage

 

What would you do more of if you had the time? What activity or group of people makes you feel alive? What can you cut out to make room for what you love? 

The more you envision the life you desire, the more you practice things you like in every small choice throughout the day, the closer you will get to a life you love. 

 

Attitude of Gratitude

I believe our happiness depends on our ability

to be grateful for the good alongside the bad.

gratitude

We give you thanks
for the promise of this day,
We give you thanks
for the challenge of this day,
We give you thanks
for the blessings of this day.
-From a celtic prayer

I don’t know any faster way to find fulfillment and joy

in life than to simply stop and give thanks for

exactly what you have in this moment.

10 Things I’ll Do Without

In 36 hours, I’ll be at the airport. 

I’ll be boarding a plane to fly across the country, over 3,000 kilometres from my home here on the West Coast. The place I have loved and the place I have grown up these past 22 years. 

I’m going to be a nanny to three amazing little boys (1, 4, 7). 

This year will be one of growth, challenges and new adventures. I’m nearing the end of this chapter of my life: living with my parents, only paying for some groceries, working as a waitress and studying at uni. 

The community I’m moving to is quite isolated, and therefore, there are going to be many changes to the way I live. I’ve made this list as a reflection of the new and simpler life I will live while I am away this following year. 

  1. Starbucks. Bye, bye, soy lattes. 
  2. A phone plan. Skype, handwritten letters and whats app is where it’s at. 
  3. Alcohol. There aren’t any liquor stores, and while you can buy drinks at restaurants, this is something I’m choosing to abstain from this year. 
  4. Foundation (makeup). No one to impress where I’m going, and this is part of my new beauty philosophy. Natural and healthy. 
  5. TV shows. Instead, I want to focus on buffing up my film knowledge (I’m minoring in film studies at uni)
  6. A car. There is a family car, but I won’t be doing much driving as I do here, from city to city.
  7. Clutter. I’m bringing one suitcase for clothes, and one rubbermaid of things I’ve deemed essential to my hobbies/passions (writing, art, photography & film)
  8. Animal products. I’ve been a transitioning vegan for many months, but I want to go 100%. My diet will be totally plant-based. 
  9. Formal education. I plan to expand my experience in what I’ve already learned and get in the groove of practicing my art daily. Writing and film mainly. 
  10. Worries. This is a year for peace, meditation, reflection and overcoming. 

It’s impossible to know everything that this year holds, but I am motivated to do my best and face each challenge with confidence and the knowledge that I know a big God who’s got by back. 

adventures

Emotional Breakthroughs

What you are too afraid to overcome, you will become.

It’s so easy to focus on our problems and the reasons why true and lasting change in our lives is difficult. It’s easier to avoid the discomfort of pushing past our comfort zone where we are exposed and vulnerable. The fears and insecurities that hold us back from our potential feel so very real and can induce much anxiety when we think about facing the world, and about the choices we need to make in order to get where we want to go. 

It’s easy to sedate yourself. We do it with food, with TV, with substance abuse, with exhaustion.

The other day, I went on a hike with some friends. After having run a marathon six months ago, you think I’d be in shape. However, I didn’t overcome all my poor health habits while I was training for that marathon. Because I didn’t face and conquer all my issues- poor sleep, lazy nutrition, hydration, nicotine addiction… They returned when I didn’t have an event to train for, and times were “hard.” 

I was huffing and puffing and dizzy as we hiked a steep trail for an hour and a half. I knew I had to get to the top. I knew it would be worth it. But I sure did think about quitting because I felt so far behind everyone else.

I remembered, this isn’t a race. This is a nice adventure, and I should be grateful for the air punching in my lungs and the burn screaming through my muscles. I should be thankful that I am ALIVE, that I am part of this incredible earth for a short time. 

I have held fears of growth for a long time. 

When you overcome one thing, you have to overcome another. People start to expect things from you. You start to expect things from yourself. The bar for success and for failure is raised. 

What you are too afraid to overcome, you will become.

I want to become my hopes and dreams and aspirations and ideas. Not my fears. 

DSC_9937

So where is your focus? How do you want to change your life? How can you eliminate the fears holding you back?

You can make changes for the better!