Mindfulness, Mindset, self-development

Life Is A Classroom: Why Learning is Necessary Beyond the Classroom Walls

Earlier this month, we chatted about intentions

And seeing that it’s still January, let’s elaborate a little more about starting the New Year off with intentions!

Why Intentions and NOT Resolutions?

I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m not a big fan of resolutions…

I find the idea of a new year’s resolution tends to be overwhelming. And more often than not, they set us up for failure. 

We build up this idea in our mind of all the goals we’ll crush and all the things we’ll accomplish, and when we fall short (even just a tad), we get down on ourselves. We give up.

For myself, I prefer to focus on setting intentions. For the year ahead. As well as for the day ahead.

An intention is a guiding principle or mindset that you want to adopt, rather than a specific goal. It can be a feeling you want to feel. Or the energy you want to bring with you into the year ahead.

There are many different ways to set an intention (and a whole lot less rules than setting goals or resolutions 😉)

Last week, I shared my intention setting with the help of the Dan Sullivan Question. This particular intention was geared towards the next three years of my life.

But for 2023… 

I Decided on Setting an Intention with my ‘Word of the Year’

This year, I’ve chosen my intentional word as “growth.” 

I’ve finally hit a point in my life where I’ve come to realize that we are always growing and always learning.

That we are meant to always grow and learn.

And that comfort and stagnation are not a part of our journey. There never will be a final comfortable destination in this beautiful human experience…

There will never be a point reached where we’ll say: “Okay, that’s it, I’ve learned all there is to learn in this life. I’m complete.”

It’s just not going to happen.

So instead, I’ll embrace the forever growth.

(Side note: Growth is not always linear… It’s more like a cycle… Like nature moving through seasons, our growth changes. Sometimes we grow up towards the sky. Other times we take a step back and shed our leaves. But even during those step backs, we grow from them. It is all part of the growth process.)

So this year, to follow through with my intentional word, I plan to say yes to the things I’ve always wanted to learn and try.

To start saying yes to the things I’ve always said:

“One day, I’d like to learn this…”

“One day, I’d like to try that…”

And we all know that “one day” just keeps slipping further away.

Until it never happens at all.

And let me tell you, I’m done putting off growth.

In the last quarter of 2022, I read the book “The 12 Week Year” by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington. This book shed some light on the fact that I have more time than I ever thought. That we all have more time than we think. 

And we are always capable of learning and growing – especially if it is something we prioritize because we truly desire it for ourselves.

I Desire Growth 

And I will do what it takes to keep this intentional promise I made with myself…

This year, I’ll be trying a whole lot of new things.

And learning a LOT more of the things I’ve always wanted to learn.

I hope that by sharing my intention of growth, it will inspire you to set your own intentions for the year. And to embrace the idea of forever growing.

Life Really Is One Big Giant Classroom.

Embrace each opportunity to learn and grow! Or MAKE your own opportunities!

I’m ready to make this year one of growth, one of trial and error, and one of learning from mistakes.

And perhaps, you’ll join me! 😉

With love,

Miss T.

Mindfulness, Mindset, self-development

New Year, New Intentions: The SINGLE, Most Powerful Question You Can Ask Yourself in 2023

Happy New Year! 

I just love ringing in the New Year! It offers me a time to reflect…

So much has happened over this past year.

A lot of lows that turned into highs. 

A lot of synchronicities that I’m glad I followed. Even if they were heartbreaking at first. 

I was Forced to Pivot and Head into the Unknown…

But I’m grateful for them all! Every single experience…

Because they led me to where I am now. 

And boy, am I ever happy to be here. Right here. 

With Each New Year that Rolls Around,
We Reflect and then Redirect.

We redirect our paths. We set new goals for ourselves – To help along in this beautiful journey we’re all on. 

Yes, I goal set too. But, I don’t typically wait for the start of a new year to set goals.

I set them all the time! 

I Love Setting Goals. Crushing Goals. Changing Goals. 

It’s all part of the process of life. 

What I LOVE to do at the start of the year, though, is set my intentions. 

My intentions, not just for the year ahead, but for my future self.

I align myself with where my spirit wants to take me. I breathe in my intentions fully. 

In an attempt to live my intentions wholeheartedly

And yes, while you could say goals and intentions are one in the same – I consider them slightly different.

Goals are SPECIFIC – They have a beginning and an end.

Whereas my intentions are in alignment with my purpose, my mission (and are slightly more general).

I Read a Book at the End of 2022 that Helped me Set My Intentions Moving Forward

The book is titled: The Dan Sullivan Question, by (you guessed it!) Dan Sullivan.

It asks one simple question…

(Turns out, it’s not simple at all, but it sure is thought provoking!)

The question goes like this: 


“If we were having this discussion three years from today, and you were looking back over those three years, what has to have happened in your life, both personally and professionally, for you to feel happy with your progress?”

Deep. 

Powerful.

It sure makes you think! 

I spent some time sitting with this question… I reflected on it. I journaled it. 

After doing so, I now know the obstacles that are in my way. And I know what strengths I’ll need to harness to overcome them. 

I feel like I have a direction. I know my path.

This question provided a whole lot of clarity for me. 

Which is why I’m sharing it with you! 

I hope you can find some clarity with this question too! And take that clarity with you into 2023.

Feel free to meditate on it. Journal it. Contemplate it. 

Most importantly, realign with it often! 

(I’ve already stuck a sticky note on my desk to remind me each time I need to come back to it! To refocus on the bigger mission ahead…)

And if you’re up for it…. Share your contemplations with me! 

I’d love to hear YOUR intentions for yourself this new year! 

With love,

Miss T.

Mental health, Mindset, Stress / Anxiety

Traumatic Wisdom: How To Use Setbacks As Fuel to Your Fire

We are all one.

Although we are all one, it doesn’t mean we’re all the same.

As we grow up, it becomes apparent that we all come from different walks of life.

We have different life experiences.

Some very privileged experiences – Some of us were born with opportunities others could never have dreamed of.

Some very disadvantaged experiences – Some of us have been carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders since day 1.


Some of this heavy weight becomes trauma. Trauma that’s become embedded in us. 

These life experiences – whether advantaged, disadvantaged or somewhere in between – shape us. They change us and mold us into the beings that we are today. 

Sometimes these life events set us back. 

Sometimes they hold us back.

Sometimes they become the reason for not living up to our full potential. 

But what we don’t always know – and what I wish someone would have told ME when I was growing up – is that these events, these struggles, these traumas…

… Don’t HAVE to hold us back. 

Yes, these experiences shape us, a part of them is ingrained in us forever. 

And yes, they have a drastic impact on who we are and the people we become. 

BUT –

They do not limit you. 

Or limit the person you can become.

Traumatic Wisdom

I was first introduced to this term by Dr. Gabor Mate, a renowned speaker, and bestselling author who specializes in addiction, stress, trauma and childhood development.

“Trauma cannot always be conquered, fixed, or resolved, but it can be heard, held and loved.”

Dr. Gabor Mate

Dr. Gabor Mate opened my eyes. He reminded me that we cannot change or always resolve our traumas. But we can choose to understand them and use them as fuel towards a better future for ourselves.

His words helped me in my own personal life, but also helped me in my work with my students – many of which came from traumatic backgrounds that I never dreamed of imaginable. 

I could help my students make sense of their traumas. 

To help them understand all of us carry trauma – although it may look different. 

That trauma comes in different forms and manifests differently for everyone.

And to remind them (and myself)…

That they have the power to change their course

That they don’t have to remain a victim of their circumstances.

The Power of Choice

The thing is, we always have a choice.

We have a choice in perspective.

A choice in how we see our circumstances.

A choice to use our circumstances and life experiences as setbacks or opportunities.

Choice is the most powerful thing in the world. And can be used in the most powerful of ways

As long as we can be conscious of the fact that we ALWAYS have a choice.

We can ALWAYS alter our course.

And with that, I’ll leave you with one final quote:

“I am not a product of my circumstances, I am a product of my decisions.”

– Stephen R. Covey

With love,

Miss T.

Mindfulness, Mindset

The Ultimate Happiness Equation: Is Happiness Really Something We Can Attain?

Humans work hard every day to reach their goals.

Sometimes we think if we work and work and work, we’ll get to this ultimate point in our lives. The high point of true happiness…

We think:

“I’ll be happy when I’m rich…”

“I’ll be happy when I’m retired…”

“When I finally have freedom, I’ll be happy…”

But, It Doesn’t Work This Way…

We will never get to this point of completion. Because the reality is, we are always growing. Always changing. Always reaching towards new goals.

There is no point waiting for happiness to reach this point.

This point will never come…


Learn To See Happiness In Growth.

It really is a simple equation to happiness.

Happiness = Growth

There is no happiness in stagnancy.

In fact, I’d say the equation would look something like this…

Stagnancy = Madness.

Because when we are stagnant… when we remain the same… When we are waiting to reach a certain point in our lives that will never come, we become depressed. The opposite of happiness.

This is true madness.

“Happiness is neither this thing nor that…. It is simply growth. We are happy when we are growing.”

-William Butler Yeats

We Are Happy When We Are Growing.

When we stretch our minds and learn new things. When we open our minds to different viewpoints and challenge our existing beliefs.

When we continuously set new goals and when we are accepting of the fact that we will ALWAYS be setting goals.

That we will ALWAYS be growing…

Be Happy Now.

Happiness is a choice.

You can choose to see it as something you attain, or you can choose to see it as something you experience everyday.

That you experience while you Grow. Learn. Change.

Remember, you will never reach a point of completion. You will never reach ultimate happiness.

But, you can choose to see it in the growth of each day.

With love,

Miss T.

Mindfulness, Mindset

Mindfulness Myths: Is Mindfulness For You?

When we think of Mindfulness, we often picture someone sitting cross-legged, eyes closed in a deep meditation, with a single goal of emptying the mind…

And while meditation CAN be a practice of Mindfulness, Mindfulness is not solely Meditation.


Unfortunately, people disregard Mindfulness because they think

“I can’t sit still for THAT long.”

Or…

“It’s impossible to NOT think!”

But Mindfulness is so much more than that!

Let’s Bust Our Preconceived Notions of Mindfulness.

Mindfulness is defined as being consciously aware of something…

… and this something can be ANYTHING!

Mindfulness is:

  • Taking a walk out in nature and fully immersing yourself in your surroundings
  • Mindfully eating a meal and using all 5 senses to heighten your food experience
  • Having a deep conversation and participating in active listening – this means not pulling out your phone mid-convo to answer a text…

All of these activities, as simple as they are, are a form of mindfulness.

Mindfulness doesn’t have to be complex. It just needs your presence.

Let’s Reframe Our View of Mindfulness.

It doesn’t have to be something we “add” into our day.

I want you to take a look at your schedule, right now. What do you have planned for the day? Can you do any of those activities mindfully?

Can you be fully present and engaged in your meetings?

Can you put your phone away at the dining table?

Can you limit your desire to multi-task and focus on one task at a time?


Mindfulness is a habit that can be built into our days. All it takes is a little creative thinking.

What do we get in return for living mindfully?

Mindfulness gives us back our lives. It allows us to get out of our own heads and into the “now.”

No more missing out on the life that is right in front of you.

It is time to experience every moment as it comes.

And I mean, REALLY experience it. All of it.

With love,

Miss T.

Environmental, Mindfulness, Mindset

Winter Blues? How I Finally Embraced This Upcoming Cold Season (And How You Can Too!)

Depending on where you are in the world, you might just be experiencing Fall weather… or Summer weather… or even Winter weather!

Here in Edmonton, Canada, Winter has arrived early! 

(Apparently old man winter didn’t quite check the calendar and is a little ahead of schedule :P)

But, that’s pretty typical here where I live. 

Despite the fact each year I hope and pray that winter doesn’t actually show up till Christmas time. 

Here’s the thing, I am NOT a winter person… 

Every year, I absolutely dread the arrival of winter (Yes, I know what you’re thinking.. Why haven’t I moved to somewhere warmer yet?!). 

Unlike many of my Canadian friends, I’m not big into winter sports or activities. There’s nothing for me to look forward to in winter…

Instead, I’m forced to say goodbye to hot weather, my garden, and days at the beach…

I Can’t Stand The Cold! 

I have poor circulation so that sure as heck doesn’t help me out. 

My skin dries out. My lips crack. My hair is a big ball of static electricity… 

Overall, not a great time…

BUT

In the last few years, specifically, once I moved outside the city and onto my old acreage, I’ve started to find the beauty in winter. 

Yes, I still dread it when it approaches (I’m a summer baby after all and I LIVE for the summer). But once it arrives, I find myself actually appreciating this season of cold.

Winter is a time to slow down. It reminds me that I am also a part of nature and it’s in my nature to slow down. To rest. To recuperate.

I am such a busy body – I love learning and doing. And all year long I spend my days hustling and bustling.

It’s too easy to forget to rest. 

But Winter… It forces me to rest. 

It forces us all to slow down and give into the natural season of hibernation. 

I’m Finding My Peace With Winter. 

And oddly, actually looking forward to life slowing down. 

(Trust me, 23 year old Cassandra would have NEVER thought this way before!)

But as I’m growing older, I feel a bit wiser. I feel like my perspective has changed about a lot of things – including the harshness of winter.

Don’t get me wrong, I still dislike the cold, and I won’t be the person who braves the outdoors at -30…

But, I’m not hating it either. 

There’s a lot of beautiful parts of winter too… 

Yes in slowing down, but also physically too!

The way the snow covers the trees and the glisten and sparkle on the ground after a big snowfall, oh, and the mountains…. 

The way the snow covers the rocky mountains is to DIE for.

There’s a lot to be grateful for this season.

And I’m grateful that I am finally able to see it.

Hopefully you can find gratitude in winter too.

With love,

Miss T.

Mindset, self-development

Winners Never Quit – Scratch That – Real Winners Know WHEN to Quit!

Do you remember the quote:

“Winners Never Quit and Quitters Never Win?”

I do.

It was a message that was ingrained in my head as a kid.

It covered every inch of the school walls. I heard it countless times being shouted by parents ‘motivating’ their kids at soccer games. It was everywhere.

But… that doesn’t mean it’s correct…


Winners Know How To Quit.

I grew up with the notion that you should never quit, even if it kills you.

That winners never quit if they want to succeed.

As I grow older, I see the fault in this mentality. That this mentality can actually get us into trouble…

Yes, There is Value in Not Quitting.

Using grit to push through challenges.

Especially if those challenges are something you’re passionate about.

And, of course, if it actually makes sense..

If it’s realistic and feasible…

But if your challenges aren’t feasible, if they are not realistic, then why do you continue to push on?

You’ll only end up digging yourself into a bigger hole…

There is Value in Quitting Smartly!

Sometimes we stick with something that makes no sense simply because we’re already committed.

We don’t want to risk looking like a fool and going back on our words.

But… if you’re doomed to fail anyways, why press on?

Doesn’t that already make you a fool…?

Learn When To Pivot.

In Seth Godin’s book The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (And When To Stick), he describes this dip as this point of temporary set back.

When challenges come up, we find ourselves stuck in this dip.

Those with the “Winner Never Quit” mentality will keep pushing on, if it’s the last thing they do.

Some, never make it out alive.


But this dip… this is where the real winners ask themselves:

“Do I stick this out, or do I pivot?”

It’s okay to reevaluate your goals. To change directions.

In fact, sometimes it’s the smartest thing you can do!

Do It! Switch Gears! Quit!

Don’t get caught in the trap of “Winners Never Quit”. Don’t try to push through just because you’ve “committed.”

You are not a loser if you quit.

Real winners know WHEN to quit. They have the guts to quit.

Seth Godin said it best:

“Winners quit all the time. They just quit the right stuff at the right time.”

With love,

Miss T.

Education, Mindset

Out With The Old! Why My Last 7 Years of Teaching Taught Me It’s Time To Ditch Our Current Education System…

Warning: This topic might be a little controversial for some..

But, and important topic nonetheless!

After my time working in our traditional education system, I cant help but wonder…

Would you send your kids off to factory assembly-line training?

You wouldn’t.

Well, why do you send them off to school each day?

Newsflash: It’s the SAME thing!

Our School System is Outdated.

It was crafted in the time of the Industrial Revolution.

The Education System was simply training grounds for assembly-line work.

Times Have Changed.

People are no longer working in factories the same way they did during the 1800’s.

We have advanced so far in technology.

We have machines that do that work for us.

So… why hasn’t our Education System advanced?

Working in the classroom opened my eyes up to the shocking realities of our current system.

Our System Teaches Kids WHAT to Think Instead of HOW to Think!

It does not encourage kids to be critical, free-thinkers.

It teaches kids to believe what they are told.

Everything they’re told…

But we need kids to question things!

We need curious kids who can problem solve with out-side-of-the-box thinking!

This current system limits their thinking.

Our System Focuses on Weaknesses Instead of Capitalizing on Strengths!

All day, we mark and grade things. All with the purpose of improving our student’s weaknesses.

Yes, learning and improving are important…

… But focusing solely on weaknesses doesn’t give our students the chance to develop their strengths.

We need to show our students how to exploit their strengths.

For their future!

Our System Focuses on ONE Particular Standard… For ALL!

It assumes all of our students are the same…

We expect the same things from each one:

  • We expect all A’s.
  • We expect all to listen.
  • We expect all to sit still.

The reality is… all our kids are different! We need to embrace their individuality!

We need to model the importance of standing out!

It’s miserable, for both students and teachers, to focus on expectations that are near impossible to meet.

Do We Really Want to Live in a World Where Everyone Does and Thinks the Same?

A world where everyone is training for the assembly-line?

To live each day without thinking their own thoughts?

Don’t we want – scratch that – NEED a system that encourages individuality, capitalizes on strengths and promotes critical and creative thinking?

It’s time to decide if our current Education System is really doing anything for our kids’ future.

I can see that it isn’t…

And my hopes, for our student and our future, is that you see it too…

It’s time for a change!

With love,

Miss T.

Mindfulness, Mindset, self-development

Stuck Living The Same Mediocre Day, Every Day? Get Unstuck With This Transformational Lesson from Einstein!

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.”

– Attributed to Albert Einstein

Here I am, sitting down for lunch in the Staff Room.

The Staff Room is buzzing. Buzzing with people. With conversations.

But, what I really mean by conversations… is complaints

The Staff Room is the place for venting. Apparently.

Here, staff vent about their students. They vent about coworkers. They vent about their families and home life.

I only listen.

I don’t chime in.

I don’t contribute to their complaints.

Because, I just don’t get it..

I See These People Do and Say the Same Things… Every Day…

“Why can’t Kellen just listen?! His personality is too hard to teach…”

But, have they done anything different to help this kid?

Nope.

“Mrs. Bell in the office is always ignoring me.”

Well, have they tried saying ‘Good Morning’? Or asked about her day?

Nope.

“My husband and kids drive me crazy! I’m just too tired to deal with them after work!”

But, have they scheduled any time for self care? Have they done anything proactively?

Nope.

How Can Anyone Expect Anything to Change, If They Don’t Change?

To get different results, we need to do something different.

We can’t rely on our current habits and conversations if we are expecting different results.

Same goes with the staff room table… No one benefits from engaging in the same complaints day after day. And no one has taken any step to change their outcomes.

So… How can they expect the next day to be any different?

What Are Your Goals?

Do you want to have better days at work? Do you want to be happier? Do you want to be healthier? Do you want to make more money?

Whatever your goals, wishes, or dreams are…

Ask yourself:

Do Your Habits Match Your Goals?

Chances are, if you’re stuck in the same cycle of complaints, then they don’t.

You’ve been doing the same thing each day.

Same habits, same you.

Things will never change.

If You Want REAL CHANGE, You Need To Be The Change!

You want less stressful days at work?

Can you change something about your day? Or… go out on a limb and change careers entirely!

You want to be happier?

Can you start looking for joy in each day? Can you start practicing gratitude?

You want to be healthier?

Can you make a step towards healthier habits? Can you eat more vegetables? Or find ways to move your body daily?

You can.

You just need to align your habits – what you say and do – with your goals.

To experience external change, you need to tackle internal change.

Be the change. See the change.

With love,

Miss T.

Health / Wellness, Mental health, Mindfulness, Mindset, self care

Does Your Morning Set You Up For Success? Check Out These 5 Tips On Building a Top-Notch Morning Routine

Well, September is almost over… And that means our focus this month has been getting back into a routine with work and school.

Oh has it…?

Has it been tricky to get back into a routine this new school year?

If it has, don’t worry – You’re not alone!

This blog post is especially for you to help you make the most of your routines!

With routines, we can build positive habits into our lives.

If you had to implement just ONE routine into your day, design yourself a morning ritual that will assure a thriving day ahead.

A solid morning routine can set the motion for your whole day.

Morning routines have shown to make us

  • Happier,
  • Healthier, and
  • More Productive

Does your current morning do this for you?

If not, here is how to construct yourself a morning ritual that will guarantee a successful day and successful life:


#1. A Successful Day Begins With a Successful Night:

Making sure to get enough, consistent sleep, will allow for an easier wake up the next day. Sleep is crucial for our brains and bodies to get the rest they need – it improves our memory, learning, decision-making and even our creativity. Another way to enhance our mornings is to get our mindset ready the night before. We can do that with some positive affirmations like:

“Tomorrow will be a great day…”

“I will wake up with ease…”

“I will accomplish everything I need tomorrow…”

#2. Don’t Let Your Phone Be The First Thing You Grab Upon Awakening: 

Many of us start our days by checking our emails or social media, but this isn’t what will set our days up for success. Often, we get stuck in “the scroll”… Wasting time scrolling through feeds… While we may see it as useful or a fun way to start the day, our subconscious is busy comparing ourselves to others… Not a way to take on the day.. We need to start off the day with something(s) that nourishes our soul and allows us time to focus on ourselves.

#3. Get a Moment Of Silence: 

This silence could mean meditation (if you’re into it), or visualizing your day, or your future! You may even want to use this moment of silence to contemplate a problem that you need to solve. Meditating, Visualizing, and Contemplating help us feel more in control of our days. And our lives. And you don’t have to carve out a large chunk of time either- it could be 30 seconds, or a few minutes… You get to decide!

#4. Exercise Your Brain: 

This could be done by journaling, or reading, even through art. Use your interests to decide how you want to start the morning exercising your brain. Taking the time to exercise your brain helps to improve its functioning, balances both hemispheres of the brain, and helps to keep it sharp with age!

#5. Get Your Body Moving: 

Find what works for you! If you HATE running… Don’t force yourself to run in the mornings. It will end up working against you. Tailor this to your interests. It can be something as simple as stretching, or doing 10 minutes of yoga, maybe weight training or some cardio. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something you enjoy doing. And something that’ll get you excited to get out of bed in the mornings!


“This is great and all, but what if I don’t have time?”

Then, I would ask you… are YOU not worth making the time for?

I say, YOU ARE WORTH IT!

No one said you have to carve out a whole hour in your morning to have a successful day ahead! I mean, you can eventually get there.. if you want to.

But begin with waking up just 10 minutes earlier.

That’s it!

Adding 10 minutes in the morning to guarantee an accomplished day…

It’s an easy ‘yes’ for me!

With love,

Miss T.