Moments of truth. Being part of a group enriches our lives. Finding balance, dancing through life.

Being part of a group.enriches our lives. Moments of truth. Finding balance, dancing through life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Never regret a day in your life: good days give happiness, bad days give experience, worst days give lessons, and best days give memories. Unknown

Yesterday I visited one of The Toastmaster Clubs in my area to do an “official” report as Area Director. They took the summer off and this was their first meeting back. It is a small corporate club which is about four years old. This is the first corporate club I’ve visited. It is the personalities of the people who make or break clubs. The President is amazing; the club appears to have a strong Executive and great club culture. They don’t have a large membership but it’s a fun club.

The President said in closing that many times he thinks he should cancel a meeting because of low expected attendance, or lack of time for organizing the meeting, but every time he feels better leaving the Toastmaster meeting than he did when he went in.

When being part of a group energizes and inspires us we know these are the groups we should be part of. These are the groups other people want to join.

Last night the book club met, we are not a big club, but we are a fun club who sometimes gets the book read. We are a sounding board for each other, we have ah-ha moments all the time as we discuss life.

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another. “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself…” C.S. Lewis

The more we are involved and engaged the more we enjoy life. If we want to belong to groups we need to be more than seat warmers. When we all do our part we can have wonderful organizations that enrich our lives.

We enjoy our lives more when we are involved, and engaged. The more we put into life, the more we get out of it. We can go too far, we can get so involved in Church, community groups, sports, etc. that we have little time to be engaged at home.  Finding balance is a challenge, and when our spouse feels that everything else in our life is more important than them, it is not good. Sometimes we have to cut back on our group activities to make time for family.

When we are involved in groups we have stories to tell, things to discuss, and our world opens up. We can bring more to our relationships. As long as our significant other doesn’t feel they are on the periphery instead of the center of our lives, being part of a group can be positive. When our spouse thinks everything else in our lives is more important than them it is a problem.

If we are too much just the two of us, we may feel our life is too small, our interests too insular, our view too narrow. We need to take stock of where we are in our life. Do we need more outside interaction or less? Do we need more outside interests or should we develop a shared interest? Are we forging ahead alone into uncharted territory?

Life is a dance, dancing is about balance and rhythm. We need to lead or follow, and we also have to hold our own in dancing and in life. What works in one stage of our life may not work in another. We must adapt to the changes, challenges, and stages of our life.

Do we have enough balance in our life? Do we need to take a good hard look at our life? Is it time for “Moments of Truth?” Where are we out of alignment with our values and goals? What is the tweak we need to make in our lives that would make us healthier, happier, improve our relationships, develop our interests, reach our goals, and leave a legacy?

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others? Martin Luther King Jr.

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The Power of Eight: Harnessing the Miraculous Energies of a Small Group to Heal Others, Your Life, and the World Hardcover – Sep 26 2017

by Lynne McTaggart (Author) 4.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews


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Escape rooms and team building. Are you up for a challenge?

Team building and escape rooms.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory. George Jesson

Last night a group of five of us went to an “Escape Room” as a team-building exercise. We had forty-five minutes to get out, and we could call for assistance three times. We got out before forty-five minutes were up and we didn’t use all of our assistance calls. None of us had been to an escape room before.

We were escaping from a plane crash. We had many combination locks to figure out. and we had to figure out the combinations from clues that were planted. When we got the first door open, it opened to a completely dark room, when one of our team found a battery to put in the flashlight we’d found when we unlocked one of the boxes we could see what we had to unlock to send out our SOS call for help. Then we had to unlock more locks to finally find cables to attach to a board using Morse code to locate the correct positions and the door opened. We needed almost all of our forty-five minutes.

It was a fun experience and different escape rooms will need different skill sets. Now that I’ve tried one it would be fun to try others where the challenges will be different. One of our members has specific training that helped us. We have picked up knowledge and skills in life that comes in handy. What kind of escape room is there that my particular skills would come in handy? It was a fun evening. It would be a great group activity for a birthday or other celebration.

People may be leaders in one situation and followers in another. With a team, everyone contributes something. There was a live snake in a cage in the room. We were told there was a live animal in the room. It might be a deal-breaker for one of my friends who can’t look at a picture of a snake. I wonder if they have had people who panicked and said let me out “now?”

We learn things about our self and other people when we are presented with challenges. Sometimes we rise to the occasion, sometimes we do not. We may think specific people will take charge, but someone else may be the one.

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.  Unknown

It’s not the mountain we conquer but ourselves. Edmund Hillary

This would be a great experience for couples. Can they work together to figure things out? Would this be a good challenge for couples on the cusp of marriage? What might we learn about our self, or someone else?

We don’t know how we’ll react in situations until we are actually in them. This is a way of putting ourselves in situations we’ve never been in before. We can face the challenges we’ve never faced.

Some escape room managers say they see the same people come and bring different dates. It would be a fun experience for the date, and the person bringing them knows how to solve the clues, so they look like a hero. Everyone wins. Don’t we take someone dancing where we know the dance?

On a blog, someone says they have played 100 escape room games. It is easy to see how once one has experienced one, another, and another, and another might be calling to us. They each have their own theme, and different knowledge and skillsets are required to figure out the clues and beat the game. If these escape rooms are set up so 30 percent of the players get out within the allotted time then we may think if I’d done that sooner, or got that clue quicker? Let me try another one. If we find the right escape room maybe we will be the star of our team, the one that cracked the code no one else could get.

What does it take to be the mastermind to set up the games? How profitable are they? A group was finishing when we arrived. A group was going in after us.

I worked with two brothers who started a paintball business when paintball wars were all the rage. They said they had a trunk full of paintball guns in their trunk when the Pope was here on a visit. If they got stopped by the police they would have looked like assassins up to no good.

Are you looking for a new fun experience? There is probably an escape room near you. You may learn something about yourself and those you go with.

Keep challenging yourself. That’s the only way forward in life. Unknown      

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Escape the Game: How to Make Puzzles and Escape Rooms Paperback – Aug 3 2016

by Adam Clare (Author), Samet Choudhury (Illustrator) 3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews


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Being part of a group. Finding balance in our lives. Moments of truth.

Moments of truth. Being part of a group. Finding balance in our lives.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. Carl Sandburg

Last night I went to the Horticultural Society meeting. I learned that one of the local Horticultural Societies has closed down because they couldn’t get enough board members. Our society needs board members as well. It might be time to step up. Volunteer groups can’t do much without volunteers.

When I first joined the society twenty years ago I jumped into the Secretary role, moved up to Vice President and then life got busier and I dropped off my volunteering. I attend with a friend, but we are just seat warmers. We need seat warmers but we also need volunteers that make volunteer organizations work. In all organizations, there are a few souls who do most of the heavy lifting. They are so good at it, so committed, so capable we let them, but they can and will only do it for so long. We need new blood; new volunteers or these organizations falter and fail.

Some roles are heavy but some are not very demanding at all, but these roles still need to be filled or organizations can be lost to us. It is harder to get something restarted than if we can keep it going. If we’ve become a group that just shows up to hear a speaker, and eat cookies we aren’t a very strong club. I left the meeting wondering what happened. I know what happened, too many of us are sitting on the sidelines, only showing up to hear a speaker, eat cookies, and warm a seat. As much as I hate to admit it, I have become that member too.

The Horticultural Society was the first group I joined. I needed to get involved, meet more people because we were working from home and my circle was getting too small. The camaraderie of fellow workers was gone, as it was just my husband and me in our small business. From the Horticultural Society, I was asked to join a book club which is still thriving. Then in 2016, I joined Toastmasters and last year I joined a Writers Group. As I’ve joined other groups more aligned with my interests my involvement with the Horticultural Society diminished.

The Horticultural Society needs more than a board member but it really needs board members and since it isn’t too big of a commitment, I think I’ll put my name forward. To get heavily involved in the Horticultural Society when it isn’t aligned with my bigger goals, and there is only so much time and energy, doesn’t make sense.

When you doubt your power. You give power to your doubt. Unknown

If we want groups to belong to, we’ll have to be more than seat warmers. If we all do our part we can have wonderful organizations that enrich our lives. Without volunteers, we don’t. We can’t always look at someone else to do it; sometimes we have to put up our hand. I enjoyed the Horticultural Society more when I was involved.

We enjoy our life more when we are involved, and engaged. What does being involved and engaged mean? The more we put into all areas of life, the more we get out of it. We can go too far, we can get so involved in the community we become less engaged at home. This is not good, we always need to put family, fitness, health, and work first, but there is still a place for community involvement. We can have achievements in community groups, and sports organizations that we don’t get in any other area of our life. Being involved in groups leads to fuller, richer lives.

My mother once said she didn’t want to belong to groups that wanted all of her. She has a point; we have to be our own control board. We have to develop boundaries so our involvement doesn’t take over our life.

When we are involved in groups we have stories to tell, things to discuss, and more to bring to our relationships. We need to be careful our significant other doesn’t feel they are on the periphery of our life, that everything else is more important than them.

If we are too much just the two of us, we may feel our life is too small, our interests too insular, our view too narrow. We may need to evaluate our life, do we need more outside interaction or more time with our significant other and family? Life is a dance, dancing is about balance and rhythm. What worked in one stage of our life, may not work in another. We must adapt to the changes, and stages of our life.

Do we have enough balance in our life? Do we need to take a good hard look at our life, is it time for “Moments of Truth”? Where are we out of alignment with our goals?  What is the tweak we need to make in our lives that would make us healthier, happier, improve our relationships, develop our interests, reach our goals, and leave a legacy?

I’m always tweaking, always trying to make it better, constantly moving the levers and dials. Steve Ellis

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, balance, and love.

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Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead Paperback – Apr 4 2017

by Brené Brown (Author) 4.5 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews


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Finding meaning in our everyday life. Enjoying the moments means enjoying life.

Enjoying the moments means enjoying life. Finding meaning in our every day life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

There is not one big cosmic meaning for all; there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person. Anais Nin

This morning I barely catch my daughter to say “Good morning” before she rushes out the door. It was a moment we would have missed if I came downstairs a few minutes later.

“Would you prefer breakfast or dinner for Mother’s day?”

“Breakfast.”

“Breakfast is better, then we can relax”, she says before leaving for work.

A small little conversation, a moment in time, a moment in our memory, these small moments is how we build our life.

“Do you want to go for breakfast,” my husband asks. We love breakfast on Friday mornings. The work week is finishing, we are a little more relaxed. I might have a few stories from Toastmasters to tell him over breakfast. We laugh, talk about what’s going on in the world, our plans for this weekend, or whatever is coming up.

Being part of a group gives us something to learn, skills to hone, and we develop ourselves in other areas. We have more to give to our partner when we return home.  We learn what others are doing in their lives, we learn where they’ve traveled, the places they’ve been they enjoyed the most.

Life is meant to be fun, and joyous and fulfilling. May each of yours be that. Jim Henson

In a group like Toastmaster’s we see people develop as speakers, they become more animated as they speak. The people who join Toastmasters are often shy but not always. We all have skills we want to develop and things we want to learn. Being part of a group of people whose intent is bettering themselves encourages all of us to go after our dreams, take more chances, and look on challenges as opportunities. When we discover our strengths, we find the courage we didn’t know we had to go after what we want. We get clearer in what we want as we spend time with people making goals, talking about their challenges, vulnerabilities, and successes.

We have been as touched by some of the speeches at Toastmasters as by great Ted Talks. We don’t know the challenges people have dealt with. When we hear about some of the World events through the eyes of those who lived through them, we get a different understanding than when we hear only the news or read about it in a book.

We’ve heard speeches about “The Arab Spring,” the great famine in China, marriage customs from around the world. How people deal with death in their families, the lessons they’ve learned through hard times. We learn tricks and tips for being healthier. I’m looking forward to hearing a talk on what it’s like to run the Boston Marathon.

After Toastmaster’s we often go out for a drink, a nibble, but really for conversation. We love to laugh and learn more about each other’s lives. Anywhere people congregate in groups, Church, or work are places to connect with like-minded people.

We need to be careful to keep or find balance in our life; we can let groups take control of our life if we can’t say no. It is not good for our partner to play second fiddle to a group. If we can keep it in balance our primary relationship will benefit from what we get from a group.

Are we spending too much time or not enough time with other like-minded people? Are we spending enough time with our spouse? Do we have enough “moments” with the important people in our life? This is our life if we only get one, are we making it the best it can be?

It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is. Hermann Hesse

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, friendship, and love.

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The Bond: How to Fix Your Falling-Down World Paperback – Jun 5 2012

by Lynne McTaggart (Author) 4.1 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews


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The power of groups. Tapping into group energy is more powerful than doing things on our own.

Tapping into groups is more powerful than doing things on our own. The power of groups.

Photo by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Let the enthusiasm and energy of the group be your fuel. Unknown

Yesterday my son, his girlfriend, my daughter and her husband ran a 10K marathon. My husband and I looked at each other a couple of days ago and said we should join too, but we didn’t.  They have another story to tell, and we do not. The energy before the start of the marathon was probably palpable. It would have been great to be there just to feel that energy.

Life is about doing, getting involved. As we sat recounting the race with them we looked at each other and said, “maybe we’ll join next year”. This was the year to do it. We’ve missed it. Who knows what will happen next year? We are driving for two hours to see my sister. Would we have been so stiff today to it? We went for a 5K walk instead.

A Toastmaster’s buddy ran this year’s Boston marathon. An accomplishment few of us will achieve. The weather was awful, she wasn’t happy with her time, but she’s glad she did it, and the people were wonderful giving support the complete length of the marathon.

We can’t do everything but what we do and what we don’t do make up our life. When it came right down to it, even though we wouldn’t mind doing it, when it came to putting our money down and committing, we passed.

It’s not a big miss; some people will damage themselves from doing it. I’ve hurt my knee in the past and it took a long time to heal. If I hurt it now would it ever be the same? A few people passed out, how embarrassing would that be?

Our stories are the choices we have made, we can’t do everything. Some things would have been interesting to do. Getting together is one of the most important things we do. We do it when we get together and laugh as we recount our exploits. When we join a group of like-minded people to learn, experience, or accomplish something.

Man’s brain may be compared to an electric battery… a group of electric batteries will provide more energy than a single battery. Napoleon Hill

We were listening to a Youtube video yesterday. The speaker was comparing social media to porn. It might be better than nothing but it isn’t the full experience of having a relationship with someone. Relationships matter, we need to be face to face, sitting over dinner, coffee, going for a walk, playing sports, or being part of a group.

We don’t do well alone. People talk about finding their tribe. Their group of like-minded people who “get them”. When Mom and Dad moved to B.C. and moved to a small town they always went to the Farmers Market every Friday. This is where the retired farmers congregated. It was a thriving Farmers Market because it was a meeting place for likeminded people who also bought some vegetables and fruits. The majority of the people who went there weren’t only looking for fresh carrots.

Groups have energy. When I was looking to rejoin Toastmasters I went to a few groups. When I went to the one I joined, it felt right. How do we create that energy? I’ve joined groups who had that energy and lost it. Could I have been part of the problem?

We might not know how to create that energy; we know it when we see it and feel it. Is there a group of like-minded people we should look into and consider joining. If we are already part of a group should we get more involved? We can tap into the power of groups, it might change our life.

Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life forever. Amy Poehler

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, fun, and love.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

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