Part 2: Live, Love, Grow

Exchanging Vows and Other Life Lessons

Photo by Anita Alberto Photography

It has been 9 months since my own nuptials – with a lot of reflecting since.  The topic of “to have a wedding” or “to not have a wedding” is becoming more and more prevalent.  It is being fiercely debated with many of the usual checklists in favour of or against.  Instead of the typical, “reason 1, reason 2, reason 3, etc” I’m here to add my personal story.  I’m hoping to help those of you currently: stuck in a tough situation, counting the days to your own wedding, in the planning stages and deciding which road to take (wedding or no wedding), playing a role in an upcoming wedding, and also for myself – to answer our collective soul purpose; to heal.

Continue reading “Part 2: Live, Love, Grow”

Part 1: Live, Love, Grow

Changing the Pattern

travelblog

When I was a kid I remember I would do anything for a profit. I had the traditional lemonade stand. I took cans and bottles to the depot. I had my own table at family garage sales. I helped out my stepdad on his job site cleaning up. The list goes on. I would save up my nickels and dimes so I could go to the corner store and buy candy or to the bookstore or toy store for a new item to occupy my time. The fact was – I was addicted to finding ingenious ways to make money.

When I was old enough to join the real workforce I did so… literally. The very day I turned 15 I started applying for jobs – no time to waste! I landed my first job at a fast food restaurant and never stopped working even while I was attending secondary and post secondary school. I was always following the old adage of working hard = making money = buying stuff = happiness. And I believed this. I was the ultimate consumer, as many are in their early 20’s, and I dug myself into some small debts. I was following what we are told by the media but guess what? I was unhappy. I worked hard still, paid off debts, learned my lesson and kept working hard, making money, and buying stuff (but less stuff).

I slowly started to feel unfulfilled at my job so I left after 6 years and was lucky enough to be hired for, what I thought was, my dream job. I figured that I was doing everything I was supposed to do, you know, working my way up the corporate ladder. In my first year at this job I was having the time of my life. Work was challenging but I was enjoying every minute of it, I loved the people I worked with, and I felt like I was on the right path. Every opportunity that came up I was the winning candidate. But after the first year the curtains were pulled back and I started seeing things for what they really were. I saw the corporate greed, sacrificing good people for profits, people being hired into roles due to politics, and so on. If there’s one thing I don’t stand for it’s injustice. I will fight tooth and nail, diplomatically, until change happens but unfortunately nothing was changing. This difficult time coincided with this nagging inside my “being” that there is more to life than this constant pattern of following what the media and social norms tell us. I was having a complete spiritual overhaul. Because of this, I couldn’t be in a world of injustice and greed, I had to make a change.

In the midst of leading one of the most important projects at my job I was also casually pursuing a passion of mine in my spare time – baking! 6 years prior I had been diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Despite how widespread it is now, at the time, there was close to nothing in the grocery stores that I could eat (or it was incredibly expensive to buy). So, I took up baking my own gluten free treats. I had always loved cooking and baking growing up so it came easily to me. Over the course of the years of my allergy I always adored using my creativity to master technical baking with my own twist. My baking became more frequent, friends and family requested it, and I loved every minute of it. But even though I loved it I remained at my job for the salary, benefits, stability, and because I cared about what people thought of my working status.

Around the same time that I began this “dream job” I started trying to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness can mean a number of things; which, is why I’m using this term. Its definition is, “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.” So it’s really up to you how you get to this state. For me, I was mediating 20 minutes every morning before work and would make time to hike or walk through forests and trails to help clear my mind. I was experiencing a lot of road blocks after the first year at work and couldn’t figure out why but every time I was mediating I kept getting this message that there was something bigger I was meant to be doing. I finally ventured to a place in my mindset that I stopped caring about all of the surface “things” like: what people thought about me, accumulating wealth, status, etc. And it all became clear. I knew I couldn’t stay where I was and I also knew what made me feel happy at the time. So, I quit my secure job and started my GF bakery, Apricus Bake Shoppe.

This was exactly one year ago. The past year has been incredibly difficult, as any life changing decision is, but I have been open to discovering what my path is and following the twists and turns that have been presented. This is the most fulfilling for me. I was fortunate enough to have saved money and to have my, then fiancé, now husband, Russell, to support me in pursuing my dream. But the real lesson I have learned is that, no matter what, opportunities will arise if you are following your dream. Don’t be scared to leave the security behind in lieu of doing what you love because you will always be rewarded, someway somehow, in order for you to keep going. In the words of Oprah, “this I know for sure.”

Halfway through my journey, after having planned on opening a storefront for my bakery, Russell and I decided that we wanted to travel the world. We planned that after our wedding we would leave to explore the treasures and acquire what knowledge this vast globe had for us.

Now you’re probably thinking… “wait a second, you just said your passion was opening a bakery!” This is still true. But I also feel this strong pull to travel and learn and I know with great certainty that Apricus will grow when it’s time and I will grow on this new adventure. Sometimes you have to trust the journey. Explore the little paths that are presented to you because they will enrich your life and loop right back around to where you are meant to be going.

Live your life with your soul purpose. Forget about what people expect of you and follow your own personal goals to find fulfillment. You may envision having lots of money and “stuff” (which is totally fine!) but be sure that your journey to that vision involves doing the thing that makes your heart sing. This world will be a better place if you share your passion and change the pattern.