If you read Tuesday’s post, Do You Want the Millions or Do You Want the Work, you know about my big AHA moment from Oprah’s keynote address. I have another 7 hours worth of moments I wish I could share with you and only an hour before my plane leaves for Austin, Texas… so I’ll do what I can…
Lisa Ling gave the morning keynote address and shared some of the stories she has uncovered while filming her series Our America for OWN. Disturbing stories of child prostitution and sex trafficking happening right here in North America. Stories of 13 year olds who refer to their pimps as “daddies” because they do not know what healthy love feels like. Girls who are growing up in a world where no one protects them. Lisa admitted she sometimes struggles to believe in a God who would let these kind of things happen to people. Then she shared with us a poem her husband once sent to her. A poem asking why God isn’t doing anything to save people from the cycle of drug addiction, poverty, and prostitution. The last line – God’s reply to all of the questions – keeps playing on repeat in my mind, “I did do something. I made you.” Lisa finished with a quote that Oprah once shared with her, “Now that you know, you can’t pretend you don’t”. Continue reading
Are you at at your desk, prepping for an upcoming meeting and sifting through a backlog of emails? Or, are you reading this on your laptop at home, feet up on the coffee table, relieved that the kids have finally gone to sleep?
I’m at a rickety wooden table inside a brick coffee shop. Couches and chairs of every shape and colour litter the room and art students from the local university sketch or talk architecture at the tables beside me. The scent of freshly brewed coffee mingles with the smell of musty, carted down from the attic furniture. I love it here.
My favourite part about writing from the road is having you with me. So, what would you like to hear about? I could re-cap this morning’s historic walking tour of Savannah or describe last night’s dinner at the Olde Pink House restaurant (circa 1771) where I sampled cheese grits and collard greens for the first time. But, if you have read Friday’s post: Living on a Dream…Care to Join Me, you probably want me to get to the point. Continue reading
Early morning mist hangs in the air and like a five year old on my first day of Kindergarten, I almost skip across the busy intersection at the corner of Burrard and Hastings. As of 12 hours ago, I gave up the keys to my apartment and I am now about to see Brene Brown speak. The next chapter has officially begun…
Then, mid-stride, I glance to the right, and the tip of one of the white sails of the old convention centre catches my eye. A little lump gathers in my throat as images of October 27, 2009 flash through my mind. Can it really be almost two years since the Moment My Life Changed forever?
As if my brain is a crowded etch-a-sketch that needs to be cleared, I give my head a shake and then pull open the heavy glass door in front of me. Giant wooden columns and floor to lofty-ceiling windows dwarf the convention centre “stewardess” who stands in the entryway and gives me her warmest, “it’s 7:00am and I LOVE my job” smile. When I say Brene Brown, she points upwards. Continue reading
Did my last post irritate you? Were you at sitting at your desk, trying to accomplish the 752 things on your to-do list when you saw my email or the Facebook link to Live As If This Is All There Is? Did your fingers tighten around your coffee mug as you read about how I chose the word “free” as my mantra for the rest of the year? Did you snort and think Hah! Freedom?! I don’t have the luxury of feeling free because my boss is breathing down my neck and I should have finished my PowerPoint presentation for tonight’s board meeting two hours ago.
Or, maybe you read the post once your two year old finally settled for his 20 minute (but you wish was 2 hour) nap and your six year old hadn’t yet arrived home on the school bus. You had a clean socks and sheets tangled around little pairs of jeans and t-shirts on the couch beside you, and a package of chicken defrosting on the counter (and no idea what you would turn it into for dinner). Did you think “F You Terri”. Stop rubbing your freedom in my face! It’s great that you’re so free, but I have a massive mortgage, a cranky husband, a dog who pees on the kitchen floor; and children who will soon clamber around me and whine about when I’m going to take them to the park.”
If you secretly felt like punching me and then you quit reading, I get it. I would not have read a blog like A Fresh Chapter two years ago. Back then, I thought airy fairy, “live your best life” messages were great in principle but didn’t relate to my life. Other people could dream big dreams and talk about freedom, but I had rent to pay and the careers of 350 technology consultants to take care of. Continue reading
Live with intention.
Walk to the edge.
Play with abandon.
Choose with no regret
Continue to learn
Appreciate your friends
Do what you love
Live as if this is all there is.
Mary Anne Radmacher
Lately, I have asked you What’s More Important To You Than Your Fears and confessed the return of The Mountain Under My Rug. Now, as I pack up my apartment; sell my furniture; work on my book; and make plans to travel through the USA and Canada to connect with other survivors about My Big Hairy Audacious Dream; it’s easy for me to get buried under an onslaught of “to-dos” and forget to appreciate the moment (something I swore I would never do after finishing treatment for cancer).
But, when I do take a moment to reflect on the past 9 months, I am overwhelmed by gratitude. When I wrote the post entitled What Are Your Three Words? on December 31, 2010, I could not have imagined how many moments of feeling healthy, inspired, and loved waited for me in 2011.
Moments…isn’t this the lesson Nadine Stair Tried to Teach us in, “If I Had My Life to Live Over“?
Oh, I've had my moments,
And if I had it to do over again,
I'd have more of them.
In fact, I'd try to have nothing else.
Just moments, one after another,
instead of living so many years ahead of each day.
What are your best moments of 2011 so far? Moments when the stresses of your life dropped away and for just a few seconds, you could feel the rustle of the wind on your face or the hot sun at your back. Moments when you appreciated stillness and quiet. Moments when you felt filled with hope about your future.
Here are a few of mine… Continue reading
Do you have a tendency to hold to things? I’m not talking about the hoarders who get profiled on Reality TV because they have old magazines stuffed in their ovens or clothes piled so high, they can’t find their beds.
I’m referring to the more socially acceptable form of hoarding where you hold on to your favourite boots even if you can’t wear them without seeing your socks through the bottom. Or when you stay in a job you should have moved on from two years ago because the fear of change (or the zeros in your paycheck) keep you groaning every Monday about how this is the week you will update your resume. Or maybe…your history might have a thing or two in common with mine and you have held on to people or emotions in the same way a cartoon figure wraps himself around a tree in the middle of a 150km/hr hurricane.
On my flight home from Calgary last weekend, a Martha Beck article caught my eye and I’m still rolling her words through my mind:
“When we try to force a defunct relationship to continue or stay in a job after we’ve outgrown it, it invariably turns hateful. Denying an organic end point is like trying to animate a corpse.” Continue reading
A few months before my October 2009 cancer diagnosis, I read an article by Martha Beck entitled, “When and How To Say Enough” that made the baby hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
She took the concept of just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing that Toyota made famous after the Second World War and together with a group of her business students, came up with ways to apply this JIT theory to our everyday lives (as opposed to the just-in-case (JIC) philosophy that most of us subscribe to).
In the article Martha writes, “Most people live with a just-in-case mind-set because for most of human history, it made sense. The primary fact of life for just-in-case processes is: “Everything good is scarce!” By contrast, just-in-time systems rely on the assumption “Everything good is readily available.” Well, until quite recently, the former claim was true for most humans—it’s still true for many. But most magazine readers like you live in settings where basic necessities, like food, clothing, and other humans, are plentiful.
Living in an abundant environment but operating on the assumption that good things are scarce leads to a host of dysfunctions that can be summed up in one word: excess. Most of us are living in some kind of excess; we work too much, eat too much, rack up debt buying too much stuff. Yet, driven by the unconscious, just-in-case assumption that “everything good is scarce,” we just keep doing and accumulating more. We’ve all seen some of the unfortunate results.”
She goes on to hi-light the four categories in life that most of us fall into trouble with our just-in-case thinking: controlling our weight, our intense desire for financial security, our addiction to shopping and accumulating ‘stuff’, and our belief that we need to cling tightly to anyone that we love in order to prevent that person from disappointing us or disappearing from our lives. Continue reading