Friday, September 28, 2007

What do you believe?

What if our sense of identity wasn’t so much tied to what other people thought of us, but what we believed about ourselves? Too often we allow our own self-worth to be defined by what others think of us – case in point: the child who begins to believe he is bad because his parents continually tell him so. What a surprise when he grows up to fulfill their expectations.

I know that the entire 15 years I’ve lived here, the following two tenets surface again and again – they both raise my ire - the first one, proclaimed by those who live elsewhere, the second, a complaint from those who live here:
Albert County is full of rednecks.
If you were not born in Albert County, you will always be an outsider.
If you hear something often and long enough you begin to believe it, whether it is true or not.

Do we have any more ‘rednecks’ or troublemakers than any other area? I seriously doubt it.

Do born and bred Albert County folk think less of those who were not born here? Most small towns do have a ‘historical hierarchy’, but I’ve always been made to feel welcome – right from the moment I moved here and my next door neighbour offered to help us move furniture, then another invited me to a ladies Christmas pot-luck.

I respect those who remain in a community through generations; they are our anchors to a very colourful past. But, I also belong here – I am part of Albert County’s present and future - and there is no one who can tell me any different.

We have a wonderful mix of people in this county. We have artists and craftspeople, environmentalists and tradespeople. We have teachers and nurses and doctors and lawyers. We have boat builders and house builders. We have entrepreneurs and farmers and fishermen. We come from all places in the world and backgrounds – just like our French and German, English and Scottish and Irish ancestors - but have one thing in common. Albert County.

So, I’m curious…What does Albert County believe about itself? Are we ready, willing and able to stand up and define ourselves by what we know is true - and to show this through our actions - or will we allow others to tell us who we are?

Our community is taking steps to become healthy in body. Why not become healthy in spirit as well?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Scott's What If? Changed His Life

At the latest Footloose! support meeting, held in Hopewell Cape, a crowd of lime-green Footloosers cheered and applauded Scott Steeves, who has lost a whopping 100lbs since starting a diet and running routine. Scott's dad had a heart attack at a young age and Scott began to wonder, "What if this happened to me?" Being around to watch his children grow up was a strong motivator for a change in lifestyle and habits.

Not only has Scott’s commitment to health had a positive impact on his family members, but he’s become a role model for others to follow. When he started running to augment his weight loss, he discovered he really enjoyed it. Scott actually ran the 11km from Hillsborough to Hopewell Cape for the evening event.

“Scott’s story is motivating,” says Footloose! organizer, Doris Weir, “because so many people can identify with him. Plus, he is a local ‘ordinary guy’ and that’s what people love. Sometimes a weight loss of 100 lbs looks too big to tackle, so they give up. Scott helped people realize if they take it in small steps and be consistent, it can happen! Anyone can succeed if they are persistent. Scott is definitely determined and it shows.”

Friday, September 14, 2007

Our Newfoundland Neighbours

Oh moi dear, the poor blog has suffered over the past several weeks. I’ve been away on a road trip of our neighbouring province of Newfoundland with some family members, Rhonda's been on a mission trip to the Czech Republic and Leo...well, he's back at school.

I must say that Newfoundland has been my favourite place in the world since my first trip in 2003, so it was a delight to share it with family who have never been there before. Despite the fact I’ve crossed the Gulf on four occasions, and spent 7 weeks there in 2005, I still haven’t seen even a smidgeon of what the province has to offer.

From an open boat tour of the southern coastal community of Burgeo (and a trek on an island that was once a fishing outport ) to finding ourselves in the midst of a Newfoundland moose hunt in Cape Onion, at the very tip of the northern peninsula, we collected as many memories and stories as we did photographs!

Beyond the remarkable experiences, spectacular scenery, and wonderful people we chanced to meet, I should mention that our neighbours across the mighty blue waves are also on a fitness kick. In every single community we visited, walkers were putting their best foot forward...young people, middle-aged, seniors; men and women alike.

And I must say, the landscape of Newfoundland makes the hills of Albert County look like barely a ripple on the bed sheet. But every community, no matter how small, has at least one designated walking trail to a lookout and some have networks of trails. Sometimes, miles from a community, we’d encounter a walker or two and wonder where on earth they walked from!

That’s the upside. The downside is that my butt has been firmly planted on a car seat for two weeks and my poor little pedometer hasn’t been wracking up many clicks. I confess to a feed or two of fish n’chips as well.

Confession is done. Time to get back into the swing of things before the turkey suppers start up! I hope everyone else has been doing better than I have! Yoga classes, here I come.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Tammy's Yoga What Ifs…

What if there were a means of creating balance in our body by developing strength and flexibility? Allowing us relief from chronic pain and discomfort and creating a strong and healthy body.

What if we could restore our capacity to breathe freely? Bringing with it increased energy, a calm and focused mind and relief from stress.

What if we took the time to get in touch with the wisdom of our own body and heart? Time dedicated to feeling, listening inside, restoring balance and healing.

What if we allowed our bodies to benefit from deep relaxation? Releasing all tension, quieting the mind, and allowing the body to apply its full energy to the task of healing.

These are just a handful of the benefits available to us through the ancient science of yoga. And no matter the age, level of strength or flexibility, anyone can start and benefit from a yoga practice.

I never could have imagined the benefits I’ve reaped since my introduction to yoga several years ago. I learn something new about yoga each day, and with its vastness, I’m sure I’ll continue to learn more for the rest of my lifetime.

What if I could share all of this with others in my community? This is just what I plan to do…..

(Note: Tammy Carlin teaches Kripalu yoga - she starts morning and evening classes in Hillsborough on Sept. 13th (see the previous posting).