Vanessa's Top Tips for Moving Without Going Totally Crazy

We just moved into a new apartment! Hooray and stuff! And, the moving experience was everything you’d think it was: exciting, annoying, dusty, sweaty, busy, frenetic, and so on.

There was a lot of mental real estate that got hijacked by the move. For example, I spent a ridiculous amount of time measuring things and imaging where furniture would go.  

Since my brain spent so much time thinking about all this that I’m squeezing it all out into a blog post (you’re welcome?).  Here are my top tips for moving without going crazy:

Read More
Why Weird is Wonderful

I have a fondness for the word ‘weird,’ which may seem... well, weird, considering that it’s often used in a negative context. Like when my partner tells me, “You’re soooo weird,” something I hear quite often. I take it as a compliment. She does not mean it that way. We agree to disagree.

Luckily, my parents were really big on ‘being yourself’ and ‘doing what makes YOU happy’. As a result, I was always my unique, weird self as a kid. But aren’t we all up until a certain point? Growing into a bigger kid, I became aware that other people were trying to fit into the group instead of being themselves. That was an interesting discovery! I started wondering if I should be doing that too.

Read More
The CAH! (Choices! Actions! Habits!) Blog Series: Getting Up Earlier

“Choices! Actions! Habits!” is like “Lights! Camera! Action” for your actual, real life. It’s about creating habits that stick by doing things in the right order so that you can get better results with less effort.

I chose getting up earlier as an example because in my experience it comes up a lot. People often want to get up earlier to have a more pleasant morning and have more time to themselves. If you’re a night owl with aspirations of becoming an early bird, I dedicate this to you. 

Read More
Assorted Thoughts About My 10-Day Vipassana Meditation Course

Well, I’m back from my 10 Day Course, and so far my reintegration into ‘society’ has been great. I am really only struggling with one thing: answering the question “So, how was it?” I’m stoked people are interested, but it’s kind of a hard thing to explain.

So I’m going to answer some of the questions people have asked me, and some of the questions that my busy brain asked myself while I was there :)

Read More
So... I'm Going to Jail!

On July 4th I’m checking myself into Mindfulness Jail. That’s the funny-but-also-kinda-true nickname I’ve given to the Ontario Vipassana Centre, where I will do my first (and possibly only… we’ll see) 10 day Silent Meditation Retreat.

Fun fact: Vipassana means ‘seeing things as they really are.’ It is a meditation technique based on self-observation, using breathe to focus your mind. Since I tend to go on and on (and on!) about the benefits of self-awareness, this seems right up my alley.

Read More
Self Criticism and Self Compassion: A Smackdown

I don’t think I’ll set off any new revolutions by saying that self criticism is bad. We all know it. We all have an inner critic, and whether they are very noisy or more passive aggressive or only visit on holidays or hang out with us everywhere we go, that guy is a jerk. We know it isn’t helpful to listen to jerks in general, let alone the one in our heads (often the meanest jerk around town) - so why is it so tempting?​​

Read More
My Fave Books of 2017

I truly believe it doesn’t matter what you read, it all contributes to learning and so it’s all good. As you can see some of my favourite reading experiences this year were with books that infuriated me or seemed like unlikely picks, and some were right up my alley and made me super happy to read. If you normally choose books up your alley too, then I hereby challenge you to seek out some books that will… well, challenge you ;)

Read More
Why Advice Is Not a Dirty Word

Yes, advice can be hella problematic. I’m sure we’ve all offered advice to a friend to have it come back and bite us in the butt. Like when you told your friend they should definitely breakup and then they end up engaged and you’re not invited to the wedding / open bar. Who hasn’t tried following someone’s advice because it seemed like such a good idea but then it just didn’t work at all in real life, leaving you frustrated and feeling like a disappointment to all involved?

Read More
Five(+) Reflections On 13,693 Steps

I had a lot of reflections on my first day of doing this, a likely side effect of the extra thinking time. And so I will now share them with you in the hopes that you will immediately start walking 10,000 steps tomorrow. No wait… that’s not the point of sharing stories. Here it is: I will now share my reflections with you because I think they are applicable to all kinds of things, and I can tell you are a person who likes getting s**t done (we have so much in common!)

Read More