The Alamo – Peaceful Warrior

This is the Alamo. The number one battle of Texas. That’s how the Lone Star State got liberated from Mexico. Visiting the Alamo in San Antonio is a must experience. The Mission gardens are peaceful and majestic. You can find inner calmness and center there.

I love breaking into a yoga pose when the desire hits. My pink sneakers are perfect companions when out and about for extended times. We fueled ourselves with tacos and later on Starbucks. San Antonio treated us to some quality time together, regardless of that day’s somewhat gloomy weather.

Traveling boosts my life for many weeks and months to come. As I explore new places, I gather precious information about myself as well. I learn how to find my peaceful warrior wherever I go. I have kept my travel memories preciously stored and ready to be used, when need be. They are my toolbox to a balanced daily life.

Yoga for 2018

I love new beginnings. Of course they can happen at any time but the dawn of a new year feels sweet, every time. Maybe also because here in the Northern hemisphere that is when we all need a boost. Parties have been partied, and winter is now really kicking in. Luckily we have the chance to focus on new goals. Focus is what keeps us going. I’ve seen that so many times in my job as an English as a second language teacher. Clients that have a clear goal, and who regularly re-evaluate it, reach the best results, and also stay the longest.

My goals for 2018 are divided into three categories: work, sports and internal growth. This January is a landmark for me as for the first time in my career, I am going full time entrepreneur. My English teaching business Susa English has been growing steadily since I launched it in 2012. I’ve developed my own method. I have a 10-level study program. My clients learn in environments that suit them the best – be it the classroom but also the cafe, park, taking a walk or visiting the nearby stores. We learn hands-on and everyday vocabulary. My future goals for Susa English are to find a couple more clients and also some more translaing jobs. I greatly enjoy translating (from French to English), or revising (English) text. That gives me a sweet change from teaching.

My second goal is around sports and body image. I’ve had my share of weight shifts within my 43 years. I’ve been too high as well as too low. It’s been a process to find the real, good-for-me weight after all that. I feel that I’m there now. I’ve maintained my current weight without too much effort for a long period. I have energy to do all that I want. I still feel slim and light.

My sports goals are: enjoying the Canadian winter by cross-country skiing and skating. Both of these can be done within a 5-10 minute walk from my place. I have also planned snowshoeing with a friend. I want to continue using my stepper. It’s a great back up when the temperature drops too low outside. Sometimes I get up and head straight to the stepper to get my workout in before breakfast. I plan to continue with my zumba and yoga teaching. I lead a Quebec City fitness community online and the class is connected to that.

I keep enjoying my regalar yoga lessons with Boho Beautiful. I just adore her style. I will also get something new and exciting this year – a ballet barre and a mirror. I can’t wait to reignite the ballerina spark in me. Pointe shoes here I come! I danced ballet from the age of nine thru 22. I got a ballet teacher’s training. It has always remained my love.

My third goal is finding growth and peace within. I’ve struggled with anxiety and panic attacks recently. I’m not enchanted to tell you about them here, yet I’ve never believed in hiding things. Mental challenges aren’t people’s choice, nor do they mean that someone is weird or antisocial. I’m a very bubbly, life-loving person when you meet me. I have a big heart and I feel life strongly. I care. I really want to listen to others. I want to be that one person who brings you a ray of sunshine when you most need it. I’m in the process of learning to deal with anxiety when it takes over me. I need to gather positive evidence on the moments when I acted calmly and enjoyed life without fear. I’m rebuilding my internal me. I’m using two books to accompany me on this journey. I plan to share them later with you.

What about your goals? I’d love to hear from you. Or any other subjects that you’d enjoy reading?

Dallas Big

Luckily we were able to visit Dallas yesterday because today both Sebastien and I are sick and confined into staying in bed at our Airbnb. Obviously, this is a tough moment on this trip.

Dallas is quite visitor friendly. A lot of the sites turn around the shooting of President Kennedy.

Here you see the landmark, the Dallas Tower.

Cute Christmas decorations were visible all thru the city. We strolled in the freezing city, after which we warmed up at a Starbucks at one of the classy tower buildings.

The Dealey Plaza close to where John F. Kennedy was shot at the end of his presidential parade. The spot is still marked with an X on the ground.

I found lots of books on Jackie Kennedy and other first ladies’ style in the Kennedy shooting The Sixth Floor Museum bookstore.  My cropped, fur lined gloves weren’t a bad idea in the freezing cold Dallas December weather.

The Giant Eyeball is an interesting sculpture in the heart of Dallas.

Now we are at our Airbnb hoping to get better really soon. It has been a fun trip yet shadowed by me being sick almost all the way. I have tried to be courageous about it. I have tried to accept things as they come. I have tried to learn a useful lesson on patience and trust. Now I can only trust the medicine to clear up my ears and sinuses enough to be allowed to fly back home on Saturday.

Texas Xmas

We have had sweet time in Texas so far. Austin was very laid back. Lots of country music bars and easy going atmosphere. We loved visiting the Capitol and the Texas History Museum.

San Antonio charmed us with its Riverwalk. It is so pretty to stroll by the river. There’s a truly European feel to the canal. Visiting the Alamo was an experince in itsself, naturally.

Houston was a lot more urban. Downtown was pretty around the Discovery Green Park but outside of that things felt a bit rough. Now we are spending our last day at my friends. Tomorrow we will hit the road and drive to our last destination, Dallas.

Time to Let Loose

I’m off as of this noon. I taught my last group lessons for a language center I had been working for six years, ever since my arrival to Canada. From now on I’ll be working full time for my company Susa English. I’ll be building on the foundation that I’ve laid these past years. I’ve created my own method and it’s been getting some encouraging responses.

This fall has been busy for me. So much so that at one point I ended up working beyond my limits. That’s when I had to come to terms with needing to change things up for the better. I love what I do – helping people learn how to communicate in English as their second language. My lessons are about the language, and then so much more! I get to accompany my students thru life’s many events. We build friendships. We find inspiration and new ways to look at things as we discuss topics that are important. In a way, I get to coach and guide – and be guided as well – in addition to sharing my knowledge of verb tenses and vocabulary.

Today I’m off. I was actually supposed to arrive in Dallas, Texas tonight. Our flight got delayed and delayed, and then finally canceled. We were sent back home. We will catch an early flight tomorrow. First to Toronto and then to Dallas. It feels good to be on vacation, regardless. I’ve worked hard and now it’s time to let loose for a while. It’s also time to gather up energy and inspiration to come back home refreshed to run my little business with enthousiasm.

These pictures are from the Quebec City Fine Arts Museum. Visiting there loads me up with energy. I love dressing up and making my way over there for a moment sweet art dust.

Self Care

I’ve had to deal with some health issues recently. That has woken me up to the importance of self care. The key is in finding out what works specifically for you. What is the right balance of work and play at this particular point in your life? What once was good may very well have changed. You have to keep tuned into your inner voice. The more you learn to listen to it, the clearer it gets.

My self care essentials are walks out in parks and the city streets. At this time of the year the darkness makes every bit of light decorations shine magically. Just looking at them transports me away from everyday work seriousness. My essentials also include a liquid pleasure called coffee. I feel uplifted as I make my way to my trusted coffee shop and chat with my baristas. Buying nearly one coffee a day sure adds up in the end. But self care is an investment.

My third self care element is yoga, Pilates and ballet. I have a mat on which I play in my activity room. I observe my current state and then engage in an activity that meets my need the best. Sometimes calming yoga, other times boosting and physically challenging training. Next to the yoga mat, I have a stair climber. Whisking away on it at the end of a busy work day often feels good. Going out for runs is another tempting possibility. My energy level ultimately makes the decision.

I encourage you to stay connected with your inner self. Ask yourself what it is that you need today to feel the best. Make a list if that helps in keeping track and not forgetting when you need gentle self care the most.