Monday, December 31, 2012

All the best in 2013!!

All the best from Marissa & Annemarie!

Wishing you and yours health, happiness, and abundance in the coming year!

In gratitude,
Marissa & Annemarie xo

Thursday, December 20, 2012

New Historical Fiction from Marissa Campbell

Hey everyone, just thought I would mention Marissa Campbell finally completed her historical fiction, Raven's Blood, this past weekend!! Now the only hard part is finding an agent who would like to help her get this novel published! Interested in a sneak peak? Pop over to the Raven's Blood blog!! :D

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

How do I deal with these feelings?

This is an excerpt from one of my personal journals …

“How do I deal with these feelings of deep resentment, unhappiness, anger and oppression?

Such heavy words.

I have them, but what I am supposed to do with them?

Perhaps yelling and screaming? Perhaps crying? Perhaps taking action?

But what action would that be?

In order to get myself out of this situation, I must make changes, or movements toward alternatives. But what are those changes? those movements?

I’m not sure of the answers, or am I? I am questioning my clarity, my understanding, my intuition, my gut.

I need to release or express these difficult emotions. But how?

I must accept that everything is only temporary, nothing is stagnant, only my thinking, my inability to act, no my unwillingness to act stops me from moving forward, to moving to where I want to be.

I act by letting go, by facing the emotions, by feeling them, by releasing them from my mind, my body, my soul.”

I wrote this many years ago, and it was these types of ruminations that lead to the awareness and answers that are in our book Life: Living in Fulfillment Every Day. It was a long journey to find the insight and courage to act. I hope you find your way too.

In gratitude,

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

No gentlemen's sport!

Excerpt from Life:

“Life really is simple,” Grace continued, as if reading her mind. “We think it is complicated because the ego distracts us from what is truly important to our heart and our soul. It leads us away from what really makes us feel good and sends us on wild goose chases in search of material and financial acquisitions and status. It does not want to lose its identity and hold over us! So it will do everything within its power to make us falter on our path. It will throw handfuls of doubt, buckets of guilt and mountains of fear our way. As we move up the path to fulfillment, we must remember that enlightenment, or waking up, is a rather tumultuous stage of growth. In the game of life, these first couple of steps are similar
to a rugby match. This is no gentlemen’s sport! It can be downright dirty and hard. We may take two triumphant steps forward, only to fall face down as we struggle to overcome the firm grip of the
ego’s negative back talk, doubts, fears and limiting beliefs. However, if we doggedly persevere with our intention of feeling good, then we will find the fortitude to pick ourselves up once again, dust ourselves off and plough ahead. Then, as we focus on feeling good, making the necessary changes to our thoughts and in our lives, we will find our way to the next formidable step on the
path—the ‘I won’t’ phase, where we affirm, ‘I won’t feel like this ever again’; ‘I won’t compromise my authenticity’; ‘I won’t be held back any longer’. We will find that our body and mind surge with powerful energy, and we will feel a tremendous sense of well-being.”

Friday, August 17, 2012

Pain Management

A friend of mine is going through a very difficult custody battle for his daughter, and a wonderful site called Ponder Central had recently posted an excerpt from our book, Life, on detachment. My friend responded to the post by saying he didn’t agree with our philosophy. He explained that he was in the middle of a terrible, painful fight and he couldn’t just let go of it.

Here’s part of the post: "Detachment is the art of letting go...When people think of detachment, they think of being insensitive, cold or emotionally void – a kind of numb, nonchalant, indifferent attitude, where we walk around and interact with people projecting an image of being aloof and uncaring. That is not the detachment I want you to embrace...” Let me also add, that detachment is also not about ignoring difficult situations in our lives, or pretending they don’t exist ... as if we could. Detachment is about letting go of the pain, and negative energy and emotions, that tend to accompany these difficult rites of passage. We cannot let the pain fester.
I explained that while we may not be able to change our current situation, (at that exact moment), we can’t allow the pain to consume us. He responded by saying, pain was the only thing motivating him to fight for his daughter.

I responded gently by suggesting that perhaps it was really his love for his daughter that was truly motivating his actions.

His pain, however, is keeping him locked in a cycle of suffering. It is very difficult to focus clearly, and find objective, productive ways to move out of a difficult situation when we are knee deep in the pain, essentially only seeing red. All of our actions, thoughts and words take on a particular slant/tint when they are filtered through that anger and pain.

During one of my recent yoga classes, a student asked how to deal with anger. The key is to understand that by telling everyone how miserable we are, by talking about our ‘story,’ our ‘plight,’ by complaining, by rehashing, ruminating upon, reflecting on and in general letting the anger and pain consume us, we keep ourselves trapped in a cycle of negative energy ... which if we prescribe to the motto ‘what we get is what we project’ ... we will only draw more and more negativity into our experience.

The trick is to catch ourselves in the act: be conscious of our negative thoughts, words or actions. I remember, a long time ago, thinking to myself how easy life would be if I just had amnesia. I could forget all the pain, all the negativity, all the painful memories, and all the injustice. What I realized years later, was that we all have a choice. The past, the pain, the anger, the resentment, the hurt, it stays in our life because we let it ... we give it room to breathe and grow. We nurture it with our thoughts and our tenacity to cling to negativity ... after all misery loves company.

The wild thing, the exciting thing, the extraordinarily wonderful life changing, weight lifting thing about all of this is that we can choose to let it all go. Pain hinders us, makes us ill, makes us unhappy and unfulfilled. If we can take a leap of faith and try letting it go, try letting the pain slough off of us ... for even a moment ... the lightness, the peace and relief that follows will give us the confidence to let it go for good. We don’t need pain to live, we don’t need a negative past, or difficult memories. They hold us back, they keep us from thriving.

Letting go of negative emotions might involve speaking to a counsellor, (someone who is objective, as opposed to a well intentioned, but nonetheless biased friend), or something as simple as writing about it in a journal – without censuring ourselves. The key to writing anything down is to never let anyone else read it. I find it is easiest to get it all down, moan, scream, cry, swear, spit out the injustice and pain in big block letters of indignation, and then burn it, rip it up ... destroy it. The process is meant to be cathartic. It is an emptying of pain, not holding on to it—in any form. Perhaps you enjoy kick boxing, or running. Maybe you like yoga or meditation. There are as many ways to release negative energy as there are ways of collecting it. Try to find a method that works best for you and make a commitment to releasing the pain once and for all!

Do you have a tried and true method for letting go of negativity? We’d love to hear about it!
In gratitude,
Marissa xo

P.S. To check out Ponder Central: Click Here

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Drive-In

I crawled out of bed this morning at 11:30am. My kids were still asleep, the house quiet and serene. It was the morning after a double feature at the Drive-In Theater. Spiderman started us off, followed by Men in Black 3. The kids loved all the action of Spiderman; and I have to admit, I really liked Men in Black 3. That’s my kind of humour—the Three's Company, Nutty Professor kind of slapstick comedy that keeps me sniggering for hours.

The awesome part in all this was, it was youngest's first ever trip to the drive-in. I'm ashamed to say that it has been a long time since we partook in this wholesome family tradition. The last time we parked at the drive-in, I inadvertently spilled an entire extra-large Coke all over my husband’s shorts. He is still traumatized by the memory, which included him changing into a pair of jeans that he brought for when the night air turned cooler, schlepping his wet shorts and underwear through the concession building, only to have his underwear slide out of the shorts and land with a resounding 'plop' on the floor, whereupon everyone turned and looked. He sheepishly tucked the undergarment away saying, "I spilled my pop, really."

Back in the present, my kids had a blast of the past—playing Ms. Pacman, Frogger, Phoenix, and Donkey Kong Junior on real arcade machines, sliding down metal slides, swinging on flat wooden swings, and balancing on rickety metal and wood teeter-totters.

With only minutes until the movie began, the tailgate popped up, held down at a respectable level by a bungee cord so no one behind us would be obstructed by the view, and two lawn chairs came out for my husband and I to sit in. Blankets, pillows, and children crowded the back of the truck, where seats had been folded down to allow for a luxurious movie viewing experience.

Bug repellent was duly sprayed, casting an odiferous fog around us, and for the most part we were unmolested, save a few brave souls that risked their lives for their supper. A few, admittedly, succeeded. Others, admittedly, failed.

By the end of Spiderman, everyone was wilted, but the youngest child’s enthusiasm to stay up past midnight, kept us going till the screen went dark—at 2:00am. The hour drive home was augmented by open windows and air conditioning, which aided alertness. No mandatory teeth brushing for the youngest kids—this experience just kept getting better and better for them—just straight to bed upon arrival. We were all comatose the moment our heads hit our pillows!

In other words, it was awesome! The kids loved it. It was brilliant watching them absorb the drive-in ambience, and it was a kick to only spend $30 to get in—it was two movies for less than the price of one! Can’t wait to see what’s on the big screens next month!

In gratitude,
Marissa xo

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Flash Giveaway of Life on Goodreads!!!!

Starting July 14th and running until July 17th - this is the LAST giveaway on Goodreads!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

LIFE by Marissa Campbell


by Marissa Campbell

Giveaway ends July 17, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Lamenting the Loss of Summer

Lamenting the Loss of Summer

My son recently got a job. His first job ... ever. He was not really looking for a job; he was quite content to pass his summer in idle pursuits, like computer games, hanging out with friends, or creating a permanent indent in the couch. But when a wonderful opportunity landed in his lap, he changed his mind and became genuinely interested—the gobs of cash he would make with a full-time position over the entire summer was not lost to him. He went to the interview, landed the position, and started the next day. As we were traveling home from the interview, he was elated and excited until I mentioned he couldn’t go to Canada’s Wonderland for his brother’s year end band trip (they always invite siblings to join the trip—since it’s the parents that do all the driving.)

I watched this news sink in, and then sink in further still, and his mood became somber, disappointment written on his handsome face. This was not a fleeting ‘ah bummer’ sort of mood, it was a deep disappointment—a lament for the loss of his summer. Most would say he had been lucky. At nineteen, we had never pushed him into getting a job. We told him, his school was his career, and as long as he applied himself and succeeded, we would give him the jolts of cash he needed to have a respectable social life. However, that was all before university. University sucks a lot of money into its sizable vortex, and Mom and Dad are not made of money, so a job was very much a necessity. But as I watched him realize that his entire summer was now to be spent working, I couldn’t help but feel his pain.

This was not just a job. It was a symbol of his youth disappearing. The days of idleness and carefree sojourns, free of responsibility, were coming to an end. He was moving into the adult world, a world typically comprised of hard work, long hours, ambition, expectations, pressure, and stress—definitely not the world of his youth.

How many of us lament the loss of our own summer? We get swept into a life that may not look like the one we had imagined for ourselves. We get swept up in the want to prove, the want to keep up with the Jones, the want to establish ourselves as successful in the eyes of others. And often, we lose ourselves and our dreams, our desires, and our sense of fun and playfulness in the process. We can become automatons just churning out a good wage, chugging through the daily grind. We can become stuck. And when we are stuck in a situation we are unhappy about, we will often look to that grass on the other side and lament what we don’t have, or lament what we have lost. 

That lamentation is a glimpse into our soul, our true nature; it is a peak into our deepest desires: long since relegated to the back seat. It is our passions trying to re-establish themselves, trying to let us know ‘hey, this is not all we are.’ It is an invitation to try and incorporate some of the things we love back into our lives, to take a moment each day to follow what feels good, instead of what is expected of us.

Summer doesn’t have to be lost forever. It is a choice to let it slip through our fingers, becoming a figment of our past. Summer can be now: every day. Remember what it felt like to just lay around, free of responsibility, to go swimming, or hiking through the forest, running through the fields, or climbing trees ... rekindle that sense of fun, that sense of joy and peace. Make happiness a priority. Make engaging in activities that make you happy, your life’s pursuit. We can’t always pick up and change our life completely, but we can make small changes every day that move us closer to a glorious summer.

I’ve encouraged my son to put half of the money he will make toward his university fund, the other half is for him to live—and I don’t mean on things like food, board, or utilities, it needs to be spent on him, on things he will enjoy, that will make him happy. Things like trips to Canada’s Wonderland with his friends or something as grand as a vacation in Europe.

We get caught up in the necessities, putting every cent we make toward just carving out an existence. We need to start a ‘Fun Fund’—a little something for a ‘rainy mood day’ so we can do something to make us feel good. Fun Funds can go toward a bouquet of flowers, a new mani/pedi, an hour at the library just basking in the silence, curling up with a good book by the fire, or in bed, going to a movie—yes, even alone, buying a new electronic toy, or new shoes, tinkering with a hobby. The list is endless, and obviously very personal.

The key is to take some ‘me time,’ whenever you can eke out a moment and toss any feelings of guilt whatsoever out the window and just enjoy yourself. You are entitled to happiness. You deserve happiness. Happiness is your birthright; make it a priority—make YOU a priority. And no matter where life takes you, don’t compromise that happiness.

Enjoy your summer!
In gratitude,
Marissa xo

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Passionate Life: June 5, 2012

Life at Toronto's The World's Biggest Bookstore!
On Saturday June 2nd, Annemarie and I were signing books at Toronto's The World's Biggest Bookstore, and we completely sold out! The staff even gave us a clap out.

What we love most about book signings is the people we meet—readers who tell us how much our book has touched their lives, and new friends who have yet to delve into the pages of our book—nothing is more rewarding and fulfilling to an author!

The World's Biggest Bookstore is a mecca for authors. We met Owen Williams, author of The Relationship Revolution,who was awesome and generous, buying a copy of our book and offering advice and publishing know-how. We met Nejeed Kassam, author of High on Life: Stories of Hope, Change and Leadership. What a phenomenal young man, traveling the world to find outstanding examples of individuals driving social change in their communities. He was shopping with his father, who kindly bought a copy of our book to give to his wife.

We met Elizabeth from Barbados, Shelley with her troubadour friend, who placed one of our flowers in his mouth and danced in the middle of the bookstore. We met Karma, Buddy Jack, and Adelaide: all dogs visiting the bookstore with their owners, who inadvertently bought copies of our book, while the dogs themselves enjoyed delectable ear scratches from yours truly.

Peggy and John, a delightful couple out on a day of shopping, Katie and Janet who were just stopping by the bookstore before catching the show: "Bring it on." Kim who works with horses, Jerry an aspiring author, Franca who wanted to learn meditation, and so many more.

Living a passionate life means getting out there and engaging in the things that make you happy, that bring you joy. Try to do at least one thing each day that makes you feel good. It can be as simple as taking the time to enjoy a cup of coffee in the garden, or taking a moment to just breathe, without anyone interrupting you or feeling like you have to rush off to start the next thing. Or it can be wild like dancing in the rain, or riding a roller coaster with your hands up, a grin stretching from ear to ear.

For me, it is writing. I write every day. Whether I am jotting down notes for my novel, editing said novel, or dreaming of the next one, my writing is never far from my mind. It is a part of me, and if I didn't engage in some sort of activity that expressed that part of me, I would shrivel up and become a mere shell of who I am.

Often, we let the world around us dictate our actions—we ride the wagon wheel strapped to its surface. Sometimes we are up, sometimes we are down, but always, we are careening through the events already set into motion, we are just reacting to the circumstances in our lives—we are going through the motions.

At some point, we may say to ourselves, 'I don't know who I am,' or 'I feel like I've lost myself.' This is your Soul or True Essence letting you know that things have gotten off track, that you've been riding that wheel for too long—the wheel of other people's expectations, the wheel of fear of other people's judgments and opinions.

It's time to get off that crazy ride! Find your passion again, find what truly makes you happy, and take baby steps toward your dreams. Do what makes you feel good and never compromise your happiness!

Writing and hanging out with you makes me feel good, it's what I love.
Thanks for reading and sharing this time with me.
In gratitude,

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Passionate Life: June 4, 2012

Creating the right ripples

Wow, what a month. I was sick from the end of April till the end of May! Finally, with the aid of some good medication, I am feeling much better. My life was not any less passionate during my down time; it was just a bit more subdued as I enjoyed the little things, like the perfect cup of coffee, the softness of my favourite pillow, blissful naps, cuddles from my children, and movie time with my family. I gifted myself ample 'me time,' gave my body the rest it needed, and now I am back!

In our book Life, we talk about building a Gratitude Bank—giving thanks, on a daily basis, for all the positive things in our lives. And like money in a bank, gratitude builds and appreciates over time. The more we notice the good things in our lives now, the more we will find positive things to be grateful for, and the more wonderful and wondrous things we will find entering our lives! Gratitude creates positive, blissful ripples into the world, and we will find those effects returning ten fold!

Grace reminds us:

“Remember when I asked you to consider each and every thought you have as a prayer, or a personal wish, that gets sent out into the world and is always answered? If we could all rationalize and accept that concept, we would realize the importance of choosing our thoughts and words very carefully! Positivity begets positivity; negativity begets negativity. When we constantly send out the same types of signals into the world, they begin to coalesce, to join together, and with their combined weight they generate a powerful gravitational force that attracts like to like back into our experience. In other words, depending on what our overall focus is—whether we are feeling and thinking positive thoughts and emotions, or whether we are focused on negative ones—we will essentially have our sentiments, our prayers, answered.

“Gratitude works the same way, except that it adds a kind of double whammy, so to speak, since what we are grateful for, we have already manifested or brought into our experience. Our past thoughts and desires have already brought wonderful experiences into our lives. We already have things, right here and now, that are making us feel good. Like I mentioned earlier, the thoughts we had yesterday create our today, and the thoughts we have today create our tomorrow. Appreciate that—because of some feel good thoughts that we had yesterday, we’ve already created some wonderful experiences that are now present in our lives today.”
Try to take a moment at the end of each day, and come up with at least five things you are grateful for. They can be grandiose, or they can be deliciously simple. What made you feel good today? What made you happy, or calm, peaceful or joyful? If you like, you can start a journal; write down your gratitude list, watch as it expands over time.

I am grateful for my writing, my friends, my family, you—our readers, and this—our time together.
Thank you for being such a wonderful part of my life. xo
In gratitude,

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Official Trailer for Life!

Annemarie and I are absolutely thrilled to share the Official Trailer for our award winning, inspirational self-help book Life: Living in Fulfillment Every Day!

We'd love your feedback, please let us know what you think!
In gratitude,

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Passionate Life: May 11, 2012

A Passionate Life
Annemarie and I met some beautiful people at our book signing in Chapters Indigo Markham today.  One of our first readers was a gentleman named John who came up to our table and explained he just had to buy a copy of our book because we were there. He didn't even know what it was about, but as local authors, he was determined to support us.  What an awesome start to our day and it continued to be a glorious day of gratitude and blessings.

We met a gentleman planning a trip to Paris, a lovely woman who was at a course that very morning suggesting she find a inspirational book that she can reflect upon—she picked up a copy of Life for her homework—and a charming engineer named Gerry, who as an avid reader, has a top ten list which he reserves for only the best books; we told him we were determined to crack his list!

Then we met Cindi. Cindi is an incredible woman doing the utmost best for herself and her son despite tremendous adversities in her life. She is a wonderful role model for how a positive outlook and sheer determination can change your life for the better. She tries to do something every day that makes her feel good. She is conscious of the choices she makes and the patterns that have brought obstacles into her path. She is also uncompromising in her pursuit of happiness and fulfillment. There are good days and bad, she admits, but she is determined to be a positive example for her son. We think she is doing awesome!

In gratitude,

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Passionate Life: May 8, 2012

Bobcaygeon Sunset

First let me apologize for the delay in your daily dose of inspiration—lol, I feel like I'm in a confessional—I'm sorry friends, it has been seven days since my last blog post. ;)

Things have been a wee bit topsy-turvy in my life recently. I was away for three days at a beautiful writing retreat in Bobcaygeon, Ontario. Admittedly I didn't get much writing done, others far outpaced me in output for the weekend, but my mind and soul were soothed with laughter, good friends, good food, and beautiful scenery. I got out of the weekend exactly what I needed. It was heavenly.

However, when I returned home I became rather ill. So the last few days have been spent running tests and getting thoroughly checked out. All appears well, so I have just been taking it easy to let my body recover. I am feeling much better today. Onwards and upwards! 

Getting sick is a gentle reminder to do the things we need to do to take care of ourselves. It is very important to listen to our body. Here's a little note from the book:

“It’s very important to try to recognize the subtle warnings that the [body] sends us—to recognize the yellow or amber lights, like on a traffic light—before our symptoms turn into a serious risk to our health and well-being. We often receive subtle messages that try and tell us to slow down and pay attention to how we are feeling. Those are the amber lights, but few of us know how to recognize them until those symptoms turn into big, flaming red lights that stop us in our tracks. [We need to recognize the symptoms] early in the game, before we run out of time-outs.”

In yoga, we talk about listening to the body—never pushing beyond the point when our bodies tell us to stop. It's important to take that practice off the mat and apply it as a broad sweep to our entire lives.

Learning to slow down when we need to and learning to say no when we want to are essential to living in happiness and fulfillment every day! Listen to your heart. Follow what feels good, live your passions, do something every day that makes you feel good, that brings you joy. And stop, slow down, smell the roses, take a nap, read, meditate, or rest when you need to. Take care of yourself, mind, body, and soul.

Hugs xo
In gratitude,

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Passionate Life: May 1, 2012

I took part in a joint venture between the WCDR, or Writer's Community of Durham Region, and The Durham Theatre Festival tonight. The gig was called Words of the Season and it was a celebration of prose, poetry, song, and community.

I've been working hard at getting over my public speaking phobia and have been putting myself out there as much as I can to help conquer my fear. This seemed like the perfect venue: lots of artsy and writerly types, an open mike, and access to alcohol—it was held at a pub. Now I didn't drink anything, but I figured the more they drank the better I would sound. ;)

So I took the plunge and got up on stage and read a prose poem. And though my knees were knocking, I focused on my breathing (yoga comes in handy for so many things) and just let the words flow through me. I managed to get through the entire poem with some good inflection in my voice and some genuine eye contact with the audience who were not, in fact, naked.

Apart from my own personal drama there were about fifteen other presenters. Poems, works of fiction and nonfiction, dedications, and songs filled the pub. Everyone who was there was engaging in their passion, and they were there to share that passion with others.

There was a lot of love in the room!
In gratitude,

Monday, April 30, 2012

A Passionate Life: April 30, 2012

Mother & Son

My oldest son is home from university, and I am so glad to have him back! It was extremely difficult to let him go in September. My first born leaving, going far away—it was akin to torture. That first week was spent in waves of tears: tears of pride, tears of joy, tears of loss.

I have three wonderful boys, and my problem lies in the fact that I love the little suckers way too much; it hurts like Hades to let them go. Both me and my husband missed him terribly when he left—my husband, for the record, cries more than I do, and he made no effort to quell his emotions in the weeks leading up to residence move-in, and the weeks afterward.

It was thrilling to watch my son set off into the world, yet frightening since this was his first big transition away from home, but I was so proud of his accomplishments and of the man he had become. I encouraged him every step of the way and put my own trepidations on hold.

Each weekend when he came home a rush of joy swept through the house, and when he left, he took a little piece of my heart with him. By the end of the year, that little piece didn’t hurt quite so much because he had taken such good care of it while he was gone. And now I feel like everything is where it should be. It’s nice to have him back... even if it is only for the summer.

I love my boys, but I digress. What does any of this have to do with living my most passionate life? What exactly was it that made me feel good today? Well, part of the university experience is the dreaded freshman fifteen, and he was not entirely immune to the sway of limitless pop, pizza, and buffalo chicken wraps. When he came home he decided he wanted to get back into shape and part of that routine involved going swimming with Mom.

I love swimming. The feel of the water rushing over my skin, the feeling of weightlessness, the sound of my breath and the way my body slices through the water with each stroke. I can lose myself swimming. It is as blissful and meditative as my yoga practice and it was a joy to share that with my son today. Even though our exchanges were limited to smiles and sporadic chatter in the car on the way there and back, and to words of encouragement as he made the effort to find his stride once more, it was absolutely glorious because he wanted to be there; he still wanted to hang out with his Mom. :D

I love my boys. xo
In gratitude,

A Passionate Life: April 29, 2012

I love Sundays. Lazy and slow, I love to sleep in and just putter around the house all day. The finishing touch for me is Sunday night dinner out! I love it when someone else does all the cooking and cleaning, and I just have to sit back and enjoy! Last night was Crispy Chicken Stir Fry at Jack Astors.

Even my younger kids love going out to dinner because it offers them something different than the 'boring' food Mom makes. Plus they get decadent desserts like Orange Sherbert and Brownies, which they are not privy to at home. And my oldest loves any and all opportunities to eat Chicken Fajitas—a perennial favourite—despite my chagrin that it is usually the most expensive food on the menu.

I love family time, and dinner is a special time in our family. It has a strict no computers, handheld video games, or cell phones rule. We all unplug from the big, busy world and tune into each other. I love hanging out with my boys!

Sundays are a great way to celebrate the end of the week and always give me the opportunity to appreciate and anticipate all the awesome things that I will experience in the days ahead!

In gratitude,

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Here we are at Chapters!

Since the last picture I posted only showed two empty chairs, I just wanted to prove it was really us! LOL

A Passionate Life: April 28, 2012

On a scale of awesomeness—today was totally awesome! My co-author and I had a book signing at Chapters Indigo in Ajax, Ontario today. We were greeted with free Starbucks coffee by Jennifer, one of the lovely managers, a table right at the front of the store, and a beautiful announcement telling customers all about us and our book Life!

We met some incredible people today. A lovely man buying his wife a mother's day gift, who had just finished taking his daughter to riding lessons. Another gentleman who had just come from a refreshing Tai Chi class. A beautiful woman who had just returned from Taiwan, after living there for ten years. Another delightful woman who regaled us with her latest trip to India... the day was filled with wonderful connections.

By the time our visit to Chapters was finished we were completely sold out of books and had made lasting relationships with some of our readers!

It doesn't get much better than that!
In gratitude,

Living a passionate life is all about doing the things we enjoy, it's about finding time every day to engage in activities that make us feel good, that make us happy.

Try to do at least one thing every day that ignites your passion, that fills you with vitality and joy. Then add a comment below and share your passionate life with others!

Join me as we get the happiness snowball rolling!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Passionate Life: April 27 2012

Today I got to hang out with my writing group because we are planning a writer's retreat weekend in May, and this was the final pow wow for hammering down the planning details.

I love these women. They are supportive, encouraging, observant, helpful and awesome. My life would be dimmer without their brilliant presence!

Writing groups and friends rock!!

In gratitude,

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Passionate Life: April 26 2012

I had a blissfully lazy day today! I puttered, I tweeted, I blogged and I learned a lot at a seminar this evening. Not only did the seminar align with my passion: writing and yoga, but I met several people I hadn't seen in a while and made new friends too! It was awesome catching up and sharing smiles and stories.

In gratitude,

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Happiness Snowball

When we dwell on the negative we draw negative experiences, feelings and thoughts into our world.When we emphasize the positive our world fills with good feelings, awesome experiences, and happy thoughts.

I love my son dearly, and I am very proud of his accomplishments, but he is extremely hard on himself. Rather than celebrate his accomplishments and successes, he is quick to point out the areas where he underperformed, or didn't live up to his high expectations. Whenever I try to talk about staying positive, he groans and says, "that's just your yoga talk." Now I can laugh, I know my kids may not appreciate my point of view... yet, but I hope one day they will see that their mom isn't crazy and that whatever we project into the world is exactly what we get. Like attracts like. Positivity begets positivity just as much as negativity breeds negativity.

My son is not interested in changing his story because it's too easy to just say, 'ya whatever Mom' and go back to his negative self-talk, and dissatisfaction. Whether it makes logical and rational sense or not, we may find ourselves addicted to a certain state of being—even if that state of being is miserable. After all, we are comfortable there, it's what we know, and we will continue to tell our stories of unhappiness to those around us because misery loves company. I like to call this behaviour Dancing with the Blues. In a dance there are certain steps and there is a specific way we interact with our partners. When we dance with the blues, or anger, or frustration, or negative self-talk, we follow the same steps—the same behaviours, and those around us react or interact with us in familiar ways, in predictable patterns. I say, "I had a bad day; my job sucks." And my friend pats me on the back and says, "There, there, don't worry about it, your boss is a jerk; it's not your fault." In this scenario I threw out negativity and got validation: I'm right, my boss is wrong.

The dance becomes habitual and keeps us dwelling on the negative. So we keep complaining and stay stuck in our rut, and the good meaning people in our lives keep enabling this behaviour by playing along—they keep dancing with us.

No one can force us to become more positive: think of the saying 'You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink.' We have to want to change, we have to want to be happier, we have want to live a passionate, fulfilled life! But when we make that decision, when we genuinely, deep down inside decide that we want more out of life, that we want to be happy, then we have to change the dance. We have to change our steps so that others will have to react to us differently. If negativity was your thing, change your story. Become the most positive person you've ever met!

I loved the movie Yes Man. In it, Jim Carrey played a perpetually negative character, until one day he started changing his dance steps, he consciously changed the way he interacted with life. Low and behold, everyone and everything around him changed and adjusted accordingly, they learned the new steps. He learned to say "yes" to life instead of "no," and by the end of the movie he was genuinely happy. His life changed for the better and he was deliciously positive!

If you desire change, if you are looking for happiness, it starts with a simple baby step. Do something—anything (caveat: as long as it does not hurt another), that makes you feel good! Change your dance steps. Listen to some upbeat, awesome music and burn up the dance floor of life!

A passionate life is about filling our days with the things we enjoy, with the things we love. The things that bring us pleasure and make us happy!

Take one bold step toward a life of happiness and fulfillment every day—get out there and play; have fun, and then tell us all about it! Share your passionate life! Every day I will post something that I did that made me happy. I'd love it if you shared one special part of your day too! Add your comment below! Let's get this happiness snowball rolling!!!

In gratitude,

A Passionate Life: April 25, 2012

Living my Passionate Life!

April 25, so far I got up on my spinning bike, listened to some awesome blues - Howlin Wolf rocks - and caught up with my tweeps on twitter! Feeling pretty amazing this morning!

In gratitude,

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What are you balancing?

I asked my yoga class today what they needed to bring more balance into their lives: ‘money,’ ‘schedules,’ ‘slowing down,’ ‘doing less,’ ‘more planning,’ were just some of their answers.

In our book Life: Living in Fulfillment Every Day, we talk about a key concept: wisdom.

“Grace stopped and turned toward Eve. “If you project yourself forward to near the end of your life, Eve, where do you see yourself? Are you sitting in a solitary chair surrounded by luxury homes, your life filled with material possessions and empty relationships? Or are you sitting on a porch swing beside your soul mate, surrounded by your children and grandchildren? Is it the stuff or the people that are important? Is it the quantity or the quality?” Grace’s searching eyes held Eve’s gaze. “You see, Eve, the answer to that question is true wisdom, the knowledge of what is truly important to us. Everything else is extraneous.

When we are out of whack, when our lives are out of balance our Alignment System lets us know we have jumped track and are no longer following what is important to us.

“The alignment system is trying to tell us that we need to align with what is important and let go of everything else. Any time we do not feel good—be it about a decision, a situation, a relationship, our thoughts or fears—it’s the alignment system, our soul’s way of trying desperately to get our attention. It’s just like being sick. If we catch a cold, a runny nose, sore throat and raspy cough are all symptoms of an infection in our body. The alignment system works exactly like that, giving us the symptoms of ruts, stress or general feelings of discomfort, fear, malaise, sadness, anger, guilt, doubt, etc. to let us know we have lost touch with our true priorities—what is genuinely important to us.”

If your life feels out of balance ask yourself if you are stressing about the ‘quantity’ in life: your status, your lifestyle, the admiration and validation from your peers, the accumulation and/or holding on of material ‘things,’ a house, a car etc,. Chances are if you really look at what it is that you are trying to juggle, that you are running around like a chicken with its head cut off chasing, that you are stressing and/or lamenting over, you might find that they are just superficial things and ideals.

We cannot take anything with us when we leave this glorious existence. And in the end, we all know that when we look back it will be the love that we shared and felt, and the joy we had in living that we will cherish most. We will not be lamenting the loss of a big screen TV.

Enjoy each glorious moment and remember what is truly important to you. Let go of striving for and trying to hold onto quantity. Follow quality instead. Follow what feels good and you will enjoy a balanced life of happiness and fulfillment every day!

In gratitude,

A Passionate Life

With Neil Pasricha, author of the Book of Awesome, finishing his 1000 Awesome Things blog, I thought it was time to up the ante so to speak and start another chapter in Life’s blog called A Passionate Life.

Neil’s journey and juicy contribution to our lives was his commitment to noticing all the awesome things in life. I am proposing that we all join together and share and document the awesome things in life that we are doing! How are you living a passionate life? How are you following what feels good?

Every day let’s take a moment to share at least ONE thing that we did that day that made us feel good. How are you bringing passion into your life, what are you doing today that brings you joy?

April 24, 2012
My passionate life:

Today I took time to edit my novel in progress. I went for lunch with a good friend and I laughed and ate far too much then I enjoyed a piece of decadent chocolate cake!

What did you do today to live a passionate life?

In gratitude,