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Overflowing Love

14 Feb

I want everyone to feel so much genuine love for themselves that it spills out of them and onto the people around them.

Therefore when they receive love from others:
– they do not attach to it or try to control it
– they do not crave the acceptance of others
– they do not change their passions or aspirations in order to please
– they do not feel “less than” when they are not receiving love or fight with someone to receive more love
– they do not live in fear that they will not be loved

To this person, receiving love and appreciation is like a loaf of homemade bread being added to already overwhelming buffet, soon it will be shared with those around them, without asking for anything in return.

“So often people are sitting on buckets of gold, begging for pennies.” Inspired by Tolstoy’s beggar

Marriage and Careers: Defining the Difference between Choice and Action.

14 Feb


I have been struggling for a long time with the question of how I will choose the right partner and or the right career.

Who will I marry? What future will I have? What career will I choose. Thinking that if I choose right, then I would have a happy life, but if I choose wrong, then my life will be horrible, and that put a lot of pressure on me to make the perfect choice.

However, there will never be a time where I do one thing, where I make one accomplishment and then the rest of my life will be happy from that moment on.

There will be many accomplishments in my life, there will be many mountains that I will climb, and new perspectives that will be revealed.

I got caught up in the fear of failure. Thinking that if I set out to accomplish something, and I don’t, this will show the weaknesses within myself. This will show that I am not disciplined, I don’t work hard enough, I am not enough. Thus, it was safer to not try, never fail, and continue thinking I will be something great… someday.

I got caught up in making the perfect choice, as if it was a choice that created the success and not the action I put into pursing that goal. When things started to get hard, I thought “This must not be the right thing for me, because I was succeeding and now I am not. I must have made the wrong choice.”

In order to be good at something, you have to accept that you will have stages of greatness and failure, acknowledge them both as great teachers. 

There is no way that I  can KNOW if I am making the right choice with marriage or a career. But there is a way to MAKE it the right choice. There is not ONE person for me, there is not ONE career for me.

I can make it work by choosing to have faith, to stay curious, to be resilient, be honest to myself and others, and be compassionate in all aspects of my life.

I look to live each day with gratitude that I am a perfectly flawed Monique, that I will continue to learn, grow, and love. That these three things will never end.

I allow myself to let go of thinking “once I have this, once I accomplish that, once I am with this person, then and only then will I be happy.”

I allow myself to take in the joy that is ever present in my daily life, to connect to the greatness that I am surrounded by.

I have confidence in the path that I am following, the path of wellness, community building, and planning events that create shared experiences. I aspire to live a life that enables myself and those around to know they deserve to be loved and to love.

“Simplicity is the ultimate expression of sophistication” Da Vinci

Birthday Card to my Niece

31 Jul


Yesterday I wrote a happy birthday card to my almost 2 year old niece.


It is so interesting to think that she is just starting out her life.


All the experiences I have had of playing soccer at recess, learning about how to colour, having a best friend, dressing up, being an outcast in Junior High, studying for exams in high school, applying for university, creating myself in university.


All of these experiences she has just begun to experience.


I think about how my Grandpa’s family moved from Germany to Canada so that he could have a better life. And my Grandpa was working hard in Saskatoon so that they would not have to work on the farm and could get an education in the city. I thought about how my mother was the first one to go to university and how hard she worked so that I could have a better life.


And here I am applying for a Masters, living in Toronto, and enjoying my life.


I can feel all these foundations before me, supporting me so that I can have the best life possible.


And I too want to become wise, and solve certain mysteries of success so that I can pass that on to my child.


I hope my child will be open to learning and I hope that I will have the words to share to create the difference.

Advice I wish I had in University

24 Jul
Page by Mallory Bader

Page by Mallory Bader

July 2013

1. Take a Stats Course in your Second Year/any hard courses you need to do. I know it sucks and stats will not be easy. But so many masters programs want you to have stats in order for you to get in. Thus, you can take a stats course in your second year, it will not affect your GPA because masters programs only look at your last two years. (Or last ten courses). And by chance you find out that you actually don’t need a stats course to get into a program that you want, well at least you opened a lot of doors by taking it early.

2. Make Relationships with your Professor. Keep your eye out for three professors that you could get along with. Take their courses, talk to them after class, as for help on the course subject, ask them if they know of any interesting courses, or job opportunities, they are a wealth of knowledge! And when you graduate you can be able to ask them to be a reference, in which they can write a glowing report about you because they actually know you which will help you get into your desired program.

3. Get help on your Assignments from Professors: This is THE BEST way to get a better mark on any of your assignments. Bring your assignment to your teacher and ask them, am I going in the right direction? That way they know that you are interested in learning, you are interested in doing good work, you have started early, and they can give you advice about what they would like to see. Not many people take advantage of the teacher’s office hours- TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS! You could write something, that in your mind is the best essay ever, that you spent weeks on, but if it is not in the direction or format that the teacher wants- you will not get a good mark. And you will not know what the teacher wants unless you ask.

4. Have Fun! Go on as many adventures as you can. Stay up late having conversations with your friends. Go on that midnight hike. Plan that road trip across Canada. Make lasting memories. College is one of the few times you could have fun on everyday of the week and sleep in on every day of the week if you want to. Skip a class, no harm done, skip a day of work, and you will be punished. Once you start work your bed time will be 10 or 11, and your wake up time will be 6 or 7.  The whole time you are at work you will be wishing that you could take a nap, you might even try to take a snooze in the bathroom. So go have adventures now! And lots of them to keep you smiling when thinking back on the good old days.

5. Take Afternoon Naps: That’s another thing. Take afternoon naps. It’s a wonderful thing that should be mandatory in all countries.

6. Know your Self Worth: I am all for having lots or relationships and getting to know people but one thing I see time and time again (myself included) is that we (women) don’t value ourselves and we expect that value to come from our partner. We believe that if we have a great partner who values us, then we are valuable and that is bullsh*t. You know why?

Because the moment that your boyfriend starts to not like you, the moment he starts saying you should lose weight, the moment you think you are going to break up- you lose yourself. You try to change everything about yourself in order to be good for him, because if you are not with him you will not be valuable and thus you are scared. Even though you know that he is not the right person for you- you are scared of the thought that you will be worthless without him.

And honey- let me tell you something- you are sitting on a pot of gold, begging for pennies and you don’t even realize it. Find your self worth, believe in yourself, and set your standards. There are many guys out there that will say ANYTHING in order to get with a lovely lady such as yourself. And getting with you is should be an honor, so unless they measure up, don’t waste your time. Plus, having confidence in your self-worth is one sexy thing.

And for the guys, it is about connecting your self worth with the job you have. Just in general try not to connect your self worth to something external.

7. Do a Study Abroad. Do two study abroads, do as many study abroads as you can. Why are study abroad so great? Well first of all, have you ever tried to get a working visa in another country? Almost impossible, and a lot of work.

Have you ever wanted to receive money to go travel to another country?  With study abroad programs there are a lot of opportunities to get scholarships.

Have you ever wanted to learn another language? Best way to do it is by immersing yourself in the country. Have you ever wanted to be with a great group of people who are adventurous and exciting? Some of the best friends I have met are people I have done a study abroad with. The picture in this article is with three of my friends before we ran a marathon in Italy.

Do you need a break from university but still want to get credit for courses? Study abroad teachers know that you are here on exchange, you are here to experience the country, thus I feel they mark more easily upon you, and you get good grades. Or at least I did. Plus you get to take really interesting courses that you could not take in University. I had one course where our final project was to be a tour guide for a section of a museum. AMAZING.

8.  Do Co-Op, Work or Volunteer in Some Department on Campus. I am talking about career centers, international centers, safe walk, etc. Having experience is one of the most important things on a resume. This will be great for getting a job on campus after you graduate, because we all know having a BA will get you nowhere in the job market. Once you graduate it is really hard to stay connected to information/jobs that are happening on campus, thus get your foot in there… make connections… and don’t be afraid to ask for possible work opportunities.

9. Contribute to a Project. Be a part of a project that is bigger than yourself. When I was at university I was able to coordinate one day conference with 30 different organizations, and 4 speakers all talking about how you can help the environment. IT WAS AMAZING!

You get to make great connections, be proud of what you have accomplished and know that at one time you made a difference. Once you leave university you will be hard pressed to find a group that has the passion and time that university students have. This is the time, create something amazing.

10. Calculate Student Loans: Don’t waste all of your student loans on beer and for goodness sake learn how to save money. Talk to your local banker and ask them about how to budget, what a tax free savings account is, and how much interest you will have to pay if you paid back your loan in five years. That number will make any happy person depressed.

Best of luck with everything and hope you enjoy your time as much as I did!