What Happened To Critical Thinking Anyways?

Hello My fellow Blog Lovers and Supporters!

We are almost at the end of July! Summer is flying by and I hope that you are taking advantage of all of the wonderful sights and events going on in our beautiful region here in Niagara!  So I was talking to my friends the other day as we do and the topic of sensational stories came up, stories that seem to just take over the news outlet.  What really struck us is the way we as a society just take it for granted that if it is in the news it MUST be real, right!?  Well, I am gonna say, not necessarily and here is why.

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Omar Khadr, by now all of you know or have heard of this man and his 10.5 million dollar settlement from the Canadian government due to his mistreatment in Guantanamo Bay on suspected murder charges that have legally never been proven and the subsequent backlash and outcry from the Canadian public against this situation. Now before you jump on the for or against bandwagon let me make it clear this is not what this blog is about.

Like many of you I too had the infamous knee jerk reaction to this situation, questioning how our government could be handing over millions of dollars to a suspected terrorist. The upsurge in popularity of this story, did make me ask myself, besides this news coverage what do most if not all of us really know what is actually going on concerning this story and the background of this young man? Have any of us done any research so that we maybe better informed to make an informed decision to participate in spreading awareness concerning an individual we virtually don’t know anything about. The answer was no, we hadn’t.

Is Omar Khadr a bad person, with conflicting reports out there, I am not entirely sure. What I do know, is that we the Canadian public have not been given the whole story, only bits and pieces to support a journalistic slant or increase reader circulation.  The issues of who he is, who he became after being taken back to Afghanistan as a small boy by his father and why we are getting involved in a case of abuse, unlawful confinement and alleged torture that occurred in Guantanamo Bay by the United States government is very complex to say the least. At the heart of this matter is the status of his citizenship being Canadian and we not doing anything to help him, knowing that no legal case was ever brought against him and he was held in captivity for almost 15 years by our neighbours to the South and how he did win a court case. How do I know this, I did some research.

According to an article from The National Observer,

“For all the fury boiling up over news of his settlement, there’s precious little insight or knowledge about the facts. As a former prosecutor, something has always troubled me about this case, and my deep unease hasn’t abated with time.  Any experienced trial lawyer would be troubled to open this file. With the exception of Khadr’s “confession,” wrung from a traumatized and severely wounded teenager under an abusive interrogation, the evidence against him was remarkably thin.”

So if the evidence against him was incredibly thin, how was he held for 15 years and we the Canadian public were not made aware of it? That was the first glaring question that came to rise for me.

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The landscape of journalism and media has forever been altered due to the onslaught of the Internet and the subsequent ever reaching popularity of social media. We no longer rely on newspapers or news stations to get our world news, no we log onto Facebook and Twitter to do that. This has become a double edged sword. The instantaneousness of information is amazing and plentiful. However, how much is too much? We are constantly being bombarded with information and images that our attention spans have dwindled to almost nothing, if you don’t get my attention in a few seconds, I’m moving on. It is almost like we have become numb, we actively try to filter out only the information that we assume pertains to us and ignore those that do not. Secondly, many if not almost all of us casually press send/share to videos and links and photos that are posted on social media outlets, without actively viewing them in their entirety, innocently believing them to be true without any verification to its authenticity. Where has our critical thinking gone? Many of us just accept things at face value as truth, after all if it’s on the Internet it must be true right?

Consequently, you and I are now becoming the “journalists” of society, yet we are not held to the same level of ethical standards as actual journalists are. So I beg the question, should we be held to same journalistic standards and if we break these should we be held accountable just as a journalist would? It is an interesting quandary. We live in a society where there in essence are no safety nets shielding and sifting through the garbage to reveal to us to what the actual “truth’ is. Are we equipped as individuals to do that job on our own? I think we are, ONLY if we are prepared to do the work, ie research to find it. It clearly seems we are living in a Brave New World, and I for one want to be better armed with knowledge and insight and not assumption and hear say.

Thank you once again for coming along on this blogging journey with me.  Your support and taking the time to read my ramblings each week does not go unnoticed or unappreciated.  But before we go, let me ask you this, have you ever seen something on social media or the internet that just made you question its authenticity and you just had to do your own investigating to find out for yourself? What was it?  I would love to hear!

Until we meet again,

Love & Light I send to you always,

Dina xxo

Girl Power!

Hello My Fellow Blog Lovers and Supporters!

We are already well into July – Where is the time going!?

It has been a hot one here, not too much complaints from me, not a huge fan of humidity, but I will suck it up if the sun is shining that is for sure. As I have been getting back into the world of script writing, I am struck on the new wave of strong female leads and or action stars that have been hitting the big screen, with Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman doing extremely well at the box office and now with the new release of Atomic Blonde starring Charlize Theron (total girl crush for me) as a 1980’s super spy with MI6 who totally kicks ass – literally.  I am fraught with the notion – Why has it taken Hollywood so freaking long to realize this untouched demographic?  We want to see these stories and characters on the big screen and cheer them on or be intrigued or horrified by them for that matter, but yet ‘Hollyweird’ is still resisting this notion?

As you can expect I have thoughts on this and well here they are…

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Hollywood is and always has been run by middle aged white men – There I said it! So logically they will want to see stories that are by and for them, who they mistakenly think is a general rule for all of society.  For the most part, we as a society have just put up with it and have tried ways around it by creating specialty networks like The Women’s Network or BET.  But, in my opinion it is not enough.  Women and minorities are still sadly under represented in both above and below the line jobs in film and TV and even less as Directors or Directors of Photography!  It still is by and large an ‘old boys club’ and basically they have closed ranks for any and all who try to break those stereotypical glass ceilings  More importantly, we need to note the huge impact downloading movies online has had on the industry at large.  Where we used to make and produce 100’s of films per year, we are lucky to see 10 to 15 from big studios now.

I am going to go a bit against the grain here and say, part of this is their own fault – More importantly their egos is what has gotten them into this hot water.  Instead of getting ahead of it – The onslaught of illegal downloads and the rise of Android boxes going mainstream, and finding a way to use it or invert it for their own benefit, they instead did nothing, believing that no one would ever challenge or topple the great studio system. I mean come on did they not learn anything from the music industry and the whole Napster debacle!? Apparently not…

As a result, because of the rapid decline of ticket sales and green lighting projects, many studio execs are feeling the pressure to be ‘safe’ in the projects they do make – Projects that follow a tried and true formula or in the form of a sequel trying to ensure a sure fire WIN at the box office.  This has made film and art in this vein much more vanilla or boring – Lacking risk and that spark to push boundaries and ultimately start a conversation, which in my opinion is what art is supposed to do in the first place.

So when we see those rare projects like Wonder Woman who use that system (comic book character) but subvert it by using a female lead, harolded by a female filmmaker, like Patty Jenkins of ‘Monster’ fame, audiences pay attention and do so by spending their hard earned money at the box office!  People want to be entertained, but challenged with their own unique human story in all of its beautiful, horrific, depressing and or joyous journeys.  They want to see themselves in the characters on screen and we can only do that if we tell ALL stories, not just the middle aged male whitewashed versions.

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So for me, I hope that I can be a part of that solution and not just another cog in the already existing wheel.  I too want to tell unique stories of the underdogs.  Portray women in a more realistic but empowering role – Yes they can be superheroes who kick ass but they also can bleed, get hurt and get defeated sometimes in the process.  Which is why I am so excited to see Atomic Blonde’s character of Lorraine Broughton played by the very talented Charlize Theron kick ass and take names while she takes care of who is killing her fellow agents during 1980’s Berlin.  Not a femme fatale per say, just an action star who takes no prisoners.  What I am finding so appealing is the obvious part of a female action star who really does kick ass (fast forward to a 10 minute fight scene done by Charlize herself all in one take no edits) but, also showcases the sheer brutality of it with bruises, blood and broken bones – which in most cases is non existent in most male centered action movies.

Action with a touch of realism is a great genre in my opinion!  I hope that this new wave of women centered films continues to gain steam and garner possible spin offs of more minority or gay/lesbian or transgender projects getting green lighted as well.  We all have a story to tell and it is about time Hollywood took notice and gave everyone, someone and something to aspire to!

Thank you all once again for your continued support and for coming along on this blog writing journey with me each week – noted and appreciated that I can assure you!

But before we go, let me ask you this – what changes in stories or types of films would you like to see more of in Hollywood?  I can not wait to see your answers!

Until we meet again,

Love and Light Always,

Dina xxoo

Oh Inspiration – You Elusive Sexy Beast!

Hello My beautiful and sexy blog readers and supporters!

I hope that this week’s ramblings and word shenanigans find you all happy, healthy, a bit more wealthy and maybe a wee bit more wise.  One can hope right!? 😛

Summer is upon us with a vengeance and I am freaking loving it! After making the revelation to you all a couple weeks back about jumping back into the film writing arena I had noticed a few things about myself.

Allow me to explain…

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First of all, I have finally come to the realization and acceptance that I am a storyteller at the very core of who I am as a person and more specifically as a woman.  I generally am the one to almost put on a show so to speak when I regal you with my musings or experiences full of funny voices, hand gestures and contorted body configurations.  I love taking you along on the mystical ride and hope you have quite an experience when you do – intrigue, laughter, fear, love, happiness etc. whatever the story entails.  I guess that is why I took to writing my blogs every week, I am in essence taking you all along on my own journey – The story of my life.

Even as a young child I was enthralled with movies – Such a wonderful way to take someone on a magical journey – A way to escape and become anyone or anything you ever wanted to be.  I remember quite vividly at about the age of 5 or 6 I think, I was watching The Wizard Of Oz for what seemed like the umpteenth time on TV, and I was just mesmerized by the magic and fantasy of it all – It was in this moment that I knew I wanted to be apart of this – Not knowing entirely what ‘THIS’ was, or in what capacity I wanted to be apart of it, I just knew in someway I was going to be.  Fast forward to today and once again here I am moving myself closer to realizing that dream.

Now we come to the second part and the basis for this week’s blog – Inspiration, where to get it and how to harness it!

For me, I have had an ongoing, ‘love/hate’ relationship with inspiration – She can be abundant and yet completely elusive at the same time, that sneaky minx!

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Inspiration really has no rhyme or reason for me. Where it comes from is never common place or consistent. It could be music, art, film, life, nature, dance, fashion, a PB & J sandwich etc. etc.  I have tried so many different ways to try and harness it, but to no avail.  I find, since I have gone back to walking everyday, that has helped to knock some ideas loose, which I am exploring at the moment. Stay tuned for script announcements 🙂

But I gotta say, one minute it is here and the next poof it’s gone. Or maybe the answer is that I could just have a mild to moderate form of ADHD?  No really, I tend to be all over the place.

Could it be the copious amounts of sugar I can consume in one sitting? I once put four whole boxes of smarties in my mouth on a dare, needless to say my Mother had to peel me off the ceiling from my sugar high.

I really can’t say, but what I can say with undoubted certainty is that my wide and vast ocean of imagination has never waned or faded. It is almost a need not just a want for me. I NEED to be lost in the cascades of lollipop land and gumdrop sunsets, even as I approach 45 years of age next week, EeeeeeeeK.

It really is my escape, it always has been and I believe it always will be. I can be who and what I have always wanted to be with no regret or compromise. In this land, I am beautiful, strong, playful, courageous – Ultimately I am free. Free from judgement, obligation and expectations not only from others, but much more profoundly from within my own self.

Don’t get me wrong, I can feel these things in my everyday life – My work, family and friends allow me to explore these emotions, but in there – My limitless and vast imagination, I have no need for compromise or explanation.  I can just be ME, flaws, quirks and all!

I believe that growing up does not have to mean you have to lose your child like wonder or sense of adventure. No, I think in efforts to put things like, our life and our experiences within it, into nice, neat and ordered little boxes of conformity,  we in fact lose. We lose the very unique and unorthodox pieces that make up who we are in the process.

Our quirks, flaws abnormalities if you will, are what make us, well US.  Those are what make you stand out from the crowd, make you unique and special in my books.  This amusement park of my mind has been closed for far too long and I am excited to gas up the roller coaster and merry go round and just simply enjoy the ride.

Ultimately I have discovered is that I don’t need to harness my inspirations, just delight and feel blessed that I am still able to have them in the confines of my crazy and unpredictable world called my imagination.

Thank you all once again for coming along on this crazy blog ride with me each week and for taking the time to read my shenanigans.  It indeed does not go unnoticed or unappreciated.  But, before we go let me ask you all, where do you find your own inspiration in your life?  Are you able to harness it or is it elusive as it is for me?

I can not wait to read your answers!

Until we meet again,

Love and Light Always,

Dina xxoo

Sometimes in Life You Just Gotta Pivot

Hello My fellow blog lovers and supporters,

Is it hot in here or are you all just beautiful sexy beasts!?

I think it’s both really 🙂

Hot and steamy weather is here with a vengeance and quite frankly I am pleased as punch to see it.

I was recently reminded of a quote from Socrates – YES Socrates I read folks 😛 that said,

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

I found so much intrigue, insight and a slight bit of comfort after reading this quote.

Allow me to explain…

As my 45th birthday is drawing closer I find that I am looking back on what I have done, what I have dreamed of doing and what I feel I have yet to accomplish and I am drawn to some “what could have been’s” or basic “what if’s’ if you like.  Now, this is always a dangerous territory to go down for anyone of any age – Nostalgia is not a bad thing in of itself until you use it as a means to compare, then it can become deadly.

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Comparison is the thief of joy as they say, (they being good old Teddy Roosevelt) and he could not have been more right.  If we are constantly comparing ourselves to the past or even others, we are in essence robing ourselves of the motivation and focus to go after our dreams in the present.  ie, ‘I have already failed so why bother’, or ‘I will never be good enough to achieve that.’

This has been my usual cycle and I believe one of the reasons I have not gone after everything that I have wanted to.  But, this is where I am going to buck the ‘Millennial’ parenting phase of telling their kids they can be ANYTHING that want to be in this world – Sorry I believe this is a load of shit.  I mean, what if I wanted to be a mermaid – Your advice to me would be, ‘if you try hard enough and believe it, you will achieve it.” Ummmmm K …

Don’t get me wrong, I do believe in going after your dreams, of course I do!  But, what I believe is that you can TRY to be anything you want to be in this world, but there is no guarantee you will achieve it.  After you have tried all of your avenues and are no way closer to achieving your dream, it may be time to reevaluate or pivot if you will. (Hence the title of this blog – See what I did there) 😛

Pivoting is not giving up, it is merely trying it from another angle or being open to having another dream enter into your consciousness that you may never have considered before.  Being open to change or new opportunities is pivotal in navigating these choppy waters called our lives.  Each of us has a course to navigate but it is up to you to steer the ship in the best way possible to reach your destination.  You may hit choppy patches and have to redirect your course, but in the end you still will reach your destination, so what does it matter as long as you get there right!? (OK enough of the nautical theme – Sheesh I guess since I live in a canal side town I am influenced) 😛

Take me for instance, I had written in a previous post about how your dreams can change in life and that is OK (If you haven’t read it here it is so you are up to speed https://dinaarsenaultblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/13/dream-on/

And I still believe this, vehemently. But, what I have really noticed is that the pivot can in essence bring you back to where you first began as well, which is me in a nutshell at the moment – My desire to write and create films has been ignited once again in me and I am both scared but excited at the prospect!

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You see, I have felt this restlessness for quite some time and I finally figured out what has been eating at me – I have been living a safe secure life, making the ‘right’ choices for my life because that was the responsible thing to do, what was expected of me.  To sum it up – I’m bored or unmotivated in my life.  I have not honoured the very core of who I am, a creative being yearning for the opportunity to create and tell the human story on a grander scale.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not angry or bitter as I do believe that everything does happen for a reason and I needed to go through this ‘pivot’ to bring me back to what was lacking in my life – Telling the human story cinematically.  There I said it, I put it out into the ether, can’t take it back now!  I don’t know what capacity this will take in my life, but I do know that it will be a part of it and that is huge revelation at this point.  I do love what I do in social media, I do very much, and quite honestly I am proud to say I am damn good at it – But, it is not enough and I can no longer pretend that it is.

Will you be seeing my big name in lights, maybe, but until then I will be seeing you each and every week right here 🙂

Thank you all once again for taking the time to read and support my ramblings and shenanigans each week, it does not go unnoticed or unappreciated.  Before I leave you, let me ask you this, have you had to pivot in your life? Was it a positive experience?

I can not wait to hear your answers!

Until we meet again,

Love & Light Always

Dina xxoo

 

 

Yoga and Wine – Why Yes Please!

Hello My Fellow Blog Lovers & Supporters!

Warm weather is FINALLY here in Niagara and I could not be more excited and grateful! The first person that complains about the heat, I swear, I will get them a steaming and very noticeable side eye and eye roll I tells ya! 😛

It still amazes me how many genuine and wonderful people I have met and connected with online. I mean working in social media it shouldn’t surprise me all that much, but it does, and growing my online friendship with local blogger and woman extraordinaire  Joanne Deall of Niagarafied offline has been such a wonderful treat and experience.  On a side note – This talented lady has a brand new project she is launching called the People of Niagara If you have a unique story and live in the Niagara region she wants to hear from you! (Complete series breakdown can be found in the hyperlink above)

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The reason I mention this lovely lady is that recently she invited me as her plus one at a wonderful Yoga/Wine and Cheese pairing event at the beyond beautiful Legends Estate Winery in Beamsville.

Legend’s Winery was established in 1946 as a small house winery with over 200 acres of fruit and signature grapes that are farmed carefully and harvested gently with the stunning backdrop of Lake Ontario in the background. Perfect place for parties, weddings and receptions of any kind really. It definitely is a place where history of the past and vision of the future have struck a fine balance.  It is a shining example of the perfect symmetry of tradition and technology.  A little tricky to locate, but oh so worth the GPS to find it!

I had never been to this particular vineyard before, but when you say you are gonna get mello jello from an hour of yummy body bending yoga by the talented and oh so bubbly Joanna Deluca of Grimsby Yoga & Wellness, then top it off by sitting in the vineyard drinking wine and pairing it with delicious cheeses – UM YEAH count me in!!

Before I go any further I need to mention it has been quite some time since I had done any yoga.  I know, I know, before you all say, “but Dina you had written previously that you were training to become a yoga instructor yourself, why no yoga for some time?” Well as you all know, life is funny and unexpected and we get diverted on new paths, my reasoning for stopping my yoga training is for another blog all on its own.

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But, I digress, as we entered into the rustic and welcoming entrance to the winery store and tasting room, we were welcomed by the friendly and energetic staff who directed us into the ‘Barrel Room’, the place where we were going to be having our yoga session. Can I just take a moment to say WOW! What a beautiful and enchanting space to just take a moment to breathe and take in the positive energy and vibe of this space complimented with polished hardwood floors surrounded by windows showcasing what seems like endless barrels of fermenting wine – Just gorgeous! A perfect space for any event large or small!

The room was filled with laughter, chatter and mulling about as the participants found their own spots to lay their yoga mats and begin our session of relaxation and as it turned out, SWEAT!

As I had mentioned, I hadn’t participated in a yoga class for quite some time, but as it was listed to be a ‘gentle’ Hatha practice for all levels,  I thought, ‘well I can handle that’

Yeah, my brain should have asked my body first, this gentle session literally kicked my butt! Sweat, cracks and pops coming from my muscles and joints that I clearly have not been paying proper attention too were quickly awoken! A good ache if you know what I mean, almost like an old friend who I hadn’t seen in a while but have always meant to call and catch up with 🙂

Well if that doesn’t deserve some wine and cheese pairing I don’t know what does!

Luckily, I was in the right place!

After our session was done, we all gathered our things and casually walked out into the vineyard for our tasting.  Such a beautiful backdrop to an already lovely day.  Sweaty and satisfied participants tasting wine, eating some nibbles, chatting, laughing – One woman even told me that she was excited to have her wedding here in the Fall – Just lovely.

I was able to sample both a white and a red wine at the tasting table, and I have to say the Legend’s Estate Winery White Semillion is truly unique, crisp, slightly sweet, smooth and all around DELISH!  This was the winner for me, in fact I brought some a few bottles to enjoy later.

I can not say enough how wonderful of a time I had discovering this new gem in our very own Niagara backyard, and I look forward to visiting her again in the not to distant future.

Thank you once again for all of your support and for taking the time to read my ramblings every week!  That does not go unnoticed or unappreciated! But, before I go, let me ask you, what are some of YOUR favorite wineries here in Niagara?  I am always looking for new ones to discover and enjoy!

Looking forward to your feedback.

Until we meet again,

Love & Light I send to you always,

Dina xxoo

This Reuben Sandwich Was A ‘Holy’ Experience

Hello My Fellow Blog Lovers & Supporters!

Warm weather is finally here!! So excited to get my tan on and get outside and enjoy the beautiful countryside that is Niagara.  Recently, my Mom and I went on a bit of a road trip and discovered a new found gem – Shelly’s Family Dining & Catering.  What makes this place so unique, is that it is not a traditional restaurant per say, this one is located in a converted church! Gotta say first time I have been inside one of those in many years 😛

As we pulled up, we were intrigued by the beautiful architecture of the brick church which just screamed history and eclectic beauty in my books.  Fun fact about me, I am a bit of an architectural nerd who LOVES to take pics of structures that intrigue me or are unique.  Seriously my trip to Europe was three quarters buildings and landscapes – True Story!

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But I digress, you walk into the funky entrance way and are greeted with fun artifacts and antiques adding much charm and whimsy.  You proceed to open the big church doors and you are greeted with this large, expansive space which feels like you are being transported back in time, but not style.

Beautiful wooden accents, gorgeous stained glass windows and antique blown glass accent this space. I would be remiss not to mention the AMAZING archway framing this wonderful newly discovered gem as well, beyond gorgeous!

Mom and I grabbed a seat not before admiring their use of old church pews for seating – added a great feature and overall feel to this place.  We were greeted by a wonderfully bubbly server who was excited to see new faces.  We casually looked over the menu and I decided to go with a classic – Reuben sandwich! While waiting for our order, Mom and I took in all the cute and quirky features of this unique venue.  I really do cherish these moments I can experience new places to eat and sit and chat with my Mom – Brings me back to the times just after my Dad died when me and her would go on these epic road trips with no direction in mind, we just hopped in the car and went.  Discovering some really great out of the way hole-in-the-wall places that we otherwise never would have discovered.  Certainly felt like old times and I was loving it!

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My mouth was watering when my Reuben got to the table, thick slabs of home roasted pastrami, still juicy and succulent, the bite of yellow mustard accented by the slight tang of the classic sauerkraut all encased by the toasted yet soft rye and kind of nutty bread.  Just delish!

I really would recommend you give this little gem a try if you are looking for homemade food in a very unique atmosphere, then Sherry’s Family Dining & Catering is the place to check out!

Thank you once again for coming along on this blogging journey with me and for taking the time to read my ramblings each week.  But, before we go, let me ask you this, what are some interesting or hole-in-the-wall places that you have discovered in the Niagara region? I am always looking for new places to check out and explore and of course excuses for more epic road tips with my partner in crime, my vivacious Mama!

Can’t wait to hear your recommendations!

Until next time,

Love & Light I send to you always,

Dina xxoo

It’s Time To Get Back To Basics…

Hello my fellow blog lovers and supporters!

Holy April showers bringing even more showers in May! Our backyard is a freaking lake ya’ll, and if these rain showers keeps going possibly an ocean!  Minus the salt water of course, but I digress. Fingers crossed that sunshine is a coming our way, our soggy yards are begging for it!

As I have been a bit home bound with this soggy weather as of late, something interesting really struck me – I think it is time for me to scale back and get back to some basics in my life.

Allow me explain…

As you all know, I am going through a bit of a transition both in my life and in my career at the moment and along with a bit of anxiety (ahhh of course you are coming along for the party aren’t you old friend)  I realize that my body and my inspiration are crying out for me to just FUCKING STOP AND CHILL ALREADY!

You see, I am one of those people that is always going at full speed.  I am definitely an all or nothing kind of woman and quite frankly my tank is beginning to run on empty!

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With having home, personal and work commitments I ALWAYS forget to schedule some ME time into my already very full schedule.  Along with this nagging cough and overall feeling of being run down, it finally hit home for me – Sometimes the best thing you can do for you is just STOP, reevaluate and bring your life back to basics – Simplify baby!

Like most of you, I am always on my smartphone (occupational hazard I know), looking and striving for more in my life, to consume or supposedly to add to the overall ‘joy’ and enjoyment in my life and for those that I care about.  But, why does this quest generally involve a piece of technology?  Why am I looking to technology or the ‘other’ for my own satisfaction, self worth and or happiness? That is kinda messed up when you think about it.

It kind of makes me think of that old dilemma of having too much choice – How much harder it is to make a decision when the choices are endless.  Same can be said for how you live or run your own life.  Having too much can just be that – Too much!

Simplifying and scaling back and reassessing is an important exercise to not only have in your business, but to implement in our day to day lives as well.  A Spring cleaning of the mind, body and soul if you will. This week, I am choosing to follow my own advice and scale back a bit and look inwards and really reassess what it is I want, how do I go about getting it and rewarding myself with some much needed rest to regroup and get ready to transition into this next phase of my life.

Tuning into my own thoughts and emotions is so important in this crazy life journey of mine.  If I don’t listen to my own inner voices how will I be able to know what it is I truly want and desire in my life – I guess this is just a natural progression from me choosing to follow my gut and see what wild and crazy ride it will take me on.  Buckle up as they say!

No matter how many new twists and turns I encounter and boy oh boy the ones I have experienced already have been doozies, I know that I will welcome my front row seat because as they say that is where the best views are!

12239651_10153572001142741_7427596871063791591_nThank you all once again for coming along on this crazy blog journey with me.  Your support and taking the time to read my ramblings each week does not go unnoticed or unappreciated! But before we go, let me ask you this, what can YOU do to scale back or simplify your life to bring back that much needed balance and peace into your own life? I can not wait to hear your answers as I am always looking for new ways to better my life and those that I care about.

Until next time,

Love and Light I send to you always!

Dina xxoo

Turning 45 Is The New Black Right?

Hello My fellow blog lovers and supporters!

Here we are another week had come and gone and the buds of a new season are definitely in full bloom.  With the onslaught, yes ONSLAUGHT of my birthday coming up in a couple of months, it got me thinking, turning 45 is cool right?  Or as the kids are calling it, the new black?

At least that is what I am telling myself as I hyperventilate at the prospect of getting that much closer to the infamous 50!! I know that I am supposed to age with grace, be grateful for each and every year I am given, yadda, freaking yadda but you know what I feel turning 45, the big 4-5??

I feel middle age, over the hill, getting ready for the inevitable dirt nap. OK, OK those last couple were a little extreme but I have to say it kinda is how I am feeling. I don”t know why this birthday is affecting me the way it is, BUT IT FREAKING IS!

I think a major part of it is I am not nearly anywhere near the accomplishments I assumed I would have achieved by this impeding age milestone. I thought I would be married or at least in a loving committed relationship, a couple of kids, own my own house and have a thriving career in the film industry.  (YES my heart will forever belong to the cinema and the magic it brings to those who partake in it)  I know, I know rather melodramatic, but you get my point.  All of this sounds easy and achievable right?

Well, nope to all accomplishments.

I guess I am feeling a bit defeated, kicked around by life a bit. I know, I know, calling pity party for one, pity party of one. I know that age is just a number and you are only as old as you feel, I get it, I really do, I am just not feeling it right now that is the problem. I guess what I am trying to say is I need to come up with a new set of goals and accomplishments and not dwell on ones that have passed for now. New goals and new perspectives that is what I need.

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But how do I go about getting it?

First off, I am in the process of making an about face and hopefully starting a brand new career soon.  Same field, just different company.  A few irons are in the fire, we shall see which one gets HOT!

So, new career goals, check. I have started a new exercise and eatting healthy plan so I can be happier and healthier in myself and my outlook, and so I can get through the upcoming FOAM Fest 5k I entered in July! (Dear lord what was I thinking?? I must have been drunk! :P) check.

This new found outlook will allow me to be open to meeting a new somebody, and possibly that special someone, (Yup, dude I was seeing kinda fizzled out, what are ya gonna do) check. So here’s hoping the universe is listening to what I am putting out there. Life really is about the journey isn’t it. Well thus far this journey has had many twists, turns, bumps, obstacles and forks. It definitely has made my crazy life interesting, frustrating and rewarding. I honestly, wouldn’t of had it any other way. This life maybe crazy, but its my life, all of it, good the bad and sometimes the ugly.

It has helped to shape and mould me into the woman I am today. The crazy, spontaneous, emotional, unpredictable, funny, sassy and beautiful approaching 45 year old woman. So come on universe get your fire extinguisher ready, 45 lit candles is quite the blaze. But this time instead of quickly blowing them out, I am choosing to bask in its fiery glow…

Thank you all for coming along on this blogging journey with me peeps!  Your support and you taking the time to read my weekly ramblings does not go unnoticed or unappreciated! But, before I go let me ask you this, has your life turned out exactly how you thought it would?

I can not wait to read your answers!

Until we meet again,

Love & Light I send you always,

Dina xxoo

What is the definition of Family anyways?

Hello My Fellow Blog Lovers & Supporters!

Happy post Easter to all of you!  I am sure you are all still hung over on chocolate and farrrrrr to many helpings of dinner! But, what a gorgeous weekend for food, family and fun, right!  It has also come to my realization that this blog is my 50th one!

Holy AMAZEABALLS!!!

That just blows my mind, that I have committed to writing about me and my life (side note:  not the first time I have done this but the first time I have fully committed to it) and here we are 50 blogs later!

Screw you procrastination! 😛

Since this whole thing started with me and my experiences with my family, I found it apropo that we revisit what this concept is – What does the term ‘family’ mean to me and possibly for you as well?

Now the term family really does have many connotations or definitions if you will.  Long ago are the days of the term family, meaning the generic ‘nuclear’ family of Mom, Dad and Kids.  Today, family cam mean: 2 Mommies and kids, 2 Daddies and kids, Grandma and kids, Grandpa and kids, Adopted, Foster, Step etc. The possibilities are endless!

This past weekend, I was given the opportunity to not only spend time with my Mom and Stepdad but I was also given the privilege to spend time with old and dear friends that to me are just as close as family, in fact we are family in my books.

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Yes I am the cutie baby!  My the left front to back, My brothers Rob, John, David, Chris.  Me as the baby, my sister Debbie and behind her my brother Rick.  Missing is my brother Fred (the oldest) and my other sister Debbie.  Yes 2 Debbies don’t judge! 😛

You see, I haven’t always had a smooth sailing when it comes to my family.  I am the youngest of 9 children.  Yes you read that right, 9!!  But, it is not what it seems.  We are a blended family, with both my Mom and my Dad bringing their own children into the mix.  Mom had 3 children, Dad had 5 and pretty soon I came along to round everything out. So, in this assembly alone we had, biological, step and half all mixed together.  Having a large age gap, it is no wonder that it was hard to find a connection with most of my siblings growing up as I was revered more as a nuisance they had to ‘babysit’ when they would much rather be running around with their friends.  They were teenagers, who could blame them.  Well this division never really mended with some, as we both got older and honestly went our separate ways never to really cross paths again except for the occasional wedding or unfortunate funeral.  We are family in blood yes, but in emotional connection, no we definitely are not.  As the old saying goes, you can’t pick your family right!?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not sad or bitter.  I let any animosity go a long time ago, it is what it is and I have accepted this.  The one thing that truly hangs with me is all of the missed opportunities to be a part of my nieces and nephews lives because of this rift between me and my select siblings.  All of the memories or experiences missed and forever lost.  That truly does break my heart, for they never asked to be a apart of this, they are however the unfortunate casualties because of it.

This brings me to my point – I believe from my own experiences that the concept of family should and needs to include friends – For me, my extended family of choice.

My friend Mary has been a fixture in our family for as long as I can remember.  An honourary Arsenault being as she has been spending Christmas Eve with us for decades now.  Mary and I met in High School and the friendship has never waned.  We have been prominent parts of each other’s lives with a friendship that has lasted over 30 years. We have seen each other through breakups, car crashes, deaths of our fathers, job wins and losses, pregnancy, medical emergencies and me being the Godmother to her two beautiful twin daughters.  I KNOW that if I need her, she will be there for me no questions asked and I for her.  We may not always agree on decisions we make and we will tell each other.  We are definitely not ‘Yes’ friends.  Nay we are sisters.  I guess what I am trying to get at is, family for me is ANY individual who will love, support and enrich my life unconditionally, no matter if they are ‘related’ or not.  I don’t need a blood connection, I need a heart connection for you to be my family.

I encourage you to take the time to tell those you who you consider YOUR family that you love and consider them to be your family, appreciating all that they do for you. Now is the best time to do this because tomorrow is never promised.

Thank you all once again for taking the time to read my ramblings every week and for supporting me in my crazy blogging journey!  But, before we go, let me ask you this, what is YOUR definition of family?  Are your close friends your family of choice?

I can’t wait to hear your feedback!

Until next time,

Love & Light Always

Dina xxoo

Always Trust Your Gut…

Hello My Fellow Blog Lovers and Supporters,

What a week, full of changes and revelations. You know little miss universe will never let you get complacent, she will always keep you on your toes that is for sure!

So this leads me to this week’s blog post – Do you follow your intuition?

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I never used to, but I am learning that I must for my own happiness and sanity.

Allow me to explain…

As I have touched on in previous blog posts, I have had to battle insecurities pretty much my entire life along with having bouts of social anxiety.  I have also come to the realization as of late that I may also have empathic tendencies as well.

What are empathic tendencies you ask –

“The action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.” Websters Dictionary

I know that when I am around certain individuals their energy tends to make me feel stressed out and anxious and they are not necessarily doing anything in that moment to warrant me feeling this way.  This has been a freaking HUGE realization to me and so relevant to where I am in my life right now.

I was always plagued with what felt like a roller coaster of emotion throughout my entire life, and not understanding where it was coming from, caused me to second guess my instincts and abilities. Literally felt like I was fucking crazy!

But, when I look back on my life I notice my intuition has played a huge part in my ability to truly read people.  I mean TRULY read them, where individuals on the surface seem like the cat’s meow, and I see past all the spit and polish through to their true intentions, their true core. That core is generally nothing like what they are presenting to the world.  I can honestly tell you I have never been wrong – Good bad or indifferent, I can sense it.

But, as of late I had a huge revelation.  I have not been listening to my inner voice for quite some time. I have been telling her to shut it, pipe down, go away and all of those other things.  So she has been sitting in the corner, quietly waiting for me to acknowledge her existence, every once in a while in a faint voice she lets me know that she is still there.  Not following my instincts has made my insecurities fester and manifest into anxiety, irritability and over all just not happy for quite some time now.  I would mask it, and say it is just an off day or I’m just not feeling well, etc.  But, what is at the root of the problem –  My intuition is not being answered or nurtured.

Well, I can’t ignore her any longer. I am not happy and I have to do something about it – Answer her call.  Recently, I did just that.

You see, for the longest time I had been operating in fear and survival mode when it came to my life and my work.  My life was not what I wanted it to be and I needed to acknowledge this.  I was exhausted and felt like I had no where to turn.  I was drowning.

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I finally had to take the leap and follow my gut.  She would not steer me wrong. No longer will I operate out of fear, but instead from my instincts.

That is what I have chosen to do.  I can’t reveal too much at this point, but big changes are on the horizon for me and I can not wait to jump in with both feet.  Each day really is an opportunity for change and I am choosing to make the most of this every day!

Thank you all once again for coming along on this blogging journey with me and for taking the time to read my weekly ramblings.   But, before we go, let me ask you this, have you ever gone against your instincts? What happened when you did?

I can’ t wait to hear your feedback.

Until next time,

Love & Light Always,

Dina xxoo