Hello kind krafters!
My name is Patrick Bondy, and this is a guest blog post from the organization I’m representing, Trips By Transit—hereafter TBT. kind krafts and us are closing out 2017 with a collaboration, and so this is a chance for you to get to know us a bit. My hope is that after reading this post you’ll know what TBT does and some of the qualities that I think make us interesting.
Backlands Series Finale. PC: Trips By Transit.
But first, I ought to say what TBT does. We work towards a world where there are no barriers preventing us from connecting with ourselves, each other, and the natural world. We do this principally through organizing outdoor trips using public transit to access a variety of places in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM). We partner with many other great organizations to accomplish our mission statement, including the friendly folks here at kind krafts. We’ve been operating for just under two years now.
Essentially, then, TBT goes on outdoor trips using Halifax Transit to get there. Although that may sound simplistic, there are three ways in which I think TBT’s work is thought-provoking. First, we’ve intentionally chosen to limit our adventures to areas accessible via Halifax Transit. Limits and constraints get a bad rap today, but for us it’s helped us stay focused and connected to the ethics of what we do. None of our trips are putting more cars on the road; I think that’s an achievement worth celebrating.
Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area. PC: Trips By Transit.
Second, when we go on outdoor adventures we try to relate to the natural spaces in specific, positive ways. We use it as an opportunity for people to slow down, clear their minds, meet new friends, or just pay attention to trees again. Life can be so fast that it leaves us disoriented. TBT Trips are a way to slow life down. Whenever I hear the wind chase itself through trees overhead, I remember why we do what we do.
Third, our trips attempt to undo the dichotomous relationship between the city and nature. Every trip we go to woods, lakes, coasts, trails, parks, wetlands, and boulder outcroppings that are within our city limits. They are part of the fabric of urban life, not outside of it. Though it is often not so in contemporary Nova Scotia, we believe humans can have a mutually beneficial relationship with Nature. We aim for such a relationship at TBT. Through practicing Leave No Trace, participating in cleanups, and campaigning for the preservation of natural gems in HRM, we recognize that nature is here and alive in HRM. The wellbeing of our species need not be at the detriment of others.
Meditation in the Woods. Admiral Cove Park. PC: Trips By Transit.
Anyways, those are a few thoughts from Patrick over at Trips By Transit. If you’d like to find out more about us, click here for a link to our Facebook page and here for a link to our website. And finally, shout-out to Kind Krafts for supporting us and letting me be a guest on their blog!
Thank you bunches,
Patrick and the TBT Team
We are all surrounded by extraordinary people- each with their own unique story. This week, I would like to introduce you to Alycia and tell you a bit about her story. Alycia thank you for being an inspiration. Your creativity provides tools that help others reach a place of calmness and tranquility. The work you do is amazing and for such a great cause. Getting to know you has been a pleasure! Thank you for all your dedication to making this world a little less stressful. You are an exquisite soul.
Alycia is the mum of a joyful 8-month old baby named Leighton. Alycia describes herself as a mum before anything else. While raising the light of her life, Alycia is also a Psychology student, an advocate for mental health and wellness, a lover of all things coffee, and a stationary addict! An amazing woman, I know! This young mum does it all.
I cannot imagine doing everything Alycia does while raising a precious little blueberry! Alycia, you are a superhero.
Let’s get to know Alycia a little better!
Being a mum, a student, and a leading community member of self-care, Alycia is busy to say the least! A busy schedule is often accompanied with stress. So many of us get sucked into the ‘busy lifestyle’ and each one of us experiences stress…daily! Alycia, being the self-care expert that she is, gave me some insights on her favourite ways to manage stress. These were too good not to share with all of you!
Alycia’s approach to coping and minimizing her stress is based on the type of stress she is experiencing. I find reflecting and assessing the type of stress is incredibly helpful to finding a solution. Sometimes I jump to use my go-to stress relief tactics without assessing the type of stress I am experiencing, and end up finding minimal to no relief. I think this happened because my approach to reducing my stress was never circumstantial. Alycia shared her tips and tricks to relieve stress based on the common types of challenges she faces.
Overwhelmed in general:
Alycia assesses the space she is in. Is it cluttered? Alycia believes that, “a cluttered space results in a cluttered mind”. Alycia manages this type of stress by decluttering or changing up the scenery! Not only does she find this helpful but it also works wonders for baby Leighton!
In times of high anxiety:
Alycia reduces this type of stress with aromatherapy. She used to love taking baths however with a little munchkin crawling around, baths aren’t practical. With that being said, Alycia finds easy solutions- going back to basics. She now uses a water diffuser that she can run while she is playing with her little one, making her aromatherapy more manageable. Alycia said aromatherapy makes a big difference in how she feels and would recommend it to many folks.
Alycia’s all-time favourite stress reliever:
Leighton’s baby laugh… OBVIOUSLY! (So cute!)
Stress reduction toolbox:
It is important for us to explore our stress relief options and find the ones that work best for us. You can never have too many stress relief tactics in your stress reduction toolbox!
To help you expand your toolbox, let me familiarize you with the Lavender & Sage initiative! Founded and run by Alycia, Lavender & Sage is about, “the belief that the tools we use each day should not only help us to live our lives more effectively, but also help do more of what serves our body, mind and spirit.”
Furthermore, Alycia goes on to explain, “the 2018 Lavender & Sage collection was designed (and re-designed, and re-designed…) to help you to find some balance between what fills and drains your battery. We have made versatility and customization a priority, as we understand everyone learns and works differently. We want to help you find the tools that best help you to live your life with your wellness at the forefront.” Lavender and Sage designs stationary with 3 core values in mind: integrity, environmental conscientiousness, and community involvement.
What is the story behind Lavender & Sage? What lead Alycia to where she is today?
Alycia said it all started with her frustration in failing to find stationary that met her “picky” criteria. The stationary would be too overwhelming, or not have all the tools she needed. One particular instance that motivated Alycia to start Lavender & Sage was seeing a planner that read, “I am sooooooooooo busy”. This frustrated Alycia as she felt that mainstream culture is reinforcing the need to constantly be ‘on the go’ and keep a busy, lavished social life; which frankly, isn’t realistic for a number of us and can be very stress inducing.
Recognizing that this stationary was not made with her in mind, Alycia designed her own. Lavender & Sage produces stationary tools that focus on self-care while getting the benefits of beautiful stationary.
“Mental health is at an all time high especially for youth- we need to make tools accessible for them.”-Alycia
Alycia’s favourite tool from Lavender & Sage:
The Self-care planner! With attention to detail as a top priority, this tool took over 11 months to create. This interactive planner works well for people who aren’t motivated by lengthy to do lists but rather a focused list on prioritized tasks!
The process of ideas-to-tools!
Products in general start with a gap- the need for the tool. Alycia then prioritizes three top projects to perfect. With her background in psychology, she delivers tools with elements from psychology that are transferable to all people. For each tool, Alycia hand paints using ink and watercolours at least 3-4 times before she is happy with the final product!
Making tools accessible!
Let’s face it, beautiful stationary can be quite costly! To keep Lavender & Sage products economically friendly; Alycia gets prints of originals to keep costs down for both herself as the supplier and for the buyers.
Quarterly, Alycia also releases a free online tool to increase accessibility! These tools can be used online or can be printed off! Keep an eye out for Lavender & Sage collaboration with other organizations! Alycia is excited to plan and implement workshops to help teach essential skills to making tools that work best for you!
“I don’t consider myself to be an entrepreneur. My goal isn’t to have a super well-established business- that would just be a bonus. My goal is to create tools that people can incorporate into their lives to prioritize their wellness. We see this gap in stationary tools. People are using these mainstream products that don’t fit into their lives in a way that works best for them.” – Alycia
I think it is imperative to prioritize our mental health. Life is busy and it is important that we do what we can to make things a little easier on ourselves. Thank you Alycia for making tools that are accessible! P.S. thank you for always letting me baby-hog your child!
Hello kind krafters!
I hope you’re all doing well, feeling good, and settling into the new fall season. I’m happy to report that, despite doctors still being uncertain as to exactly what caused my symptoms, I am feeling much better and am back to work and outdoor adventures. I thought for this post I would share one of the key tools that I’ve been using to felt me recover and feel better, and what I feel has been the most significant influencing factor in my progress. And that is yoga!
Yoga is a lot of different things, and has also been described as everything. Most of know yoga as a trendy practice of stretching and moving in pretzel-like shapes and poses while breathing and standing on a squishy mat. It can be done outside, inside, in a super-hot room with sweat dripping off of you, or in a regulated temperature with sweaters and poses held for long periods of time. You can do intense and strengthening power yoga, relaxing and restorative yin yoga, gentle flowing hatha yoga, smooth flowing vinyasa yoga, and many more in just about every combination you can think of. But the key ingredient is the breath and the mind, something often forgotten in the modern image of yoga as a trendy exercise regime. Yoga is used to calm and centre the mind in preparation for meditation, and all movement, whether intensive, quick, slow, or static, follows the flow of the breathe naturally moving in and out.
Yoga can be practiced anywhere!