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How Yoga Can Help Anxiety

I’ve been asked a question so many times that I wanted to state the answer very clearly right here: Yes. Yoga can help anxiety. For a great deal of my life, I found myself plagued by anxiety and by panic attacks that would quite literally leave me gasping for breath, feeling like I might faint or vomit, and worrying that I would never ever feel normal again. (You can read my description of what a…

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Kick anxiety to the curb with this breathing technique!

Calm your anxiety

I’ve written on more than one occasion that I struggle regularly with anxiety. Not only do I have anxiety overall, I also tend to enjoy panic attacks with it (and by enjoy I mean NOT AT ALL). I first encountered it back when I was in grade ten. It seemingly came out of nowhere and plagued me with cold sweats, terrifying dizziness, and a feeling like I might throw up. You can imagine how fun that was. At the time there weren’t as many advances in mental health awareness so I had no idea what was wrong with me – and neither did my parents or a slew of doctors and specialists. Luckily it turned out that stream of anxiety was triggered by being in over my head in advanced math and advanced chemistry, both of which I was failing spectacularly. Once I got through the year and hit summer, my ailment disappeared and I never gave it any more thought.

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Saying goodbye

Thursday June 6th I was having the greatest day you can imagine on a work day. In the morning George had gotten up a little earlier than usual to make me eggs and toast to give me a break from my usual toast and peanut butter breakfast. It was a beautiful day so I took the bus right down to the waterfront and I sat on the boardwalk for half an hour and watched a jellyfish swim around the harbour, leaving me feeling relaxed before walking back to work. My work day was quiet enough to keep stress at bay and I had a couple of good meetings lined up that day. It was a fantastic Thursday.

Then a manager came and told me George had called the urgent line and needed me to call home. Hayley had had a stomach ache and I honestly thought that maybe he had to go take her to the clinic/ER and needed me to come home early to go get Breanna. I called back with that expectation. Imagine my shock when he told me my mother had just called and that my dad had passed away.

With my dad and mom shortly before we moved to Halifax
With my dad and mom shortly before we moved to Halifax

I wasn’t ready for that. I knew his health hadn’t been great for years and that he had been hospitalized for a couple of days recently for low potassium, but I had spoken to them on the Saturday and he was fine. I knew it would happen one day just like it does for all of us but I was incredibly unprepared for that phone call.

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It’s the end of the world as we know it

(and I feel fine) First of all I’d like to say that I do not in any way believe that the world is ending on December 21st. I believe the Mayans were an incredibly advanced ancient civilization (just look at Chichen Itza which is an amazing calendar tool) but I don’t believe they can predict the end of the world. However, you never know. No one ever expects the end of the world to ever…

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Five(s) by four

While catching up on some blog reading I found Angella’s list of fives. Today is one of those days where it’s beautifully sunny but it’s only about 5C (35F) outside, so I feel like doing things around the house. I have plans to start pulling out the warmer clothing while packing away summer clothes, doing inspections of winter gear so I know what still fits everyone and what needs replacing, cleaning the guinea pig cage, and watching a movie on Netflix (The Secret of NIMH) with the kids. I figured doing my own list would be a nice fit for a half-lazy, half-productive Saturday at home.

Five things you don’t know about me:

This is kind of hard, really. I’ve been writing online for so long I’m not sure what great revelations I can give you but since not everyone has been reading since day one (which is good because some of my old writing makes me cringe), I’ll throw out five random tidbits.

1. On my commute to work I keep anxiety at bay by listening to guided meditation on my iPod.

2. I really enjoy gospel music and if I’m not in the mood for meditation I listen to my Kirk Franklin playlist, particularly this one:

3. I have a huge burning desire to go to Prague. I wouldn’t mind seeing other parts of Europe if I had a chance but Prague is absolutely on my bucket list. I’ve had several dreams about being there and whenever I wake up I always feel a strange and vague homesickness.

4. I have a conversation with myself at least once a week about how I’m going to give up my daily cup of coffee. This conversation is usually followed by sitting down with my daily cup of coffee.

5. My celebrity claim to fame is hanging out with Corey Haim back in 1999 (maybe 2000? I forget which year). He was in Montreal to do some work on a movie (that went straight to DVD, alas) and he had an urge to record a song. A mutual contact suggested coming to the studio where George and I worked and I ended up sitting in the studio while he recorded it, and had pizza with him and his mom/manager. His singing was not particularly great and he didn’t really know what he wanted to do so George and Dino pretty much did it all for him, but I didn’t care. I’d spent my teenage years with his posters all over my wall and his movies on my “must see repeatedly” list, and it was NUTS to me that I was hanging out with him. He was incredibly nice, super polite, and a chatty person. I was so incredibly sad when I heard that he had died, he was way too young.

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An extra Christmas

In some ways I wish that I could see everyone I need to see on Christmas day. Growing up, my sister and I went up north to my grandmother’s house. Isn’t it an amazing house? Hard to believe it’s a grocery store parking lot now, but I’ll refrain from ranting since it doesn’t change anything. My dad’s mom would come over on the 24th, have dinner, then attend church. After that, she’d come back and…

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What’s been up around here

Wow, remember when I used to update here daily or almost daily? With all the other blogging I do for work I often find myself comatose in front of the TV at night instead of being able to concentrate on anything else. Let’s see, what have I missed? Last week I went to my first PPO meeting. I had a good laugh when it was over because I had told George that this year I…

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One on one time

On Saturday, life started out disappointing for Breanna. George had to leave fairly early in the morning for work and wasn’t expecting to be back until late afternoon. On top of that, Hayley had gone over to her grandparents’ house. Thus it was just the two of us. However, we made the best of it! We played some Wii bowling, tennis, and golf together (she totally kicked my ass at golf, by the way, and…

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Friday Flashback # 13 – Like A Prayer

I could pretty much do an entire segment of Madonna flashbacks because I was such a huge Madonna fan throughout my teen years (still am, but not quite as hardcore now). I still remember standing on a window ledge in my grandmother’s house, a ledge that was actually huge and very much like a stage, and I would sing loudly to “Like a Virgin”, dancing around and having no actual understanding of what I was…

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