Connect with your childlike spirit that craved the challenge of a climb. No matter how big or small, when you climb a rock, your heart rate accelerates, and danger becomes real. Bring your attention to your limbs and focus on what’s right in front of you, breathing into each moment and thinking through every move. You’ve got this.
Don’t doubt for a moment that you are an artist. Slip on your shoes, grab some shears and step outside. Open your eyes to the beauty that surrounds you. Collect colourful blooms, large green leaves, crooked branches and stems. Arrange them in a bouquet, noticing each little petal and leaf. This is one of nature’s greatest gifts.
As I’ve put in kilometers of training, I’ve become aware that this is unlike any other goal I’ve set. The distances melt away, and the aches and pains dissolve. Any time I get distracted by my own small discomfort, I think about the love for my family, how hard they are all working, and how much I want to contribute to their well-being.
Take off your shoes and socks and feel the air between your toes. Bring your attention to the many bones in your feet as they adjust to the uneven terrain beneath them. Explore slowly, one slow step at a time. Notice every sensation as you connect to Mother Earth. Let the power and groundedness flow through you.
Did you know that if you are patient enough you can pet a bubble bee? I remember being a five-year-old in my grandma’s garden. Holding my breath, I ran my little fingers down the bee’s yellow fur. I knew that it would be only a short, magical moment until it would fly away, leaving nothing behind but pollen and wide-eyed wonder.
In my last newsletter, I made a big pronouncement: I was going to start taking Friday afternoons off. I was freshly home from a vacation and felt renewed by the power of downtime and fresh air. I was planning to fully “walk the talk” and truly invest in self-care.
When you pull on a pair of rubber boots, there’s no trail that you can’t explore, no puddle you can’t splash through. Meander at a river’s edge or at the cusp of a swamp, the muddier the better. Embrace the muck, and reflect back on the trails you made this year. The year is drawing to a close, where do you want to go next?
These days, my mind has been circling a big question — what will I research for my final project of my master’s degree? This is basically the thesis of my program. I’ll spend months delving into whatever question I decide on. The problem is, when it comes to coaching and leadership, I’m curious about too many things.
Dive into a lake and in a single fearless moment, reality changes! There is no turning back. The stark difference from air to water leaves you feeling shocked, invigorated and wildly alive. You are a courageous, resilient creature who is capable of so much more than you know.
I grew up watching beach shows and longing for a carefree life where no matter what was going on, someone might yell, “Surf’s up,” and my friends and I would sprint to the beach and catch some waves.
Bundle into your parka, grab your warmest hat and let’s take a walk through a snowstorm. Embracing the winter’s chilly weather will make you feel alive. This image reminds me of my mom, her rosy face looking at me through the fur of her hood, her eyes smiling. We hold to each other up and head out into the wintery blizzard, ready for anything.
I was heading off on my annual 3-day solo retreat a few weeks ago, and a friend said, “Oh you’re going to manifest the year ahead.” I immediately reacted. “No no” I said, “This is a work retreat.”
There’s something about the moment when we connect with a wild animal. Our eyes meet and our hearts skip a beat. We become aware of our safety but compelled by a deep sense of curiosity. Anything could happen. Time seems to stand still.
Find a large tree and gaze up at its magnificent structure. Imagine the strength of its roots, the elements that it has endured, the history it has witnessed. Close your eyes and focus inward. Consider your strengths, what you have endured and the possibilities that lie ahead. Let this space hold you for a while.
Wake up earlier. Get more done. Schedule more meetings. Release the need for time off. Unconsciously, that’s been my strategy for running this business for a long time. I talk about the value of time off and the power of nature, but when I’m busy, it gets harder and harder to practice.
Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. – John Ruskin. Image Credit: How We Live by Maggie Broda www.maggiebroda.com
Watching the leaves change from green to vibrant red, orange, and gold this fall, I’m reminded of how beautiful change can be. Without this shift in foliage, there would be no room for the growth that comes in the spring.
“October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy draughts that bit at exposed hands and faces.” – J. K. Rowling. Image Credit: She Flies On by Gayle Dempsey www.artsinmuskoka.com/gayle-dempsey
“It’s better to walk alone, than with a crowd going in the wrong direction” – Diane Grant. Image Credit: The Welcoming Night by Col Mitchell www.colmitchell.com
“Sometimes I wish that I was the weather, you’d bring me up in conversation forever. And when it rained, I’d be the talk of the day.” – John Mayer. Image Credit: Golden Autumn by Barbel Smith www.barbelsmith.com
I adore my niece Nicole. She is a 20-year-old university student and talented singer, but this has been a tough year for her. She has Cystic Fibrosis (CF) which is a fatal disease that affects her lungs and digestive system. Health complications and chronic pain have been an ongoing battle. I often feel helpless. Lately I’ve been asking myself, what can I do?
Perhaps the whole world is actually a banquet, to which every living thing is invited. First you come as guests: then eventually you’re on the menu. – David Suzuki. Image Credit: Walking Sea Creature Necklace by Alana Miller www.dogswithhorns.com
And I truly mean this in the most literal of ways! One of my favourite summer activities is spending time hiking in nature. There are so many benefits that come along with it. It can boost our mood, alleviate stress, promote better sleep, and it can help us to clear our head and think about things in a different way.
No matter how chaotic it is, wildflowers will still spring up in the middle of nowhere. – Sheryl Crow, Here on Earth. Image Credit: Lake Rosseau Blooms 2 by Wendy Moses www.alexandralukegallery.com
When all is said and done, the weather and love are the two elements about which one can never be sure. – Alice Hoffman, Here on Earth. Image Credit: Hearts and Flowers by Cherie Daly www.cheriedaly.com
You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather. – Rema Chodron. Image Credit: Deepening by Tom Dietrich www.tomdietrich.ca
As leaders, every action, every gesture, and every word we choose has an impact on those around us, whether we are aware of it or not. And if you ask a leader if they are self-aware, the answer is almost always, “Yes.” However, the research shows that we are far less self-aware than we think we are.
As a coach, I’m constantly being humbled and invited to see things in new ways. Last week, this happened in a huge and unexpected way. I was in deep discussion with a team who was trying to figure out their new work reality. The concept of a hybrid work model is all the buzz, but what does that really mean?
Rain makes me feel less alone. All rain is, is a cloud-falling apart, and pouring its shattered pieces down on top of you. It makes me feel good to know I’m not the only thing that falls apart. – Lone Alaskan Gypsy. Image Credit: After the Rain by Mandy Budan abstractlandscapepainting.com
As I watched the athletes march into the stadium in Beijing, my eyes welled up with tears. I am a proud Canadian and when I see the flag, my heart overflows with gratitude for this magnificent country we call home. But the tears were about something more than that.