Anxiety assertiveness Counselling happiness Healing letting go of fear self esteem Uncategorized

Four Steps to Wrangle Your Inner Critical Voice, and Handle Anything That Comes Your Way

“There is a magnificent, beautiful wonderful painting in front of you! It is intricate, detailed, a painstaking labour of devotion and love! The colours are like no other, they swim and leap, and trickle and embellish! And yet you choose to fixate your eyes on the small fly which has landed on it! Why do you do such a thing? C. Joybell C

Kim recently co- authored the #1 Bestselling book Emotional Intelligence: Mental Health Matters,which provides a set of supportive tools and inspiring stories to help women conquer negative influences, harness the power of psychological wellness and thrive emotionally.For more information go to:

The love of self clarifies the artistic beauty in each one of us. It helps us appreciate our authenticity and cultivate a habit of love for ourselves and others. Acceptance gives us the courage to share and celebrate our own stories. This gives us the freedom to be comfortable in our own skin making us feel like we truly belong and thus capable of a positive contribution. Do not measure yourself to an ideal image. You have a great inner resource of creativity and intelligence. Have a self-loving view of your quest for self-discovery. You don’t have to be anyone else as you are a shining star, and perfect just the way you are. 

You are beautiful and unique in your own way and your life experiences like your footprints are second to none. So stop comparing and looking for validation from those within your circles. This not only disorients your life’s direction but also hinders your creativity. Be your own person and live your life only by your set of values. Let go of self-critical negative thoughts by removing doubts, fears, and insecurities. These could be your mental blocks and fears sourced from earlier experiences. Allow yourself to be optimistic and enthusiastic about your plans, using your ideas to build momentum toward your goals.  

Social media has made ours an era of validation. We question our originality, as the race for speed, beauty, smarts, accomplishments, and perfection heats up. How then do we search within ourselves and cultivate habits that are both ingenious and unique to our productivity? How do we stand our ground and resist the urge to compare and find that inner peace that is derived from being in a productive relationship with ourselves?

Once the concept of self is changed things consistent with the new concept of self are accomplished easily without strain and learning ability would change accordingly. I saw pictures of myself in grade 7. I appeared tall and strong with a beautiful smile, but I remember having this belief that I was ugly and gawky. The concept of imagined ugliness or body dysmorphia is not uncommon. The typical reaction for a person dealing with these thoughts is that they are ugly in their looks creates debilitating wounds, and to to heal, a person must first learn how to undertake a journey of self-discovery.

What I see especially in young people, is that they put too much stock in what others think about them. They don’t have trust in themselves which harms self-esteem. Remind yourself that you are the only person with your thoughts and mind. It is therefore important to learn how to trust and believe in yourself. Associate yourself with people who are positive and supportive and let go of critical and negative people. This approach harnesses your assertiveness, and this allows you to up your game and set the tone about how you want to be treated. With practice, you can learn the art of communication and this will help you set clear boundaries and this leads to mutual respect. 

Perception by definition refers to an individual’s recognition and analysis of sensory information. Perception plays an important role in creating personal experiences and helps understands a person’s character. For the most part, we will all perceive and approach our problems differently. This makes perception key in our attempts to realize holistic healing. Once you change the perception of the person you see in the mirror, you’ll have the ability to create your own destiny, and transform a fear, worry, and anxiety into a confident, positive energy.

“If you have the ability to love, love yourself first” Charles Bukowski”

Loving Yourself

It is rewarding to find someone whom you like, but it is even more essential to like yourself. Loving yourself fuels all your undertaking with such great vitality that if used well has the potential to create lasting experiences. We are quick to recognize the other person as better or decent but forget to view ourselves as equally good, loved and acceptable. Even as we delight in the discovery of others who we consider as worthy of respect and adoration you must not forget to be charitable to ourselves too. You cannot find yourself in the other person.  

Learning to love yourself means that you are no longer responding to worry and fear and rejection with negativity. You are aware of your flaws and your strong personality makes you to be accepting and makes you show love even to those undeserving of love. Self-love means that you are never stressing about your vulnerability and that you can hit that unfortunate bottom and still share your feelings from a place of love and not fear or anxiety. We root our feelings of happiness in our self-image. If we start with accepting ourselves by cultivating self-esteem and confidence other areas of our lives will blossom and reduce our fear and anxiety by letting go of inaccurate self-assessments.

A myth about achieving happiness is that if we do this, get that or become this, it will make us complete and happy. The truth, however, is that we are already complete and self-sufficient just as we are in this present moment. By accepting vulnerability and imperfections we become genuine contenders to self-discovery.  Self-esteem and self respect like planting seeds and watering them, requires cultivating each day. That critical inner voice is just your brain’s attempt to keep you safe but which ironically leaves you feeling worried and self-conscious. This is due to the negativity bias in the brain and its primitive ability to highlight the negative to keep us away from harm.

Four steps you can take to wrangle your inner critic:

1)Practice thought awareness that leads to a solution

Familiarize yourself with your thoughts and resist the temptation to pay attention to the unending narrative in your mind. You can get started with writing your most recurring thoughts and objectively dissect them and immediately reframe critical thoughts as they come up. Ask yourself whether these thoughts are exaggerated or biased as most of our thoughts are. If true, don’t admit defeat and start brainstorming ideas that can lead to a solution.

2) Take a break from the rumination

If the situation was questionable and embarrassing what good will come from repeatedly analyzing and replaying the same events in your head? Are you by chance thinking about the solution or just ruminating about the event needlessly? Stop trying to ‘not think about it’ as your negativity bias will keep you lurking around the very thing you’re looking to avoid. Instead, distract yourself with some activity. Go out for a walk or call that acquaintance you’ve been meaning to connect with for months.

3) Become your own advocate 

What advice did you give your upset friend who felt mistreated from a sudden loss or disappointment? Project the same advice you’d give to someone desperate for help and compassion to your own problems and let your own wise advice work the magic. 

4) Build on inner strengths

This is the integrity of character through the mental resistance to doubt or discouragement. The way to unleashing your inner strength is through nourishing your character. Make a list of the ten things about yourself that you are most proud of. It could be your physical skills, creative abilities, or any other attribute you can think of. Create a journal of self-appreciation and add to it each day, or as you think of a new attribute. Make a collage in the journal as a reminder of your self-worth and as an individual of merit who you are. Appreciate your history and story and meet it with compassion and understanding. Accept your circumstances and your flaws and shift into acceptance for what is happening right now. Think of how you will feel when you think enough of yourself to tackle the world on your own terms. Opt for courage in the face of adversity and don’t let fear influence your decisions. Be prepared to operate out of strength and use your authority to de-clutter your mind and create space for productive thoughts. Speak from your strength and you can handle any situation that comes your way!

I welcome your feedback, and please share with me your personal experiences and insights during this special week dedicated to Mental Health Awareness in Canada. From my heart, Kim

Kim Mowatt was a co-author of the #1 Bestselling book Emotional Intelligence:Mental Health Matters. The book was a charity for the Canadian Mental Health Association
Kim co authored the #1 Bestselling book Emotional Intelligence: Mental Health Matters,which provides a set of supportive tools and inspiring stories to help women conquer negative influences, harness the power of psychological wellness and thrive emotionally.For more information go to:

The Enchantment of the Beautiful Mountains of El Valle

El Valle I am told is one of the best places in Panama for watching tropical birds found in the valley and in the cloud forest.With 350 species of birds that have been registered in El Valle and the surrounding area, it has me excited to wake up at the crack of dawn at the first sound of morning birds!DSC02048El Valle is an approximate 45 minutes drive from Coronado and is a beautiful town high in the mountains of Panama, on the floor of the largest inhabited volcano crater in the world.The road is curvy and narrow and caution should be taken driving towards El Valle with Panamanians driving fast. Once a crater lake, this quiet village became home to Indians from the surrounding mountains who have been there for thousands of years.It is an extremely scenic drive up the mountain, and you can feel the temperature become cooler than the intense heat of Coronado.


We left to go to El Valle from Coronado for 4 days to Cabanas Potosi which is a beautiful jungle location with beautiful gardens.Dennis Wenthold and his wife Mireya greeted us with relaxed and accurate directions on how to get to the local waterfalls, rivers and restaurants. They gave us fresh mango juice,very extensive recommendations and offered us a ride into town. The room was beautifully decorated and they made sure we had everything that we needed including many ripe grapefruits from their trees.


Mireya prepared a special herbal tea blend from her mint tree for my very sore throat which was now getting very painful.

We then walked to a beautiful river and waterfall about 30 minutes away and hiked up the river.It was Chorro Las Mosas Waterfalls along Rio Anton. There are natural swimming areas where local youth venture very dangerous jumps in to the pool below.There is a danger to slipping and falling on the rocks hidden under the water and ending up in one of the caves below.There were several beautiful cascading waterfalls near a slippery rock face.We went for a wonderful hike and I took many beautiful pictures with my Sony camera. I was reaching over to get a great shot of the river at an angle, while climbing on rocks and to my shock and dismay the camera fell in the river. I think you can see from this picture how it could be fumbled. I am constantly humbled and learning!


I retrieved it floating quickly down the river, but even after such a short soak in the water it was not to be resuscitated. Glenn tried by drying it out with rice in a bag but it remains sadly quiet and unresponsive to this day. I loved the quality of the pictures it took, however it was not hardy enough.As careful as I am with a camera the constant danger of sand, rain and dampness after swimming in the ocean demands a waterproof camera.Last year in Costa Rica my favourite Panasonic quit after a light splash of a wave while hiking.

In town near a small grocery store we saw what looked like the local method of transportation. They all climbed into the vehicles shown, and the corner store appeared to be a waiting area.


There are many sloths is El Valle,so many that we saw a sloth crossing sign. We were told by the owner that a baby sloth was hanging from their door.The evening birds had an absolutely  amazing chorus. Later that evening I realized that I was going to have to seek medical treatment for the sore throat, as it was not improving with various other  herbal remedies that I had brought. We sadly had to cancel the rest of our trip in El Valle so I could go and see a Doctor. I had not at all seen enough of this beautiful country area.

Dennis offered to drive us to Coronado so I could see a doctor.I was very grateful. We went to a clinic near the shopping mall in Coronado. After a very short wait in the air conditioned office I saw the doctor on call, Dr. Levy who spoke English very well. He was knowledgable and friendly. He confirmed after taking my vital signs that it was indeed a nasty local flu that had been going around Coronado and prescribed antibiotics,probiotics and pain medicine. After my visit I paid $15.00 US to the office. Getting the prescriptions was also very efficient. Everyone lines up along the counter and the prescription is filled quickly as you move down the line sideways from speaking to the pharmacist(no English) to the check out. Of course I looked up the medication and it was nowhere near anything that I felt comfortable taking.I continued to take the oregano and echanesia and ASA that I had brought.At least I had medication on hand in just case. In our travels, I must say that was the worst sore throat and fever I have ever experienced. Glenn bought me a new camera which was a challenging feat to say the least. It is a Pentax, very hardy and destruction proof. It did not have the battery in the box we discovered after we travelled back so we had to return and wait in line at the Coronado department store. We are learning to maintain a sense of humour and be relaxed grateful and lighthearted.

After two more restful incredible days in Coronado at one of Sarah’s great beach front accommodations, we travelled to Playa Venao (45 minutes outside of Pedasi).We had planned to take the bus there, however there was conflicting evidence and no accurate schedules.”Just stand at the bus stop” did not work for us at this point as the story about how to get there changed. There was a couple from Sweden who had a challenge with the bus to Bouquet and ended up back in Coronado. We hired Pedro to drive us from Coronado to Playa Veneo, which is approximately a 5 hour drive and it was thoroughly entertaining! Pedro loves the land and had a variety of anecdotes, history and stories. The highway turned into vast and wide country with incredible trees, farm and rangeland. There was an opportunity to get lost driving in towns along the way such as Las Tablas, but he expertly navigated us to our remote destination in Venao with charm and ease.

My next posts will be on Playa Venao,Pedasi,driving the Pan-American Highway, Isla Boca Brava and Boca Chica.We are on our way in the morning to a far away island snorkelling. I am taking my SPOT!






The Enchantment of Unfamiliar Danger; Kayaking to the Great Barrier Reef near Ambergris Caye, Belize

This morning it was -18 on our thermometer on this snowy and cold icy November day in 100 Mile House.Yesterday when I was driving my 4×4 blue Dodge diesel “Pearl” to work, her and I met with perilous ice. She has sandbags in the back and has studded winter tires. Just before the highway from our quiet country turnoff, she spun wildly out of control heading toward the highway with traffic ahead. I saw a flash of a semi truck. I heard my husband’s voice”Get your foot off the brake! and turn into it!”. So I did.I turned a fierce left and saw myself going to crash into our neighbouring cattle rancher’s wooden fence line. I clutched and turned the steering wheel a hard left again missing the fence, doing a bumpy four wheel drive fast over the huge snow covered icy mogals on his property then came to a stop.The first thing that came to mind was a wave of relief that I did not destroy my neighbours fence. A woman in a big black ford diesel  and a baseball cap stopped to look. I waved an “I’m fine”, and she carried on. Much about living in the Cariboo is about dusting yourself off and carrying on. If something is challenging, you get right back at it and persevere. The incident was treated as though it was a normal event, as vehicles do go off the road due to ice from time to time, and that is how it is.This mental toughness and resilience is what I have developed after the last decade of living here.


Our Quest for Becoming Expats to Panama

This site is our journey to become expats to Panama and become entrepreneurs. Prior to our trip starting Dec 2, I will post an outline of our trip to Panama and Costa Rica and post pictures and stories of our  previous trips to Costa Rica and Belize. I will write about my philosophy and research on Self Directed Neuroplasticity,and the Science of the Heart. We will also have short stories about our life in the Cariboo. Click on the About Us tab to find out more about Kim and Glenn Mowatt from 100 Mile House,B.C. Canada.