The Cottage

Having had the pleasure of visiting my close friend Chris (thank you so much CP) up at a wonderful lakeside cottage up in Haliburton I thought I’d write my thoughts since return.

  1. I need a cottage! It reconnects me with nature and puts my crazy “do,do,do” lifestyle in perspective.
  2. My dog loves a lake to chase sticks and balls in!
  3. We don’t eat so well when there are chips, pop and beer around all the time!
  4. The stress of the big city is palpable upon arrival beginning with traffic
  5. People in the country are so laid back, it’s nice
  6. Swimming in a lake is still an amazing experience after many years absence
  7. Cool nights by a campfire rule
  8. A nice nap in a cool cottage afternoon is a blissful experience with little to do or complete
  9. Playing cards with friends connects deeply
  10. We worry much too much about things we have little to no control over
  11.  Coming back from a short 3 day vacation, it’s hard to restart the momentum we had, the mental, spiritual and physical adjustments can take a few days
  12. I’ve already made plans to go to another cottage in 2 weeks, darn, I think I have cottage fever                ********************************************************************************************************

Sailing the High Seas of Relationship Ships!

Relationships in our lives can be likened to ocean going ships!

I’d like to thank Shawn Chance for the idea! The more I explore it the more I see incredible parallels. I thought I’d share some with you.

Parallel #1:  We start off as kids with very small, unstable ships that grow stronger over our lives as we gain maturity, intelligence, and most importantly experience. We stay in our “safe” harbor (our parent’s homes and financial and emotional safety) close to home until our early twenties in most cases.

Parallel #2:  We are looking to “sail” out of the harbor out into open water to explore this huge world (life) for the experience, joy, passion and adventure of living this incredible life. We live these lives we do in these perfect bodies able to sense, see, hear, feel, taste, smell and all the other feelings.

Parallel #3:  Soon we are making sure our ship (single life) is comfortable, fast, roomy and satisfying to sail. We upgrade it (education) and wash it (cleansing our souls as humans) and put additions (experiences) on and sail out of the harbor and off on adventure.

Parallel #4:  After a while of testing and exploring our ships’ limits and meeting random ships (dating) that share some small parts of our journeys. We then yearn to have a co-captain for our ship to share in the adventure, feel safer and enjoy new activities we did before (intimate committed love).

Parallel #5:  We begin visiting other ships that are also looking to partner for a committed joint journey. When we begin boarding strange ships we see interesting new layouts (personalities) but soon settle on what ship really catches our fancy. When we visit those ships we get to see how the crew (personality) works  and how the ship is built (body), it’s strengths and weaknesses, speed and comfort. After boarding many ships, we often realize after a few visits that the type of journey we are going on is not the type we prefer and/or the ship is not seaworthy (psychological limitations and baggage).

Parallel #6:  Soon as the two crews of our respective ships become one team (committed monogamous relationship) we yearn for a larger ship to be more comfortable. We then merge our ships together and sail the high seas. Enjoying the safety, wisdom and adventure of a large ship we often yearn for a full crew (children).

In going through this lens I’ve come to a few conclusions about my relationship history. I seem to have gone for the super fast and sexy, fun ships and found they were not long term material. From the ship falling apart (depression), to the ship finding another ship it would rather sail with (couple separation/destruction), to my own ship self-destructing.

I have never in the past been really attracted to particularly sturdy ships and it has cost me in terms of not having had a relationship with a true equal. My next joint ship will be solid, solvent,  seaworthy, playful, adventurous, passionate and well organized. Or maybe not and I just love shipwrecks for the fun of it. Oh well!

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May the “Real” Meaning of Christmas Come Forth!

My definition (and hopefully yours!) of Christmas is unlike the media machine version of Cramer’s Mad Money, “BUY!, BUY!, BUY!” consumerism. Here are some of my thoughts on what Christmas means.

1. Connection/Reconnection to Important People to Us:  Family is a big part of that but let’s not forget friends, teachers, doctors and neighbors!

Most importantly though, is don’t forget yourself! You can’t be of any good for others until you take care of yourself, first.

2. Children:  Christmas is the greatest time (but shouldn’t be the only time) to revel in kids’ joy and delight at the spectacle. The colors, smells, tastes, sounds of Christmas are so delectable! I challenge you to “out-revel” and “out-joy” the kids around you, that would be a present to you and everyone around you, I know I will! Remember: “Try is a Lie!” and as Yoda says, “There is do and there is not do, there is no try”. Living full out is a gift you can give yourself every day!

3.. A time for personal and group celebration: To have fun and enjoy the company and presents. Don’t let your body and diet go out the window. Sneak in a salad daily, drink your green drink to stay alkaline and get enough rest. Then you will be the one who got the most out of this jolly but unhealthy period. More energy and vibrancy equals more good moments and being present.

4. Reflection: With less work and more free time, you should ideally take time to reflect on your “personal wins” for this past year (forget disappointments!). A “win” is any time you move the needle towards being your true self, helping others grow, pushing yourself further and digging deeper. Sometimes it means surviving a really difficult time with your dignity and purpose intact. Some years it means not slipping down into the abyss. If you feel like it create some general goals for 2012, don’t put dates on them other than “in 2012”.

5. Toss the New Year’s Resolutions:  They don’t work so avoid them. If it’s important to do in your life, you already know about it, there are 364 other days you can make the change to improve your quality of life (more connected decisions to your life purpose, saying “no” a lot more and not feeling guilty, refocusing on every moment and joy). Any goals you DO set must totally capture your heart, passion and imagination! If not, you are only checking off boxes and won’t succeed. Make 2012 the year you were true to yourself and your values, even if it was unpopular and difficult, that’s character. I challenge you to under (rather than OVER) schedule yourself in 2012, trust me obligations will never leave or decrease, you control time and can say “NO!”.

Enjoy the merriment and I’ll see you on the flip side.

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Better Life 2.0 : Top 10 : 2012 Edition!

Two weeks ago I mentioned not believing in New Year’s Resolutions. That doesn’t mean I don’t have areas I want to do even better in than 2011! I thought I’d share a few of mine, who knows they may connect or inspire some in you!

  1. Endeavour to leave all I meet a little happier or lighter than when I met them.
  2. Be even more meticulous with following through on commitments or number 3.
  3. Use my ability to say “NO, thank you” much more and not feel guilty speaking my truth (live authentic to my most brilliant self).
  4. Really spend my spare time doing things I love, be playful, NOT doing things out of obligation/guilt.
  5. Be more selfish, if I don’t take care of myself first I don’t have anything to give.
  6. Go for any and every opportunity or connection that sings to my heart, I hate regret.
  7. Allow all the abundance that is coming to flow without wondering when it will come.
  8. Make massive physical vibrancy, health and vitality a cornerstone of my experience.
  9. Live in the present moment as much as I can. The past is over (we can still find more empowering meanings to the past though). The future but a dream (and should be visualized at its most positive to attract it). All our power is in this moment right now. That’s why the present is a gift.
  10. Develop more high quality friendships while reducing/eliminating toxic relationships that don’t feed my growth in this life.

What will yours be?

Thank you to all of you who supported me in 2011, it means so much to me!

Happy New Year and may all your dreams come true and your life be an example for those around you in 2012.

Oh, Happy Birthday Mom! I love you!

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Embracing “Real” (not Hollywood) Courage

I find courage is often misunderstood. Most people equate courage to bravery. While it can be, more often I belies it is a quiet strength. I believe the media often confuses us with extreme feats in the face of once in a life time events or not at all.

What about a mother’s courage to provide for her kids every single day of 20 odd years?
What of the courage of a disabled person to continue living even in a severely different way?
And  the courage to leave a bad job/ relationship for reasons only you can understand?
How about the courage to quit a perfectly “good” job to strike out on your own and follow what makes your heart sing, even if you have no idea when/if the money will come.

I am convinced that courage is built in small increments.
Begin with small but certain acts of courage such as:

The courage to listen to your heart
The courage to say no
The courage to be yourself despite criticism and judgments of others (a person in Joy/Appreciation/Empowerment/Love Freedom would never criticize others).
The courage to get back up when you make mistakes or fall flat on your face MANY times….

Courage is a Muscle if you don’t use it you’ll lose it!
Worse, you will live a shadow of the life you were meant to live.

By living small (or inauthentically) you rob the world (and your Most Brilliant Self) of what it needs: huge growth and change.

I challenge you to push and strengthen your courage muscle! Your life will thank you!
Oh yes above all, have fun!

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What Catapults You Immediately into Your Most Brilliant Self?

        The particularly (unusually) mild winter of 2012 allowed me 2 days riding on my Dakar motorcycle. Oh the pure unadultered joy of riding a motorcycle (forget the cold for just a second, brrr!) was ecstatic for those 2 days. I just thought I’d share that because there are always activities that automatically catapult me into joy, flow and honestly give me my mojo back when it drifts away!

       Some of mine include running trails with my dog in the park, losing myself in Skyrim video game, my remote control monster trucks, writing, speaking, coaching, running men’s groups, a warm tender romantic evening with a partner you love, etc. As you can see I have many things that immediately shift my state to one of utter love, joy, empowerment, passion, appreciation and faith that all is well. When I feel that way, really amazing, innovative and intuitive ideas bubble up and are ready for exploration. What do you have or do that immediately launch  you to that space.

If you don’t have many, that’s your homework. Here’s a quick test: if you wouldn’t do the activity if I gave you 3 perfect health months to live, then it’s not a true passion! Forget costs, practicalities and self-created “thinking small” limitations, do what makes your heart sing. If you don’t know what does that, I challenge you to try one new activity per week for 8 weeks and then come and talk to me about living life as if every moment is your last. Before that, we both have some homework as I need as many of those activities too and practice what I preach by trying a multitude of new things and loving it!

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Your Job is to Ask!

       As this ridiculously mild March weather has made my apartment rather warm with the patio quarantined and barricaded for repairs. I set off to purchase a trusty floor mode fan at my local giant megabox home improvement center. As I visited one place, apparently their winter clearout was in full swing with no fans. Off to the second store where only one remained in a battered and re-taped box. Normally I would just fork over the $18 and head home. Not today though as my inner deal hound smelled a discount opportunity.

       My first reaction was, “You don’t want to be one of those people!”. You know, the never satisfied always looking for a deal, pain the you know what. Then the wise me chimed in and said, “No, the box is battered and bruised, let’s try to save a few bucks, this might be fun!” As I approached the customer service desk, I read the button on the lady behind the counter, “WE ARE EMPOWERED!”, so I asked for a discount.

As she grabbed the phone to call another associate, I asked her, “Hey aren’t you empowered?”  She smiled and said, “Apparently not enough!” After about 5 minutes and another associate I got a $4 discount on the $18 fan, an over 20% discount that I would have never gotten if I didn’t ask. I felt triumphant as I left realizing that in this life you get what you ask for not a penny more.

I challenge you this week to ask for more of your life, who knows it might be worth a lot more than $4!

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