#GivingTuesday

My grandma taught me to give to those in my life and to the welfare of others in need whenever possible, because she believes that our lives are truly measured by what we put out and how we affect the people we meet. This venerable aphorism is entrenched in my head since the first memory of sharing birthday cake with friends and family.

Courtesy of Red Door Family Shelter

It is often said that we are the most fulfilled when we are responsibly proactive. But beyond the duty lies its joy. I have found that giving liberates the soul and any opportunity to give back to our community/planet is a way forward. It offers a greater perspective – one that reminds us of why we’re really here and what matters most. It’s not just about the donation itself but the great love and awareness we bring into it. It’s about something greater than ourselves. Any charitable act is a stepping stone towards change. That donation or shared time is valued more than the grandest intention and benefits everyone. Your small yet mighty impact goes a long way. And if we all devote ourselves to doing these acts of kindness, I promise you, it’s an investment no one will regret.

Today, on #GivingTuesday, please give generously to the following charities I (@goodtobegoodfoundation) support. They need your contribution and thoughtfulness to continue the significant work they’re doing for our girls and the advancement of women around the world. Learn about the different ways these female-first organizations are leading the charge, and find out how you can lend your support by following their missions.

Women’s Habitat

Malala Fund

Red Door Family Shelter

Women for Women

Canadian Women’s Foundation

CARE

Or find a cause here: GlobalGiving

Courtesy of Malala Fund

Hey, fear!

One of the major causes of fear is that we do not want to face ourselves as we are. Fear happens when we remove ourselves from the moment, bringing our attention from certainty to uncertainty. It’s an usual, yet normally primitive, tricky emotion that often disguises itself in many ways: suffering, egoism, samsara, greed, anger, envy, fright, worry, apprehension, cognitive paralysis, anxiety, etc.

While the fear from our beloved ego navigates life by trying to keep us safe (thank you for doing your intrinsic job) and in a familiar place, it has a limited perception and blocks our creative and spiritual progress. We must remember that fear is not who we innately are; it is one of the many ways we are able to respond to life’s moments.

Can we trust the inner orchestras of the mind, heart, intuition and allow fear to flow through us rather than cage us in? Can we watch fear without any conclusions? Without any interference of the knowledge we have accumulated about it? Can we feel the fear, genuinely acknowledge its presence, while not allowing it to lead ourselves?

“I see what you’re doing, fear. Thank you for sending your signal. But it’s okay and you’ll have to take a seat in the back. I am the driver in charge here.”

It isn’t a matter of being fearless or kicking it to the curb, but rather bringing insight to what’s going on and using benevolence and goodwill in the face of what oppresses you. COURAGE, my friend. Good FAITH, my friend. These are the partners that direct you to the life you’re worthy of living. Because you and I are so much more than our fears. We have a right to be here, to do what we love, to try new things outside of our comfort zone. We’re all deserving of love. And, we are part of something greater than ourselves. The things that we feel in our hearts, the depths of hearts, are far more vital than the some of the things we believe in our minds.

What lies within us are direct antidotes to fear: the armour of loving-kindness, gratitude and the richness of our spiritual cultivation.

The Skin I Love

Hydrating skin courtesy of Pai Skincare. Natural glow courtesy of True Botanicals. Clean make up by The Organic Skin Co. 
 

Skin is always in. If your skin isn’t at its best sometimes – that’s OK too! However, there are basic steps that we can mindfully take that help improve and create healthy achievements.

Our skin, being so complex and industrious, is the largest organ on our body so it’s only fair we take good care of it. After countless experiments and long eye-twitching nights of research, I concluded this: a regimen can be made simple, guileless and efficient.

The key is consistency and daily protection.

Keeping things as ‘natural’ as possible is the catalyst to a nourishing relationship with the physical and the essence of simplicity. Like fruitful soil is to a thriving plant, what we put into/on our bodies count. I advocate reading labels thoroughly and staying away from ingredients that suck (chemicals, synthetics, unpronounceable shit) as our skin is wickedly consuming and holds everything in. The absorption rates on our scalp, underarms and face are 7-10 times higher than a lot of parts. Its extraordinary day to day functions are colossal. Unlike other vital body systems, our skin is exposed to the environment, which includes weird germs, heat and harmful substances yet provides an airtight, watertight and flexible barrier between one another.

Feeding the skin naturally by being mindful of consumption is another way we’re able take control of our habits. It all begins from the inside out so eat all the fresh, leafy greens, my friend! Hydrating is important as well – with lots of water and sorry, alcohol doesn’t do the same thing.

What we put on our skin is a crucial variable too. A guiding principle: Choose safe, sustainable products that contain fewer ingredients. This equals less chance for irritations/reactions, higher potency and a smaller, overall ecological impact. You don’t need to go nuts on trendy, luxury botanicals and ornate fillers. However, when you can, invest in good quality products that help optimize skin. Cause, hey, we’ll be wearing it for the rest of our lives.

Below are my favourite vegan, cruelty-free, natural go-to daily products that do the job like no other.

 

True Botanicals (Pure Radiance Oil & Vitamin C Booster)
Anti-inflammatory, balancing, healthy glow/dewy look breadwinner, gentle formulas, clean/safe ingredients, ethical and wonderfully effective!
The Organic Skin Co (Primp N’ Prime & Hide and Seek Concealer in Cinnamon)
Lightweight, oh-so silky, all natural, easy to apply, luxury made affordable, blends beautifully, sustainably packaged and all around multi faceted.
Pai Skincare (Calming Body Cream & Perfect Balance Serum)
Soothing, calming, ideal for sensitive skin, transparent brand, preservative-free, proven remedial, consistent soft results and hydrating 2.0.
Heritage Store (Rose Petals Rosewater)
Refreshing anytime mist, divine smelling, restorative, energy-giving and alleviates tired skin.

Supporting Women’s Habitat 40th Anniversary

Directed by: Oana CR, To:Her / Produced by: Char San Pedro, 920 Films/Good To Be Good 
Featuring: Silvia Samsa, Victoria Roth, Munice Wright, Gia Dejulio, Cecilia Nuñez

On November 2nd, 1978, Women’s Habitat opened the doors to their emergency shelter. Within 2 weeks, they were full and have been ever since. Over the past 40 years, they have grown to expand their services to include supports and programming for women, children and youth at the community outreach centre in the heart of South Etobicoke. They have advocated for better laws, policies and services that respond to the needs of women and children who have experienced violence and oppression. They have created awareness and fought against systemic oppression. They have partnered with their community to deliver inclusive, client centred services and continue to work to break down barriers within our own walls.

In March 2018, Women’s Habitat hosted several events and initiatives to celebrate their accomplishments, reflect of its history and honour the women who have walked through their doors. Women’s Habitat is built on a foundation of committed community members, donors and supporters who for 40 years have championed their mission.

I am proud to be a loud and active advocate for Women’s Habitat. I encourage you to donate generously to help continue the work of the shelter and to contribute the fight against women’s violence.

Here’s to women’s strength, support and solidarity.

 

UNDIVIDED

The encompassing definition of feminism is the support and advocacy of political, social and economic rights for women equal to those of men. This can also mean that we recognize feminism from different perspectives for different women regardless of race, sexual orientation, economic status, nationality, class, etc. When we operate from a space that supports and engages these ideals, we are free to encourage feminine values in our homes, the workforce and society. The core of its meaning denotes an inclusive ecosystem where women have real access to their choices, voicing their truth and living out their personal liberation unobstructed by repercussion or oppression.

Simply put, feminism is the belief for equality and humanity for ALL.

Female equality has come a long way – a real journey worth celebrating. But progress isn’t destined; it’s an outcome generated by our continued conscious efforts and determination. Whether propagating feminist terminology or not, there are people (many of them my heroes!) to salute for their dedication and leadership: Michelle Obama, Eleanor Roosevelt, Oprah, Gloria Steinem, Angelina Jolie, Audre Lorde, Maya Angelou, Malala Yousaf and other countless women championing their distinct purpose and fighting the good fight for gender justice.

Feminism has never had so much far-reaching support. It is not identified with “anti-male” judgment or female power rivalry. It does not have to be consigned to a pseudo-fashionable statement either. This slanders the development itself and can leave us caught in a discourse of misinterpretation, diverting us from improving our core goals. That is: humanity, equality, a place for everyone, especially women, to progress wholly. This requires a responsibility in learning what the issues are, understanding all the layers of a woman and how it impacts the woman’s ability to live a full life. It means opening our eyes, ears, minds and hearts to the discrimination, both subtle and overt, that women from every corner of the world face. It demands deep work in building social movements that are intersectional and not a one-size-fits-all formula because oppression is experienced in many ways (racism, bigotry, sexism, economic status, sexual orientation, violence, health issues, etc.) We are here to listen, be loud in what we believe in and work in bringing society closer to our highest ideals by advancing spaces for women’s meaningful participation.

We still exist in a time of great change, a time where many women are still systematically disadvantaged, living in the toughest of economic circumstances, suffering from abuse, violence and a lack of access to education and health. Our global progress requires thoughtful voices and multifaceted action for any efficacious impact to take flight. Feminism depends on a mind that demands freedom and collective activism from within so that we can dismantle harmful traditional narratives and reform the very systemic structures that oppress women. We need allies. If we want to shift our policies, our politics, and civil societies, we need to start cognitively and holistically, check our attitudes and help retool the system so that women who are the most vulnerable can be seen, heard and prosperous. Feminism is about women’s rights and equal power that benefits everyone.

Power and hope knows no gender. We all carry this within us. Women’s existence is a responsibility for all.

The world becomes a better place when we cultivate what makes us all truly human.

‘UNDIVIDED’ Campaign for Good To Be Good Foundation. Photographed by Tara Noelle. Glam by Kestra Goldman. Clothing by Skylar Yoo and Novella Royale

 

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