Things I've learned in 35 years on Earth...

If you’ve been following along at my Facebook page, you’ll have noticed me posting little tidbits of wisdom that I’ve acquired, leading up to my birthday. Today’s #36 for me, and I have never felt so thankful, happy, and blessed to be alive.


 Things I’ve learned in 35 years on earth…

Here are all the little wisdom nuggets I’ve shared, collected all in one place, plus a few bonus thoughts just for this post. What would you add to the list?

  1. When you go on vacation, always clean your apartment and put fresh sheets on the bed. You’ll appreciate it so much when you get home!

  2. Learn how to save money when you’re young. It’s a skill you’ll be thankful for later on in life.

  3. Don’t settle. If it’s not a “HELL YES!!” - it’s a no.

  4. No one is perfect. Not even me.

  5. Learn how to trust your instincts, and always follow them. They won’t steer you wrong.

  6. Find the balance between boundaries and forgiveness.

  7. Self-care is of the highest importance. You can’t take care of anyone else if you don’t take care of you.

  8. If you’re not happy with yourself, you won’t be happy in a relationship.

  9. Always choose kindness.

  10. Make time to sit in silence.

  11. There is always something to be grateful for…

  12. A “failure” is only failure if you’ve failed to learn something from it…

  13. Learning is a life-long process.

  14. Self-growth is messy but beautiful. It’s okay not to be the same person you were yesterday, and it’s okay if people don’t accept the new version of you.

  15. People are brought into your life for specific reasons - reasons you may not even realize until months or years later.

  16. Music transcends boundaries. When you can’t find the words, find the song.

  17. Believe in magic and always maintain your sense of wonder.

  18. Approach everyone you meet with an open mind and an open heart.

  19. Give more than what you take.

  20. Diversify. Make friends with people of different ages, races, sexual orientations, genders, etc.

  21. Always love. Give as much love as you can. There will never be too much love in the world.

  22. Embrace a growth mindset. Just because you did something wrong in the past, doesn’t mean you have to stand by it in the present.

  23. Trust that the universe is giving you exactly what you need, at any given time - whether it’s a gift or a lesson.

  24. The best things in life cannot be bought. Happiness and love come from within, and they are best cultivated through gratitude.

Celebrate Your Accomplishments

A while back, on Facebook and Instagram, I shared a post that resonated with a lot of people - it simply said "Celebrate Your Success." In the comments of that post, so many people shared with me both big and small accomplishments that they had achieved.

It was such a nice post because not only did people share their own accomplishments - they also gave likes and hearts to others (total strangers) that posted accomplishments as well!

It's an extremely heartwarming feeling to grow a community, and a community grows through support. Today, I'd like to share a new printable with you all, to further that support! 

Celebrate Your Accomplishments

The full resolution printable is available in the freebies section of the website (get the password when you join the mailing list) as well as in the files section of The Happy Break-up Facebook Group. I hope that when you download and print the file, you'll be inspired to share your own accomplishments as well! 

This image can be used simply as inspiration - print and frame or add to a bulletin board or journal - or you can use it as you would use the pages of The Happy Break-up. Print it out, and write your own accomplishments right on the page. Use it to build confidence and always remember the great things you have achieved! 

I'll be sharing my own version in The Happy Break-up Facebook Group and I hope you'll join me there and share yours as well!

xo,
Cate

The Happy Break-up: Launch Party!

On Wednesday, April 25th, we hit the ground running, and officially launched The Happy Break-up  out into the world, with a launch party that took place at Tequila Bookworm in Toronto! It was a beautiful night, celebrating the hard work that went into making the book, celebrating women, celebrating empowerment and love. 

I recently received photos from our photographer, Lila Beijer, and wanted to share a few of them with you all! Enjoy! Check out my facebook page for more.

The Soundtrack To Your Breakup

Aah, music: the heartbeat of life. 

I don't know about you, but when I go through a breakup, music suddenly becomes so much more relevant. And, my music must follow a theme - kind of like the stages of grief. When I'm feeling sad, I only want to listen to sad songs. When I'm feeling angry, the songs are filled with rage. I know I'm getting to a pretty great place when I'm ready to listen to my "powerful" playlist - all about empowerment and strength. 

 Break-Up playlist, music quote: The Happy Break-Up Online Launch Party

So, just for you on Online Launch Party day, I've created three different playlists with some of my favourite break-up anthems!

First up, we have "sad"

This playlist features some of my all time favourite sad songs including: 
Our Lady Peace - Are You Sad?
"just stop pretending when they say you're nothing"

Sam Smith - I'm Not The Only One
"I wish this would be over now, but I know that I still need you here"

Blue Rodeo - Bad Timing
"It just reminds us of the cost of everything we've lost.  Bad timing that's all"

Then we move into "angry" which features the likes of:

Billy Talent - The Ex
"Well, I heard she's great and her new boyfriend's lame, She can go to hell I'll never be the same!"

Luke Doucet - Broken One
"One day you're gonna miss me. One day you're gonna wake up cold
Then you'll wish that you could kiss me when you're old and you're alone
"

And what angry playlist would be complete without...
Alanis Morrissette - You Oughta Know
"And every time you speak her name does she know how you told me you'd hold me until you died, 'Til you died, but you're still alive"

Finally, we move into my favourite playlist: "Empowered".

The very first song that came to mind for this playlist was my theme song following my divorce:
Katy Perry - Roar
"I went from zero, to my own hero"

The Dixie Chicks - Goodbye Earl (there's video of me singing this song at Karaoke in Newfoundland somewhere!)
"Well, the weeks went by and spring turned to summer, and summer faded into fall
And it turns out he was a missing person who nobody missed at all"

And, of course, the quintessential moving on from breakup song:

Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive
"I should have changed that stupid lock, I should have made you leave your key
If I'd known for just one second you'd be back to bother me"

 

There's lots more awesome music on those playlists, so make sure you check them out. 

This post is part of The Happy Break-up Online Launch Party event. Follow that link to come chat with us about break-ups, music and more! Or leave a comment right here with your favourite break-up song, for any of these lists!

The Happy Break-up is available now on Amazon:

Important 👉🏼 Please click on the “Golden Brick Road Publishing House add to cart” from the buying options to get our premium print version👇🏼
CANADA: https://amzn.to/2HuhZxh

USA (I suggest using the above link, alternatively USA is print on demand version - simply add to cart): https://amzn.to/2vJB8pk

What's Your Why?

As we get closer to book launch day, I want to dive in a little bit deeper to some of the content you’ll find in The Happy Break-up. Every page in the book was well thought-out in order to help you achieve optimal levels of confidence post-breakup.

 What's your why? Find your motivation to increase your self confidence and self esteem after a break-up. 

 

The book starts out by asking you this exact question – what’s your why?

You may have heard this phrase before – the reason for it is to find your purpose, your drive, your motivation, your destiny. 

When you pick up The Happy Break-up, you’re making a decision to move beyond the initial sadness and heartache of a break-up, and get back to the fundamentals of YOU.

Countless studies have shown that the absolute best motivation is an internal motivation. Finding that drive to encourage yourself, when no one else will, is essential to changing your thought patterns and behaviour.

On this page of the book, I want you to reflect on why you’re doing this – why now? What is making you feel ready to move on?

Having a WHY is the key to figuring out and enduring the HOW.

Writing it down is key. You want to do this activity on a day that you’re feeling focused, energized, and wholeheartedly believe that you are ready to move on from this break-up.

Why? Because this is the page that you’re going to come back to constantly – to remind yourself of why you’re doing all this heavy emotional baggage lifting. Though there may still be sad days ahead, or days where you feel defeated, having a written reminder of why you started this process in the first place can help turn a bad day into a good one, or just be a gentle nudge to make tomorrow a little bit better.  

If you feel comfortable, I’d love to hear what your “why” is – please share below in the comments!

Peak time of year for break-ups

Ever since I dove headfirst into undertaking my masters program, while at the same time publishing a book, I’ve become a big researcher. So, as I began to think about The Happy Break-Up being published, I thought about what other topics are out there, about break-ups.

Guys. There is SO much out there.

Like, did you know that today, April 1, is one of the peak days for break-ups? Read on to find out why.

According to Facebook, the absolute most common day for a break-up is December 11.

Why December 11?

Well, there’s a few theories out there. It’s two weeks until Christmas – perhaps there’s a fear of introducing your partner to the family? Maybe you find yourself shopping for holiday gifts, and you realize that you don’t want to spend the holidays with this person at all. Holidays bring out a lot of stress in people – sometimes the relationship just can’t handle the stress, and it becomes a casualty of the moment.

Oddly (thankfully?) Christmas Day – December 25, is statistically the least likely day for couples to break up. So there’s something.

Other popular days and times for breakups are:

Valentine’s Day – February 14

Breaking up on the “most romantic” day of the year? Well, again, there is the stress of the holiday. Or sometimes, it’s a planned break. A partner decides that they want to get revenge, so they break up on a socially significant day.

Spring Break

So – I’ve been pretty active on twitter recently, and I befriended a few younger Tweeters. Recently, they showed me some posts that exposed exactly what happens in Miami on Spring Break. I must say, I’m pretty glad I had never seen that before now. My eyes are scarred. But it totally makes sense that couples might break up before Spring Break, especially if they’re planning a wild trip.

April Fool’s Day – April 1

My thoughts on this? April Fool’s is a day for pranks. Perhaps there’s a few people out there who decide to “prank” their partner, only it’s not so much a prank. Splitsville just in time for some good weather!

Summer

Finally, there’s a slight peak for breakups spread out throughout the summer months. Ahh summer – happy, free-loving spirits, wearing as minimal clothing as possible to cope with the summer heat. Wandering eyes might wonder what their missing, might be meeting new people at the beach or at a summer party, and might just be ready to cut themselves loose from the relationship ties. It makes sense.

What do you think about these statistics? Have you ever broken up with someone, or been broken up with on one of these days?

Leave me a comment and let me know!

 

Wisdom Nugget #11: I ascribe reason to the things that happen

In my book, The Happy Break-Up, I've included what I like to call "Wisdom Nuggets." Wisdom Nuggets are short, one-page bursts of enlightenment I've gained in my time on this planet. You may choose to agree or disagree, either way, I'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback. I present to you now, Wisdom Nugget #11:

It’s not “everything happens for a reason” – it’s “I ascribe reason to the things that happen”

Life is full of cosmic coincidences – some are good, some are not so good. When people say, “everything happens for a reason,” it’s generally meant as a source of comfort – but how comforting is it, really? In the wake of a horrific tragedy, whether it’s on a personal or a worldly level, saying “everything happens for a reason” feeds powerlessness and complacency to a situation that may be completely random to begin with.

Suppose, for a moment, we turn that statement around, and say, “I ascribe reason to the things that happen.” Now, we can take that random situation, and give it some thought. Instead of an arbitrary event, we can begin looking at the significance behind it – the causal chain of events, the human error and irrationality, or the freak accidents that led to it. And instead of assigning it an arbitrary meaning, we can ascribe our own meaning to it. How it specifically affected our own lives, and what we’re going to do about it. Suddenly, we find ourselves sitting in a position of power, rather than hopelessness.

When we think about this in terms of a break-up, it makes sense that we would try to comfort ourselves in thinking that there’s some cosmic reason for our heartbreak that we just don’t understand. But when we determine our own reason, we can be mindful of the elements that led to the breakup. We can be aware of what we’re willing to accept in a future relationship, and where we draw the line. Take back your power and create your own meaning, because one thing I know for sure is that if you don't figure out the reason things keep happening, you are bound to encounter the same issues, over and over again.

 I ascribe reason to the things that happen - Cate Gennaro. Hand-lettered quote

Self-Care for Self-Preservation

Self-Care has been an important element of my life, even before I had ever heard the phrase "self-care." For me, self-care means retreating inward, and finding that balance between the pressure and requirements of every day life, and the mental rejuvenation needed to keep it going. 

 This image also appears on  my instagram page  - stop by and follow me there for more like this!

This image also appears on my instagram page - stop by and follow me there for more like this!

In January of 2016, I read a book that has changed my life. The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod invites readers to add 6 simple tasks into their morning ritual, that will make them more productive, thoughtful and happier. And it works! 

My absolute favourite parts of the Miracle Morning are meditation, positive affirmations, and journalling. If I can't get through the entire six steps for whatever reason, I always make sure that those three are done first and foremost. Today, I hit my 500 day streak in each of those categories, and it makes me feel amazing! Meditation helps me be still and aware. Positive Affirmations help me build confidence. And Journalling helps me reflect on who I was, who I am, and who I want to become. I highly encourage all who are interested to pick up on these daily habits, try it out for the entire month of February, and then come back and let me know how you've changed!

I'd love to hear some of your self-care rituals, your favourite positive affirmations or mantras, or anything else you'd like to share on the topic in the comments below.

meditate_500.jpg

Love,
Cate

P.S. for anyone who is wondering how I know that I hit my 500 day streak today, I use this awesome app called Coach.Me. It lets you choose the habits you want to form, and then check into them every day that you've completed the task. Highly recommend! 

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"Good" lettering tutorial

Diane commented on my Instagram post this morning, asking for a tutorial on how to draw the word "Good" - I'm happy to oblige! 

 1. The first thing I always do is lightly (in pencil) draw a line. I'm not sure how others do it, but I absolutely cannot letter straight without some sort of guideline. 

1. The first thing I always do is lightly (in pencil) draw a line. I'm not sure how others do it, but I absolutely cannot letter straight without some sort of guideline. 

 2. I also prefer to lightly draw the word in pencil, before tracing it in marker. This allows me to adjust any weird spacing issues, or if I just don't like how a letter turned out, before I commit to ink.

2. I also prefer to lightly draw the word in pencil, before tracing it in marker. This allows me to adjust any weird spacing issues, or if I just don't like how a letter turned out, before I commit to ink.

 3. Trace the letters in marker. The key is to use heavy pressure on downward strokes, and lighter pressure on upward strokes. Absolutely any marker will do. I used a tombow in the timelapse video that I added to Instagram, and then repeated it again using a plain old Crayola. The principles are the same, regardless of the tool. 

3. Trace the letters in marker. The key is to use heavy pressure on downward strokes, and lighter pressure on upward strokes. Absolutely any marker will do. I used a tombow in the timelapse video that I added to Instagram, and then repeated it again using a plain old Crayola. The principles are the same, regardless of the tool. 

 4. Finally, erase all your pencil lines, if necessary, you can go back and thicken up some of your downward strokes... and you're done!

4. Finally, erase all your pencil lines, if necessary, you can go back and thicken up some of your downward strokes... and you're done!

ACS_0007.jpg

 

So, for someone who worked in television for over 10 years, you would think that I have the proper gear set-up to produce a video like this... but nope. I have a dollar store phone tripod, and a few boxes for height! Here's a look at the behind-the-scenes:

IMG_0208.JPG

Diane, I hope this tutorial was useful! Thank you so much for leaving a comment on my Instagram post this morning!

If anyone has any questions, or would like any other tutorials, please feel free to reach out!

love,

Cate

Hello World!

I always think it's best to start off a blog with an introduction... So, hi! Here I am! It's me! Cate!

If you've found your way here, I can only imagine that you're my friend or family member... but just in case you're not, this is me:

headshot.jpg

Look! It's me!

Things I do:

  • hand-letter
  • study (masters of counselling psychology)
  • write (for fun)
  • write (papers... for school)
  • meditate
  • recite positive affirmations
  • read

Things I love:

  • my family & friends
  • psychotherapy
  • music
  • Disney

Things I like:

  • pens & markers
  • washi tape
  • crafting
  • glitter
  • unicorns
  • the colour pink

Things I am:

  • happy
  • confident
  • complete