Sunday, December 6, 2015

Another year behind me and another year ahead

This past Friday was my birthday and my latest and greatest tradition for this day (courtesy of my lovely friend Anna) is to reflect on my past year and plan for the future and of course to also fill the day with things I love. After all, it is a day to celebrate me, it should be filled with love.

So how did this all go down this year? Here is a handy list of what I did on my birthday and how that will reflect my plans for the upcoming year:

1. Running

Well it really should come as no surprise that I started my day with a run. A run with lots of hills. I still love running but now the love has transformed into something more nurturing rather than what it previously was for me, obsessive. Plan on continuing this balanced approach to running for the coming year. So unlikely to be doing any training for myself but may end up helping some other people with their training.

Post b-day-run with @TheCesspit

2. Food

This previous year I went back to school to learn more about holistic nutrition. This will continue on into next year with me taking more courses. I've already signed up for Introduction to Herbal Medicine. For my birthday I celebrated my love of good food by going to my favourite eateries that specialize in local, organic, vegan and vegetarian foods: which were Picnic Too, Be Love and Rebar.

Since I will not be training for any marathons this coming year, I can return more fully to my vegetarian diet. Looking forward to having a more happy digestive system.

3. People

I'm feeling very thankful for the people I have in my life at this present moment. The last few months have been pretty trying for me, and my friends and family have been incredibly supportive, loving and kind. Every opportunity I get I thank them for being in my life. I do not want to wait until it's too late to tell people how much they mean to me. So this birthday I got the chance to spend some time with some of my nearest and dearest over food, the phone, text or email. It is nice to be surrounded in the warmth of love and not have to get drunk or high to achieve that feeling. For the upcoming year, I plan on continuing this trend.

4. Knowledge

Everyone knows my favourite activity is curling up with a good book or blog! There is nothing I enjoy more than the pursuit of knowledge and lifelong learning and growth. This past year, I've been involved in learning more about a variety of topics, everything from pattern making, holistic nutrition, health care systems, health policy, primary care, patient portals, meditation, Buddhism, Yoga and Traditional Chinese Medicine. I visited my favourite bookstore on my birthday (Russell's used books) and surprisingly showed restraint by only spending 30$ on three books! What did I get:

1. The End of Your World - a book on what comes next after a spiritual awakening (basically some advice on how to avoid the pitfalls of having your ego cooping your spiritual awakening by making you become some self-righteous asshole with a superiority complex)

2. The art of forgiveness, lovingkindness, and peace - meditations and wise words to help me on my journey of becoming a more compassionate and loving human being.

3. Adapt: why success always starts in failure - hoping this will give me some good ammo for promoting the model of the adaptable organization

I always find it kind of fascinating where I'm drawn to in a particular moment. And these books seem to reflect my current state of mind and where I'm hoping 2016 will go.

5. Creativity

Designing clothes and jewelry, wearing make-up, styling my hair and my clothing, coloring and writing. These are just some of the things I've been using as a creative outlet. Most of you are aware of the writing (hello, best blog ever!) but there are so many things that can be used to express creativity. Personally one of my favourites is my style, nothing says Andrea is feeling creative when she gets the make up and the curling wand out! Top that off with the cute and adorable punk rock look I got going sometimes...sigh, it just feels good to express myself.  This birthday I went to my favourite store that specializes in gemstones and jewelry making, and designed myself a piece, which they constructed for me on the spot. Love those ladies at Skanda :)

Not sure what will be the focus for next year; however, I do know that I have to have my creativity time.

the latest creation

6. Hope

My day ended with dinner with a new friend of mine, whom I will refer to as Buffy (after our favourite strong kick ass female tv character). Buffy and I ate yummy food and had an inspiring discussion about plans for the future. I shared with her my desire to create a more compassionate, supportive environment around me that will touch all my spheres of existence. How I want to help others see their full potential and support them on that path. I want to create and promote a culture of collaboration and put an end to our hateful competition with each other. I want to love, when it feels like everything around us is full of hate. I want to give others hope. Buffy shares these same goals and nothing says happy birthday than talking with a like minded individual.  So the plan is to find more Buffys and to keep fostering a compassionate and collaborative environment around me for the coming year.

Overall probably one of the best birthdays I've ever had. Thank you everyone :)

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