Forgiving all that it means to be human

WHB Yolanda Hadid - Forgiveness 2

Nobody is perfect. This applies to our friends, our parents, our significant others, and ourselves. It would be a sad day/month/life to walk around with a cold unforgiving heart, holding onto the “wrong” words, actions, and humanly flaws of others.

When we are unable to forgive, when we are harsh with others, we subconsciously create the space for others to mirror our behaviour. Everything begets everything. Being unforgiving begets others being unforgiving of you.

That does NOT mean doing or saying things we don’t mean just to get what we want (that’s called being manipulative). It takes a STRENGTH to be able to genuinely look within, and see and call out your own behaviours that may be limiting the love, happiness, and freedom you do or could have in your life.

Love begets love; courage, humility, strength, empowerment. And in the face of those who don’t accept your forgiveness, know that it likely has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with what they’re going through.

Instagram @WhereHappinessBegins_

Magic Hour in Paris


Early mornings and magic hour.

None so beautiful as when the gentle light kisses his lover’s face. Bathed in loved, bodies intertwined; basking in the hopes of an eternal tomorrow.

Location: Paris, France
Highlights: The view from my hotel window of cars passing by, navigating the roundabout. A flock of Parisians at the bistro across the street, starting their mornings with the ritual espresso and accompanying “C” – croissant or cigarette. Or both.

Instagram @WhereHappinessBegins_

Body Image: How You Feel Matters

Do you know how many times I’ve missed going out with friends and meeting people, turned down a new experience, or been in a snappy mood because I didn’t “feel” good about how I look?

Keyword: Feel. NO, I am NOT defined by my body, or how society and pop-culture trends deem I should look right now. AND, the appearance of my body and how I feel about it is often a direct reflection of my inner state.

When I’ve been taking care of my inner world – through nutrition, fitness, downtime, creativity, sleep – it manifests through my body in the quality of my skin, hair, weight, attitude, mental clarity, and emotional wellbeing.

Beauty stems from the inside out, not the other way around. So no, it may not be about how you look, but how you FEEL about how you look matters. The next time you’re feeling down about yourself, look inward and nurture the crap out of yourself until you feel like a queen again. Corny, but true.

Instagram @WhereHappinessBegins_

When in Basel… featuring artwork by Bacon Giacometti


When in Basel…

There’s something to be said about the quiet stillness of an art gallery, or museum; a temple, or cathedral; the sound of calm ocean waters pushing up against the shore, or the profound vastness and silence at the top of a mountain.

It’s interesting how chaotic life will get, and it’s not until I have some quiet time alone that I notice just how LOUD life was getting. Some people find silence deafening. I find a loud, distracted life deafening because I am unable to hear and be connected to my inner voice and thoughts.

I start to live a very ordinary and reactive life, floating from place to place, staying super “busy” with no clear intention. Running in place with nowhere to go, as I like to call it.

Tonight, no matter where I am, what I’m doing, or who I’m with – I will be grounded, I will be loving, I will be present, and find moments of stillness even in the chaos.

Instagram @WhereHappinessBegins_

Everything I Am, Everything I’m Not

WHB I Love Myself 1

I love my parents, and for the majority of my life, I’ve always felt they were very critical of me. It was always done with the best intent, of course. Unfortunately, good intentions don’t always give you the results you want.

Although I’ve been working on my wellness and self-development for years, it wasn’t until 6 months ago that I realized just how much that DEEPLY engrained negative self-talk affected virtually every area of my life.

My negative self-talk is so prevalent and yet so engrained in my subconscious, that I never even realized there was an OPTION for me not to engage with it. My negative self-talk wasn’t just an opinion, but they were ‘FACTS’ I thought I knew about myself that were simply a part of my identity.

In my head, it was a “fact” that I’m fat and lazy. It was a “fact” that I’m a procrastinator, annoying, unlovable, not good enough. It was a “fact” that I will never be as successful as my father. It was a “fact” that unless I looked, earned, or behaved like SYZ, I must be a bad person. To my brain, those were just FACTS, just as my eyes are brown, and I like to eat lasagne… FACTS, people!!

I’m not sure when these thoughts will ever go away, or if they ever will. What I do know is I’m determined to HEAR those thoughts, and replace them with something new and empowering every day. And that I love myself, for everything I am, and everything I’m not – even when it’s hard to.

I love this Tedx Talk: “The Skill of Having Confidence” by Dr. Ivan Joseph, athletic director and head coach of the varsity soccer team at Ryerson University.

In it, he loosely references one of my all-time favourite poems, Invictus by William Ernest Henley: I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.

#WhereHappinessBegins #HappyThoughts
Instagram @WhereHappinessBegins_

True Love Begins with Me, Myself & I

WHB When I Love Myself Quote

One thing I’ve really struggled with in my relationships is the ability to love myself first, and really owning my value and self-worth.

I’m constantly going back & forth between feeling super confident, loving and independent – and being needy, jealous and insecure. The difference is SO distinct, I actually refer to them as two separate states of being:

The WOMAN is confident, in touch with her emotions, logical, sensual, brave, and knows her worth. The LITTLE GIRL is insecure, indecisive, anxious, fearful, lives in past hurts, and needs constant validation.

What I’ve realized is The Little Girl tends to surface when I’ve been neglecting the habits and actions I know I NEED in order to keep my proverbial “cup” full and happy:

  • Some kind of movement and fresh air at least 3-4x per week
  • At least 6-7 hours of sleep at a reasonable hour
  • Mindful eating
  • Making sure I’m productive at work
  • Taking actions towards my dreams/goals
  • Taking actions and having honest conversations when something is bothering me
  • Keeping my home/environment organized and clean
  • Having a creative outlet/nurturing my craft(s)
  • Connecting with my community and the people I care about
  • Having enough reflective downtime
  • Making sure my partner and I are connected and spending quality time together

The list goes on!

I realize that no matter how amazing, patient, and incredible my partner may be, or how often he says the right things, I am only TRULY capable of allowing him to love me to the extent that I love myself. It all begins with me, myself, and I.

#WhereHappinessBegins #HappyThoughts
Instagram @WhereHappinessBegins_

Love in Chicago


To me, happiness begins right here. At 640am, with the love of my life, straight from the airport after over 12 hours of travel from Vancouver > Seattle > Chicago, because it was too early to check into our Air BnB.

Whenever I see this photo, I’m filled with so much joy. I love how the shadows complement the light (as they always do). And the quietness of the coffee shop just before the 730am rush.

Location: La Colombe Coffee on N. Clark & Foster Ave, Chicago, Illinois
Highlights: Almond milk cappuccino; Almond milk ‘Pure Black and Tan’ draft latte

#WhereHappinessBegins #HappyTravels #CraveGoodCoffee
Instagram @WhereHappinessBegins_

Finding Where Happiness Begins

You’re – We’re – I’m it, babe.

I’m a firm believer in the notion that you are the only one responsible for your happiness, and making sure your “cup” is filled.

Others can contribute to your having LOVE, FRIENDSHIP, SUPPORT, LAUGHTER, ADVENTURE, AFFIRMATION, even SUCCESS—and if you’re not happy, confident, or fulfilled on the inside, none of it matters. Others can contribute to momentary happiness.

Ultimately, if you’re not happy with you, there’s nothing anyone else can do, say, give, or buy that will truly fill that void.

I won’t lie. It’s a bit of a rollercoaster ride. Some days, shit gets real messy. And you know what? Here’s to finding self-love, KINDNESS, gratitude, laughter, adventure, and kicking ass in spite of it ALL.

#WhereHappinessBegins #HappyThoughts
Instagram @WhereHappinessBegins_