Mastering Mental Fitness in The Messy Middle

Have you ever heard the term mental fitness? I hadn’t until recently, but now that I have, I’ve realized it’s a beautiful description for the work that I’ve been doing.

I am currently in the midst of some major hustle for my business ventures, taking on new clients, promoting the work I do to support women in figuring out what they truly want and bringing it to life, writing a book, and taking a couple of great courses. I am really busy!

At the same time, I’m taking more time off than I have in a long time. We’ve celebrated our anniversary, my birthday, Ross’ half birthday (yup!), PEI Pride Week, and next we’ll be spending some time with family.

So right now, I am pulling out every trick in the book to work as efficiently and effectively as possible. And in part, that means relying on mental fitness.

Thanks to the program I’m working on getting certified in, I’ve got lots of tools in my toolbox. I’m doing a daily walking meditation as I start my day, but I’m also integrating quick breaks to help me to get focused and make sure I’m in the best headspace possible to address challenges and make decisions.

The painful reality of being in the messy middle of building my business is that most days don’t get wrapped up with a pretty bow, and I rarely complete my to-do list (though I am getting better and better and completing my daily priorities list). Mental fitness is what keeps me in a state of wisdom, gratitude, hope, and making progress. It’s what helps to keep me eager to jump out of bed in the morning and eager to go to sleep at night (and rinse and repeat tomorrow).

What tools are you using to navigate life right now? Do you find yourself getting sabotaged by anxiety or negative voices in your head? Let’s share what we’re doing to keep going.

Mastering your mental health is a muscle. We need to practice flexing those muscles just like we might go for a swim, take a walk, or do a pushup.

Take care, friends. Especially in light of the world. Focus on what’s yours to do today, and tomorrow will get clearer too.

Privilege, and Discerning What’s Yours To Do

Gosh. Where to begin.

I’m processing privilege right now, and I’m figuring out what’s mine to do. If you can relate to that, and if you aren’t going to get really uncomfortable when I talk about the current state of U.S. politics and the issue of abortion, read on.

When the Supreme Court of the United States recently decided to overrule past precedent (and, in some cases, to ignore what they’d promised to do during their confirmation hearings), they did so from places of extreme privilege.

These judges may have in the past been in vulnerable situations, but now, I can confidently say that were a member of their family or friend group in the position of having to raise a child or risk their life to do so against their will, they could afford to help that person. They’re privileged enough to be able to afford to send them to a safe clinic, in a neighboring state or country, and they have the intelligence and other resources to ascertain what’s needed and get it done. They also can be assured some agency in where they live – if they decide the laws of their current state don’t work for them, they’ve got options.

If it isn’t obvious, these folks are in the minority. They may or may not be in the “1%”, as recent politicians have called it, but they have the privileges of wealth, and power, and education, and likely others as well. Most of them are white, and most of them are male, and for the most part, they’ve gotten to navigate the world without their right to marry who they want or, in many cases, spend time where they want or pursue the life they want, being questioned.

The vast majority of people with uteruses in the United States of America do not have all of these privileges. And in fact, a majority of people living in the U.S., whether they’ve got a uterus or not, believe that the Supreme Court’s decision was wrong. It crossed a dangerous line by setting the precedent that people can be forced to raise a child, and yet the other person (the one with the penis) who contributed their sperm is irrelevant in the matter. We’ve already, just in the last week or so, heard the horrendous news that an eleven-year-old child was denied an abortion.

Eleven. Do some simple math and think about who might have fathered that child and whether forcing an eleven-year-old child to carry a child is really a good idea.

Prior to this decision, I’d pulled way back on my time spent on social media. I’m now in the position that, while most of my friends are on the same page about this as I am, I have to reckon with the fact that a few close friends are profoundly NOT on the same side of this issue as I am. And recognizing that people I know and love care more deeply for the potential of some cells to grow into a child, even if that child could be unwanted or unable to thrive in the world, even if that child surviving could kill the parent, metaphorically or physically…I honestly don’t even have the words here.

I know they have their reasons for their opinions. But my knowledge of history tells me that most of the reason for the church and its members adopting this opinion as such a hot button issue is because of white supremacy. It’s because when Black people fought for and won some concessions, FINALLY, in the civil rights movement, a hundred years after the Civil War should have made that fight moot but didn’t because people are stubborn and fearful, the church wanted and needed an issue, a scapegoat, a way to maintain power over women and minorities.

Am I generalizing slightly? Sure. Am I making any of this up? Not at all. Go do a bit of research if you don’t believe me.

So what am I, a white woman with plenty of my own privilege, even more privileged to currently be living in Canada, supposed to do with this?

How do I stand by knowing that women will die and lose the right to a life of their own choosing every day because of this ruling?

How do I support my family and friends? How do I support the people I don’t know?

How do I avoid getting consumed by the panic and fear and frustration and anger?

And you may be asking the same question too.

The truth, of course, is that discerning what is mine to do is a very, VERY personal choice.

I would love for every person reading this to begin contacting their representatives on a weekly basis if they don’t already.

I would love for every person reading this in the U.S. with enough privilege and safety to do so to begin attending protests regularly.

I’d also love for those same folks with privilege and safety to send some money weekly to organizations who continue to do the work to make sure all those who need this life-saving care receive it. Reproductive rights are human rights.

But whether or not you, or I, do any of those three things at all or as often as I would like to see it happen, I want ALL of us to take a pause. Take a moment to stop operating from a reactionary perspective.

Once you’ve done some meditation or taken a walk outside or journaled about your feelings or danced your face off for twenty minutes – you know, whatever mindfulness practices keep you going in the face of stress and anxiety and panic and anger – take a pause.

Survey the situation around you. What are your privileges? What are your skills? What power do you have right now? Ask yourself, what is mine to do? Consider what is yours to do today, and this week, and this month, and this year, on this issue.

And then take the first step. If we take a step every day, or even every week, how much better off are we?

For me, what is mine to do varies somewhat from day to day. And I will keep checking in on it. But the big theme for me, right now, is recognizing that I have two areas to focus.

I want to be known as a supporter and defender of human rights by everyone who knows me. I know a ton of people in the U.S. So I’m going to keep doing what I can, from a distance, to support those I know and those I don’t, following the guidance of those who know more than me so that I don’t unknowingly make any of us a target.

And because supporting the local community here is a major focus of my day to day work, I will continue to do that. I’m looking forward to attending Pride events here later this month. I will continue to offer scholarships and partial scholarships to support those seeking coaching and clarity. I will keep learning more about local cultures, customs, struggles, history, and ways that I can be a force for good in the world.

And perhaps most importantly, long-term? I won’t forget myself and my own self-care in the struggle. Because if I give everything I have, every day, without making time for my own needs, there will come a day when I will become a burden on those around me, rather than a boon and force for good in the world.

Keep reading. Keep learning. Keep growing. What is yours to do today?

Keep asking. And keep taking a step. The fight is an urgent one, and if we wait for an election or for someone else to do it, there won’t be anyone or anything left to fight for.

Weird vibes

So, I’ve been honest here about my recent struggles with anxiety and overwhelm and the work I’ve been doing on myself through the Enneagram, other forms of personal development, therapy, and self-care.

I wanted these past few weeks to be me getting back into the swing of things with my business after a delightful week of fun with my mom here on Prince Edward Island.

I wanted to be focused and on top of it.

And, while I think I’ve done a decent job of meeting my obligations and haven’t (I hope) missed any deadlines, I’ve been giving off vibes.

Weird vibes.

Vibes that confuse the heck out of people.

Can you possibly relate to this, or am I alone? Am I the only person who, in a state of anxiety, finds themselves making their friends and family think they’re getting the death stare when they’re actually getting the deer in headlights/confused as all heck look by someone who’s struggling to keep up?

It’s contributed to some communication challenges recently, for sure. And it’s given me plenty of fodder for therapy sessions.

But I am grateful. I’m grateful for family and friends who’ve done the work alongside me to communicate what they’re feeling, tell me when I’m bothering them, and taking care of themselves in the process.

I’m grateful for a cat who insists on all of the snuggles when I’m in a funk.

I’m grateful for a new therapist who seems like a great fit for me.

And I’m so excited for this season of concerts and my new pilot Enneagram program.

I imagine these weird vibes have something to do with my Enneagram type (I’m a 1) and something to do with all of the stress it can be really hard to avoid putting on myself.

I may not have my anxiety completely under control yet. I may have some weird vibes ahead of me. But I’m thankful for this life I’ve crafted and that you’re a part of it too.

Take care, friends.

P.S. I’m still writing a book. Any interest in getting on my email list in exchange for some previews from it? If so, please comment or reach out.

Five Things The Enneagram Taught Me About Myself

As I coordinate schedules in hopes of getting my pilot Enneagram group going soon, I’m thinking about how much I’ve learned about the Enneagram since I began studying it about two years back.

The Enneagram is an ancient tool for learning more about yourself and how you relate to other people. Unlike astrology or Human Design, someone doesn’t tell you your type, based on particular facts about yourself, like when you were born. Instead, you study the nine types (traditionally, this is done as an oral tradition, and our group will be watching videos to learn our type), and from that study and through engaging with other people to learn more about it, you can discern which type you are. Knowing your type gives you a path to follow toward a more whole and healthy life. In my case, it’s also made a major difference in my marriage, and it’s helped me to understand my family and friends better too.

Here are the top five things the Enneagram taught me about myself!

I Get Frustrated

Okay, so maybe that seems obvious to you if you know me personally. Or maybe you’re reading this and thinking, don’t we all get frustrated sometimes? But the Enneagram taught me that most of the time, when I don’t know how to put what I’m feeling into words, or when I feel angry, or a lot of other negative emotions, what’s honestly at the root of it all is frustration. And while that frustration is often directed at other people, more often than not, at least if I dig deeper, I will find out that I’m most frustrated with myself.

I Am My Own Worst Critic

Again, this might be obvious to some of you, and to some of you, you may assume everyone is their own worst critic. But as a 1 on the Enneagram, I’ve got a fun little voice in my head that likes to spend all of its time pointing out flaws in the world, but most especially my own flaws. Recognizing and identifying that voice is the first step in some major acceptance of who I am. It’s also helped me to recognize why it is that I get so critical about little things when I am tired or under stress. It’s also given my husband more compassion for me, rather than simply feeling angry or hurt, when I default to wanting things clean or fixed or put away on my schedule (rather than on OUR schedule).

I Verbally Process Things

Before studying the Enneagram, I knew I sometimes verbally processed (thought things through out loud, in conversation). What I hadn’t realized is that verbal processing is the way I like to process everything! One of my favorite tips from podcaster, author, and Enneagram expert Suzanne Stabile has been that I should end each day verbally processing what’s happened with my husband (or a friend, roommate, or even a journal or cat might work in a pinch). It’s something that I’d generally done with my husband, but studying the Enneagram made me aware of how healthy and important this is for me and my mental health.

People Tend To be Past, Present, or Future-Oriented

Before studying the Enneagram, I knew I was very aware of the present moment. I knew that some of my clients and friends struggled with looking ahead to the future or resisted spending time talking about the past, even wanting to put up a wall and avoid revisiting tough experiences.

I now know that each of us either past, present, or future-oriented. I happen to be oriented to the present, and for me, that means I have no problem supporting someone right now, but I can get easily distracted by a present task (or email or question) and lose sight of the bigger picture ahead of me.

I’ve also learned that some people (including a very close family member) are oriented toward the past, which can help explain why it’s tough for them to create goal and find motivation toward the future. Likewise, my more future-minded family members are constantly thinking about what’s next, so much so that it can be hard for them to enjoy the present moment. Of course, there are practices to help with all of this. In our ideal worlds, we’d all find balance between all three, so we can take steps to get there.

Just knowing this is a normal distinction and pattern has really helped me to understand why other people do what they do.

You Aren’t As Special, Or As Normal, As You Think You Are

What do I mean by that, exactly? There are so many pieces of the puzzle when it comes to who we are. In addition to the circumstances I experienced growing up, I am an Enneagram 1, a highly sensitive person (HSP), and an introvert. I’m also the oldest of four children, a white cisgender woman without any children, I grew up fairly well off in the Northeastern United States….

I could go on and on, of course, but the point is, there are tons of factors that come together and make us unique.

At the same time, I can find community, finding a LOT in common, in any of those groups. I might bond with one person who grew up visiting the White Mountains of New Hampshire, find traits in common with fellow introverts or with oldest siblings, or find people who sound an AWFUL lot like me who also identify as Enneagram 1s.

Some of my “weirdest” quirks I have in common with a lot of other people. And knowing that feels vulnerable and also super cool.

If you want to figure out your own Enneagram type, or if you know it, but you’d like to learn more about it and get to know people of other types as well as your own, please reach out to me and join our pilot.

And as always, if you’re looking for support in finding out what you truly want in life, and then figuring out how to make it happen, I’m your woman!

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help further by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums! 
  • Take Ross’ online ukulele course!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

an intro to the enneagram

Hello! If we don’t know each other well yet, I am Jamie Feinberg, and I help women who feel like life is happening to them, or passing them by, to figure out what they truly want – whether that’s time to pursue an old dream, a new career or hobby, or to travel – and then make it a reality.

I believe that if you never do the work to discover and cultivate a life you love, then you will never find the freedom and fulfillment that comes from pursuing a life free of regret. 

So, in essence, that’s why I’ve gotten so darn obsessed with the Enneagram over the last couple of years. I’d been pursuing my own personal development for a few years prior when I discovered it. The Enneagram, if you aren’t already aware, is not a typical “personality test”, for two reasons, as I see. One reason is that unlike Myers-Briggs, astrology, Human Design, or any of the other typing systems I’ve seen or explored, you get to type yourself! 

(If you have already heard about this program and are ready to sign up and get started and join us, please email rossandjamieadventure @ gmail.com so we can work out the details!)

Despite what you’ve perhaps read online, the ancient wisdom of the Enneagram is an oral tradition, and the way that you are meant to discern your type is in conversation with mentors, friends, family, but mainly doing your own contemplation. 

The other major difference about the Enneagram from other “personality quizzes” and the like? Once you know your type, the Enneagram also gives you a road map to follow for a more healthy, integrated, fulfilled life. So it’s not “here’s your type, here’s what’s challenging for you, have a nice life”. It’s more like “here’s your type, here are your strengths and weaknesses, and if you do these practices and keep growing in your awareness, you can keep stepping into an even better version of yourself. Oh, and by the way, here are the ways you’ll want to interact with other types and even help them become their best selves!” 

Since discovering the Enneagram, I’ve become a better wife, a better friend, a better daughter, and a better sibling. My husband has frequently thanked me for the work I’ve been doing on my own personal development, because it’s made me a better wife AND helped him to learn to be a better husband too!

We can’t control the people around us, but we can lead by example, and seeing how the work of the Enneagram has had ripple effects in my life has inspired me to share it with others.

If this interests you, head here to learn more and connect with me.

Have a wonderful week. It’s been a tough one for many of us. Stand up for what you believe in. The world needs it. And take care of yourself.

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help further by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums! 
  • Take Ross’ online ukulele course!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

The Only Cure I’ve Found For A Never-Ending To-Do List

Two gray pencils on corner of a yellow rectangle

Have you ever woken up overwhelmed, realizing that your to-do list is so long that you have no hope of accomplishing your goals for today?

I definitely have. It’s a chronic problem for many of us, and if that’s you too, it’s really worth doing the work to change your habits now so that you don’t continue to sabotage your mindset and hope of a great day before it’s begun.

When I read the book The One Thing, I was stunned by the deceptively simple premise. Ask yourself “what’s the one thing I can do today that will move me forward toward _”?

To answer it, you’ll need to know your top goal right now. And for me, I’ve got goals in a variety of areas, so there’s still some juggling involved. But for instance, if my taxes are due soon and they aren’t done yet, that might be the most important goal for me right now, which means the one thing I simply MUST accomplish today to be most effective might be gathering all the paperwork I’ll need to get my taxes done this month.

Over time, I’ve learned to allow myself to set 2 or 3 goals for the day sometimes. And that works. But always, I also make sure I know the #1 thing, and honestly, it’s most effective for most people to do that one thing first. But however you do it, get clear on your priorities for each day, and set those 1-3 goals. If you accomplish them, then know that You. Are. Done. You do not need to do ANYTHING ELSE. You are successful today. Well done.

And if just getting started feels daunting, it’s great to commit to taking 5 minutes (or however long) just to assess the entire task ahead of you. Read the instructions/read the emails you were sent. You don’t have to do the whole project – that counts as accomplishing something for today.

This technique works best when you also do some work articulating the one thing that would move the needle for you this week, and this month, and this year – and maybe even this lifetime!

The answers will vary, of course, over time, but these regular check-ins keep you honest with yourself, keep you from doing busywork or other work that just doesn’t mean as much or just isn’t as important right now.

Have you tried this technique? How does it work for you? And if this isn’t the technique for you, what’s worked better in your own life?

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help further by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums! 
  • Take Ross’ online ukulele course!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

Signs of Spring

Beach out an old window in winter - Ross and Jamie Adventure

I write this in mid-March. I’m looking out my window at a clear blue sky, trees with leaves bare, birds flying from branch to branch. I’m thinking about the fact that while my walk to the farmer’s market was really cold today, I stayed warm enough. That sun really helped. And though it’s only March, and it’s still winter as I’m writing this, I’m starting to see and feel signs of spring around me.

Of course, intellectually, I know spring isn’t here yet. But listening to the birds as they call to each other outside, I’m focusing instead on that sun, picturing the beach days to come, the sunsets on the ocean, the flowers, the berries…

I love spring. It’s my favorite season, always has been. The promise of what is to come, the new life, the eternal optimism of spring – I don’t think we can beat it. Sure, I love the summer days too, and fall leaves changing is so special…but when spring is in the air, it makes my heart happy.

As I navigate stress and a variety of challenges in many areas, I keep coming back to this hope, this promise. I sing about it. I dance it. I breathe it in.

Nothing is promised, but we’re still here. I’m still here. You’re still here. And whatever we’re facing right now, spring is still coming.

And that, I think, is something to celebrate today.

Here’s to spring, to new beginnings, and to tomorrow.

Take care, friend, and if you’ve had some good news you’d like me to celebrate with you, please leave a comment and share it with me!

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help further by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums! 
  • Take Ross’ online ukulele course!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

You’re Not Alone (Acknowledging Anxiety)

Three weeks back, I did something I’d been wanting to do for many months – I started seeing a therapist.

If I had my way, we’d all have affordable (for us) access to a therapist. A good one, who listens and knows the types of therapy that would be most helpful for us. Someone who gives us a safe space to work through the crap in our minds and helps us sort out our stuff.

If you’re reading this and you’re feeling like you’re in a great place right now, I am thrilled for you! I can tell you that from what I’m seeing on my social media feeds and hearing about through news outlets, it sure seems like most of the world has moved on from COVID-19 and is getting back to “normal”, or close to it. And it that’s you, I’m thrilled for you, and I truly hope you’re enjoying every minute of freedom and “normalcy”.

But honestly, even though I am sick of wearing masks, and miss seeing people’s faces, and I miss eating out at a restaurant in the winter, I’m just not there yet. It feels too soon, to me, to return to normal.

Lifting a mask mandate is all well and good (for most) when there’s a mild variant on the loose. But what if a new, more dangerous variant catches us off guard? One contagious enough to spread under the radar, when we’re least expecting it?

I’d love to say I’m embracing the now and taking it day by day and not worrying about what might come next. But that wouldn’t be accurate.

So these are the kinds of thoughts that are on my mind. I’m carrying a lot of stress and anxiety around COVID. Like a lot of us are.

Add to that the stressors of getting settled in a new country and the pressures and fears of a world at war, not to mention the anger and frustration at seeing so many people’s rights being taken away in the US (including New Hampshire, where I grew up, and Florida, our adopted home state), and I’m even more thankful to have a therapist.

I’m not sharing this for praise, or for pity.

I want you to know you aren’t alone. I want you to know that whether you wear a mask or not, and whether you’re “moving on” or not, it’s okay to experience anxiety.

And I want you to know that it’s okay to have some days, some weeks, even some months or years, where you’re not okay. Where you’re going through the motions, or phoning it in. Maybe you’ve had to take some time off, or add a nap into your routine. Maybe you’re tired of saying no to social plans out of fear.

Wherever you are, I want to encourage you.

Reach out to loved ones. They’ll probably relate, maybe even more than you realize.

Get a therapist if you can, and if not, seek out a trusted mentor or spiritual leader, or find an online support group aligned with where you are. Look for sliding scale therapy or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, or many of the other free resouces that may exist in your country, state, or city.

I’ve been digging deeper into the Enneagram for the past several months, and that means I’m doing a lot of work on getting to myself – who I am, how I became that person, and how I can become an even healthier, better version of me.

I also rely on journaling, exercising, getting outside, and all of my other existing coping mechanisms for when things get tough or feel overwhelming.

Whatever method(s) you use, and wherever you’re at, I’m wishing you all the best. You’re not alone.

And if you’re reading this, you’re here now, and I’m so glad.

Thanks for reading, and take care.

P.S. I’d like to get a group together to read The Road Back To You and do some Enneagram explorations. No previous experience required, just a copy of the book. If this journey of self-reflection (in a group setting) appeals to you, please leave a comment and let me know!

______________________________

Supporting This Blog

Thank you for your support of this blog and our work! You can help further by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums! 
  • Take Ross’ online ukulele course!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

when the universe shouts

Black typewriter with white paper and a white background

I’ve been intrigued by the idea of writing a book about our travels across the US for a while now. For more years than I can remember, I’ve periodically had friends or family members or strangers ask if we were going to write a book about our adventures, or strongly suggest that we do so. In addition, I’ve long recognized that keeping this blog means that when I was ready to write that book, I’d have an assortment of stories to draw from.

Meanwhile, after putting my focus elsewhere (hello, operation: get to Canada!), for many months, in January I shifted my focus back to building my coaching business and other creative freelance work, both online and here in Canada.

I’ve got a giant to-do list, but I wasn’t feeling a lot of certainty about where my priorities should be as I relaunch things. Should I get more active on social media? Hop back into podcasting? Launch a course?

The universe, apparently, had other plans.

That Wednesday, I took Squeak, our cat, to the vet. Over the phone due to COVID, the veterinarian I had never met told me she’d “read the book about us traveling the US with a cat and having kittens”. I told her I’d probably have it written in 2-3 years – she seemed a little surprised. 🙂

Saturday, during a local (Zoom) book club meeting, after I’d introduced myself, a new friend said she’d “read the book of me traveling the US, coaching”.

Sunday, during a different Zoom book club, an acquaintance commented it looked like I was writing a novel – I was taking notes as we chatted. At the end of the session, she called out something like “Jamie, I want to read your book when it’s done!”.

So, yeah. Message heard loud and clear, universe!

The next day, I began writing my book.

Has the universe ever spoken to you? Or yelled at you?

Comment and let me know if I’m alone in this, please!

P.S. If you haven’t subscribed to this blog yet, that’s a great way to make sure you hear about my book when it’s available for pre-order! There’s a subscribe button – on your mobile, it should be the bottom right and say Follow, or look for a box on the right hand side if you’re on a computer etc. Thanks for your interest!

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