Bottle It Up

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I’ve recently been on the road for work for what feels like weeks and weeks. When in fact, its only been two weeks of travel. The travelling life is not as glamourous as Instagram makes it out to be. The airport shots of our luggage, the Starbucks coffees, the perfectly manicured nails…. yea, it is far from that. I don’t take for granted the opportunities I’m being afforded with my business and how travelling makes me feel (when there are no snow storms and flight delays/cancellations which has been my travelling life as of late). I really do love travelling. Just the right amount of it.

I get some of my best ideas when I’m travelling. I’m not sure if its because the time on the plane without a phone allows my brain to fully relax. Or because when I travel, I’m taking in new sights and experiences so my brain is on creative overdrive.

In my recent trip to Ottawa, during a snow storm around dinner time, I put on my winter parka and went for a walk and man, despite the blowing snow in my face and the crazy looks I was getting by drivers passing slowly by me, were the ideas ever a swirling around in my head.

I find this too whenever I’m travelling with Andrew down the 401 in our hauls from Guelph to the farm. The long stretch of highway, knowing how far we’re going and how much time I have to just ‘be’ makes me feel at ease. The ideas come rolling out of me when I have time to process my thoughts.

I (finally) have time to read all those open tabs on my laptop, read 100+ pages of a book in one sitting or take in hours of a podcast that I’ve been dying to listen too.

I wish I could bottle up this energy I seem to harness when I’m travelling. I wish I could also bottle up all of these ideas I have floating around in my head since I started my business late last summer. The notes pages I’ve ended up scribbling down are far too many and its not the ideas I come up with that I’m in love with – it’s the action I want to take out of them. I want to actually DO something with all of these ideas I’ve seem to have bottled up.

Anyone else with me?! #BottleUpmyBrain

Side note: this highway photo above is one I snapped from a recent trip to Mont Tremblant with Andrew. MT is one of our most favourite places and this was one of the BEST trips we’ve taken in years. There is just something about those Laurentian mountains that sets our souls on fire and makes us feel at ease. 💕

Saturday Morning Inspiration

Happy sunny, Saturday friends! That's if you're in Ontario I guess but if you're like me, you are SO freakin' happy it is sunny and warm. This delayed Spring has been so hard to deal with but I think it is safe to say that Spring may finally be here to stay.

Before I spend the rest of the day outside enjoying this fresh air, I had some creative juice to get out this morning. So to my computer I went to write...

I don't know about you, but I always need to be in a creative mood to write. We all need something to stimulate us. And while I've been bad here on the ol' blog of only blogging when that creative spirit is in full force, I'm continually reminded of this message:

Writing is like a muscle, you must work at it to get stronger.

One thing I've tried to do in the last little while is create habits around fostering creativity especially around my writing deadlines. For anyone who designs, wordsmiths, brainstorms or works in the creative/marketing/communications field, we all know that being in a creative mood helps to make the words and ideas flow easier. Or a glass of wine or rye always helps too ;)

And of course when deadlines are impending, that is when creativity usually decides to take a hike.

That's when habits come in to handy.

One of these habits I've been trying lately is creating 'mood boards' to help me visually get into the creative spirit. Sourcing photos from fellow bloggers, things I find online or social and capturing my own photos has certainly helped me at referring back to these mood boards whenever I'm in a rut and need inspiration. You could also call these vision boards. Here is an example below of the cottage vision board I created when I knew I'd be tasked with the interior design for our little cotty :)

I had mentioned this idea of mood boards/vision boards to a colleague a while ago and she loved this idea and asked that I share an example here on the blog. So voila, here is a spring mood board above I created just this week that may help inspire you as well, like it has for me this morning.

Let's be serious though, just waking up to this sun and warmer temps this morning was enough inspiration itself. Thank you Spring for making your very late entrance to the party, regardless, we are so happy to see you!

{tulips/robins eggs/split leaf philodendron/coffee/wisdom begins in wonder}

The Sunday 7

  1. Well hello there, it appears it has been a while! The past couple of weeks have saw me on the road and really what feels like this, there and everywhere. I proudly became an aunt on April 2nd to sweet baby Claire (congrats Justin and Meghan!). I can't believe what this year has brought for our family #Blessed
  2. If your in southern Ontario this weekend, your probably experiencing the same freezing rain/snow storm we are, which has had everyone indoors for the past 48 hours :S We are actually now currently siting here without power which means all our candles are out and lit up. Its actually quite romantic for a Sunday evening ;) But really, where the heck is #Spring?!!!!
  3. I've been meaning to blog lately but I'm been finding it hard after the Humboldt Broncos tragedy that took place last week in Saskatchewan. I've sat down so many times to try and put words down and for some reason, I can't put the words together to express my emotions and the emotions of so many of us Canadians after seeing something like this shake our country to its core. But I want too and I will this coming week. At least I know one thing - we are truly an incredible country after seeing how we've rose collectively as a country in a time like this #United
  4. One thing that the Humboldt Broncos tragedy reminded me to do is check my organ donation status after one of the players, Logan Boulet saved 6 lives through his organ donation. I checked tonight and I was already signed up, thankfully. Sign up today to give the gift of life #BeaDonor
  5. Keeping in the hockey spirit, now that the NHL playoffs are here, we're cheering on our favourite team #GoJetsGo
  6. I recently finished this book and it is hands down, one of the best books I've read. I'm now on to this book.
  7. Today, I listened to this podcast on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday with Gretchen Rubin (Author of The Happiness Project). So many good lessons in this one, it wanted me to pull back out my Happiness Project book and read it again. The biggest take-away? Happiness is like a muscle, you must work at it and exercise it. It was a perspective I needed to hear and be reminded of right now.

{Photo Source}

Motivated by Inspiration #AskHerToRun

I have a new found love relationship with Saturday’s. Saturday’s, for some time, have been my least favourite day of the weekend. I love the feeling that Friday night’s give me of the excitement for the weekend ahead. And if you’re a regular reader, you know I love my Sunday’s, period.

It wasn’t until recently that I’ve tried to learn to re-love my Saturday morning’s – whether it is taking in a quiet morning with Blake and a cup of coffee; walking through the dairy barns back home on the farm; listening to the Top 40 countdown at the cottage; or attending an event that tugs on my inner nerd personal development heart strings - I’m slowly learning to fall back in love with my Saturday’s.

This past weekend, I attended the first-ever #Guelph Women’s Campaign school, aimed at enticing women to learn more about politics, especially municipal politics, with the goal of motivating more women to run in politics. It was my type of Saturday morning– a little early morning action to talk politics surrounded by like-minded women #MyJam.

It was a day full of learning with so many great key messages and take-aways, and such tangible resources were shared for those interested in potentially running in politics and/or those who want to help support more women to run.

To say I left inspired by my profession of politics and motivated to want to do more is an understatement.

When the sold-out room of 50+ women were asked, "who was interested in running in the upcoming Ontario municipal election?", more than 15+ women stood up. The other half of the room stood up when asked if they wanted to help a fellow women run. Throughout the day, we shared ideas on why more women should run in politics, how campaigns work, what the rules are that govern something like a municipal election, and talked communications strategies. It was a brilliant day for those who may know nothing about the political process or for those who needed that little bit of kick ass inspiration to push them to run.

My 4 big key takeaways from the day were:

  • It is healthy to attend events like this, even if you think you know everything about politics. You never truly stop learning about the political process. It is an asset to understand how our political processes work at all levels of government.
  • The proper campaign has purpose – platform – people – and a plan.
  • Find your reason WHY to run – it the basis, foundation and purpose for everything you do in politics (it also reminded me to re-read Simon Sinek’s ‘Start With Why’).
  • Men are assets for women and want to help and support us in being successful, if we ask for their help in the first place. It was why the hashtag #AskHimToHelpHerRun was started the day of our event!

It was one of those Saturday’s that reminded me of why I chose to work in politics - why I am so passionate about wanting to make a difference in public service and the lives of other especially now that I have a son.

It was a Saturday that gave me all the feels – I left motivated to want to do more, thanks to the inspiration that a room full of brilliantly smart and motivated women left me with. A special note of thanks to Ashley, Maureen and Alicia for a super fun Saturday together 😉

[Photo Source]

Get Comfortable with the Uncomfortable

November has been an eventful month. Both unexpected and welcomed news relating to life and work has made being uncomfortable somewhat of a new norm.

Oh and just throw first-time parenthood into the mix.

I think this is something millennials get criticized for often. Perfectionism. Wanting to always do things ‘right’. Not wanting to fail. Not wanting to step outside of our comfort zones to deal with the uncomfortable. Our predecessors think this is unrealistic of us.

I say this is just human nature. We all want to be comfortable.

And the more I’m realizing, regardless of age or gender, people don’t like to be unconformable.

Its why:

  • We don’t leave our jobs, even if we may not like doing them.
  • We may talk about the same thing over and over again, because we are familiar with the content.
  • We like to eat the same thing for breakfast every morning, because it becomes part of our daily routine.
  • Its why we vote the same way every time, even though we may not understand why we really continue to vote for them.
  • Its why we continue to listen to the same music from the generation we grew up in and don’t welcome new music. (Its why I’ve also heard so many people say they don’t like Taylor Swift’s new album because people weren’t ‘expecting’ her new sound. I think its killer).

Its why a lot of people don’t go out on their own to pursue their side hustles full-time.

Becoming your own boss is a perfect example of being uncomfortable. Knowing you are inevitably the reason you fail or succeed is all on YOU. Yes, there are going to be times of being uncomfortable when you’re your own boss. Things like being turned down for opportunities, approaching new clients for work, not making what you had budgeted or ruffling some feathers from a tweet or post.

These are things I’m still learning to get better at accepting everyday. And the more books I read and the more conversations I have with people, the more I realize this is NORMAL.

Being comfortable gets you no where. Being too comfortable leads to complacency. Its why I love being a millennial because I think we’re pushing the boundaries. Some may think in a good way, others may think its too much. We’re talking about the things that previous generations found uncomfortable to talk about. We want to pursue change at a faster speed than most can handle. Remember, no great ideas or actions were done in a place of complacency or being comfortable. Steve Jobs said it perfectly when he said, “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."

[Tweet "“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do." - Steve Jobs"]

The most healthy, successful, optimistic people, both in work and life, know to expect the unexpected. They are resilient to what comes their way, both good and bad, expected or unplanned. They've learned to roll with the punches. 

They are comfortable with being unconformable.

And sometimes, when we least expect it and we’re forced to deal with something that makes us more uncomfortable than we could have ever imagined, we surprise ourselves by how we handle it. We become comfortable with it. 

I’m learning to be better at being uncomfortable every. single. day. Try it with me.

[Photo Source]