Being Present In The Moment

Living with chronic depression and severe anxiety as I do it’s so easy to get caught up in both our past and our future, leaving us feeling very worn down, overwhelmed and vulnerable and often unable to live in the moment or be present in our own life. 

It’s been an incredibly difficult few days for so many of us who have been trying to come to grips with the cruel reality and accept the loss of a precious life that was taken from us far to soon. 

But Jesse, who was wise beyond his short life, left behind so many invaluable gifts for all of us to cherish and learn from, especially the gift of knowing how to embrace every moment by living in the moment and being present in our own life.

He taught us to appreciate life to the fullest and all of its encompassing beauty no matter what. He taught us to focus on the now and to relish life in the moment. He showed us how to be thankful for the small wins, however small they may seem.

He taught us that any random or spontaneous act of kindness can brighten someone’s day and that a smile or a kind word will take you a very long way. He taught us that worrying about our future can take away precious moments of our present day and he also taught us how to express gratitude right here and right now.

These are the kind of invaluable gifts that we all need to hold on tight to. So to honour Jesse’s memory today I’m asking that we all take a moment to be in the moment and to focus on what is right in front of us, surrender to your emotions, feel your surroundings and allow yourself to see something in your presence for the very first time 💙💙💙

#shabbatshalom #jessestrong #stayblessed #staybreezy #fuckcancer #beinthemoment #youareenough #youarenotalone #itsoktonotbeok #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #mindfulness #depression #anxiety #yourmentalhealthmatters 

You’ll always be my babies ❤

“Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been” ~ Mark Twain

#youareenough #iloveyoutothemoonandback #foreverandaday #tbthursday

Challenge Accepted

This is quite a difficult challenge for me as I hate posting pictures of myself, but I truly love the beautiful meaning behind this initiative and seeing so many outstanding women supporting and inspiring each other and so here I am! 

I am so incredibly blessed to be surrounded by an exceptional tribe of magnificent and awe-inspiring women.

Thank you Carolyn Donsky for the nomination and thank you to all the amazing and strong women in my life who lift me up each and every day.

“When women support each other, incredible things happen.”-unknown author

#womensupportingwomen #challengeaccepted #lifteachotherup #youareenough #kindnessmatters #mentalwellness #mentalhealth #wheredidmommyssmilego

UNMASKING OUR SELF-EXPRESSION WITH A MASK

I think it’s probably safe to say that face masks are here to stay, but for how long, well that’s pretty much anybody’s guess? 

For the past 6 years going into any large public spaces has not been an easy task for me. For the better part of 6 years now I’ve managed to avoid going to most Grocery Stores, Walmart and Malls as much as humanly possible but when the need arises nowadays I put on a face mask to help protect myself and others. 

Since it looks as though face masks are here to stay for the foreseeable future most (but definitely not all) people have begun to embrace our new norm as more than just a necessity to help curb the spread of Covid-19 but from what I can see they have quickly become one of the hottest selling fashion accessories around and for many people they are also becoming the perfect way to show Self-Expression.

With face masks now being a way of life for most of us, many individuals who were once afraid to express their true authentic self are now using this as an opportunity to show the world who they really are even if the irony is not lost as we are having to do so by covering up our faces. 

Self-Expression doesn’t necessarily have to be something creative it just has to be you. It’s a way of transforming our thoughts and feelings into some other form. It allows us to display our individuality, reflect on our beliefs and needs and it’s also a great way to help validate oneself.

As I continue on my difficult journey toward finding Mental Wellness and Self-Discovery I can now do so while sporting my brand new fashion accessory which I have just added to my collection. It is a true and authentic expression of who I am, it is a reflection of what I so passionately advocate for and it is a gentle way to remind each and every passerby that no matter what; “You Are Enough”.

***this is the logo I had created a few years ago which has not only become my signature and the name of my Blog but it has also become the backdrop for my Facebook page “youareenough” and several other projects***

#showmeyourmask #youareenough #endthestigmatogether #youarenotalone #itsoktonotbeok #startaconversation #wearamask #selfexpression #selfdiscovery #myjourney #blogger #depression #anxiety #mentalillness #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #advocate 

Know When to Hold ‘Em, Know When To Fold ‘Em

I went to an aqua fit class this morning at my friend’s pool. I haven’t done aqua fitness in probably two years now which was also something I used to do on a pretty regular basis some 20 years ago. 

I love swimming (in a nice heated pool which it was!) but I especially love aqua fitness because you can still reap so many of the benefits of a good workout without having to really break a sweat.

Exercising is not something I truly enjoy but for some reason I love aqua fitness or going for a challenging hike or taking a long walk but when I do any type of exercise at all it’s always best at my own pace and on my own terms because otherwise it will become a surefire way to further compromise my mental health. 

I have learned how to adapt to many things along my journey (fake it til you make it) and every day I continue to work on knowing just how far I can push through many of my limitations meaning that on some days I am able to stay and battle it out for a little bit longer while on other days I may have to take a step back and try to fight again on another day.

I think this was exactly what Kenny Rogers was trying to tell us some 40 years ago when he wrote the lyrics to his classic song “The Gambler” because some days “you’ve got to know when to hold ’em” and on other days, “know when to fold ’em.”

I was really looking forward to going to the class this morning even though up until a half an hour before I was to be there I was still having to push myself to go and was all ready to “fold ’em” and try again another day but I was able to “hold ’em” just long enough to push through (and glad I could), but if next time I need to “fold em” at least I know I can try to fight again another day. 

#selfcare #ichooseme #youarenough #itsoktonotbeok #depression #anxiety #mentalillness #mentalhealth #therapeutic #mentalwellness #blogger #aquafit #aquafitness #knowwhentoholdem #knowwhentofoldem #kennyrogers 

Happy Birthday Jacob

Twenty two years ago you gave me the greatest gift ever by making me a mom and I have so proudly held this title close to my heart every day since as I’ve watched you grow and aspire into the confident, gentle and witty young man that you are today.

Your desire to dream big with such courage and strength is more than any mom could ever wish for their child. May the year ahead be filled with an abundance of happiness and joy and that you never forget to leave enough room in your heart for the same happiness and joy you feel today because you are truly deserving of it. ❤♂️⚡🥅⚾️🤗🥳🧒🎁🎂🏌️‍♂️👨‍🔧🇨🇦🍾

#happybirthday #happytwentysecondbirthday #nosurprisepartythisyear #iloveyoutothemoonandback #foreverandaday #myfirstborn #bigbrother #followyourdreams #keepdreaming #covidbirthday2020 #youareenough #youreelectrifying #apprentice #bebop #bok #flux #fluxy

Another Happy Graduate

When I receive pictures like these ones it completely warms my heart. Today a group of amazing Teachers and EA’s surprised some of their “Awesome Grads” from Our Lady of Victory School in Toronto with a small Graduation ceremony outside their homes toting presents, balloons and a “Class of 2020” Graduation lawn sign.

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but a smile is worth a million more.

#graduationday #grads #classof2020 #ouryouthmatter #strongertogether #smiles #togetherapart #wereallinthistogether #mentalhealth #youareenough #youarenotalone #bekind #kindnessmatters #thankyou @kidshelpphone @boorola

Singing The Birthday Blues

 

So tomorrow is my birthday. I’ll be turning 49 so no big milestone or anything of the sort but still it’s a birthday nonetheless and birthdays are meant to be celebrated. 

Age has never been a “thing” for me and to be honest it still isn’t, not even as reality sets in that in 1 year from now I will be leaving my 40’s behind forever and entering into a whole new decade.

Yet for more than half of my birthdays in my 40’s, up to and including tomorrow, the anticipation leading up to my birthday and the actual day of have been super hard for me. 
For many people living with Depression, birthdays are hard enough to deal with but the thought of spending your birthday in quarantine adds a whole other layer of sadness and anxiety to the birthday blues. And what’s overwhelming me even more about my birthday this year are the extraordinary expectations that have come along with having a Covid-19 birthday celebration. 

Millions and millions of people have celebrated their birthdays in quarantine already, both young and old alike and I’ve heard the same sentiments echoed from so many who have said that it was one of their best if not the BEST birthdays they’ve ever had.

Whether it’s the parades of cars driving by their home, the zoom parties, the serenades of happy birthday being heard from miles away, the bouquets of balloons and gigantic signs set out on their front lawns letting everyone in the neighborhood know that it’s your birthday, the homemade cards and giant cookiegrams being made with extra love, the presents left for them by the curb (who doesn’t love presents) and the extra meaningful and socially distant visits on their driveways have all helped turn an otherwise somber birthday into the most beautiful of days. 

It sounds pretty picture perfect doesn’t it? I mean like just knowing how far your loved ones are willing to go in order to make sure that your already very memorable birthday does not go unnoticed is super awesome, right? But what if the pressure to make an otherwise somber birthday the BEST one ever is just simply too much for you to handle right now?

I’m Not Crying, You’re Crying


It’s been a very overwhelming week for me with a lot of mixed emotions. I just wanted to share some of my thoughts and emotions with you, along with a handful of the 100’s of special messages I’ve received over the last several weeks and a short video that the management team at Kids Help Phone sent me as a small token of thanks and appreciation. 

But I truly couldn’t have done any of this alone and as I wrap up my “Class of 2020” Graduation Initiative and reflect back on the last 6 weeks I want to make sure that I say thank you to everyone who helped make this Campaign the incredible success that it was. I will start by saying thank you to the nearly 700 young graduates whose smiles and gratitude have been forever captured upon first sight of their front lawn, their front window or even their schoolyard playground decorated with a sign honouring their efforts and a reflection of a time in their lives that acknowledges so much more than a feeling of loss and sadness but of a time in their life when they became warriors and battled through the loss and sadness with such resilience and strength.

Thank you to the 100’s of parents, teachers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends who made sure that their special Graduate’s efforts did not go unnoticed starting from Kindergarten all the way up to Medical School Graduations. And another thank you as well to all of you for acknowledging the incredible efforts of Kids Help Phone with your generous donations which helped raise $10,000 and ensure that more young people feel less alone.

I also want to say thank to Josh Benezrah for making sure that each and every sign that I ordered was printed and delivered to me with lots and lots of TLC. And to my amazing friend Shawna Smoke who once again helped turn my vision into a reality. You are uber talented. 

And last but not least, to Rich who deserves an extra special thank you by giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “going the extra mile” as he spent the last month putting 100’s and 100’s of extra kilometers on his car, schlepping me to the ends of the earth some days, making sure each sign was perfectly in place on every lawn and letting me scream and cry whenever necessary!

You have all shown me the true meaning of teamwork. Please take a moment to watch the video from @KidsHelpPhone and if you would still like to make a donation you can do so at: youthareenough@gmail.com

https://www.dropbox.com/s/lhefdd0whkgbbqd/Thank you so much – NYC.mp4?dl=0

#keepdreaming #reachforthestars #nextchapter #graduationday #grads #classof2020 #ouryouthmatter #strongertogether #wereallinthistogether #youareenough #youarenotalone #endthestigmatogether #thankyou #itsoktonotbeok #mentalhealth #selfcare #mentalwellness #checkonyourlovedones #startaconversation #dontsufferinsilence 

Afraid to Disappoint

My final delivery of Grad signs is set to arrive some time later today and then my final delivery will begin. I’m still receiving emails daily from people wanting to order a sign for their Awesome Graduate but I’ve had to tell them “No”, and it’s been really, really hard. My responses to each message have been overloaded with one apology after apology because in my mind I’ve let them down, I’ve let a Graduate down, I’ve let Kids Help Phone down and once again I’ve let myself down too.

I know what you are gonna say but still it’s a constant battle I have with my mind and my heart. I don’t want to disappoint anyone and I need to constantly ensure that everyone else’s happiness comes before mine. My head knows that it’s impossible to please everyone all of the time but my heart is often willing to sacrifice it so that I don’t let anyone down.

But I have said “No” this week too many times now to keep count, I kept my word to those who help me set healthy and emotional boundaries and I stuck to them and with each message I returned in fear of disappointing someone was answered with nothing but respect, understanding and the utmost of support…and of course a tad bit of disappointment too but in themselves for having waited so long to reach out! But hey, life gets busy you know; even during a Pandemic.

Please continue to follow my journey at: https://youareenough712.wordpress.com

#selfcare #selflove #ichooseme #youarenotalone #justsayno #healthyboundaries #itsoktonotbeok  #youareenough #togetherapart #itsoktosayno #yourhappinessiskey

%d bloggers like this: