Embracing a healthy lifestyle: letting go of the “diet mentality”

Big boy! (Or girl) Garden friend.

I was disappointed with myself at the end of the day yesterday. I had reinstalled another “step counter” on my phone to track my activity and I was no-where close to my goal of steps taken when I went to bed. Crazy thing was my body was screaming at me. Why?

I started cleaning up my gardens yesterday and my two hours I had alloted before I chained myself to my desk for a few hours, turned into five hours of joyous work in the sunshine. Doing hundreds of squats, digging, pulling and activating muscles that have laid dormant since last year.

I worked HARD, so why was I so disappointed about a stupid number on my phone?

The conversation my mind was having with my soul, was not very nice! Instead of saying good job today, it was talking down telling me, “I would never reveal the skinny (healthy)person inside that is disguised in an excess layer of fluff(fat).”

The problem with a mindset of diet is it is equal to scarcity and want vs a mindset of health and well-being which is a mindset of delicious fresh abundance and ability.

Ironically like many other lessons in my life, the most impactful person to give me this lesson about diet vs lifestyle, was my daughter Stephanie. One day I was talking about preparing lunch and said the word “diet”. She spoke up and said,”no mom, not a diet, it’s your lifestyle now.”

A lifestyle is about daily sustained choices for the long-run, as apposed to a short term denial for “quick, unlasting results”.

A lifestyle is about making choices and taking action on a daily bases to bring self closer to your own type of beautiful and joy.

Maybe I should have slipped away yesterday for a power walk, to boost some calorie burning. That would only have worked on one area of my lifestyle dream.

I chose instead, muscle building, weight-lifting, beautifying, garden building, weeding: with the hope that someday soon, my body will be fit AND my gardens will be beautiful. Not to mention the fresh, healthy, local abundance of home-grown food. Payoff for this lifestyle choice!

Where in your life do you need to make a mental shift from lack (diet) to abundance (lifestyle)? What can you do today to level-up the impact of your actions?

Sneaking up

Sandhill Cranes

I love these guys. I don’t know if it’s the size, or their awkward shape, or the little babies they have with too long legs.

These guys were picking in a field near my friend’s house. She was teaching the young people kung-fu and slipped away to tell me to borrow her rubber-boots and go.

I stuck to the edge of the first field, and started picking my way through the thorn brush at the edge of the next when I was spotted and the warning cry went up.

Maybe I should have been more patient? What was the rush anyway? I snapped a couple of pics and tried to move closer.

I should have kept my camera up! They rose up from the far-side of the field. The beauty of their flight took my breath away.

Snippets of Spring 2022

Continuing a new lifestyle, gluten-free, nearly “added” sugar-free, not “processed”, aim to hydrate and feel great.

Walking with purpose for exercise, or meditation, or socialization.

Enjoying the birds, the gardens, the outside clean up, and the sunshine.

Stepping outside my comfort zone, target shooting in public. Surprised I can do so many things I didn’t know I could.

Trying new or retrying things I haven’t done in years. Learning to not be so self-concious and relaxing into fun.

Campfires with friends. Meeting new people.

Strolls with old friends enjoying the blessings around us.

Just a little taste of spring. A glimpse of thoughts and changes for the season. My beautiful colourful life!

AWAKEN, ARISE, YOU ARE ALIVE!

Look right in front of you, what do you see?

Morning has come again, night is over.

What will you do with this day, this here, this now?

Days have passed on, one after another, gone like the wind.

Stalled, low, waisted.

Mourning!

But “I” am alive. “I” am here. “I” can rise.

There is still beauty when the darkness like blinders is removed from one’s eyes.

Today I am alive! Cleanse off the mourning. Breath deeply to the core. Allow ‘heart’ to beat again, feel deeply the rhythm of the song of life.

Be kind, and live.

A Season of Sorrow

Spring melt

King Solomon who is described as have being the wisest man on earth tells us that “to everything there is a season, a time for everything under heaven.”

At the beginning of March my husband Tim and I had went away for the weekend to plan and regroup. The long range forecast was promising a ‘warmer’ month of March and we had hoped to jump into our work early after winter shutdown with fervor and renewed energy. Finishing off orders and being prepared for the spring rush.

As we were chatting on our drive home, I said to him that I felt a longing in my soul to STOP, stop striving, stop pushing, stop trying to do and be more. I felt a need to just be in the present, to do what needed to be done and to not worry about the ‘next’, the ‘more’, the ‘opinions’, the ‘drive for improvement’. I am not sure if this explains the sensation or not but I wanted to take the moment as it came and not rush through just move into my natural slow rhythm. Being content in just being.

Within minutes of getting home, I found out a friend that had helped me out of the kindness of her heart when I was in the season of small children, had died in her sleep. It felt like God had put an exclamation point onto my thoughts of slowing down. What is the point of rushing and striving towards; what death, transformation to heaven? God put many beautiful things in front of us to enjoy. How many have slipped by unnoticed because I was chasing something? Never making it over for that cup of coffee and a chat.

Still reeling from this shocking news, the kids told me that my friend had called and that I was to call her back. When we connected she gave me the news that a dear pastor and friend had passed on to heaven. My husband had known Pastor Claude from high-school when he was a truant officer and he was always a jovial fellow teasing my kids especially my son Fred who really loved him. He was someone one to counsel with in our early “growing years of marriage”. Never saw this coming. Sudden. Final.

I attended two funerals that week and my mind was set. Exclamation point boldly in place. Slow down, smell the roses. Be you, be “?” what, happy!?

Life went along, continued doing the daily grind. Working towards our goal of getting the mill running, the kids educated, was pleasant really, tucked away in my home with my family; existing.

On Sunday that pleasantness came to a screeching halt. Two phone messages, one from my mother, one from my aunt, hadn’t even listened to them and I knew that it could only be one thing. My grandma! My childhood friend and playmate, my spiritual giant, my gramm. Yes she had taken a turn for the worse, she was now “palliative”, was not expected to live much longer, so after two years of covid separation we could go in and see her. Honestly, anger and grief flooded my soul. My mind went taring and I knew I would be packing a bag and staying with her as long as she was on this earth. Life could wait.

I held my grandma’s hand. I read scriptures to her. I prayed with her. I had a cuppa (tea) and ‘told’ her the cookies were good and I was happy to be there having tea with her. The time drew near, I knew she was slipping away. I hoped that she heard me, I hoped I was a comfort to her, and I hoped that she knew how much I loved her. I hoped she would open her eyes even for a moment and see me and say “oh Candy your here, I love you” the way she would. I struggled in my mind with the lost time together, because of covid and the years of famine when just getting by was prioritized over time with grandma. Regret comes easy, but only when it is too late. She made it to heaven in time for supper 5:34 pm ‘a feast at a table in the presence of thine enemies’. I could almost hear my grandpa’s voice saying to her “what took you so long woman, been waiting for you, it’s about time we eat don’t ya think.”

After grandma passed on I spent a couple of days taking care of my oldest daughter at her house as she had taken ill. No matter how old or independent my children become when they are sick I need to care for them. I needed to be sure that she was going to recover and be okay. Funny how fear can grip you, even when you know that you know not to be afraid. She is healthy again and back to her life. I look forward to celebrating belatedly her birthday with her this weekend the Lord be willing.

What followed was two more weeks of shocking moments and forced quiet. As first Tim’s uncle passed away, then his aunt passed away in her sleep, and finally when life seemed to be starting to go back to normal and I was getting my feet back under me my uncle passed away.

We have had 6 deaths, 3 close, one extremely close and two friends in the month of March. As we were mourning we fought off a virus. And for myself it felt like I was treading water and tiring quickly. Praying for quiet peace away from pain.

We missed out on all of the celebrations of life of the the last four people, it has been surreal. There is a comfort to be found in these human rituals of life and death. A necessity of closer and an ending, a reminder of life being short. A renewal of the day at hand.

The beginning of the month of March, a month that is sometimes springlike, sometimes a miserable extra month of winter. My hope had been for spring, for new life, for flowers, the Son’s warmth warming deeply to my soul. Instead death’s winter grip seized me, shook me, shocked me, crushed me. Reminding me that we hustle and bustle, we plan and we fret, and it means nothing. There is a season for everything under heaven, and we do not have the control of the seasons, only God does. Striving comes to not, God blesses and God takes away, and we, we have this moment that we are in. But even as snow comes falling from the sky today and the atmosphere is dreary I will hold this day as long as it lasts to be forgotten on the morrow as memories fade more quickly as time goes flurrying by. Tomorrow not promised but if it manifests another day to delight in or mourn in until our tomorrows are eternal. Season after season till the end.

“Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.”

TIME CHANGE & SLEEP MERIDIAN!

annual morning panic

Here we are again, in Ontario Canada and under the effects of the annual daylight-savings-time-change-fiasco! I am NOT a happy camper! Do “they” not realize there is “something to” getting up and going to bed at a constant time, especially if you practice it, which I dream of doing, and sometimes am successful at accomplishing! Here we are again the rush hour morning, I chug my coffee, jump through the shower, slap on my makeup, and PANIC because Tim has already reset the clock on the wall and I didn’tsee him do it! Yes today is “the annual morning panic day”! Happy daylight savings time to you!

Magic of March

I may have said it before but I don’t like to wish my life away. With the risk of sounding like I am, I am glad February over. February seemed unusually hard this year. Maybe it was the cold that had me huddled hiding in my home. Or maybe it was just a season of spiritual stretching and growth. It felt like death and mourning too many days. So glad to lay February to rest.

Here we are at March now. March the month to dream of warming days. Spring melt. Garden plans. Walks to come. Playing in puddles and mud. (Hopeful. Canada in March could just be more winter.)

Dreams of setting up my outside prayer spot. Surrounded by blooms and food.

Dreams of hikes in the park, camping and fishing. Picking dates for a big excursion.

Time to launch my dream journal. A colourful book to set goals, make plans, reflect, create. (My current journal is almost full.) I need a place of encouragement for myself. (Been beating myself up a bit too much lately.) My creativity needs a place to pour out.

March a month of gardening videos and vlogs. Books and lessons. Renewed interest in learning composting and canning, pest control, and supplementing. Pruning and building.

The magic of March, to me, a month of dreams, of plans, of hope. And the weather begins to warm, the days are noticeably longer. Back into the light. March

Blanketed or Weighed Down

Blanket of snow

Yesterday I went outside chasing the sunset that was casting a subtle pink glow, framed by dark trees covered deeply in pure white snow. I missed the shot.

As I was walking around snapping different pics, my mind started contemplating. These beautiful trees covered with snow, were they blanketed securely or were they burdened by the weight of the covering?

How many different areas in our life can we ask the same question? Is this question flexible in it’s answer depending on other circumstances at the time?

Are you feeling weighed down today by anything that you once thought of as a beautiful protective blanket? Do you need to shake it off or should you just snuggle down and enjoy it until it melts away?

Disappointment and crushing sorrow!

It is hard to write tonight. I am so disappointed In a lot of media coverage, and the words spoken by the provincial and federal so called leaders of Canada.

To even accuse the thousands and thousands of Canadians that have been supporting the run to end mandates, that violate constitutional rights of all Canadians, of being hateful racists, makes me physically ill and filled with great sorrow. A few random photos does not support their dialog.

When you get any mass of humanity in one place, there will always be some that are jerks! The majority are not.

As an aboriginal woman who is one of the masses that want the statistics corrected to reflect the reality. That with a high interest in science and a desire to keep my family safe has spent two years searching and reading reports, and asking people first hand experiences. That feels like there is no hope for myself to see my grandmother this side of heaven and hold her hand, because she is locked away like a prisoner behind a glass window, or in a fenced enclosure like a wild zoo beast, for “her safety” of course, probably feeling abandoned. Who is a sociology/psychology geek, with a Christian worldview, who watched in wide eyed awe as the masses were given panic reports, generated by computers that caused panic and fear, then separation, then mistrust, and distuction of families, and now a hateful “them and us mentality”.

That aboriginal woman proudly went to parliament hill in the brutal cold on Saturday and stood together with people from all different historical races, all Canadians together, to fight for the freedom that our forefathers guaranteed, with their very blood, sweat, tears, and prayers.

Now I, an aboriginal woman but moreso a human created by God, for God is being called a hateful, racist, because I dare to question the agenda of the “rulers of our country”.

What about the army vet who is my friend, or the airborne vet that opened his property to welcome the protestors?

What about the shikh community that was represented? Or the black lives that matter enough to stand up and show their support to end the crushing mandates? I also witnessed many people from obvious middle-east heritage, proudly being Canadian and asking for their freedom and right to their uninterrupted livelihood back.

How dare Mr Trudeau and Mr Ford accuse us all of being hateful, uneducated, racists! I am very, very offended!

I went to the hill to pray for peace!

I went to the hill to pray for truth!

I went to the hill to pray for forgiveness!

I went to the hill to pray for the end of fear!

I went to the hill to pray for the end of hate!

I went to the hill to pray for the restoration of relationships of family and friends!

Again I say HOW DARE YOU PAINT ME WITH A HATE BRUSH!

As for the few in the crowd that disgustingly climbed on the war memorial, shame on you. You were not the majority.

As for the pee, you punk, I hope they catch you and make you clean the monument with your toothbrush.

Postscript: open the washrooms back up, it’s human decency!

As for the two or three flags in photos that have been shown two or three out of thousands do not speak for the masses and you could not find them on the hill.

Don’t believe everything you are told!

Were there angry people on that hill? Absolutely! Did they encourage people to violence? No!

Do they want Mr Trudeau to answer questions about decisions he has made? Yes, me to!

I want the same thing Trudeau spoke of in his press conference today “nobody has the right to keep you from going to work”. In this we agree. Let us all have freedom to move and work without interference for all Canadians!

Brothers under God fighting for freedom!

Where did all the investigative reporters go?

I am watching history being made like the rest of the world. One thing that has become apparent, in my opinion, through the last two years is that there seems to be little integrity in the press.

I started to question, when numbers just didn’t seem to be adding up. I would listen to a story or two and then questions would flood my mind and I would search for answers.

The problem comes when it seems like a majority of people believe without question, because the news used to be factual.

The last few days with the “Convoy for Freedom 2022” is in fact a great example. With the media grossly underestimating the numbers of people involved or they blatantly ignore what the person says and twist it to involve only a small part of why they are doing this.

Do the truckers want the border opened back up so they can continue to do their job? Yes of course. They also want people to be able to operate their businesses at full capacity, serving without discrimination.

The media and the prime minister actually accused people that not so long ago were called “heros” of being terrorists. Just for wanting to continue doing their job without infringement on their human rights, and standing up for the right to do so.

If this is terrorism, there is no democracy.

I personally am tired of reading half-truths, and fear mongering articles.

Where did all the investigative reporters go? You know the people who would ask the tough questions and not just look at the dust in the air, but dig deep till they found the whole truth.