Missed Opportunities

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Each and every day we are given a chance to start again. We can make different choices and decisions for our lives; better choices, better decisions. We can keep our eyes and ears open for new opportunities, different opportunities, better opportunities; things that are presented specifically to each of us in order to help us learn and grow on our individual journeys. Many people miss the chances that are given to them for many reasons; doubts, fears and not paying attention are just a few.

Missed opportunities are something that I try to keep to a minimum after an experience that I had quite a few years ago.

I had just moved back to Toronto after living in Vancouver for many years and was in the car when I thought I saw one of my best friends from elementary school. We had remained friends throughout high school even though we were at different schools at that point. It looked so much like her. It had to be her! Unfortunately, the light changed and as the car crossed the street I thought to myself, “She must still be living in the neighborhood. I’m sure I’ll see her again.” But, I didn’t and life went on. A few years later I was going to my high school class reunion and was excited to see one person-my friend that I had missed at that light a few years before. When I got there, I saw a mutual friend of ours. I asked her if my friend was there or if she knew whether she was coming or not. She had told me that our friend had passed away a few years earlier from breast cancer. AAAAAH!   BIG TIME REGRET!!!

If I hadn’t assumed that our paths would inevitably cross again, things would have been different. I would have known if it actually was her if I had walked up to her. Even if it wasn’t her, it may have sparked my interest now that I was back in town and in the neighbourhood to try to re- connect with her. I missed an opportunity with someone who I would have loved to re-connect with. Why? I made the assumption of having plenty of time. That’s all.

Even though she is now passed on, she did leave me with a valuable lesson and I believe that is how she re-connected with me.

I learned from that experience. I now TRY very hard not to miss out on opportunities that are presented to me; whether it’s a chance to meet someone new or hang out with someone that I’ve known forever, a last minute trip or a new idea or plan for my business. If I do it and it doesn’t go as I expected or hoped it would, at least I did it. I played it out in life, instead of just in my head.

Don’t live in a place where you constantly miss opportunities. Live in a place where you get to the source of why you choose to.

Thanks for the lesson, Nicky! XOXO.

Giving And Receiving

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Give_receive cartoon

To give is to receive. You really do receive so much more when you give sincerely from your heart. Be grateful for the opportunity to be able to exercise this important part of you.

There are many opportunities to give every day and most of them are simple to do. Saying good morning to everyone you come in contact with is a good place to start. Eye contact and a sincere smile are real treats to give or receive in this fast paced, head down looking at something kind of world. We need that connection more than ever. Best of all- it’s free! You never know what that simple gift is going to do for someone that day but it will have a positive impact one way or another. Like skipping a stone in a calm body of water; it has a ripple effect.

It is also important to graciously receive whatever or whenever someone is trying to give to you. Remember you are helping them exercise that important side of themselves as well. Saying thank you with that same sincere smile and eye contact will help them to know that their actions are appreciated and doing so will encourage them to continue with those actions. It really is a give and take world and you will find that when you balance the two out artfully, the happier, less stressed and more connected you will be to the world and the people in it.

What have you given lately that has put a smile on someone else’s face?

The Dog Days Of Summer

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Lucy_lying downDog days of summer?  I and apparently my dog as well never really understood what “The Dog Days of Summer” were or how many days were given to man’s best friend? A couple? A week? 10? Who knows? It’s one of the great mysteries of life, I guess.

I know my dog thinks that there can never be enough days dedicated to dogs. Apparently she thinks everyday is about her and lucky for her she gets to spend a lot of time outside walking or running around with me.

As you know there is an obesity epidemic in North America and many other countries and unfortunately it’s not just humans who are battling the bulge; it is  also our pets. I don’t know of any dog who has pockets to carry money in so that they can go to the store or fast food restaurant and buy their own food so it must be the humans who are helping them to pack on the pounds. Obesity has the same effects on your pets as it does on you so please don’t feed them human food, give them too many treats and  do make sure to portion their food correctly. They can’t love you the way they want to if they’re not around.

Working out with your favorite furry friend is not only good for you but for them as well. Dogs NEED to play EVERYDAY- just like kids.

Taking the pounds off of your dog will also take the pounds off of you and walking 30- 60 minutes a day with your dog will  not only reduce stress for both of you,  but will also improve your sleep and general well being in so many ways.

So grab your shoes, the leash and  lots of  water for both of you and go play. Your doggy will thank you.

Just For Fun

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joy cartoonWhat did you like to do for fun when you were 5 or 6? Did you create artistic masterpieces that were then put on the fridge? Did you make up silly songs or create stories or plays that were then performed for anyone who would attend? Did you make up games or have adventures to keep you and your friends entertained outside until the street lights came on and you reluctantly went in for the night?

I did all of those things. When I think back to some of the crazy things that my friends and I would do, I just have to laugh.

We were creative, we were imaginative and we were brave. Complete silliness. Don’t you miss that? Now it seems that the only time we as adults do that kind of stuff is either when we are around kids and bouncing off of their infectious energy, when we’re on vacation and letting loose or when we’re drunk and have no idea what we’re doing.

When and why did we lose our sense of fun? I think it’s because someone said that we had to or we should for one reason or another but who are” they”?

I’m one of the lucky ones. I have chosen a career where I get to move and play and be silly from time to time. I am also like that in my personal life as well. I sing my dog silly songs, we have dance parties and we go on adventures whenever time permits. I try to incorporate fun in my life whenever and wherever I can. Let the Spirit Play!!!

Think about three things that you loved doing when you were a kid and go and do them. There will be the adult mind making up all kinds of excuses why you can’t or shouldn’t do them, but ignore it. We never made excuses for these things that we loved when we were kids. We just did them and had fun. Why? Because they brought us pure joy and there is no better feeling than that.

Many things bring me joy but my favorite thing hands down is listening to music or better yet being at a great concert, with a great crowd, listening to  great music. I really think I could do that every day of my life.

Speaking of good music, don’t you love when you buy a CD for one particular song from an artist that was virtually unknown to you and after listening to it over and over again, you fall in love with the whole album? It grows on you. Well right now while writing I am listening to a very mellow CD by a Canadian artist named Remy Shand. It’s over 10 years old and it is one of those CD’s. I don’t grab it often but when I do, I get right into it.

When you are really in that moment of pure joy, nothing else matters. We need more of that.

What was the last thing you did that brought you complete and utterly pure joy?

HA HA HA! Laughter Is The Best Medicine.

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I have heard that children laugh 400 times a day and adults laugh 15 times a day. If that is true then somewhere along the way we lost 385 laughs a day. That’s very sad and not a laughing matter. We don’t need to lose our sense of fun, joy and humour as we age but many of us do.

I probably laugh more before most people wake up every day. My clients are VERY funny and most of the time it is unintentional. I try to keep the tone very light in my training sessions and also in my life. I do this by getting rid of things and even some people that cause me stress or try to squash my joy. It just isn’t worth it.

Some things that make me laugh (besides my clients) are my dog (she makes me laugh everyday); really funny comedians (although they get paid big bucks to make us laugh) and little kids; they are just naturally funny in how they see the world. And then there’s me. Sometimes I just crack myself up by the things I do. I even have funny dreams and have woken up because I can hear myself laughing at my dreams. It’s very funny.

I know that we all want laughter in our lives because whenever you ask someone what’s important in a mate one of the first things that they always say is a good sense of humour.

Humour will get you very far in life- especially in times of trouble and despair. You have to look really deep to find the humour in some situations but if you can find it you will release chemicals in your body that will help to ease the pain.

 Did you know that even a simple smile releases stress by releasing endorphins. Once released these endorphins travel down the spine sending feel good messages throughout the rest of your body as they go.

Endorphins are strong and have the power to reduce symptoms of physical or emotional pain and they will blanket you with a feeling of well being.

What they say is true. Laughter really is the best medicine so try to get out there and surround yourself with the things and people that make you laugh and bring joy into your life every day.

What or who makes you laugh?