Spinning Out

One of the things I tried while trying to escape myself was spin class.

Last winter, my yoga studio shut down once again because of covid. I didn’t know what to do with myself. This time, I was working, so I had less time to develop a home practice. This time, I was already struggling with my mental health, and yoga had been what was keeping me afloat.

For awhile I just floundered. Then my sisters urged me to try spin.

After the initial shock to my muscles, I found I liked it. It helped give me a focus, helped get me out of my head.

It wasn’t healing like yoga, though, so when a yoga teacher I knew starting offering classes, I was quick to sign up. Then my studio eventually reopened, so I started going there, too.

For several months, I attended classes at both yoga studios and spin every week. I thought I had it all figured out: just do it all and it would all help.

I was wrong.

Trying to get out of my head was making my head spin.

First I dropped spin. Sure, it had made me feel strong and confident, but it didn’t feel like me. I tried continuing with both yoga studios, out of loyalty and a feeling of obligation I’d created in my head. But when the new one stopped offering classes at convenient times, I let that go too.

Attending classes all over the place meant my attention was all over the place, too. With the return to a single studio, I was able to focus on a single path. I rediscovered the healing of yoga, and reconnected to my yoga community. One place, one headspace was all I needed.

I hope you, too, have a practice that feels like love, and a place to go that feels like home.

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A Healing X-perience

Last weekend I took my daughter on a tour of my alma mater; she’s in grade 12 and deciding where she’d like to go for university.

I was excited to revisit the place I’d spent four years studying for my first degree. I hadn’t been there in over twenty years and I anticipated the memories.

Stepping onto campus after so long was surreal. The residences I’d lived in, so changed and yet so filled with memories of friendships and experiences. The old-book smell of the library with its quiet nooks took me back to hours spent researching and writing. The student union building where I’d picked up care packages from home, the student pub where I’d danced many nights away. So many things I’d expected to remember, but so many more I hadn’t.

The most unexpected part, though, was the healing. In my years of marriage, my ex had belittled my education. In my head I always knew he was wrong – it was never worthless – but a part of me had forgotten its value, had taken to heart the diminishing messages.

Returning to StFX reignited the significance of having had that experience. Of the learning and the value of an education and the importance of my degree. Of who I’ve become and all that I’ve done.

I hope you have experiences that renew your sense of self, that remind you of the value of the choices you’ve made. And that every now and then, you can take a step down memory lane.

Paradox

Now that I’m feeling like myself again, it seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day.

So many hobbies, so little time.

I want to read and knit and write and learn. I want to organize my desk and decorate for fall. I want to photograph and craft.

I’m better when I’m busy, but it’s easier being busy when I’m better.

When I was low, the hours felt long and empty. I was lonely, unsatisfied with my own company. I fell into the social media trap of comparing my life with the digital versions of others’ lives.

I tried to get busy, but nothing held my attention long enough or well enough to fill the emptiness.

But I persisted, and slowly, through yoga and meditation and many long walks on the beach, I began to heal. Through words spoken, written, and read, I found my way back to myself.

I once heard that you can’t sit around waiting for motivation to strike, you have to just begin and the motivation will come.

So I got busy, and I found my motivation to get busy again.


Currently reading: Supernatural by Dr Joe Dispenza (almost done!).

Today I’m grateful for crisp fall mornings, the changing colours, and fuzzy warm pjs.

The Write Time

I never meant to stop writing. It just sort of happened.

The last post I wrote in 2018 was mere days after I’d separated from my husband. For awhile, I suppose I tried to pretend nothing had changed, but I could not have been more wrong. My whole life was about to take a turn; it was the beginning of a series of struggles.

At first, I just kept putting off publishing anything on my blog. What could I possibly say? There was some relief at having ended a relationship that had had its fair share of problems. But no matter how I looked at it, the effects were devastating.

The silver lining? It was the beginning of rediscovering my independence, my power, and myself.

Join me as I share some of my stories about finding healing in new beginnings, and about finding magic in moments otherwise missed or mundane.

I hope that you, too, have been able to find light in dark times.

Into the Light

I lost myself for awhile.

It’s been four years since I last posted. Four years since I felt like myself.

But here I am, still standing. Standing stronger and lighter and more filled with love and hope than ever.

I didn’t know how much I was in the dark until I climbed back into the light.

I am back.

And I am here to share some of my stories, some of the hard lessons I learned, and how I found myself again.

This is a photography and life blog about finding the magic in the moments, about chasing the light.  

I hope you’ll join me on this journey.


Currently reading: Becoming Supernatural by Dr Joe Dispenza

Three things I am grateful for today: The smell of the rain, the colour of the sky before a storm, and not being in the direct track of Hurricane Fiona.

All Bark and No Bite

All Bark and No Bite w

Sometimes I forget I have a blog.  Life takes over, and before I know it, weeks (sometimes, months) have gone by without an entry.

No matter how hectic things get, however, I never stop taking pictures.  My camera never gets put away.

In the backyard of the home I grew up in, there is a massive apple tree.  In spring, its blossoms are resplendent.  In late summer, its apples cover the ground below it.  Its gnarled branches have held my children while they galloped on an old tire horse, and shaded their play summer after summer.

Its age shows in its bark, but so does its strength.

Poolside

We’ve recently returned from a fun but busy trip to Orlando.  We managed five parks in six days, and hit almost every ride we had on our to-do list.  It was both exhilarating and exhausting.

I had brought my camera with me, hoping to take lots of pictures.  I had visions of capturing endless details at the parks, palm trees and tropical plants.  In reality, I only took it to two parks, and it was a challenge to capture decent shots in the crowds and the harsh sunlight.

On our first evening, however, I did manage these shots around the pool at our rental house.  The late golden light reflected in the water made for some creative captures.

View Master

I have a bin with old cameras, lenses, and filters.  I only sort of knew what was in there, having been given a few over the years, and never having had a close look at some of the smaller items.

Yesterday, while trying to find my Gorillapod, I started opening the cases to see what was there.  I was thrilled to find a multi-image filter hidden in the bottom of one of the pockets, opening up whole new possibilities of surreal images.

I wiped away the dust and held the filter in front of my macro lens to see what it would look like.  This is one of the images I made:

Point of View w

I can’t wait until the gardens are in bloom – so many possibilities!

Searching for Subjects

It feels as though I’ve photographed everything in the house.

I’ve gathered kitchen tools, musical instruments, books, my collection of sea glass, and even bathroom supplies.  In my quest for new subjects, I’ve photographed items in my parents’ basement and have considered bringing my camera to work.

One day this winter, I captured this piece of an old tin roof my husband and I picked up at an antiques shop in Ontario:

Old Tin Roof w

So when I looked at it the other day, I almost dismissed it as something I was done with.  But then, I noticed this tiny heart created by the cracks in the rust:

This Old Heart w

It seems that I need to follow my own advice and simply look closer.

Sand and Stones

Waves of Sand w

When winter drags on (and on), I have to get creative to find subjects to photograph.  It will be weeks before the snow melts and we are able to see the sand on the shorelines.  So I lose myself in indoor activities:  reading, knitting, writing, and making pictures.

Serenity w

This weekend, I played with sand and stones in a mini zen garden.  Partly, this was to create pictures; and partly, this was to remember what summer felt like.

Eventually, the snow will melt (if it ever stops falling), and I will be able to get out with my camera again.  Until then, I’ll pretend.