some inspirational values c/o Loreena McKenitt

Loreena McKenitt is one of my favorite music artists of all time.  If you’ve never heard of her (which, would be shocking!), she is a Canadian Celtic singer/songwriter/producer who has been producing music and performing worldwide for almost two decades now. Her music is RICH, rich I tell you, in beauty and truth, and she has such an evident and deep connection to the world around her.

I was looking at her website/blog today and found that she had posted a list of her personal values and principles for everyone to be inspired by.  I WAS inspired by them, in fact, very inspired, and want to share them with you as well.  They are beautiful and well thought out…and most likely well LIVED out too.

So here is a list of life values and principles according to Loreena McKenitt:

  • Be compassionate and never forget how to love.
  • Think inclusively.
  • Reclaim noble values such as truth, honesty, honour, courage.
  • Respect one’s elders and look to what they have to teach you.
  • Be empathetic.
  • Look after the less fortunate in society.
  • Promote and protect diversity.
  • Respect the gifts of the natural world.
  • Set your goals high and take pride in what you do.
  • Cherish and look after your body, and, as the ancient Greeks believed, your mind will serve you better.
  • Put back into the community as there have been those before you have done the same and you are reaping what they sowed.
  • Participate in and protect democracy. It does not thrive as a spectator sport.
  • Undertake due diligence in everything.
  • Seek balance and space, and solitude.
  • Don’t be afraid to feel passionate about something.
  • Learn to be an advocate and an ambassador for good.
  • Be mindful of your limitations.
  • Indulge and nurture your curiosity as it will keep you vital.
  • Take charge of your life and don’t fall into the pit of entitlement.
  • Assume nothing and take nothing for granted.
  • Things are not necessarily what they seem.

And, she’s back.

Hello again.  It’s been…almost four months!  I think that is the longest hiatus from blogging I’ve taken so far.  And, I have to admit what is bringing me back RIGHT NOW is the fact that New Years is just around the corner and I want to start fresh and have all my goals laid out before the clock strikes midnight on Friday!  I always start thinking about what is important to me in the year ahead, what I want to accomplish and what I want to change around Christmas time.  It’s good to reflect on what really matters to me,  especially after the year I’ve had.

Let’s see…

I…got divorced. Whoa.  That was hard-ish, mostly in that it severely impacted my social life and friendships in ways I didn’t expect.  And also my ex got remarried just a couple months after the divorce went through.  Kinda weird but also very much not surprising.

I…moved into a new place.  Yep.  My perfect run down character apartment right on one of my favorite streets in Vancouver.  Unfinished wood floors, exposed piping, nooks and cranies, floorboard heaters, 7 ft ceilings.  I love her!

I…fell in love and got all crazy and complicated and intense.  You gotta lose yourself to find yourself sometimes.  And the new man has helped me come alive again.  Thank you, my sweet.

I…made some pretty big mistakes and hurt people I care about.  Note to self:  My choices have an impact on other people.

I…flew to Europe in September  with my little sister and visited FRANCE, SWITZERLAND, ITALY and SPAIN in less than 30 days!

I…lost my $1500 dollar camera while in Europe and now have no means of taking pictures outside of my iPhone.  Depressing, I know.  Hence, there are no pictures in this post just to prove the point of how depressing and drab my photo life is.

I…got a mysterious illness that had me bedridden for two and a half weeks after said trip to Europe ended in October! Still don’t have a definitive diagnosis on that!

I…nursed my boyfriend back to health for two weeks in November after her severely fractured his elbow and had major surgery.

I…started a full time job as a medical transcriptionist. I’m loving it, by the way!

I…started eating red meat again.  Yep.  I seriously did.  I think this is the craziest thing I’ve done all year!  Or was it…

Dying my hair purple.  Yes.  This happened…accidentally.  It’s fading (thank god!!).

I…became active in the doula world again.  Bring on the babies, people!

I…learned how to knit.  Seriously, like old school knitting.  I made a scarf, a bright pink one, except I haven’t learned how to cast off so it’s still stuck on the knitting needle.  Baby steps, Amber, baby steps.  😉

I…wrote three songs and burst out of my writer’s block.  I’m going to be recording them with my dad in January, me thinks!  This is a very encouraging breakthrough for me.  It’s been awhile since the creative juices were flowing!

I… stopped caring about how much I weighed and what I was eating for a while but successfully managed to stay between 159-163 lbs for the last two months.  I was 158 when I came back from Europe due to my body eating itself while I was constantly starving and moving around with a backpack that weighed more than me (or it least it felt that way).   So that means that in 2010 I lost 30 lbs and if I make it to New Year’s Day at 162 lb (which is what I weigh today), I will have KEPT IT OFF (which we all know is the most important part)!!!!  I am proud of myself for this.  It’s been years and years and trying to get back down to this weight, and I am finally here.  Thanks for all the support via reading, commenting and encouragement in person.  🙂

So, my year has been pretty intense.  I went a bit nutso in the summer when a lot of emotional stuff was coming up and out of me.  It can get yucky when you are dealing with big issues, trying to readjust to a new life, to a new body, to new belief systems, to losing friends, to disappointing people, to being unsure of yourself.  It all fits together though and has brought me to a better place overall.  I am on a journey and it’s really just beginning now that I am more me.  🙂

So, all that said, I am at the threshold of another year and I have some goals to reach.  Here they are, short and sweet:

1.  I would like to lose 25 lbs and reach my ULTIMATE GOAL WEIGHT OF 140 lbs.  That’s right.  This is the number I see as the PERFECT number for me.  This is the body weight I can imagine being the healthiest and most beautiful for me, and I’m excited to get there.

I plan on doing this by completing my 30 minute weight loss yoga video four times a week and 30 minutes of cardio three to four times a week as well as keeping my calories around the 1400-1600 level.  Oh, and cutting down on sugar and coffee is a must.  MUST MUST MUST.  😉

2.  I would like to write and record a full album of songs by 2011.  I want them to come from my heart and communicate my heart to the world.  I want to use the gifts and talents I have and allow them to reach others.  I once heard a saying that your life is God’s gift to you and what you do with your life is your gift back to God.  So, I guess I want to give back what I’ve been given, in a manner of speaking.  🙂

3.  I want to feel more at peace with myself and with the people in my life.  Peace is important to me.  I have had so much pain and conflict in the past few years, now I am ready to wise up and act/live in a peaceful way that prevents said pain and conflict.  I hope I have learned enough to accomplish this.  🙂

Those are my three main goals.  If I accomplish them all by 2011, I will be full of joy…and obviously, at peace.

It’s good to be back here.  I need this place to stay on track and stay real.

Thanks for reading.  I’ll be back again soon.