Dear Mr. Mung Bean

14 Apr

I wrote your story in the checkout line.  Your selection of mung beans, fresh cilantro and organic ginger drew me in.  I felt confused by your wireless headset and conference call about marketing strategy.  I felt your energy – purposeful, yet distant – and the orientation of your feet indicated that you would not participate in Fiesta Farms small-talk.

I saw you eye my Rowe Farms rotisserie chicken, goat cheese and milk chocolate Chipits.  Did you suspect, “she eats those by the handful”?  Because if you did, Sir, you’re as insightful as I.

 

The Corsage Project

7 Apr

What does this look like to you?

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My sister and I spent the better half of Sunday volunteering at the Boutique Ball for The Corsage Project.  Helping high school students in financial need go to prom, we acted as Personal Shoppers to outfit a special student in one of the gorgeous dresses.  The plethora of gowns allowed us to narrow our search by size and colour preference, followed by matching shoes, handbags and accessories.  Professional makeup artists stood nearby to add the finishing touches to these precious faces.  SUCH a good time!

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Where’s Jac? (Hint: tallest head in the crowd)

Get your Monday morning feel-good butterflies:

 

Crying guide

31 Mar

Why didn’t I think of this?

Go check out this Tumblr page and report back.

c/o NYC Crying Guide

c/o NYC Crying Guide

 

I have (quite proudly) cried all over the city of Toronto.  I’ve sobbed into grocery store sushi at Loblaws, sniffled at the toll booth of Bathurst subway station, and wailed in a Courtyard Marriot parking lot.  I’m going to write a guide book of Toronto, “All the places Jaclyn has cried”.  While I work on my pitch for Lonely Planet, why don’t you tell me:

What’s the strangest place you’ve cried?

It’s all about me

27 Mar

Pyjama pants may be one of the few socially acceptable items to hold on to from high school.  Do we choose not to care about the holes in the seam or is that “size tall” bottoms are too difficult to replace?  No matter the excuse, I can now safely say I do not own anything from that lifetime because I recently tossed my last pair.  Apparently “It’s all about me” emblazoned on pastel pyjama pants is no longer welcome in my relationship.

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 1.11.06 AMI remember being gifted those pyjamas as a sixteen year old – a stage when it is developmentally appropriate to be self-centred.  Eleven years later I proudly declare those words and encourage my peers to do the same

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Now is the time to follow your heart.  No one is going to stroke your ego until your confidence surfaces.  It already is ALL about you so go make it happen.  It’s not selfish, it’s survival.

Defining friendship

24 Mar

Friendships morph as we get older, take on more responsibility and have partners to tend to!  All the more reason that I want to be a good friend to the lovely people with whom I share Saturday nights, Sunday brunches and urgent Tuesday evening phone calls.  I’ve been giving thought to defining moments that mark a friendship and am warmed by the memories they evoke.

I called S when I had a Dawson’s Creek moment of a kiss in the park.
I phoned N when I didn’t know how to write an essay and was afraid of failing.
I trembled when I told A my worries that my boyfriend forgot our anniversary.
I wept to S when I felt I couldn’t cope.

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These moments tell you so much about human connection.

I could hear S’s supportive smile.
N modeled a writing strategy to emulate.
A met me with a bouquet of flowers.
S listened and held my hand.

It’s not “Friendship Week” or anything cheesy like that.  This is simply a reminder that our friends carry us through some of the most difficult times and for these relationships, I am eternally grateful.

Anniversary of the ugly

20 Mar

You can’t fool me, I know you have experienced this too.  A traumatic event, the passing of a loved one, or a dark period when you felt there was no climbing out of that depression trap.

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I’m approaching the anniversary of such a time and wonder, what is the healthiest way to move through this day?

Do we distract ourselves with treats to numb the pain? 
Or do we let the memories slip out, sit with them, and try to march back to strength?

I can admit that I struggle with this.  Some days I feel victorious for making it through to the other side feeling stronger and more resilient, and other times I don’t feel like looking back.

It’s the anniversary of the ugly and I need to know, what do YOU do?

Closet cleanse

17 Mar

How did you spend your weekend?  Scarfing down macarons and over-caffeinating on cappuccinos?  Me too.

Actually, I kicked off my weekend doing something I LOVE.  A friend enlisted my help to cleanse her closet, purge her belongings and give her a swift kick in the butt.  This gorgeous gal has been living with too much clutter – too many shapeless pieces of clothing that hinder her confidence to march into her next place of employment with confidence.

Closet cleanse with FThere’s also something to be said for a coming of age acceptance of your body shape for items that fit and flatter.  By the end of our 3-hour session, we had paired down her wardrobe to silhouettes that  show off her svelte mid-section, hug her beautiful curves and command attention walking into the foyer of an interior design firm.

I have years of experience and donation piles of evidence that I know what I’m doing.  Inquire within for an image overhaul tailored to your needs.  Maybe you are just a closet cleanse away from feeling your best.

Let’s find out together.

Silent Sunday

10 Mar

Welcome to a new week!  How did you spend your weekend?

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I had a friend-filled Saturday, followed by Sunday spent in silence.  If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that I am completing a Mindfulness course.  This week, in addition to our 3-hour workshop, we were led through an all-day meditation retreat – 7 hours of sitting meditations, mindful yoga, and snoozes body scans.

A peek inside my head:

“I’m an introvert.  This should be no problem.”
“Great.  I’ll figure out my workload this week…decide if I return those printed pants…”

Quickly became:

“Wait. How long is this sitting meditation, again?  Did the teacher notice me peeking at my watch?”
“Zzzz…snore…Was that me!?”

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Lessons learned:

  • Mindful eating is terrible.  I prefer mindless mouthfuls of chocolate chips over well-rounded meals spent in silence.
  • I crave eye-contact and if I have to be sleeping meditating next to a stranger, you better bet I require pupil-to-pupil intimacy.

It takes courage

5 Mar

Over the past few months, I’ve had friends say things to me such as:

Oh, that post really resonated with me.  I had a breakdown on Sunday night…
I’m so glad you’re talking about these things.  I remember when I had a meltdown about…

Dear friends, you are NOT alone.  We’re all trying to figure our sh*t out, while acting like we have our heads on straight, priorities sorted and values intact.  Sometimes the everyday requires much courage.

It takes courage to crumble at the family dinner table, confessing your fear of taking big risks to follow your dream.

It takes courage to admit that you are sick of feeling poor.  You accept it, but it’s hard to not daydream of walking into a store and making a purchase without a payment plan worked out long in advance.

It takes courage to make personal sacrifices  which you hope benefit you later.  Coffee bars, fancy exercise classes and Bloor Street can wait.

Take Courage

Staring uncertainty in the face is scary, but feeling the fear and doing it anyway is building your character.  And you’ll have a good story for the grandkids.

———–
YOUR TURN: When are you courageous?

I’m asking you to change too

3 Mar

I did something bold.  And daring.
I told my family exactly what I wanted.

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I slid into a dining room chair at my parents house and said,

Please stop referring to me that way.  I’m not 16 –  I’m no longer that person. 

My mindfulness facilitator modelled an exceptional phrase last week.

I’m changing and I’m asking you to change too.  

I used this and the most powerful thing happened.  A family member nodded and said,

Ok, I accept that. We all change, we’re always changing.

Damn.  Apparently it can be that easy.

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