What Is Your Suck?

6 May

Do you think your life sucks?

“My life sucks.”

It annoys the crap out of me when people say it or post it.

Really. Your entire life, every moment from the day you were born has sucked? Can anyone on this planet say that their entire life sucks? Moments, yes. Days? Perhaps, but not all 24 hours in a row. But an entire life of suck?

Surely there are some bright moments in the darkest of days. We may have to dig for them, but they are there.What if the worst moment or period of your life, was actually the best thing that ever happened to you?

That horrible relationship that made you stronger and no longer a victim and advocate for others with no voice.

That devastating loss of a loved one that spurred a movement that saves the life of others.

The loss of your limb that resulted in your new status as an international para Olympic athlete.

That car accident that left you scarred for life but introduced you to a side of humanity you never would have discovered if it never happened.

The job that you hated so much that drove you to discover your true passions and sparked your incredible journey of self-acceptance and discovery.

I look back at the more painful moments in my life, and I have to be grateful as they were part of who I am today.

I and many other people think I am awesome. I couldn’t be as awesome without that crap happening to me. Like manure to plants, so is the crap of life. It enriches you. Makes you more beautiful and stronger.

The next time you say your life sucks. Think about it. Does it really? I doubt it.

Death. The Gift That Keeps On Giving.

1 Feb

Death is a gift.I was 19 when my mom died of cancer. It was certainly my saddest day ever. I could say that it was my worst day, but it wasn’t. I wasn’t a mama’s girl (nor a daddy’s girl after the age of 4 but that’s another post), but she was my best friend.

Was her death my worst day…or was it hers?

She was the one who couldn’t see her children experience the life milestones of finishing high school, falling in love, getting married or starting families of their own.

She was the one who had to leave the love of her life behind to take care of his kids that he was too busy to spend time with.

She was the one that had to endure the pain and discomfort of cancer, radiation and chemotherapy for four years.

She was the one that didn’t get a chance to grow old and swap menopause stories with her sisters or brag about her kids to her brother.

She’s the one that didn’t get chance to live in the first house that my dad bought for them to live in, anticipating an empty nest.

Was her death was my worst day…or was it hers?

She got to see her daughter finish high school. She got to see her son excel in wrestling on a national level. She got to travel to Africa with her family. She lived a comfortable life with many caring and dear friends surrounding her. She had a loving caring husband who taught her kids uncouth habits like burping and stealth farting.

While she lived, she lived.

The best way for me to move on was to live my life using all the lessons, lectures and love that she shared with me during her lifetime. I really should have paid closer attention and learned how to make her Clap Roti, which to this day I have had none that can compare.

I also learned from her mistakes and weaknesses. Her lessons have become my lessons, and a catalyst for the lifestyle and joy filled path I have chosen.

For those who suffer, death is a gift to be free of the pain, be it physical or otherwise.

For the living, it’s a little harder, and takes some time for a number of us to take the good that can come from it.

What if she had lived? Would I have been as independent as I am now? Would I be as resourceful? Would we even be close, or would we have had a falling out because of my tense relationship with my father? Who knows.

All I know is that I was lucky to have her. Her grace, her poise, her gentleness are traits I can strive for, as she demonstrated that for me. That is her gift to me.

Thanks for living. Thanks for dying. Thanks for watching over me.

Thanks for your gifts.

Breaking Bad…Habits in 5 Steps

15 Dec Lifestyle Coaching
Overeating Coaching www.cascadeholsitic.com

Looking to improve your health habits? http://www.cascadeholistic.com

As we wrap up one year, many people think about the universal re-set button that December 31st brings. This is the time when you then task yourself to make life altering changes for the next 365 days swearing on a blood oath that “this is the year” that you will complete your mission of change.
As you have either experienced or witnessed, this is not always the case for the majority of us.

So why does this happen?
Habits. Old habits are hard to break but I have news for you. It is indeed possible to break habits. I bet there are many habits during your lifetime that you have broken without remembering that it was any different than it is right now. Let us take a look at a few.

Crying at the top of your lungs every time you are hungry.
Biting your fingernails.

I would like to think that many of you have replaced (most of) these with more useful behaviours at this stage of life. Sure these things are fundamental, but at one point you weren’t capable of such things. How exactly did you break these habits?

You created new ones.

You created your new habits with determination, help and support, that’s how. From the moment you began your life on this earth, you had these qualities and life assets that you should have with you to this very day.

Take learning to walk for example. You saw people around you do it; you wanted what the world of walking could bring to you. You had help and encouragement from people that cared about you and wanted you to succeed as much as you did, perhaps even more. With many trials and errors and likely a few scares and bruises along the way, there was nothing that could stop you from learning how to walk.

This new habit, called walking, changed your life. Forever.

Imagine if you set yourself up for success the very same way in other aspects of your life? What would that look like to you?

First, you need to make sure new the habit or behavior you want to be or have, will forever change your life for the better. You need to imagine, see and feel what having this will do for your life.

Second, you need find support. Surround yourself with people who are really good at the doing what you want to do, and want to see you enjoy it the same way they are.

Third, don’t give up after the first try. Try and try again. It may be a little uncomfortable or even scary. Keep asking for and accepting the help from others that want you to succeed because they care about you. If people gave up after their first attempts, we would have no plane, trains or Viagra.

Fourth, keep at this new habit until it sticks. It should be so natural that it becomes such a part of you that you can do it successfully without even thinking.

Lastly, be there for someone else who is now where you once were. Imagine being a part of the cycle of learning, sharing and growing for something that takes little effort from you, but has a huge impact on someone else.

As the new year fast approaches, I encourage you to take that dream, habit and goal of yours once and for all and try approaching them this way. If not, find something you are excellent that is second nature to you and help someone else with their goal and dream of a new way of being, doing and living.
Start walking.

Open Letter My Ex-Boyfriends – Sorry For Cheating

6 Oct

Dear Ex (A.K.A The former love(s) of my life),

I’m sorry that things ended the way they did. Could we have predicted the way things turned out? Perhaps, but now with the gift of hindsight, we really should have not been surprised.

I have to confess my guilt and extend my apologies for the very thing that I accused you of.


I wasn’t at the best place of my life when we met, but you didn’t know that. I didn’t know that either as I was concerned about putting on a brave face and being the perfect person for you was important to me. You loved me as I was at that time, and for that I will ever be grateful for. We would have done anything for each other.

I cared about you so much I let you off the hook many times.

“Don’t worry about me, you have more important things going on in your life.”

“I’ll be okay.”

I’m a big girl I can take care of myself.”

“I didn’t want you to worry.”

I didn’t think I was worth the bother, but then over time that changed. I remembered about the times in my life that I felt happy with myself and worked to get that groove back. I did things that I enjoyed and were part of my true nature, like finding my cheeky, sometimes inappropriate voice. I became the me I hadn’t seen in a while. I really liked her, and the people that knew her for years liked her too. She mattered and was worth worrying about, caring for and fighting for.

I thought she was awesome. I wish you liked her as much as I did but I guess you weren’t a fan.

You weren’t a fan sharing someone who had meaningful enriching relationships. You weren’t a fan of someone who meant what they said. You weren’t a fan of someone who tried to see the best in everyone, even when they didn’t deserve it. You weren’t a fan of sharing that bright light with others that liked being around it.

I’m sorry you weren’t a fan of change.

What I am not sorry for is being thankful. I am thankful that you helped me to grow. You helped me see that I was deserving of a mutually loving and balanced relationship. You see, you helped me change.

Thanks for that. As it turns out, this person wants what I do and she is honest about where she’s at and where she stands. I really like that. I really like her.

Crap. I am my own “other woman”.

Well it looks I cheated on you… with myself.

I wish you well I hope that you find someone as awesome as I did.

Lifestyle Coaching

Don’t know where to go next in your life? http://www.cascadeholistic.com

Good Luck Ex-Boyfriend.

The Other Woman.

Stories My Body Told Me

16 Aug

Hmm, my stomach isn’t bothering me this trip and doing that gerbil-on-a-wheel-thing like it has been doing for years. I keep harping about the mind body connection to things. Let me think about this. What’s different?
I’m relaxed and not stressed about leaving or coming back home to something unpleasant. That’s rare.

When I was 19 my mom was in her fourth year of battling Cancer. She was in the hospital for 3 months, and for all I knew it could have been another three more. I was overwhelmed and needed some time away so I decided to take a trip. We had lots of family visiting so I felt okay with leaving with so much family around. Upon my return, my mother’s best friend met me at the airport to take me straight to the hospital as my mother was “hanging on for me to say goodbye”. In true mom form, she was a class act to the end and held on for three days after I got home to spend some time with me before she left us. (Part of me believes that she did this on purpose so I wouldn’t feel guilty for leaving.)

During that time I was trying to get ahold of my area supervisor at work to let them know what was going on.

“What’s does receivership mean?” I asked

“Well, we’re bankrupt. Your store is closed.”

That certainly explained why nobody was answering the phone when I called.

Hmmm, mothers death and no job. Do you think that has anything to do with my elusive travel stress? Oh, and by the way mention that my mom’s cancer started in the colon? What do you want to guess that she carried her stress in her gut?

Our body sends us signals all the time. But like a white noise we don’t always match up our body signs and signals to how we are feeling. Mine was telling me I was stressed about leaving on trips, but it took me years to figure that out.

Here is another you may relate to:years of migraines went away shortly after  the end of a long-term relationship. Coincidence?

My body has been talking to me for years apparently. I just wasn’t tuned in or paying attention to was it was trying to tell me. It chose different way to try and get my attention. Now that I am listening, we have a far better relationship – both inside and out.

Hello body, how are you today? What is it that you would like me to know? I’m listening.

Mind Body Connection Health Coaching

Mind Body Connection



What Would Happen If You Stopped Working So Hard?

30 Jun

Which law on this planet says that you have to work hard?Origami cranes

I have to admit I am a bit of an underachiever. I would rather have a good time and play now rather than work my butt off to break a sweat to attain some level of whatever everyone else is striving for. Overall, I look back on my life so far, and I have to say I have been pretty lucky, blessed, or charmed. Call it what you want, but things in general have come pretty easy to me. Despite what “they” say, I haven’t really worked all that hard – not by my standards anyway.

I have a close friend who is one of the hardest working people I know. He is very intelligent and well educated and is passionate about saving and changing people’s lives for the better. Not that long ago there were seven years of sheer blood sweat and tears. I have honestly never seen anyone work so hard, 7 days a week, with the lines between dusk and dawn often blurring. The stress to meet someone else’s minimum standards and expectations was painful to watch. I helplessly witnessed him juggling creditors to pay bills,trying to support a young family yet still struggling to just eke by. I felt guilty just watching and knowing what he was going through, wanting to help but at the same time trying to leave him space to travel his journey. After all, in comparison, my life was pretty cushy…five weeks holiday a year- paid – my own home, fantastic circle of friends and social life. I probably worked half as much as he did.

I did feel guilty, for a time.

So what was the difference? He- hard worker and driven – me – thrill seeker and a bit of a slacker. The difference is that I didn’t work hard, on things that weren’t working. All that time I thought I was lazy, cause I didn’t want to work that hard to get what I want. I believed that there either had to be an easier way to achieve what I wanted or something else would be a better idea.

Apparently, unbeknownst to myself I had been following the “signs”. Instead of forcing my way through obstacles and thinking that I was weak, or not good enough to see it through, I gave it up.

Or did I give up?

What I really did was let it go, as I held the belief that there was something preventing me or holding me back for a reason… for something even better.

What if you didn’t have to work hard? What if things just fell in your lap? Why are some people so lucky all the time?

Think about those times in your life when things worked out perfectly. It made you feel happy, lucky, dance about like MC Hammer or perhaps it was a downright miracle that things worked out exactly the way you hoped…or even better than you ever could have planned or imagined. Go back to that time or moment in your life and recall that scenario in your mind, surroundings and head space. Note either the similarities or differences in what was going on in your life and attitude at that time. Put them side by side and compare them. I dare you to see the difference.

Many say that you have to work hard to get what you want. (Who are these people anyway?)  How true is this statement to you? Tell me where those laws are written, I want to see them – I don’t recall it being a commandment. Here’s a burner question for you: would you have any less in your life if you didn’t work as hard as you did?

Picture your life as a beautiful origami crane. This is a plain piece of paper folded into itself with some twists and turns, some tight, some loose, yet when it’s  finished it’s transformed into something beautiful. There’s a pattern to something beautiful.

You have a pattern. Your life has a pattern. Every being has its own pattern.

The way you talk, the way you move, the way you feel. It’s a pattern. When you work with your pattern, it’s likely that things will work out with less effort and more joy. Think about the things that you are proud of, enjoy doing and are good at. That’s your pattern that has been there since you were a rug rat. If those three elements are not part of your life right now, it’s not your pattern. You are working too hard; you are swimming against your own personal current.


“Some of us think holding on makes us stronger – but sometimes it’s letting go”

– Herman Hesse


Do you believe that you have to work hard to get what you want or do you believe in just going with the flow?

Be Careful What You Wish For

12 May

When will I learn?Image

I recently returned home from a nice 4 week holiday full of inspiration and growth. Upon post-travel reflection, I did everything that I wanted to do without even really realizing it. My adventures included taking part in a culinary raw food program, a visit with family in Chicago and running a half marathon with my non-lesbian travel wife.

For the past couple of years, I have been eying a particular program that really resonated with me. I finally decided to take it, but my preference was to have someone else pay for it, since it was kind of pricey.

I was awarded a grant that covered the tuition (five grand people!) I did apply for it, yes, but I wasn’t aware of the opportunity of this fund when I made this mental pact.

Now as far as the half marathon goes, you may think I’m only partially crazy but I didn’t train for it. True story. I ran about 3 times in as many weeks, slowed by a 4 month-old achilles heel injury. I upped my weekly swims and added a little Zumba action in there, but I was hardly in any condition to run 13 miles. And no, I am not naturally athletic. That statement is just plan funny. There was no way to get out of this race, as my friend was flying to Sacramento all the way from our Yukon home to meet me to run this half.

I have no choice. I’m all in. I decided that this was going to have to be a mental race.

I started with imagining (or visualizing or whatever you want to call it) myself feeling good and relaxed and not tired while I was running the race. I imagined all my blood cells healing, and being strengthened by the oxygen I was sending to all my muscles. I imagined that there was some healing energy sent to my heel to mend the broken cells that were causing me pain. I did some yogic breathing every night before I went to bed, and first thing when I woke up. I even did it during in-between my dream state as I rolled over to change sleeping positions. I talked to my body, thanking it for taking care of me and letting it know that I was depending on it to get us through without pain. I actually started to look forward to this race instead of being in denial with dread.

Then, pray tell, why am I surprised that I completed the race without pain or injury and felt the best ever than any race I have ever run? Why I am looking for the pain in my heel to return to the same level of discomfort before the race? Why should the pain resume when I asked it to heal? I don’t recall putting a time stamp on it.

I’m a slow learner who is still learning to trust my instinct and the power of my thoughts and my words, that’s why.

This has happened to me over and over again as I look back upon my life. I truly do get what I want, good and bad.

I better start using my powers for good.

I better start visualizing that house that I want to build on the lot that will become available at a bargain. I better start picturing myself doing what I love, in half the time with twice the pay than I am earning now. I better see myself facilitating those international workshops in incredible destinations. Perhaps I can even picture myself with my hot soul mate at my side as we roam the world sharing and enjoying our abundance with other – or if available I’ll take Hugh Jackman. I’m not that fussy.

Don’t get me wrong. Life wasn’t always sunshine and roses. I have had some dark times in my life, but the same formula applied. I imagined all these horrible things and negative feelings and gut wrenching scenarios. I was so afraid of them happening, that they actually happened. I can honestly say  that when I look back I can see that I created the very things that I feared the most.

I’m done looking back. No regrets. I had to have a little darkness to make the light times seem even brighter. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes true this time. We all can.

Picture it. Plan it. Play it out in your mind, but only the good stuff. You will be amazed how powerful your wishful thinking is, especially when it’s positive.

Be careful what you wish for.




I Hate Morning People

20 Mar

When exactly did I become a morning person anyway?Image

I personally think that one of the biggest barriers to motivation is getting up out of bed in the mornings.

It has taken me a few years, but I think that I can finally say that I am a morning person. I can say this because I have chosen to redefine what the loaded term “morning person” means to me.

My morning personality definition is thus:

A morning person doesn’t need to be perky and full of interminable sunshine.

They don’t need to speak to anyone before or even after their first coffee.

They don’t need to run 10 miles before the sun rises like in some of those blasted Folger’s, Viagra or tampon commercials on television.

To me, a morning person is someone who can get up before they have to or need to, to get things done or to do the things they want to do.

I’m a morning person because I meditate, perhaps do some writing or school work, read a few pages of a book, make breakfast, do the dishes, vacuum, prep for dinner perhaps even visit my treadmill. I can do all this before I head out to work in the morning. (Disclaimer! I am single so this likely will look quite different if I had kids, but I am sure for my sanity I would have to find some routine to function).

As a school aged kid, my mom battled dragging me out of my slumber to get me up in the morning to get ready for school. But get this, much to my parent’s chagrin, on Saturday mornings which was the only day they could sleep in, you can bet I was up early with zero assistance. Silly rabbit, everyone knows that Saturday mornings were synonymous with cartoons. Scooby Doo and Josie and the Pussy Cats were waiting for me. (There is no possible way that I could have ever dreamed the technology of the future included special channels that was dedicated to cartoons only 24/7). Anyway, it served my parents right for keeping the lone family TV in their bedroom. Strangely enough I never seemed to be able to duplicate that same enthusiasm when it came to get ready for church on Sundays.

Sound familiar?

What if you consider this instead. Everyone is a morning person, when they want to be.

If you have a long awaited vacation or trip of-a-lifetime planned, how hard is it to get out of bed then?

What if you are expecting a visit today from a lover, friend or favourite family member that you haven’t seen in an era, would it be as hard to get up? It’s more likely you would be too far excited to sleep so getting up early isn’t necessarily a problem on those days.

Do you see a pattern yet?

I’m a morning person because I have a good and desirable reason to get up in the morning. It has taken some time for me to put those pieces together, but these days my day and my life is full of things that I want to get out of bed for.

What is your day full of? Hope? Inspiration? Satisfaction? What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Wait. Let me add to that. What good thing makes you want to get out of bed in the morning?

It’s not me. It’s you.

4 Feb

“It’s not me. It’s You.”

I was dying to say that once to a potential beau that I knew wasn’t in the cards for me. Instead I said, “I think I see us as just being friends”, which was true. In my heart and mind, as much as I wanted to have my very own genuine boyfriend he wasn’t the one for me. Deep down I knew that if I ever did date this eager and willing bachelor who was looking for love as I was I would kill him- that was if my friends didn’t beat the crap out of me first. (Dude, you can’t call my closest friends pterodactyl and tyrannosaurus-rex respectively and expect to win them over).

Yes, if I told him how I really felt, he would have been sad, but if he was seriously looking for love, some self-reflection would have worked in his favour and bettered his chances at a future relationship; a successful one. I am pretty sure I am not the only dame in the world that finds it odd to go gift shopping with a guy that shops for the spa lady who “manscapes” his man-bits. Enter visual here.

For years I never complained about a terrible meal when dining out. Whenever I was asked how my meal was, it was always “fine” or “good”, even if it tasted like toasted socks (have you ever noticed that they always ask you when your mouth is full?). I didn’t want to hurt their (the servers) feelings if I wasn’t enjoying my meal. As I became to appreciate myself more and became more confident, I finally said to myself, why should I spend money for crap or something I don’t like or enjoy? If I were a cook, I would want to know if people are enjoying my food. If it sucks, I want to know what I can do to change it BUT how can I make it better if you don’t let me know? The poor cook can’t improve if they don’t realize that there is a need. Business suffers because word gets out that the food sucks; and then nobody wants to work for an establishment with a bad rep so finding good help is hard and you become less selective about quality help. The downward spiral continues. If someone only told you that your food sucks in the beginning.  

Are relationships any different?

If you knew that certain actions (or reactions) were causing distress to someone you cared about, wouldn’t you want to know about it? It was never your intention to hurt them; just as it’s not the intention of the person who has captured your affections to hurt yours. I’d want to know so I can make changes to be a better person. The most common reaction to rejection is to immediately find a way to fix yourself up to win back that other person. Does it work? Sometimes. Does it work forever? Rarely.

I’m not saying that wanting to change yourself to become better person is wrong. I’m saying that if you are doing it for someone else, the fix would be less permanent than if you do it for yourself.  Relationships with others don’t come with a lifetime guarantee no matter how strong a relationship feels. How many best friends do you have over a lifetime?

How many “yous” do you have over a lifetime?

The most important relationship in your life is the one with yourself.  If you are able to win over your own body, soul and mind with a good dose of self- love and adoration that would make you a pretty phenomenal person to be around. Wouldn’t it?  Who wouldn’t want to be around that? Can you picture what you would look like and how you would feel if you loved and adored yourself as much as you do for the people you care about?

Maybe you’re right. It is me.

Ass-Kicked by Karma

31 Dec


A number of years back, installing my own personal rebellion against New Years’ Resolutions, I instead decided to go with a mantra for the year. I discovered my power of self-fulfilling prophecy and finally decided that I better start using my powers for good before I got my ass kicked by Karma.

My first mantra was “Just Say No.” I was making out with a lot of guys back then which wasn’t getting me anywhere so I thought I would be selective for a change.  It seemed that my selection process that year only improved slightly as I realized I was attracting a puzzling pattern of undependable and unreliable cads all named Mike (present company excluded)). So the following year, my obvious mantra was to ” Just say no…to Mikes”.

I started to notice something.

This mantra idea seemed to actually work and helped me improve my less-than-questionable decision-making abilities. What if I had a more positive mantra? What would happen then?

My new mantra was ” No regrets”. Every time I came to a moment where a particularly weighty decision had to be made, I asked myself the question, “will I regret doing this?” or ‘will I regret not doing this?” This one still stands as my most powerful and effective mantra to date.

After that, things really started to change in my life. I felt liberated as I became more confident in my life choices. I took some big chances that were all part and parcel of where I am today.

Somewhere along my journey, I started writing things down. Not consciously or deliberately, but at different times for different reasons I started writing down things that I wanted in my life. I never thought much of it as it was usually an activity driven by some sort of program or workshop I was in, but then sometimes well over a year or two later I would come across what I had written and they all had something in common. Everything I wrote down came true.

Seriously? Yes, seriously.

Even my list of what I wanted in a mate came true. I had several dozen qualities and traits on that list… I had “teeth” on that list three times, as it’s been a running joke with my friends for years…”I just want a man with teeth”. Would it surprise you if I told you that my “significant other” met every single item on that list, and that he is obsessed with his teeth? True story. The only thing I didn’t ask for was that special someone be in my own country, so now my desired mate lives over 3000 miles away. Well played Karma, well played. I can’t help but laugh with the old dame!

The power of the written word really hit home this summer when I came across some “work” I had done about five years ago in a program called the “Pursuit of Excellence”. One of our activities was to work on a relationship that we would like to improve, (actually was more like what we should improve, as at that point I did didn’t really like the idea) . Not having talked to my father for the better part of 20 years, I figured it was a good place to start. I wrote down what I would like the relationship to look like, not really believing it could happen, or not wanting to as I didn’t want to set my self up for yet another disappointing and painful attempt at mending this broken thread.

I wrote down unlikely things like, “become friends”, “create new memories” and something highly unlikely like “take a road trip together”.

I was stunned as I read this.

Two summers ago, my dad came to visit me and stayed for 7 weeks. He drove with my friend Sandy and I for twelve hours each way and so we could run a half marathon in Anchorage. I am not daddy’s little girl yet, but now communicate a few times a year, by phone, email and even Facebook. It’s a start. It’s a relationship that I never thought could be repaired.

Coincidence? I think not. It has happened far too many times for it to be so. Not only is there power in my spoken word, but written too? Holy crap. It’s time to write things down.

Something happens when we write things down, intended or not. Can you think of a time where you wrote something down a long time ago, and you come across it later and it has actually come true? What would happen if you actually wrote down what you want to have happen for yourself in your own life?

Are you going to write it down…or wait to get your ass-kicked my karma?

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