This season Manulife is creating a movement of gratitude and paying it forward kindness during the Christmas season. We hope that by sharing our stories of #LifeAdvice and #gratitude we can amplify the conversation and encourage more people to think of sharing these types of kind gestures over the holidays. 

When we were little, my brother and I would play a super fun game called “Stop Hitting Yourself.” You know, where the stronger sibling overpowers the innocent cute sibling and makes them hit themselves with their own hand. A potent series of events that starts with hysterical laughter then quickly leads to wet screaming requests to “Stop it, or I’m telling Mom!”

I thought as I grew, filled out my acid wash jeans, became the woman I am today, buying those same jeans at Old Navy in the ‘Wink, Nod, Yep Helllllooo Again 1987’ section, that I had grown out of my self-flagellation stage.


As someone who blogs, I live and die by the love I am given. The words of encouragement and praise and silken comments on the posts I write absolutely grease my joints, and fan my flames, and shut up the greasy beast inside me that wheezes “Give it up girl. You’re the 17 millionth blogger in the world. And there’s a new Homeland on.”

When the love washes over me, I feel invincible. Words are fresh and fly out of my head and slot in tightly next to each other with a satisfying ‘click.’ I have something to say, and everyone wants to hear it. Write ON.

Then life railroads my writing attempts, or something I laboured over barely makes a breeze, and all of a sudden, I am nobody. I am wasting my time. There is nothing left to say but I’m banging that drum even after the party has long dispersed.

Go to bed Brooke, the Internet is closed.

Lynn Morrison, from The Nomad Mom Diary, and one of our Blunt Mom Editors, jumped on me one day when I was punching myself in the face with woe-is-me wails. I was passive aggressively moaning about quitting. I was letting self-doubt make me slowly furl up my petals and want to quit this hustle.

Wise words were poured out. I bathed in them.  She told me to settle down. Know my worth. Own that worth and take good sweet care of it. 

I can choose to believe the women I look up to when they stroke my ego and hair.

I can believe I am a writer; a good writer.

I can tell a story. I can write you a story, my story, and it is a good story that you will remember.

I can tell myself that any time spent pouting or sulking or self-doubting is time I could be writing. It won’t always be sparkling or land cleanly, but it always feels right when I hit Publish and close my laptop.

I can feel sharply that if I love it, that can be enough.

I can stop, realign my shoulders, and finally stop hitting myself.

Visit the Manulife blog for more details on what they are doing to share gratitude this month, or pop onto the #LifeAdvice hashtag on Twitter and start sharing the best life advice YOU have received! 

This post is sponsored by SPLASH Media Engagement on behalf of Manulife. 

@Manulife is asking you to spread some positive by thanking those in your life who have given you great #LifeAdvice. Take a moment to #PayItForward by thanking someone important to you.


Brooke Takhar is a Vancouver-based mama to one goon and busy body to all. She loves the Internet, glittery nail polish, over-sharing and teaching her kid outdated dance moves. If you really love her, you'll fight in public.


  1. “Know your worth.” Such great words of advice. You are such a talented writer and I, for one, am glad that you listened to Lynn.

  2. Brookie – this, THESE WORDS, are exactly why I jumped all over you that day. You are amazing, we all know it and we’re just waiting for you to catch up with the rest of us. LOVE YOU!

  3. Lynn’s no dummy!! You have such talent Brooke – your word choices and the way you map out a story take my breath away every time. xo

    • Agreed. You don’t need to hit yourself, Brooke. Your editors will lovingly hit you for you. 😉 But mostly for saying you should quit. Obviously Lynn beat me to it.

  4. I’m glad you decided to stop hitting yourself. Now you just need to stop picking your nose and wiping it on the wall. 😉

  5. A) I couldn’t love this post more.
    2) I needed this today more than ever.
    III) Your writing has always made me laugh, think, want to read more, and want to hang with you.

    Also, I never learned to outline and I listened to a lot of Car Talk on NPR.

    Great post, great reminders for all of us.

  6. Thank you SO much to all the wonderful writers I ADORE that have commented here, shared my stories and inspired me in ways they don’t even know. I am so ridiculously lucky.

  7. Love it, Brookey! You’re for sure my favourite blogger/advice giver/well, lady, really! The more you write, the more awesome and hilarious stuff we get the pleasure of reading!! Keep it up!!! 😀

  8. I hear ya, sister! I loooove to get comments to help boost my esteem. But you’re right — even if a post isn’t well-trafficked, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t well-written. So write on, lady!

  9. You deserve all sorts of blog love, as you’ve written hella good stuff here (and everywhere). So feel the love, baby!

    I was needing your words today, this week, this month, especially this: “I can feel sharply that if I love it, that can be enough.”

    Thank you for reminding me that, ultimately, although I adore an audience, I write for myself, and if I love something I wrote, it’s fine and fair to ignore any eroding voices.

  10. This is outstanding and so valuable! I needed to read your words tonight and I am better for them. Thank you for writing this post and thank you, universe, for leading me here.

  11. Honestly, this is one that I need to print out and tape in my planner and read it often. I understand where you are coming from only all too well. There are a lot of folks out there that you touch that know your worth. I’m one of them.

  12. Brooke….you’re easily one of my favorite bloggers/writers. I can sit here and go on and on and rain down all the superlatives in world, which would all be true. But instead I will say, I love this post because I relate so much. I feel the exact same way you described in this post. Keep kicking butt, and giving the finger to those thoughts of doubt.

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