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Blogging is all about speaking from the heart, sharing your passion with others, and building community.

My favourite part of blogging is collaborating with others. 

If you have a project that you think I would be interested in or a story I should hear, I would simply LOVE to hear the details. 

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Looking forward to meeting you! 

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The Self-Discovery Retreat by Arianna Merritt, MEd

Training people to be confident & persistent. Facilitated by: Arianna Merritt, MEd. #BeBrightYou

To My Sisters: Go After Your Dreams!

Arianna Merritt

For as long as I can remember, I have been an older sister to two of the most strong, talented, and beautiful of women. I love them dearly. They inspire me daily to be my best self. So because my sisters and others are reading and learning from me through my blog, I wanted to share a story that serves as a good reminder that it’s not that you fall that matters, it’s that you get back up!!

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Avoid Burnout & Make Self-Care A Priority!

Arianna Merritt

When you are hungry, you refuel with food. When you are thirsty, you rehydrate with water. What happens, though, if your mental energy is burning out from overwork or stress?!

(c) Arianna Merritt

(c) Arianna Merritt

For the past few months, I have taken a break from the blog after regular posting. During that time I was going through a lot and my mental energy was being depleted. So to empower myself, I disconnected and took a much-needed break to recharge. Truly speaking, I was exhausted from work and personal stuff. So instead of posting online on the blog, I spent my time with notebooks and my camera, envisioning the next steps for the online space I have spent the last seven years creating. Now, I am renewed and energized. Making myself a priority in the busy world of entrepreneurship was exactly what I needed.

During the break, I gained insight that I had never admitted to myself. Through reflecting on my past, I came to the realization that for years past, I had been silently struggling with burnout but had never been aware of it and didn’t talk to anyone about it.  During my twenties, I had been burning the candle from both ends. I didn’t make self-care a priority; rather, I put myself last. I thought that taking care of myself and/or taking a break would make me seem weak and would decrease my productivity. But I have since realized how I was wrong.

(c) Arianna Merritt

(c) Arianna Merritt

You see, for as long as I can remember, I have been putting one foot in front of the other working hard towards my dream. Being born and raised in Ottawa, like many others, I approached work like a machine. Then, after 22 years of being on the over-achievement train, I remember finally getting my first rest stop after graduation from university when I decided to visit the West Coast.  Until that point, for the four years of my degree, I had been on full-steam ahead with no breaks. I only knew one speed: fast!!! And I had quite a few races to run at the same time while speeding along!!!!!!!  First race, I was pursuing my Bachelor of Science degree full-time, which had double the class time and coursework of most other undergraduate programs. Second race, I was working at a huge, super busy grocery store in the deli, a few evenings a week and every weekend all day. Third, fourth, and fifth races and beyond included doing school work, maintaining a social life, commuting, volunteering, or sleeping when I could. Talk about interval training!!! I felt like a machine, going through the motions towards a goal automatically and endlessly, never taking a break.

I didn’t think there was any other way! I didn’t have time to process what I was doing or to consider that there was another way to do things. I was on auto-pilot.

After four years on the steam train, the rest stop was a powerful lesson: it’s a wakeup call for how to re-tune my life. On getting out to the West Coast from Ontario, I remember breathing a sigh of relief.  Initially, the “No Worries” mentality that West Coasters’ embraced was a stark contrast to the life I had known in Ontario. I was curious and initially a bit skeptical about this laid-back West Coast lifestyle; some of the stories I’d heard were that people didn’t work but spent all their days surfing. Soon, I realized that such stories were completely wrong. West Coasters showed me that being carefree didn’t mean a person doesn’t work hard; the laid-back lifestyle had nothing to do with the amount or intensity of a person’s work.  Rather, the people I met worked hard but also made time for activities they enjoyed. On the West Coast, I was surrounded by productivity, innovation, and creativity, yet there was calmness. These individuals lived in a culture where self-care was embraced!! Being in this beautiful setting refueled me. Like the ocean weathering a stone, making it smooth with its constant quiet motion, the West Coast taught me that we all need to make self-care a priority in our busy lives.  Life is short. Enjoy the ride. 

(c) Arianna Merritt

(c) Arianna Merritt

Fast forward one more degree and years of experience later. Now, I am an entrepreneur and on a new steam train moving forward towards my goals, but I am doing things more efficiently. Entrepreneurship is a solo business, and we entrepreneurs have to be our own best advocates. As I saw my gauge of mental energy getting depleted recently, I decided to take time off to do what is best for me: recharge my batteries. Dreaming about where this blog is going is how I chose to re-charge. 

Time off allowed me to realize that so many of us put others’ needs first, and our own needs last.  But this should change: our own self-care should be fundamental!

For me, on this blog, I am committed to being real and showing up and sharing my light! But while I love working hard, I also need self-care; it will strengthen me; it will help me avoid burnout; it will keep my inner spark burning! Moving forward, I am committed to helping prevent burnout in all of us. Self-care can do the same for you as well!! It can help you sidestep stress and overwork!! It can give you calm and focus.

There is only one sun, as there is only one you! You just have to keep shining and not let overwork or stress deplete your mental energy. Like the world needs the sun, we need you to shine your light and be you! You have such a beautiful purpose. Making self-care a priority will keep your spark ignited!

(c) Arianna Merritt

(c) Arianna Merritt


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Get to Know: Leon Logothetis

Arianna Merritt

The world needs our kindness. As you know, I am on a mission to use my platform to spread positivity and kindness globally. Earlier last month, my sister discovered The Kindness Diaries on Netflix and simply told me I had to watch it. So, I did. If you haven’t seen the series, it is about a man (Leon Logothetis) who travels the world relying on the kindness of strangers.

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Be Kind Online

Arianna Merritt

An online presence is commonplace these days. The online environment can really help you thrive by connecting with others! 

Since starting my blog six years ago, I have talked to many people who are fearful of showing up and being seen online. Due to this fear, they either don’t put themselves out there or if they do, they do it in a way that doesn’t showcase their strengths. It takes courage to put yourself out there and be seen on a global stage; one bad occurrence may stop you completely. I can relate.

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Your Voice Matters. You matter. Don't ever forget that.

Arianna Merritt

Here you are a smart, strong, beautiful young woman who graduated and is now working hard to make your way in the world. You are ambitious and have this fire in your heart to make the world a better place. You want your voice to be heard and have the capabilities to lead. Yet, on your rise to the top, you are having a hard time being taken seriously and being seen as more than a just pretty face. Sound familiar?

On my personal journey developing a career as a professional woman, I have been dealt many waves to de-stabalize me along my way; some involve criticism, some relate to unequal power dynamics. These waves can get me off my game, faking me out to believe I am unworthy or that my voice doesn’t matter.

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Get to Know: Andrea Burk

Arianna Merritt

Today, I am excited to bring you one of my role models, Andrea Burk. Through sport, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Andrea several times.  She lights up the room with her awesome smile and infectious energy. She has achieved great success in women’s rugby, as well as in speaking and leadership development.

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Maria Gonzalez on the Importance of Staying in the Present

Arianna Merritt

Today, I invited Maria Gonzalez to share with us how taking care of herself through mindfulness has elevated her business and personal life. Maria Gonzalez (BCom, MBA) is an award-winning and best-selling author and a 30-year business veteran as a corporate executive and entrepreneur.  She believes that Mindfulness transforms lives and organizations, and that it has the potential to transform society. She has been meditating regularly since 1991 and teaching Mindfulness since 2002. I’m so grateful to share her wise words with you all! 

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Entrepreneur Jac McNeil Reminds Us to Make Self-Care a Priority!

Arianna Merritt

How can self-care REALLY help my career? Do I really have to make it a priority?

These are common questions I am often asked by busy people trying to stay afloat. With all the demands of our fast-paced lives, many of us put ourselves last and think of self-care as sleep.

However, putting ourselves on the backburner isn’t good for us. I couldn’t agree more.  Self-care is so much more than sleep. We need time to think, create, and innovate. So I invited Jac to share how making self-care a priority has empowered her as a wife, mom, and owner of two businesses.

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Learn Self-Care Strategies from Camosun College Psychology Instructor Dr. Judy Caldwell

Arianna Merritt

Do you find teaching stressful?  

Teaching is a demanding job; it has been said to be one of the most stressful jobs, as it can be 24/7 focusing on students’ needs. Camosun College psychology instructor Dr. Judy Caldwell has been teaching 1st and 2nd year psychology courses at Camosun for the past 16 years. Over that time, she has learned how to find work/life balance. I had the pleasure of working with Judy for a year while I was the department’s Instructional Assistant. Being in her presence and seeing the bright energy she brought to the classroom daily, I had to ask her to share her insight to inspire our days to be more positive. 

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How Do You Find Deep Friendships After Graduation?

Arianna Merritt

For some it may be a cup (or more) of coffee, or working out in some capacity. As a coffee-lover and athlete both of those work well for me but what really brightens my day are deep authentic connections with others. When I am surrounded by a group of kindhearted individuals that I truly care about, I feel at peace and inspiring ideas just flow.

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