Do More of What Makes You Awesome

In December I participated in the Stratejoy Holiday Council and loved it. One of the things I found extremely helpful about the workshop was it helped me break down my goals for the year into easy to manage pieces. I decided to set goals for two months at a time so that every 60 days I have a different theme and specific things that I’m working on. This has been my theme for March-April:

Why I chose this as a theme: I’ve realized that I’m the best version of myself when I make time to do the things I love: being creative, writing, dancing, pushing my body & getting in regular sweaty workouts, listening to my favourite music, engaging with the world and learning new things. I’ve learned that when I don’t make time for these things, I feel depressed and bogged down.

Have you ever had the feeling like you no longer recognize your own life? Where you think of the person you used to be when you were younger and think “Where did I go?”. Where you spend whole days feeling guilty and discouraged because it feels like you’re not living up to your potential? I’ve had many of these moments. Actually, I spent a huge chunk of my twenties feeling this way. These moments are sad and they’re hard, but they’re also sobering. I believe that if you can recognize something is wrong, you can change it.

When I was a child I had so many diverse interests and things I was totally nerdy about. I swam, ran track competitively, took pottery classes, competed in public speaking competitions, collected stamps, read voraciously, sketched, painted, sang in a choir, played the cello and spoke fluent French. I also danced ballet. I didn’t think so at the time but I was a classic overachiever. Although a lot of my other interests fell to the wayside (when was the last time I made pottery?!), ballet was the one that stuck. By the time I was in my pre-teens I was in the dance studio 4-5 times a week after school.

Although I loved ballet and had the right body type, I didn’t have the stomach for it: the long hours, the constant, never ending criticism, the impossible quest for perfection. Ballet is part art-form, part psychological warfare. It’s a lot to handle when you’re not a fully formed adult emotionally. At some point in my late teens, ballet  just stopped being fun. I wanted to feel like a normal teenager – go out on dates, join the drama club, have a life outside of dance – so, I cut back.

When I moved to Toronto as an 18 (soon to be 19) year old, I swapped the dance studios of my childhood for underground clubs, my pointe shoes for platforms, and piano solos for the bumping bass of house music. Compared to an hour and a half ballet class in pointe shoes, dancing all night in 5 inch heels seemed like a breeze. The upside is that I developed an abnormally high tolerance for foot pain. The downside is that I eventually reached a point in my mid 20’s, where I was working in an office job I hated, swilling vodka on the weekends and wondering “What have I become. Where did all my interests go?!”

Although I took dance classes sporadically while I lived in Toronto, I never made it a priority. Even though I missed ballet, I think I was afraid of feeling of how I used to feel when I took ballet classes as a teenager: picked on, criticized, imperfect, never good enough. Instead of facing my fears, I made excuses as to why I wasn’t taking ballet classes: work, stress, school, relationships, money etc. When I was in my late 20’s I suffered a really bad back injury. My excuse then became “I’ll go back to ballet when my back is better.” However, since being diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease and arthritis, I’ve realized that my back is never going to be fully “better” and it seems silly to not do something that I enjoy.

To really be in love with my life, I need to dance. Just like I need to write. As I was telling my Mom the other day, I’d really like to take a ballet class where nothing is on the line, where the only person I’m trying to impress is myself. So, that’s what I have decided to do! I got so excited about the prospect of dancing again, that I the other night I dug out my old pointe shoes and took them for a whirl around the kitchen…

Since I haven’t taken a ballet class in a really long time, I decided to ease back into it by taking Barre Method. The classes are a blend of yoga, pilates and ballet exercises. I love it! As I was explaining to my friend Kate, “It’s like X-treme Ballet.” We do typical ballet moves but with weights, balls and lots of reps, all set to fun music. And oh boy, do you feel it. Like actual ballet, it’s hard work but the hard is what makes it good. In case you were wondering, it also gives you glutes and abs that could crush cans.

{Photo via Barreworks, Toronto}

It feels really good to move my body in this way again. Just like when I visit Quebec or France and immerse myself in French, doing ballet exercises again makes me feel like my body is remembering a language it learned many years ago. I’m starting with Barre Method so that I’ll be ready to take an actual dance class in the summer. Who knows, after that I may even brush up on my French!

Sometimes I wonder if maybe we get it right the first time. If what we are passionate as children is a reflection of our true calling in life. I was a kid who loved dancing, telling stories and learning about the world – which, essentially describes who I am now. I don’t think our essential selves really change that much from when were children, it’s just that life piles on so much bullshit that sometimes they get buried under other people’s expectations of who we should be. I imagine if we all peeled back the layers, we’d find our beautiful, shiny, awesome cores. That’s what I’m trying to do. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Do more of what makes you awesome: my new life mantra.

What makes you awesome? 

Show & Tell | Crazy Has Never Smelled So Good

I absolutely love how the fabulous ladies at Ohhh Canada keep sending me delicious smelling, pink treats that are just “Oh-So-Skinny Dip.” The latest addition to my growing collection of yummy smelling body care products is The Crazy Girl Pink Cupcake Body Mist.

When Katrina suggested I try this delectable body mist I was a bit nervous. When I see the words “Body Mist” I immediately think of those Calgon body sprays that we used to douse ourselves with in Junior High (Hawaiian Ginger anyone?) Fear not – although the Crazy Girl Body Mist is a similar price point, it has nothing in common with the drugstore brand body mists of yore.

Formulated for all skin types, The Crazy Girl Body Mist is infused with white tea: a powerful antioxidant that adds hydration and sexy softness to your skin. It’s also infused with Sex Pheromones (those handy little chemicals that make us yummy and enticing to others). Along with having a long lasting fragrance, it’s alcohol free, paraben free, sulfate free and is not tested on animals. I was expecting the bottle to be quite small however, at 6.0 oz it’s actually a really generous size – especially considering it’s super reasonable price tag of $11.99.

What surprised me most about this body mist is how incredible it smells. It’s called “Pink Cupcake” so I knew it would smell like Vanilla however, it smells way better than I imagined it would. The scent is a mix of sugar, cotton candy, vanilla musk and light, fresh berries. It’s a very sweet scent, but is still very delicate and subtle….and yes, it makes you smell like baked goods, without the icky alcohol residue scent that a lot of body sprays have. Personally, I love the fragrance however, if you’re not a fan of sweet, vanilla based smells this probably won’t work for you.

Now for the interesting part- Do the Pheremones actually entice the opposite sex?

I tested the body spray out on several different occasions. I wore it out on two different dates with the guy I’m seeing (he’s the only man standing after my brief foray into online dating.) and I didn’t notice that he found me any more or less attractive than he usually does. I did however spritz it on before heading to the gym the other day and noticed two separate dudes stared at me as I walked by. However, they could have been staring because…

a) They are just creepy weirdos  (a very real possibility)

b) I have this bad habit of stuffing my iPod into my cleavage whenever I need my hands free to grab a drink of water.

c) I generally go to the gym make-up less, with unwashed hair and simply looked like a hot-mess.

d) Some version of all of the above.

Your guess is as good as mine.

To get a male opinion, I decided to consult Joe the Intern:

Thanks for your comments Joe! That story was, um, slightly awkward.

 

At the end of the day, who cares what other people think? I’ve been wearing this body mist non-stop since it arrived because it makes me feel sexy. This is one instance where I am totally comfortable being called a “Crazy Girl.”

BTW, If you’re looking to kick things up a notch in the bedroom with more than just body spray and you live in Toronto, the fabulous Katrina of Ohhh Canada is hosting “Save My Sex Workshop: Fun & Spicy Ways to Get Out of a Sexual Rut” April 3rd. Looking to re-inject some excitement back into your sex life?  Or just not having enough sex for your liking? Katrina’s goal with this workshop is to provide fun and interactive tips (but not too interactive! OMG, it’s not that kind of workshop) on how to add more zing to your bedroom activities. I wish I could go to this workshop because I know it’s going to be a blast. Katrina is has a fun, quirky, conversational style and is just so much fun to hang with. Check it out if you’re in town & sign up here. 

PS. I received the Crazy Girl body mist free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion of the product.

What are some of your favourite fragrances?  

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