March 2020 seems like a distant memory while looking back a few seasons. Seasonal changes happen with products-But with more time close to home, varying your beauty regime seems more of a curiosity than a luxury. When I’d head out to pick up toiletries I looked for items on sale, items that had a great fragrance and multi-usage items that are effective enough to replace some of the things I’ve always used. With a tighter budget I bought some items and started doing some of the treatments myself. I’m a little biased because I’ve noticed that I love flowers on everything. I started doing my own microdermabrasion, laser treatments, manis and pedis. My skills have gotten better but nothing like the real thing. It’s gonna be like this for a while- so might as well get used to it!
Here are my top 10 products that have grown on me and love to use:
1.J.R Watkins Body Oil Mist in Grapefruit – I’ve always loved the fresh and clean smell of citrus but grapefruit…..smells like a bright sunny day! The oil is quite dry, free from silicone and mineral oil so it actually hydrates the skin and smells naturally powerful. Its base oils are soy, rosemary and apricot kernel. I use it after the gym and also on my freshly braided hair. This will definitely take you into the winter months and give you that midsummer pick me up! If you’ve read any of my previous beauty articles you’ll know that I love more natural fragrances for everyday use! It retails for about $7.99 at Shoppers Drug Mart, Canada.
2. Nuxe Florale Body Oil (Summer Use)– This French made oil is also quite dry but smells more exotic than fruity! It is said to enhance body, face and hair. I use this mainly for fragrance during summer and it’s incredible! It’s dry consistency makes it a longer lasting fragrance. I pour that in plain lotion and voila-it smells better and you are hydrated too! There’s an original version without floral notes.
3.The Ordinary (Niacinamide) – The Ordinary isn’t just all hype. Niacinamide is excellent for oil control (which thankfully I still have)….it’s also great for marks/spots, it reduces the pore size which controls the oil and the face glows. It’s VERY good! This product works well to combat the new maskne issue,it keeps the skin supple and clears it up beautifully you’ll notice the difference in a few short weeks. Use a thin layer so you don’t have the product flaking off as it dries quickly.
4.Sukin Super Greens Facial Moisturizer with (Kale,Spirulina,Parsley,Chlorella) – I discovered Sukin at Marshall’s and Winners about 7-8 years ago in the ‘natural’ skin care aisle. This Australian brand knows how to use their ingredients. Most of the ingredients are organic but the most effective lines they carry are the charcoal based and Super Greens line. It’s pretty inexpensive, it’s on sale almost always at Rexall now and is the only thing that soothes my skin.It gives a healthy glow ALL the time. If you’re a green vegetable and smoothie fan…..what goes inside is also excellent for the outside!
5.Gold Bond Rough and Bumpy Daily Therapy Cream – I recently acquired a home IPL hand unit from silk’n.ca before quarantine and now that I’m six months into my own home treatments with the help of many Youtubers-it is recommended to use BHA (Beta Hydroxy Creams – Salicylic Acid) to keep the bumps away! This specific cream is not sold in Canada but can be ordered online! It works well for coarser hair types and works well for ‘strawberry legs’. If you’ve got the strawberry dots you know!
6.Rejuvacote (Nail Growth System) – No more shellac manis once a month like I used to-for years!My last mani was in February. I let my manicure grow off, cut my nails and started using this nail hardener to grow them back to what they were. The hydrolyzed wheat protein, soy and calcium keep the nails strong. They really do grow in 14 days and for ladies with dry nails as a result of the hand sanitizer and frequent hand washing-it works incredibly well! This is $13.95 a little pricier than regular hardeners but it lasts long! You apply every other day to keep the nail coated. Don’t let it flake off unless the layers are thick and can no longer stay on.You’ll have long,strong nails you can file into coffins or ovals easily,I promise.
7.L’Oreal Paris Fine Flowers Cleansing Milk – If you backtrack a few years on this blog, I’ve talked about the double cleanse method (I learnt in Japan) with an oil or a cream. I discovered this really fragrant cleansing milk that I actually replaced my oils and aloe vera cleansing cream. I developed a bit of ‘maskne’ from wearing masks outside when running errands especially during the summer heat. The cleansing milk calms the flare ups without over drying like tea tree oil. This cleansing milk is excellent for getting rid of make-up (even though make up isn’t necessary now -with these protective COVID masks) It soothes the face, and moisturizer isn’t necessary.It has beautiful Jasmine/Rose extracts. This goes on sale often at any drug store, the regular price is about $13.99 but you’ll see it for $8.99
8.Dabur Herbal Neem Toothpaste – I buy this at my local Desi/South Asian Market as a replacement for the Arm & Hammer Baking Soda Toothpaste-because you know,#flouride. This herbal toothpaste does not have it (flouride) and it’s flavoured with Clove Oil (fresh breath),Acacia Arabica (decreases gum inflammation) and Neem extract to strengthen gums. The strengthening of the gums you can actually feel. Some pastes are too sweet or to harsh especially the whitening ones. Consider switching it out completely and alternating both-you won’t regret it!!! This sells at most stores for about $1.99
9.Rose Water – I nixed the witch hazel and micellar water. I believe that flowers are the key!The rose water reduces inflammation, helps heal up the scars, hydrates deep into the skin and just smells soooo good! I use the rose water in a spray bottle to refresh the skin after a workout, as a light perfume, as the water base in my bentonite clay masks instead of plain water and as a daily toner in my routine. You can find the rose water at Rabba’s for $2.50 or at Loblaw’s for $2.50! It’s great! Stock up while you can-it’s always sold out at both places, especially during quarantine/lockdown.
10.Bulgari Omnia (Sapphire) – Sometimes you want to smell real good! Like for special occasions. I like Eau de Parfums/Toilettes with Vanilla base notes. For some reason Bulgari perfumes are not often carried at major department stores and boutiques in Toronto. I used to use the Omnia in the brown and silver spray clutch and it smelled like chocolate. As you know by now……I’m at Shoppers Drug Mart frequently. There’s a side display of perfumes with selected smaller bottles for $19.99! You’ll find all the ‘celebrity’ and higher end perfumes in 25 ml sizes at decent prices.
I know it’s a very challenging time and self-care may seem like a frivolous endeavour. When you’ve taken care of your insides-with meditation, by eating well, a fitness routine and finding your life’s purpose-take time looking for great beauty deals. You can find some excellent products to make your routine as luxurious as possible. Always remember you’re worth it-take care of your soul as well as your outside. Stay well!
As of October 17, 2018 Canada is one of the first countries in the world to legalize non-medical pot at the federal level. That day put Canada on the map as being the first G7 country in the world to legalize non-medical pot federally.
After walking around the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on both days during the Expo, I was surrounded by anything BUT a bunch of smokers (they weren’t allowed in the building anyway!) I was introduced to topics surrounding Cannabis use as related to medicare, food, body pain and CBD oil based products for pets and beauty! All panel discussions talked candidly about how to normalize public engagement and all leaders within the industry spoke on their perspectives.
One of the first questions I asked was…..Soooo what about Jamaica? One of the major questions I asked Lift and Co’s CMO about the country with the strongest advocacy for cannabis’ medicinal and health benefits (for many generations.) An official announcement was released late May 2018 after theshineprjct.com’s interview confirming that Jamaica will be the sole exporter of Marijuana to Canada.
As of May 27 of this year, JMCC has just announced agreements to provide medical cannabis to Canadian LPs, pending Health Canada’s approval. JMCC operates a collective in Jamaica that is owned 51% by local farmers and 49% by JMCC Canada.(Jamaican Medical Cannabis Collective)
CEO Diane Scott and Jamaican Minister for Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Andrew Wheatley gave a joint presentation entitled “When Countries Collaborate” on the final days at the LIFT Conference shedding some light on this decision.
Other things to note:
JMCC is well on track to produce volumes equivalent to the large Canadian producers.
JMCC is already under contract to provide Jamaican cannabis to three Canadian LPs, pending Health Canada approval.
It has signed a three-way supply agreement with a developer of cutting-edge medical and health cannabis products, and an LP that remains confidential.
It has received signed letters of intent to purchase from another seven LPs, and is in discussions with another half-dozen in Canada and Europe.
The Jamaican government is focusing on Canada as a major market for its legal medical cannabis and has been very supportive of the industry. Furthermore, it fully supports JMCC.
Folks,meet Kerri-Lynn McAllister (Chief Marketing Officer, Lift & Co) She describes the trepidation she had after being vetted by Lift and Co as their now Chief Marketing Officer! ‘I was head hunted from a tech space. I wasn’t too keen on working in the weed business at first but once I saw it’s potential and investigated some more-I found my role was exciting. IT was an opportunity to shape an industry’.
How has the discussion about Cannabis changed since she joined Lift and Co? In six months she reports that plenty of people want to come out of the woodwork to talk about stocks/investments or how it’s helped them or family members. She was not aware of the discussions people were having prior to joining the organization. So it’s been interesting to see who was or wasn’t interested in the topic. It also shows that there is still some hesitancy to discuss topics on how to change public perception.
Do you see a difference in the getting this together-organizing it, running it? The size and scale in Vancouver is smaller but the vibe is incredible. Our events team is on the ball and have created an amazing event. Vancouver was a little more challenging to set up the event. There’s only one venue. January is the only time we were offered and January isn’t the best time for an Expo but we still have very successful attendance. From the dispensary perspective and the prevalence of cannabis businesses in the recreational market it seems Vancouver is more progressive but Toronto is way more open.
This year’s expo seems heavily focused on every avenue of the cannabis industry-it seems as though there’s an opportunity everywhere where does it start? End? Many insulary services and external products for women and particularly exciting beauty products. She noticed that Sephora was starting to carry CBD products. It’s a huge market. Food, Machinery,Textiles is all here. We don’t allow you to sell anything while exhibiting. Everything has to be above-board. We welcome various segments of the industry. We feel that there are so many auxiliary products that can serve the industry. The real focus at this Expo are the licensed producers and the niche companies.
Canada as the Cannabis leader: Setting World standards How? So the Netherlands now gets mentioned for the first time in the whole discussion. Cannabis isn’t legal there but the by-law is re-translated to include all substances. So Canada would be the first country behind Uruguay to legalize it. And second, the first UN country to legalize it for recreational use at the Federal level. Canada is also considered a pioneer of medical cannabis use. Germany and Australia are nations observing Canada’s process in order to monitor recreational use over there!
A thought: As Canada is attempting to build a profitable Cannabis industry,one would hope that foundations like Lift and Co could join in the fight to remove charges and laws protecting those accusedof profiting from Cannabis illegally. McAllister agrees that it’s not fair. We both agreed that it is a topic to be re-visited once details are ironed out from the retail point of view. Many aren’t talking about how to connect lawmakers and big businesses about deep changes that must be made to criminal legislation at a local and federal level. No organizations have come forward to discuss…..So many issues that were called into question spur a whole new set of questions. What does it look like for other provinces? What does it look like internationally? How will the cannabis industry look come October 2019?
Am I staunch Cannabis supporter? Yes and No
Do I recommend it to minors? NOPE.
Do I recommend it to treat ailments and diseases that pharmaceuticals should not be treating? Yes!
Personally, I have vastly changed my opinion on the matter. After seeing my best friend’s Mom fight the battle of her life for almost five years with vicious stage three abdominal/cervical cancer. Seeing one of the strongest women I know lose weight and strength…..I was alarmed with how much medication was administered to her. Her condition, her overall body pain and deteriorating health after each aggressive chemotherapy session was heartbreaking. THC and Cannabis oils were not considered an option so late in her treatment but I do often think about how much it might have alleviated her pain.
Marketing Cannabis: Challenges and Opportunities
Although there were many restrictions imposed on marijuana industries on how information should be disseminated it didn’t dampen many companies/brands from reaching the public. All organizations ran into snags but found very specific techniques wildly successful. By employing savvier techniques to promote higher distribution of info and less visible imagery (lending more to the pothead stereotype), it’s made them more advanced than other industries which is one of the most difficult images to shake-off; especially in society or groups that still see weed that way. (As a drug)
In many cases it seems like a generational roadblock combined with a competitive push (to compete) with massive pharmaceutical brands.
What happens when all standard pharmaceutical cocktails fail terminally ill patients and/or chronic pain survivors? See Pain Warriors Movie
In many cases pharma drugs are overwhelming to the system. Hurdles to overcome post-operative and/or incurable pain- includes insufficient funding, unwillingness to collaborate with Marijuana organizations from tactics like stonewalling, to the rejection of advertising and/or co-collaboration, lack of legal support, limited staff, little or no funding for startups, no bookkeeping and/or accounting services, restraints on public (social media) platforms about what can/can’t be mentioned (wording) online. The list goes on……
So where does that leave a rapidly growing and slightly forbidden industry in 2019?
One of the key answers to this ‘blazing’ question: Find the organizations that will. Cannabis organizations are savvier, they find the best in their respective lanes/industries and the right UN-biased yet open-minded companies who would like to grow with the industry. Find the companies courageous enough to overlook the stigma and see how far the movement can go. (The movement has gone so far that legislation has currently been approved at the House of Commons, and awaiting final approval) McAllister strongly suggests ‘If you’re paying attention to the space and you’re a professional services business-you’re ignoring Cannabis to your own detriment. You’re letting your political views get in the way of growing business’. (Are you?)
How Does The Growing Industry Work Around The Social Stigma? These are some VERY excellent marketing and promotional take-aways that have worked well for the industry.
In short-harmless but necessary features such as clean & clear, unbiased branding, well-emphasized key mission statements (CULTURE, HEALTH/WELLNESS and COMMUNITY for example) emblazoned all over venues and promotional material (and actively creating those environments for the public to focus on.
Tactile and sensory marketing to convert socially doubtful and biased (opinion) to genuinely embrace items containing secondary marijuana products with an openness that might not have been possible 10 years ago. i.e. taste,test,smell
Many online platforms (Twitter, FB, IG) have rules and regulations for promoting ‘illegal substances’ online. Certain photos, commentary and suggestive language cannot be used. Marijuana businesses often align themselves in terms of community-building, health/wellness/awareness and/or industry building. All cannabis industries ran into snags but found very specific techniques to achieve success. By employing savvier techniques (strong digital and traditional marketing) was used to promote usage and/or distribution; it’s made this sector more advanced and in many cases they have more of an advantage because they’ve created a stronger movement like what we’re seeing now. Aurora Cannabis has done a fine example of clearing away the ‘pothead’ image-which is one of the most difficult images to erase pre-legalization. i.e. Collaboration with NXNE
What are some of the opinions for and against Marijuana?
Seems to fall into 3 camps:
Post-operative terminal illness survivors who try to live day-to-day while searching for holistic topical methods to combat pain. In most cases Dr. prescribed pharmaceuticals numb pain and makes all tasks slightly bearable. (On the fence.)
Those who do not tolerate use as an alternative choice under any circumstances (Is that societal, cultural, generational, institutional?)
And those who use it recreationally and accept it.
In Ontario a private retail model is set to go public April 1st this year-What this means for Ontarians is that recreational marijuana is currently sold online for recreational use and will be sold by licensed re-sellers to the public. Will this make business better? Will it change the way other countries and societies at-large view Cannabis? Only time will tell.
When weather changes, life conditions and circumstances change our bodies respond and react. For me, Ayurveda serves as a maintenance and management tool. With a Canadian climate Ayurveda is a very useful tool for weight management, skin maintenance and overall body health and wellness.
While in Japan for example, I found it very humid, so humid that I had (heat rash) that just appeared the first few months of moving there. I’d never experienced rashes in Canada and I didn’t know what to do. I immediately consulted my book: Absolute Beauty by author and Ayurveda Practitioner Pratima Raichur. One of the first things to look at before using anything is to do the quiz and discover what your body is doing right now! The quiz helps you to understand where your body is imbalanced and it is often not the symptom that shows up on the surface-it’s a series of symptoms that create one reaction or illness.
You’re usually asked to complete a quiz that asks about skin and shows you the kinds of foods you’re eating, the foods that are aggravating or causing your symptoms and what you’re doing daily. Ayurveda gets you to tap into your life in detail by figuring what your body needs to heal or recover from its dis-ease. More than likely the foods that we all love the most are the ones that should be eaten in moderation or avoided completely.
I visited Dr. Sonal Bhatt for the first time 11 years ago. She’s one of the best Ayurveda practitioners in Toronto with a vast knowledge in Western Medicine as well! I had visited my family Dr. a few times and he wrote my skin eruptions off as a temporary skin flare up and gave me a series of harsh antibiotics. Without analyzing my symptoms too much,the first thing she did was look at my finger nails,the whites of my eyes,my lips,my hair strands and she pulled my skin to check for elasticity and hydration.
I love avocados, bananas and olives all of which I should not be eating. However I can tolerate these foods prepared with other fruits vegetables and spices! I also love peanuts and cookies (those of which I really have tried to scale back.)
She asked me to go into my Dr’s office and request lab tests asking for nutrient levels,antibodies,hormones,iron levels and hemoglobin. I returned with the results and her diagnoses was even more accurate than the test results. She sent me to get the test results so she would not administer ‘natural medicines and herbs’ that were too dangerous or would cause adverse effects.
She recommended I find a colon hydrotherapist (who I’ve recommended to many over the years) once I started ‘cleansing’ my system with all the herbs. I found a very experienced and knowledgeable colon hydrotherapist (Karryn Arato) owner of (West Toronto Wellness Centre) on Bloor St. W. She’s one of the most youthful and healthy persons I’ve ever met!!!!!! Between both of them I used to travel back and forth to check for progress, and to receive more herbs and concoctions.
Dr. Bhatt gave me all kinds of hand-prepared pills and capsules made with all kinds of herbs (usually bitter) to be taken with every meal or a few times a week with VERY specific instructions. Once those customized preparations are made it’s usually enough to last 3 months or more and the most incredible thing is that I see her very early on before said symptoms are severe-usually the issue disappears within a few weeks!
Because Ayurveda, like most Native medical treatments, works with the body’s earth elements, symptoms are described in accordance to senses. Ingredients are used to diminish or balance overactive reactions within and outside the body. So for example: If the skin has acne breakouts and is maybe red and inflamed that’s considered heat, so a cooling food like cucumbers or Papaya are applied to the skin with Turmeric and honey (a natural anti-inflammatory)…..Get it?
I spent about a month mixing honey, turmeric and mashed Papaya all over my face and the eruption disappeared in about 10 days!
Many of us don’t pay attention to what our bodies are saying until the ‘disease’ appears. Ayurveda focuses on self-healing, prevention and maintenance. Author and Ayurveda Practitioner Pratima Raichur even has recipes with all natural cooking ingredients-some you might have to look for (in Brampton.)
With the quizzes online or in any of most informational books you’re able to see what your body does normally, what it’s doing abnormally and what it needs to achieve balance. Pre-mixed and measured face oils, face scrubs,teas and tinctures all need to be rationed, refrigerated or kept in dark bottles to prepare. Once you understand what the item is supposed to look like, how it’s supposed to smell and the expiration of the concoction-it’s easier to make the batches every few weeks!
Processed foods, fast foods,canned foods and chemically engineered foods can aggravate other times the body only shows symptoms at a chronic/critical stage. Which is why it’s important like any other medicine to finish it all and take at the recommended time!
Every season-I check the quiz, look at my symptoms/reactions and do a 30 day fast. It’s only required to do 9 but I find that the fast/cleanse doesn’t feel too extreme if it’s stretched out for a longer period of time. I do it this way to prepare my system for the next season or after a major change like a trip/flight or back to back partying OR stressful times and situations.
If I’ve eaten badly/poorly and had a fair amount of alcohol-the fast/detox/cleanse is more intense and will run for a longer period of time.
This detox is mainly an elimination of low vibrational foods and more nutrient rich ones which correct any bothersome symptoms such as gas, constipation, extreme sweating, body odor, bad breath, indigestion,weight gain, skin eruptions, joint pain or persistent colds and flus. (I haven’t had any of those symptoms in sooooo long.)
Living or travelling to another country for the first time was a huge change for me health wise. When I returned to North America I needed to overhaul my diet. It was really hard to eat foods I wasn’t used to. I developed allergies to foods I previously enjoyed. I used the little knowledge I had of Ayurveda back them to balance EVERYTHING.
Creating balance means eating a particular way to balance your body’s constitution. You may be required to also fast anywhere from 9-40 days or more! (With very specific foods of course.) After that a Pancha Karma (or five treatments) is needed to remove all the waste accumulated and ready to be dumped out. It involves colon cleansing, intense massage with steam/heat/herbs and induced vomiting. It’s a long process but the results are long lasting. It’s an amazing feeling afterwards-you feel lighter,cleaner,gut not as bloated and energy levels are sky-high. Countries with seasonal changes are places where it might be a better idea to fast and/or cleanse for clarity!
I found Ayurvedic practitioner (Sonal Bhatt) on Dupont St. She now has a new location on Lawrence Ave. in Toronto. She’s one of the best in the city, along with her assistance-she offered me an in-depth quiz and analysis which helped my established body constitution (Kapha) and she ordered a few lab tests and we found out with those results that I was deficient in every vitamin.
Iron, B12, Vitamin C, Folic Acid, Vitamin E and many more. I took them separately instead of a bottled multi vitamin (too many fillers.) She recommended that I isolate the supplements to recover from deficiencies more quickly. She gave me tons of herbal supplements made from hand-picked herbs and I took them for about 3 months and felt brand new!
I incorporated dietary changes into my daily routine. That was 10 years ago.
I recently went to see her again last year! As your body is constantly changing with age,jobs, life schedules and dietary changes-the old instructions she gave me were no longer required. I kept the previous instructions-I know what to do when something gets off track. (If I’m out and not eating or drinking what you’re having I’m not boujee I just can’t eat it-I really don’t feel great eating certain foods-I always try to find what alternatives work best!) One of the things I use to balance my combination/oily and sometimes overactive skin is all the oils inside and out. (Evening Primrose on a 15-day rotation, Cod Liver and Flax.) Within a few days EVERYTHING balances out-not to mention my skin looks great! Toronto water can be a little harsh, these oils protect everything from hair to nails to skin!
So here she’s marked off foods I can/can’t eat under Kapha Dosha…..
Most wheat based foods I shouldn’t be eating…
An herbal tea every morning-it works!
I was sometimes eating take out foods and foods that caused inflammation in my system from canola or soy oil used to prepare items so I tried to stay off of cooked foods for a while and it worked. I followed some of her guidelines for at least 3 months and all the symptoms ceased. The treatments were and still are very effective! Visiting my Ayurvedic practitioner maybe 4 times in a decade means the results and advantages are PRETTY good! I usually don’t see my Doctor except for my routine annual check-up or an ear or eye exam.
So many household brands are embracing the Ayurvedic concept. What’s great is that companies making that subtle shift also make it easier for us to incorporate balancing practices and nutritional fasting into our busy schedules. As commercial brands evolve as they also dis-spell the myth that eating well and healthy is expensive or impossible.
I still consult a few Ayurvedic and other holistic books here and there for more understanding about ways I can change my meals and balance my skin and digestion. One of them is Queen Afua’s: Heal Thyself This is just one pathway to healthier living/eating.And yes, it’s a persoanl choice. There are many out there that’ll work better for you! We’re in month two of 2018-here’s to a cleaner lifestyle!
Even though corporations have vast collaborations with food banks to donate food on a grand scale and they are in every position to do what we can’t do financially; it’s people like you and I that add a personal touch to giving.
There are many things you can do as an individual to stay grounded. Staying grounded is something you should do regularly to remind yourself who you are, where you could be and what you want life look like internally. A great way to live your life is one where you’re giving of your time, efforts and hands to those in need-especially those that will appreciate it!
As a high school student I volunteered at the Y and loved teaching kids sports! I designed simplified Basketball, Soccer and Volleyball activities for really young kids. I loved watching kids progress with their motor skills and confidence over a year’s time-it was so rewarding! At the local hospital I’d be helping operating room patients fill out their paperwork when they could not understand the information or did not have next-of-kin with them when they checked in!
Those moments I’ll always remember. For the last few Christmases-I would call around and sign up with different organizations to help out for soup kitchens and/or food banks and the waiting lists are so long because so many want to help out this time of year. Early last Fall, I called the Daily Bread Food Bank and asked if they needed any people and they did!
I reached out before Canadian Thanksgiving and glad I checked in a lot earlier. Just like food donations and hands, it’s better to start early. Did you know #DailyBreadTO supplies other food banks in Toronto with food/supplies/preserves? This insures that all neighbourhoods get an equal measure of what’s needed instead of running out-especially this time of year!
Apart from feeling good about helping others, the most rewarding part was seeing some of the same families every week who feed their children and are truly grateful for what’s available. Some of the other volunteers were so kind, dedicated and gracious. Once I got to know everyone, I got to hear their stories. Many people in the city are making ends meet and a few extra things make a huge difference.
The Food Bank is set up to look and feel like an actual grocery store to remove the ‘ration’ style of the Food Bank process and each customer can shop like they should. Volunteers are waiting to help bag the groceries and customers know how much they are permitted to receive!
I lived in Etobicoke for almost 7 years and had no idea that Daily Bread Food Bank was on Islington Ave! I’m writing this not to promote volunteerism or helping out during the holidays but mostly to encourage food donation all year round. Once the holidays are over-shelves are bare. Many items running out quickly are things like diapers, wipes, ensure, milk, eggs, produce, laundry detergent, toilet paper and toiletries. Anything that is used daily or weekly is so needed. After talking to so many people, when the holidays have passed, it’s tougher to retain enough stock to go round.
There are so many corporations who bring their employers in for food sorting and packaging marathons to raise money for the Food Bank and those events are always high energy with good music and live DJs! (That’s my favourite part.)
One thing I found touching was seeing patrons check labels for calories, sodium, ingredients and expiration dates. They are just as conscious about what they are eating as the next person! Give what you can of course BUT think about the health of your fellow human beings.
For me personally, food donation and donation in general has now taken on a whole new meaning. I give outside of the common holiday gift giving times, I give whether or not there’s a dire need or disaster and I try to give what’s necessary besides the usual donation items.
It was an incredible experience. Have a Happy Holiday! Have a wikked 2018!
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Why Naturals 4 Naturals? For me (Amber the oldest daughter), it started when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 2012. I could no longer afford to put chemicals into my body and I started changing my diet. Because of my health concerns, I started looking at labels like a hawk. The sad reality, which many of you already know, is that a lot of our food is extremely toxic. If you have a natural, organic, or vegan product line and you would like to partner with them, contact them at http://www.naturals4naturals.com/
Biggie said it best. He had quite a few musical gems that he dropped before before he passed. For those that don’t know him enough in the ‘Ten Crack Commandments’ he outlines strict rules to follow…..
So let’s talk about Narc Abuse: What is that? Would you be able to recognize if it was happening to you? Ultimately it’s about supply and demand. You supply time, supply concern, supply support and are demanded always-one way,one direction.Your time is never appreciated.Your willingness to be helpful,supportive and even caring is disrespected. Attention is always granted in one way.
You feel like you’re running on empty eventually…….the situation forms itself like a kind of heavy reliance “on drugs to boost self-esteem at the expense of the people around them.” Doesn’t make sense does it? It’s a substance/dependency issue, it could be a psychological issue, it’s a trauma issue, it’s a spiritual issue. For some people this is their reality for most if not all of their lives. For others they have a chance to change. It comes with a HUGE realization and a whole lot of reflection and deep levels of time consuming and well needed healing to create this kind of awareness.
This is probably one of the most pervasive articles I will ever write on this blog. My Stepmom didn’t want me to write this. She actually wanted me to focus on more ‘positive things’. This is a positive story, I promise! I wish I understood this in the past the way that I understand this now. But by sharing this story-I hope it helps the right people. Everyone has a story. This is mine. By sharing this story I intend to make this blog a little more personal. This is what ‘The Shine Project’ stands for………to inspire with passion.
When you are not able to recognize narcissistic abuse for what it is-unhealthy,dark,covert,twisted,confusing and destructive you may go on the rest of your life not understanding why you are served this dish repeatedly. You start to see that you are victimized unknowingly. Recognizing this pattern of abuse has helped me in many ways and has played a part in my life over and over.You won’t see visible scars but the damage is there. The abuse can often continue well after the public has moved on but the abuse replicates over and over again. To the general public this abuse is not apparent but when the abuser finds ways to direct the abuse towards you- they’ll use ways that most people won’t know or fully understand.When the victim reacts is what people see. IT has not only made me stronger but has had me recognizing what it is when I see it NOW and I get it. And I’m not here for it anymore……Sooooo how do you know you’re being abused or you’re in an abusive situation?
-when progress in areas of your life is thwarted by people around you with distractions,interruptions,diversions:family can do this to you (surprise! that’s abuse)
-using money,backhanded flattery,favours to sway your opinion when you begin to realize that the situation isn’t healthy, safe or real. (Family can and will do this-it’s deep covert abuse)
-when recent situations trigger memories of abuse in your past-abandonment,physical,emotional,verbal (all together they cause anxiety you may not be used to (you’ve been abused or have been in abusive environments.)
-when those around you dislike you and say they want to help but they don’t (it’s abusive)
-when you second guess people and their intentions towards you (you’ve been abused)
-when friends and family members cover the abuser’s actions and mishaps towards you “enabling”(that abuse)
-when you are subversively compared to another person or family members to show how much better or worse you are (it’s manipulative abuse)
-when the things that make you unique and damn amazing are projected as weaknesses….Are you mocked,mimicked or copied? Often times the abuser hates the good things about you and may twist those things to make those qualities look bad. (deep covert abuse)
-when you’re told to forgive, let it go, don’t take it personal, you’re too sensitive or you’re imagining things (sorry, it’s abuse-yo, don’t second guess your intuition.) #gaslighting
-if you find this article online, see some key phrases or words that make you continue to read this article……chances are (you are in an abusive relationship or have been abused.)
-when the abuser has others around them whom they share techniques on how to abuse you if you notice the same situations happening repeatedly (you’re being abused)
-when the same cycle repeats over and over again….most narcissistic situations aren’t unique. The pattern is the SAME with no resolution. They seem to all behave the same,we all have narcissistic traits. This is different though. (It’s abuse at the DEEPEST level-it’s probably gone on for waaay to long!)
Growing up in a narcissistic home is quite interesting because as you grow, you know something isn’t right.Surrounding yourself in narcissistic environments though?….. You look at other families and see that something is off BUT you can’t quite put your finger on it. (Every family is different.) As a child I was VERY observant and I wondered why my home environment was off. Everything looked great but the dynamic was strange. By learning to observe/feel people in their fear, anger, happiness or emotional detachment-I knew so much. Why didn’t I do anything to guard myself?
Where does ‘narcissism’ come from?
This word’s been thrown around lately when talking about the newly inaugurated president of the U.S. You’ve read about the Greek Myth…. a handsome Greek youth Narcissus who falls in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. Although the story talks about ‘vanity’;narcissism runs much deeper than self-admiration. It’s more a maligned sense of self-worth thriving off of the addiction or supply of (admiration,reverence) from others. The supply can be material, physical,emotional or other. A narcissist needs very specific types of others to make sure his/her whole self can function. Without the supply there is no individual. Without that constant supply……..things get ugly. It’s just the world we live in. Once you’ve made peace with this. It’ll be okay.Narcissists are ‘created’. Depending on one’s early upbringing (the most crucial time in a child’s life) there is not much that can be done to change unless they understand that they have a challenge and WANT to change. Did you know that a narcissistic personality disorder is a personality type? It is often developed as a coping mechanism in children by age 12 who may have had a traumatic life or an entitled childhood. Sometimes parents are too busy, too unaware, too wrapped up in their own issues to make sure kids are taught healthy boundaries and either the child becomes a victim who doesn’t set boundaries with people or a predator who plows through the boundaries of ‘nice’ or ‘kind’ people. When the two dynamics cross paths it’s not a great combination. Usually the end is the worst when the victim realizes what has happened. On the other spectrum…..a child that is victimized while growing up can uncover an ’empathic’ or ‘hypersensitive’ side to them. They can sense environments,vibes and nuances. These nuances actually protect you from saying more than you should about yourself or doing more than you should for your own personal safety. (and privacy is absolutely okay.)
In both situations,children must find ways to adapt and cope. In one situation a false self is created to separate from their reality. In another case the child finds ways to ‘get along’ with everyone so that they can co-exist with other people (and eventually walk on eggshells-especially when the situation isn’t healthy.) Empaths always see the good in people and tend to see the world in a VERY positive way. (Cue rose-coloured glasses) They often notice things; but still want to hope for the best. If a situation isn’t going so well they try to sort it out or the biggest thing they don’t vocalize the problem because they don’t want to create chaos. Narcissists tend to see the positive point of view as stupidity,weakness or absolute lack of knowledge.This is where the covert or overt abuse comes in. A narcissistic individual creates a self and needs tools to make sure that this self exists in the real world but within that world there is trauma,anger,darkness,hatred, shame and deep pain from their past.
How do the two mix together? Let me discuss. We’ll start with family-usually this is where the first situations related to abuse start. My father felt he had a VERY tough childhood. He felt abandoned as a child. He was the last of 8 kids and again felt he was not ‘tended to’.He has always said he was treated like the Black Sheep of the family. The other siblings within the same family unit didn’t see it that way. They all felt that he was loved and given the care he needed and spoiled even- being one of the youngest-they thought he was lucky because he was permitted to do whatever he wanted.With so many older siblings, parents don’t have to really do anything with that child right? Either way-a narcissistic child is created by either being treated as entitled (The Golden Child) and given everything they want or by being given very little and neglected. (Either way the outcome is no good.)
Fast forward to the very near present. He tried to cover his feelings of inadequacy by getting married, having a child (children), getting the material goods (the house, the degrees, the luxury cars-everything to keep up with the Joneses’). All of which just made things look ‘normal’ but those were all surface bandages to temporarily patch up a soul that really didn’t know where it belonged and never healed from the lack, pain and suffering he says he experienced. The problem with a person like this is that they damage things, relationships and situations around them. Everyone around them is altered because either their family members walk on eggshells and enable their demands OR they abandon the abusive family member to save themselves.Children usually fall into the ‘eggshell’ category because underage children can’t always walk away from parents and parents are supposed to build strong foundations and teach healthy boundaries. But if one parent is trying to keep the peace or protect themselves the privacy/boundaries of children become completely eroded.
I was altered in a few ways-I went more into myself and became driven to succeed (especially when the abuse directed at you is designed to hold you back.) at whatever I did. I became very, very self-sufficient and even now have a hard time relying on others and even if I do it means I REALLY need the help. Sometimes I’d rely on others not knowing they were abusive and I trusted way more than I should have. The downside….I give more than I should-even when I’m given VERY little. I always hope by giving more to to others-that a rough situation will change.When my intuition kicks in to alert me to something that doesn’t seem right-I used to tell myself I’m being too critical.This comes from the dynamic of giving to make things ‘smooth’ and to ‘go along to get along’. This dynamic with a manipulative person starts with me and ends in shambles. Once I decided to make the change and put myself first-I started to see soooo many things. Things you wish to un-see or un-feel. It is always a tornado. Narcissists RAGE once they are met with a boundary setting action. I’ve understood for the last time and it will NEVER happen again.As a child of narcissists its a mixed bag because it makes you tough,sensitive,ambitious and a ‘go along to get along kind of person’. The downside is that throughout your life you are targeted (or put yourself around people) who dislike those things about you-and eventually you think the relationship you have with anyone can be fixed with patience or sacrifice or hope or mediation or attention or communication. Over time, people around you ‘take advantage’ of that sensitive side. By even speaking up and voicing your opinion you become a target. If they give something big or small to you-you are a target. This is the portion of the friendship or family dynamic where boundaries are eroded. What you give may never be of value to them the way it is to you. And when you enforce your position it’s a loss.
For the past decade or so I’ve had so many friendships that just died or that I’ve walked away from and for months even years I wonder what I’ve done….and I realize that I don’t see the signs early enough and that I’m reliving the dynamic of my childhood over and over again. The last 3 years have been trying for me because I’ve wanted to tackle this situation for so long. And as this identical dynamic had been playing out in 5 or more directions, I finally understood that I was constantly walking into VERY poor situations. You see ‘red flags’ but you subtly ignore them. In most of these situations I’d been discarded and in a portion of them I’ve had to walk away.Once this happens you take apart the scenarios so you can see why….once you see why you don’t need to alter your point of view and walk on eggshells. The information comes to you and just realize it.
With a manipulative or narcissistic person you could start out being yourself-kind, warm,giving,sympathetic,genuine,open,helpful and outspoken but by the end of it……..all the things that attracted the person to you is used against you. During my childhood I was called all kinds of names by my father to control my actions and thoughts. I was ‘labelled’ selfish for thinking of myself. I was stalked often to and from school or at jobs (up until VERY recently) but it was what I thought was a ‘strict upbringing’. And the number one thing that really hit home was that I was silenced for being outgoing,chatty,talkative,creative. I was told ‘writing will get you no job,stop writing’. Fast forward to the future the same thing happened again. When you live under those circumstances you become ‘agreeable’ or ‘independent’. It always feels like two extremes. When this happens it’s time to move away from that.I’m fiercely independent but raised to be an agreeable individual.I’ll work with you. But when boundaries get eroded. This is when the truth shows up. My father hated when I talked to people. He hated when I took care of my own financial needs. He hated me doing for myself. He wanted to silence my ability to share with people. It was hard to handle because I don’t look for the attention-I just speak my mind and talk about what I love and until this day….I’m still like that. Imagine when you do for you and your called ‘selfish’ but then when you’re forced to be completely dependent you’re given terms and conditions to have ‘nothing’. It’s a twisted dynamic. But for some you become STRONGER for it. And this is what narcissists don’t understand.
For others i’ll even offer up information,advice, a helping hand, an ear, a shoulder, a platform,direction,pointers to help others. But what I get are crumbs. The crumbs from the manipulation. Within the family the crumbs you’re given are not because they can’t give. They want to control how much they give, when they give and to some extent how far they think you can go successfully if they give or take from you. It’s about power and control. If you have a parent like this-you learn to find your way. Parents can physically be present but offer so little emotionally.How could you want to continue giving to someone like that? HOW? I’m learning to not do so much anymore and re-direct it in a way that’ll be beneficial to me. But what happens when you’ve got to spread your wings? I ended up having to provide him (My Dad) with supply (admiration,attention,constant agreement,zero point of view) and at the same time (fend for myself because there’s so much I wanted to do for me.) It’s hard to be self-reliant when your family member is thwarting your ambition…….Some of this shit was way beyond my years. I understand it now BUT growing up I did not understand how to articulate this dynamic to anyone. It made me grow up fast. He would try to make it up to me in other ways (Money?) terrible bait. Compliments? Terrible bait. And most importantly erase the things he did. (You can’t erase the abuse that happened.) Either way it’s still all about MANIPULATION and CONTROL and by adulthood you’re so used to doing for yourself and you wise up about what it means to be manipulated.
By 12 years old I became ‘shy’ and ‘reserved’ but the one thing that remained with me was my ‘intuition and ambition’. As a young adult when friendships would reach the ‘discard’ stage which is unheard of in my world (as I cherish friendship). I’d panic trying to figure out why and how and to provide solutions and find out what I could do to ‘fix’ things…..but when you’re dealing with a narcissistic situation you can’t fix anything. You were meant to be discarded once you ‘think for yourself’ and ‘choose for yourself’ or ‘voice your own opinion’ or ‘don’t do as I say’. I did well in school, did all chores, got a job, paid for my own tuition to not have to depend on my family; but it just wasn’t enough. To a narcissist you are not your own entity-you’re a part of the hand, you’re a finger controlled by the hand. Remember: You ARE not someone’s hand. You have your own hands right? When you try to work together and ‘get along’ it only works when you follow the rules as laid out to you. As this ‘formula’ expired, I’ve had to walk away. I used to give it time and re-visit to fix things over and over again and each time the covert abuse was worse. And I had to learn how to do it with personal relationships also. As soon as you begin to expand or your self-identify shines through with a narcissist or in a narcissistic situation you’re doomed. And that ain’t right. No one deserve abuse.
Over the years as I matured I started talking to older family members who knew my Dad from the early days and I realized that they hid so much from us children. They even covered a lot of information from my Stepmother when she married my Father. My biological Mom and Dad had such an aggressively intense and veneered relationship. A union with two disordered Narcissistic people may look good on the outside but that marriage was filled with issues and didn’t last.My Dad never wanted anyone to find out about the way he REALLY treated others. The reason for this is because they all knew my Dad had extreme challenges and they didn’t want to ruin his chances of getting remarried so that he would no longer be their problem. It’s so tough dealing with someone who can only survive off of ‘supply’.In some ways I thank my extended family today for their decision to hide the info because my Stepmother came into my life when I was really young and that she stayed. On the flip side family willing to step forward directly would create a feeling of trust and perhaps less damage. Our family is TIGHT. My siblings who I love so much-we’re like three peas in a pod. The downside to covering up for someone this way is that the victim is made to feel like they did something wrong or that something isn’t right with them. And it (my hunch) was always absolutely right. Sometimes in a manipulative situation it doesn’t matter what you do. My Stepmom happens to be a tenured Psyche Nurse and because we’ve been through this as a family unit-we all understand how this has each affected us. We still talk about it now. She endured so much to keep our family together. She endured tons of emotional and physical abuse that she probably doesn’t talk about today but she’s healed and she’s made our family stronger because of it.
Without darkness especially with a person who writes,like myself-your writing material doesn’t have any depth. You must have a good measured amount of experiences you can share to touch lives in different ways. I started a section on my old blog (Health/Wellness) in hopes of writing about health regimes,protein powders,shakes,foods and all that but GOTDAMN……2016 had me understanding that I will be writing about way more than that!When something like this happens to anyone…life is seen so differently and the most amazing thing does occur out of some bad/uncertain times:you come out of the fog and and see things as they are not as you hope for them to be. Not only do you see things as they are-you become reflective and gain absolute clarity with work,family and friendships among many things. Along with absolute clarity you realize your intuition is STRONG. And not only that-you realize how much your story,your path,your destiny,your ideas and experiences can create an effect that changes your life forever. Bad or good. If you look at what’s happening in the U.S.-people who would never align themselves with certain groups of society are coming together to speak up about Human Rights, Immigration, Health Care and even how they can improve society. That would not have happened if they weren’t shown the new direction their country is going in. Trump’s pending absolute control (self-centred nature) is forcing people to see the reality of what they’re about to face. It’s ironic.
An empathic and highly sensitive person with a bold personality and ambition is not a bad person but can be targeted for ‘destruction’. To be ‘destroyed’ means that you have a chance to grow and expand. Your true qualities-things that make you good; are a bittersweet combination in a Narcissistic World.Narcissism is deeper than posting selfies on Social Media. Being abused when you are strong is hard to see on the exterior but it’s there. As a survivor of abuse one becomes more reflective, more introspective, more aware-hobbies, dreams and wishes now become even more REAL. I don’t wish this on anyone but when you do experience something like this as frequently as I have- you become a changed person,a stronger person and a more EMPOWERED individual. Knowing yourself and re-asserting your identity forces you to truly seek very little validation from anyone. Self-care becomes more important than any other priority. And to prioritize oneself is not selfish.
I write this not to be further victimized OR not to be given sympathy but for those who have not yet understood what they’re going through and needs that stepping stone to open the door and understand what it is to be set free. So many unanswered questions may even swirl around in your mind about what this/that was……Narcissistic emotional abuse is more common than you know. Know that you’ve been groomed for awhile before all THIS happened.Sadly, Social Media is a breeding ground for abuse BUT if it wasn’t for the many online communities-I wouldn’t know or understand this.So Each One, Teach One right? Just read up after this blog post and you’ll see what I’m saying.
I’ll leave some of the excellent sites and Youtube channels by those from the online Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Community so you can discover more.I can’t explain all of this but the more you look up key phrases you’ll see that plenty of people have been searching for answers…just like you! Tons of Youtubers (regular Joes and Janes share their experiences and experts within the industry share a lot of useful and eye-opening information.)
Some would say that being open on the world wide web means you expose your weaknesses or blah, blah, blah BUT by putting it out there in writing you can understand who is reading your material and what it’s being used for.There are many perspectives to this subject but I’m simply speaking MY truth. With that being said: this article serves as a milestone for a closing chapter in my life and a new ass BEGINNING! Imagine being able to manifest what you DO want in life. Imagine being stuck at the same level and knowing you can be your better self year by year. Imagine being able to compete with you and only YOU and where you were 3-4 years ago and top that. You can! Sometimes abusive situations and low vibrational thinking hold you back. There reaches a point also where all that negativity and bullshit can just push you forward. It’s only until I looked back the last 15 years that I was the common denominator in all the abusive situations I’ve encountered. Being nice isn’t always nice.Being nice can even cost you your life. Sooooo through growing pains, I’ve come to understand that it’s been due time to change.
Going through repeated abusive situations (during my childhood up until recently) often slowed me down and I would fearfully choose not to reach outside of constraints or limited perceived boundaries within toxic situations and people…..Thankfully, I understand it and I’m even stronger now.A lot of the narc abuse stories tend to fall in a few categories:
‘Narc’ family units (this is how it all begins-where children can and do become victims or much later on abusers),‘Friendships’,’Peer Groups’,‘Dating’,‘Married Couples’,‘Romantic Interests’,‘Workplace Bullying’,’Bullying’,’Partners’, ‘Neighbours’, ‘Co-Workers’, ‘Roommates’,’Bosses’, ‘Landlords’,’Hospitals’,’Schools’Nursing Homes’,’Employers’,’Business Partnerships’. (I put quotes around everything because these roles are sometimes fluid in an abusive situation and most of these bonds aren’t real. They are not so defined they can shift around sometimes you don’t even know…..this is how the abuse works.)
Since I’m all about the Social Media….how I discovered this phenomenon is by Google searching for these words. Have a look at the hashtags below for a minute-look at them anywhere…on Twitter,Instagram,Tumblr,Facebook and watch the amount of stuff that pops up. For something I’ve never formally heard of-there’s mass amounts of info out there. For something I thought I never heard of-I know this damn too well. To see that much info was jarring BUT to know that our world’s societies are being run and affected by this epidemic makes me wonder how many scenarios are triggered by this.(cue:recent elections in the U.S.) Stats say that 6.2% of the world’s population suffers from this PD. It’s much higher. That’s 1 in 6 people around you and I. So how many people do you think suffers at the hands of this? I am no researcher but that’s a hell of a lot.
A victim (scapegoat) in an abusive relationship with a narcissist often doesn’t know what’s being said about them during the relationship, most often they have no idea what’s going on but they eventually find out the falsehoods shortly after they’ve been discarded or when they walk away. Sometimes it’s revealed in earlier conversations ‘when things are good’.And you still don’t even understand what’s happening because you don’t live life to manipulate people. Other times people around the victim may suggest or imply to see if the victim recognizes what’s happening. They (enablers) often refuse to speak up for fear of becoming a target like the victim OR they want to watch and see a victim ‘become unraveled’ OR they don’t see how bad the abuser really is.It’s like free entertainment. The truth is:If this is happening around you with family, you now understand what you are dealing with and its hard but straightforward to remove yourself from the situation completely.
Toxic people put you through an idealization phase until you’re sufficiently hooked and invested in beginning a friendship or relationship with them. Once they feel or see that you are beginning to notice that you’re being manipulated and it’s not successful anymore-they begin to devalue you while insulting the very things they admired or pretended to admire about you in the first place. This occurs when you no longer want to join in on the game created when you didn’t know what was going on. This is when the smear campaign begins, or (at least when you become aware of it.)
Advice to get through this type of situation:
Hunker down and let it rip. You spend months or weeks, years even-trying to prove to those around you that you are not guilty or innocent or not at fault or have not done anything that the rumours suggest. Oftentimes it takes awhile to understand and realize that it’s a waste of energy. Listening to the rumours can allow you to understand what is really going on and where it’s coming from. Can’t be hurt and offended by something that isn’t true right?
Know your square (not circle.) A square allows you to see all corners to know who really has your back and who never did.It can give you a slow but gradual fresh start in the right direction.
Expect a smear campaign, a ‘Hoover’ or possibly 4 of them. The smearing happens much earlier than you think. Often times when you start to understand what’s happening around you back track 6 months to year. (That’s when the devaluation started.) The Hoover (like the vacuum cleaner) is used to suck you back into the relationship (to fix things? not really). It gets worse. It’s just more and more abuse.
Tell your trusted family and your really close friends like family. Often times they might’ve been through it before so they’ll know exactly what’s happening.Sometimes family is aware of the abuser but no one speaks up. If you trust the family member enough to talk they will give you some insight about dealing with the person. And if they don’t understand at all….they love you, they’ll be your support system once all the shit flies. This is not something to discuss with just anyone. The person abusing you may not be the best person to talk to either.When they know how you feel and your general way of thinking which is more on the human side they’ll manipulate even more.It’s no use. Be discerning. Once you know you just know. As Narcissists get older they get worse. To my Step(MOM): thanks Mom, you’re a blessing! Crystal, thank you!
Don’t be alarmed if you are being watched at the places you frequent or your place of employment. Sometimes people within the family or circle want to see if you are balanced, crazy (like the rumours suggest) or healthy and take information back to your abuser. Also, they don’t want anyone to know that you’ve realized what they are. If you feel you are in danger; report it to the police. In the past I did.
Have a strong spiritual foundation. Believe in something (yoga, meditation, prayer,church,volunteerism,singing,writing,dancing) it helps you see past the smoke and mirrors and focus on what’s TRULY real and important. The world we live in is changing at a rapid pace. Don’t let anyone mock your willingness to embrace spirituality. This is a natural part of life and through spirituality, the best of your inner being comes alive and will propel you to heal and help others as well as yourself.
Curiosity doesn’t kill. Sometimes you need to find out more about what’s happening around you and it can’t happen by asking questions. Sometimes you wait to see who will tell you something so you can have a better understanding.Sit back and just observe.Don’t absorb.Truth shows itself without you having to do anything.
Anything you post online or say to your abuser will be used against you. You still have to live your life. As long as you understand this you won’t be as shocked when it does happen.Don’t allow yourself to be silenced by anyone. You’re not a bad person.
It takes time to heal and be who you were before this happened. You will get better, you will heal, you will laugh again. They say it takes about 18-24 months to heal.It really depends on who you surround yourself with.You’ll be stronger;trust me-this has nothing to do with being at the gym. But being at the gym will help you get through this stage in your life! Focus on you passions, what makes you happy, what makes you feel at peace, what you are good at, what feels good-those things will help you achieve success!You’ve been through stuff before this and you have much more to experience in life.
If you’ve got something going for you-your smile, your harmonica skills, your shoes,your blog, your voice,your attendance schedule,your eyeshadow,your clothes- whatever. You will be a target. Understand this and still be YOU. My biological mother hated my love of PR and communications stuff.She hated that I worked hard. She hated my ambitious nature. She pretended she was interested but secretly loathed it. She hated when people took a genuine interest in me. It used to happen all the time when I went out with her. I’m glad I got to know her much later on in life but I got to see what I would’ve gone through as a child. And more importantly she envied my life. (I love travelling,I work hard,I love the music scene,I love this blog,I love networking,I love knowing all types of people) Hobby type things may seem like a waste but if you want to build something it’s what must be done, build on those things. What she didn’t realize is how much I suffered growing up with a disordered parent and how hard it was to grow up under the same roof with one.Narcissists won’t ever admit or acknowledge how hard it is to live with them. They take you through one hell of a journey. Sometimes they are aware of what they do, and enjoy it,sometimes it’s habitual. Either way, YOU survived!
Have hope (they don’t want you to) have it anyway. It makes for a better environment.Once you recognize the repeated patterns you’ll have your many A-HA moments and the reality of the situation sets in. Place that hope in the right people and of course first and foremost in yourself. This abuse, if you survive it IS meant to strengthen you and help others. It’s not selfish it’s an act of self-love.
Know Yourself Don’t let anyone force any kind of circumstances,distractions,potential partners, ideologies on you.Don’t let anyone try to erode your privacy. Know how you feel, know who you are,know what you see, know what your purpose is and most importantly stay grounded. You become familiar with how this energy and attitude feels. This situation will pass-it’s rough when you start to understand things as they happen. In the end the only person you can be responsible for is you!
Being Discarded is A Blessing It forces you to face reality. You start to see all the ways you were treated and abused. It’s not a loss. You are being set free-the only thing left is to process the occurrences. You begin to set boundaries so you aren’t manipulated in the future. You develop a thicker skin and become EVEN more self aware. You learn to detach from the outcome of situations and stop holding on to people or things that can never change. You grow and become more expansive.You look at things with a discerning eye. Most importantly you see things you don’t want to be in and change direction. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to truly understand this dynamic and can move forward towards my future. Your intuition will show you what a discard and a manipulation looks and feels like. I want to have a family and partner of my own but I absolutely do not want to re-create the dynamic of my past again! Healing from deep-rooted emotional abuse ensures that another cycle of abuse doesn’t happen with another generation of adults. Kids don’t deserve that kinda life-it’s easier to raise a child than to change an adult. Parents: If you sense you need more assistance raising your kids- get help. Engage with your kids in a healthy way. Be mindful of who they hang around with. Make sure that they aren’t becoming abusive towards others also! Build experiences with them. Get healthy with your past. Children often subconsciously re-create the patterns they see with their parents. If you stay they think it’s okay to stay and work out that friendship, relationship or toxic situation. If your partner is on the abusive side-GET OUT! (This includes covert, physical,sexual and verbal abuse.)
Have you seen a trusted and highly sympathetic friend about your past and or current situation? Please know this:Highly sensitive persons (HSPs),Doers,Fixers,Helpers,People Pleasers-make excellent targets. We seem like push overs to many. People don’t understand that those are strengths. As a Highly Sensitive Person you can lose yourselves in a narcissistic world. They will project their negative feelings onto you. That’s what they do. Don’t be sad either. Understand that once you recognize the patterns you’re free. You can start a new life deeply rooted in truth and REALITY.Yours.
If you are newly discovering what has happened to you, I’m sure all of this is overwhelming. Start looking back. Reflect a little, reflect a lot…spend time on your own. Start a journal.Find a new shitload of hobbies. Revive healthy friendships. That dream you’ve always wanted to achieve and take the steps to make it happen. Once you find stuff to do you begin to grow and new opportunities, experiences and people come into your life! I’ve been bumping into super duper old friends from back in the day and re-connecting. Some of those old and new friends have helped me out sooo much!!! Shout out to ya’ll!
Here are some of the awesome expert abuse survivors and Youtube communities online.
My Narcissistic Healing – Sada Brown (This lady is a recovering Narcissist-it’s fascinating because she is trying to heal and stop manipulating people. She talks about her old thought process and why she used to do what she does!)I believe she quite possibly reached her healing journey as she has shut down the channel. Her information was amazing! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYjH0HO_iZ8TJZBXzOZoorg/feed
I’m overjoyed nothing happened to me sexually/physically as narcs can and do pretend to be interested in you as a partner. The biggest dupe is them trying to stay connected to you by association and I’m really okay on that I’m GOOD-not many people overcome this type of situation because it can be dangerous. Plenty of opportunities are missed because of gossip and toxic group associations and many are missed because you no longer trust those around you. What this situation does is that it catapults you to the next level in life. I think what spurred this article was the shock of really making a strong effort to change the way I looked at things and I became more aware that I was actually IN a series of manipulative situations and choosing not to participate anymore. Am I narcissist HELL NO. I do like to share my knowledge and interests and do like to create exciting experiences to make life more amazing! I understand what makes me who I am and it’s absolutely okay to exist around people who would love for me to play small. In hindsight being in close proximity to these people is perpetually toxic. In the words of a flying monkey who posted on my Google+ account a few years ago….STAY GONE! Pouf! Gone,gone!
By the time this article goes live on this new blog design, January would’ve come and gone……..I wrote this last year (2016)
Here’s to a more musically inspired and powerful 2017!
Read up on this,
Explore New Things,
Get help from the right places and people,
If it don’t feel right it probably isn’t, (and if it’s right you’ll know)
Remember the Good Things about Yourself,
You’re not a Victim,
(Nobody Needs to Feel Sorry for You-not even You.)
I began a very focused workout schedule last summer. Instead of losing weight-I’ve opting for building muscle. I always feel that as you age weight loss looks different and weight looks a little awkwardly distributed throughout the body. (You know-chins,guts and extra thigh junk). In my quest to build muscle besides consistently lifting weights and kettle bells I’m also paying attention to what I eat to achieve results. Almost every article I’ve read and every health food expert I consulted recommended I try whey protein powders.
Although whey protein is the fast and widely easily available muscle-building ingredient it might not be the best for everyone. There are a few things I noticed when ingesting whey protein. 1) Full all the time, no room for food. Protein makes you full and gives you energy to complete an arduous workout. By following the daily intake recommended on the package-I had no need to eat. I’m not sure if this is good. I’d have to workout much more than an hour a day to speed up my metabolism. Also-who wants to feel that full all the time? Whatever you ingest should be fuel not weigh you down.
2) Acne breakouts. Within a few days of taking whey protein, I started breaking out. Shoulders, back and face. I’m lactose intolerant and I’d discovered years ago that excessive dairy causes acne for me. I keep dairy products to an extreme minimum. Cheese,milk,ice cream are very low on my daily dietary menu.I opt for dark leafy greens (not kale) but spinach, broccolini, rapini,okra, green beans,greek yogourt to get the calcium I need.
What I found out was that ‘whey’ in whey protein isolate is a by-product or separated component from milk. Whey is high in protein but its effects don’t ‘sit well’ in my stomach.
I needed something protein-rich pre-workout that’s light but substantial and tasty. So I went into my 2 favourite health food spots (Nutrition House and Healthy Planet) to look for plant-based protein powders. I saw a few made with chlorophyll, green vegetables or spirulina but I was really interested in Manitoba Harvest’s Hemp Pro Fibre Powder. Believe or not I found a small container of Manitoba Harvest powder at Marshall’s for $11.99! Although it’s not too high on the scale for protein at only 10g per tbsp, it goes down really well and I have a tremendous amount of energy to handle my workouts without feeling bloated, sluggish and full forever. Each serving you make in an 8-12 ounce smoothie needs 4 scoops.
I tried the Green Smoothie challenge twice last year and along with all the kale, spinach avocados I used-I threw in scoops of Hemp Powder.Working out has helped my iron (anemia) and I’m taking iron capsules on occasion now since I’ve started using this powder. With 52% (13g) of iron ‘things’ can get a little backed up and the hemp powder with fibre helps with that!
Let’s take a look at Hemp: It’s related to Cannabis. I don’t use Wikipedia often but it says this: is a commonly used term for high-growing varieties of the Cannabis plant and its products, which include fiber, oil, and seed. Hemp is refined into products such as hemp seed foods, hemp oil, wax, resin, rope, cloth, pulp, paper, and fuel. The Body Shop has an amazing range of Hemp products from hand wash, to hand and foot creams to oil for cuticules and for eczema patches. It’s a versatile product and its not Marijuana!
After using the Hemp powder I noticed I had more energy during and after my workout. My metabolism picked up so much so I’d split a smoothie in two parts. My acne flare ups disappeared and my overall skin health improved. I put on 8.5 pounds of solid muscle in 6 months and looked leaner than I did before I started weight training.Using Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein proved beneficial because I got a good portion of my daily protein intake before my workout and I didn’t need to continue rationing out the amount of protein all day with too much animal protein.
After seeing the benefits of the powder I inquired a little more and found Raw Shelled Hemp Hearts. When I first tried them they only sold their ‘natural’ Hemp Hearts but they’ve since introduced the ‘organic’ Hemp Hearts product. So what are Hemp Hearts? They are a shelled seed super food derived from the industrial hemp plant. They look like tiny split peas are whitish-grey in texture and have a very nutty flavour. Kinda like sunflower seeds! Hemps seeds contains more protein than milk, meat or eggs and that’s pretty dope. (No farting here!)
I started using the hemp seeds in my Greek yogourt, oatmeal, breakfast cereals,smoothies, salad and pancakes. I started ‘breading’ my fish or chicken with ground hemp and all of that tastes good!!! All these methods helped me increase my protein intake without depending on crazy amounts of animal protein. I also use chia seeds, sunflower seeds, flax and cranberries on almost everything! They are Canadian which is awesome and one of the founders Mike Fata has a great story to tell about how Hemp has changes his life. http://www.manitobaharvest.com
I decided to post about this exciting occasion as it is packed with memories from my past. I ran into one of my high school teachers about a year and half ago while at work. I haven’t seen her since Grade 13! (a long time ago) She looked exactly like I remembered.
We chatted about what has happened since then and I talked about my travels and my life experiences and she had filled me with what had happened after she completed her Ph.d. She was one of my favourite teachers because her class taught me a little more than what I needed to get into university.
She introduced me to a metaphysical world beyond religion, politics and life expectations. She was doing her Ph.d in the study of dreams and dream interpretation at the time. We had to start a journal in September and taught how to remember our dreams and record what happened in them.-Some pretty powerful stuff. So let’s fast forward to right now; she’s written two books one of which is a follow up to the book written back then and based off of some of her findings with the journals that she kept from my graduating class!
I love showcasing what people do and accomplishments they’ve made at shine! Marina Quattrochi is having a second launch event of her book Genius of Spirit at 45 Winnipeg Road, Monday July 7th from 7 pm until 9 pm. Please feel free to drop by for five minutes or stay to relax in the garden. There will be tables, chairs, and canopies set up, music and refreshments. Parking is available on both sides of Winnipeg Road. If you’d like a sneak preview of her book, available at the launch for $22 please go to;www.geniusofspirit.com After July 7th, autographed copies of her book can be purchased by contacting her to set up an appointment.
She’s also started doing a free online Twitter course on my previous book Dreamwork Uncovered. She’steaching the entire book over the next several months. Short sweet tweets that convey important information about living life wisely and well and understanding the messages contained in dreams.
She’s posting some of her photos, and information in the media that she feels is worth reading.
If you know anyone who is interested in dreams—please feel free to let them know. Her twitter address is: https://twitter.com/MarinaMQuattro
If you happen to be reading this at night-like right NOW….see if you can challenge yourself to remember your dreams when you wake up! Write it down. It all starts now! 🙂
For the past 10 years I’ve been following the Ayurvedic way of life. I’ll get a little more into the topic of Ayurveda later but I follow my eating, sleeping and exercise habits a certain way. Thanks to a book that I was introduced to by a friend, I ‘ve lent and purchased copies of Absolute Beauty by Pratima Raichur on www.pratimaskincare.com (I’m in need of a new copy now) 😀
Ayurveda has ways that the skin is treated with natural ingredients while tackling some specific and difficult skin issues. I don’t have as much time to mix herbs and oils like I did when I started years ago so I started looking for ingredients that are acceptable by Ayurvedic standards for my skin type and body constitution. I found a gem in The Body Shop‘s Cucumber Cleansing Milk.
2014 Update: The Body Shop has since discontinued this product.! In it’s place I started buying Aloe Calming Facial Cleanser. It’s got the same creamy consistency and still does an amazing job! It calms down overactive or sensitive skin!
The Body Shop has many products which I discovered that have oils used throughout the Ayurvedic skin care regime i.e. sesame oil, brazil nut oil, almond oil, babassu oil. Cucumber Cleansing Milk contains organic community trade soy oil from Brazil! Soy oil is a dry oil that can moisturize dry and combination/oily skin effectively. Soy is a highly popular staple in Asia (Japan) which is where I started using soy more frequently 😀 Soy oil contains linoleic fatty acids that is easily absorbed into the skin and body to grow healthy cells. Soy oil is also anti-inflammatory.
I noticed after weeks of using the milk my occasional breakouts ceased and any facial cleanser that I used which would normally be irritating; completely stopped burning. Massaging the milk in the skin enables it to act as a barrier from harsh water, cleanser and environment. The cucumber, soy and glycerin combination work well to help calm, soothe and tone most skin types including skin with rosacea and acne. The milk rinses clean so there is no need to worry about a greasy residue. Soy oil helps the skin combat the effects of free radicals and pollutants in the water and air.
There are so many things about the cleansing milk I can say but I’ll just get into how it is used for optimal results. In Ayurveda skin is massaged and treated before it is cleansed. Reactive or combination skin should be treated with an initial “facial massage”. Dry skin types can use the oil/cream as the cleanser itself. Once the milk is applied to the skin, make-up, dirt and sweat is massaged off .
The skin is rinsed a few times and if needed milk is re-applied a few times. No need to worry it’s not going to clog pores, you’ll be following with cleanser. You’ll notice a clearer, smoother, less irritated and balanced skin!