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 Project

What is that one thing in your life that you can’t live without? The thing that pulls you into a magical, wonderful space of peace, freedom, and unimaginable joy? Almost like being a little kid again where the responsibilities of life fade away!

What is your magical thing? Is it dance? Yoga? Swimming? Socializing? Horse-back riding? Traveling? Jogging? We all have it. Some of us have one, some of us have ten.

Maybe some of us haven’t found it yet, but believe me, it’s out there! Don’t be afraid to try new things, keep an open mind, go outside your comfort zone, believe in yourself, ask the universe and it will show up!

But, how many of you have found it already? (Probably quite a few I bet). And how many of us actually make time for it each and every day? (Guilty, not me!). If you do, that is fabulous!!! Share your secrets below. But if you’re like me, keep reading …

I know what brings me joy. What makes me feel alive. And yet, it’s last on my priority list.

I complain that I don’t feel like myself. I don’t feel motivated enough. Or have enough energy.

All it would take is making that one magical thing a priority, and all my worries would fade away!

But yet, I don’t do it. It’s always last on my list.

Isn’t that the craziest, most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard? Why do we do this to ourselves!

Oh brother.

There are many things that bring me joy. Many of the things mentioned above in fact. But the one thing that makes me feel more like myself, more magical and wonderful than anything else? Being creative!

Imagining new beautiful things in my head, putting them on paper, canvas, where-ever, and showing them to the world. Inspiring others. Bringing joy to others. That is my purpose.

This may sound obvious to you. Many of you are probably thinking, “Oh Emily, of course your thing is being creative, you’ve been an artist your whole life!”. But surprisingly, I did not truly encounter this magical feeling and knowing until just last year around this time, when I started working on The Sapling.

I may have always been creative, and have always drawn and painted, but never like this before. Never taking images from my head and putting them on paper.

Ever since I discovered that magical feeling while working on The Sapling, I have been chasing it! And honestly, the only time I feel it is when I totally let loose and create from my soul.

So, moral of that story, your magical thing could be right in front of you! Maybe you aren’t looking at it from the right perspective, or doing it from a totally unfearful, truly you, space.

To clarify, another example might be dancing a routine instead of dancing the way your body moves you. The routine is probably the safer option, but when you allow the music to move you freely, that may be when you are truly vulnerable, and being truly you — just a thought!

The reason I am writing this blog is because I am tired of not making that magical, joyful thing a priority in my life! Who else feels this way too?

Today is a day of change.

Take this as a sign to find your magical thing, your purpose, and pursue it, make it a priority.

I promise all of you that I will do just that. I will create each and every day.

I need to do this for myself, but I also need to do this for all of you. Because not only am I suffering for holding this huge part of me back, but all of you are suffering too.

The truth is, when we allow ourselves to function from our highest, truest potential, be who we are meant to be, and follow our purpose, it helps those around us head in the direction of their highest, truest potential too. It inspires others to follow their dreams and be who they are meant to be. In return they will be more joyful, generous, loving and simply more caring. It truly makes the world a greater place.

It’s like a wonderful chain reaction of joy!!

So, in keeping with my promise, I have created a new personal project! It’s called, Emanate Joy Project!

Once a week or so, I will post a new artistic creation, followed by a brief back story of how it came to be, in the hopes that it will bring joy and inspire those that see it. Hopefully it will start that chain reaction of joy!

I will be presenting them on my blog! So subscribe below if you would like to see future works.

You will also see them on my Facebook page and Instagram feed under Emanate Creative Services, so feel free to follow those too.

Let’s emanate some joy. 🙂