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.”

Shake it Off, Taylor

Love, Music, Thoughts

I am super into Taylor Swifts new release Shake it Off. I have listened to her throughout her career, and this is certainly a new chapter for her. I smiled as soon as the video started, I recommend checking it out ASAP.

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Her sense of humour and positivity shine through in the video and this song has a great message. 

Being at a point in my life presently, just having moved and faced many challenges and struggles leaving behind people and places I loved… it hits home, I suppose. I’m at a point of letting go of so much negativity and shaking off the past and this is definitely going on the list of power songs that I find super uplifting and/or I could just listen to again and again (see also Happy, You’ve Changed, You Need Me I Don’t Need You, Supernova, Change and Fashionable People).

I love the vibes and fun beat. It’s an empowering tune and I’ve got it on repeat for now. Even in her divergence from the style we had come to expect, she stays classy. She’s one artist that seems genuinely sweet and very honest through everything. 

Her new album 1989, is set to come out at the end of October. 

“I’m dancing on my own
I make the moves as I go
And that’s what they don’t know”

Don’t be afraid to not know the next step and do just your thing moment by moment.

Do you. 

Hats off to Taylor for pushing herself to make something new. I really can’t wait for the rest of the album. Aparently it is late 80’s & Bowie inspired. I have high expectations! 

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.

♪ MJ: Coldplay Magic

Music

The midweek jam for this week is Magic by Coldplay. I wasn’t even aware that they were coming out with a new album this May, but I’m pretty excited. Coldplay has been there from when I broke free from my musically-sheltered childhood (another story for another time!). I remember buying X&Y at a thrift shop and playing it to death on my first CD player that still had a cassette player. I definitely still have that CD player there, and have grown to love all their other stuff too. This is one band on my list to see live.

Do you like it? Coldplay has always been a feel-good band for me. Are you looking forward to their new album coming out?

♪ Midweek Jams: MAGIC! Rude ♪

Music, Thoughts

cannotchange

Our choices are incredibly powerful! We don’t get to choose the family we are born into, but we get to choose our friends, and who we love. Are the people around you positive? Are they uplifting you? Do they support you? Are you in mutually beneficial relationships that involve give and take, compromise and appreciation?

This song caught my attention on the radio, and I recently looked up the music video and fell in love even more.

Choosing who you love and who you let into your life can have huge implications on who you become. They say you are the average of the 5 people you hang out with most. You need people who support you, who aren’t afraid to give you some constructive criticism and disagree with you, people to have fun with, people to grow with. You may not find all of these things in every relationship. However, there are a ton of people in the world; you don’t need to waste your time being dragged down by those who constantly put you down, pressure you to be someone you are not, or look for ways to sabotage you.

“I’m gonna marry her anyway..”

There’s something about this song that I just love. The video makes me really happy, the way the guy dances. But I love that he knows what he wants, and he isn’t letting the disapproval of the dad change what he’s made up his mind to do. I don’t see it as an issue of disrespect of that coveted parental blessing, but rather as an act of freedom and love and choosing who you want in your life. I think it is beautiful.

✮ Monday Motivation ✮

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Welcome! Monday Motivation will be one of my weekly features! This week’s challenge:

TRY SOMETHING NEW. 

^Sorry about chopping the top of my head off, and also my bird squawking in the background!

A new food, an activity, talk to a stranger, take a different way home from work, part your hair in a different place, wear a little less (or a little more) makeup, have your waiter/waitress surprise you with your order. When you switch things up, you may find a new favourite, see something unexpected or make a new friend. Who knows!

If you’re still stuck, give this recipe a try! I came up with it last week and I love it. I call it Spiky Lemonade. I find the flavour really nice and more complex than just a simple lemonade, and so much more healthy! No added sugar or chemicals. Apple=sweet, ginger=spicy, celery=salty, lemon=sour… It’s so refreshing! I hope you will give it a try (even if you can’t find cactus to add, it would still be good without it– just add another apple and celery stalk).

You’ll need:

-1 apple (or up to 3, if you prefer a sweeter taste)

-2″ chunk of ginger

-2 stalks of celery

-3 lemons

-1 Nopal cactus leaf (see the health benefits of cactus here)

After processing the apple, ginger, celery and cactus in a juicer (I like to use a glass citrus juicer for the lemons) pour the juice into a blender over ice and blend! This is such a refreshing drink, and I find juicing is a great way to sneak in some foods that I don’t normally get in my diet.

Let me know if you give this recipe a try or if you have a cool idea for something new to try this week!

Follow me on Instagram & Twitter @jessihannahjay

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…