Hello kind krafters!
I hope you are all doing well and smiling as much as you can. I am once again writing to you from the beautiful island that is Haida Gwaii, home of the Haida Nation. To learn a bit more about why I am on this island, and what I’m doing here head on back to my last post and catch on up! This week I thought I’d share a little day trip I recently took with a group of lovely ladies.
Weekends are made for sunrise coastal hikes
On the weekends we have no classes, and for the most part a very manageable amount of homework. SO our weekends are mostly spent exploring the island, having adventures, and immersing ourselves in the culture. This week we were blessed with some mostly sunny weekend days, so we took fully advantage of the weather and headed up north on the island to the east coast community of Tlell.
We left early in the morning, a hour before the sun had even peaked through the sky. We drove up to the southeast corner of Naikoon Provincial Park, and headed into the forest with the light just beginning to peak through. For the next 3.5 hours we hiked a short distance through the lush green woods, along the Tlell river, before hitting the beach. On the beach we continued on for a few kilometres until we reached the turnaround point of our hiking adventure, the Pesuta Shipwreck. We arrived as the light was fully peeking through the clouds, and watch the sky turn from cotton candy clouds to bright blues with hints of golden sun. At the shipwreck we explored around, peeking in and out of the wooden remains which ran aground in 1928.
The Pesuta Shipwreck on East Beach in Tlell
After exploring around we headed on back to the car, enjoying our picnic lunch packs as we drove down the highway with gorgeous and surprising sunny views of crashing waves. After our hiking adventure we headed to the local art supply store, a lovely little spot called Sitka Studio. Then we glimpsed the Tlell stone circle, and rock garden homage to the islands historical geology. After those little explorations we stopped at the Crow’s Nest for delicious coffee and some strawberry compote covered homemade French toast!
More shipwreck views
All in all it was a perfect way to spend a Sunday with some lady who share the equal excitement of waking up before the sun, hiking as it peeks through the clouds, exploring shipwrecks, and splashing in waves and swinging from tree swings on a beach spot on the way home. It was a beautiful way to celebrate wild women after a week of Women’s Marches around the globe.
This week I encourage you all to celebrate the ladies in your life, and go on an adventure. Get sandy, get your feet wet, and your pants muddy. And don’t forget to keep on smiling.
My name is Rhian and I am a new Youth Ambassador for kind krafts. I am so excited to be a part of the team and to share my life with you all! I thought that a good way to start my kind krafts journey would be through introducing myself, so here we go!
(Me and my best friend’s dog, Lyla)
Who am I?
I am currently in my second year at Acadia University in a Bachelor of Music program where I am focusing in Vocal Performance. I love spending my school years in the small town of Wolfville and being a part of the amazing community here. Outside of school, I practice yoga and Shotokan karate which both help to keep my mind clear and focused. I am constantly introducing myself to new vegetarian recipes and forcing my family to eat them (I will keep you all updated on my latest creations through my posts)! I am a big lover of art and you can often find me doodling, painting, or taking artsy photos!
(Acadia’s campus in the fall)
Here are three more fun facts about me:
My 2018 Goals
In 2018, I hope to make myself a little better every day. I have heard the phrase, “peace begins with me” and really hope to keep this in mind as I experience the new year! Continuing on from this idea, I hope to:
I am so thrilled to be joining the kind krafts team and I can’t wait to learn more about so many important causes. My dream is to one day create change through the music that I am able to make, and so I feel so fortunate to be a part of a group that actively supports and shares awareness for a variety of causes through art. I also feel incredibly honoured to be able to work alongside such inspirational individuals who will continue to involve me in these new experiences.
That’s all for now, friends! Thank you so much for reading :)
Hey kind krafters!
I don’t know about you, but so far my new year has been off to a busy start! I have jumped right back into school, work, and those New Years resolutions that I shared in my last blog; So far so good! How are you all doing with your new years resolutions/goals? I hope your adherence is strong so far!
Since kicking off the year 2018, I have been spending more time focusing on self-improvement. It is easy for the hectic lifestyle to take precedence over our self-care regimes. For today’s blog I decided to focus on an activity that was new to me that has been making a big difference in my daily self-care routine!
New opportunities can be stressful!
I am happy to announce that I have begun my honours project this year! Although I am beyond excited to be starting this chapter, this opportunity is also slightly stress educing for me. I walked into my first class, filled with excitement and nerves not knowing what to expect. The stories that I have heard from others, is that it is a great opportunity but incredibly stressful. I am not going to lie, ‘not knowing’ is stressful, and scary to me. I like knowing what to expect- I like being prepared.
So, like many of us approaching something new head on, I was a nervous mess before class.
It’s the little things that can change everything!
I walked into class having no idea what to expect. I took my seat and waited for the teacher to dive into content, as this is an intensive class. However, this isn’t what happened. Instead, our teacher started class with a mindful meditation- something she begins all of her classes with. This class is in the middle of my busiest day of the week and I could not be more grateful for this professor and her value for meditation.
I have to confess, despite the number of times people have suggested I try meditation, I never actually tried it. Now, I can’t believe I deprived myself from it. After starting class with meditation, I was free of anxiousness, I was focused, and I was able to stay attentive for the entire class without distraction. I could not believe the difference this 3-5 minutes exercise made, not only immediately afterwards, but for the entire duration of my day. I look forward to this part of my day, everyday.
But Class wasn’t enough…
I wanted to be able to meditate more than just in class. My Aunt suggested this app called Headspace. I have been hooked ever since I downloaded it! This user-friendly app allows you to pick a meditation session that is aligned with your needs/interests. This app allows you to control the length of the meditation session so you always have time for meditation, whether it be one minute-10 minutes. This app teaches you all the basics to meditation and provides fun animations to guide you through all the tips and tricks. The app has many features, one being reminders so you can keep up your meditation streak!
I find this app accessible and appealing to many people of all ages. If you are new to meditation like me, I would suggest downloading the app as a good start! I am still exploring and getting familiar with the app, so if any of you have a favourite session/series please let me know and I will test it out!
What I love most about meditation
Since starting meditation, I find that I am more connected with the things around me. Even more so, I am connected with my thoughts and myself. I find that meditation allows me to be present- something that doesn’t come natural to me. I tend to be a worrier, so I am always focusing on what is next to come, rather than enjoying the moment. Since I have started meditation, I cannot believe the difference in my ability to become more present.
I love the quiet time. Since I have integrated this into my routine, I cannot believe how much I value silence. With technology, work, school, and all the other sensory overloads I experience in a day, silence is calming. Taking 1-10 minutes out of my day to enjoy the quiet and focus on my breathing really makes a difference. I find that meditation is also a great remedy to relieve my headaches.
Since starting meditation, I have started to judge myself less. I am aware of my thoughts, accept them, and move on. I find being comfortable with myself in silence is something I have always struggled with, but is now something I actually look forward to.
“Meditation isn’t about becoming a different person, a new person, or even a better person. It’s about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective. You’re not trying to turn off your thoughts or feelings. You’re learning to observe them without judgment. And eventually, you may start to better understand them as well.”
- Andy Puddicombe, Cofounder of Headspace
Just test it out!
At first, I thought meditation wasn’t for me. I tried it once and was hooked. If you are willing- try it. If you can’t do it on your own- try downloading an app to help. If you have access to a computer, there are a lot of video tutorials on YouTube that can walk you through a session. Check out your campus or local community centers! Many places in communities offer meditation sessions and classes.
If you are already an avid meditator, what is your favourite meditation session? If it is online feel free to comment the link and I will test it out!
It’s important to take the time to focus on ourselves- I believe it’s crucial.
This week I challenge you all to give meditation a try! Carve out 1-5 minutes this week to try it out. Let me know what you think!
Remember to stay kind to yourself.
Hello kind krafters!
I hope you are all doing well and, for those of you who are students, enjoying these first few days of the new semester. A few months back I wrote to you about an opportunity that came my way, in the form of the chance to participate in the Haida Gwaii Higher Education Society’s Natural Resource Studies Program. Well, I am ecstatic to report, that I am now writing to you from the beautiful town of Queen Charlotte, on Haida Gwaii Island, off the coast of BC.
Haida Gwaii Island! I live in Queen Charlotte and go to school in Skidegate.
For the next 3.5 months I will be living, learning, and smiling here on the island, soaking up as much as I possibly can. For those of you who know me, personally or from my posts, you know that being outside, exploring nature, and learning about ways to make the natural world more accessible to all people everywhere, are my greatest of passions. So being here on this island, living and going to school is quite literally a dream come true and I honestly feel on top of the world in these first few days.
Morning views of the sunrise over the water in between our bus stop and basement apartment at a house here in Queen Charlotte.
So, you may be asking what exactly am I doing here?
Well, first of all I am taking classes through the Haida Gwaii Higher Education Society, in their Natural Resource Studies program. I go to school everyday, Monday to Friday, from 9 to 4 at the Haida Heritage Centre, and learn about the island, it’s people, Indigenous culture and natural resource management, parituclarly in the form of its role here on the island. Over the course of the 3 months I will take 5 courses, 4 modular courses completed one after the other for 3 weeks, and one weekly seminar course to tie it all together. Mixed in with these courses are guest lectures by community members, field work here on the island, and some exploration. It’s pretty amazing, both in terms of the depth of course content, the range of ideas explored, and the manner of learning in an experiential and very hands on way. Not to mention my classroom, which is housed in the Haida Heritage Centre, a literal museum, whose windows offer a beautiful view of the ocean and a little beach to explore on lunch breaks. Needless to say I’m pretty happy.
School. Also known as the Haida Heritage Centre.
So next you may be asking, how did I get here?
Well I left on Saturday morning from my home in Halifax, all the way on the other side of the country, at 6am eastern time. I then flew from Halifax to Toronto. From Toronto I flew to Vancouver. And here it gets interesting. My flight in Toronto was delayed by two hours, so I got to Vancouver two hours late. There is only one flight a day to the Sandspit airport here on the island, and thanks to this cold weather related extension, I missed my Saturday flight. SO I spent a night in the Vancouver airport, and woke up the next morning booked on the Sunday flight to Haida Gwaii. Despite sideways rain we landed safely and I made my way aboard the shuttle to the ferry from Sandspit to Queen Charlotte, my new home. After two days of travelling, and a nice little time change of four hours, I made to my house here in Spruce Point at 5pm pacific time.
When we walk out the door at school, this is the view. I spend lunch breaks wandering here.
So what have I done so far and what is coming up?
When I arrived the first thing I need was go to the local Co-Op for some basic groceries to get my through the night and next day for breakfast and lunch at school. We don’t receive freight here until Monday/Tuesday, so it was pretty much gather the basics and go from there. After that I made dinner, lunch, and unpacked. The next day I met my awesome roommate in the morning and we walked to our pick up stop. From here our little yellow school bus picks up all of us students and brings us to class at the Heritage Centre. For our first day we did introductions and had a great intro lecture about our first upcoming modular course, then wandered around on the beach outside the center, before heading for groceries, making dinner, and doing homework.
I am very happy to say each day here is a bit different. So day two was bus and school, but we began with a lecture open to the public about the concept of wilderness and the decolonization of academic traditions. Next was lunch and beach wandering, followed by a tour of the heritage centre and a short afternoon that left time for wandering around town and along the coast.
As for what is coming up, well it is different everyday. This week there’s an interpretive tour during class hours, we’re planning a hike up to Sleeping Beauty trail, a community potluck to end the school week, a basketball tournament in town between all the clans, and a Sunday field trip up the island. So, basically a little bit of anything and everything this beautiful place has to offer. And honestly, I truly cannot wait.
Views from evening wanders along the coast, just down the road from home.
Until next time,
So another year has come and gone! It has been a year full of new friendships, new experiences, and new lessons. When I started writing this blog, I couldn’t figure out if I wanted to write about the highlights of 2017 or instead, what I have to look forward to in 2018. After much procrastination I decided to focus on what is next to come!
New Years Resolution
As cliché as it may be, I love setting New Years Resolutions; I am a goal driven individual. Although, let’s be real, this inspiration normally comes after the excessive chocolate eating and snaking from the holidays. Either way, I find myself inspired to start fresh when ringing in the New Year. This year, I want to focus on designing the life I want to live and to live that life.
Making time for Me
This year I want to focus on ‘practicing what I preach’. As I get closer to becoming a health professional, I realize I need to get my own health habits in check before I can help others with theirs. So this year, one of my resolutions is to give myself more me time. I have decided to start yoga classes that will give me 45minutes to an hour of me time a day. As we all know, forming new habits can be challenging. For me, I struggle to ‘find the time’. To beat this barrier, I have put the yoga classes in my planner, just as I do with meetings, and class times. This way I am making sure I have the time to do yoga. I am starting with the goal of going to yoga a minimum of once a week, but hopefully working it up to a daily habit.
If you find yourself in a similar pickle, I would start by trying to identify what barriers are currently preventing you from achieving your goal. If you can’t find a resolution, reach out! I would love to help :) If it is time, try blocking time off in your monthly calendar to start. Once you are able to make time for your activity once or twice a month, finding time weekly and daily may become more doable once you’ve mastered doing the activity monthly.
Keeping in Touch with the People I Care About!
I am guilty of losing touch with friends and family especially when life gets busy. This year, I am stepping up my friendship game! I am going to reach out to my friends abroad at least once a month to check in. I am lucky to have friends who do not need constant contact to know we are here for one another, however I want to do a better job at knowing what is going on in their lives! @Asha and @Alex and @Haile get ready for more Skype calls this year! If anyone is tech savvy and wants to teach us how to use three-way Skype it would be much appreciated… technology definitely is not our strong suit!
Fueling my Body for Success
This year I want to do a better job of making sure I am attentive to what I am putting in my body. I used to eat very well, and sometimes when I get busy I fall off track and find it hard to eat well. My solution to this is to: A. not bring junk food into the house B. drink more water C. meal prep! Once I make eating healthy a habit, it is quite easy for me to stay on track since I actually prefer healthy food to junk food. My challenge comes from being rushed- that’s right… that lack of time! I have also prepared a grocery list I want to follow to help keep me on track, while making my grocery trip quick and easy. Do you have a favourite healthy meal? Share the recipe, I would love to try it!
Getting More Zzzzzzzzzz
I am bad at not keeping a bedtime routine. My goal for this year is to keep myself active during the day, so I am ready for bed at an earlier hour! I am going to give up coffee, so I am not lying in bed wide-awake! For me, if I drink a coffee after 10am I can’t sleep at night!
Do the Things that Make me Happy!
Sometimes I get so busy I find it hard to justify making time for the things that bring me joy. I feel like we are all guilty of this at times. This is something I am trying to change this year. Being happy is the most important thing. Once you are happy, you can do everything else with ease! I want to spend more time this year: outside; running; surfing; crafting; singing; volunteering and traveling! What makes you happy that you want to do more of??!!
Things I am Looking Forward to This Year…
So far I already have so much to look forward to:
What are you looking forward to in 2018?
Happy New Year Lovlies,