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  • Lisa Labute on The Powerful Practice of Writing

    lisa labute from the goods for tyger tyger

    I've known Lisa Labute, owner of the Goods, for the past few years and have always felt a strong admiration for her. Not only is she just a wonderful spirit to be around, but she's also vibrating on this incredible level that is just naturally magnetic. It's no wonder she created a business with food that speaks to that vibration (I am assuming that we've all been to the Goods, but if you haven't, go right now!) 

    I asked Lisa to share with the Tyger gang what her daily routine looks like, but what she came back with is so much better. A real portrayal of a day, the freedom of letting go of perfection, and the powerful practice of writing. 

    I’ve been writing for my own pleasure for years. I first started documenting my dreams when I was 15, just the really powerful dreams, the ones with a particular essence that stuck with me long after I woke up. Soon I started to write my thoughts down too, those nagging incessant dialogues with myself. I found this to be a productive way to get the conversation out of my head. As the years passed I began to amalgamate my dreaming and waking life writings together in the same book, this presented some obvious parallels between the two. For example, an apocalyptic dream always foreshadows a relationship coming to an end in my life, without fail. This realization, though uncomfortable at times, has helped me honestly work through situations that are no longer serving me.

    In my late 20s I began writing down ideas like business concepts, new products, jewellery designs, community initiatives. A few of them materializing years later, after I had forgotten I’d even put them on paper. the Goods, is my gold-star example, I put the basic business model down on paper before I’d even had a food epiphany. The concept was to operate an incredibly healthy lunch service, take orders online and deliver daily. Exactly what the Goods was in the early years. Writing is powerful stuff (so is the food).

    My writing has continued and it’s second nature for me to take time to document perspectives, experiences, tasks, dreams, reflections, drawings, wish lists and ideas. And of course everything in the same book, always the same book.

    This brings me to my most recent writing discovery. A few months back I was asked by Ashley to contribute a piece to the Tyger Tyger blog. She suggested that readers might like to hear about my daily routines and I thought “Sure! This witchy-mama is asking me to write for her blog, only good can come of it.” Little did I know I would spend countless hours thinking about my damn routine, what was worth sharing, and what wasn’t. As I put pen to paper I disliked the curated approach I was taking, it was misleading to the reader, maybe even a little dishonest, picking out the routines that cast me in the best light. My routine, like my schedule is all over the place, it changes from day to day based on many factors: my mood, the weather, my current self-care practices, how busy I am with the Goods, demands on my private life and ultimately how I feel when I wake up that day.

    I decided to split my routine into two categories; Somedays and Otherdays. My plan was for Somedays to be framed as the idyllic, productive, regimented day with lots of focus and productivity, and Otherdays to be more lax, maybe even lazy with no direction or care for routine. I quickly outlined the two days and went to bed.

    I woke up the next morning without thinking about the post and went about my day. The day unfolded following the same trajectory as my Otherday routine, the majority of it simply falling into place... and it was a really enjoyable day! I couldn’t stop thinking about how I’d been giving myself grief over these “unproductive” Otherdays all the while it was restorative, fun and arguably productive in its own right. I was also a bit taken with the idea that I had envisioned the day I needed before it happened... could I do it again?

    That night, before bed I journaled the next day as if it had already happened. Being conscious I knew what I was trying to achieve, I included tasks that had to be completed but I sprinkled the day with some balance too. 24 hours later when the day was done it came pretty damn close to what I’d pre-journaled. What a great tool!

    I don’t pre-journal every night, but I try and fit it in a few times a week. And it’s really enjoyable, it has added another dimension to my journaling and allows me to practice some creative writing since my anticipation of the immediate future is more vibrant than my reflection on the recent past. I like the feel of intentionally planning my days one word at a time. I highly recommend giving it a go, I would absolutely love to hear if it works for you. Look at it like a writers take on a vision board.

    If you’re curious about the Otherdays entry I made, and then lived, please see below. As for Somedays, well I’ve deleted it. I have put an incredible amount of pressure on myself over the years to be constantly achieving so this one time I’m going to bask in the glow of the doing the bare minimum.


    One of my two dogs wakes me up at 6am like clockwork... I don’t know how they do it. I deep breathe, stretch and attempt to bring my awareness into the room before getting out of bed... but I grab my phone instead like I need a fix. I wash up and drink leftover smoothie from the morning before... I forget to take my vitamins.

    After a quick dog walk in the sunshine, I come back to my apartment, where I’m distracted by random tidying up and poking around in the garden. I chat on the phone with several of my BFFFs on their way to work.

    A wave of panic rushes over me for “wasting time”, I jump onto my bike and ride to the Goods. I buzz around the store, distract my spectacular team and chat up a few of my favourite customers. I love a good lunch rush but I duck out a little early on this one.

    I run a few errands in an attempt to feel productive and realize I forgot to eat something at the Goods so I grab a veggie burrito or the likes on the road. I systematically call my mom then my sister-in-law until one of them or both of them pick up so we can “shoot the shit” as we like to say back home.

    I make my way home to unwind and find myself in a social media deep dive. I have a few tokes off a joint, write or sketch and maybe even take a bath. I think about all the things I could do with the evening like meditate, pilates, float, cook, clean, organize, pay some bills, read, tarot or craft. Rather I decide to crawl into bed without washing my face and scroll through social until I fall into a deep, comfortable sleep.


    lisa labute from the goods for tyger tyger

    Lisa Labute is the founder of the Goods, a cafe located on Roncesvalles Avenue in the west end of Toronto, specializing in handcrafted, radically healthy food. Her inherent understanding of the medicinal potential of plant based cuisine has made her a leader in the functional food movement in Toronto. the Goods’ simple, yet meticulously crafted meals remind us of the deep connection between food and our wellbeing. If we eat well we will thrive.

    the Goods @thegoodsisgood #youalreadyknow