Lessons Learned When It Wasn’t About Me

“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't being said. The art of reading between the lines is a life long quest of the wise.” ― Shannon L. Alder Almost everyone today has someone, or knows of someone, going through the experience of cancer or a life threatening illness. I am no different. In 2009, my sister was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and my world turned upside down for a while. When I was first told about the diagnosis, I went through a period of shock and disbelief, before anger and deep sadness took over. At the time, the question I asked was the same one many others have asked, “Why?” Cancer is a word none of us want to hear. But we do! I had only been back in Canada for 5 months, after an absence of 26 years. During that time, I had lived and worked overseas and visited my family for a month of more, every couple of years. I do not believe it was a coincidence that I was pulled me back to my homeland at this particular … [Read more...]

Are you building walls saying NO? Ready for YES?

  Are your thoughts creating wall and barriers preventing you from experiencing more of life? Mine were! Does this sound like you? A friend calls you up or texts with a suggestion to go out for lunch. You pause! Your mind is frantically searching for the right answer. Should I go, shouldn’t I? If I don’t go what excuse can I use? I have so much to do right now. I don’t know! I have to pick up the kids? The litany goes on. I know this all too well. I went for a period when I built walls around myself and fended off almost all invitations, making up all sorts of reasons why I didn’t want to or I couldn’t. Often after I turned down an invitation I would spend hours thinking that maybe I was missing out, maybe I should have gone, why didn’t I say yes. Ah, the thought games we play! When I realized I sitting home alone far too often and was receiving fewer and fewer invitations even to me my excuses sounded lame. I decided ENOUGH. I saw that it was only my thoughts … [Read more...]

Stop the runaway train and take time for yourself.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve spoken to several people who are going through a time that is especially hectic, challenging or demanding. As a result, they’re emotionally and physically just DONE—yet finding themselves needing to dig down a bit deeper to find a bit more energy, compassion or patience for whatever life has brought. It can often feel that life resembles a runaway train with no brakes. Just rushing on at amazing speed with no ability to stop. But stop you must if want to be at your peak with clear thoughts, energy and creativity. If you keep going at the speed of a runaway train you’re bound to crash. The stress of keeping up this pace will eventually show it’s self in some form of health issues. Stress is the #1 factor behind most illnesses today. When you run out of fuel and come crashing down, who are you really helping? Have you ever been on an airplane? As the flight attendant goes through the safety talk you’re reminded to “Put your own oxygen … [Read more...]