Emanate Joy – Happy Winter Mornings

Ever since I was a little girl all I desired was to be happy in life.

I would say, “Once I ace this test I will be happy. Once I have a boyfriend who loves me I will be happy. Once I graduate high school and go to college I will be happy. Once I graduate college and move back home I will be happy. Once I get a job I will be happy. Once I do something that matters I will be happy.”

Notice a pattern?
A) I was never grateful for what I had. I was always looking to the next thing as if that was going to be the source of my happiness.
B) I was living my life in a definitive linear way, following all the steps. First you have to do this, so you can have this, so you can achieve this, and then you will be happy.

The bizarre thing. Everything I was doing to make myself happy, was keeping me from happiness. It was a vicious cycle of always looking for more, always waiting for the next thing, always on the journey and never arriving. Never being fully present in my life. Never BEING happy.

When I was 20 I graduated college with honours, got a great summer job as a graphic designer for Manitoba Hydro, and had a fantastic boss who was letting me move my workspace from the Winnipeg Hydro office to the Brandon office. This would mean after two years of long-distance I could move in with my boyfriend! It was AMAZING. It was all I ever wanted. I was soooooo excited. For the 2 weeks leading up to the big move, all I could think about was how perfect life was going to be when I was finally able to be home for good.

Well the weekend finally arrived. I pulled my 2003 Malibu, loaded to the rim with my belongings, up into Josh’s driveway, ready to move in and be happy.

That Saturday morning I was sooooo excited. I woke up early and was ready to start unpacking and rearranging!

Josh woke up shortly after and got ready to head to the farm to do chores. As he was leaving I said, “Oh Josh I have a busy day ahead of me, when you come home you’re hardly going to recognize the place!”

Josh gave me a stern look and said something along the lines of, “Don’t do too much. You’re not the only one who lives here.”

You see at the time, Josh also had a roommate, who was probably not as excited about me moving in. Mostly because Josh’s girlfriend moving in meant less time for Josh to hangout with the boys lol …

Regardless, I had to do something! So I went ahead and moved in all my things – trying to be as discrete as possible – and rearranged Josh’s bedroom, so I could have space for my things too.

Josh arrived back home that evening and I quickly ushered him to his bedroom and with a proud “tada!” revealed his newly organized room. It wasn’t THAT dramatic of a change, but a few pieces of furniture were moved and I took over one of the dressers. Josh proceeded to sit me down on his bed and give me a talking too. “I know your excited,” he said, “but just be aware of how you’re making (let’s call his roommate Todd) Todd feel.”

I knew he had a point, so I with little resistance I agreed to tone down my excitement. But regardless of my agreement, I started crying anyways. Not a gentle sob, or a gross ugly cry, but a steady stream of tears that would not stop.

I felt absolutely ridiculous. I wasn’t actually that upset about it, and I knew I had everything I had ever dreamed of, so why was I so sad!?

To be honest at the time I wasn’t really sure why, or maybe I was sure, I just didn’t want to admit it to myself. But looking back now I know exactly why I was so sad …

I was stuck in the linear thinking mode of life. I was telling myself, I got the job, I got the guy, and I finally get to move home, NOW I will be happy … but I wasn’t. As soon as Josh popped my happiness bubble with his one comment that wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, I realized life was still exactly the same as before, I still had an underlying feeling of unhappiness.

I had built up all these crazy expectations for all these materialistic, external things that were going to make me happy, instead of looking inside at what it would take to BE happy.

Since then I have made a lot of changes, which I talk about often. I meditate every morning, practice daily gratitude and forgiveness, release fears and doubts, have a greater sense of self, more confidence, and genuine trust in myself and the universe. I have learned to live in the moment, be grateful for what I have, choose for me, be generous of spirit, and BE who I truly am.

This is what has brought me to a space of happiness. Not achieving, but instead, being.

But my growth hasn’t stopped there.

In one of my recent Instagram posts I talked about an appointment I had with a naturopathic doctor. She asked me this super simple question, but it has totally expanded my entire outlook on life. She asked if I believed in myself. I wanted to say yes, but I realized that no, I do not believe in myself.

This one question has caused me to dive into an even deeper reflection of my life – of what I would do if I truly did believe in myself – and a lot of points have come up about this darn linear thinking thing that we get sucked into all the time. Of achieving and not being.

As hard as it is for me to admit, I realized that even now in my life I am choosing to do a lot of things with the expectation of “achieving” more happiness … to be specific, I have been taking on all sorts of side freelance work, in the hopes that I can one day make enough money doing my side-hustle to quit my day job, in hopes that I could eventually transition out of graphic design completely and become a finally after that become a full-time artist, which is my lifelong dream … isn’t that totally backwards though?! Why do all the preliminary work?! Why not just do what I would like to do now!

Because that is how our brains work. First I will do this, then I can have this, so that I can finally be here and do what I would really like to do.

So instead, I’m choosing to BE an artist now. I have no idea what that looks like. I have no idea how I’m going to do it and that’s okay. We don’t need to know all the steps. We don’t need to have a detailed master plan. All we need to do is choose it. Be in the moment, ask for what you would like to have, and choose it when it pops up.

For example, as I’m sitting here writing this blog post on a sunny, winter, Sunday afternoon, I’m thinking about what I’m going to do after I finish this post … will I work on my online course? Fix up my website? Make some food? Or, listen to what I am being called to do and paint a picture that’s been swirling around in my head all week!

Hmmm .. let’s see … Yes the picture from my head wins!!!

I call it Happy Winter Mornings. I experienced this view while taking a morning walk last week — it has not left my head since!

I hope you enjoyed this piece and I hope you enjoyed my little insight into what I know as true happiness.

The takeaways from my story today: be okay with where you are, be grateful for what you have, be honest with yourself about what you really desire, believe in yourself, ask the universe/god/yourself for what you would like to show up, and in every moment, as choices pop up, choose what feels light to you.

If you do this, you will flow with the acoustic energy of life. You will allow greater possibilities to show up than you ever imagined possible. You will BE happy.

Keep shining friends!


P.S. If you are a creative woman, who has a big heart and desires to live a vibrant, joyful, abundant life, please feel free to join my private Facebook group here! In this space we will be sharing even more specific tools on how to create a life of happiness, among many other topics 😉 I will also include content that you won’t see anywhere else! Hope to see you there!

Emanate Joy — Polar Bear Power

Be careful what you wish for! That might be a more appropriate title for this blog post as it perfectly describes my day on January 1st, 2019. The day that inspired me to paint this polar bear.

During a meditation one morning after Christmas and before New Years I was thinking about what I would like to create in 2019 … What popped into my head was to tap into my inner child and be fearless and playful. I imagined a cartoon version of my younger self doing cart wheels on top of the World. It felt light, fun, powerful and joyful, so I asked, “what will it take to be more fearless and playful?” and cleared everything that wouldn’t allow this to show up in my world. I had no clue what exactly being more fearless and playful would look like, but it felt right, so I went with it.

Then, January 1st rolled around … Josh and I stayed overnight at a friend’s place after a New Years Eve party and when we woke up in the morning, our friend’s first remark was, “Well are we going for a tour?!” He then suggested we go for a snowmobile ride up to the ski-hill for lunch … “Awesome! I thought. Winter activities, my favourite!”

Josh and I quickly ran home to grab our snow gear. I was smiling the whole way, excited to go an outdoor adventure.

When we arrived back at our friend’s I noticed not two, but three sleds in the driveway … one for Josh, one for our friend and one for me … “Nuh uh!!” I thought. “I’m doubling. I can’t drive!”

You see driving is probably my biggest fear. It has been ever since I was 6 and was in my first roll over. Thankfully I’ve conquered the fear of driving vehicles (somewhat), but driving a snowmobile?! No way!

With a little encouragement from the guys and a brave face, I decided to drive part way to see how I liked it.

I won’t lie, I was shaking and holding back tears majority of the time. My anxiety just took over. I could not think clearly. The whole time I was thinking to myself, “What am I doing? How does this work? Is it over yet?! And also “I can’t see!!!” (My visor was fogging up big time, so I could hardly see a thing 😂).

Once we got part way I decided I was done. “That’s enough fun for one day” I thought, and hoped on the back of Josh’s sled. I felt slightly disappointed in myself, because I knew that this was the fearlessness and playfulness that I had asked for. However, as I bounced along hanging onto Josh, all the anxiety and pressure was gone and I was having a blast! So it was worth it.

During the ride with Josh I was also paying close attention, taking note of things like how he handled the sled, where he drove, what he aimed for, things like that. I knew that once we returned to the part way mark, I was going to have to drive home again. But I was determined that this time I was going to know what I was doing and have some fun!

After flying through some snow-covered fields, eating some tasty poutine at the ski-hill and even stopping to ice fish at a buddies shack, it was time for me to jump on my sled and drive home again.

Maybe it was because it was dark out so I felt incognito, like no one could see me if I messed up, or maybe it was because I flipped my visor up, so it wouldn’t fog up, and I could actually see, or maybe it was because I had watched Josh and felt a lot more confident with what i was doing, but my second time driving was a success! I smiled, I laughed, I got up to 30 miles an hour at one point 😱 (says Josh 😜) and I actually had a really good time!

Once we arrived back at our friend’s place and shut down the sleds for the night we began talking about doing another tour the following weekend. We thought we might drive mine and Josh’s sleds back to our farm. Surprisingly, the idea really excited me! “Yeah let’s do it! That sounds like so much fun!” I said.

As Josh and I drove home I reflected on the day. I let it sink in that, “wow, I asked the universe for more fearlessness and playfulness to show up in my world in 2019 … and on the first day of the year, that’s exactly what I got!” Not only was I marveling at how a miraculous life can be, but I was so grateful to have the opportunity to overcome one of my biggest fears. A fear that would probably hold me back from a lot of playful adventures in the future. And although it wasn’t a perfect day, in the end I believe I really did chip away at some of that fear.

There is so much power in doing things that are outside your comfort zone – in doing things regardless of being scared. After courageous experiences like this, you grow, you gain awareness, you shed that unnecessary heaviness of fear and become lighter, and in my case you have a lot more fun!

Power, fearlessness and playfulness – the three things I gained from my experience on January 1st, 2019 and also three traits of our dear Manitoba friend, the Polar Bear.

I knew I wanted to write my blog post about my January 1st event, but I really wasn’t keen on drawing a picture of me sledding – it’s not really my style. So instead I searched “Animal Symbolism for fearless and playful” in google … and I was delighted when the polar bear was the animal to pop up. The perfect subject for this winter adventure of mine. A beautiful, powerful, fearless, playful, winter beast.

I hope you enjoy him as much as I know enjoy snowmobiling!! Hahah okay I may not love it THAT much, but I’m getting there!

Have a sunny day friends.


P.S. if you would like to purchase prints of this or any of my other Emanate Joy pieces, you can order them at this link here.

Emanate Joy — Unexpected Friendship

This is the piece that inspired the whole Emanate Joy project back in the spring.

This piece, “Unexpected Friendship”, was originally created for a project at work. (My day job is a full-time graphic designer for a corporate company.)

My supervisor started up a project called, “Weeklies”. Each week he would give myself and my co-workers a theme, and we would spend an hour creating something to go with the theme. Then at the end of the week we would gather and present our pieces to each other.

The project was initiated for three reasons: to ignite creativity and passion, to gain skills using alternative mediums from our usual mediums we use at work, and to practice our presenting skills.

This particular week we were given the theme “Unexpected”. I had just received some special pastel pencils in the mail, so I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to practice with them, since I had never worked with pastel pencils before.

Drawing animals has always been my favourite, so it was a no-brainer that my subject would include an animal or two.

You always hear stories of two animals becoming friends that you would never expect – the chick and the kitten, the fawn and the bunny, the lion and the bear … and that is what sparked this unexpected friendship! The puppy and the calf.

The piece took me a total of 2 hours and was by far my favourite Weeklies piece I had ever created.

It was so simple, adorable and a lot of fun.


Working on this piece ignited that familiar, magical joy I long for with everything I create.

This past spring I was missing that magical joy. I was keeping plenty busy with tons of projects, but I knew I needed a project that consistently allowed me to tap into that space of sparkling joy.

I remembered the Weeklies project, and the “Unexpected Friendship” piece. A piece that took only 2 hours and created so much joy for me … low and behold the Emanate Joy project was born!

A project that started out weekly and has now turned into monthly – due to each piece taking longer than 2 hours lol – however, it ensures I consistently create! And consistently tap into that space of joy! It also allows me to spread my joy, through sharing my inspiration, experiences and creations that I pour so much joy into.

I hope you enjoy this piece, Unexpected friendship, and I hope you look forward to more joyful pieces to come! I know I can’t wait to create them.

If you have enjoyed any of my Emanate Joy pieces, prints are available to purchase online here.

Or, if you live close to Minnedosa, MB prints are available at Inspire Studio!

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. 🙂



Emanate Joy — Baby Bears and Birch Trees

As we make our way into the snowy months of winter, I find myself missing the warmth of summer that, as always, few by way too fast.

While my summer was busy out here on our farm, it was well balanced. Some weekends were spent working feverishly at freelance projects and art shows, some were just chill weekends at home filled with daily chores, catching up on sleep, playing with our pup and peacefully working away at some paintings.

I was also lucky enough to take a full week of summer vacation! If my memory serves me correctly, this was my first summer vacation since I was in grade 1!!

Myself, my partner Josh, and our good friend Shane, took a trip out to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta.

The trip was spectacular in so many ways. The views, the laughs, the meaningful conversations and moments.

And yet, the whole time I was out there I just couldn’t help but feel grateful for my home. Here. In Manitoba.

It was an odd feeling, but I will try to explain.

While we were away we went on two hikes. Both of which were around 4-5 hours I believe, and full of nothing but nature and beauty.

Side note: our tour guide was Shane’s Grandpa who was over 80 years old. He kicked our butts and was one of my favourite parts of the trip! An inspiration to say the least.

Each of these hikes had spectacular views. The types of views you see in post cards, magazines and nowadays, Instagram. They were mind blowing. Beautiful. And brought me a lot of joy.

During the last hike we went on, as we were coming down the mountain we decided to take an alternate route. One that was “off the beaten path”, a recommendation from our experienced guide.

It took us into a wooded area along a creek, and near the end we came into a grassy meadow littered with flowers.

All of a sudden, my heart opened up and chills came over my body.

I felt a connection. A spark.

It reminded me of home.

I realized in that moment I had a deeper connection, a greater emotional response, to that simple meadow among the trees than I did to those grand, glorious mountains.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed our entire hike. I enjoyed the different windy trails, up and down, the scary rocky ledges, rushing water, trees, rocks and hills, and of course the reward of the view from the top. It was stunning. I will remember it forever. And I will definitely be taking more trips like this, exploring all the amazing places of Canada, and hopefully the world.

But, it is apparent that the mountains are not my home. They are not where I am intended to plant my roots.

I know I am meant to explore. To see the world. But I also know I must always return home.

Home being the prairies and valleys, meadows and bush land of little old Manitoba.

If I had listened to logic , instead of my heart, when I experienced that spark of energy in the meadow, I would have brushed it off and told myself, “But this doesn’t even compare to the view from the top of the mountain.”

But instead I listened to my intuition. I listened to my gut, and my body.

It was telling me loud and clear, “THIS is magical. This is for you.”

May this be a reminder to stay in the present. To be open to subtle queues your body will give you, sharing what is true for you, and what direction you should take. Even if it goes against logic, or the opinions of everybody else. Only YOU know what is true, light and magical for YOU.

My piece this week is one that I created (a while back) to commemorate our beautiful trip out west! It’s called Baby Bears and Birch Trees. (Funny that I felt called to paint bears in the trees, rather than the views of the mountain tops. ;))

Baby Bears and Birch Trees

See if you can spot the little butterfly in this piece teasing the playful baby bear!

Hope your day is as playful and adventurous as that of a new baby bear curiously exploring the magic that our earth has to offer.



As a side note, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that this picture is based off of two photographs taken of one single bear cub we saw on our trip. We watched this baby bear play in the trees for quite a while and we were sure to take several pictures.

Once I was back home and started sketching out this piece, I was stuck between two pictures of the bear, so I asked my partner, Josh, which picture he preferred, and he said, “Why don’t you draw both?!”

So thank you Josh. This piece wouldn’t be the same without you. 😉

Emanate Joy — Apple of my Heart

Lately, my life has been moving very fast. All sorts of different possibilities for my future have been popping up left and right. Things I have dreamed about and been asking for, my whole life.

The possibility to participate in my first art show.
The chance to create and sell my very own artwork at a couple local galleries.
The opportunity to teach art at a local school.
The possibility to go back to school to study something (very different from art) that I am deeply interested in.
The chance to work on a large scale rebrand with my dream clients, who truly value strong graphic design skills, branding and marketing knowledge.

When I really sit down to think about it I am blown away. And very very grateful.

But with so much going on, I find myself getting lost in the hustle and bustle, and rarely do I take the time to stop and breath and truly, consciously appreciate all that I have in my life, and all that I am so so fortunate has come my way.

So this week I have chosen to stop living in the hustle and bustle and be present and grateful.

To do this, I have been reminding myself, during moments when my mind gets wondering off in all my to-do’s, Emily, what is important right now? What are you grateful for in this moment?

This often happens while I am driving. So for a moment, I take a look around and I say thank you trees, for your beauty, for cleaning the air, for helping bring rain. Thank you crops, for feeding our world. Thank you farmers for working so hard to provide for us as well.

I also think of all the special moments that have happened, that day or that week, that brought me joy, that I am so grateful for.

This is usually, cuddles with my puppy and my partner. Tea in the morning sunshine on the weekends. A long walk we had the night before. Watching the sunset in the evening. People in my life who I love and who love me.

As a dreamer, it is my natural state to be thinking about the future and living in my head. it is important I keep myself grounded. And using practices like asking what is important in the moment — what I am grateful for in that moment — is a really awesome exercise to bring me back down to Earth, to the present.

A few weekends ago I had the pleasure of working on a task that required manual labour, and hands on work. (Something that I rarely have the opportunity to do, since most of my day is spent on the computer.)

I recently moved into a yard with a lot of apple trees. A lot is an understatement. There are probably close to ten apple trees!!! And this year, they produced soooo many apples.

So I asked my grandma if I could have her hand preparing the apples into apple sauce and juice.

I spent nearly an entire weekend cooking, juicing and squishing apples, with my grandma’s expertise and company.

It was a special weekend. A weekend where I was truly present.

I was so thankful for my home, my yard, the trees, for all that they provided for me.

And I was so thankful for my grandma. For taking the time out of her busy schedule to teach me a task that to her, was probably old news, but to me was the start of something new and exciting.

Not to mention that my grandma’s presence is truly special in itself. From the moment I see her and give her a warm welcome hug, I am beaming with joy and love.

As I was working away I was also reminded of my Papa. Another very special person in my life. He passed away less than a year ago. Apple sauce was one of our many “things”. Every time I came for a visit he would send me home with apple sauce (and probably potato soup too) and many evenings after being at my grandparents for supper, we would sit down to have a bowl of apple sauce and cream for dessert.

I surrounded myself with these loving memories and felt very close to my Papa in those moments.

All in all, it was one of my favourite weekends this summer. And it was such a simple weekend. I guess true happiness does come from the simple things in life.

So to commemorate that weekend, to celebrate thanksgiving (which is nearly here) to say thank you to the apples, the apple trees, my grandma and papa I created this piece.

Fruitful Fall

I hope you sense the gratitude and joy from this piece. Even while you simply look at it on your screen.

If you would like to see this piece in person, and surround yourself in it’s gratitude and love, I am happy to say it is now for sale at Inspire Studio in Minnedosa! Feel free to stop by to take a look.

May the messages from today’s piece inspire us to incorporate daily gratitude practices into our life. May we realize that joy is a choice, we just have to look for it and choose it. And may we be open to the perspective that true happiness can come from the simplest of times, doing the most mundane and ordinary tasks.

Have a sunny day!


Emanate Joy — Bee Chive

This piece was created a few weeks ago in preparation for my first ever art show! But the inspiration for this piece came to me in the early summer months.

I remember the evening vividly. I was wondering around aimlessly one night feeling “meh”. It was a Sunday. My weekend wasn’t very productive, but it was busy! Filled with all sorts of summer activities, as summer weekends usually go. I told myself, “You need to get out if this mindset. You have no reason to feel this way!”

I remember a dear friend of mine, Jessica Klassen, once telling me of a day where she felt off. All she did, to change her feelings, was ask the Earth to show her some magic. Within moments her favourite hen, on her big farm, greeted her at the front door. Jess could sense the hen’s peppy, sassy presence and so she mindfully appreciated the hen coming to her rescue and her entire mood changed in that instant.

Sometimes it takes only a small gesture or moment to flip our attention and make us realize that the joy of life doesn’t have to be grand and glorious, the truth is, it surrounds us each and everyday, in both big and small ways, we need only to look for it!

So in that moment, on that quiet Sunday night, I asked, “Earth what will it take for me to see your magic?” At this time I was standing out on my porch in a house coat. My view was beautiful. It was a warm summer night. But that’s not what caught my attention.

Within the flower bed alongside the porch, we have a small plant of chives. At this time of year the chives had big, bright, purple flowers. Buzzing around the flowers were close to 10 bees!! And a couple butterflies too. It was quite the sight.

I ran back inside to grab my camera and capture the moment. It was beautiful. The hum of the bees at work was so peaceful. I took pictures from every angle, coming within inches of some of the bees.

In that instant my mood changed.

“Earth,” I thought to myself, “thank you. For opening my eyes and allowing me to see your magic. What will it take to have this vision all the time?!”

Take this moment now, to put down your phone or glance away from your laptop and allow something to catch your gaze that brings you joy. Find reasons to be grateful for this object and the memories it holds and bask in that feeling.

May you realize that life carries joy and magic all the time, in every moment. You just have to look for it.

Have a sunny day friends!