Sunday, January 24, 2016

Feeling The Fear And Doing It Anyway With Jennifer Pastiloff

I can't remember how I first learned of Jennifer Pastiloff.  I think I read one of her essays and thought, "Wow.  What an interesting woman.  I'd like to know more about her."

So I did what one does nowadays.  I followed her on Facebook and Instagram.  

Her posts resonated with me.  Her essays.  Other people's essays.  Her videos.  Her photos.  

Jennifer leads retreats and workshops all over the world.  And I thought, "If she ever comes to Vancouver I'd like to attend one of her events."

Well, guess what!  I found out in October that she was coming to Vancouver on January 23rd.  I was so excited and quickly signed up.

But as the date approached I began to doubt my decision.  My excitement turned to dread.  What was I thinking signing up for a yoga/writing workshop in the trendy Kitsilano neighbourhood of Vancouver?  

I began to have all sorts of preconceived ideas and fears.  I seriously considered backing out.  

Then I remembered the advice I often give my daughters.  Feel the fear and do it anyway.  So I went.

And not surprisingly, not one of my fears or worries was true.  Not one.

I thought I'd be 30 years older than most of the participants.  I wasn't.

I thought I'd weigh 100 pounds more than every woman in the room.  Nope.

I thought everyone would be decked out in their fabulous Lululemon yoga clothing and I'd look like a shlumpadinka  in my yoga pants from Costco.  Not true.  

Jennifer warned us that the three hours were going to feel like 3 minutes.  And she was right.

We laughed, we cried, we wrote, we hugged, we sang, we danced, we did a few downward dogs.  (Actually more than a few.  My arms and shoulders are sore today.)

It got real in that room real fast.  

It was an honour to be in the presence of so many incredible women and bear witness to their joy, their pain, their struggles, their accomplishments.  After each woman spoke I thought, "I'd like to be her friend."  We fell in love with each other for those three hours. 

Thank you, Jen Pastiloff, for coming to Vancouver and doing all that you do.  You are one hell of a woman.  I am so happy to have met you.

See you next year!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy Holidays

I was so happy to begin my Christmas holiday sixteen days ago.  Snow fell, books beckoned, naps awaited.

Some things were different for us this year.  Many things were the same.

William was home.  My mom was here.

Our daughters weren't home for Christmas.  It was the first time we had not been together as a family in 28 years.  I missed them terribly but was content knowing my girls were out there in the world leading adventurous, happy lives.

My cousins Denise and Jean-Louis (whom I had not seen in a decade) travelled by train from Winnipeg and spent Christmas with us.  My cousins are chefs and Joe thoroughly enjoyed his three day cooking lesson.

Sixteen delicious days of holiday time.

We cooked, we ate, we drank, we walked, we snowshoed.

We skyped, we laughed, we marvelled at the sunny skies and cold temperatures.

We rode the Sea-to-Sky gondola, we watched skaters on frozen lakes, we happily embraced the snow.

And now my holiday has come to an end.

It has been a weekend of fun and reflection.

My wish is good health and great happiness for us all.

The very best to you and yours.

May 2016 be your best year yet.