Hey amigos!

Do you have a heart that loves to serve others?
Are you doing a job that you love so much that you would work for free?

Sometimes it’s hard for us to realize our value and to attach a price tag to the service we provide to others, simply because we either love doing it or we don’t feel qualified enough. We have thoughts like “there are probably a hundred other people doing the same thing … so what makes me different?” This can be harder for women, who generally receive less than men in terms of salary and tend to not be given high positions in companies … which can make us feel that we are never doing enough or being enough.

Well, I’m here to tell you that you are enough … even more than enough and that the good you are doing in the world is actually worth a lot! We need to take back our power and value ourselves for all that we are worth!
It starts with self respect and self love … towards all that you are and all that you have the power to be. 

We need to dig in deep and empower ourselves in the words we say to ourselves, and how we are reacting to situations around us. Are we passive or assertive? Are we standing up for ourselves and all that we can become … or are we being taken advantage of?

I grew up serving in my church and was always a volunteer doing something … whether it was watching kids, worshipping on stage or helping in the kitchen and bringing healthy snacks on Sundays. When I entered university, I was up to my knees in volunteer work, including being in a Vice-President role that felt like another part-time job on top of the one I already had AND being a full time student.

Sometimes we need to have our volunteer experiences to grow and evolve in our skills and abilities. I’m not saying that volunteer work needs to stop when you discover your value and purpose, but I am suggesting that there is a point where being a volunteer can leave you feeling exhausted, unappreciated and unsupported.

We need to recognize this breaking point but also make volunteering and serving a part of our daily lives in order to find our voice, our passion and our power. 

I volunteered for a while and played the harp at special events at my church and retirement homes until I felt comfortable enough to start playing at weddings, yoga classes and at bigger events. Now, with more experience and skill, I set the price for my services … and that has been both a humbling and exciting experience and makes me feel even more grateful and appreciated when I get to play for others!

Soooo …. How do you know when it’s time to start valuing yourself? How can you ignite your unique, assertive and passionate fire?
Here are a few tips to awaken yourself to the power and value within: 

  1. Your time and energy are expended to the max.

If you feel resentful and are spreading yourself too thin … chances are that you are. Claim your power and be assertive in setting prices for your services outside of volunteering. When it isn’t an act from your heart, it is no longer volunteering or serving. Make your work rewarding and feel satisfied at the end of a busy day in order to live out your best self.

One of the weddings that I played at.
  1. Your skills are up to par with professionals.

Take notice of your skills and how you have evolved along the way. Are you no longer at an intermediate level? Do you feel able to teach and inspire others with the knowledge you have accumulated? Be honest with yourself in your unique skills and understand your niche in your field. 

  1. Others come to you for expertise.

Do others come to you with questions related to your hobby? Do they ask for advice or guidance about a certain topic that you know a little too much about? Start to listen to the feedback from others and what they tell you. They may be the ones showing you your next career in your life that you are passionate about and that makes you come alive!

Graduated … I must have learned something!
  1. You are certified and have experience [more importantly].

Did you take an online course? Or a weekend immersive workshop to get certified in something? That’s the first step to attaining the knowledge you need to shine. When you start to volunteer and get experience, that’s when you can do your trial and error runs, and learn what works and what doesn’t, which can add so much value to you!

Yes to puppy kisses all day long.
  1. Learn to say no, and learn to say yes.

Valuing yourself starts with tuning in to what you want and what you don’t. When others ask too much from you … learn when to say no. However, when opportunities come your way don’t be afraid to say YES to the right ones and be grateful that others are taking notice of your value! Listen to your intuition … it will guide you to value and purpose!

So take back your power in situations when you feel used and when your value is not being recognized. We have to be kind to ourselves before we can be kind to others … and it starts with being honest about our situation, our resources and our knowledge.

Peace & Love,
Jill – your veggie villager xx
Please comment below about how you have gained back your power and valued your beauty and light within!



Hey my Villagers!

I have had the privilege of working as an undergraduate research assistant in the field of social media and body image. We have done some interesting work looking at Instagram and how it can negatively impact how we view ourselves through not only comparing our bodies to others but sparking thoughts that lead to danger health patterns {that includes videos on how to make m&m deep fried twinkie cakes 😉 }.

selfie, social media
The selfie at its finest.

It may surprise you that the amount of time we spend ‘lurking’ on strangers’ accounts can cause us to become self-conscious, depressed, and ultimately, doubtful of ourselves and our abilities. You wouldn’t think that simply looking at images could change how we feel about ourselves, but reflect on how ads and marketing works. We are constantly bombarded by images of clothes and cars causing our society as a whole to become more aware of how we are viewed by others through the value of what we HAVE and not who we ARE.

Our materialism and superficial world has caused us to be so conscious of our APPEARANCE, rather than our SOULS.

 We are putting on layers of makeup, rather than peeling away layers of doubt, fear, and opening up our spirits to others and being real!

We need to let our souls LOOSE and not worry about what others think. Sing, dance, laugh, scream, and SHARE your messy and authentic self with the world because what people TRULY value is REALNESS and RAW BEAUTY.

nature, social media, health

We should be using media for GOOD, to stay in touch with long distant friends, to share what’s happening in our communities {the good news!} and to share ways to enhance our health and well-being. Social media shouldn’t be used to share selfies, judge others, or portray false and flashy lifestyles.

social media, health
Let’s be real.

Social media encourages us to spend money on things that make our lives empty, taking us away from truly LIVING in beautiful moments with those we love. We should be giving gratitude and thanks before meals, not taking pictures of our meals. {Guilty, but always pray first then snap that Instaworthy shot – it’s just the blogger in me 😉 }

social media, health, vegan

Here are some tips to help you protect your self-esteem and your SOULS, while still enjoying technology:

  1. Time yourself. Record how long you are on social media for a day. Can you live without checking your newsfeeds for a day? Or do you have FOMO (Fear of missing out – yes it’s actually a thing}?! Research has found that about 3 hours and more of social media use per day can start to effect body image and self-esteem. So protect yourself and be conscious of what you are spending your time doing. Use your extra time to invest in yourself – read a book, go for a walk, try a new recipe or take up a new hobby!
  2. Become media literate. Become educated on how media can affect your decisions. Yes, most pictures are photoshopped and models are usually unrealisitic sizes and shapes. Don’t let images change your thoughts and ultimately, your behaviours and harm your health. Make sure your kids or boys and girls you mentor know about the effects of social media, especially since kids at the age of like 8 have cell phones.
  3. Set a meeting time face to face. Social media sites like Facebook should be used to initially set up Skype meetings or coffee dates, but should not serve as the only means of communication. We are losing our communication skills – let’s stay connected face to face and not phone to phone.
  4. Check out events and stay updated. Facebook is the best source for searching events that are happening in your community! Instagram can also help you explore your communities and find new hiking trails that excite you or new places to travel! Use social media to research your next trip and make your life more exciting and health filled!
  5. Share things that bring you joy. I don’t know about you, but taking a selfie isn’t as rewarding to me than taking a picture with those I love! Share images of moments that bring you joy, and that enhance your life! Share what you love to do – whether that be cooking, hiking or dancing and inspire others to find themselves in their true passions!
community, social media, health, essential oils
Essential oil class with my fav and new people!

I encourage you to be conscious of the AMOUNT of time you spend on social media and WHAT you are looking at on your newsfeeds. Protect yourself from being consumed by materialism and appearance and instead, explore your passions, connect and share in community with like-minded, positive and joyful people!!

social media, health, community
Find stillness and joy in nature!

Peace & Love,

Jill – your veggie villager xx


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