Category: wellness

What does it mean to ‘become’?

What does it mean to ‘become’?

‘Becoming’ can be a joyful process it can also be an arduous journey where we can become discouraged and disillusioned.

Often at the point when we break down we are actually breaking through and ‘becoming’ who and all we can be.

This one is going to break me.”

Her voice was heavy and flat.

She’d fallen into a dark hole.

She didn’t have the energy to climb out.

She was a truly remarkable woman. Endlessly positive and hopeful, able to extract humour from any situation, a survivor who had come through experiences that would have flattened the toughest of us. Her ability to rebound and embrace each as an opportunity to grow and evolve was truly inspirational.  But this time seemed different, she was tired and exhausted her reserves depleted.

I thought back to a conversation we’d had years ago. I’d taken her words to heart, “every experience is a gift bringing us closer to our fully evolved selves. All our planned and unplanned experiences, conscious and unconscious thoughts bringing us closer to ‘becoming’ who we are created to be”.

Feeling broken can often be the turning point on the path to becoming.

Her words got me through so many tough times. I saw gifts I hadn’t seen before. I learned to be grateful for the good and the not so good, to consciously choose my thoughts and replace negative with positive, to be at peace with the fact that my highest good was not something I could control and was often in the hands of a power greater than myself.

I came to see ‘becoming’ as the highly individualized process it is and to not be afraid of the times when I felt like I was broken beyond repair.

Becoming is different for each of us.

In her case ‘becoming’ involved working through extremely challenging life experiences, in my case learning to manage disabling anxiety. These are all small challenges she would say.

Sometimes we can’t see the road ahead.

“It’s not supposed to be easy,” she’d say, “it’s not a smooth straight line this path to ‘becoming’ it’s fraught with bumps, cervices, tsunamis, roadblocks, detours…… BUT with a bit of perspective we can always look back and see how they were necessary to move closer to ourselves”. This was the  ‘gift’ that she often referred to.

This time she needed to be reminded of what she so deeply understood.

I found it in the writing of John Roedel, an America writer who frequently publishes his conversations with God. He has some pretty profound chats, all characterized by his amazing wit.

His exchange on ‘becoming’ was exactly the message my friend needed. The one we all need when we lose hope, feel worthless or broken. The perspective shift that puts everything in place and allows us to move forward revitalized, grateful and full of hope.

To get back on the path to ‘becoming’ we need the right message at the right time. This one did it for my friend. It did it for me. I hope it does the same for you.


Me: Hey God.

God: Hello, my love.

Me: I’m falling apart.

Can you put me back together?

God: I would rather not.

Me: Why?

God: Because you aren’t a puzzle.

Me: What about all of the pieces of my life that are falling down onto the ground?

God: Let them stay there for a while.  They fell off for a reason.

Take some time and decide if you need any of those pieces back.

Me: You don’t understand!  I’m breaking down!

God: No – you don’t understand.

You are breaking through.

What you are feeling are just growing pains.

You are shedding the things and the people in your life that are holding you back.

You aren’t falling apart.

You are falling into place.


Take some deep breaths and allow those things you don’t need any more to fall off of you.

Quit holding onto the pieces that don’t fit you anymore.

Let them fall off.

Let them go.

Me: Once I start doing that, what will be left of me?

God: Only the very best pieces of you.

Me: I’m scared of changing.

God: I keep telling you – YOU AREN’T CHANGING!! YOU ARE BECOMING!

Me: Becoming who?

God: Becoming who I created you to be!

A person of light and love and charity and hope and courage and joy and mercy and grace and compassion.

I made you for more than the shallow pieces you have decided to adorn yourself with that you cling to with such greed and fear.

Let those things fall off of you.

I love you! Don’t change! Become!  Become! Become!

Become who I made you to be.

I’m going to keep telling you this until you remember it.

Me: There goes another piece.

God: Yep. Let it be.

Me: So… I’m not broken?

God: No – but you are breaking like the dawn.  It’s a new day.  Become!! Become!!

Fall in love with the process of becoming the best version of You

May you take these words to heart and go forth on this day and every day thereafter embracing the process of becoming all you were created to be my beautiful friend.

Becoming reveals the best version of You .

Make Oh My Word your partner in Becoming

Use your Oh My Word journal to ‘become’. Every day choose a one-word intention that represents who you want to be, how you want to feel or a quality you want to being into your life. Follow the Daily Ritual. Your subconscious will look for ways to make it concrete. On your way.

Wrapping you in love,

Cheryl x

Don’t have an Oh My Word journal?

You can get it here.

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Book Depository UK

Paperback is now available at all online bookstores:)

Your new normal – A joyful, mindful, balanced life

Your new normal – A joyful, mindful, balanced life

While summer isn’t usually the time when we think of fresh starts, this year the change of season comes in the midst of a big change in our lives – reentry into the world.

A joyful, mindful, balanced life

While some of us are gleefully running towards freedom and planning trips, get-togethers, celebrations and coffee dates the rest of us are choosing to hang back and approach reentry with slowness and caution.

Embracing celebrations
Hanging back

Whatever style we choose we won’t be ‘finding’ our ‘new normal’ but ‘creating’ it, in a way and at a pace we’re individually comfortable with. Our methods may differ but we share a common goal – a  joyful, mindful, balanced life.

Take stock

I recently read an analogy of the new normal being akin to moving out of your home for a time and then moving back in with all your stuff. Do you still like the house? Does it meet your needs? Does the furniture fit?  Have you outgrown it or is it time to downsize? Is it in need of a little update or a whole top to bottom reno?

This ‘new normal’ can be a bit daunting. What will yours look like?

If the whole thing is a bit overwhelming, try asking yourself a few questions.

What’s important to me now?

What feels good?

What did I learn in the last year?

What do I want to leave behind and what will I take forward?

Place these things in the center and live with them for a while before you make any changes.

You can delve deeper with questions like these:

Who am I now?

What do I want?

What am I longing for?

You might not know all the answers. Start with what you do know.

Write it down

This conveys the energy of your thoughts into something tangible, setting things in motion. Often when you see your ideas in print, you’re able to easily expand on them. Try a stream-of- conscious journaling (put pen to paper and capture thoughts). The best part of this style of journaling is that you don’t have to make sense of the random thoughts or even write so it can be reread, the purpose is simply to get it out of your head. You instantly feel lighter and it’s surprising what sticks with you long after you’re finished.

Make a vision board that represents your new normal

These are so cool, and they work! You can make one on card stock, poster board or any firm board material. You can also do it on the computer, but I’ve always liked the tactile approach.  Flip thru magazines or search online for images, words, phrases, quotes that represent how you want your life to look and feel. Cut them out. Glue on your board. Be creative and add doodles, paint, symbols. Put it away. Let it manifest. I always forget about mine and then sometime later I stumble on it and without fail the images and feelings expressed on the board are now in my life. Here’s how to make one.

A word a day

Choose a word every day that represents how you want to feel or who you want to be.  Draw, print, write or doodle it on the page. Colour it. Is there a specific quality that you want to be reflected in your new normal? Choose the same word day after day until you know it is a part of you and then move on to another word. I’ve been doing this for 8 years it began as ‘heart doodles’ before it ever became Oh My Word 5 minute daily journal.

Bravely moving forward

The more we give ourselves permission to set our own pace, to trust our own inner guide and to bravely move towards what is meaningful to us, the more we create a world where that is the ‘norm’.

May your new normal, be one that nurtures a joyful, mindful, balanced life and is anchored by what is meaningful to You.

Moving Forward With Intention

Moving Forward With Intention

We’re at a place we’ve never been before – the end of life as we knew it and the beginning of the life we create.

A new normal is on the horizon.  It was a necessary reset in a world that was spinning out of control but who could imagine a global pandemic affecting 7.7 billion people would trigger the shift.

Certain times in life have the power to shake us at our very core. This was one of them.

While the last year has been a time of despair, loss, grief and heartbreak it has also been an ‘awakening’ as we saw who we really were navigating one the toughest times of our lives.

A cataclysmic event

Cataclysmic life events give us a window to look at our lives in new ways. It’s like we’ve been put on a conveyor belt to a transformation. Not one of us are the same people we were a year ago.

How have you grown and changed? How have your values and priorities shifted?

Here’s what a few people I’ve recently talked to said:

“I know I’m becoming someone different. Focusing on the big picture instead of being caught up in small details. I’m thinking of how I can make my life more complete and what is the legacy I will leave behind.”

“I made my life complex. I thought that made it meaningful and me ‘successful’. I’m now paring everything down to its essence. I didn’t know there was such joy in simplicity.”

“I need so much less than I thought I did.”

“I now know what it is to live in the present. The control I thought I had was an illusion. I’m learning to let go and trust.”  

“I’m learning how to be happy.”

“I’m learning the difference between living and being truly alive.”

What a difference a pandemic makes.

The big question is how do we go forward?

This will be different for all of us. From my work with educators and organizations I learned that asking a good question can spark the thought that plants the seed that provides understanding and prompts action.  A new perspective to view ourselves and the world, clarify, simplify and guide our first step and every one thereafter.

Thought provoking questions provide path going forward.

The reflection process is just beginning. Take a look at the questions below. Ponder the ones that jump out to you. Some thoughts will come to mind right away, others will take time and need to percolate and simmer. When a thought/idea is fully formed you’ll have an A-HA moment and be able to move forward with ease and grace.

The beginning of the new life you create. One question at a time.

Who am I becoming?

How have I transformed in the last year?

How can I use this experience that has dramatically impacted me?

What are my inner needs?

List 3 values that have shifted.

List 3 priorities that have changed.

What is one positive change you have made during the pandemic?

What do I now believe about myself?

What is the biggest thing learned about myself?

Once you have clarity turn understanding into intention.

“Ever intention is a trigger for transformation. Intention compressed into words enfold magical power.” Deepak Chopra

An intention is like planting a seed for the qualities you aspire for in your life. Once you plant a seed you don’t know how it will grow but you trust that with care and attention it will grow into something beautiful and that it will manifest in your life through your attention, thoughts, and actions. Anchored in this you can move forward with clarity, energy and purpose.

Choosing intentions

What words support what you now know about yourself – who you are, what you want, how you want to live?

Every morning choose a one word intention to support your desires. Complete the sentence Today I choose to_____.

Making sure the word is in its active form.

Draw, print, write or doodle it n the page. Colour it.

With an intention chosen every morning you have moved forward and the new life you create is beginning.

Wrapping you in love,

Cheryl x

Don’t have an Oh, My Word journal yet?  You can get yours here.


OH MY WORD Journal – choose the thoughts you want to think.

Barnes & Noble


Book Depository UK

Paperback is now available at all online bookstores:)


How to Create Feel Good Thoughts

How to Create Feel Good Thoughts

You can create feel-good thoughts. Thoughts that actually rewire your brain and flood your body with  feel good chemicals.

Here’s something to think about. Every time you have a thought – and it’s estimated that between 60,000 – 70,000 thoughts ricochet through your mind every day – your brain pumps out chemicals that reflect the way the thought makes you feel.

It happens instantaneously.

If you have a sad, overwhelming, or hopeless thought your brain pumps out a dose of chemicals that correspond to that thought and make you feel not so good. On the other hand, if you have a happy, loving or encouraging thought your brain gives you a blissful hit of feel-good chemicals.

So, it seems if YOU want to feel good, you should consciously fill your head with good, hopeful thoughts. Easier said than done.  Most of us have little or no control over our thoughts, they just seem to ‘pop’ in and out automatically. Some ‘pop’ in over and over and become the loudest voices in our heads.

Same old, same old

The irony is that most of these loud thoughts are often the same ones we had yesterday and the day before that and the day before that. These habitual thoughts tend to be overwhelmingly……negative. They move in, take over and steal our joy. The worst part is that these thoughts are forceful and repetitive and they’re actually (re)wiring our brain.  The cycle of negative persistent thought continues.

Ask yourself this…. Would I want me as a friend?

Isn’t it interesting that few of us enjoy the company of people who are negative? Yet many of us tolerate this self-limiting babble that goes on within our own minds?

We become immune.

We become so used to the stream of negative and critical thoughts that we are often unaware of the impact in our lives. It’s when we start paying careful attention to our thoughts that we’re surprised at the persistent negativity we find in there.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

You don’t have to suffer from anxiety as I did for most of my life to know how trapped you can become by your own negative thoughts. How they can color every minute of every day. Not to mention how they can change you into someone you’re not. My thoughts were like a forceful dictator forcing me to fall in line and keeping me trapped in loops of negativity. That was until I could break them. Therein lies the problem. Those thoughts hang on with a tenacity that is i-n-t-e-n-s-e. Breaking the loops was beyond difficult. I tried all the tradition approaches therapy, exercise, affirmations, journaling, meditation I wandered into the alternative with chanting, humming, sound therapy all with limited success. It wasn’t until I accidentally stumbled on the journaling method in OH MY Word that I found the catalyst for gaining control of my thoughts, and then my life.

The Happy Accident

I was writing quotes I found meaningful on index cards and tacking them up on my bulletin board. One day instead of the writing the quote I wrote the word from the quote that resonated with me the word was JOY. Oh, how I wanted joy in my life. It’s the thing that anxiety and persistent negative thought wrestles from you. After I’d written JOY on my card I coloured and glittered it within an inch of its life! It felt good. BUT the interesting thing was as the day went on JOY came back to me over and over and each time, I felt all those good feeling all over again. A few days later I tried it again with a different word and had the same experience. A simple process (considering what I’d tried) and yet it seemed to allow me to choose the thought I wanted to think and feel good.

This was my card from 8 years ago. Yes! It’s been that long.

I won’t go into the rest of the story but suffice to say I started choosing how I wanted to feel and choose an intention every day and over time I slowly changed into the person I wanted to be thinking the thoughts I wanted to think. I finally had a tool to manage my anxiety and the negative thought that held me hostage.

Even if you have never identified as having anxiety this past year has challenged the mental health of all of us. Thoughts of despair, hopelessness, fear, worry have strong armed their way in and overwhelmed the most positive of thoughts.  Some of us were dealing with a generalized negative feelings and stress for the first time.

But remember they are just thoughts and thoughts can be changed.

We can consciously choose the thought, we want to think and initiate a process that allows us to create what scientist call a ‘thought interruption’ whereby we replace negative thoughts with positive empowering ones.

Spring clean your thoughts

It takes 5 minutes.

Do it in the morning to set the tone for my whole day.

Get quiet.

Ask yourself one of these questions. How do I want to feel? What quality do I need today? Who do I want to be?

Don’t over think this. Simply wait for the word. Accept the first one that comes to mind.

Draw, print, write or doodle it on the page and colour it.

Done. Carry on with your day.

You’ll be reminded of your word as the day goes on. You’ll see it. Feel the feeling associated with it. And with a little bit of practice, you’ll be seeing evidence of your word in your day.

Spring Cleaning

Think of this as a spring cleaning of your thoughts.  A refresh so to speak.

Sweeping old negative habitual thoughts out and replacing them with thoughts you want to think.

One word at a time.

Happy spring.

May it be a time of awaking, renewal, rebirth a blossoming of new thought and new life.

Cheryl x

If you don’t have an Oh My Word journal yet you can get one here.

Don’t have an Oh, My Word journal yet?  You can get yours here.


OH MY WORD Journal – choose the thoughts you want to think.

Barnes & Noble


Book Depository UK

Paperback is now available at all online bookstores:)

Tapping Your Superpowers

Tapping Your Superpowers

I’ve always believed in the superpowers we all have inside. Once tapped we can uncork our unbounded selves, live with joy and build a better world for everyone.

While we each have superpowers unique to us, we do share some common ones.

The Power of Choice + Intention

One of the greatest universal superpowers is choice. We all have the ability to choose who we will be in a given moment. We can choose to be intentional or reactive. An intention is a clear signal, and it represents the result we want. When we merge our superpower of choice with intention, we power the thoughts we think and the actions we take; they shape our lives.

“Every intention is a trigger for transformation.”  Deepak Chopra

When I first developed OH MY WORD journaling as a tool to help manage my anxiety, I was amazed that not only did I feel good, but that I could choose a one-word intention, draw and colour it on the page and then continue to ‘see’ and ‘feel’ it as the day unfolded. I was constantly reminded of what I’d chosen and how it felt to ‘be’ that.  I would even see evidence of my daily intention reflected in the experiences of the day. My life began to change.

Drawing and colouring my one word intention reminded me what it felt like to play, it opened my heart.

“Intentions compressed into words enfold magical power.” Deepak Chopra

Some kind of magic was happening here. How could a word on a page translate into my reality day after day and time after time? It was exciting if not a bit baffling. I diligently carried on, never missing a day, thinking if I did I might jinx it or my run of good ‘luck’ would be broken.

I didn’t need to worry because over time I came to understand the ‘magic’ was the marriage of 2 universal superpowers choice + intention. What they produced could be explained by science.

The Magic Explained

Every morning as I chose my intention and then made it tangible by drawing and colouring it, physiological changes were taking place.

My intention was chosen in my mind. Once I put it on the page, it moved from my intellect into my emotions. In this place everything changed, and the ‘magic’ happened. My body chemistry altered, I started to produce dopamine and serotonin, the magnetic field around me changed and most importantly I signaled my subconscious that I already had my intention, so my conscious mind went to work looking for opportunities, choices and actions to make it concrete. That’s why my intentions became my reality.

It Was So Simple

It was such a simple exercise considering all the activities and practices I’d tried over the years trying to manage my ever-present anxiety and become the person I was struggling to be.  I remembered the hundreds of affirmations I’d repeated or left for myself on bathroom mirrors, the workbooks I’d completed, the goals I had carefully and thoughtfully mapped out, the journals I’d filled with a flow of the conscious jumbled thoughts that were running my life. It all came down to tapping my superpowers of choice + intention and then spending few minutes putting the chosen intention on the page moving the thought from my head to my heart.

Developing Superpowers

This practice allowed me to cultivate and develop the superpowers that represented the person I wanted to be. The Powers of forgiveness, love, perseverance, resiliency, trust, empathy, compassion, creativity. I’m still developing superpowers, I do it every morning when I ask myself, Who do you want to be?

“The secret to changing your life is your intentions.  Wishing, hoping and goal setting cannot accomplish change without intention. What is needed is a shift from the inert energy of ‘wanting’ to the active energy of doing and intention.” Wayne Dyer

It’s really that simple.

If you don’t have an OH MY WORD journal you can get one here:

Barnes & Noble


Book Depository UK

Paperback is now available at all online bookstores.

The Winter of Joy and Renewal

The Winter of Joy and Renewal

“People in Alaska run to the windows and cheer when it snows!”

I could see the joy on my daughter’s face as she related what she’d seen.  She was a 3rd year medical student spending 4 weeks at a regional hospital in Anchorage. The people with their noses pressed to the glass were hospital staff and patients.

“Why is everyone so happy?” she asked.

“Because when it snows it means we can get outside and play!”

She laughed.

“In Vancouver, BC where I grew up people groan when they see snow, they think about having to shovel their walks, unbury their cars and the hazardous condition of the roads. Unless they’re heading to the ski hills, a big snowfall is viewed as a nuisance.”

But here in Anchorage, Alaska it was cause for celebration; it set everything aglitter and life opened up.

A different set of ‘lenses’ saw the snow in a completely different way.

New Lenses

Her story reminded me of this past year. In 2020 were all given a new set of lenses with which to view the world. While these lenses saw heartbreak, they also brought many wonderful things into sharp focus.

Joy in Small Things

Almost everyone I talk to (myself included) was surprised by the joy they found in small things. Things that hadn’t been noticed before or dismissed as nothing special. Suddenly viewed from these lenses they were magic.


Have you heard of the Danish word hygge? It’s not a word so much as a concept or way of being. Not translatable into English, it is essentially a coziness that evokes a feeling of contentment and joy. Hygge is a big, overstuffed chair, a weighted blanket and a good book. It’s drinking cocoa by a crackling fire and cuddling a pet or loved one, it’s the sun sparkling through the trees, new bursts of growth, a smiling face, having coffee with a friend socially distanced on a blanket in a park, watching a lazy turtle on a pond, a surprise phone call from a friend, the smell of baking wafting through the kitchen, the crunch of  the sourdough crust as the first cut is made, the dance of a candle flame. The joy button is pushed, and feelings of contentment warm the body and spirit.

Wintering provides access to Joy

I’m not going to endure the winter like I do year after year, I’m going to use it to rest rejuvenate and reflect. This winter I’m going to give myself full access to joy.

As we celebrate the new year and enter the winter season let’s look at it as British author Katherine May does. She released a book last year called – Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times, and it’s a wonderful read. Wintering, according to May is not just a time of year. Everyone has their own personal winters, or seasons of difficulty in which we must nurture ourselves and our souls to come out better than we were upon entering them. Sometimes winters are in the summer. Other times, like last year, they begin in March and last for an unforeseeable length of time. Winters like those May speaks of are a time to welcome our hardships (they’re coming for us regardless, but embracing the cold makes them hurt a little bit less) and give ourselves the time and space we need to get to the other side.

In Wintering, May talks about the magical transformation trees in northern climates undergo: “the changes that take place in winter are a kind of alchemy, an enchantment performed by ordinary creatures to survive.”

Is it magic? No. It’s nature, it’s joy and it’s in you and it’s in me.

I received a holiday card in December, “kindness is like snow” it read, “it beautifies everything it covers.” This quote by Kahlil Gibran – accompanied by a man in a crown holding a robin while a goose and a fox have tea in the foreground-is the kind of specific beauty you can only find this time of year.

I intend to bask in it and let the cold, now and the darkness magnify the beauty all around me.

Start everyday with joy in your heart

Take a moment every morning to activate your joy center. Ask yourself – how I want to feel?  Take a deep breath and wait for the word to come into your consciousness. Once it does draw, write, print or doodle it on the the page in your OH MY WORD journal. Channel your inner 6-year old, colour it and make it beautiful.  You’ll feel the joy starting to bubble from within.

You have selected the lenses you will wear today. All your experiences and thoughts will be seen through these.

Have a joyful day.

Cheryl x

Don’t have an OH MY WORD journal yet? You can get one here.

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Please share with anyone you know who needs more Joy.


Maintain The Cheerful Vibe This Winter

Maintain The Cheerful Vibe This Winter


Knowing the months ahead will be a challenge to everyone’s mental health I’m proactively creating a plan to stay cheerful! I want to manage anxiety, stay cheerful and radiate vibrant health.

Here’s the list I’ve compiled. If you’re like me you’ll need a few strategies, that work together to make this a winter filled with peace and joy.


  1. Revisit your best TEACHERS. Dig out books, quotes, figures or songs that you treasure most. Take the time to immerse yourself in the ideas that re-orient you to your joy center.
  2. Plant bulbs indoors. Watching new growth poke through the ground ignites cheer. Paper whites planted now will be full height during the holiday season. Crocuses, hyacinths will come next and then daffodils and tulips.
  3. Permission to REST. The rested version of ourselves is more able to stay cheerful than the version that’s sluggish or in survival mode. Give yourself permission to snuggle in, get toasty warm and take a break during the day, read a few pages of a book or have a little cat nap.
  4. Make a JOY list. Big small, logical or not, make a list of experiences that bring you joy. Include as many small things as you can and include a few of them in your plans for the day or week. Joy can have a real effect on our brain chemistry, fueling and strengthening us more than we know.
  5. Choose your WORDS. Regardless of where you are but especially in the throes of any big life struggle, take a pause and ask yourself – What qualities do I need most right now? Write them down. Address them one at a time. Each morning engage in the OH MY WORD daily ritual by drawing and colouring the chosen word on your daily page. The word will return to you throughout the day and be reflected in your experiences. Repeat the same word day after day until you feel it is a part of you before moving onto the next.
  6. Try ADAPTOGENS. These are a class of herbs and foods that help us achieve equilibrium in body and mind. A few common ones are rishi, maca, ashwagandha, and rhodiola. Do your research and start slowly.
  7. Gaze into a LIGHT THERAPY lamp. This may sound a little woo woo but it works! Turn the lamp on for 15 minutes in the morning and feel your mood lighten. You can actually feel yourself getting cheerier. It’s particularly good for people who suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder).
  8. Take a STEAMING BATH. I love this I fill the tub with hot water and lavender Epsom salts and a squeeze of bubble bath. I do it right before bed and then curl up like a happy, little kitten.
  9. Get a stack of FUNNY BOOKS and MOVIES. Keep the laugh muscle exercised.
  10. Light CANDLES. There’s something about candles that makes me… exhale….”aaaahhhh”. Have them flickering in the kitchen, bedroom, living room, dinner table.
  11. Engage in HOBBIES. Hobbies make us happy. They boost creativity and confidence. Having a hobby is a radical form of selflove and care because you are taking the time to engage in something you love. So, what interests you? Genealogy, pet fostering, crafting, puzzling, writing? Need ideas? Check out hobbies on Wikipedia there are over 600 to choose from!
  12. HOST a virtual group. Common interests bring us together, create a bond and give us a place to belong. Keep the group small and manageable so everyone will have a chance to contribute and get to know each other.
  13. JOIN virtual groups. Why not be a part of several groups that represent your interests? You stay connected and benefit from a sharing of thoughts and ideas with a diverse group of people.
  14. Make DATES. The single biggest predictor of human resilience is support from other people. Set up dates (phone, virtual or in person) with loved ones and friends. Establish your own covid19 safe pod or bubble so you can spend in person time with loving, supportive people.
  15. WALK…walk…walk. Walking has been a mental health lifeline for so many people during the pandemic. Keep it up all year. If you can brave the weather suit up, bundle up and connect your feet with the earth.
  16. Keep an OPEN MIND. Instead of looking ahead into the cold winter months with a sense of foreboding expect that winter will be a beautiful season. We attract into our lives what we think about.
  17. Remind yourself it’s NORMAL. If you have a not-so-good day remind yourself it’s perfectly normal. This acknowledgement will lessen any anxiety and allow the cheerful’s in. When I have an ‘ugh’ day I take deep breaths to reset and then open my OH MY WORD journal regardless of the time of day and draw and colour – LET GO. This goes a long way in releasing any negative energy.
  18. LIMIT news time. Too much news these days is just not good. Remember our thoughts create our reality so if we allow ourselves to be constantly consumed by news those news stories and the associated feelings will solely create the world in which we live. Find a balance of staying formed and being engaged in things you LOVE.
  19. Yoga, mindful mediation, deep breathing, journaling practices. All help maintain psychological equilibrium and restore cheer.
  20. Proactive CHEERFULNESS. Focus on what is going right in your life right now. Research has found that having a ratio of 3 positive things to every negative emotion helps people flourish. Grab on to the positives and hold onto them throughout day.
  21. Find JOY in what you have vs what you don’t. The tough stuff is meant to challenge us. It encourages us to develop new qualities and find new solutions and silver linings. We can seek to be cheerful in the face of adversity or we can succumb to the negativity around us. The choice is always…ours. This point was brought home in spades last summer when I was in India. I saw small communities of people (parents, children, adolescents, elders) living on the medians dividing traffic. They were always happy, the (beautiful) women crouched, engaged with each other; the kids laughing, playing; the elders working with their hands. The community buzzed with life. They weren’t thinking about what they didn’t have but what they did.

I hope you find some strategies on this list that resonate with you. Taking care of our mental health has never been more important than now.

Take care friends. Be healthy. Be well. Wishing you warm cheer and positive vibes.



Choose JOY

Choose JOY

“We cannot cure the world of sorrows. But we can choose to live in joy.”

Joseph Campbell

There is a lot of frustration and unease in the world right now. Fear and uncertainty are at an all time high. Many of us have lost the capacity to find joy and see the magic in being alive. After all a lot of us are just trying to make it through the day. We’re stuck in a struggle because we don’t have clarity and we can’t move forward because we don’t know what the future looks like.


These are exactly the times when we can’t forget about joy it steers us in the direction of understanding and connects us to who we truly are. I don’t know about you but I’m not waiting for joy to find me I’m taking the bull by the horns and choosing it. I’m on a mission to capture it and bring it into my life.

“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.”

Henri J. M. Nouwen

Choosing JOY


I’m creating JOY JOLTS for myself. These are sudden abrupt moments I give to myself that immediately spark joy, soothe my spirit and take me out of my head and into my heart.

Here’s some of the JOY JOLTS I’ve given to myself so far:
• Reread saved messages, cards and notes from loved ones and friends. Makes the heart swell instantly.
• Found pictures of myself as a kid full of excitement, wonder and awe and posted them. Enliven my spirit.
• Deleted all social media that doesn’t uplift.
• Replaced the regular news with good newscasts like these…

JOY JOLTS create instant joy.

JOY JOLTS that take a little more time

Heart opener

Oh…oh ….oh…I love these they feel so good. I include them in my yoga practice daily. If you aren’t into yoga you can still give yourself a heart opener. Place your hands on your heart and take a few deep breaths. Connect to your physical body and tune in to the thoughts and energy of your mind. Notice what’s going on up there. As you continue to breathe with your hands on your heart, allow your whole body to fill up with a sense of openness to your upcoming day. See yourself joyfully connected to your day. Even if there are things that feel overwhelming or intense, invite the energy of joy into those moments and see how it makes your body feel instead. Before you close out this ritual and begin the day, ask yourself “What is one self-loving act I will do for myself today?” or “What is one self-loving choice I will commit to for myself today?”

Noting what makes you joyful

Take out a pen and paper and write out the things that make you feel joyful. Anything and everything that you can come up with — write it down. When you feel complete, close your eyes and begin to slowly allow each of those ideas to enter into your body, almost like a visualization of the moment being present inside of you. Feel into the vibration you connect with when you recall these things. After a few moments, notice how you feel. Begin to breathe through those feeling of joy without any restrictions. Visualize yourself with joy inside of your whole body for the rest of your day or week. Ask to be shown what joy ‘looks like’ for you for the rest of the day. See yourself embodied in this place and let it settle into each cell of your body, mind and heart. Take this visualized feeling into the day with you and open up to that feeling with a deep breath at any moment to come back to your joy state.

Remembering joyful moments
What brings you joy?
The joy of children is contagious

Giving JOY

Perform one act of kindness during the day to give joy to someone else. Anything from a text message to someone you love letting them know that you appreciate them to holding the door open for someone qualifies here. Make an email introduction to two people who may be able to support one another’s work. Plant a small herb or give someone a plant. Make the simple effort to recycle or pick up a piece of trash on the street. All of these micro-moments can create a macro-impact on those around you and You!

Giving joy to friends

Make a JOY JAR

A Joy Jar is about noting, collecting and celebrating the joy in your life from the small moments to the big ones. Capturing and transferring them into a tangible form that can be seen and reviewed at any time. From a neurochemical standpoint celebrating ‘joys’ over and over provides a dopamine rush that makes us feel good all over again.

Celebrating unabashed JOY

Create JOY

Another way to joy is to ‘create’…when we aren’t creating a part of us feels stuck and frustrated. Creating is expressing ourselves from our hearts instead of our heads and makes us feel good. How do you create? Do you build, cook, sew, knit, weave, write, doodle? There are thousands of ways to create. Do a little bit every day.

Tapping into Creativity every morning

Every morning I tap into my creativity. I start by asking myself, who I want to be or how I want to feel or how I want to express myself today. I sit quietly. I wait for the one-word response. You’d be surprised how quickly one little word can cut through a lot of baggage and bring you back to center. I draw and colour my word in my OH MY WORD journal. This 5-minute process triggers my creativity and instantly brings back the joy of my 6 year old self. This feeling plus the ‘thought interruption’ I’ve created in my brain sets the tone for the entire day.

A page from my OH MY WORD journal. Today I choose to .. feel JOY


You deserve to be awed by life. You deserve joy that lights up your life. Our lives today are filled with new challenges making it essential to give ourselves the JOY JOLTS that fill the heart, soothe the soul and give us the joy, peace, and fulfillment we crave.

OH MY WORD is a helpful tool to create more JOY in your life.

OH MY WORD Journal can be a helpful tool in creating more Joy in your life.

OH MY WORD is a science backed, 5 minute daily journal that will help you zap the anxiety and amplify the Joy in your life .

  • Replaces negative thoughts with positive joyful ones you choose
  • Positive thoughts flood the body with dopamine and serotonin
  • Helps relieve stress and anxiety

OH MY WORD Journal can be purchased here:

Barnes & Noble


Please share with anyone you know who needs more Joy.

Breathwork takes OH MY WORD practice deeper

Breathwork takes OH MY WORD practice deeper

I took my life back from the grip of anxiety with two strategies: journaling (in a novel way) and breathwork.

As someone who suffered from anxiety for most of my adult life, I was always on the lookout for strategies that would help me.

I felt like my life had been saved 6 years ago when I started doing ‘heart doodles’ which I would later become OH MY WORD – the insanely simple daily journal to intentionally become who you want to be.  With my daily intentional word, I was able to replace my disabling negative thoughts with positive ones I chose. I was in the driver’s seat of my life and my anxiety relegated to the locked trunk.  I was free to become the person I wanted to be living with ease and joy.

But that’s not where the story ends.

In the last 2 years I’ve added another strategy or rather I’ve learned a new skill which has taken my daily practice to an even deeper level.

 I learned to breathe.

I’d tried meditation it was a no-go

Years ago, doctors and therapists has encouraged me to try meditation as a way to disable anxiety. I tried it but when I’d sit down to meditate my thoughts would ramp up making endless lists, working to solve problems that hadn’t yet happened, chewing on the past and beating myself up over what I could have done better or even trying to figure out what to make for dinner.  The chatter was endless.

For someone with anxiety like myself meditation was a no-go.

My old breathing patterns

Like a lot of anxiety sufferers, I was a shallow, chest breather and a breath holder.  A double whammy! The way I was breathing was sending my sympathetic nervous system into overdrive activating the fight-or-flight response and filling my body with the stress hormone cortisol. My anxiety driven breathing patterns had put me in a continuous state of fight-or-flight, filled with cortisol and always on the run from tigers, bears and my own negative thoughts.

OK so a little bit of fear is good it can keep us safe but having too much of it is unhealthy for every part of body, mind, heart and spirit.

The new breathing

I didn’t fully understand how powerful breath was until I started doing yoga and learned about the ujjayi breath. It’s also called the ocean sounding breath and when I did it, I was always left with a sense of calm and ease.

How it works

When we engage in deep rhythmic, coherent breathing we activate the vagus nerve, turn on our parasympathetic nervous system and pump the brakes on anxiety and stress. As our physiology returns to its natural inherent state, our minds calm and our hearts open. We’re able to move the breath down from our chest and into our belly, breathing in an intention or a thought we want and breathing out thoughts, beliefs, memories or actions that we don’t want. After breathing this way, we feel good, more equipped to handle stress and anxiety melts away.

Breathwork is an active form of meditation

I did learn to meditate after all. Breathwork is like an active form of meditation. It  allowed me to consciously work my breath, bypassing the chattering (monkey) mind to enter a different state of awareness. What most people seek in meditation I was able to get by simply breathing. It allowed me to disconnect from the mind and reconnect with the body, energy and enter a different state of consciousness. This altered state enhanced my healing, clarity, peace and wholeness.

Here are some different breathing techniques to try:

The one I use

The one that I use every day is very simple. I take a long slow inhale in through my nose and exhale through my mouth out making sure the exhale is longer than the inhale. This sends the body into a more parasympathetic state, lowering blood pressure and cortisol levels and it can relieve feelings of depression. I sometimes count in 1-2-3-4- and out 1-2-3-4-5-6. I see a naturopath regularly and I was always telling her how my breathing practice was developing. She would conduct her own examination. She would stop me after one of our super animated conversations and say, “I’m going to take your blood pressure in one minute.” I would start breathing and she would test my blood pressure. She was always amazed at how low it was after just a minute of breathing.

The Ujjayi Breath

The ujjayi breath I mentioned earlier is where you breath in through your nose to a count of 4 –  hold at the top for a second – exhale through the nose (from the back of the throat producing an ocean sounding breath) to a count of  4 – hold at the base. Repeat. I often do this lying down with one hand on my belly so I can feel the rise and fall and one hand on my heart.

Box Breathing

Start by releasing all the air from your chest and hold your breath for 4 seconds, then breathe in through the nose for 4 seconds, the hold your breath for 4 seconds, then exhale out through the nose for 4 seconds. Repeat for 5 minutes to feel the effects.

 Relaxing breath from Dr Andrew Weil

Relaxing breath also known as 4-7-8 breath slows the heart rate and brings consciousness to the present moment. It also teaches the body how to take in less, release more and create space between inhales and exhales. By creating space between stimulus and response, this breath has a practical application in the stressful moments  we encounter on a daily basis.

How to do:

Start by releasing all the air from your chest and inhale through the nose for 4 seconds, then hold your breath for 7 seconds, then exhale out of the mouth for 8 seconds. Repeat the cycle up to 4 times.

Coherent breathing from Stephen Elliot

While our natural tendency is to breath at a rate of 2 or 3 seconds per breath, this controlled and conscious breathing which is common practice within yogic traditions) slows our inhales and exhales down to 4 seconds, then 5 seconds and beyond. The intention of this breath is to increase heart rate variability which calms the body and can affect heart rate, digestion, concentration, vitality, sleep and stress response.

How to do:

To start, focus on the natural rhythm of your breath to obtain a baseline length of each inhale and exhale. Then for 1 minute breath in for 4 seconds an exhale for 4 seconds. Then repeat for 5 seconds, then for 6 second and if you are able gradually expand to 10 seconds. Whatever elongated breath you work up to maintain it for 5 minutes to start and work your way up over time to 20 minutes.

Breathwork is available to everyone

Breathwork is available to everyone and can be very healing and restorative for people who dealing with stress, anxiety, fear, grief, sadness, anger or insomnia. But it’s also nourishing  for anyone who is looking to go deeper in their search of love, peace, gratitude, clarity, connection and insight in their life.

AAAAHHHHH…. hearty rate slows, blood pressure and cortisol levels drop. You feel a sense of peace.



Use breathwork to deepen your OH MY WORD practice. When you’re sitting at your desk, stuck in traffic, in line at the grocery store or at the bank. Breathe in your intentional word and breathe out your word. This moves your intention that much deeper into your mind and body.

Breathe into your intentional word.

Does anxiety and negative thought stop You from being the person you want to be and following your dreams? OH MY WORD is a science based, 5 minute, one-word daily journal that allows you to take charge of your life, become the person you want to be and live with joy and fulfillment.


Buy OH MY WORD here:


Barnes & Noble


The daily practice that wires happiness

The daily practice that wires happiness

When we ask ourselves, what makes us happy we generally think of the people in our lives, circumstances and possessions.

But in reality, happiness is mostly a chemical experience.

There are 4 main neurochemicals, hormones and neurotransmitters generated in the brain that are fundamentally responsible for creating the sensations and emotions we associate with happiness – endorphins, serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin.

The good news is that with a little bit of knowledge we can trigger happiness whenever we want.

So, the next time anxiety threatens to extinguish your joy or life feels out of control or not exactly the way you’d like it to be there are simple things you can do to take charge, increase your happy chemicals and dramatically change how you feel.

Happiness is on the Way


Endorphins are produced by the central nervous system and help us deal with physical pain. They also make us feel lightheaded and giddy. They produce what we know as the ‘runner’s high’ and also the good feeling after just 30 minutes of walking. If this is the boost you need, get walking outside in nature versus a treadmill and amplify the good feelings.


Serotonin is the best know happiness chemical neurotransmitter. It is naturally triggered by several things we each do every day. Getting out in the sunshine and happy thoughts (like the ones you experience from journaling in your OH MY WORD journal) stimulate the production of serotonin. If you‘re an OH MY WORD journaler this is awesome news because as you know the happy thoughts and good feelings experienced during the morning ritual repeat throughout the day thus generating a steady flow of serotonin.


Dopamine is a neurotransmitter often referred to as the chemical of ‘reward’. After you accomplish a task like completing your 5-minute OH MY WORD daily ritual you receive a pleasurable hit of dopamine in your brain that tells you – way to go…good job! Thoughts of loving kindness can bring on a dopamine high too so spread the love with a loving intention and keep the dopamine hits continuing all day.


Oxytocin is primarily associated with loving touch and close relationships. It’s the warm fuzzies that make us tingle all over. To get an instant hit of oxytocin give someone you love a cuddle even a furry friend will do the trick.

There you have it! The 4 feel good hormones and neurotransmitters and how they work.  Now you can trigger them whenever you want.

OH MY WORD Journal

Start OH MY WORD journaling and get a big hit of both serotonin and dopamine first thing every morning.

Now that’s the way to get The Happy Factor at work in your life.

Zap Anxiety and Amplify Joy + Happiness

Does anxiety and negative thought stop You from being the person you want to be and following your dreams? OH MY WORD is a science based, 5 minute, one-word daily journal that allows you to take charge of your life, become the person you want to be and live with joy and fulfillment.



Get your OH MY WORD Journal here:




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