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

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?”

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Delayed Gratification…

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

Listening Like I’ve Never Listened Before: An Experiment

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, 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.)

Brantford’s Tweetstock6 – It Was All About The People

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:
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:

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 and Laura Berg of 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…

200,000 Plus Job Opportunities Created So Far…

5 years ago “eat and share chocolate” wasn’t on my list of ways to create income and give back to others, yet here we are today stuffing our faces with the world’s favourite food and getting paid very well for the privilege.  It’s an “out of the box” way to earn a living for sure and these days out of the box is where we need to look to find solutions.

During the worst recession since the Great Depression, at a time when the threat of another dip looms and unemployment is at an all time high, more people than ever are looking for their next opportunity to present itself, in fact, a large percentage of personal bankruptcy would be alleviated by an additional household income of $500 – $1000 per month.

According to Paula Pritchard, Field Advisory Board Member with MXI Corporation, The Healthy Chocolate Company and co-founder of “The Global Partners Group”, a training and development organization for the company’s active field team,

“Last month in the U.S., a low of 50,000 plus jobs were created. Almost half of those jobs were created by McDonald’s; the recessionary, comfort food franchise.”

Now crossing the $100,000,000.00 annual revenue mark, MXI produces the world’s most popular comfort food – chocolate, and this one is healthy, VERY healthy.  They are shipping out to about 32 countries and still opening new ones as this is being written.  They give back 50 cents on every dollar of their revenue to the consumers on the growing field team – their happy customers.

Doing the math, that’s a one time $50,000,000.00 profit pool, paid out to far fewer than 200,000 households, some have already made millions and momentum is just kicking in.  The company’s income disclosure statement shows average incomes that are exponentially larger than industry standard and the volume of chocolate eaten shows no signs of slowing.  Upon digging deeper into their story one gets a sense that this company is up to big things.  So far they have created new categories of products within their industry, and to go with them an ideal opportunity for anyone to alternatively invest in the hottest commodity on the market – cocoa – with about a $40.00 tax deductible real risk.  The return on that risk has no ceiling, the return on one’s well-being for the experience – priceless.

A family owned business with a billion-dollar track record, Xocai™ just celebrated its 6th birthday last month with an annual celebration attended by consumers from around the world.  So far MXI and its field team have created well over 200,000 plus job opportunities.  However, these are not traditional jobs because a chocolate sharer is not an employee, unlike the restraints of regular employment, their plan comes with no income ceiling, full-time pay for part-time hours, car and cruise bonuses…oh and one gets to eat chocolate guilt-free all day long as part of the job description.

This month`s release of the healthy milk chocolate peanut butter cup marks the creation of yet another brand new category of chocolate.  Along with it, the new “3in3” Executive bonus program and generous customer loyalty program all contribute to blowing this company’s revenue targets out of the water for yet another year!

Most people don`t know opportunities such as this exist.  In the Network Marketing model, traditional advertising is off the table, first-hand personal success stories are paid forward from one delighted and trusting consumer to another by word of mouth.  Utilizing the power of viral marketing is how the Brooks family can share their lucrative profit pool, they removed the middlemen and the advertising costs and rely on their customers to spread the word.  As much as the big retail outfits wanted this product line, it was not available to them.  This one’s for MXI’s loyal customers.

How does one waiting and watching for an opportunity, assess whether it’s a good one when it comes along?  Coming from the traditional job situation most are ill-equipped to make an educated, safe assessment.  As a sign of the times, most have little capital and time to spend, let alone waste on something that won’t work no matter how hard they work it.

Approximately 200,000 people join a Network Marketing company every month. Many are choosing companies with so-so products, much competition and cumbersome commission structures, some of them are high-risk, start-up companies.  Kudos to the many for going ahead and making a decision to just get started with something, however, a bad first experience to a newbie will blow them straight out of the water never to return to it!

And they’ll tell 2 friends who’ll tell 2 friends and so on, and so on…

It’s not about the chocolate…

For those fully on board with the MXI/Xocai™ program, it’s not entirely about the chocolate; it`s about a solution. Right now people need a solution to both their health and their wealth, MXI offers instant relief for both, instant because the newbie earns while they learn how to be successful and self-sufficient.

Going viral with the planet’s hottest consumable aside from coffee has already helped 1000’s and made millionaires of several in their 6 year existence with more on the verge every day.  The pay structure is lucrative, proven and unique.   Their exclusive, category creating product line is patented and branded.  MXI’s proprietary blend of cocoa based antioxidants are delivered in the form of delicious cold-pressed Belgium chocolate, their “secret sauce” has just been branded under the name XoVita.  Clearly they are gearing up for even bigger things as leaders in the medical, scientific and wellness sectors show up to validate and play alongside them.  Something significant is going on here.

How hard would it be to eat chocolate all day and tell others the story about it and what it’s done for them?  Eating and sharing chocolate can be incorporated into anyone’s lifestyle – especially the real busy lives, without stretching the budget or putting the existing family income stream at risk.

Different doesn’t mean difficult.

A good job may be hard to find and at the same time opportunities are plenty.  We now have access to owning a business of our very own, one that rivals McDonald’s in its ability to return – for about the price of a case of beer (in Canada).  What about the rest of the overhead?  Well we’re going to eat and enjoy the benefits of every nutritious and delicious Belgian bite of it!

Some of my friends that started with MXI when I did, have already made millions and yet they remain as leaders, engaged with sleeves rolled up teaching as many people as they can.

MXI’s cheques have been this household’s single source of income for 4 years.  I feel more secure about my future with this company than I did with my last opportunity as an employee of one of our most established Canadian corporations for 24 years.

I left that behind to learn and build this business, I get a bigger return for my effort and it has brought hope, fun and purpose back into my life at a time that’s scaring the pants off most.

You’ll know an engaged Xocai™ Healthy Chocolate distributor right away when you see them, they`re the one skipping to the bank to deposit their pay cheque with a big ol` chocolate-eatin’ grin on their face.

Who do you know in the healthy chocolate business?  I mean someone that’s really “IN”, someone that gets the vision of where this company is going and is going along with it?

If you’re looking for a real and solid solution to your situation, you may want to look into this, consider it an invitation to see what’s outside the box.  Our job as members of the MXI field team is to help you get what you want, it’s what we get paid for and there’s plenty of room on the team for more, lots more.

“The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping the old ones, which ramify, for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds.”
– John Maynard Keynes

The Perfect Combination

A Lifetime of Playing Cards

We play our games the same way we play life.

What’s your favorite card game?
And when was the last time you played it?

Sitting down to a game of cards with another has to be one of the best shared activities for getting to know new people or for reconnecting with friends and family.

The other night while at a friend’s for a poker party, I realized just how long playing cards have been in my life, pretty much ever since I could count.

I play cards on a regular basis. These past several months – the last Thursday of each – I join Mom and our cousins for pot luck lunch and cards. The food is always amazing and the company is familiar and fun. For a couple of hours after lunch we play, all the while catching up on what’s new and exciting since last time we gathered.

As a toddler I fell asleep in my bed to the comforting sounds of enjoyable conversation, belly laughter, tinkling coins and cards being shuffled around the table. My parents had friends over to visit and play cards regularly, sometimes on a weekend afternoon while the little ones ran ‘round the house – and we did…

I was taught cribbage by my Grandfather at the age of 6, the crib board and a deck of cards was always lying around for a spontaneous game. When family gathered at the cottages we’d all pull a chair up to the table and ante up our pennies, nickels and dimes and play Chase the Ace, 31 or Burn Your Neighbor. Many evenings were filled with joyous hoorays and groans of dismay around the Rummoli board as the winners collected their pots of pennies!

To fill the quieter moments growing up, I constructed dozens of card houses just to see how high I could build them before they tumbled. Before Windows PCs I played many types of solitaire while babysitting, after the homework was done or while on long trips in the car.

Playing card games got me and my Grandma through her spell with her back one summer while staying with her at the lake. Many afternoons we played Chicago or Cribbage on the bed while she rested her legs and back.

Euchre was a staple all through life, don’t remember when or how I learned it, I just know how to play it. It filled the high school lunch hours and spares. On camping trips with the gang a best 2 out of 3 Euchre set decided between the guys and gals who would clean up after dinner, or served as a good time for connection and laughs in the dining tent while it rained. It seems there was always time for a quick game of something at the cottage on a lazy summer afternoon.

Back in the 80s my Dad went into business building custom blackjack and poker tables, he did good work, business grew quickly through word of his craftsmanship. This led eventually to hosting small event charity casinos which became a family business by necessity; as a family we practiced dealing blackjack at the table set up in the living room. For several years BJ Games employed a boat load of people, including me and my bros, as dealers and managers of small-scale charity casino events.

I recall many enjoyable nights as a blackjack dealer flinging cards around packed and noisy tables, mostly, I remember that when the dealer lost everyone else was a winner and the tips were always bigger. Lose-win was win-win!

I played cribbage with my Grandfather for as long as he was able to play before he left us in 2001, whether he could keep up or not, it was good time and space to hold with him while he was here.

I have always wanted to learn to play Bridge, so far connecting with it hasn’t been in the cards. My aunties used to host and attend “Bridge Club”. I used to think this was too serious a game for me. Recently I read that Warren Buffett and Bill Gates play Bridge together. Hey if it’s good enough for these guys, perhaps I’ll like it too?

Wanna’ game of cards?

The Collective “Duh” & the Power of Our Belief

“Something in human nature makes us resent the impact of new ideas.”

“…there is no adequate reason why the average man should ever close his mind to fresh “slants” on life. He does, just the same.”

– Napoleon Hill, page 66 “The Law Of Success”

We are currently experiencing one of the most trying times of our species’ history, few would argue that I’m sure. Never before has there been a greater calling for “win-win” leadership, initiative and real, lasting change. Values once held dear are eroding under the pressures of life’s new demands and suffering is at an all-time high, often taking the form of quiet desperation. And yet despite the incidence of chaos and injustice planet-wide, a couple of things I know for sure: 1. It’s all good, and 2. Everything ALWAYS works out for us.

I also know I get more of what I’m focused on and it’s dangerous to push back against that which I do not want. Yet, without clarity of my intention I am held captive and tortured by even more of what I don’t want. Identifying and letting go of what’s bugging me causes a great sense of relief as my rockets of desire take off toward more, better and different.

Did you know “duh” is now a real word? In fact if you visit you’ll find definitions for it that aren’t exactly pretty, neither is the energy the word carries with it. It has become synonymous for a couple of other words I’ve been exploring lately as real life examples of their meaning in action have been showing up around me.

Originally I was searching for a feel-good place to write about “discrimination” – not an easy task. In sorting out my thoughts and feelings around the word I was lead to another – “prejudice” – I discovered that this word is closer to what I wanted to address. I had thought these two words meant the same thing and found out they are both distinct and intricately linked. I have learned that prejudice is an attitude – discrimination is the behaviour that results from being prejudiced. Prejudice means to pre-judge, to have opinions about someone or something without knowing “the whole story.” Discrimination as an end result, causes us to exclude the very stuff which ultimately serves our best interests.

The mind-set behind these words is a reckless vehicle carrying us to destinations we know we don’t want to visit and yet, unbeknownst to us, off we go together. On a large, obvious scale, they are at the root of all war and poverty. At the very least, they hamper our health, our wealth, amazing relationships, prevent us from seeing opportunity and generally cause life to be a whole lot less fun than it’s supposed to be, certainly not conducive to positive change or movement towards the harmonious and cooperative “win-win”.

I’ve recently had it shown to me in an uncomfortable way that although I thought I knew “win-win”, it’s really a buzz statement that by and large lacks true understanding. It gets thrown around a lot and at closer examination I found out that most of us are still operating from a place of “win-lose”, “lose-win” or worse “lose-lose”. Yikes.

If I have one single request of the Universe – or prayer if you will – it is,
“Please, please let me keep my heart and mind open!”

Despite my request, I am reminded of the fact that I am as human as human gets. Even though I often find myself squarely “on the visionary and leading edge”, the illusionary safety of my “box” painfully shows up time and time again. I don’t like living in a box, it’s cramped, dark, limited and stuffy, where’s the damn door anyway, let me outta’ here!?

We all have our boxes and from within mine, I realize I am truly fortunate. At least I know I have a box. Well at least I do now, that wasn’t always true. I feel great compassion when I observe others around me that have no idea they’re even in one let alone have a desire to get out of it. Consider this a knocking from outside your box!

I’m not here to fix anything nor do I think I know what’s best for anyone and, I do feel the calling to inspire others to question what they really “know” for sure (I know I do every single day to the point of obsession). I’ve excluded myself from some beautiful experiences by my own prejudices and discriminatory behaviours.

While digging for the positive spin on the above I have landed on a better-feeling word and that is “belief”. Our set of beliefs are the engine of our being, it’s really all we have. Some beliefs serve us well, some not so well, it’s even come to my attention lately that our beliefs can profoundly affect the state of our DNA, the physical building blocks of our bodies! What are our beliefs? How did we get them?

Questioning the origins of my own personal belief-set has been an ongoing sorting process that is both elating and dismaying. It is an unending exercise and a critical one to my direction in life. When searching for clarity around my beautiful blessings and contrasts I am often surprised and not always delighted, by how the solutions present themselves. The answers pop up in the most unusual ways and my ability to recognize them when they finally do is a matter of whether or not I really want to see the truth I’m looking for. After much searching I usually find my truth is always right under my nose and I’m constantly developing the capacity to “handle” it.

Life changed dramatically when I began asking myself why I believe the stuff I do. Identifying what my beliefs were was fairly easy. How I got to believing them, not so much. Often I have to look WAY back into my past to see where I picked one up! There were many beliefs I held that I found I had simply “inherited” by default without conscious thought about whether they were actually true for me. Many of my beliefs were those of well-meaning others, beliefs they themselves held in ignorance of “the facts”.

I believe we create our own realities, quantum physics now backs that belief up, how up to date are you on your science? If what you know is based on what you were taught in high school, perhaps you might want to have a look at what we know now?

We pick up our beliefs from what we hear, what we see, the experiences we have and those we see others have, a lot of them we adopt very early in life. Idle gossip is one of the worst implementers of non-serving beliefs, it’s certainly a habit I broke myself of some time ago. It ruins reputations, causes distrust, negative scepticism and cuts us off from some of the greatest opportunities for more, better and different in our lives.

So I’m challenging you to examine what you believe, ask yourself what you know for sure, not just what you’ve heard through the proverbial grapevine. Mess with your own perspective; it’s like the amusement park – scary fun! Find the door to your box and step out of it a ways, put aside your prejudices and if you find you aren’t sure about something you thought was true, get the facts, ask for the rest of the story.

And don’t be surprised if you find yourself slapping your forehead and uttering the word “duh” – quite loudly and frequently, after which you may want to immediately forgive yourself above all else.

Let me know what you find out. It’s a life-changing process that will lead you to some exciting new discoveries about yourself and the world around you!

Get Paid To Eat Chocolate!

Coping With Change and the Bliss of Ignorance

I regularly visit my 94 year old Grandmother.  Happily tucked away in her cozy retirement home room surrounded by photos of her loved ones, she is afraid to come out of it, the volume of traffic on the street out front makes her head spin to the point where she’ll literally fall over.  The youngest of 7 siblings long gone from her world, she bides her remaining time in a wonderful environment that was actually built on top of her family’s homestead so she’s lived in the same space almost her entire life.

Except for the glimmer of recognition when she spots one of the old buildings left standing, there’s little visible from her childhood neighbourhood.  Still, the remaining pieces of her old world spark vivid memories of a better time for her, a time when horse-drawn milk wagons moseyed along her street, riding her tricycle around her small home and long walks to school, even though she can’t remember what she just ate for lunch an hour ago, and fortunately, she always remembers me.

No matter where you are in the world it doesn’t take a long look around you to realize that in the last several years in particular, things have changed incredibly dramatically.  What’s more, the rate of change itself is speeding up, oh you’ve noticed too?  I used to think this was because of the aging process and now know it to be a law of evolution and the natural expansion of our development as a species and global society.

As a self-proclaimed “change agent” I’ve often shouted to myself, “Bring it on!”  Lately though, I find myself tagging that proclamation with the request, “But could ya’ just slow it down a little?”  My plea goes unheeded, time continues to pass anyway and all the pleading I can muster won’t slow down the fast-paced world around me, and that’s OK, I’m really just playing with the Universe when I beg the question.  Like me my Nana is very aware of change, she remarks about it every time I visit.  Unlike Nana though, I am still able to keep up with change, nervous about it sometimes yes, and mostly it’s a nervous excitement about what’s to come.

At the other end of the generational spectrum I watch my new beautiful grandson and rejoice at the rich experience that awaits him, despite all the challenges of the world at large, it is indeed a great time for him to be alive!  I’m a fairly lousy “imagineer” for the most part so I have trouble visualizing what the world will look like when he is my age, and I do know the nature of expansion.  With every challenge comes equal or greater opportunity, it’s the law of nature.

I believe time will pass quicker for my grandson than it did for my grandmother, and I’m assured due to technology, science and our awareness that little Seth’s lifespan will be much longer and healthier than Nana’s.

5 Generations
Five Generations Of Change
Mom, Nana, Seth, Isaac & Me

The end result of not keeping up with change is usually disastrous over time, the perception of going backwards creeps in rather quickly.  I now caveat the old quote “ignorance is bliss” with, “well that depends, what is it I’m keeping myself ignorant about?”  Never has there been a more important time to keep an open mind, ears and heart, and to know (read: have faith) that things will always work out for me.  That doesn’t mean however, that the proverbial rug won’t be pulled out from under me once in a while as I discover the hard way what it is I’ve been ignorant about.

In Randy Pausch’s courageous last lecture he says, “Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.”  I’m here to testify to my wealth of experience and yet my inherent nature is to blissfully “look on the bright side.”  I was born to ferret out and provide solutions and I absolutely know for certain that there is ALWAYS an answer on the other side of every problem – also a function of “the law”.

I’m just finishing up the book “The Secret of Shelter Island” and in the essay titled, “The Psychology of Optimal Experience”, Alexander Green highlights philosopher Abraham Kaplan on how our troubles define our lives.  We are asked to draw a distinction between our predicaments and our problems, not so that we can focus on them more, but to understand what we can change and to cope with what we cannot change.

Problems can be solved.  Predicaments can only be coped with.” states Kaplan.

Leadership expert John Maxwell in his book “The Difference Maker” expands:
When people treat a predicament as a problem, they become frustrated, angry, or depressed.  They waste energy.  They make bad decisions.  And when people treat problems as predicaments, they often settle, give up, or see themselves as victims.

We are all subjects of the same global predicaments, none of us can singlehandedly change what’s going on in the world, yet the unique problems we all face because of our predicaments can be solved, each one of us contributing in the overall shift to creating a better place for us all collectively.  Solving the problems of today ensures more positive predicaments in the future.

Benjamin Disraeli said, “The great secret of success in life is for a man to be ready when his opportunity comes.

My work is with people.  Every day I chat with many others and as I listen to their stories I am reminded of how important it is to be telling ourselves and others empowering stories, our stories really do run our lives and construct the foundation of our belief in what is possible.

It is inspiring to hear that so many are looking for solutions to their problems, the dismaying part is realizing most have been left ill equipped to recognize opportunity when it’s staring them in the face.  There’s more solutions for us now than ever before in our history, and opportunity doesn’t look like what one might expect, it’s usually disguised as something different than what we would imagine, falling outside our realm of experience and programming.

Thomas Edison quipped, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

With the evolution of technology and a global marketplace work is done differently than it used to be.  We have the benefit of leverage and a reach far beyond where it has ever gone before.  Full-time incomes are being made with part-time effort in fun ways that don’t interfere with what we already have going on.  Teams of people are standing by to help us every step of the way and only benefit by ensuring we see success.

Trust in others has never been more important and loyalty is a 2-way street.  Our problems can truly be viewed as enjoyable challenges and we can actually experience getting what we want.  As Alexander Green recommends, make your own life a reality show, show yourself what you’re made of and turn the tables in your favour.

Henry Ford said, “Whether you think that you can or that you can’t, you are usually right.

I know you can.  Hell if I can, you can!  You’re not alone in your predicament.

If you don’t know, ask.  Question whether or not you really know what you’re saying “no” to, it’s easy to shoot from the hip and take the advice of those that don’t know, those that have settled, given up or claim to be victims of their problems.

I’ll leave you with one final quote and hold hope that you’ll follow your inner prompting to act differently, to say “yes” to some solutions that are staring you in the face right now.  Change is good and can be a fun experience, even if it is a little uncomfortable.

You don’t know what you don’t know,
that’s why you don’t have, because
if you knew what you knew, you’d have,
because to know and not to do,
is not to know.

– Casey Combden
Get paid to eat chocolate!

Celebrating Life on a High-Antioxidant Diet

On an anniversary of new awareness and extreme well-being.

Nothing is more important than feeling good.
– Abraham-Hicks

Next week marks 4 years since my chance meeting with “the healthy chocolate”, it has kept me fascinated and delighted since we met, and today, this story is not so much about chocolate as it is about the awareness it has lead me to.   Healthy chocolate seduced me into a whole new world of information and resources for increasing and enhancing “quality of life” on all levels.

Over the years I’ve lent considerable time and energy to some major projects that greatly impacted the way I view myself and the world around me and to this day, NOTHING has been as significantly life-transforming as experiencing first-hand the power of  high levels of antioxidants upon my mind and body.

I have dubbed this experience as “Star Trek Live” because of the amazing things I have witnessed, things I wouldn’t have believed possible if I hadn’t seen them with my own eyes or felt them in my own body.  I am grateful to be “ahead of a curve” in this “everything old is new again” knowledge.

4 years ago I hadn’t even heard words like free radical or antioxidant; today one simply has to Google “antioxidant benefits” to find plenty of – fairly recent – information about what they do for us.  The benefits that one reads about are absolutely true and one quickly realizes as they click on, that somewhere along the journey we have been collectively “lead astray” from our own power sources.

Mom nature, in concert with the brilliance of our science and technology has indeed whipped up some things special for us to “get better with”.  I am extremely grateful for my trust in intuition and instinct, when I follow them, they always lead me away from conventional non-serving ways and straight to the “more and better” that I desire for myself and those I love.

I have learned that some things ought not to be evaluated by price alone, that getting older does not mean getting decrepit, that things I thought I’d have to live with in this body are “repairable” and the biggest confirmation; physical and mental suffering is very, very “optional”.

It has become a universal truth for me that whenever a problem presents itself; the perfect solutions to it are also packaged up with it.  The coolest thing is, if one is focused in a serving way, the solutions are often seen before the problem!  I call this “prevention”.

As I put the years behind me and get better at being “the observer” of my experience, I become more and more aware of the patterns that emerge along the time line of my life’s journey.  Themes pop up as I look back and sets of circumstances repeat themselves in the most delightful…and sometimes frightful ways!

I didn’t come here to this world to fix anything and yet I am continually called upon to be and affect “change”.  I’ll continue to passionately spread the word about what I have found and can only hope that my example leads others to trust their intuition and instinct to follow.

We live together in a very tiny and delicate bubble on this planet we call Earth, all of us and it connected in ways we cannot see or comprehend on a conscious level.  There’s plenty of room and more than enough for all of us in it.

Feeling good is our natural state; anything that deviates from that state is unnatural.  We always have everything we need to create whatever we desire, whenever we’re ready.

So are ya’ ready?

I haven’t listed all my improvements here in this writing as they are more personal and amazing than this venue allows me to post about, and I am free to tell my story in person so call me and I’ll “tell all”.  My friends and I are part of one of the largest scale personal clinical trials ever to go down in the history of health and wellness.

It’s worth it to find out what’s in it for you too.  Embrace change and expect the best because nothing is more important than feeling good!

Happy Anniversary!