Magical holiday memories

Nov 27, 2014 / 5:00 am
With the Christmas season fast approaching and schedules jamming with holiday events, parties to attend, gifts to shop for, and rooms to decorate, it’s easy to forget the magic of the season. I’m pretty sure my happiest memories of the holidays are primarily due to one person, and her...

Visualize and it will come

Oct 28, 2014 / 5:00 am
Business professionals, athletes and public speakers do this before they perform. Students can do it before taking an exam. Musicians may do it before heading onstage. Just as you map out a road trip prior to leaving, you may envisage how you wish an event to unfold. Results prove this a...

Self healing

Sep 28, 2014 / 5:00 am
Throughout history, patients have been told nothing more can be done, there is no hope, or there is no cure. While most of us depend upon the advice of doctors, nutritionists, and other health professionals, optimal health and wellness ultimately lies within. Fortunately, with determination,...

Looking good feels good

Aug 31, 2014 / 5:00 am
Need to get a haircut and get a real job, like the old George Thorogood song demands? Can’t remember the last time you purchased yourself a trendy new top or stylish shoes? Have you forgotten to floss for an entire week because your kids’ social life is keeping you scrambling? If...

Happiness is an inside job

Jul 27, 2014 / 5:00 am
There are plenty of books and talk about happiness and how to have more in our lives. Speaking from experience, the less I seek happiness outside myself, the more happiness I encounter. And since happiness is subjective, what makes me feel happy may not remotely resemble your experience of...

Let the rhythm move you

May 26, 2014 / 5:00 am
Once upon a time, I woke to my alarm playing a sad song on the radio, kindly reminding me of a certain ex-Rex. The sadness that came over me (at the time) was a precursor of the rest of the day – last minute cancellations, unseasonably cold weather, spilled coffee, and more bad memories of...


Mar 21, 2014 / 5:00 am
Growing up, I never gave much thought to my value system or the value systems of friends I spent time with. Looking back, I think if I had, it may have saved me a lot of grief. However, hindsight is nearly perfect and I’ve learned the importance of connecting with like-minded souls. Think...

Love and fear

Jan 28, 2014 / 5:00 am
“Fear Controls. Love Sets You Free.” This quote applies to all areas of life where fear prevents us from achieving our goals, dreams, and facing challenges that take us through to increased self-confidence, moments of blinding happiness, and deep peace of mind. Feed your fears and they...

The sensual world

Dec 5, 2013 / 5:00 am
The first time I viewed Kate Bush’s video “The Sensual World”, it struck a chord with me (check it out on YouTube). We have five senses – touch, taste, smell, sight, sound – but how many do we fully experience daily? Are you immersed in the joy of all you can touch,...

Wickedly good

Nov 3, 2013 / 5:00 am
Sometimes, there is nothing like saying you are done with something (or someone). Sometimes, it feels good to quit. There are times when the only way to feel better is to indulge in something decadent. And sometimes, the only way to get your good vibes back is to do something you probably should...

Life on purpose

Oct 4, 2013 / 5:00 am
For every spiritual guru, philosopher, and life coach out there, there are as many opinions as to what the meaning of life may be. But what most of them have in common, I’ve noticed, is that when you discover your life purpose, you will also find your happiness. Or, a life lived on purpose...

Transformational books

Sep 6, 2013 / 5:00 am
For me, and maybe a lot of readers, books are the door to a parallel existence, and a key to expanding my perception of the world around me. Fiction, non-fiction, self-help, mysteries, cookbooks, biographies – I just can’t get enough. But there are particular books that leave us...

Turning lemons into wine!

Jul 26, 2013 / 5:00 am
Freelance writing can be a risky business as I recently found out the hard way when a winery magazine backed out on publishing three (count ‘em, three!) articles I had written to their specifications, and ahead of deadline I might add! At first, I felt horribly wronged and disappointed, not...

Sweet associations

Jun 22, 2013 / 5:00 am
Exercise can feel like a four-letter word to all of us at one time or another. When you automatically associate ‘working out’ with pain, not pleasure, getting your body into your Lululemons can seem like a visit to the dentist. We’re all naturally wired to tend to do whatever...

A taste of the good life

May 19, 2013 / 5:00 am
Once upon a time, food preparation was a decision based on convenience, not taste, when I began to cook and fend for myself in the kitchen. Some decades later, cooking has become a rich palette of flavours, spices, colors, textures, and wonderful aromas. With attention to taste and nutrition, the...


Apr 21, 2013 / 5:00 am
From time to time, often with the first warm breezes of spring, nostalgia hits me like a splash of sweet Cherry Kool-Aid. An irrepressible longing takes hold and won’t let go. Too often, the emotions accompanying my reminiscences involve a sadness or melancholy for days gone by. I...

Extremely easy measures

Mar 19, 2013 / 5:00 am
Have the dark, dreary walls of winter begun to close in on your tired soul? Are blue, azure skies and brilliant sunshine a faded memory in a parallel universe where you felt good just to be alive? If even your funniest friend can’t raise a half a smile on your face, it may be a sign to try...

Fake lives

Feb 17, 2013 / 5:00 am
When I look in the mirror every day, I want to see the reflection of a person who accepts herself, faults and all – an individual who has lived, experienced, and not only survived, but blossomed into a person I love. I believe we can be people who do not judge themselves (or others) minimally...

Random acts of goodness

Jan 13, 2013 / 5:00 am
Every time someone returns my friendly smile with a morose glare, every time some talented driver cuts me off in traffic, every time a cashier can’t be bothered to respond to my hello, a Sam Roberts song begins to play in my head: “Bangkok to Babylon, where have all the good people...


Nov 17, 2012 / 5:00 am
I never gave much thought as to why I admired certain individuals and felt negatively towards others until I came across a book that suggested writing down all the people you looked up to – whether famous, dead, or alive. After I did the exercise, it really brought to light the kind of person...


Sep 30, 2012 / 5:00 am
There seems to be a large portion of the population, at least in this part of the world, who are living by the adage ‘Insanity now, serenity later’. Work, stress, save. We’ll enjoy life after we’ve made our fortune, raised healthy children, and paid off our mortgages. Why,...

Fun out of the sun

Aug 26, 2012 / 5:00 am
Summer is a wonderful time of year, for the most part; long days filled with sunshine, iced drinks, and enjoying the great outdoors. From taking in a stunning view of the lake quaffing local wines to enjoying an afternoon siesta in the magic hammock, life slows down and can feel pretty darn good....

Don't worry - be silly!

Jul 22, 2012 / 5:00 am
Is it okay to have fun for the sake of having fun? In this age of taking responsibility for the environment, our health, the state of the world, and working multiple careers to get ahead, when is it acceptable to take a break and just get silly? Are we even allowed such frivolities when all is dark...

Focus Pocus!

Jun 24, 2012 / 5:00 am
Have you lost focus lately? Are you unable to complete the smallest of tasks without starting two other projects? Perhaps you’re beginning to relate to that proverbial chicken running around with its head cut off? This could be a sign it’s time to refocus, or take pharmaceuticals (just...

The passionate life

May 22, 2012 / 5:00 am
Find your passion. Pursue a life of passion. Pat advice from motivational authors and life coaches, but what does it mean? How to pursue a life with passion when you’ve forgotten what passion feels like? The dictionary defines passion as a very strong feeling – love, hate, rage,...

Just be

Apr 22, 2012 / 5:00 am
Can anyone remember the last time you just sat, not thinking about anything? Can you remember the last time you practiced, well, just being? Being a human being? Not a human doing, shopping, multi-tasking, cleaning, worrying, surfing the web, racing around like a chicken with its head cut off? No?...
About the Author

Tara is a published poet and children's e-book author. Article publishing credits include Snowshoemag.com, Riversportsmag.com, VidaYum online children’s magazine, and Homes & Land Okanagan. She currently spends most of her time discovering new BC restaurants and wineries, hiking with her dog, and writing. Her column is about positive living and coping skills for a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Follow her on Twitter @TaraPanrucker.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.