Archives for posts with tag: caring


Do remember watching the performers who used to entertain us with spinning plates? I remember watching the Ed Sullivan show years (and years and years) ago, holding my breath and gasping if a plate fell, thinking that oh no! Catastrophe!

Somedays this is exactly how I feel. The potential for great disaster is there and sometimes disaster even strikes – the plates fall; but in the end…. somehow, it all comes together, even when the plates break and there are pieces to pick up.

This plate spinner makes it look fairly easy. My favourites always were those who dropped plates, who had to go back and almost start over, many times. They always came supplied with plenty of extras and with each challenge they faced, they smiled a little harder, concentrated a little deeper and sweated a little more but they always kept going (and smiling) until every plate was spinning…. even if it was only for a few seconds, but they saw success and that success, that fleeting moment, was enough to drive them ahead to more.

Just because the china breaks doesn’t mean a beautiful mosaic can’t be created. A work of art is just that, a work of art – even when it’s made up of broken pieces.

Don’t let your wounds, your scars, your past, your doubts, your present stop you from becoming all you are meant to be. No matter how long it takes, or how much effort it is.

It’s never over until you decide to quit.
It is safe for me to believe in myself and my abilities. I have to courage to ask for help and support. There is no failure, only lessons and adventure.

Repeat and repeat and repeeeeeeaaaaaat.   And does it feel “crazy” to repeat positive instructions to yourself? Does it feel unrealistic, like you’re being fake, like lies? Well, here’s the thing though. Most people repeat negative instructions to themselves hour on end every single day, and think nothing of it. Why? Because they’ve been doing it so long it has become an ingrained habit.  They actually believe that everything they are telling themselves, or being told by others must  be true.  It’s become such a habit that they consider it to be realistic, true and just the way it is.

Next spoiler alert: How you see life? That’s what’s going to be your reality.  How you see life is ALWAYS A CHOICE.  Always.




Another look at perspective and how we allow ourselves to see the world through the eyes of Lily Allen and her song LDN


And lastly, how to look at life not matter what is thrown at you, here is an interview Anthony Robbins did with World War II survivor Alice Herz-Sommer.  One of my favourites of all time.  No matter what, there is always beauty to be found if you believe in it and choose to see it.  It is always your choice.



©2016 JFries/Rise Like Air

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Absolutely beautiful blog written from one of our favourite bloggers Soumyaj at Quirrk

It’s an odd thing, being prepared for a certain kind of pain.




Life lessons

Wise words


Source: The two kinds of pain

04sq5x-l-610x610-yellow+shoes-shoes-yellow+bag-bag-fashion+bags-heels-fashion+shoes-stylish-stylish+eve-pink-bracelets-colorful-spring-trends-chanel-michael+kors-bag+pursesWhat I realized looking back on my 20s is that my friends have always more supportive, more reliable and more insightful than any guy in my life.

Reflecting on that, I can’t help but shake my head at a nasty cliche I used to hear repeatedly from a male friend in university: “All women secretly hate each other.”

I never understood this because I never experienced it. Roxanne Gay, in her book Bad Feminist, had this to say on the subject: “Abandon the cultural myth that all female friendships must be bitchy, toxic or competitive. This myth is like heels and purses — pretty but designed to SLOW women down.”

via Who Needs A Man With Friends Like These | Sadiya Ansari.

Yes, I’m not afraid to admit it, I thought this quote was great! About time too. For too long I believed that quote, that women secretly hate each other. I did experience it, but like most experiences, I’ve found perspective is key in unraveling them.

After taking time to notice, I realized that really there are crappy friends on both sides of the gender equation.  There are crappy significant others on both sides of the equation too.

The necessary skill is to ensure you’re picking the best possible people in your life. Period.

Today, take a look at your life.  Today is a new day – start spring cleaning now, it’s not too late.  Keep what’s working and say goodbye to what’s not. Let your relationships help you grow and move forward.  Pretty is fine, but don’t let it slow you down.

Be all you can be and be the friend who helps someone else be all they can be too.

©2015 JFries/Rise Like Air

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Mother's First Bouquet Photo Credit: J Fries

Mother’s First Bouquet
Photo Credit: J Fries

To all a happy Mother’s Day
And this a mother’s first bouquet
Clutched in a small and grubby  fist
Accompanied by a sloppy kiss
Nothing brings a quicker smile
Than a child awed by nature for a while
Sharing their love in this simple way
To wish you a Happy Mother’s Day
And if this time for you is past
Wishing you memories that forever last.

 – J Fries

©2015 JFries/Rise Like Air

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Sunglasses in Sand from

Sunglasses in Sand from

We’re always looking for positive stories to showcase kindness, and all the good stuff that fills our world but sometimes we miss in the onslaught of busy-ness and bad news.

Sometimes, I forget that those stories don’t have to come from far off places or people I don’t know.

The other day my niece Mariah shared on Facebook an experience she had. It reminded me that not only do wonderful things happen right here every day, but that “kids now a days” and young adults are pretty awesome. As in most circumstances, you see what you look for. It’s a good reminder to look for what’s good, because you’ll find it.

Her story was brief, just one of those simple status updates people on FB tend to make. She was on her shift at a large grocery store. I’m pretty sure it was a fairly normal, uneventful shift. The normal greetings, scanning items, smiles and thank yous.  Maybe a grumpy customer here or there but nothing really out of the oridinary.

So tonight a family came through my till that was obviously on a very tight budget for their groceries. They were carefully watching their total as I rang everything through. When they hit their limit, the first thing to go were the little sunglasses their 2 sons wanted. When they started tearing up and the parents said they couldn’t afford them, I felt so terrible. I asked the parents permission, and then I bought them their sunglasses. The looks on those boys faces tonight were priceless.  – Mariah

It brought joy to my heart and a tear to my eye. It’s not that unusual, unfortunately, for people to have to make tough choices when they are shopping. One of the hardest things a parent ever has to do is say “no” to something like this because they simply can’t afford it. It happens every day.

It makes me feel so good when I hear about someone taking the time to help someone out, whether monetarily or otherwise. I know Mariah has her own financial obligations and it’s the selflessness of the story that made me smile.

I hope the boys remember the kind cashier who made it possible for them to go home with the sunglasses they had chosen. I also hope that when they have the opportunity they will create their own ripple of kindness.

Thanks Mariah for making a positive difference, and setting a great example for all of us to follow.

If you ever doubt what a bit of kindness can do…

If you feel inspired, don’t waste it… do something kind… right now… the opportunity is right in front of you.

© 2015  JFries / Rise Like Air

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We all have tendencies to judge.  I know, it’s natural. It’s about being aware that we’re judging, realizing we might not actually see the whole picture or know the whole story.  Once we acknowledge that we’re better able to tease the “facts” out and make better decisions.  Often our initial labels and judgements are proven to be less than accurate.

A friend passed a video on this morning and in just a few minutes, it proves the point oh so well.  Don’t be too quick to judge.  And don’t forget, other people judge us too quickly too – so don’t let their labels and judgments define you. Don’t let it become a battle.

Be you.

That’s who you are.

And no one, not a single other person, not even your identical twin can be a better you than you

Not by far!

And that is truer than true.

The video is a collection of Ameriquest commercials which tackles the subject of judgment in hilarious fashion, which in our opinion always drives the point home better.

Remember.  “Don’t judge too quickly. We won’t.”

If I could believe in myself, why not give other improbabilites the benefit of the doubt?  David Sedaris

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.  From: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Please note:  Rise Like Air is not affiliated with Ameriquest in anyway and makes no endorsement for or judgement against the corporation.

© 2015  JFries / Rise Like Air

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Michelle Nicholson- Managing Editor-The Star Newspaper: March 6, 2015.

Michelle Nicholson- Managing Editor-The Star Newspaper: March 6, 2015.

Last month, just before International Women’s Day, our local paper ran the above editorial.  Considering our little paper is, well, quite little, I’m always impressed with the quality and content.  Michelle Nicholson’s editorial caught my eye and she has been gracious enough to allow me to reprint it here. I chose to wait awhile because I think we need reminders more often than once a year to ensure we don’t become complacent for the other 360+ days in the year. The editorial is simple enough, a gathering called Pamper Yourself Expo held in a very small community.  Just a blip on the radar.  But that’s the point.

There are fantastic women absolutely everywhere!  In sprawling cities, tiny towns, on farms, on the road, in their homes, in the workplace.  Wonderful women, super women, everyday women.  Women that make the world go round every moment of every day. Michelle recognized that the expo was filled with wonder women. Wendy, Betty and Janet, awesome women, and I’m sure they weren’t the only ones there.

A celebration of awesomeness. I’m glad to see more women admitting that we’re important.  Women who no longer just smile and say, “Oh it was nothing.”  It is something!  Our contributions are important, are meaningful, are needed.  There is no reason why we shouldn’t admit our awesomeness, our value and accomplishments. Michelle notes all too accurately,

How come we as women don’t see our own awesomeness or the awesomeness of the women around us on a more consistent basis? We need a day to celebrate being a woman.  Men don’t.  Telling.

It’s not easy to change our thought patterns, our habits or the way we look at ourselves and each other.  Our perceptions have been coloured for so long by society, patriarchal attitudes and poor representation in history that we’ve come to accept it as true reality rather than just an incomplete perception. However, we are women, staying the course, changing, flexible, adaptable, these are all traits that lurk under the surface within us if we haven’t already teased them to the surface.  It’s time, as Michelle says, to

remind each and every woman and myself:  you are awesome, you are loved, you have value and you can do it.

It’s not about one day a year, it’s about every single day.  Women step up to the plate every day.  We work, we love, we toil, we pick up the slack, we persevere.  Some days we succeed, some days we don’t, but we keep going.  It’s not about doing it alone, being a hero or being perfect.  I think International Women’s Day has it right.

We together: Stronger, Better

It’s time to look for the best in each other, to be part of the whole.  It’s not about competing or being better than someone else.  It’s about working together, being together and supporting each other – together.  It’s about today, and every other day too.

I am woman, hear me roar

In numbers too big to ignore

And I know too much to go back an’ pretend

‘Cause I’ve heard it all before

And I’ve been down there on the floor

No one’s ever gonna keep me down again

Helen Reddy – I Am Woman

A very special thank you to Michelle Nicholson from The Star for allowing me to share her thoughts with you.

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source unknown

source unknown

Much has been written about happiness, how to be happy, how to stay happy.

I believe happiness is different for each of us.  Even if we are happy for the same list of reasons, those same reasons touch each of us uniquely individual way.

We strive to find the balance, walk the tight rope that ensures we stay on the fine line that is happiness. I’ve done that for a very long time.  Trying to grasp happiness so tightly that I can’t lose it, living in fear that I will wobble  causing my toe to touch the opposite of happiness.

Slowly I’m coming to realize that clinging to happiness really living in happiness, it’s living in fear of loss. I’m learning that happiness is a lot like beauty. It can be obvious, bright shades of yellow, loud and big! It can be unexpected, slightly more subtle, shades of pink, maybe a bit reserved. Or it can even be elusive, where you have to look for the silver lining or experience a mix of emotions that change the hue of happiness. In this world, if one listens to the news, there is plenty of “evidence” to validate unhappiness.

I’m beginning to really understand the wisdom in being happy for no reason, for being happy simply because I can choose to be happy.  I can choose it.  I realized that it is true – whether I make a conscious choice and take steps to fulfill it, or allow my choices to be random unconscious manifestations, it’s a choice non the less.

We are creatures obsessed with reasons. Why does this happen? Why did you make that decision? Why is the sky blue? Why is snow cold? Why is a rock rough? We judge, we label, we file away. Our judgements become key in determining our happiness.

I used to live my life thinking in the future, “I’ll be happy when I get through this project.”  Then I finally asked myself, “Why make your happiness dependent on a timeframe and not feel happy now? So right there I chose to change my thought. I felt a bit silly and like I might not be telling the whole truth, but I said, “I’m happy because I’m gaining lots of experience as I work through this project.” I allowed myself to enjoy that accomplishment. Because it was ongoing, I was able to remind myself I could be happy at any time.

I realize that’s still a reason.  It can be difficult to think of life without attaching judgements, labels and reasons to everything. After all we’re pretty good at it, although often not very accurate in the outcome. So what about being happy for no reason – or at least simply because you can.

“I’m happy,” period. No conscious reason, just a set intention everyday, with a good dose of an attitude of gratitude.  And maybe that’s part of it, we don’t need to focus on why we’re happy as much as focussing on gratitude for what we do have. It’s the old chicken and the egg question. In this case, maybe it’s not that we need a reason to be happy, but that if we choose happiness we will end up with plenty of reasons to be grateful and, well, even happier.

So I’m working at being happy for no reason, just being happy for the sake of happiness. That way when life throws me that curve ball it inevitably will, I’ll be ready.

© 2015 JFries / Rise Like Air

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image from Telemiracle #39 2015 Saskatoon SK.

Well, I just realized I wrote this blog and somehow forgot to publish it.   Better late than never?  I hope so.

I remember watching the first Telemiracle 39 years ago.  I watched it on a little TV screen and was amazed when they raised an amazing $1,214,210.  In 2015, 39 years later they raised a whopping $4,312,457.  While we’re talking numbers, here’s a few more that you might find impressive.  Their highest one year total came in 2011 when they rang those phones to reach $5,906,229.  Their all time total stands at an impressive $111,668,893. (Wikipedia)

The Kinsmen Foundation are the founders of Telemiracle.  Every year the Kinsmen and Kinettes, through donations to Telemiracle, assist Saskatchewan people to acquire special needs equipment and access to medical treatment. Even with government funded health care, an amazing number of costs arise for which there is no coverage.

Telemiracle has helped a multitude of families in need in the last 39 years and they have done so with the help of a vast array of talent, including the wonderful hosting carried out year after year (except for one) by Mr. Bob McGrath.  His commitment and dedication has been inspiring and you might be amazed to discover his commitment comes from deep down in his neighbourly heart because this wonderful man isn’t from Saskatchewan. As a matter of fact, he isn’t even Canadian, but year after year he has given of himself for this wonderful cause.

They have done so much good by helping so many through the years and I am proud to say I know the person responsible for making sure everything happens as it should.  She says of herself, “As Telemiracle Administrator, I get to fill my days with everything Telemiracle!” With an incredible amount of help and passion they organize this incredible telethon to assist people in Saskatchewan. A huge shout out to Debra Haubrich, her staff and volunteers, the celebrities, the local performers and all the great Saskatchewan people who have made this such a success year after year. Of course I’d like to give a special shout out to Mr Bob McGrath who has become a hero and a neighbour to so many through Seasame Street and his long time commitment to Telemiracle. The city of Saskatoon even proclaimed March 8th as Bob McGrath Day!

He’s been giving time to Telemiracle for 38 of the 39 years the telethon has been aired. The one year he missed we’ll all forgive him since he had already committed for a play date with Big Bird. Such a gentleman and giver would never go back on a promise. Bob has finally decided it’s time to give back to his own family now. Telemiracle honoured him with a beautiful trip down memory lane that was captured in this 25 minute video The tribute and farewell to Mr. Bob McGrath. It shows just how much Bob McGrath has done for others and how much he is appreciated by each and everyone one of us. A man and event that truly makes us Rise Like Air. Thank you Mr. McGrath, for being a wonderful neighbour to all of us. You will be missed in our neighbourhood. We hope you come back for a visit in your travels.

© 2015 JFries / Rise Like Air

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Eating Disorder Services: "MIRROR" Print Ad by Clemenger BBDO Wellington

Eating Disorder Services: “MIRROR” Print Ad by Clemenger BBDO Wellington 

Believing is Seeing.  What are your beliefs showing you?

A quiet killer, often hidden by baggy clothes and popularly supported in the dark recesses of the internet.  An addiction to being thin at any cost, even their lives.  When the line to good judgement has been blurred, the spiral begins.  This is an illness that has created a community that doesn’t help each other get better.  Instead, they help each other get sicker.

Antonia Eriksson has traveled this path herself and is recovering.  Her opinion of thinsperational accounts is clear.

“They’re really dangerous,” she says.  Eriksson is now in recovery from anorexia, and runs an Instagram account and blog focused on fitness and healthy eating. But back then, she was easily triggered into unhealthy behaviour by those images. “It would help me in my eating disorder, like in the most negative way… It would keep me sick,” she says.

via Pro-anorexia, bulimia communities thriving online – Health – CBC News.

I’d like to say this trend comes as a surprise, or that I’d never even heard of such a thing but of course that’s not the case.    I worry about my own children and their self image and how these sites and associated hashtags influence them. Trying on a pair of skinny jeans the other day my daughter lamented, “But my calves are too fat!”   She is in perfect physical shape and size for her body.  I reminded her that she’s just fine.  The jeans were just made for a different body.  Let’s face it the very nature of skinny jeans is a challenge.  It was obvious her first thought wasn’t that the jeans were wrong, it was that her body was wrong.

On one hand, when it comes to “thinspiration”,   it seems obvious that anyone with “half a brain” would “know better”.  But that’s not really what it’s all about after all. Whether a person is spiralling into a gloomy pit from an eating disorder, depression, anxiety, OCD, schizophrenia, PTSD or abuse there is one thing that everyone has in common.  They’ve crossed a line from the reality of  “normal” most of us know to a reality the rest of us don’t share. You would think they should be able to simply step back over that line but it doesn’t work that way.  Slipping over the line to illness seems so easy, but taking that one step back sometimes feels impossible.  Spoiler alert – it might be the biggest challenge you face in life but it isn’t impossible.

These thinspo accounts are like putting a line of coke in front of an addict, it’s fills the need and there is almost no way that the addict will be able to resist on their own, at least not for long. In my opinion this is like an unrecovered alcoholic being the sponsor for another alcoholic.  Pretty much doomed to failure.  Instead of helping each other they are actually encouraging and empowering each other to continue the spiral into the disease.

The good news is that I see more and more sites and resources that are dealing with recovery, self care and hope. Healthy is in, skinny is out.  Unless of course you are naturally skinny, which some people are.  Then rock it and love it.

I’m glad that many social media sites are trying to make things better.

Tumblr, Facebook and Pinterest have also attempted to circumvent users’ access to material that promotes self-harm. -CBC article

Dr. Rebecka Peebles, co-director of the Eating Disorder Assessment and Treatment Program at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia… found that nearly 40 per cent of the sites included pro-recovery information. Many of the troubling Instagram posts also include pro-recovery tags: #EDrecovery, #ANAwarrior, #BeatANA.  She believes that reflects the nature of the disease. “Part of you wants to get better, and part of you wants to stay sick.” – CBC Article

We all know that there are different body types.  Within each type there is an infinite number of slightly different shapes and sizes.  They are normal.  They are healthy.  They are beautiful.  Instead of embracing this fact, we watch the photoshopped ads, the models that have countless groomers and preeners fawning over them, that have been selected because they have this very specific body type.  And don’t kid yourself, even though they are “perfect” in our eyes, the industry tells them they aren’t quite good enough, they have the same qualms and self doubts as all of us “average” girls (and guys) out there.

Don’t ever fool yourself that any of these images are put out there because big business really cares about you.  They care almost exclusively about making money.  Really, most of them don’t care at all about you.  I mean honestly, not at all.  Those ads with all those beautiful people are meant to do one thing.  Get money from you.  Period.  They don’t care if you become prettier, smarter, fatter, skinnier, healthier even if their fake smiles seem to say otherwise.

We all have our moments, or maybe lifetimes, of wishing “something” was different about us or our lives.  No one is completely immune.  Unless.

Unless you make the conscious choice to begin loving yourself AS YOU ARE TODAY.  With all your perfection and all your flaws (which by the way, are almost always your own opinion).

We are all perfectly imperfect.  Quit fighting it!  It’s a battle you will never win, and were never meant to.

No matter what you do, unless you can love yourself (or at least like yourself) as you are, nothing you do will satisfy you for long.  You will always come from a place of lack.  You don’t have to.  Just start seeing your own good, your own beauty little by little.  Trust that it’s there and you’ll find it.

I really do recommend taking time every single day to look at yourself and tell yourself you love you!  Find the little things that you can love.  Maybe it’s your smile, or a dimple, or the way your one eyebrow raises when you smile. Maybe it’s how you can make your mother laugh or your little sister asks for your help.

Like any addict, or someone with a habit that needs breaking, do it one step at a time.  And don’t beat yourself up for every single little misstep.  Work to stop following the propaganda and start following things that inspire you and give you hope to be all you can really be.  Ask for help.  Then ask again, and again and again.  Do not give up.  Be kind to yourself and others.  It’s a start, and that’s what has to happen first.  A start.  A very simple start.

Life and love are so much more than thigh gap, or protruding bones, or the vision of outer beauty.  

If that’s all you can focus on right now you are missing out on so much, actually all the wonderful awesome stuff. Need help?  That’s ok.  Recognizing it is the first step.  We all need help for something at sometime.  Don’t give up.  Keep looking, keep trying.

If you are overweight an unhealthy amount, and I do mean unhealthy, not your own jaded opinion, then yes, do something positive and constructive to move yourself to a place of health.  But do it because you love yourself and you are worth it.  And if you don’t believe that right now it’s ok.  Believe me.  You are worth it.  Change your focus from one of controlling yourself and your weight to one of loving yourself and working together with your body towards wonderful health.

If you still need some convincing, I encourage you to listen to Maya Angelou explain and read her poem “Still I Rise”. Never doubt, that you too can say, “Still I rise.”

Eriksson was once an #ANAwarrior. She started an Instagram account, which has since grown to nearly 40,000 followers, the day before she was hospitalized to document her six-week in-hospital treatment and recovery.

What she calls her Instagram family helped motivate her recovery. “I wanted to show them that it was possible,” she says. “So I just kept fighting it.” – CBC article

As Eriksson reminds us,  it is possible.  Don’t give up.

© 2015 JFries / Rise Like Air

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