The Liebster Award

Yipppeeeee!!!

A member of the Blogosphere for barely two months and I was, this afternoon ‘presented’ with my very first award from Lindsey at Tracks By Linds.

The Liebster Blog Award is typically given to blogs with less than 200 followers (but can be given to anyone who is deserving).
The word liebster comes from the German meaning dearest or favourite and is the type of award that pays-it-forward (always good my books).

I would like to take a brief moment to send out a heartfelt thanks to Linds for sending me this award. It means a lot to know that what I write is not only out in the universe, but that it’s being read. I am honored, inspired, motivated, incredibly humbled, and something rare: speechless.

As per the ‘rules’ of the award, I would now like to present to you five Blogs I feel also deserving of this award (Linds: had you not sent it to me to begin with, your site would be on the list), I also have no idea how many followers they have:

1. Cognifeeder (http://cognifeeder.wordpress.com)
A writer whose mind I can relate to. Blogger Josh writes short stories, poems and essays with a style that seems so easy. With each post I read, I become more and more envious of his talent.

2. In My Opinion (http://diane-owens.com/)
Writer Diane Owens answers one question every day for a year.  

3. The {Tiny} Sartorialist (http://tinysartorialist.com/)
It’s a fashion blog by a baby! Need I elaborate? 

4. Photobotos (http://photobotos.com/)
One stunningly beautiful image uploaded every day.  

5. The J85 (http://thej85.wordpress.com/)
A single (and busy) mom of two boys shares her thoughts and personal adventures of the day. 

Okay award winners, what do you do now? Follow these rules:

If you receive the award, you should:
1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Hope that the people you’ve sent the award to forward it to their five favourite bloggers and keep it going!

Peace and Love,
Mandixoxox 

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Ten Things I Want to Tell Teenage Girls

So often I am led to the most interesting places in my internet meanderings. I am always pleasantly surprised when I come across something completely on accident, and it has a way of speaking to me. The article below is no exception. What follows is a short compilation of the many things I, personally, want to remind young girls of every day. Most I was taught when I was growing up, some I learned (and am still learning) along the way – especially number 10!  

Big thanks to Kate for sharing. Please visit her blog Lily Pads at: www.kateelizabethconner.com and show her your love.

Ten Things I Want to Tell Teenage Girls 
Written by Kate Conner 

1. If you choose to wear shirts that show off your boobs, you will attract boys. To be more specific, you will attract the kind of boys that like to look down girls’ shirts. If you want to date a guy who likes to look at other girls’ boobs and chase skirts, then great job; keep it up. If you don’t want to date a guy who ogles at the breasts of other women, then maybe you should stop offering your own breasts up for the ogling. All attention is not equal. You think you want attention, but you don’t. You want respect. All attention is not equal.

2. Don’t go to the tanning bed. You’ll thank me when you go to your high school reunion and you look like you’ve been airbrushed and then photoshopped compared to the tanning bed train wrecks formerly known as classmates – well, at least next to the ones that haven’t died from skin cancer.

3. When you talk about your friends “anonymously” on Facebook, we know exactly who you’re talking about. People are smarter than you think they are. Stop posting passive-aggressive statuses about the myriad of ways your friends disappoint you.

4. Newsflash: the number of times you say “I hate drama” is a pretty good indicator of how much you love drama. Non-dramatic people don’t feel the need to discuss all the drama they didn’t start and aren’t involved in.

5. “Follow your heart” is probably the worst advice ever.

6. Never let a man make you feel weak or inferior because you are an emotional being. Emotion is good; it is nothing to be ashamed of. Emotion makes us better – so long as it remains in it’s proper place: subject to truth and reason.

7. Smoking is not cool.

8. Stop saying things like, “I don’t care what anyone thinks about me.” First of all, that’s not true. And second of all, if it is true, you need a perspective shift. Your reputation matters – greatly. You should care what people think of you.

9. Don’t play coy or stupid or helpless to get attention. Don’t pretend something is too heavy so that a boy will carry it for you. Don’t play dumb to stroke someone’s ego. Don’t bat your eyelashes in exchange for attention and expect to be taken seriously, ever. You can’t have it both ways. Either you show the world that you have a brain and passions and skills, or you don’t. There are no damsels in distress managing corporations, running countries, or managing households. The minute you start batting eyelashes, eyelashes is all you’ve got.

10. You are beautiful. You are enough. The world we live in is twisted and broken and for your entire life you will be subjected to all kinds of lies that tell you that you are not enough. You are not thin enough. You are not tan enough. You are not smooth, soft, shiny, firm, tight, fit, silky, blonde, hairless enough. Your teeth are not white enough. Your legs are not long enough. Your clothes are not stylish enough. You are not educated enough. You don’t have enough experience. You are not creative enough.

There is a beauty industry, a fashion industry, a television industry, (and most unfortunately) a pornography industry: and all of these have unique ways of communicating to bright young women: you are not beautiful, sexy, smart or valuable enough.

You must have the clarity and common sense to know that none of that is true. None of it.

You were created for a purpose, exactly so. You have innate value. You are loved more than you could ever comprehend; it is mind-boggling how much you are adored. There has never been, and there will never be another you. Therefore, you have unique thoughts to offer the world. They are only yours, and we all lose out if you are too fearful to share them.

You are beautiful. You are valuable. You are enough.

What would you like to tell teenage girls?

Peace and Love,
Mandixoxox

Run, Mandi, Run

I found this during Monday's run. Someone left it just for me! ...or so I would like to believe

In the midst of training for the Bluenose Marathon in May, running has become a big part of my daily life. It seeps into conversations, keeps me up late at night on google, I’ve blogged about it several times, and someday’s, is plastered all over my Facebook news feed.

Everything I have done since January I have done for this race. Every morsel of food, every wink of sleep: fuel for my body.

Every ice pack, every day’s rest, every drop of sweat, bruise, pulled muscle, shin splint. Every setback, minor, moderate or severe, all of it, for the Bluenose. 

During today’s run (a new personal best, yaay me!), I had a moment. Some might call it an epiphany, but for now, let’s call it a moment. It was fleeting. Gone and over as quickly as it revealed itself.

I had just finished climbing a particularly challenging hill (at a brisk walk), and was getting set to run down it. I planned to slow back to a walk when I reached the bottom, but found I’d completely zoned out.

Something good was playing in my ears. My brain stopped whirling inside my head, replaying the days events. My breath was calm, my lungs did not ache. My body ceased to move forward, rather the ground below me began to move, carrying me forward. Somewhere along the way, I closed my eyes. A scary thought now, but it felt right in the moment. The calm washed over me. I breathed deep into my belly, and I felt renewed. 

Gone were the grueling hours at work today, my sore feet and aching back. Gone were the plans I was making and remaking in my head. Gone were my thoughts on tonight’s dinner, or did I have to pee, or maybe I should take it easy today since my leg was bothering me. It was all gone.

And as I took another deep breath, I got excited. Was this it? Was this the moment I have so anxious and excitedly been working towards? Was this the moment I finally become a runner?

And then it was over. 

180 seconds of pure bliss, over in a flash… much like life.

Peace and Love,
Mandixoxox 

Code of Conduct for Life

Today is Easter Sunday. For Christians it is the day that Jesus was resurrected. It is (from what I understand and remember from my time in Sunday school as a child) the time of the year when we atone for our sins, and give thanks for Jesus’ sacrifice. 

For those of Jewish faith, today is the second day of Passover, which commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. Passover begins on the 15th day of the month of Nisan in the Jewish calendar, which is in spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and is celebrated for seven or eight days (thank you Wikipedia).

As holiday’s come and go throughout the year, I (generally) use those special days to reflect on myself: Am I living a life I can be truly proud of? Do I walk the walk of the talk I’ve talked? Have I let the special people in my life know that they are special? 

Since I consider myself to be less religious and more spiritual, and with all that in mind, I thought I would post something that I came across last summer. I stumbled upon it while bed-ridden and addicted to StumbleUpon (haha I’m punny). My apologies (again) to the original author for both not giving them credit, and for changing their work. 

This list has become known in my life as part of my own personal (and very extensive) Code of Conduct. I hope you’re able to connect with some of the items listed below like I have.

1. Never stop thinking. This is important. If someone ever says to you ‘You need to stop thinking so much,’ call them ignorant in your head and keep thinking deeper. It is this mentality that breeds stupidity and sheeple. Your mind is the most important tool you have, if you stop using it, it will atrophyQuestion everything. 

2. Stare into space blankly and don’t mentally punish yourself for doing it, even if it is for that split second. If you have a problem with staring blankly, think of it as daydreaming

3. Root Beer sucks after having spicy food. 

4. Everything is going to be just fine. If you worry about acne, you’re going to get a fucking pimple

5. Don’t be afraid to talk about anything. You shouldn’t be afraid of reality.

 6. Everyone is a hypocrite.

 7. You are all original. Every life experience is case sensitive and unique. Every time you wake up or go to the bathroom or quote someone else, you are becoming more you than anyone has ever been.

 8. Do pointless things. Don’t actively restrain or hide yourself from the redundant.

 9. Stop rushing. Shut up and embrace the sound of silence.

 10. Religion shouldn’t be taught, it should be found. No one should tell you what to believe except you. And while were on the subject…

 11. Don’t be restrained by one religion. People change every moment of everyday. Minds grow and evolve. Religion has no law so feel free to mix and match. Make your own.

 12. Going to the bathroom is not a right nor a privilege, it’s an act of nature.

 13. Talking to yourself is healthy. Is there anyone that you have more in common with?

 14. There is no such thing as time. The sun never sets or rises. Days and years don’t exist. There is only your life. Earlier today you were born and death is predicted later in the evening.

 15. We will always be in a transitional phase. Look outside and know that everything will be replaced at some point. This existence is temporary.

 16. Its not half empty or half full. Its half a glass.

 17. Every now and then take something that you see everyday and try to see it in a different light.Renew its existence.

 18. Be happy, but don’t force it.

 19. You will always succeed in trying.

 20. We are all crazy. Every person you read about in the history books had some kind of ‘disorder’, they just knew how to use it.

 21. We are all about as similar as we are different.

 22. Ideas are just as valuable as people. Why do you think we keep making people?

 87. Numbers don’t have to go in order.

 24. Words will always be just words. Love is just another four letter word, only the feeling is real.

 25. Ask a child for advice. They may not know much, but they know what is important.

 26. Prove you’re alive. Do anything from dancing in the supermarket to screaming ‘Fuck’ during a moment of silence. Remind the world you are still here.

 27. Don’t take anything, even this, too seriously.

 

What’s on your life Code of Conduct?

Peace and Love & Hoppy Easter!
Mandixoxox 

An Influential March

March.
In like a lion, out like a lamb? In like a lamb, out like a lion?
The dreariest of months (in my opinion), inconsistencies of the weather alone are enough to break my heart. Grey skies, grey clouds, grey lawns, grey, grey, grey. One nice day, three snow days, two with rain; Spring so close by I can taste it, smell it, feel it in your bones! Only 31 (sometimes miserable) days until April.  

Here are four things that have influenced, inspired or kept me busy this past March:

Peace Flash (www.facebook.com/PeaceFlash)
I have always described myself as a quasi-hippie, a “moderate granola type,” toting my peace sign, and make-love-not-war attitude. So much so, that I can sometimes be heard telling others I was born in the wrong decade. The 60’s missed me, and I missed the 60’s!
Peace Flash pops up in my Facebook news feed about as often as I need a reality check (it’s not always about you, Mandi), reminding me that through sharing my personal peace, I can influence the daily lives of others. 

Soul Pancake (http://soulpancake.com/ & http://www.facebook.com/soulpancake)
Soul Pancake is a social media outlet for big thinkers, not unlike myself. It is a place to go where you can explore (and encourage others to as well) what it means to be human. Everyone has an inner philosopher, and Soul Pancake is the perfect place to explore that facet of yourself. 

Tracks by Linds (http://tracksbylinds.com/)
Former co-worker, traveller, fellow blogger, and friend, Lindsey writes all about her adventures “galavanting” with her husband-to-be for his medical school rotations across North America. Her posts are well written, thought provoking, and insightful. Not to mention the Sunday music recommendations! It was at Lindsey’s suggestion that I (finally) put my fingers to keyboard here at WordPress, and share my thoughts with the world. 

Running (https://outofsightonmymind.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/why-i-ran-from-my-troubles-today/)
There’s something both masochistic and zen about going for a run. Time alone with your thoughts, headphones on, the outside world melts away. At the  same time, it’s pure torture!!  Propelling your body forward as fast as you can, for as long as you can. The aches and pains of joints and muscles. And the cold, let’s not forget about the cold!

So why do I do it? To put it simply, I run because I can. I’m not terribly good at it. That bothers me, and so  I run to improve my form. It just so happens that as a side effect, it improves my health.

With 46 days left until the Bluenose Marathon, I am averaging a 9.5 minute kilometer (3.5 minutes above my ideal goal). I’ve had some setbacks with shin splints and knee pain since I began training in January, I’m still doing a combination walk/run during my 3 training runs each week, but I am still confident that not only will I finish again this year, I will be able to improve my finish time from 2011.

What’s kept you going this March?

Peace and Love,
Mandixoxox