Posts tagged #joy

Calling Europe Over the Holidays and Other Holiday Traditions

I love this time of year. I celebrate Christmas and as with any holiday we may be celebrating, there is nothing better than traditions. Here is what creates meaning for me:

1. Holiday baking party with friends. As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist with part Italian heritage, I obviously love food! It is no exaggeration when I say that an entire phone conversation with my mom or my nana can be about food--how we prepared it, what ingredients we used and how much we enjoyed it. Aside from cooking I also adore baking. My version of baking that is (think healthier versions, whole food ingredients and organic ingredients). For the past five years I host a party where I get together with some baking enthusiasts and we whisk stuff, blend more stuff and lick spoons for a couple of fun-filled hours. Note: not all recipes turn out, like the time we created a glass casserole dish full of fruit soup with a soggy oatmeal bottom (our unfortunate version of berry cobbler). C'est la vie.

2. Watching the Main Four. Elf with Will Farrell. A Christmas Carol with Alistair Simms (the scary black and white version that makes me bawl every time--"Forgive me, Fran, forgive me!"). A Christmas Story (you'll shoot your eye out, kid!). It's a Wonderful Life (I've probably watched this a total of ...lets see... 100 times).

3. Talking to relatives overseas. Anyone who has called overseas on the holidays is well aware how similar it is to a Saturday Night Live skit. Scene: Italian Nana with a tiny address book falling apart at the seams rifles through the pages for forty-five minutes trying to find the five hundred digit phone number to dial. Then she argues with you for another twenty-minutes over the country code versus the area code. Once you actually dial the number, it is busy and you don't get through for another hour. Then comes the minute possibility that no one in the small Italian or Croatian town is home or they have most likely gone to bed--at 8:00pm. If we do get to speak to someone this is my dilemma: I don't speak Italian well enough to hold a conversation and my relatives in Italy and Croatia don't speak English well enough to understand me, so I basically get on the phone when it's my turn and say, "Buon Natale" "Come Stai?" "Grazie" and other words like that, hoping they are in the right order and sprinkled into the conversation at the right time. My nana used to translate for me, but she's not at the point where that will happen anymore, so I'll have to think of something else now. On the bright side, I'm Facebook friends with my Italian cousin and he can say a few English phrases, so maybe he can still pass on my holiday cheer from me to them!

4. Wishing that everyone was in one place. I am well aware that I made the decision to move across the country away from the friends I grew up with and my parents, but it still sucks when the reality of the holidays kicks in. My family is very spread out across Canada and Europe. A lot of my time over the holidays is spent on the phone. My vision is to one day hold an epic party with everyone altogether in one room. This may be an impossible fantasy but one can dream!

5. Being present to the magic of the season. I feel more joy during this time of year. It doesn't have anything to do with my circumstances; it is a feeling that takes over and moves me out of any sad, frustrating or challenging times. I've had horrible and wonderful holidays and everything in between. The one constant is the feeling of magic. Tap into that feeling and rise above your life circumstances--connect with the energy of joy. Need help with that? Sign up for my newsletter below for inspiration, encouragement and tips!

I would love to hear about your family traditions. Comment below and share your top 3 faves.
 

Posted on December 7, 2016 and filed under Uncategorized, entertainment.

What’s So Funny? How to Heal With Humor

What’s the fastest path to joy and peace? Laughter. From the very first time I had a giggle fit at the age of six and subsequently split my head open on the baseboard from laughing so hard, I was hooked. Laughter did something for my soul that nothing else could and it still guides me through all my challenges in life. This is why I firmly subscribe to this tenet: laughter is the best medicine.

And that ain’t no joke.

If laughter and humor is so great, then how can we use this transformational elixir to heal our wounds?

1.       Go back to your childhood. Don’t worry this is not about uncovering any hidden psychological hangups—we are looking for the funny. What made you laugh back then? If your uncle slipped down the stairs one winter and you found that hysterical—that’s one example. Did your brother pee on your babysitter? What made you laugh until it hurt? Bring up these memories and join in on the fun again. Think about those times and conjure them up when you’re feeling low. Your brain does not know the difference between now and then. If you are laughing at a memory, your body will experience it in the now. Your chemistry will change and bob’s your uncle—you’re on the funny train back to joy and peace.

2.       Raise your vibration. As mentioned above, laughing will change your brain chemistry. In the same way, your energy frequency will also change. The art of humor relies on surprise and shock in some cases. You are jolted out of your state of being into another one. Joy and laughter is a higher energy frequency than sadness, fear and anger. You can uplevel yourself with one outburst of laughter. How cool is that?! Use humor to shake yourself out of one state and into a more expanded one. When we are more relaxed, joyful and peaceful, the healing can take place in our body—we can release emotions and soothe the pain. We are not laughing our way OUT of an emotional experiences, we are laughing our way to resolution. Here is a chart that exemplifies the levels of vibrational frequency—not to be judge the levels as bad or good, but to see where you are on the scale of contraction or expansion. If you are more expansive, you can live life with more ease.

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3.       Pass it on. I know people who are naturally funny. You look at them and start to laugh hysterically. They don’t even have to blink, they are just FUNNY. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. If you are such a person, please pass this gift on to others. Spread the joy. This is healing and cathartic for you as well. Making people laugh is the greatest joy in life for some. Most stand-up comedians have had a really rough life. They use the comedy to transcend their pain. To joke about their tragedies is incredibly healing—for the performer and the audience. The next time you feel low, try making someone laugh. The results will be transformative.

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What do you find funny? Who makes you laugh more than anyone? Share below and spread the joy!

Posted on September 13, 2015 and filed under emotional growth.

Take the Fear Out of Self-Love

I’m not one to reinvent the wheel, so let us stick with the timeless February theme: LOVE. Love takes many forms, but it all stems from how you feel about yourself. Last year gave me plenty of insight into how I treated myself. Frankly, it was a shocker.

You know those strange little behaviours that form the basis of your unique personality? Well, some of them may be outright self-bullying until you take a look at them boldly. Here is an excerpt from Chapter three of my book “What Would Little Red Riding Hood Do? 7 Ways to Face Your Wolf and Live Happily Ever After” in which I explore my fear of facing myself:

“I wasn’t willing to look at myself. I wasn’t willing to look in the mirror and ask what’s wrong. Why are you feeling like this? Why do you have so much anxiety? Why is there so much pain? I didn’t want to ask any of that, so I put on my running shoes and ran.

This frantic hamster wheel motion went on for many years, taking me from one place to another with my suitcase and boxes. I was worn out, exhausted and constantly in a state of anxiety. It felt as if something was chasing me; I now know it was my awareness.

I encourage you to look at yourself in whatever form it may take (the mirror, on paper, with a trusted friend/advisor). Instead of running or jumping or diving into the sand…let’s face ourselves and you'll see that it’s not so bad. You might even like it. In fact you will love it, because deep down there is a part of you that really loves YOU for YOU!”

Here’s to looking full on at oneself in the name of self-love. Happy Valentine’s Day!
 

Take a look at some changes I made last year—you may want to try some of these:

  1. I no longer buy things that make me say: “that's good enough for now”, “not too bad” or “I’ll just ignore the fact that I don’t really like it” (don’t ask me it was just an unconscious habit); I do buy things that make me say: “fantastic”, “holy sh*t that’s awesome”, “I love this for life”. Translation: does NOT mean more expensive.
     
  2. I surround myself with pleasant and beautiful things: aka fresh flowers, new pictures on the wall, and happytastic photos of myself; I got rid of and I’m in the process of exchanging/replacing and burning all items connected to past relationships, hand me downs and anything heavily laden with emotional baggage.
     
  3. I take part in gratitude practices and focus on things/situations/people that make me feel happy (ex. 100happydays.com).
     
  4. I take time to pamper myself: I went for a full body Dead Sea scrub. That was amazing. Not to mention being introduced to disposable underwear—strange concept, but interesting.
     
  5. I find ways to purge negative emotions/feelings/vibes through yoga, walking and journaling.
     

All of the above brings me more joy, confidence, adventurous tendencies and spontaneous bursts of happiness! How will you bring more self-love into your life today?