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Owner, "MAP Wellness" - a culinary nutrition and wellness company. Writer. Passionate cook, raw food chef, reiki practitioner, yoga teacher, and LIVE WELL educator. ​do yoga. enjoy good food. run. plant food. cook. savour wine. read books. buy good food. love. grow your energy. find peace. enjoy food. have passion. skip. eat food. do yoga. listen to jazz. have presence. be present. bike. read. see. hear. be. live. love.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cuba then..where now?

Exactly one year ago right now, I was in Cuba. Those are my feet.

It had been almost a month since my father had passed away, and I was up one tattoo, down one job, and feeling pretty lost.  During dad's final weeks with us, I had been employed with a kids show that had me travelleing all across Canada for the month of May, and therefore I was not able to spend that period by his side.  Not that we knew it was going to be the last days we'd have with him, but all the same, had I been in the province, I would have been able to visit a few more times, and more importantly, it would have allowed my being present at the hospital during the last few days that he was conscious.  Regrettably, once I was able to get away from show production, it was too late, and the last time I would see my father smile was to be the Easter prior. How did I get to say good-bye to him in the last ten hours he was here on earth?  One moment of eye contact.  And then he was gone.  

Upon my return to work with said show post-funeral, it was clear that I could not continue with the company - it did not work for me anymore, for many, many reasons.  I quit.  

And the next week I booked a trip to Cuba.

I needed to get away, to sort out all the thoughts swirling in my mind; the guilt, the regret, the grief.  Mostly I just wanted to detach.  I would definitely label myself as an introvert-extrovert, and as unhealthy as I know it sometimes may be, I do like to deal with my emotions in a quiet, personal way.  And seeking solitude is a tried and true method for doing it.

So I spent a week down South, running on the beach in the mornings, reading by the pool in the afternoons, and dancing at the disco after sunset.  I did manage to keep mostly to myself, but did also make a few resort pals while I was at it.  When I wanted company I could have it, if I needed quiet, I simply searched out a secluded sandy retreat all my own.  Did I figure anything out on this voyage?  Nah, but I did manage to release a lot of tears and pent up rage, and also got some much needed sleep; one thing I had been seeking desperately for months.

Upon return to Toronto, I was pretty undeterred by my lack of a job, and quickly managed to score a few great freelance gigs with various TV stations for the remainder of the summer.  Come fall I started my current full-time role with the morning show. Life has a way of working it self out when you need it to, huh?

Relaxing, eating, exploring.  And hey, no body issues anymore (I would never have posted the above pic a few years ago!) 

Well, a lot has certainly changed since last June.  A LOT.  I still haven't gotten through my guilt issues surrounding my relationship with my father, but I am slowly peeling away the layers of self-deprecation, and learning to forgive.  And I am continuing to live my life, as my pops would have wanted me to.

Enter my "To-Live List". 

This is my current, yet always evolving grouping of motivation, created earlier this year.  So where do things stand as of now?  Well...

My To LIVE list (in no particular order)
Learn Spanish
I have the at home CD kit and have put lesson one on my iPod!
Complete my "Culinary Nutrition Expert” course
DONE and DONE!  Certified, baby!
3. Travel: Italy, Brazil, Bali, Egypt, Greece, Manchu Picchu

4. Complete my Yoga Teacher Certification
I am booked in to start this in September 2012!
5. Visit NYC at Christmastime

6. Start my own company in the health & wellness industry
In progress!  You should SEE the logo and graphic look we are working on!  SEXY!
7. Open a "Nourishment Centre"- with a focus on eating disorder recovery

8. Snorkel

9. Learn to Salsa dance

10. Get published
I started my novel last month!
11. Tour the Niagara On the Lake wineries via bicycle
Myself and a group of gals from my CNE course are booked to do this in July!
12. Stay at a yoga ashram (long term, and short term)

13. Learn to sail a boat

14. Run a 1/2 marathon

15. Knit socks, mittens and eventually a sweater

16. Mail 20 love letters
1 sent so far, from the heart.
17. Complete a Hot Yoga "30 Day Challenge" 
I may do this in July

Also exciting - I have completed my level 1 "Living on Live Foods" raw food chef certification and am scheduled to do my Level 2 this coming week.  I have also completed my Reiki level one certifiction and level 2 is booked for August.

Yup, life does have a funny way of working itself out indeed.  And as I sit on my cozy, comfy balcony writing this, I have joy in my heart, less pain on my chest, and fewer burdens weighing me down.  Do I think I will ever need another "Cuba trip"?  I hope not. I hope to never have to experience and then move on from what my family has been put through over the course of the last two years ever again.  But, at the same time, I do believe that from now on, when life throws me a curve ball and knocks me off my game, that I will be strong enough, brave enough, and present enough to face it head-on.  And be all that much better for it in the end.  



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