Friday, July 5, 2019

Self Care

I learned to care for my emotional self during a time of angst and sadness. Not long after my mama 
died, I fell into a hole that I worked very hard to climb out of. With the help of a few practitioners and the 
undying support of my husband, I did it! I decided then that I never wanted to fall into that big of a hole 
again and so for about 13 years, I have followed a simple practise that allows me to keep my emotions 
forever in check.

The following is my daily routine:

My feet do not hit the ground in the morning until I smile warmly, concentrate on one deep breath and 
am thankful that I am where I am.

In the shower, I ask that I be cleared and released of any negativity that is or isn't mine and I again 
breathe deeply and am grateful.

Inspired by Matthew McConaughey, every morning I write in my gratitude journal:
  1. I give thanks to for… (often something from the previous day, or a warm bed, a roof over my head, 
  2. I write in thankfulness to for… (the opportunities I have been gifted)
  3. I look forward to… (on school days it usually involves being with 5 year olds and sometimes it is 
    simply that I get to sit on my verandah in silence with a glass of wine.)
  4. I write about what I will chase that day… (always one of my character traits, like, my best listening 

World peacemaker, Mahatma Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the 
service of others.” Each day, I think of something good that I will specifically do that day and ask that I be 
shown of what service I can be. 

As I drive to work, I ask that all of my loved ones remain safe that day until they return to their 
respective beds and ask that all of the people that I love and the people I will meet that day (even if I 
just meet them in passing on the highway) stay safe and are cared for. I ask the Universe to help me be 
a better person that day than I was the day before.

Before going to bed at night I again check in with myself, to see how the day went and if I need some 
guidance so that I can be an even better person the next day.

I truly believe that we are here on purpose to use our gifts and talents to work and be together, lifting 
each other up, for the good of our world. 

These are my daily habits that I had to practise every day so that they would be just that, a habit. And 
then... I also, breathe easy lots, look people in the eye, discern intent, write,

laugh with friends, read for joy, practise yoga, garden and cycle. 

Will I fall into a hole again? Possibly, but I know it will not take me long to climb out again.

~ Ellyn

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Sunday, March 17, 2019


Not only do I care deeply for people, I have great hope in them… in us.

My heart sits in my throat these days and like many, my emotions are at the ready. A senseless act has happened, in what would would seem a world away, but it isn’t. The world has become very small and I am thankful for this. It has allowed me to connect with many who are interested in the same things that I am interested in. People who care deeply about other people are able to come together for good in this world. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true.

So many lives were taken in #NewZealand this week and I struggle with wrapping my head around the why. I do not want their lives to be for not. And what about the gunman? How does one develop so much hatred for another. In this case, hatred for a group of people.

We must work together to raise the energy of kindness in our own little corners of this world and help to protect and honour each other, through compassion and understanding.  But how?

I am a teacher and it has been my practise and my way, to educate. Through education, we open our minds to a variety of ways of doing and thinking. Education gifts us with a knowledge of the world, for the betterment of the world. That’s what it is all about. We are here on this earth to use our gifts and talents and work with each other for good!

What will I do to help with those who are grieving over the events from last week? I will acknowledge what has happened, remove myself from any negative energy about others and listen.

I will move forward in hope…

~ Ellyn

Thursday, January 3, 2019


I’ve been walking around with a lump in my throat today, reflecting.

You see, “sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life - well, valuable, but small - and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven’t been brave?” Character Kathleen Kelly played by Meg Ryan from the movie, You’ve Got Mail.

I have watched this movie countless times. I love it and so much of it resonates with my very being. From the bouquet of HB pencils Joe Fox considers sending Kathleen, in September, to the remark about business needing to always begin, with being personal, the lines resonate with my very being. The odd thing is, I have never noticed the aforementioned line until my recent re-watching of the movie.

I truly believe that I too, live a valued life but it is small, and is it small because I have not been brave?

I don’t have any answers today, just thoughts, reflections.

~ Ellyn

Friday, July 13, 2018

Summer Goals

My son was always an inspiration when it came to setting goals. During ski season, he would set goals, during volleyball season, he would set goals. When he was a little fella, and on the first day of summer holidays, at home, he would tell me his goals for the summer, even when it was merely, land a flip on the trampoline.

This summer, I decided to follow his lead and prioritize a few things and then set some goals for myself. I do this often, in my mind but when I put something to paper, I feel even more committed to it. And so, here are my priorities this summer, as well as my goals:

Every day that I am at home I read, run and meditate along with all of the other things that I do in my yard, garden, greenhouse and house.

My goals are to read a book a week, be able to run for 30 minutes nonstop, write daily, smile more and breathe easily.

It’s the second week of July and so far I am on track, with the exception of my writing. It’s the tough one, the one that I avoid. Hmm, I wonder why? I guess I’ll go write about that…

How about you? Do you set summer goals?

~ Ellyn

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Song of a Nation

It’s Canada Day and there are times I feel anxious about celebrating it in its entirety but in all actuality, 
I’m proud that I live in a nation that is willing to go to the edge and have tough conversations about 
being Canadian. There are traditionalists who feel that they need to hold on to what they have been 
taught or have learned or have experienced about the history of our country and there are those 
challenging us to make it better and hear a different side of our history. We are just at the beginning of 
a journey with each other and I couldn’t be more impressed to live here where we can walk together, 
listen to each other, and move forward in understanding. And so, on this our Canada Day, I listen to 
our anthem with gratitude and humility, loving that it has been changed and altered so many times 
over the course of its life. How cool is that? That we are willing to change it in order to capture who we 
are as a people, in a certain time. I feel glorious and free and I wish everyone a very 
Happy Canada Day!

~ Ellyn

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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Life’s for the Living

Bonfires and neighbours, long walks and the moon, sleeping in and coffee on the verandah, #runningoncountryroads and reading for as long as I want, my yoga practise and meditating. And then, with a glass of red accompanying my dinner, back on the verandah this evening.

The first day of summer has been absolutely perfect and my mama would be so happy for me that I love and appreciate my life. She has been gone from this earth for almost 14 years, but not really. At the time of her death, my friend Barbara told me to never stop noticing her presence and I am grateful to see her in every area of my life.

Her favourite vehicle was a lime green Volkswagen beetle and even my babies see those throughout their travels. When Jillian landed in Belfast, earlier this year, my mom’s favourite place, three different ones crossed her path before she had arrived at her hostel.

Thanks my mama, I love you. And also, like you, I continue to be enraptured by life and I am living!

~ Ellyn

Monday, July 24, 2017

There But for the Grace of God Go I

Spiritual Awakening is what Brenè Brown calls a nervous or mental breakdown or at least her therapist does. Brenè actually jokes about this term. However, I see truth in it and knows that she does as well.

There but for the grace of God go I. This reemerges in my life over and over again and I am so grateful to have experienced it yet again.

Who am I to judge someone else’s pain? No one. It seems to me, as a whole, that North Americans, are awful at truly dealing with another’s pain and so I continue to work at being present with anyone I love or anyone who steps onto my path that is in pain. I am continually reminded not to rescue but to be available and useful, of service so to speak, just as people have been present and of service for me.

There but for the grace of God go I.

Brenè Brown speaks to vulnerability and this crucial way of being in The Gift of Imperfection, a book that has played a key role in my life. Her first TED Talk was the 3rd talk I had ever seen. It resonated so deeply and after 7 years, still does. I have experienced and want to keep having joy in my life and so I too have to deal with the messiness of life and know that at the core of “vulnerability is shame and fear and our struggle with worthiness but it appears that it is also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love”... (B. Brown)

This summer as I reconnect with so many people that currently seem to be on the sidelines of my life, Brenè’s talk found its way back too.

Thank you Brenè.

There but for the grace of God go I.

~ Ellyn