Mirror Mirror

Unlike the slave in the magic mirror who tells the Wicked Queen how she is the fairest of them all, I have a devilish one who lives in my bathroom mirror and likes to make unsolicited comments as I stare bleary-eyed at my reflection as I get ready for the day.

And she doesn’t look like the imprisoned spirit in the Disney classic. No, she resembles Meryl Streep’s icy fashion editor, Miranda Priestly  in The Devil Wears Prada.  And instead of inflating my ego with words of adoration, my Miranda in the  Mirror sits behind her sleek desk impatiently drumming her perfectly manicured talons while pointing out all my physical flaws, real or imagined. Sometimes,  she switches tactics and spends her time telling me I am not smart enough, creative enough or talented enough to make my dreams come true and that I should just give up and go back to working a normal job.

I suspect I am not the only one who lives with an inner critic who peers out of the mirror as you get ready to face the day. Yours may not look like Miranda Priestly but his or her job is the same; to keep you small in a life that doesn’t really fit  by undermining your confidence  when what you really need is encouragement and kindness.

I do my best to defend myself from the onslaught of mirror Miranda’s disdain but she can be relentless. It is then that I have to pull out my wards against her black magic by implementing some magic of my own in the form of meditation, journaling, positive affirmations and mantras. Sometimes, I find the strength to ignore her snide comments but,  at other times,  I feel myself sinking into a depression that calls me to give up on my dreams and instead spend my time curled up on the couch binge watching Netflix.

Occasionally, we can be visited by our own fairy godmothers or fairy godfathers who help to break the spell of unloving inner thoughts. Sometimes they are strangers whom we pass on the street and with an unsolicited compliment or even a warm smile can raise our self-esteem and restore our positive outlook. And sometimes . . . sometimes they are beautiful souls who are part of our special tribe who know just when we need a lift.

I have the most generous people who support me and my work and they have sent me gifts which I always show as unboxing videos on my channel  One such viewer called Jorden,  has sent me many boxes over the years. She calls them Thoughtful boxes.  She never tells me when she has sent one and they always arrive during times when I am going through a challenge. And along with the wonderful gifts it is the time, effort and thoughtfulness that goes into these boxes that makes me feel cherished.

Just recently this happened again. A  dear Gentle Viewer by the name of Mette sent me a box of beautiful things but with an interesting twist. She chose things that she associated with me and my channel. When I opened the box there were layers and layers of gifts wrapped in beautiful white and gold packaging. The twist was the tags accompanying each package. They were vintage inspired with descriptions of things I have talked about or showcased on my channel but others were her take on some of the qualities she perceived I possessed. The items she gave me were beautiful and precious but the words she’d written on the tags are gifts I will carry in my  heart forever.

After filming the unboxing video,  I strung the tags on a bracelet and hung them on the wall above my desk so on those days when Miranda in the Mirror has reared her perfectly coiffed head in order to pull me down, I banish her presence with these magical talismans.

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Samhain Oracle Card Reading 2017

Photo by Neven Krcmarek on Unsplash

To celebrate Samhain and mark the Halloween holiday, I filmed a mini oracle card reading using a beautiful deck that was given to me last year by a gentle viewer named Karla. Instead of doing my regular layout with the cards I was inspired to use a Samhain layout that I found on Facebook.

As the traditions says, this is the time  the veil between the worlds of the living and dead are at its thinnest allowing us to communicate with our loved ones who have crossed over. It is also a time to give thanks and honour our ancestors. The layout was ideal as it uses three cards to reflect the energy of the living and three cards to channel the energy of the spirit world. Hope you enjoy the card reading.

 

Here is the video I filmed last year showing the unboxing of the Halloween gifts from Karla.

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Monthly Favourites – October 2016

This month saw a delivery of two surprise boxes from my Gentle Viewers who watch my ASMR channel. One box was from Jorden, who seriously knows how to put together a beauty box. She has sent me three so far and I keep telling her if she ever wanted a change in career, starting her own subscription box would be a wonderful thing.

The second box came from Karla, a wonderful viewer who loves Halloween/Samhain as much as I do. She and her cat, Bibbz, found some amazing items from Salem. To watch both videos just click on the thumbnails below.

jorden-box

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Keeping on the theme of feeling such gratitude and support from all of my Youtube subscribers, I wanted to show what I do with all of the lovely cards I receive. I place them above my writing desk so that everyday I can give thanks to all of you who have made my experience with the ASMR community such a positive and deeply satisfying endeavour.

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And I can’t do a fall favourites without mentioning the changing leaves and the crispness in the air. Fall is my most favourite time of year and to me signifies the new year more than January ever has done.

fall-colours

ASMR ~ Spring 2016 Beaver Box Unboxing

Here is the spring box for the all Canadian Beaver Box. The name of this subscription box makes me cringe and smile at the same time. I’m still on the fence on whether this was the best name for a subscription box that showcases Canadian products. No matter how you feel about the name, the products in this season’s box were absolutely fabulous.

 

Spring Beaver Box

The Unexpected Side Effects of ASMR

As a viewer of ASMR videos, I know first-hand how beneficial they are for reducing anxiety and stress and some people have reported ASMR videos help alleviate their insomnia. I first started making videos as a creative outlet but I didn’t realize until I began to upload on a regular basis that there are several side effects of being an ASMR content creator that no one ever told me.

A sense of community: the viewers on my channel share not just their struggles with depression, anxiety or insomnia but also the more positive events in their lives such as getting a long desired job, or moving into their dream home or giving birth (one of my viewers even took my videos in to watch during her labour) or getting through the day without having a panic attack. Whether it is sharing the challenges or the triumphs, my Gentle Viewers and I have created a safe, judgemental space to come together to share our stories and be heard.

Support and encouragement: I was delightfully surprised at how supportive, caring and genuine my Gentle Viewers are. They understand how much time and effort goes into filming, editing and uploading two videos a week and they let me know on a regular basis how grateful they are for my efforts.

Collaboration: My viewers will on occasion make suggestions to improve my videos and they have been so helpful in making my videos better. And they always word their insights with such kindness that it can never be taken as anything other than wanting to help me get better as a content creator.

Teaching me the art of receiving: As a people-pleaser it is very difficult for me to be on the receiving end of gratitude. And at first I learned to embrace the lovely things my viewers were leaving in the comments without feeling uncomfortable. And then I had viewers astound me with gifts such as composing the music for my intro, a three month’s subscription to Birchbox so I could continue doing beauty unboxing, plants and goodies from the Netherlands and most recently a curated beauty box from a fellow Canadian.

So if you are looking for a drug free alternative that may help you relax why don’t you check out ASMR videos and be prepared for some unexpected side effects that may include more kindness, understanding and support.

Dutch Delights

butterflybox

Gifts From Nature

I have always felt an affinity with Mother Earth. I am most at home when surrounded by trees, mountains and wildlife. Much to my delight and surprise I have also received healing from Gaia’s energy so I am no stranger to the power that exists in nature.

Some of her gifts are from the crystal and mineral kingdom. My experience with crystal healing energy has been that they work on a very gentle, subtle level.  And although I have a few crystals in my possession I haven’t really worked with them for over five years. That all changed last month when I found myself being negatively affected by the dramatic change in energy in my home and was guided to bring in new crystal energy to assist with the problem.

Through many synchronistic events, I ended up purchasing several crystals and an Crystal Energy Reading from Diane at Free Spirit ASMR. I have had so many crystals come into my life lately that I had to make two ASMR videos showcasing them and telling the stories about how they came into my life, the power of these magical beings, and how they dramatically healed the energy in my home and in myself.

So for your enjoyment and relaxation here are my two ASMR videos on my new crystal babies.

Crystal Reading S&T

crystal babies

Twice the Calm ~ Spring Calm Box Unboxings

I’ve gotten a bit behind in posting my ASMR videos on my blog. My excuse. It’s spring and the garden has been singing its siren song and I had to listen. The garden is definitely the place that gives me peace  and a sense of calm. So even though the weather has been exceptional (for planting) I’ve pulled myself away from the dirt and seeds for now to catch up on my blog.

If you don’t have a garden to spend time in but need to step away from the hectic pace of your day, I invite you to take some time and watch not just April’s Calm Box unboxing but also March’s (if you happened to miss it when I first uploaded it).

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Spring is a terrific time to shed all the worries and stresses of months past and focus mindfully on ourselves, our lives, and everything that every present moment brings to us.

April Calm Box

 

ASMR ~ Goodbye BirchBox

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All good things must come to an end so it was with a little sadness that I filmed the last of the Birchbox unboxing for my ASMR channel. One of my Gentle Viewers, Marissa Bracke, gifted me a three month’s subscription to the beauty box and not only was February’s the last of the gift it is the last of the Birchboxes available to us Canadians. I received an email shortly after receiving last month’s box informing me that Birchbox was closing down its Canadian operations.

But those of you who really like unboxing videos need not be too disappointed as we still have our monthly Calm Box to look forward to and, who knows, there may be an Ipsy subscription in my future.

In the meantime, here is February’s Birch Box unboxing video, ASMR-style. Enjoy.

FEBBirchbox

 

ASMR ~ Sephora Mascara Samples Show and Tell

If you watch my ASMR videos you know they only show my hands. It was a style choice I made right from the beginning based on the limitations of my recording equipment, the size of my recording space, my preference for whispering ( I need to keep my mic inches from my mouth so that it picks up my voice and thus the mic is directly in front of my face) and the type of videos I film. So choosing to make a video on mascara might seem a bit odd.

But when my nieces gave me a Sephora Sampler of mascaras and I saw how beautiful the packaging was I knew I needed to do a show and tell video. When deciding on a subject for an ASMR video I am first drawn to the sounds I can create and the packaging was perfect for tapping and sticky finger sounds. Talking about the different formulas and brushes gave me ample opportunity to whisper for almost an hour.

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For a brief second, I thought about including close-up shots of my eyes wearing the different brands but when I thought about how disconcerting it would be to be watching my hands and then a big eye would show up on the screen staring at the viewers it seemed a bit creepy. But I do give my feedback on how each mascara performed and at the end of the video I tell you what my favourites and hate its were.

Also, after a year of constantly changing my nail colour for the videos, my nails have become very dry and have a tendency to peel. So I’ve cut my nails short, given them break from the drying effects of polish and remover and started to put on a nourishing nail salve every night. But to coordinate with the products and packaging for this video, I knew I needed to do something special as my unpainted short nails just wouldn’t do. So watch the video to see what I used for my nail “wardrobe.”

Click Image Below to Watch

Mascara

ASMR ~ A Breath Of Spring

Even though it is March, I kept the Valentine hearts up because I thought they looked pretty with the flowers.

Even though it is March, I kept the Valentine hearts up because I thought they looked pretty with the flowers.

The other morning, I heard the robins singing, the sunrise is coming up a little earlier each day and our pansies on the balcony are in full bloom. Spring has arrived and although we will still get the odd heavy rains and winds I can’t help but feel the itch to get in the garden. But I need to show a little restraint as the ground is still too saturated for me to start mucking about in the dirt.

So when I popped by the green grocer’s and they had buckets of tulips line up on either side of the door I couldn’t resist. I bought several bunches and thought a simple ASMR video of me arranging them in bouquets would be a comforting welcome to the growing season.

I rearranged my recording set up to accommodate the longer shots I would need to get the flowers in the frame. I have been making ASMR videos on a regular basis for almost a year now so you would think that making these would be a simple and easy routine. I blame my mistake on the slight change in the position of my overhead mic. Because … half-way through the video I forgot to hit record and ending up losing over eight minutes of footage. I could have used the sound from my camera but it is such a poor quality and because I whisper, even with adjusting the sound in my editing suite it still sounded horrible. So my lesson this week is always double-check that the little red light on my mic is on.

So despite the shorter length of this video, I hope it helps you to relax and enjoy a little bit of spring. Click on the picture below to watch the video.

Tulips