A Take-No-Sh*t List for Your Well-Being.

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Have you ever walked by a tree that is branching out sideways out of a wall—baffling gravity in its existence?

Or seen a flower that is growing through cracks in the cement and marveled at its sheer stubborn will to show up and not only exist, but resiliently thrive?

This list is not about merely existing. This list is not about primitive-survival self care. You already know how much water to drink, that you feel better when you exercise and eat nutritiously and get eight hours of sleep.

This list is about that next part—expanding your existence from a place of fire by living, speaking and breathing from within your power. It’s a “take no shit” list for your well being. You are a vigorous being of worth—plant your feet, own your brilliance and show up to this world by being in service to yourself with these nine steps.

1. Learn the art of boundaries and how to say “No.”

Most people want to be liked. Most of us have, at some point in our lives, said yes when we truly desired to say no. I am guilty of walking in the shoes of being a people pleaser. I want to say yes all the time, to everyone. However, it is sometimes a disservice to ourselves and those around us to exist solely to please. Boundaries are healthy and necessary. Boundaries with our friends, lovers, family, strangers, teachers and most importantly ourselves.

If a man in the café lineup asks you to sit with him for coffee and you have zilch interest in getting to know him, gently tell him that although you appreciate him reaching out to connect that right now all you want is some time with you. His feelings might be hurt for a nanosecond but you’ll have saved his time and your energy in the long run.

When you feel it deep in your gut that you don’t want to do something—honor your intuition and yourself. Learn to say no gently—and use it to be in service to yourself. Accommodating you and your power is important.

  1. Get To Know Your Purple Elephants

You know those moments where you possess an urge to sweep something uncomfortable under the rug, super glue the rug down and then disconnect the wires so the lights remain off of it forever?

I want you to rip that rug off so quickly it may make your system shriek in shock, stare it dead in the eye and talk to it till it’s black and blue and free to walk transparently.

I want you to dive into the ocean of uncomfortable, French kiss mystery and flash the world your beautiful vulnerability. The people in your life will only love you more by your ability to be transparent with them.

Talk about your shame, guilt, and fears—get naked and douse it with as much awareness, light and empathy you can possibly create. Your purple elephant won’t survive and you will grow tall.

3. Be the person you want to fall in love with

I decided this year that instead of dating the men who did things I admired that I would learn to do those things myself. As a good friend of mine and relationship coach Mark says, “Make a list of all the things you want in a partner and then be that list yourself.”

I now live in a log cabin in the woods, wear plaid, smell like smoke and taste like the sea. I learned to chop kindling with my teeth, use a chainsaw, caulk a sink, put a paintbrush to canvas and I went after what I love—writing, hard. Next up on my list is learning, “Ain’t no sunshine” on the guitar, learning Spanish, and buying a beginners motorcycle. I may never grow a beard but I figure I will leave something for my future partner to be good at.

Sweep your own a$$ off your feet. Be an asset to yourself by showing up in this world doing the things you admire and love.

Be mad about you. You’ll attract an even more bada$$ version of yourself by doing so.

 4. Take Personal Growth Courses

We tune up our cars, renovate our houses, repair our clothes and shoes—why wouldn’t we invest the time to tune-up our souls?

People associate “self growth” with “self help” and immediately throw a wall up and remark, “There’s nothing wrong with me.”

Our belief systems are formed by the age of six.

The way we react to resistance, receive affection, give love, communicate—all of this is formed in the earliest stages of our lives. Some of your deepest roots may come from experiences you don’t even remember anymore—that’s reason enough to dive in.

If we have negative limiting beliefs about ourselves or the world we live in they will affect how we progress, grow, live and love. The only way to uproot them is to identify them and spend time looking that sucker in the eye and telling it, “You do not serve me.”

  1. Spend less time glued to screens and more time living.

When we turn a TV on we turn off our brain—we check out and let someone autopilot our mind. It’s a great escapism—it can also be damaging. When you sit glued to the Internet, your phone or a TV you disconnect from the moment unraveling now. Our world is full of “smart phones and dumb people.”

Turn that shit off. Stimulate yourself out in the big beautiful, living, breathing world. Remember about ladybugs, lupins and stars.

6. Live Vicariously Through Yourself

It is not good enough to live our lives through anyone but ourselves—period. Reading a book about climbing Everest is not the same as climbing Everest. Looking at a friend’s photographs of snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, or jumping with Machu Picchu behind them is great—but it doesn’t cut it.

We need to live our own desires and wants.

We need feel first hand what the thinning of oxygen feels like at 15,000 feet and observe the world around us vanish into rocks and ice. We need to stand at base camp and marvel at the mean mother herself.

We need to strap on a weight belt, spit in our mask, and ascend into the ocean decompressing as we marvel at Nemos and a rainbow of coral at our fingertips. Elbow past the 20 million other people getting a photograph in Peru to create our own jumping phenomenon.

Create space to speak the experiences into existence you desire—now.

 7. Learn To Receive support

Every single human being on this planet needs support. All of us.

We are not capable of carrying ourselves alone through life. It takes guts and courage to receive support. No one is taking away your power if you say yes to help. It does not mean you are unable or weak—it means you are human.

To receive is to give and to give is to receive.

By saying no to support you’re denying someone the gift of giving.

And if the entire time you are receiving you are planning of ways to reciprocate it, you aren’t honoring the other person’s gift. Accept with grace and just say yes.

8. Take time to do nothing.

The first time I flew to visit Greece, my motherland, I learned the art of spending time doing nothing. From 2-5pm in Crete all of the cities (even the biggest ones) close down their shops. Why? Well, to take naps, drink coffee and eat. It is possibly why their economy is in complete turmoil but that’s beside the point—these people know how to live. They will probably outlive us all.

Our bodies need rest. They need to decompress and to unravel.

The reason we get sick is because we go, go, go, go and don’t make space to rest. When we get sick it is our bodies way of slamming on the breaks and forcing us to rest. Your body essentially gives you a time out.

Take time to sit at a café and drink coffee. Take naps—for the love of god, take so many naps. Take some time to lay like a lizard in the sun and just Greek out, man. The world will wait.

9. Never stop learning.

The way to keep a truly juicy relationship with our partners and ourselves is to eat up all the knowledge we can, take a short digestive break and then seek more.

“We need to make books cool again. If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them.”

~ John Waters

I have a friend who told me the reason she loves her boyfriend so much is that he is constantly finding new hobbies: rock climbing, banjo playing, spear fishing, yoga, gardening, astrology, learning French, ice climbing.

Drink up knowledge like it is the sweetest nectar you have ever tasted. Expand your mind, keep your relationships exciting and build you in the meantime. Win-Win-Win.



Mindful Manifesto #1.


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About Janne Robinson

Janne Robinson is a poet, writer, bushwalker, idealist and animal activist currently residing in Vancouver Island. She cuts kindling with her teeth, eats Bukowski for breakfast and makes the habit of saying the word feminist as much as possible. She surfs naked, pees in the woods, and loves whiskeys that swing their hips when they walk and know what they are doing. Janne's life-work is to be transparent. She makes a living off hanging her dirty and clean laundry out for the world to see. Her mission is to give others permission to also walk and exist with the same transparency. You can connect with her on TwitterInstagram and Facebook. Please also visit and connect with her Facebook writer's page. Check out Janne's website.


52 Responses to “A Take-No-Sh*t List for Your Well-Being.”

  1. Jenna says:

    LOVE this advice, thank you thank you 🙂 🙂

  2. Ripa says:

    Love the spirit with which you write, Janne! These are wonderful suggestions of how to live life fully…I especially like the taking time to do nothing ~ focusing on being more than doing. And the fearless vulnerability you write of is also very inspiring. I also do fall into the people pleaser trap, so the art of boundaries is, indeed, very powerful and necessary to navigate life with balance and true self-care, which also allows us to really care for others with all the more personal power, strength and compassion.

    Thanks again for sharing!


    • jannerobinson says:


      Hello again sister 🙂 Thank you for the incredible feedback. My heart is swollen with happiness that it spoke to you! I have yet to email you and connect but will make time to do that today. Boundaries are challenging and empowering, I am still learning about this and a student everyday.

      with love,


  3. Polina says:

    "From 2-5pm in Crete all of the cities (even the biggest ones) close down their shops. Why? Well, to take naps, drink coffee and eat. It is possibly why their economy is in complete turmoil but that’s beside the point—these people know how to live."

    I respectfully disagree with this. Not because I am Greek (and I grew up in Crete by the way), not because my studies and my job are about managing economic and financial crises (so yes, I do know a thing or two about how this crisis occurred), but because I find this comment offensive. In your opinion, are Greeks lazy, all of them? And if so, what happens in Greece right now is people 'paying for' their nonchalance?

    But more importantly, if you do think so – which is of course ok, we are all entitled to our own opinions – why share a negative comment here? Aren't we here to support and care for each other?

    I am sorry if I took this too personally (did I? Maybe I did). I love the rest of the article, of course.

    • jannerobinson says:

      Yasui Polina!

      I caused some great offense with my attempt to be light and sassy, I apologize. I too am also Greek, my father lives in Crete in a small town by Heraklion. I'm going to slam on the breaks, and rewind where that belief came from (and it truly was meant in the lightest manner). When I first travelled to Greece I went to Heraklion to set up a cellphone. I travelled by bus for an hour and showed up to find that all the shops were closed- I was infuriated being an instant gratification city dweller from Canada 😉 I wanted so badly for someone to take my money! On a small scale, I felt it was ridiculous that they closed there shops for 3 hours a day. I thought what New York or Edmontonians would think if we suggested we close down shop for three hours a day.

      Here's the truth of the matter- I carry no wisdom or knowledge on Greece's economy. This was a light jab at an experience I had and was meant to be more a compliment. Greeks take time to do nothing- I think all greeks have it so down pat on living. I had grey hairs that turned full circle just in visiting for three months. I have never been so fulfilled by a culture that does not rush through their meals, their company or their days. Greeks SERIOUSLY get it- and that's why I said the next part- that they will outlive us all. I fell in love with Greece the time I was lost looking for a government office and the woman I asked directions for looked at me and said, " Wait, Stop and have a coffee!"

      This was not by any means to be negative, I meant to pat Greece on the back and give the country a thumbs up. I am sorry if it came off as so!

      Thanks for your voice,


      • Lee says:

        Hey, Janne, Thanks for the lovely article. I, too, was a little jarred by that part of your otherwise beautiful essay — but then it became clear that you were basically just trying to acknowledge, in kind of a crooked way, that there is more to life than money, and living among people who understand that is a joy (except when you need a cellphone!) I couldn’t agree more!

        The Greek economy is no joke, however, for the people there who want work and can’t find it, as I’m sure you know. And I would just add my opinion that their economic troubles have less to do with taking time off and more to do with the macro-economic policies of the European Central Bank and the problems associated with two such different cultures as Germany and Greece trying to share a common currency. (I read a lot of Paul Krugman articles in the NYT.)

        Peace, Janne, keep up the good work! Lee

        • jannerobinson says:

          Thank you for writing me Lee. I wish I wouldn't of maybe kept that in. I meant to make light– but I am no greek conniossiur!

          I appreciate you challenging me, providing knowledge and wisdom and having me check in with what I speak. Apologies.

          with warmth and uttermost endearment,


      • freakylinksnebali says:

        I did hoy the light and playfull intention of the comment. Something similar happens in central México…

      • Debra says:

        I understood that you were talking about their ability to relax and enjoy life. It didn't seem to me like you were calling them lazy at all. In fact I thought you were embracing an out look on life. I'm not personally aware of the effects of the economic downturn. Perhaps I would have reacted different if I were. My point is, I'm sure it wasn't an intentional slam. 🙂

  4. karen katz says:

    great article…..I have been alone for a few years, and when asked if I am dating anyone, I reply, "myself"
    people laugh, but it is true, in a very good way.

    when the Universe is ready, my next love will arrive.

    • jannerobinson says:

      YES! Karen you are fantastic!

      This made me laugh and smile, I might borrow that one 😉

      So glad to hear it, thanks for sharing 🙂


  5. Elle says:

    Your sense of humor is truly delightful and your article honest and beautiful. Thank you for putting those precious words on paper – it's spurs me on for my new project to create vege beds for a living for people who want to grow through growing.

    Warm wishes 🙂

    • jannerobinson says:

      Hi Elle!

      Thank you for the sweet, sweet words. I am glad I was your veggie muse 😉 Where abouts are you creating these veg beds? Can a girl on the sunshine coast get one?


  6. Zoe Kors says:

    What a perfectly spot-on article, Janne. Thank you! "Live Vicariously Through Yourself." Brilliant.

    • jannerobinson says:

      Hey Zoe!

      Thank you! I thought "live vicariously through yourself" up two years ago when I was traveling abroad and someone told me they were living vicariously through me and I felt that it was so very unfufilling to do so.

      Thank you for your help with the title!! 😉



  7. Alison says:

    I can't fully express how much I loved this article! As well as the wonderful call to action I loved the way your character shone through in full glorious technicolour!!

    • jannerobinson says:

      Hi Alison,

      Ha! What a wonderful message to receive this morning. It's bursting with awesomeness. Thank you for your words and also for taking the time to say so. I had alot of fun writing it -glad it hit you where it needed to.



  8. Ross O. says:

    Thank you for pointing me here, Janne. I really admire your ability to speak from your heart without sacrificing practicality. There is no “fluff” here 🙂

    Number three really resonated with me. At a time in my life when I was seeking a partner to make me whole, my heart spoke the word: I am the love of my life. I have done my best to answer that call. It sounds like you are doing the same.

    Thank you for sharing, Janne. I look forward to more great insights from you.

    “We are exactly who we have been waiting for.”

    • jannerobinson says:

      Thank you- it's so much easier to live life shooting from the hip. Fluff free 😉

      I love what you heart spoke! So elegant and lovely.

      We sure as hell are- your rock Ross.



  9. dnelken19 says:

    Hi Janne, I might be the beard you're looking for 🙂 Time to sweep my own ass off my feet. Thanks for the great read. x

  10. mfrank31 says:

    I've just discovered this website and there are so many amazingly helpful posts!! I'm embarking on a serious journey of learning, about myself, and how I can be content. Meditation is the beginning, I think, to a way of living that is truly happy. This post in particular doesn't hurt either, I love the advice!

    I would love support and feedback as I go through this scary process 🙂 souldiscovered.wordpress.com

    • jannerobinson says:


      Thank you so much for taking the time to say so! I am glad this spoke to you. That journey hasn't ever ended for me-probably won't till I take my last breath. Learning is the bomb- high fives for growth.

      I will gladly check out your website.



  11. Ahsa says:

    Hope to see many more articles from you, Janne! This one really resonated with me…especially the tip to "be the person you want to fall in love with." Awesome! Thanks!! 😀

  12. Stephanie says:

    Love the article Jenna! I already do most of these things, but it is nice to see it being out out there that they are good to do . As a fellow elephant writer, how do you get so many people to comment on your pieces?! I would love conversation on my work, but can't seem to inspire people to comment. Thoughts?

    • jannerobinson says:

      Hey Stephanie,

      No worries on the name- its a tricky one to pronounce- even for computers 😉

      I don't have much control over the interaction with what I post. I promote my column through my social media and let the world receive it as they will. Half of art isn't in creating- we can create something but then we must throw it back into the universe and let each person who comes across it process and digest it, see and read into it as they choose too. Sometimes people interact, sometimes they don't. I am not fueled to create by what will be best received- some of my favourite pieces flop around like dead fishes with interaction but I am proud as hell of them and that's enough. Just write what you love Stephanie- let the universe do the rest 😉



  13. Stephanie says:

    My apologies for misspelling your name Janne…..cursed autocorrect!

  14. Stephen says:

    A fabulous read…thanks for the great post.

  15. @instride says:

    I love the sense of adventure you have (for discovering and building yourself in some cases) and really appreciate this article. I don’t usually like being told what to do, but I’ll make an except this time! Thank you!

  16. Patsie Smith says:

    Thank you Janne, for a great article – so raw and authentic 🙂 you make me smile. Continue to thrive as that free spirit that you are, blessings and light to you xo

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  18. Mel says:

    I love how you said this: "When we get sick it is our bodies way of slamming on the breaks and forcing us to rest." Such a good way of looking at it! It's weird how hard it can be to rest. Just yesterday, I was so tired, didn't feel like reading or sending emails…did some meditation and decided I needed to chill. I spent the whole day stressing about NOT doing anything when all I really needed to do was…nothing. 🙂

    • jannerobinson says:

      Hi Mel,

      It is such a good check in for me when I get sick. Nothing is the nectar of life- when we are running we are not present. Our world wakes up running and goes to bed running. Nothing is the key sometimes.

      Thanks for writing me 🙂


  19. chantelle says:

    You know, it's funny, reading this article without knowing you were the author, it seemed like your writing style and I just knew. Even though I've only ever read 1 of your articles, you have a really unique voice. Congrats on chopping firewood with your teeth, it's a tricky trick to master.

    • jannerobinson says:

      I love hearing that I have a writing voice. It felt like such great validation to know that there is an ebb, flow and style to what I create. Because I don't hear that voice. I just hear me as I always do.

      It is hard, but I've almost got it down pat 😉

      thanks for writing me lady!

  20. Alana says:

    I love an appreciate owning your body. People who come at you with negativity aren't angry at your body, they are angry at yours and lashing out for it. You are beautiful inside and out! Also you Ass isn't skinny!!! You are but you still have a booty, I am envious. I'm a skinny bitch with a white girl bum….

    • jannerobinson says:

      "people who come at you with negativity aern't angry at your body, they are angry at their own" or wait, I think I just edited that. But we were saying the same thing, right? 😉

      Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!! Someone just told me my ass was "phat" so I'm going to roll with that. My juicy soul is also phat 😉

      P.S I love your white girl bum.

      thanks for writing me,


  21. lana1967 says:

    “We need to make books cool again. If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them.”

    ~ John Waters

    If I had known that advice and followed it before I got married, I would have saved myself a lot of aggravation over the years. Would I have gotten married? Who the hell knows? But at least we wouldn't have stupid fights over buying books!

  22. J_P says:

    I hope Kindle books count. Hard to put those on display.

  23. #7, so difficult for me, LOVE the advice, I must heed! Thank You .

  24. Donnelle says:

    I f!$&’in loved this article. Just what I needed to read today . Thank you so much! So important to fall in love with yourself at every stage of life. Thanks for the not so gentle reminder! Haha. Muchness, Donnelle

  25. Stephen says:

    Wow….fabulous piece.."sweep your own ass of your feet" 🙂

  26. Dennies John says:

    #9. Never stop learning.

    – this is what i follow everyday !


  27. Andrew says:

    I loved the bit about the purple elephants and becoming more open to vulnerability. We're surrounded by too much comfort and the only way to grow is to become familiar with the discomfort in whichever field we're looking to gorw in.

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