November 2014 Newsletter
Kim Friesen - Mogillow Arts
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Welcome to the November 2014 edition of my newsletter :) I can't believe it's almost year's end and Christmas Day will soon be upon us! 

For some of us, this is the month that a mini panic sets in as we realize that year end is fast approaching and that we still haven't brought to fruition those New Year's Resolutions that we committed to in January. Does this sentence make you breathe a little heavier as you read it? Well I'm here to tell you, don't let it :) No one is going to call you out on it and if they do, tell them to look in their own back yards! I'm sure there's a stone they still need to turn over back there ;) Friends and family members should be supportive, never judgmental.

Remember too that there should never be a concrete "do or die" deadline set for any goal. You're the boss. So, if you have to slightly amend the completion time, then do it. Just stay focused and keep moving forwards. Don't let it stress you out! If you feel that you should never have set a particular goal for yourself to begin with then scrap it; no questions asked. Give yourself a break, take a deep breath.

An alternative for this year's unfinished goals could be just to promise yourself that this coming January, you'll make them part of or all of your 2015 ones.

A personal example of goal setting is when I climbed a rope at Mud Mulisha this summer. It was the first rope I've climbed up in about 30 years - takes me back to Dunsmuir School's gym actually. As I almost reached the top - one more pull and I would've rung the bell - my son's voice rang out, "Go Momma Go!" The pride I heard in his voice kicked "momma melt arms" into high gear. Those sounds were so sweet! Any momma or daddy, grandma or grandpa; auntie or uncle (or even good friend) reading this understands. That voice can make you move mountains and that voice can make you stronger than you ever thought you were but that voice can also turn you into jello - and that's what happened to me ;)

Yet, my goal for that day wasn't about climbing a rope - heck I didn't even know there'd be a rope to climb up at the event. My goal was to run on the Wholly Fit adult team with my son on the Wholly Fit Mini Mudder team for the 2014 Mud Mulisha. I couldn't have been prouder when we both got our medals. This day was about being teammates and he showed his love and support for me, ten-fold.

We all should take a bit of direction from children. He didn't care about whether or not I rang the bell - he was just gyrating that we were there doing it together. My little guy shares in my achievements, but he is there for me when I don't accomplish anything too - as I am for him ;) I guess one day a goal of mine will be to ring that bell at the top of some unassuming rope. How about you, do you have a rope you need to climb up?

Have You Paused Lately

This newsletter speaks about pausing. Do you ever feel bad when you stop and do nothing after trying to do too much for so long? It's happened to me and I admit it's not a good feeling. 

Before my stroke, I got a lot of concrete stuff accomplished in a day. After my stroke, it made me pause and ask myself though what price I'd paid personally in order to accomplish what I had. Was it worth it? Was I really happy where I'd ended up? Could I continue to live the way that I had been living?

Several years back, I started to pay closer attention and look around to see how hard I was working for others' satisfactions. It dawned on me then that my being there for them didn't necessarily mean that they'd be there for me. I had a big "hmmmm" moment. Some might say I cultivated this environment for myself, but I didn't. I just never stood up to myself to realize that they weren't worth sacrificing myself to make them happy since they couldn't celebrate me too. Life is short. Give your precious heart to only those people who deserve the beautiful gift of you. If you feel taken advantage of, walk away. It’s a big world. You should only ever feel wanted. If you don't, move on. Rest assured I know that last sentence is always easier said than done, but give yourself that gift of faith in yourself.

I joined boot camp as a gift to myself in July last year. I've faced challenges over the past year, but I've hung in and stayed committed.

Have you ever given thought to what works best for you? Have you often tried to do too many things before only to end up completing nothing? Do you give a lot of yourself to help others, yet stand alone when you face own troubles because people say you're strong enough not to need anybody? Maybe next year’s goal is to stand taller, be there for yourself a little more rather than others.  How about make a date with yourself soon to just stop and tune out the world for just one day? That breath you allow yourself to catch at this time will do wonders for your being. Especially at this time of year, when emotions can be running high!

If you are new to my website and newsletters, greetings! I'm honored that you're reading my writings :) Check out my previous monthly newsletters too on my website, Kim Friesen - Mogillow Arts.

In Gratitude,

Your love trickles down upon me
Bridled with the exquisite scent
Of flowers
Reminiscent of a Hawaiian rain
Your invitation
Signals a promise
To eradicate my fears
And possess me in ways
That no one else has ever touched me
Your movement provides comfort
Fills my soul with sights and sounds
An overflow of ecstasy
As I am encompassed 
In a halo of light

Strong and passionate
You grasp me
As my body collapses
In a dazed and confused
Yet comfortable
State of mind
I am left helpless
A mere wave in your ocean of delight

Expert hands paint a canvass
Of what my life looks like while I lie in your arms
Drizzled in excitement
You dress me 
With feelings
Of compassion and completeness

Your willingness
To unlock me
And delights me
Forever in this moment
I choose to remain

© Kim Friesen

"Shame is the lie someone told you about yourself."

Anais Nin

I led my life in shame at one point and absorbed what adults had placed upon my tiny little girl shoulders as my truth. I thought I wasn't good enough, always the black sheep of my family.

That 5-year old girl still lives inside of me. I'm tender with her. Shy, she's sensitive and scared to show you that she loves deeply. I protect her, at all costs.

I learned over the years to never allow another human being to define me or that little girl inside. It's not been an easy road - there have been some hard knocks, which almost broke me - but she and I are still standing, undivided.

Be who you want to be, in all your color and in all your glory. The strong will thank you and walk with you. The weak will fear you. You; however, will allow yourself to live an authentic life and that my friends is the life that every human being should aspire to live!
Pause and Reflect

Social media is alive this month with the "Lest We Forget" pictures, quotes, memories, etc. I just watched a video in fact and it took my heart and stomped on it many, many times. It was about soldiers returning from war. What caught me was the children and how they yell, how they leap, how they throw back their heads in sheer bliss at the sight of their mom or dad. The word "Daddy" left me breathless. To watch the eyes and the nonverbal exchanges were beautiful. Yet, thoughts kept ringing through my mind. Why do we have war? Why does any child have to say goodbye to their mommy or their daddy? Why do some children have to say goodbye to both?

As we age, we try to come to realize that it doesn't matter what other people think. We will be who we want to be, no matter. Yet, when we are younger and vulnerable, we let so much of ourselves be in the hands of others. So many young men and women are soldiers, giving their life for their country. But should they though? Is it worth it? When it's all said and done does anyone actually care other than their own family and friends - can't believe I just said that one can you, but it's what you're thinking isn't it? I have a lot of opinions here, but I'm pitching this out for you to ponder. It's kind of thought provoking, isn't it?

As a person who is familiar with the emptiness when your daddy leaves and never returns, I can't help but see these beautiful children and wonder if they are okay. If daddy or mommy ever came home. If they came home only to leave again. When they say a picture speaks a thousand words, so can a video. The eye-to-eye contact is where I look to see the real answers. Children forgive their parents in an instant for any damage they've inflicted - verbal, physical, whatever - no matter what anyone else's thoughts are. They yearn for a perfect family. In fact, if any of us were given the choice between a perfect family and a screwed up family, I'm pretty sure most of us would pull that perfect one to us tightly. So lest we forget the gift of being able to see true unconditional love and lest we forget that there are others out their fighting and sacrificing themselves for our freedoms right now - even their lives with their children. Next time you see a soldier, go up and say thank you. 

Listen and Do

I had a heart to heart at a party yesterday, whether the person I was talking to knew that or not. Since I finished my challenge with Wholly Fit in June, I started taking the ride of reducing my medication. I thought this was going to be a celebration; a happy time. But, boy was I wrong. This has been a roller coaster of emotions that I was not prepared to feel. I tried to ignore them and some days it worked. I have had my intentions questioned, some circumstances skewed and it has been hard. I love the life I'm living - who I am as a mom, what I do fitness wise and the person I am becoming. The pills though were the dangerous ingredient that tried to block this path towards fulfillment of my 2014 goals for both myself and my little family. The mixture to get me through the tough time of reduction turned out to be a recipe for disaster. I started hearing people's thoughts negatively and I started to turn inward.

The talk I had with my husband after that heart to heart with my friend was what made me take the pause I needed in my life. He understands me and knows just how to say things. He expressed that I'd changed since I'd halved my medication and had gone on another pill to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms (it was for my inability to sleep, which has lasted a long time). I thought fitness was my escape from these deep feelings, but my fitness life got infected too. He heard me question if I was worth it, if I mattered, if he'd miss me if I were gone (he didn't know where I was going too, so he started to worry). The pill that I had been placed on does have side effect and one is suicide. I knew this, but I never let him know that. I didn't want him to worry.

What happened next is I got the flu bug, which is probably what in fact saved me. I got it right before Tough Mudder and then a few weeks after. I lost weight - another side effect of the pill I had been put on, no appetite. This shook some people up - especially Jenn at Wholly Fit. My husband then put two and two together that the medication were messing with my head and he confronted me in that kind of husband means business way. I am off these pills and I'm grateful.

Almost on cue, I then read a fantastic article from my Wholly Fit family member, Kate. She has the coaching website I spoke of in my last 2 newsletters. Kate speaks from a positive place and I think the most important thing she shared in her article was that rather than focus on the negative in your life, it's better to focus on the positive. Up until this summer, it's always kind'a been my motto - I've picked myself up many times by my bootstraps. Only this summer, I kind'a lost the care to do that. Hard to believe that just one simple pill not agreeing with me had such a powerful impact over me and my life.

As I said I'm off all the medication that were hurting me. I must impart though that I am so thankful for those who tried to stick with me through this, especially my husband and Jenn of Wholly Fit. She's gonna freak if she reads this newsletter as I know she's suspected things were not quite right, but I don't think she understood the depth. She asked the right questions though. Her questions sparked my husband's deeper thoughts.

Why am I sharing this you ask? Well because there will be someone else out there who reads this and questions their medications or a loved ones. My doctor is relieved that I did not become a statistic. I don't want you to be either. I was lucky too for the few others who I spoke to at this time, whose names I will not mention as they probably are not aware that their wisdom and kindness of letting me share and ruminate has been invaluable (and for this time, that's okay). They let me speak without judgment and for this I am appreciative.

I feel that my brain is beginning to weave its way through life like it did prior to me beginning my May challenge. I'm feeling strong and empowered. I feel like maybe my husband should take me out to dinner and celebrate my 48th birthday with me all over again as it's been kind of a haze, lol :) Ah, I'm smiling that's the important thing, right!

Everything that happens in life, happens for a reason. Find the reason that takes your life and propels it forward, not backwards. There will always be a set of arms that will catch you and sometimes it's not whom you might expect ;)

A Song I Wrote and Sang at a Songwriting Workshop - RAW!

I put this song that I wrote, Comin' Undone, in my last newsletter. In honor of Remembrance Day, I'm putting it in this one too. This song is about war. Please be kind. I'm a lyricist, so the guitar playing just gets your ears tuned to what it sounds like in my head. I encourage you to have a listen to it by clicking on the title below or by visiting my website, Kim Friesen - Mogillow Arts, where you can find it too :) If you want to share your thoughts on it with me, drop me an email at or add a comment on my website :)


Gearing Up For 2015 - It's Time

We had a Wholly Fit team meeting this month to determine what goals we will set for 2015. As I've paused to do reflect on this, I realize I'm actually quite proud of my accomplishments this past year.

Last year at this time, I was fresh off of my first mudder race and not really cognizant of what I was committing myself to. Fitness and health are true commitments. Every day, I have to tell myself that I'm doing this for me. It's easy to persuade myself otherwise, believe me. But the rewards are remarkable. I have come from having a little jiggle belly to almost firming up. Getting definition happening in this body of mine feels fantastic. If I don't feel like exercising all I have to do is check out my little "2-pack" and it's motivation enough - thanks Jenn

Right now life has been busy, so I've been committing to doing more home workouts, but at least I'm exercising! It doesn't matter where you do it. With the Internet, we can find tons of routines to do on the fly. Of course, working out by yourself is not the same as the comradeship and friendships you form in a group. But, the bottom line is workout whenever and however you can. Your body will thank you!

Not only is working out helping me to feel stronger and reduce my medicinal intake, but I think it also helps to age a little more gracefully. It is such a high when someone says you look great and have a nice little figure knowing that you did it all by yourself. I want to work at it, I want to learn. Whatever shape or size you are, be happy. Change if you want to. Stay the same if you don't. If you have to do plastic surgery, awesome. Do what makes you feel good. I know off the top of my head 6 women who have had breast implants to feel better about themselves and they say it did wonders. That's what they felt was necessary. So good on them for traveling on their own journey to fulfillment and not trying to piggy back another’s.

What about you, have you thought about what you are going to gear up for to accomplish this year, fitness wise? Maybe you've been tied to a bed and your goal is to just walk around the block, maybe it's to climb a mountain like I did this year with the Kusam Klimb. I just suggest that whatever it is, do it. We really never know when our last day on earth is. Live a healthy lifestyle, cheat a little, be honest, be caring, loving and kind and live each and every day to its fullest. Live a life of no regrets, that's the important part!
Recipe To Enjoy
I got this little gem jotted down on a piece of paper from Sarah at Wholly Fit that I had to share. It's fast, easy and delicious. Especially great to do for us females around our menstrual cycles when we all need a little bit of iron in our diet. I have a Blendtec and Sarah has a Vitamix, but sure if you cut the spinach up very fine a regular blender might also pulverize this mixture into a nice smoothie. I think regardless, give it a try, it’s awesome! My thanks to Sarah, she's been working with me to with balance my food intake. Sarah's studying nutrition :)

Apple Pie Smoothie:

cut up apple or 2 (if small)
2 tbsps. Almond butter (or throw in 10 or so almonds)
3 tbsps. oatmeal (uncooked flakes)
cinnamon (1/2 teaspoon or so)
1 cup almond or flax milk (I used flax)
handful of uncooked spinach
5ish ice-cubes

Blend it all together and enjoy. It makes a nice big cup for me. I shared it with my son and he liked it too! You might even be able to hide a few more veggies in here too, like broccoli! Thanks again to Sarah for sharing!
Are you looking for a boot camp to "be the best version of yourself" and live in Victoria, BC? If so, check out Wholly Fit's website at and sign up to join us. 
Look What I've Found

Last month a website that intrigued me was Love Your RV. This website is not just for us here on the West Coast in Canada, but for any of my readers in other parts of Canada, US and the world who are looking for a wealth of information for both beginners and seasoned camper and RVers alike! Even if you are not a full time RV'er no worries, just go to Love Your RV and bookmark it for next season's camping trips (or for things to work on in your trailer/camper this winter).

You'll also find pictures of the star of my eBook, Angelina Beaglina Saves Summer. Click here for your free excerpt of her book now! 

Now for this month, I've been reading a lot of social media posts, etc. about how we should be grateful. I thought it might be a good idea therefore to find something you can look at that gives you a few ideas that you can implement into your own daily life. I found mine at a site called MindBodyGreen. It resonated with me and I hope it will for you too. Have a peek at it. This is an excerpt from their site to give you an idea:

"So, what are a few characteristics of graciousness? 
1. Being gracious is someone who is humble and desires to praise others.
2. Someone who is gracious would never seek out to embarrass another person deliberately.
3. A gracious individual is quick to say ‘thank you’ for even the smallest gesture.
4. Listening to the other person more than talking about yourself is gracious characteristic.
5. Not “one upping” someone or being spiteful is considered being gracious.
6. A gracious person makes a point of paying attention to others.
7. Consciously being mindful to say what is appropriate is a gracious choice.
8. A gracious person seeks out ways to make others feel comfortable and appreciated.
9. Being gracious means knowing you are not indispensable and respects everyone’s contribution.
10. To be gracious is to recognize the good in everyone and every situation as the first option.
So, what are a few characteristics of graciousness? 
1. Being gracious is someone who is humble and desires to praise others.
2. Someone who is gracious would never seek out to embarrass another person deliberately.
3. A gracious individual is quick to say ‘thank you’ for even the smallest gesture.
4. Listening to the other person more than talking about yourself is gracious characteristic.
5. Not “one upping” someone or being spiteful is considered being gracious.
6. A gracious person makes a point of paying attention to others.
7. Consciously being mindful to say what is appropriate is a gracious choice.
8. A gracious person seeks out ways to make others feel comfortable and appreciated.
9. Being gracious means knowing you are not indispensable and respects everyone’s contribution.
10. To be gracious is to recognize the good in everyone and every situation as the first option."

Are you a gracious person? Is there one thing you can do to become a better you and show your gratitude to someone special? Life is but a series of moments all strung together, can you change one moment that will change the course of your life in a positive direction? I think we should all try it! For me I think I might try to work on 1 concept at a time for a week each for 10 weeks and see where it takes me :)

Next month is December and I begin a 2 month group fitness challenge with Wholly Fit. I know that when I couple that with Christmas preparations, it's going to be busy. So, as this is a time for me about the celebration of family and friends, I will be gifting myself the month off from writing.

In the meantime, if you haven't already done so, take the time to subscribe to my newsletters at my website, Kim Friesen - Mogillow Arts. It means a lot to me and I'm humbled that you take the time to read what I write.  As always, please feel free to share it with your friends and family too and if they like it, encourage them to subscribe. I promise I won't bug them!

For now my friends, I hope you are enjoying a wonderful November! Next month I am taking off from writing. But, I promise that I will be back in 2015 ready to share with you. I hope you all have a safe and wonderful Christmas and a fabulous December. Be good to one another always!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Until next year,

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Kim Friesen - Mogillow Arts
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