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One ThOusand Trees

January 2014

One ThOusand Trees faciliTaTing wellness

ThrOugh cOnnecTiOn, creaTiviTy, and cOmmuniTy service

Publisher & editor-in-Chief lisa browning regular Columnists California dreaming -- sherie Cunningham sensing souls -- franziska boon spirit art reflections -- sheilagh mercer dePartment editors sustainable living -- vacant health & Wellbeing -- moragh lippert Creativity & the arts-- vacant the library -- lisa browning food & nutrition -- alex maceachern giving back -- sarah daly, Katrina duiker, Joanna michalski Paying it forward -- Victoria Kaye Community eVents editors guelph -- lisa browning brantford -- vacant Cambridge -- lee Pryke Kitchener-Waterloo -- danielle hughes adVertising danielle hughes One Thousand Trees is published monthly. Submissions for Feature Articles (based on the monthly theme) or Regular Departments are due on the 20th of the month prior to each publication. Full Production Schedule, including summary of monthly themes, can be found at Please submit by email, either in the body of your message, or as a Word doc attachment, by the above-stated deadlines. Please do not send PDFs. First-time writers for One Thousand Trees are asked to send a brief (two to three sentence) bio, and a head shot in JPEG format. All rights reserved. Articles cannot be reprinted without the written consent of the Publisher. one thousand trees 59 Curzon Crescent guelph on n1K 0b2 email: office: 519-265-1212 Cell: 519-362-5494 fax: 519-265-6712

One ThOusand Trees January 2014

Organized ...



FEATURE ARTICLES: 2014 Will be the year! by melissa baer

defining your mission

by nancy rebellato Defining Your Mission, p 2

Closet Cleaning deClared national holiday by alex maceachern

refleCtions of gratitude


by lee Pryke

1 2 8

Co-Housing Inititiave Comes to Guelph, p 4


California dreaming -- by sherie Cunningham ......................................................................................................................................... 7 food & nutrition -- Quinoa ~ did you Know? ................................................................................................................................... 13 giVing baCK -- focus on Volunteering ....................................................................................................................................... 19 -- Volunteering in southwestern ontario ................................................................................................................ 21 health & Wellbeing -- how to survive the holiday blues ..................................................................................................................... 13 -- health & Wellness Classes, from ouroboros Wellness ...................................................................................... 18 the library -- self-Publishing my first book, by lee Pryke ................................................................................................... 14 -- recommended reading: you Can heal your life, by louise hay ................................................................... 16 -- organized for life, a short story by bob smith ............................................................................................... 23 sensing souls -- by franziska boon ............................................................................................................................................... 4 sPirit art refleCtions -- by sheilagh mercer ............................................................................................................................................. 17 sustainable liVing -- Co-housing initiative Comes to guelph, by david mcauley ........................................................................... 10

This mOnTh’s cOnTriBuTOrs franziska Boon

melissa Baer

Sensing Souls

2014 Will be the Year!

In addition to being a Psychic Medium (certified through LWISSD by internationally recognized Lisa Williams), Franziska is also a qualified Permaculture Designer and Biodynamics Practitioner. Given her passion for sustainability and the environment she is very excited about her upcoming radio show "Happy 2 Bee Eco" premiering January 31st through For more information visit or

melissa has grown up with food in her blood. born on the farm, melissa has a passion for empowering people about their food, helping them to feel great. she sells organic grass fed meats through Vibrant farms, a company she started in 2009. melissa is actively pursuing her ultimate goal of never having to visit a grocery store, living sustainably yet luxuriously, and showing others how they can do it too! ultimately she envisions a world where food brings people together and bonds families in laughter and love.

sherie cunningham

alex maceachern

Closet Cleaning Declared National Holiday

California Dreaming

sherie is accomplished in many ways. she is an active member of "the Writers Café", "the Write Practice" and "Poets and Writers" groups. When she takes a break from writing, you’ll find her working on her own custom designed jewelry, taking long walks along san diego bay, or engrossed in photography. she has four children and three grandchildren … so far. she has made her home in san diego for forty-five years.

alex's background was inspired by her upbringing on a farm and her love of cooking. a master’s degree in sociology and a catering business followed, bridging her passion for organic food and small farms. alex is making the most of her transition to the uK and venturing down a new career path, having enrolled in a flower essence course and reiki training.

sheilagh mercer

david mcauley

Spirit Art Reflections

Co-Housing Initiative Comes to Guelph

sheilagh is a professional illustrator, sculptor and art instructor. she also has an alternative practice called "life is...", where her focus is as an animal communicator and medical intuitive. sheilagh enjoys inspiring others in art, holding workshops through her own business and also her three days a week as an art instructor at the ancaster seniors achievement Centre. for more information on her programs, visit: w or

Principal of J. david mcauley architect inc. in guelph, david is a certified building biology specialist in the design of healthy buildings, feng shui and Vastu shastra practitioner. he studied biogeometry and is an active dowser. david specializes in healthy/sustainable design, community buildings, homes, sacred places, residential care, healing/retreat centres and recreational buildings and is a founding member of guelph sustainable living Community. -i-

lee Pryke

nancy rebellato

Self-Publishing My First Book

Defining Your Mission

Dr. Nancy Rebellato, ND is a naturopathic doctor, educator and writer who loves to help guide others. She can be found through her website, / or at her office at 44 Cardigan St. #5, Guelph, Ontario, N1H 3Z4, and by phone at 519835-6568.

dubbed a 'boost of happy', lee ushers her audience to align on a personal and professional level, laughing often and loving self. lee's eclectic approach of connecting the dots unfolds in her workshops, soul coaching, as an author and inspired communicator. founder of i am i Can self enrichment Centre and healthy Choices Wellness show, lee believes when you find vibrational alignment within, you personally thrive. for more information visit

Bob smith

Organized for Life like many writers, r.K. (bob) smith has worked in widely different settings, accounting for diverse characters, settings, and story lines. he describes his stories as ‘character-driven’, rather than ‘plot-driven’. People face some kind of challenge and face it with creativity and integrity, often connecting with others as part of the process. he has published novels and short stories in online, newspaper, and more traditional printed formats, as well as having written Christmas stories heard on radio.

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The fact that I am writing this piece on January 3 is an indication that perhaps I need to pay more attention to my own organizational tasks! In my defence, it’s been a busier-than-usual December. Three books published, a book launch and Christmas Creations sale, planning for some exciting projects taking place this year ... and on top of it all, Christmas and New Year’s! For me, it is all about balance. My tendency is to fill my plate too full, and go-go-go until I find myself exhausted. With so many amazing projects, however, it is difficult to say no! This year, I will strive for balance. More tea and meditation, less meals on the run (or the drive). More candles, music, and quiet times. More fun, family and friends. Not to say that I will be turning down the projects. I will simply find ways to spread them out over time, so I can fit it all in. That said, I am happy with the focus this month, and the articles included. You will notice some new regular departments, and some new monthly columns. I am pleased to welcome Sherie Cunningham from California, and Franziska Boon from Australia, who join Alex MacEachern (England), as the “world out there” contingent. Sheilagh Mercer and Melissa Baer have also signed on as regular contributors, and Danielle Hughes has agreed to help out with advertising. (More on that next month!) Thanks to first-time contributors Nancy Rebellato and David McAuley. I hope to be including more from them in future.  Thanks also to repeat contributors Lee Pryke and Bob Smith, who round out this issue. Wishing you a 2014 filled with joy, success, peace, love ... and balance!


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2014 will finally Be The year !! 5 Tips to stick To your new habits by Melissa Baer When we think about organizing for the New Year we think – clean out filing cabinet, organize receipts, discard of unused clothing and make a trip to the thrift store. I personally think about that TV show Hoarders and Till Debt Do Us Part. Whether you realize it or not being healthy has a LOT to do with how well you are organized. In fact it is often a determinant of success or failure in your newly adopted habits. I have been through the gamut of health regimens and diets. I have a weird little personality that thrives on discipline. So you think “oh well then that would be easy for you”. I assure you in each of the diets or regimes I had to adopt it had more to do with how well I could set up my life around the new commitment than it did with my discipline. I had to learn to set myself up for success. A little prethought will go a long way in ensuring your success. Since I’m all about feeling empowered about your health, I want to give you some ways to ensure that you don’t sabotage your well intentioned and well thought out plans for an improved healthy lifestyle. Here are some questions to ask yourself whenever you’re thinking about implementing something new into your life. Whether it be a new gym membership or a new way of eating or grocery shopping. 1) What tools will I need to support this new change in my life? There is nothing worse than having great intentions like implementing a green smoothie every

day but not having a blender! I will caution here that you can over analyze and buy tools but never get started. I don’t mean you need to have the top of the line equipment, I just mean you need to have equipment. 2) Where will this fit into your lifestyle? If you think about your current lifestyle, getting up early for work, getting the kids off to school, lunches, and then out the door. How will you learn the new skills you need to implement new habits? Will you remember to do the things you do if it’s not in your face (eg/ having the blender sit out on the counter). Will you give yourself enough time in the beginning to be not so good at it. These are major considerations. It is also important to consider how your environment affects your new habits. If you have to cook for your kids who love pasta and you’re staying away from GMO wheat, will you enroll the whole family or will you choose not to? Will you have to cook something different? How will you manage that to support yourself in that VERY difficult choice (not eating the pasta that’s covered in butter and salt right in front of your face and nose?) 3) Where is your accountability? Sometimes this can simply writing things in a diary, sometimes this is a support group; sometimes this is a buddy, or your family or your husband? After all like my favourite rugby coach used to say “it’s not what you do when people are watching it’s what you do when nobody is around.“ 4) What is your Follow up? Anything you do deserves a follow up. Since I come from a high level sports background I was -1-

always trained to evaluate performance. While there are definitely times to be gentle with yourself (don’t get me wrong – that one is so important), there are also times to kick your own butt! This question will help you determine a time and process to evaluate whether this is a good fit for you or what areas need improvement, more systemization, more support etc. This is also an area that will help you determine if the new health habit is one that is working for you. Once you become a rock star implementer you’ll be able to focus on how these habits affect your health. If there is one thing I’ve learned is that your body (and your family’s bodies) will go through changes and it is unrealistic to think there is a “magic” bullet way of eating or cooking that will take you right till you die. I promise that it will change. When you can sit back and really be aware of the nuances of your body you’ll be able to make subtle changes to accomplish ultimate health! The trick comes in knowing how to listen to your body, but that’s a whole other topic for another time. Here’s to your organized healthy lifestyle and relishing in the adventure that is your health and your food!

defining your mission

by Dr. Nancy Rebellato, ND As the New Year blooms and presents us with new opportunities, it is often helpful to stop and reflect upon how far we have come and to take the time to sit and contemplate where we would like to go, what we would like to do, and what we would like to achieve in the future. While sometimes we feel we have no control over our lives and we are running to keep up to an artificial schedule that we have created, it is easy to lose sight of our goals and our vision of how we would like our lives to be. It is at these times that we need to sit and reflect upon how our life works now and what we have achieved. Taking time to appreciate what we have done instead of beating ourselves up for things we haven’t done is a much more useful exercise. When many people are making New Year’s resolutions to go back to the gym or lose weight, I find it much more helpful to formulate a mission statement, along with a set of goals that are in alignment with my mission, followed by objectives that help me to meet those goals. Whenever I conduct my personal year-end review, I always discover that I have met every objective and goal in some way and have achieved my mission for that year. And this is how I do it: Mission Statement A mission statement is your purpose of what you want to do for the world. It is your reason for existing and guides your daily actions, your decision-making and your strategies for how you approach life in general.

In order to determine your mission statement, it is necessary to take stock of your skills and abilities, determine the things that make you different and unique (even if they seem like weaknesses or limitations at the moment) and look at how you can focus them into your contribution for the world. This contribution is not a one-way street however. Your contribution, and as a result, you mission statement must be one that nurtures you as well. It must continually meet and nourish your needs physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and energetically while you are contributing. Your contribution should not be depleting you but rather filling you up. Goals In order to achieve one’s life mission, goals must be set in the direction of that mission. Having studied Commerce in university, I learned that in business a goal is defined as an observable and measureable result having one or more objectives to be achieved within a specific time frame. ( So to clarify, a mission is an overall statement of purpose, whereas goals are the smaller vehicles that -2-

you must achieve to go in the direction of your mission. For example: my mission statement To restore balance to the universe one person at time including myself by improving the health of everyone whose lives i touch. Goals 1. I take the appropriate undergraduate university courses that are required for application to the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) in 1994. 2. I find work that financially allows me to attend school. 3. I make my application to CCNM in spring of 1994. 4. I find fellow students to help me to achieve in school and help me to grow as a person and practitioner, while finding solutions to my own health issues. 5. I pass my licensing exams on the first try and begin practicing immediately. 6. I move back to Sudbury and pioneer Naturopathic Medicine in the

medically underserviced region of Northern Ontario while care giving for my two ill parents and finding solutions for my own health issues.

For example, my first goal of taking the appropriate courses required by CCNM is broken down into the following objectives:

7. When my parents are gone, I move to a city that nurtures me and promotes further growth, physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and energetically.

1. I determine from the CCNM website what courses are required as prerequisites for Naturopathic Medicine.

As you can see, my goals are specific, observable, and measureable, within a specified time frame and are in perfect alignment with my mission statement. It is also obvious to note that within each goal are many specific objectives that must met to achieve these larger goals. Objectives An objective is a specific result that you aim to achieve within a specific time frame with the available resources. Objectives are more specific and more easily measured than goals are the basic tools for measuring performance.

2. I assess my current courses to determine what courses I still require. 3. I look at Laurentian University’s course calendar and choose the appropriate courses. 4. Where courses are not a direct match, I contact CCNM to see if they would accept the equivalent. 5. I enrol for the courses and pay the money. 6. I attend course and write the exams. So, as you can see, goals and objectives are things that we achieve every day without even realizing it. The key is to determine in


advance what your mission statement is and ensure that your goals and objectives are congruent with your mission. If you notice any incongruences or misalignments in your life, they can be a source of illness, weakness or stress. This is when it is critical to look at your mission statement first and determine if that is still your mission. If not, you have to redefine it. Formulating your New Year’s mission statement takes time, effort and lots of connection to yourself. By taking this time to set your course, your goals and your objectives, you will find that opportunities present themselves. The New Year “blooms” for you and good things come your way to help you with your mission with seemingly little effort. It’s as if God and the universe is in agreement with all you do. Hopefully these words of wisdom from my life can be passed on and improve the health, balance and lives of all who read them. Wishing you all the best in 2014!

Channel, Clairvoyant, Spirit Communicator, Ghost Whisperer, Empath, Mystic, Prophet or Oracle to name a few.

sensing souls

by Franziska Boon It's a cold and cloudy Sunday morning here in Melbourne Australia, the city known for having four seasons in just one day. It took me a couple of years to learn that layering clothes was a good idea when I first arrived in Oz after falling in love with an Aussie backpacker. You wouldn't think that summer has landed yet though because the weather seems wacko. I've already had to use the wood fire heater a number of times this December which is crazy seeing how it's our summer. So here I am sitting in front of my computer writing my very first piece as a regular columnist for One Thousand Trees on the only morning I have this week to lie in my cozy bed snuggling Mark because my one of my Guides has given me an insight about this month's theme. You see I'm known by various titles which can get all sorts of different reactions based on an individual's level of perception, experience and knowledge of exactly what that word means. I am a Psychic Medium (certified through LWISSD) however some people in this field prefer to be called a Sensitive, Intuitive,

It's a gift I didn't understand for most of my life and at the beginning of 2013 I made the conscious commitment to fully embrace working with Spirit. I set the intention to heal souls while raising awareness through sharing their loving guidance. For many years before that I had sat in development circles, participated in workshops or short courses, read books and searched the internet to expand my understanding however I was only really dabbling on a surface level. I was frightened of losing control as working within this field requires one to trust and believe in what they are sensing while surrendering their ego. I'm now come completely out of the Spiritual closet as I've let go of my fear of being judged. Since I've made this decision I've noticed some people in my life have dropped away while others are intrigued which is all perfectly OK as we are each finding our own way. I have to tell you how ironic it is that I'm writing a piece about getting "organized for life" because it's an area I really do need to develop further to assist me in finding balance within the work I envision myself doing in the future. So thank you Spirit for giving me the kick up the arse I needed while providing the opportunity to reflect on how exactly I'm going to achieve greater harmony within my mind, body and soul. It's funny because last week a friend who's a Reiki Master was providing a healing for a client who needed to be driven by her 40 something year old daughter. It -4-

was interesting because the daughter choose to remain in the room while the session was in progress. During the healing my friend Maya had an awareness of the daughter moving items around displayed on the shelves of her healing space however she didn't pay it much attention as she was engaged with the energy coming through for her client. When the session had finished she was surprised to see her entire healing room rearranged with all of her books organized in the order of the corresponding colours of the chakra system. My friend didn't mention anything to either of the ladies when they booked a follow up appointment before leaving. Maya posted the experience on her personal Facebook page without judgement as she was curious to see what other people's reactions might be. She received a large range of responses including; is she autistic, OCD, how rude, bored and so on. It was interesting to witness each person's perception of the situation. I offered mine the following day after my guides provided me a different insight at 1:00am. (Not always during office hours). I told Maya it was clearly a sign to get her attention especially with how the room was organized to reflect the chakra system sequence of colours. I suggested that she should look at various areas in her life such as work, relationships, goals, love, creative expression, education, spirituality and see how each one corresponds to the different chakras to create a more balanced approach. It was an "AH-HA" moment for both of us since I see all situations as being somewhat reflective. It was also a timely reminder as a healer, given the drive to help others, we can sometimes compromise our own needs when offering assistance.

This morning I kept having one of those merry-go-round types of dreams which usually happens when my guides are trying to get my attention about something I need to look at for myself. I used to waitress at a Scottish Fish and Chip restaurant called The Thistle many moons ago when I lived in Burlington, Canada. It was the busiest place with each employee being completely stretched within

their role as the demand was very high. I learned a lot about myself during those years for which I am truly grateful. As weird as it sounds though, it seems The Thistle is a place I sometimes go within my dream state when areas of my life need to be rebalanced. It represents chaos to me when I reflect upon those crazy Friday nights and the mad rush of serving customers.


I took this photo on December 20th of my two children (Phoenix on the left and Malachi on the right) and our domestic Earth Angel, Jenny. I am truly "GRATEFUL" to have such an amazing lady step into our lives when I am unable to do so. Thank you Universe. Franziska -5-

Last night I found myself back there in the astral on a slamming jamming Friday night. I was working the section commonly known as "Door" which had one less table than the other sections and a clearer run to the kitchen so it was considered the ideal choice amongst some of the waitresses if they were feeling low in energy. I saw my section fill up instantly and made the mistake of going around to everyone all at once to take their orders so no one would feel over looked which created confusion and anxiety within myself. Ideally I should have taken each table's order as they arrived, gotten their drinks and then dropped their docket into the kitchen before going onto the next table. It's interesting when we look at how this story can play out within each of our lives through a different scenario. The need to take it on all at once, to please everyone else first before actually honouring ourselves. Anyway, back to my dream.....I was welcomed back by the original owner and friendly new staff. The front of the restaurant was bright and seemed the same however the back of the restaurant where the kitchen was located seemed dark and different. I found myself really struggling to find things I needed to serve my customers even though the other employees offered their limited assistance. At that exact moment I became aware that I was dreaming and started to question what the significance of this experience was while still being within the dream. I started to see the front of the house as being reflective of the social persona I offer to those around me and the back of the house being reflective of the deeper internal mechanics of how I process life to move through its

challenges to once again see the brighter side. I was being guided to look at myself and see what areas of my life needed to be reorganized so that I could achieve a greater sense of balance. Another AH-HA moment. By definition the word Chakra is Sanskrit for wheel or disk. It signifies one of seven basic energy centres in the body running along the spine which are the openings for life energy to flow into and out of our aura. Each of our chakras is an antenna that is constantly receiving and transmitting energy. Chakras also correlate to levels of consciousness, archetypal elements, developmental stages of life, colours, sounds, body functions, and more. The lower chakras focus on details such as our home, family, and emotions. While the upper chakras focus on the spiritual aspect of our lives, with the heart being the central platform between the spirit world and the physical world. All of the chakras affect one another and work together. It's interesting when we consider there are seven main chakras, seven days of the week, seven musical keys and seven colours of the rainbow. Could it be coincidence or simply divine providence?

I suspect if one is going to be inspired by these insights it will come down to taking an honest inventory of one's present situation. To observe patterns so we can see what's working, what needs adjusting and what needs letting go of. I know from experience that meditation is a great way to still the mind to connect with our inner compass. This kind of self exploration takes time though because at the end of the day we reap the rewards of what we're willing to put in. By using the brief outline of the chakra system as a starting point for self reflection, we can see that there are several key areas within our lives that need to be honoured so we can achieve a greater sense of balance, thus becoming more "organized for life." How each of us goes about implementing this knowledge will be quiet different as we are all beautifully unique. I know for me personally I've been itching to do another big cull within my home. I'm finding that I'm becoming less attached to things and feel the need to move stuff on energetically. My children are so excited at the prospect of having a garage sale and pocketing money. Our family really enjoys finding treasures when we venture out to 7th chakra - spirituality 6th chakra - intuition 5th chakra communication 4th chakra - love 3rd chakra - Power 2nd chakra - sexuality 1st chakra - survival -6 -

the local markets, opportunity shops and garage sales. So it will be a nice change sitting on the other side of the fence. I love that things can be recycled and upcycled, allowing the circle of energy to flow where it needs to. I've also recently given up gluten and dairy in my diet which has actually helped lift brain fog. I'm finding that I'm feeling better for it which is motivating me to create more healthy eating habits even though we've been mostly organic for over eight years. I realized I wasn't really listening to what resonated within my body so I'm making changes based of my inner guidance as opposed to my brain sprouting off you should have this or you should have that..... I'm also realizing that the amount of time I spend in front of the computer screen is out of balance with my need to rejuvenate outside in nature even though we're surrounded by lovely countryside living on a farm. I need to stop finding distractions which inevitably is a form of procrastination. Consider this my confessional ... yikes! I've got a book of swimming passes which insures my children will celebrate my awesomeness over the summer holidays. These are just a few of my personal epiphanies along the way to becoming more "organized for life." Naturally I'll get challenged along the way to see where I'm truly at within myself but how else am I going to be able to gauge where I've come from and where I'm heading to. It's all about taking the steps we feel guided to along the way to self awareness within our mind, body and soul.


by Sherie Cunningham

When I was asked to be a part of this group, I was over the top with excitement. I thought, wow what a great honor to be included with the likes of these amazing, creative writers! After my initial excitement began to fade, reality soon set in. As I typed the theme for this month, “Organized for Life”, my doubts swooped right in and proceeded to steal my thunder. I caught myself in the midst of buying into the story my old beliefs were dishing out. I stopped in middle of my craziness and realized this is what the meaning of “Un-organized” looks like! This is the space where dreams are demolished and thrown away. As soon as my little mind caught hold of the fact that my dreams might be realized, insecurity took over, convincing me that my dreams were questionable. It took no time for this random barrage of mental sabotage to seep in, steal my thunder and convince me I didn’t have the talent it took to be great. Realizing I was in the midst of my self-worth being demolished, I knew that with one thought I could put a stop to this craziness, allow the drama to die and be done with it. Wow, good job Sherie. I can be my own worst enemy.

Then I must also ask myself what if I found my calling and became a success? What if I allowed the possibility for life to be great and got out of my own way? That would involve a lot of courage. These days I’m paying attention to my fear, which is famous for showing up as an insecure frenzy of self doubt. I realize that I am responsible for my own insanity and can snap out of it at any time. Clearly … all doubts must go. Now, to get on with the topic at hand, “Organized for Life”. Creation happens in the now; it needs space to thrive. In order to get the best results, I need to reevaluate everything in my life …“Thought Creates Form” and I consistently experience this law (of–the-universe). So why am I so attached to old ways of thinking, of being? I’ve got outdated thoughts and idea’s taking up precious space. I would call it organized chaos at best! It is comfortable and it’s safe. Arguing for my limitations is a way of denying myself the life I was meant to live. Inwardly I go crazy thinking what if it doesn’t work out. I might need something. Nothing is intrinsically that important! These are old ideas and beliefs that don’t serve me in any way! Let-it-go!!! I relate to it as my bag full of stuff. It’s in perfect disorder. Some of it I’ve been dragging around for a lifetime. We’re old friends by now and I have the tendency to believe I am my stuff, which makes it that much harder to let it go. However, I am determined to get organized. • “Attachment”, I am not my stuff. Let it go. -7-

• “Limiting beliefs”, I am the sum total of my beliefs. Choose the good ones. • “Fear”, keeps me stuck; doesn’t allow me to grow. • “Complications”, costs me my certainty and creates fear. • “Uncertainty”, a place to hide when fear is gone. • “Doubt”, creates mistrust in myself. • “Mediocre”, keeps me in a space of … not quite good enough. • “Apathy”, an empty excuse for being lazy. • “Anger”, creates resentment. • “Egotistical”, Self-importance, It’s all about me. What if I allowed the possibility for life to be great? That would involve a lot of courage. What if I had the audacity to be authentic? That would call for me releasing any lies I’ve been living. What if I embraced enthusiasm? I would have to let go of apathy. What if I lived powerfully? I would have to embrace living life beyond my comfort zone. What if I held gratitude in high esteem? I would have to let go of grudges and self sabotage. What if I lived a life of integrity? I would have to live life with honor and give up deceit. What if I gave up intolerance? I would have to be broad-minded and fair. What if I gave up all prejudiced thinking? I would have to remove all narrow-mindedness.

What if I let go of depression? I would have to let go of despair and helplessness.

closet cleaning declared national holiday

What if I embraced life from “possibility”? I would have to give up old obstacles and get out of my own way.

I told a bit of a tall-tale this morning, I told my British partner that, in Canada, December 31st is “clean out your front hall closet day”, and it might be a national holiday! While this is not totally true (I would be happy if it was), I was looking for ways to encourage him to want to tackle our front hall closet. I would be more than happy to embark on this tidying journey on my own, but its current state was established long before I moved to this country. Although my morning antics may not leave me with a clean closet, they have inspired some cleaning and organizationally inspired writing (the next best thing to a clean closet).

by Alex MacEachern

This endless chatter in the back of my head has run me my entire life. We’re old friends by now. I realize that I am responsible for my own well-being. However, when it comes to taking a stand for my greater good I have the tendency to roll over and play dead. Sometimes it’s just too much work. Ignorance is not bliss, it is an excuse for hiding out until the dust clears! It’s like being in a long term marriage that lost its spark and died and no one is willing to clean up the mess and bury it. It’s hard to breathe with your head in the sand, Sherie! You can’t build a castle out of ashes!

If you are looking to get organized and live a more calm and healthy 2014, I have a few tips to help you achieve this without massive commitments or unrealistic goals and lists.

Getting down to the business of sorting out and organizing my belief system does take courage. Some of these thoughts have been around for a lifetime. We’ve become old friends but have grown apart and no longer serve each other. Living in the past is safe, it’s predictable. However there’s not much satisfaction in facing tomorrow’s light with blinders on. I’m all about exploring and creating new life. Organized thought creates the space for new ideas to be born and come to life.

Step 1 ~ Head to the kitchen, turn on the radio and make yourself a cup of herbal tea or a delicious coffee Step 2 ~ Pull out your mason jars and line them up on your counter (if you don’t have loads of jars or food storage containers lying around, step 1 might be heading out to a thrift shop or grocery store to buy some containers). Step 3 ~ Pull out all of your flour, sugar, coffee, teas, stock cubes, oats, nuts, dried fruit, rice, quinoa and anything else that may be in a bag in your cupboard (if you don’t have a stocked pantry, when you are out buying your storage containers, load up on brown rice, quinoa, oats, dried fruit and nuts

In the end, I see myself dancing, swirling my magic wand, chanting incantations of a life well lived and full of love. Clearly … it is up to me, I’m always at “choice”. When I live from organization, I am centred!


to encourage healthy eating in the new year). Step 4 ~ Empty the contents of the various bags of flour and dried goods into reusable containers, screw on the lid and admire the organized beauty of dried goods in jars. When I moved into my boyfriend’s flat he had 4 bags of flour in his cupboard and countless other multiples of his dried goods. By putting all of your items into storage jars you will cut down on waste (food won’t go stale) and you will save yourself money (by eliminating purchasing items you don’t need). Now that your cupboards are organized, it is time to put on a pot of soup. There are countless recipes online so if you don’t have a collection of cookbooks, have no fear (and let go of the excuses) because you can find anything your heart desires on the wild and wonderful inter-web. Make enough soup for 10 or 12 portions (multiplying your recipe of choice to get up to the desired number of

portions). When you are cooking in 2014 make large pots of soups and stews, extra portions of banana bread and cakes so you can fill your freezer with snacks and meals that you can pull out on the days you are too tired to cook yourself a healthy meal. While your soup is simmering away, it is time to take a good hard look at the other cupboards in your kitchen. The kitchen for me is full of treasures that I have quite a strong sentimental attachment to (I packed my lemon zester in the move from Canada to England, along with a pasta maker, cast iron frying pans and palate knives ~ all in suitcases). So I understand the difficulty in letting go of items that you have a shared history with or that you think you might use one day but with the new year upon us, it is a time to let go of the old in order to create space for the new. It is impossible to attract anything new to your life if your home, mind and heart are currently full to bursting with stuff (this could be useful or clutter-creating stuff).

Now, back to the cupboards (don’t forget to stir your soup). I am asking you to find 1 item that is nonessential to your life in the kitchen (ask yourself if you have used it in the past week, month, year). Some items like my pasta maker won’t get used often and can stay but the rice cooker had to go because I make rice every week and never in the rice cooker. Get it? It is easy once you start and the space that remains will leave you feeling lighter and more free to enjoy your space. Although you may have been finished school for a while now, there is a bit of homework that I am going to ask you to perform. I would like you to build on the momentum of the dry goods organization, the soup making and freezing and the 1 item giveaway, I am asking that you find 1 item everyday for a week after you have read this article and made your first selection. Seven items you may yell! Yes, 7. This will help solidify your newfound ability to let go of things you don’t need to allow the abundance of 2014 to find you. You can take your selected items to the charity shop, sell them online or put them at the end of your driveway with a note inviting someone to take it for free, but you definitely can’t keep it in the house for more than a 2 weeks after selecting it and it can’t mysteriously find its way back to your kitchen! For healthy yummy recipes visit my blog at An inspiring life coach/decluttering guru can be found at


co-housing initiative comes to guelph by David McAuley

For almost all of our existence as a species, we have lived in groups of 10-50 people. Only in the last couple of generations in North America have we separated ourselves from communities based on extended families, common spiritual religious beliefs and practices, employment, language, ethnicity or heritage.

balconies facing away from public spaces and more public rooms like kitchen, dining and living rooms at the back. Families are smaller and house sizes are getting bigger, less efficient and more costly. With the population aging, loneliness, reduced income, utility costs increasing, health care costs rapidly escalating and life expectancy increasing, we need to downsize and find support from our families, close friends and neighbours. We can look to historic examples of successful communities which are closer, walkable and neighbour friendly.

Recent mobility, urbanization and densification have destroyed the naturally formed diverse and sustainable communities of the past. Living in detached homes, townhouses, apartments and condominiums of a similar design with wide streets for cars and long narrow corridors designed to maximize private space in individual dwelling units have reinforced our isolation and detachment from neighbours.

In casual conversations with friends, we observed that in downsizing we could benefit from sharing more of our resources and living in homes that were smaller, more efficient and on less property. Private spaces are needed for some of our daily activities but there are parts of our home which can be shared such as home entertainment, workshop, guest rooms, children’s playroom, hobbies, art and music studios, laundry, exercise, yoga, dining, large kitchen, library, vegetable gardens, food storage, outdoor spaces, decks and storage.

Design and lack of public parks, squares and streets, fences, hedges and excessive front yards do not offer opportunities for random connection and conversation with our neighbours. Houses and apartment units are designed with exterior decks and - 10 -

Communal sharing of tools, equipment, cars, vegetable gardens, preserving, co-operative bulk purchasing, utility concessions, communications, child care, safety, support, companionship and expertise becomes more effective in co-housing. With business, family and personal social connections established over many years living near downtown Guelph, we are not prepared to live in a large sociallyisolating condominium apartment building with hundreds of unknown neighbours, removed from the ground and isolated from neighbourhood and community. Traditional housing types do not exist that integrate and support diverse urban community living. We do not want to live in developments away from our City centre. Our social connections and work are not supported in rural locations without extensive car trips or public transportation. The growing Passive House movement, CMHC and many other sources have concluded that living in community in an urban context has a much lower environmental impact, is a more affordable, healthy and sustainable form of housing than living in individual homes.

Many environmentally efficient and sustainable features such as solar hot water, central heating, energy recovery ventilator, sanitary drain heat recovery, solar chimneys, water treatment, emergency power, rain and grey water harvesting are more feasible for larger installations and more people.

rental housing, guest accommodation, emergency/disaster shelter,

Large older homes are often energy inefficient and on too much property to maintain and afford.

My father suffers from Parkinson’s and my mother from Alzheimer’s, giving them few options for housing.

Places to Grow planning policies support increased densities in established urban centres. Our more active life style, activities and hobbies require ground contact. Opportunities exist in many neighbourhoods for facilities to offer courses, skills workshops, health care, exercise classes, dance, yoga, meditation, spiritual practices, musical concerts, community gardens, commercial kitchen, family and neighbourhood gatherings, supported and

Traditional homes are not barrier free accessible or designed for needs of an aging population. In my architectural practice, I’ve had clients with injuries that prevent them from using their homes during recovery.

If dwellings were designed to be more accessible, aging parents could remain independent and have support from close neighbours without the need for costly institutional or medical care. In several conversations with Trudy Dickinson, a real estate agent friend, it was mentioned that a large property capable of supporting construction of a cohousing development are listed but a group of people with similar needs had not been formed.

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A successful sustainable community is not formed by an attitude of “build it and they will come”. So three of us scheduled a meeting on Dec. 6, 2011 and invited people together to look at forming a sustainable community in Guelph. We sent out a questionnaire to determine general needs of the group and toured Whole Village rural community in Caledon south or Orangeville. A strong preference was expressed for an urban community as near as possible to downtown Guelph. After some research, I visited Terra Firma, the only other similar example in Ontario and learned a lot about the challenges and complications of getting municipal approvals for this new type of living. It often takes 5 years to establish and build an intentional community. The group grew and met almost every month for fellowship over potluck dinners. We read Diana

Leafe Christian’s “Creating a Life Together” and organized a public talk by her attended by about 90 people in October 2012. In November, 22 of us took a weekend-long communication, group decision-making and conflict resolution workshop with Glenda Mattinson. Further meetings were held to establish membership criteria and process and we adopted the name SILC Sustainable Intentional Living Community. In Feb 2013, we held a workshop on visioning facilitated by Meghan Kerwin and we agreed on the following purpose: “We are an outward looking community that strives to live our core values. We are dedicated to environmental, social and financial sustainability.” An extensive design preferences questionnaire was drafted and completed by 19 interested people. We met several times to discuss findings and compile common needs. A favourable site was offered near Speedvale Ave. and Delhi St. and some preliminary investigation on the energy efficient feasibility was done to determine if the land would accommodate our proposed community.

We had a preliminary consultation with the City of Guelph staff representing planning, environment, engineering, traffic and urban forestry. We learned the zoning and official plan requirements for permitted land uses, setbacks, density, height, parking, approval process, specialized reports required for a formal application, level of support, schedule and scope of site work anticipated for our project. Preliminary budget numbers were generated by Murray Arnott and myself in consultation and assistance from Ben Polley of Harvest Homes a sustainable builder in Guelph. After several meetings it was determined that the available land would accommodate about 13 units and the cost would exceed our resources. Additional land would be necessary to develop 2025 units and a more affordable price. This size of co-housing community is recommended and offers an ideal balance of people and facilities. We also concluded that our projected areas for common and individual spaces could be reduced and made more efficient. In July, a group of us went on a camping trip to Michigan and

toured four co-housing communities in Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids. We gleaned valuable advice in the design, approvals, organization and establishment of a variety of different projects. While on vacation on the west coast, I visited several more established intentional communities in Vancouver, BC, Washington and Oregon. We now have a much clearer picture of what makes a successful sustainable community, models that work and pitfalls to avoid. For example, though the cost of building a sustainable co-housing project is comparable to conventional housing, the common amenities are far superior, the life style of home owners more healthy, safe and happy and the cost of living is much less. While we pursue the acquisition of additional adjacent land, we continue to evolve our membership and decision making process, investigate organizational and legal structures, interest circles, promote SILC at community events such as Transition Guelph’s Resilience Festival and keep interested people informed of our progress. Once suitable additional land is secured, I anticipate that our project will proceed within a year to design development, refine budget numbers, obtain approvals, promote and obtain commitments from participants. Once sufficient units are sold, we can proceed to build. In the meantime, I am encouraged by the level of interest of SILC in Guelph, invite interested people to become involved and look forward to sharing our vision.

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how to survive the Post-holiday Blues by Jenn Savedge

You've been waiting all month - or maybe even all year - for this moment. And now that the gifts have been unwrapped, the songs have been sung, and the cookies have been baked and eaten, the time has come to pack up the holiday mementos and move on. But for some, moving on is simply not as easy as it sounds. The holiday season is an emotional roller coaster and stepping off at the end can leave you with a case of psychological whiplash. Whether it's caused by feelings of guilt from overindulgence, unmet expectations, or a return to loneliness, depression after the holidays is a common condition. So common, in fact, that there is even a name for it - the 'post-holiday blues.' Feelings of sadness, guilt, and anger can kick off genuine symptoms of depression ranging from mild unhappiness to more troublesome symptoms such as insomnia, irritability, inability to eat or overeating, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, and anxiety. But you don't have to let the holiday blues get you down. Here's how to survive the blues and get back on track for the new year. Expect some letdown. One day you are laughing with friends, eating your mom's famous cheesecake, and snuggling with your kiddos in front of the fireplace; the next day you are back to work in your boring old cubicle. It's normal to feel a little bummed that the holidays are over, but you don't have to let those feelings consume you. That's why you need to...

winter weekend away, or call a friend that you didn't get to see over the holidays and schedule a lunch date. Give yourself something to look forward to so that you feel better about leaving the holidays behind. Make healthy choices. Even if you feel like you are just going through the motions, make a conscious effort to eat well and get a little exercise during this period. It will do your body and your mind a world of good and keep you from spiraling downward. Go public. After all of the socializing of the holidays, it's common to want to hideout when you feel the holiday blues approaching. But staying connected with family and friends will help you move on from the holidays and once again enjoy your day-to-day life. Seek help. If the holiday blues have really got you down, do not be afraid to seek help, either from your inner circle of loved ones or from a health care professional. While it may have a cutesy name, the post-holiday blues is a very real condition, and you don't have to go through it alone. Call your mom, your best friend, or your doctor and let them know how you are feeling. Sometimes, just knowing someone is there to listen can go a long way to improving your mood.

Quinoa ... did you Know? The International Year of Quinoa may be coming to an end, but quinoa's reign as one of the healthiest foods of all time will undoubtedly continue into 2014 and beyond. If you’ve only recently jumped on the bandwagon (it’s KEEN-wah, not kwin-OH-ah), there's probably a few things about this ancient grain you don’t happen to know yet. Quinoa Actually Isn't A Grain At All We cook and eat quinoa like many other grains, but, botanically speaking, it's a relative of spinach, beets and chard. The part we eat is actually the seed, cooked like rice, which is why quinoa is glutenfree. You can even eat the leaves! Quinoa Is A Complete Protein A 1955 paper dubbed quinoa a superstar long before 21st century publications were touting it for its nutritional powers. The authors of "Nutritive Values of Crops, Nutrient Content and Protein Quality of Quinoa and Cañihua, Edible Seed Products of the Andes Mountains" wrote: While no single food can supply all the essential life sustaining nutrients, quinoa comes as close as any other in the plant or animal kingdom.

Make plans. Map out your training for a spring 5K, book a mid- 13 -

ter after cooking. Black quinoa has an "earthier and sweeter" taste. You can also find quinoa flakes and flour. You Should Probably Rinse Your Quinoa Those dried seeds are coated with a compound that would taste pretty bitter if you didn't wash it off first. However, most modern-day packaged quinoa has been rinsed (aka processed), Cheryl Forberg, RD, "The Biggest Loser" nutritionist and author of Cooking With Quinoa For Dummies, writes on That’s because quinoa is what's called a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine of the essential amino acids, which cannot be made by the body and therefore must come from food. There Are More Than 100 Types Of Quinoa There are roughly 120 known varieties of quinoa, according to the Whole Grains Council. The most commercialized types are white, red and black quinoa. White quinoa is the most widely-available in stores. Red quinoa is more often used in meals like salads since it tends to hold its shape bet-

her website. Still, she writes, it's probably a good idea to give yours a rinse before enjoying, just to be safe. What's The Deal With That String?! The cooking process releases what looks like a curly "tail" coming from the seed. That's actually the germ of the seed, according to Forberg's site, which separates slightly when your quinoa is ready. The preceding two articles were reprinted from

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self Publishing my first Book by Lee Pryke

For several years, my friends and colleagues said I was a great writer and that my words had an impact and inspired them. Telling my stories over the years I kept hearing, “Lee you should write a book.” Immediately, I started thinking what I had to write about that would be of value or benefit to anyone else. My inner critic was healthy and alive and I always came up with reasons why NOW was not a good time. The internal messages kept coming in and, as Oprah Winfrey once said, “when you don’t listen to the whispers they keep getting louder” until we choose to listen and act upon where we are being guided. In 2013, I decided to act on the whispers and get the words out of my head and onto paper. I had no idea where to begin but trusted the answer would show up. Shortly after making this decision, I received an email from a woman I did not know; asking if I wanted to publish a book, so it caught my attention. As I read the email from Christine Kloser of Transformational Authors, I realized this was a sign. I joined a two-week course that would teach the steps to writing the masterpiece within our head. Each day we had the opportunity to listen to professionals in the field of writing, editing, publishing and marketing. It was a writing contest where we

began to consider self-publishing locally. Lisa was sourcing printers and did all of the groundwork, while I continued to write my Daily Thought Affirmation Card Deck to go along with my book. The process was educational for me, not realizing exactly what was involved in the editing process. Lisa took a lot of the pressure off with her expertise in editing and publishing. In addition to One Thousand Trees, Lisa has published books for local authors. There are pros and cons on selfpublishing and/or finding an agent for a large publishing house, and I have not given up on that dream; but this was the perfect option for someone like me, who is just starting out building an audience. entered our manuscript for the chance of winning several prizes, the big one being a publishing contract with a major publishing house. My dream was to work with Hay House Inc., and do the work that my mentor Louise Hay was doing and here it was, the grand prize. I began to use the new tools I had learned and began to write. I knew my topic was to inspire others to love themselves from the inside out. There was a deadline, so I buckled in, and asked my Universal Managers to guide me through the process. In two months I had my first little journal/book complete. What If Just For Today ... a journal of endless possibilities is now my first published work in a series called Happy in a Handbag. The day I held my book in my hands was an incredible feeling so let me tell you how that came to be. I did not win the contest prize; however, I did exactly what I was supposed to do, and self published locally to get my work out into the community.

One of the recommendations from the writing contest was to hire an editor to ensure the work was grammatically correct. I went on a search for an editor. It is a magical thing how the Universal Energy works, when we follow our passion. I had no idea where to begin and then I got a message from a person I met through Facebook, asking if I would like to do some writing for her online magazine. Turns out when you follow your heart and do what you were intended to do, things start falling into place. Lisa Browning, editor and publisher of One Thousand Trees, lives about 20 minutes from my home. Yes, I wanted to win the contest and have my books published internationally, but when I thought about it, I had won the contest the moment I clicked the send button since a few months before this moment, all the words were still in my head. After talking with Lisa, it became clear that it was important to build my platform on a local level and I - 15 -

I am very happy that I made this decision for my first book and would recommend for anyone wanting to get started having a look into the option of self-publishing. Once your book is complete, you can promote it on Amazon and other places and even turn it into an E-book. My relationship with Lisa also led to writing a chapter in a compilation book with 23 other female writers called SHARING, released in December 2013 which in and of itself was a journey in confronting my personal fears, inner critic, and moving through to a place of healing old wounds and fears. Thank you to Lisa Browning for showing up at exactly the right time. I highly recommend her services to new writers wanting to self publish their work. My book is available on my website and on


Louise Hay not only gives us hope, but she gives us confidence. After reading her book, I honestly believe I can change any aspect of my life that I choose to change. From body image to boredom, from career to cancer, nothing is beyond the scope of Ms Hay’s direction.

you can heal your life, by louise hay

Reviewed by Lisa Browning I first read Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life many years ago, and I remember feeling completely inspired by her positive attitude, and her strong belief that each of us has the power to create the life of our own choosing. When I picked up the book again this time, I was rather awestruck to find references to so many of the other spiritual teachers whose books I’ve also read. A timely reference to the same teachings, now prevalent as a result of The Secret phenomenon, made it clear to me that my choosing to write about this book was indeed no accident. Louise Hay writes with conviction and straightforward simplicity. There is no chance of misinterpretation of her message. Because we have the power to create our destiny, we also have the power to change our course. Therefore, if our financial situation or our relationships are not as we’d like them to be, we can change them simply by changing our thoughts, and acting accordingly. The same goes for our health. Ms Hay claims with the utmost confidence that we can heal any aspect of our health that is not as we’d

like it to be. Her reference to “disease” as opposed to “disease” is an immensely powerful one, maintaining that it is the mind-body connection that is ultimately responsible for our health. The concept of fear, and its immobilizing capacity, is a common thread throughout the book. Resistance to change, procrastination, and any other stumbling blocks we may meet on the road to our new life can be, as Ms Hay attests, attributed to fear, and particularly to the fear of being “not good enough”.

Daily exercises and numerous affirmations make this an easy-tofollow, believable process, and Ms Hay’s openness and compassion come through loud and clear, making us believe we are being accompanied by not only a learned instructor, but a trusted friend. You Can Heal Your Life is a mustread for anyone interested in holistic health, or simply in living the best life one possibly can. You will come away truly believing that “all is well in my world”.

One of the most enlightening and fundamentally useful section of the book is the one which cites specific health concerns, their originating thought or emotion, and an affirmation to replace the thought or emotion and, hence, to heal the health concern. I found it incredibly powerful as I read over my specific health concerns, and was able to totally identify with the underlying emotions linked to each one. There can be no coincidence here. I believe one of the most life-giving emotions is hope. For without it, obviously, we would simply give up. Why try to do or change something, if there is no hope at all in it working out for us? - 16 -


in. I arrived just after midnight, after the vet successfully cleared a ten inch obstruction in her throat. The vet was concerned that the blockage might not clear. He had to sedate her because she was in so much pain. It took a few hours to successfully unblock the impacted esophagus.

spirit art reflections

by Karuna Sheilagh Mercer Artist •Instructor •Animal Communicator

Talking With Horses “Can Horses have Precognition?” After my recent experience with my own horse, I believe horses have precognition, for sure. A week before my sweet 33 year old Arabian Mare, Xanadu, got choke, she told me she did not want me to move her from her new home with Celina Fawcett. She bonded and truly loves Celina who looks after both my horses. My husband Doug and I had gone to visit my horses, Xanadu and Justin. Xanadu was so out of character as she is an affectionate horse.This time as we approached, she walked off totally looking pissed off. My mind translated her thoughts that she was afraid I was going to take her away and pointed out to me, just as she was beginning to bond with Celina. She was definitely afraid and that confused me. The following week Xanadu was choking on her food. It continually got worse and the vet was called

Xanadu had been losing massive amounts of weight the last month because as it turned cold she could no longer eat enough hay and get enough energy to keep her warm. Her old teeth no longer chewed enough hay to maintain her weight. Celina piled three blankets and stalled her in the barn by herself, letting her out for small periods. And fed her grains in a lovely mixed mash three times a day. Only Xanadu started to choke off and on a bit at first. After this emergency and severe choke the vet did not want Xanadu on the mash and grains anymore. Weight poured off and Celina and I consulted a friend. Xanadu needed something more than hay to gain weight and keep warm. I listened to advise to have Xanadu put down. Being doubtful of what Xanadu was saying because I did not want her to suffer I gathered funds made arrangement for her Burial and darn it I could not find my Buddhist prayer cards anywhere. Then Celina said she did not feel Xanadu wanted to go. Celina was gentle with me and I decided to listen to this young friend of mine, whom I totally trusted. I decided Celina would be the best judge of Xanadu, as she cared for her every day. Xanadu had perked up and seemed happy in Celina's eyes. So - 17 -

Celina and I decided to give her a chance. The very next morning, after making this decision, I knew I was right when I awoke and saw my dear Medicine Horse Justin standing over me as I lay in bed his image faded as I awoke. So we gave it another chance, defied the vet who said give only hay for now on. Celina confided with another friend who suggested a diet that to our surprised Xanadu is putting on weight by the next week and doing well. She wanted to still alive. I had talked to a horse breeder I knew, explaining how Xanadu perked up wanted to stay and her amazing turn around for such an old horse. He explained how, when horses knew they were about to be put down, they would suddenly perk up and look like they did not want to go. Then, he said not to let them fool me, because they know what you are going to do to them and they do not want to go. The tears of sadness flowed. I can imagine how our minds can over ride the horses’ decision to stay and put them down anyway. Then I was concerned that I almost did not hear Xanadu because of my own worry that I was just prolonging her suffering. Xanadu talks loud and clear. She is happy and looks better than ever. A few weeks has resulted in a noticeable weight gain. The moral of this story, for me, was to trust my intuition. In retrospect, I can see I totally went by my instincts. Thank goodness I can always tap into my intuition. Xanadu tried to tell me the week before this all happened.

A precognition, I see that very clearly now. This time when I go up to visit her, I will be saying “Xanadu, absolutely no one is taking you away. This is your forever home, you are so welcome to bond with Celina. I love Celina too, and I love you Xanadu.”

a health & wellness classes from Ouroboros wellness

Introduction to Meditation Class Return to a state of inner peace and harmony and reconnect with spirit with our Introduction to Meditation Class. This class is for beginners and those who wish to learn more about meditation in order to incorporate this beneficial practice into their daily life or deepen an existing practice. Our Introduction to Meditation Class will provide instruction on a variety of meditative techniques so that you may learn how to develop concentration, focus, and inner stillness to restore peace, balance, and harmony in your life. Our meditation course will also describe the many benefits of meditation and explain how it can help improve your physical, mental, and emotional health and well-

being, while reawakening and strengthening your connection to spirit and the divine. During this meditation class, you will learn different forms of meditation along with specific techniques to enter a relaxing, centred, and grounded meditative state. You will learn how to bring awareness to your inner being, soul, and consciousness to help quiet the chatter within your mind in order to facilitate meditation. You will also participate in a variety of exercises to build a solid foundation for meditation. Because meditation is such a personal practice, the intention of this meditation class is to also demonstrate a variety of meditation practices so that you may choose those that best fit your own personal philosophies and lifestyle. Some of the exercises you will learn and participate in during this meditation course include: • Mindfulness • Breathwork • Grounding • Visualization • Crystal Countdown • Relaxation Techniques • Sitting Meditation • Hand Mudras • Movement and Stretching • Body Scanning • Mantras • Review of the Day

We may also make use of a variety of different meditative aids throughout the meditation class such as candles, incense, aromatherapy, music, gongs, singing bowls, and chimes. Class will include light, organic snacks and herbal tea. Meditation classes offered through Ouroboros Wellness are free of dogma and are intended for those interested in self-discovery, personal growth, and spirituality in a welcoming, nurturing, supportive, and non-judgemental space. We ask that you attend with an open heart, mind, and spirit and join us for what is sure to be a fun, informative, and heart-warming time. Date: January 18, 2014 Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm Investment: $50 REGISTRATION REQUIRED! Please note that each meditation class is limited to only 5 participants. Classes are intentionally kept small to ensure each participant receives the guidance and support required. We ask that you please dress comfortably and bring your own blanket, pillow or any aid that will help you feel relaxed and comfortable. Chairs will be provided for those who do not wish to be seated on the floor. Crystal Healing – Level 1: Fundamentals of Crystal Healing Discover the magic of crystals and learn how crystals can be used to enhance your life each and every day. This crystal healing course is a beginner class that teaches the fundamentals of crystals and crystal healing. The Level 1 Fundamentals of Crystal Healing Course curriculum includes the following topics:

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• History of Crystal Healing • Basic Geology • Crystal Healing Basics • Chakra System • Crystals for Balancing Chakras • Colour Therapy • How to Choose Your Crystals • Storing, Clearing & Care of Crystals • Charging Your Crystals • Grounding and Centering with Crystals • Crystal Countdown – Guided Crystal Meditation • Profile of 10 Crystals (Make Your Own Reference Cards) FREE GIFT! This crystal healing course includes a free crystal healing starter kit with pouch. Date: February 8, 2014 Time: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Investment: $200 REGISTRATION REQUIRED! Please note that each crystal healing course is limited to only 5 participants. Classes are intentionally kept small to ensure each participant receives the guidance and support required. Please bring a lunch with you to enjoy at lunch time. Snacks and tea will be provided throughout the day.

focus on volunteering

“Help Angel” volunteers nearly 1,000 hours in two years When was the last time you volunteered to help someone? Was it yesterday, over the holidays, a few months ago? For some of the 16,660 seniors 65 years and older in Cambridge and North Dumfries, it’s a weekly commitment they wouldn’t miss for anything. Canada’s senior adults volunteer an average of 223 hours each year, more than any other age group. They are an extremely important demographic to Canada’s voluntary sector.

For more information or to register, email ?????????? Mary Elloway has volunteered nearly twice as much as the average senior, volunteering 906 hours with the Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) at Cambridge Memorial Hospital since January 2012. She was one of the first volunteers to enroll in the training program and continues to volunteer with HELP four times a week. When she first signed up to be a HELP volunteer, she needed to be absent for six weeks to spend time with her older sister Ruby. Upon - 19 -

returning refreshed and eager to totally commit to HELP, she declared that she would like to make up some lost time and fill in the gaps in the volunteer schedule. Well…Mary has been more than “filling in the gaps”. Mary has become a well-known fixture on the medicine units by patients, family members and staff. She is like a “Help Angel” as she always goes the extra mile to help the elderly patients during their admission. Whether it’s a friendly smile, a comforting touch or ensuring that her patients complete their daily exercises, she is always willing to stay to ensure that her caseload is completed. Besides volunteering at Cambridge Memorial Hospital, Mary also visits many other seniors in the community with the Friendly Visiting Program as well as providing supportive care to her sister. When asked what keeps her going each day Mary replies “Volunteering keeps me on my toes and gives me a sense of purpose each day I come through the doors”. Mary is a true gem to the program and is committed to providing the best quality care to aging patients….Thank you Mary for your time and dedication to make the HELP program a success. United Way’s Volunteer Centre is here to help you connect to causes that matter to you. Visit their website at or call 519621-1030 ext. 253.


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This documentary chronicles the journey of a famous Hollywood film director, Tom Shadyac, as he seeks ƚŚĞĂŶƐǁĞƌƚŽƚŚĞƋƵĞƐƚŝŽŶ͞tŚĂƚŝƐǁƌŽŶŐǁŝƚŚƚŚĞǁŽƌůĚĂŶĚǁŚĂƚĐĂŶǁĞĚŽĂďŽƵƚŝƚ͍͟ůŽŶŐƚŚĞ way, through life experiences, and interviews with prominent scientists, authors, and journalists, he illustrates for the audience that there is far more to humanity than what we are led to believe based on current cultural standards and customs. We seek ƚŽŚĞůƉƉĞŽƉůĞƵŶĚĞƌƐƚĂŶĚƚŚĂƚǁĞĂƌĞĂůůĐŽŶŶĞĐƚĞĚ͕ĂŶĚĞĂĐŚƉĞƌƐŽŶ͛ƐĂĐƚŝŽŶĂŶĚŝŶĂĐƚŝŽŶ does have the power to make a difference. We believe that people will be inspired into action upon the viewing of this film, and so, after the viewing we will facilitate a discussion around the many ideas presented in the film, as well as offer the chance to form small groups based on specific areas of interest. Participants will be able to gather with like-minded people, to discover attainable methods for creating positive change.

**Admission is on a donation basis ʹ all funds will be directed to the Guelph Resilience Festival. **Please RSVP on the event page at:

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITES in Kitchener-Waterloo Be the Men in Mentor. Family & Children’s Services of the Waterloo Region needs male volunteers to provide positive mentoring experience to boys. A couple of hours a week can make a huge impact on the life of a boy who lacks positive male role models. Volunteer once a week to throw a football in the park, make a trip to the library, go hiking, or other community recreational activities. Contact Leadership Waterloo Region is looking for an Office Volunteer Extraordinaire – ideal for early retirees – with strong language skills, excellent computer data entry and typing skills, who is motivated/self-directed and can take charge of the work assigned: answering the phone, handling some email inquiries, processing event registrations, photocopying/collating materials for workshops, assisting with mailings (2-3 times/year). This role is open to individuals who can commit to 2.5 hours one-two days/week. Mornings are best, but we're flexible. For more information, please contact Anne at 519-742-7338 or Carizon Family and Community Services invites applications for volunteer tutors and mentors for the Pathways to Education pro-

gram. Make a statement about your belief in the capabilities of our youth by providing academic and social support to high school students in neighbourhoods where youth face special challenges in completing high school. To find out how you can be part of creating a Graduation Nation, please contact Dale at 519-7436333 or Volunteer Coaches are needed for the Letters, Sounds and Words program, offered by Strong Start. This ten week program used in Elementary Schools helps 5-7 year old children develop early reading skills through activities and games. Enjoy a rewarding experience by giving 30 minutes each week with one child. Training is provided by Strong Start. To start volunteering, contact an Elementary School that is using the program, or go to for more information. Do you want to get involved with your community, but don't have a lot of time? Then this is a great opportunity for you! As a Block Parent with the Waterloo Regional Block Parent® Program, you will be able to help keep your neighbourhood safe from the comfort of your own home! Simply display your Block Parent sign in a front window, when you're home and available. Your sign will indicate to your neighbours and the children on your block, that you are ready to assist in an emergency by placing a phone call to either parents, or emergency services. Help keep our Region safe, One Block at a Time. For more information, please contact Tara at or visit

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VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITES in Guelph Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, Wellington-Dufferin Area Office is looking for Heart Month Volunteer Callers. Volunteers are needed to contact the Heart Month canvassing volunteers to remind them of important dates where they can pick up and return their canvassing kits. Hours are flexible and Students are welcome to apply and hours can be counted towards the 40 hour requirement for graduation. For more information, contact Sara Felske at 519837-4858 or email Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph requires Game On Program Volunteers. Game On is a school based program for 12-14 year old boy. It focuses on healthy eating, active living and gaining self confidence. Volunteer mentors are men between the ages of 18 and 25 who can commit to one or more school semesters. Mentors lead the group of boys through fun and interactive activities and discussions. This program is run in schools at lunch time or after school. For more information contact Marg Allen at 519-824-5154 or email The Elliott Community requires Recreation Program Volunteers to work closely with the Recreation Staff and assist with various recreation programs. Programs may include, but are not limited to;

Bingo, Bowling, Trivia, Singalongs and Games. This is a great opportunity to gain experience working with seniors. Students are welcome to apply and hours can be counted towards the 40 hour requirement for graduation. For more information, contact Laura Hofer at 519-822-0491 ext 2232 or email Kidsability, Centre for Child Development, Guelph is looking for Autism Services Support Assistants who will provide support to the Autism Services team and children with Autism Spectrum Disorder who are participating in the Intensive Behavioural Intervention Centre services. Volunteers will be asked to assist with preparing snacks and lunches, play and gross motor activities, toileting and transitions. Students 17 years and up are welcome to apply and hours can be counted towards the 40 hour requirement for graduation. For more information, contact Annie Crump at 519-886-8886 ext 1272 or email Habitat for Humanity Canada, Habitat for Humanity Wellington Dufferin Guelph is looking for Advertising Campaigners. Volunteers who have knowledge of the City of Guelph are needed to drop off flyers across the city to help push the ReStore Advertising Campaign forward. Volunteers will select an area of Guelph (from those chosen for a distribution campaign) and focus a distribution campaign within that area. Students are welcome to apply and hours can be counted towards the 40 hour requirement for graduation. For more information, contact Tyler Demers at 519-767-9752 ext 38 or email

The Volunteer Centre of Guelph/Wellington is looking for Snow Angel Volunteers. The Snow Angels program offers a volunteer snow removal service for eligible seniors (65 years or older) and persons with physical disabilities. Volunteers will be responsible for clearing snow (including the accumulation of snow left at driveway entrances when the streets are plowed following a heavy snowfall. There is a need for volunteers who reside in all neighbourhoods throughout the city. For more information, contact Emily Vincent at 519-822-1155 or email Homewood Health Centre requires a Member-At-Large Board Position – Homewood Volunteer Association. In this position the volunteer must be committed to moving up to the Treasurer position when a vacancy occurs. The purpose of the Member-At-Large role is to assist the Association and other board members with the management of the Association affairs and its direction. This may involve managing or overseeing a priority project of the Association. For more information contact Martha Schuett at 824-1010 ext 2262 or email Action Read community Literacy Centre requires Literacy and Numeracy Tutors. Volunteers are needed to work one on one with adult learners who would like to improve their literacy, numeracy and essential skills and achieve personal goals for employment, further education and living independently in the community. Duties include assisting learners with upgrading their skills in reading, writing, arithmetic, algebra, geometry, skills related to - 22 -

managing money and other essential skills such as critical thinking and verbal communication. For more information, contact Joanne Morant at 519-836-2759 or email Wyndham House, Youth Resource Centre requires New Way Section 23 School Program Volunteers. This is a new alternative education program for youth ages 14-18 with complex mental health and behavioural concerns or conflicts with the law. Volunteers in this program will receive ongoing supervision from the social worker. They will develop an individualized plan which may include one on one academic or social/emotional work with clients, group work or group instruction and program planning. Volunteers should have an interest in and some experience working with youth. For information, contact Kristen Cairney by phone at 519-546-9019 or by email at Bibles for Missions Thrift Store, Guelph requires Cashiers to work in the thrift store selling donated products. This is a great opportunity for individuals to gain experience in a retail setting handling cash and developing customer service skills. Students are welcome to apply and hours can be used towards the 40 hour requirement for graduation. For more information, contact Robyn Pyrczak at 519-821-2498 or email Beginnings Family Services, Pregnancy Care Centre requires Run/Walk Fundraiser Committee Members. A fundraising committee is being formed to help with the annual 5km/walk. Committee members will be expected to attend monthly meetings and help

with the planning and facilitation of the actual event, to be held May 2014. For more information, contact Heather West at 519-763-7980 or email Guelph Youth Basketball Association requires Registration Coordinators to fill the role of registration coordinator for the upcoming season. This role is vital to the organization and requires attention to detail and a customer service approach. This is an opportunity to connect with Guelph youth, gain experience for employment, and give back to the community. For information, contact Caitlyn Smith at 519-217-3237 or email The Elliott Community requires Music Therapy Volunteers to provide one to one opportunities for residents to experience the joy and peace that music can bring. This is an opportunity to share your musical talents with residents of The Elliott Community, gain experience working with seniors and build meaningful relationships with residents. Students are welcome to apply and hours can be used towards the 40 hour requirement for graduation. For more information, contact Laura Hofer at 519-822-0491 ext 2232 or email Alzheimer Society of Guelph Wellington requires Friendly Visitors in Guelph, Mount Forest and Rockwood. Volunteers will visit someone in the community who has Alzheimer’s or related dementia for 2-3 hours per week. Volunteers are matched with a person who has Alzheimer’s or a related dementia while the caregiver takes time for themselves. Volunteers are matched with a

client based on their date/time availability. For more information, contact Barb Eastman-Lewin at 519-742-1422 ext 19 or email Guelph Community Health Centre, Garden Fresh Box requires a Garden Fresh Box Delivery Driver. A volunteer driver is needed to drive a cube van once a month to deliver Garden Fresh Boxes to host sites around Guelph. Benefits include assistance to help unload the boxes, an Honorarium, lunch and complimentary produce. For more information, contact Karan Mann by phone at 519821-6638 ext 326 or by email at


Organized for life by Bob Smith

The front door was unlocked when she got home but wouldn’t fully open, so Aoife Reilly stuck her head through the opening. The resistance was from Siobhan’s boots. Four parkas were piled behind them – she recognized Danny-boy’s new turquoise winter jacket in the heap – but the entire mound reluctantly moved when she shoved as hard as she could. Three piles of school books and two lunch pails sat on the bench which was always supposed to be clear so she could help the little ones with their boots. Brendan’s trombone case was across the doorway that led into the hall. “You spoil them Eva” Aoife’s friend Priya had said more than once. “You do everything for them. I’ve even watched you gather their clothes from the bedroom floor because they don’t hang them.” She was originally from India, unable to pronounce Aoife’s Irish name properly. Eva is close - 23 -

enough Aoife had thought when she finally gave up correcting her. Priya just couldn’t seem to hear the difference between ‘Eefa’ and ‘Eeva’. She also mangled Siobhan, having seen it, accepting that ‘sio’ was pronounced ‘shi’ as in ‘compassion’. However, she could not comprehend how ‘bh’ could possibly be said as ‘v’ and it was ‘ahn’, not ‘an’. She would have a fit if she knew I also pick up soggy towels after they have baths Aoife thought, but the alternative is a messy house. The nuns of her Catholic school youth before she emigrated to Canada with her parents had stressed orderliness, often with a ruler, and Aoife had taken the lesson to heart. Besides, organization was the key to functioning with six children and a husband who was gone two months at a time. As she straightened the family photo on the wall over the bench, she thought of Sean. She had quit school when she was seventeen, four months shy of graduating, when she realized she was pregnant. He immediately proposed but was able to complete school. His father, who worked at the union hiring hall, got him a job on one of the lake freighters. The stable income was a Godsend but it meant she was on her own with the kids for long stretches. “It’s okay that he’s gone,” she had once admitted to Priya. “Every time he takes off his pants, I get pregnant.” Six kids in eight years was unusual these days, and she had decided that Danny-boy would be the last. I don’t care what the Pope says; I’m not having another one. When Danny-boy started Grade One, gone full-days as opposed to

the half-days of kindergarten, she had at first been relieved, finally having the house to herself. However, by November the novelty had paled. She thought There has to be more to life than making lunches, house cleaning, and laundry. It seemed her only excursions were to the supermarket. But an idea sparked when she read an insert from David Thompson College in the local paper. It included an ad for a program called Academic Upgrading, which provided an opportunity for drop-outs to complete high school equivalency. She hadn’t had time for much idle thought since the babies started arriving, but occasionally she had regretted not finishing school. On those rare occasions when she got to watch TV, she found herself more interested in the careers the actors theoretically had than the plots themselves. She could smell oregano or basil when someone was supposedly a chef, feel the fuzzy ridges of corduroy when the character was a seamstress, or picture the brilliant crimsons and vivid greens the gallery owner lived with daily. She wondered what she might have become. After being reassured by an exploratory call during which the person sounded very supportive, telling her she would certainly not be the only one in her position, that many students had similar stories, she organized a meeting of the kids. “I would like to go back to school,” she announced, “but that would mean changes around here. They told me success requires full-time effort so I won’t always be able to do the things you’re used to. And I bet I would have homework too, just like you guys,” she finished, nodding towards Colleen, Fiona, and

Brendan who were in Grades Six, Seven and Eight respectively. Kevin, her Grade Four scholar, occasionally brought things home but Siobhan and Danny-boy, in Grades Two and One, were too young yet. All were enthusiastic in their support but she wondered if they actually realized what a difference it would make if she wasn’t there to maintain the life they were accustomed to. Now, looking at the mess in the vestibule, she recognized the answer to that question. Time for another meeting she decided. “I think I have to quit,” she said, and was pleased at the expressions of disappointment that she would give up after only a few weeks. "Look at this place. Someone needs to be here,” she added, letting them know it was not the difficulty of school that was to blame. “Let us talk without you,” Brendan suggested. “Go make a coffee.” Coffee had replaced tea as her favourite beverage, as much for its rich aroma as for its taste. She refused to allow instant into the house and would be quite happy to take the time to brew some. Fiona came to get her twenty minutes later.

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“Here’s what we decided,” Brendan said. “I’m going to take over lunches. Each Sunday, I’ll make a weekly plan, then every evening I’ll make sandwiches so they’re ready to go. I’ll add a juice box and piece of fruit in the morning.” He turned to Fiona. She said, “I’ll make sure the house is clean. So far on the list, I have making beds daily and vacuuming and dusting once a week. Siobhan will help me, at least with the stuff that isn’t too hard. Colleen will do laundry. Every day, she’ll go through the house for dirty clothes for the hamper, then wash everything Saturday morning. Dannyboy can help her with sorting and folding clean stuff.” Colleen was the quiet one, spoke only if it was unavoidable, so Fiona explaining for her was entirely normal. Kevin said, “I’ll do the grocery shopping if you drive me. I’ve been learning about spreadsheets at school, so I can keep an inventory of what we have and need.” He then spoke for everyone, “If we do all that, will you be able to continue?” Aoife wasn’t sure they could do everything they planned, but their willingness to try was heartwarming. More. All she could do was nod.


nexT mOnTh .... One ThOusand Trees

Our focus for February is family. I believe the world is one big family, and we need to help each other.

Jet Li

Do you have an inspiring story you’d like to share? What does family mean to you? If you know of any community wellness events taking place in February, please send details including date, time, location, and cost. Articles are always welcome for any of our “regular” departments ... A Sense of Community Creativity and the Arts Food and Nutrition Giving Back Health and Wellbeing The Library Sustainable Living deadline for submissions is January 20. As always, I look forward to hearing from you with any feedback or article ideas!

The Grand River flows 300 kilometres through southwestern Ontario from the highlands of Dufferin County to Port Maitland on Lake Erie. The Grand River Conservation Authority manages water and other natural resources on behalf of 39 municipalities and close to one million residents. One Thousand Trees’ target market is defined by the borders of the Grand River Watershed. Community and editorial consultants are responsible for promoting practitioners, events and volunteer opportunities in the cities of Brantford, Cambridge, Guelph, Kitchener, and Waterloo. Visit the Grand River Conservation Authority at

January 2014  

One Thousand Trees

January 2014  

One Thousand Trees