Hanging By A Thread

One of the unexpected surprises when I started blogging, was the friendships that are formed all over the world. I am so grateful to have met my friend Joanne who lives relatively near by and who is always up for a new challenge!

We recently connected & when I suggested she join me in giving aerial yoga a try, she was all in! Although I have now been a few times, it was Joanne’s first time. I so admire that her sense of adventure never stops her from trying new things!

So great to spend time together Joanne! Who knows what fun we shall get into next!

My Life Lived Full

I have been lucky over the past several years to meet and develop a ‘real world’ friendship with a number of great fellow bloggers. One of those is Lynn from Life After 50.

We actually live relatively close to one another and this week Lynn invited me to join her to try something new – to me, not her.

I know – you’re shocked. Me. Something new.

In a large old industrial building in Bowmanville – behind this wonderful heavy metal door – I met with Lynn to give aerial yoga a try.

If you aren’t familiar with it, aerial yoga involves using a large silk hammock to support, stretch, and invert the body through a series of yoga moves.

Meet Lynn!

It sounds intimidating but I’m game to try most things at least once.

I’m not exactly the most graceful and coordinated person in the world and I had…

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Keepin’ it Real

Warning: I may have dropped the F Bomb in this post…more than once!

In a recent conversation with a friend who was experiencing some challenges, they expressed that their life sometimes felt like a total fuck up.

I assured them they had not won the prize on that one!

However it did get me to thinking.

We live in a world, where on a daily basis, we are bombarded with images of people seemingly living richer, fuller and more adventurous lives.

People working in more exciting jobs & wearing more fashionable clothing.

People who travel the globe with what appears to be an endless supply of income.

People who are married to the perfect partner & have miraculously created the perfect family who all live in a perfect home.

People living a life we can only dream of.

But are they really?

I believe a more accurate statement might be, we are inundated with images depicting people living perfect lives.

For aren’t we/they just all showing the best sides of our life?

If any one of us stepped in to someone else’s life, I suspect it wouldn’t be long before we recognised that they too, live in an imperfect world.

One where they might not feel valued. One where they experience disappointment.  One where they struggle with anxiety & fear.  One where they may feel the weight of loneliness & sadness.

And yet, so many of us are reluctant to share these sides of ourselves.  We hold our not so perfect or vulnerable parts in a safe place, in many cases locked deep inside, for fear that in sharing them, we may be exposed for all to see, that somehow we just don’t quite measure up.

With depression & suicide rates on the rise, it would stand to reason that we could all benefit from a little less perfect in our lives.

After a lengthy conversation with my friend, commiserating on all things not so perfect, aka fucked up, they thanked me for keeping it real.

It doesn’t take a whole lot to assure someone they are not alone, to let them know that most of us in fact, on any given day, can hold the fucked up trophy. 🏆

Sharing our not so perfect sides of ourselves can be equally as important as sharing our successes.

I encourage you to keep it real!

Hugs,

L💕

 

 

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Making Changes

When the calendar flips to a brand new year, many of us often find this a good time to reflect on what we might like to change moving forward.

Those changes vary for each of us, for only within our own hearts do we know what we need to alter or work on in order to feel more fulfilled.

I have never been a fan of New Years resolutions but here is what I am a fan of.

I do think it is important to pause & give thought to everything we feel good about in our life and alternatively, to determine what we might need to change in order to help us grow to our full potential.  To live our best life.

Some of those changes are hard.  Some require an awful lot of work. Some may even seem insurmountable.  But I assure you, they are possible.  We only need to take the first step needed to start us in the direction we want to go.

So as you look forward to 2019, I encourage you to make the necessary changes to lead you towards the best life you envision.

If you falter or fail,  keep putting one foot in front of the other, grab hold of a hand if you need to, but don’t ever stop trying.

With some perseverance and perhaps a little learning along the way, the reward can only be that much sweeter when we achieve the change we hoped to accomplish.

Whatever dreams you envision for 2019, I wish you a year that is filled with joy & adventure & most of all, love.

Happy New Year!

Hugs,

L💛

 

 

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Slowing it Down

We talked about not getting a tree this year but instead ended up with a 14 footer😂.

As we approach the last few days prior to the holiday season, many of us find ourselves running around in a bit of a tizzy & feeling a little worn out!

I encourage you to find some time to attempt to slow it down just a wee bit & take in the little bits of magic this season presents to us.

It is a time to gather with family & loved ones.

It is a time to extend a little more kindness. 

It is a time to practice a little more patience.

It is a time to spread a little joy.

May the holiday season find you surrounded in the warmth of all you hold dear and may the prospect of a brand new year inspire you with a renewed sense of possibility.

I hope to be writing a little more in 2019.  Thank you for continuing to read, to share your thoughts & to offer your words of encouragement & support.

Hugs,

L❤️

 

 

 

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Finding our Moral Compass

A Moral Compass, by definition, is used in reference to a person’s ability to judge what is right and wrong and act accordingly.

A moral compass is something that develops over time.  Although I am certain DNA has something to do with it, I suspect it has more to do with the people in our life who, from a very young age, lead by example, teaching us morals & values, moulding us into decent human beings with a good sense of right & wrong.

At some point in our lives, we become solely responsible for our own moral compass.  Now & again we may need a gentle nudge or swift kick in the butt to readjust our mindset, but for the most part, if we have been raised with the proper tools in our moral compass toolbox, we have the wherewithal to know what we should & should not do.

This is what I find both interesting & challenging.

Even if people are equipped with the same amount of tools in that toolbox, one’s moral compass seems to widely vary from person to person.  In other words, my expectation of what I deem to be right & wrong may be very different from what another person may deem to be right & wrong.

It has been suggested to me on more than one occasion, that I spend a great deal of time and energy taking care of those I love in various capacities. I take no offense as I am only too happy to do so.  It is the core of who I am as a human being.

I acknowledge I have high expectations of myself when it comes to caring for others, chipping in when I may or may not be needed. I have been accused of worse things.

My question is how do other people, who are equally equipped with the same tools, not feel the same sense of expectation for themselves?  It’s a conundrum for me.

Do you have high expectations when it comes to your own moral compass?

Hugs,

L❤️

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Celebrate the Human Spirit

For the past few days, many of us have been holding our breath as we have been watching the coverage of the rescue attempt of 12 boys & their coach from a cave in Thailand.

After 18 days, thankfully & miraculously, all 13 have now been safely brought to the surface through the efforts of thousands of volunteers.

As this international team of volunteers assembled, gathering their expertise to work towards a common effort, it struck me that if this is not an example of how we can work together as human beings collectively towards a positive outcome, I don’t know what is.

We can & should learn from this experience.

Regardless of where we come from, what religion we practice, what colour our skin is or what culture we happen to immerse ourselves in, if we all work together as human beings, what we can accomplish is nothing short of miraculous.

I encourage you to give some thought to this & transfer those thoughts in a positive way as you go about your day.

Celebrate the human spirit!

Hugs,

L❤

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When Life Throws Us a Curve Ball

Despite our best intentions to find balance in our lives,  sometimes life throws us a curve ball we didn’t see coming.

A wild pitch that can throw us off kilter, causing us to dig deep within our ourselves to find the courage to face that challenge, rather than giving in to the urge to duck & run.

With the support of family & friends, we attempt to gather the necessary equipment to help us cope.  To find the strength to continue, to work towards resetting our balance so that we can once again stand upright & get back into the game.

None of us are immune to having curve balls thrown our way, I have received my share of them this past year.  Thankfully, I am blessed with a wonderful support team who keeps tossing equipment into my bag.

I urge you to make yourself part of someone’s support team.  Offer them whatever equipment they might need to reset their balance.  In doing so, it may mean the difference between them falling face first into the dirt or having the ability to dust themselves off & try again.

Hugs,

L💛

 

 

 

 

 

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Meeting the Man in Red

Despite his hearty HOHOHO & promises of treats & toys to be left under the tree, many a child can be found desperately trying to escape the lap of the bearded jolly old Saint Nick all decked out in his red suit & jingling bells!

And so when the big man himself offered to take time out of his busy schedule to drop by our home for a personal visit with our wee little LAM this past weekend,  we welcomed the opportunity for her to meet him for the very first time.

Our neighbour & friend, who happens to have a very close & personal connection with the man in the red suit, came through our front door & headed upstairs to work his magic in calling Saint Nick to appear.

As LAM heard the jingling of bells coming down the stairs, she stood mesmerized as Santa appeared.

Are those bells I hear?

To see the wonder in the eyes of a young child is like being gifted a little bit of magic.

Who is that man in the red suit coming down the stairs?

So as not to overwhelm LAM, Santa crouched down & quietly introduced himself as she stood checking him out.

First introductions.

He even offered up his jingle bells to play with.

Perhaps if you rang my jingle bells, I would appear a little less intimidating.

Feeling slightly resistant LAM did her best to sit in his lap & put a smile on her face.

Hurry up & take a picture!

Before long, she decided she had sat in his lap long enough & planned her escape route.

Okay, I’m out!

Once on the floor, she determined Santa was much less scary with Mom & Dad by her side.

Smiles all around with Mom & Dad

It’s funny how Santa can bring out the child in all of us, inviting children of all ages to sit a moment & recall a time we dreamed of he & his team of reindeer magically flying through the night to deliver a thing or two from our wish list.

Santa brings smiling faces to adult children too!

I think Santa may have been tickling me!

Thank you to our dear friend aka Santa, for not only taking the time out of your very busy schedule to stop in to meet our little LAM, but for all of the children over the years you have gently & wholeheartedly embraced.

Hoping you & yours find a little magic in the season with the ones you love.

Merry Christmas & a very Happy New Year!

Hugs,

L❤️🎄

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Memories of Africa

It is hard to believe that a year has gone by since my daughter & I set out on an incredible adventure together; a dream we had shared for a number of years to travel to Africa became a reality.

Watching the sun go down on the Shamwari reserve.

I am not certain what was more precious, the adventure itself or the opportunity to spend 2 glorious weeks exploring another part of the world with my grown daughter.  Such precious time together & a journey I shall hold very close to my heart for years to come.

Reflecting back on our pictures, it struck me that we were not the only family members sharing this journey together.

Everywhere we looked when we were on safari, we witnessed the strong connection of family.  The unbreakable bond formed between loved ones.  Nurturing our young, protecting each other from harm, & sharing our love for those we hold so dear.

Mama looks like she might be asking to tag out while her babies share a romp with her in the grass.

Finally, a little quiet time.

This proud papa sat quietly in the grass, looking magnificent & fearless, as we came around the corner.

Yup, they’re over that way!

Mama, on the other hand, quickly shooed her cubs into the bush for protection.

Can you spot one of the curious cubs checking us out?

After tolerating our presence to take a few pictures & have a look at his beautiful family, Dad gave us an indication that perhaps it was time for us to move along.

That’s close enough!

Watching as a herd of elephants emerge from the bush, our ranger asked us to just sit quiet as this matriarch passed by to check us out.   My daughter could not believe her eyes as this beautiful creature strode alongside our vehicle, so close she could have simply reached our & ran her hand from tip to toe. Respecting the strict guidelines of not interfering with the wildlife on Shamwari, she did not!

You can see how close she was based on the mirror or our vehicle

It wasn’t long before this little one came trotting into view, assured by his elder that we posed no threat to the herd as they passed through.

Wait for me!

This was the second time we had the good fortune of coming across this mother & son. Mom appears to be enjoying every single one of her son’s kisses.

I love you Mom!

Even the zebras were feeling the love that day.  This guy looks like he has fallen asleep as his friends lovingly groomed each other.

I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine.

For as long as I live, I will never forget this remarkable experience with my daughter.

I think it’s time we starting dreaming of another, don’t you?

Hugs,

L💛

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A Little Snow on the Mountain

Although I have visited the Western area of Canada a few times, I have not had the opportunity to hike in the mountains.

On a recent visit with a very dear friend of mine, I had put in a request that perhaps we could fit this in to our itinerary, weather permitting.

With the sun shining & the promise of a glorious day, we packed up our vehicle & ventured off to to beautiful Lake Louise.

With its stunning backdrop of the mountains, its pristine glacier lake & the gorgeous Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, it seemed a perfect place to spend the day together.

This jaw dropping view never disappoints

Proper boots, poles & supplies meant we were good to go!

Because of the amount of snow that had fallen in the mountains this past year, we thought it wise to check in with Parks Canada to ensure it was safe to head out on a hike.

Confirming we had all of the proper gear, our Canada Parks representative assured us that, although there was a little bit of snow up on the mountain, we had on proper attire & so, were good to go.

Making our way along the lake, the view is incredible & the colour of the water will take your breath away.

As we starting heading towards the trail, we weren’t very far along when we came across this sign.

It seems our friend from Parks Canada didn’t get the memo!

After speaking to a few hikers coming back down from the trail, we decided to ignore the warning & take our chances!

Such daredevils we are!

It wasn’t long before we came across the first evidence of a recent avalanche.  Although a little tricky to maneuver, the smell from the freshly fallen trees was heavenly!

The power of an avalanche. Hopefully our bodies would not look like this at the end of our hike!

The snow definitely made for some challenging hiking, sometimes feeling like we should have included our snowshoes with our gear, but we were not going to let a little snow stop us form enjoying this spectacular day!

After trekking for awhile, we sought out a little spot for lunch, each finding a rock sticking out of the snow to sit our butts on to as not to get soaked.  When in Rome!

It may have not been the most comfortable of seats but the view sure was spectacular!

This looks like a nice spot for lunch.

We came across this little guy when I put my pack down to take a few pictures.  He was determined to get into my pack but there are strict rules about not feeding the wildlife in the national parks which sadly for him, we chose to abide by.

I must admit, he was hard to resist!

 

After enjoying a yummy packed lunch, we continued trekking further up the mountain, finding the “little bit of snow” increasing as we climbed.

Yodel-ay-hee-hoo!

At times, it seemed the trail was non-existent but we managed to find little glimpses here & there.  You’ll notice the change in attire from the photo above to the one below.  Off in the distance, it looked like a storm was coming in so we chose to layer up a bit rather than get caught on the side of the mountain in a shorts in a snowstorm!

Where is the trail?

Thankfully the storm blew off in another direction so we decided to take a break to shed a few layers & enjoy a little champagne.

As we sat sipping our champagne & talking about how incredibly grateful we felt to share this experience together, we heard rumblings off in the distance.  You can imagine the look between us!

Thinking about that warning sign (we ignored), we agreed if we were to buried in snow, this appeared to be a beautiful spot to do so!

We were relieved, none the less, when the snow coming down the mountain was a little further away from where we were sitting.

Snow coming off the mountain in the distance

Taking this as our cue, we thought it best to pack up & start making our way back down the mountain.

Can you spot the Chateau off in the distance?

The Chateau coming back in to view.

Safe & sound at the bottom of the mountain.

What an incredible day spent with an amazing friend.  Lake Louise was already a very special place for the two of us, this hike only made it more so!  Perhaps next time we’ll try rock climbing!

Have you ever found yourself in challenging hiking conditions?

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Hugs,

L💛

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