I’m going to be on CityLine tomorrow (Wednesday). NO, not as a guest, of course! I’ll be sitting giddy in the audience gawking at…HEIDI KLUM.

I WAS supposed to interview Heidi one-on-one; but to tell you the truth, celebrity interviews are nerve-wracking…. So it was just perfect for me to sit back and watch a real pro, Tracy Moore, do it so naturally in front of a live audience. It’s not like I wasn’t nervous, though. I really didn’t know if they were going to pull me out of the audience to do a quickie interview after the show, drag me to the Eaton’s Centre (where Heidi was headed next), or what. When the interview was over and Heidi stood up to leave, I finally took a deep breath and enjoyed the rest of the show…. Makeovers!

As the Monkey likes to say, well anyway, the interview was quite fascinating, and it was really hard for me to take my eyes off her. She’s that stunning. Read all about it (lots of good deets!), and check out the pics on my Celebrity Candy blog HERE, and see if you can spot me in the audience in tomorrow’s show — CityLine, CityTV, 9am and 2pm EST (I’ll update you with the online edition here ASAP, in case you miss it)! I’ve never been in a studio audience before. It was REALLY FUN!

In other news I’m pretty sure I’ll be stalking Jessica and Ashlee Simpson this weekend. I got a vague invite to an event they’ll be at, and I’m dragging the whole family with me. Hey, it’s a Saturday! I insist on being with my family on the weekend, even if it means they go to work with me!

So we’re back in the celebrity swing of things. High energy. Lots of events. Tomorrow, I’m taking the Rascal to the worldwide debut of the “Canuck Monster Truck.” Funny little Rascal, he went right to bed this evening because he couldn’t wait to wake up for the show in the morning: “I’m goin’ right to bed, Dada! I’m goin’ right to bed.” I was warned on Facebook that I need to bring some earplugs for him. So we’ll be running out first thing in the morning to get those earplugs.

But before that, reeeeally early in the morning, I’m going to yoga.

In the meantime, I have to feed Betty White her rice….

It seems we’re both on the macrobiotic diet…. Well, I am, thanks to my gorgeous friends at the brand new Macrobiotic Centre of Toronto (website to come). Looking back at my life so far, I can’t really believe I have friends who run a macrobiotics centre. Nothing in my life really ever pointed here. But here I am. Hovering among celebrities, Monster Trucks, rice, school pick-up, fairies and Ashtanga yoga. Kind of an amazing place to be.

Oh, and Betty’s not really on a macrobiotic diet, FYI. She has DIARRHEA. The macros would cringe at that instant white rice the vet insisted on (in the photo)!

Let’s just say Betty’s hungry. She’s really, really hungry.

Arf! She’ll be back on her regular food tomorrow. Fingers crossed for no more crap! Heh. Poor dog is so exposed on this blog. But we all love her and want the best for her, right, Gorgeouses?

Love!

xo Haley-O

PS: Check out my Twitter feed (@cheaty) and Today’s Parent’s Twitter feed (@todaysparent) for live Monster Truck action tomorrow morning!


“…Piper, sit thee down and write
In a book, that all may read.”
So he vanish’d from my sight,
And I pluck’d a hollow reed,

And I made a rural pen,
And I stain’d the water clear,
And I wrote my happy songs
Every child may joy to hear.

— William Blake, Songs of Innocence, 1789

I’ve been writing a ton lately. Writing articles, editing articles, and writing blogs posts over at Today’s Parent. So, sighh, I’ve neglected our little spot here again, Gorgeouses. I’m not complaining or making excuses in saying this — not saying I’m tired or busy this time. Just saying I’ve kind of wanted to do other things than sit me down AGAIN and write! It’s just a little tricky fitting all the writing I want to do in. I still have to make lunches at the end of the day, you know? Boil rice. Read stuff. Water the catnip….

Maybe it’d be easier if I didn’t, say, start posts off with a William Blake quote.

Even though my finger tips are numb from writing (and what a blessing that is, really!), and even though I quoted Blake and raised your expectations…, I’m going to try to write little less today and just give our blog some love already, right Gorgeouses? And I know just the DOG to do it. Are you ready? You should probably sit down for this….

As you may know, that’s not a Muppet. That’s our Betty White. I promise you she’s gorgeous. GORGEOUS. Except maybe for the bottom teeth. Have you any idea how many times those adorably terrible teeth have hooked me in the nostril? It’s worth it for the kisses, though. I should probably just stop blogging, shouldn’t I. Heh. *Cough.* I’ll be alright!

Speaking of amazing little lovers (and awesome segues), check out the Rascal in karate class. Can you spot him (the blondie in the centre)?

Look at him jump! Move over, young Michael Jordan and kangaroos!

Speaking of superstars (and more awesome segues), check out the amazing Kino MacGregor! I had the privilege of watching this master yogi of whom I’ve been a fan for a long time practice and share her knowledge, wisdom, experience and sparkle….

Isn’t she amazing? I’m still processing a lot of what she said, mainly her comments on yoga, Being and suffering. Made me think a lot about how I personally use chai lattes to run toward pleasure and away from suffering. Yes, I fell back off the wagon last week, drank chai lattes and have five extra pounds on my belly to show for it. I’ve been speeding through Marichyasana C and D (major twists) to avoid being assisted by my teachers. Too humiliating. Too much suffering.

Anyway, speaking of wise ones and drug addictions, Minden’s loving the catnip I grew him….

Impressive, right? Too bad it makes him barf.

Love!

xo Haley-O (I’ll definitely try to check in more often….)


Do you hate it when people say they’re busy or tired?

I was kind of raised to be busy but never to complain that I’m busy and never to complain that I’m tired. But I’m guilty of doing both anyway — resulting in the frequent eye rolling of family members.

But, Gorgeouses, I’m busy and I’m tired and I am owning it! Are you with me? Or do you hate me right now for saying I’m busy and tired and owning it?

Here’s why I’ve been too tired and too busy to even blog lately (my bad, bygones)….

1. Halloween. You know, it’s tiring avoiding all that candy all the time. There’s a massive white bowl of it still sitting on my toaster oven in full visibility on my kitchen counter (which is too small for a big white bowl of Halloween candy).

And of course, it’s tiring dealing with two wild and crazy candy-eating monkeys. But I have to say I was pretty smart this year: I let them enjoy the candy, and let it stick around. Like most kids, they don’t want me to throw the candy out, that’s for sure. But they haven’t asked for it in days! Smart, right? Wonder if they’ll notice that big ole bowl is gone tomorrow….


The most beautiful li’l witch in the world….


Mike the Knight!

2. Quitting chai lattes. It’s been TWO WEEKS AND ONE DAY since I had my last grande soy no-water tazo chai. And I even went to Starbucks the other day with a friend and wasn’t even tempted to order the usual. Instead, I ordered juice. This chai latte addiction has been plaguing me, as you know, for years. Years! But I’ve been sick (see #3) every month since September. So, clearly, my body’s telling me I need to improve my diet big time (see #4) and strengthen my sorry immune system. I’m just a little, erm, tired without all the sugar, caffeine and daily morning drunk-like bliss….

3. I’ve been sick, again. Another cold, some pink eye (care of the Rascal), a nagging cough. I’m going to probably get it from my yoga teacher when he returns from his workshops because I played hooky all last week. As you may know, Ashtanga yogis like me aren’t supposed to miss a day of practice unless they’re pretty-much on their deathbed. But I needed to feel better before subjecting my constantly ailing bod to the heat and early morning sweat and tears…. It does feel good to be back at the yoga shala now, though — even though I’m super tired and busy….

4. I’ve been cooking good food, getting healthy and strengthening sorry immune system. So instead of blogging and going to yoga, I’ve been cooking lots of wholesome and yummy vegan meals so I don’t feel deprived of the old sugary, habitual crap I was eating. I’ll update the kitch with some of these recipes when I’m a little less tired and busy….

The kids loved last night’s vegan hot dogs, oven-baked fries, and “tarragon green beans” (from Forks Over Knives). It’s not the healthiest vegan meal, I know, but it was fun-food Sunday…!

5. Betty White. I’ve been walking Betty White a lot so both of us get a healthy dose of exercise and the outdoors. Our truly bizarre Betty White is terrified of being walked, but once she gets outside, she’s alright. FYI. Poor thing got groomed yesterday (another thing she hates), and she’s been shivering a bit outside. So I indulged my love of irony at her expense and bought her this Confessions-of-a-Shopaholic-inspired “fashion” coat (we watched the movie together the night before we bought it, last Sunday)….

Betty White loves her new pink coat with the fluffy white faux-fur collar — *cough.* I think it’s hilarious, and she’s warm and GORGEOUS.

6. MAARGE and I are busy growing four different kids of catnip. Meowww, purrrrr, MAAAARGE!

7. Jealous Minden wakes me up at 4am daily. It wouldn’t be so bad if he just meowed. But he slathers me in sloppy kisses and tries to knock things over — like the glass of water beside my bed, or my bookshelf.

8. The kids. Waking them up, getting them to bed, washing clothes, cooking dinners, making lunches, making snacks, making muffins (see #4), doing homework, refereeing fights, taking them to after-school programs, picking them up, getting them dressed, bathed, loving them…. Also the Rascal sleeps on my back. He’s little but he’s solid.

9. Todaysparent.com site relaunch. Isn’t it pretty? We’re still busy working feverishly to perfect it, but it’s gorj, right? And, by the way, you know how last week I shared all the funny stuff my kids say? Now you can enter all the funny stuff your kids say and win $10,000 over at our “Today’s Kids Say” contest — HERE!

Yawn. I’d write tons more reasons why I’m busy and tired but, yawn…. So tired. So busy. But happy. Being busy isn’t so bad — even if it means I’m tired at the end of the day. And I’m sure when I start to feel better, when my rock-star immune system goes platinum, and this new no-chai, healthy lifestyle kicks in, I’ll be bouncing off this web page with all the energy.

I kicked my chai addiction, Gorgeouses. And I didn’t have a single piece of Halloween candy. Tired, busy, but, omigosh, wow!

So now’s your chance. Are you tired and busy too? OWN IT right here in the comments. We promise not to roll our eyes….

Love!
xo Haley-O


Maybe it’s because I’ve been sick for 10 days with a virus that was having an identity crisis — one day a sinus cold, the next the stomach flu.

Maybe it’s because I didn’t sleep at all during the stomach flu parts.

Maybe it’s because I haven’t gone to yoga in five days because I was too exhausted from the virus to make my kids breakfast, let alone bend over backwards on my mat.

Maybe it’s because I’ve missed some of that unconditional acceptance I feel when I walk into the yoga shala every morning.

Maybe that’s not the best photo for melancholy. I wanted a picture of fall leaves, but it felt too cliché; so I went with this horribly cropped photo of Betty White looking longingly out the front window, not to go outside — hells no — but to bark intimidatingly at a squirrel or ‘nother dog from within the safety of her own home.

Whatever the reason, today was a melancholy day.

It wasn’t a bad day. It was a really good day. Which is strange because it was a melancholy day. It was definitely a strange day.

Maybe it’s because I practise yoga, or maybe because I’m extra tired, or because I’m a little introspective by nature, spiritual, a dreamer. But I didn’t let the melancholy eat me up as it easily could have had I plunged inside. I didn’t get depressed or dark and twisted, anxious as usual. I got pensive, peaceful. I accepted it. I liked it.

It was a good melancholy. The kind that gets you closer to yourself. The kind that makes you feel so alone that you can almost touch your soul. And if there is no soul, no self, then I mean you feel so alone you can almost feel — really feel.

As I wrote last week, Dr. Laura was right when she said motivation is BS. But she was wrong about just doing it. That may be enough for a skinny, shrilly radio host who could care less about feelings (as she herself would say). But for many of us who are often overwhelmed by life, doing something as massive as losing weight or quitting an addiction goes much deeper than feelings — italicized feelings, whiny, woe-is-me feelings. And if there is no depth then it’s just much subtler than that, more symbolic, abstract. Wherever acceptance is.

I’m so busy with my kids, work, a squealy-barking dog, the loud city, stress, responsibility, anxiety, that I haven’t really been hearing. I may listen, but I rarely open my ears and hear, open my wounds and feel, open my eyes and see, not just look. The melancholy opened me up with great, serene breaths to accept everything that was today. Even the Rascal, who loves a good loud whine. Even the Monkey, who loves a good loud shriek.

So even as I stood in the playground from 3:30 to 5:15 so my children could be children and play and laugh and scream, I enjoyed the silence of my own melancholy, the ease of my own breath, the silence of my own mind. When I got home, I made everyone a nice warm meal. I didn’t react when my kids ordered me to GO GET WATER as soon as I sat down, or when the Monkey rebelliously put her feet on the table, or the Rascal said “ew” at the mysterious beans on his plate. I just responded calmly, from a different place.

Although I’m probably not as fun to be around with the melancholy, I like it here for now. And I’ll do my best to take it with me to the next big feeling.

Maybe it was because I wore the white elephant on my necklace today.

Love…

xo Haley-O


Maybe it’s because Halloween is in the air at work that I’ve noticed a little something I’ve been calling “The Veil of Fear.” I’m not sure exactly where it came from — just that one morning at the cottage, I lay down in savasana (corpse pose) at the end of my yoga practice, and I heard the words loud and clear in my head. Veil of fear, I heard. You have to lift the veil of fear. Hmmm…. So Yoda.

Even though I was supposed to be thinking about nothing (and, for sure, because I was supposed to be thinking about nothing), I relaxed into the yoga pose and started thinking about this veil of fear and how, epiphany, I live under one pretty much all the time. It’s very subtle, so I don’t always notice it; but it’s definitely there. And I suppose with the right dose of psychiatric drugs it would just fall away. But then that would be no fun, would it? And it would be bad news for the lakes, rivers, oceans — to which, bizarre as I sound today, I connect on, like, a visceral, pelvic level. I noticed that, too, the other day, as we drove home from the cottage for the last, *sniff,* time this summer.

So is it just me, or do you live under a veil of fear too? If you do, what happens when you imagine — even just for a moment — lifting it up? It’s like, ahhh…. Everything becomes clearer, no? Is it me? Or do most of us live with this? It is the age of anxiety, no? And with the kids going back to school, a huge transition, the veil’s thicker than ever….

I guess that’s one of the reasons I still can’t shake my chai latte addiction, why I can’t lose this thick veil of weight I’ve been carrying since the brutally anxious days of my pregnancies…. And it’s why I need to go to yoga every day — to wake up at a crazy hour (given how late I stay up working) and enter a room full of others, their journeys, veils. Because there it’s just breath, and being, and learning and floating, and lifting the veil as I bend my knees and fall backwards into a deep backbend, an upside-down rainbow.

Here’s the inspiring teacher who makes me do it — it’s time you guys officially met. In my 28 years of studying yoga, he’s the only teacher who’s gotten me to really practice daily and begin to transform. He is awesome, so check out his new DVD, okay?

I’ll let you know when the DVD becomes available….

I heart yoga.

I’ll be buzzing around downtown Toronto for the next week or so for the Toronto Film Festival. I’m going to the Hello! Canada Magazine red carpet Saturday night (my birthday!); the Monkey and I will be meeting Heather Graham Sunday; and we have some other interviews and fun stuff going on (like an early morning event with the Rascal that will keep me from yoga tomorrow, alas, but it’ll be fun).

In the meantime, the Monkey’s in Grade One, and the Rascal’s entering Kindergarten tomorrow. I guess that’s for another post — except to say that I shed tears, Gorgeouses, a veil of them.

Love!
xo Haley-O

 


A few weeks ago, I hurried out of yoga class to get to work and stopped to say bye and thanks to my super-amazing yoga teacher David.

“My twists are terrible,” I told him as I slipped on my crocs.

“Awful!” He laughed.

“Terribly awful,” I insisted.

“How’s your diet?”

How’s my diet? At first I was excited that he asked because it meant that some good, motivating diet advice from my super-amazing health and spirituality guru was about to come. But, then I realized, gratefully, what an incredibly brave question that was for him to ask me. As my yoga buddy Jeff pointed out, it really shows the depths of a teacher’s compassion and investment in his students — that he’s willing to risk a slap in the face from overweight female straggler. Super amazing.

“It’s bad,” I told him. “Too many soy-chai lattes, sugar, bread, peanut butter. No time to cook for myself, blah blah blah.”

“That’s not good,” he told me. “You need to feed yourself.”

Feed yourself. My gosh. Once again, super-amazing yoga teacher has triggered epiphany. Feed myself. My gosh, I don’t feed myself. I eat, but I don’t feed myself. And I totally 100% eat to numb my emotions. I figured it out on my vacation over the last two weeks in cottage and farm country — i.e., miles away from STARBUCKS. A whole bunch of emotions (even happy ones!) surfaced as a result of not starting my days with a Starbucks sugar rush, and I had no idea what to do with them other than face them head-on or continue to stuff them down unsuccessfully with the sweetest cinnamony syrup I could find.

Practising yoga every day helped. Emotions arose and then vanished after a few poses. And I survived, incredibly.

I kayaked alone almost every day, and I noticed my emotions as I braved some big waves. Emotions ebbed and flowed. Seriously. It was meditation on water. And I survived, incredibly.

I tried to feed myself, as David advised. And I didn’t do that great. I ate chips (which I never eat), the kids’ vegan gummy bears, dark chocolate, peanut butter bagel sandwiches. I wasn’t feeding myself. I was eating.

And now that I’m back from vacation, I’m back on chai lattes.

So today’s the day, Gorgeouses. I’m going to start officially to feed myself. And I know it’s going to be tough, but I’m going to face my emotions head-on without food: anxieties about the kids, the stresses of feeding my family every day, responding to demands, tantrums, needs, wants (never mind my own needs and wants…). I can’t be a perfect parent because there’s just no such thing — I know that — but the stress of doing my best every day takes its toll. And sometimes at the end of the day I just want to veg — lay like broccoli, rather than eat it. I know this now.

Just breathe.

My body is supposed to be my temple. I believe that. And I want to move faster, feel lighter, look better.

I’ve been noticing lately that some women wear scarves around their necks to adorn their bodies. Others ink themselves with awesome tattoos. Others twist shiny strands into intricate ‘dos just to go to work.

I wear makeup — not to adorn my temple, ahem, but to cover up the results of not feeding myself: zits, dehydration, exhaustion, need I go on? As for my hair, I’ll always wash and go….

But I took the kids to the grocery store today. We stocked up on veggies, fruits, all good organic stuff. And when we got home, I took the time to wash and chop everything up instead of letting it all rot untouched in my fridge, as usual.

David suggested that I don’t do anything extreme to feed myself. No raw diets, low-carb diets. Definitely a vegan diet, of course. He likes the macrobiotic way of eating. But he said that if, for example, I can’t find time to make a macrobiotic breakfast (i.e., porridge and blanched greens, blergh…) after yoga practice, that I should have fruit and nuts — “just feed yourself!”

So I’m going back to basics, with the help of this book and this new book…. And then we’ll see about getting macro-fancy. I just need to feed myself, and not eat so much. Know what I mean?

By the way, David did say that I can allow myself my favourite drug drink on moon days — so, I’m looking forward to Sunday….

How about you? Do you feed yourself? How?

Love!

xo Haley-O

 

 


I’m trying to gather up enough energy and stamina to write a post here. Thoughts have been forming and merging and collapsing lately, but fingers repel keys like magnets with like poles because exhausted and empty.

But just like I now get on the yoga mat each morning (thanks to persistent, available, compassionately whip-cracking teacher), I’m getting on the keyboard and writing this evening.

Yoga for writers: Do your writing, and all is coming….

Lately I’ve found myself thinking a lot about who on earth I am. I’ve had so much going on: my first TV appearance, celebrity interviews, and more and more celebrity interviews and two trips to New York in just over a month and trips to the cottage and work and…and…and…and family.

And my family, though last on that list of “so much going on,” is at the forefront of my thoughts all the time. When I pick up the phone to Jessica Alba’s very sweet voice, it occurs to me how close in age the Rascal is to her daughter. Does she want to know how much my son will love Spy Kids? Or how the Monkey loves the Little Mermaid, too? She has a Little Mermaid “babing suit”….

She turned six last week. SIX.


Gosh, and I’ve been blogging here since she was 8 months old….

We threw her a fairy birthday party. Tinker Bell flew in and blew the Monkey away. She stayed much longer than she was supposed to (thankfully), went up to the Monkey’s room with all the girls, ate cake with us, took pictures. The Monkey hugged Tink for dear life when it was time to say goodbye. She really believed….

With so much going on, when I hang up the phone with Jessica Alba, when I leave work for the day, when the TV camera switches off and I’m wondering how I did, when I’m standing on my head at the yoga studio, when I crawl into a foreign hotel bed, I am all about my kids.


“Ooo, look at the upside down rainbow!” — my brother and his wife taunt me when I practice yoga at the cottage….

From the moment I crawl out from under the Rascal in the morning, to the time I pick them up from camp, they’re in my thoughts — emerging and retreating as my focus on other things waxes and wanes. How are they doing at camp? Is the Monkey wearing her hat? Is the Rascal asking his counselor for “Mama”? Is he eating his snack? What will we do together after camp? Hair cuts? The “fairy store”? The park?

I’m thinking about my family. That’s who I am. And I’m thinking about career and life and what I’ll make for tomorrow’s lunch when I finish writing this post. I’m thinking about my dharma.

Last night I dreamed of a cave and a guru. Another guru dream. There were no answers, nothing full or finite. Just open arms and a smile.

Love….

xo Haley-O

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