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Busyness and perfection are buzz kills for modern leaders.

2017-10-30T20:34:22+00:00 October 30th, 2017|self development skills|

On a gorgeous fall afternoon, in an office tower overlooking Parliament Hill, I’m in the company of some of Ottawa’s brightest business lights, discussing how we can do more by focusing less on the stuff of life that distracts us from what’s important.

Part of my mission in business is to encourage women to step into their power and own the lane that is meant just for them. It’s more about personal development than professional growth but the latter happens as a result of a focus on the former.

Two brilliant questions emerged at the end of my presentation called “Owning your Fabulousness.” One question was in response to my comment about busyness. I said “if one more person tells me how busy they are….and I made that grimacing face of full on disapproval.” I went on to share what the late great Louise Hay taught: we all have the same twenty four hours in a day; it’s what we do with those hours that makes the difference.

The other question was […]

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The Currency of Kindness

2017-02-13T21:21:28+00:00 February 13th, 2017|self development skills|

 

 

Does kindness matter to you? Can you see it as currency in your day to day, constantly adding value to your relationships?

Despite what some might say, I don’t believe we’re naturally wired for it. I believe we’re wired to be fearful and to protect ourselves. As a result, we often mistrust (sometimes with good reason) people who we perceive as kind; we wonder if they have an agenda.

The thing is it doesn’t matter if someone has an agenda. We should be operating from an intention of kindness regardless of what others are doing because that’s what WE want. You see, I believe that each of us is a leader in our own life and with that comes great responsibility to model for others what kindness looks like.

Kindness requires practice; it’s a habit that when carefully cultivated becomes a way of being. The energy of kindness is far reaching: it doesn’t require deep pockets or deep knowledge. All that’s required is an intention to be kind that’s backed up with […]

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Never stop marching! Your courage is what the world needs now.

2017-01-24T18:03:46+00:00 January 24th, 2017|self development skills|

Saturday, January 21st, 2017 was quite a day!

Something important happened; something more important even than the inauguration of a new American president the previous day.

I’m with her!

Women stood up, all around the world and proclaimed their truth with courage. Not that women haven’t been proclaiming it’s just that we stood in huge numbers either in marches or stood in our hearts and now the world seems ready to listen. We need more people standing in their truth; standing for what we’re for and not what we’re against.

My humble view is this explains why there was no violence: people were standing up for what they’re for, for what they believe in and not what they’re against. It looked like people were rallying against the election of a man who is disrespectful toward women and who diminishes the importance of human rights across the board but I believe this was a stand for humanity and for all that’s good about it.

Mother Teresa said not to invite her to an anti-war rally, […]

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You’re Never too Smart to Learn

2016-10-03T21:21:46+00:00 October 3rd, 2016|self development skills|

I must have made a commitment way back to be a life-long learner. It was likely a back door deal of some kind like “Dear God if you get me through this situation, I promise I’ll be kinder to my mother”…that kind of commitment. I made a lot of those deals when I was young, mostly lost and looking for direction.

I had no idea as a kid that my future was in my charge and I created it with my thoughts and feelings.

The cool thing is that now I see a pattern, when I look back; I think we can all see some kind of pattern in our behaviour if we’re really honest with ourselves. I did a certain thing over and over, even if it didn’t feel right, until my desire to have something different or to do better outweighed the results I was getting. I was not aware that I could choose something else; I just chose what I always chose and got what I always got […]

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What Gary Vaynerchuk Taught Me About Winning

2017-04-06T16:10:44+00:00 September 14th, 2016|self development skills|

Noodling around on you tube recently, I saw two very interesting videos: one was business leader Gary Vaynerchuk speaking to young people about the entrepreneur’s journey, how it’s changed and how now it’s pretty cool to be what was considered a loser when he started twenty years ago. He said that if he could, he would invent something to help people be more self-aware. He encourages young business people to share their story instead of sell their story; he’s all about giving value. One of Gary’s pet peeves is how people look for the short cut instead of being willing to put in the work and play the long game.

Gary is one of the most energetic people on planet earth and when he speaks to audiences, he always qualifies that folks shouldn’t be using him as the template for their success…they should do them. I’ve never known anybody  so prolific and generous with his insight, except maybe Brendon Burchard. Like Brendon, Gary loves to give value and that’s why […]

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Courage: Blazing your Own Trail

2017-04-06T16:10:46+00:00 September 8th, 2016|self development skills|

When we’re little kids, all we want is to be grown up. We count years by halves: four and a half is an actual thing to a kid. I love it because there’s such eagerness for the future. I love it but I can’t relate to it because while I was a kid with a lot of courage, I didn’t know the pure pleasure of being carefree. I felt laden with a burden that I carried all the time. It was awkward, like carrying a bag that’s too big and gets in the way. It was what we call emotional baggage and it felt very heavy.

I love the feeling of being with kids who see endless possibility, believe in superheroes and Santa Claus. They laugh at my silly knock knock jokes and have a few good ones of their own. Kids laugh at nothing, sing at the top of their lungs; they really do blaze their own trail without any concern for any moment other than the one they’re […]

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Happy Pills! Are they the Secret to Happiness?

2016-06-22T20:44:49+00:00 June 22nd, 2016|self development skills|

I wish there was such a thing as “happy pills.” If connecting with true happiness was as easy as taking a little pill, wouldn’t everyone want one?

Some people believe that they aren’t worthy of feeling happy or that people who are happy are naive or unrealistic. I get it. I also get that there’s a lot that stands in the way of people being happy: their beliefs about themselves, fear, other people’s opinions, their response to life’s events…there are about as many barriers to happiness as there are people.

What we believe about ourselves really does determine how our lives unfold. If we believe that we aren’t worthy of X then that’s true…until we choose another thought. Once we’ve released the misguided notion that we aren’t worthy, we shift the energy we have and our thoughts produce a different result.  Sounds a little gobbledegooky right? Try telling that to the scientists who are now talking about how we can completely change our body chemistry and the results we get in […]

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It’s the Most Frantastic Time of the Year!

2014-12-14T17:55:46+00:00 December 14th, 2014|self development skills|

How do you feel about Christmas? Do you love it? Do you dread it? Maybe you love it and dread the long to do list or maybe you dread it and love it when it’s all over.

Christmas is one of those occasions that brings out the best and the worst in people. Christmas makes people feel more generous or maybe obliged to be more generous. People ask each other over and over…Got your shopping done? Finished your shopping? No pressure, right?  The other day, it came to me….this is the most frantastic time of the year. People get frantic when they should be getting happy. We’re pouring into retail stores, if we have the means to shop. We feel even worse if we’re feeling down, lonely or don’t have the means to buy Christmas presents. I think in many ways, we’ve lost the plot. It’s become a retail event instead of an opportunity to light up the Christmas tree, share some beautiful food with friends; perhaps exchange tokens of […]

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Making every day count!

2014-12-14T17:20:28+00:00 February 6th, 2014|self development skills|

It’s that time of  year…..between Christmas holidays and the start of Spring. Smack somewhere in the middle is Valentine’s Day. Yikes!

When I was a very young girl, I thought it was such a special day…..well I thought that leading up to the day as visions of chocolate and little red hearts danced in my brain. I didn’t particularly care where said chocolate and hearts came from, I just loved the idea  and enjoyed everything about it. As a teenager though it was bad news. I rarely had a sweetheart and even more rare, a sweetheart who thought much about Valentine’s Day. My fantasy about this day started to turn sour.

I was in my mid thirties when I met the love of my life. He is one of the most special people; everyone who knows him just loves him. I recognized pretty early on that he was someone I wanted to share my life with; thankfully he had the same hunch. We took things […]

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Seriously…Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously!

2014-01-30T22:32:53+00:00 January 30th, 2014|self development skills|

I really enjoy doing kind things for people; I think we’re all hard wired to be generous but sometime we forget. Being mindful of showing kindness toward others keeps me plugged into the concepts I teach in my book “Inspiration in Action: A Woman’s Guide to Happiness” and in the Course in Happiness.

It seems the more I practice kindness, the easier it is to be kind and the more kindness is returned to me. I really like how that works.

I want to tell you about one of the kindest women I’ve had the pleasure to meet.  Betty Shields is well known in the Ottawa area. Going back a bit, Betty’s retail business first introduced the microwave oven. Love it or hate it Betty was on the cutting edge of new technology. Fast forward a couple of decades to 2012 when Betty convinced the Ottawa Women’s Business Network to let me speak at one of their monthly events before my book was even finished. The evening was a great success and […]

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