Thursday, 31 March 2011

Peace Today

Majestic mountains, fresh air and sunshine.

Gliding through the water. No words spoken.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Appreciating Life

Got an amazing email from an amazing woman and friend who has a unique health challenge. She’s taking it all in stride.
While I know her acknowledgement of the situation in some ways has been a blessing – at least she finally knows what is wrong – it’s also been a test.
But to see how her community has come together to be there for her is remarkable. She is not alone. She knows it. She appreciates everyone. And she tells us.
When I first spoke with her of her diagnosis I told her to accept it and hold hands with it. To love it out of herself. I pardoned the gloom. Why go there? No need.
I still hear her laughing. Positive overtones. What else can you do? You have to carry on. It’s what you’re made of.
Friends of hers talk too. It’s all a matter of strength. For who is around her, with her, beside her and even for us that aren’t nearby – to talk about her.
I send out the love to the Universe for her. Watch in my mind as it ricochets back into her lap. The cup runneth over. Where there is the joy, there is the light.
Tonight I get off the telephone with a friend who is a friend also of hers. I wave the magic wand. Guided peace and tranquility for a good night’s sleep my friend. The friendship that lasts.
The friendships that speaks so much about appreciating life.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Jane Victoria King: A Fresh Thinker: Body Talk

Jane Victoria King: A Fresh Thinker: Body Talk

Body Talk

Thought I did great last week with training. Managed THREE TripleShot Cycling Club road rides – those guys are super fast! That included Tuesday speed work, Wednesday hills and a Friday mix of 50km. 
By Saturday I rolled out with the usual gang, even though I’d eaten breakfast I felt toasted. Still geared up on Sunday and did a slow roll out to watch the Victoria Cycling Club’s road race.
Monday is “off” so I did my usual work thing with a perfect opportunity to pick a cycling coach’s brain on my training regime.
There were five roadies and one gym session last week. The gymer included core and some balance. When I echoed my achievements, the guru’s head shook.
“Three or four good rides a week will do,” he said. “The body needs to rest and regain.”
My alarm rang this morning at 5:15 a.m. I hit snooze and stretched my mind to believe I was OK to get up and ride.
But the body said no.
Throughout the day I felt guilt. I didn’t get up and roll. What is wrong with me?
I then reminded myself. I’d spent last week on antibiotics for a abscessed teeth. A root canal. An aftermath of yuck from the antibiotics. Unsolved toothaches and pain.
Finally, I forgave myself.
I shouldn’t beat myself up so much.
I was listening to my body talk.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Training for Life

Gotta love riding in a pack. The Peloton. When you’re at a pace that you can talk.
I’m introduced to a new guy over the weekend. It’s my fave weekly ride with the gang at the coolest (in my opinion) bike store in town. We’re grooving outbound. After the namesy introductions the dude starts telling me how interesting he finds it that they’re so many conversations going on. People have so much to talk about.
No stranger to a good yack I take it upon myself to initiate some dialogue out of him. We roll along in some silence. Then I pose the question.
“So what are you training for? Are you doing the Tour de Victoria?”
I know we’ve got triathletes and GranFondo types in the pack. I remember seeing him stretching before we left and thinking he looked pretty serious. His response was refreshing and a first that I’d heard.
“I’m training for life,” he said.
Wow. Brilliant. Great answer.
Sure many of us have goals for this race or that ride, whatever – but really all of it rolled up into one is we are training for LIFE!
During a post-ride coffee earlier in the week I’d engaged a topical on young athletes and motivational speaking. My thinking tangled up in what happens to an athlete when they retire or quit being pro? Inevitably do they end up being trained in motivational speaking?
One of the gals at the table, a once pro rower uttered some different angles into the conversation.
There’s no training out there for an athlete to stop being an athlete. Another wards, how to take care of themselves when they stop moving and become sedentary - or get fat.
Again I mulled over dude’s answer. The most important thing in a day. Exercise. Part of life.
It's the training for life. 

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Breeding Leaders

Problem is they’re not cropping up charismatic like they used to. The individuals that stand out. Spark a crowd. Ignite enthusiasm. To want to follow.
Not like a heard of sheep. Chins up. Proud. Proud to stand behind. You want to be a groupie.
Used to be there was core education, accompanied by rich culture – the spoken word. Debates. Physical activity. Live theatre. Mandatory conversations. The circles. Reading books. Playing the cello or the violin. Guess that was when life was a little slower to what we have today.
We’re in limbo land. Generally speaking, it seems to me we lack confident and compelling leadership. I firmly believe we, our home and native land – Canada – isn’t breeding them anymore. Or if we are, I’m not seeing them.
Which raises the question. Are leaders born leaders or are individual’s leadership skills developed post birth?
Before I hopped over to Wikipedia I surmised it was a bit of both. With the whole self-confidence thing taking centre stage.
Leaders stand on solid ground. Know who they are. What they are. What they stand for. Where they want to go. Who they want to go with.
We have them in our teachers. At our Universities. In our non-profit societies. But do we have them in our politics?
Are we breeding leaders?

Friday, 25 March 2011

What Next?

Watching a BBC News Reporter talk next to a nuclear power plant in Japan has me scratching my head.
I heard my son say powering our lives with nuclear makes good business sense. Now I’m shaking my head.
You don’t see poor fat people do you?
Not likely. They can’t afford the fast food, the dining out or the delivered pizza.
I’m pissed off. I don’t understand how man became so dysfunctional. We erupt to break things, can’t always fix them, then leave them pushing the blame elsewhere.
I really don’t understand.
Yes I shed love. Wherever I go. Honestly. But today, I’m feeling fed up.
What can I do?
Listening to the news, I hear of the extreme levels of radiation in our Pacific Ocean. My first thought is for the whales. Not the fish that we eat.
We all share the air. I remember declaring the first Fresh Air/Car Free Day in my fair city. It happened days after then President George W. Bush refused to sign the Kyoto Agreement. What’s the point I immediately said to myself?
Here I am trying to herald a movement to generate interest in taking care of our air, yet on the southern half of the hemisphere, they don’t care.
Today the Canadian government is fired. Two days ago I received a telephone call. I was asked if there was an election if I would vote for the current Prime Minister.
I firmly shouted my answer into the receiver. Then click.
What next?

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Hump Day

Monday happens. Scramble to play catch-up. The weekend lost. Before you know, it’s over. Who said we don’t like Mondays?
Tuesday strolls along. It’s dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s to what you didn’t finish up yesterday.
Meanwhile, the “to do’s mount up. Like you didn’t already have enough written down.
Meetings get scheduled. Sleep heads into the negatives. Somehow you scrape the energy to ride before dawn.
Here comes Wednesday. The famous hump day. The rest of the week is all downhill. But wait! There’s not enough time in tomorrow to finish what you didn’t get done today.
Cancel the coffee with the friends. Forget about the dinner with mum. Priorities set straight. The wheels are in motion. Time is ticking. Carry on.
Inside you scream. “How can I fit it all in?”
The un-paid parking ticket nags you. The dishes mount. The vacuuming undone. Silently you walk the dog. Mulling over the moments. What did I forget to do today? Then you ask yourself, the three most important things you need to get done tomorrow?
Before long you’re back home. Dinner done. Dog fed. Jammies on. Status updates check. Bed now. Enjoy the rest.
It’s only hump day. 

Tuesday, 22 March 2011


Ask an elder. Better yet, include an elder in your round table.
I call it brain bashing. Chances are the results will be better.
It occurred to me today, as I sat amongst talented minds and an abundance of positive creative energy that effectively, the more hands that go into making the pie, the better. Providing the parameters are set up in advance.
Given the competitiveness of the workplace today, striking the chord of creativity with an edge, plus activating it with awareness and implanting measureables for the return – constitutes a better plan. A no brainer.
Housing voices to input those requirements along the way makes “cents.”  There’s a lot of job descriptions with requirements to be part of the team. Does everyone know how?
Certain high school sports may of helped. Team sports like basketball and volleyball.
Today, it’s a mix of listening (very important) and appropriately timed and targeted input that can make the difference. But you’ve got to talk. To each other. By listening first.
It’s ineffective to me, if ones efforts aren’t shared. Things can only be made better with other points of view. Perception, as we know it, is different for everyone.
Collaboration. Collaboration is the key.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Be Transparent

It’s what the world needs. Transparency. Not saying personally. Just saying everywhere else.
Suppose you don’t realize that the company that makes your shorts or underwear uses child labour. You buy it, you wear it then somehow that news leaks out. What do you do?
Over the weekend I had at least two incidences where conversations regarding companies, both corporate and Non-Profit need more transparency. Why?
The power today is in the consumer. The power is also with the World Wide Web.
Example. Last week I Googled the dentist I’d seen, years ago. Only because I didn’t feel like getting up from my desk and searching for my soft cover telephone book.
I had to make an appointment as I’d cracked a tooth – badly.
The first links that came up weren’t her address and phone number with a map to her office. It was a big bitch list from users that had been to see her – a site known as Find and Rate Doctors and Dentists.
To be honest, with what others said about her it made me think differently about going back. I booked my appointment elsewhere.
Blogs, Trip Advisors – it’s all out there. How does a company or business manage it all?
In my opinion. From the get go.
Got to be transparent. 

Saturday, 19 March 2011

The World Listens

It’s a snowball affect. Sooner or later when everyone knows. When it’s something of a devastation that is, people come together. All ages, every type. For the good of humanity. 
Needless to stay, the culmination of events over the last week in Japan is again – bringing the world together.
To be one.
Yet while the media blares despair at the same time stories of hope, confusion and unrest mounts elsewhere.  
What we see is what we get. Is it really what is?
Unspoken truths lay behind each scene. Do we really know the whole story?
While shaking with disbelief over nuclear waste threats, civil wars mount. Posed by fear, some of us sit back calm.
In concern, I worry. While we hear what happens, we seriously can’t say for sure what is. We’re not there.
I mount a prayer for peace. Every night before I go to sleep.
Do you?
Even now, as I sit here quietly. The boat rocks to and fro. I wonder. Why can’t we all live as one?
To be fair, our cultures separate us. Sure. I get that. But why, until now can’t we all exist with harmony? Do what most in the world are attempting to do now. To help those in need.
There’s a lot of talk about December 21, 2012. I speculate whether or not catastrophic events will culminate. Maybe that will be what the world needs.
For the world to listen. 

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Love it Out

It’s what you say that counts. How you say it.
The universe listens.
From the heart. What you talk about goes out there.
Then it comes back.
Depends how much love you put into it, as to how strong the return will be.
I personally reflect a lot on the power of our minds.
Through sickness, in issues of drama, in days when all hope seems lost.
Daylight lingers longer. Our psyches adjust. Yet veins of our demise swirl in the news. What can we do? Are we doing enough?
Not unless, you send it out there.
Miracles happen. Circumstances unexplained. It can be done.
By sending love. Hope and love to the Universe. There’s power in the now. I believe it. Each hour and in every day. Try it.
If everyone in the world put out an ounce of love each hour, the dreams of today may unfold tomorrow.
We don’t know much about the “what ifs.” Yet in contemplating the hope, what can we do? We can speak now. Say it. Say it often.
Elevate the reason. Not to hasten the need.
To love and to be loved.
No more hindering hope.
We can love it out.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Light up Compassion

It’s as easy as opening the door for an elder.
Or passing on a smile to the person walking with their head down.
Day after day we see it. If we look. From the person at the check-out stand in the grocery store to the bus driver slowing down for the person who missed getting to their stop on time.
True. Not everyone knows.
But most of us have heard how we can Pay it Forward.
Over the weekend I stood in line at a movie theatre. Someone passed by and made an outward comment about remembering the coffee. I barked up not to forget the licorice. He stopped and asked which kind.
Upon his return I was handed a bag of red licorice. I offered some money - he said no. I opened the package and we passed it around. The friend I was with uttered out Pay it Forward.
It’s as simple as that.
Same with compassion. Towards another person and even an animal.
Whether in person, over a text message or by voice mail.
Compassion, sympathy, consideration, even empathy. In my mind what they boil down to is in one word. Kindness.
Kindness towards all who surround you.
Be kind tomorrow.
Light up your compassion.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The State of the World

Is it beyond reach? 
Fixing the world.
Feeding the poor.
Healing the wounded.
Weaning the population off oil.
Alleviating the wrath of Climate Change.
Eliminating corruption.
Finding a cure for Cancer.
Helping all of the homeless.
Ending the wars.
Stopping rape.
Reducing childhood obesity.
Providing free education.
Repairing our mother earth.
Finding peace.
Really, is it all beyond our reach?

Monday, 14 March 2011

To Win the Lotto

Two things came to mind. If I won a lotto fortune, what I would do.
Firstly I’d support an affordable housing project. In the elite city I live in. There isn’t enough.
Secondly, I’d support more initiatives in the developing countries for free education.
Then I started to think more about this. Are there enough well educated teachers to teach? Should there be more education for educating teachers?
Boils down to this. Especially in the developing countries. So many people don’t get the chance. That is wrong.
For us, we’re spoon fed learning to read and write. It’s free, it’s mandatory.
For them, the road is bumpy. More then one child in the family, skimpy incomes and not enough food. Who gets to go to school? Chance are, maybe one.
I was so saddened to learn of a close acquaintance in Uganda who didn’t know how to read. He’s almost 27 year old.
When I started to show him how he was like a six year-old boy. Eagerly soaking it all in. Holding up a book, like he was real. Really able to read.
If more people in the developing countries were educated, maybe we could stop calling them developing countries and start calling them another developed country.
Education equals knowledge which equals the ability to self-sustain in business, health care, imports, exports, etc.
Oh, to win the lotto....

Saturday, 12 March 2011

What Matters Most

Suppose tomorrow was different.
To what you had today.
What you saw, what you heard.
Seemed to all melt away.

A catastrophe has struck.
Kindergarten didn’t prepare you for that.
What you had is all gone.
Where you are is forlorn.

Time doesn’t matter.
What you know is not now.
You don’t understand why.
There’s no reason for this.

In an attempt to forget.
You live for last night.
But altered states decline.
Misjudged by today’s scene.

Moved by a spirit.
You survive for the day.
Sending love to the sun.
To shape a future of hope.
For what matters most.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

No One Understands

Ghostbusters aren’t around. Who do you call? To pick you up, when you’re feeling down.
The dog certainly won’t talk back.
As quickly as a cloud can cover the rays of the sun, the mind and heart can swing. Down. Down to the bottom of the bowl. The pits - where the cherries sit. On top.
Hold hands with those feelings. Walk beside them. Don’t leave them alone. Carry the reason. Harbour the state. Let it flourish, stagnant or die. Let it leave you, when it’s ready.
In a situation where emptiness uptakes joy, what’s the best thing you can do?
Widespread medical practices are to medicate. Alternatives include meditation, yoga, fresh air, exercise, reaching out to friends and family. Talking it out.
Today I learned of a mother whose daughter attempted to end her life. Immediately she was medicated. Both of which came as shocking news to me. Sad. Yet true.
A future shattered. Images of what one’s future may hold – cancelled. Why?
In an event unknown to anyone, things can change. The winds can blow that cloud away. The warmth from the beams in the sky can lift that spirit. To rise again.
The grin from cheek to cheek can open the heart. To love, to find joy, to feel freedom. Leaving behind the old feelings.
The ones, that no one understands.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

What About Men?

It was early. We’d just dialed in the grunt and groans for the hill climbs. Wednesday’s is hills with the TripleShots Pre-Dawn Coffee Destination Cycling Club. We start at 6 a.m.
The club may have started out drinking triple shots, but these days we're down to Americanos. There’s a few of us. Today a couple for coffee. Women that is. It’s predominantly men that roll in the club. 
It was during the spreading out of the coffees when I first heard the grumbling.
“What about an International Men’s Day?”
I replied with “There should be.”
Honestly though, I’d never thought about that. Until I Googled it. Sure enough there is one! International Men's Day is on November 19th. It’s been going just over ten years while International Women’s Day has been celebrated for 100 years.
Does this say the outspoken views of gender imbalance are coming together?
Men are different to women. Each of us do things differently. That's for sure.
Before my teens, my father worked hard and my mum stayed at home taking care of us kids and making sure there was always a beautiful romantic dinner every night for dear dad.
He was deserving.
Not like that today in most households. Women work. So do men. Maybe household chores are shared. Yet, is there time in life nowadays for the candlelight and wine?
What about taking care of the men?

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Women’s Day and You

How is that men are viewed to be more powerful then women?
Why do men in most cases, get paid more then women?
When did it become OK for a man to hit a woman?
Who said a women’s work is never done?
What have we (women) become today and where are we going?
Does society bemoan the truth of the dictatorship. Who really rules the world? Is it a man or is it a woman?
It’s been said, behind every great man… there is a woman.
Yet, our mindset views an imbalance. Zapped through history, the women’s place has been in the home. Barefoot and pregnant.
In a conversation I had yesterday, my African man told me it was Women’s Day in Uganda. (Yes, they’re a day ahead of us.)
He said he would do all the cleaning and all the cooking for me. If I was there.
So that’s what’s expected of our inherited place in societies? That we be the ones responsible for the cooking and the cleaning. I suppose so. Maybe we do a better job? Or maybe we can handle more responsibilities.
In the results driven world of today. Who can accomplish more in one day? A man or a woman?
What does it mean to you?

Monday, 7 March 2011

Tuned Into Training

Power in the legs. First time ever. Felt good!
The dudes still led the way. Strong like ox legs pedaled it out. I took his draft at the first little incline. Lasting half way. Better then my norm. I gave out the “Wahhhh” when I dropped off.
Was good to be in the groove for a bit anyway.
“I did something different today,” I pant out to one of the dudes as we continued along.
“Oh yeah, what’s that?” he replied.
“I ate breakfast.”
This conversation happened before the major long hill grunt. I have to say I was feeling surprisingly perky. A first given what we’d already ridden.
I managed to take a lead in the windy parts. Started to think maybe they all still had snow legs. We’d all been out of regular routine for at least 10 days with the weather.
I battered it out anyway. Made it to the top third in line. Personal best ever! Even the guys looked shocked.
“You should eat breakfast more often,” gasps Warren as he pulls up BEHIND me.
Yup, I was strong.
That was Saturday.
I take Sunday for the big hills. Me, the IPod, the country roads, the deer, the wind, the rain and this Sunday – some hail. It bites you when you’re rolling down a hill at speed.
Had to say as the heart rate rose and the sweat formed, the intensity of my cadence remained unexpectedly consistent.
Could it be the body is now, dare I say it – tuned into training!

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Following Love

I love you too much, he says.
I love you - like a fish in the sea.
You have my heart.
We cradle our voices.
Soft words.
Empty darkness.
With a future of hope.
Irresistible temptations.
Our thoughts intercept.
We’re known together, in times before.
It’s clear.
A moment may be lost.
Yet the hearts continue.
An embrace.
Following the love.

Friday, 4 March 2011

When Lives Collide

Not so much a collision course. More like synchronicity. That’s the way my mother puts it. Things happen. Exactly the way they should. When they should. We have to allow. Should the circumstances prevail, which lots of times they do.
At 18 years young I took off to travel Europe. First London, then Paris. Many more after that with the Eurail Pass. My landing strip with time was the Greek Isles.
I digress. The journey began with me alone. Along the way I would find help. Here and there. But for most of the time, it was me.
It happened one day, in the midst of a day of loneliness, I’d decided while in Paris to stroll to the Louvre. All of a sudden I hear my name. She stood before me. A neighbourhood childhood play pal from two doors down. Wow.
We embrace. We hang out. We laugh. Time rolls on. Eventually we carry on our separate ways. Me? I was elated. It was exactly what I needed. To hook up with someone familiar, in a culture completely unknown to me.
We carry through life our thoughts. Our conscious. The dreams for tomorrow.
Instinctively we do what we think is right. What we should do. Because. Like a stream flowing downstream, our destinies unfold.
People come and go. Each with a purpose. All with a reason. Some for a while, others for a little.
We have to allow. 
For these lives to collide.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Management of Life

Life looks different today.
Last night I attended as a guest, the wrap-up of a Landmark Education Forum. I’m a sponge. Admittedly. Always open to experiencing more. Particularly in hearing other indivudal's points of view.
I entered with an open mind. What I saw and heard was incredible.
As I idled into the crowded room I was immediately embraced with an uplifting sense of peace. Like walking into the pure rays of the early morning sunshine. Everyone looked so beautiful. They sparkled.
In the back of my mind I wondered if maybe some kind of religious cult thing had gone on. Were they all brainwashed? How is it they all looked so incredibly striking?
It surprised me that I didn’t know anyone. Except for Trish, a participant who had extended the invitation to me.
Years ago I recall a girlfriend attending the weekend forum, in Toronto. Even now I envy her focus and determination. She runs her own company. Has followed her passion. With love and joy.
When Trish reached out to me with the impromptu invitation while we exchanged an emotional thread of conversation on life, something she said jumped out at me and made me say yes.
She had rounded out her abbreviated experience with branches of life’s growth, exemplifying for example, the motivation of getting out of bed in the morning. This is what immediately engulfed my spirit. In the last week bouncing out of bed was not happening for me. It had become an issue.
As I listened to the facilitator and individual testimonials I took notes.
“When you complete your past you begin your life,” illustrated the facilitator.
I sensed from the spoken words, the program had altered many people's picture of life.
Of the nine statements written on the white board, I picked three that struck me as relevant:
  • Power to make important decisions.
  • Ability to express yourself fully.
  • Happiness.
If you have the power to make important decisions, you have the ability to express yourself fully – you’ll be happy.
I even stood up and said it out loud.
When I left I jumbled on some of the key points. And summarized it all to myself: you can hear if you start to listen, when the head and heart come together, there is a world of possibilities. Only actions cause results.
Moving forward, this is the management of life.
Life looks so different to me today.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Time Snails

“I need to go!” I jerked into the phone frantically.
Perhaps it has been said. Time moves slowly.
In a manner of speaking - maybe for some.
But when it comes to strategizing an allotment for here and there, doing this and doing that. Not so.
There’s never enough.
Maybe eliminate the shuteye? Seven hours required for full-on focus daylight hours. For me anyway!
So where?
True enough, we do with what we have. Yet, an overabundance of commitments can’t always justify existence. Wondering out loud. Hope to cope?
Cut back. Do a good job of what you know you can with the time you have.
P.S. No self-procrastination allowed.
Dial up the to-dos. Get it done. Then move on.
Somehow in my mind, I feel so much pressure. No matter what. It’s like I’m zapped with “GET IT DONE NOW!”
Until today, I twirl around with that connotation. To be reminded not to forget the important stuff. Like the dream. To speak clearly. To speak slowly. To slow down, sit down and shut down. To allow myself to be.  
And to instead say, “I should get going soon,” rather then “I need to go!”
By allowing the time to snail.