You’re invited…

Happy Friday!

I don’t know about you, but I love receiving invitations.

Invitations to fun gatherings, experiences, play dates. Invitations to weddings on beautifully designed paper that arrive by mail. Invitations via phone calls for spontaneous coffees with friends or emergency girl nights.

And then there is another type of invitation. One that doesn’t always show up via the mail or phone or email. And it’s not necessarily an invitation to show up somewhere at a specific date or time at all. Rather it’s an invitation to simply show up. Period.

This week I’ve been in beautiful Tofino, British Columbia, attending the Dovetail Summit for female entrepreneurs, masterfully curated by my good friend Alexis Dean.

And on the back of the program and schedule, she shared her favourite poem, The Invitation.

And so I am going to share it with you now. (Apologies if it’s a little deep for a Friday afternoon… but I invite you to – pun intended – to read and be open to what it may mean to you.)

The Invitation

It doesn’t interest me

what you do for a living.

I want to know

what you ache for

and if you dare to dream

of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me

how old you are.

I want to know 

if you will risk 

looking like a fool

for love

for your dream

for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me

what planets are 

squaring your moon…

I want to know

if you have touched

the centre of your own sorrow

if you have been opened

by life’s betrayals

or have become shrivelled and closed

from fear of further pain.

I want to know

if you can sit with pain

mine or your own

without moving to hide it

or fade it

or fix it.

I want to know

if you can be with joy

mine or your own

if you can dance with wildness

and let the ecstasy fill you 

to the tips of your fingers and toes

without cautioning us

to be careful

to be realistic

to remember the limitations

of being human.

It doesn’t interest me

if the story you are telling me

is true.

I want to know if you can

disappoint another

to be true to yourself.

If you can bear

the accusation of betrayal

and not betray your own soul.

If you can be faithless

and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty

even when it is not pretty

every day.

And if you can source your own life

from its presence.

I want to know

if you can live with failure

yours and mine

and still stand at the edge of the lake

and shout to the silver of the full moon,

“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me

to know where you live

or how much money you have.

I want to know if you can get up

after the night of grief and despair

weary and bruised to the bone

and do what needs to be done

to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me

who you know

or how you came to be here.

I want to know if you will stand

in the centre of the fire

with me

and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me

where or what or with whom

you have studied.

I want to know 

what sustains you

from the inside

when all else falls away.

I want to know

if you can be alone 

with yourself

and if you truly like

the company you keep

in the empty moments.

~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer

So this week I invite you.

Instead of waiting for permission to fully show up, to share your ideas, to take that first step, know you already have the invitation.

I invite you to dream. To try. To fail. To fly. To do it right. To do it wrong. To be real. To be brave.

I invite you to throw out old beliefs and stories that are no longer serving you. And I invite you to try on new thoughts, new ideas, new possibilities.

I invite you to be grateful. To be imperfect. To be scared and hopeful and trusting all at the same time.

I invite you to be who you are, where you are, with all of your gifts and talents and flaws and idiosyncrasies and questions and curiosities.

You’re invited. All of you. To attend the best party or event or playdate you’ve ever experienced.

And when you arrive in all your glory, let me know how it feels. I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Carol

It’s time to get outside!

Happy Friday!

And greetings from where I write to you on board flight AC 181, seat 14K. Yup, in the air again. First to Vancouver for a night, then tomorrow off to beautiful Tofino on Vancouver Island where I’m pumped to be a part of the Dovetail Retreat for female entrepreneurs (think hiking, kayaking, surfing...) And then next week I jet off to the UK again where I’ll be speaking for Unilever. 

Thank goodness I love traveling!

I have to say the highlight of this week was delivering the closing keynote for the first annual #AdminsRock conference – such a fun group and an amazing day! – closely followed by the splash of sunshine we enjoyed yesterday. I even saw some folks on patios. 

Being outside in the sun always brings a brighter smile to my face. 

And so, it made sense I was all set to talk about how important it is to get outside (also in honour of Earth Day!) and then typical, this morning as I left Toronto it was absolutely POURING with rain! 

Well, even despite the rain, even in the rain, it’s still fun and important to get outside.

I think dogs have the right idea. 

I used to babysit one of my neighbour’s dogs on occasion. Every time I walked in the door he’d be waiting to loyally meet and greet me with the biggest tail wag and some kisses, and one of his paws would already be practically out the door. I mean, he was just desperate to get outside! And who can blame him? Besides likely having to burst, there was a big, bright, beautiful world out there just waiting to be seen, sniffed, run around in and yes, peed on.

There really is a lot going on outside. So many sights and sounds and smells… it’s like a giganic playground. Everywhere you turn there is something new to discover, and even scenes or routes that have been trod on before will never appear exactly the same again. 

I don’t care how impressive your 52-inch LED or LCD or whatever diode-type flat screen complete with surround-sound and other fancy features you can boast about – there is no way you’ll ever be able to see the crispness and depth and the multitude of color tones you can experience in real life – from a pixilated image.

Being outside offers lots of perks and benefits, too.

You can breathe in fresh air. It exposes you to Vitamin D, which we all need. It allows you to be active. To feel the sunshine on your skin. To smell nature – and the roses. To see green.

It creates space in your mind. It helps to breed fresh ideas. Make friends out of strangers. Grow. Explore. Discover. Play. It gets the creative juices flowing and stimulates your seratonin levels.

It makes you feel happy!

And beyond getting outside in the literal sense, there is also something to be said about getting outside of ourselves… out of our comfort zones, out of our heads, out of our routines, and out of our expectations and ideas of how things are supposed to go, what should or shouldn’t be, what is and isn’t possible. 

All of the amazing inventions we simply cannot live without, wouldn’t have been invented if it weren’t for people who were willing to think outside of the box, the norm, the easy, the expected.

Innovation cannot exist if you are not first willing to take a risk.

SO, depending on where you are in the world and what the weather may be like – get your brave on and go grab your wellies or your flip flops, lace up your runners or dust off your bike – and get outside and into that wonderful, wide world out there. Something magical happens when you allow yourself to be out and fully present in nature. And it’s yours to discover.

(And once you do get outside, let me know what you did and how you felt afterwards!) I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below.

Have a FAB week!

Carol

It’s time to get your brave on.

Happy Friday!

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

That was a big theme in the conversation I had yesterday with one of my brave coaching clients.

There are numerous things you could do… today, this week, this lifetime.

But that doesn’t mean you should.

Now there are some things you absolutely should do. And, there are likely a whole lot more things you shouldn’t do.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about saying yes. Saying yes to opportunities, yes to things that scare you, and yes to life. It takes a brave person to say yes, especially when it’s something that’s going to make you uncomfortable. And, it also takes a brave person to say no.

And when there is something you could do, but know you shouldn’t do, it requires you to dig a little deeper and be a little braver, speak a little louder and stand a little taller, and say NO.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what it means to be brave.

Having just been to Africa with an incredible group of women to spend time volunteering with the Dare Women’s Foundation, and then a week climbing Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, I have to say these 12 ladies were absolutely displaying what it means to be brave. (Read more about our epic night to the Summit HERE!)

But you don’t have to go to Africa, or even go any further than your front door for that matter, in order to be brave.

I’m pretty sure there are lots of areas in your life where you are braver than you give yourself credit for. I also bet your bottom dollar there are areas in your life where you could be braver.

Today, I’m more interested in the latter.

Could you be braver in your work? In your relationships? In your commitments?

Where have you been playing small, and where could you be playing a little bigger, a little braver, this week?

Here are some ideas: 

  • Get in touch with that person you’ve been avoiding
  • Have that difficult conversation you don’t want to have
  • Apply for a position or an opportunity you might not get
  • Tell that person you find them cute
  • Start that thing even if you don’t feel ready
  • Say yes to something that scares you
  • Say no to something that you could do, but know you shouldn’t do

When was the last time you got your brave on? Perhaps it’s time to get your big girl pants on, and your big girl brave face on.

And if you’re looking for some inspiration, check out my friend Jana Stanfield’s song, ‘If I Were Brave.’

Cheers to you getting your brave on this week!

And then tell me how it went! I want to hear from you in the comments below.

Have a FAB, brave-filled week!

It’s not about the summit…

It was 11pm. And it was cold.

Although we were strongly encouraged to go to bed after dinner, knowing what lay ahead, most of us hadn’t managed to sleep. 

Perhaps it was the temperature, or the timing, or the sheer excitement. 

I had barely got my mitts on, and was still adjusting my poles to the proper length, before we were off. 

‘Duende!’ 

(‘Let’s go!’ in Swahili)

One by one, step by step, in single file line, we began our final summit night ascent up Kilimanjaro.

I looked up from the path and the carefully trodden footprints to the women in line ahead of me, and to all of the guides on either side of us – with two more than normal there were seven altogether – and I felt both proud and protected. 

‘One team, one dream!’ Hemedi, one of our main guides, had declared our first night together. And it had quickly become our slogan, our proclamation, our lifeline. 

We were one team – and a powerful force at that – with one dream… to make it to the summit.

We continued to climb, but it somehow felt more serious, more somber than before.

Six days earlier we’d begun our climb up Africa’s largest peak.

We’d conquered rain and snow, the famous Barranco wall, and even Lava Tower – our day 3 destination – who’s high altitude had affected the majority of our group leaving many ill and worried they wouldn’t be able to go on.

Although at times challenging, and despite long days of nine plus hours of hiking, I never doubted my ability to get to the top. 

And although physical fitness doesn’t guarantee one won’t be affected by altitude sickness, l was still pretty confident I’d be able to make it happen. 

Until I wasn’t. 

Just then I began to feel it. 

Not only were my hands freezing, my tummy was turning. And then came the gurgles. 

I began to feel it. The altitude. 

It was hours before our first short break. 

And not a moment too soon.

Even then, there was no time to dawdle. It was hurry up and do your business if you must, grab some water, and get back in line.

(Although I certainly felt better afterwards, having to do your business on the side of the mountain, where it was very difficult not to be exposed somehow, and in the middle of the night when the last thing you feel like doing is taking off all of your layers, is not so much fun let me tell you!)

By the time I was back, we were immediately off again in our single file line.  

There was no singing, no laughing, no bubbly conversation as there had been the days previously. 

‘This isn’t fun anymore!’ someone from our group proclaimed. 

My heart sank. I’m sure she wasn’t the only one feeling that way. In fact, I’m pretty sure we were all beginning to feel that way.

Perhaps I’m making it out to be a bit more somber than it actually was. I mean it wasn’t all that awful – at least at first – but it was also no walk in the park.

At first, I was quite enjoying the rhythm of our steps.

I was enjoying the quiet. The nature. The team we were a part of.

I was beginning to realize we were now on a mission that became bigger than any one of us.

But after a few hours, the first in line peeled off. And then the next one. And the one two behind me. 

I was also beginning to realize we may not all make it. 

As a team leader that’s tough. And when you’re not allowed to get out of line yourself to check in on your people, and when you yourself aren’t feeling so hot, it makes it even harder. 

I began to recite a mantra in my mind:

'we will summit, 
we will summit, 
and we’ll be,
warm again.’

It had a distinct rhythm and tune. And I must have recited it several hundred times before we finally made it to the crater rim of the mountain, Stella point. 

And by that point, my stomach had settled a little bit. We had been going for almost 8 hours. 

The next 45 minutes of the climb, also the last 45 minutes of the climb, although not overly physically demanding, lasted an eternity. 

However as the sun slowly began to offer its morning light, I felt hopeful. 

My fear that I may not make it, which was pretty real at some point during the ascent, subsided. It was happening. 

It was freezing, we were freezing, and a few brave members of the group – who had declared more than once they were ready to turn back, and who had been persuaded more than once to keep going – were barely hanging on. 

It was no longer about me making it to the top, and more about making sure all those still with us would make it.

I knew this sign had better show up sooner rather than later!

We began to pass fellow climbers coming in the opposite direction, big grins on their faces (or occasionally very white in their faces!) heading down the mountain.  

‘Congratulations!’ they shouted. And I knew we were close. 

And then off in the near distance I saw her. 

The sign. 

The official post that marked the summit. 

We began to quicken our steps. 

And suddenly, there we were. 

We made it. 

We had reached the peak, summited to the summit, achieved our goal. 

So we took the picture, dug deep to smile big, and then just like that, the moment was over and were already on our way down. 

Blink and you could’ve missed it. 

And if I’m honest, it was almost a bit anticlimactic. 

Now in all fairness it was snowing and very cloudy and there was no beautiful sunrise to be seen. Perhaps that would have made a difference. 

But still, this big summit reaching moment wasn’t what I thought it would be.

And as I began the descent back down, I realized although we may have made it to the summit, it wasn’t about making it to the summit at all. 

It never was. 

And it never is. 

Whether a summit, a destination, a goal… 

Here’s the thing. You’ll never get ‘there’ – yet you’ve already arrived. 

It really is about the experience, the journey, the steps you have to go through in life order to get to where you want to go, and more importantly the person you have to become in the process. 

And that was certainly the case for our climb up Kilimanjaro.

The actual moment of reaching the summit paled in comparison to all of the special moments we enjoyed leading up to it.

The singing and dancing and cheering we did with all of our guides and porters at camp. 

The deep discussions we’d get into in our dining tent on life, love and diamox (to take, or not to take?)

The sharing of our roses and thorns at the end of every evening, which ended in laughter or tears or powerful breakthroughs.

Hard to believe this epic experience of a lifetime has come to an end. But the learnings and the connections are only just beginning.

And these special moments will truly last a lifetime. 

And I am so freakin’ proud of what our ‘one team, one dream’ accomplished. 

So although I will continue to set goals and climb mountains and may even  attempt to once again reach the summit – and hope you do too – I’m going to focus on enjoying the journey (hopefully with less gurgles next time!) 

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that maters, in the end.” ~ Ursula K. Le Guin 

Indeed. 

Have a FAB week!

Lessons from Africa on the power of connection.

Africa is everything you’ve ever imagined it could be, and nothing like you ever could have imagined. 

Granted I haven’t been all over Africa – I haven’t even been all over Tanzania yet – however in the small bit I have seen and experienced, I can honestly say there is something magical about this place.

We are not tourists here… and that makes a big difference. 

We’re staying with a local family in their guest house, we’re cooking with the local ‘mamas’ from the Dare Women’s Foundation while on site (it’s quite amazing watching a small area covered merely by a tarp be transformed into a full on kitchen…) preparing some of the most tasty and memorable meals ever, and our volunteer work in this remote village is building a fence around a property that will one become a community home for women in need.

We pass children in their uniforms on their way to and from school, flashing the whitest of smiles, screaming ‘Jambo!’ while running after our bus, impressively keeping up with our pace. 

We get welcomed by the village mamas in their beautiful brightly coloured dresses and kangas (traditional wraps) with singing and dancing and shaking of hips and whistle blowing (I have never been greeted with such genuine warmth and excitement…) It really does bring tears to my eyes every time.

And we’ve seen giraffes walking along a ridge in the distance, while hearing hippopotami (is that the plural of hippopotamus?!?) snort in a lake right next to us, as we share big dreams and big fears taking the ladies in our group through my ‘Spark Your G.E.N.I.U.S.’ program.

I feel so incredibly fortunate to be experiencing what I’m experiencing and learning what I’m learning right now. 

And, you don’t necessarily have to go to Africa (although I will say, if and when you get the chance, GO! It is INCREDIBLE and so hard to describe…) or another part of the world to shift your perspective or learn important lessons. 

But one of the biggest things – takeaways, highlights, learnings – is not really a new lesson at all. 

I’ve long since understood the power of it, yet being here it’s become even more evident to me.

CONNECTION.

Despite different backgrounds, regardless of various upbringings, beyond obvious language barriers, I continue to truly connect with so many of the local people I meet and have the honour of working with.

And it brings so much more meaning to every interaction.

Connect with others. 

Connect with yourself.

Connect to the moment. 

Last week I spoke about people, experiences, and moments making the world go around. 

Well, continuing on that theme, the next step is to truly CONNECT. 

If you are not connecting with these people, experiences, or moments, you will miss the mark, and the magic.

And so with respect to people specifically, here are three easy ways to more powerfully connect. 

1  See people.

See people for who they truly are. Get to know them. Be let in. Place yourself in their shoes whenever possible. Learn their names. Learn their story.

2  Share Yourself. 

Don’t be afraid to self disclose. Let them in. When you open up, you invite them to do the same. And vulnerable sharing is the birthplace of deeper and more meaningful connection. 

3  Smile More.

Don’t underestimate the power of gestures. Making eye contact, extending a hand, or offering an embrace goes a LONG way. Especially when there may be a language barrier. Smile. A smile is truly worth a thousand words. Smile and the world smiles back at you. 

 

When you want to more powerfully connect with someone, use these three tips and you’ll be well on your way.

After all, human connection is important, and people, experiences, and moments make the world go around.

It’s been an incredible first week here in Tanzania, and tomorrow we head off at 5am towards the mountain to start our climb up Kilimanjaro. 

Wish us luck!

2 trains🚊 down, 2 flights ✈ to go, 1 epic experience awaits…

I’m pretty sure it hasn’t hit me yet. 

Luckily I have about 15 hours ahead of me between the two flights and a layover, and so it may begin to at some point in there!

It’s been a whirlwind the last little while to say the least. Many a tear shed, plenty of laughs shared, and lots of special memories both relived and created. 

We had a beautiful tribute for my stepmother and our dear Eveline in her family’s quaint home town in northern Germany, and now she is in her final resting place. 

And may she rest in peace. 

I’ve wanted to be in the moment, feeling all the feels, and so the fact I’m about to embark on what I’m pretty sure is going to be an epic experience of a lifetime hasn’t quite sunk in yet. 

It’s been in the works for well over a year. And conversations with my partners in crime for even longer than that. 

Women Living Big and UGO Travel For Change have joined forces, and 12 brave souls will all be arriving in Arusha, Tanzania over the next 24 hours where we’ll all finally meet in person as a group for the first time. 

We’ve been on the journey for the past few months together… meeting over zoom calls sharing dreams and fears and lots in between, exchanging equipment lists and packing woes and pictures of ‘she wees,’ and getting to know one another through hilarious what’s app conversations and way too many bitmojis!

We’re going to be volunteering with the Dare Women’s Association for a week, getting down and dirty and building a fence, and then we will make our way to Mt. Kilimanjaro, attempting to reach the summit. 

Kinda crazy if I think about it. 

Kinda crazy to think about all that has transpired over the last few weeks. 

Welcoming a new baby into the family, having to say goodbye to another member of the family, and a whole lotta miles being flown the process.

And so if I’m honest, no, I haven’t quite processed it all yet.

But then again, when life is happening so fast all around you, do you ever actually process in the moment?

Well, perhaps not. but I’m taking a small moment now to begin to think and reflect. 

Without getting too philosophical, what is it all about in the end anyhow?

Well, I’ve realised I couldn’t have gone through what I just did without so many special people in my life. Having my friends and family around for support and to experience it together has meant everything. And sharing special moments, both laughs and tears. And talking about special past experiences, as well as looking forward to more special experiences to come. 

People. Moments. Experiences. 

That’s really what makes the world go around. 

And so as you and I embark on all of the adventures that await us in 2019 – planned or unplanned – may they involve special people, special moments, and special experiences. 

They make the journey worthwhile, and give life meaning. 

Short and sweet this week, as I’m getting ready to board!

Have a FAB week!

25 Easy Ways to Make More Merry This Holiday Season!

Happy Friday!

Still on a high from an incredible CAPS convention in beautiful Vancouver, BC, learning and connecting with fellow speakers from all over the world… however there is no rest for the wicked, especially at this time of year!

After a serious leak from the condo above, I’ve had all new floors and baseboards put in, and the whole place repainted. So I’ve had no home for a few weeks (thank goodness I do love hotels!) and was finally able to move back in. Just in time, too, as I’m co-hosting a Christmas party tonight for the amazing Dovetail community of female entrepreneurs, and throwing a tacky Christmas sweater party for other friends and colleagues tomorrow night… because, well, why not?!?

I do love this exciting season, however perhaps you can relate to the to-do lists taking on a life of their own?

So I’m reminding myself, and you, to take a moment to slow down, and connect with what this season is really about.

And as I’m all about small, do-able, fun activities that can make a BIG difference both for you and for others, and we’re now knee deep into this festive season, I have some ideas for you!

Here are 25 easy ways to add a little extra merry and joy to you and yours and others this holiday season:

  1. Make a snow angel ❄👼❄ (ideally right on the sidewalk for all to see!
  2. Donate to your local food bank or fill a Shoebox for The Shoebox Project
  3. Send yourself a Christmas Card 📭 (why not?!?) and then give your postman (or postwoman!) a card while you’re at it 
  4. Buy yourself a poinsettia
  5. Shovel a neighbour’s driveway or sidewalk
  6. Invent a Christmas Cocktail
  7. Spend a day in your robe and just do nothing 
  8. Buy coffee for the person behind you in line ☕ 
  9. Get a sparkly festive manicure 💅
  10. Go to the movies to watch a vintage holiday classic 📽 (or stay in your jammies and watch Love Actually!)
  11. Learn a Christmas tune on the ukulele or the nose flute (talk to me if you’ve never heard of the nose flute, and I’ll introduce you to my good friend David Gouthro, who also happens to be the founder of the Vancouver Nose Flute Ensemble!)
  12. Treat yourself to a comfy onesie… be it a cheesy Christmas themed one or a snuggie!  
  13. Go to a fancy store, and try on a ridiculously expensive fuzzy, furry item… just ‘cause! (Or go to Value Village and buy a tacky Christmas sweater!)
  14. Build a Snowman ☃
  15. Visit your local Children’s hospital or hospice and enjoy some meaningful moments
  16. Buy chocolates for an old teacher, a mentor, or yourself
  17.  Go ice skating ⛸ or tobogganing 🛷 !
  18. Put on a pair of reindeer antlers and walk around town as if all is normal.(Maybe even make some ‘neeeiiigghh’ sounds!)
  19. Indulge in an obnoxiously large and fancy hot chocolate or other holiday beverage (I’m talking like Venti Gingerbread Latte styles!) 
  20. Bond with a stranger and turn them into a friend
  21. Spend some time out in nature. Go for a walk and if you’re lucky to have snow where you are, listen to the crunch sound under your feet as you walk
  22.  Bake cookies 🍪
  23.  Make an easy holiday craft (I always found reindeer candy canes the easiest!)
  24. Get a few friends or neighbours together and go Christmas Caroling 🔔
  25.  Crank up the 🎶 Christmas tunes 🎵 while driving, while cooking, or whenever… and get your belt on! 

 

Lots of ideas there… I hope you take on just ONE this week!

And then please do share your stories  below ~ and also feel free to add your ideas to the list! Always on the lookout for new fun things to do.

Remember, it’s not about simply adding more to your to-do list, rather to offer a fun respite of sorts, and get re-connected with what this holiday season is really about.

Have a FAB time making merry this week!

 

 

 

 

P.S. My friend Warren Leppik at Cognition Productions made a holiday card on my behalf for y’all… check it out HERE!

How to get back up when you’re down.

Photo by Andrii Podilnyk on Unsplash

Happy Friday!

I have to say I’m feeling pretty grateful right now.  While it’s true, thanks to a little bike 🚴‍♀️ mishap on Sunday, I’ve torn my AC joint and so sporting a sling for the next few weeks (fingers crossed she heals properly and no surgery will be needed!), it really could have been a lot worse. And it got me thinking. As frustrated and annoyed as I was with myself in the moment (well, once the tears disappeared and the pain subsided!) playing the ‘if only’ or ‘what if’ or trying to re-write in my mind how it all could’ve gone down differently aren’t very helpful.

 

So instead, I tried to look for the lessons, the learnings, and the signs from the Universe.

Now I’m guessing I’m not the only one who’s ever fallen down – whether literally off a bike, or figuratively off a plan, a project, a pursuit – and there are perspectives worthy of sharing.

1.  S-L-O-W down.

Never be in too much of a rush you don’t properly look for both cars AND bikers before dropping off the sidewalk… (especially as they may be hiding behind film trucks and suddenly ‘appear’ out of nowhere and ram right into you – which yes, may have happened to me 😳!)

Business and life get busy. And while I’ll admit I tend to enjoy keeping a fast pace, it’s not sustainable, it’s not always healthy, and it’s not always worth it.

In me wanting to save a few seconds and not double check before popping out amidst the film trucks, I’m now forced to slow way down.

Moreover, we have to be in it for the long hall. Skipping steps, rushing through steps, accelerating the process doesn’t always save time in the end. And it’s likely not as enjoyable, either!

If you don’t slow down every once in a while, take a breath, be here now… chances are something will happen to remind you of how important it is.

2. Swallow your pride. 

Never be too proud to call your Mommy or Daddy, or any friend or family member for that matter, when you fall or when you’re down. You don’t have to face it alone. And you’re never too old to be taken care of. (At least that’s what I told myself when my father, without skipping a beat, offered to come into town to take me to the hospital… and then proceeded to sit with me throughout the whole process…) It’s funny that regardless of your age, when you’re sick or in pain there’s nothing like being home 🏠 receiving some extra tender loving care. It was exactly what the doctor ordered.

3. Accept, and acknowledge help. 

Along the same lines as swallowing your pride, this idea is taking it a step further.

When perfect strangers (who also happen to run the film set craft food truck!) invite you in to feed you Kleenex, coffee, and loving kindness while you’re bleeding and crying, say yes. There are good people in this world, and they want to help. And then be sure to somehow acknowledge them! Get their names, write a thank you card 💌, send Starbucks gift cards, flowers… 💐 (Shout out to Chris, Romaine, and especially Leora… you truly are the Craft Food Angels!!!)

And then pass it on. When it’s your turn to lend a helping hand, do it. It may make more than just someone’s day.

4. Call in for reinforcement.

Even if help isn’t offered at first, doesn’t mean you can’t ask for it. We ALL need support at one time or another. And no doubt there are people in your life ready and willing to offer it.

Although I’m grateful each and every day for the incredible people 🙌 in my life, it’s times like these that remind me of just how lucky I am to have the friends and amazing people I do around me… who will drop whatever they’re doing for a phone call ☎️, share words of encouragement, offer to get me groceries or bring over food, even had some amazing chauffeurs (although Dad takes the cake on that one!) over the past few days who’ve driven me here and there and everywhere without batting an eyelash.

5. Shift your perspective. 

When you’ve fallen or gotten off track, or everything seems to be going wrong, it’s easy to get caught in the ‘woe is me.’ Take a moment or two by all means, it’s important to feel all the feels. But don’t stay in the pity party 😢 too long. Instead, shift your perspective.

Choose to look at all that is going right. No doubt it could have been a lot worse. In my case, that is certainly the truth. I could have seriously injured the other cyclist, (luckily he was fine and biked away with no harm done to him or his fancy bike) I could have broken bones, it could have been a car, I could be totally out of commission right now. In the grand scheme of things, a shoulder injury and a sling is REALLY nothing to complain about.

(Find it challenging to make the shift? Spend some time an an emergency ward! It’s enlightening to say the least, and made the pain in my shoulder dissipate very quickly.)

6. Make the most of the moment. 

Look for the silver lining, and choose to make the most of any tough situation you’re in. My Dad and I enjoyed a special Tim Hortons ☕️ breakfast while sitting in the emergency ward together, video chatted with my other sisters and the family out in Calgary, and watched in tears the Remembrance Day🎖service huddled over the tiny screen of his phone. We wouldn’t have been able to share such a special moment had the mishap not happened.

If you look for it closely, there is always a gift within your grief.

7. Count your blessings.

🙏 HUGE GRATITUDE 🙏 for all you amazing peeps in my life, Tim Hortons, and for our Canadian health care system! Yes, there was some waiting, but I was given a sling within 10 minutes, in and out of X-rays within 2 hours, and given a diagnosis by the nicest doctor about half an hour later! And NO BILLS!

Find at least something, or someone, you can be grateful for today, in this moment, and especially when you fall down in life.

Only when we realise all that we have right here, right now, will we be ready to face whatever life throws our way.

When you fall down in life, remember these lessons:

S-L-O-W down. Swallow your pride. Accept, and acknowledge help. Call in for reinforcement. Shift Your Perspective. Make the most of the moment. Count your blessings.

We’re all going to have moments in life when we get hit, when we fall down, when we get hurt – whether literally, figuratively, physically, mentally, emotionally, financially… you name it.

It’s less about trying to prevent them, or push past them, and more about learning how to grow and thrive in spite of them.

And now I want to hear from you… which of these lessons most resonate? Or what lessons have you learned as a result of going through your own challenging situation or mishap in your life?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below 🙌 !

Have a FAB week!

What it REALLY means to be productive.

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday!

Although not necessarily an early riser by nature, I’m in the process of a bit of a transformation (and it’s a process, I tell ya!) as I’m up a few times a week at 5am to swim 🏊‍♀ with the Toronto Triathlon Club. ***I actually just signed up for my first half ironman in July… EEK 😳!*

So I may have been up a little too late on Tuesday evening, may have slept through my alarm ⏰ (or subconsciously hit ‘stop’ in stead of ‘snooze’!) and instead of reprimanding myself, may have committed in my half awake state to my instructor to join the Thursday am group to make up the missed session.

Well, yesterday I made sure I got up right away when I heard that buzz, even had time to make coffee ☕ for the first time (which I proceeded to spill as I locked my door behind me, HA! 🤣and arrived at the pool with a whole minute to spare… only to find out Thursday practices start at 6:30am, not 5:55!

After coming to terms with the fact I could have enjoyed an additional 30mins of sleep, I decided to maximise this bonus half hour and found a coffee shop a block away to journal and make lists. However, after a good swim, making some new friends, and enjoying some good conversations, I had a big epiphany about what it really means to be productive.

 

Watch this week’s video🎥 to learn my new definition of productive, as well as three easy ways you can reframe your relationship to productivity today…

It’s time to feel GOOD about what you ‘accomplish’ each and every day, regardless of how much you get done on the to-do list!

SO… what does PRODUCTIVE mean to you?

I hope you take on at least one of these  ideas, and stop trying to create ‘large amounts of commodities’ and instead enjoy large amounts of moments that matter.

And please, SHARE your thoughts and ideas in the comments below 🙌 ! 

Have a FAB week!

 

 

 

 

P.S There are still TWO spots to join our EPIC once-in-a-lifetime experience volunteering in Tanzania 🇹🇿 and then climbing Kilimanjaro 🏔!  More info HERE

3 Ways to Deal With Rejection.

Photo by Rhendi Rukmana on Unsplash

 

This week, I got rejected. Like, I’m talking FULL ON rejection. By a guy.

Walking off the stage at MoMondays, I was on a bit of a high, as I normally am after giving a talk. And after the final words of the night were spoken, and the applause and the dancing died down, my friend and I walked towards the bar for a glass of wine.

(Yes, it was a Monday evening, however I do like to celebrate after my speaking engagements, and it sometimes involves a glass of vino!)

On our way, I got stopped by a nice looking gentleman, who paid me a lovely compliment about my performance. 

‘Thank you!’ I responded politely.

Shortly thereafter he walked over and joined my friend and I, and soon the three of us found ourselves in a pretty interesting discussion. He was also with a friend, who mine ironically recognized, as the two of them had briefly dated. Small world! Eventually the 4 of us began chatting, and then the two of them, and the two of us. 

And while it was far from ‘love at first sight…’ I was enjoying the conversation, he seemed to have really good values, and maybe in part due to the glass of wine, I thought, ‘hmm… he’s actually pretty cute!’ (I will admit he did have beautiful blue eyes!) He was pretty engaged, or so it appeared, and I kinda thought maybe he thought I was kinda cute, too. And so, I found myself jumping way ahead of the game, and decided  that should he ask me out, I’d more than likely say yes. 

Now I did give him some push back when it came to his ideas on balance, and some grief when he ‘cheers-ed’ without looking me in the eye (that’s a big thing for me… luckily my friends and family all oblige this interesting idiosyncrasy of mine!), but I was also being kinda flirty.

Well, before we knew it we were closing down the place, although it was barely 11, and my friend announced she was going home. It was about that time, even though I almost assumed we’d be continuing the conversation. 

He then asked if she’d be alright, and if he could walk her home. Now at first I thought it was a tad weird, but quickly replaced that thought with the idea he must simply be a gentleman as he appeared to be. So I figured we’d all leave together, and even offered to drive her home. So we all squeeze into my mini and off we go. And then as she gets out, so does he, as he begins to say ‘I was actually hoping to ask for your…’ as my passenger side door gets slammed shut. 

My initial reaction? ‘Did that really just happen?!?’

I guess he was into her the whole time! And in that moment, I not only felt stupid, I also felt FULL ON rejected. 

Clearly I read the signs all wrong! Maybe he had been talking to me because he was more scared to talk to her. Maybe he wanted to get in good with me as her friend so I could put in a good word. Maybe he was only talking to me because I was talking to him. 

At first I kinda chuckled, but even though it was a guy I just met, and I knew there wouldn’t be any wedding bells in our future, in that moment, my ego and my pride were totally crushed.

And so, I did the healthy thing to do! I came home, I made popcorn, I had a little ‘woe is me’ Netflix binge-watching session.

Now I know what you’re thinking. ‘Carol, totally justified! Why didn’t you throw a little ice cream into the mix?!?’

And you know what, I can’t even remember the last time I watched Netflix, so I’m not going to beat myself up about it.

But it also got me thinking. How do I handle rejection in other areas of my life? And the truth is, not always very well!

And I know I’m not alone. 

Did you know that fear of rejection is one of the BIGGEST fears experienced by humans? 

And this fear is often what prevents us from raising our hand, sharing our big idea, or putting our name out there for a new position, a promotion, or a raise. 

And so, we often don’t even put our name into the mix at all.

If we don’t try, we can’t get rejected, right?!? 

Well yes, that’s true. And, it also means we’re likely not taking the risks required to go after what we truly want. 

And that’s not what living BIG is all about, and not what you’re all about!

So seeing as how bringing on the biggest you is going to sometimes mean rejection, let’s look at 3 ways to face it, combat it, and win over it.

1. Feel all the feels

Allow yourself to feel whatever it is you’re feeling. Don’t be afraid of the discomfort. You have to sit in it, in order to work through it. So, find your coping mechanisms. Be it ice cream, Netflix, calling up a friend, going for a run, putting on some loud music and dancing in the kitchen, taking a bath, retail therapy, journaling. And, I might also suggest putting a timeline of sorts on it! You can wallow for a while, heck even throw yourself a little pity party, but after a few hours, it’s time to move on!

2. Get REAL, dig deeper

Ask yourself what’s really going on. Beneath the rejection there is almost always a thought or a believe that is being triggered. Is it your pride, is it an old story coming up, is it an expectation being thwarted? Get honest. Name it, and bring it to the surface. You gotta first get clear on what’s happening at the core before you can be ready to move on. 

3.  Reframe

Take the thought or belief that’s creeped its way into your head, and choose a more powerful one. Instead of ‘No,’ choose to look at it as ‘Not right now!’  It may also be beneficial to reframe how you look at the entire event. Instead of living in a binary world where there’s either success or failure, right or wrong, good or bad, look at every action you take as an EXPERIENCE (check out a previous post where I explain all about the power of getting into the EXPERIENCE ZONE) Because when you look at it as an experience, you’ve already won. And there’s no chance for failure or rejection! 

When you take the time to go through these steps, you’ll be ready to jump back onto the horse in no time!

And because you’re all about playing bigger, living bigger (otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this right now!) you gotta be willing to put in the work. 

It’s not always going to be easy. Rejection, and the fear of it, ‘aint going anywhere any time soon. So you gotta be willing to put yourself out there in spite of it.

And if you think about it, the alternative is you failing by default by your lack of trying. 

As my wise father used to say: “A no you already have, a yes you can get. 

So go for it. Take the action. Ask for the number, apply for the opportunity, share the big idea. 

You never know what could happen!

(And then share what action you’re going to take this week In SPITE of the fear of rejection below!)

Have a FAB week!