Self-love

When I first had the vision for this blog I wanted it to be a place where I could share my personal experiences and encourage those reading it to tune in and get to know themselves. There are many things I would love to (and likely will) write about but I strongly feel the best place to start is with self-love. ❤ 

Before I talk about what this means to me I want to talk about WHY loving yourself is important. I truly believe that in order to give and receive love to our fullest potential we must first love ourselves. In order to show up whole heartedly to any situation, you must be in touch with your whole heart. Love is one of the strongest, most valuable emotions. Love makes us vulnerable, it brings us happiness and it also has the potential to bring us great sorrow. I believe we need to be so in love with ourselves first and foremost so that others can compliment this but not cause us to experience extreme fluctuations.

Self-love encompasses each and every aspect of our lives; mind, body & spirit. For me, the journey to loving myself began in my head and translated itself to my body and eventually my spiritual side.

In today’s society, it is often challenging to find love for ourselves. Often times we spend so much of our time comparing ourselves to others and never being happy with where we are at in our own lives. It is also extremely common for us to turn to outside sources to find love & fulfillment. Only when these limitations are set aside can we really learn to love ourselves.

In yoga practice, it is often mentioned to listen to the stories you tell yourself. This is the first yogic teaching I really embraced and translated into my whole life. The first step in making any sort of change is to recognize the area that needs to be changed. In order to change the stories you tell yourself, you must first acknowledge them, without judgment. Only then when you recognize what they are you can begin to change them.

If you are constantly dwelling in the negative stories you tell yourself you are bound to have negative outcomes. When I first tuned in I found a lot of “I can’t” and “I’m not good enough”. I changed these stories into “I can” and “I am already enough”. And guess what? I can & I am enough! Today I can say that and mean it from the depth of my soul but I would be lying if I said that was how it always was. There were many times that I would say these things and they felt forced and I questioned it myself. But when I truly began to believe them my love for myself and in turn, my whole life began to reflect it as well.

I found the best way to quiet down and listen to my stories was through my yoga practice (at the time primarily Yin yoga) and journalling. This eventually lead to my love for meditation which is now my primary go-to quiet space. I want to challenge each of you to find what works for you and really tune into it. A good friend of mine always says “the most important relationship you can ever have is that with yourself.”  I absolutely love this phrase and I could not agree more.

Words of encouragement: You can. You are already enough.

Love & light ❤

How I ended up backpacking in Thailand

I want to share the story of how I ended up backpacking in Thailand as I feel it is a true testament to trusting the divine timing of your life.

To start, a little backstory – as I briefly touched on in my first entry I found myself unfulfilled in my current position as a Registered Nurse. Truthfully, it has been on my heart for quite some time that nursing was not the place for me. My personal beliefs don’t quite align with western medicine and I have long felt I am called to do more in this world than the four walls of any hospital could ever offer me. I have spent a lot of time trying to sort this out in my head and I am happy to share that this story is certainly the next step in the right direction for me.

Around a month ago, someone I consider very close to my heart told me he was going to travel through the US on a spiritual journey. I asked him what I could do to support him and he replied “come with me”. My immediate response was “I can’t do that!”

Over the next few days I got really quiet over the idea. For this means a few things: prayer, meditation and journaling. A few days later (on a Monday) in the midst of a Kundalini yoga class all the thoughts, emotions and fears surrounding this subject came up. During this class I surrender my nursing career to The Universe. Despite feeling detached from my role as a nurse for quite some time, until this moment I had not felt quite ready to release it.

My next scheduled shift was Wednesday morning. On this day I planned to talk to my manager about my travel plans. I was ready to leave my position if need be. To my surprise and absolute blessing my manager completely had my back. She approved me to take a month temporary leave of absence in less than two weeks. She even helped me make sure I could use up my OT and vacation banks so I missed out on the least amount of money possible. AMEN!

So here we have it… safe little adventure road tripping through the US with some friends I felt totally safe with. This was out of my comfort zone but it felt okay and the right thing to do.

The next few days things changed. My friend told me he was not going to be going as things in his life are aligning here at home. As much as I completely understood this from his point of view, I was sad for myself and extremely confused.

Again I got quiet on the subject and I felt The Universe had set my heart on an adventure AND given me the time off work – I knew I had to do something!

Shortly after I booked a flight and paid my fees to attend yoga teacher training in Thailand. In my head this was a wonderful and safe little adventure. Yes, scary in a way but my thoughts were I would take a taxi to and from the airport and not leave the resort for the duration of my time there.

But, needless to say The Universe had even bigger plans! I was scheduled to leave Calgary on Sunday… less than 48 hrs from my departure I was advised the course has been cancelled as the instructors visa was denied due to illness. I was at work when I received this news and one of my coworkers suggested I go backpacking and I immediately said no way that was far too out of my comfort zone! Again, I was quite upset and more than anything confused as to what was going on, what was The Universe trying to tell me?!

So I did the only thing I know to do.. I got quiet about the idea (and some gentle pep talks from my friends) and made a quick decision that I would indeed go to Thailand and backpack. This time not only was my heart set on an adventure, I had the time off work, but I also had a plane ticket to Thailand. So I booked a hostel for two nights and bought a backpack…. Remember my safe little adventure I had planned? This seemed quite far from that but I felt extremely guided by The Universe and that this was what I needed to do.

Very quickly after I arrived into Thailand all the little pieces really started to fit together. I no longer felt confused and frustrated to the events that lead me to this amazing adventure. I knew that I would have NEVER planned to go backpacking by myself anywhere but with the way this all played out I strongly feel like The Universe had planned the whole thing for me. Within the first couple of days I had the first glimpse of a vision for my next big adventure. This vision continues to blossom throughout my trip and I imagine it will continue until the time comes.

I’m sure you are all wondering about this vision, and I am happy to share! As I’ve mentioned I’ve felt detached to my role as a nurse in western medicine. But with that being said I do understand the need for that type of health care in eastern countries. It has long been on my heart that I would do volunteer travel nursing overseas. My vision consists of this but also staying in ashrams and learning about various different aspects of eastern medicine.

During my travels I was aligned with so many inspiring people from different walks of lives and it was so beautiful to connect with and be inspired by these people. I no longer feel scared of the idea of backpacking and I trust that when the time comes for me to go The Universe will show me the path. I’m grateful I had the guts to roll with the punches and trust with every ounce of my body because it certainly worked out for the good.

On a side note, before I left my best friend jokingly said to me “don’t go find a job over there” and i laughed brushing it off thinking there really wasn’t a chance of that happening. No, I did not look for jobs but I’m sure there will be a time that I do. Just goes to show sometimes your friends know you better than yourself ❤

Words of encouragement: Trust with all your heart and you will be taken to places you never fathomed.

This is only the beginning

Over the past year I have experienced a major shift in my life. I feel as if to start off this blog as a public space I should give a bit of a back story.

At the beginning of 2017 I found myself in a place where I had accomplished all that I had longed for for many years. After settling into these new and exciting changes, I quickly realized how unhappy I actually was. One morning after church I suddenly broke down in tears, confessing my brokenness to my best friend and pastor.

A few days later I met with my pastor who gave me words of wisdom that changed everything. Together we uncovered that I was very in touch with my physical needs (likely due to many years as a fitness junkie) but not so in touch with myself emotionally or spiritually. She encouraged me to get grounded in the present. To be still and enjoy all that I had longed for. She cautioned me that planning too far and unnecessarily in advance would cause me to miss over the greatness of each moment.

I took her advice and began to pray each day that I be used as a vessel of God’s infinite love. Daily I thanked God for the privilege of being able to care for His children. These were the words that began to change everything.

Over the months to follow I learned a LOT about myself, from the inside-out. I know for a fact that during this time I truly began to find myself (which I am still doing and believe I may always be). I will speak further on these lessons as this blog unfolds.

Again, over the last eight weeks I have experienced yet another major shift that has lead me to this moment right here. The thought of starting a blog has been on my mind for quite some time now. Since being here in Thailand I have gotten quite clear on my vision of this blog felt it heavy on my heart to just got for it – so here we are!

Admittedly opening up and allowing myself to be vulnerable is a bit scary for me, but nothing great ever happens in comfort zones. Deep down I do know that I have positivity to offer the world so why not. Furthermore, I feel strongly the Universe is guiding me to do just this.

Thanks for reading and I hope you continue to follow me on my journey 🙂

Words of encouragement: You are already enough. Everything you need is already within you.

All my love, A.