Positive Change Manifesto

dreams, Thoughts

I wrote this manifesto as a reminder of how I want to live. 

My past includes a lot of negative self-talk, self-depreciation and lies I told myself. Negative thought patterns with words like can’t, ugly, stupid, never, and impossible.

Positive self-talk and affirmation is something I have been forming into a habit, day by day. I’ve slowly erased these words from my lexicon. I rarely use them, or let the people around me use them. It bugs me so much when someone I care about puts themselves down. 

Even though this is my own manifesto, I hope you will read through it, and find it resonates with you. I hope that you choose to believe that you are beautiful and important and capable. 

Maybe it will even prompt you to write your own manifesto of positive thoughts and affirmations. 

Check out Gala Darling’s radical self love manifesto for more ideas! She’s brilliant. 

postive change manifesto

Choosing Love

dreams, Love, Uncategorized

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. 

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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. 

 

Emotional Breakthroughs

dreams, Thoughts

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. 

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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!

22

dreams, Thoughts, Uncategorized

I’m a little over 2 weeks from my 22nd birthday, and as many things are changing in my life, I’ve been reflecting back on the first half of 2014 and what it has held.

  1. I completed my first marathonI began training for the Walt Disney World Marathon in June 2013, and worked hard to overcome many obstacles and health issues along the way to running 42.2km in 6 hours on January 12, 2014.
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  2. I traveled to Florida with my sister for the 2nd time. Since May 2012, our first visit to Florida, we’ve wanted to go back. We visited Harry Potter World for the 2nd time (and got to see the frog choir this time!) and got to visit Disney World for the first time. My sister and I are kind of obsessed with Disney and we’ll never get tired of it. I hope we get to go many more times in the future together.
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  3. I went snowboardingI went snowboarding when I was 16 with my church. I picked it up fast and have wanted to go back ever since. This past time was not as easy (I’m no longer a spry, young thing)… but an adventure and experience nonetheless.
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  4. I got inkedThese anchor tattoos mean a lot to me. They represent the journey my feet have taken me on thus far in my life, and more specifically, all the things I have overcome through training for my marathon. They make me think of my parents, the ocean, staying grounded in what I believe and never forgetting the past experiences that have shaped me into who I am now. I’ve wanted an anchor tattoo on my foot since I was 18, and I finally chose a spot and a design and made the plunge. So happy with them.
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  5. I went bungee jumpingI’ve wanted to do this for a while, but I didn’t want to go alone. One of my co-workers wanted to go for her birthday, so she invited me and I had a blast. I will definitely do it again!
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  6. I produced my first digitally recorded songI took a class at university and learned how to use a recording software to make music. My final project for the class was a cover of John Legend’s “All of Me.” I did the singing and guitar playing and my TA played the piano part (beautifully I might add!).
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  7. I directed a film that showed in our student film festival this spring. I didn’t get to do as much directing as I would have liked… but it was a good first experience and we managed to finish in time to show it at the festival. I learned a lot about bringing together a team, how to work with actors and the importance of planning (plan A,B,C all the way to Z).
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  8. I tried an oxygen bar. My boyfriend and I went to a trade fair in his town and there was a booth where you could try oxygen for a while. I’ve seen these at airports and always wanted to try one. I didn’t know you got to choose flavours! I had peach, ginger, lavender and eucalyptus which I switched between for 15 minutes. We both felt very relaxed afterwards.
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  9. I started my YouTube channel. I’ve wanted to start a YouTube channel for probably close to 7 years, but fear has held me back. I started with a video of my marathon experience, then a juice recipe video and finally I made a video about positivity. I’m planning on fully plunging into video making over the next 6 months with more vlogs, recipes and health kinds of videos.
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  10. I’ve continued to transition and progress on my journey to becoming vegan. Since seeing FOOD INC. and Forks Over Knives and The Secret (not about veganism, but rather the law of attraction and power of positivity- which I believe correlates with my developing food philosophy) , and discovering many vegan advocates on YouTube (Dan, Kristina, Megan, Freelee, Tarah, Kassie) … I’ve been working on transitioning for over a year. I’ve had an unhealthy relationship with food for most of my teenage years, and this journey has been one of healing and endless benefits as I cut out more and more animal products and enjoy the produce that I believe I was designed to consume. I’ve become more mindful of how food makes me feel and have worked on adopting “food as medicine” as a key to how I eat. 
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So since I’ve done all this, and it’s only June… What does the rest of 2014 hold? Here are 10 things:

  1. See Michael Buble in concert in Vancouver (June 22)
  2. Move to Nunavut (July 16)
  3. Hit 100 followers on both this blog and my health blog. (Currently at 68 and 66)
  4. Post 12 videos on YouTube
  5. Go fully vegan (stop making excuses, get over the social aspect of being vegan)
  6. Record 3 songs that I’ve written
  7. Get another tattoo
  8. Train to be able to do 100 pushups in a row
  9. Study the greats and their work (artists, writers, philosophers to be selected)
  10. Upgrade my camera

♪ John Legend’s All of Me Cover

dreams, Love, Music

It’s been over a month since I’ve shared a midweek jam with you!

This semester I took a digital recording class. I changed the song I did for my final project 2 weeks before it was due, but I’m pretty happy with the result considering how fast it was done. I might start making wednesdays cover day, there are a lot of songs I’ve wanted to do covers of for quite a while. Taking this digital recording class was just the confidence boost I needed to start playing more music again.

I used to lead worship in a small group and at summer camp years ago, but stopped for silly reasons. It may not be career material, but it’s something I enjoy immensely. Nothing tops singing as loud as possible in the car with the windows down, or playing guitar on a hill overlooking the water early in the morning… but any music playing is good in my books.

So without further ado, my cover of John Legend’s All of Me.

✮ MM: Find a Focus ✮

dreams, Thoughts

This week’s motivation was inspired by an infographic that Anna Akana mentioned in her latest video. I had heard the data before, but it was a great reminder. The number might seem overwhelming, but it’s also motivating and helpful to know exactly how much work it takes to become a master or an expert (the best of the best) in any given field/industry. It takes 10,000 hours. In light of this number, the challenge this week is to:

FIND A FOCUS.

10thousandhours

(click to enlarge the infographic)

No matter what you want to do, if you put in that amount of deliberate practice, you will be an expert. Even if you know nothing about it now. This is especially powerful if you are around 20(or younger). Imagine being the best in the world at something by the time you are 30. Just putting in 20 hours a week, you can become the very best in under 10 years. If you want to chase your dream more aggressively, putting in 40 hours a week will get it done in less than 5.

If you can find a focus and start working towards becoming the best, imagine what you could accomplish! You may change your plans/ reroute along the way, but starting along the path is the most important thing. Just like saving up money early on can have a huge snowball effect with interest, so do all the hours of work that you clock pay off.

Here are a few of my ideas to get started once you’ve found a focus:

  • CREATE A SYLLABUS: Maybe you’re already going to school for what you want to get good at. Regardless of whether you are or not, you can create your own syllabus for learning. Do some research and create a document for yourself listing the best books, teaching tools, teachers/coaches/experts, and free resources(online podcasts/tutorials/e-courses) available to you. You can make up your own projects, goals, desired learning outcomes and due dates and just start plugging away!
  • SCHEDULE: This is one I definitely need to work on. You can use the 10,000 hours as a long term goal, but that’s an overwhelming number to face each morning. Break it down and make time in your day for your practice. More frequent, shorter chunks are more effective normally than longer, infrequent chunks of time (though it depends on what you’re practicing). If you don’t commit to a time and plan ahead, excuses and reasons to flake out on yourself will inevitably come up.
  • CREATE A VISION BOARD: I’ve made a post about this before, but a vision board is such a fun and useful thing to do for goal setting… It’s like Pinterest in real life (you could just use Pinterest, but I like a physical copy for my wall).
  • SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVITY: Yes, everyone at the top met opposition along the way. That is not to say you must suffer more than necessary along your journey. Find like-minded individuals who share in your vision, who support you in your goals, who will tell you to keep going when you run out of steam. These are the people you want with you when you achieve your goals. People who had patience with you, were honest with you, who believed in everything you have worked towards.
  • BE INSPIRED: When you’re excited about what you’re working on it’s easy to forget or shut out what’s going on in the real world. Don’t become so isolated that you miss out on the changes and news in your industry/area of interest. Allow yourself to not only observe others who are doing things that you’d like to do, but be inspired by them, engage with their work, discuss it, seek it out actively, critique it.

The Top

dreams, Thoughts

Anything you achieve has the potential to make you happy or make you miserable.

The determination comes in the process, the journey you took to get to that place of success.

Did you step on others to get to the top? Are you surrounded by everything you wanted, but feel alone?

Or did you inspire others with humility as you fought for your dreams? Do you have the support and love of those around you even now that things are different?

Does your status make you feel superior, or does it compel you to help others?

Just some thoughts I had while reading Mod Sun’s “Did I Ever Wake Up?”

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Shifting Focus

dreams, Thoughts

Dear Searchers, Seekers, and World Wanderers, 

You may or may not have noticed the change in my tagline. I have removed a couple things, and added dreams.

I realized that what I really wanted to share and talk about apart from film and music is how to live your best life. I’d like to share my journey of transitioning to a more positive, minimalist, fulfilling life. I want to talk about reaching your goals. About making the mindful choice to live every day like you want to. I want to talk about finding empowerment to be in control of your life.

[Just a quick note, all images in this post can be clicked on to enlarge them]

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The past few days I have started making my second vision board. Pictured above is my first vision board which is now in my “closet office.” It has a lot of words, lyrics, clippings and pictures which I find inspiring and motivating.

A vision board will look different for everyone. You may have a few meaningful words and pictures, or you may have a big messy collage. It is essentially making a representation of your dreams, goals, and the life you want. Maybe you have a mission statement you want to put in the middle, or your favourite quote or a few words of affirmation, a mantra.

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This new vision board I decided to make on a bulletin board so that I could easily add and remove and rearrange if necessary. I have mostly printed out images from Pinterest and also typed out a few words and phrases. I used double sided tape to attach the images, though pins would work just as well.

Below, I will run through the areas that I have started to work on to give you ideas and inspiration for if you are interested in making your own vision board.

Material

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The idea behind this section is that if I want something (a physical possession), but cannot afford it, it will go on the vision board. Somewhat of a wish list. When I have my own place I want to have a turntable. I don’t have room for it now. I want to get a bike, buy my first car, and eventually upgrade to the latest iPhone.

Personal/Appearance 

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This one will vary greatly depending on the person. On my first vision board, I have values/character traits scattered over the poster. In this one I probably will add some words like “Joy, Honesty, Hard Work, Self-love.”

There is the tattoo I am going to get after I run my marathon in Florida next January, someone with long blonde hair because I am growing my hair out and transitioning to my natural colour, and someone smiling with a nose ring- which I want to get. Maybe yours might include a good habit you want to cultivate, your goal weight or other inspiration related to being/looking your best.

Diet

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My boyfriend and I are doing a challenge for the month of September. No meat! I want to eat more fresh foods and protein smoothies. These two simple pictures remind me of what I want to put in my body. Maybe you have a food weakness, like chocolate or carbs. You could put some pictures of healthy things to eat instead to inspire you to make better choices.

Fitness

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  • People competing in Tough Mudder
  • A finisher medal for the Walt Disney World Marathon
  • Triathalon & Ironman
  • A woman with a strong toned body
  • A runner
  • Someone doing yoga in the woods
  • A representation of getting faster all the time

Whatever your fitness goals- improved health, recovery from an injury/ailment, weight-loss, completion of an event or involvement in a sport, it’s easy to find pictures to represent them. My main goal right now is training for my marathon, but I like to have all my future fitness goals there too, so I am reminded that my marathon is not the end, I will go on to complete even greater things!

Quotes/Philosophy

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I think that quotes belong in the middle. That’s just me, but I find it to be more focused, and as my very centre quote is about believing in yourself, it kind of relates to everything that is found around it on the board.

“She believed she could, so she did.” This is a great quote to summarize the purpose behind making a vision board. It’s about choosing to believe you can achieve what you set your mind to. By creating a visual reminder of all the things you are working towards, it can be very motivating and help to solidify in your subconscious that these things are/will be part of your life.

“Turn I wish into I will.” Another great quote which I find very empowering because when I read it I think, yes, I will take action now. I will not get what I want out of life by sitting around dreaming. Dreaming is the first step, but after that you have to find the drive to work hard and stay focused as you take action.

Career

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This section could include jobs you want to have, companies you want to work for, financial goals (desired salary or savings), etc. I have a picture of a clean office space, YouTube and Etsy (two online ventures I plan on at least dipping my toes in), and two magazines I want to be published in one day. I plan on adding 1, 3 and 5 year financial goals.

Travel/Bucket list

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Those places you want to visit? The things you want to do? You can put them all here. I want to spend a new years eve in Times Square, see the Eiffel Tower again, visit Greece, vacation in Cali again, bungee jump and go to a drive-in movie. This section will be much fuller when I’m done with it! So many adventures I want to go on.

Don’t be shy to put up a picture of Mt. Everest, or sky diving, or Hollywood because you want to be in a movie! Dream big!

 

My list of sections is by no means exhaustive. There is no wrong way to do a vision board, but I believe it should be positive and growth focused. Don’t make lists of things that are wrong with you that need to be fixed. Or a list of things you want to change in your life. Your board should show what you want- like a glimpse into your ideal future. Keep it forward focused, positive, ambitious, and organize it so that you like how it looks.

You should look at it daily; I look at mine in the morning and before bed while I am brushing my teeth for two minutes. Just the short time investment has had a huge impact on how motivated I feel throughout the day.

Carrie Green, of the Female Entrepreneur Association has a great video on vision boards that I watched recently. I had already made one, but she has some great ideas for alternatives to vision boards, and talks more about why making a vision board is important. You can watch that here.

Happy Dreaming!