Sunday, October 30, 2011


It's raining.

Halifax doesn't get torrential downpours very often. It's more of a constant stream of rain. From where I'm laying on Andrea's couch I can see the drops falling from the roof, hitting the patio and splatting all over her door.

Something you may not know about me is that I love the rain. As much of a sun child as I am there are many days throughout the year that I ask the sky to give me some rain. Especially after a hot summer day. Nothing feels better on my skin after a day at the beach than to stand outside with my feet in the grass and rain drops on my skin.

I don't know what it is about the rain that has such a strong hold on my heart. It could be the way it feels on my skin. As long as it's not cold out, if it's raining you will normally find me outside standing in it. Sometimes with my arms raised to a "T" and spinning in circles. Face lifted to the sky.

Or maybe it's the soft, fluid melody that accompanies rain. Best enjoyed when relaxing with a comfy chair and fluffy blanket close to a door or window. I'm not big on silence but I can listen to the drip drip drip of rain for hours. I think the gentle sound comforts my heart. Sometimes I get so caught up in my own head that the sound of rain draws my attention away from my crazy thoughts.

It could be what the rain represents to me. My whole life I have identified with the phoenix. The mythical creature that is reborn over and over again from it's own ashes. Rain means something similar to me. When I pay attention to the rain I feel like it is literally washing away the crap in my life. It gets into every nook and cranny of my hectic thoughts and dissolves them. I always feel lighter, more clear of head after a rainfall. "Cleansed" if you will.

And what about the fact that rain is the lifeblood of Mother Nature? Without rain water would not get distributed over land. Our plants would dry up, animals would flee and we would be stuck in a desert world. Rain is literally what makes us grow.

Whether or not you agree with me doesn't really matter. Heck, there are days when after I do my hair in the morning I am cursing the rain for messing it all up or for making my mascara run down my face. But next time it rains, try sitting next to an open window (as long as it isn't sideways rain) and use the sound of raindrops as meditation music. Allow the rain to help you let go of anything that is weighing you down. I promise you will feel a little lighter after.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Time for change

It's time for change in my life. For an embarrassingly long amount of time I have had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Really, I still don't. My track record goes a little something like this: lawyer, marine biologist, oceanographer, climatologist, accountant, photographer, wedding photographer, wedding coordinator, etc etc.. I'm one of those people that can find an interest in almost anything. So when it comes time to become an "adult" and choose a career path I get fidgety, my palms sweat and I distract myself.

What if the path I choose is the wrong one? What if I waste my time, other people's time and my money on something that I will end up disliking a year from now? What if I fail?

These questions have haunted me for years. So I have avoided them. I have distracted myself with a "job", not a career. I have distracted myself with a social life and sports and reading books. I have played around with ideas that never really stick. Sure they sound great but how feasible are they in the "real world".

Something else I do quite often is start projects and not finish them. This has added a lot of stress in my life lately. Unnecessary stress if I'm being honest. There is enough going on that I don't need to add more burden on myself right now. Therefore I am starting a change. I am tying up loose ends that have needed to be tied for a long time. Once this has finished you'll hopefully start seeing some changes on the blog.

I will admit, I'm scared to voice what I am considering doing. Not because it's bad, but because if it doesn't happen I don't want it to be yet another failed project. Something else that I started with good intentions but became tainted by my lack of commitment. Therefore I'm keeping this one close to my heart. I'm hoping that sometime soon I will have the courage to share with you readers what is happening. Until then my random ramblings will have to suffice.

If you have any requests for topics that I should talk about on this blog please feel free to email me at christinenewhook2 (at) gmail (dot) com or leave a comment.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day 17: Letting go of life

I'm not talking literally, don't get freaked out here. I feel like I need to admit that I have been slacking on the 24 day cleanse. I have done a lot but in the past weekish I have been side tracked. My Grandmother was put into palliative car last week so the cleanse took the back burner.I signed up for Moksha's 30 day challenge for the month of November and even though I may not be able to do the cleanse again every day for the whole month, I do plan on continuing the challenge into November. We'll see.

Yesterday's "item" was very unintentional. Every few months I get one amazing yoga practice. I know as a yogi you are not supposed to attach good or bad emotions to certain postures/practices but during these rare experiences I can't help it. Stefanie is one of the best instructors I have ever practiced with so it didn't surprise me that I would have this experience at one of her classes. She normally starts of class reminding us to be present. To let go of all our stresses, our worries, etc. Stop thinking about work, your family, what you have to do after class, your to do list. Focus on being present in this moment and allowing yourself the opportunity to just practice. For some reason last night this really resonated with me. I didn't look around the class at all to see what other people were doing. I was consciously aware of my breath at all times. I stopped thinking about Nan being in the hospital or about my need for closure with my ex. I stopped thinking about work and my to do list and books. Instead I focused on my body and my breath. The pauses in between your inhales and exhales. The burn in my quads in warrior 2. The strength in my arms in chaturanga. And it was what I needed. These rare euphoric classes leave me feeling re-energized.. almost high. I cherish these times on my mat. They are what feeds my soul and keeps me coming back to my mat day after day.

Lesson? There are times when we have to have our thinking caps on. When we are problem solvers and are caught up in the stories of our lives. But be open to those moments when life just drops by the side and you can just be completely present in the here and now. These are the moments that feed our souls.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Inspirational Videos

TED is one of my favorite websites. If you have never heard of it before TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a nonprofit devoted to "Ideas Worth Spreading". They hold conferences all over the world where inspirational people will talk about an idea. The reason I like it so much is because there is a huge variety of topics discussed.

Today I would like to share with you two videos I found. If you haven't been able to tell by now I try to live an eco-friendly life which includes being vegetarian. I know that lifestyle isn't for everyone but watch these two short videos and challenge yourself to think differently about how you live and what you eat.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Shape Best Blogger Awards

One of my favourite bloggers ever has to be Danielle LaPorte. I think I have mentioned her before but if I haven't you have to go check out her blog over at White Hot Truth. She is funny, smart, beautiful, inspiring and an amazing writer.

If you like her as much as I do please show your support and head over to Shape 2011 Best Blogger Awards Site and vote for White Hot Truth :)

Day 10: Letting go of love

(Silly blogger ate my first post.. let's try again)

This past weekend was been very emotional for me. I did not let go of anything on the 8th or the 9th. I was more focused on other aspects of my life. Like my Grandmother. She is very, very sick. On Sunday (9th) my family went to her place for Thanksgiving Dinner. It was really apparent that her health had taken a turn for the worse. As hard as all of this is, I decided I no longer wanted to wait for change in my life.

My ex and I have been trying to work through some problems and decided to break up about 2 weeks ago in the hopes of spending time apart and maybe trying to get back together after a month or so. After seeing my Grandmother on Sunday I decided there is no time like the present. The result of that conversation with my ex is that we will not be getting back together. We tried everything we could to make it work but it just isn't going to happen. Monday I faced that fact head on and even though I have had weak moments since then, I know it is for the better.

Dave, I love you. I always will. And I wish nothing but the best for you in the future.

Day 7: Letting go of magazines

On the 7th day of this cleanse I decided to get rid of all my old magazines. Ok, maybe not all of them but most of them. I usually hold onto some Vogues or Ws for photo ideas/inspiration. It took a while but today I flipped through the majority of these magazines, pulled out photos that inspired me and then chucked the rest of the magazine. Now instead of a huge pile of magazines, I have a way smaller folder full of photo inspiration. I finished this process for all of my fashion magazines. Now I have to go through my handful of yoga magazines and do the same thing.

Make sure to recycle all of your old magazines if you decide to clean out your bookshelf as well.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Day 6: Letting go of cloth

I read in a book not too long ago (don't remember which one) that a good use for old sheets, towels, blankets, etc is to either turn them into rags or to donate them to animal shelters. Since I don't have my own kitchen I don't really need that many rags so I have decided to donate two sets of sheets, a towel and a blanket to my local SPCA. I haven't used any of these items in over a year so instead of them collecting more dust in my closet I might as well put them to good use and give them to a cute puppy or kitty in need.

If you're in Halifax the local SPCA can be found at 11 Akerley Blvd., Suite 200A, Dartmouth.

Day 5: Letting go of debt

This will be a pretty short post since today's "thing" was very easy to let go of. Today I paid off one of my credit cards completely. Yay!! I really hate having debt so it feels like there has been a mini weight lifted off my shoulders.

For any readers out there that also have debt my best advice is to find a way to pay it off that works for you. I have tried different methods and some work better for me than others. The best professional advice I have ever received is to pay off cards/loans that are high interest first. That way you end up paying less interest in the end. If this doesn't work for you though, that's ok. Just create a plan that makes sense to you and stick with it :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Day 4: Letting go of electronic clutter

In today's society the majority of people have at least an email address. Most people have email, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. Although deleting emails doesn't take long, it still clutters up our lives. Today I took a few steps to rid my life of electronic clutter.

  • Unsubscribed from Groupon, Kijiji Deals, TeamBuy, etc.
  • Unsubscribed from almost all newsletters I have signed up for in the past (stayed subscribed to White Hot Truth and a couple yoga ones)
  • Deleted my "Deleted Items", "Spam", and cleaned out my saved emails
  • Deleted multiple applications from my Facebook account and turned off Facebook notifications
  • Cut down my google reader from 100 blogs to less than 20

Now all of this might not be much for some people but each time I pressed the delete button or the unsubscribe button I got excited about how many emails I won't have to delete in the future, about the smaller inbox I would have. This has to be one of the best days of letting go so far as I actually feel a lot lighter afterwards.

What subscriptions could you live without?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Day 3: Letting go of appearances

Not too long ago I started reading Adria Vasil's Ecoholic books. In the the first one she briefly touched on the topic of cosmetics and all of the nasty chemicals that are in them. One of the most surprising facts was that most nail polishes have traces of formaldehyde in them. Yuck. The amount of chemicals that we (women and men) put into our bodies from our soaps, styling products, cosmetics, etc is astounding. Just think about your morning routine. For me it consists of brushing my teeth, washing my face, washing my hair, conditioning my hair, shaving, washing my body, putting on moisturizer, putting on hair treatment, etc.

To cut back on the amount of chemicals in my life I have started to make my own products. But my bathroom was still cluttered with all of the yucky products I don't use anymore. So yesterday I cleaned it all out. Got rid of all soaps, moisturizers, nail polish, makeup, etc that I don't use or are past their expiry. I really encourage everyone to do this at least once a year. Many products that we use on a daily basis actually expire but not many people pay attention to this. Take a look in your product drawer and see if any of your products have the below symbol. It means that the product will expire in X months after it has been opened.

Stay tuned over the next few weeks because I plan on posting some recipes for homemade skin care products!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Day 2: Letting go of emotions

Yoga has been a great tool for me to help let go or deal with emotions or situations in my life. I find it clears my head, grounds me and I get in shape at the same time. But I can't do yoga all day every day when there are hard times.

Instead I write in a journal. I have always wanted to be one of those people that write in a journal every day but with my life/lack of writing ambition I have never been able to accomplish that task. That being said, when I'm really stressed or I'm not sure what to do in a certain situation I find it always helps to open to a clean page and just let go. I normally turn off my music, my tv, and go to a quiet place where I can just write. It's the perfect way to sort through mixed feelings or thoughts or to really solidify your opinion on something.

As I have said in previous posts I have been dealing with a lot lately. Or really I should say I haven't been dealing with a lot in my life lately. I have had writers block and have been trying to just use yoga to help with my emotions and thoughts. But it obviously hasn't been working. So today I sat down at my computer (since I can type faster than I can print) and let it all go. Having been to therapy before I can speak from experience, it felt better than any therapy session I have ever had. When you're writing to yourself you don't have to worry about judgements or hurting anyone's feelings. You can just let it all go. It was difficult and it took a while but it feels like a weight has lifted from my shoulders.

Writing in a journal isn't for everyone but I recommend at least giving it a try. I plan on making it a part of my routine throughout this cleanse. See if any other emotions come up that I should be letting go of.

Tip: Try not to judge what you write down or how well your grammar is, etc. A journal is not a literary piece of art, it's a place just for you, a place to sort through what goes on upstairs.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Day 1: Letting go of books

If you have known me for more than a couple of weeks or have been to my house you know I am a huge book worm. My parents say I have been like this my whole life. I was one of those weird kids growing up that loved school. Learning has been such an amazing adventure that I continue it to this day. When I'm feeling blue or something is on my mind I find comfort in Chapters. Walking the rows of books, smelling the dreamy scent of paper, cuddling up in a comfy chair to read a couple of introductions. It's almost as good for me as going to the ocean.

With the many times I have frequented my local Chapters store I think I have only left without a new book a handful of times. Therefore I have a lot of books at home. Some of them I adore and have read multiple times. Some of them I bought with good intentions but all they have accumulated is dust. So today I went through my collection and got rid of 22 books. That may not seem like a lot but it is a great starting point for me. The books were fiction, non fiction and even some old university text books.

My biggest tip for book worms out there is to find a used book store close to where you life. I have one I go to a lot in Bedford called "Buy the Book" and they have a great credit program. Bring in books that you don't need anymore and they will give you credit for them. The credit can be used towards half of your next purchase. I absolutely love this idea. It cuts down on the demand for new books and recycles your old ones.

Do you have any books that you could give away?