Pay Attention!

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I heard a great quote a while back that really stuck with me.

“The greatest gift you can give another is the fullness of your attention”

We all know how you feel when someone is really listening to you and we know what it’s like when someone is not listening to you, especially when they think they are.

There is a really good reason why we have 2 ears and only one mouth. We should be listening twice as much as speaking.

Communication is hard at the best of times but when you are trying to express yourself verbally and the receiving party is distracted, interrupting, talking over you or interpreting what you are saying in a completely different way, you know there is a communication breakdown.

I believe that one of the reasons that the wisest people become wiser is because they have figured out that when they speak, they learn nothing but when others speak and they listen, they learn everything.

For the most part people will not remember much of what you said or did but they will remember how you made them feel and people feel validated when you truly listen to them.

Speaking of communication breakdown, there are a few good bands that wrote songs in the 70s with that title; one being a legendary British band and the other by a Canadian band. Do you know who they are? If so, score some bonus points with me and list them below in the comment section. Songs that have talk in the title? You’ll still score some points.

It’s time to use that imagination muscle. I have faith in my music friends that follow this post. You can find both songs on Youtube and they are in my opinion, best played really loud. Always getting some music references in when I can. YAAAAY!

My Journey Into Meditation

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Meditation cartoon

Many thoughts and images can be conjured up by just hearing the word meditation. It can be intimidating to some and for that reason they will never discover the many benefits of spending quiet time with themselves.

Just like everyone else I had a time where it seemed like everything was going wrong and I needed to do something different. At a point like that, there are many options to deal or not deal with the struggles and knowing myself the way I do, I knew that I had to deal with mine head on and in a positive way. I kept seeing these quotes that resonated with me and all of them were supposedly said by Buddha.

Being an open and somewhat adventurous person, I thought that going within to help with the struggles on the outside might be a good place to start. I also thought if I’m going to do it, do it right so off I went to a Buddhist temple for a meditation class. As soon as I walked in, I could feel the calm surrounding me like a comfortable blankie. I had no idea what to expect but remained open to whatever the experience was going to teach me. It was a midday class so there were only a few participants. I figured that was good; the less distractions that there were, the better.

What I realized about meditation is that you’re going to have thoughts going through your head but just like when you are working out your body you are exercising your mind when you pull it back into nothingness. Use that muscle to get back into it. The more it pulls away the more you gently pull it back. You will get stronger and it will become easier to clear your thoughts each time you do it. There is a reason why CEOs and other leaders are taking up meditation; the reward value. You need nothing more than a commitment to do it. They say that the people who complain that they have no time to meditate are the ones that need it the most and should be doing it twice as long.

Another thing I found was how emotions may come into play. A few times while meditating I could feel a tear rolling slowly down my face and had no idea why. It really surprised me. I just accepted it and realized that there was something way down deep inside me that needed to be released so I let it. I just let what was going to happen, happen.

A few times I have felt a warm ray of light like a sunbeam on my face. Initially I was surprised when I first felt that because some days when it was happening it wasn’t sunny out. I am certain that the warmth and light that I am feeling during those times are not coming from the outside but are pouring out from the light within. Depending on the day, my results with meditation are very different. Sometimes I really get into it and other days my mind is everywhere but where it should be so for those times I just am grateful that my eyes are closed and there are no visual distractions for a few minutes.

I try very hard to get meditation in at some point during the day and the earlier the better. It makes things clearer and I have become much more creative and thoughtful. I pay attention to everything including what I say, what I want to say but don’t, how I see myself,others and the world. No matter how I enter into meditation, I always get something positive out of it.

Calming the mind used to be difficult for me because my thoughts are always racing.I think our world has sped everything up-including our minds and we really need to just step off this crazy ride called life at some point every day and just be. We are human BEINGS after all so I think we need a little bit more BEING and less DOING.


The Monk who teaches at the Buddhist Temple always says, “A doctor can give you the medicine but it can only help you if you choose to take it.”

I say the same thing to my Personal Training clients.” I may spend 3 or 4 hours a week with you. I can educate, motivate , work your body and give you the tools to make the changes that you want to see but the other 164 hours of the week are yours to choose whether or not to implement that advice”.

I am a big proponent of personal responsibility. I always tell people that I chose the name of my fitness company for a reason. I believe that the “First Step to Maximum Wellness” is commitment and that the second step in any direction will take you somewhere. The direction and the destination are up to you.

What are you committed to in your life?

Do you meditate? If not, are you open to going within yourself?

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Can You Imagine?

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There are certain words that I love. They resonate with me and I believe they are a part of my DNA.

IMAGINE is one of those words. I love it so much that IT actually found me in a store years ago. I was just looking around with a friend, wasting time and saw a pile of polished stones in a basket. I love polished stones. The smooth texture and the colours attract me to them. As I started to pick them up, I noticed that there were different words engraved on each one. After seeing a few of them, one stood out. IMAGINE was embossed in gold print.

Imagine my delight when I saw that. It was a green stone with the word IMAGINE on it. Imagine that; my favorite colour and word. Wow. Of course I bought it and to this day I keep it close by.

If you’ve followed my blog from the very beginning you will know this; I love music. My favorite song in the whole wide world is believe it or not, IMAGINE by John Lennon. I have heard many different people sing it and if they really get it, it is amazing!

So, with it being my favorite song and one of my very favorite words it only makes sense that I write about IMAGINE and imagination, right? Right.

I am drawn to people that have a great imagination, with kids being at the top of the imagination mountain. I love sharing my imagination with kids and love getting insight into theirs. What a cool place to visit.

We are all born with great imaginations. As we age, the imagination starts to dissolve but it doesn’t have to. You can be a grown up and retain that fun, unique part of yourself if you want to. I recently heard that we only use about 5 percent of our brain’s capabilities. It saddens me to wonder how much of the untouched 95 percent is our imagination.

When we were kids, we had imaginary friends but as we aged, the friends reluctantly disappeared to another place. Where did they go? Who knows, maybe to a great land of unending fun fun fun. Maybe they are just waiting for you to show up and re-connect.

I remember my imaginary friend. His or her name was GOOGI. I didn’t know the sex or age of my playmate or where the crazy name came from or how long this Googi was in my life but I do remember once giving Googi a small piece of uncooked ground beef that my mom was forming into burgers. I’m surprised that I lived to tell the tale. I guess that was my one and only adventure with steak tartare. Maybe that’s the day that Googi became unreal to me and went away.

I may have said good-bye to my imaginary friend but I have never said good-bye to my imagination and would never want to. It is what helps me create everything I have, personally and professionally. I’m convinced that my dog thinks I’m crazy but in a very good, fun way with the dances and silly songs that I have made up just for her.

Imagination is the gift that allows you to bring whatever you want into reality. It can be used in a positive way to create magnificent, beautiful things that can inspire others to use their imaginations. It can also be misused in a negative way to create worry, doubt and horrific outcomes into your life or the lives of others. Arguments and wars have been started due to someone’s imagination being filled with fear about another person, group of people or country. What a terrible waste of the gift of imagination. Is your imagination friend or foe?

At one time, someone had to imagine and then prove that the world was actually round and not flat as had been blindly accepted. Someone also had to imagine that the huge white circle in the sky known as the moon was more than an optical illusion or a mysterious unknown object. Those imagined thoughts brought about a curiosity of possibilities that led to the creation of a rocket ship that was needed to travel there.

More recently instead of having a footman or in more modern times, a postal worker, deliver messages created by an ink dipped quill which evolved through imagination into a pen, a message can now be sent via invisible whatevers (excuse my lack of technological insight) to anywhere in the world within a few seconds of pressing a send button. However it’s done, it’s really cool or perhaps regrettable depending on the message. HA HA! Could you imagine trying to explain that concept to a 19th century farmer?

Imagine what we on planet earth would do if we found out that there was life on another planet that wanted to take over or completely destroy our planet. Would we 7 billion inhabitants finally come together as one to fight them off?  I wonder if we would we put our assumed differences away and bring our similarities to the forefront to battle the ”Planet Foreigners” trying to destroy our home, planet earth and thereby, us? Ah, ya, I think we would!!

 Are you getting the best of your imagination or is your imagination getting the best of you?