Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Dreams. Determination. Motivation. Here's to a Better Year


First post of 2017. I have got to say I really have not felt much like blogging these days. 

That's a lie. I have brilliant blog posts, I think of them while I am driving, get home and well...that inspiration just kind of leaves me.

This got me thinking...I kind of thought I am just going to have to sit and blog, even if it is at first, a little different, but it needs to become my habit again.
I lost myself in 2016...hello from the other side.

I must say I am more then happy to bid adieu to 2016. Hello 2017.

2016 goes down as the worst year of my life.
I felt 2016 in every ounce of my being.
It is the year I quit Reiki.
The year I believe that I know now how death feels when it's knocking.
I died a little each day, then a little more in the nights.
I found out what being alone is....again.
Fear came knocking.
Love kind of left...for a long while.
I got knocked down and then kicked while I was down.

That's pretty dramatic isn't it...

Hey. I met my darkside again.
We had cookies.
Discussed things.
It was a bit too dark though, so I had to leave.

I think the only way to put it into words is here, in words.
And in song, because I feel and process things deeply within the words and the music.
So, which song can sum up 2016 for me?
How about this one, you can click that link and take a listen.

You laughed right?
I hope you did...

Finally I had a breakthrough and I got mad.
I was done feeling sorry for myself and I got mad, because if you flip that inner bitch switch, she gets things done and sorts the shit out. That's what's happening now.

I got back on track and reminded myself, after about 150 days of thinking I was going to die, that if I am in fact still alive then I guess it's time to live. I reminded myself how far I have come in 10 years. Reminded myself of a few of the key people in that 10 years that helped form me and I found me again. I was an amazing little ball of fury and strength and that's why the people who came along during that time in my life came. Those people are forever etched in my soul, there is no forgetting them.
And to be honest, I needed to talk to a few of them.

They are the people who knew me before The Black Star Boutique.
Before the Reiki.
Before I couldn't see past my small town.

That was the only small piece of insight I needed to regain my strength and have a little faith in myself. I mean hell, I had a bad year personally, but hey, The Black Star Boutique had a fabulous year. We made appearances on The Vampire Diaries, Day 5, and well, we have some things coming that are huge for 2017.

So I know it well. Hell and back.

But I have a dream and I will not stop until I achieve it.

This is my motivation, daily. Take a listen and hear it out.

Have a dream. Then go get the damn thing.

Here's to the next year...

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Hello from The Black Star

 Hello xoxo

It has been awhile since I sat to blog and I apologize. I have been busy with fulfilling orders, designing new items and many behind the scenes tasks that have kept me busy.

How are you? Stressed over the holidays yet?

I think for all it's worth, knowing that many of us aren't feeling as prepared or perhaps, happy, this time of year as we would like to be may offer a bit of comfort. Christmas season brings out the best and the worst and I find being thankful for what's right in front of you can help a great deal. It is hard missing loved ones at this time of year. My fiance deals with that at this time of year, as does my girlfriend and many other people I know.

We have to find the reasons to be thankful. Knowing we cannot change the past.

I am happy knowing my fiance will be home soon. My kids are healthy and happy. We have a beautiful home and food on the table. The four of us have each other and for that I can be thankful. I had another amazing year with The Black Star Boutique and my jewelry designs making appearances on Stephanie Drapeau and her mini series, Day 5. I am thankful for this creative outlet that allows me to reach out to my customers and try to add a little pretty, handmade just for each and everyone of them.

Whether I ship within Canada, into the USA, New Zealand, the UK, or Australia, each piece I make is designed with love and care. I often wonder where those little pieces of my creativity travel to when I ship my parcels...are they well received, I often wonder.
I do love it when my customers touch base with me whether via email, my FB page, or Instagram, it gives me that moment in a day to just sit and smile.

Carl Jung is probably one of my most favourites to quote, when it is not Paulo Coelho that I quote, when I feel a little uncertain or down.

I think our world is awakening to a very new reality.
The upcoming year will be full of change and we all need to move along with that change.
I often feel fortunate that although I am from Alberta, my life and that of my fiance's is never tied to the oil issues here and that we are free to pick up and go elsewhere if we choose. We make a good pair, as both of us have always had to adapt and we do adapt well.

I have had time to heal in this pretty place we live and am hoping for a year of upcoming good things and happy times. 

I promised to share a few pics of the area I am in and I completely forgot. So here are a few of my autumn pics of the very first street in Alberta where I live...
I wasn't able to capture the eagles that lived out here in summer months, but they were amazing too see up close.

Morning views from my front yard

Several of these monuments mark the walking path that will be in place next year

I love the old brick houses here, this one is at the end of the street. It was for sale and I contemplated buying it and using it as a bed and breakfast, alas, I don't think I will lay roots in this place though, my heart is not here.
(And Edmonton, Alberta is #8 on the list of 10 for clean cities...there's cleaner places to live)

This is the old church and just up the road in behind is an old cemetery that we walked through a lot in August and September. 

This picture can be deceiving. It looks like clear blue sky, however if you were to zoom in closely, you would see the smoke stacks from all the plants that are in that direction...very deceiving. But, this was a place to help me rest and I can't say enough about the peace and quiet here. No noisy vehicles, no noisy neighbours, a whole lot of breathing room to just get ready for the next phase of life.

Wherever or however this time of year finds you, I hope you take time to just enjoy the season and be thankful for all that is right in front of you.


Monday, October 10, 2016

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in Canada!
We enjoyed our dinner yesterday, although I will say it felt like Christmas, not Thanksgiving.
We woke this weekend to white stuff everywhere...
I have to say I felt like pulling out the Christmas decorations.

I just wanted to share an awesome recipe I found that my family loves.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

This is not my own recipe, it is from A Sweet Pea Chef blog so be sure to check her out and give her a thank you for this wonderful recipe.

 I tried this recipe for the first time this year and it has become the new favorite in our house. I can't make enough of these delicious muffins to keep on hand. I do omit the cream cheese frosting as everyone in the house is trying to go mostly dairy free...mostly.

Please click this link above under the picture to find the recipe.
Let me know what you think.

Have an awesome day Canadian friends!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Fall is in The Air

Happy Fall
{or Autumn as I prefer}

My last post, I shared some insight into what has been going on with me these past 8 months.
It was a hard post to share and I will admit, even writing the post, I still had not fully understood something I needed too.

I still needed to get very honest with myself.
Why was I feeling this way?
Sure there has been a few minor medical issues...hormones do a lot to a woman's body.
But I knew deep down there was more...

My weekend found me at my son's volleyball tournament with some rainy weather.
The team won gold, so we took the kids out for dinner.
I was reluctant to go, however, I have been making myself say yes to more invites.
I know I spend far too much time on my own.

I sat there, with all the parents, and again realized I was one of the only parents without my spouse, again. Yeah. Always without my spouse this year. I have been very much alone on this journey with myself all year. A lot of the struggle was that "Alone" feeling. I had to start asking myself, why? I am a really strong, independent person and I LOVE being alone, so why was I so bothered by this? 
I found the answer, although it wasn't what I thought I would find.

Actually, I can't even say I "Found" it, it is almost like the universe threw it right at me and said "Here, I have been trying to show you this for awhile but you keep ignoring me"

And I had to look...

And even though I was afraid I might break down, I actually didn't.
It gave me strength to look at the issue with open eyes and not try to stop myself from seeing it.
I built a wall around me and wasn't really willing to remove any bricks.
When I finally did, it wasn't as scary as I thought.

The parent gathering was fun.
I met a parent from Italy, who is funny as hell.
When he turned the conversation to the "Rothschild Bank", I knew I was with like minded people.
We had our secret about "yeah we live on the other side of the river"...the good part.
Another parent, married someone from Germany, so we spoke about dual citizenship and why it was not a good idea for them.
We joked about parenting and how damn hard it can be...and why did we do this again...
It was worth the laugh and smiles I had.
I was at peace.
I spent Saturday night to myself. No kids, just me and the cats and my work.
It was peaceful and I slept so well.

And then there is the interesting neighbour...
That's another story, but I am happy that the people I may very well need through this healing journey have entered to remind me of who I am.

To gently remind me that this is just a stage of my life and that I will emerge from it brand new.
Life throws us curve balls.
I was waiting for revival from everyone but me.
I was reminded that I am my own best friend and I have lived through worse.

It is getting easier.
The more curve balls I receive, the stronger I get.

So...let's get on with the week.
I have posts planned all week long to get ready for one of my favorite holidays.

Thanksgiving is this weekend here in Canada and I am looking very forward to celebrating it with two of my favorite people, my son and daughter. 
It will be our time for some much needed bonding for the three of us.
I can see a bottle of wine and Cards against Humanity on the agenda too...

Lotsa Love,

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Happy Autumn Equinox

Happy first day of fall my friends...Simply put: 

Our new street, this is my view every morning, with a beautiful view of the river and I enjoy it on a daily basis.

I do love Autumn the most. It is a time between worlds when the beauty of the changing seasons surrounds us and one can't help but be in awe of mother nature.

The picture above I found on Pintrest.
It captures the mood of tonight's post.

Let me start by saying I have the extreme pleasure of living through the past 8 months of a revolting and ruthless hell. If you read any previous posts, you will know that I had been very sick and that I officially quit Reiki. I was convinced I was dying.

It was a dark and tumultuous time for me. I spent a good portion of it alone and scared, unable to put into words what I was feeling. I no longer wanted to hear about conspiracy theories (once a great passion of mine), I did not want to talk about Reiki or spirit or yoga. 
I refused TV, I refused music, I refused to write. 
I refused to even reach out to anyone for help.

I also refused to give in to whatever was happening in my body, so it was not a total refusal. I decided to fight back.

I began to eat a very clean diet. When I say clean, I can list EXACTLY what I ate. My diet was vegetables, quinoa, and chia pudding bowls. Lots of Kombucha, Green Tea, and rest. I took to walking, a lot. My muscle mass had evaded me and I simply had no strength. My weight was higher than it had ever been and for once in my life I was terrified. I stopped dead in my tracks and searched for an answer. All I could think over and over was that this was the end. I was dying. I felt empty, alone, unfulfilled. 

Eventually, after months of the doctors telling me it was stress, I went to a Naturopath in search of answers. After a few sessions with my Naturopath, I realized and accepted that I was suffering from panic attacks. 

What the hell? 
Where did that come from?

I had to do some soul searching. I was in this hell on my own. 
Only one friend could understand what I was going through and it was because of her constant reassurance that I emerged alive and well.

Mostly well...except for this:

I had a huge empty space in my life.
For all I had accomplished and for all I had done on my own, the fear of being alone became my very real enemy. My girlfriend was shocked. She knew I loved being on my own. I had always been so brave and so strong. Suddenly, I was not anything I used to be. It was very sad to see myself slip away. I watched it happen bit by bit, day by day. I aimlessly looked out to the world wondering where did my soul go? How had this happened to me? 
Why, for the love of God, after everything, why now?

I never gave up completely though. In July, I made the move to a beautiful country home. I was afraid. I knew I would mostly be alone and alone was not what I wanted. But there was something so healing and magical about this new home. When I look outside each morning, all I see is the trees, the river flowing by, and I have the perfect view of the sun rising and the moon coming out in the evening. There are stars above my head at night and there is quiet. There is stillness. I walk our beautiful road daily, and see the stunning brick houses and wonder at the beauty of this street. 

First street. I live on the most historic spot, the very first street in Alberta. I wonder how I could be so lucky and I am thankful daily for this spot to heal, no matter what that healing may bring.

I had to accept that perhaps it was time to speak to a counsellor.
When she asked me to describe my life, I laughed.
"What life?"

And there it was. Plain as day to me.
I had spent so much time wrapped within my family life, so much time wrapped in helping others, so much time spent trying to make the perfect home and life for my family, that I lost all hope of having any fun, although I thought I was having fun. 

I had disconnected myself from my friends and from doing what I loved doing. I had spent too much time contemplating and thinking, alone, that all of that came at me full force, like a defiant teenager, and slapped me with sinful, uncensored, razor sharp hell. My family was not a lot of help either, they just added stress onto stress...omg...can you say fuck off?

My naturopath brought relief. I had refused any meds from the doctor, cause like, I don't need to do further damage by taking ativan or some other killer drug, right? I found out my body was low in iodine and a B vitamin. My naturopath explained that there are "histamines" in the body and they block the cells, when histamines drop in the body, so to speak, the panic attacks come. It took me months to understand this very easy concept, but now, I understand my body more. I understand when I may be getting an attack and I am fully able to ward it off, most of the time. I used nutrition and exercise to cope.

My naturopath also explained that where most people take in 12% of what is going on around them, I am taking in all of it 24/7. No wonder I didn't want to watch TV or listen to music or read...I wasn't filtering any of it.

I didn't want to tell anyone. It felt uncomfortable and embarrassing. Not many people could understand what was going on within me. It was a silent, shameless fight within my own mind, even now, that may prove to be quite scandalous by the time I am done. The mind is clever and it is tricky and sly and devious. 

I decided to write about it.
I decided that it would be okay to put this out there to all of you.

I thought I had a stress free life, but here is what has happened in 4 years:

4  moves in 3 years. All of which i had to unpack and organize new homes myself
2 miscarriages
4 deaths within my family - one was my step dad, I attended his funeral
One was my Dad. I did not attend his funeral because of my sister, who made me feel like I should not be there. Two more deaths were both of my grandfathers, I went to neither funeral
Most recently, my youngest sister has told me she has very little time left....

A crack ran right down the front of me.
I thought so much I silenced myself.
Ten thousand roads to run away on...
Which one will I take?

And that is the picture above. I have no idea where this bridge will take me this time, but I will not be afraid, I will go into the fog and I will come out victorious. I choose to fight for myself and if that sees me jumping from an airplane just to prove I can, then I will.

Someone told me I am not worth it.
Someone said I can't.
Someone told me...

I say, honey, you forget who the hell you're dealing with. I have the guts, the grit, and the spirit to prove you so wrong, you'll be sorry you ever let the words leave your lips.

If there is a will, there is a way.
I decided I will no longer find an excuse, I will find a way.

I hope you join me and keep reading. I want to share as much info on this as I can so that people don't think medication is the only option. 

Peace out friends

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