Checking In

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Self-Portrait...Muskoka, Ontario...July 2015

Dear ones,

I have been ridiculously inattentive. Forgive me. It has been over two months since my last post! I sound like I’m  beginning a confession, lol.

How have you been? Please, fill me in, I want to know.

Summer FLEW by didn’t it? I’m hard pressed to remember it all. Best part of it for me was spending two weeks with my daughter at my Mother’s place up north in the land of Muskoka lakes. Lake swimming and ice cream eating. Every. Day. We are so lucky to have had this special time with my Mum. And I needed a break from the big city. Toronto does not present the depth of nature Muskoka offers so willingly and freely…and my soul needs the soothing surround of pure, peaceful nature.

On August 24th I began my courses in Massage Therapy at Sutherland-Chan here in Toronto. We have a healthy class of 37 wonderful, unique individuals all working together towards the same goal (they teach me so much!). We really are lucky to have each other.

It has been an intense period of transition, adjusting to a new full-time study schedule. And it’s truly full on. Both Anatomy and Physiology are dense courses…I can hardly believe I’m learning as much as I am in such a short time…all the bones and their structures from the pelvis to the feet and their muscles & ligaments (excluding the lower leg). I mean, it’s only been 4 weeks! It feels so much longer…in a good way, lol.

The best part of course are the practical classes where we learn massage techniques. Every week, three times a week, I get a massage. How brilliant is that?! We just learned Head/Neck/Shoulders… oh…my…gad it feels amazing!!

I have to say though, I love giving more than receiving. It’s a total workout and thus completely energizing. I love it. I massage with love :).

Regarding my mental health, school is so beneficial. I feel motivated and inspired every day. I have no time to ruminate. Bipolar who? Ha-cha-cha!

So, that’s me. Where I’m at right now.

I love that my 6 year old daughter and I are both going to school at the same time…learning, steady as she goes, new languages both (she French, me Anatomy speak). My husband makes our lunches for us…how sweet is that? How lucky are we :).

I leave you now, time to play a game with the little one.

Thank you for reading and being here.

Peace, love & light,
Julia

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Where Time Machines Cannot Take Us

I introduce my friend, Kusum Dole, and her new blog. Let’s show her some WordPress love :).

This piece really resonates with me presently.
May it also with you.

Peace, love & light,
Julia

Foster Self Awareness

Related: A personal account of my “Experiences of In-Between”

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Where Time Machines Cannot Take Us

Why do we dread starting and ending?

What is between the here and there?

The “in-between” is everywhere: creative or work projects, writing a resume, going out for the evening, quitting smoking…any task whether active or passive.

Each of us reacts to it in our own way: a dead stop, procrastination, hesitation, digging our heels, avoidance or, perhaps, rising to the challenge.

What does in-between feel like?

The in-between is different for each of us who struggles with it: An open field fraught with attacks from the sky. A swamp of sinking despair. An empty eternity. A dense dark forest…suffocating, trapping.

Even though we know that we must go through the in-between, we yearn for that time machine so we don’t have to traverse it. Wanting to be already there.

I used to want this, too. Then I learned…

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Celebrating!

My Mid-Term mark! 39 out of 40!!! Weeeeeeeeeeeee! I’m loving this course. I’m so proud of myself!

For those of you who don’t know   I’m taking a Pre-Admission course in Physiology and Anatomy for the Massage Therapy program at the Sutherland-Chan School here in Toronto. I haven’t been in class for over 20 years…was rather nervous, excited and somewhat intimidated in the beginning. I do not have a Science background, I’ve been Arts all the way. I was a professional Musical Theatre actor before I became a mother 6 years ago. But I’m beginning to understand that career was the perfect training ground.

I was a singer/ dancer / actor…performing in the musicals CATS, Grease, Jesus Christ Superstar, Gypsy, Annie, Les Misérables to name a few. I knew those shows inside and out. Had to. Showed up to perform 8 shows a week over 6 days for two, three, 4 months at a time. I know what commitment means. And I do learn very well. I can do this!

I wasn’t the best student in High School though I knew I could have done better. In University I studied Acting, I did very well, A’s and B’s…but in my electives not so much. Because they didn’t interest me, they were simply a means to an end. I was that person who showed up for the exam in a flurry, all a fluster, saying, “I crammed all night, I am so fucked. How do you feel?!”  Thus, I was worried, maybe…I’m not smart enough/good enough to succeed in this new program.

I’m happy to say that isn’t the case. I’m no longer that gal. That gal showed up yesterday for the exam all a fluster having crammed all night asking me, “How do you feel?!” I felt appropriately nervous but very prepared. And it showed in my results. Yay! For her as well. Sadly she barely passed the exam. We spoke afterwards, she lamenting her poor result. She REALLY wants to get into this program. So from now on I’m going to be her quiz partner. I was very practical about her situation. If she aces the next two quizzes and the final she’ll pass above the passing grade of 65. But she’s got to put in the work, the time. She can do it, she just has to DO it. She seemed a little lighter after we spoke. She’s not alone, she has me in her corner. We’ll pass together! I want her to do well and I want to help. Helps me too! I love having a quiz partner.

It feels good though to know I have changed. I’m no longer ekeing by by the skin of my teeth. I want to be the best Massage Therapist I can be! I don’t want to let myself down by just “getting by”.

Wow. I did it. I did it!!!
Sigh ☺…feels sum good.

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Bala Bay Falls, 2015

Onwards & upwards!
Julia

Birthday Beach

Yesterday was the time I turned 43 ☺. Twas a relaxing time, a simple one, shared with my love on the shore of Lake Ontario on a bench in the spot nearby where we had our first date 7 years ago. Perfect weather, not too hot not too cold, juuuuuuust right. I spent the day exactly as I wanted to, with my family. Close in not too wide, nuthin’ too fancy. Chocolate cake, my favorite to top it off. I still don’t feel “in my forties” whatever that’s supposed to feel like. Young is how I feel except when my body tells me otherwise, lol.

What a difference a year makes. A year ago I was still struggling with the depression aspect of Bipolar2 Disorder…couldn’t fathom having the energy or mind to work, getting out of bed was a success. Dressing, brushing my teeth, being present. Now here I am taking a pre-requisite course in Physiology and Anatomy for the Massage Therapy program at Sutherland-Chan AND working a part-time job…AND enjoying my life.

Grateful…blessed…humbled are words that come to mind.

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Our living room wall decorated by Steven & Lily

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Lily's Birthday message

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A Dad & daughter out for a stroll...

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Our spot

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Boardwalk

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Special is another word I feel.

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Birthday smile

Twas a lovely day.

Mid-Term Saturday. I’ll let you know how it goes. I feel satisfied with my studies and can’t wait to get at it!

Thank you for visiting. I know my posts have been few and far between of late as well as my visits to your pages. Maybe now that my nerves have settled in regards to my class I’ll feel more inspired to be creative and engaged here.

Sending you peace, love & light,
Julia

I did it ☺

Yep I did it!! My fundraising campaign was totally successful!! I raised what I need to take the two prerequisite courses for the Massage Therapy program I want to do – all due to the kindness and generosity of others. I’m so moved & humbled by the love. I mean, just over a week ago I was despairing the fact I wouldn’t be able to enroll for September. Here I am today, I signed up for my first course, Physiology and Anatomy. The textbook is beautiful but it also kinda makes me want to hurl, lol. What was I thinking?!? Me? Study anatomy?? I think I’m crazy but I’m doing it anyway. Too late to back out now!

And…it seems my shrink and I have finally found a successful med “cocktail” – WIN! For those who aren’t aware I was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder last year and it’s taken this long to find the right med combo. I wouldn’t be here going back to school if I didn’t feel confident I can do it. I’m still nervous as hell lol but not…depressed and under a rock. Thank you God!!

I’m sorry I’ve been so slack with posts of late. I haven’t felt inspired to shoot and as this is/was meant to be a photo blog I guess I feel like, what am I going to post? But I guess photos aren’t all I have, right? ☺

It’s good to be back. May you enjoy this most beautiful day!

Peace, love & light,
Julia

Massage Therapy

Well, I’ve decided to do it. I’m going for it. I’m going back to school this September to become a Registered Massage Therapist – weeeeeeeeee! I’m scared shitless lol. It’s been over 20 years since I’ve sat in a classroom. Crikey! This is what I really want to do…help others.

However the only thing standing in my way presently are the two prerequisite courses I must take which I do not have the money for. So I’ve started a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe in the hopes I can raise the total amount of $674 I need in the next 2 weeks as the first course begins May 5th.
Send me your prayers and kindly donate if you are so inclined and able. Any amount is helpful ☺ And I thank you from the bottom of my heart in advance.

Peace, love & light,
Julia

http://www.gofundme.com/rsgtkw?fb_action_ids=10152887503498165&fb_action_types=og.shares&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B988540581179478%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.shares%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D