Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Weenie roasts + picnics

It was such a dreary day today and the sidewalks were all slushy with snow.

I can't wait until it's summer again for weenie roasts and picnics.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Birthday wishes

Lastnight J, H & I went to a cozy little birthday party for a dear friend. "A" is one of those really special friends that I spoke about yesterday - where everything comes so easily and it feels good to be around each other. She's always a breath of fresh air and makes me laugh uncontrollably. We first met at her studio where I worked for her briefly. It was one of those instant connections and we've been friends ever since. While we don't often see each other in person, we like to send very candid emails to each other sharing our thoughts and crazy notions, and can always pick up where we left off.

It was so good to see her as I was feeling a bit blue about missing my friends back home. She's such a lovely person - inside and out - and I'm glad that we were there to celebrate her special day!

Hope you had a happy birthday, my friend! It was so nice to see you & T! Wishing you peace, love and happiness this year...and always. xo

Saturday, February 20, 2010


While I don't regret moving from Winnipeg for one second, I do often think about and miss the people that live there or those that I knew while I was living there. Lately I've been thinking a lot about my old friends back home. Sometimes I wish they were here with me, to pick up the phone and arrange plans with, to go for coffee or tea and something sweet, for drives around the city in search of vintage treasures or the perfect cupcake, for dinner and drinks or sushi, for little road trips and big laughs or just to be near. I miss having that familiarity and comfort that can only be gained through years of experience and that knowing...when someone instinctively knows what you need whether it be silence or a good bitch session.

As I get older, I realize how important these friendships are and how few and far between they can be. It's not that easy to find that connection anymore. In fact, I often liken it to dating. That whole exhausting process where you first court someone and have all of these intense feelings and expectations, then as you get to know them you begin to see them in a different light and things start to change. Sometimes, it can just fizzle unexpectedly, often times without explanation. You wonder what changed and sometimes you try to fix it but it's very real and you move on. I don't think there's anything wrong with this because it's definitely worth the try as something wonderful might transpire from it. And if it doesn't turn out the way that you imagined, that's okay, too as you wouldn't want to continue on with something that no longer brought you joy.

I'm often reminded of that horribly cheesy chain email that people love to send:

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person. When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The question you sent out has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn. They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

My long-standing friendships are the ones that are effortless and natural; where I can just be myself and it's easy being around the other person...you want to see them. Their idiosyncrasies are what make them charming and interesting (not annoying) and there is a real sense of joy when time is spent together. There's just something, some connection, that sustains any separation or moody phase where you could just pick up where you left off like it was yesterday.

To my dear friends: I'm thinking of you today and missing you. Hope to see you soon. ♥

Revisiting old ideas

On Thursday the agency I work for hosted a presentation by image consultant Nyla Hasan. It was a full house - a lively and interactive seminar that touched on the science of style and ways to transform an individual from the outside in to effect lasting results. Her idea was not merely to change a person's outer appearance in order to effect change but rather to find little ways that a person can build confidence working with what they currently have to enhance themselves. She talked about goal setting, reframing thoughts and operating from a place that was more positive which in turn allowed the person to attract more positive experiences. Many of the concepts were familiar but the way that Nyla offered them up were very insightful and relevant for those attending - predominantly unemployed individuals going through transitions in their lives.

Nyla was a wonderful presenter and shared tips on how to exude confidence even in its absence (such as the proper way to breathe and stand - again, not necessarily novel ideas but certainly things that we tend to forget on a daily basis). She disclosed her own journey from her life in Pakistan to her days as a single mother with three children at a food bank to her current situation. What she was saying seemed to resonate with those attending. I'm optimistic that it even inspired some to take time to reflect and think of ways to move forward by being good to themselves and starting off by taking baby steps.

What inspired me most was how she facilitated her seminar. Her energy was palpable and she easily established a rapport with the audience. She supplemented her speaking with visuals, role plays and open questions which really engaged everyone. She didn't just speak in a loud voice and agree with what people said. She modulated her voice and really responded to the needs of the members in the audience. She also managed the group effectively, especially when irrelevant questions and comments surfaced, which is no easy feat. As for the content of her talk, hearing other perspectives on goal setting, reframing thoughts, self-esteem and confidence were particularly helpful as these are concepts that are touched upon during the three week group workshop I co-facilitate as an Employment Counsellor. Of course, her ideas also serve as wonderful tools for use in my own life so I'm grateful that I was able to be there.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Wishing you love...today and always. xo

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hello Friends

Hello Friends! It's been a while since I last posted and we're already 13 days into February! (How did that happen?) Since we last spoke - I turned one year older, found amazing treasures at my favorite junk store, spent time in Kingston visiting a very special little lady (well, two of them, really!), discovered where to buy Yorkshire Tea close to home, tried PG Tips, purchased a Zutter (♥) and felt heartbroken over the news of my cousin.

The last two weeks have been really busy with school, work and of course, family time. I've been co-facilitating a workshop with a fellow employee helping women who are going through transitions in employment. It's a three week workshop which touches on topics such as self-esteem, communication in the workplace, time and stress management and learning styles. There are various self-assessments done by the clients, as well as ample opportunity to interact with other group members through role plays, group activities and discussions. It can be a really powerful experience for some as they're doing a lot of self-reflection and working on issues that they may not have confronted until now.

I'm really enjoying group facilitation especially watching the process unfold and seeing the participants open up. I used to feel nervous at the thought of facilitating workshops and didn't think it was possible as an introvert to do a good job or be really effective but I don't think I'm the true introvert that I thought I once was. I'm excited to meet with the group and I'm finding myself feeling energized after the sessions. I think my fears came down to lack of practice so I'm really grateful for the experiences I've been gaining through work. On the flipside, I'm still really enjoying the individual counselling I've been doing with clients. Each person has a different story to share and I love learning about their career path(s) or their desire to carve a new one. The most meaningful experience of all has been helping clients find work or direction and being part of the process. The gratitude from the clients has been incredibly special and will continue to motivate me in the work that I do.

After a long and busy week, I'm going to treat myself to some craft-time with H this afternoon. We're going to put the Zutter to the test and make some little journals and gifts. In the evening, J + I are going to a birthday slash engagement party at a vegetarian restaurant we've never been to. Afterwards, we're going to a house party close to home. H is going to another sleepover tonight so all three of us will be having some fun with friends and staying up 'til the wee hours.

Hope you've been well and having a lovely February. Have a happy Saturday. Talk soon. xo