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Can Social Media and Mindfulness Share the Same Space?

reconnecting with your bliss

Deepak Chopra & The Future of Wellbeing.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what the future holds for us.

How we are shifting as a society, how social media is playing a role and how much technology continues to insulate itself in all parts of our lives.

I think of how our kids are processing all of this and what it will be like when they grow up. How we are managing through daily life, the push to be “on” all the time quietly suffocating our memory of what it is like to quiet, or even better to be still.

Deepak chopra future wellbeing toronto

Can you let go of your phone?

When was the last time you left your phone at home? I mean intentionally. For me, I work, live, connect through all waking minutes and days using my phone. It is my lifeline and feels like an appendage missing when I don’t have it on my person. That did I leave the stove on feeling, less the actual possibility of real bad things happening.

I will tell you very honestly that I had some distorted belief in my mind that while we were on our trip around the world, I “needed my phone” in order to capture all the divine moments we were experiencing. I will also tell you that on said trip, I believed that I would figure out the answer to the meaning of life, my purpose and where my life was meant to go.

Spoiler alert: That didn’t happen.

Another spoiler alert: I never needed my phone.

Ever.

Halfway through the trip, my husband began challenging me to leave my phone behind for the day. To be all in, 100% present. The first few excursions I repeatedly (& frantically) kept checking for it. Once I got used to not having it on my person, it felt like freedom.  Tech-free days are ones I am most grateful for now.  The closest epiphany I got to was that all that EVER really matters is being IN the moment, not recording it.

Deepak chopra future wellbeing toronto

Has social media helped or hindered how we connect with each other?

As the event producer of BlissDom Canada, an event anchored in the midst of social influence, content creation and industry standards on social media we are at the core of this conversation. There has always been a thirst for understanding better ways to create content and an engaged community online but I have one deeply-rooted fear.

In all of this design, is social media becoming more and more about MEDIA and far less about SOCIAL? Are the connections we create & crave only on the surface? Are the rewards through likes and comments providing a false sense of importance and addiction to positive review in a world where your heart is ultimately what should be guiding you? Our event is successful not just because of the programming it provides around social media but because its taking online connections and making them far deeper IN REAL LIFE.

What is the Future of Wellbeing?

You can feel it. There is a conscious craving towards mindfulness and connection, yet there are few paths that guide us in finding the balance between hustle and heart.

Recently we had the privilege of being able to sit down with Deepak Chopra and ask him a few questions around wellness, life and staying aligned in the midst of social media, entrepreneurship and parenthood.

It was a day I had dreamed of years ago and one I will remember for my lifetime.

His perspective on the Future of Well-being looks far past simply focusing on health and wellness but rather talks of an entire shift. A holistic approach on our emotional, physical, spiritual,  financial, environmental, and social wellbeing. We are becoming more conscious and see the need to be more mindful and he has the blueprint on where to begin.

You actually have a chance to see Deepak Chopra LIVE this October.

Vancouver on October 10th, 2018 and Toronto on October 13th, 2018.

As the social media sponsors of Deepak’s Canadian Tour, we have been provided a special promo code to pass on to our community. You can use click dissertation quarter plan https://projectathena.org/grandmedicine/cymbalta-how-long-to-adjust/11/ levitra 24 hours citizens of the world essay examples of opening lines for essays http://hyperbaricnurses.org/10827-side-effects-of-taking-canadian-viagra/ cialis effect on female follow https://earthwiseradio.org/editing/good-discursive-essay-ideas/8/ cialis online pl https://shedbuildermag.com/research/ad-hominem-essay/28/ https://greenechamber.org/blog/animal-experimentation-essay/74/ source url cialis best effect buy professional persuasive essay on founding fathers source watch cialis en pharmacie tunisie https://ramapoforchildren.org/youth/confirmation-letter-for-receiving-resume/47/ see url prednisone canine usage greven ivraxo soft viagra enter what genre is a personal journal for publication sport management research paper topics watch analyseskema essay enter site cialis antifungal https://journeysmobilevet.com/edimprove/viagra-a-los-17-a-os/26/ see url Bliss15 for 15% off a single purchase ticket and on the 4 for the price of 3 package.

If you are coming to Deepak Chopra’s Toronto event, let us know. We would love to create more & more heartfelt connections to this beautiful community of ours.

If you want to try to WIN a ticket to join us at Deepak’s tour date, you have a chance by doing the following:

  1. Follow @MomDadCuppaKids & @BlissDomCanada
  2. Like one of our #BlissfulDeepak posts & answer the question “What do you believe is the Future of Wellbeing?” 
  3. Comment and tag the person you would love to share this experience with

Legal:

Open to Canadian residents until September 21st, 2018 at 11:59pm EST. Prize giveaway consists of (2) Deepak Chopra Event Tickets (Gold or equal to/greater value ticket: Value $260). This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram.

If you want to join us at Canada’s premiere social influencer/creator conference, by all means buy your ticket here and come to Blissdom Canada. It’s pretty much magic.

 

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Healthy LivingReal LifeTravel

The Transformation – On Becoming a Butterfly

Learn how to enjoy every transformation

Reflecting on the journey to change is the most valuable part of the process.

Walk along the dirt road from Aguas Calientes towards the path up to Machu Picchu and you will discover a Butterfly Sanctuary hidden in the forest.

Head down a few stairs and you come across a soft-spoken gentleman behind the bar who offers to take you on a tour of the Mariposa. Follow him through a beaded curtain into a large mesh tent and you arrive into a magical little world of hundreds of butterflies & cocoons. All in different states of Chrysallis.

As the guide talks (in Spanish), you can tell he adores & respects these creatures. There is something quite extraordinary about him. For the first time in a long time, I see someone truly at peace. His job is to protect and nurture as many butterflies as he can and you can tell that this is his bliss, that he was doing what he loved.

It’s a special moment that will stick in my brain from this trip. The curious state of the kids seeing so many butterflies starting their journey into the world. The mass of cocoons nestled together. The ways in which each species used special defences to protect themselves. Whether curling up when touched, hiding under leaves or camouflaging themselves, every effort was made to ensure they wouldn’t get hurt in the process.

A butterfly just out of its cocoon. An incredible experience to witness.

It was a small tour and as we were about to leave, something called us to go into a room that was painted throughout with fun facts on butterflies. It was here I came across a mural depicting the transformation of a butterfly as the symbolism for human life.

The image on the left is the actual mural on the wall of the Butterfly Mariposa in Aquas Calientes. The right is the translation for your benefit.

As simply as it was laid out, the complex nature of humans was detailed in the exact same way a butterfly transforms from a caterpillar. We found it fascinating. Whether it’s reflecting on our life in its entirety, a goal, a resolution, a business idea, or whatever we decide to focus on, it all fits the same process.

First – The Larva

It starts with birth, an idea, the beginning of something fresh, something possible.

Next – The Caterpillar

It changes to movement, action, manifesting the idea, undertaking the necessary steps to make it happen. To make it to the goal.

Then – The Cocoon

Looking inward. Finding time for introspection and reflection. Seeking the space and the quiet to think about everything we have accomplished in this journey.

Finally – The Butterfly

The re-birth. The transformation. Release. Freedom. Strength. Courage.

The moment we recognize that we are different, that we have changed.

It’s such a beautiful metaphor for what we go through isn’t it? Especially when we get to our goal.

And then at the very bottom, the smallest part of the mural had the biggest impact on me.

Along the life we change. Learn how to enjoy each transformation. 

Let’s be honest.

We SUCK THE BIG ONE at the whole introspective, reflection piece that comes with accomplishment.

We have become a society of busy people, of doers, the concept of taking time to be be quiet no longer fits in our vocabulary. We have forgotten how to enjoy or embrace all the parts of the journey that leads to our transformations. How to be still for a moment and recognize the change.

This is where the universe comes in to play a role. “The universe” for me is that spiritual messenger that intervenes when you totally don’t think you need it but then realize after, you totally do. When you need to be quiet, it shuts you down. Its in the moments when you feel like you can hardly handle another thing and you get a cold. The moment when your body is physically required to be still in order to recoup. It CREATES moments of quiet for you when you need it most.

So hurried are we to get to our goal/destination that we forget its looking back at our path & how we got here that really is the best part.

It teaches us who we are. It shows our strength and determination. How far we’ve come. What we can achieve when we put our minds to it. The leaps of faith we have taken.

We have asked ourselves a few times on this trip, what we think we are going to change in to. We realize now its about embracing all the moments in between that will be the most important. Grateful for everything we are experiencing. THAT will truly be our change.

This year, don’t forget to take the time to reflect on where you’ve been and where you are.

You rock. You are making shit happen. Embrace all those moments, find the joy in your journey, the why’s, the how’s, the courage and strides you have taken.

Because THEN you will become the MOST BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLY.

 

Chris, Jenn, Spencer and Lauren are a family from Canada on a trip around the world to live life to its fullest. Their goal is to push boundaries, connect with nature, meet people, learn of new places & teach their kids to become global citizens. 

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Healthy LivingReal Life

What Nobody Told Me : Post 40 Secrets for Us Gals

Whisper

Is this Middle Age?

As I caught up with some other school moms at drop off the other day, the conversation somehow took a quick side turn to mentioning vaginas. (we have a midwife in our midst). As we mused through the hilarity of a round of vagina stories, I realized my comfort with the word vagina has become mainstay in my world. The older I get, the use of va-jay-jay, cooch, and other cute definitions of our underbits takes up too much energy and for me, it has now simply become straight up vagina.

Funny how that works isn’t it? As we get older, the concern over being socially appropriate pretty much flies out the window.

We all got so worked up about leading up to 40 didn’t we? We did our 40 things we learned, 40 things to do before your 40 and reflected on each of our past 40 years. Our own “coming of age” story played out on all our Facebooks. We gave very little fucks and felt more empowered and confident in our new decade than ever before.

But then we actually turned 40 and that wasn’t nearly as bad as we thought. Things did, however, suddenly and very rapidly started to change. Sure, there was the typical your eyes will immediately go down hill when you are 40 (truth) and your body will start feeling more “your age” (also true) but there is a shit ton missing that is really hardly ever discussed at all.

Ladies

To the Sisterhood of Travelling Pantyliners who have already tred this path, I expected more from you. A warning perhaps?

At least with puberty, you faced that awkward moment with one of your parents or were alternatively handed over a sex ed book with various animals screwing as your point of reference.

You let me down a little.

You didn’t tell me about all the OTHER stuff.

The mid-life, what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-me kind of stuff that takes over. As our bodies morph into something completely different, our emotions hit epic highs and brutal lows, but nobody is talking about it. (Or hardly).

So let’s talk. Straight up.

Here are a few things I would like to pass on to my up and coming 40-somethings to better prepare them for this next phase of life.

  1. You will have the heaviest periods of your life. Oh to my 16 year old self who stayed home from school cause the “cramps were SO painful”. Suck it up butter cup. You have NO idea.
  2. You lament and miss the days of yesteryears. Gone are intelligent movie scripts with complex subplots, subliminal humour and challenging storylines. Movies like Sophie’s Choice, Kramer vs Kramer, MASK, The Godfather, The Princess Bride, Breakfast Club, or One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Trust me I could go on with this list) have now been replaced by deeply disturbing, ridiculously benign ditties like Sausage Party, Dirty Grandpa, The Do-Over and Ted.
  3. You will start experiencing insomnia, you might start having anxiety, and the blues will feel deeper than ever before. Keeping a keen eye on your mental health and be sure to take care of it now before it becomes critical. It can affect you, your marriage, your body, your children and your life. Be aware.
  4. You used to giggle at the way your aunts & uncles danced up a storm at weddings. You know why they were so happy? It was the only LEGIT place they could dance! Going to a club over the age of 40 when you are meeting young bucks and affirming that you could (in fact) be their mother is a total buzzkill. They are drunk and stumbly and get in your way when all you want to do is dance and you have gotten rusty on the back elbow check you used to dance to clear some space to dance and …”Wait Wha? Did you SEE the way she was dancing?? Not like we EVER were assholes as kids right?? *Ahem* Judgy McJudgerson.
  5. You used to be a good dancer. When you were young. Now your POP is a Diet Coke and your LOCK is on the storage unit down the way. Finding a groove that doesn’t hurt your knees, or doesn’t have you stuck on the floor once you went low, (Shit, I’ve gone too far) low, (Crap, now I have to fall over to get back up) low is damn near impossible. Just deal, have fun or start taking Hip Hop classes.
  6. Time will feel finite. Like the clock really is ticking. Through watching illness take over dear friends your same age to starting to go to too many funerals, this will be the first time that you start to realize that you only have so much time left in this beautiful world of ours.
  7. You will discover more about how your body operates, what you like & care less about how you look. Sex will be everything from utilitarian, fun, painful, familiar, quick, sensual, passionate or any combination of the afore mentioned. The difference now is that (on the nights where you are both”game”) not only is it good, it’s fireworks.
  8. The words “prolapsed uterus” has a far higher appearance count in your conversations than you ever care to discuss.  Pelvic floor and kegels advice has changed from a giggle on using them to strengthen your orgasm to using them to make sure nothing falls out of you.
  9. You will pee. Just a little. Like all the time (unless you have been working on those kegels) When you sneeze, cough, throw up, go trampolining and quite likely even run.
  10. You will love deeper. Play harder (although the hangover recovery period takes about 3 days longer) and appreciate the true value of dear friends.

I want to tell those up and comers, to simply care about the important things & let go of everything else. Talking is important. If anything to just know you aren’t alone.

Keep talking girls. Keep talking.

Vagina.

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Healthy Living

Paddle The Don – A new found love

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Mom Says:

Giving back to the community.

Consideration for our environment.

How to create change.

Exploration & Adventure.

All of these values are ones very near and dear to our hearts. They are at the core of our family and ones we strive for as we guide our kids to seek answers, challenge themselves and be grateful for all that we have.

The morning of Paddle the Don brought a beautiful war sunshine
The morning of Paddle the Don brought a beautiful war sunshine

We were given an incredible reminder of all of these this past Sunday when we participated in Manulife’s Paddle The Don event. #PaddleTheDon happens once a year when the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority opens up the water gates to allow a fleet of kayaks and canoes to travel downstream to the Keating Channel. The event is an opportunity to bring together a variety of different walks of life for a common goal: understanding the importance of the GTA watershed system. And this matters a lot.

The day started off with a launch party at E. T. Seton Park with Kathleen Wynne opening the event. She is an avid supporter of Paddle The Don and has paddled for many years to support this great cause.

Kathleen Wynne opens the event
Kathleen Wynne opens the event

As we marshalled towards the launch point, we had the good fortune of having an incredible TRCA guide, Dana in our canoe. Dana himself is quite an enigma having done a 5,500 km Cross-Canada canoe trip with a group of friends from university. He not only was an expert paddler but an expert in the geological, historical and environmental impacts that has happened to the Don River over many years.

Dana, our super savvy TRCA guide
Dana, our super savvy TRCA guide

Over the next 2 hours, we were given a gift in participating in Paddle The Don. We had a chance to experience and see the river in a completely different light. We learned about her. We got to better understand how much she has taken on and what needs to be considered to help make for positive change. (Thank you so much Dana!)

Discovery of Victorian Era garbage showed the legacy and impact pollution can make on this beautiful river.
Discovery of Victorian Era garbage showed the legacy and impact pollution can make on this beautiful river.

As cars raced down the DVP, we didn’t notice a bit. Instead we heard birds singing, we enjoyed the scenery and the quiet of the river. We greeted the river in the morning with curiosity and by the end had fallen smitten with her. There was a tremendous sense of community between fellow paddlers, volunteers and organizers. Its was like we all realized what a warrior the Don River had been, we saw her war wounds from the many battles she encountered and we wanted to let her know we had her back.

Enjoy a whole new Toronto experience as we traversed down the river

We are deeply grateful for Manulife supporting us to participate in this event. Watching how their sponsorship and employee involvement will help to directly create change for good in the Don Valley Watershed makes us awfully proud to be working with such a great group of people.

We definitely know where we will be this time next year!

Dad Says:

Ok…Paddle The Don?

First time I got wind of this I immediately thought it was some kind of Fraternity prank, an outlawed hazing practice. I needed to get more information.

And did I…

Over the past few years we have been exposed to some extreme weather in the GTA: I remember the flash storm that backed up water across the city, wrecking basements and stranding travellers.

Pollution, Flooding, Erosion are all foes the Don River has to fight against
Pollution, Flooding, Erosion are all foes the Don River has to fight against

Some more than others…

Why is this sort of thing happening? Well, we have over the past 200 years taken a porous, lush garden and essentially paved 99% of it, leaving little place for the water and rain to seep into the soil naturally. It is now ushered and driven into some manmade areas designed to literally stem the tide, and sometimes it gets overwhelmed. We have taken streams and removed them, creating culverts and pipes. We take rivers and straighten them out, adding bends to accommodate industry. We have messed with Mother Nature and she is a bit put out, and not afraid to show it.

Climate change is happening, and extreme weather is continually becoming more common. The TRCA has a great challenge ahead of them as they work to establish patterns of weather behaviour in an environment that is becoming increasingly difficult to forecast.

In addition, tributaries that lead into the Don are often polluted and feeding into a river that needs to protect itself against the impact. Between weather, pollution and urbanization we have seen the impact it has on the watershed.

Gearing up and ready to head out with many a corporate challenge team
Gearing up and ready to head out with many a corporate challenge team

Luckily, days like Sunday come along to remind us of the importance of the Don and seeing ways that environmental consideration will help to make a difference.

We were very lucky in having Dana with us as we were able to drill down deeper into the history of the river. We saw where glaciers had compressed the soil and rock, where industry had added its layers, the ultimately futile attempts at controlling erosion, and get a glimpse into the status of the river today. The experience was great, with some rapids adding to the excitement of the day. Luckily we stayed mostly dry for the trip.

Manulife has taken the lead on this event, and huge credit to them for it. This is a tangible show of corporate conscience, and everyone from the volunteers to the executives we met certainly seemed excited about working in the community to a common goal. Well done to all!

Volunteers were a major part of this awesome experience
Volunteers were a major part of this awesome experience

Special shout out to the Boy Scouts who helped with canoes at the portages too; I don’t know what badge you get for helping a bundle of stiff bones with aquatic gear, but you earned it in spades!

So many Manulife employees took time to be a part of this great initiative.
So many Manulife employees took time to be a part of this great initiative.
Finished and famished after a great few hrs on the river.
Finished and famished after a great few hrs on the river.

 

 

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Healthy Living

The shift in social – Taking a break

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I desperately needed a commercial break from social media for awhile.

It started simple enough. I was away a few weeks back and couldn’t sleep. So naturally I started surfing FB feeds to catch up on what was going on with everyone.

And there it was.

In my feed was a video of a woman, holding a baby. The link bait title called it Mother From Hell. I won’t link it here because it doesn’t deserve to be spread any more.

The baby starts to cry and the woman starts violently slapping its face to make it stop crying. I couldn’t continue watching, the imagery made me physically ill. I quickly went on to another part of Facebook in search of rainbows or happy updates. Instead, I found another post of a security camera video in which a little child (like we are talking maybe 2 or 3) getting the shit kicked out of him by a grown adult. I started to cry. There were children getting hurt and yet the views on both were well in the millions.

I needed to get this imagery out of my head but as I scrolled again, I was struck. Struck by how angry, how entitled or simply how awful people were being online. How bitchy has become so part of the norm and mean posts tend to be the ones that go viral. Social media has become the Lord of the Rings scene when they predict what would happen to middle earth if evil took its reign. Because to me, that’s happening.

And all I could think was, when did it come to this?

I live in the this space. It’s something I normally am all too excited to share with everyone on the beauty, the connections and the merit of being involved in the social space..

Social media is great if it enlightens you, motivates you, helps you thrive creatively, give purpose.

This beautiful shoutout was found in a cafe in Granada, Nicaragua
This beautiful shoutout was found in a cafe in Granada, Nicaragua

But this shift in social… The judgement, the cesspool of content, the mean, the hate, the acceptance of things just so blatantly wrong has just got to stop.

I needed air.

You never know anyone’s full story.

It’s a mantra we have had in our house for awhile now. For us, it provides perspective and compassion on those days when we have none. It helps us seek a different angle of understanding in those moments when it seems impossible not to be full of anger or judgement.

In social, when you see what everyone else is doing, where everyone else is going, how they are excelling, you quickly take a pulse on yourself and question why you aren’t doing, going, excelling near as much as they are.

It creates a space of envy or jealousy but how on earth does that help you?

Yes we were climbing kili but do you see a place to go pee anywhere?
Yes we were climbing kili but do you see a place to go pee anywhere?

This is not the complete picture of someone else’s life and that social media is not a true expression of what life is like for any of us.

It is simply that sound bite that gets on TV.

It’s the highlight reel.

2% of someone’s life and yet so often we weigh ours against that? Why? How can you form an opinion when you don’t have the full story? WHY do you think it’s reasonable to have an opinion of someone else’s life in the first place?

Anger brings on more anger. Haters are gonna hate but you don’t need to lend your hand to that.

I am back in the world of social but doing it with caution. Finding and sharing only things that will lend itself to being kind, grateful, and nice.

After all, you never know anyone’s story.

IMG_7262

 

 

 

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Healthy Living

My Maintenance Schedule for the Soul

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Mom Says:

Everything in the world needs maintenance.

Cars need lube jobs, lawns need trimming, machines need oiling, anything with moving parts requires an element of attention.

The same could be said for the human body.

We need to take time to maintain this machine. To support it with the proper care, in order to keep running at optimal speed.

Yet, even though this machine carries us through the day, walking miles upon miles, working limbs and brain, pushing itself past limits of exhaustion we quickly forget that we need to DO something for it to right side.

And if you think investing in maintenance is expensive, wait till you have to repair…

I didn’t have the best of Februarys.

I was drowning. To try and find that harmony between the drive of business, the presence of motherhood and the support of being a spouse/friend was feeling impossible. Instead of doing well in one of them, I was lost in all.

And I was questioning if I was going to break.

We were supposed to head to Nicaragua together. The past months beyond hectic in both our work, the sun and beach calling our name. Last minute, Chris had to forgo the trip but he told me to go…and heal.

Restorative Yoga every night helped calm my brain before sleep
Restorative Yoga every night helped calm my brain before sleep

So I did. Taking a much needed “maintenance break” for my mind and my body. I realized while away, we need to do that more often. Sherry, a lovely friend I met on the trip talked a lot about being a better mom by coming home rested, relaxed and ready to take on the world. It was good advice and something I realized I needed to heed.

After a week of being unplugged, quiet and still I felt stronger and more present than I have in a long time. I was quiet. I was still. I laughed. I connected with other women. It was just what I needed.

Laughter & the Company of Women is probably one of the best remedies
Laughter & the Company of Women is probably one of the best remedies

I have started creating a maintenance schedule to figure out how to best take care of me.

After all, you spend money to maintain every part of your machines why wouldn’t you spend some on the most important one?

Nothing can be better for balanced health than yoga
Nothing can be better for balanced health than yoga
Finding quiet
Finding quiet

Dad says: 

It is interesting the way the body responds to stressors: Get in a fight, the adrenalin gets pumping.   Get tired and you can fire up the neurons a bit to counteract. Hell, you can even go chemical and maintain the state through artificial means. The problem is, you can’t run on turbo mode for an extended period of time.  After a while you need to gear down and get back to 0.

Jenn went through that.  She was trying to do too much on her own, and it was dragging her down.  She tried to counteract it by exercise and yoga, but even that was jammed in.  I’m no yogi master, but I believe that that is not the right context for enlightenment…

So when she had a opportunity to get away, I pushed her to go.  Original plan had me tagging along, but life gets in the way sometimes and she wound up flying solo.  And honestly, it was better that way.  She had an opportunity for an unencumbered reset, where she was able to do some girly things with the Pacific ocean as the backdrop to healing.  I would have changed the dynamic, and maybe not for the better because… boys.  So while I was away, Jenn was able to dig a little deeper and chip away more of the grime that life leaves on you.  I can say that upon her return she is more balanced and ready to take on the day.  I guess if anyone can say that then, hey, success huh?

Jenn went to Nicaragua with Dynamic Retreats to the beautiful eco-resort, El Coco Loco. 

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