Birthday Girl

August 9th has always been a special date for me – it’s the day when I was born. Summer heat baby! A zealous lion with a passionate, big heart. A personality that can be hard-working and ambitious at its best, and addicted and easily convinced (maybe even taken advantage of) at its worst. Today I celebrate my 44th birthday. I feel much younger though. I feel energetic and excited for life. I have lots of good things as it is, and an excitng new work perspective coming up.

In my forty some years, I have lived in four different countries. That is something I am proud of. Finland, USA, France and Canada have all left their mark on me. I feel connected to all of them on some level. Yet in each, there are also things that I do not adhere so much to. But that is wisdom that my 44 years have taught me: nothing is perfect, yet there’s beauty and enjoyment in imperfection and giving grace, to ourselves and others. I am the unique mosaik of my experiences. So are you. We each have value and a story to tell. We just have to pause and listen. Listening is so important. That is where we learn and are changed, from the inside out.

Below are some pictures of my past year. I wanted to share these highlight with you.

Camping on Cape Cod.

Camping trip continued to Connecticut.

Summertime glamour where we live, in the old town of Quebec City.

Yoga in the fall.

Taking a walk and enjoying the cooling temps and the beautiful Quebec foliage.

Exploring Austin, Texas, at Christmas.

Striking a dancer’s yoga pose in front of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas.

Celebrating the arrival of spring at the Ottawa Tulip Festival.

That’s been my year. Thank you for having been a part of it, in person or thru here! I value each person who pops in to read my posts. This blog is my creative outlet and it’s been my faithful companion since the start of it in Paris in 2007.

Cheers to the new year and our continuing adventures together!

Smell the Summer Roses

Summer vacation has started, and oh boy does it feel good! Lazy mornings when you can get up at your own pace and decide whether it’ll be a run, yoga or just chilling with a cup of Joe. I’m taking the time to plan some new things professionally for the next season. There’ll be some exciting news to announce soon. I’m continuing with my English teaching business, yet adding something new into the mix.

Summertime is the perfect opportunity to tune in with your core. Find out what it is that you need at this time of your life. I realize that I crave yoga’s toning yet lengthening power. I long for walks in the forest and time to sit in the sun and read or write down my thoughts.

I also stop to smell the flowers. I appreciate their beauty, here and now. They remind me of the fleetingness of life. This realization should not make us sad but to encourage us to live fully in the moment. It should also boost us in loving the people who love us back. Knowing that they’re there now – and that’s a gift.

Blowing rosy kisses your way!

Pink Sneakers Dancing

Spring is slowly venturing in. To be honest, April is my least favorite month in Canada. But if I can be happy then, I can be happy at any time. I ditched all winter gear and pulled out this bag that I got from a client. She totally hit my style spot.

The honey and I had a nice day going to the local fashion sale. Then we checked out the indoor market place since they had an event going on as well. The outing ended with coffee and cool buddy time in the afternoon pink light. Now we’re getting ready for a movie and sushi. 🍣

Business Girl

My first week as a full-time entrepreneur is behind me, and I’ve loved every moment of it. As much as I do miss my group lesson students, I’m savoring the opened up schedule. I can start my mornings by focusing on what I really want and need to do – planning and developing new ideas for my business, putting together fun lessons, drafting individualized learning plans, meditate, even get in some sports. There’s a renewed feeling of enthusiasm. I’ve always loved teaching English, but now I’m flying even higher.

I plan to reach out to companies around me to see if there would be opportunities to teach English as a second language there. We do live in the heart of the tourist attractions, high quality hotels and the administrative center buildings of the province of Quebec. I’ve also been doing some French to English translations. I love that. I love languages, and the challenge to convey a specific message from one medium to another.

I’m ready to open up the page to a new week. I’m eager to see where life will take me. I’m open to opportunities and humble to learning. I keep doing my yoga work. The mat is where I train my body and mind.

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?

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.