Fish Bowl


Moving to Vancouver this summer marked the end of the long distance phase in my relationship with my partner – TJ (in case you’re wondering, that’s short for Timothy James).

One of the activities that we used to do to make the most of the times when we were together was something we’ve been calling “THE FISH BOWL.”

The fish bowl activity went like this:

  • Throughout the day, we would bring awareness to anything that brought insight, clarity, inspiration, or humour. It could be from something we’ve seen, heard, read or simply thought of (anything really)
  • At the end of each night, we would sit in front of our fish bowl & light a candle to symbolize the sacredness of this activity (for those curious, this fish bowl was the previous home of TJs late fish named Alexander VanDertramp)
  • We’d then share the story of how the word or quote came to be, including the lesson or meaning behind it
  • The word or quote was then written on a piece of paper, folded (accordion style) & placed in the fish bowl
  • Each morning, we would (at our own time) pull a quote out of the fish bowl and allow its message to shape our day
  • To keep the intention going, we’d use that ‘paper of the day’ as a bookmark for whatever we happen to be reading at the time

Over the years, this fish bowl activity has become a PRACTICE yielding many benefits including the fostering of the following:

  • Reflection – A practice that is valued from kindergarten to post graduate studies, the ability to reflect is integral to learning, growth & the development of humility, meaning & wisdom.
  • Creativity & Imagination – Because TJ and I both like friendly competition, we often put a lot of energy into creating something that we hoped would blow the other persons mind away.
  • Regular Communication & Shared Growth – With a scheduled routine for sharing our reflections, we sometimes talked about things that may not have come up had the space for communicating not been created. Furthermore, this validated our sense of partnership as individuals on a journey of learning & growth.
  • Direction & Focus – Ever start your day with a sense of “blah?” Lack of motivation? Clarity? I do. Hence, I’ve got a shelf on my altar with resources to help focus my mind i.e) a vision board with particular words, the bible, oracle cards etc. This fish bowl can be an addition to whatever resources you may already have that offers your mind a healthy & positive focus for the day. Because remember: The body goes where the mind goes : )
  • Excitement & Enthusiasm – Do you know that feeling of pulling out a winners name or a ticket stub from a prize box? Well I experience that same feeling when mixing up all the pieces of folded paper, in anticipation for that “perfect” quote to jump into my hand. Now when it comes to positive emotions such as excitement, enthusiasm & joy, there is no doubt in the world of health sciences that these emotions are certainly good for your body-mind’s health.

Now that our relationship is no longer a ‘long distance’ one – TJ and I have made some minor changes to our fish bowl practice. Instead of daily reflections, we now add to the fish bowl once a week (every Sunday, actually). However, we are continuing to pull new quotes from the bowl daily & using it as our bookmarks.

Each week from here on, I’ll be blogging about the most inspiring quote or word of the week. In addition, I’ll be providing free guided meditations on Periscope to help you embody & manifest each weeks inspiration. Periscope recordings are live and a great way for us to create community. So if you haven’t yet, do get the Periscope App and let’s connect @memoirsofajaisa.

This Sunday, September 27th at 3pm (PST)/6pm (EST), let’s connect on Periscope where I’ll be offering a 15 minute Introduction to Mindfulness Workshop.