February 22nd, 2014
SPRING! One of the “beautiful” words in our vocabulary…
When you think of Spring, what comes to mind? For me, it’s new beginnings. Starting fresh and clean. Getting ourselves off the couch and outdoors to watch the wonder of this amazing time of year!
It may be cold and wintry outside right now…but see what you have to look forward too!
Personally, I think the New Year should start in March…just a thought!
September 20th, 2013
"Congratulations! Your image has been selected as a finalist in Photo Life's 2013 Best of Photo Clubs competition. Your image appears among other winning photographs in the October/November 2013 issue of Photo Life"
September 12th, 2013
A few years ago, I realized I’d lost something very important to me – my “Happy Place.” Somewhere that I felt safe and positive; where I could achieve anything – negativity did not live here. I had let too many of the negative things in life cloud my way there.
Finding my way back wasn't easy, but there are lessons I've learned along this road that I’d like to share with you.
Don’t Empower Fear
Fear can stop us from moving forward in our lives. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. We've all experienced fear, but what we all have too, is the ability to break that chain from the past and change those fears and doubts into something positive. If we fail, we need to look at “why,” learn from it, and when we face that same fear again, we’ll have the tools we need to ensure we succeed! We’ll have learnt the lesson and taken another step towards achieving our goals. We may be rejected and our hearts may be hurt, but not broken. Remember the heart is a muscle and can only get stronger by being used. As the saying goes, “What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.”
Remember this, that the Past is just that…past, use it for what it is, a place to learn from, not live in!
Take Stock of Your Relationships
I’m sure, we've all heard of detoxing our bodies of the harmful pollutants that can eventually make us sick. We need to do the same with our relationships.
We need to take a look at those who we surround ourselves with, noting especially the ones that cause us to think negatively about one self. They may be the ones who point out our flaws – constantly. Or those who tell us, you can’t because…you’re not smart enough…you’re not talented enough or attractive enough. Know this, you were put here for a purpose, what it is I have no idea, but believe it and let that thought move you forward, towards your Happy Place.
As hard as this step is, it is necessary; we have to leave those people behind – detoxify our relationships and cultivate new ones with those that are healthy, positive and make us happy and grow.
Love What You Do
Do you love your job? Is the environment you work in healthy?
I realize that changing your job can be a scary prospect, but think about it, can you see yourself doing it for the rest of your (working) life? If the answer is a resounding “NO,” then maybe it’s time to make a change. Look for something that you can use your talents at – wait I hear a negative thought…”but I don’t have any”…NOT TRUE! Everyone has talents; yours just may still be hidden. Take an inventory. Are you good at listening? You could be in sales, customer service or hospitality. Are you a thinker? Your road may be in technology, finance or…you see the possibilities are endless. You need to believe in yourself and reach out and grab at the opportunities that present themselves!
* Give yourself permission to be happy. Happy is as happy does – my twist on Forrest Gump’s saying.
* Allow yourself to embrace your feelings. My favourite saying is, “Live, Laugh and Love.”
* Show compassion, because, sometimes the strongest people are those who love beyond fault, cry behind closed doors and fight battles that no one knows about.
* Practice gratitude; not attitude. This will result in building your own positive energy.
* Don’t sweat the small stuff…think positively!
Within each of us is a Happy Place, a place where we can find peace, tranquility and harmony. A place that holds the positive living that we are meant to live.
Hope to see you there soon!
September 12th, 2013
Work/Life Balance - is this something that we can achieve?
More than ever, at this time in my life, I find I wear many different hats. Those of: parent, spouse, caregiver to my aging parents, employee, friend and volunteer in my community. On top of that, I need to designate time to my physical and mental self – it’s a balancing act not easily achieved!! I get tired just thinking about it all.
I have found that, over the last 10 years, the demands of the workplace are impeding more and more on my personal and home life. Did you know that 1 in 4, North Americans work a 50 plus hour week, compared to 1 in 10 a decade ago. Technology has made us a society the can be reached anytime - anywhere! Don’t get me wrong, I love my gadgets and toys, but I’m realizing that I have to know when to turn them off.
Having discovered, in my 35 years of being a part of the workforce – a balance is needed. Here are a few tips I have learnt and would like to pass on:
Schedule and take breaks throughout the day. You need time to recharge – clear your mind – take a breath.
Take your lunch break – even if you’re not hungry. Go for a walk; play a game of “pick-up” – whatever it may be, just get up and away from your desk for some “me” time.
Setting your priorities throughout your day – be realistic about the things you can do in the time you have.
Protect your private time. Make this a priority to discuss with your employer from the start of your employment. Let them know that when you are at work you will be there 100%, but the same goes for your private life away from work.
Make a distinction between your work and the rest of your life. When the work day is done, turn off your work phone and computer! Also, don’t spend that precious time only talking about work, leave it behind.
Don’t be available 24/7.
Discuss any concerns you may have regarding deadlines. If it is unrealistic, voice your concerns then – don’t wait!
Take your vacation!! Make sure to use up ALL of your earned vacation time. It gives you time to rejuvenate and refocus.
Do something for yourself! If none of the above is achievable, remember that you still need to remember YOU! You still need to find something that makes you HAPPY – that gives you that “pick-me-up” when the work day is done – yoga; going for a walk; being with your friends…whatever it maybe – DO IT for you. Make time to check-in with yourself!
Putting into practice, a few or all of these will help you see increased productivity and thus, make you more of an asset to your employer.
At the end of the day, think about this – if today were your last day on earth (morbid thought, but play along) would you be saying, “Gee I wish I would have written one more report” or would it be, “Gee I wish I would have spent more time with my husband/wife/children…” I know which one I would pick…how about you?
So which one is your mantra??? Work to live? OR Live to work?
*This post was originally posted in the Huffington News on Feb. 11, 2013