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Life
Workaholic Gets A Life
September 9, 2010 at 9:54 am 2
Yoga Recently we came across a great article from a former workaholic who has since reformed and continues to be abundantly successful and has time and energy to spend on some of the simpler things in life - like growing tomatoes, sipping lemonade on her porch and reading inspiring books. Here's Jennifer Kushell from Your Success Network --- This summer there were a lot of changes in my life, both personally and professionally. In short, I got a life. I’m not missing my workaholic self one bit either. For 17 years I’ve worked non-stop. An entrepreneur since I was 13, I hit my stride at 19 while starting The Young Entrepreneurs Network…and the rest is history. I’ve been obsessed with succeeding as a social entrepreneur ever since. It’s such a tricky balance. And when you’re trying to make a serious impact, no matter how much you accomplish, you always seem to feel like you’ve barely just scratched the surface. Taking myself outside of my workaholic self, I’m now taking a hard look at the toll this lifestyle has done to me personally and it’s frankly kind of scary. Sleep deprivation. Unhealthy eating. Embarrassingly sparse exercise. Excessive amounts of caffeine. So little fresh air or vitamin D (sun). Countless all-nighters. More missed parties, holidays and special occasions than I’d dare try to count. While I’ve traveled for work over one million miles now, I’ve had 2 two-week vacations to speak of since that dreamy and wild month off with my high school BFF all over Spain, Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza way too long ago. Adventures and private get aways since have been great, but usually no more than quick 2, 3, 4 day stints. Always, time stolen, riddled with guilt and stress over the opportunity cost of what I’d be missing, delaying, neglecting at work. Somehow I have managed to make a lot of friends over the years who’ve tried their best to look out for me. As you can imagine, I’ve gotten a lot of slack over the years for not having any real balance too. Like a true addict, I always knew I had a problem, but didn’t quite understand how all encompassing or harmful it had been. Yes, business always came first and I last, but besides me, what else got squeezed out more times than I’d like to admit? Family, close friends, personal time, fun, life. Even the closest relationship in my life suffered irreparable harm…even though we were in it all together. A few months ago, I kind of restarted my life. I confronted a battle to let go of the stress, confusion, complication and negativity that had consumed me for years. I ended up in a pretty deep dive of depression, I’ll admit to you now. (That’s kind of why you didn’t hear a lot from me for a few months. Sorry.) But with the help of the most wonderful of friends and loved ones, I fought back. Survived. …and now, I smile again,. Constantly. I have officially taken my life back. I have one. And it’s so nice. Now I struggle with the same challenges that everyone else does – how to do it all, have it all. Before, it might have looked like I did, but I didn’t. I was missing too much of the “me” in the equation. What am I doing differently today? I cook, create, walk on the beach, sit on the beach, watch less tv, read more, spend more time online with an incredible array of new friends from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and of course, YSN. I exercise, shop, stroll though farmers markets, sit on my deck with friends for hours getting lost in engulfing conversations, get consumed by laughter, clean my house, maintain a garden (with tons of fresh herbs and tomatoes), fill the house with flowers, bask in the sun, catch up on reading, nap with the kitties, walk my neighbor’s dog. I now take photographs like I’m afraid I’ll miss a single moment. Work, I love again. I dream, invent, conceive, collude, collaborate, and create every chance I can. I write more because I’m constantly inspired now. I’m more connected, more transparent. I want to learn, listen, share every minute I’m alive. And yes, I am committed to succeed more than ever, even in the most traditional sense. I’m ready to profit, and not just give everything away as I always have. I deserve it. I know I do. In this new zone of mine, I’ve been more present. I’ve reconnected with tons of old friends and colleagues. I’ve also been thanked daily. People who’s lives I’ve touched in some way have come out of the woodworks lately to make their experiences known. I’ve been humbled and awed by this profoundly. Every day is rich, robust, calm, exciting, joyous, adventurous. I could still use more sleep. And a lot more exercise. But I’ll get there. For now, I’m quite at peace. The other day, I was downright euphoric. Now, I’m ready to tackle the challenges ahead and feel infinitely stronger setting out to do so. To all you workaholics out there: Those of you who can’t stop yourself from truly giving your work your life, all the time, I understand. I really do. Try to make some room for you, for whatever matters to you, not just in the big picture and the big scheme of things, but for the here and now. Start by focusing on the little moments that fill your day and your life. The simple things that inspire you to smile, laugh, feel warm and fuzzy inside…and connect with those things over and over. Try to infuse them in your work too. Let me know how it goes. Maybe we can help each other. After all, we always have. Photo Credit: Solazzarre.com
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Style
Beauty Review: Lavender & Acacia Relaxing Foaming Bath
August 8, 2010 at 1:47 pm 0
bathbubbles We tested out the Le Couvent des Minimes foaming bath by chance; we found it in the drug store and thought based on it's expensive price tag it had to be amazing! We were not disspointed! You only need a little bit for a full bathtub and the scent is divine! It has a strong but natural scent and it produces an incredible amount of bubbles for a full bathtub. So, even though the pricetag is around the $35 mark, it's worth it to pay for quality products that you can use for a long time. Apprarently these products come from a Convent in France en Provence, that now operates as a hotel spa, which has been certified by Relais and Chateau ( a big fancy group that tells you if your hotel is fancy enough to get into their club - it's very exclusive; only 2 hotels in Canada are in the club).
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Life
Animal Shows & Strange Ways To Blow Off Steam
June 30, 2010 at 1:25 pm 0

lion

Like most stressed out students it was not uncommon to watch animal and nature shows to unwind at our Bloor Avenue student apartment during the university years. The lions would sit, lounge, lick each other, wrestle and walk around until they finally pounced on their prey and filled their tummies. In the background the birds would whistle, the trees would sway, and life would flow on for all the other animals. Seeing the whole cycle of life, and daily goings on of the safari animals was an oddly soothing way to spend time. And it worked. It was so nice to just let thoughts of stress escape my mind and just observe the animal world as a way to decompress.
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Travel
Need a Vacation But Don’t Have the Time or Money?
November 12, 2009 at 12:27 pm 0
A mini staycation may be the perfect fix for you! It doesn’t take a ton of planning and can be really inexpensive too. Step One: Set aside a day or two and make it into a mini staycation. It could be right now, or if you’re slammed with work/life within the next little while. Step Two: Think of all the great things in your city that you just never get to see. Remember that art gallery that re-opened that you have never been to? That amazing Swiss restaurant that you have been dying to try? Make a list of what you want to do, and then figure out what you can reasonably do within two days...but make sure you save some time for relaxing so you’re not burned out from your mini staycation. Step Three: Make any reservations that need to be made, and contact your friends if you’d like to include them in your plans. Step Four: Based on what you want to do, and who you want to do it with, build a basic schedule for your mini staycation. Step Five: Enjoy! Here’s an example of a staycation plans and budget for a 2 day mini vacation in Toronto. For me I love to tour around and get exercise, so those are central to my plans. Friday night: - Nap after work - Meet up with friends and try out the cheese fondue place on Elm Street for a late dinner ($60 per person) Saturday: - Sleep in - Grab a coffee and go to specialty book store with big fluffy coaches and classical music playing. Select a few books that will set my imagination on fire! ($30) - Go for a light lunch on Front Street ($20) - Drop by St. Lawrence Market – pick up some flowers and wine ($40) - Take a long walk along the Toronto Harbourfront – get some exercise and sit on the beach chairs watching the waves pass by while letting my mind wander - Return home, have a hot bath and get all sassied up for tonight. - Date night! Go to the new French "communal style" restaurant I’ve been dying to try out ($120 for 2) Sunday: - Sleep in - Go for a swim and steam - Head up to the Art Gallery of Ontario for lunch ($25) - Tour around the gallery and get art inspired! ($20) - Go to High Park for a walk and duck watching - Head home, order sushi in, read new books and relax! ($20) For a total of $335 I've lived like a queen for a weekend, seen the scenes, and had a lovely mini staycation.
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Life
The Simple Pleasures of After Dinner Walks
September 2, 2009 at 1:25 pm 0

After dinner walks are the best. After our lengthy winter up North I rejoice every time I'm able to step out after dinner for a long walk. It's one of my favourite ways to get some exercise and just let my mind wander. It's almost like taking a mini mental break...my thoughts just weave in and out, thinking about things that upset me and how I'm going to figure things out, thinking about how beautiful the branches look against the red brick, just thinking about anything. love. money. sex. happiness. goals. problems. food. stress. weather. summertime plans. When I get home I feel totally refreshed mentally, and when I go to sleep I drift into lovely thoughts having cleared all my stresses. It's the perfect way to end a day.
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Life
Stolen Moments
August 19, 2009 at 2:03 pm 3

Sometimes we’re given stolen moments of time, when our appointments end early and we have no pressing plans. Of course we have things we could do to fill the time, clean, go to the bank, call our boss, check work emails……..but really since no-one is expecting us at this time why are we in a hurry? These are the stolen moments that help restore some of the peace in our lives. So sit back, look around, sip a cool drink, and relax. Take some time to reflect and cherish your stolen moment. It will help to restore some of the balance in your life and you won’t feel so hurried in your life all the time. Feeling guilty? Don’t! You’ve earned it.
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Travel
Tuscany: Italian Dream Part Two
July 17, 2009 at 9:15 am 2
The Tuscan Countryside After two exhausting days in Florence it was so nice to escape to the countryside. By chance we made a hotel reservation to a modest looking hotel, the Borgo di Fontebussi, which turned out to be a luxury retreat. The pictures on Expedia do not do justice, and the price was amazing for what you got. As we drove up to the gated retreat I just wanted to sit inside and take a nap…until I saw the place we were staying….and then I felt like a princess who just landed in heaven. There were many different buildings, a lovely pool, two restaurants and many seating/park areas. The views from the hotel were outstanding and it was filled entirely with Europeans that wanted a little getaway. Everyone was just relaxing and having lovely slow meals, drinking wine together, sitting on the grass and enjoying life. It was bliss! After spending our first day in the retreat it was time to check out and go to Cinque Terre, but I just couldn’t leave. My very accommodating boyfriend had no problem with losing money on our other hotel reservation and staying on one more night….he’s so lovely about these things. Since we had an extra day we decided to peel ourselves away from the heaven retreat and visit the Chianti route. We drove around all day and visited many different towns, cafes, restaurants and vineyards. It was nice to just chit chat away driving down the country roads, getting lost and seeing amazing views at every turn. Throughout the entire day I was concocting plans in my head figuring out how I would take a six month sabbatical in Tuscany, living in a farm house, eating glorious food at every meal, and drinking the best wines I could imagine. Tuscany is a place to lose yourself in fantasy….and indeed I did. I felt so relaxed, blissful and in love with everything, and I’d go back tomorrow if I could. Stay Tuned: The crazy city of Rome is next! For more Italian travel journals see posts on Florence and Rome
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