WILW ED #28

Happy Wednesday everyone! I hope you’ve had a wonderful day, or that your day is shaping up to be wonderful, depending on where in the world you. It is currently 6am in Montreal, and I’ve just woken up to go to the gym, only to realise it doesn’t open for another half hour… so it’s obviously WILW time! On that note, this Wednesday is extra special for a couple of reasons:

  1. It is the Offspring season final tonight (or in about half an hour in Australia). I AM SO FREAKING EXCITED. How will it end? I can’t wait to find out.
  2. It is the lovely Lola Berry‘s birthday, so wishing her an extra magical day today.

And with those important points noted, let’s get into WILW, edition 28.


This week I am…

Reading: The Great Transformation (Karl Polanyi)

A chapter of this book was assigned as a reading for my Religion and Globalization subject here at McGill. At first I attempted to read it without any context as to when or why the book was written, and it seemed like utter gibberish. However, I later returned to the chapter after having read this useful summary and appreciating the context in which it was written, I was able to re-read the chapter with a newfound level of understanding. Apparently this book, written in the 1940s, is a classic yet controversial analysis of modern economics and the rise of the ‘market society’. Since I have absolutely no history (or even interest) in economics, I am sure some of the profound arguments made in the book were somewhat lost on me, but the little section I read and the online summaries certainly opened up my mind to the strengths and evident flaws of the economic model under which our society operates. Who knows if I will ever read the rest, but for now it was certainly the thing I read this week that got the most cogs turning over in my brain.

Listening to: Kanye West

If you had asked me a few weeks ago if I was a fan of Kanye, I probably would have answered no. However, after being introduced to his song Ultralight Beam (once again, thanks Tyler) and then going to his concert here in Montréal a few weeks ago, I can safely say that answer has changed. I’ve come to appreciate the variety and (in parts) utter genius of his musical works, and the concert was definitely one of the greatest live performances I’ve ever seen.

Watching: Jill Bolte Taylor: my stroke of insight (Ted Talk)

A snippet of this complete Ted Talk was shown to us by my professor of Behavioural Neuroscience when considering the distinct functions of the brain hemispheres. What I found particularly interesting, and outstanding, about this video was the way in which Jill merges modern neuroscientific understanding of the brain with ancient concepts of the soul, spirituality, expansiveness and the energetic interconnectedness of all beings in the Universe. She essentially recounts her experience of having a stroke, but in doing so eloquently describes the sensations and “thoughts” she had when the verbal (i.e. mind chatter) left hemisphere of her brain was quietened by the stroke. It is powerful, emotive and eye-opening stuff!

Quoting:

buddha

I actually bought a large copy of this exact image above at a poster sale at university. Coincidentally (or perhaps not), that very morning I was contemplating Buddha and his philosophy and noticed that none of the existing quotes on my wall are from him. I remember thinking “I should find a good Buddha quote to stick on my wall” and only a few hours later I walked past the poster sale and this image jumped out at me (serendipity!). I think the quote truly speaks for itself, and last night I realised it is very thematically similar to the Happy Place slogan – happiness is real when shared!

Eating (or rather drinking): Bulletproof Tea

As I mentioned in my last WILW, I read Dave Apsrey’s book The Bulletproof Diet and am currently in the process of implementing the Bulletproof Diet regimes into my diet. At the heart of the Bulletproof Diet is drinking a cup of Bulletproof Coffee for breakfast. Since I do not drink coffee (at least not yet!), I have been making this by brewing a cup of low caffeine chai tea mixed with yerba mate tea (a natural herbal stimulant tea from South America) and then adding grass-fed butter and coconut oil, plus a dash of cinnamon and turmeric for added metabolic and biochemical benefits! I have to say this is one of the quickest, easiest and most satisfying breakfasts I have ever had, because the high fat content keeps me satiated easily until lunch time and even into the early afternoon. If you’re a coffee drinker, interested in upgrading your coffee, avoiding the caffeine crash, preventing cravings and feeling Bulletproof, I would recommend giving the Bulletproof Coffee a go!

 

Pondering: religion

As I mentioned earlier, one of my subjects this semester is Religion and Globalization. Despite having no previous history or knowledge of religious studies, I decided to take this “breadth” subject because it seemed interesting and relevant to today’s society. So far it has been challenging, but also fascinating, and has urged me to consider the bi-directional impact that religion and globalization have on one another. Although religion is sometimes considered an outdated and receding phenomenon, if you scratch the surface of our social values and practices it is clear that it still plays a huge role in constructing our ideas about the world, as well as dividing and unifying various groups of people.

Another concept I was introduced too, which I found of particular personal interest, is that of “re-embedding”, which describes the process by which people attach themselves to religions, movements or ideologies as a way of finding some form of strong identity and belonging in an increasingly individual (“dis-embedded”) world. I think I am likely an example of re-embedment, as I was raised in an essentially atheist family but I have found identity, belonging and meaning in my yoga practice, the “new-age” spiritual movement, Eastern religious philosophies, and my attachment to the alternative diet and lifestyle online community. I wonder if you too can sympathise with this feeling?

Moving: hot barre 

On Monday night I attended my first ever hot barre class at Ensō yoga and all I can say is PHEW! It was hot, sweaty, and super challenging and my legs are still pretty stiff as a result, but I can honestly say that it was a class I really enjoyed. I am hoping to make it back each week for the class, hopefully getting stronger and more poised as a result. If you’ve never tried barre, but enjoy dancing, ballet, Pilates or yoga then I would recommend finding your nearest class and giving it a shot – you’ve got nothing to lose.

Aiming to: practice more compassion

I met a really interesting girl on my cycling trip and after we had been chatting for a while she told me that she had been on a retreat with her mother lead by Pema Chodron (the widely acclaimed author and Buddhist monk) a few years ago, and now identified as a Buddhist. As a fan (but also a relative newbie) to Pema’s work, I asked lots of questions about her teachings and what the retreat was like. What I was struck by (and reminded of) is that the entire Buddhist faith and philosophy centres around the concept of compassion – for one’s self, others, animals, our world and everything in it. I took this as a personal reminder to practice compassion daily, in every possible way. Whilst I am not perfect – I don’t think anybody is – I have definitely noticed a shift in my attention and thought patterns when I focus on compassion. It’s simple. It’s beautiful. It’s enlightening.

Grateful for: knowledge and learning

It is probably evident by my choices this week, but I am absolutely loving being back at uni. Although holidays are great, and always a welcome break, after two and a half months I was definitely ready to start studying again. I am really enjoying my classes so far, especially my “breadth” subjects, as they challenge me to think in different ways and consider elements of life that I normally don’t deal with in my science-based degree.


I would love to hear what you are loving this week, or your comments or questions on this edition of WILW.

Love Erica x

Travel Diary: Montréal Part 1

The ‘travel bug’ is a curious thing, its bite imparting a deep and yearning wanderlust in those who are afflicted. I am one of the many in my generation to have been affected by this metaphorical bug. To me, travel is more than just a chance to broaden my horizons and improve the aesthetics of my Instagram account (although they are both positive side effects of such adventures), it is a powerful external catalyst for the inward journey of self discovery.

It is a chance to throw yourself into something completely different, new, unfamiliar and perhaps even a little scary. It is a chance to reflect upon the similarities and differences between the place you call home and the places to which you travel. It is a chance to directly impact, in some small way, just a few of the other 8 billion humans on this little rock we call Earth. It is a chance to see the world through their eyes, their lives, their cultures and their rituals. And personally, above all else, it is a reminder that each place, each person, each little (or big) piece of history has a story to tell… If you are willing to listen.

Now let’s take a leap away from my philosophical reflections upon the meaning of travel and instead dive head-first into some of my travel adventures. Although I’ve been fortunate enough to travel fairly extensively in my childhood and teenage years, this exchange to Canada marks the real beginning (at least in my mind) of my true, adult worldly adventures. Today I wanted to share with you just a few of the beautiful places I’ve visited in the past two or so weeks since arriving in Montréal. And on that note, Montréal is a truly diverse and incredible city, so if you ever get the chance to come here I would highly recommend it!


FOOD 

Naturally, I start with arguably my favourite topics! Here are some of the great places and food options I’ve found in Montréal.

Atwater Markets

img_9326

Anyone else drooling…?

I don’t think I will ever get sick of visiting farmer’s markets, they are all so great, but Atwater has to be one of the best I have ever seen in my entire life! Yesterday morning I spent a couple of hours wandering around in total awe, particularly at the abundance of wild berries that are currently in season here. Not only is there an incredible range of fresh produce, but also nut shops, butchers, fromageries (cheese shops), a chocolate shop, health food and speciality stores and bakeries inside the market. Of course, I purchased plenty of food, sampled the berries and enjoyed a plate some delicious African curry for lunch, followed by some chocolate ice cream (treat day?!). Considering it is open every day and so close I am sure I’ll be returning many times in my four-month stay here.

Couffin Bio

After wandering past this store on my first night in the city, I then made a special trip to purchase some of my favourite cupboard staples. It is a great organic/health food store with pretty much everything you could want, from supplements to superfoods, fresh produce and beauty products. The price point was also pretty similar to the stores I shop at in Australia, which was a welcome relief.

McGill Farmer’s Market

On Thursday the first Fall farmer’s market took place on the McGill campus, which included a stand of vegetables from McGill’s MacDonald campus for agriculture. Aside from the fresh produce there were also some delicious looking pastries and baked goods, raw local honey and a stall selling Indian/Ayurvedic meals and lassis.

Liquid Nutrition

Green smoothie hanging on campus

Green smoothie hanging on campus

Liquid Nutrition is quite literally my Happy Place here in Montréal, with a menu, atmosphere and philosophy very reminiscent of my beloved workplace back in Melbourne. In my first few weeks here I’ve visited the store on campus several times for cool and filling refreshments and have loved every flavour I’ve tried so far. I also inadvertedly entered a competition by posting a photo on Instagram, and won, meaning there are five free smoothies heading my way!!

Rise Kombucha

After becoming somewhat of a kombucha addict at work in Melbourne, I was delighted to find this brand of kombucha in Canada, that is sold in most supermarkets and general food stores. With a variety of tasty flavours for good prices, this has already become a staple in my diet here.


MOVEMENT

Since I arrived in Montreal at the end of summer, I’ve been taking advantage of the warm (even hot) weather to get outside and get active. This is definitely a city that is very health and fitness orientated, so it isn’t hard to find a plethora of options when it comes to getting yourself moving.

Climbing Mount Royal

Panoramic views from the Mt Royal lookout

Panoramic views from the Mt Royal lookout

Despite its grandiose name, Mount Royal is something more like a very large hill situated near the back of McGill University in Montréal. It takes about 25-30 minutes to walk to the top, depending on your speed and which of the many paths you choose to take. There are stairs if you want to give the legs a bit of a workout, or you can take the relatively flat, winding road up (which is also good for running, at least so I hear). The view from the top is nothing of spectacular and definitely the perfect location from which Montréal and the St Lawrence river can be admired.

Ensō Yoga Studio

Enso's Reception

Enso’s Reception

Upon my arrival in Montréal I was quick to join the Trade for Yoga program at Enso, a studio recommended to me by a fellow student at McGill. Essentially, I volunteer cleaning at the studio for three hours a week in return for unlimited classes. Considering their extensive schedule and range of classes, including hot power yoga, barre and Pilates, I think it is a no-brainer! I’ve been to a few yoga classes and so far I’ve loved every single one! They are challenging and sweaty, to say the least, but there is nothing better than being guided through a really great yoga practice by an amazing teacher. Plus, the studio is stunning!

McGill Fitness Centre

For the first time in my entire life, I am a gym member! For the incredibly affordable price of $35 per semester (take note Australian unis…), McGill students can access the fitness centre. Although I am a massive gym amateur, it is a great option for when I want to get a good resistance training session in or get moving when the weather has other ideas.

Biking

Second stop on my cycling Frosh adventure - Lac Mineur

Second stop on my cycling Frosh adventure – Lac Mineur

For my “Frosh” (O-Week group activities) I elected to do the Outdoor Frosh, taking the cycling option. Thus, instead of getting drunk in a uni bar, I spent the weekend before uni commenced cycling around the wilderness surrounding Montréal. The three-day trip comprised on a 65km ride on day 1 to arrive at an organic farm, where we camped on the first night. Our group then picked edamame beans in the morning to repay the kindly farm owners, before riding another 35km to arrive at Lac Mineur (pictured above) for our second night of camping. On our final day we rode 45km back into the city of Montréal. Despite the physical fatigue (and hundreds of mosquito bites) I had a wonderful weekend, learnt lots about many different cultures and made some pretty awesome friends. A+ for the Outdoor Frosh!


CULTURE & HISTORY

Mount Royal & Lac aux Castors

Lac aux Castors

Depending on which route up the mountain you take, you can end up at the lookout atop Mount Royal or, slightly off to one side, the Lac aux Castors (Beaver Lake). The lake has beautiful, rolling green hills surrounding it and little paddle boats that can be taken out during the day, BBQ facilities and a path around the lake for leisurely strolls. If you make it to the top of Mount Royal you are rewarded with incredible, panoramic views of Montréal. Due to the flat plains upon which the city is built, on a clear day you can see all the way to mountains of northern America. You can also admire the grand St Lawrence river that divides the island of Montréal from the rest of Québec. And if you turn around 180 degrees there is a stunning chateau perched at the rear of the terrace, overlooking it all.  With regard to its history, it was explorer Jacques Cartier who named Mount Royal after being lead up to its peak by the native people in 1535. The park at Mount Royal was also designed by the renowned Frederick Law Olmstead, who also designed Central Park, with the aim of livening up and bringing a healthier lifestyle to the city and people of Montréal.

Tam Tams 

This afternoon was in fact my first experience of the Tam Tams, a must-do cultural experience in Montréal. The Tam Tams is a spontaneous, yet weekly drumming circle around the statue of George-Étienne Cartier monument beside Mount Royal that occurs on Sunday afternoons. It attracts large crowds, little street vendors and some pretty cool, hippy kinds of people who come to hang out and dance to the beat of the ‘tam tam’ drums. The history of the Tam Tams is interesting, not least in the fact that it was once a symbol of the counter-culture movement in Montréal that the police and government attempted to prevent. Nowadays it is a quintessential part of Montréal’s culture and a fantastically relaxed way to spend your afternoon – BYO snacks and a blanket to lay on the grass.


That’s all for now folks!

Love Erica x

WILW #27

One week into spring and already we are looking at a top of 24 today here in Adelaide! I am absolutely loving this warmer weather, sunshine and longer days! However, the forecast for tomorrow does not look as sunny and warm, unfortunately…

Anyway! Here is what I have been loving for the past couple of weeks!

  • Listening to

Spotify

I have had spotify on my phone/laptop for a while now but never really got into using it very much. However, recently I have found using the browse section there are so many great playlists available to listen to, as I just can’t find the time to make all these individual playlists for myself. There are also some lovely calming tracks and it offers you the ability to follow certain individuals and what they are listening to.

 

  • Quoting

quote

This quote really rings home for me. In everything I do I try to make the most of all the relationships I have in my life. But, I also think it is important to not just appreciate those people that you do have relationships with, but also the strangers you walk by everyday, that person serving you at the check out or the person who held the door open for you. We can so often be caught up in our own little worlds that we become completely oblivious to the fact that there are almost 8 billion other people walking the planet with us that also have loved ones, problems they are dealing with and things they aspire to. So why not chuck a smile their way, start up a conversation or compliment them. We all know that a compliment from a stranger can mean even more than one from a friend or family member. Do not ever treat others as just a means to an end, treat them as if they are the end. No matter what their background, their skin colour or their religion, we are all human. I believe this quote kind of sums up how we should make each and every person feel special.

 

 

  • Eating

Peanut butter slice

I have always been obsessed with peanut butter, but recently the obsession has taken itself to a new level. One daily dose of peanut butter is just not enough! So I found myself one Saturday night making a raw peanut butter slice. I didn’t really follow any particular recipe, but it tastes fantastic! Here is the rough recipe:

Base: blend 1 ½ cups almonds, 1 cup dates, 11/4 cup hot water, 2 Tblsp coconut oil until it becomes kind of a dough consistency.

Push into a small container lined with glad wrap and set in freezer

Middle: blend; 1 cup soaked cashew (6-8 hours), 3 Tblsp peanut butter, ½ cup melted coconut oil, ¼ cup of sweetener eg. Honey, maple syrup or rice malt

This part works best if you blend the mixture for a long time eg. 3-5 minutes. Then pour over the base and set in the freezer for about 30-60 minutes.

Topping: over a stove or in the microwave melt 2 Tblsp raw cacao powder with 1/2 cup coconut oil – wait until the mixture has cooled before pouring it over the slice

Freeze until it is all set and then enjoy! (in moderation if you can manage… but if you’re anything like me that can be a struggle)

 

  • Pondering

The importance of being in the moment

I am definitely guilty of being someone who has countdowns until certain events, whether it be until the end of term, Christmas or holidays! Although I find this motivational and something to keep me powering through I think it has its pitfalls. The most major one being not appreciating everyday that I have at the moment. These days can just become numbers ticked off a countdown and blur into one another. In the end those are the days that make up our life! I have 6 years of studying ahead of me (and probably many more after that) so I hope to make the most of all those terms and not just the parts in between.

 

  • Moving

To music

I have always been someone who finds music super motivating while working out. There is something about the buzz and excitement that music can provide that allows you to push that little bit harder every time. I have also had the pleasure of flowing to some amazing yogi tracks in classes and found they are very effective in distracting me from my thoughts and really just noticing how I am moving. Many of the gym classes I take also incorporate music as tracks, which is a great way of getting a solid 3-4 minutes of hard work followed by time for rest and recovery before the next track starts. So whatever form of exercise you chose to do, try adding some music in and notice how it might change the dynamics of your activity!

 

  • Aiming to

Develop a way to remember things!
If anyone has any great ways to remember every muscle of the arm, shoulder and legs as well as their nerve supply, please feel free to share! After a hectic few weeks I am still struggling to get my head around how I will recall all of these names and functions without just rote learning it. Pneumonics are fun, but I think they gave up by the time it got to muscles…

 

  • Grateful for

I often find this section the hardest because I have so many abundant things in my life that I am grateful for! However, last week was a wonderful week of reinforcement for me. There were so many things that happened that made me more confident than ever that I am on the right track and doing the right thing. Even though I never doubted myself it is always nice to get that feedback and reassurance that things are going to plan.

 

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone, enjoy the sunshine while you can and remember to take some time out of the day to recognise what you are grateful for.

 

Love, Peta xxx

WILW ED #26

A big hello to everyone reading this from Montréal, Canada! I arrived last Tuesday night and have since moved into my student accommodation and spent the past week setting up our house and preparing for uni to start in a few short days. Thus far I am absolutely loving Montréal and practicing (to a small extent) my French conversational skills. It’s been a pretty go-go-go past few days, so I am currently enjoying a little midday siesta to chill out in my room and write this WILW post for you. If my conversions are right, those of you in Australia should be arriving in your inbox nice and early on Wednesday morning! And thanks to Peta for the reminder that it was my turn to write this week. As always, I hope this finds you in good spirits and cruising through whatever day it is in your part of the world.


WILW ED #26

Reading: The Bulletproof Diet

I downloaded this book on my Kindle the other day, but since I am still finishing off another book I am yet to start reading this one. The Bulletproof Diet is something I’ve read and heard bits and pieces about, but I’ve always wanted to know more about the philosophy behind it. It is most famous for the recipe for Bulletproof coffee, which includes grass-fed ghee and a special kind of coconut oil called ‘Brain Octane’, that is supposed to enhance concentration and prolong a steady, caffeine-driven high in energy. My Dad has made me a few of these when I’ve been home and it is certainly the only coffee I’ve ever had that has genuinely had positive effects for me mentally (usually I just feel gross and crash really badly).

Listening to: ‘Summer Vibes’ playlist

Despite my blossoming interest in music and my slow but steady journey to finding my own taste, I still rely heavily on my good friends Tyler and Gabe to hook me up with sweet tunes. These songs were the sounds to which I farewelled Melbourne last Monday night. Ever since I’ve been streaming the playlist to inspire me during my workouts and/or yoga practice.

P.S. Boys, you’ll be glad to know my patience with ads is wearing thin and I’m mere days from growing up and getting Premium…

Watching: I Am Not Your Guru (Netflix)

I watched this a few days ago, and in doing so gave my greatly neglected Netflix account some love. The documentary follows motivational speaker extraordinaire Anthony (Tony) Robbins as he leads a group of 2,500 people through his 6-day ‘Date with Destiny’ program. The documentary producers also interview Tony, some of his followers and his team in order to give the viewer a ‘behind the scenes’ perspective and an insight into Tony’s motivation, passion and drive. I have to confess that I cried three times whilst watching the doco, mostly due to the incredibly heart-wrenching nature of some of the issues that people shared in Tony’s seminar, but also at Tony’s almost magical ability to give his attendees exactly what they need, and lots of unconditional love. Despite the emotional roller coaster of stories shared, the documentary definitely left me feeling inspired and motivated, but most of all in awe of Tony and his amazingly unique approach and dedication to his work.

Quoting: Worrying will never change the outcome.

Upon setting up my room in my place in Montreal, this was one of the quotes I stuck up on my wall. I’ve had this quote with me since I was in Year 11 and it is still pertinent today. For me it is a simple reminder that there are some things in life that we simply have no control over, and as such expending energy worrying about those things is wasteful. Naturally, having thrown myself into the deep end of an overseas exchange my anxiety levels are perhaps somewhat higher than usual, so this quote is particularly relevant at the moment. Even more so as I have witnessed a good friend who is here with me struggle because she is constantly worrying about everything and trying to control everything. Whilst I’ve gently tried to hint to her that perhaps that level of anxiety is not healthy nor helpful, she insists that being in control helps her to feel calm. Each to their own I guess, but I am going to stick with the approach of worrying as little as possible. Life is more fun that way.

Eating: Plane food

On my rather long journey of 33 hours to Canada, I made sure that I took plenty of healthy snacks to ensure that I didn’t have to sustain myself on the somewhat gross meals that are served when you are 30,000 feet above ground. For me, staying healthy and hydrated whilst travelling is undoubtedly essential and definitely helps to make the whole physically demanding task of international travel just that little bit more bearable. So I took with me a trail mix of activated nuts and goji berries, some natural snack bars (Emma & Toms), and lots of tea bags so that I could just ask for hot water. I was also delighted to receive some good fresh fruit on our flights, and whilst in JFK I had a desperate makeshift dinner of natural yogurt, GF granola and a banana.

I also found a cool fermented coconut water drink and 100% iced green tea in JFK.

I also found a cool fermented coconut water drink and 100% iced green tea in JFK.

Pondering: first impressions and judgements

Just before leaving Melbourne I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know a guy, who at first sight, would appear to be nothing like me. He is covered in tattoos, piercings, has a long beard, wears dark, gothic clothes and definitely parties harder than I do. The judgemental side in me would have seen him on the street and assumed we would never be friends. However, due to a fortunate series of events, I got to spend half a day hanging out and getting to know this guy, and it was AWESOME. We had several genuinely interesting and deep conversations, the kind that just completely skip over the small talk. We shared, compared and contemplated our similarities and differences. At the end of it all I was struck by the fact that if I had trusted my first impression, or my judgements, I would never have had this wonderful experience with this down-to-earth, friendly and generous human being. And how sad that would have been.

The age-old adage says not to judge a book by its cover, and for me this was a very realisitic reminder of this reality. After all, we are all humans. Let’s focus on the beauty of connection rather than trying to group, separate and isolate ourselves from one another.

Moving: at the gym

One of the coolest things about McGill University that I’ve discovered so far is the student gym. It is amazingly affordable and so I’ve committed myself to a semester-long membership. Since arriving I’ve been four days in a row and despite thinking that I would never be a gym person, I’ve actually really be enjoying it! Although admittedly I am still an amateur, I’ve been loving the rowing machine for its combo of full-body strength, endurance and cardiovascular fitness. What’s more I’ve been feeling incredibly energetic and vibrant, despite dealing with jet lag, a general lack of heat and very long and active days.

Aiming to: immerse myself

As some of you may be aware, I am undertaking an exchange to McGill University in Montréal this semester. Today marks the first day of O-Week, with classes beginning this Friday. From the moment I touched down in Canada I’ve been challenging myself to really put myself out there and meet as many people as I can (not always an easy task for an introvert). I’ve signed up for a “Frosh” camp, which means this weekend I will be embarking on a 3-day cycling adventure in the wilderness around Montréal, for which I am very excited! Although it is all a bit overwhelming, I am confident that I have done a reasonable job at immersing myself in the campus life here, certainly more so than I’ve ever done in Melbourne.

A pic of me on campus... I'm somewhere in the 0!

A pic of me on campus… I’m somewhere in the 0!

Whether it be immersing yourself into a new community, or anything else, I truly believe that having conscious intentions and challenging yourself is crucial for progress and evolution. Without progress and challenges, we become stagnant and I don’t know anyone who likes feeling like they aren’t going anywhere. So I encourage you to get out of your comfort zone, in some way or another. It is beyond that zone that the beautiful moments in life are created.

The view from the top of Mont-Royal, Montreal.

The view from the top of Mont-Royal, Montreal.

Grateful for: abundant love 

If there is one thing that leaving for exchange has already taught me, it is that I am really loved. Before my departure I had so many people wishing me a safe and enjoyable journey, I had a surprise farewell dinner thrown for me, I was given several incredibly thoughtful and beautiful gifts and letters. I got the pleasure of hanging out and saying goodbye to almost all of my favourite people in the world. I boarded my plane in Melbourne with a heart truly bursting with love, wondering what I did to deserve all this love.

But I believe that everything in our life is a reflection of ourselves, and that no one is “lucky’ but that we deserve all the good that we have in our lives. So I am constantly reminding myself that I am worthy of this love, but I am so incredibly grateful for all the amazing people in my life who love me.

If you are reading this, don’t ever forget I LOVE YOU, too.


Love Erica x

WILW #25

Sorry this WILW is so late! I have been on the go ever since Uni restarted this term and it slipped my mind to do it on Tuesday when I normally do. So I hope you have had a good hump day and you are on your way to the end of another week so make the most of it!

  • Quoting

“We judge ourselves on our intentions, but others on their actions”

I had a lecture the other day where the lecturer mentioned this quote and ever since it has stuck with me. It is all to easy to see someone do something and instantly judge them and believe they had bad intentions when in reality sometimes our actions may not always reflect our true intentions. So before you judge someone’s actions next time, stop and think, was that their intention.

 

  • Eating

Natural Drift Bliss Balls

Erica and I gave Natural Drift’s bliss balls a go the other day using her pre-made mixes. Safe to say we were impressed! Morgan sells her products at the Mildura Farmer’s Market, but if you are do not live nearby she has an online store where you can order the mixes that are delivered Australia wide. They are so easy to make and seriously taste amazing!

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 7.36.45 PM

http://www.naturaldriftmix.com/

 

  • Moving

Gym – Body Pump

After recently joining the gym I have started going to the Les Milles Body Pump classes and loving them! I have never really incorporated heavier weights into workouts but I am really enjoying the challenge it brings. I would encourage you to give it at least a try if you ever get the chance. I think it is important to mix up your workouts and find what works for you best, but most importantly find what you enjoy doing the most!

 

  • Grateful for

Whats app!

Erica set off to Montreal yesterday and although I don’t see her very often but just the thought of her being further away upsets me! However, thank god for modern technology I was able to call her this morning for a chat while she had a layover in New York. It is nice to be able to contact loved ones even when they are overseas.

 

Enjoy the rest of your night.

Love, Peta xx