March 2013

Posted by Michael G. Duhaney on 16 March 2013 | 0 Comments

Expressions

What are you going to do now?


So often I get caught up in the story of my life that it gets me bog down in trying to fix things, figuring out what I could have done differently. Mostly driven by fear, I find myself consumed by doubt.

But when I am able to bring myself to the present moment with deep appreciation of the life unfolding in the moment, I get to view my existence from a place of ease, possibility and hope. Motivated by love, I am able to access clarity, creativity and all the help that is available to assist me in living consciously.

What gets you into the present moment of your living? How do you keep the moment fresh and open for possibilities?

“The power of appreciation brings me to the present
moment of my living.”    Michael G. Duhaney

PEI

"The past does not equal the future.
Because you may have failed a moment ago,
all day today,or for the last six months,
or for the last sixteen years,
or for the last fifty years of your life
doesn't mean anything.
All that matters is."
what are you going to do now?

Anthony Robbins

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December - January 2012

Posted by Michael G. Duhaney on 15 May 2011 | 0 Comments

Expressions by Denise Young


Relationships are a necessary part of life that we don’t always get right. Nonetheless we emerge from one and move on to the next as fate allows. In so doing, we must be able to recognize the lessons of nature, make short our hour of mourning, and humbly embrace the chance to try again.


The day after

I know you’ve been used and abused
I know you feel ashamed and regret
Regret the day you said I do, I will, I can, I might
I know that time goes by and change never comes
I know that sometimes in a moment’s clip
You reflect and direct your attention to
The foolish ways, love-struck days and
Temperamental movement of the sun

I know you think it’s hard to surpass
Those alone days, contemplative ways that
You sat and mourned your superficial loss
But time goes by and seasons change and you
Hum to the beat of a new drum

There are things that waken and are awaitin’
To the shiver the life back to your worn out soul
So don’t be hatin’ it’s no longer frustratin’
You’ve seen the last of that philandering bum

Put on that frock
Spruce up your locks!
Step into a new chapter of love

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May 2011

Posted by Michael G. Duhaney on 15 May 2011 | 0 Comments

Expressions by Jane Harrison

Nature's Gift

Feeling a tad philosophical today...I have been in deep thought since driving home from work. A fellow being interviewed on CBC radio paraphrased a quote by Henry David Thoreau: "the measure of a man (person) is not how much he has, but how much he can live without." I thought to myself - this is the perfect quote to describe how I want to live a simple and self-sustaining lifestyle in three years time when I retire to my country farmhouse in Prince Edward Island.

I am going to challenge myself to see how much I can live without while I reap the benefits of living in a home surrounded by fields and forest.

I've been sitting in front of my computer for awhile reading up on Thoreau, about whom I had limited knowledge. He felt that the closer one lived to nature the more simple and "spiritual" one's life became. I tend to agree with that also - perhaps that makes me a transcendentalist? I don't know but what I do know is that being out in nature on a regular basis has been both a spiritual AND life-saving practice for me. Does that seem like an exaggeration? Well, read on....

I've always known that going for a hike in the woods, or walking along a beach, weeding in my garden, biking down a country road or falling asleep in my hammock at the trailer while listening to the doves crooning makes me feel better - happier, relaxed, calm, peaceful, less stressed.

A week ago I heard another snippet of a CBC interview related to this topic which completely piqued my interest. I jotted down the name of the fellow being interviewed (Psychologist Marc Berman) and later looked him up on the internet. It seems that the theory that spending time in natural surroundings can be calming is no longer a theory - it is a proven fact.

It has been proven that living in an urban environment takes a toll on our brains:
"Just being in an urban environment, they have found, impairs our basic mental processes. After spending a few minutes on a crowded city street, the brain is less able to hold things in memory, and suffers from reduced self-control." If you'd like to read the whole article - How the City Hurts Your Brain - The Boston Globe.

In the city our minds are always being vigilant - there are so many things to pay attention to - distractions like cell phones, dangers such as speeding cars, noise, smells, traffic lights - it's a continual assault on our prefrontal cortex. This tires our brain and we can no longer focus very well. This part of our brain also controls our ability to resist temptations (our ability to control our impulses) so when our brains are zapped we are far more likely to make purchases that we don't need and eat food that isn't good for us (drink alcohol, consume drugs, smoke) which can lead to addiction, over-spending and being overweight.

This explains why, at the end of a school day during which I've been on high alert with all my spidey senses tingling for six and a half hours, I am utterly exhausted and want to eat everything in sight!

Is there a cure? Yes there is. It's very simple. Give yourself a frequent (daily would be best) nature break and if you can't get outside to a park then look at nature photography like the ones I've included in this post. The real thing works best but it has been proven that simply looking at photos is beneficial.

It's been proven that patients in hospital who can see trees and the sky from their windows recover more quickly than patients who can only see a brick wall. Amazing, no? There have been many studies completed and they all show a huge positive impact from simply having access to nature.

Being able to get away on weekends to my trailer helped me get through the breakdown of my marriage. Hiking and biking out in the country has also been therapeutic and my habit of recording these treks with my camera means I can relive those experiences over and over again.

Thank goodness for trees and flowers and soft billowy clouds - without them I'd probably weigh twice what I do now, I'd still smoke and I'd be drinking a bottle of red every day after school!!

I have found several you tube nature videos that I am going to look at on my lunch, or I'll go outside for a walk, sit under a tree and listen to the birds. I'll see if that helps me be more focussed in the afternoon and if it helps curb my appetite once the school bell goes at 2:10pm. I already know it works - it just needs to be part of EACH and EVERY day.

As Thoreau stated: "In my afternoon walk I would fain forget all my morning occupations and my obligations to society." All of that from a simple walk.

Jane Harrison is a teacher and blogger http://lifebeginsatretirement.blogspot.com/

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April 2011

Posted by Michael G. Duhaney on 9 April 2011 | 1 Comments

Expressions by Shauna Rae

Your Voice Matters

I was in a funk.

For several months, I had lived each day like it was my last, taking in and appreciating each encounter, each conversation and each adventure. And it made me blissfully happy, probably happier than I have even been!

And then it hit me.

I had been unemployed and still not sure what I wanted to do, for SIX MONTHS! For some reason, that sounded like a REALLY long time. Likely because for me, it's the longest I've been out of work since I was 15.

I've always worked, always done something. A close friend said to me, "Six months? What have you been doing all this time?" I thought to myself, "Yeah, what HAVE I been doing all this time???"

That's when the train fell off the rails.

Other contributions included meeting a man who made it clear he only wanted friendship and I became distracted by trying to change his mind, and a number of friends all vying for a position at a new radio station, constantly questioning and frankly, dogging me about what I thought and how it would all go.

Up till that point, I had just trusted that everything would fall into place as it should and I need do nothing but surrender to it.

But it got to me, the questioning, the wondering. And I began to think, I need to do SOMETHING but what? I became obsessed with it. What should I be doing? I felt badly about myself that I had allowed so much time to pass and not have a "plan".

Then a friend, whom I had never met in person and only had contact with through Facebook, a person who brings focus to individuals in his position as a life coach, kindly offered sight unseen to meet with me to try and help me bring some direction to my future.

It was like meeting an old friend, almost like family! We chatted easily and warmly. I was scattered in my conversation but desperately wanted him to tell me what I should do next.

After only a short time, we realized we are on a similar path. I don't feel like my next job will be traditional nor have a title but I had been feeling the pull to do something easy to make some money.

I told him I felt like I was going to be part of a "shift" in the way people think and that I'm not sure how I will fit in to it but that I was fairly certain I was to be involved in it.

It was like a light switch turned on. He said he thought so too and he wanted to be part of it.

He had been making notes as I was talking and he wrote down on a piece of paper this simple phrase:

"Your Voice Matters"

It was chilling to me because I had interviewed Paul Young, the author of The Shack in person, when I had my radio talk show, and he signed my copy of his book. The Shack is a fictional story about a man who lost his way after his daughter was sexually assaulted and murdered. It's a book about forgiveness and faith, about the questions we all have when something horrible happens like, "How can a loving God let things like that happen?"

After the interview with Paul we had a very emotional conversation, in which I disclosed a lot of painful things that were going on in my own personal life. He not only signed my book but wrote a personal note of comfort. Part of the note he left said:

"You SO matter!"

It was magical and goosepimply! I can't tell you the freedom and mystical energy it brought! That simple phrase my new friend Michael had handwritten brought back the memory of what Paul had written and it freed me from the guilt I felt for not doing "something"! It was pretty much all I needed! It was confirmation from the universe that I need only to remain open to opportunities and to trust that I matter, that my voice matters.

But maybe that's the message for us all. Why do you think that people are incessantly posting things on social media websites? They're looking for validation, searching for confirmation that they, too, matter. We ALL want to matter to someone.

Wouldn't it be nice if we all looked each other in the face, even strangers, and told each other that we matter, that even just our existence and inclusion on this earth is of interest and vitally important? Think of the lives we'd save, the depression we might avoid, the happiness just one conversation could bring.

Ironically, as my new friend and I walked into a coffee shop and he ordered a coffee, we continued to talk and Kathy the barista behind the counter quipped, "Wow, it sounds like you guys are planning something really exciting!"

As I was once again overwhelmed with goose bumps, we simply smiled at each other with a twinkle in our eyes because we both knew, she was right.

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March 2011

Posted by Michael G. Duhaney on 25 March 2011 | 0 Comments

Expressions by Jenn Koh

Emerging From the Sidewalk Cracks

Emerging from the sidewalk cracks
Violet buds emerge.
Delicate Determined. Radiating Blossoming Grace and beauty.
Disregarding The harsh The limiting The suffocating.
Reaching towards the sun The light.
Discovering A life Of joy Of Beauty Unfolding.

When I was a little girl, I used to play a game in our beautiful garden just outside Durban, in South Africa. The garden , lined with strong tall pine trees around its perimeter, cerise pink bougainvillea and lilac hydrangeas, sturdy avocado trees and year-round lush green grass, provided the ideal playground for me and my two sisters.

The life I experienced, however, was a stark contrast to the lives of the majority of black girls my age. Unbeknown to me, in my beautiful little world, under an apartheid regime, fellow South Africans were being denied human rights. Denied an equal education. Forced to live in separate locations called ‘townships', away from the elite whites. Forbidden to marry a white person. Required to have a pass to work in a ‘white' area and prohibited from watching a movie in a ‘whites-only' theatre, or riding a whites only bus or train'. The first time I took a bus with a fellow black South African was when I was 19 years old.

As I grew older, I continued to witness oppression, mostly of women who lived and worked in the cities, far from their homes and families as domestic workers, a growing number of whom, became afflicted with HIV/AIDS.

Yet, despite the adversity many of these women faced on a daily basis, many found the inner strength and courage to rise up and beyond their circumstances.

...Miriam, a domestic worker who courageously came to work each day, despite the black and blue bruises to her eye, to ensure she made money for her seven children to get an education. Quietly in her tiny room, she made Christmas decorations to bring in extra income. And one of my co-workers, Joy, who came to work with a shaven head and stitches criss-crossing her skull, with a smile on her face, despite having been hit over the head with a glass bottle by a drunken lover. While she worked, she sang melodies that sent chills to the heart. And the many child-minders (nannies) caring for and nurturing children other than their own, having been denied many of the opportunities that many of their fellow white South African sisters had received. And Thandi, who, despite having been diagnosed with HIV and AIDS, learned to make exquisite beaded jewelry and grass baskets, to sell at a craft market in the city to bring in income for her family. Beneath the pain, courageous and creative spirits..... never giving up. Somewhere, somehow they had accessed a part of themselves that helped them heal and move on.

The ‘crafts-in-the-garden' game that my sisters and I played, where we spent hours creating dolls, table decorations and jewelry from pine cones, plants, bird feathers and pieces of wool and fabric from my mum's sewing closet and then trading these with flower currency.....were the passionate beginnings of what would later be fuel for a movement of change.

Later as my life progressed, I kept having visions of a retreat, a space where people would come to rejuvenate and heal, set in serene mountainous settings. I grew up not far from the Drakensberg mountains in South Africa and now live in Calgary, Canada, close to the Rocky Mountains. Mountains are for me a sanctuary, a place of sacredness. As part of an assignment when I was twenty one, two other women classmates and I created a PR and Marketing plan for a tranquil retreat nestled in in the Drakensberg mountains.

I consider myself a highly privileged individual who was blessed with loving, caring parents and given a good start in life. I have been able to live and work in many different cities around the world, I have also attended university, retreats, art, dance and sculpting classes.
So often I thought, it seems unjust that only the privileged get to experience soul-sustenance and time out from daily life at spas and creative spiritual retreats. What if all women from all walks of life and all economic circumstances were given the opportunity to experience soul-nurturing retreats? What if they were invited to attend a retreat, united with women from all over the world, able to tap into sisterhood and the creative gifts they were graced with, gain new knowledge and skills and able to step back into the world celebrating their uniqueness and then building sustainable businesses, if that's what their heart desired?

At the beginning of 2010, I decided that it was time to emerge from a period of pain in both my personal and work life. A 10 year marriage ended and so did an era of working in a regular 8 - 5 job, cooped up in toxic corporate environments. I created a vision board, set some delicious intentions, and found myself a DreamCoach. My vision was to create a life of love laughter and a creative, healing, abundant business, a portion of the proceeds to go to assisting underprivileged women artists in Africa build sustainable businesses.

It is true...what we water grows. In June 2010 an e-mail graced my inbox. The Best Brilliant Idea for Humanity. I took the plunge, and saw the contest as a catalyst for this vision and now have a team of great people, including my courageous co-leader, Michael Duhaney, assisting me on this path.... Precious Women Project International.

During my own life, when I have been in crisis and pain; the most effective way I have moved through these times, has been when I have gone deep within and tapped into my soul- self. Dance, clay, music, painting, writing, collaging, meditation, yoga, ancient breathing techniques and alternative healing modalities have moved me to a place far beyond what education did.

In a male-dominated world where the rational and logical rule , we have lost sight of and starved ourselves of the creative feminine. The price we've paid is evident everywhere. My intention is not to condemn men...by any means. Men too, have paid a price for not integrating and feeding the feminine...for not being whole. We all have. The arts, meditation, yoga, breathing techniques are ways to feed the Divine Feminine ...to satiate her appetite.

If you would like to learn more about PWPI, how you can get involved, or are interested in experiencing a bite-sized Precious Women Project Retreat in the comfort of your own home through the mini-book: The Lotus Effect, or know of anyone who would like to sponsor a Precious Woman to attend a retreat, please e-mail Jenn@preciouswomenproject.com

By Jenn Koh:

H'Art-centred Social Mompreneur, Coach, Writer and Artist
Founder: iNtaba Coaching, Wellness and Change Management Consulting
Founder: Precious Women Project International
www.myartofchange.com

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February 2011

Posted by Michael G. Duhaney on 1 February 2011 | 0 Comments

Expressions by Candice Wilmore

Willing To Tell: Woman and Truth
Part Two

It's been a few weeks since I left the blinking cursor in part one. I must say, returning to this topic has been even more challenging than I imagined.

I was listening to an address the other day by a man I've appreciated and learned from for many years. He speaks about personal peace, self-knowledge and inner contentment. In addition, he also talks, almost by default, about the things that separate us from those seemingly wonderful experiences. He spoke, that day, about five obstacles he claims keep us from what our hearts long to feel. He listed these as lust, anger, attachment, greed and ego.

None of that is, of course, a new idea. These have been and will continue to be looked at and discussed by anyone teaching or learning how to discover supposed "higher ground" in life. What struck me hearing the list again, though, was the hopeless battle it appears to be to rid myself of those deterrents.

Strange, perhaps, but I welcome realizing the precariousness of my situation. In reality, my condition is pretty damned overwhelming, if I want to feel the absolute best I can in what life (theoretically) has to offer.

That truth about my life is indeed not always sweet and easy. In my rarely humble opinion, any woman who claims it is has either found a way to stay planted in that infamous state of denial or has become content which what I would doubtless consider much less than I hope to experience while here on planet E.

That's not a judgment of what some feel is enough for them. I know plenty of women who seem very satisfied with what I would never be able to accept as fulfilling. Most of them are lovely, caring, kind human beings, with character and integrity I admire greatly.

As only Clarissa Estes can describe, some of us are just plain "wild women," for whom something else is calling. That fact is never meant to demean or patronize our sisters who don't hear that same call. It's just a fact that for women like myself, as the saying goes, there "must be something more."

I knew when I was twelve years old, looking at what the world seemed to hold for me, that I was in deep doo-doo.

I'd seen my mother lose her sense of self through marriage and children. I dove into religion to find the great love I knew I needed, but found it missing. I saw, as a female, the boundaries that existed at that time and the roles I was expected to play and I felt little hope for the future. I could not imagine how it would all work out. By the time I was twenty, I was certain I must be mad to expect to find the beauty and richness I craved so deeply.

I was, indeed, a lost soul trying her best to tough it out and hide my passion for more. Thankfully, the "counter culture" was in full swing by the time I left home and headed out on my own. That environment was a safe haven for young women like me. Conditions were far from perfect, but at least an oddball (as I saw myself) could move through this new fragment of society without too much scrutiny or derision.

I stayed in that world for several years, traveling at times, meeting others who seemed to be looking for more to life; perhaps foolishly, but sincerely asking, "why am I here?"

In 1972, at age twenty-four, a dear friend told me about something he found that showed him a feeling within, one that had clearly changed his entire perspective. By then, my level of despair about finding what I was nearly dying for was at its peak. I kept my condition fairly closeted from others, but I knew I was at a serious breaking point.

Not with joy, but in pure desperation, I set out to learn more about the possible answer to my deepest longings. That became the single most defining decision of my life and remains so to this day.

(to be continued)

 

 

 

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December-January 2011

Posted by Michael G. Duhaney on 21 December 2010 | 1 Comments

Expressions by Candice Wilmore


"A crone is not an age, nor is it a time, it is a state of mind. What sets a crone apart is her willingness to tell the truth about her life."

Willing To Tell: Woman and Truth

In preparation for this series, I've been reading the words of others who have chosen the topic of women and truth and what it means for us to be truly honest about our lives.

On the surface, it seems fairly obvious what it takes to "tell the truth" about one's self. Amidst what's already been said and written, truth is considered everything from the secrets of childhood sexual abuse to an aging woman's reaction to loosening skin on her neck. To others, truth is discussing faked orgasms, insecurity in male-dominated boardrooms or the challenges of maintaining closeness in a marriage.

From yet another perspective, truth telling is relegated only for the more upbeat depictions of the female as strong and powerful, the "goddess" as some may choose to portray the truth of womanhood.

Some have proposed that real truth can never be fully expressed, arguing that "we live in a patriarchy in which women are deterred from expressing thoughts or feelings that might disrupt the harmony of relationships." (The Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships by Harriet Lerner)

In reality, I admit to having no certain and clear definition of what it means for me to really "tell the truth about my life." I often make a distinction between life, small "l" and Life, big "L." It's the same with truth. Are we talking big or small "t" here, because those are two very different animals indeed.

It's a fact that I am the second oldest of seven children. Does that mean I've spoken the truth about myself? In one sense yes, of course. Does that mean I've understood something real and profound though? Does it signify I've shared the same with you?

Take that further. Suppose I talk about such things as childhood abuse, which I can surely do. Have I shared my truth even more then? Is it more valid or more important than the death of my grandmother, the size of the home I was raised in or the things that interested me as a child?

Again, I have no clear definition at this point in my exploration of the subject. My vantage point has changed over the years. Hopefully that's the case with every person. As Muhammad Ali says, "A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life."

If my ideas about the truth of my life are the same now as they were a decade ago, I'd consider that a serious waste of time and precious moments in which to learn and grow. The good news: those ideas are not the same. The bad news is that I'm attempting here to express what "willing to tell" means for me today, and that is not unfolding as easily as I would have imagined.

I find the challenge very exhilarating, however. I am not compelled or determined to take what I've read and heard from others on this topic and simply offer something original. Whether I have a new point of view is not my main concern. I embark on this venture for my own discovery and fascination. If others find what I share in any way useful or insightful, that would, of course, be wonderful.

I will end Part One by saying that the prospect of clarifying what I consider "the truth about my life" is one that has me, for now anyway, staring at a blank slate... at least a blank screen, cursor blinking steadily as I sit attempting to tell that truth, first and foremost, to myself.

 

 

 

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November 2010

Posted by Michael Duhaney on 3 November 2010 | 1 Comments

Expressions by Candice Wilmore

Old crone? Hell Yeah.

Within the next decade, 78 million baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964 will turn 60 - and more than half of them are women.

No face-lifts, tummy tucks, or Botox are necessary for some local female boomers. These women don't feel bad about their necks - or their age. They are "crones," women who are reshaping what it means to grow older by embracing 60 and beyond.

While many may shrink from the term "crone," which conjures up images of a withered old woman, the concept originated thousands of years ago when women's life patterns were conceptualized in stages - maiden, mother and crone.

A crone is not an age, nor is it a time, it is a state of mind for these women. What sets a crone apart, however, is her willingness to tell the truth about her life." (found online)

I turned 60 in May 2008 and couldn't be happier about it. I wouldn't go BACK to the 60's in exchange for BEING it for all the moisturizer in Macy's.

I've know how lucky I am in that my life is very fulfilled. I don't much identify now with what I do or how others perceive me like I did for so much of my life. Most of that I credit to something I was given and that I've chosen to do, which takes me inside, a sort of self-discovery that shows me who I really am and why I'm here.

Some of where I'm am now is also due to a lot of hard work over the years to understand where I came from, what happened to me, especially during childhood and youth, and how to react differently to outside circumstances than I did for so many scary, painful years. In short, it's all been worth it. I intend to enjoy this time, this freedom, this wisdom and this comfort I've finally found. I plan to be a huge opportunist in garnishing all there is in this life I'm being given...for a limited but luscious time.

I heard someone talking the other day about teachings related to life extension and the hope that someday the body can live eternally...or at least a few hundred years. I'm so not interested. Yes, there are health benefits that come from that type of research, but to spend my precious moments trying only to extend them? Nope, not for me.

I have a dear friend who thinks what I believe and feel is complete nonsense. To him, a human being is little more than chemistry and any feelings we have simply those little neurons and peptides colliding in some way to produce an illusion we put labels on like love, peace, joy.

I don't judge that take on things. Maybe that is what's happening. Either way, I'm enjoying it, not trying anymore to figure it all out. That's when the gratitude can manifest and there's nothing quite like that "chemical reaction" to get my heart singing. Illusion or not, I just know I can really dance to this beat of life. I'm in love with that feeling, no matter where it comes from.

So old crone? Hell yeah, bring it on. "Youth is wasted on the young" said Georgie B. Shaw and though it doesn't have to be that way, I'm completely elated I made it this far, cause I sure did waste a lot of time in the past overlooking what was there all along.

By Candice Wilmore
Writer and Music Promoter

 

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October 2010

Posted by Michael Duhaney on 27 September 2010 | 1 Comments

Expressions by Shauna Rae

The Power of Positive Thinking

The Secret, The Power of Now, even Eat, Pray, Love!

Many of us pour over books about how to change our lives, how to visualize, believe, invite the Law of Attraction, generally feel better about our own corner of the universe.

Until recently, I thought I had given it all the "old college try", but now realize, it takes true courage to jump out of that plane without a parachute, but the results are nothing short of magical!

Not long ago, I was elated to be planning my second wedding. After taking 13 years to find the perfect partner to give it another kick at the can, I was ready.

It was beautiful! Surrounded by friends and family, lovely hand-written vows, my life seemed complete.

Or so I thought. My husband announced he had decided he didn't want to be married after all, at least not to me.

It was crushing to face it yet again. Having been through a marriage breakup before, I knew the drill. I wanted to get through it and FAST but I knew I needed to face it this time, head on, or I would never love nor really LIVE again.

It was tough, no doubt about it. Incredible friends held my head up when I buried it in my chest but were gracious enough to tell me, "Enough now," when it was apparent I had sufficiently felt sorry for myself.

Once I accepted my situation, my life, I began to make a list of the things I wanted to do, from the most incredible thing I could dream up to the most mundane daily activity. I began to visualize myself doing and enjoying all of these things every night before bed.

Within a week, I was marched in to a room with my boss and HR from head office and told my services would no longer be needed. It was a shock... jarring at first... BUT I knew instinctively, within that moment, that what seemed like a tragic event, HAD to happen for all my dreams to come true!

That night, with friends, I opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate the start of my next adventure! We clinked to the future!

I have never in my life been so happy and stress-free!

What has happened since has been nothing short of astounding!

On a fluke, I attended a networking event for Canadian Women in Communications. Also there, was one of the "mentors", the head of talent development at the CBC. Although we shared just a brief conversation near the end of the evening, I followed up the next day with an e-mail asking pointed questions. She responded by asking me to meet her for coffee in Toronto! I was not a bit surprised!

She shared an hour of her time, we chatted about many things including where the media is going in the future and how women fit into that arena.

I am unsure of what will happen next, but what I do know for sure is, thinking positively is the answer to being in a constant state of joy AND the only pathway to your dreams!

Stay tuned!
By Shauna Rae
Broadcaster, Communicator, Believer!

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September-October 2010

Posted by Michael Duhaney on 8 September 2010 | 2 Comments

Expressions by Sheila Stevenson

"Now when I look in a mirror I see... me! My white hair and wrinkles are obvious, as are the extra pounds, but so is the love, acceptance and kindness in my eyes.

When I checked myself in the mirror in childhood I saw only ugliness and pain, drab brown hair and forlorn lifeless eyes. In my youth all I could see was someone who didn't ‘measure up', and it didn't seem to matter which measuring stick was used. In early adulthood I most often saw flaws and failure whenever I caught a glimpse of my reflected self. Yet deep inside I had a hope that life could hold more meaning and joy. About that time I met a wonderful person who helped me work through the process of dealing with my demons and the extreme pain of childhood abuse. She helped me learn to accept myself as I was and to begin recognizing my own beauty, strength and wisdom. Overnight wasn't the speed I worked at, rather it was a progressive dawning of realizations and insights. Despite the sexual abuse, the beatings and the emotional trauma and neglect, I had been raised to ‘mind my manners' and to ‘honour' other people. No one ever taught me how to respect and honour myself.

Sadly, too many young women in our society did not receive the kind of nurturing that helped them grow fully into the beautiful, strong and capable individuals they were born to become. So? As someone once said, "The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now."

Am I as gorgeous as someone else? No! Am I as smart as some other women? No! Am I as wealthy as some are? No! So? I learned to stop measuring myself against what is impossible. I am not an identical twin, so I'll never look like someone else. I wasn't meant to. How would anyone find me in a crowd if I looked like everyone else? I invested time and energy into becoming the best I can be, and in the process I gained the inner beauty, strength and wisdom I used to admire in others. I am a valuable human being and I have something to offer this world while I am here. I am unique and so are my abilities. Discovering me was well worth the journey.

I wish you meaning and joy on your journey to discovering how unique and wonderful you are!"

By Sheila Stevenson

Author. Keynote speaker. Facilitator
http://www.maplehavenpublications.com/

 

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