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Personal Development

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Hey villagers!

“Not everyone who is single is lonely; not everyone who is taken is in love.”

single

I’m 20 years old and I can say I have never been in a relationship. You think I would be sad and depressed like women in movies when they watch other couples from afar and feel the need to fill the ‘single void’ with something, usually opting for sugar, the next best thing. Then they have a secret love affair with Ben & Jerry and drown their sorrows in baths of red wine.

Instead, I like to think of myself as that woman at the end of the movie applying her lipstick that matches her red high heels, wearing her power suits, strutting off into the distance, corporately change the world. But think more of a hippie version – with a yoga mat, red Birkenstocks, and mismatched bracelets laced up the arms.

But on a serious note, I have been so content and at peace with the choices I have made throughout high school and now in university. I believe I’ve had all my experiences in the right chronological order, without the drama and need to have some other outside source of love.

single

Throughout high school, I had time to shape and build myself, focusing on my own healthy habits, my knowledge and self-discipline. Through focusing on achieving high grades, my relationships with friends and family, my health through mindful eating practices and exercising habits, temptations like alcohol, drugs, and sexual desires never really appealed to me. I didn’t need to make those mistakes to learn because I was in tune with myself and with my purpose in life.

And yes, I am harassed every time I hangout with my guy friends and yes, I am judged for not always having the most conventional friends. I feel my spirit has been opened to the different, the unique, the radicals, as I feel I have been called to lead and build communities of people around me out of a genuine caring and deep love for others.

I was {and still am} a hot mess on dates. There was always that added pressure that just didn’t make sense to me. We are all just people, with different stories and expectations. I trust that I will be in a relationship in my own time, and when that interesting and inspiring person comes along, I will be able to grow and change the world with someone special by my side.

single

Here are just seven things that I have learned about my single self that has transformed my outlook on life:

Vulnerable connections with others are where I find meaning.

I love sharing with others without the added pressure of a romantic relationship. I am better at being myself {if that makes any sense}, and being real with people through sharing stories and positive experiences. I have met some incredible people along the way that have taught me so much as I have created a safe space for them to reveal their authentic and true selves.

My self-discipline is through the roof.

I have created such healthy habits that have made me a much more productive person, ultimately, making me happier and healthier. My focusing on volunteering, work and school, there really hasn’t been much time or energy for relationship drama.

I have big goals and big dreams.

Being single has allowed be to be aware of my own self-development, giving me laser focus on my own goals and ambitions. As I grow my own knowledge base, I can create change in this world in issues that I deeply care about.

I must love myself to love others.

I have learned to accept my imperfections and quirks. Once you embrace yourself and who you are, you are comfortable to share with others and love them for who they are. You are opened to differences and can learn from others and their ways of life.

Exploring my interests helped me find my passion.

As I began having a better understanding of myself, I made a big decision – changing my major in university. I am happier than ever as a kinesiology student. I have learned that health and wellbeing excites me and ignites my energetic fire.

Investing in time with a mentor kept me focused.

When you don’t waste your time thinking about your romantic relationship, you can invest in yourself and your relationship with a mentor. My mentor has greatly shaped my own spiritual journey as a leader and continues to give me the insight I need to succeed. By building relationships with those in different generations, you can gain invaluable life skills and insight.

Being single means you can travel. 

Instead of worrying about your significant other, you can accept any opportunity to travel and see the world. You can be spontaneous, adventurous and create lifelong connections along the way without added drama and worry in your life.

single, selfie

Learn to embrace your imperfections, work on creating healthy habits, and be the best version of you and you will attract others that are also emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually healthy. You will attract the right people at the right time that will serve as teachers, making you more aware of the perfect person when the time comes.

Being single doesn’t make you lonely, or desperate, or give you permission to pity yourself with a spoon and chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.

Being single is freedom.
Being single is empowering.
Being single is limitless.

Be patient with yourself and discover all your amazing unique qualities and talents. Appreciate the relationships you have and be grateful for the present, not worrying about the future or past broken hearts. You are strong and beautiful.

Hike in those red Birks on your spiritual path, and be patient and opened if it takes you to unexpected places and to the unexpected, yet perfect person. Be patient.

Learn, listen & love.

single, fearless

Peace & Love,

Jill – your veggie villager xx

Hey veggies!

I thought it would be fun to showcase some of my own poetry {The Walking Blind}, as well as my moms on Thursdays – calling them Thoughtful Thursdays! I also want to encourage you to share your emotions and experiences through your own poems with me.

I would love to feature them in the gallery and let us create a vulnerable and supportive community! I would love to encourage and inspire others to reflect, meditate and write!

lost beauty, the walking blind

  • Written by my mother, Suzanne Lacasse

I absolutely love slam poetry as well, and wanted to share a video of my poem The Walking Blind that I won an award for in creative writing. It is so important to me because it represents everything that I am and believe in – my faith, my love for animals and my philosophy of life. Be a servant in all aspects of your life because it’s not about you!!

Feel free to check out the video! 🙂

Take some time to be thoughtful on this Thursday!!

Peace & Love,

Jill – your veggie villager xx

 

Hey veggies!

I am so excited to finally be able to say that The Veggie Villager is official!! I have worked so hard on my content and I love seeing such great support and positive feedback!!

As I have been able to work through my health journey and share my knowledge, I have been able to have a creative outlet to let my gift of writing shine! I believe it is so important to find out what you are good at, and embrace it!!

I also decided to take a chance and put in a proposal for an article in one of my favourite magazines, Chickpea, a vegan magazine based in Brooklyn, NY. It was scary yet exhilarating to be vulnerable and opened about my health journey and share some of my own insight on how to get outside and stay active and healthy. Check out the article here!!

hidden talent, chickpea magazine

With my mom’s own self-doubt in her writing abilities in my mind, I started on her birthday gift while she was on vacation. I began by unburying two huge boxes of loose poems in her closet – secret typewritten and handwritten masterpieces! Her own disorganization has kept her beautifully broken thoughts from the world and I wanted to FINALLY showcase them!

I colour coded, categorized and edited until I created a book called The Body. Each chapter includes a different part of the body she was writing about. I am so proud of the book itself, the time and effort I took thinking about someone I love, and the tears of happiness streaming from her eyes when she opened it.

That moment was more than enough confirmation that she realized how valuable and beautiful her gift is and how much I appreciate and respect her!! Even though the daycare kids can’t appreciate her writing, I can and hopefully others will too (when we publish it one day!! ;))

hidden talent, poetry book

I would love to share my own thoughts about how to take your hidden talents to the next level. Here are a few tips on how to unleash your potential and become an expert in something you love to do!

  1. Listen to others. Be aware of the compliments and encouragement others give you. If they are telling you that you are really good at something that may be a hobby or talent you don’t share with many people, maybe it is time! Go public, be vulnerable and thank those around you for recognizing your value!
hidden talent, dinner
Talk over a delicious dinner.

2. Take time to build your talent. With school, work, and volunteering I have very limited time to think about blogging. But when I am inspired, I definitely MAKE TIME to spill my guts! Don’t be afraid to take some valuable YOU time doing something you enjoy – practice makes perfect (and an expert!)

hidden talent, reflection
Time to reflect and be inspired to write!

3. Be bold. Take a leap of faith and make a change in your life in order to pursue your hidden talents! Those talents may lead to a career change, which could be the key to balancing your mind, body and soul!!

My friend is trying to make a huge career shift from being a speech pathologist to pursuing her love of cooking and healing by creating bone broth for others. I have tried it and have seen a dramatic change in my skin, hair, nails and hormones! Support her choice to pursue her hidden talents by liking her Facebook page!!

hidden talent, bone broth

4. Be unique. How is your talent different from everyone else? What can you be the best in the world at? What other knowledge and experience do you have that others don’t? Embrace your journey to discovering you and finding what makes YOU special.

 

hidden talent, lone wolf
Lone Wolf
I am ahead of the pack. Not because I am in the lead.
Only,
because it is I
who is being chased.
– SMB

5. Share. Talents aren’t meant to be hidden!! Share your talents with the world, and don’t be hesitant to value yourself and your time through being paid. Be generous but smart. Don’t under value yourself because you think it is just a hobby. You can turn your passion into a career if you respect your time and talents.

hidden talent, potluck

I am also starting to play the harp at weddings, my first being at the end of September. I am so excited to finally have the confidence to share my musical abilities with the world!!

hidden talent, harp

I encourage you to take your hobby to the next level by being confident, vulnerable and honest with yourself and others!

Peace & Love,

Jill – your veggie villager xx

 

 

Hey my people!!

Today I wanted to share all that I have learned from being on this planet in just three words. It is the foundation of achieving your ultimate health, your highest potential, and exceeding every goal you set for yourself. It is my motto, what I believe in and apply to every aspect of my life to achieve balance and beauty. Are you dying to know?

Quality not Quantity. 

How does this apply? You start by being INTENTIONAL. 
  1. HEALTH

  • Nutrition

Focus on the quality of the foods in your diet. They should be whole foods, not packaged with added ingredients – the LESS ingredients that you can read and understand, the better. You will need LESS food that contains MORE nutrients and vitamins – packed with life, not PRE-packaged and unrecognizable. Be smart about your cooking and put love into your food – pray and be grateful before taking the first bite.

  • Sleep

Focus on the quality of the sleep you are getting. Put away the electronics and pull out a book before bed. Journal, have some tea, don’t eat before bed and let your body rest. You will feel energized in the morning, starting your day as the best version of you. No matter how many hours you have, you can feel exhausted when your sleep is interrupted, or you are stimulated before bed by your external environment.

  • Exercise

Don’t meander around the gym, or get distracted by chores in the house, making your exercise session an hour long. Get moving!! Using high intensity interval training (HITT) or doing some type of circuit is so much more efficient and effective. You can get in a great workout in 20 minutes, being focused on the quality of the time spent on you and your physical goals, rather than on the time you are spending ‘exercising.’ The harder you work, the faster you will see results.

secret, chia pudding

2. PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

  • Learning

You are never too young or old to continue to learn. I have realized that it isn’t the amount of time spent studying or researching you spend, but rather how efficient you are with your time. Making a schedule to study for every subject for a few hours each day is the best way to achieve your learning goals.

When you are focused and intentional in the time spent, you get so much more done – get engaged and be passionate about what you are absorbing in order to be an expert sooner.

Yes it takes 10,000 hours in anything to be an expert – but how much of that time was spent in deliberate practice – deliberate studying?! Time that is concentrated and alone, with repetition and understanding is your key to success.

  • Productivity

Are you investing in you? Use your precious time to do things you love – don’t be mindlessly consumed by useless TV shows and websites. Try a new sport, spend some time outside, take up a new hobby, write, dance or have a creative date with yourself to unleash your potential as a human being – and watch what amazing things can come out of you simply by reducing the quantity of time spent doing unproductive things.  

  • Narrow

Set a daily intention and get really good at it. Become an expert in something you are passionate about, and narrow in what you want to commit your time to – whether it be volunteering, working, or doing school work. Make commitments and pour yourself into them to get the most out of it. 

Journal it out.

3. RELATIONSHIPS

  • Connection

Get off your phone, make eye contact and be present when interacting with others. The quality of conversations should go beyond the how are you? Good. Get deeper by actively engaging in others and investing your time and interest in them. Understand how you can better serve as a listener and a friend.

  • Pockets

Have small pockets of friends in each area of your life. Some at work, at school, where you volunteer and always your core best friends and family members who will be there for you to share this crazy beautiful life together. It’s not about how many fluffy friends you have, but about how deep and healthy the relationships you do have that will support your own personal growth and make you laugh along the way.

  • Positivity

Get rid of the negative relationships that are stunting your growth. Think about how you are learning and growing from others, and understand that relationships have their cycles, and some friends are here for a reason and a season. By determining the quality of your relationships, you can eliminate those that are hurting you or aren’t fuelling your positive mindset. Surround yourself with accepting, fun, interesting people that are willing to go on any adventure with you! 

secret, canoeing

Get intentional with how you are spending your time … schedule it out and be efficient.  It will take some self-discipline, but you will be amazed at how you can find balance in every aspect of your life … surrounding yourself with beautiful people who encourage your growth and your mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health. 

Take time to love yourself, spread the love around, and throw some in your recipes 😉

Peace & Love,

Jill – your veggie villager xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey my veggie villagers!

It’s soon to be New Year’s Eve … and with a new year comes with a list of goals that we set and keep for exactly 4 minutes. How pathetic. Why are we never able to translate what we write on paper to wellness habits for our daily lives?

I think it begins with being more reflective, accountable and using the resources around us.

It all starts with goal setting.

So here’s how to IMPLEMENT your New Year’s resolutions to be the BEST version of YOU:

Use SMART Goals.

  •  SPECIFIC – define exactly what you want to accomplish! Your goal to be healthier should include HOW? Want to change your eating habits? – HOW do you plan on doing that? Exercise more? WHAT exercise, program, does this include a membership?
  • MEASURABLE – use quantitative measures to see your progress for encouragement and satisfaction when achieving goals – Maybe exercise for 30 minutes everyday, spend 10 minutes a day meditating … get creative!
  • ADJUSTABLE – you can choose to adjust your goals in order to not discourage you during your progress. Don’t let this be a free pass to keep pushing back your goals to a later date – procrastination won’t get you anywhere!
  • REALISTIC – okay …. if you haven’t exercised in the past year and want to run a marathon by the end of January … let’s be real. You need to work up to achieving a balance of your mind, body and soul in your daily life, including your daily exercise routine and training. Big goals like these need the right mindset and tools. It will probably take more than a month … just saying!
  • TIMELY – Set short-term and long-term goals within a specific time frame to make you accountable to reach your goal deadline! Even procrastinators crunch when they have a deadline they have to meet! This could be a month, 6 months, a year …. whatever is individual to you and your personal goals towards wellness!

Be positive and reflective.

While taking time to write down your SMART goals, also take time to pray and meditate in order to keep a positive and motivated mindset. Sit cross legged, close your eyes, and use VISUALIZATION to see yourself achieving your end goal – it’s a powerful tool that uses all of your senses! Taste, smell, hear, feel, and see your future rockin’ self!

Make sure you are also ACCOUNTABLE for your actions! I keep my positive mantras and goals on my wall so I see them everyday when I get ready as a reminder. You can also keep a food diary, exercise log, use your Fitbit, or a new app that was developed by Marni and Jesse called Habits!

By reminding yourself, you can become accountable in changing your habits and keeping them long-term! This app sends alerts to you on your phone to remind you of your healthy habits you want to implement, being custom or from a great list of them for the mind, body and soul. Their list also includes all of their podcasts that I absolutely LOVE listening to! Once you implement your healthy practice for 30 days – it truly becomes a habit!!

*Make sure you take time to reward yourself for achieving small steps to your end goal! You will see progressive change in your new body, mind and spirit – and this deserves CELEBRATION! The closer you are to your goals, the closer you are to daily wellness habits that become second nature. (It took about a year for me – I continue to develop on my own health and wellness journey – I will discuss my own journey below!)

Use your friends, family, and yourself as support!

The best way to keep your goals for the New Year is to tell those around you! Surround yourself with motivational people and use as many tools and resources as possible! Start a running group, go to Springz with your friends, take a walk or make dinner together – fill your daily life with  goodness, while being gratitude for the journey and progress! 

Stock your fridge with local, lively produce, dust off your running shoes, get a deal on a gym or yoga membership, put your weights and yoga mat out next to your exercising DVD (I don’t know about you … but going outside in the winter to exercise is a bit of a STRETCH for me – no pun intended), have your food diary next to the fridge …. anyway that YOU can support your goals and turn your INTENTION into ACTION*. REMEMBER – Be KIND to yourself and forgive yourself for setbacks and mistakes – continue to challenge yourself in order to reach your fullest potential!! 

While I have some time off from school, I will be studying to be a certified personal trainer, reading health books, meeting with knowledgeable friends – anyway that I can expand my knowledge and growth in the health field! Some of the new books I have started to read that fascinate me (Thanks to Mom and an Indigo gift card in my stocking!) are the Blue Zones by Dan Buettner and Miracles Now by Gabrielle Bernstein.

Blue Zones are SO interesting – they are places in the world where people live the longest and have the best quality of life!! I plan on visiting each one of them – and possibly living there!!!

Also, Miracles Now gives you 108 Life-changing tools for less stress, more flow and finding your true purpose – and we ALL could use some of those!

I encourage each one of you to continue to have a growth mindset and expand your knowledge about food, exercise, how to develop your mind, and find your purpose in your work, relationships and in your daily routine.

Please let me know what your goals are for the New Year and how YOU plan to keep them!! Stay optimistic, enthusiastic, accountable and motivate and support yourself in order to achieve the BEST NEW YOU!!

Peace & Love,

Jill – your veggie villager xx

 

 

 

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