LML // Letting go & choosing love.


What a year it’s been! It’s really seemed like the ultimate roller coaster. I can’t believe I’m leaving for England in less than 4 weeksI’m freaking out a little bit. But in another way, I’m so ready. When I get on that plane, it will have been exactly one year since I set out across the ocean for The MASON’s research trip through Europe. I can’t believe how much has changed.

On Sunday I completed Gabrielle Bernstein‘s 6-week May Cause Miracles course, which is founded on the radical idea that only love is real. The book is based on the principals from A Course in Miracles, and provides daily affirmations, activities, journaling prompts, and meditations to recalibrate your mind back to love. The premise is this: in every moment we have the choice to choose love or fear. But the really incredible thing is that your choices become your reality. Most of us turned to fear a long a time ago. But in every second of every day, we have the option to choose love instead. And when you do, incredible things happen. Every time you shift your mindset from fear to love is a miracle.

I’ve already started to see the miracles roll in. But it hasn’t been easy.

A huge component of choosing love is forgiveness. And that means letting go. But is there really anything harder?

Whether it’s our lover, friend, job, business, or old dreams, sometimes we hold onto something so tightly that we don’t see how toxic our relationship to it has become. Not until it’s wrenched from our clutches and we’re left feeling broken and out of control do we realize the destruction it’s caused.

But consistently, from inside that heap of sadness and loss, these storms show themselves to be blessings.  Once we learn to let go and heal, we’re free to move forward into new adventures, into the people we dream of becoming.

I had one such experience earlier this year, soon after my 25th birthday, when my relationship with one of my closest friends (who was also my business partner) completely dissolved. Or, as it felt at the time, exploded in a bombastic cloud of destruction. Shit had hit the fan.

For many reasons, this experience was terrifying and soul crushing.

There were many financial fears involved, but even worse was the heartbreak at losing a relationship I’d held precious and believed to be so strong. I went through all of the stages of a romantic breakup: I was angry. I cried a lot (a lot). I felt powerless. Some days it was hard to get out of bed. The dreams that had felt so close, now seemed impossible and far away.

At first it seemed impossible for me to forgive. I didn’t want to. My ego told me that I was the victim and I held onto my anger like a righteous badge of honour.

But slowly, little by little, something started to change.

I still felt ripped up inside. Sometimes I still do. But I don’t want to anymore.

My mind has shifted; I want to forgive. And slowly, I’ve begun to heal.

That’s what Gabby teaches. By surrendering to forgiveness we open ourselves up to it and we begin to let go. It’s as simple (and difficult) as that.

It’s an on-going process, this whole letting go thing.

It’s not something we can just choose to do. To let go. To heal. To get over it.  To move on. But there are choices we can make to, to crack ourselves open, become vulnerable, and let the process happen.

Unfortunately, first, you have to feel everything. Every excruciating moment of hurt. My first reaction to shame and heartbreak is to turn away, to find a way to numb or distract myself from it, so I can just feel better already. But numbing ourselves will never lead us back to love. We have to honour the entire process in order to move through it.

And just as important is sharing those feelings. In the darkness of silence, shame, pain, anger, humiliation, fear, self-doubt, and misery are allowed to fester and grow. By outing them to our closest confidants and the pages of our journals, we strip away their power. We start to see the artifice of our fears. And then we can begin to choose different thoughts.

That’s a powerful realization when you really believe it: you can choose your thoughts. You can choose to be grateful for the things that nearly broke you. Because they didn’t. Because you’re stronger. Because you learned from them. Because they helped make you whole.

So, all this to say: this year didn’t turn out anything like I expected. I’m no longer travelling the globe to make The MASON. But I am about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. And through all of the loss, I’ve learned the importance of choosing love over fear. I’ve learned to expect miracles. I’m allowing joy to enter my life in a major way. And I couldn’t be more grateful.

an apropos fortune cookie; finding the perfect black flats in adorable small town vintage store; wood oven margherita pizza; choosing to let go of a commitment that had become a major source of negativity in my life; almond macaroons; a rock ‘n roll pin-up shoot in graffiti-laden alleys; re-purpling my hair; vampy purple nails; jacket weather; late-blooming gardens; sweaty, late night dancing with my besties; greasy breakfast the next morning; picking up prints from a roll of film.

Thanks for making it all the way through this post. I know it was longer and more personal than usual, but more and more I realize the importance of sharing what makes us vulnerable. And I always want you to know where I’m at in my life.

What made you love your life this week? How can you become grateful for the obstacles you’re facing?

Love always,

Top photo by Camille Porthouse.

the mason goes to the d.

Last Saturday Elyse & I piled into a rented Jeep Wrangler (quickly nicknamed ‘Cherry Bomb’ by the group) with three of The MASON‘s amazing contributors and drove the four hours from Toronto to Detroit. After our fantastic Toronto launch in May, it was finally time to share our magazine with the city that inspired us.

We bopped to hip hop and mixed CDs the whole way there and crossed the border with enough time to show the girls some of what we love about the D. We spent a few minutes snapping shots of the Packard Plant, an abandoned automotive factory that takes up 40 acres of land. Admittedly, it’s a little bit spooky, but the overwhelming size of the building and the colourful graffiti it houses makes it a must-see, in my opinion.

Next, we drove over to the Heidelberg Project, an ongoing street art installation where “what’s old is new again” is translated literally onto the houses of the neighbourhood. It was my first time walking these streets in the summer months and it warmed my heart to see the vibrant community that is thriving there.

After a quick bite at Traffic Jam & Snug (a 14,000 ft. diner that houses a dairy & microbrewery, and which you might recognize from Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives), we headed over to Leopold’s Books for the main event. I was so busy chatting with our fabulous guests that I didn’t manage to snap many photos of the launch itself, but we’ll be posting some on our Facebook page soon.

It was a night I won’t soon forget. The people of Detroit never fail to inspire me and the support we received was overwhelming. From those Detroiters who were part of the project from the very beginning to those who came to find out what The MASON is all about, thank you, thank you, thank you for being part of our journey. I had so much fun sipping Detroit-themed Canadian beer and sharing inspiration with all of you.

While we would have loved to take advantage of the Detroit nightlife, it was a long day and we had a gruelling drive back to Toronto in front of us. We stopped at McDs for fuel and a mistake with an Oreo blizzard resulted in many free ice creams. So, we stuffed ourselves on sugar and made it home in one piece. Here’s a peek at our adventure…

The Mason is about to embark on the next big step in our journey and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ll tell you more about it on Thursday. :)

What adventures have you been on lately? I’d love to hear!


an accidental blogger break.

even before my two week absence, things have been pretty quiet around these parts for a while now. i have plenty of excuses; we launched the mason; i’m transitioning out of the 9-5; and with the sun shining in toronto, i’m having a hard time spending any time inside when i don’t absolutely have to. but, it’s more than that. i’ve been having a bit of a blogger identity crisis, trying to figure out what i want this little piece of the internet to be. while i haven’t figured it all out just yet, i have some fun posts planned for the coming week and i’m looking forward to spending more time sharing the urban pixie lifestyle with you.

for now, here’s a peek at the culmination of where my heart and soul have been over the past six months …

it was such an amazing evening. i was overwhelmed by the amount of love and support we received, and i had so, so much fun. i can’t wait to see where this journey is going to take us (right now, it looks like it might be somewhere very magical and very far away …)

i’ll post a little video of my speech soon and if you’re looking to get your hands on a copy of the mason, send us an email for all of the details.

thanks for sticking around. i’d love to hear what you’d love to see more of on this blog!


p.s. photos by the one and only, Andrea Dineen.

wordless wednesday: the MASON is here!

7 pretty pictures from detroit.

On Thursday four of us went to Detroit for the premiere of After the Factory (I shared the trailer in this post). We cackled listening to David Sedaris’s Naked on the drive down. While the border guard was skeptical that we’d come so far to visit “a toilet bowl,” he was happy to recommend his favourite Detroit diner: Traffic Jam & Snug (which he was proud to tell us had been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives).

We had the perfect almost-dusk light for taking photos in the afternoon and enjoyed exploring Detroit’s neighbourhoods in our rental car. Dinner was a rushed affair at the Coney Island Diner (we’ll have to look for TJ&S next time) before heading to the Detroit Institute of Art.

The screening was held in the school’s gorgeous, ornate film theatre. The movie was beautiful and inspiring, and the panel discussion afterward was a great opportunity to hear some of the activists I’d read about speak. We were so lucky to meet the director, Philip Lauri, at the after party to discuss his feature in The Mason and potential screenings of the film in Canada!! Elyse was in tears she was so happy and I was shaking from the exhilaration of it all.

Our drive home was fueled with retro pop jams and I rode back with a buzz from affirmation and inspiration. I was plagued by the yawns at work the next day, but it was well worth it to see Detroit for myself.

Here are 7 pretty photos I took while we were there …

I can’t wait to go back next weekend and do more exploring. There’s so much more I want to see and do; and we’re going to meet with more of the creatives being featured in The Mason.

I hope you had a magnificent weekend. What was the weather like where you live? It was so warm here, considering it’s the beginning of February. It was nice to be able to walk home last night without being chilled to the bone. But it’s gotten cooler again this evening and I’m cozied up with a hot cup of tea while I finish some work and watch the first season of Prison Break. Have a lovely evening!