Monthly Archives: March 2014

Inspiration Sunday 3

Welcome back to Inspiration of the Week!

Today’s theme: HAPPINESS

“Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get” -W.P. Kinsella

“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.” -L.M Montgomery

“Generally speaking, the most miserable people I know are those who are obsessed with themselves; the happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others…By and large, I have come to see that if we complain about life, it is because we are thinking only of ourselves.”  -Gordon B. Hinckley

“Children are happy because they don’t have a file in their minds called “All the Things That Could Go Wrong.” -Marianne Williamson

Achilles heel

Recognize your Achilles Heel.

Our weaknesses have power over us when we are unaware of them. Confront what has been difficult and see what you can do differently. Develop a personal, yet simple practice for strengthening that muscle.

If you want to experience a breakthrough, move toward something that you would typically avoid. Recognizing your weakness is just as important as recognizing your strengths. Learning how to overcome these weaknesses makes you stronger.

Identify What’s in Your Way.

Take a self inventory and see if there’s something that’s keeping you from feeling free and abundant. Are irrational beliefs holding you back? Unspoken words, unfinished projects, conversations, or skeletons in our closets can draw us away from what’s important.

Overcome Obstacles.

Wherever there is an obstacle, simply design a strategy to maneuver around it. We often make roadblocks larger than they are which can lead to the demise of our dreams. Identify what’s obstructing you. Ask for help. Then be vigilant in following through.

Do something you love and dont compromise

Do Something You Love.

What haven’t you done for a long time that brings you joy or a sense of achievement?

Life is full of all the things we need to do and have to do, which is what responsibility dictates. Dreams dry up when we are overly “adult” or when there is little joy.

Participating in activities that you enjoy but haven’t found the time to partake in for years can help to rejuvenate you and put you on the path to success. It can lift your spirits which will in turn make you feel as though you can do anything you set your mind to achieve.

Don’t compromise your dream. Are you giving up on a dream or settling for less, before you’ve even explored the possibilities? When you do this, you are self consciously sabotaging your own dreams.

Our internal doubter mouths sentiments that are often worse than what anyone else could possibly tell us. Show you believe in your dreams by sharing them with another person. Get it out of your head and begin to make your dream a reality.

Plan a “Soul Day”

Following up from yesterday’s post, it seems like a good time to talk about “soul days”.

Plan a “soul day” during which you explore the deeper aspects of yourself that tend to get ignored. It doesn’t have to be an entire day off, but rather plan a portion of a particular day (or string of days) to do the following things:

Be Soul Full.

You are not made from the clothes you wear, the car you drive, or the house you live in. Really look deeper into your internal makeup and determine who you are on the inside. Truly knowing yourself is critical to achieving your dreams.

Cultivate and Create!

One way to learn about yourself is to participate in activities that require you to channel your creative side. Use art supplies, music, dance, anything that will help you reconnect to a deeper part of you.

Go on a Passion Quest.

For a period of time, use passion as a barometer for deciding what you will and won’t do (when choice is an option). Over the course of the next few days, whether work-related or during personal time, notice what excites you versus what drains you. Reignite your passion by simply doing more of what you love.

Clear Your Mind.

Notice any tension you’re facing right now. Imagine it drifting farther away as you slow your breathing, relax your body, and quiet your mind. Carve out this quiet time to listen to a part of you that rarely gets heard.

Beneath the daily turmoil, hear the wisdom in your whispers. By taking a break each day to relax and listen to yourself you will find that you reach a heightened sense of awareness that allows you to visualize your future more clearly.

Importance of Rest

Hey you!

Yeah, you! The one reading this on your phone with a coffee in the other hand running to your next pressing engagement.

Slow down.

Slow down so life can catch up.

Do you have any idea what the daily bustle may be doing to you? Aside from potential health issues, it could also be hindering you from being your best and realizing your true potential.

Arrange a day of “nothing planned,” letting your natural rhythm set the pace.

Sleep when you’re tired.

Eat when you’re hungry.

Let the dreamer in you awake from the drowsy sleep of disregard. With pen in hand, be attentive and hear what it has to offer. The chaos of life can be a rather hostile environment for dreams and ideas.

While hard work is often necessary to achieve success, quiet time is also necessary to ponder your goals and evaluate what you are doing to achieve these goals. Maybe you want to be the best parent for your kids, maybe you want to start a stay-at-home business or maybe you already have one, and you’re wondering how to take it to the next level.

Mired in reality, living within our clocks and calendars, passion and dreams can seem frivolous. But without our dreams, life becomes stagnant and mundane. Schedule an extremely overdue “dream vacation” or at least embark on a “dream day”.

Time resting is time well spent.

The Mess in Your Message – Integrity and the CEO of Exxon

During another amazing yoga class this week, the Sage brought a unique message to class: the mess in your message.

It is your actions that deliver your message – and at times, the mess is in the message. The mess shown may be an integrity issue, like what is happening with the CEO of Exxon.

The CEO of Exxon is in a mess right now. One of his competitors is fracking (a term used for the controversial technology of resource extraction from the ground) and building a water tower near his home. Exxon does a lot of fracking around other people’s homes. As the CEO, one would think if it were okay in one place, it would be okay everywhere.

However, he is suing to stop the fracking around his home, taking the competitor to court. His action shows a conflict in his integrity – what a mess. And what a strong message.

Where is the mess in your message? Where does controversy live in your life? The beautiful thing about the mess is it sends a clear message – even if you don’t realize it. Out of the mess, a solution can arise. Ask for help from a trusted friend or coach to clarify the mess and shift your message.

Our actions create a story, and are the result of a story.

Our stories emerge as a result of past actions and experiences.

Current actions are generated from the thoughts and emotions based upon what has happened to us.

This creates our experience of life, as well as our current circumstances.

Our fellow human being, the CEO of Exxon, had an opportunity to do something for the greater good. He is making a statement about a process that obviously is not in the best interest of humanity. He could have chosen to impact the problem and create a solution. However, he is choosing to exacerbate the problem based upon a serious integrity issue. He is also making a powerful statement about this fracking process: not in my backyard.

If not in his, why in anyone else’s?

This week, look at any ‘messes’ in your life. Are your actions amplifying or clarifying your mess? Becoming aware of the mess in your message is a critical step in creating an amazing life. Through awareness comes choice.

Create an amazing week!

Contributed by Executive, Life and Spirituality Coach, Jim Pehkonen

Face, Forge and Focus Your Finances

When it comes to your finances, you may choose to think about something- anything- else besides getting them under control. The concept of planning for retirement can seem like a fantasy when there’s so much you need that money for today, and that paycheck only goes so far.

But managing your finances is not impossible. Do it in 3 easy steps.

Face the Tough Stuff.

Practice the “what happened and what did you learn” theory of life rather than trying to make sense of everything. So you’re stressed about money- honestly ask yourself if your fears are true reflections of the events at hand. Accurately assessing where you are will help you choose the best strategy for moving ahead. Be honest with yourself about both your strengths and your weaknesses and formulate a viable strategy for achieving your financial goals.

Forge Ahead.

Being overly realistic can sometimes place limitations on your dream for financial security. You have bills, a mortgage, kids to raise- how can you possibly set anything aside for the future? However, while being practical has it’s place- don’t let it deter you too soon. Talk to someone like a financial coach. Be honest about your situation, but don’t let it deter you.

Focus Your Intention.

Use it as the rudder to aim and set the course of your life. The daily choices you make will ultimately support you in living your dream life.

What do you want your tomorrow to look like? Ask yourself this question and really think about your answer– it will determine the steps you’ll need to take to achieve your financial goals.

Inspiration Sunday 2

Welcome back to Inspiration of the Week!

I hope you had a great week, and your weekend is treating you well.

This weeks theme is: ENERGY

“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”  – Eleanor Roosevelt

“Usually, when the distractions of daily life deplete our energy, the first thing we eliminate is the thing  we need the most: quiet, reflective time. Time to dream, time to contemplate what’s working and what’s not, so that we can make changes for the better.” -Sarah Ban Breathnach

“The greatest weariness comes from work not done.”  -Eric Hoffer

“The difference between one man and another is not mere ability . . . it is energy.”  -Thomas Arnold

model someone you admire and move your dream forward

Model someone you admire.

Imitation is still the greatest form of flattery– who do you admire and why? Make a list of the qualities you admire in this person.

In what ways are you similar to them?

How do you wish you were more like them?

Remember to be admirable rather than envious. You’re likely to learn a lot about yourself and your own traits, goals, and shortcomings.

Move your dream forward.

Create a project you can easily accomplish in one month or less. Accomplishing small goals will help you build the confidence needed to achieve bigger dreams.

Think about the outcomes you want– not all the details. Tell yourself this dream is attainable. Measure your progress along the way to stay focused and on-task. Don’t forget to celebrate when you’ve succeeded. Recognizing your success will inspire you to keep forging ahead.

My Good Friend Tim

So I have been working with a young dude named Tim. Tim has difficulty expressing himself with words, he does not like social situations and he has a very different perspective on the world that you and I see.

Tim is an 11 year old pre-teen with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I met Tim when I began my internship in the behavioural classroom of a school, working with an eclectic bunch of people with very different personalities, and very different challenges. On my first day of placement I noticed that Tim did not seem to think that he needed to hang out with his peers at recess or at lunch-time…I knew something was a little quirky.

I asked the teaching assistant about him, and I was told to not bother, that this was who Tim was and is, and will be, so there is no real point in engaging him during these times, only to progress through curriculum. As a Child and Youth Care Practitioner of 5 years’ experience, I knew that something seemed off.

The next day at lunch, I moved past the ‘teacher’ table and sat down at Tim’s table, at which he is always unaccompanied; I sat down across from him and 2 spaces over. I just opened my salad and began my eating.

Tim, with some glorious pre-teen attitude said, “Why the heck are you sitting here!?! I like to be alone.”

After a brief pause, I replied, “me too”.

Tim looked at me with curiosity and then he continued his lunch. The next day I did the exact same thing, except I just sat quietly and we did not exchange any dialogue. After 8 minutes, Tim asked me about my position in the program that he is in, and just some fun facts about Jonny (myself). I shared a large piece about me and my strange yet cool family, and then asked him about his family. He divulged so much information, it was lovely. My colleagues were astonished at the fact that the new guy got him to talk.

The following week, I noticed that he had had a meltdown, and that the teachers were all reprimanding him, but my instincts said something was strange. At recess I asked him how he was feeling, to which he responded in his usual pre-teen response, “HOW DO YOU THINK IM FEELING!?!” After a brief pause I said, “Well how would I know, you haven’t told me.” He looked at me and shared so much information about who has been bullying him, how he feels betrayed and how he, ultimately just does not fit in. We spoke about it and created a plan together.

Following anybody’s verbal and body language, regardless of challenge or diagnosis, leads to extraordinary results. Be it with a friend, a lover, a family member or a child named Tim. It is up to you whether you take that initiative and sit down across from them and 2 spaces over at lunch and engage them at their level, not yours. In every crisis I have ever worked in, this is always the same, be it in my relationships, my family, and my friends or in my work with children with special needs.

This leaves one question–are YOU the one who will sit down across from somebody and 2 spaces to the side? The difference you will find in your life and in theirs is unbelievable.

Contributed by Life, Relationship and Youth Coach, Jonathan Friedman