A Day For A Decade

BIG NEWS!!!!
This January I am bringing together the learnings, philosophies and coaching I have received over the past 3 decades into a one day workshop designed to help you bring your goals to fruition!
Creating a Life Blueprint is all about grounding yourself in your vision of where you want to be in 10 years, who you are, what inspires you every day, what you want to do and how you are going to make it happen.
Join me and lets take a day to create a plan for the next decade.
Link: bit.ly/2LNFNML

Living and Working…with Me!

Phew, it’s been quite the few days. Actually its been quite the week. Really though, quite the month. Oh man it was quite the year….Aaahhh fuck-it its been quite the life!!!!

I LIVE!

And because I LIVE, life and work with me is well you know, busy, unexpected, eventful, lively, frustrating.

When I do depart from earth it will be kicking and screaming because there will still be things I want to do and see. Missing out on an opportunity to have dinner with my kids, breakfast with a girlfriend, a great meeting with inspired people, an adventure, a great walk in the snow, a dive in the water, a view of the deer that walked in front of the cottage window, a great glass of wine, a hot cup of fresh coffee cradled in my hands, the gushing smile of my son when he asks me to listen to a new song, or my youngest who calms a room the minute he enters and the sound of my girl’s  voice which gives a confidence to go beyond and make my wildest dreams come true,…missing any one (and there is more) of these….makes me anxious inside, sad, and sometimes frustrated that there simply are not enough hours in the day. I live relentlessly and as a result, our life is overflowing.

For years when I was interviewing people I provided 3 principles which applied when you joined our organization. However, as I enter into this chapter of my life and create this new co with my sons and consider finding a romantic life partner, I have come to realize that these 3 principles are in fact my principles for living and working with me. A revelation that may save several, personally and professionally the time to research, check references or ask me on date (!?).

Here they are:

  1. We/I are not saving lives. I am not an MD. I cannot actually in the medical sense, save a life. BUT I can make the lives of others and those around me better and I expect the same from those in my circle.
  2. I will provide the tools to live and work with me. I am transparent. I share. And hopefully I will give you everything you need. I expect you to grow and add value and if you need more you need to share/tell me.
  3. No two days, 2 hours, 2 minutes, 2 seconds,…will be the same. You will never be bored. Life is rich with possibilities. Live or perish. Of the 3, this is probably the most challenging. My daughter does tell me to “do less” and I am trying. But as I enter into this new business venture with my sons, success is our only option and I am so inspired by their energy and talent and the amazing. people and projects around us that I am bursting.

For the first time in my life I am truly happy through to my core, the deepest, darkest pockets of my being are bursting.

I want to make room for people to join us, personally professionally. I am sharing because I think all of us want this – to make room, to have the best of others connect with the best of ourselves. And I think we are sometimes challenged to explain these. With clarity on my own principles I invite you to get clear on yours.

And for those who want to join me on this journey – now you know where I stand. Guns a blazing, I can promise its quite the ride!

Yeeeehaw!

Living my legacy…everyday

Apparently the Greeks did not write obituaries. At the end of a person’s life when they stood paying their respects they asked, “Did they live with passion?”  I don’t think there could be a better question.

Today the learning about the Greek tradition reminded me of the greatest learning that I have had – you see, a few years ago I wrote my eulogy.  I was taking a course  on personal development. Mid way through the second morning we were asked to write our own eulogy.  This exercise changed my life – forever and profoundly. With only 20 minutes for the exercise we were told to write the eulogy that we would want one of our loved ones to recite at our funeral. With tears in my eyes I poured my heart out and then sealed the letter in an envelope. We then broke for a much needed tea or coffee so that everyone could regroup after what was such an emotional exercise. We all wrongfully assumed that the exercise was over. It was only the beginning. When we returned we were told to open the letter, read it to those in our work session circle and then to evaluate our lives against what we had written. Were we living the way we wanted to be remembered?

A humbling exercise to say the least. Was I the mother, daughter, sister, leader, partner, friend,….that I wanted to be remembered for? If the tears flowed as I was writing the eulogy during the exercise, you can only imagine how they flowed now. I was delivering in some areas but in others, I was failing.

The remainder of the course was focused on designing the life plan that was going to deliver the eulogy we individually wanted to be known for. Hence my daily mantra and the reminder on my website to “Live Your Legacy” everyday. And ultimately, the reason for the many changes in my life over the past few years and in the past few weeks.

I escaped the city yesterday to work on my next steps, a plan for a family business and a plan for myself. The last 3 years have been extremely challenging – more challenging than I ever expected.

I actually thought that at this stage in my life I would be “coasting”! But clearly, I am not a “coaster”. Not sure that coasting and living a “passionate life” are compatible! In fact, I know they are not. And today very specifically I am looking at all my passions. I am designing and redesigning and plotting a plan to see where to from here.

Its clear from the charts on the wall, the powerpoint documents, the markers, the paint brushes, the blank canvases, the magazine clippings and the post it notes everywhere, I have a bunch of ideas that I am assembling into a mosaic map. Its very colourful, its very creative, its practical and its whimsical – Hah, typical!  What am I to make of all of this?

I read a passage today; “A person is lovable only when both the divine and the devilish shine through him, both the sinner and the saint. The ambiguity casts a spell.” (Susan Smit, happiness magazine). With this in mind,  my colourful mosaic map makes sense – it is – an ambiguous divine and devilish plan. It will unfold as I follow my heart knowing full well that the Universe has my back and that more than ever I am committed to living passionately.

 

 

 

Delicious!

Definition of delicious (according to Websters dictionary)

1: affording great pleasure

2: appealing to one of the bodily senses especially of taste or smell a delicious meal, delicious aromas

 

Seems fitting to write a blog about “delicious” on Thanksgiving weekend. And yet it is not about the abundance of truly delicious food around me that is the catalyst for this blog. Its actually due to the abundance of other delicious things in my life.

Delicious is not a word I have ever used to describe anything but food. However, in my circle of friends, particularly those who truly appreciate and cherish their family, their friends and their blessings, delicious is a word that they carefully use to describe sacred moments. Their use of the word has always made me pause for a moment to gain full appreciation for what they are describing. At times it has actually made me uncomfortable – why would you use the word to describe anything but food? This uncomfortable response has made me realize I need to pause more, chill more, savour more, realize the truly delicious moments in my life more.

Its been an intense few years. Aaahhh, its been an intense life! I need to actually be more in the moment and truly savour the deliciousness of it.

I wish that for all of us on this Thanksgiving weekend. I wish us all some delicious moments.

XO

 

A+

For many of us, the Tuesday after Labour Day marks the return to school, the return to routines.

For the first time in 25 years, my kids are NOT returning to school. They are done! OMG they are done!!! There is something bittersweet in their done-ness. While on the one hand I always dreaded the first Tuesday in September because it meant that we had to return to the disciplines, pressures and routines of school and extra-curricular activities, I also LOVED knowing my children were still ‘at home’. While in school my kids would always be within arms’ reach. Now, 2 of the 3 are living on their own. I am celebrating the Labour Day weekend alone at the cottage – no one is within physical arms reach. Thanks to our mobile technology they are all within constant reach – but for me its not the same. We are on to a new chapter and while I know I should be embracing it, the change is dramatic.

When my kids were within arms’ reach, when they were in school I was not a ‘typical’ parent (I am still likely not typical).  I would routinely pull them out for a few hours, a day and maybe even a week to participate in some adventure. This was much to the chagrin of other parents and teachers who never really understood the method to my madness. You see, though I expected my children to give school their best effort, I did not expect them to be straight A students. My expectation was that they be A+ people.  There is a fundamental difference.

I expected and still expect that when they commit to something they need to give it their all however more important to me than anything else is that they are good to each other, to everyone around them and to greater humanity.

Have I raised perfect children? Absolutely not. I am certainly NOT a perfect mother. But what I am is humble, mindful, hopeful and passionate. So in the process I have tried very hard to raise A+ people. Very subjectively, I think they are A+.

Imagine if we all just strove to live A+ lives, raise and be A+ people…imagine

It’s Labour Day! Should it be?

For many of us, Labour Day means the end of summer, the return to school and back to disciplined routines. But there is a much deeper history to this day.

The origins can be traced back to the 1870s when labour organizations began demonstrating for worker’s rights. At the time the need to defend and protect workers was greatly required however with over 150 years of economic and employment change and governance under our belts there is a discussion afoot as to the modern day need/relevance for Labour Day.

There is a movement to change Labour Day to Entrepreneur’s Day. The thinking is that Entrepreneurs always have been and always will be the economic catalysts for growth and development and they need to be recognized and celebrated. Proponents of “Entrepreneurs’ Day” however suggest why create another day, why not just rename Labour Day.

Being an entrepreneur I find the conversation interesting and comical.

Interesting because what is true now, was also true in the 1870s – entrepreneurs are the catalyst for business growth and development – pretty much every company was started by someone. Labour Day was created to remind entrepreneurs to be mindful of their workforce – to be respectful. It was created at a time when there was no respect. Workers worked endless hours in pour conditions for pitiful wages. Very thankfully we have come a long way since the 1870s.

Henry Ford was perhaps the greatest example of revolutionizing how labour forces were managed. Upon review of his own organization he established the 40 hour work week so people could rest and renew. He also increased wages and looked at the overall quality of life of his employees. While on the one hand he wanted his own labour force to be able to afford to drive a Ford on the other hand, he also knew that the success of his organization was intrinsically linked to the success of his employees. And his thinking clearly worked – note, the Ford Motor Company is still standing strong today.

I think the initial rational for Labour Day was to make a point to the world that workers deserve and need to be treated respectfully. Unfortunately not all leaders and entrepreneurs were respectful, not all saw the bigger picture like Ford, so something needed to be done – hence Labour Day. Sometimes to create change and to heighten awareness we need to make an aggressive statement. In the 1870s this statement was Labour Day.

Thankfully labour issues have evolved significantly since the 1870s. The present day discussion is very focused on inclusion and diversity. This is a very “labour” based discussion – still relevant and still necessary. So, in my mind Labour Day remains important because it forces us to check in on how labour is managed.

I noted above that I also find the whole discussion on renaming Labour Day comical…I do. Seriously? Do we need yet another day to celebrate or pat people on the back. There are 365 days in the year and many are getting noted for this or that. A couple of weeks ago there was a banana day – are you kidding me? I’m in marketing, I get it – we need a way to break through the noise and gain attention but there is a breaking point. Before I go off on that tangent let me close with this.

Sometimes I think we just need to let things be.

Presently, in North America, Labour Day more than anything marks a return to “discipline”.  Akin to Jan 1, Labour Day is the second key marker in the year for reassessing and setting goals. May 24 switches our brains into summer mode and Labour Day reminds us to ‘get back to work’! Rather ironic.

I don’t think we need to rename Labour Day. I don’t think we need an Entrepreneur’s Day. I think we need to live everyday mindfully and respectfully.

Enjoy your day!