Self Love, Gratitude and My Morning Routine

As you might have already read, on my trip home from Venice this past October was definitely a time for me to reflect on my life in more ways than one (click here if you missed this post). Many people have a love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day, however all of these reminders of love really wanted me to write something to help some in regards to having a more positive attitude during this time of year. Whether you’re married, single, in a relationship, in a complicated relationship or whatever your status is, we all crave happiness and love in our lives. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my life so far, is that no matter what, you need to love yourself first, practice gratitude and have a true understanding of what makes you happy. If you miss these vital steps, you can lose yourself in a relationship, or worse off, never find that place of true contentment.

On New Year’s Eve, I performed a very powerful intention setting ceremony which was very sacred to me. I wrote out my intentions for this year on a piece of paper and at midnight I rolled it up with some sage leaves and smudged my apartment and all my crystals with it, putting my intentions into the universe. One of my intentions for this year is to fully practice self love.

My Path to Self Love

I’ll be totally honest, I have huge self image issues. I’ve struggled with this for years now. You won’t find a photo of me on my Instagram, I prefer to take photos of the beautiful places I visit than to be in any of my photos. It’s something I’m working on, on a daily basis. I feel I’ve made huge strides with this since practicing self love and daily gratitude, but it’s a work in progress. Being grateful has a huge impact on your path to finding self love and acceptance. I want to clarify, self love is not being selfish. It’s coming to an awareness of what you truly have to offer, who you are as an individual and you are fully aware of all your faults and failures, after all, you are just “human”. Self love is about being the best you and standing up for your truth. It involves understanding your body’s presence, limitations and need for nourishment, exercise, rest and rejuvenation. You need to strive to practice self love daily.

My morning routine is my way I make this a daily practice and priority.

My Morning Routine

Every morning I wake up at 5:30am. I make my way to my living room, sit on my yoga mat and meditate for ten to fifteen minutes. Immediately after my meditation, I write in my journal. I always start off with “Today I am grateful for…”, and from there I let my gratitude and thoughts for the morning flow. After journalling I do thirty to forty-five minutes of yoga to completely “wake up” my body and get ready for the day. I recently started a ketogenic diet again (I love how I feel on a keto diet overall, more in a new post soon), so after yoga and a shower I make myself a keto latte (steamed unsweetened coconut milk with a couple shots of espresso), sit at my dining room table and organize my day ahead of me. My morning routine helps me with stress levels, making sure I’m starting the day with intent and focus, and keeps me grounded.

Self love is so important. Creating this mindset along with gratitude is key for being a successful person in all aspects of your life. Find your rituals that speak to you. This could be going for a walk, doing a cross fit class, setting time in the evening for a relaxing bath, reading a book or sitting in silent meditation. These are examples of practicing self love you can do on a daily basis. It’s about finding a self love routine that helps you accept, forgive and focus on you.

How do you practice self love and gratitude? I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below.

Love and light,

Ariane

 

 

 

Why another trip in Italy changed me…

Coming home from my last trip in October felt very different from the rest.

Ok, I might have said that with every trip I’ve come back from recently, but this time it was different… I didn’t feel like I was coming back “home”.

Home can be different for everyone. For most people, home could be to build a life and strive to build a home for their families, etc. Home is where most people’s families, children, pets, lives are. Home is a very powerful concept. For me, leaving Italy this past trip was hard, I felt like I was already home. I was going back to a life that was just a means to an end. Driving back to my apartment once back in Vancouver, it just seemed “off”. Especially coming home to another yearly rent increase sitting in my stack of mail.

Life in Vancouver has really changed let’s be honest. It’s expensive AF and it seems less and less is being done about it. As someone who lives off of one income (proud of it), if things continually keep going the way they are, I can’t afford to live in this beautiful city anymore. I won’t be able to live comfortably (live without stressing about paying rent that’s astronomical, etc). So it was time to make some shifts and look within.

So flashback to me sitting in the Venice airport, I honestly did not want to get on my flight. I was dreading leaving this place I found so much peace and sense of home in the craziness that is Italy. As I was wallowing in my sorrows that boarding time was approaching and how any thoughts of making a run for it just wasn’t plausible, a woman beside me pulled out a journal and started to write “Today I’m grateful for the amazing trip I’ve just experienced”. I literally wanted to cry. The Universe had just given me a huge wake up call in more ways than one in that moment. I started chatting to the girl beside me about how I couldn’t help to have read what she wrote and how it really touched me in that moment. She explained she was going through a messy divorce and had gone through a miscarriage a few months prior and this trip was her healing gift to herself. Since her miscarriage, she had been recommended to do a “gratitude journal” to help her through it. She said it saved her life. It helped her be strong when her husband left and start rebuilding a life that she was proud to live. Next surprising thing which helped her, yoga. Yoga everyday. She said it helped keep her mind clear and able to focus on what’s happening and be present.

It was so amazing chatting to her. I believe the Universe puts situations and people into our lives at the exact moment we need to learn, hear or heal. This was that instance for me. On my flight out of Venice, I made a promise to myself to start a personal wellness challenge on the first of November. First step was to start a gratitude journal. Second step was to implement yoga everyday.

Now I’ve done yoga before and love it, but can yoga everyday really make a difference? Yes, yes it can. It does give you clarity and helps your physical body as well. Since doing yoga pretty well everyday, sometimes twice a day, I can honestly say hand on heart, that I’m so much less stressed, I’ve lost weight and feel physically stronger than going to the gym. I look forward to yoga and cherish my time on the mat.

But it was a few days ago that it really all fell into place. I woke up at 3:30am with what I wanted my long term goals to be. I spent a few days researching and thinking, then getting a bit discouraged. I wanted these ideas to work. So a few days later I journaled about being grateful for my experience in Venice and how I wanted to manifest my dreams. I very specifically wrote out what my long term plans are and what my intentions in regards to manifesting abundance moving forward. Then I headed off to my Yin class. After yoga I listened to a podcast (Rachel Brathen, love her) about manifesting abundance and putting trust in the Universe. I also wanted to work on focusing on living my life out of a place of love, not on what I have had to overcome (death, loss, etc), so I purchased a beautiful large piece of Rose Quartz and some Jade that afternoon. Later that night, right before I was about to go to sleep, someone had shared a quote for that day, it read “The Universe is saying to you today: Trust that your desired results will be manifested into fruition in your life and all is going to Divine right order. Stay balanced, grounded and focused. Love yourself more”. Ummmmm… Okay! So accurate for that day it was scary and the acknowledgement that I was working towards the right goals was amazing.

So here it is…

I’m now on a journey to become a yoga teacher, I also want to host healing wellness retreats around the world and eventually purchase an agriturismo property in Italy where I can have a yoga studio on the property in a restored barn to host workshops,  retreats and weddings. That’s it. I don’t know if it will happen in five years or fifteen. But I’ve got the clarity and the goal. I’ve got something I’m now consciously working towards.

Pivotal moments happen in our lives, we just need to open our hearts and minds to the prospect of the blessings they can bring.

This blog will change a bit, I’m excited to continue writing about the amazing places I got to see and experience this past trip (Paris, Venice, Montenegro, more of the Greek Islands and Croatia) and continue to give advice on countries I visit in my travels along the way in the future, but I’ll also focus more on my journey as well.

I hope you’ll continue reading and stay tuned for expressions of interest for a few wellness retreats starting in 2019 and 2020.

With love and light,

Ariane

I Found My Belief in Bali

Facebook reminders that pop up can be funny, you get that reminder of where your life was “x” years ago because of what you posted. The one that popped up on my newsfeed today reminded me of a really pivotal moment in my life. Two years ago I took a trip to the magical island of Bali, this is where I found my belief…

My belief in myself and my life path…

I was still quite freshly wounded dealing with separation and beginning stages of divorce stuff, I was emotional and was frankly quite angry and numb that I had just lost everything I had worked so hard for in the past ten years of my life. Bali set me straight. I realized there is always a lesson to be learned in what we experience in life, be grateful for what is, let the rest go.

You see I had never been to a country where you see people living so simply, and were content and happy. Yes, Bali and Indonesia in whole has quite a poor population compared to any “western world country”, however the people are happiest and most grateful I had ever met. This taught me so much. We get so caught up in our lives that sometimes we live with blinders on. We just carry on our day to day and live through “motions”. I would have been content to live the way I was, however when my world fell part and the curtain fell, I saw a new world around me, inviting me to explore and experience all that it had to offer.

This might sound crazy, but this realization hit me walking through the streets of Ubud, Bali after a much needed yoga class at Yoga Barn. I felt free and thankful all at the same time. I knew in that moment I had changed. I wanted to experience the world and soak up everything. I was going to commit to living simply, travel as much as I could and put the past behind me.

Since that time, I live a life focused on gratefulness and mindfulness. Yoga and meditation is a large part of my life and keeps me mentally on track. I am blessed with a job that has given me many opportunities to travel around the world and experience new things. Including my trip to Bali and Thailand, I’ve travelled to 15 new countries since my separation/divorce and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Bali will always hold a very special place in my heart, I hope to go back in the near future and spend even more time exploring the island and it’s beautiful culture.

I’ll be writing a blog series soon about travel tips and tricks for Bali, so stay tuned!

Change is good…

I’m not the best when it comes to keeping up with a blog.

I could blame it on a multitude of reasons, but I won’t.

But it’s time for a change, and change is good.

The past trip I took to Europe changed me. It changed my outlook on life and what I want out of this time I have left here on this planet. I realized that because this wasn’t a work trip (most of the trips I had done the past year had been “work/sponsored trips”) I was able to really do what I wanted and experience the countries I was visiting on my terms and timeline, so I was able to do quite a bit of self reflection.

Going into this trip a lot had changed with my life, the day before I left I received my final divorce certificate and I was promoted at work to management. I was too excited for my holiday to really put much thought into either of those things or really care. But in Rome a few days into my trip, whilst drinking wine and enjoying freshly baked focaccia overlooking the Colosseum it hit me, I was free.

I built this life myself, from scratch and I was free.

I’m pretty damn happy with where I’ve come from. I don’t look at myself as a divorcee anymore, not that it’s a bad thing that I am divorced, but that doesn’t define who I am. Yes, I went through a shitty divorce, but I’m happier as I came out of a really shitty marriage with someone who truly didn’t value who I was. My friends tell me I’m way to positive for someone who went through what I did, but it’s my positivity that got me through it. It’s positive thinking and gratitude that pushed me forward.

So I’ve decided to change the name of my blog. It’s no longer “Wanderlust Journey of a Divorcee”, but now just “Wanderlust Journey”. It speaks to who I am. I’ve always had a wanderlust soul, but am only now truly tapping into it. I read books just to learn something new, I travel to experience other ways of life. This is what my soul yearns for and what makes me truly happy. Home to me is just a feeling, it’s not a place. I could be at home anywhere in the world, Italy showed that to me. Yes I have an apartment, but I don’t crave to put down roots. From the moment I arrived back the thought of “where to next?” entered my mind. I can’t wait to see what adventures await me in the near future and I’m looking forward to sharing past journeys and experiences more regularly.

 

A New Year, A New Outlook

Already the first week of the new year has passed. It’s been an emotional Holiday season, and I’m thankful it’s over. You see, I signed my final divorce papers on December 19th. In lots of ways it was a day of relief, but the days following, I’m not going to lie were difficult. So many friends were with family and their spouses or boyfriends. I was, well, alone.

Being alone hasn’t really bothered me this past year. I’ve been busy, focusing on my career and moving forward with my life. But I realized over Christmas that I am having that feeling of missing companionship. We all have the need and want to be loved and cherished by someone. Friends and family help stave that feeling, but only to an extent. I’ve worked hard on myself. I’ve worked hard to have my own personal mission statement so to speak. I know what I want in life and what I don’t want, and I know I won’t ever settle. I’ve had time to work on these issues and know and trust myself. I don’t need anyone to make me whole, I already am. However I am ready for someone to complement my life.

So I’m beginning this year being open. Open to finding love and new opportunities. I know it’s not going to be easy. I know it’s going to take someone really special and patient to become my partner. I’m not looking for marriage. I think I’ve said it before in another post, I don’t believe in marriage anymore. However I do believe in partnership and commitments.

We will see what this year brings. I know I will continue to travel, I made a big decision over the Holidays that I will be doing another bucket list trip. Actually one I wanted to do with my then husband. I’m going to be spending my birthday in Italy. I’ve booked a three week adventure which includes an 11 day (round trip Rome) Mediterranean cruise (visiting Italy, Greece and Malta), then spending time in Milan, doing a few days trips from there with an epic finale of attending the Italian Grand Prix in Monza before departing back home.

I will never stop growing as a person. This is my first year that I am not doing resolutions. Even growing up a Jehovah’s Witness I still secretly made resolutions, even though I wasn’t supposed to. Having resolutions are good, having goals is healthy, but I hardly ever completed them. This year I simply want to work on living a creative and mindful life. Really living a life of “wanderlust”, being happy and paying it forward whenever I can.

So I started this year with a hope that this year is again a good year. I have dreams and goals that I hope get fulfilled, both personal and in my career.

Cheers, to 2017.

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I’m alone, and that’s ok…

For many women, being alone at 31 is scary.

We all grew up with Mothers, Grandmothers, other women of influence and basically society telling us if we weren’t married and had a family by 30 we were failing at life. Well I was married at 18, and let me tell you, I’m so glad I’m single now.

I was reading a book by Kelly Cutrone recently, one of the many things she wrote really resonated me was this: “Between the ages of 15 and 32, don’t worry about getting married, don’t worry about settling down, don’t worry about having a baby, give birth to yourself”.

This quote goes against everything I was raised with. But it made sense. I wasn’t ready to get married when I did. I was part of a religion (Jehovah’s Witnesses) that pushed that you needed to get married to have sex as God frowned upon sex before marriage, blah, blah, blah. Not to mention that men are the head of your household and you can’t go against your husband (yes, I had to call him from the grocery store is there was anything else I needed, I couldn’t just buy it or I’d get in trouble when I got home). My marriage was doomed when it started. Looking back I firmly believe that. The cherry on the cake is that I was given a stern talking to that I needed to be a good Christian wife and take back my cheating husband, with his son that he has with the woman he cheated on me with, I needed to look past it and accept it. Yeah right!

The past two years of my life have really been my own rebirth, a therapist once told me right after my separation I was experiencing a delayed adolescence.

Milestones I should have had much earlier in life, I’ve only just recently been experiencing. My first apartment, really travelling and experiencing this world, creating contingent-free friendships that are not based on “if I’m a good Jehovah’s Witness or not”, and just dating in general.

The point is, it might be late, but better late than never. Truth is, I’m happier than ever.

I went through a really crappy ten years of my life, the death of my father, the infidelity and abuse from my husband. When everything did finally come crashing down, I got depressed, really depressed. I thank my Aunt and my Grandmother especially for being there for me. I also thank my friends too, everyday going through this divorce is hard. It’s sometimes really hard. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

My happiness now depends on me, no one else. I realize that now. I don’t have time for relationships that don’t bring me peace or happiness. I’ve learned not to settle. Life is not about settling. It’s about ebbs and flows and about contributing to that peace we want to see in this world.

Will I ever have a family of my own, probably not. I think that ship has sailed. I’ll never be a mother, but that’s okay with me.

Everyone tells me “I’ll meet the right guy at the right time”, “never give up hope on getting married again”. The thing is we live in a throwaway generation. Our computer breaks down, easier just to go out and get a new one. Kind of my current thoughts and feelings towards relationships. Most people nowadays just throw out time and energies invested because it’s work. That’s what successful relationship are though, work. Just like any job, work is work, it’s not called fun. Finding someone who wants a partner is not easy in this world. Maybe one day I’ll find that special someone, but I won’t be getting married. I think marriage is overrated. It’s a piece of paper that can hold one of you hostage if it ever ends. Would I consider a “commitment ceremony”, probably. Just no marriage certificate. Love is supposed to have no bounds right?

My true love right now? Travel.

I’m so happy that I found a job I truly love and can’t wait to see where this career takes me.

I know this blog post got really personal, but hopefully it gives you an insight of where I want to take this blog I’ve set up. Again from Kelly Cutrone, I’ll end with this quote “I hope that you, too, will choose to have a journey instead of just a life. Actually, I hope it’s a full on expedition.”

 

I hit a wall…

So I hit a wall the other day.

An emotional, hard, brick wall…

I’ve been reading a lot of books recently, cheap way to occupy time really, but when I was reading “Eat, Pray, Love Made Me Do It” the other day, I fell apart. Found myself crying and really feeling emotions I haven’t felt in a few months.

Maybe because for so long I wasn’t honest with myself. I actually do like being divorced.

Yes, I said it, I like being divorced.

Now my divorce really isn’t final in any sense of the word, we technically are still married. My ex has gone on with his life pretty well, leaving me out in the cold. He’s been living with with his girlfriend for over a year and they just had a baby. Really in so many ways my life feels like it’s the twisted script of some movie, and I was waiting to find out if there really was a happy ending in it for me. I didn’t realize it, but there is. Hence the wall. It all just finally, clicked. I’m doing things and planning things that I always wanted to do but could never do them because I was married. He was holding me back. I wanted to travel, he convienently became scared of flying. So I’m doing what I love, and it’s making me happy. I get the odd message or phone call even to this day saying he’s got his own problems and that he’s sorry. He wishes things were different and he misses me, he misses our home. I know he hasn’t found his happily ever after, I’m not sure if he really ever will because of what he did to us. Yes there are times where I miss the companionship of a relationship. I still feel stress of a job, struggling to pay my bills, I’ve got nobody’s shoulder to cry on. But if I’m honest, I’ve never had to deal with these issues on my own either. I’ve always had my parents or my husband. There was no in-between period for me because of the religion I was raised in.

A therapist once told me I suffered from a delayed adolescence. I totally agree. In lots of ways I think that’s one of the biggest reasons I wasn’t ready to have kids. I was still trying to find out who I was, finding myself outside of a religion who for so long made me a stereotype. I was going to grow up, listen to my husband who was the head of the house and have children. Once we left, there was a big new world and I wanted to find my place in it.

I’ll probably never have children, and that’s okay. I gave everything I had into a relationship of 10 years and really got nothing out of it. I just lost myself. Maybe it was never the universe’s plan for me to have kids, maybe I was just meant to try to live my own life peacefully. I guess time will tell. My ex tells me I’ll meet someone and have a family of my own, but I know he’s wrong. I have trust issues, I see the number of broken families out there and I certainly don’t want the type of relationship he has right now. Will I ever get married again? Probably not. I honestly don’t see the value in it. Maybe that’s me talking from a guarded perspective, but right now it’s my truth.

A saying that hit me hard was “finding your true north”. Something that I had never done. The last few months since my trip to Bali and Thailand, I’ve been celebrating me. Working on me. The tattoo that I got in Thailand was a symbol of that and so much more, so why stop? My next trip I’ve decided is to Everest Base Camp. Yes, trekking to Everest Base Camp. Not some beach vacation.. Noooo! A sweaty, back and feet breaking, probably life altering vacation. I guess that’s just who I am.

And I have to say, I’m pretty damn proud of who I’ve become.

The Soul Healing Side of Tattoos

While I was away in Thailand, I did something I thought I would probably never do.

I got a tattoo.

Nope, I wasn’t drunk, high or anything for all of you wondering, this is not a story like “The Hangover 2” either.

I was fully aware of what I was doing, had’t had a drop to drink that day and I don’t do drugs (they really are bad for you kids!). I had an idea of what I wanted earlier in the year. If I wanted a tattoo, I was going to get two glyphs melded into one.

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So with this glyph chart I found (I honestly can’t remember where, I just saved it to my iPhone), I fell in love with the two meanings that really hit me last year (2015). The glyph for Explore and the glyph for Transform. That summed up so many things in my life. I was exploring a whole new me, process of living, experiencing new places, exploring life. I was also transforming, transforming into a strong, skinnier (ha! I’m adding it cause it’s true), independent woman. The two together made even more sense. It was like it was made for me. The two glyphs once melded into one look like a snow capped mountain. I’m a mountain girl at heart, what can I say. I was miserable when I was pulled from my home, I gained even more weight and missed the mountains everyday. That was a few issues, I get that, but I now have a reminder about my strength and that I am my own mountain.

While I was on Ko Phi Phi in Thailand, I saw all these amazing tattoo artists, I would stand there and watch a few of them at work, not with a tattoo gun, but with the traditional method of tattooing, bamboo. I went home that night and did a bunch of research and asked around who was the best on the island. I heard a couple time that Coral Ink Tattoo did the bamboo tattoos and they were clean and very good. So off I went, they are on the other side of Ko Phi Phi from the pier, down the street to get to one of the beach clubs. They really were amazing. My bamboo tattoo only cost me 1000 Thai Baht and the process, like I had read was actually completely painless. I was shocked. It didn’t hurt. Now mine was simple and small, and I’ve been told that shading can be painful, but if you are reading reviews of bamboo tattoos, mine didn’t hurt.

I guess this is where I really saw how a tattoo can really heal a soul. There is something magical about getting my tattoo on Ko Phi Phi, it was a beautiful place. The bamboo aspect brought in the more traditional way of how tattoos are done, so I had an appreciation for that as well. Every time I look at my wrist, I feel power, energy. I never had that before. To me, my tattoo symbolizes so much. It has helped me heal from my past, I truly am my own mountain. I think that’s maybe what more people should do when they tattoo. For it to be a soulful healer, it needs to come from the heart and have deep meaning to you. For most of my friends that have them, it’s what they’ve done as well. The only problem now is the want to get another. They say that once you get one, you are hooked. I’m beginning to think they are right…

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New Year, Fresh Start

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Lots going on with this new year now here.

2015 came and went. 2016 looks promising and positive.

I accomplished so much in 2015, a messy separation, weight loss goals, worked hard on myself and of course, healing.

I went on an amazing adventure to Bali and Thailand for just over a month in November/December (blog posts coming this week I promise!), and while there really connected with who I am and where I want to be in life.

Thanks for sharing this journey with me. Divorce is messy, emotional and confusing. Writing has always been a great outlet for me.

I can’t wait to share all the good things that I have planned in 2016, it’s going to be a great year!

Change

Today was a day of change.

In some ways it was quite emotional. Being married for 10 years and being known as something has it’s identity issues. But in a way that’s not who I am anymore, especially with what’s transpired this year. I feel a stronger bond to my maiden name now more than ever. I feel like reverting back to my maiden name is genuinely me, restarting, fresh.

It was a pretty easy process contrary to what some think.

I’m still not divorced, so no decree of divorce, or needing to get a name change signed by a judge. I took my birth certificate, marriage certificate and an old passport I had issued with my maiden name to the drivers licensing office and the process took about the same time as a regular renewal. There were no issues whatsoever. I did the same with a few other things (updated my SIN, a few reward cards I use frequently, etc), again, a very simple process.

Now because of my trip, I’m not changing my name on everything quite yet.

Airline tickets, my Contiki tour and a few other things were booked in my married name and of course cannot be changed. So this means until I return from my trip, my passport, credit cards and a few other things will remain in my married name.

Every day that goes by, I truly am opening my heart and mind to what the universe has in store for me. Every day that goes by I see the beauty and chance I’ve been given at a new happier life. Change is painful and beautiful at the same time. Sometimes we just need to trust the process and embrace change.