Tag Archives: wellness

Relationships and Monkeys

Relationships can be a blessing and a curse. Everything for a reason or a season comes springing to mind. This year has been an interesting journey for me. I’ve experienced many periods and areas of growth. I went back to school, bringing with it a new set of friendships. I learned some hard lessons, letting relationships fade to the background, and I made an effort to move away from negativity and drama and resettle back into a place of peace and serenity. But in order to get there, I had to make some tough decisions.

We all have a limited amount of energy, think money in the bank. Where we choose to spend it should be ‘our choice,’ but sometimes we get so caught up in other people’s circuses that we start looking after their monkeys without even realizing it. When we spend our energy on negative people, we get depleted. We run on fumes. It’s exhausting looking after everyone else’s needs and letting our own take a backseat. The bank account drops into the red pretty easily. What are we doing to pull it back inline, to receive a return on our investment?

If the relationship depletes us, then it’s a detrimental use of our energy. If the relationship lifts us up, makes us feel loved and cherished, then it’s a good investment. Relationships can bring a lot of joy and incredible happiness, but the ones that drag us into drama, heartache or struggle need to be exorcised. And I do mean exorcised. We need to lift up and out our sense of obligation, fear and/or guilt. No one needs that shit. We need to let it go.

Relationships are not obligatory—not even within our own blood family. All relationships must be a mutually beneficial, two-way, give-and-take endeavour. Each person should feel valued and appreciated. We should never stay in a negative relationship out of feelings of guilt, nor should we be holding onto toxic relationships merely out of fear of loneliness. My experience has taught me that once you get rid of negativity, life has a great way of bringing in positive experiences to fill the void—things we genuinely want and need in our lives. But we have to open up space to receive it.

Loneliness frightens a lot of people into accepting negativity. We’re so afraid of being on our own, alone with our own thoughts that we hold onto relationships that have long outlived their value. Letting go and moving on can be a scary leap. It requires faith that things will work out for the better. Think about decisions you’ve made that were frightening at the time, moments that felt overwhelming, where the outcome was uncertain. If you look back on those moments, did everything work out? Most do. And even if they didn’t seem to at the time, can you see how they led to growth, or pushed you in a new direction, or offered a new perspective? Can you see how those results can be viewed as positive as well? They may not have taken the path you had hoped for, but in the end, something positive still resulted from them—even if it’s only proof that you can overcome hardships and adversity.

The point is, we don’t have the ability of hindsight when we’re knee-deep in a situation. It takes time and distance to gain a little perspective. But if you take the leap and remove negative relationships and negative people from your life, you’ll find you have more energy, a greater sense of self and what makes you happy, and you’ll move closer to finding people who align with your beliefs and values. A positive relationship pays dividends and you’ll be richer for it.

Let ‘em keep their monkeys.

In gratitude,

Marissa xo

Vegan Experiment

As the Yes Woman, I’m always up for a new adventure. This time around, I’m delving into the world of plant-based eating. To help me through this bizarre terrain, I signed up for a four week transition program. One of the serious bonuses to this particular journey is having one meal a day prepared by The Copper Branch. 

Here’s a peek at some of the awesome offerings I’ve had the opportunity to sample:


This was a delicious Quinoa bowl.


A tofu scrambled sandwich (gluten free bread)


Really yummy Quinoa chilli.


Shiitake Teryaki Sandwich. So good.

For a girl who’s not terribly fond of vegetables, this has been an incredible discovery of new tastes and options.

Stay tuned for more!

In gratitude,

Marissa xo

How Do I Decompress?

Conversations with the Goddess

Dear Goddess…I’m at the end of an insanely chaotic week. How do I decompress?

L.R.

I am the Goddess of music and medicine. Stress is manageable in small doses, but leaving it behind and letting it slough off is essential to your health. Play your favourite music, turn it up. Grab some ambrosia, or wine, and surround yourself with family and friends. Let the distractions go. It’s too easy to get pulled back into chaos. Keep that computer turned off. Focus on what’s important. Don’t lose sight of your priorities and stay present in the moment. Make it a night of quality not quantity, of love and laughter, not Facebook.

Goddess keep you,

AINE

Aine's playground

 

Embrace a New Mindset

Embrace a new mindset.

In my book LIFE: Living in Fulfillment Every Day, Grace encourages Eve to embrace the main goal, the big plan … and that is to always follow what feels good! Embrace your passions; enflame your desires; do the things you enjoy, the things that invigorate you, that make you come alive!

While we don’t speak about this directly in the book, sex could be one of the things that you might want to experience more of on this wondrous physical journey. As women, sex is a multifaceted quandary. It is psychological as well as physical. When we were young, we may have been bursting with sexual curiosity, but in expressing that part of ourselves, we would have opened ourselves to society’s censure and risked incurring the wrath of derogatory labels—think the Scarlett Letter. Or perhaps we embraced the opposite philosophy and practiced abstinence and still experienced social and peer pressure to change. As we get older, we may find ourselves in a committed relationship, and we might be so caught up in our careers or parenting that sex is relegated to the ‘to-do list.’ Stress is great at depleting desire. Or, as is too often the case, our body image and self-judgement might dampen our fervour, at any age.

A friend of mine was very self-critical about herself and her body. She was married to a wonderful man who absolutely adored her, and accepted her for who she was … but she would not accept herself. Because she erected a concrete wall of self-consciousness between them, their sex life dwindled, in fact it was teetering on life support. She desperately craved intimacy, but she resisted having sex, because she didn’t like her body and felt self-conscious in bed with her husband. He didn’t understand her torment and tried to reassure her, but she couldn’t get past her negative beliefs.

Our ego with its negative self-talk can ruin a perfectly good evening—or morning depending on your preferences. It’s hard to get ‘into the mood’ when our mood is wallowing in self-inflicted cruelty and criticism. There have been a lot of negative comments about plus-sized models lately. These women do not view themselves as ‘plus sized,’ but rather believe we need to take stock and embrace a healthier model of beauty. There will always be detractors in life, and standing in your own strength takes courage and perseverance. A Scarlett Letter can only hurt if you allow people to stick pins in you, otherwise the label just slides off.

Beauty comes from the inside. If you are a kind, loving, joyful soul, that beauty shines through and people naturally want to be around you. We all come in different shapes and sizes, like my co-author Annemarie and I say in the Life, we are all a magnificent collection of unique and colourful containers but inside we are filled with the same essence … a loving, beautiful soul. It’s often hard to appreciate that when society focuses on the container rather than the substance.

If my friend had left her ego at the door and invited her soul into the bedroom instead, I suspect she would have had a very different experience—one grounded in mutual respect, adoration, and love. I suspect, she would have rather enjoyed herself and the sensuous time spent with her husband because her head wouldn’t have been there sabotaging everything she truly wanted—a beautiful, honest, intimate connection with her partner.

Whether we doubt ourselves because of what society might think, or because of the limitations we impose on ourselves due to our negative self-criticism, it’s critical to honour what feels good to us!

While we were growing up, we tried to navigate a world that revolved around the ego. In other words, we were very concerned with what image we presented to the world around us— to the people around us. Should we be wild and adventurous, or conservative and practical? Our decisions determined how we presented ourselves on a daily basis. And we presented these images, these ‘holograms’ of ourselves to fit in, to be accepted. But at some point in our lives we want to take the bold step and turn off the hologram; embrace who we really are and what we really want, irrespective of other people’s opinions, judgments, and expectations!

This is the path to fulfillment—to truly finding a life of happiness and delight. Let go of the need to ‘fit in,’ to ‘be perfect,’ to ‘be who everyone else wants you to be,’ and simply be yourself!

Try a little experiment. The next time you are feeling a little frisky and the mind tries to interject its opinions. Kindly, but firmly tell it to butt out. Leave the ego outside the bedroom door, with all its negativity and doubts. Imagine for a moment, that you are born anew, without any expectations, or judgments.  Embrace a new mindset. Just for one night, see yourself for who you really are— a lusciously yummy, beautifully sexy, wondrous, and passionate woman. Then, see if you can embrace that idea of yourself from this moment on!

In gratitude,

Marissa xo

Christmas – ABCs of a Passionate Life

Campbell Family Christmas 2014
Campbell Family Christmas 2014

Christmas is done and gone.

I made a turkey and survived. I started cooking at 12:00pm and finished cleaning at 11:00pm. After careful consideration, while the meal was healthful: Caesar salad, turkey with wine gravy, roasted new potatoes, roasted asparagus, and sautéed brussels sprouts, I think I will revert to my lazy habits and load the family in the car and head out for Chinese Food—a delightful pastime we enjoyed two years in a row. There is no muss, no fuss, someone else is cooking, and someone else is cleaning.

Unless Christmas is like childbirth and I forget next December just how much effort and money and stress was involved, on December 25, 2015, I will be chasing my eggrolls down with a joyful, stress-free cup of green tea! 😉 xo

In gratitude,
Marissa