Monday, October 3, 2011

Merging of the Blogs

I have been doing a lot of thinking.  A lot of brain-work in terms of aligning my passion, my values and focusing on my Unique Ability ( a great read by the way - thanks Alynn Anglin for recommending).  In doing this I have realized that I need to focus on where my heart truly lies - that is in leadership development.

I started the Solstice Life blog with the intention of keeping focus on the everyday things in life that cause us to take action, take notice or even take a step away.  In my reflection, I have found that this blog - Solstice Life - still really captures personal leadership and should be combined with Leadership Solstice.

Leadership is nothing if it is not personal.  Leadership takes the personal and makes you outwardly project your authenticity, your values, you mission and your vision.  You cannot have a personal leadership plan and a professional one - at some point they must merge.  And this is my point.  I will be merging this blog with Leadership Solstice.  Please visit me there, follow my feed and comment.  I have loved being connected here, and will continue to serve you there.

Here is the link: .  Looking forward to new connections as you spread the word.

I will show some of the more interesting blogposts there as well.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Balancing the Equinox

The Equinox happened on September 23rd at 9:04 am.  That was the exact time where the sun was aligned with the equator.  Think about your alignment.  Think about how you balance yourself - the earth and the planets do - the universe is all about balance.  How do you find your balance?

When I think of alignment, I think of living life authentically, aligned to my values.  This means balancing work and family, health & home, heart & mind.  Not easy, an always a progression towards improvement.  With each stage of our life, this balance can actually flex and change.  For example, when the kids were smaller, they needed more of my time so something else had to have less of my time.  Now that has changed and I am able to place more time on other things as the kids have learned to use their time differently as well.

Part of alignment is presence - living the moments you have when you have them.  Choosing to do what you do because you enjoy it - whether it is work or play, and not feeling guilty for either.

Once the equinox is complete, literally in hours, the sun and the earth keep moving.  It actually takes 33 hours for the sun to completely cross the equator (thanks Wikipedia).  What I found most interesting in researching this universal phenomenon was that for the poles (north and south) this is the moment that light transitions from 24 hours of nighttime to 24 hours of daylight.  What a profound statement. Imagine being always in the light or always in the dark? What would you do?  How would that feel? 

Think about your life.  Your equinox.  Your alignment and your balance.  What changes can you make to become more aligned to your light, your values?  Not an easy question, not an easy task, but a liberating one, to say the least.

Monday, September 19, 2011


This week we celebrate our wedding anniversary. We get to look back on our lives together and look to the future and what is coming our way next.  We are not at a huge milestone, but proud of the fact that we have made it this far and have accomplished so much.

Thinking about the year ahead in our family, there are many milestones headed our way - new babies, 75th birthdays, 50th Wedding Anniversaries, 70th birthdays and another 50th birthday on its way.

We love to celebrate - especially the big things because it is an opportunity to put the special people in our lives in the same room for a different reason that the usual holidays where we get together.  We can even expand beyond the usual crowd and invite those that we see infrequently.

The planning, the excitement, the photos, the memories - all waiting to be had.  And what fun - to see the looks on people's faces, to see and feel the hugs, see tears of joy and happiness and create memories together....what else is life about?

Tell me how you celebrate those special milestones......send images, ideas...I would love to share!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Good Vs Not So Good

There have been a rash of athletes who have taken their own lives in the last few months of Summer.  Some reporters have speculated that this can partly be blamed on the constant pressure to perform at optimal levels and also the fact that the fans refuse to accept anything other than an amazing effort all the time.

The fan question leads back to the idea that we are (I am probably) in the last generation where it was ok to fail, because you learned a lesson.  We actually kept score in sports, and only the winners at the track meet got a ribbon, not everyone - just for participating!

Listening to the tragedies, I started to think about the people in my life and my interactions with them.  Not only my kids and my husband, but also my family, my colleagues and my clients.  How honest am I about their performance?  Do I make sure they understand that they have to try and even if they fail they will learn something and be alright?  Do I make it clear that not trying does not make them a superstar, but working hard will make them better than they are today?  Do I hold them and myself accountable for their/my actions?

It's a wake-up call - do we live in silos or do we see what is going on around us?  Are we sure that we are making good decisions not just right decisions?  It is tough to be a kid these days if everyday you are 'so awesome' and when you get to University or College, you have so much competition due to sheer numbers that you can't all be 'so awesome'!  We need to prepare our kids for the future - the real world, where you are told no, you are told 'not good enough', you are told 'fix it' - all without the why's and how's (unfortunately).

I think about my clients especially - do I make sure they understand how to resolve their issues and build solid platforms for problem-solving?  Am I letting them get away with their 'awesomeness' without pushing them beyond their comfort zone? 

It's a lot...I know....heavy for a late Summer day.....but thoughts that need to be explored nonetheless.  What do you think?  How do you make sure you hold yourself accountable to raising well-adjusted kids, clients & colleagues?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Back to School

So the day has arrived (and that is why I am posting today instead of yesterday!). It is the first day of the school year here in our area.  My youngest son is off to his first day of High School.  He looked prepared, all dressed up in his white polo shirt and grey flannels, ready to tackle the new world awaiting him.

For the last 2 years I have driven him to school every morning.  That time from 8 - 8:40 am was our time - talking, joking, listening to the radio, getting breakfast and lunch together.  Now our time is from 6:45 am - 7:15 am before he has to leave for the bus stop just 2 blocks down the street....and I watched him walk to it from our dining room window.

He amazes me.  He is staying after school today (on the first day) to attend football practice.  He couldn't sleep at all last night - and neither could I....his big brother (moving on to his own new life) promised him that everything would go well as school today and if there were any issues from the older kids, that he would be happy to text them and remind them whose brother he is...sweet, right?

All this change - even though it is going back to routine is quite nerve-wracking - yes, even for me.  At the end of it all, I am a mom, who only wants her kids to do well, have fun and enjoy every moment of their lives...and I still want to be a fly on the wall while they do it. I know in my heart this is not possible and that I have to let them be themselves and here is the clincher:  when my youngest went to bed last night we talked about playing football - I wished him all the best times and fun he could find and I promised that I would come watch his games.  His only question was "will you film my games?  you never know, this could be a way for me to get into University".  Of course, I will film every game...that is my baby after all.  No pressure from this end, play and have fun...learn about leadership, teamwork and the sport.  If it leads somewhere great, if not, every second of the experience will build a stronger adult.

How is your first day of school going?  I must apologize for the rambling - my boys have been with me all summer and I think I am suffering separation anxiety!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Fear Not the Challenge

This month will be one of challenges.  I have challenged myself to improve a few areas of my life - like most people do, except this time I have done it a little differently:
  1. Get into the physical shape I know I can be in and feel best at.
  2. Focus on developing 3 key parts of my business (they all intertwine)
What am I doing differently (because this sounds like the same old, same old)
  • I have enlisted in the help of my support system - letting them know what I am doing and how so that they can encourage me instead of undermine (albiet unknowingly) my steps
  • Changed the order in which I get things done a la 'Eat That Frog'
  • Squeezed my time so that I can provide more dedicated focus to the 2 challenges - and they are on my calendar everyday!
Why did I make these changes?  After a lot of consideration, I realized the only thing holding me back was me. 

What challenge are you going to face (again) and actually eliminate?

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Lazy Song

I just love this song and the fact that Bruno Mars would go out on a limb and create such fun music.  His talent is very cool - he stretches in new directions.  Today - too many pop stars and musicians play the same song over again with a few different lines - quite boring and I turn them off, refuse to download (even if they are the most donwloaded singer ever!).
How about you?  Do you put on a silly face and get funky, have some fun, be creative and do things that are not your regular mix?  Why not?!
Make me a promise, after you watch the video for inspiration, you will go do something out of the ordinary!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Measure Everything

Are you one of those people who measures everything?  Follows the recipe exactly...never tweaks or tries it in a different way?  That is pretty rigid.  I have a tough time with all that order.  I like to experiment with new things, test, try, tweak.  It doesn't always work but the road was interesting.
Come's the lazy days of summer - try something new!  You don't need to measure everything against something else (well, unless your job depends on it...I get financial metrics and all that - I don't tweak those very often!)
Here are a few examples:
.....I make the choice on which events to attend based on my needs/objectives, not just because everyone else is going kids ask me for my crock-pot ribs and they never come out the same twice - I kind of wing it with the sauces
....decorating my house is with what I like and the textures/feelings that appeal to me...not what the magazines say
...I develop my relationships based on the alignment of values and not on the fact that I should have a deep relationship with someone because we are actually related

So try it.  Stop measuring everything!  It makes life easier....and life will be more fun if you stop doling it out of a measuring cup!

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Book of Awesome

    Think about the things in life that happen and that sail right by us.  If you have a chance to pick up some light summer reading, check out The Book of Awesome.  It will make you take a quick time out to appreciate what is happening around you, even small objects and ideas or words and why they are awesome.  It is a fabulous approach to life!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Listening is Hard

You need to change.  You need to do something different to get out of your rut.  You are not sure what to do, yet, you know it's something.  So you start to look around and see what everyone else is doing.
You start considering  - will this work for me?  Will I like this?  What's in it for me?
Just like listening to a lecture or being in the classroom or boardroom, we choose to listen with the ME in the way.  This is wasting MY time.  This is a pain in MY xuwqgr###.  This is not helping ME at all.
Next time you start to do this pause. 
Count to 10 (or spin around 3 times, that's what I do with my nephew when I want him to adjust his attitude- we physically adjust it).
Now, put yourself on your own shoulder and listen without the ME - listen with an open heart and open mind.  Hear the words and not interpret the intention.  Listen and give credit to the voice.  You may find that way out of your rut.  You may something that interests you.  You may find that change you are looking for simply by listening.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Step Relationship

I have written about this relationship before because it has had a profound effect on my family.  Not only do my kids have a step-dad with whom they live, they also have a step-mom (they never see because they live across the country).  These types of relationships can be hard to handle if there is not an open dialogue and communication where people feel safe to discuss life.  We have been through many...there is another bog for that!  But though our experience is as unique as we are, there are some similar threads that will run through most situations.

I was asked recently by a friend who is getting married, how the 'step' relationship works.  I asked my husband - the step-dad - to answer.
He said a few great things:
  • always have time together with the kids, this way they learn about your trust and relationship and see that interaction is easy
  • as the 'step' he is not responsible for discipline - that is my job. It is too much pressure for the start of a new type of relationship to be the disciplinarian too - it sends mixed messages.  (Now that this relationship is in its 10th year, there have been some changes in this, but not much....discipline is deferred to me, although he always gets his say in the process)
  • kids are smart!  No matter what age, they realize that this is new and that there is insecurity and they may even try to pit you against each other.  Take the moment and discuss the matter in private before handling it together with the child.
I thought this was good information coming from experience.  Hope that it helps my friend (and You) navigate these somewhat trecherous waters.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Peace of Heaven

Here is what summer looked like in our old home in Burlington Ontario.  We lived on a fabulous green-space with a great pool that we loved.  Even though we had a road close by, we thought of our back yard as a our little heaven.

Two years ago, we moved due to a job change.  We ended up moving close to our families and bought a house with another pool.  This time, there is no road nearby and we have both 'peace' and 'heaven'.

When all the disctractions of life and family and siblings comes into play, we have our place to escape - our own backyard - with a little garden (I am growing corn this year), the pool, of course, a fire-pit for late nite entertaining.....and it's all on an 'if-we-want-to' basis. 

When we lived away from the family, they would come to visit on the weekends - the house and the pool full pretty well every weekend in the summer.  That was fun!  During the week, my husband and I would find our 'peace' after work - with dinner and a glass of wine on the deck, a nice swim and great conversation - sometimes just us, many times with other friends that would pop in.  But it was peaceful.  And we found our time to connect and talk and grow together.  This was probably the best time to form our deep bonds and create the foundation for the relationship and life we live today.

Now, with family so close, I tried to replicate the weekends when we lived far away.  This was a huge mistake!  I felt exhausted and unappreciated.  So did my husband.  Now, we have gone back to the focus on our family and our space.  Sure, we participate in family events.  We also host events with our friends and even colleauges - to a different effect and a different result.  Things change - but peace and our heaven will not.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Reaction - the enemy of relationship

Interpersonal relationships and communication are what keeps the world going round. Never had I understood the development of teenagers into adulthood until my eldest son had an argument with his stepdad. The argument was 3 whole minutes long, with both stomping away.

Going to soothe the feathers of each,  my son says to me...'I know that I have a short fuse and I will try in the future it not react but be quiet, listen and then speak if I need to'.

WOW...insightful and developing self-awareness. He also decided that he needed to go back and have the conversation again.

From the other side, instead of blaming the aging teenager, the comment came out that 'I didn't handle that very well did I?'. I did not need to answer, again, the self-aware stepdad came out and said he needed to listen to all of the words, and share all of the information, eliminating reaction and moving to understanding.

Off they go to try again. God love them for not giving up!

Friday, July 8, 2011


Having lived my life with a fashion background, though some days you would never know it, today I surprised myself.

I was out shopping for my son who needed new shorts and is at that age where wants to dress like a young adult but the sizes do not yet match his body. So to the Gap I go...and they have cool shorts for him, in his size and on sale. Great. Mission accomplished.
Sure.....I walk by a store and see the perfect khaki skirt ....not too legs are short, not too short...I want it to be professional, has a sheen, looks great and who is on the window as the spokesperson but Amber Mac! I think she is a fabulous Canadian woman on the, savvy, entrepreneurial and just super! So, because of her, and only because of her, do I walk into the store andimmediately buy the skirt. That's it, that's all.

Now you are thinking, what does this have to do with life? Well, I never thought I would fall for the 'right' spokesperson for the product. I just believed that after 40 some years of life, this would have moved past me. Never take for granted the influences that are around you and how they may resonate with you in more ways than one. to see how the shorts fit....or am I in for another trip to the store.

Friday, July 1, 2011

People Can Handle More Than You Think

One of the things I have recently understood is that guilt comes in all forms.
It manifests itself in your actions, your words and the elimination of your power. Sometimes this is simply giving your power up or away.
I found that when I release this guilt - whether it's rational or irrational- I am left feeling lighter and my approach to life and all the situations that arise is much different, more positive, calmer and more open to accepting what is coming my way.

So I have decided to let others take on a few of the things that I believed only I could do.

Imagine, they can actually do it and they actually do it well. It gives me time to do what I need to do and I don't feel guilty about letting someone else handle things.
So is it perfect?
Is it the way I would do it?
Probably not, but I don't stand and watch either, because then I should just do it myself.
I have decided get over myself and let go of a few things.
It's good to realize there are others who can help.
And that they can handle more than we give them credit for.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Attract What You Want

You have heard of this, I am sure.
There are books, public speakers, DVDs, downloads and more on the subject. Do you think it works? Do you believe that we all emit vibrations and the level of vibrations attract others to us because they are at our level?
Or do you believe this works with money, or love?

I am still learning, and have started to realize that it is true.

Positive attracts positive.

Someone once told me it was like tuning forks - when one vibrates on it's key, if another one is nearby, of the same key, it will vibrate too.  Very interesting how the universe works.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tapping to an Improved Me

Every now and again I want to try something new.
I guess you may say that I am open to learning just about anything. So when a connection offered me the opportunity to try tapping I did.
And much to my surpirise, after my car accident, I no longer had a headache because, through tapping, I was able to release the points I was holding onto about the accident. The anger, the fear, the disruption of my life melted away and allowed my body to heal as I let the trauma go. I have not had a headache since.

Needless to say, I went back to another workshop, this time 6 weeks long, and found that I had a lot of other things to let go of that were holding me back and causing unnecessary stress.

Please, if you suffer from stress at all, check out my friend (you get close doing this, so you need to be open to everything that comes your way), Frances Soda and her website Her story is great, her work is amazing.....and she is in it for you. To teach you and to help you heal, to eliminate blocks that cause you stress and provide you with tools you can use for a lifetime.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Lesson from a Workshop

It was an easy lesson, and I thank the group for leading us there

'it is not my business what anyone else thinks of me'

You know how hard that hit home? I almost fell off my chair.
Life is so much easier to live when you figure that out!
Be true to you!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Life is Good

You never know what you can do until life puts you into situations that you never expected.
The last two weeks I have been completely off track - in life, in business, in routine.  My spouse had a minor surgery that turned into a major surgery.  He's doing very well recovering - thank goodness and all the powers that be.  Not easy, but definitely a learning experience that ends by me saying that 'Life is Good'.

After all - the lessons along the way have been incredible:
  1. you are never given more than you can handle  - thought that I couldn't deal with juggling a packed schedule, 2 kids, doctors appointments and more...guess what?  I did!
  2. learned about medication and it's influences - meds can do strange things to people, so point it out, get it corrected (with new meds or no meds) and move on
  3. kids can feel and see everything - being kind always, providing love and removing toxic energy makes a huge difference and they emulate what you do
  4. your limits are only where you set them - never thought I could handle bandages, scars and the rest - not much of an issue anymore because it helps me to help him
  5. time is not limitless - waiting for a 45 minute surgery after 3 hours, I knew that something was on the wrong track but not exactly sure how bad it really was - with the doctor's patient and thorough explanation, I discovered that the surgery needed to be this way because of circumstance and that full recovery would take the meantime, and again later, when I was on my own for a few minutes, I was able to count my blessings and be thankful for my time with my spouse.
Life is GOOD!  Life throws all kinds of opportunities or challenges at us.  We can cower or be courageous.  We can bend or roll with it.  We can hide or run.  Whichever path you choose, it is your - take the lessons for what they are worth and make your Life Good!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Building Together

Let’s get it all done and get it done now! We are renovating our basement. It is currently a huge room where all the lights are on one switch, everyone is talking or playing over each other and it is not cozy at all. So my husband delivers his plans to me – we go down the stairs and he walks me through what he would like. Together we share ideas and it’s really quite fun. And no sooner do we have the ideas down and collaborated, that he already has a schedule developed and a plan for implementation. I cannot believe it. It is not a one weekend project – definitely at least a few months so that we can work through the expenses at the same time as living life with all the surprises it can provide. I am really impressed at how he has it down, one piece at a time. And so logically. And he wants to do some of the work himself – just like him- handy and helpful and resourceful.

Truly, I am impressed. And I learned that he definitely has a talent for planning. Now I ask him to listen when I plan out a project so that he can help me see any blips along the way. The focus is always, one piece at a time. Progress with consistent results. One piece at a time.

This theme keeps coming back to me - how about you?

Friday, April 29, 2011

Big Things Can Get Small

Today I have a huge load on my plate.  Lots to get done around the house, outside the house and with work (of course), not to mention what the kids need and the other items on the list.

So, instead of freaking out....I started to wade through the list and see that even though things are big - and have urgency around them to complete, that there are items to delegate or that the big items can actually become smaller if I break them down into steps.

For example, I can't get the entire yard ready to plant my flowers because the flowers aren't out yet.  What I can do, is get the leaves raked (kids can help), get the shrubs trimmed and get the pots out and ready for planting.  And all of this does not need to be done in one day.  It can be done in the snatches of warm sunshine that actually appear throughout a few weekends.  When the flowers are out at the nurseries, then I can do the planting - always a good time to relax, think, visualize and meditate with Mother Earth.

Whew!  That's better - not so big!

We do it all the time - we take the big things and put them off because they seem insurmountable - they are not, when we break them down.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Money Stress - Get Over It

When you keep your mind open to new things around you, and let your soul just flow with it, you will find valuable information and resources...including & especially PEOPLE that will come into your life.

I am beginning to learn about the Laws of Attraction - not really beginning - I knew they existed, more like concentrating on the attraction I create with the energy I put into the universe.

I know a wonderful lady - an EFT Practioner, Frances Soda, who has helped me so much, I never thought I could feel this way!  Thanks Frances!

Here is her 'Stress Over Money' Workshop -  a must attend event!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Ray of Sunshine

In the drab and supremely cold month of February, a Ray of sunshine popped into my day. (sorry I am posting this so late - it's now April......I just located this note to myself!) I was traveling down a crowded downtown street where i needed to go around a stopped taxi cab. The very nice driver had gotten out of his warm car to help his customer out and to the sidewalk around the snow-mounded curb. This elderly customer had a cane. This driver was gentle and caring, holding his arm and making sure all was well before he got back into his car.

See. People care!

Tell us about the rays of service-sunshine that you've seen lately.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


How often do we say "I know"  and why do we say it even when we don't know?
How often do we ask "Did you know?" only to use the lines that follow as a way to show off our intelligence or our savvy fact-finding aptitude?
Do we ever stop and think how others feel when we say "I Know"?  When we do this, we are stopping people in the tracks of their conversation or the information they are attempting to impart to us.  We are preventing them from sharing their ideas in their own way - perhaps different from our own, but no less important.
How to change up 'I know':
  • say "thanks for the information, I had heard that before and am grateful for your spin on it"
  • ask "how does that information apply to you" - digging deeper can get more details for you to understand what you think you already know
  • say "what a great way to look at that"
All easy ways to keep the conversation going and growing what you already know.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Discover Your Best You

How do you go about becoming the best you that you can possibly be?  Most people find things about themselves that they would like to develop.  This helps them be authentic and true to their values.  A friend of mine does an in-depth review of their skills at the beginning of each year and plans 3 goals to reach by the end of the year that will help them improve in specific areas with specific actions.  Great plan!  They even take time each quarter to evaluate their goals and see where they are.  That time seems to be coming up just around the corner as the end of the 1st quarter of 2011 is close.
I asked my friend how they were doing - they could tell me they were on track with goal 1 & 2, goal 3 was a little off base and would need more focus in the next quarter. (Remember, these are personal goals, not business goals).  I was quite impressed with the response!
I looked at goal setting tools and we have a month-long free program on Solution Linx Online Coaching that can help you do the same - set goals and meet them.  Click here for the free 1 Month Trial.  Coaching on how to set goals will come to your email inbox 3 times per week.  What have you got to lose?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hurry Up Already

Is this what your life looks like? A blur as you run past.  So much so that you cannot see the scenery, just the shapes and maybe a few colours?
Are you always in the 'hurry up already' mode trying to get others to come along at your speed, read your mind and be ready with the answers before you even ask the question?
This can open you up to a lot of opportunities to grow. 
Stop right now. 
Just for a second. 
Look around you and see exactly where you are. 
Describe it - the colours, the scents, the shapes, the feeling in the air, the environment, what you are doing there, how you feel, how you are breathing.  Every bit of the description is leading you to see the whole picture instead of the flash as it goes by or even worse, how it looks in the rear view mirror when you have not even had a chance to consider it.

So when you ask someone to 'hurry up already' or someone asks you to, ask them why and have them take a moment to consider the moment and space around them. You will find appreciation  and peace.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Art of YES

What a great word!
 How does it make you feel to say 'YES'? - Powerful, empowered, positive, lifted, many ways the word 'YES' can make us feel.  Yet, how often do we say it with the feeling it deserves.
Try it.  Right now.  Stand up and say "YES" like you mean it.  Go ahead, do the fist pump and everything!  It is a great, freeing release of energy.  And you cannot help but smile when you say it.
Now consider this, how does the other person react when you say 'YES'?  Do you see a smile, a hint of happiness or a burst of energy?  It's true isn't it.  'YES' can make your space a better place for a while.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What is Your Approach?

The Door Is Waiting for You!

Really, it is!  What is your approach when a door presents itself?
In an earlier post I spoke about the window of opportunity.  Now the door is here and there are even chairs for those who are not ready to approach the door.

Think of Katie Perry's song "Firework" - she talks about the doors being closed so that you can open one that leads you to the perfect road. 

How do you approach the door?  With excitement, trepidation, curiosity or outright fear?  Do you have a million 'what if' questions about what is behind the door?  Or like in the movie Megamind, is the Exit door really an 'exciting' door?

What if you open the door and it leads you to your greatest success?
What if you open the door and it is a slow slide to your best adventure yet?
What if you open the door and it is a rollercoaster ride that is fun and rewarding?

You will never know until you open the door.  Examine your approach.  You never can tell what is waiting for you and your approach is the key to finding out.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Are You Fit?

Fitness comes in many forms.  Fit body.  Fit mind. Fit heart. Fit spirit.  Are you fit?  Fitness starts with challenges that are built upon goals to improve oneself. There are many ways to become fit.  Here are a few:
  1. Meditate:  take 5 minutes each day to close your eyes, clear your mind and breathe in and out.  This will help reduce (or eliminate) stress, improve relaxation and build energy.
  2. Get a coach: private coaching sessions are an awesome way to get fit in all facets of your life. A coach will keep you accountable to yourself, help you with roadblocks, create with you your path to success.
  3. Join a fitness club:  there are so many out there so investigate and find one that suits your needs and your style.
  4. Volunteer:  find an organization that means a lot to you and give back.
See - all its shapes and forms can help you become the TRUE You!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Ladder of Life

Climbing a ladder can be scary, especially if you are afraid of heights.  It takes time to tackle the things we are afraid of doing, whether physically challenges or mental challenges or sometimes both.
Here are a few tips on handling the ladders that life tends to hand us:
  1. take it slowly by thinking about the worst thing that can happen if you climb the ladder or if you do not climb the ladder.
  2. think about how you will feel when you have conquered the ladder - what does success look like?
  3. take the ladder one rung (step) at a time - each step is it's own success
Always remember that you can do whatever you set your mind to do....what the mind believes, the mind can achieve - you just need to go with it!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Make a Happy Life

"Remember: very little is needed to make a happy life."

~Marcus Aurelius

It's true. If you sit and think for a minute, what truly makes you happy?
Do it...right now.  Stop and think.
List 5 things that make you happy.
Now - which could you live without.
Picture it.
See, it's not a lot.  It really is the small things that truly make us happy.
And I mean, pure happiness, not the kind with strings attached or consequences or if's and but's or alternatives.  Real happiness.  The kind of smile that just spreads across your face and stays there.

Now, go and enjoy your day!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Mom Said 'Cool'

This is my mom.
My mom & me.

She and my dad left with some friends last week for a road trip to New Orleans.  I love the fact that they are retired and can spend their time exploring the world around them. 

I am a middle child.  I always ask my mom to call me when they are on the road so that I know they are ok.  Let's face Dad is in his 70's and she is getting close so I worry...and I like to hear her voice.
I was unable to get the phone when she called after one of the legs of her trip, but when I did, and I laughing as I write this....she ended the call with
"don't worry about us, everything's cool"
Well, that just tells me how awesome she is, how up-to-date and of course how much me and the kids a rubbing off on her. 

Even more importantly, they are going on a cruise from New Orleans.  Mom did a great job in the last 10 years overcoming her fear of boats.  Being a landed immigrant, she came to Canada on a ship from Europe and had a not-so-good experience - they certainly did not have the mechanics or medicinal supplies they do now to deal with seasickness.  She really is totally 'cool'!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Life Lessons from Roasting Potatoes

We had guests for dinner on Friday night.  We entertain almost every weekend.  Nothing strenuous, just good people getting together for some food and wine and talk - connection, interaction and sharing.

So I had put potatoes in the oven to roast about 45 minutes before my guests arrived (recipe below).  I got onto doing other things to prepare, even had time for a glass of wine with my husband before the other couple arrived.  It was quite leisurely, my son even helped to set the table.

At the time requested, my guests arrived.  We chatted at the island in the kitchen while snacking on a few appetizers and catching up on the work week.  My husband took his time making perfect steaks on the barbecue.....when they were ready, I freaked out because I had forgotten all about the roasting potatoes.

Not to worry - they were perfect.  Actually - the best roasted potatoes I have ever made.

This made me stop and think. Sometimes we fuss over things, work to make things (or people) into what (or who) we want them to be, when in all reality, all we need to do is let them be.  We can sometimes even forget about the problem or the project or our need to mold a person and really let time take it's course.  It is amazing what can develop without our constant interference.

Solstice Roasted Potatoes
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a glass lasagna pan, coat the bottom with 4 tablespoons of olive oil. 
Peel and coarsely chop in as many potatoes as you would like.
Peel and chop 1 onion.
Sprinkle with sea salt, cracked pepper and garlic powder (not garlic salt).
Add small pats of butter on top of potatoes (about 4 - 6 across the pan).
Put into the oven to roast.....about 90 minutes works out really well (that is the amount of time I am pretty sure mine were in)
You can turn the potatoes at the 45 minute mark and add more butter if you wish.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stress Less

Stress can happen because you are trying to get a lot of things done – it’s natural.
If you are constantly under stress, then you may need a few mechanisms for coping with it. 

Start here – breathe in and out, deep breaths,
         take a minute and make a tea,
         stop and write down what needs to be done vs what you want to get done;

Get sleep, take a nap – don’t sacrifice sleep so that you can get everything done – it doesn’t work and can  lead to lack of energy, mood-swings and more ugly symptoms that keep you from being you!

When you get up from your nap - not guilt-ridden, you deserve it - look at your list and pick one thing to get done today.  Only one - and do it all the way, so that you can draw a nice line through it and move on tomorrow.  Yeah ME!

Remember, tomorrow is always there, and there will always be something on your to-do list for it.
Imagine what you will do when you run out of things on your to-do list?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Frontiers

Time changes and we need to get ourselves going in new directions. Whether it is the passing of time or changing technology, there are always new frontiers ahead of us. Like the pioneers who settled the West, (and sometimes our adventures may seem just as ominous), we have faith in the fact that we can accomplish what we put our minds to, and also have the creativity and strength to overcome the obstacles that are thrown in our way.

We have a new frontier about to hit our family. Both of our children (now young men) are moving onto new stages in their lives. One going onto University most likely out of town and perhaps even out of the country, and the other, going to high school and leaving behind a few of his primary school friends, preparing to make a multitude of new friends.

It has been interesting just getting ready for the adventure coming our way – choosing schools, looking at and investigating career options, aligning courses to those options while still planning to enjoy as much as possible of what life has to offer.

It is time that mom and dad settle back and let someone else take the reins, providing guidance (like a GPS or a compass) and the road home whenever it is needed – for comfort and inspiration.

What new frontiers are you facing and how are you preparing to handle them?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Exam

My son is studying for exams. It is his last year of high school so he is working extra hard to maintain his marks from the term through his exam. He has been diligent in creating and following a study plan. He gets to one specific course where the exam is the next day. He keeps drawing a blank when I quiz him. He is getting frustrated. I can see it. I gently ask him to take a break. Take an hour and play some XBox. Reluctantly he did so.

I had to go out on a few errands. After about an hour, he called me to tell me I was a genius – imagine that! Taking a break worked and as he went through his prep quizzes, he was answering everything perfectly.

Me – a genius! Who knew?

Got any other study or study-block tips to share? Please do so, help advance the future.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

4 Rules to Live By

My husband is a wise man. He has experienced a lot in the world. I value his input into my life and the lives of our children. Here are his four rules....of which I, once in a while, need reminder.

Believe in Yourself



Do Good

What are your rules to live by?
To learn more about my husband, click on his image!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Essence of Try

Michelangelo said ' I am still learning'.
All through his life he was learning.

Repetition can improve performance or actually develop memory and process. Repetition can also be Used to find another way of doing things, trying new methods, routes or routines. Think of all the inventors in the world...their job is to try. Over and over again...until they get the result they want. And sometimes this entails mistakes, lessons and even frustration. But what would have happened if Thomas Edison did not try over and over again to create the lightbulb? Would we still be in the dark? Or would someone else have stepped up to do so?
Try is what we all do. Try to find our way on our journey through life...try to live a good life...try to be healthy...try to raise out kids while still raising ourselves...try to care for others...try to lift up our communities. We try.

And along the try...we learn. We learn from mistakes. We learn the lessons of try..perhaps finding new answers or results, shortcuts or different perspectives. Try comes from the heart. Our heart makes us look for more, to repeat our efforts and succeed, learning from the past to create a new future. We are always trying.

We seem to fall then into pattern of Michelangelo, who said 'I am always learning'. By being open to try, we always learn.

Keep your head and heart steady and try.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Do you wonder what happiness is?
Do you feel it?
See it?
Spend it and it gets refilled?

How do you find it?
Can you find it or are you focused on creating it for yourself?

Can happiness go away and return even better? Like a transformation?

Is happiness a state of mind? Or a state of being? Or can it be both?

The cool thing about happiness is that it is yours. You control it!
You can make it what you want it to be.
You can create it.
You can live it.
You can be it.
You can give it.

So like the song says...don't happy!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Open Your Eyes

My son recently had an eye infection. Wore his contacts too long and was feeling substantial burning. We were driving to the doctors for a visit and there was the cutesy puppy in the window. I asked him to look at it....'funny Mom', he said. 'I can barely see in front of me, you want me to see the puppy in the window across the street'. Of course, I laughed. But then I got to thinking about it.

We do take a lot of things for seeing what is really important....what is right in front of us. We should take each day as it comes. Use all of our senses to enjoy what we have and be grateful that we can.

Oh yes..and his eyes are fine.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Stones into Schools

Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Education in Afghanistan and Pakistan
There is a wonderful book out there, Stones into Schools, by Greg Mortensen. His first book, Three Cups of Tea, teaches us how he learned to build relationships in the Middle East. The Stones Into Schools shows us how he took up the challenge ( self imposed) to build schools for girls in Afghanistan. While there are many lessons and eye opening experiences, the one that impressed me most was his ability to overcome odds that were extraordinary and he did it with his heart and his mind. It is an incredible book.

It also reminded me of a saying that I heard when I was much younger, and it seemed to stick too....

Sticks and Stones will break your bones, but words will mess you up forever....and it's true. Mortensen used words and people to get work done. Even though stones were flying all around him, it was his use of words, honor, respect and love that made his mission possible.

Thank goodness for Greg!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

One Good Thing

Your day is not headed in the right direction. In fact, it feels like you are walking uphill in the snow, barefoot and waist-deep. There is no end in sight. How do you get through?

Here is a suggestion:
Look for the one good thing. There has to be one, always.

In the case of the snowy adventure, think about the beautiful peace you are experiencing on your trek. That you have time to think about anything you like. It's one good thing about being out there.

In the case of the day going in the wrong direction, think about the fact that you are learning how to cope with the situation. Or that it will be over quickly. Or that you will not backtrack that way again.

Remember, one good thing. You will find it. It will make the not-so-good things a little less painful.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Answer to Life's Question

There are only three answers to the questions in life...ever.

Accept it

Change it

Leave it

The rest of the answers are predicated on the 3 above.

Look at your questions and ask yourself how you will answer it.

Then...move on. To action. To peace. To personal power.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Anything IS Possible

The anything is possible mentality is great for all parts of our lives. Whether personal or professional, this positive open-mindedness creates an aspirational atmosphere that is engaging and can be all encompassing. 

How do you get an anything is possible mentality?

Listen, take action, expect open to what is happening around you. Pay attention to words and act on instinct. Always expect a result...don't try to control the result, but use the path as a marker for more learning.

Build trust...relationships need trust to flourish. Trust allows for open-mindedness and possibility thinking. Build trust with others, earn trust from others.

Empower. Yourself and empower others. This is a form of others an opportunity to do and try and learn is how we grow in our relationships. Empowering others opens up the mind, the eye and the heart to possibilities.

Tell stories...and lots of them. Stories show others what you know, what lessons you value, how you operate, your authenticity. Variety in knowledge and lessons shows your possibility thinking, your anything is possible attitude that will get you where your path will take you.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Root Causes

To find the root cause of any problem, ask the question why five times.

Surface does not usually give the detail.

Close your eyes and picture a tree.

What did you see?

Trunk, branches, leaves, maybe some fruit?

Did you see the roots? Not usually. It is hard to see the roots because they lie under the ground, covered in dirt or grass.

When we have a problem, we see the situation. We see the branches and the leaves, perhaps even the trunk. You may not be able to see the roots until you clear away some of the dirt surrounding the trunk.

Looking at a problem, we can see the surface. What can we do to see below the surface or the roots? If we can take care of the problem at the root it will not spread to branches, leaves or even the entire trunk.

How can we do that?
Ask questions. Determine the chain of events that took place to get to this point.
What are the decisions that could have happened to create this situation?
What was the desired outcome and how close did we get to it?
Why was that particular outcome required?
Could there have been another possibility?
Was this path the best path or just the path of least resistance?

Finding the root cause of a problem or situation can help you to stop it from happening again. You can even gather learning that will help you anticipate future instances so that you are prepared and can bring a proactive resolution to the issue.

Just remember, when you only see the leaves and branches...start digging to find the rest.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Best Wishes for a Super 2011!!

from Solstice Life