5 Go-To, No Fail, No Skill Required, Self Care Practices


As I have gotten older, and have learned to tune more deeply into my own sense of well-being, self care has become as important for me, as taking medication for a heart condition. It’s non-optional.

Without adequate self care, irritability, exhaustion, fear and insecurity begin to take up residence until there is barely enough space for my true self at all, inhibiting my capacity to show up well in relationships, creative endeavours, and the daily demands of life. Maybe you’ve experienced this too.

I’ve also noticed that the need for intentional self care increases in times when the demands on my time and energy are high, during significant life transitions, and during periods of intensive spiritual growth. Sometimes it is not until I’m already quite ‘in it’ that I realize I need to step up my self care game, and notice that I’m a little (or a lot) off my center.

After witnessing this pattern in myself many, many times, and sometimes overcomplicating the possible solution by going into a ‘whats wrong with me’ mindset, I began to shift towards a new way of understanding myself. One in which the basic premise was that there wasn’t anything wrong with me at all, rather accepting my self and needs fully, as I/they are now, unconditionally.

Several years ago, I began to make a closer study of my inner workings, in the hopes of connecting the invisible dots that might point toward how to best encourage a sense of well-being. What I discovered was not rocket science, nor was I the first or only person to have made such discoveries. In fact these practices are nothing fancy, quite accessible, and most importantly, doable in times when we have very little energy to spare.

And, so I wanted to share with you my 5 go-to wellness practices that support both maintaining inner equilibrium, and have the ability to mount a rescue when we’ve slipped into a mental ditch.

Perhaps some of them will act as medicine for you too 💜


1. Walking in the Forest ~ activating the physiology and subtle energy of the body + naturally detoxifying surroundings = gentle, easeful healing

2. Sitting Meditation ~ whether 5 or 50 minutes, having a daily meditation practice helps to anchor us in our own hearts in profound ways. (There are many practices that might best suit you, including trauma sensitive meditation approaches. Click on my resources section for more information and support for your own practice or click here for a link to my guide to meditation on Soundcloud... https://soundcloud.com/angela-gollat/guide-to-meditation )

3. Eating Living Foods ~ clean eating has quantifiable effects on our sense of well-being. In terms of how our digestive system works, ‘you are what you eat’ takes on a whole new level of truth. What we put in our mouths is quite literally the fuel that builds every cell in our body. Low quality food = low quality health. Food choices can feel complicated, so I prefer to think simple rather then perfect…. Fruit, vegetables, home cooked meals made with love and intention.

4. Drinking More Water ~ especially in difficult times, when circumstances feeling sticky and like they might never pass… water, water, water. Increasing the lubrication of the body eases up demands on on all of our systems and prevents their ‘burn out’. More subtly, water reminds us with every drop to release our grip on life, instead allow, allow, allow life to continue flowing beyond even this difficult moment.

5. Getting Enough Rest ~ prioritizing rest supports the health of our stress activated systems, enabling the body, mind and heart to find its way back to health. Remember, most of our healing happens while we sleep.

What practices have you noticed support your sense of well-being?

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A Work in Progress


Facing ourselves can be one of the most difficult things we will ever have to do on the spiritual path. And yet, it is precisely our work


I don’t often share my personal work with people outside of my inner circle. And sometimes people assume that I don't share because I somehow don’t have work to do anymore. I assure you this is not the case…. The inner expansion truly never ends.

I teach a lot, in my Painting as a Spiritual Practice course, as well as in the mindfulness circles and retreats that I facilitate. Like most teachers, in these spaces I share from my acquired wisdom rather than from the work it took to acquire it. Which can lead to a misunderstanding of where I am on my own path. 

Today I felt called to share the in-progress part. Because it is equally important, valuable to demonstrate, and a good practice for me in vulnerability and ego-softening. Thank you for being a kind space.

This new moon cycle, and lead up to the solar eclipse tonight, has certainly had me facing my self straight on. I've been guided deep, and deeper still, to revisit so many of the places that I have experienced suffering in my life. 

Those of you who are on a spiritual path will know exactly what this feels like, when old wounds that we have done so much work to heal, come open again. 

It feels different then it did when the first occurred, although the pain associated with the wound can feel no less real or painful. The passing of time and the growth that has occurred in between, however, offers greater awareness of what my suffering has been teaching me. From this place, I am less actively engaged in the specifics of the suffering, allowing awareness to widen beyond where it once dared.

Revisiting my suffering I see teachings I hadn't yet noticed, and how I have in small ways identified myself with the wounds of my experience, rather than the wisdom I received from them. And because of this, how the healing had remained incomplete.

Maybe you know what this feels like… when you find yourself spiralling, feeling like you are moving backwards. Sometimes in this place we begin questioning everything we thought to be true about our selves. But this too is an important and essential part of the journey, as the uncertainty  shakes loose untruth and restriction. It is a gift in disguise, if you can sense beyond the discomfort. 

This process is often referred to as the dark night of the soul, no doubt because it truly does feel infinitely dark at times. This is certainly not my first visit by the darkness. I’ve been here before, on different parts of my journey. I have learned to trust the process and its healing, to surrender to its current, and to have faith that the impenetrable darkness is always eventually followed by a soft glow of a rising sun in my heart that eventually grows even brighter then it was before.

This one has felt like a big one. And I’ve felt especially tired along the way. I’ve been doing my best to honour and support my self in simple ways, like painting, chanting, sitting by the lake, and sharing with friends. And, I have been practicing asking for and receiving support along the way. (I may eventually write a whole post about the vulnerability of asking for and receiving help).

As we all call our whole selves back to us tonight on this especially powerful solar eclipse new moon, I am grateful for all the bright lights that have shared their wisdom and teachings along my path. Your words and love have been reminding me that the light will always return.

On this winding path of life, may you always remember too.


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An Exploration of Unity, Across the Racial Divide

I recently attended a community event called, Conversation Across The Racial Divide in Thunder Bay, hosted by the remarkably brilliant Aftab Erfan. Through a dynamic and skillfully facilitated process called Deep Democracy, gathered participants were invited to speak bravely, vulnerably and authentically about their experiences and perspectives of racism in Thunder Bay, a small Northern Ontario town notoriously struggling with a deep racial divide between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities...

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On Being an Intuitive Child

A large part of what has inspired my deep dive into exploring intuition is my own experience of being intuitive as a child. My experience sometimes felt lonely, as no one really talked to me about this inner knowing and guiding voice that seemed to be informing me in ways far beyond the physical. Looking back I see that my mom was deeply intuitive too, but perhaps was never taught to trust or understand it, like me.

And so I have been following both my intuition, and my curiosity to understand my intuition since I was little.

I invited my friend and talented singer-songwriter, Arley Hughes, to chat with me about her relationship with her intuition, and was delighted when she started talking about one of her early intuitive experiences. I hope you enjoy this sweet clip....

To find out more about Arley Hughes, and how you might work with her, check out her website at www.arleyhughes.com

And to stay tuned to the intuitive project as it unfolds, be sure to subscribe to my blog to have intuitive wisdom drop right into your inbox. 

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Navigating the Intersection Between Spirituality and Activism

Since I was a young girl, and I mean really young, I had an eye that could spot injustice from a mile away.  My parents were sometimes at a loss as I made passionate complaints about systemic sexism, or tearfully pleaded with my relatives to understand the impact of colonization on indigenous people in Canada, over Christmas dinner. I was probably 5 when I fully understood my own purpose and response-ability to be a part of the movement of people who would work in favour of humanity... in favour of this planet we call home.

My passion got stronger as I moved into my teenage years and I did what any socially conscious teenage girl did in the 1990's... I refused to wear a bra or shave my legs, and rejected the reigning social class system, willingly finding my people among the artists, musicians, and pot smokers. I was enraged, I was despairing, and yet I still believed deeply in our ability as a species to change.... if we wanted to. It was years earlier I remember watching one of those expose shows with my mom, when I suddenly realized with a crystalline clarity while witnessing corruption in action, how all institutions, all social structure, all of everything begins as a thought in the mind. And that thought in the mind is then built into something in three dimensions. And other people agree to that thought and make that creation even stronger.... even if its origin was a destructive thought.

In university I found myself in every available women's studies class... studied history and the history of women and the law in Canada, both indigenous and non-indigenous, and eventually found myself with a particular fire in my heart around the issue of violence against women.

I was an activist, organizing protests against discriminatory events on campus, calling out university leadership for their inaction, and speaking out through any media outlet that would hand me a microphone. After university I went on to coordinate two huge feminist undertakings in partnership with multiple local women's organizations. The first was an assessment of the system that supports abused women and children in Thunder Bay. I titled this report, which found its way onto the desks of over 40 local service providers and the Ministry of Community and Social Services, Gaps and Traps, and included numerous recommendations for action for local service providers and beyond. The second was to develop and launch Thunder Bay's first Women's Court Watch Program which, thanks to over 20 volunteers, followed and systematically documented every single domestic violence case in Thunder Bay for a year. Every detail, every legal decision, police response, ethnicity, age, everything.

These were some of the most intense, and emotionally demanding years of my life. Although I knew the importance of the work I was doing, I was weeping inside at the stories, the women, the injustice, and most deeply, how little I felt I was actually directly helping anyone. The culmination of which was my very first anxiety attack before the press conference to release the final court watch report to distressed stakeholders and eager media outlets. It was in that space between my broken heart and an impending media and community firestorm that I made a promise to myself. If I could just get through this day, I would leave this work to find the peace I was seeking externally, internally.

I became a mystic.

Or rather I remembered that I had been a mystic all along. I remembered that my heart and mind allowed me to see beyond the despair, beyond the destruction, beyond the hatred and fear. I remembered joy, and actually found peace. And so I retreated into many years of meditation and spiritual study. I was gifted with teachings and healings from the four corners of this earth and found in every one of them a truth that was like a balm to my broken heart. I vowed that I was healing my own heart as means of offering healing to the whole.

As my Spirit got stronger I began to teach others how to connect with their own Spirit ... through art, through community, through ceremony and practice. I believed, and still do, that the realization of the individual is the key to the realization of the whole. We are the systems and the institutions. Every structure is occupied and made possible by the people occupying them. Even the destructive structures. People with a unique spirit just like you and me.

Remembering my 10 year old self who realized that if everything is simply the result of our thoughts, I silently celebrate 'INCREDIBLE, We can change our mind at any moment!' We can turn this ship around as soon as we realize our own insanity. As soon as we realize our deep connections to the land and one another.

My work in the world, centered around creating opportunities for people to come into relationship with their spirit, is a kind of activism. It is personal and spiritual activism as people choose emancipation from destructive structures.... economic, cultural, mental, emotional, spiritual. And in another sense this work is global activism as individuals with reawakened hearts head back to their offices on Monday morning and make decisions that affect us all. It was my ultimate prayer, like most yoga instructors, healers, and spiritual leaders, that the people I had the opportunity to touch would maintain their course toward realizing inner and outer unity.

And for a very long time I thought this was enough.

It was in Dawson Church's, Healing The Heart of The World, that I first came across the term 'Mystical Activism'. Something about the way these words fit together affected me deeply. Perhaps most profoundly, these words stitched back together two parts of myself that I had separated into opposite corners of my being. I could breathe again.

What does it mean to be a Mystical Activist?

In most ways I am still in the process of understanding this. I realize now that during that time in which I stepped away from my activist self, I didn't trust that my mystical self could survive my inner drive towards earthly activism. That they were somehow inherently conflicting.  But in truth, the result of this inner conflict is that our awakened voices are simply missing from important social and global conversations. Our news feeds are full of affirmations and spiritual insight, but devoid of meaningful engagement with the suffering world around us. Even our livers are smiling in meditation, but our neighbours are living in wars zones, in poverty, in fear. When we remain above it, not a part of it, we deny half of who we are.... Spiritual beings with a human purpose.

As Spiritual beings with a human purpose, the energy we hold in our well developed hearts becomes raw creative material for future destinations for humanity, no matter what it is that we are doing. We have the opportunity to bring our inner states into outer expression through our words, our actions, our art, our music, our signature on a petition, our presence at a rally, our response to hatred and bigotry, our direct action to bring balance back to the land and the people, in any form. We can trust our spirit to guide and infuse our action, even while we feel emotionally moved and affected. Our desire for change in the material world is nothing to fear, or suppress, or master through meditation, but rather a call to action from the very same source that calls us to moments of deep peace.

Ram Dass, spiritual teacher and student of the Indian Saint Neem Karoli Baba, speaks to this beautifully...

"Compassion becomes the ability to embrace both planes simultaneously, so that you have an equanimity in you that comes from allowing it to be what it is, and at the same moment allow your human heart that is wanting to do something about it, reach out to do so."

As I have discovered, it can feel incredibly uncomfortable and unfamiliar to move from a single-minded focus on higher planes within, to a balance between the inner and outer worlds. A new language is required, and new compassionate actions necessary. Although we may not yet know how to do this with as much mastery and grace as we (sometimes) have in our morning meditations, let us try. Let us trust our own hearts to stay the course in the face of suffering and destruction. And let us support one another as we sometimes stumble in the process of learning this new language of fierce love.

For me personally, the ways in which I choose to actively participate in the healing of our planet will never be the same as they were when I was a younger and more fierce woman.

No, this fierce woman has the universe inside her.


* This post is dedicated to the courageous people taking direct action in North Dakota to save sacred lands, those demanding justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women across Canada, and the people across this land taking great personal risk exposing institutional, corporate and social injustice on all of our behalf.


Mystical Activism Challenge:

What injustice is your heart currently most affected by?

What would it sound like if you said how you truly feel about this injustice out loud?

What direct action could you take to add your fierce love to the world?


"Any action, like any act of magic, is in some sense an act of faith... I've seen the desert bloom, the flower that emerges from the barest hint of water, and I know the power of life will rise, stubborn and persistent to be renewed. May our actions be the wind that brings the rain."




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On Emotional Intelligence and Intuition

I had the joy and honour of spending this afternoon with Ojibwe Lodge Keeper, Standing Strong, also known as Cindy Crowe, to listen to her experience and wisdom around intuition.

It is already becoming apparent, only a few official conversations in to this intuitive journey, that there are common truths about our relationships with our intuition. And yet the subtly different ways in which we describe our sense of it, can be fascinating, illuminating and evocative. Several times during our conversation I could feel my own heart coming more alive... coming to realize itself a little more... seeing and hearing a new way of understanding myself, who I am, and what it all means.


I knew it was going to be a powerful conversation when, before I had my microphone set up or my computer opened, Cindy began sharing, what ironically I sense intuitively, was going to be the soundclip to share with you!

And so here it is... a gem from Cindy on the connection between our emotions and our intuition.

To find out more about Cindy Crowe, Blue Sky Community Healing Lodge, and how you might connect with the Lodge, check out her website at www.blueskycommunityhealingcentre.ca

And to stay tuned to the intuitive project as it unfolds, be sure to subscribe to my blog to have intuitive wisdom drop right into your inbox. 


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On God And Intuition

A new and inspiring project has found a home and voice in my heart, and I'm excited to share it with you, particularly because I think you might be as fascinated as I am with this idea! For the next year I will be diving deep into an exploration of INTUITION.

Since I was a child I've been keenly aware of the subtle spiritual world within me, which includes my intuition. It has guided me, expanded me, inspired me and challenged me. It has connected ideas and people, inspired paintings, writings and projects, and informed me about myself, others and creation in revelatory and sublime ways. To me, exploring intuition is about something bigger than the intuitions themselves. To me, intuition is a kind of secret doorway into the most essential space within us... our heart... our sense of meaning... our origin.. spirit.

And so, with the guidance of my intuition, which has already laid out a fairly comprehensive plan for the project on my behalf, I am saying YES and acting on it! (we'll talk a bunch about acting on our intuition later in the project)

Over the next year I'll be connecting with a wide variety of people to talk about intuition. I am fortunate enough to know a village worth of people who strive to live intuitively, so I won't have to look far. I also want to hear from you!... regardless of how intuitive you think you are or aren't. So I hope you will join me, chime in, ask questions, or just send your support. I think we are all going to learn a lot here together.

This morning I excitedly sat down for my first conversation about intuition with one of my best girls, Lindsey Holmstrom. Lindsey is a particularly gorgeous woman living right here in Thunder Bay, that I have know since I was about seven. Beyond being a soul-sister of mine who I could gush about for hours, Lindsey is a gifted Birthing From Within Mentor and Birth Doula. Essentially, Lindsey connects intuition and pregnancy, birthing, and parenting for that matter.

Here is my favourite clip from that conversation... it gave me goosebumps as she was saying it, and I knew it had to be shared.

To find out more about Lindsey, her intuitive birth preparation classes, and how you might work with her, check out her website at www.lindseyholmstrom.com

And to stay tuned to the intuitive project as it unfolds, be sure to subscribe to my blog to have intuitive wisdom drop right into your inbox. 





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