Inspiration

Getting Ready For a New Year, Part 4 Do a Look-Toward

Getting Ready For a New Year, Part 4                 Do a Look-Toward

Make a decision about the direction you want to take your life in this year. Look toward that. If the choices that worked in the past are supporting you in creating your kick-ass life, keep making them. Tweak as you go along. If not, make new choices instead of attempting to fix...

A-Z HEALTH

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H-H-HAZELNUTS

hazelnuts

In the nut family, hazelnuts contain the highest of vitamin E content, are 65% unsaturated fat, and are a good source of protein. They are high in most minerals; calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, copper and potassium, zinc and selenium, and have a good B vitamin content.

So how are hazelnuts good for you? Lets start with fiber. You know, the gut loving, quality-life giving element of food we have all come to love, accept and understand. Fibre, in review, helps with our bowel transit times, helps keep the intestinal tract clean and clear, and improves overall digestion.  When digestion is functioning at full capacity, so can all other body systems be.

Vitamin E is a skin loving vitamin. Not just the skin on your face. Yes, it's great for the complexion. It's also good for tissue in the body such as cardiac muscle. Yes, hazelnuts are heart healthy! Vitamin E is also a powerful antioxidant helping our bodies combat free radicals. Our cells in our blood stream and walls of our blood vessels need protection from free radicals. Vitamin E, found in hazelnuts can help with this task, thus contributing to overall health.

The calcium found in these nuts are supportive to bone health, and strong teeth. Other minerals, such as zinc and selenium are supportive to thyroid health. Magnesium, can help relax muscle tension and aid sleep. The iron source is great for men and women, and should be loved by vegetarians as an alternative to meat.

Hazelnuts have a good source of B vitamins for those looking for new sources. B vitamins are the "anti stress" relief many of us are looking for.

Protein, healthy fat and fibre, all contribute to healthy growth and maintenance of tissues during all stages of life. So the next time you are thinking about fueling up on nuts, throw some hazels in the mix!

 

A-Z HEALTH

“For the love of”-GARLIC!

Garlic. It’s a staple in cooking world-wide. It’s one of the most common, easily accessible, delicious, nutritious and potent herbs on earth.

Garlic is capable of many things. As an immune boosting herb, it has the ability to affect our organs involved in immunity in such a way, that our bodies can produce more immune boosting cells, increase the activity level of existing cells, or both. Hence, why our elders would say “eat more garlic” when we suffer with cold/flu symptoms.

Not only will immune boosting garlic reduce cold/flu symptoms and potentially help us avoid them in the first place, but garlic can help rid our bodies of parasites, lower blood pressure, and aid in reducing risk of cardiovascular type dis-ease. The list goes on…purifying the blood, detoxifying through lymph and the rest of the body, lower the blood clotting factor.

Let’s talk antioxidants. What do they do? Combat free radicals, that’s what. Why is that awesome? Because a free radical is an unstable molecule that can cause irritation and breakdown of our tissues unless they are neutralized by antioxidants in the body. Garlic is just one of those antioxidants.

Garlic gives us anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties. It’s been used as a supplemental herb for more than boosting immunity. There’s more garlic has been used for; anti-ageing, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, circulatory aid, energy boosting, immune support, and on a spiritual level, century old tales tell us that, in theory, garlic keeps away evil spirits (or any spirits for that matter). Hollywood has certainly brought these stories to life!

So eat your garlic! Cook with it, use it raw, source organic, local, good quality stuff. Keep some on hand to ward away those spirits, and most importantly, live long and strong!

A-Z HEALTH

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F-is for...FIG!

Sweet, mildly fragrant, soft, and rich in colour, figs are a powerful and useful fruit. They pack an amazing amount of nutrients; high amounts of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, fiber, sulphur, many B vitamins, copper, zinc, manganese, vitamin C, vitamin E and even small amounts of lipids (fats) and amino acids (protein). Because of the high calcium content of figs, they are known to help maintain strong bones. Figs also have a reputation for being able to kill bacteria and roundworms in the body, and they are useful for things like aiding digestion, hemorrhoids, constipation and lowering blood cholesterol. These gems boost immunity and help ease coughs, hoarseness, as well as ease symptoms of respiratory and lung disorders. Did you digest all of that? Yeah-it’s a lot for one fruit!

{RECIPE}

Warm-figs-with-goat-cheese-pistachios-and-balsamic-glaze-26

THE INGREDIENTS 6 beautiful, ripe figs 2 oz cheese, like brie, goat or other (approx.) balsamic reduction or honey (to drizzle) small handful of pistachios

THE HOW TO

To start, place the oven rack in the middle position and turn your oven to broil. Cut the cheese into small pieces. Wash the figs and cut off the very tips. Cut a cross about one-third of the way down the fig. Open it up slightly and place a piece of cheese inside. Ripe figs are quite delicate, so make sure to be gentle with them. Place each fig onto a parchment-lined baking tray and into the oven. Broil for about 2-3 minutes or until the cheese fully melts. To serve, place onto a platter and drizzle with a balsamic reduction (or a quality, aged balsamic vinegar), or honey. Top with pistachios. These delicious figs are amazing served with lightly toasted crostini. Enjoy with gratitude!

-Lise Johnson

#ESMEINK : "Aloneness" Day 27

deepakquote

{ Aloneness }

"To make the right choices in life, you have to get in touch with your soul. To do this, you need to experience solitude, which most people are  afraid of, because in the silence, you hear the truth and know the solutions."

-Deepak Chopra

Alone time is a sense of freedom in my eyes. I think its' a prerequisite for happiness. I've been needing a lot of it lately. Probably because my mind is still so busy. So much ahead in the next month-and-a-bit.

It's really tough to sort out my own thoughts without it. Knowing how to be alone isn't easy for everyone. But for me, it's easy. I revel in it. It is a time of great personal growth for me. Whether it means listening to my music, reading, crying, writing.

I am not afraid of the dark, of solitude. I don't fear bing alone for days at a time. Never have.

I think moms can get so caught up in caring for so many other lives, that before we know it, years have passed. We lose our identity. Who the hell are we anymore?

My goal as a mother, is to not let that happen. The more time I can spend self-loving, growing, caring and nurturing, the better I will love my clan. Aloneness brings me peace.

I've made my list of things I need to do to spruce up the spare room downstairs to create my little sanctuary. This project excites me so much!

Last night Pinterest-ed the "she-shed".  A female variation on the man cave. This idea is amazing! While space for one is not currently in the cards, it may be in the future.

"Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape."

-bell hooks

#ESMEINK Journal Entry by Lise-Marie Johnson 

#ESMEINK : "Mother Earth" Day 26

loveyourmother

{Mother Earth}

I've been busy preparing for September. September is going to be a significant month. I will either be residing in Calgary or Chilliwack, and it's still not going to be determined until August 30th.

So, I've been busy preparing for a fresh start no matter where I may be. I have a few little classes in the works for mid september. My focus has been so much on the preparation of the future, that in the past week I haven't put time into my journals. It's so easy to forget to take the time to take care of 'self'. My mind races to find journal ideas, and i've forgotten to just go with the flow.

This weekend I spent lots of time barefoot and free in mother nature. The sun kissed my face, and my feet felt grounded. My kids went for their longest hike with us thus far, and wildlife was plentiful.

I know, that whenever I'm feeling a bit lost-in my self, in life, in my work, in my purpose, in my future, that when I turn to mother earth, she speaks. The only thing that matters is here, and now. She calms me.

"The mountains are my bones, the rivers my veins The forests are my thoughts and the stars are my dreams The ocean is my heart, it's crashing is my pulse The songs of the earth write the music of my soul" -unknown

#ESMEINK Journal Entry by Lise-Marie Johnson

#ESMEINK : "Life & Power" Day 24

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happiness

LIFE & POWER

I begin with a quote today. I love it, and I question it at the same time;

"YOU WILL NEVER BE HAPPY IF YOU CONTINUE TO SEARCH FOR WHAT HAPPINESS CONSISTS OF. YOU WILL NEVER LIVE IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THE MEANING OF LIFE".

This quote reminds me that, what really matters, is right NOW. This very moment. Being present, once again. Finding peace amongst the bit of chaos I have in my life right now-today-this evening. I know that I'm not alone, when I feel like I'm always searching for more of a meaning to life. A purpose.

But how lost in this should a person get? And how far away from it does one get without seeming like they don't give a damn? And then, on the other hand, I also love searching for what happiness means to me. Questioning if I'm happy, and making necessary adjustments in my life to become so. My journals have helped me begin to reveal a part of this grand question.

I have felt, that the more I unravel beneath my skin, the more work I create for myself, and the busier I've become. I wish I didn't have to sleep at night. I wish I didn't tire. Truly, wishful thinking.

So, what is happiness to me? What is happiness to others?

{Power}

Everyone has power symbols. For some it's money. For others, it may be status. Maybe it's to be physically fit. Maybe its a career. Whatever it may be, we usually feel in control of our lives when that thing is present and abundant. When it's not, walls can crumble, our relationships can fall apart, and life seems less grand. Some people dive into a depression. It's different for everyone.

Power symbols. Are they learned from observing members of our clan from a young age? A sum of our experiences thus far? Probably both, I think. When and where in our lives did they become significant, and can we change them? I think yes, but not without a lot of work, love, and self-trust. That's where I'm at.

Money is definitely a power symbol to me. Not that I've ever had an abundance of it. I have made the connection to my happiness, or lack of it when money is either present or scarce. So thats where I'm starting. My first power symbol. Why this one? Because often, I feel like money is the root of all evil. Boom.

I'm starting to create change-new habits and beliefs that ultimately pave new pathways in my brain. A re-wiring (so to speak). I want my brain to understand that this power symbol, is truly symbolic. I want to physically not feel frustrated, scared, or stressed over money. I will rewire my brain to understand, that, when money is not abundant at any given time, that it's OK. This would be the time to reflect on life's simple, and often free treasures. Like mother earth. Love. Peace. Health. This will serve me better.

I love turning lemons into lemonade. Literally and figuratively.

As I work towards creating new habits, new thoughts, and new beliefs that ultimately create happiness, the one thing I can't forget to remember is, let go, and live! Because the more I live, the more the meaning of life will reveal itself!

I'm choosing a mantra today, that translates to releasing obstacles. It will help me let let go of that which is blocking my path.

{MANTRA}

Om Gum Ganapateyi Namaha

mantra

#ESMEINK Journal Entry by Lise-Marie Johnson

#ESMEINK : "Traditions" Day 23

sacred

{ TRADITIONS }

This weekend, my family and I were honoured to attend a wedding that included a traditional Chinese Tea ceremony to honour the bride's elders, and bless her as she departs from her family name, and takes on a new one.

The ceremony was in a beautiful setting, on the Seymour river in North Vancouver at my cousin's house. Just breathtaking.

The ceremony itself, was full of tradition and quiet emotion. It seems that in our culture, weddings seem to be getting so far away from tradition, and resemble more creativity and diversity. The more different a wedding is, seemingly, the more praise it gets. (Of course this is not always the case) I'm not sure that's not a bad thing, but I do feel sad when tradition becomes watered down, or lost. Tradition to me, resembles roots, foundation for future, and strength in clan.

The ceremony began with an introduction explaining why this ceremony takes place, and who it honours. From there, each elder-mother, father, grandparents, aunt's and uncle's from both the bride and groom's side sit, and A red envelope is presented to the bride and groom (containing money for granting them a start on their new journey) as they kneel before their elder(s), and exchange greetings and blessings. They then sip on traditional tea (or a liquor-although I'm not sure if that's a choice, or for any specific reason) It was so refreshing to be part of such an amazing experience!

My hope for the future, is that marriage remains sacred. That traditions are upheld, and that it's not just the "wedding" with all of it's bells and whistles that a bride or groom looks forward to. Because the road ahead of us all is not an easy one. That's not to say that it's not beautiful, but there needs to be a large foundation built in order for a marriage to grow upwards and outwards in love.

A common, traditional short poem that may be said to the bride and groom goes something like this one below; (To my cousin Joe, and new wife, Lisa, I hope I've got this right);

zhù nĭ men
xīang jìng rú bīn
xīn xīn xīang yìn
huā hăo yuè yuán
băi nián hăo hé

(Translates to): Wish that you two
 May you respect each other like honored guests.
May you always see heart to heart.
May fragrant flowers bloom and full moon shine over your life together.
May your joy and happiness be forevermore.

sacredmarriage

#ESMEINK Journal Entry by Lise-Marie Johnson

#ESMEINK : "On the Road" Day 22

moments

{ ON THE ROAD } 

Im on my way to B.C. with my sweet husband and children for a visit with family, and my cousin's wedding.

This trip is going to boost my spirit in ways I need so badly right now! Having our BC escape once or twice a year will satisfy my heart. Especially in light of the soul work I've been doing to find peace with staying in Calgary, and making it home for longer.

The mountains. Ocean. Rivers, and lakes. Home in my heart. It feels so right to be going there for the weekend.

This drive is so breathtakingly beautiful! The mountains hold such spirit and mystery. I'm drawn to them like a magnet. I'm in love with the fierce wildlife, the mystic rain, glaciers, sunny days and hikes, and the thought of survival among them.

I can't wait to see my clan. To get my hands on my nieces and nephews. I've been focusing a lot on family and building clan, and strengthening my root chakra. This encourages my roots to grow deep into the foundations of my soul and earth. Having strong roots and beliefs help me to feel like home is wherever I hang my hat.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder. In all aspects-people places and things. Maybe, having B.C. close enough to visit, yet far enough that it's an effort, will make me appreciate it so much more.

All of that being said, it's time for some soul-kissing fun times!

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#ESMEINK Journal Entry by Lise-Marie Johnson

#ESMEINK : "Culture" Day 21

fermentedfoods

{ CULTURE } 

When I talk about culture, many things come to mind. Ethnicity, food, travel, etc. But today I dive into my love for fermentation (culturing).

What I think I love the most, is the representation that fermenting has to cultures around the world.

So many cultures have used fermentation practices around the world for years and years.

Actually, the word 'culture' comes from the Latin language, and means to 'cultivate.'

The cultivation of our land-animals, plants, fungi, bacteria, etc is pretty important-maybe even essential-to culture.

Sandor Katz,-a world renowned fermenter and author- puts it all into perspective, and I believe he is right when he says that taking back our dignity and power by becoming creators and producers of food from the earth, rather than depending on commercialization is key to thriving and surviving. It's also crucial to keep culture alive.

The further away we get from creating our own food, the more we lose culture. We lose interaction with other humans. We miss the sharing experience of creating something beautiful. Not just a meal,-I mean we lose out on relationships. The sit down meal with family and/or guests.

We need to slow down. Grow food, grow our souls. Create bountiful meals full of whole foods and nutrients. We need to thrive. It's all our bodies really want to do. We need to uphold traditions so that our children, and their children can not just survive, but thrive as well.

Learning from elders around the globe, and continuing to uphold traditions and food preservation techniques are really a big deal!

The moment I learned that our healthy bacteria outnumber the cells containing our DNA by 10 times, (and most of that is found in our intestinal tract), made me realize how important gut health really was. Gut health is such a large topic these days, and I understand why.

I've become very passionate and creative with fermentation lately, and I feel the urge to share this knowledge with others because it's so freakin' exciting!

I learn more every day. Each food is so unique in the fermenting process. I could talk about all of the characteristics I like about ferments, from kombucha, to kvass, kraut, meads, and everything in between, but I think my favourite part of fermenting, its truly the culture of it. Obviously.

I can't wait to grow more knowledgable and healthy, with fermentation and culture being a driving force.

So I say, lets stand up for what we believe in as humans. Support local food, and grow our own. take back control of our lives. The need to be responsible for our well-being is more important now more than ever.

#ESMEINK Journal Entry by Lise-Marie Johnson

#ESMEINK : "Little Frustrations" Day 20

dailyencouragement  

LITTLE FRUSTRATIONS

{rant}

Day 1 of going to bed early-fail. Things came up in the evening after work, and I find myself finally sitting down to write my day 20 journal at 11pm. I'm already tired. My head has been pounding since  3pm.

I've also been a day behind in my journals for a few days now, since the Canada Day long weekend was so busy. It's playing on me! I don't like being unaccountable.

 I didn't get yoga or a workout in today, which I was really hoping for.

I feel discouraged tonight for some reason.

{praise}

Thank goodness though, I don't have bigger worries in my life tonight. If this is my only issue at the present time, then I'm ahead in life. Winning.

It was an amazing, busy day at work, with lovely clients.  Another win.

My kids had such a fun day at day home today, that they wanted to just stay for a sleepover! But we came home, and had lots of snuggle time before bed. Win, win.

We have another showing on our house tomorrow. Win.

I have the day off tomorrow to stay home. I will find time for yoga when the kids nap, or we'll do some yoga together!  {which would actually mean, I'm a mountain. Kids climb said mountain}

My candles are lit, and I'm finding calm in my head as I write. Win.

I'm going to crawl into bed in a minute to snuggle the man of my dreams. Huge win!

Good night world, that is all I have tonight.

dontstop

#ESMEINK Journal by Lise-Marie Johnson

#ESMEINK : "Sleep Habits" Day 19

sleep

SLEEP

I've always been a bit of a night owl.

Going to bed early, to me, makes me feel like I'm going to miss something. I have such clarity in the evenings. I'm kid free in the evenings. It's quiet. Peaceful. I think I've developed a bit of a bad habit, and I'm starting to feel the effects.

I've not only noticed how tired I feel lately, but I've had troubles with weight gain-and bouts of anxiety-even though I'm meditating, and grounding as much as possible.

My nervous system is stressed, due to lack of sleep, causing me to feel this anxiety. It's Raised my cortisol levels causing my body to store excess weight. I'm feeling physically not myself, and so i'm forced to really evaluate my sleeping patterns-which is something I have avoided for a long time.

How patient I am, or am not with my kids is also a factor in my lack of sleep. I can't do my best when I'm exhausted. I can't be the best mom that I know how to be if I continue down this path.

{old habits}

I go to bed between 11 and 12pm. For lots of people, this doesn't seem late. But when I'm woken by a sweet girl, who crawls into my bed, and rubs my cheek with her hand, and runs her fingers through my hair, and kisses my cheeks and nose and says "I love you mommy," EVERY morning at 630am, I feel unconditionally loved, and unbelievably exhausted.

While the pure joy of her love never gets old, I want to wake feeling more refreshed, not feeling like I need to lay in bed for another hour before I start my day.

I know my husband doesn't like that most nights I'll stay awake downstairs to clean up, or watch a show, or journal, because I'm not ready to go to bed. I could absolutely fall asleep, but for some reason I'm just not ready to end the day.

"Your future depends on your dreams, so go to sleep."

-Mesut Barasany

{new patterns}

I've always wanted to be up before the kids to either do yoga, meditate, and have myself a healthy breakfast and coffee before the kids wake up. Maybe even get a quick journal done. Maybe start running, or do a workout. Quality self love. Something I talk about almost every day lately. I know I'd feel better throughout the day if I did. I know, because I've done it enough times to count on one hand. It was epic. Every time. But i've never been able to get into the groove.

I think It's time for me to just start building a new pattern. I need to make my self a "bed time." I'll have to make sure that I have done whatever it is that I need to do before that time.

I'll set aside 3 days of the week to begin, when I wake up at 530 to take time for myself before the kids wake up.

I will watch the sunrise in silent. I will find more peace. I will feel better. I will discipline myself, and become a better version of me.

"Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."

-Benjamin Franklin

#ESMEINK Journal Entry by Lise-Marie Johnson

#ESMEINK : "Life & Beyond" Day 18

dreamcatcher

{Life & Beyond}

I'm opening up today's journal with a native american prayer that I just feel the need to address.

{ THE NATIVE AMERICAN PRAYER }

Oh Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds, and whose breath gives life to all the world-hear me-I come before you, one of your children. I am small and weak. I need your strength and wisdom. Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset. Make my hands respect the things you have made, my ears sharp to hear your voice. Make me wise, so that I may know the things you have taught my People, the lesson you have hidden in every leaf and rock. I see seek strength not to be superior to my brothers, but to be able to fight my greatest enemy, myself. Make me ever ready to come to you, with clean hands and straight eyes, so when life fades as a fading sunset, my spirit may come to you without shame.

This speaks to me on such a deep level.  Ultimately, I believe it means to dedicate one's life to become as attuned and connected as possible to the higher power and self. This is not easy. Daily journals have kept me more grounded and present than I've ever been  in my life.

But when life gets busy, it's so easy to miss out on beautiful things. Like a sunrise or sunset. The stars. The moon. Forgetting to work on self. It's easy to miss life's lessons when I'm not paying attention to those moments in-between thoughts. I must continue to focus in order to grow daily, and pay attention to "coincidences", as well as understand life's lessons when I recognize them, in preparing for whatever it is that may be next. Heaven, reincarnation, etc.

I feel, that this kind of life preparation is like "putting away a pension for the soul."

If I ask myself the question, "Im I prepared to die?", It first makes me cringe, but then also makes me realize that my answer would be "definitely not."

For obvious reasons, such as wanting to spend more time with my loved ones, and having so much I still want to do on this planet, I'm not ready to go. I'm not ready, because I want my soul to be prepared. Because when my soul leaves my body, It will be better prepared for whatever is next.

"Make me ever ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes, so when life fades as a fading sunset, my spirit may come to you without shame."

My body is a beautiful vessel that allows me to use my physical senses to experience joy in this life. I may not have those senses in the next chapter, so I want to use them as best as I can.

"let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset. Make my hands respect the things you have made, my ears sharp to hear your voice."

 

I want to continue to grow my spirit. When this 30 days of ink comes to an end, I do not want to have my efforts fall wayside. I want this to propel me forward into deeper spiritual growth. I want to meet more leaders and elders to learn from in this realm.

Today, I will begin to create a bucket list. I don't know what it looks like exactly, or how many things I will have on it. But I think seeing these things written down, will keep me excited and motivated to use my human vessel to achieve dreams, no matter how big or small they may be.

I'm starting to realize, how beautiful it is, to grow old!  And mostly, it's perspective.

#ESMEINK Journal Entry by Lise-Marie Johnson

#ESMEINK : "Age of Loneliness" Day 13

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loneliness

This one is deep for me. I believe we live in the age of loneliness. I don't care how many Facebook friends I do, or do not have. What I care about, are my real interactive, meaningful relationships. I'm working hard to build them. Real, live conversations feed me lately. I've come a long way from being a very shy kid. I force myself to hold conversations lately, to work on my self expression and confidence. I work hard to build the clan of my dreams. It's even harder to let go of relationships that don't serve me. Seriously, it's F'n hard!  So, when I read this quote (below) today, there are a couple of lines that really stand out. Truthfully, they all stand out. But if I were to take each paradox, and try to write about them all, I'd be up for nights on end.

I feel sad knowing that while some people may seem to have a busy life because of their number of facebook friends and instagram followers, it is possible that they are living in a cyber nightmare. Where real relationships cease to exist, and the fear to be out in public is intense because social anxiety is real for them. Insecurities have been created out of false advertising-false women and men-a competition to gain the most friends on facebook-pressure to date or "hook up". Wondering if these virtual relationships actually mean anything at all. Obsessing over the "friend list number." What thoughts cross that person's mind, when the friend list goes from 875 to 874.

It breaks my heart. There is so much good that has come with the power of connection through technology, yet it still fails some.

I'm not intending to say everyone is lonely. Only that some are. And usually, it's someone we would least expect it from.

{prayer}

If you feel lonely tonight, don't, because my thoughts are with you. This journal is for you. Whoever you are, wherever you are. Reach out. Someone wants you to.

Love, and light.

XO.

THE PARADOX OF OUR AGE

"We have bigger houses, but smaller families;

More conveniences, but less time;

We have more degrees, but less sense;

More knowledge, but less judgement;

More experts, but more problems;

More medicines, but less healthiness;

We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbour.

We built more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication.

We have become long on quantity,

but short on quality.

These are times of fast food

but slow digestion;

Tall man but short character;

Steep profits but shallow relationships,

It's a time when there is much in the window, but nothing in the room."

-Dalai Lama

#ESMEINK Journal Entry by Lise-Marie Johnson

#ESMEINK : "Creative Expression & Momentum" Day 12

throatchakra.jpg

create

Creative expression and Momentum

{The throat chakra}

Last night I had a soul kissing experience! A good friend and I went to one of calgary's many paint nights. Not only was it a great way to enjoy a good glass of wine with a friend and catch up, it was 3 hours of being completely present. In the moment. Nourishing my creative expression. I would recommend it to everyone, and can't wait to go again. The throat chakra was given a dose of recognition. It instilled a bit of confidence in me that I didn't know I needed. The throat chakra is related to creative expression, willpower, truth, communication, integrity and the power of the spoken word. Through balance in this chakra, I know I can stand up for what I believe in, and have confidence and power to do the things I dream of. When the throat chakra is blocked, it prevents energy from rising up to other energy centres. Clearing requires a deep commitment to my truth. I believe these types of exercises to be helpful in my desire to educate and speak in front of crowds. Something I'm excited to be doing again in the very near future! I look forward to the many years of continuing to clear and nurture this chakra! Self love is ongoing, ever changing and beautiful.

{Momentum}

I've been feeling a very rapid, forward momentum in my creative side of the brain. Ideas are flowing, projects have taken on life, and my comfort in knowing that my future may reside in calgary for longer is very present. And that is good! All that I do, all of my efforts, are focused on my love for this city, raising my family here, building clan here, as well as my beautiful job.

"The concept of "home" is not just where one resides, but where the heart resides; in the purest depths of the soul. -Michelle Cruz-Rosado

(A special prayer in my heart goes out to my friend who invited me out last night to be a part of this creative experience-To your mother, who's place I took at your table last night, may she be at peace with what the future holds. Let comfort enter her soul, and let fear leave, knowing that she thought about by more people than she probably knows, and everything will be OK.)

#ESMEINK Journal Entry by Lise-Marie Johnson

#ESMEINK : "Tribe + Loss" Day 10

grief

{Tribe and LOSS}

I'm going back to the base chakra again today. While I'm searching for some answers regarding my heritage and family history, I have been thinking a lot about someone who was a part of my clan for a very short period when I was only a young child, not able to understand.

Today, I mourn my sister, Dana, who moved to the other side-next life-heaven-whatever it may be. She was only a baby.

How strange, that someone whom I do not remember, or barely knew, has such an impact on my heart. The more the years go by, the more I feel connected to her soul. The more I feel the loss.

As much as this is a matter of the heart, to me, it's also a matter of "clan." There are many elements missing from where I came from, but missing a member such as a sister, makes me feel like there is more work at the base chakra before I move to the heart. She was a part of my adoptive family. My true clan. The beautiful people, who gave me strong morals, bestowed acceptance upon me, showed me what unconditional love meant and so, so much more.

I love her so much today. I feel the push to open up this box. To hurt, and to heal.

To grow.

My mom has always said, if I wanted to talk about her, or see a picture, to just ask. I only remember bringing the topic up a couple of times, and it brought my mom to tears. Her pain hurts me more than the loss I feel. A woman, who adopted, because she couldn't have children of her own. A woman, who had so much love to give, she was willing to love and raise a complete stranger, and give her life. And then, the miracle. Pregnancy, and the birth of a beautiful girl. Followed, by darkness. I don't know how a parent copes. I don't' know how they move on. I don't know how a marriage survives. It must be just love. Isn't love the root of all that is good? Doesn't love heal all things?

I'm grateful for the clan I have. I am saddened by the ones we've lost, the one's I have yet to find, and the one's to come.

I invite this sadness in today, to appreciate you, Dana, you young beautiful soul. You are missed, and loved. I hope to meet you once again, and truly get to know you. I invite sadness in today, to help me heal and grow strong. Healing occurs in the present moment. I will build roots, deep into the ground, not forgetting about you, yet honouring you and building a strong clan.

{Mantra} "OM"

#ESMEINK Journal Entry by Lise-Marie Johnson

#ESMEINK : "Love" Day 6

lightandlove

{ LOVE } 

Yesterday's solstice, on a full moon, spoke of a summer of love, a bountiful harvest to come, new beginnings, letting go, addressing fears and relationships. Strangely, all topics I've been compelled to write about in my journals this past week.

Today I write about love in the light of this moon!

I love, love. Always have. I believe there is someone for everyone. I knew I would find true love, and then, finally I did. When I least expected it, and that's a beautiful cliche.

Darkness is necessary for my growth.

I didn't get married super young, and I'm glad. I came close to settling. A couple of times. Yesterday I mentioned that I'm grateful for my ugly relationships because of what I learned from them. Today, rather than refer to them as "ugly relationships", I call them "the times that taught me about love".

These times became dark, and scary. I ended up feeling hatred towards myself, and I developed walls which would eventually effect future relationships. For me, these dark moments were important and necessary.

Darkness is where all seeds begin. They can't grow, blossom, or be appreciated by others if they're not down in the cold dark dirt to lay roots, and start growing. And grow, I did. I knew what I would and would not accept in a relationship. I knew what things I was willing to let go. I knew that morals had to match. I knew that Self growth was something I never wanted to be frowned upon, or discouraged. I knew how much I was willing to give back. I became ready for love, but didn't realize it until love smacked me in the face.

{True love.}

When Stacy and I met, we fell in love fast. So fast it was frightening. We decided to just go with it.

He accepted me for where I was at in my life. A lost soul, in need of real love. He helped me break down my walls when I was ready. He wasn't afraid of my baggage. He accepted my past, and wanted a future. It seemed too good to be true, and wasn't.

There are so many stages of love, and I don't' know how to explain them. All I know, is hindsight is beautiful. I love reflecting on where we've been, how far we've come, the beautiful moments, the challenges. We are entering our 7th year together this month. Rough patches in a good healthy relationship are pretty easily forgotten. They are normal. It means that we are, and always will be our own divine, individual selves, working together to achieve a feel-good, meaningful spiritual life.

We take the time to self love, in order to better love each other. We support one another in our decisions, knowing that our belief systems are aligned and keep us strong. We believe in each other, helping us believe in ourselves.

The future is bright with burning love.

{MANTRA}

Shima, shima, shima.

(Love, love, love.)

#ESMEINK Journal Entry by Lise-Marie Johnson

#ESMEINK : "Roots & The Base Chakra" Day 3

ROOTS

{Chakra #1  - Base}

chakras

I know that todays journal is one that I will be referring back to often. It's one that I really feel needs a lot of attention and care. It will be ongoing work within me.

As I am preparing to address my roots and grounded-ness today, I'm reminded about the organs associated with the base chakra that i've been called to work on. Those organs/body parts are, the base of spine, legs, bones, feet, rectum and immune system. What's interesting to me is connecting with how I feel in those physical areas. It's truly amazing how our bodies are so connected to our spiritual needs. It reminds me how paying close attention to my body is so important. Listen, feel, and respond!

The base chakra is all about roots, family, feeling grounded, control, feeling a sense of belonging, honour. It's referred to as the "tribal" chakra as well, referring to group identity and belief patterns. It's our connection to belief systems that can shape our future and give us some sense of belonging. I also strongly believe that when certain beliefs don't serve you in your life, find what does. I've gotten lost in this aspect more than once, but I know that I am on the right path today.

Fears within this chakra are connected to physical survival, abandonment of a group or loss of physical order. Strenghts within this chakra relate to family identity, bonding, tribal honour code, the support and loyalty that give a person a sends of safety and a connection to the physical world, or being comfortable living in "this" body.

I think the most important thing to remember within this chakra, is "all is one". My connection to nature and her energy is how I become grounded and plant my roots. Earth interconnects all people and all humanity.

I know that to maintain health within this chakra, I must address personal tribal issues. So here is where I begin.

BUILDING, AND LETTING GO.

It has taken a long time for Calgary to feel like home to me. And although in the last year I've really settled in with new friends, I'm still not feeling grounded. Part of my soul work tonight begins with making a commitment to myself to build a clan. Family. Tribe. The first chakra speaks of "tribe". People who are committed to finding themselves, and have similar values to me. Like minded individuals, who are not afraid to live and love outside of any box. Ones who dare to let their freak flags fly. Free spirits, rebels, humans who care about the planet and one another. Folks who understand the importance of educating younger generations about our cultures around the world. I want to be surrounded people who believe in the power of energy, and are searching and evolving and growing their souls on a daily basis. I commit not just to forming friendships such as these, but releasing the ones that no longer serve me, or steal my energy. Only growth, only grounding. I have to release the people and things that hold me back.

Ending friendships is hard, and awkward. There is no easy way to do it. But I give myself permission to have the life I dream of. I give myself permission to love myself wholly, which means feeding my heart with goodness, and being surrounded with the friends and family that make my world amazing. I will allow myself to grow, and learn from my elders, peers and children. I allow myself to let go. Of stress from poor relationships, fear, doubt, and all things that do not serve me in my life.

Today I feel incredible gratitude for the family I've got. I'm camping with my husband, kids and inlaws! (yes-with wifi-which is a first for me, but I've got to keep up with the journal momentum. Day 3!!!) Not only did I enter into a marriage with an amazing husband, but I've gained an incredible extended family with a mother and father in law who would die for their family. I feel like I've been a part of the "tribe" since the day I met them. The same goes for my brother and sister in law. And while we all have our differences, they love unconditionally. It is amazing. So today I let that resinate in my soul.

FAMILY {groundedness}

I'm blessed (an absolute understatement) to have an amazing family. Mom, dad, brothers, in laws, husband, children, and large extended family. I love them all so much. And I feel how much they love me too.

I have a void that has always left me with questions. And while sometimes i'm at peace with it, other times I'm not. The older I get, the more I feel I need answers.

Being adopted, in my eyes, is an amazing blessing, and was he most loving act of kindness that I could have been given. I'd some day like to thank my birth parents for that. I am so grateful for this gift.

I long to know about my biological history. Where I came from, what traits I have in common with these blood relatives, whether or not I have siblings, nieces, nephews, grandparents that are alive…endless questions.

I have to thank my brother Luke, for pointing something out that I never had considered when I was pregnant with my first babe. He said, "Hey Lise, do you realize that when you have this baby, that it will be the first blood relative of yours that you will ever get to meet?" That blew me away. Complete new meaning to having children! Love my two crazy maniacs so much. They are like me in so many ways. And it's opened my eyes to who I am, and how different I am than my own parents. I hadn't realized how different I was until having my own kids. How sweet these realizations are! Damn, I love life.

With no success of reaching my bio parents throughout canada's adoption/re-uniting processes, I've taken a step in a totally different direction and wonder where it may lead. It's a bit random, but it may actually get me some answers.

I've spent years in my head preparing for what I would say if I met my birth parent(s). I'm prepared for the possibility that they may not be alive. I'm prepared for the possibility that they may want nothing to do with me. I'm prepared for every possible scenario. I've thought about it for enough years now.

My adopted {true} parents are amazing, and have always said they would help me if I was ever interested in finding my bio parents. That is LOVE.

There is just a part of me longing to find a piece of the puzzle that is missing about me. I've never felt completely grounded. I've always been searching for who I am, and it's been hard. I've always been easily influenced by people, i feel, until my 30's. I would be in relationships where I would morph into this person I thought I was and who I knew my partner(s) wanted me to be. It was so false, and exhausting. I gave away so much of myself for so many years, because I didn't take the time to really evaluate who I was, or who I wanted to be. Of course, In my late 30's I now have a strong understanding of who I am and where I am going. I now stand up for what I believe in. If I don't like something, I'm not afraid to say it. I know more about who I am now, more than ever. And it's so cool! I started to really evaluate what speaks to me truly, and the one thing I recall that has always been strong in my heart and soul is spirituality, and energy. I can't help but wonder how much of that is a part of my ancestral heritage.

I can't wait to see what comes of this new search. I can't explain why I feel that knowing more about my ancestors will help me to feel grounded, or know more about myself, when all I need to do is look within me, and to mother earth. But I just feel the push forward in this. I hope to find truth, and gain closure, if not anything more. Then I know I can move forward with whatever information I have and know that the answers I have will be enough.

{BALANCING ACTIVITES}

To help myself feel grounded, I will spend more time in nature-especially bear foot. I will garden more. I will relax and spend more quality time with my family, and really connect with them on a deeper level.

{MANTRA}

Today I love and accept my family and friends as my tribe. They are a part of me. I believe If we are meant to meet, we will. At the right time in our lives. (Or in another life) I accept letting go of what and whom does not serve me in this lifetime. I accept that you may let me go too. I feel grounded today because I receive love from family, friends, and myself. Mother earth is always here, and I connect to her vastness and power which further grounds me. I accept things that I cannot change in my search for my birthparents and answers regarding them. Build tribe, let go, connect, ground, accept.

#ESMEINK Journal Entry by Lise-Marie Johnson

#ESMEINK : "Truth & Blockages" Day 2

brenebrown1

TRUTH

{Blockages}

"So, i'm stuck! I have all of these journaling ideas and topics, and while I know in my head how I feel about them, i'm having a hard time articulating and getting them written. Maybe the topics are too heavy. Maybe i'm afraid to face them? Maybe I've just got some work to do in these areas of my life. Turns out this is harder than I thought it would be.

Blockages, whether mental, emotional, spiritual, or physical, I feel are all the same. It indicates something is out of balance somewhere, and work needs to be done. It's really all the same. I could compare arterial blockage with writers block. OK. Obviously different, but still the same. Why is there blockage? where is it coming from? Did it start years ago-with a life altering event that pushed a person down a specific path leading to this problem? Or is it more simple than that? Fear, genetics. Or maybe just plain inexperience. I know everyone struggles with some kind of blockage at some point in their lives, possibly daily. I wonder how unaware of them we are until we are forced to look at them. Maybe i'm over thinking this.

Each topic I've chosen for myself seems to be a pandora's box waiting to be opened. But then I think-well, isn't that what I wanted? Isn't that the point in the first place? Why do I think that sitting down to journal should take a quick 10 minutes, and that the words will just come to me? Maybe they will. I'm sure after the first few days or after a week or so, routine will set in. They seem to be now! I will admit, once I get going its fun!

I've just decided in my head, that I will write about a particular blockage I have for tomorrow's topic. I have a chakra that needs addressing, and it's been on my mind a lot. It resides within the Base (root) chakra. "Tribe" is a word I hear a lot these days, and is very much a part of what this relates to. I think It's one that is a powerful foundation for every other chakra, and feeling grounded is key to being balanced in all of my other energy centres.

I'm excited to grow in this area. Long time comin', time for good lovin'!

{MANTRA}

I trust in myself to let insights surface effortlessly, and with great articulation.

I invite my soul to come forward, and break free of any blockages.

Find what feels good. Let it flow.

You've got this."

#ESMEINK Journal Entry by Lise Marie-Johnson

 

#ESMEINK :"How I Feel Today" Day 1

happy

WHERE I AM TODAY

"Someone whom I'm inspired by wrote these words, and they comfort me today;

"Sometimes it is best to sit in the darkness. Sometimes tears, confusion and surrendering into NOT KNOWING is the best place to be. Sometimes the darkness and discomfort of not-knowing is the remedy for our souls to slow-the-hell-down and listen." -Kori leigh.

Today, i'm at a fork in the road. I know which way I am headed, but I'm going crazy with not being in control of when i'll be headed there, as well as the slight possibility that it may not happen at all.

My soul prompts me to visualize the future. I have always felt that visualization can help get me to where I need to be. I can't wait to get where I'm going to. Or at least, where I think I'm going. On the flip side, I feel really lost when I think I won't get there.

{disconnect}

I feel disconnected to Calgary lately also. Knowing where I am going is frightening and exciting, and consumes my daily thoughts. I've somehow put the breaks on everything happening in my life in Calgary. It's easier to say goodbye that way. It's a strange feeling. Coasting, waiting. I believe every feeling and emotion to be not only normal right now, but necessary.

{soul work}

I believe in the importance of balance in life. Homeostasis.

It is normal to want balance, and when we have blockages, or feel imbalanced or just plain crazy, then that indicates work needs to be done. I

have been off balance for some time. In my body, mind, and soul. So I'm starting here. Today. Soul. That is why i'm writing. I've never kept a journal. Ok well, maybe a few entries from time to time. I've written poems and songs, but never taken an inventory of my soul and guided myself in a ritualistic, disciplined way. I keep looking ahead, because I think it will keep me focused and ready. But these thoughts consume me lately, and they're not serving me well right now. I need to let go, and accept that if this big change doesn't happen, that it will be ok. I need to live for today, and not for the future. I need to have faith, that I am exactly where I'm supposed to be. I have an amazing job, family, and am creating a beautiful circle of friends here in Calgary.

I'm letting go of the people and things that do not improve my quality of life, and that do not help me connect and feel grounded.

I'm pouring my feelings out and figuring out what it is that I really need and want. Because after all, If my heart is truly happy, it shouldn't matter where my heart resides. It resides within me.

My life tends to throw me curveballs when my eyes are closed. I want to be ready when it comes this time, because at least I have the advantage of knowing it's coming at some point. Plus, it's been a while since I've hit a home run. So yeah, i'm competitive by nature. I can compete hard with myself. I think that's healthy. Wether I remain in Calgary, or head closer to the coast, I will be ready for whatever is next.

I need to maintain balance by living in the now. My job is important and fun to me. I can't become too disconnected to the point that it stunts my growth. (just in case I was to stay). Daily writings will keep me present. So will yoga. So will work outs. So will clean whole foods. I will maintain balance as best as I can. I will check in with myself and allow all feelings to come through these pages, and accept all of them. I am here today for a reason. I love my beautiful life. I am blessed. I am ready.

{i accept}

I accept that right now, Calgary is home. I will meditate on that. I accept my physical being, exactly as I am. I will work to become the physical being I know I am, through self love, dedication and physical exercise. I accept that I have lots going on in my mind and soul, and commit to expressing feelings, and allowing myself to be vulnerable, and grow.

{mantra} I accept life today, and ME. I am here, I am now, I am present I am grounded."

#ESMEINK Journal Entry by Lise-Marie Johnson