Walk For Farm Animals, Vancouver Style 

Well, this day was the most fun I've had in a long time! What better way to spread the word of compassion than with an amazing Carnival band, awesome happy people and a receptive audience?

Walk for Farm Animals is a chance for people to get together, raise money and spread the word about the amazing Farm Sanctuary non-profit organization, who protect farm animals from cruelty, inspire change in the way society views and treats farm animals, and promotes compassionate vegan living. My husband and I  got involved through our super PMA neighbor, Mary-Chris, who is one of the board of directors with Liberation BC, a local non-profit orgization that have been putting on the Walk for 7 years. When we heard about the walk, we couldn't wait to get on board!

I've always been a bit of a wallflower when it comes to things that matter. I'm vegan, and I make a difference with what I eat, but I never truly got involved outside of that realm. I thought to myself, THIS is my opportunity to go that extra mile, so at the last minute I decided to do a little fundraiser... better late than never, right?! I'm proud to say that I raised $115 for Farm Sanctuary, thanks to all the amazing donations! It may not be much in this day and age, but every little bit makes a difference. And if we all stopped making an effort because we didn't think $5 could change the fate of one animal, then animals would never be saved. So thank you to everyone that helped :)

The Walk...
Oh man, if you haven't done one of these before, you need to do it! I had so much ridiculous fun it should be criminal! Mary-Chris had given us an amazing pep talk before the walk which inspired me, and I'm sure everyone else, so much. She encouraged us to connect with the people on the street, to have fun and be positive. Being vegan means being compassionate, healthy, and making a difference in the world. If people on the street can see us for who we really are, then they will engage. Well that is exactly what we did! We had an incredible Carnival Band lead the way which completely set the tone. They played lively, funky, peppy music with attitude, and they all dressed up in amazing animal costumes. You couldn't help but enjoy yourself with that crowd! We walked around downtown Vancouver handing out pamphlets with vegan recipes and information about Farm Sanctuary to spectators, bus drivers, people driving their cars, basically anyone that would take them, all while waving and smiling and dancing. We even had lovely police officers escort us around the town (some even stopped to take pictures of us!). The people on the street were so receptive to what we were doing, they smiled and waved back and even honked their horns. There were a couple of times where I got teary because I was so moved by how people were connecting with us. Honestly, this event couldn't have gotten more PMA!

After doing a loop of the town, we ended the walk back at where we started, the Vancouver Art Gallery. The band wound down by playing their last song and collapsing on the ground, it was pretty entertaining. The Carnival Band were incredible, and the walk wouldn't have been the same without them. If they're reading this, THANK YOU!!!

I'm so grateful to Liberation BC, Farm Sanctuary, The Carnival Band and all the people that I had the pleasure of spending the morning with. They made my year so much better and I can't wait to do it next year! If your city doesn't have a Walk For Farm Animals yet, maybe this is your chance to create your own fun street party. You can register here. It's a great way to meet people in your area, have fun, and make a difference.

I hope you enjoy the pictures I posted, and that they inspire you to spread a little PMA in your town :)

Thank you so much for reading... I'm truly grateful.

Hayley :)




A Walk for Peace 

On a cold and unbelievably wet Sunday morning in September, I had the priviledge of taking part in something so profound that it moved me to tears. Myself along with 70 thousand eager people gathered in downtown Vancouver to participate in a healing event that has been neglected from Canada's history for far too long.

There is a dark secret that a lot of people know nothing about, or close their ears when it is mentioned. I am embarassed to say this, but I knew nothing about it until last year as it seemed to have been left out of all Canadian childrens history textbooks. 

A little history lesson...
Following the Indian Act of 1876, the Canadian government created a network of Indian residential schools. These boarding schools were funded by the Canadian government and administered by the Christian churches. They were designed to force the "Indian" out of these young First Nations. It was compulsary for children aged 6 to 15 to attend these schools and if they were not willing to attend then they would be forcibly taken from their families and communities. They were beaten, starved and raped. Disgraceful, I know. New research has even revealed that at least 3,000 of the 150,000 children died while in the care of the church and government. Not only that, these schools were still running up until 1996! This part of history led to a lot of unfortunate realities for the First Nations people. A lot of seperation between the settlers and aboriginals of Canada. There has been a lot of hurt, shame and trauma tied to this history and it was time to come together and make a change.

Moving forward...
On September 22nd, 2013, thanks to the hard work of Chief, Dr. Robert Joseph, and thousands of others, the Walk for Reconciliation had begun. It was a chance for all Canadians to start anew. To "move beyond sorry and to move beyond misunderstandings"  and walk together, as one.

There were speeches made by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's daugher, Dr. Bernice King, along with the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations in Canada, Shawn Atleo, and countless others which were all incredibly inspiring and moving. The hope that filled the air was so thick you could almost hug it! Once the the choir had sung, the speeches were read and we witnessed the blanket ceremony, we began our walk together for reconcilliation.  

I am so proud and honored to have been a part of this historical moment. I look forward to teaching my future children about these moments, like the end of apartheid in South Africa and the Civil Rights movement in the United States, when people were acknowledged for being individuals, not races, cultures or religions.

'Namwayut ~ We Are All One.

I would like to thank Vancity for not only giving us awesome t-shirts but for sponsoring such an amazing event. I'm so grateful that there are banks out there that care about their community as much as Vancity does. 

Hayley :)

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you missed it, I posted pics above!

Treatment Through Positivity 

Hey Positive Peeps!
Some of you may know that I recently did an interview with Lymphoma Canada about healing with positivity. It was featured on their website, but if you missed it you can read it here. Now, while they obviously couldn't fit all of my answers into the feature, I thought I would share them with you incase you wanted a little more insight into my experience with Lymphoma. So, here you go...
Interview by Russel Sabio

1) How did you know that something was wrong? What symptoms of lymphoma did you display?

I first noticed something was wrong when I was at work one day and got this feeling as if I was being choked. This sensation like all the blood was being constricted from my head. It started happening often enough that I decided to go to the local clinic where the doctor thought it might be my thyroid. Obviously that was not the case. At that same time, I also started getting sick, which my family doctor thought was pneumonia. But after numerous tests, it turned out that I had a tumour in my chest that was surrounding one the main arteries, which was constricting all the blood going to my head and causing pneumonia like symptoms in my lungs. When I found out about the tumour, I thought back and realised that I had a lymph node on the side of my neck that was swollen, I had also been getting night sweats and had lost about 10 pounds. All of which I attributed to stress. If only!

2) Bring us back to the day you discovered you had lymphoma. Describe to us your feelings and actions.

Not my best day. My doctor had previously told me after an xray that he had found a mass in my chest. He said that it might be nothing but it could also be cancer, so he sent me to a surgeon to discuss a biopsy in order to determine exactly what we were dealing with. Sitting in the surgeon’s office with my parents a few days later, he was explaining the procedure to us, when my mum asked what happens if it turns out not to be cancerous. This is when he turned to my mum and said bluntly that it was definitely lymphoma. I sat there in shock. Up until that moment I was holding onto the hope that it was nothing. We finished talking about the procedure and then his lovely intern took me into the examining room to take my blood pressure and what not. I sat on the table and just started to cry. I held it together as best I could, so I didn’t make her feel uncomfortable. She held my arm and explained that they didn’t know that I hadn’t been told yet. She was very sweet. I went home to be with my family. I had no idea how to deal with the news, so I just tried to keep it together for my family's sake. I knew they were terrified and I didn’t want to make that burden worse for them.

3)What is the significance of your hair loss?

The diagnosis of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma was shocking, but at the same time, even when I started chemo I couldn’t see it. I felt somewhat healthy and when I looked in the mirror I saw someone that looked healthy. But when I started losing my hair, that was the truth staring me in the face, and the loss of control that I thought I had on the situation. I was also someone that had changed my hair on a regular basis, whether it be style or colour, I always had fun with it. It became my identity. But when that was taken away, I had to face the real me, the me without that false identity. The stripped down version of Hayley. Sometimes that’s scarier than cancer.

4)What is a positive mental attitude?

Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) is a term originally coined by Napoleon Hill. To me, it’s the sledgehammer that helps you break down the wall of negativity to let the good stuff shine through, the stuff that we can be grateful for. All it takes is changing your perspective: focus on the positive rather than the negative. I’m a realist though, and I know that this world isn’t perfect. So, while I obviously take note of what isn’t working in my life and try to make improvements, those very same aspects actually highlight all the things that are working and for which I am deeply grateful. Luckily we all have access to this inner tool, it’s just whether we choose to use it or not.

5)What is your medical status now?

Since November 23rd 2011, I have been cancer free!

6)Why do you credit your current health status to having a PMA?

I wouldn’t say that PMA alone cured my cancer, but it was definitely a major contributing factor along with a few other crucial lifestyle changes. I believe that one of the biggest killers is stress. If we could eliminate stress from our lives, whether it be through mental attitude, environment, or eating habits, we could all live quite healthy and happy. So when I was diagnosed, I knew that the best thing I could do for my body and mind would be to stay positive, focus on the blessings in my life, and do things that make me happy and surround myself with people that add positive energy to my life. Mind and body are connected, and stress has the power to break them both down, so be proactive in living every day with PMA!

7)What is P.M.Art?

P.M.Art stands for Positive Mental Art, and it’s basically PMA in the form of art. Whether it’s designs on tshirts or quotes on canvases, they’re all the materialisation of my creativity into products that inspire people to feel good. We all need daily reminders to keep us on track. I have a PMA tattoo on my forearm that I see all the time, which reminds me to constantly refocus and stay positive. I realise that not everyone is into tattoos though, so I wanted to create more accessible things that would help people to pump up their PMA.

8) How did you decide to take an artistic route?

That was a no-brainer! I’ve always been artistic; my life isn’t complete unless I’m making something, so it was only a matter of time until it turned into a business.

9) What is your goal in this company? How will your art help others with lymphoma?

My goal with P.M.Art is to inspire positivity in others. I want people who are in contact with my art/products to feel good. Whether they’re wearing a tshirt or visiting the website, I want them to be reminded about the power of positivity and how a simple shift in perspective can change your whole life for the better.

10) What was your treatment plan and how was your treatment different (with the inclusion of PMA)?

My treatment plan started with a surgical biopsy followed by 12 sessions of chemotherapy over a 6 month period. What made it different from typical treatment plans was the changes I made in my life while going through treatment. I took cancer as a chance to really look at my life and decide what was working and what wasn’t. Like I said, stress is a killer. It will break you down eventually, emotionally and physically. So first things first, get rid of stress. I started by eliminating relationships from my life that weren’t working anymore. I also adopted a plantbased diet, which changed my life in ways I couldn’t have even dreamt of. Not only was I feeling good about doing the right thing for animals and our planet, but I also was seeing massive changes with my speed of recovery after chemo sessions. What would normally have taken me 12 weeks to recover from, was now only taking me 1 to 2 days! Also, as soon as I changed my diet, my hair started growing back, and this was during chemo. I was already feeling positive, as much as you can while receiving chemo, but after weeding out all the things that were holding my life back, I felt the true healing begin!

11) Do you recommend the route you took to other lymphoma patients AND their families?

There is no question in my mind that PMA is for everyone. Whether you’ve just been diagnosed or your family member is going through treatment, finding positivity is key. Of course there are always times when you need to cry and get mad, but when those moments pass, as they always do, enjoy life! Laugh a lot. And when you’re done laughing, laugh some more! Even if it turns to tears, it’s all positive healing.

12) What is your hope for yourself, your family and your brand?

My hope for myself is to live a healthy, compassionate and loving life, and to always be striving to make a positive difference in this world. My hope for my family is that they are happy in whatever it is that makes them happy, and that I get to share that journey with them. My hope for P.M.Art is to expand into even more forms of art, all inspiring positivity. In the future, I would also love to start a charity that helps the youth; maybe something that empowers them to make strong, informed choices, and to be themselves.

13) Words of advice to lymphoma patients and their families?

Hindsight is a beautiful thing. It has taught me what I could’ve done differently, and I can now pass that experience on to others, which I’m really grateful for. So, here is what I learned: Take the time to find out what feels right for you. You are the one in charge of your health and what happens to your body, no one else. Fear can take over and before you know it, you’ve made decisions that you didn’t even realise. But, fear isn’t you, you are stronger than fear. No matter what stage you’re in, you have a choice. As for family members. Support, support, support. For yourselves and for your loved one going through this.

14) Words of thanks to your family?

My family were my heroes. They went to doctors visits, laughed with me through chemo sessions, flew across the world to be with me, gave me pep talks when I didn’t have the courage to shave my head, and even raised money for me when I couldn’t afford the medications. Most importantly, they supported each other when I didn’t have the strength to. I am overwhelmed by the love and support that was shared between my family and they will continue to be the inspiration for my PMA.

15) Anything you would like to include..note the theme of this month's newsletter is treatment

Do not underestimate the vital healing power of your attitude and your diet!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read all of this... I’m so grateful. 
I’d love to hear your thoughts or answer any questions you may have about this topic, so feel free to leave a comment/question below :) Oh! You can always tweet me your comments/questions to @_PMArt, which would be awesome too!


Q & pmA... 

So it's been 4 weeks since the launch of P.M.Art and so far things are going awesome! Everyone has been so supportive and encouraging and I've even sold some tees! Pretty good start, if you ask me ;)

Since I've launched, a few amazing people have asked me some really great questions about P.M.Art, and I thought to myself, "Wow, I bet other people are wondering the same things!". So I'm going to take this opportunity to answer these questions that some of you might be wondering...
Here goes...

How much did you end up raising from the Indiegogo campaign?
Well, for those of you that are new to P.M.Art, I started the business by running an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for the start up costs. Ya know, things like buying tees, supplies, administrative fees, PR... all that fun stuff. I had 7 t-shirt designs at that time and buying ethical products such as tees is costly, so my goal was $15,000. After a long campaign, pushing it non-stop 24-7, I ended up raising $740. Not exactly the goal I was hoping for but I was super grateful for what I did raise. Since I now had $740, I thought to myself, "right, what can I do with this?". So based on popularity, I cut my t-shirt designs down to 3 from 7 and cut back on things like PR and eating... only kidding, health first!

What's happening with the other t-shirt designs?
I have plans to use the other designs at a later date when P.M.Art is financially ready to take that step. I will be revamping them to make them extra special, which I'm really excited about!

How do you find running an ethical business when you're up against cheap off-shore competition?
Honestly, it wasn't a difficult decision to make. P.M.Art is about promoting positivity, so I had to ask myself:

1. Do I want to do what is right for the earth and all the lovely creatures that I share it with? Yes.
2. Do I want to feel proud of the products I put out there? Of course.
3. Will everything I sell create positivity in others? I really hope so.

So what other option is there? Obviously buying cheap products overseas would be the ruthless way to make money but that's not the way to change the world. I made sure that when I started P.M.Art that every decision I made was honest and ethical. I don't want anyone or anything to be hurt from the products that I sell. So although I don't make as much money on the products as I would if I were using cheaper supplies, I feel good about the change I'm creating in the world and that is worth much more than money in my pocket.

Well there you have it! Hope that answers some of the questions you might've had. I'd love to hear your thoughts on any of these topics, or anything else for that matter! So feel free to leave a comment below.
Thanks for reading!

Indiegogo campaign over, stay tuned for P.M.Art launch! 

After a long PR campaign and a ton of promotional tweets (thanks for putting up with them!), my Indiegogo campaign has finally finished! I'd like to thank all the people who supported the campaign, whether you contributed financially or just spread the word, you all helped make it happen, so thank you! Now the time has come for P.M.Art to be launched and to begin creating planet positive, one t-shirt at a time! Watch this space for lots of news coming soon...

P.M.Art and Gerson Institute join forces! 

I'm deeply moved and honoured to be featured on the inspirational and life-saving Gerson Institute's website. Not only is their work vital in curing diseases, but it's also what inspires me to stay healthy and cancer-free every day. To find out more about their revolutionary therapy and to read their amazing article on P.M.Art, please click here.

P.M.Art featured in The Best You magazine! 

Can you believe it?!! P.M.Art is featured in this amazing new magazine alongside incredibly inspirational people such as Paul McKenna, Sophie Keller and even Napoleon Hill!
I can't express how honoured I am to have even been considered for this. A heartfelt thank you to David Saunderson and all the staff at The Best You for making this possible.
To read the piece and download your free copy of this mega-motivational magazine, click HERE. Yay!!!