2014 ANMP Convention Recap

Posted on April 7, 2014

“When you’re in love, you want to tell the whole world about it.” – Carl Sagan

2014 Program Cover
My 2014 Convention Program Cover
Packed full of notes I took from each speaker!
My notes and take-aways coming soon…

This week I am particularly pleased with myself and some of the decisions that I’ve made along my way and, although some of my most significant decisions seemed wacky and “against the grain” at the time I made them, I am learning the meaning behind the quote, “Time will either promote you or expose you.” I am reaping the valuable and rich lessons of having stuck with something I believe in for a long period of time, despite all its inherent challenges.

This June I’ll celebrate 19 years in and around my chosen profession, and knowing the naively ignorant place I started from, I am blessed to have had enough success to keep me coming back for more. The thing I love most about Network Marketing is that it is very forgiving as we learn, and I’ll be the first to say I’ve been a most challenging student.

Last week I flew off to Dallas, Texas for the 10th annual convention of the Association of Network Marketing Professionals, I was joined by about 800 other independent entrepreneurs from over 60 countries and many companies. This was the 10th annual gathering that since last year’s event has tripled its numbers in attendance. The organization that I am associated with was well represented at this event, 2 of our team’s leaders were on the guest speaker list, our group shot was the largest I’ve seen so far…


The Global Partners Group (My Tribe)
With ANMP President Garrett McGrath.

However, this was not an event to wear our company or organization on our lapel, this was a completely “generic” gathering. No promoting, no cross-recruiting, no pins, no badges, alas, no sharing of chocolate. The 30 speakers paid for their own tickets and spoke without taking compensation – and some are world class speakers, it was a volunteer event and some big names showed up for it!

We were there to support our chosen business model and profession of Network Marketing, and fortunately for me, to be joined by most of my personal and professional mentors I have followed and learned from for years. This year, the business that has been around for 70 years is finally coming into its own, it is predicted 2014 will see its biggest growth ever! The Association of Network Marketing Professionals has the heart and excellence of the business model at its core.

In a noisy, globally connected social media world, there’s never been a better time to add the high-touch back into the high-tech, because at the end of the day, no matter what, it’s all about choices and solutions for the people.

There’s nothing more satisfying than hanging out with a bunch of people that know how to be themselves, have fun and uplift those around them. We are up to big things, working on amazing projects while sharing a common vision and building our businesses and our tribes along the way.


Great friends old and new!

If you’re associated with an MLM-oriented company and team or thinking about looking into the profession, you need to be with us in 2015!

As a card-carrying member, I’ve got my VIP ticket already.


My first Selfie…

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Gettin’ Jiggy With Fear

Posted on February 22, 2014

Do What Is Right
Created on my first printer, full of holes and stained from hanging on my fridges and dream boards over the decades, this simple icon still remains as a reminder.

It isn’t often I sit down to watch a movie, I am very particular about my entertainment with great respect for what I subject my eyes and mind to, time is precious so if I’m going to invest it in a story, it has to move me in a positive direction and if it’s really good I’ll be thinking about it long after.  Like most, I have my favourite actors and actresses and I’ll take a chance on anything they produce because of what I know about them and the excellence they continually represent. Will Smith is one of those actors.

As I peruse his list of accomplishments at IMDB.com, I am struck by the tremendous amount of energy and passion he has for his work. I have followed him more closely since finding some stories about him on YouTube.  Mr. Smith is a fellow “deliberate creator” so I am always inspired by his message and perspective on life.

Will loves living, he works hard doing what he loves and for our benefit, the results are evident:

“I never did it for money, it was never about the money. My experience has been that if you do things for money you make bad choices. Do what you love and you’ll learn how to make money doing what you love.
You’ll tear yourself apart if you aren’t doing the thing you love most in life. And you know what it is right now.”

I found one of his latest creations “After Earth” while searching for something to kick back with and was delighted to see that he both wrote and produced this wonderful sci-fi adventure, directed by M. Night Shyamalan – best known for movies like The Village, The Lady In The Water and The Last Airbender amongst others. And as a bonus, this one starred he and his son Jaden. It is truly inspiring to browse the Filmographies of this father and son duo and until I wrote this, I had no idea just how much work they have done together, in fact it gives me a lump in my throat and makes this particular movie a little more real.

So I popped us some corn, cuddled up on the couch and hit play. At 50 minutes into it the main character and archetype – Cypher Raige played by Will, told a story to his son Kitai that had us backing up to hear it again. I have transcribed the main message as another personal reminder and hopefully it leaves you with the desire to watch this movie yourself to provide context which is a primary tenet for the plot (which I will not spoil for you):

“Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity Kitai. Now do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real, but fear is a choice. We are all telling ourselves a story and that day mine changed.”

The reason this is so applicable is in the rest of the story, so when you watch this great flick I want to hear your thoughts. Remember, there is no real danger in sharing your perspective, in fact the rest of us need you to do so. If that idea frightens you, stop right now and ask yourself, “Why”?

I have always been fascinated by my own sense of fear, I don’t seem to feel it like it is usually portrayed, and I do know that at the end of all the thinking about it, the only thing I’m truly afraid of is the fear of my own fear.

“Just Do It” Nike says, or as Susan Jeffers shouts out from the title of her classic read “Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway.” Let fear motivate rather than paralyze you. That is the true nature of courage, we wouldn’t have courage without fear, they are not opposites, courage is the act of doing what is right without giving way to fear! It is here we find our personal “rites of passage”.

On YouTube search: “Will Smith Law Of Attraction” for more.

DiamondJul

Comments closed • Filed in courage,emotional fitness,family,law of attraction,mindset,sci-fi

Got Pets?

Posted on February 19, 2014

“Anything that gets you feeling good is the basis of everything else you want flowing to you.
Your beasts have it all figured out.”

~ Abraham

April 2013 – Photo By Kara Wilson

A couple of posts ago I told the story about Boy-Boy and am pleased to report that he returned to his home on Labour Day. On the morning of Wednesday, September 4th, we were pet-free, by the end of that day, there were 7 cats in our coat closet! Upon her insistence that day, I found myself playing doula for our furry friend “Not Our Cat” as together we brought 6 healthy kittens into our world. It was a new experience for me and as a Law of Attraction believer, I take full responsibility for manifesting it into my reality, showing me yet again that the “Universe” does not hear “don’ts, nots and nos”, circumstances ALWAYS serve me right and what I focused on definitely expanded.

As I went through the motions and watched the miracle of birth unfolding before me, it was clear that life would be different for at least a couple of months. Once tucked in bed and after a moment of silence, Ron’s comedic and exasperated comment tickled my funny bone as he stated the obvious, “We have 7 cats.” My response was, “Well YOU let her in the house!” The absurdity of what had just happened set in and we giggled ourselves into slumber.

All distractions being equal, this new family of fur babies was now counting on us, it has been an absolute joy and delight watching them grow and develop. They were exactly the interruption our moods needed at the time and 5 months later, they are the gift that keeps on giving.

We were blessed with 4 females and 2 males, each one of them with their own personalities, traits, quirks and habits. It was also apparent that Mama cat had been abandoned since first meeting her and in looking at a post-natal picture, I’m sure she was underfed and stressed by life on the street.

She has made herself a home here now, is double her previous size and although the whole experience has been very satisfying, we have seen to it that there’ll be no more kittens by her, she’ll be staying on with us as long as she’ll have us.

Gizzie stole our hearts immediately, she is adorable and expects to be adored.

We are happy to have found wonderful homes for 5 happy, healthy kittens, and have finally settled into “normal” life with 2 cats.

The kittens have been a Facebook sensation and although I haven’t posted much along the way, I have been saving the pictures taken by ourselves and others and have assembled them in a Flickr album here:

The Kittens

Last family shot before shipping out the boys!

DiamondJul

Comments closed • Filed in abundance,appreciation

An Invitation To Meet My Self

Posted on November 14, 2013

Visit the bottom of this page where there is a list of credible resources for your researching pleasure.

“This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”
– Morpheus
Ramon

I ask you Reader to keep an open mind as you digest this account. Pay heed to the fact that you are reading this, it is a clue that there is something here for you. I cannot recommend this experience, I can only share what I have learned and know that those ready will be called to it, for to partake is the greatest gift you will give to yourself and ultimately all of us collectively. If not for you, at least know enough to pay forward the opportunity to others that may be silently and desperately longing for a hand up. There are resources following this, my longest post ever, for your exploration.

Over the last 20 years I have participated in numerous personal growth seminars, workshops and processes to realize more possibility, potential and self-empowerment. While following the proverbial bread crumbs thrown down by my intuition and intentions over the years, I have met individuals that possess gifts and knowledge that transcend our most basic physical “laws”.  I have had glimpses behind the curtain of our materialism and compared to this last encounter everything pales by comparison. My account remains an “understatement” at best and uniquely my own.

TheGang

This past weekend I joined approximately 60 fellow souls in a powerful weekend gathering. We came from all directions to meet a traditional South American Shaman and his team. Far from his homeland, this modern-day Medicine Man that refers to himself as a “spiritual facilitator” represents seven thousand years of family lineage. (Can you imagine knowing your family tree that far back?!) On mission to introduce as many as he can to one of the most ancient and sacred rituals of truth, he brought with him the presence and the ancient Amazonian plant medicine that would introduce us to “that which we really Are“.

Jeff

The decision to attend was far from last-minute or spontaneous. Unlike anything I have considered before and because of the nature of it, I stretched way outside my comfort zone to attend. Often I thought of the old cliché “when the student is ready the teacher will appear“, only this time my teacher was not of the human kind. Being there was the end result of almost 2 years of researching, watching documentaries and listening to personal accounts of those courageous enough to venture into the greatest unknown ever known. I long to know “truth”, but am I ready for it?

This was to be the ultimate spiritual experience and unlike any church I have attended, including that which I was brought up in, our facilitator this weekend didn’t just speak about God, he introduced us to Her directly. That may seem like a grandiose statement yet when in the presence of divinity one knows it beyond the capacity to doubt.

National Geographic’s documentary on this subject is tagged: “Be Brave Enough To Save Yourself“. I was constantly warned that this is not a recreational process, it wouldn’t all be fun and for most in attendance, that was clearly the case. One enters into this with nervous excitement, a sense of foreboding and does not arrive without being “called” into the space. (Remember the vision that Richard Dreyfuss was compelled to sculpture in the classic movie Close Encounters?) Well it’s like that. The idea continued to present itself over time until I could no longer ignore it.

This process is specific to each individual that takes it on, it is an inside job. My experience was different than anything I had heard described and although my companion and I sat side by side, his “trip” was very different from mine, in fact I’m not sure he could write about his experience, although he says there may be a book or two from what he learned. We’ll see.

Us

I departed from the weekend with an amazing and unexpected gift of healing, the manifestation of an intention set some time ago and had forgotten. The fact that I am sharing this with you is an end result of that gift and hopefully my story is comprehensible given the limitation of my words. This is a gift that keeps on giving and I am compelled to document the journey so that others might be inspired to explore as well. I will return to this process to dive deeper into understanding all that I am and why I am here in this physical form. I have been given a mere taste of what’s available.

My companion and I came out of this together with a greater understanding of why we are paired and a knowing we are exactly where we’re supposed to be. We were introduced to a sense of communion we hadn’t yet known as a couple. There is a deeper connection and richer feelings as we look into each others eyes this week, most importantly, a lifting of spirits that had become dampened by life’s challenges.

Before I go into the account of my experience it might serve to share why I would want to enter into this unfamiliar territory in the first place. Born with a curious, adventurous and (perhaps?) rebellious nature, I have an unquenchable thirst for learning that others might define as obsessive.

The quest for “truth” is the path of the warrior, one that requires “right” action despite fear. Einstein said,

We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”

So how does one get to another level of thinking? I needed a quantum leap in mine.

I haven’t shared this before but the last several years I have been in a rather “stuck” place. Once confident and bold in sharing my unique perspective, after several cascading life events I had shrunk away from serving up my talents and over time was slowly shutting down, the end result – playing small in my life, feeling afraid to speak my truth as I knew it and finding myself at a place of being frustrated, sick and weary from not being able to express what I felt in my heart to be true. I was out of integrity and consequently unable to serve others in the same satisfying ways I had in the past. Unable to pull myself out of the nose-dive I had myself locked into, I had to do something to turn things around. My friend Abraham’s words often rang inside my head,

when falling without a parachute, you might as well enjoy the ride because it will be over soon.”

Upon committing to attend this ceremony – about a month prior, conscious preparations for it began. We received a full page of dos and don’ts that would help us optimize our experience to receive the most we could from it. We tweaked our diet, habits and our thoughts by eliminating things that would impede our process and included those that would enhance it. We were instructed to arrive with open hearts and minds, clear positive intentions and leave ALL expectations behind – including those around our intentions. Most challenging of all, to place ourselves in a state of surrender and vulnerability, I could definitely do “vulnerable”, the surrender part was the tricky one.

The day finally arrived, we headed off to our destination nervous and excited, wondering if we were doing the right thing, questioning our sanity and yet certain we would get exactly what we needed from the adventure. About 6pm we arrived at the place we were told to park for the remainder of the weekend, we placed the call to be picked up at the car and a few kilometres later arrived at a beautiful lake-house in the woods that had been rented for the occasion. We gathered our gear and as we entered I felt a lot like Dorothy must have that moment she opened the door to Oz.

At first glance it looked like a 60’s love-in scene, instantly the feeling of having come home struck me. We saw mats, sleeping bags and blankets lined up around the rooms, burning candles and people of all ages, ethnicity and backgrounds. We were welcomed with hugs, knowing smiles and gratitude for coming out, everyone seemed “of like mind” and a little familiar. The place buzzed with delicious conversations, laughter, the strumming of a guitar and aromas of smouldering sage, candles and the kitchen as some prepared the foods that we all contributed. We noticed we were a couple of the eldest in attendance. I had discovered through my research that those undertaking this process went on to become highly functioning and contributing community members so I was inspired by the number of enlightened young ones – our next generation of leaders. Most had remained for the Saturday ceremonies after having been at it all Friday night, in retreat from society, we were here to meet the best of ourselves. The ceremony would not begin until almost 10pm, and would be a night long affair.

Once oriented, we changed from our travel clothes into our comfy cosies, found a place to lay our sleeping bags for the night and signed our waivers taking full responsibility for our actions and well-being. We had several hours to meet and mingle, to hear stories of others’ experiences and were encouraged to ask anything we wanted regarding what we were about to undergo. The tales were diverse, fascinating and stretched the boundaries of belief. As the time drew nearer to ceremony the energy mounted.

Finally we were all called into the kitchen where the Shaman was preparing the medicine in ritual fashion and lining up the carved wooden cups we would be drinking from. He asked us to join hands in a circle around the space. He spoke softly in his native Spanish tongue and through the translator we learned first hand the history of this rite and the purpose of this mission. He spoke of ancient things, of how we will change the world by entering into this new family and relationship with nature and above all, we were emphatically assured that if we gave ourselves up to this process, we would be cured of our ignorance, collectively the most destructive force on planet Earth today.

The talk and preparatory ritual was complete, it was time to line up to drink our cup of Ayahausca. I was surprised and pleased that it wasn’t at all foul smelling or tasting, contrary to what I had heard. We were instructed to go back to our spots, which at the foot had been placed the ominous vomit bucket for capturing the inevitable purge that would signal the beginning of the experience. We were told to patiently wait in silence with closed eyes for at least 45 minutes until the effects of the medicine began to show itself, the time passed quietly as I observed within and waited for my gut to respond.

Finally someone across from me started heaving, then another and another, some quietly, some loudly. The noise rose to a crescendo as the medicine began to do its good work and we were off! The experience would last about 4 to 5 hours.

I continued to wait for the familiar sensation of nausea, still nothing. As those around me filled their buckets, I noticed several of the care-giving team was clearing them away as each individual finished their purge, there was nothing to do but be with ourselves and our experience. I began to wonder if this was working for me and I reigned my focus back into my own space, it was then I began to notice I was feeling just slightly intoxicated, but not yet nauseous. Perhaps I’d get away without it? I hate puking and avoid it at all costs.

Just as I asked myself that I noticed a tightening in my throat. It began to tingle and intensify, I realized I could identify my thyroid gland in 3D, almost as if it was being held up for me to see, it began to swell and the pressure quickly mounted, it felt as if it was going to explode.

[A bit of history before I go further: About 25 years ago right after my son was born my thyroid went into hyperactive overdrive. It was a condition that snuck up on me at the time and almost took me out of life's game. Over years of medications, alternative therapies and extreme lifestyle changes I was able to get to a place where it wasn't life-threatening any more, although I would always have some residual effects from it, I set the intention to one day find a way to "fix" it for good. That was the forgotten intention. In preparation for this trip I hadn't thought about it once.]

Instinctively I grabbed my bucket and sure enough, my gland started to spew, I was aware that I had none of the typical sensations of throwing up, from my perspective it was coming straight out of the back of the gland and as it did the gland relaxed and shrunk back to “normal”. When I was complete I heard a very clear voice that wasn’t mine say, “There. You have your voice back. Take it home and work with it.” I was stunned and grinning. The most obvious thing I could have hoped for I hadn’t even considered. I wiped my face, blew my sinuses out and with a tremendous feeling of relief I laid back and swam in intense feelings of gratitude and love. It was as if a Mother energy was cradling me in her arms, I felt again like I did when I was a baby. I knew something significant had just occurred, something had been “fixed”.

I waited to see the visions commonly reported by so many. They never came. I didn’t care, I remained grateful for what I had received because I knew it was significant and couldn’t wait to take it home. I was in a place of pure feeling good for the first time in a very long time.

I basked in the beautiful emotions for some time and then turned my attention to my partner beside me. He was off in his own world and grinning ear to ear. I can’t remember what was said and at this point the two of us were struck with the giggles. Out of respect for those around us we were trying not to laugh out loud until we heard laughter coming from the next room. Ron asked me in a witty way if I’d rather be in the “happy room” and we couldn’t contain ourselves any longer, absurdity and surrender took over, the next couple of hours we held a space of joy that infected several around us. We were labelled the “giggle-pusses” and laughed purely FOR others as they ushered out their negativity and darkness. I have never seen Ron laugh as hard and long as he did that night.

There was a lot going on in the room and as chaotic as it appeared, every single event seemed to fit perfectly in the space. Our new friend Michael who was stretched out behind our heads picked up his guitar and started to play, it was beautiful and soothing. I noticed I could hear every single note hyper-crisply, and oddly I could sense the frequencies radiating out from each pluck, it was a lullaby, he was playing just for me.

About 3:30 in the morning it was time to decide if we would like to “go again”, a second cup was being offered in the kitchen. I stood by and watched as many stepped up eager to go deeper into their experiences. I was tempted while clearly hearing an inner voice telling me I had what I needed for now and feeling certain I would be back for more on another date. I was eager to return home to integrate and process the gift I had received this night.

I sat energized by the fire burning outside, exchanging perspectives with others, emptied a bucket and fetched warm towels for a new friend still journeying while offering encouragement and support and generally waited for dawn to come. The ceremony would come to a close about 7am and the house needed to be put back in order and vacated by 10am. No one wanted to leave. There was a feeling of belonging to a new family – those that puke together stay together!  As we packed and straightened, replacing furniture rugs and knick-knacks that had been temporarily stored in the basement, there was a buzz of exchanging of emails, making plans to reconnect with those we most resonated with, laughs, tears and heartfelt hugs. The first pot luck social is scheduled for December 7th and I can’t wait to see everyone, in the mean time we have our community on the Internet and all the rich resources it provides to hold us together until we meet heart to heart again.

I liken this to the task of giving birth, the discomfort endured was WAY worth the gifts received. Far more occurred that night than I am able to post here.  I am left with immense gratitude, respect and reverence for a much grander picture of our entire existence than I had access to through my physical senses. Expanded and changed forever because I cannot unlearn or ignore what just happened, I am like a balloon once blown up, can never return to its original shape.

So we’ll see what happens going forward, I am acutely listening and watching for the signs that some things are different now, the evidence is already showing itself.

After 2 years of research I am left uttering, “I had no idea.” Mother Ayahuasca isn’t simply a serving psychotropic, She is an entity here for a specific purpose and needed more than ever before in the thousands of years of her presence. I am grateful to our indigenous people for paying forward their wisdom and knowledge, it is some of the purest on the planet and a tremendous gift to our collective thriving.

Cheers

I have polled the opinions of others as I prepared for this, many of my friends have asked for information and are waiting to hear our accounts of the weekend. This posting is the best I can do in writing and to see us is to know something has shifted.

Like the canary sent into the mine to determine if it is safe to enter in, this little bird is back to say it is more than safe, it just may be your answer to everything.

Until Next Time

Be brave enough to save yourself.

DiamondJul

There is no condition that you cannot modify into something more, any more than there is any painting that you can paint and not like and just paint over it again. There are many limiting thoughts in the human environment that make it feel like it is not so, as you have these incurable illnesses, or these unchangeable conditions. But we say, they are only “unchangeable” because you believe that they are.”
– Abraham

Some Bread Crumbs To Follow…

Aya: Awakenings
Just released 2014!
Rent online or buy it to download on demand!

DMT – The Spirit Molecule – 2010
(Available on Netflix in the documentaries section.)
This is a great introduction to science and medical discoveries using “DMT” clinically and therapeutically.

August 8, 2014 Article: “Science Theory Shows We Can Reprogram Our DNA to Heal Ourselves with Vibration”

Medical Ayahuasca Network –
Your Reliable Source For Scientific Research

PDF – Ayahuasca Manifesto –
The Spirit of Ayahuasca and its Planetary Mission – Anonymous
Also on Facebook: Facebook.com/Manifesto123

The Spirit Plant Medicine Conference – October 2013 – Vancouver, BC, Canada @ UBC
SpiritPlantMedicine.com
Pay particular attention to the credentials on the long list of speakers at this event!

The Shaman’s Last Apprentice

Integrating the Modern Practice
of Traditional Ayahuasca Shamanism

A Talk By Dr. Joe Tafur, MD

National Geographic – Peru: Hell And Back

Graham Hancock – The Banned Ted Talk

On MeetUp.com:
Ayahuasca Association of Canada
Sacred Healing Plant Medicine Teachers

Comments closed • Filed in appreciation,ayahuasca,emotional fitness,law of attraction,relationships,spirituality,well-being

No Pets Here…

Posted on August 27, 2013

For a couple of folks with no pets of their own, we sure do spend a lot of time with animals at our house! Any pet owner will agree that having furred or feathered beasties in or around the house provides numerous benefits to our overall well-being, like our little ones, they win our hearts with their authenticity and unconditional love.

The back yard channel is always on for our entertainment and amusement, there’s hardly a time of day or night when something isn’t going on, “our” squirrels, wandering cats and raccoons all have names reflective of their unique personalities. The beasts are amazing mirrors for our own ways of being and recently I have witnessed the instant transformation of character that tragedy often brings with it.

As I write this from under the tree in the yard, Boy-Boy the loudly purring, one-eyed, black guest-cat is bumping his head into my right elbow and attempting to settle himself onto my keyboard. He belongs next-door and was left stranded after his Mum was whisked away in the middle of an early August night by rescue personnel when an arsonist rendered their home uninhabitable while trying to burn it down. It was a long, loud and confusing night, the street was packed with police, fire fighters and emergency medical assistance until almost noon the next day. Until Boy-Boy’s home is cleaned up and repaired, his owner is safely enjoying some time away with relatives at Niagara On The Lake.

Having been at this address for almost 2 years, it was that night I set an intention to get to know the neighbours better and upon his insistence, we have become the temporary care-givers of Boy-Boy. He watches the restorative activities next door from a comfortable distance and is happy to have a box on the table in our back porch to sleep in. He is kept fed and well watered as he waits…or is he waiting anymore? Despite the tragedy, he has quickly adapted to the change.

This is a different cat than the one we have watched in the past. Ron has been living here for 6 years, myself for 2 and up until that fateful night, Boy-Boy (previously known as “Spike”) had absolutely no use for us, he was indifferent, unapproachable and had no desire to interact as he passed through our yard on his way to and from his home. The morning after the fire while the property was still busy with investigators and assessors I found “Spike” lounging on the trailer in our driveway, I approached him slowly and when he spotted me heading his way he began to tell me a woe-is-me story! I’d never heard him utter a meow before and here he was talking up a storm and bearing his belly for a stroking. He was very glad to see me and since then has been our constant shadow. He has shattered our previous perception of him since his transformation, we had thought of him as the toughie and king of the neighbourhood cat and now he’s a big, adorable, always purring suck that one can tell is well-loved and used to the company of people.

It’ll be a couple more week yet before Boy-Boy’s able to go home again and by now we may have to train him to stay there once Mum gets back. Unlike humans, the animals seem to have the ability to let go of tragedy quite a bit quicker than we. According to a visiting family member we have gotten to know over the weeks, she has her previous 3 cats in urns on her mantle, so we know she must be missing her furry friend!

Guest Kitty

DiamondJul

Comments closed • Filed in appreciation

The Hedge of a Lifetime!

Posted on February 16, 2013

This past summer while enjoying a cold beverage in the shade of the backyard, my friend made a remark that I have thought about ever since. We were talking about business things and in a break in the conversation he made the statement, “there’s a LOT of MLM in this town.”

Without hesitation I replied, “It’s not a sign of the town it’s a sign of the times.”

Having been in Brantford for just a couple of years from Toronto, he came to his conclusion honestly. We invest a great deal of time engaged at the heart of our entrepreneurial, small business community so we often find ourselves in the company of those that are aligned with various entities in the Multi-Level Marketing sector. The industry has been around for over 60 years, there’s enough long-term experience to see patterns in its development so we know that in the toughest of times, the entire “MLM” industry grows faster, we have seen some of the greatest expansion in the last 3 or 4 years.

I am a proud, professional Network Marketer, it is my passion and my calling. I chose it as a back-up career path in June of 1995 while happily employed on the rungs of corporate Canada, having already been “groomed” for 15 years. It didn’t take too long before I realized I would make my back-up career my main one. It was one of the best commitments I’ve ever made.

I assured my friend that what he was observing around him is not really Network Marketing, however, the activity he is witnessing is a “Direct Sales” model. Both business models fall under the “MLM” umbrella and they are distinctly different in their operation. I have done both, my preference for authentic Network Marketing is all about the differences, especially around “lifestyle” and leadership. In fact, if someone is really good at being a Network Marketer, you probably won’t even know they are doing it – unless you know them.

As employment opportunities continue to become both less desirable and less available, many are turning to other avenues to generate income. The globe’s economy has moved on, it won’t be back in some of the familiar ways we’ve been used to. The upside to this is huge if one is focused on finding solutions. The world is recreating itself in some fabulous new and exciting ways, we are being called on to rise to a humanitarian shift unlike we’ve experienced before in our known history, venturing “outside the box” has become more critical than ever.

Traditional models for what used to work for “doing life” have been subtly and assertively crumbling and pressure mounts under a rapidly expanding desire for more happiness, better health, prosperity and the freedom to live life on one’s own terms, and as the collective desire grows, so grows the tsunami of opportunity. For those willing to paddle out to greet the great wave of transition, the rewards are positively tremendous!

Did you know?

More people became millionaires during The Great Depression than any other time in our history – over 82,000. The estimations for going forward from now are staggering!

Some of us are already playing the delicious game of “leverage” with a whole new set of tools and support than has ever been available before. The playing fields have been leveled and anyone can master the new games. I’ve learned first-hand that Network Marketing is not for everyone, “everyone” doesn’t qualify. I do believe that for the majority though, it is an equal opportunity with few if any prerequisites.

I wasn’t always an MLM evangelist, you’ll hear more about that in a second part to this posting. I discovered the long, hard way around that it is good to “know” before I say “no”, and that all the knowledge in the world is useless if I can’t observe another applying it.

MLM is not a one-size fits all solution, but it is a real solution that’s getting bigger and better rapidly as more of the business world and everyday consumers catch on to how it works. As a result there are more choices than ever, so many that one often gets overwhelmed and confused about what is the best choice.

So who does one listen to? How does one assess whether an opportunity is the right one for them and theirs?

I’ll be sharing my perspective on that next and while I put the finishing touches on, I want to leave you with a great audio I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I did! This interview is not about Network Marketing; however it does have some relevant nuggets of wisdom for how to proceed in a world that is re-inventing itself on the fly!

This is 50 minutes with Seth Godin.  I’ve been following Seth since he released his first book, he is fun and entertaining, a modern day visionary and thought leader in the world of business, marketing and art.

Marketing is the product we make, the service we offer, the life we live.” – Seth Godin

Podcast/MP3 Dowload: Seth Godin interviewed by Krista Tippett of the “OnBeing.org” show:
The Art of Noticing and Then Creating

Comments closed • Filed in abundance,emotional fitness,financial freedom,law of attraction,marketing,network marketing

Free Your Mind And Your A$$’ll Follow…

Posted on January 24, 2013

About 3 years ago, while sitting in my home office I had a defining moment that was a significant catalyst for change. As I sat pondering what I needed to do or become next to get to the things I desired most for me and mine, I heard that little voice from within ask the question,

“What would your world look like if the Internet was gone tomorrow?”

To some it might not seem like a “big” question and it rocked my world. At the time I was enjoying what I thought of as “success” having created it over a 10 year span almost exclusively using the Internet and telephone. I say “almost” because the relationships I fostered online eventually became very real as I hopped into cars and onto planes and ships to work, play and collaborate with friends from around the world.

As exciting as the lifestyle became, this exclusivity had created an imbalance and at the end of the days I was left with the realization that I didn’t really know anyone in my home town. The economy was taking a sharp left turn for God knows where, and the online world was becoming extremely crowded and noisy – the rules of the game I was used to playing were changing.

As a pioneer of Social Media some time before the term was even coined, I had created an online persona that depicted more of the real “Me” than the “me” I portrayed away from my keyboard. I existed in both worlds, with two distinct personalities. With the advent of Facebook came the others I had been waiting on for so long, the vision of all my “real life” friends joining me online was finally happening and as they came, I froze up, I no longer felt “free to be Me.” My virtual handle “DiamondJul – Ambassador for Connection” meant nothing to those outside my home’s door, to those without visibility to my online world I was still just “crazy Julie”. I was paralyzed by the prospects of what both worlds thought and the integrity gap widened.

It appears that in order to move fully forward in a direction that serves us, sometimes we have to take a few steps back, and as I did the success I knew began to show signs of sliding, I adjusted my life accordingly and my voice continued to dwindle amongst the ruckus of the online rush. The desire to serve in the community my butt sat in became a burning one. I set a new intention to simply start “showing up” with no particular agenda. I set out to make some kind of difference—whatever that meant I wasn’t sure—all I knew is that I had to move out of the comfort zone I had created for myself and try on something new.

I set out to find events to attend and things to join where I could Be Me with others and collect experiences that would allow me to both serve and grow as an individual and close the widening gap. I attended my high-school reunion and joined its alumni committee. I joined the social committee at my condominium complex, I went ice skating twice a week, I attended several churches. I even started dating again after a solid 4 years hiatus from courtship—but that’s a whole other article…

Specifically, I was looking for others that were self-employed or entrepreneurs because of the leadership, mindset and unique lifestyle that sets us slightly apart from the “status quo”.

One day while purging my spam folder, I happened to open up one of the emails I had been continually receiving from a site I belonged to for several years called MeetUp.com*. Lo and behold there was a meeting right here in town for entrepreneurs, I immediately RSVP’d to attend my first meeting and I knew I had found something right up my alley. I enjoyed the people and the meeting immensely and offered to help the organizers with the group, which shortly after (prodded by the sharp elbows of my fellow committee members) lead to the launching of my own MeetUp group “Attitude of Gratitude”. After more than a year and with the help of my wonderful co-facilitators it continues to grow steadily every month, one friend even calls it “a movement”! I knew “my people” were out there, I never dreamed there were so many that shared my vision to contribute and participate.

As the saying made famous in the classic flick Field of Dreams goes,

“Build it and they will come.”

Or, as one of my business teachers and mentors says,

“80% of success is simply in showing up.”

3 years ago I would walk around this city and never meet a soul I knew, wandering here and there asking the Universe, “where the heck is everyone?” It was a big deal to prepare myself for 1 or 2 socials in a week. I am an “ambivert”, that’s an introvert with a deep need to be with and around others as often as they like to be alone. With hindsight having 20/20 vision, I can now look back and clearly see the box I had built for myself while at the same time recognizing the symptoms of “social anxiety” that had crept in from too much high-tech and not near enough high-touch. I am now highly motivated to seduce others out of their limitations so that they may experience the thrill of personal transformation, diversity and opportunity.

As I write this I am chuckling as I hear the bellowing voice of an old friend to her house-bound children,

“Get out of the house and blow the stink off you!”

Today I am surrounded by beautiful people up to great things, I call them friends and we have each other’s backs! My calendar is messy with double booked events – I want to attend them all! I have some juicy collaborative projects to work on again and I live in the heart of my city, a part of it I never imagined I would love, yet here I am and I do. I am fostering productive relationships, partnerships and results. The “power of bump” (thank you Marc) is alive and well as I continually run into those I know. My success curve is once again pointing in the right direction…

“To infinity and beyond!” — Buzz Lightyear

There’s so much going on here, and it isn’t going to come to you. Show up and expand your circle of influence, become comfortable at being uncomfortable to find yourself, your passion and your gifts. You can’t imagine where showing up might take you…

Got fun?

*MeetUp.com is a website that facilitates the organization of local events for connecting like-minded, like-interested individuals. Create your profile and search for events in your town!

Comments closed • Filed in abundance,appreciation,mindset,relationships,unconditional happiness,well-being

Delayed Gratification…

Posted on January 12, 2013

My Mom presented me with something wonderful this past week! She and Dad have been catching up on their framing projects. Several years back I had given her two pieces to frame for me, I cross-stitched the clowns to hang in my son’s first bedroom – about 25 years ago. Looking at them instantly reminds me of where I’ve come from for sure, and takes me back to a time that seemed a whole other life!

Well they’re finally done, love the frames, thanks Mom! I don’t believe my son would want them for his bedroom, and perhaps for his own little ones one day?

For now they sit by my desk, they cheer me up and their orange hair matches the room… :)

Both Clowns

Comments closed • Filed in appreciation,law of attraction,powerful intentions,Uncategorized

Listening Like I’ve Never Listened Before: An Experiment

Posted on April 21, 2012

My appreciation goes out to Judy Daniels, a leader and trainer on my business team. She is a fine example of one that is authentically accomplished in my field of work. Judy is a retired teacher and she is masterful at passing on the wisdom of our profession. Having great models to follow is critical for lasting success in life-business. I have always had the good fortune to have mentors available to me whenever I am ready to learn.When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

Judy’s promise of success is simple, Listen like you’ve never listened before.

I decided to take on her task as an experiment to see what would show up and was reminded shortly into the exercise that simple doesn’t always mean easy. Although I am aware of the extreme importance of good listening and consider myself pretty good at it by nature, in hindsight it’s clear I had some practice to put in because once I really started listening with genuine interest, everything changed, especially me.

Fully listening is our greatest gift to another, the return on this wise investment, like any other, generates interest. Through active listening and asking questions we not only learn about others, we obtain knowledge about ourselves we just can’t get any other way. The better I know myself, the more I enjoy and understand others, the investment compounds. The more I understand others, the more I am able to effectively contribute and assist. Givers gain. Help others get what they want and our own wants are satisfied beyond what we could have hoped for standing on our own.

Listening is at the heart of thriving communities, find the heart of community and you’ll find more listeners than talkers. Everything I have learned to date has come through listening to others; nothing meaningful has been accomplished by myself.

A year or so ago I was like a kid on summer break wandering aimlessly while whining, “I’m bored.” Having worked almost exclusively online for many years as an early participant in social media I found the experience very empowering. I had expanded my view of the world and was finally free to be the real me. Over time as the evolution of social media feeds became numerous and noisy, I began feeling somewhat obscure. Eventually I stopped sharing my stories and froze up when my family and home-town friends started showing up in my world on Facebook. I suddenly became a writer that was no longer writing and became shy to share the rich content of my experience and knowledge as I had been before.

The call for balance between my online and offline worlds was knocking loudly. I wanted more than lurkers, followers and those labelled “friends”; I wanted “real” people to play and co-create with again! I was yearning for more connection and engagement within my community and found myself wondering where all those “just like me” were hiding and set out to find them.

Another of my teachers says, “There’s never a crowd on the leading edge.”
I truly understand that and even if it’s not a crowd, where are the others on it? For my experiment I needed people, the first step became showing up somewhere where I had someone to listen to!

Years ago, when it first launched, I signed into MeetUp.com, a website tool for connecting those in local areas with similar interests. As an early adopter, I had given up on finding an event in my own town, deleting their email alerts for years without reading them. Last summer in my searching I happened to open one of their emails and to my delight found a group meeting regularly near my neighbourhood. I immediately joined the BRANTS Entrepreneurs and RSVP’d to attend my first outing. I felt instantly at home and asked how I could help out. (Also interesting to note that as easy as it is to do, it had never occurred to me to start my own MeetUp.)

Today my calendar is crammed with fun, entertaining and educational events, well attended by the people I was longing to connect with. I co-organize the same group I joined last summer and facilitate my own Attitude of Gratitude MeetUp, it seems I am not the only one that was feeling this way. My kitchen table is frequently attended by the most interesting people stopping in for coffee and deep conversations. The phone rings regularly with invitations to participate in important and meaningful things, I have channels to volunteer and lend my talents to that previously weren’t open to me, and most importantly, business is booming again!

A grassroots revolution is taking place all around us – “community” is on its way back, something the Internet and working exclusively online has diverted many of us from. As connected as the Internet is supposed to have made us, I find we are as distant as ever with our neighbors next door.

I learned that listening isn’t something most people do at all let alone do it well. It is said we have 1 mouth and 2 ears, they should be used proportionally. Being truly present and fully listening to another takes “interest”. “Interest” is a function of the heart not the ears.

When one fully listens, perspective broadens and those most feared become those most endeared.

The most significant result and greatest gift to me from engaging in this experiment came as a complete surprise. I discovered that out of truly listening, for maybe the first time ever, I became heard. We all have a voice and if it’s not being heard it’s the loneliest of life’s experiences on this little planet of billions. Being heard, acknowledged and included by others is satisfying beyond all the stuff and money available, it’s why we came here in the first place, to experience, to interact, to create with each other.

Thanks for listening. Now go out and pay it forward! Someone out there is dying to be heard.

Experiment Parameters or Rules of the game:

  • Show up, get out, get involved, offer to help someone.
  • Be fully present wherever you are, it’s where you’re supposed to be NOW.
  • Know you are with exactly whom you should be with, they have something to teach you.
  • Everyone else is a mirror for what you’ve got going on, imagine you’re listening to yourself.

Helpful (not so simple) Suggestions for Practicing:

  • Be unattached to outcome. Just listen for the sake of listening.
  • Be open to whatever shows up and when it does show up, put it aside for later and continue to listen.
  • Assume there’s no “right or wrong” only “preference”.
  • Don’t judge while listening (see previous point).
  • Don’t presume to know what’s next or finish other’s sentences.
    (If you find yourself doing these things, put them aside and go back to listening.)

Comments closed • Filed in Uncategorized

Brantford’s Tweetstock6 – It Was All About The People

Posted on November 15, 2011

After all what would Social Media be without them?

The stars and local dignitaries were in da’ house at the Galaxy Theatre last Thursday along with about 250 community small business owners and entrepreneurs to experience the 6th Tweetstock Social Media Rock Conference together, where the amps went all the way to “11”, creating a day of Awesome…

I was in attendance with my good friend Beverley, having heard about the event through the BRANTS Entrepreneurs MeetUp Group I’ve been hanging out with for the last couple of months. I’m still shaking my head on how I could have missed Tweetstocks 1 through 5 so completely?

The Tim’s coffee was freely flowing with a wide array buffet of morning foods to choose from.  The early morning atmosphere was excited with anticipation as people registered and connected with old and new friends to discuss matters of leading edge nature, in particular Social Media and its impact on individuals, communities, families and the way we conduct business. It would be a full day of listening to the tales of some of the most authentic and capable people in the field of teaching Social Business.

The event had a distinct feeling of “home”, the stories shared, the guidance given and the audience interaction made for a rich environment of learning, sharing ideas and a whole lot of awesome!

It felt good to come together to co-create and celebrate with friends in my community.

Trevor Cherewka, founder of the event, kicked things off with a motto for the day:

ABC = Always Be Connecting

In the current climate we are being called upon to create and share, we all have something of value to bring to the collective table. This day was about being present, being an expert in something you’re good at, how to engage with others online, how to brand one’s self and their business, and all throughout, the importance of listening came up time and again.

No matter how high-tech things seem to get, the importance of maintaining the high-touch is still the main thing. Relationships are what create success, none of us does it alone.

No matter how much we read on a subject, nothing teaches better than real life experience, eventually we have to apply what we’ve read about to obtain the results we desire.

Those that share the most are flourishing, and they are telling their stories to communicate to the rest of us that if they can do it, so can we!

The complete list of speakers is here: Tweetstock.ca
Although I thoroughly enjoyed them all, my notable mentions are below…

Taylor Jones of the Kitchener-Waterloo hood told his fresh story about overnight success with one great idea and a Tumblr blog, at 22 he’s just signed a major book deal, the famous blog is: DearPhotograph.com

Venture Capitalist Scott Pelton left us with the impression there’s always lots of money and support for a great idea with a plan.

Tamara McPherson of WonderMoms.ca and Laura Berg of MySmartHands.com were shining examples of what it’s like to be a successful “Mompreneur”.

Lisa Middleton from “StratFest” told her story of how Social Media exposure has transformed the famous Stratford Festival business, it has a thriving online community and loyal following.

Alex Kinsella encouraged us to stick to our passions when thinking about our personal “brand”, his brand is “apps, tacos and beer”.

There was a question and answer panel on creating “buzz” that had us giggling with the interaction between the panel members as they shared their honest and personal insights. I was reminded of my early social media days when friends and I created the buzz that was the viral marketing arm for The Secret.

A small handful of people with a common vision, loads of passion, expectation, imagination and big mouths creates a “buzz” that goes beyond the need for words, one can “feel” that something good is about to happen…

Erica Ehm the Yummy Mummy herself was there for the day and to wrap up the sessions. I sat behind her in the theatre, she was on her iPad all day as she listened and every time I looked at her I was reminded of times in the 80s…

I took notice of and was impressed by the presence of our provincial government, they were well represented with a snazzy booth promoting their small business services with plenty of information to encourage us to start up a business of our own if we didn’t already have one, a clear sign of where things are headed and I’m glad they’re on board.

Included in the ticket price was a beautiful lunch, afternoon break snacks and the take-home goodie bag was stuffed with cool things, it was a class act day all the way!

I’m sure a day at TEDx would be something to compare the experience to, I’ll let you know after my first TED conference…

Oh but wait there’s more!

The Brantford Social Diva Stacey Farrant hosted the after party at Brantford’s newest club, Ignight where buckets of beer on ice and platters of decadent cup cakes were floating about the packed rooms as we celebrated the day together with some let your hair down kind of fun, there was plenty of laughs and loads of insight as people connected and shared their perspectives.

My appreciation for a day well invested goes out to Trevor, his entire team and event sponsors, there was a lot of helping hands aboard to create significant value for the entry fee!

I’ll be back for Tweetstock 7 for sure…

Comments closed • Filed in Social Media