Along the route of my first half marathon May 2016
CAN EXERCISE BE MORE THAN JUST A CHORE YOU DO BECAUSE IT’S GOOD FOR YOU?
As I see it, life’s activities fall into 3 categories:
1) Things you love to do
2) Things you do because you have to
3) Things you do because they’re good for you
Things you love to do
For me, that would be the combo of binging on something salty, red wine, and Netflix (in my PJs).
Things you do because you have to
Anything involving food on the table and a roof over your head. That would be: working, paying the bills and cleaning the perpetual trail of dishes, towels, and socks that is my teenager’s trademark. You should see his biohazard site bedroom!
Things you do because they’re good for you
Now here’s where it gets a little more complicated for me. Sometimes I find it hard to discern between the stuff I force myself to do for the right reasons – because it’s good for me – and things I legitimately shouldn’t do because I simply don’t like doing them! I practically break out in hives before doing new, unfamiliar and seemingly unpleasant things. Continue Reading
Let me guess. Lose a few pounds….abstain from drinking (for a while)…exercise more….yadda yadda yadda. This is a time for all of us to take our New Year’s resolutions to the next level.
If, like me, (by choice or not) you find your job situation has left you asking yourself, now what? This is a golden opportunity to dig deep and look inside.
Last year at this time, there were many questions I asked myself to help me find new direction. Questions like: What is the ‘one thing’ that everyone says I’m good at? What makes my heart sing? What do I read about most often? What are my passions and interests? Will I still be interested in this particular area six months or a year from now?
When you are asking yourself, “what is my purpose”, go easy on yourself. One of the most inspiring pieces of advice I found is from New York Times best-selling author, wellness advocate and cancer survivor, Kris Carr. She says:
“When our purpose is external, we may never find it. If we tie our purpose or meaning to our vocation, goal or an activity, we’re likely setting ourselves up for discomfort and even failure down the line…Your purpose is actually quite simple, it’s to awaken. To discover and nurture who you truly are, to know and love yourself at the deepest level…Your self-worth has nothing to do with your craft or calling and everything to do with how you treat yourself and others.”
Well friends, I think I’ve said all I can say about “reinventing yourself” for a while! I’ll check back in when I’ve made some more progress and my new career path is a little more complete. For now, I will get back to posting recipes and other fun things on Walnut Kitchen. But, I would also love to feature people who have successfully reinvented themselves. So, I need your help. If you have anyone to suggest please e mail me at email@example.com or contact me through any of my social media platforms on my contact page.
Until then, my final words and two best pieces of advice on what I’ve learned on my journey so far, is: First, start somewhere –anywhere. Second, no matter what, always remember to be kind and to love yourself. When you can do that, everything is bound to fall into place.
Happy New Year! Wishing you all health, growth, peace and most of all – to love yourself.
“EVERY FAILURE OR EVERY ATTEMPT AT ANYTHING IS A STEP CLOSER TO YOUR TRUE ESSENCE” -Artist, Julie Piatt
Shooting videos for my YouTube channel- ‘Michelles Walnut Kitchen’
I come from decades of working in a visual medium. So, while I enjoy blogging and how it has helped me become fluent digitally, I don’t just want to write, I want to SHOW and tell. I think that’s part of my ‘ESSENCE’. Another BIG part of my true essence is that I’ve always loved WATCHING people cook. So, why not add a video component to my blog to make the recipes I share come to life? Plus, today the reality is that people are WATCHING more than they are READING. (If you are still reading this, THANK YOU). Continue Reading
Definition of insanity according to Albert Einstein: “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Einstein was right. A year ago, when I was trying to figure out what I was going to do with my career, I decided to stop the insanity in my life. If I was going to move forward and reinvent myself, I had to say goodbye to my old ways and shake EVERYTHING up, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
Move your Body, Feed Your Soul & PLAY
I decided to try something I had physically never attempted before. I set a goal to run a half marathon and joined a running group (read more on the merits of that here). I signed up for mindfulness workshops and started meditating regularly (see my post “Meditating on a Smartphone”). For kicks, I started playing Mah Jongg. I rekindled an old interest in knitting and ignited a new one in blogging. I discovered that trying new things is the oxygen that makes me feel ALIVE and excited about the next chapter. Continue Reading
Oprah ended her daily show by saying, “Everybody has a calling, and your real job in life is to figure out what that is and get about the business of doing it.” Well, I don’t know about you, but I haven’t necessarily figured out what my calling is and I STILL sometimes ask myself, “what do I want to be when I grow up”. I don’t think it all boils down to ONE thing or ONE calling. My ‘reinvention’ feels complicated and is DEFINITELY a work in progress.
Hit the Re-Set Button
What I do believe is that we should all be TRYING to figure it out even when the bumps along the road aren’t so big, because we’re always GROWING and CHANGING along with our circumstances.
YouTuber and vlogger Casey Neistat hit the nail on the head when he said, “In life you should only be doing one of two things; the first is figuring out what it is you love, what your passion is and two, is realizing it. And the truth is – very very few people ever do the first thing. Cuz figuring it out is actually much harder than actually doing it.” If you follow Neistat’s advice, we should all be checking in with ourselves every so often – hitting the re-set button. It’s important to ask ourselves if we are happy and love what we are doing so we are being true to ourselves. Continue Reading
Paddling on Rock Lake, Algonquin Park on my yearly girls canoe trip
Steer the river. That’s what I used to do…and admittedly, still try to do…but I’m working really hard on doing that a little less. I’m loosening my grip on the paddle to carve my route. Now, I’m trying to surrender myself to where the river takes me.
To mark one year of blogging, I’m doing a series called “Reinvent Yourself” every Monday for the next several weeks (check out part 1 here). I’m sharing some thoughts and insights from people who have motivated ME this past year, along with a handful of my own lessons learned from my adventure so far …like this one:Continue Reading
I have always believed that if you WANT things to happen you have to MAKE them happen. Success doesn’t just FALL in your lap. Taking a risk, summoning courage and being persistent are all necessary ingredients to provide opportunity. The problem is, sometimes life’s unforeseen circumstances put up seemingly insurmountable obstacles that can discourage even the most positive and pro-active people.
NBC NEWS London Bureau where I launched my career in TV as Newsdesk Editor (a million years ago)
Early days on a “Midday” shoot on Baffin Island, Nunavut
I could never have worked in the TV business without the drive to ‘make things happen’. But, in the last few years, the digital revolution has changed everything for me, for many of my friends, colleagues and pretty well anyone working in media. So, after spending my whole life building a television career, was ‘starting over’ at this stage going to be my worst nightmare or the best thing that ever happened to me? Yikes, this felt like a mid-life crisis on steroids! What was a baby boomer like me to do next? Continue Reading
RECOVERED ADDICT AND ALCOHOLIC VEGAN ULTRA-ENDURANCE ATHLETE
The man who fits all those descriptors has been my inspiration.
Rich Roll is a bestselling author and wellness evangelist and his podcast has played a big part in changing my life in the last 6 months.
If you’ve never heard of THE RICH ROLL PODCAST, you are in for a treat! Rich’s goal is simple: “to provoke, educate, inspire and empower you to discover, unlock & unleash your best, most authentic self.” His podcast “delves deep into all things wellness”. He talks to “some of the brightest and most forward thinking, paradigm busting minds in health, fitness, nutrition, art, entertainment, entrepreneurship & spirituality.”
It’s a refreshing change from the celebrity saturated shallow bite sized content that is everywhere! (don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for all that celebrity nonsense!) Most of the people he interviews, I’ve never heard of. Yet they’ve all done SUCH amazing inspiring things in their lives. That pumps me up. Since I began listening, I’ve gone back to school. I’m trying to eat a more plant based diet, I’ve started running, meditating, and have launched this blog!
I like listening to his podcast when I walk the dog, run, drive, can’t sleep and OFTEN when I’m cooking in my Walnut Kitchen.
THE LATEST…MY RICH ROLL CONNECTION
Since I first wrote about this podcast back in December 2015, I discovered an amazing ‘small world’ connection to my favourite podcaster. Rich Roll has been a close friend to my talented cousin, filmaker Sacha Gervasi for over 16 years! What are the chances?! I practically fell off my chair when I learned about it. Since then, Sacha and his brother in law David de Rothschild were guests on the podcast. It’s a great discussion about chasing dreams…an appreciation for cultivating imagination… and a deep understanding that a story well told holds the potential energy to change the world. Check it out (link below)
If you are unfamiliar with Sacha, apart from working with Hollywood heavyweights like Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren and Scarlett Johannson, he is best known for Anvil! The Story of Anvil — his critically acclaimed rockumentary about a Toronto heavy metal band. It’s AMAZING! Continue Reading
I never thought about herbs as anything but flavour boosters when cooking. But actually, herbs aren’t just good in food. Many herbs are potent medicinal plants. The ones with Latin names ending in ‘officinalis’ have a long history of great healing power. I wish I had woken up to that a little earlier when I planted my garden! Oh Well! Better late than never….and apparently it’s not too late to plant this season.
On mother’s day, my son Alex and I planted a bunch of veggies and herbs in our backyard including mint and basil. For some reason, the basil plant is going gangbusters, but, the mint….not so much. Bizarre considering the fact that mint often takes over your garden since it grows like a weed! It turns out that mint doesn’t like to be beside basil. This, according to my herbal medicine teacher. Who knew? Continue Reading
Apart from a hefty bank account and a huge fan base, what do Beyonce, Manolo Blahnik and Karl Lagerfeld have in common? Answer: A passion for a French luxury brand called Diptyque.
I’m certainly not rich or famous, but, a few years ago, I splurged on this very brand and fell in love.
Founded in 1961, the perfumer, Diptyque is famous for its scented candles. If you are one of those poor souls who is sensitive to perfumes, my heart goes out to you because these jewels provide a sensory bundle of joy. There is nothing more healing and restorative than a room filled with the delicately balanced fragrance of a Diptyque candle.
Made by hand in a 12 step process, the candles are world renowned for their all natural scents inspired by nature. Of the 50 intoxicating candle varieties they create, the ‘Baies’ scent which was first introduced in 1983 has a near cult like following. I confess, I’m part of the cult as it’s one of a handful of scents I’ve enjoyed.
The blend of blackcurrant leaf and Bulgarian rose that characterises the ‘Baies’ fragrance is how Stefano Pilati (of YSL) preps his studio before a visit by Vogue editor Anna Wintour. At least I’m good company!
Diptyque is in the enviable position of not needing to advertise because so many superstars in the entertainment and fashion worlds embrace their products. Get this, when Tom Ford designed for Gucci, he had the ‘Figuier’ candle throughout the brand’s stores, his offices AND his home so the ‘soothing scent of sun-warmed fig trees and white cedar’ was with him everywhere he went. And I thought I was obsessed.
Victoria Beckham used 60 of their ‘Figuier’ candles for her fall 2012 fashion show! You can’t buy that kind of publicity.
My favourite Diptyque candle is Figuier. Related to this scent is an Eau de Parfum or Eau de Toilette called Philosykos which is on my wish list down the road. But I digress….
I know that for some of you, fragrances can be migraine inducing, and trust me, I’m sensitive too when it comes to cheap potent perfumes, but these candles are worth a try if you want to spoil yourself or someone special in your life. Diptyque candles are a small fortune, but they are one of the many beautiful things that bring me peace, joy and enhance the quality of my life. I hope you get a chance to enjoy them too one day. Tell me if you are a fan and what your favourite scent is. I’d love to try some more myself.