Weekend Practice

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Good morning world!

How are you feeling this morning? Are you refreshed or just functioning? How did your weekend’s activities play a role in your attitude and energy today?

I just had a great weekend so I thought I’d share what made it so rejuvenating and energizing for me.

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.

Filling a Blank Page

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Happy New Year! 

If you happened to read my last post, you’ll know Christmas was difficult. I found out afterwards that we lost not one, but two beautiful souls on Christmas eve. I am very thankful for a boyfriend who kept my head on straight at this time. It would be easy to allow the tragedy of loss to continue to affect me and bring me down. It is harder to choose joy, to choose to direct my focus to the silver linings.

There is an infinite amount of possibility in this world. To learn, to grow, to expand your mind and your life. I know so many people are annoyed with #newyearnewyou, or the commercialism attached to self-improvement targeted at January resolution makers. And I don’t believe you need a new year to make changes in your life. However, I like to see each year that rolls in as another opportunity for exploration and recreation. It’s a blank page, it’s a fresh slate, it’s another chance and we’re still around to seize it and make the life we want and be people that are kind and passionate and awesome. You can choose to see it this way or not.

This is what has filled the first moments of my blank page, 2015.

(photo cred to Mauricio Rojas Gramal)
10906180_10152562114751485_6611097625260861927_nAt the bar… we missed the countdown due to somebody falling asleep (most definitely not me)…. but we came for a drink and new years hugs at work before last call. (photo cred to Mauricio Rojas Gramal)

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Great crew to be working with on New Years! Nobody came in for dinner in my section, I didn’t serve a single beer! It was fun regardless getting ready for the party and sitting around talking with these wonderful people. 1484289_10152461247922554_6013748579192249050_n

Aw…  (photo cred to Patrick Lizotte)10704173_10152464212917554_5619597058783903926_n

We’re gross. (photo cred to Patrick Lizotte)10917903_10152464212997554_3573233975682388871_n

What happens on Skype stays on skype is most definitely stored for embarrassment on my blog or your wedding day slideshow. My sister back home is the best medicine.

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Today I’m happy. Christmas and the days following held a lot of sadness and grief, but the wind is changing. Today I felt ready to plan and dream again. I’m proud of who I am and where I’m at and anticipating wonderful adventures in 2015. This is my content, confident, nothing’s perfect but everything is alright face.

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Happy New Years everyone!

Christmas

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What an interesting Christmas.

The first in my 22 years on this planet that I am not in my little living room of my BC home.

The first without my parents. My dad is back in BC. My mom is in Ontario as her sister just passed on Christmas Eve. Though I never lived close to my aunt, I have very fond memories of all the times I spent with her growing up. She was the sweetest lady, and my heart breaks for my mom who has lost a sister. I don’t want to think of the days when I lose my two sisters.

There’s so much I have to be grateful for. However, these blessings are grandly juxtaposed with a homesick stomach, an aching heart and sporadically flooding eyes.

I’ve been up for 5 hours now, it’s Christmas morning. I went to bed before any of the kids; I was done with the day.

So, naturally, I woke up at 1 am.

It’s 7 am now. It’s a white Christmas, but we won’t see more than darkness outside for another 2 hours. The kids are up and excited to go downstairs to their stockings. I am already tired, but happy to have company now at least. Some coffee should remedy this for the time being.

I’ll keep hope for this coming year and everything that it holds. I will stay thankful and continue to work hard to get to where I want to be. I won’t take people for granted. I will say I love you more often. I will take every opportunity to do my best, to give my best, to give my all.

Merry Christmas all.

Be Present

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In an attempt to clear up some space on my hard drive, I’ve been sifting through old files. I’ve found a lot of pictures and writing that I forgot about from the past couple years. Some fun stuff, and some that I rather I hadn’t have found, given the times weren’t as rosy as they might have appeared to onlookers. Nonetheless, I like to reflect on what I’ve learned and experienced through things I’ve captured and written.

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Lately, I’ve been focusing on living by the 4 agreements. A principle laid out in a book I’ve not read, yet feel it is very useful for living a good life. The 4 agreements being…

Be impeccable with your word. Don’t make assumptions. Don’t take anything personally. Always do your best. 

Along with the practice of those things, being mindful and present as much as possible has been a game changer for me. In my digital digging tonight I came across a song I wrote last year that talks about the negative impact living according to your past (which you cannot change) or future (which you cannot predict) has on your present health and happiness.

“Can’t breathe—can’t breathe

The wind is too strong on these seas

Can’t sleep—can’t sleep

For flashback or forward

Both betray my peace”

Whether you are too focused on your past mistakes (or the mistakes of others in your past) or your eyes can only envision an ideal, future life situation that you haven’t attained… you will be robbed of your peace. You will be robbed of the joy of connecting both in relationships and to yourself. I was. For so long I was.

The idea of self and being present is so interesting to me. For one, I accept that I am unable to see myself as others see me. Even in the mirror, a reflection can easily be changed with lighting and angles and state of mind. I can look myself in the eye, and still only see a perspective of myself.

If I look in the mirror and see my failures, that affects my perspective as well. Or, I could look in the mirror and think of my potential for the future that I have to look forward too. Both scenarios don’t allow me to know my present self, or engage in my present world with peace and mindfulness.

“It’s your imperfections that make you perfect.” 

My boyfriend said this to me a couple weeks ago. Maybe it’s a little corny. Maybe we were talking about my legs that I hadn’t shaved. Regardless, it’s a perspective I’ve never been able to adapt on my own. The thought that in this moment, I’m my best self– the only self I have, the self I should be thankful for– had never crossed my mind. There was always something to be regretting or something better to be looking forward to.

What obstacles prevent you from living in the moment? How could you align your mindset with an attitude of thankfulness for the precise moment you are in? What benefits do you lose out on because you are looking forwards or backwards too much? What distractions could you eliminate that take you out of the moment?

I hope this was a helpful read for someone. I know as I practice being present I feel less anxiety, less fear… more love and more gratitude. Life is never perfect, but you’ll gain nothing by trying to fix something that is past or trying to reach something that isn’t here yet.

Do your best. Be yourself. Allow yourself to think only of the current conversation or task you are in.

Enjoy the moment. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Bliss and Chaos

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A whole month has slipped by without a single peep from me on here!

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Life is full right now- blissfully and chaotically so. The days are full of laughter, tears, new people, fresh challenges, a different job and my continual exposure to the particularities of living in a small community. I let people go and reconnected with others… I am discovering who I am in this moment in time and place in the world.

“It’s all what you make it, and you’ll make it through.” 

I haven’t been as diligent with the goals that I set for myself as I would like. In all honesty though, I’ve learned more about myself in 3 months away than I ever could have back in my West Coast comfort bubble. It’s a trade-off that I don’t feel bad about. Relationally, mentally and emotionally I’ve been challenged to change my way of thinking, reacting and problem-solving.

For me, connecting with people here has been the biggest blessing. I’ve lived the past couple years most of my life worried about making lots of friends and fitting in. Being popular and all the rest of that garbage. Having a fresh start and knowing no one’s opinion of me matters more than my own, made all the difference. I’ve been here a short time, but already I have many people who have opened up about significant parts of their life, and allowed me to do the same with them.

It’s like the saying goes- the days are long but the years are short. Hindsight comparisons of your prior and present self reveal how each little thing we do changes us.

As I was drawing in my sketch book I came across something I had scrawled on a random page.

“YOU MAKE YOU.”

My life is a constant striving for the ideal and for interesting experiences and people. I really believe that you create your own reality and that your present is a culmination of each choice you’ve made and experience you’ve had to this point. I want to make my life a magical, beautiful thing.

I’m working on it.

Are you? Do you agree that you can control how your life plays out? What used to be important, and what is important to you now?

“Whatever you do, do it good.”

Lucky you, Murphy

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In this cold, cold tundra (though today I was informed, “it’s only chilly, wait until winter…”) every bit of colour and positivity counts. I have yet to encounter a blizzard, a long power-out, or the days with 20 hours of darkness, but it won’t be long. I’m working to forge friendships and build personal strength that will get me through the winter.

In my last post featuring positive graffiti, I featured a local artist and someone (unknown) who had changed F*** the police to Hug the police. I found some more today on a photo walk that made me smile and that I wanted to share with you.

Murphy’s law is something that you come to expect and anticipate here. Staff shortages, unpredictable weather, losing your internet if the wind is too strong or it rains. I really like the graffiti I found that says “Lucky you Murphy” because Murphy’s law never leaves you feeling lucky. Things go wrong up here, and you just have to deal with it and keep going. I hope you enjoy these pictures and that you remember that you can get through whatever is going on in your life right now.

If you are clever, you can probably see what the word graffiti used to say before it was changed to something more positive.

“I wish you didn’t have to fly away”

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“Shucks, you’re #1”

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“Lucky you, Murphy”

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“Cook’n peachy” – on a second glance, I realized this probably says “Look’n peachy” … guess I had food on the brain.

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“<3”

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“you kno you luff it”

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Thanks for reading! Follow me elsewhere…

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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? 

To See

Love, Thoughts

I remember the words of my art teacher in my first year of university. 

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The landscape here in Iqaluit is amazing. The tundra rolls as far as you can see, lichen-covered rocks jutting out everywhere, explosions of purple arctic fireweed (which, I am going to try to make tea with!). 

I’m grateful for those words, and those lessons. Even more so since having aged and experienced a few more years in my life, progressed in my mental clarity… I feel like I see more. The light is a little brighter to me, the flowers more fluid and the changing terrain more enticing for exploration. Even the litter which can be found in crevices and nooks along the tundra is interesting for my eyes to cross. 

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Outside my house, there is a lot of construction going on, as new houses are being built around ours. As it was Sunday today, there was nobody on the lot, and as I walked back from a little adventure on the tundra, I noticed this shadow on some of the heavy equipment. A heart shadow. 

Maybe most would walk right past it.

But my eyes are ready and my brain is receptive to everything. 

So what are you missing in your hurry, in your worry? We’re all in such a rush, that nothing is in focus. What opportunities have you missed because of an inability to recognize them as such?

What a gift it is to see, let’s make the most of it. 

To hear more about my move up to Baffin Island, check out my vlog about Moving to Northern Canada. 

peace, 

J.

Positive Change Manifesto

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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