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  • Mar 04 / 2016
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Vancouver

Why Women Have Been the Leaders of My Life

Long-winding-road-in-the-snowy-mountains

My grandmother used to take my brother and I on grand adventures even during the most blustery of winter storms. Donned in thick woolen socks and plastic Co-op grocery bags tied tight around our ankles, we would slip into over-sized gum boots and venture through the farm fields. Every bit of earth all capped with wind-blown snow banks 5 feet tall. I remember my grandmother’s right hand gently holding my left, supporting me as I balanced on the top of the snow and slowly grew taller than her with every step up the growing snow banks below me.

When I grew older, I followed in my female cousin’s foot steps. I found their lives each independently captivating and free – the vegetarian, the bookworm, the athlete, the artist. The little boy living in the big city looked out at these older women in his life with the adoration that could only be deserved of those who were truly listening to their inner voices and expressing themselves through their creativity, their wit and intelligence, and endearing gratitude for this motley crew of characters we called family.

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  • Apr 24 / 2015
  • 3
macbook air on wooden table with journal and iphone
A Course in Miracles | ACIM

The Internet and Introversion

I’ve had the discussion before, that if it weren’t for the internet, blogging, and social networking, I surely wouldn’t have turned out the same. Always an introvert, where others found ease expressing themselves with others, I was taken by fear and anxiety. The internet, writing, and connecting to others online was a welcome haven for developing an identity for myself, for expressing myself. Take from it what you will, I would never say that this is the healthiest way to raise a developing mind. I’m sure my social skills could have used with a little more time in the playground or on the basketball court, and I wish sometimes that I would have found the courage to just be me a little earlier in my life… but that’s another story all together.

After listening to a talk this morning from A Course in Miracles teacher, Ken Wapnick, I was inspired to think of my earliest memories. He mentioned that more often than not, our earliest memory is based on an experience of victimization. In the rare case where it is a happy memory, it’s often because this is the first happy experience that a person has felt. Then from here, we seem to build our lives up around this memory, and often times many of our defining traits as an adult are based around our reaction to this early trauma.

I don’t dare to call myself an expert on the human mind. Psychology has played little to no influence in my education, but I can tell you one thing – as troubled as my mind and mental health has been at times, I’ve come to be an expert in the patterns and the defining characteristics that I base my decisions around: namely fear, and the desire to please others at all costs. But my early memories are blurry. I feel at times like my memories have actually been told to me in stories and seen in pictures from photo albums. I often question which of my memories are actually genuine recollections of experience and which are just my mind recalling an image or conversation.

But whether fable or photograph, I can pull a few things up about my early years:

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  • Apr 07 / 2015
  • 2
A Course in Miracles | ACIM

A Letter to a Broken Mind and Body

Guy Looking over Clouds on Top of Mountain

It’s been an especially turbulent time in my mind these past few years. And through it all the world seems to spin, sitting aimlessly and perilously on the edge of a frightening cliff. It’s ridiculously easy to scare myself about what could happen, and convoluted and confusing to work my way back to feeling safe again.

I grew up feeling motivated to be radical, I stood up for the things I believed in, and I couldn’t care less what others thought about my feelings to “save the world”. But there under all that good intention was a seething anger that fueled all the judgement and privilege others surely saw in me. I was radical in the sense that I was different than others, but as I desperately prayed for happiness every day, I couldn’t see that it was my anger that was bringing me so much unhappiness. It wasn’t the world that needed immediate saving, it was my own mind.

Even still, though I was unhappy and angry, I had hope. I had hope that the world would somehow sort itself out and I had joy at the thought of a better earth.

And then the shift happened. I entered into my mid-20’s and my anger was revealed to me in a moment – my spirit completely lifted the veil, and I was left in shock. I could see that it was the frustration that I let myself speak of with others, the anger that I let myself dwell in, and the judgement of those that lived differently than I did that were all keeping me strapped in unhappiness.  I retreated into myself, I stopped taking action, I regimented a life that I thought was pure love and Godliness, but rather just a life that avoided conflict entirely. I avoided the frustration, and I became fearful of everything – all the anxiety that I had around conflict and authority deepened. The world became darker and darker. I thought I was staying happy and sane, but my fear had taken over everything, and with it, my perception of the world became even more frightening.

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  • Mar 25 / 2015
  • 2
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Online Marketing Wellness

Viraltag: Confessions of a Pinterest Addict

Self-confessed and true to form, I’ve taken yet another social network, Pinterest, tucked it under my belt and ran with it. Blame the attention, blame the workaholism, the addiction, blame the need that we all have for a little soap box action, but I’m always on the lookout for a way to connect just a little bit easier with those around me. So give me a social network, show me a little chance that it will help me connect and spread my message, and I’ll be there. Recently, I decided to take my latent and lacking Pinterest account out from the cupboard, shake it off, dust it off, and give it an upgrade. I began actively pinning, creating boards to showcase the aspirations I’ve let sit down and rest, and the things that I just find darn pretty. Think rocks & crystals, house plants of all shapes and sizes, herbology & herbalism, handsome & scantily clad men, x-men, and of course every possible picture of cats & kittens that I could find. So I started pinning the hell out of life again, stuck in a monsoon in Mexico, I went on a rampage, pinning hundreds of pictures a day, moving pins around and creating sub-boards, private boards, and a collaborative Pinterest vegan recipes board that I would share with all of the plant-based bloggers at Vega.

Trevor Ellestad on Pinterest

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  • Mar 17 / 2015
  • 0
Elderberry Calendula Cold & Flue Elixer
Herbal Remedies and Herbology

Herbal Remedies Tips and Links: Vol. 2

More herbal remedies and finds on all things plants and healing.

30 Herbs for Cold & Flu Season

30 Herbs for Cold and Flu Season
Even though Cold and Flu Season is technically on the out and out, this exhaustive list of herbs that help to boost immunity and fight infection is wonderful for any budding herbalist to have on hand and make themselves aware of. Includes an alphabetical list of some of my favorite adaptogens, warming, and immune boosting plants, like:

  • Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus)
  • Cinnamon
  • Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)
  • Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)
  • Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)
  • Lemon Balm (Melissa officianalis)
  • Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis)
  • Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)
  • Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)
  • Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
  • Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Original Post at Rodale News

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  • Feb 27 / 2015
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If You Don't Like This Then I'm Not Talking To You

My Outer Geek: Incredible X-Men Art by Jebedai Couture

X-Men Art Jubilee Gambit Jebedai Couture

X-Men Image of Jubilee and Gambit by Jebedai Couture

I think there is evidence, or maybe just a standing belief that in times of upheaval, we cling more tightly to the imaginary, the fantastical, the neon and the gold lamé. It all seems very probable, considering how depressing the world can seem at times. So perhaps, for the ones of us that went through life with a chip on our shoulders, for the ones of us who more often wore a frown than an upside down, we just always wore our gold lamé crowns and neon shoe laces.

Speaking of my wardrobe, along with my gold adornments, I generally rock my geek around in full technicolor on my sleeve, my shirt front, my pants, my shoes… even intermixed in my bushy mop of hair… But for the most part I somehow keep my composure. As a kid I couldn’t have even imagined the world that has developed in front of my eyes. I certainly couldn’t have imagined through my optimistic hopeful young mind that the state of politics, world peace, or the environment would be on the precipice that it now balances. But even more shocking would it have been to find out as I sat in the playground with my fellow nerdy co-parts, listing out our ultimate roster of actors who would play each of the X-Men in a movie that we thought would just forever remain an imaginary figment in our heads, that the world would now be pumping out it’s umpteenth Marvel superhero movie.

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  • Feb 25 / 2015
  • 5
Herbal Remedies and Herbology

Herbal Remedies Tips and Links

Dioscorides Materia Medica - Ancient Herbal Medicine Drawings

In the early 2000’s I took 2 years and deeply delved into the land of herbal remedies. I received 2 diplomas from a Victoria, BC Herbalist and plant-pioneer, Don Ollsin. One of these diplomas was in Practical Herbalism and the other in Consultant Herbalism. Although I didn’t use it much from a career standpoint, it is a knowledge that I have held a firm grip on to. There is not a time during any walk in the woods, any adventure into an Ayurvedic clinic or any exploration of Chinese Herb store that I am not peering into the shadows looking for my favorite medicinal plant. For that reason, I have been an active participant in the world of online herbalism, I have explored numerous blogs, created a Materia Medica Pinterest board to track all my findings, and even wrote an article or two for online publications on home herbal healing.

I’ve decided to start sharing some of my favorite links and features online. Keeping things nicely organized, of course, and just helping to spread the love of Herbology the world round. Take a look at a few of the links that I’ve collected, check out their blogs, and let me know when you find something medicinal, culinary, or just plain pretty… As long as it’s all about the herbs, I likely want to know about it!

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  • Feb 17 / 2015
  • 4
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Relationships & Love

Sex Apps and the Trials of Being a Tireless Romantic

I wrote this piece a couple years ago. I woke up this morning, reflecting on the changes that have taken place these past seasons. I couldn’t help but remember all the fear that plagued me as I ventured online, looking for dates and exploring the confines of even the seediest of sex apps. Now, turning over to my partner, who I love more than I even thought possible back then, I can’t help but think much more fondly on these gay apps—because without them, I wouldn’t have him in my life. From a place of insecurity: where the most embarrassing thing that I could imagine would be telling those that I love and respect that I met my partner online, to a place of sheer pride. It seems that it’s not about the places that we meet people – it’s actually about the people that we meet there.

Even in the most unlikely of places, we are able to learn what it means to be truly authentic and loving human beings

Really, we are not obligated to feel anything when we interact with another human. We tend to hope for the best and with our guards in various stages of install, we then plunge or tiptoe into new depths.

Personally, I am addicted to the absence of conflict and the approval of others, and saying no can feel almost impossible at times. Strangely, when meeting men, this is especially true. Whether I’m newly crushing or doing the full-blown relationship, my need to be seen as the “good guy” often trumps my desire for independence, my sense of self-worth, or at times even, the truth.

I have created for myself a journey of a long line of relationships consisting not only of the ups and downs of the modern consensually sexual tryst, but also of my persistence in being, quite frankly, totally fucked up.

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  • Feb 13 / 2015
  • 0
Vancouver

Date Ideas as a Non-Bachelor in Vancouver

5 Date Ideas from Vancouver BachelorsRecently, I was asked by an editor at Vitamin Daily to submit an idea for an ideal date. Although I’m far from a bachelor, I was inspired to come up with a creative date that really encapsulated who I am—a total nut job. Stacked up against my competition—4 Vancouver bachelors, I rose to the challenge. It got me thinking a lot about the man I love, the things that make me happy, and the adventures that I take that I actually enjoy.

I have never been attracted to the standard. I recently caught a tidbit about my Myers Briggs personality. I’m an INTP – basically a creative introvert. The tidbit brought to light something that really resonated with me. Myself, and others that fall into this same personality type tend to see whatever is the norm as distrustful, unattractive, and something to be avoided. Prompted by my desire to be different, I went into this challenge to really come to terms with the things that are most important in my life.

6 Things that Make me Happiest

  1. The Man I love more than anything in the world
  2. The things that we have in common
  3. The things that make us different
  4. Tattoos of Bugs
  5. Cats
  6. Noodles

My ideal date:

“We’ll wake up early and drive around the city to see if we can find street signs that share names with our favourite people. Then we’ll take a walk in the woods, figuring it must be fate, because we both like insects and we both have tattoos of moths on our arms. We’ll decide that “Little Miss Ginger Cinnamon Biscuit Cutie Face” is a great name for our first kitten, and that my idea to name our first dog Barbara is just no good at all. We’ll finish the day sitting on the beach, eating spicy noodles in to-go boxes and talking about just how tiny we felt before we met and how much bigger life can feel in a day.”
Original post on Vitamin Daily – 5 Valentine Date Ideas from Vancouver Bachelors
  • Jan 23 / 2015
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Social Media

Digging into the Best Life Project – #BestLifeProject

Best Life Project - #bestlifeproject - an Instagram Challenge

This January at Vega (where I work, rocking alongside the Public Relations and Social Media team) we launched the Best Life Project, an online community building initiative built around daily social challenges that help to inspire growth in all areas of our lives. Already the initiative has seen enormous participation from across Instagram, and it’s sure to keep building as the months progress. This aspect of creating community built not solely around a company’s products, but rather their lifestyle is something that is increasing across the web. Companies like Hershel bags have taken a similar approach through their #WellTravelled initiative, and seen their social presence explode. Creating a genuine hub for lifestyle awareness and not blatant advertising drives genuine engagement, while also reenforcing the principles on which a brand is created.

For the #BestLifeProject, 5 challenges are shared early in the week, encouraging followers to fulfill and share the beauty of their lives through images. Challenges are pulled from 5 areas, that are all sure to help us live our best lives:

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