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My Proudest Achievement

This is kind of an embarrassing story …

Last year, I wrote a book.

It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. For anyone who has attempted to write a book (or even a Blog post), you can likely relate.  The emotional resistance and fear of failure is so great, it can paralyze you into taking no action.

I wrote about this experience here: Fear and How to Beat It

Anyway, so everyday I forced myself to sit down at 6am, and to not get up until I had 1000 words or more written down. The writing each day wasn’t always great, in fact most of it wasn’t good and had to be removed during editing.

How to Make Dreams Come True

Photo by JUCO
Editor’s Note

Pssst... 'Discover You Now' is here. Have a peek here. :)

This week, my husband resigned from his job of 12 years at Amazon.

It’s been an exciting and scary few days…okay, a few weeks… filled with various waves of emotion–anxiety, fear, but also wonder, fulfillment and exhilarating joy.

It reminded me of the emotional ride shortly after I left the comforts of my corporate job, 4 years ago. The emotional struggle was mostly in my head and it whispered words of fear to me, and convincing arguments of why I would fail.

This time around is no different. Perhaps, that sense of fear and uncertainty is further heightened by the fact that we have a son, and both of us will be without the comfort and security of a “real” job to catch us if we fail.

Video: The Power of Language + News

Hello. I’m trying something new. Sharing “big ideas” on video — ideas I’ve found helpful, inspiring or empowering. Check it out:

Click here to watch it on YouTube,

One of the many things I admire about my husband is that he is very prone to taking action. He doesn’t stay stranded for long talking in circles about what he wants. He will consider thoughtfully about what he wants, mention it once, and then he’ll go out to do something about it.

Over the last few months, Jeremy has been obsessed with filmmaking using digital SRL cameras. He is a still photographer by profession.

One day, he came home with a proposal to invest some of our money in photo gear, so that he can learn at home, and get better. Knowing how important it is to develop our passions, I agreed.

A week later, two large boxes showed up at our house. That same night, after Ryan went to bed, he excitedly unpacked everything, and set it all up in our kitchen. He dragged me out of my office, and said, “Honey, let’s do a video!”

Can you help me for 1 minute?

How often do you want to receive new articles from TSN? As you may have noticed, I started posting more frequently since the start of this year. I was toying with the idea of increasing the post frequency to daily, but I don’t want to annoy or overwhelm you. I want your input.

Please let me know your ideal preference. If the majority wants less than 5 times a week, then I will post less. Cool?

Please take a minute to fill out this quick survey. Thank you for your help!!

Love to you.

Just for kicks, here are some articles from the past that you may like:

P.S. If you’re not already on our facebook page, you’re missing out in loads of fun. We’ve got weekly inspirational book giveaways, self reflective questions, and our daily inspirational quotes — hand picked just for you. Come on by and click the Like button. See you.

A Letter of Gratitude + Good Mood Update

A year ago today, I was lying in a hospital bed, scared for my baby’s future, and struggling with a lot of pain that my mind had convinced me to be true. The following 6 months proceeded to be the darkest emotional period of my life.

Looking back, it all seems so far away. A blurry memory from the past.

I am a believer that things happen to us for a reason, and that reason is a gift –often disguised as challenges- that helps us grow and to fully experience the beautiful subtleties of Life. If nothing else, at least to remind us to appreciate the good in our lives, which we often take for granted.

Today, our 4lb preemie baby is a healthy, happy, active, and very curious little boy. Ryan now has 8 teeth, is in the 90th percentile for height, can stand on his own, and can crawl faster than I can catch him.

Overcoming Anxiety + Video Update

[Update 12/20/10] The contest has ended. Please see the results here.. And read on for the second part of this post on overcoming anxiety.

Very exciting news! I’ve made it as one of the top 20 finalists through to phase 2 of the Good Mood Blogger competition, and you can now see my 90 second video entry below (or click here).

Voting starts today. Please help me with a quick 2 sec vote everyday until December 10th, 2010 (Click here to read why you should vote for me). If you need a quick reminder, sign up here and I’ll shoot you an email each morning. And if you believe in me, please also share the vote page or video link on facebook, twitter, or emailing them to your network. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Help Me Spread Happiness?

Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. ~Helen Keller

[Update 12/20/10] The contest has ended. Please see the results here.
[Update 11/20/10] We’ve made it into round 2. See my video, behind the scene look, and thoughts on anxiety here. Keep voting until Dec 10, 2010.

So, I did something last night that totally scared me. I applied for the Sam-E Good Mood Blogger job – where the winning Blogger will be paid to blog everyday for 6 months, on being happy.

I need your help.

The competition is in two phases. Phase one is based on total votes from the general public [Vote for me here, no registration. 2 seconds. Read on for why you should vote for me.].

The 20 most voted bloggers move on to phase two, where they’ll be submitting a video entry showcasing (in a creative way) why they are the perfect fit for the job. The winning video will be based 20% on phase two votes and 80% on judge scores.

In my three years with TSN, you may have noticed that I’ve never published a video. Well, that’s because I’m terrified of them.

Seeing that the competition already started 12 days ago, and its deadlines conflict with my family’s schedule, I wrote it off, silently thinking, “Oh good, I don’t have to do the video.”

New Beginning

Photo by Kevin Russ

For the past 8 months, I have been silently battling with, and drifting in and out of a state of depression. Perhaps it was the changing hormones in my prenatal and postnatal body, or perhaps it was life’s way of teaching me something new.

It has been a very painful process, but when I observe this period of my life from other perspectives, I realized that I am learning and relearning some of the most incredible lessons, through which I am able to recognize and change some old and very ridged behavior patterns and limiting beliefs.

This is a quick post to let you know that I am still alive, and that I am going through a tremendous period of healing, and that I am thinking about and writing the next full-fletched Think Simple Now style article, for you.

Last night, Ryan slept through the night for the first time since he was born, and I got 5-6 hours of continuous sleep, and I feel – for the first time in five months – like a human being again.

So hang in there, I am feeling better everyday, and I will be back very soon. Until then, here’s something that’s helped me in my own healing:

“In the infinity of life where I am, all is perfect whole, and complete, and yet life is ever changing. There is no beginning and no end, only a constant cycling and recycling of substance and experiences. Life is never stuck or static or stale for each moment is ever new and fresh. I am one with the very Power that created me, and this Power has given me the power to create my own circumstances. I rejoice in the knowledge that I have the power of my own mind to use in any way I choose. Every moment of life is a new beginning point as we move from the old. This moment is a new point of beginning for me right here and right now. All is well in my world.”

~ Louise Hay (You Can Heal Your Life)


Here’s the follow up article: How I Stopped Feeling Depressed

We Have a Baby Boy!

Ryan, one day old.

After spending 4 weeks on hospital bed rest, at week 32 of my pregnancy, I was sent home – after the doctors were confident that I wouldn’t deliver within the next few weeks. One day later, while resting peacefully at home, I went into labor. A few short hours later, I gave birth to baby Ryan (photos here).

On Dec 20th, at 7:07am, Ryan Ananda Sawatzky – weighing 4 lbs, 4 oz and measuring 18 inches long – popped out of me like a football, after 6 short hours of contractions, 22 minutes of pushing and about 12 pushes in total.

The whole thing happened so quickly, and relatively painlessly. I was focused on being relaxed, and put all my awareness on my breath. I remained calm through out, and while Jeremy shouted “Holy S*&#!” as Ryan came out, I remarked calmly, and with a monotone voice, “That was easy”; we captured it all on video.

You know when you see mothers give birth on TV, you always see the mother crying as she holds her baby for the first time. I wasn’t sure whether I would cry or not. I didn’t want to fall into the cliché, yet, I wasn’t sure if that was a pre-requisite for good mothers.

When they wrapped him up tightly like a burrito in a soft blanket and placed his little body into my arms, I looked down, and saw just his tiny round face exposed, already fast asleep.

I marveled at how complete he was, how serene he looked, how cute his cheeks were, and how much his button nose resembled my own. It was like looking at my own face. I started marveling at the miracle that my body could produce something so perfect and complete. Then I started laughing, and then without any conscious effort, I burst into tears.

Feeling Lonely + Baby Updates

Photo by Vadim Pacev

Two weeks ago, I wrote about optimism when things don’t go our way. Well, this week, I could have used some of that optimism. I think the honeymoon period of living in a hospital is over.

So, I’ve been at the hospital for a little over 3 weeks, on bed rest. It’s been two weeks since Jeremy returned to work, so I spend most days alone on my fancy multi-adjustable hospital bed, with 7 pillows, a laptop and the TV remote.

In the beginning, I thought I was at the Ritz hotel. Nurses remind me of when I should take my pills, I get to hear my baby’s heart beat twice a day, my contractions are being monitored regularly, there’s daily house-keeping and an array of food choices at the push of a button – just like room service, except, it’s free and no tipping.

Then, I found out a week ago that I had Gestational Diabetes (GD) – a common but temporary symptom for 16% of pregnant women during the third trimester (28 weeks until delivery). Which means I’m on food restrictions.

The nurse of the day happily walked in and handed me a new menu – it says “Diabetes Diet Menu“. Because I don’t eat meat or eggs, my choices became further limited.

I was frustrated. I felt sad.

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