Imagine, Work, Enjoy.

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Don’t we all have some neatly folded fantasies in a hidden drawer somewhere? There are dreams like skinny jeans that we keep working towards, we keep trying them on.

If you are of the persuasion that what you put in is what you get out… If you believe in the law of attraction… If you could fathom that we manifest our own lives through our thought life… then you may realize how important it is to dream. To spend real time and energy focusing in on the specifics of desires and aims in life. How they will feel, taste and smell.

How clearly can you see what you want? 

What future reward drives your present work? 

A few months ago, I made a collage of four pictures of things I wanted, along with the goals that I needed to achieve in order to splurge on these rewards. Last week, I hit the first of the four. I reached 200 followers between my two blogs. (THANK YOU!) For this, I’m treating myself to a tie dye hoodie from the Mod Sun merch store. It’s a happy, colourful purchase to remind me of positivity and perseverance that pays off.

It’s a small thing, but it illustrates a clear desire , followed by the work to achieve it. There are other- more significant- rewards.

The feeling of waking up refreshed and energized after you start taking care of your health.

The pride that swells in your chest when you take another step towards your dream job.

The sound of the steel lock clicking as you open the door to your first home.

The taste of a lovingly prepared meal.

The simple contentment of being in the company of good friends who took a long time to find. 

These are all examples of things that you imagine, work to create and then enjoy.

Imagine. Work. Enjoy. 

What can your mind come up with? What outcome inspires you to wake up in the morning and get to work? Are you enjoying the process of your progress towards your dreams? 

If you are interested in learning more about manifesting what you want through visualization and action, pick up Mod Sun’s book “Did I Ever Wake Up?” or watch “The Secret.” Both are resources that I’ve used on more than one occasion and thoroughly enjoyed.

When I Grow Up

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The plan was always to become a writer and an artist. 

I am reminded of this as my nephew who I nanny tells me his dreams for the future. The NHL, an olympic speed skater, American ninja warrior (even though we’re Canucks), NBA… and finally, an artist who sells his work.

chalkAs a nanny, my job description is diverse and ever-changing. My sister did a back to school photo shoot with her boys last week and I got to be the chalk artist for her.

So, technically, I got paid to make art. I didn’t sell anything but my time and talents were valued enough for her to ask me to do it for her. It was an a-ha! moment for me.

I want to keep doing the things I love always. Whether I am paid to do them or not. I must create; I must absorb and learn from other people’s creations; I must keep asking questions.

Now that I am working two jobs, my time to create is somewhat limited. But I try to play some music, do some drawing or writing and some reading every day. It keeps me sane and feeds my soul.

Today, I was off nanny duty, so I started my #radicalselflovebible.  It was great to just curl up in bed, put on an audio book (Harry Potter again, of course, what else?) and create something of importance to me.

I hope you hold on to the dreams of your youth and pursue them with gusto. And if you are having trouble finding what you want in life, hit the rewind button and look at what you spent time doing as a child. What did you want to be when you grew up? 

Choosing Love

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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. 

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

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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. 

 

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

My daddy taught me…

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ImageMy dad told me before I even got my first job that if I worked for someone, my income and opportunities would be limited to my own output (hours, availability, time, energy).

However, if you work for yourself, and eventually have people working for you, then your income and opportunities are instantly multiplied by the time, energy, hours and availability of many people. Ever since then, I have wanted to work for myself. I have wanted to start and own a business. I didn’t (and don’t) want to build someone else’s dream, I want to build my own.

I was reminded of this today at a career fair at the university I attend. I’m in my third year, and anyone I talked to asked “What do you want to do?” or “What kind of job are you looking for?” To be honest, I wasn’t looking at all. And as I looked at each of the exhibitors, nothing really caught my eye. Nothing was exciting.

What is exciting to me?

Coming up with an idea, planning, organizing, working hard and late into the night, collaboration, innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity.

I found a great quote from the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos.

ImageI haven’t laid out my first business plan, saved up capital, made an investment in my dreams… I am taking an uncommon path by taking a year off school (after finishing my 3rd) in lieu of charging through 4-5 years without a break. I have many reasons that I’ve shared, and it may seem like a frivolous or unnecessary step along the path to “success.”

I would challenge you to think of what success truly is. I don’t believe any two people will share the exact same definition.

I remember reading in The Simple Living Guide about living within your means. For example, if you liked to fish, you could move somewhere remote where you lived simply and sold and ate fish. The less you need to spend, the less you need to work. If you want to have the fancy car, the big house and yard, you’ll likely have big responsibilities and long hours of work to match.

I really love the quote by Jeff Bezos because change.. revolutions even… have always been met with resistance. As the saying goes, if something is worth having, it’s worth fighting for. That resistance that I will face (and that all entrepreneurs face) is simply indicative of the stone-set paradigms of society. Things can change. But people like what is familiar and it takes time, persuasion and consistency to show them that things can be done differently, or better.

Are you an entrepreneur? What’s your elevator pitch? What do you want to change?

January’s Bucket

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One of my new years resolutions is summed up in the word NOW. It is a shift to anti-procrastination, mindfulness and an action orientation towards my life. 

In the interest of being more present, and honing my ability to dream into a willingness to do, I want to make a monthly bucket list. Yeah, I’ve got a life bucket list that runs on for pages. I’m discovering new things that I want to achieve or experience on a daily basis. But short term goals are crucial to reaching bigger ones down the line. 

So, without further ado, my January bucket list. In brackets are relevant details such as what it will cost in dollars or hours or when I have planned to follow through. 

1. Run in my first Marathon. (Jan 12th in Disney World)

2. Get my anchor tattoos. ($150?)

3. Get my nose pierced. ($60)

4. Post two videos to YouTube. (4 hours)

5. Get my room in order. (By Jan 31)

What 5 things could you accomplish or plan to do for fun this month that would kick off the year in an amazing way? Let me know in a comment! 

New Years Shift

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It’s just after 5 in the morning, and I haven’t slept yet. I’ve been engrossed in the content of a YouTube channel that I found a couple days ago. It has revolutionized my mind in the few dozen clips I have watched.

How is this that my mind has been moving and shifting like the insides of a lava lamp?

 

The channel, run by a gal a few years older than myself (mid twenties), blows every other one of my subscriptions out of the water in terms of valuable content. She asks the questions that no one else does, and does the research to back up what she has to say. She is well-read and one of the best critical thinkers I’ve come across on the YouTube. 

Her videos have begun to reframe many of the ideas I’ve grown up with, been taught or developed on my own through repeated exposure, experience or assumptions. Her videos have helped to shift how I have seen a few critical experiences in my life, and given me hope beyond any comfort that friends have been able to offer. Her words have challenged me to ask questions I didn’t dare ask, and take ownership of my life in a way I wouldn’t have thought possible. What she shares in her videos, have truly already made a difference in my life– I wish I had found her years ago. She is wise beyond her years both in her attitude and knowledge of her content. 

I apologize for the vagueness of what I’m talking about, but it is still a fresh change. Like new skin under a scab that hasn’t come off yet. It’s a process, but I look forward to the new stance I will work towards taking. I look forward to seeing myself in a different light. I look forward to saying goodbye to shame, pain, sadness, and submission to the cruelty of others. I look forward to the dreams I will accomplish when I let go of what is toxic in my life. The thoughts, the people, the attitudes, the stereotypes, the misconceptions, the assumptions… All of it. 

It can be hard to identify with yourself, those around you, as well as past or present circumstances in a new way. But let’s try this year. Let’s work to shift to a positive vibe. Let’s be intentional about self-love and confidence. Let’s not let the haters get us down, let’s not let the past hold us back. Let’s break down the lies we’ve heard and even told ourselves. Let’s get real about social justice and equality and the things that are important. Let’s tackle our fears. 

I don’t know if I can sleep. There’s just too much to think about. 

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Maybe… 

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!