Serenity

Contentment.

The feeling that overcame me when I attended my first set of SIPS courses in Vancouver early this year.

Serenity.

Is the feeling I have had over the past week of doing my last round of SIPS courses.  I am thankful to finally feel at ease with becoming a Holistic Healthcare Practitioner.  I am thankful for the healing work and clearing that occurred over the Summer because of the peace it has brought me overall and especially around the hangups I have had with seeing clients.

Bliss.

I knew that the Blenz in White Rock opens stupid late (8:30 during the week!?) and was online last night trying to find a less commercial coffee shop in which I could blog this morning.  What a treat it was to find the Small Ritual Coffee Society which is a not-for-profit community coffee shop!

While I would prefer to be drinking my white mocha this morning with almond milk, I am in love with this little piece of heaven I have found at the corner of Johnson and Prospect street.

Remapping my Goals:

I was supposed to head over to Parksville not realizing my courses finished Saturday and not Friday.  Instead, I decided to try and take a day to decompress, blog, reflect back on the past week and touch base with my goal setting.  While I am disheartened with the fact that I completely lost my momentum with blogging and photography, sometimes you just have to deal with life and priorities get shuffled.  As we nestle into my favourite season of the year, I am working on getting back in touch with my goal setting, blogging and photography.

Holistic Healthcare Practitioner

As it sits right now, I am quite happy with where I am at course wise.  I am ready to see clients and confident that I will be able to find my way through any issues during a session that may come up.  I am very thankful for my instructors, mentors and classmates who have all contributed to increasing my knowledge and confidence in becoming a Holistic Healthcare Practitioner using Specializing Kinesiology.  I am also very thankful for those who have allowed me to practice on them, their patience and their feedback.  I know my knowledge, confidence and skill-set will only increase with experience.

I will take SIPS (Stress Indicator Point System) courses whenever I can, either auditing or taking the higher level SIPS courses when Ian Stubbings travels from Australia to teach in Canada.  I have sort of etched out upcoming courses I would like to take and know more might be added as they come up.

As of October 5th, I will be seeing clients on Saturdays and eagerly awaiting seeing my first client booked in the calendar at work!

Personal Health and Wellness

One of my goals has been to get out of bed by 6.  This past week I have not slept past about that time so I am wanting to maintain this when I get home.  I have always found the most success in incorporating exercise into my day by getting it out of the way first thing in the morning before I have time to think about it.  I have never been a breakfast person and I would like to change that, even if its just a shake or smoothie (which may or may not replace my morning coffee).

The past few months have seen less meat in our diet being replaced by high protein meat alternatives such as kale, quinoa and chick peas.  I have been on the hunt for and printing out scads of RAW food recipes that look amazing.  I have a homeopathic cleanse awaiting me at home which I will start when I get back and hoping it will be the start of me getting even further into eating a more wholesome diet.

Both of the above will contribute to my ongoing weight loss.  I cannot remember if I have blogged about the fact that there is more to my being able to lose weight then diet and exercise which both seem to be fine.

Hobbies

As I have been settling back into Fall, I have also been settling back into blogging.  Publishing this will be blog post number five for the month which is pushing me closer to my goal of eight.  Before I settled back into it a few weeks ago, I had a bit of a blogging identity crisis.  I have been very careful about what I write on here wanting to remain positive whenever possible and have at times, really had to scrub some of the content before posting it.  My goal with this blog was to inspire others to lead a happier, healthier and more holistic lifestyle and I am an avid believer in leading by example.

I see myself blogging more about food as I incorporate more RAW into my diet and play around with recipes to see what does and does not work.  As I gravitate further away from white flour, white sugar, dairy and meat, the sicker I feel whenever I eat them.  Even just looking at photographs of or being in the presence of these (and other processed) foods, I feel sick and can feel my body revolt.  My body has the opposite effect when I see healthier foods.  My mouth was watering at the sight of acorn squash down in Keremeos two weeks ago and I wish I had bought more.

That leaves my camera which has gotten a little dusty and I have to admit, I have had no motivation to get out with it since last Fall.  I love the Fall colors and know it will start inspiring me to get out with my camera over the next few months.  I would also like to start learning more about how my camera works and need to pull out the couple of photography books I have and start reading them.

Concluded.

As I look outside trying to conclude how to conclude this conclusion, I see how dark and gloomy it is outside.  The rain is coming down and the wind is blowing.  Most people who live here would look outside and complain about the weather.  I look outside and it warms my heart on a cool, gloomy Sunday morning.  The movement of the leaves reminds me that without movement, there is not change.  The rain reminds me that without the water, life cannot grow and we cannot cleanse.  And as I walk to my car and get cold and damp, I know it will remind me that I am alive today, have a roof over my head, food in my belly, a loving family to go home to and for all of that, I am very thankful.

What I did on my Summer Vacation 2013

Summer in the Okanagan is expected to be hot but this Summers heat has been accentuated with higher then normal humidity and a lot of 35C+ days.  When the temperature gets up that high (never mind feeling like we are still in Vancouver with the humidity), my daydreams go to those of Pumpkin Spice Latte’s and cool Fall mornings on my favourite cafe’s patios.  This is especially heightened this year with the upgrades along Bernard Avenue in Kelowna to widen sidewalks and increase the size of patios.

Health and Wellness

My Summer has unfortunately been one that has left me unmotivated, sad and really needing down and alone time.  I have always been a thinker and have had my ongoing battles with depression and anxiety over the years.  While I feel as though the bulk of my anxiety was released from my chest last Summer, it was a real eye opener for me to feel what I did, the intensity and the duration of it with the passing of my beloved companion.

Feeling as much as I did may very well be from the amount of healing I have done on and off over the years.  I am currently in the 17 year anniversary of the weekend from hell when I literally went numb for well over a decade and as evident in my holistic healing sessions, I am still healing from.  The numbness had me feeling very cold around death because I never felt anything while people around me wept.  When my cat died, it was as if every tear I had not shed since that weekend was released from a major break of the damn.

Shedding of Emotional and Physical Weight

During my time of grieving, I took a step from my desire to lose weight.  I had been so focused on losing weight for so long that I felt I needed to come at it from a different angle.  I took Systems Analysis type courses through college and realize that we often presented with the symptoms of problems but not heart of the problem itself.

I know the fat around my middle is a security blanket but until my healing sessions leading up to and over this Summer, had no idea I had been holding onto something so tightly which I finally started letting go of.  It is something the death of my cat seemed to really stir up and although his death really broke my heart, I am thankful for the catalyst of changes that have occurred since.

The last session I had was probably the most bizarre session I have had to date.  By mid-July, I was finally starting to move on and life started to normalize after a horrible start to my Summer.  Then I burned the crap out of my mouth, over and over and over with the pan friend potatoes of the Smoked Salmon and Avocado Eggs Benny I had made for dinner one night.  After burning myself several times, I wondered if the heat would ever come out of those damn potatoes!

For about two weeks I was in excruciating pain where the site of a tooth extraction from four years ago became very swollen and infected.  While this was going on, my sinuses were flaring up and as the pain and swelling in my mouth was going down, my ear started to ache.  We are going on five weeks now of clearing this up which in turn is also clearing a lot of old emotional junk out of the closet.  I feel like a changed man from that one session and very curious to see how I feel once this infection completely clears up.

I admit that I did not have much of an appetite after my kitty died and it was hard to eat solid food from the flare up in my mouth.  Since my cat has died, I have lost just shy of 20 pounds.  Shortly before life started to blow up in May, I set a goal of: Weight to 215 lbs by August 19th, 2013.  I am currently down to 217 and although I only missed my goal by two pounds, I have mixed feelings about declaring it a failure or a success.  I will take it for what it is and set my next weight loss goal.

Dreamboard

There was an evening over the Summer that I happened to sit down at my desk and started re-arranging the cut outs for my Dreamboard on the old busted white board I had fixed up for it.  This was not something I consciously sat down to do and was just in the office to put something away.  About two hours into doing this, I decided I might as well start taping them onto the board since I knew the pieces kept moving from wind and/or my (other) cat jumping up onto my desk.  Not until I was done did I even realize what I was doing!

I have only taped about half of the pieces I placed that day and currently what I have in total only covers just over half the board.  I know there are several pieces I am need to find and will have to go on a search for them.

Holistic Healthcare Practitioner:

The downside of the ups and downs and the healing I have undertaken since May is that it has unfortunately put my becoming a Holistic Healthcare Practitioner on hold.  While it is disappointing that four months have passed during this detour in my life, I am very happy and thankful to be where I am today.  When I have not felt healthy myself (emotionally or physically), I feel as though it is hypocritical of me to become a Holistic Healthcare Practitioner.

I will be pushing myself out of my comfort zone starting in September to start making money as a Practitioner.  I need to be balanced for it to allow myself the space to make mistakes, be slow at first, know that I won’t know everything and that learning is a lifelong process.  When I was at work on Friday, I sent off the information for my business cards to the graphic designer, donated four sessions for door prizes to two events and contemplating also handing out half prize session coupons as door prizes.

I am thankful my Father will be paying for another two SIPS courses coming up at the end of September that I am really looking forward to.  I wish I could somehow swing N.O.T. 2&3 in November but short of a miracle, they will have to wait until next year.

Boxer Quilt

I look forward to the day I can cross this off my list.  I have been wanting to re-purpose our office into a “healing and hobbies room”.  One of the biggest stumbling blocks for working on some of my hobbies is space.

Moving forward

My apologies for my absence and this scattered post.

Life is settling down, the temperatures are cooling off and we are heading into my favourite season of the year – Fall.  I will start re-working my goals over the next couple of weeks which will include my getting back into blogging and taking photos on a regular basis.

I write this post as a completely different person from the post I wrote in May.  I am calmer, more at ease and lighter both emotionally and physically.  For the first time in over a decade, I have future life goals which become clearer by the day.

I want to live a healthy, holistic and minimalist life.

Having worked in corporations, been a corporate Vancouver Starbux junkie (2+ times/day) and wanting at one point to acquire an MBA, I never thought I would get to a place in life where I want to be a hippie, living off the land and as anti-corporation as I have become.

It used to be that technology and climbing corporate ladders excited me and now, it’s looking at pictures of fresh produce and wanting to learn more about sustainable farming that gets me all hot and bothered.

Working on my Dreamboard

Before writing a lot of my blog posts, I research the topic I am about to write about because I don’t like making statements without having supporting information.  I am certainly thankful I decided to do a bit of research into visions boards:  what they are, how they work and why they might not work.  Not only have I found inspiration to get back to working on my own vision board but I also had an “Ah ha!” moment in seeing others vision boards online.

Creating a dreamboard has been on my to do list for quite some time now.  I purchased a few of those large pieces of stock cardboard from the dollar store closer to two years ago now.  Over a year ago, I even had images from magazines cut out, placed and ready for gluing onto the cardboard but there was still a few holes both physically and visionally.  I was so close to being ready to glue them onto the cardboard.  But I did not.

One of the things I have struggled with is what happens when one of those pieces no longer fits because my goals have changed or I want to add or replace an image?  I finally found a great answer to that while researching vision boards:  using cork board and thumb tacks.  Why didn’t I think of that!?

I am hesitant about piercing my images with tacks and spending money on a cork board but I do have an old white board I was going to throw out because the outer border was busted and I bought a bigger white board to replace it.  A few staples into the piece in the back where it was broken and its much sturdier now.  I have decided to freecycle this to use for my vision board!

After having fixed up the white board, I dug out the box I keep the images from magazines I cut out for doing art with.  I am going to have to dig even further because the file folder labeled “Dreamboard” seems to be missing a whack of the pictures I could have sworn I cut out.  In the meantime, I have gone through the ones that were in my box and pulled out appropriate pieces and placed some that I had previously pulled out back into the box.

I was going to work on my vision board (as well as our yard) last night but was hit with another wave of exhaustion yesterday which had me sleeping on the couch most of the afternoon and evening.  I did work on it enough to get through one box of images to sort through them.  I at least have enough going right now that I could start taping them onto the whiteboard as I search for more images.

While this originally started off as informational post I was going to write about vision boards, what they were, tips on creating them and why they do and don’t work, it has thankfully helped me to find the inspiration needed to get back to working on mine.

Do you have a vision board?  What types of images is on yours?  What type of materials do you use?