Today was a good day. Today I am grateful.

A dear friend of mine, Ashok, recently told me that I should end each day by saying ‘Today was a good day, today I am grateful’.

I’m trying to take his advice to heart, knowing that if I start believing the better, I’ll start seeing the better. I’ve always been someone who’s had a hard time getting past the negatives in a day. But I’m making changes. I’m trying to remind myself the good is more important, and that I need to stop and pay more attention to it when it comes.

Today was a beautiful summer day. In what’s a seemingly rare occasion around here this season, the sun was shining… all day long, the birds chirped, the world (at least my corner of it) was peaceful. Anxiety will always be a part of me, but that doesn’t mean it has to be the largest part. Today, my anxiety did not win.

Never apologize for being a powerful fucking woman.

Excuse my language, please. I felt the need to include the ‘f-word’ in there as an accentuation of the statement.

There are a lot of people in this world that believe women should be subservient to the male gender. There are a lot of people in this world that believe women shouldn’t have opinions, shouldn’t speak up and shouldn’t stand up for themselves. There are a lot of people in this world believe women should be quiet, stay on the sidelines, never cause a fuss and always have a smile on their face.

DO NOT listen to those people.

Be strong. Be fierce. Be an ally for good. Be a powerful warrior for change. Don’t allow anyone to make you feel as though you’re less than everything you know you are and you know you’re capable of. Have opinions. Share your opinions. Don’t back down if someone mistreats you, stand up for yourself. Don’t take shit from anyone.

I think there’s a misconception in this world that women are too sensitive to be powerful. That we’re too compassionate to be strong. That we’re too giving and forgiving to stand up for ourselves. That’s simply not the truth. You can be kind, caring, compassionate, sensitive, giving, fierce and strong. You can be a force for change and you can force change.

Don’t ever allow anyone to let you feel as though you’re anything less than Goliath on a good day. And, most importantly, don’t ever apologize for being a powerful fucking woman.

The brutal truth.

There’s no secret to being social media famous. I’m sorry if this bursts preconceived notions or beliefs of what’s possible, but there isn’t.

Anyone who is famous on social media got there based on one or more of the following: dumb luck, an ability to follow fads/trends and… probably because they were in the right place at the right time (or they’re a Kardashian still riding the fame of their sister’s sex tape).

I know I’ve said this before but PLEASE don’t spend your money on social media workshops. Please don’t spend your money to buy followers. You work hard for your money and there’s nothing either of these two options can give you that will bring you fulfillment to your blog, twitter, Instagram or any other platform.

I believe people who sell ‘Social Media Management’ and people who sell ‘ [X amount] of Authentic Followers’ are stealing. I really do. Please don’t get scammed.

Mental health and well-being tips Therapists actually provide to patients.

The goal of therapy is to give yourself the necessary tools to help cope, improve or get through whatever situations you’re dealing with that are causing you to struggle. And truth be told, majority of the work done in therapy takes place outside of the Therapist’s office. This is because a Therapist doesn’t fix you, you fix yourself.

What this means is that you have the real power to enact change in your life. Consider taking small steps every day to help yourself feel better. The following are genuine suggestions provided by a therapist to help improve your present situation, if you’re in need of the boost to your well being.

Love, appreciate and respect yourself. If you’re willing to love, appreciate and respect others in your life, why aren’t you willing to do the same for yourself? Imagine what you could accomplish if you directed those feelings towards yourself.

When you’re stuck in a negative spiral, write down three things that you like about yourself. It could be something so simple as ‘I love that I’m tall’. Reminding yourself of the things you like about yourself will help to boost your self-esteem in times of need whilst also forcing some much needed serotonin to your brain to help your mood.

If you cannot control the situation, try to find a positive in every negative. Take your negative situations and turn them on their head. Even if it’s the smallest of positives, every positive thought will do your brain benefit. Ex: Did you get fired from your job? It sucks, yeah. Remind yourself that you dodged a bullet because you hated that job and the people who worked there. Is someone being a real asshole towards you lately? Remind yourself that their actions are a reflection of who they are and not of you.

Do something nice for yourself each day. It’s easy to neglect yourself when you’re in a slump. This, in fact, is one of the worst things you can do for yourself. Treat yourself well. Give yourself a reason to relax. Give yourself a reason to smile. You’ll thank yourself for it.

Make a list of ‘your people’. You know the people who you can call or text any time of the day and they’ll respond, be receptive to what you’ve got to say and try their best to help? Put them on your list and consider it cultivation of our inner circle. These are the people who are going to help you when you’re in your low moments and these are the people you need/want to keep around when you’re on top of the world.

Don’t let your inner-voice win. Anyone who’s dealt with mental health issues can agree, your inner-voice is a duplicitous SOB. Not only that, but it can often feel as though your head wins over your heart every time. Don’t let that negativity rear its ugly head without fighting back. When your brain tells you that you suck, say ‘not at all’. When your brain tells you that no one likes you, say ‘you’re lying’. Don’t let that inner-voice win. It seems easier said than done, so in these moments when you need to tell yourself better, imagine the advice you’d give to your best friend. Take that advice and give it to yourself.

Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution and when your main goal should be to fix things and make your life better, you don’t need that negativity in your life.

Exercise. Every day. Just thirty minutes of minimal exercise is the equivalent to a low-dose of Prozac for your brain. If you’re needing your mood brightened then take a walk, go to the gym, climb the stairs, go for a run, play some basketball, play some baseball. Just exercise. However you do it, it will benefit your mental and physical health.

Cut-back on the alcohol. If you find that you drink when you’re stressed, depressed, anxious or down, you’re probably not doing yourself any good. The alcohol may mask your feelings for a few hours, but the monster will rear its ugly head when the buzz wears off. Using alcohol as a coping mechanism is a crutch… one that isn’t doing you any favours.

Have a night-time ritual. It’s a well known fact that a good night’s sleep is integral to your health and well being. When you’re depressed, anxious, stressed or struggling, getting a good night’s sleep can seem like the world’s most difficult task. Train your body that certain activities are winding you down at the end of each day. Doing this when your in a good place will hep you to do this when you’re not in a good place, so to speak.

Remember that you, and only you, have the power to enact real change in your life. Take control of your mental health today and remember that it takes time to see real improvement. There is no quick fix, you need to make a serious and genuine investment in your well being.


Want to read more on the subjects of mental health and self care? CLICK HERE

Grow through what you go through.

Growing up, there wasn’t a ton of money to go around my house. With a boatload of kids, living in one of the most expensive cities in Canada, my parents had every penny counted towards something two days prior to pay day arriving.

There were times when things got really bad. And yes, I know I am not the only one on earth who can say this. I was not alone in what I went through. And a lot of what I went through, kids are going through right now.

On more than one occasion, my brother’s and I went out on our bikes after dark to collect bottles from around the neighbourhood so that my mom could return them to the grocery store in hopes of getting $10 for gas money. That $10 would quite literally be the difference between my dad being able to drive to work and my dad hitchhiking to work. And since my parents always did everything within their power to make sure their children were looked after, as kids, we did everything in our power to make sure our parents were looked after.

I’ve learned a lot of lessons from my past. While I am a firm believer that our pasts don’t define us, I also believe that our past does teach us a lot if we’re willing to learn from it.

Me, I know A LOT about how to stretch a dollar. I’m exceptionally good with my money. And, though it does worry me at times (as I’m sure it does with everyone on earth unless you’re Bill Gates), I recognize that my upbringing taught me a lot about how to stay calm in times of financial struggle or monetary crisis.

Everyone on this earth has been through something difficult in their life. EVERYONE. What I’ve noticed though is some people seem doomed to make the same mistakes over and over. They’re not willing to learn from what they’ve been through.

I think that one of the best things you can do for your development and growth as a human is to learn from the circumstances that have made you. Grow through what you go through; learn from what you’ve been through. If you truly want to better yourself, to let your past make you better and your present make you stronger, then learn your lessons. Take the shittiest things that have ever happened to you and ask yourself how you can make sure that never happens again. Remember the hard times and ask yourself what you learned from them. I guarantee you, even if it’s not top of mind, you learned something from these times.

If you’ve been through hard times, if you’re going through hard times, ask yourself what you can take from the difficult and the struggle. Ask yourself how it’s going to make you better. Grow through what you go through. It sounds cliche but you’re braver than you think, stronger than you know and smarter than you believe.

It’s the simple things…

I don’t want a fancy house. I don’t have to have fancy jewelry. I don’t desire designer goods. I don’t think expensive restaurants are all that great. I don’t need the newest and best, the biggest or the brightest. There’s nothing wrong with any of these things, they’re just not something I long for.

When I think about my life, I don’t quantify it in the things I own, I quantify it in the places I’ve been, the people I’ve met, the things I’ve seen.

I like simple. I like moments. I like sunsets and seascapes. I like the serenity in the air after a rain storm has ended. I like driving down the highway when a good song comes on the radio and I can’t help but sing at the top of my lungs. I love cultures and people who show me a way of life that’s not my own. I appreciate people who make me think about things in a way that I never have before. I admire people who are true to themselves and damn proud of being so. I appreciate honesty and authenticity and if I could ask for one thing in life, it would be more honesty and authenticity from the people in my life… and people everywhere.

If I could give thing to every person I meet, it would be a compliment. Whether you know the person or not, a compliment can always brighten the day of someone… even when they’re down in the dumps. I know this firsthand because I know how much I appreciate it when people pay me compliments. Speaking of compliments, Blog of the Wolf Boy paid me a huge compliment in asking me to partake in his ‘Behind the Author’ series for his blog. So stay tuned for that.

What I want out of life is happiness. And it’s definitely the simple things in life that make me happy. A smile, a laugh, a sunny day, exceeding potential, passionate kisses, thoughtful gestures, I could go on and on. To me, I don’t want fancy, I don’t want designer, I don’t need expensive. I just want the quiet nobility of leading a good life and an appreciation for the things I’ve seen and the things I’ve accomplished and a wanderlust for the places I’ve not yet been.

I want you to know

You change things. You make things better… you make me better. The way that you see the world is admirable and I’m drawn to it in the way the tide is drawn to the gravitational pull of the moon. Bright, reliable and relentless.

I love who you are. I love what you stand for. I love you. I love everything about you and, though I know change is inevitable in life, I hope your change comes through growth. I hope that, much like a fine wine, the very basic core of who you are and what you stand for only gets better with time.

Thank you for your kindness, for your sincerity, for your generosity in a world where it seems to be dwindling at increasing rates with each day that passes. Thank you for making me believe more and believe better of myself and better of everyone. Thank you for always seeing the bright side, even on a dull day. Thank you for existing. I know you probably don’t feel like it makes a difference, but your existence in this world does. You are the change that I want to be and the change that I wish to see.

Thank you for always trying, even when I tell you not to. And thank you for never turning away when I tell you to leave, because you know that it’s the moments when people push others away that they need someone the most. Thank you for understanding. Thank you for never questioning and thank you for always supporting, even when I don’t deserve it.

Thank you for being you. For being strong, independent, intelligent and brave. Thank you for being thoughtful, grateful, insightful and humble.

I want you to know you change things. Because you do.