I am soon to celebrate my 45th birthday, funny how when I was 20 that number seemed ridiculously old, lol, now I see it for what it really is, just a number.
I wanted to share what, for me has been important learning tools. These are the things I tell my children, family, friends and now you.
1. Live in the moment - sounds cliché I know, but if you are truly living in the moment, you are never worrying about what tomorrow will bring or the hurts of yesterday.
2. Believe in yourself - All your wants and desires happen because you believe they will happen, the only opinion you will ever need is you own.
3. Love every one - you either love or you don’t, withholding love is exhausting, it is simpler to look at everything with an open heart.
4. Make Time - Every day make time to really talk to your loved ones, kiss your kids, scratch your dogs ears, that kinda thing, even 5 minutes of solid connection beats a day of empty conversations.
5. Stop everything - once a day, stop everything you are doing and look at the wonder of where you are, be it a bird flying, a child playing, a song being sung, a tree swaying in the wind , stop and truly enjoy it.
6. Forgive – if you have been hurt, feel the pain, stay there until you are done, then forgive the person or event, things are always darkest, just before dawn, you will shine again.
7. Be fearless- There are no limits to what you can do in life if you face your fears, be bold, be strong, be your destiny
8. Never give up- You are never too old to start living the life you have imagined, One day of doing exactly what you want with your life, can make up for a lifetime of merely existing.
9. Give freely - Give what you can to someone or something who can never repay you, be it, your time, your money, even your smile, your gift to them, can change the world.
10.Listen to your gut- let your intuition guide you, I believe we have many paths that we can take in life, but if you listen to your gut, you will follow a path that leads straight your destiny.
And if I can add a number 11 it would be, Don’t Sweat the small stuff.
I am sure that there are many more things I can add to this list, but for me, if I had to pick just ten, this would be them. The bonus of being 45 is I have such amazing perspective on life. I am excited to see what new perspectives I will gain in the next 45 years.
Happy Birthday to me.
Every day, people all over the world receive a phone call from their doctor saying we need you to come in , so we can discuss your test results. I had that phone call yesterday.
A few months ago I received a notice in the mail saying that the results of my last pap test were inconclusive and a retest needed to be done. I really didn’t care if I had to have another test, yes it is somewhat embarrassing, exposing yourself in that manner but, after delivering two children, my self consciousness about the whole thing has diminished, bring a whole marching band through I do not care, lets just get it done. I mean it can’t be that interesting to look at my private parts close up anyways. I get the test done and think nothing of it, if there is a concern, they will call me, almost three months later, I get that call.
“Monique this is Dr..blah blah’s office, we need you to come in to discuss the results of your last test and to have another pap”.
So, let the whirly bird of possibilities blow the doors off this house, because I certainly can not be the only one that freaks out a little when they get this kind of a phone call. I listen to her politely and make an appointment for later that afternoon. I hang up the phone and loose it. I cried my face off, why? Fear, I guess, fear of what they will say, fear of cancer, fear of dying. I am a positive person, almost to the point of being annoying and I am now fear mongering. I have my big baby fest cry and opt to take my dogs out for a hike, fresh air will clear my head.
When I feel fear, I try to tap into why I am afraid, there is always a reason. I think at moments like this, people or most certainly me, reflect on what is important in their lives. I have a great life, great family, great friends, great career, so why am I crying as I am hiking with the dogs? I am not afraid of cancer, I am not afraid of dying, so what is it? Then it comes to me, I am afraid of not living. I then take a running count in my head of all the things I have on my life to do list. I am doing pretty darn good, I am doing almost everything that I wanted in this lifetime, I am an all in kinda girl, I go for it, take chances and live. I really do LIVE well. I still have things I want to do, but for the most part, I have nothing to complain about. The fear dissipates then and I am left feeling grateful for all that I am and all that I have. I am actually feeling pretty darn fantastic, what a fabulous way to take stock of your life.
I tell a few people about my appointment, family and friends and get ready for my appointment, what did the Doc say? Well, the test showed abnormal cells, he wouldn’t say more than that, he wants me to have a scope of some sort with a gynecologist, guess they shine a flashlight up your hoo hoo and take a good look, oh joy, lol. Once he has the results of that test and the pap test, then we will know more of what we are dealing with. The doctor did not seem to concerned, worse case, I have to have all my plumbing taken out, I am done with it anyways, so that is okay for me., best case my body is just messing around with the doctor, payback for delivering my first born with mustard on his shirt, ha ha ha
I am not too worried either, though an extra breath out will happen once all the tests come back as normal.
So what the heck does this have to do with my blog for the production company? Well quite simply put, this company is one of the reasons I am so happy with life, video is my gift back to the world, my legacy. My children see me following my dreams and they see that they too can have all they ever want in this lifetime, strangers have seen my work and now have a different perspective, a softer, kinder perspective, clients have seen what I see in them when I video them, they are all so incredible and friends and family, well they are inspired to do something they never thought they could do before, they are stepping out of their comfort zones, kicking fear to the curb and going for it. I am so proud of them.
If you received a call today, could you say you are living the life you want? if yes, well done, If you answered no, then change it, be bold, be brave, be remarkable,
we are all meant to shine.
With 2013 drawing to a close and 2014 about to spring into life, I am once again pondering my word of the year.
What is a word of the year? Well put quite simply it is a word that you aspire to be more of, to become, to guide you, a word to live by.
I started choosing my word of the year in 2012, back then I was a bit lost, didn’t know my direction in life, in love, in family, in pretty much everything. I guess I was a big bobble head bouncing ever way I seemed to be pulled to. I was lacking focus, drive and discipline, but most of all I was lacking that zest for life.
I recall sitting and thinking okay pick a good word, wealth sounds good, I like wealth, lol what about happiness? That is a good word, who doesn’t want happiness? I hummed and hawed for sometime, every time I thought of a word, it just didn’t feel right, so I left it alone, who needs a word of the year anyways?
I am not sure when my word came to me, I just know when it popped in my mind, there was no doubt that one word would be my compass for the year.
My word for 2012 was ‘ clarity ‘ I know, I know, clarity? Boring word, but it was the word I needed, every time I was at a crossroads in 2012, I thought to myself, which direction will give you more clarity? And then I would go the direction. My year started out in a fog of confusion, but by the end of the year every thing was crystal clear.
The same held true for 2013, my word for the year was ‘ fearless ‘ Any time I felt that knot in my stomach of something that would scare me like riding down a scary section of trail mountain biking, making big business decisions, riding my horse with confidence to my first barrel in a competition, etc. any time I felt fear, I would revert to my word of the year and say to myself
“ be fearless” and wow, did it make a huge difference in my year, events happened that I could of never imagined.
I threw it out there and let the chips fall as they wish. I said I am going to ride my bike down this hill, I will go for big film projects, I am going ride my horse like I am competing in the Calgary Stampede.
So did I ride down that steep hill? Did I land a huge contract? Did I win a barrel race? Well yes I did, but that is not what matters, what matters to me is while I was at the top, sitting on my bike looking down, I chose to look fear in the face and said, “ get lost” .
Having a word of the year is a fantastic way to give yourself a personal compass, to guide yourself when you are lost. It can be any word you want, fun, happiness, strength, health, you will know when you have chosen the right word, it will just feel right, your word is just for you, only you have to know it and when you hit that crossroad, think of your word and choose your path from there.
So what is my word for 2014? It actually came to me in a phone conversation with a friend, I knew it was my word right away, if felt good to say it. I can wait to see where this word will guide me.
My word for 2014 is Limitless
BE THE CHANGE
I recently did a video about a local Veterinarian and her plight to raise awareness and help save starving horses. I normally try to steer clear of volunteering my time to ‘ sad’ stories. I feel negative breeds negative and positive breeds positive, but in this particular case my gut was screaming at me to find a way to make this a positive. I had no idea how I was going to take such a sad story and turn it into a positive, but thankfully it came to me.
The best way I knew how to tell this story was to shine a light on the woman who was inspiring change. It truly only take the actions of one person to start a wave of change and change is happening all the time, we have fantastic people out there, we just do not see it, most times because it is hidden with negative. News reports always seem to favor doom and gloom.
I do have to admit that seeing the condition of the horses was hard, they were beyond skinny, but even in their discomfort, they still took the time to nicker a thank you to the staff at the veterinary clinic every time they walked by. I met Lisa, a fantastic looking young mare, so tall, so regal, even in her condition, she stood as tall as she could, she knew the staff was helping her, she wants to live and is tolerating all the poking and prodding from the staff. I think they know when someone is trying to help, animals know the difference between kindness and cruelty.
I also meet Spunky, a curious George type of horse, the whole time I was filming, he was trying to snoop and see what I was up to, many times his nostrils were right on my lens, he had a spark in his eyes, he didn’t hide who he was, when you looked into his eyes, he allowed you too see who he was, I felt I had known him my whole life in just one glance. I am heart broken at his loss. Just two days after I filmed him, he passed away. He fought hard, but his time had come.
I have not been able to watch the video again since.
I know it sounds ridiculous after only spending an hour with him, but there was something so true in his eyes, so recognizable.
The plight continues, Jennifer continues to raise awareness, as she said to me, “ when you are true to yourself, really true to yourself, good things happen “ she is being true to her and her gut is telling her to follow this through till the end, to start a rescue foundation, to educate the public and to give back. Her initiative is inspiring a wave of change.
I really believe that we all can start a wave of change, it doesn’t have to be a huge, something as simple as picking up a piece of garbage and tossing it into the trash can make a difference. Imagine if someone sees you picking up that trash and thinks to themselves, what a great thing to do, they in turn now feel great and offer to pay for the coffee of the person behind them in line of the drive through, that person is then inspired and goes home early to spend more time with their kids. The kids are feeling great the next day at school and tell their teacher, how much they love being in her class, she is now on a high and spends more time with a child that is having a hard time reading, the parent of this child is so thankful that he offers to help re build the school play ground. You see where I am going with this, nothing is too small, Nothing.
I also believe each of us has a unique gift to give, mine is video. I am blessed with being able to truly connect people with a video, only you know what your gift is, and if you do not know what it is yet, well what lights your fire? That is where you should start to look and then simply follow the crumbs.
I was honored to have met Spunky, perhaps his gift was opening our hearts
I was blessed to show this story for the inspiration that it is, for the hope, the love and the power of one person to make a difference.
I was honored to share humanity making a turn for the better. I invite all of you to carry on the wave of change. Be The Change
WHO AM I?
Who am I? funny how one question can have you stop dead in your tracks and have you ramble back and forth in your head, well, who are you?
Why did this question come up in my life at this moment in time? Well to start, I wanted to do a ‘who am I’ video for my production company, an intro of sorts for any potential clients. I wanted to share with them, who I was and how I came to be a videographer. That is how it started, but as I thought on it, I was faced with the ultimate question. Who are you?
I read a sentence in book by Wayne Dyer that said “who you are is what cant be changed” crap, what the hell does that mean? I am a mom, wife, barrel racer, mountain biker, videographer, aunt, daughter, sister, I am 44, e.c.t, e.c.t, but all of those things can change, take it all away, who am I?
I do not believe that this question is asked until you have a moment in your life where you really have to take a good, hard look at yourself, see what your made of, usually these moments come from a time of despair, for me that certainly was the case. I share this story for me, for you, for no eyes to see or for all eyes to see. I have no idea where this is going, but know I am compelled to write this.
January 2011, I am impossibly restless and wanting to go on an adventure, basically looking for any excuse to go on one. I get these restless moments often, I love to travel, but this particular moment in time, I just wanted to shut my mind off and get away, forget about being a mom or a wife. I wanted a charge, a fire lit under my ass, something to make me feel alive and full of energy again.
A friend of mine from high school is a travel guru. I loved following her adventures on Face Book, I am not sure how we connected again, but we did, started with a coffee and then her literally just popping by my house one day for a visit, it was on that visit she mentioned her trip to Peru, I loved the idea and within two days I booked my trip.
I met my friend in Lima, Peru and that was the start of a trip that changed everything for me. My friend was going through heartache at the time, so her tears and sorrow kept me focused on her and not me, it was the perfect arrangement, she is the type of gal that likes to lead and at that moment in time, I was ready to follow. My friend is quirky, she says and does things that I’d never imagine to say or do, she talks about the universe, spirit and manifesting the things you want in life. One time we were taking a walk in Lima, talking about life and how it rolls along. I remember her stopping and saying that we should take a moment to reflect in silence, think of everything we wanted in life, visualize putting it all in a ball and throwing it out to the universe, asking for a sign later that day that the ball was received, wtf is she talking about? I recall closing my eyes and doing what she wanted, but instead of thinking of what I wanted in life, I was thinking, please do not let anyone walk by us, we look like we have fallen off the turnip truck.
Fast forward to the last few days of my time in Peru, we were in Machu Picchu.. I would suggest doing an image search if you do not know what Machu Picchu is, it is a place of wonder, beauty and all in and all pretty dang awesome, a must see in my opinion.
It was here in a restaurant, as we waited for the rain to stop, that I saw a tour guide organizing a huge group of tourists, getting them all settled for lunch, I could not understand what he was saying, but you could feel his passion for his job, his zest for sharing such an amazing place with these tourists. I though, what a lucky bugger, he spends his time, sharing his fantastic culture with others. The seed is planted. I could do that too, in my own province, in my own country.
Once again fast forward to one month later. I am back home and have launched a tour company called ‘Tours By Q “. Incase you are wondering Q is my nickname. I would offer sightseeing tours of the Kamloops area, mountain biking, rafting, hiking, e.c.t. My first client was a mountain bike client, they wanted to see the trails that Kamloops had to offer. I had started mountain biking two years earlier, had decent skills and knowledge of the mountain biking trails. I ended up booking lots of mountain bike jobs, enough so that I started a separate mountain bike company named after myself Monique The Mountain Biker, this brilliant handle came from my quirky friend, who suggested I take on the handle, funny how when you take on the handle Monique The Mountain Biker, that people assume you must be of importance, I quickly maxed out my friends list on Face Book and started booking more and more bike tours. I was still the same person I was a few months ago, but the persona of who I am changed, perhaps this is who I am?
I had clients ask what the trails were like and asking for videos of them, so here I go with a video camera to film trails, My friend once again helped me with this, as she is quite talented with film production. I loved filming with my tiny one hundred dollar camera. I had that camera with me all the time, even, took it to the Enchanted Forest just outside of Revelstoke, British Columbia and filmed our family outing, did a fun edit and posted it to YouTube. Fate as I am now calling it stepped in and low and behold the President of the Enchanted Forest contacted me, asking to use our family video as a promo video for the park, to date it is still the main promotional video. I recall thinking to myself, “hey you must be kinda good at this film stuff” and that started my passion for film. I did what ever I could to learn the business, I volunteered at a local television station, by far the smartest move I ever made, I learned so much, I filmed, produced and edited made for television shorts and full half hour programming. I was with them for over a year, in late 2012, I launched M.T.M.B Productions, M.T.M.B is an acronym for Monique The Mountain Biker, so this is who I am, I am a videographer, but am I?
So where was my despair in all this? What started me on this journey? So far it all seems to be coming up roses huh? Well it was not. My husband and I had a shitty time for quite sometime, we were at the point of him wanting to leave. I recall coming unglued, I was a freaking basket case, cried so hard my eyes couldn’t open, There goes one title, I am not a wife anymore, well what am I? I am not one for asking for help, but boy did I need it,I asked to see a shrink,yup,I am a turnip.Haha. I went to the physiologist and told her my tale of woe, she asked me ‘ Why do you want your husband to stay?” my reply “ because I love him” her reply, “ oh so you are doing this to make you happy and not him?” frack, stupid cow, how dare she! but she was right, it was the biggest ‘ah ha’ moment of my life , it was like a book , a big book , being smacked over my head, I got it, all in one moment I got it. I alone am responsible for my happiness, just me, “so what ya gonna do now princess? “I say to myself. I reply to myself, change it and I did. Week after week I went to see that shrink, read the books she asked me to read, week by week, I saw the fog lift and light shine in. The psychologist kicked me out after 5 weeks, said you are done, nothing more I can do for you, you get it, now get out. Ha ha.
My marriage improved, I told my husband I would love him, even if he didn’t love me, it took some time, but he did come back around to thinking I was all that and a bag of chips. That is when I learned that it was so much easier to love than withhold love. It takes too much energy to be grumpy, envious, spiteful, plus it feels terrible. I will not live that way. The shrink, I am sure she loves the name ‘ shrink ‘ told me “ when you change you and your reactions, the people around you change too” wise advice.
I have had such a massive transformation in my life that I now believe in manifesting things in my life, I believe each of us has a path to follow and crumbs are placed out for us to follow all the time, whether you choose to follow them or not is your choice. All I know is I listen to my gut, if it feels bad, I do not go that direction, if it feels good, I get moving down that path, if you choose to ignore the crumbs of life, eventually an entire loaf of bread will be thrown at you and you will be forced to take a good hard look at your self, I had a big stale loaf thrown at me, lol, but I would not change it for anything. What a fantastic journey. I will throw things out to the universe all the time and say you deal with it, this is what I would like and it always works out in ways beyond my wildest imagination.
This is how I became a videographer, I followed the crumbs and now have a pretty cool successful company, ironically, the Tours By Q business has never booked one job, not one. Will I always do video production? Who knows, just as with my marriage, I do not promise forever, but I do promise to do the best I can in this moment and it is working. I love my life, I love video production, it is a way to connect people, animals, places, it lights my fire. I guess you could say I am now ‘quirky’ too. I have friends look at me like I am nuts when I say close your eyes and imagine what you want. Ha full circle there.
So, Who am I?
The better question is Who Are you?
This is my first official blog and short of doing the 'typical' this is who I am intro blog, I figured I'd just jump right into it and you will get to know me along the way, kinda like a first date but cooler because I do not have to do my hair and you do not have to pay for dinner. ha ha ha...kidding, so lets get to it.
I have seen a hawk pair circling around my place in Monte Creek since spring. I figured they were looking for a nest and I tried to follow them numerous times to see where they were landing, but nope, nada, was not happening, the more I searched the more they flipped me the bird, no pun of corse. lol.
I wanted to see down into the nest so I had to climb higher than the nest, the terrain is steep and slippery with all the recent rain, but more challenging was trying to get up there with all three dogs in tow, this would be good time to say my dogs are pretty darn awesome, but they certainly do not go anywhere quietly. We did eventually pick our way to the top following an old deer trail and I set up on a slope to film down into the nest.