What's an Anti-haul? When you share things you're loving lately that are free. Traditionally, a "haul" is when bloggers share what they recently purchased. I wanted to share a few things that inspired me and brought me joy that didn't cost a thing.
For reads, my two favourites this month came in the form of newsletters:
1. Mandy Lehto's Newsletter on Ronda Rousey
Recommended for: Anyone having a hard time or anyone who needs a good kick in the pants.
So Ronda Rousey is a boxer (I didn't know that before reading this) and Mandy explains that one of Rousey's best assets is her ability to "reframe" the challenges in her life.
Great quotes from the piece:
- "Ronda Rousey creates her own experience. It does not create her."
- "Excuses validate our victimhood. They keep us out of action.”
- "What do you really want, and how will you stop yourself from getting it?"
Find it here.
2. Danielle Laporte on Pain
Recommended for: Anyone wondering why life hurts so much.
Danielle discusses how spiritual practice (yoga, meditation, prayer) won't stop bad things from happening to you. Spoiler Alert: Life will always be full of shitty stuff - that's just life. Silver lining: spiritual practice does help you handle the crap stuff when it happens.
As someone who lives with an idiopathic (cause unknown) illness and chronic pain - I can honestly say I've spent a lot of time wondering why "bad things" happen. This piece was a gentle reminder - in a "it's not me -- it's you" way - that what I've been dealing with is just part of life.
My favourite quote from piece: "Illumination doesn’t spare the body."
Find it here.
Real Life Gems
Volunteering for Culture Days
Culture Days is an annual three-day national celebration of culture and the arts. It takes place in hundreds of cities across Canada and all citizens are invited to participate in free interactive activities to discover their cultural spirit and passion.
For the event, I led a public art tour in Downtown Guelph for the Guelph Arts Council. I got to meet new people and learn new things about the public art pieces I pass by every day. It was fun to see the city as a tourist and to take time to consider the sights and installations I normally take for granted.
Volunteering for Harcourt Community Garden
This past summer, I volunteered at a Community Garden that combats local food insecurity. All the vegetables grown at the garden are donated to the local food bank and distributed in weekly food hampers to families in need.
Last month, when I volunteered at the garden, we got to harvest some of the lettuce and beans. Harvesting is so much more fun than weeding. So much so, that it actually reminding me a bit of the folk tale of "The Little Red Hen." I was always struck by the story as a kid, because the hen does all the hard work by herself and then the other farm animals are the ones that eat the cake and reap the rewards of the her hard work. One of the great things about the garden I volunteer at is that the responsibilities are shared among all, so one week some harvest, some water, some weed. We all share the work and the fun.
Activism: Take Back the Night
Last month, one of the coolest things I did was take part in the Take Back the Night rally in Kitchener-Waterloo with my friend Sarah. It was definitely a powerful, inspiring and emotional experience.
For the rally, Sarah and I marched with hundreds of other women, of all ages, through downtown Kitchener. The police blocked off all the intersections and we chanted slogans calling for the end of violence against women. I can honestly say the experience was moving and the solidarity I felt inspired goosebumps.
Spending Time with Family & Friends
Although I live in Ontario, a lot of my family lives in Alberta. Last month, I was lucky enough to spend time with family from Calgary.
Sometimes I get made fun of for how often I find/photograph flowers, but I don't think that's a good enough reason to stop. So here are some of my favourite finds from last month:
1. This video by Brené Brown: "Why Your Critics Aren't the Ones Who Count"
2. Evan Rachel Wood slaying haters and raising awareness for #BisexualAwareness Week on Twitter. Some of her tweets are quoted here.
3. This photo I found making fun of the state of Late-Night Television. It's funny but it's also sad.
4. These 2 Inspiring Tweets:
5. And finally, this awesome interview with Clara Hughes from The Social. I watched it on the cross trainer at the YMCA and I totally cried in public #noshame.
Let me know in the comments below what some of your September Anti-Haul favourites were :)