blog journal

#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 : "Precious Life" Day 25

{ PRECIOUS LIFE }

"The trouble is,

you think you

have time."

-Buddha

Today's journal is short. It's a reminder to love deeper, life more passionately, breathe more deeply, and cherish moments. Even the thoughts in between moments. Because-as if I need to say it-life is short.

My husband and I had a scare tonight.

Our son, 5, nearly fell out of his bedroom window. It's high enough that It could have taken his life.

Thanks to our backyard neighbour, who saw him climbing out, -unlocked our gate, ran up to the back door and started ringing the doorbell and knocking frantically-he was ok.

My first thought was something happened to her. Then she yelled up at my son (as nice a she could as to not scare him) to get in the house.

 I saw him half out of the window, and very thankfully, he quickly got back in the house.

My husband had ran up the stairs to see him while I thanked her, in shock.

We are the lucky ones tonight.

I squeezed my kids longer tonight and explained more than ever how much we love them.

It's so important that they understand.

"Guard your time fiercely.

Be generous with it,

But be intentional about it."

-David Duchemin

buddah

#ESMEINK Journal Entry by Lise-Marie Johnson

#ESMEINK : "Life & Power" Day 24

albertcamus.jpg

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!

travel1

#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 : "Reflecting on Love" Day 15

marriage

Today Stacy and I are celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary. We have been together for 7 years!

What is marriage? What should it look like?

Truth, I think there is no model. I think it's based on so many things. I think every single marriage in this world looks different. But I also know, I love the way mine looks.

How well I am able to love my husband, is a direct reflection on how well I love myself. In a relationship it's so important to love one's self. That might mean healing wounds from a past relationships. Healing from a form of abuse. Maybe releasing/healing insecurities. Being true to who I am, and not moulding into what I think someone wants me to be. Discovering who I am continually, having someone accept that, and be willing to join him on his journey. Self love has been a work in progress for me lately, opening up new boxes. Really taking time for me. It means that I've put a little less focus on him. I know he feels it, but I also know he's not concerned because we talk about what I'm going through. He listens. He cares. We are both ever changing, and growing on our own as individuals. We love watching each other grow. It's beautiful. I can't wait for the next big thing for him. He's capable of such great things, and touching peoples lives. He pours more passion into everything he commits to, than any one I've ever met.

Inspiration. I've found it in Stacy. He's not afraid to try anything. From jumping off of a building on a movie set, to sleeping under the starts out in the wild chasing sasquatch, he won't let anything get in his way. Not judgement. Not fear. Not physical set backs. If he wants it, he gets it. Isn't that a great way to live?

Believing in someone. And knowing they believe in you too. His words infuse confidence in me. He believes in me. Truly. He pushes me forward when I have an idea. His support is always there, 100% of the time. And It' reciprocated.

Laughter is honestly, is what first attracted me to him. I've never laughed so hard in my life. Daily! It's so good for the soul.

Lovers first. We are always lovers first. When we are not lovers, we are best of friends. knowing that I have a best friend to come home to at the end of every day makes life easy. I'm not worried about coming home and being judged, shamed, feeling like a live in a space that's not mine or ours. It's pure freedom.

Vulnerability. Being able to open my heart and wholly let him in is the most vulnerable thing I've ever done. At first, this was a challenge. I was falling in love so fast, and I was scared. There had been past relationships that caused lots of heartache, and I needed recovery and healing from them. I've been able to do that because he earned my trust, and we have gone down the path of healing together. For that I am blessed.

So marriage, to me, is knowing there is always time for self love. Having someone who inspires and challenges me to become my greater self. It's having a lover, and a best friend. It's having an unbreakable support system that at times, may crack a little, but those are just symbolic of the challenges we overcome. Worlds colliding. Different belief systems that are instilled upon two individuals, coming together and tying to figure out how to exist together-and separately. It's beautiful, and hard, and beautiful again. It's so much more, than I ever could have imagined. It's so different that the picture I always had in my head. That, to me, is true love!

johnnycashquote

{VOW}

I will love you without judgement because you do the same for me. I will love you for who you grow to become because you love me through my growth. I promise to always give you freedom. Thank you for mine. Growing older with you is fun, and I vow to continue to keep it that way. I will always try to inspire you. Because you inspire me, to be the higher me. I will challenge you. In life, love, friendship and spirituality. I will rise to your challenges too. We've gotten through some of the toughest challenges. We find the lessons. We find the messages. The message that stands out the most, is that LOVE can heal all things. Love is strong. I still DO.

#ESMEINK Journal Entry by Lise-Marie Johnson

#ESMEINK : "Age of Loneliness" Day 13

hardships.jpg

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 : "Change" Day 11

perfection.jpg

progressCHANGE

{name it so you can change it}

I thought naming what sucks was a good topic on it's own. So, today I'm going to name it to change it again.

To say that trying to be a mom with a career is hard, would be an understatement. If i'm being honest, some days I want to throw in the towel. I think part of it is the age of my kids. They require lots of attention, love and teaching, and are not in school full time. Another part of it is time management. I know I could definitely do better in this area. I love being a mom. Wouldn't wish for my life to be any different. I only wish for strength and wisdom to do it better. I feel the same way about my career.

{symmetry}

Finding balance in all things in life, is an ongoing process. Juggling family and career is just one of them. When I put too much effort into one, the other suffers. Sometimes my mood determines which one I exercise my focus on.

I know the key to maintaining balance, is knowing when I've lost it. Paying attention to symmetry in my life. Putting all of my eggs in one basket, could be described as a bit extreme. But I want the best of both worlds. I want to be the best at everything I do. It's in my nature.

I am learning for sure, that taking time to live life-like, really LIVE, will only inspire my work. So maybe that's just where I should put more focus.

Also, I have to remind myself, it's okay to turn work off to live the life you dream of.

I think all I can do is be my best at whatever is is that I'm doing at the present moment.

#ESMEINK Journal Entry by Lise-Marie Johnson

perspective

#ESMEINK : "Defining Me" Day 9

self.jpg

self2

{who am I?}

How can it be, that I'm still discovering who I am? Does that ever end? Or is it similar to growing to reach divine enlightenment? Something a spiritual person strives for every day. Becoming a warrior. When will I be ready to tell my story? What is my story? Everyone has one, how do I sum it up?

This is what I'm facing the past month. Getting dirty. Telling my story. Building a "brand". Knowing whom I'd like to reach. Defining my mission and purpose. I think that it may be somewhat evolutionary, and a one-day-at-a-time type of journey. I also think I'm on my way. These journals are helping me break through barriers and nourishing my soul.

{Me}

I am a mother, a lover, a spiritual soul searching for a greater purpose, a glass-half-full kind of person. I love culture, food, mother earth, and all things strange. I'm competitive (mostly with myself). I love LOVE.  I dislike judgement. I have fears. I have regrets. I know my mistakes enable me to learn and grow. I love watching my children grow into beautiful little humans. I believe in the importance of what elders have to offer and teach, and the importance of instilling tradition and culture in my children. I think we (humans) have a certain duty to teach our young how to care for themselves, the earth, and their elders, and carry on traditions. I love the "togetherness of food" (culture). I use the word LOVE a  lot.

{self love}

Some of the things I love about myself in no particular order; I'm kind and soft spoken when necessary. I'm wild and free when I open up. I'm loyal. I'm a good listener. I don't' judge. I love all humans, and believe in the good of humanity. I'm spiritual, and want to grow. I'm athletic, and love mother earth. I''m able to grow and harvest food, and prepare and preserve it. When I set out to achieve something, I almost always do. I forgive easily. I love my work. I am looking forward to the future. Although we (humans) are creatures of habit, I embrace change fairly well. I am gaining confidence in saying "no" to the things I don't want, and letting go of things and people in my life that do not serve me well. My self-confidence is growing daily.

{Name it, to change it -commitment}

Naming what sucks can be liberating. Today, I thought about going with procrastination, because it is something that's always needed focus. However, the commitment I have to getting these daily journals posted it keeping me some what in check. So I'm going to go with books (but truly, commitment). I LOVE books. But, It' s not often that I complete a book in it's entirety. I get damn close most of the time. Even books I'm interested in! Needless to say, (I think?) I always end up picking up these books later, or think about finishing them. It drives me crazy. Maybe I just need to feed my brain what it needs at the moment, and change it up as my mind desires something different. But it drives me crazy. I lack follow through. I also lack time to read with having toddlers.

So, now I'm dedicated to finish the most recent book I started. I'm a quarter of the way through. I'm not going to give myself a timeline. Goals/timelines don't always work out for me, but I'll get it done.

I feel like the "book" is a metaphor for commitment. So, that being said, I commit to getting this book read. Interestingly, commitment is something that is rooted to the base chakra. Which is where I'm putting much of my focus lately. Funny how these things unfold as I write! Life is divine!

I leave today's journal with an amazing quote by the amazing Jim Morrison;

"The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can't be any large-scale revolution until there's a personal revolution on an individual level. It's got to happen inside first."

-Jim Morrison

#ESMEINK Journal Entry by Lise-Marie Johnson

 

#ESMEINK : "Consciousness" Day 8

youzignvvv

{ Consiousness }

"He reached over to the refrigerator, grasped an onion, and tossed it to me. "Peel it, layer by layer," he demanded. I started peeling. "What do you find?" "Another layer." "Continue." I peeled off a few more layers. "Just more layers, Soc." I said. "Keep going." "There's nothing left." "There's something left, all right." "What's that?" "The universe. Consider that as you walk home."

-From the book, "Way of the peaceful warrior"

Just when I feel like I'm going crazy because of how busy my mind is, I come across this piece from an amazing book. It's a lot to consider for sure. I'm called to meditate. Journalling has been great, but seems to have opened up so many thoughts, feelings, and confusion. I am writing down thoughts and ideas the moment I get them, so that I can write about them later. Some of them I don't feel ready to tackle when it comes time to sit down and write. Others, i'm just not that passionate to write about. I want each entry to really mean something. I want to work on my soul. Find what drives me. Get to know myself better.

There is change upon me, and it's a strong, heavy feeling. I don't know what it is, but I only feel this way when I know something big on the way. It's a strange energy.

{change}

Only the mind is resistant to change. When we are able to relax to a state of mindlessness, we feel happy, free, present, and don't sense separation from anything.

"The body is Consciousness; never born; never dies; only changes. The mind-your ego, personal beliefs, history, and identity-is all that ends at death." -"way of the peaceful warrior"

I want my mind to be less noisy. I want to feel more present. Meditation helps. If I can pay attention to the 2 main processes; insight and surrender, then I should be able to let go and be free of the mind, in those moments I need peace. Insight-paying attention to what is arising. Surrender-letting go of attachment to arising thoughts. I allow thoughts to come in, and I allow myself to let them go. This will give me peace.

I have no mantra for today. Rather, I will breathe deep, listen to the rhythm of my heartbeat and breath. For today, I am alive with many passions, and I will move through these thoughts without getting stuck.

"Quiet the mind, and the soul will speak." -Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati

conciousness

#ESMEINK Journal Entry by Lise-Marie Johnson

#ESMEINK : "Healthy Mind, Healthy Body" Day 7

mind

{HEALTHY MIND, HEALTHY BODY}

"Caring for the mind is as important and crucial as caring for the body. In fact, one cannot be without the other." -Unknown

Being "healthy" generally has a large emphasis on food and exercise. Often, what's forgotten is state of mind. There is, a definite balance between the three. For myself, when one of those is out of balance, I generally fall apart in some way or another. Sometimes for a day, sometimes longer.

This past year, I had to let go of some anxiety relating to food, to ease my mind.

While I was in school studying holistic nutrition, I became increasingly afraid of making the wrong choices when it came to food. Is it a whole food? Are there ingredients, and what are they? Sugar is poison, is the food I buy ethical and humane? Am I supporting local? Am I deficient in nutrients, what are my symptoms? The questions were endless, and they haunted me. These thoughts and questions built and built, and the worry for my children and husband were present too.

Why, having all of this new, amazing information, did I feel more worried than ever? I would think that being empowered to make the best food choices should put me at ease. Isn't knowledge power? It didn't' feel that way.

I started to feel anxiety for the first time in my life. I had no idea where it was coming from until I self-evaluated. I first began looking at other symptoms I had, and there were none, other than that, and exhaustion. So I realized I needed to support my adrenals. I needed to focus more on exercise, and less about the food.

Finally, it clicked. I was so consumed with how my choices of food would do me right or wrong, that I'm sure I manifested unnecessary stress, affecting my nervous system and adrenals.

I Truly beleive that constant worry or fear can manifest health problems. Our biography can become our biology. In other words,- when thoughts, beliefs or fears are thought about consistently enough, they create physical pathways in the brain, and can have an effect on our health at some point. However, just as these thoughts are created, they can also be addressed and changed. It's all the power of the mind, and the willingness to change.

My state of mind, has had a physical effect on my body. It does for anyone, when the situation allows. I need to listen to my body, but more importantly, I need to let go of fear.

We live in a world where food is plentiful. We have more food than we need. We have more choices than ever.

I know how to make choices that are right for my family and I. I just need to simplify. I've been working on meditation. Releasing fears.

I focus on how blessed we are to have the freedom to make choices. I will say YES to pizza. I will enjoy the slowness of food. Growing, harvesting, creating, sharing food.

Our culture has gotten so far away from the true pleasure of a meal; the experience. Who we eat with can bring us joy. Preparing a meal is so satisfying, especially when feeding others. It's so much more than just what's on the fork, and it's that thought that brings me satisfaction and peace. Besides, don't I have better things to worry about?

{MANTRA}

By experiencing the joy, and culture of food, I release fear, and take on peace

#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 : "Desire & Fear" Day 4

fear

DESIRE AND FEAR : Public Speaking 

"We don't create abundance. Abundance is always present. We create limitation" -Arnold Patent

I feel this overwhelming drive to want to speak in front of crowds. To educate and inspire. It terrifies me just as much as I feel the pull to do it. I lack confidence, because I typically don't fail at things when I really want them. I refuse. But that has to be a good thing. Some one whom I look up to very much explained that if I feel scared, or nervous, or have doubts, it means essentially that I am ready. Otherwise, I suppose I wouldn't have these thoughts in the first place. I know what I want to be successful. I don't want my fears to create limitations in my life any longer.

What am I afraid of and why the blockage? I remember grade 5 like it was yesterday. I had a very shy exterior. I've never been great or confident in front of crowds (at least that's how i've always felt). Each student in every class from each grade was to compose a speech and present in front of their own class. Gross. So we all got through it, and somehow I was nominated from my class to present my speech in front of the school assembly. Of course, I declined the offer left, right, up, down, until I felt convinced to finally say yes to this horrible idea.

Day of assembly. My turn. Nervous as %&*$!! Not sure the delivery presented anything other than that. I got through it, but didn't remember much. (probably due to shock)

End of that school day. An un-named boy, well known in the school with his crew, walked passed me and said…"by the way, your speech sucked". He and his friends all laughed.

I've had reservations about public speaking since. Crazy that something that happened so many years ago can have such an impact even as an adult! Insecurities suck.

People change. We were all kids, and there are no ill feelings towards that person at all. I've said things I'm not proud of as a human, but that's being a kid.

It's learning and growing.

I had another bad public speaking experience where I was just unprepared, and had to deliver a 5 minute presentation for a group interview with a company for a position. I got about one minute in before a complete mental block, and finally, after a good long 20 seconds or so, had to take my seat awkwardly.

Since then, I've had to speak in front of crowds a handful of times. Each time it's gotten easier. First, because I was prepared, and second, because I've grown from my past experiences. I have also learned, that almost everyone is terrified of public speaking-even the ones who are good at it!

My husband posted a quote on facebook that I had to keep….

''I think midlife is when the universe gently places it's hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear:
I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go.
Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy of love and belonging, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever.
Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.''
-Brené Brown

{MANTRA}

I am ready. The time is now. I release fear. It is not welcome. Growth is upon me, and my Desires will become reality.

#ESME INK 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