Tuesday, August 30, 2016

First Day Back to School

We're here once again -- at the most wonderful time of the year -- except it's actually not for my daughter, but for me! A lot of thought has been put into what exactly the 'next step' was going to be for me. With a pretty open schedule this coming September (my daughter in school all day and no other major commitments), I knew it was my time to do something.

Two years ago, I applied to go back to school in an after-degree program to become a teacher, but ended up deciding that full-time studies were going to be too much of an adjustment for our busy little family. In full disclosure though, I actually don't know if that would have been a good path for me anyway. After being able to volunteer quite a bit at my daughters school over the past few years, I don't believe I have enough patience to teach kids, and quite honestly would have had a tough time dealing with some of the asshole parents out there.

Anyway, full-time anything really still wasn't an option, so my requirements for work, volunteering or school, were twofold: It had to be something I was very interested/passionate about, and it had to be something that I could do in/around my daughter's school schedule. Food, health and nutrition have always been an area of interest for me, and because this one particular idea kept coming up, I decided to jump in and enrol in the Natural Nutrition program offered through the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition! So here we are...

(Can I just tell you that this first text of ours is over 1,000 pages)? This is me on my first day of class. 

I am definitely excited but also nervous. It's been a while since I have been in school and it's going to definitely be a major change. I think my greatest fear is that with all the knowledge that I will gain over the year, I will begin to lose the healthy relationship that I currently have (and have worked soooo hard to get) with food. I'm not going to become vegan, and I am going to continue to drink coffee, and eat good quality dairy and gluten. I just hope that when doing so, that I can continue to do it without guilt. It's my hope that because my diet is already pretty balanced (healthy, varied and containing high quality nutrients) and that I eat less nutritious foods in moderation anyway, that I will be ok. (Let's face it - sometimes ignorance can be bliss)!

Assuming the successful completion of the program, I would then hold the C.H.N. (Holistic Nutritionist™) designation. Right now, I'm not sure what my plans will be after completing the diploma - whether I will actually use it professionally, or just use the knowledge personally, at home with and for my own family and friends. Regardless, it's something that I am very interested to learn more about, and I think that this additional nutrition education will be most helpful for my daughter in dealing with her Juvenile Arthritis.

Let the studying begin!


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Welcome to the Forties!

Well, it’s official. I am now ‘over the hill’. I had a little celebration with some special people, followed by a three-week vacation in the beautiful Okanagan. So far it’s been pretty great. Here are just a few photos from my birthday.

Having spent most of my life as a people pleaser, I am personally embracing the forties. I have always viewed the forties as a time in life where I would care much less about other people’s opinions of me, and just be braver; a time where I wouldn’t take as much so seriously; where I’d say goodbye to doing things out of obligation or for people to like me; and tolerate very little drama in my life.

And while I am definitely working my way to this ‘nirvana’, it’s not as if a magical switch gets flipped the day you turn 40. (Thank goodness though, because I certainly don’t want my own daughter to have to wait until then – my wish is for her to learn these things much, much earlier in her life). Definitely, the life experience one gains over four decades helps to put many things into perspective, but living this way really can begin at any age.

Now more than ever, I am making a concerted effort to live life according to this ideal – which is not always easy. When life is trying to teach you something though, it’s going to keep on showing up (disguised as tough situations that you need to overcome) until you “get it”.

“Have you learned it yet” Life asks. “Can you do what’s right for yourself instead of worrying about how others will react? Are you teaching people to treat you how you deserve to be treated? Are you saying yes to the right stuff”?

I frequently remind myself of “The Four Agreements” written by Don Miguel Ruiz – and in particular, point #2: Don’t Take Anything Personally.

Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

Doing away with being a people pleaser doesn’t mean that you don’t care about people’s feelings though. It just means that you no longer internalize it when people don’t accept you, don’t agree with you, or when people take their shit out on you. It means you no longer create stories in your head about what you did wrong to provoke certain responses. At the end of the day, we of course need to take responsibility for our part in every interaction (and realize that we too are projecting out our own reality, our own dreams) but we absolutely cannot additionally take responsibility for another person’s part. Some people are just having a bad day. Some people are just not going to like you. Ever. Some people are just not going to see it from your point of view. And that’s ok.

So regardless of age, let’s all do our absolute best to be ourselves, speak up for ourselves, and show up for ourselves. Being a people pleaser is exhausting and it zaps the energy from you which could otherwise be used to show up in your own life and create really good/fun/cool things/experiences. When the need for approval from others is no longer part of the equation, we can begin to focus on what really matters. This isn’t selfish at all. Because when we can channel this energy more positively, absolutely everyone benefits. And those haters? Well, they’re just gonna hate.