All things happen in the present moment. This is where our power lies. Are we making the best choices right now?

Are we making the best choices right now? All things happen in the present moment. This is where our power lies.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The point of power is always in the present moment. Louise L. Hay

This morning as I do my morning reading I open The Motivation Manifesto by Brendan Burchard. He is talking about the roles we play in our lives and asks the question are we being attentive to the roles we play in our life?

We are the observer in our life. When we take a detached view of our life is it the life we should be living? Are we making the right decisions for our life, are we making important things important?

We are the director of our life. Are the scenes of our life unfolding as we would like? Do we have the right characters playing the right parts in our life? If we are not happy with the current story in our lives, what do we have to do to change that? Do we focus on the parts of the story we love the most, is our story more negative or positive, would we like it to be different? When we play various roles in our life are we the person we want to be? Are we the supportive loving spouse, the encouraging parent, fearless as we go after our dreams? As the director we can change the story arc of our lives, will we be strong or weak, noble or selfish, flighty or grounded? What will we become in the next scene in our lives? Are we the hero of our own lives, or bit players in someone else’s?

We are the guardians of our mind, body, and soul. Protecting ourselves from negative information, people, habits, and thoughts is our responsibility. What we consume, what activities we pursue, and the entertainment we engage in is our choice We are our own control board. How much sleep to get, exercise to engage in, and how much water we drink are all choices we make. Do the people we allow in our lives add or detract from our lives. We can’t choose our family but we do choose who we have as friends, and we are likely to be very much like those we associate with. We can choose to join groups and organizations where people are positive and inspiring.

Nothing ever happened in the past; it happened in the Now. Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now. Eckhart Tolle

We are the warrior in our life. If our dreams are to come true we will make them come true. Our role may not be out in the world we may be mother bear of our home, the guardian of our home and children. One of the things that I am learning is how early sexual experiences are impacting our children, boys and girls alike. It is not just our girls we need to keep from experimenting with sex too early. I could be wrong but too early sexual activity seems to me to be home and societal problems. Why are we failing our children in these fundamental ways?

We are a lover in our life. Lovers shine attention and adoration on others. Life is not sweet and there is little to celebrate unless we have people in our lives we love. This may be our most difficult role, but it is also the role we get the most from. One of the ways we can be better lovers is to learn the love languages of those we love. Do they feel most loved when we do acts of service for them, or spend time with them, or give them gifts, or words of encouragement, or touch them? If we can embrace our role as lover we can love those around us and make them feel loved, appreciated, accepted, respected, and ready to give their gifts to the world.

We are the leader in our lives. What can we do to improve our circle of influence? This circle of influence may be our family, our job, our community? What can we do to spot those areas of need, to lift those around us, to unite people in meaningful struggle and service? Do we have an attitude of “If it is to be, it is up to me?”

We will never master all of these roles, all of the time, but we can work to enact them with more presence and power. If we are going to embrace each of these roles we need to do it in the Now. If we are checked out of today because we are thinking about the future or the past we miss the present. Only be living today, enjoying the blessings of today and improving today, because now is all there is, can we make our life better.

Are we embracing today with all it entails? Are we giving all we have to give to those we have to give it to? Are we the hero in our story, fighting the good fight, and making a difference? Are there changes we want and need to make? They can only be made in the present; nothing can change in the past, all our power is in the present moment.  What kind of person and what kind of experiences do we want to manifest right now?

Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed. Wayne Dyer

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The Motivation Manifesto: 9 Declarations to Claim Your Personal Power Hardcover – Oct 28 2014

by Brendon Burchard (Author) 4.5 out of 5 stars 49 ratings


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Forgiving ourselves and others. Let’s celebrate a day of atonement and be set free of our burdens and resentments.

Let's celebrate a day of atonement and be set free of our burdens and resentments. Forgiving ourselves and others.

Our Father forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Mathew 6:9

Wouldn’t we all benefit if we celebrated a day of atonement? We’ve all made mistakes, said things that hurt others, misinterpreted things, acted perversely, even wickedly, framed lies and been violent.

The prayer of atonement:

We have sinned, we have acted treacherously. We have robbed, we have spoken slander. We have acted perversely, we have acted wickedly. have acted presumptuously, we have been violent, we have framed lies.

What if we were to seek out each person we have frustrated, angered, misused, mistreated, misunderstood, slandered, misled, or many other ways we have mistreated others, in thoughtless or mean ways.

How many relationships could be healed if every year we asked for forgiveness, and every year we forgave those who wronged us?

Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. Unknown

We may feel we are not strong enough to forgive because what was done seems unforgivable. What is the cost of carrying that weight around? Forgiveness is not for the offender, it is for the offended to release the burden they are carrying

Everett Worthington, a pioneer clinical psychologist in the field of forgiveness, proposes a method for forgiveness he calls the REACH method.

R is for RECALL of the hurt.

Visualize the event while taking deep breaths to steady ourselves emotionally. We are to acknowledge our inner pain but make an effort to overcome it by recalling the incident as objectively as possible. We need to separate our anger, from ourselves. We need to find a way to express this anger in a non-hurtful way without yelling or attacking. We need to do our best to avoid judgment and focus on letting the resentment go.

E is for EMPATHISE with the person who hurt us.

We need to remember we are all capable of hurtful behavior. Can we see what happened from the offender’s point of view? Can we replace anger with compassion?

A is for the ALTRUISTIC gift of forgiveness.

Can we give the gift of forgiveness freely, not grudgingly? If we are forgiven as we forgive perhaps we can focus on the positive results of freeing ourselves from pain and bitterness.

C is for the COMMITMENT to forgive.

First, we must forgive ourselves for our part in the situation. Sometimes this is the hardest part. If we can put our forgiveness into words by writing them out we will be more committed to the action of forgiveness.

H is for HOLDING onto that forgiveness.

We have forgiven but we have to remember we forgave them when the memories come flooding back into our mind. We need to focus on the good things the offender has brought into our lives and not the offense we have forgiven.

When we control our thoughts we control our life. We can live our lives harboring resentment, becoming bitter and twisted, or we can forgive. It’s our choice; no one will force us to forgive someone for large or small offenses. We can go forward free of our burdens, or continue to carry them. When we forgive someone it doesn’t make as big a difference in their life as it does in ours.

It is in our own self-interest to forgive. It is in our own self-interest to acknowledge the wrongs we have done to others and make amends, to atone for our mistakes.

Is there a way we can bring forgiveness of ourselves and others into our life?

A Buddhist prayer of forgiveness:

If I have harmed anyone in any way either knowingly or unknowingly through my own confusions I ask their forgiveness. If anyone has harmed me in any way either knowingly or unknowingly through their own confusions I forgive them. And if there is a situation I am not yet ready to forgive I forgive myself for that. For all the ways that I harm myself, negate, doubt, belittle myself through my own confusions I forgive myself.

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, joy, and love.

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Ho’oponopono: The Hawaiian Forgiveness Ritual as the Key to Your Life’s Fulfillment Paperback – Sep 1 2012

by Ulrich E. Duprée (Author) 4.8 out of 5 stars 22 ratings


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Giving our gifts and our love. Holding back our love and gifts hurts ourselves.

Holding back our love and our gifts hurts ourselves. Giving our gifts and our love.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thoams

Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love. Mother Teresa

There is power in doing. In starting something with certainty, we don’t know how things will end up, but we can start.

We can start the painting, novel, building a house, marriage, starting a family, business, job, buying a home, or begin a remodeling project. Every one of these takes faith and courage to some degree.

Most of us didn’t know how life would unfold when we took our marriage vows or started a family, but we did have faith that life would work out. We had faith that every day for eighteen or twenty years and even longer we could feed our children, every day.

People have headed off to new countries with little but hope in their hearts and a willingness to work and build a life. Many of these people have built amazing lives. We give ourselves to the world, our children to the world, and our talents to the world.

Some artists like Vincent Van Gogh are not appreciated in their own time. Aren’t we glad he was willing to give his gifts and that they didn’t die with him? My husband told me of a YouTube video of a woman illegally singing in the subway and the police were supposed to remove her. She started to sing and one of the officers recorded her, she’s a phenomenal singer. She was giving her gift. Maybe a way will be found for her to give her gift in a larger way.

No beauty shines brighter than that of a good heart. Unknown

All my life I was told The Lord works in mysterious ways. What if for this woman what was one of her darkest days, being evicted from the subway is what turns her life and purpose around?

Is our purpose in life to give our gifts? Our children are a gift, our productivity is a gift, service is a gift, producing the food to feed people is a gift, our talents are a gift. What if our purpose is to pour ourselves out in the service of each other?

As we give our gifts we may think they are not appreciated, maybe we should hold back, but when we don’t give our gifts to the world and each other, we suffer. We do not live in the fullness of life. If we do not love fully we suffer, we may think we’ll protect ourselves from hurt by not loving, but we hurt ourselves. We need to love and give with open hearts.

What if it’s true that the faults we see in others are the faults we need to work on in ourselves? What if it is only by changing ourselves that we can effect change? What if by giving our gifts to the world, and working on our own negative traits we are doing what we are supposed to do?

Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have. Unknown

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, joy, and love.

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The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire (20th Anniversary Edition) Paperback – Feb 1 2017

by David Deida (Author) 4.4 out of 5 stars 76 ratings


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Listening to understand. Seeking to understand more than to be understood. Sometimes the greatest gift we can give is to listen.

Seeking to understand more than to be understood. Sometimes the greatest gift we can give is to listen. Listening to understand.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them. Ralph Nichols

“No one listens to me but you,” I heard my son say to Krypto our Scottish Terrier when my son was about twelve. My Mom said when she was a young married woman living in the city she wished she could just find an old cow to wrap her arms around and talk to. I’ve many times wished I could wrap my arms around a horse.

We may be putting human characteristics on animals but it seems they listen and understand, if not what we are saying then our tone. They twitch their ears, offer comfort and we are not alone with our feelings.

Listening is the cornerstone of a good relationship. We need to feel heard to feel understood. When we don’t have the time, patience, skills or interest to listen to people they can become lonely and depressed. During a time of depression, feeling listened to can seem as critical as breathing air.

Sometimes it takes one person in someone’s life to listen to them that helps them move on. We hear about students who found that teacher. It is one of the things we get from being part of religious organizations, someone to listen to us and help us sort out our feelings and our life. Therapists are paid a lot of money, and part of it is to listen.

I had a conversation with my husband the other day. He doesn’t see the reason for long conversations with strangers. My response is you usually don’t have short conversations when they are short that’s just chit chat. Real conversations that impact people take a little longer.

If we have lots of people in our life we may not need conversation so much. We get it from everyone. Some people are not so lucky, their circle is small. People don’t always have someone to talk to. Sometimes the most important things are said to strangers because we may not feel we can talk to our family. We feel we would be judged, ridiculed, ostracized. This is why many hairdressers need to be good listeners. Like they say “only our hairdresser knows.”

Listening is not “Yes, but.” Listening is not, “this is what you should do.” Listening is not getting defensive, I need to work on this. Listening is not giving advice or telling someone they shouldn’t be thinking or feeling what they are thinking or feeling. Sometimes we only work out our thoughts in conversation. Our thoughts are all jumbled up in our mind waiting to be released through conversation. Journalling helps release those thoughts, but even those of us who journal still need a listening ear and connection.

We often misinterpret each other’s messages while under the illusion that a common understanding has been achieved. Larry Barker

Sometimes people feel they can only talk about safe subjects, but it isn’t the safe subjects they need to talk about. I’m reading a book called “The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd. It is her journey of finding herself as a Christian woman, wife, mother, writer and her conflicts with how women are portrayed in the bible and in the Church. The second created and the first to sin. The woman is man’s glory and her glory is her hair. Let women learn in silence and be submissive. I permit no woman to teach or have authority over a man.

I remember reading those things and how they impacted me as a girl on the cusp of womanhood. When you stumble across these things, who do you talk to about them? How do we process our place in the world? When I expressed it to one of my Aunt’s and I don’t know how I phrased it. She replied, “There are gifts, or joys or something in being a woman.” It was probably the best answer because it was true, and she didn’t make me feel stupid for not liking what I was hearing. I felt understood, acknowledged and like I didn’t need to like what I was hearing, and that it was okay to think and question.

It seems like a small thing, to acknowledge what someone is feeling and not diminish it. She could have said I didn’t have a right to not like what I was hearing or to question the bible, and it would have affected me in a completely different way.

When someone listens to us, really listens we feel accepted, understood, valued and validated. We don’t feel invisible or alone and it gives us a voice to help us find our self again.

It is very powerful to be a listener. It is a skill worth developing. I’m trying, it isn’t always easy especially with some of the people we need to listen to the most. That is when defensiveness rears its ugly head. We feel if we let them say what they are saying we are agreeing that what they are saying is true. A lot of the time we don’t agree with their side of the story, not completely.

We still need to hear them out, let them tell their side of the story completely and then when it is our turn to tell our side hopefully they will listen to us. When we try to talk over each other nothing is accomplished but more hurt feelings. The feelings get even more hurt because not only is there whatever happened, but by not feeling heard they feel they don’t count, they aren’t important, their point of view is not regarded.

We need to save our side of the story for another time. If we are telling our side of the story and they are telling their side of the story at the same time, no one is listening. No one feels listened to. There is no understanding, there is no healing. This is how a lot of problems don’t get solved and yet are talked about endlessly. But we protest, we do communicate, we do talk, it just isn’t working because the other person isn’t feeling listened to and then when it is our turn we don’t feel listened to either.

We can tell ourselves we listen endlessly, but our “yes buts,” and telling our side of the story doesn’t move the relationship along. It becomes an endless loop of conversations that goes nowhere, nothing changes, and neither party feels heard or understood.

We need to learn to listen. If we have rifts in our families listening is the likely antidote. Listening is the key to understand, and understanding is the key to healing. It isn’t always easy but it’s worth it.

Is there someone in our life we need to listen to and understand their side of the story? Can we seek first to understand before seeking to be understood?

The biggest mistake made by most human beings: listening to only half, understanding just a quarter, and telling double. Unknown

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, joy, and love.

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The Lost Art of Listening, Second Edition: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships Paperback – Feb 16 2009

by Michael P. Nichols (Author) 4.1 out of 5 stars 9 ratings


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Own our mornings, own our life. Small habits lead to successes in our life.

Small habits lead to the successes in our life. Own our mornings, own our life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love. Marcus Aurelius

It’s dark out there in the morning taking my little dog Lulu for a walk. Where are the other dog walkers, or walkers of any kind? If I don’t go for my walk around 6:00 am it is hard to fit it into the day.

Last night I went to Dollarama looking for a binder to send my novel off to my cousin. Here I was thinking to myself they don’t have the good quality binders I’ve been buying with the clear plastic front. Is there something wrong with my thinking when I’m complaining about the quality at the dollar store?

I was pleasantly surprised when I first started seeing those binders at Dollarama, and because I use quite a few I’ve kept picking them up there. When we expect quality at the dollar store perhaps we aren’t thinking right.

I’ve picked up a book or three at the dollar store and I always think as an author how would I feel seeing my book at the dollar store? Then I tell myself to get over myself if someone reads our work no matter how it comes into their hands that is a compliment. It is a commitment to read a complete book of any type. If someone is willing to spend time with our words then gratitude is in order.

I love the morning routine of reading and writing in my journal. It starts the day off right. When the day starts off right it seems the whole day goes better. We’ve already accomplished something.

Our mornings set the tone for the day. We all have morning routines even if we don’t call them a routine because we aren’t proud of jumping out of bed, already late, brushing our teeth, and hurrying out of the house. If we do it every day then that’s our morning routine. Does our morning routine energize us or drain us before we start the day?

It is with the small, tiny steps, that we build our life. When we only do the things we have to do we don’t do the things for our self that build the life we want. We get to work on time because if we want to work we have to.

Morning is an important time of day because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have. Daniel Handler

It’s the choices we make for our life outside of work where we usually fall down. When we look at habits of the highly successful they usually have morning routines that sound impressive.

Tony Robbins has a seven-step morning routine he says will revolutionize our lives.

Meditation – a portion of time dedicated to prayer, or thoughts, or clearing our mind.

Gratitude – being grateful for what we have opens the door to having more.

Visualization – is the practice of seeing our goals as if we have already achieved them.

Journal – when we journal we can go back and read what we were thinking, planning, grateful for, and desiring. We can see how far we’ve come.

Exercise – if we don’t use it we lose it. We don’t have to do much, but putting a little exercise in our mornings pays big dividends.

Plan – how will we get where we are going if we don’t have a plan?

Eat the frog – he means to do the hardest thing first. The task we don’t want to do, jump in and get it done.

There are many morning routines; we just need to create one that works for us. We may have a five day morning routine and a weekend morning routine. The more we build our life with habits we want, instead of habits we fall into, the more we are likely to love our life. It’s our life; no one gets to live if for us. No one will do for us what we have to do for ourselves. Are we spending our mornings the way we want to?

If we want to own our day, don’t we need to start by owning our morning?

Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it. Richard Whately

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, joy, and love.

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The 5 AM Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life. Hardcover – Dec 4 2018

by Robin Sharma (Author) 4.1 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews


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Unintended consequences of trying to make things better. Can we learn from other’s mistakes?

Can we learn from other's mistakes, or do we have to learn from our own mistakes? Unintended consequences of trying to make things better.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The law of unintended consequences is the only real law of history. Niall Ferguson

Yesterday I picked up my oldest sister from the airport, a surprise short visit. We are so blessed we can hop on an airplane and in a couple of hours be together. Today she was picked up by another sister and her spouse and off on an adventure they go.

Last night we watched Black Mirror a show on Net flicks that seems to be a take on The Twilight Zone. One was a man who in a video game is the omnipotent God but in real life is a socially awkward computer genius. He takes out all of his anger on the co-workers whose DNA he has downloaded into his computer game.

The second was about a mother who got afraid when her child got lost. She enrolled her young daughter into a test study and had a chip implanted in her daughter’s brain that would allow her to see what her daughter sees. She could also make anything that made her daughter’s cortisol rise to be visibly unrecognizable. The daughter grew up not hearing or seeing how people looked who were fighting. Barking dogs were not recognizable nor were any kind of violence. When her Grandfather had a heart attack she could no longer see what was happening.

She was very curious about what she couldn’t see or understand and seemed drawn to the dark side of life because she was so protected from it. It appears the daughter had to develop a sense of fearlessness to confront life because she couldn’t see what was there. A therapist told the mother the program was being shut down and although she couldn’t take the chip out of her child’s brain she could and should discontinue monitoring her child.

The unintended consequences of protecting her child didn’t prepare her child at all for real life. Nor could the mother resist watching what her daughter was seeing. What do you do when you see something you shouldn’t have seen? We know over protecting children doesn’t help them grow into competent adults. If they are not able to read social cues, have never dealt with anger, recognize the danger in a situation, or understand people and their motives they are not set up for good outcomes. Too often we get what we fear because that is what we focus on and that was what the mother got, instead of trusting her child’s independence she interfered where she shouldn’t reaping unintended negative consequences.

Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences. Robert Louis Stevenson

The only thing in life that seems to teach people anything is when we let them experience the consequences of their actions. We can’t save them no matter how much we would like to. We don’t like to see our children deal with consequences; our instinct is to protect them. Do we handicap them by not letting them deal with the realities of life? We learn from our mistakes and if we don’t let our children learn from their mistakes how will they learn? We caution them about the big mistakes, we hope they don’t make them, but if they do, they need to deal with the consequences and learn to make better choices and decisions.

My youngest brother has a saying, “That’ll learn them.” My husband says, “If they won’t see they must feel.” These are different ways of saying the same thing. We need to learn from our mistakes and better yet learn from the mistakes others have made.

We need to be careful that in our hubris we don’t think we are above making mistakes. Just because we intend something for good whether it is in our families, communities, countries, environment, or economy, does not mean the changes will be for the better.

We have economists telling us about the unintended consequences of welfare. We were watching a program on the fall of civilizations and the unintended consequence of money debasement. There are lessons all around us, lessons we could learn from instead of repeating the same mistakes. Often we think we are too smart to make the mistakes others have made. Is this hubris at its worst? Can we learn from someone else’s mistakes?

One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results. Milton Friedman

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, joy, and love.

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Systems Thinking For Social Change: A Practical Guide to Solving Complex Problems, Avoiding Unintended Consequences, and Achieving Lasting Results Paperback – Nov 3 2015

by David Peter Stroh (Author) 4.1 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews


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Why are we so obsessed with growth? Is bigger always better?

Is bigger always better? Why are we so obsessed with growth?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Embrace the pace of your own journey. Unknown

We have an obsession with growth. Can we really handle all this growth? I wonder if the development of what we have instead of more growth isn’t what we really need.

As a member of an organization that prizes growth, it seems to me that many people feel not appreciated if they are already a long-time member. New people and new ways of doing things are prized ahead of those who have been loyal members for years.

One of my duties in this organization is to open new clubs. I mentioned to my District Director I don’t think we need new clubs in my area. We need to strengthen and develop our existing clubs. We need to make our current members see the value in continuing as an old development system is gotten rid of and the new system which benefits new members over long -term members is fully implemented. Achievements in the old system will no longer be recognized in the new system.

We have a fear that if our business isn’t growing it is failing. Many long-surviving businesses did not grow beyond a few people. Sometimes husbands and wives created a business that sustained them throughout their lives. Are we really trying to say they were failures because they didn’t grow? I had a boss like that once. He bought a franchise and said he didn’t understand not being focused on growth. His business and that franchise are long closed. Little businesses that haven’t grown are still thriving. It isn’t that growth is bad, but what is the cost of that growth?

Growth has a cost. Our rate of consumption on the planet is not sustainable because we have outgrown our resources. We are going to have to come to grips with that reality and probably pretty soon. I always give my farm analogy to my husband. If a piece of land can sustain 50 cows every year, it can sustain 100 cows for less time, and a thousand cows for even less time. Where are we in our quest for sustainability?

Growth is not always the best decision. Taken from the Entrepreneur Blog which says focus on the next customer and the next level will take care of itself.  

If we are to survive in a business or even in a social club, church, etc. we need to build resilience. Being resilient means we need to focus and work towards developing three traits:

We need to have a great sense of purpose for why we’re doing what we’re doing, even if things go wrong or aren’t currently working out.

We need to recognize that we cannot control everything, and we have to recognize and accept reality for what it is – something we can steer but not fully command at all times.

We need to develop an ability to adapt as things change, so we can pivot with differences in the market, in customer requests, needs, and shifts in technology.

Being resilient is harder for large organizations than for small ones. Small organizations have fewer resources, less moving parts, and fewer decision-makers, and can, therefore, be nimble enough to move with the changes that could negatively affect a small company or organization.

Never put the key to your happiness in somebody else’s pocket. Unknown

Companies of one or two people are becoming popular because people want more control and autonomy in their lives. People are feeling lost in large organizations. As they look for more meaning and purpose in their lives they sometimes start their own business and keeping it small gives them the most autonomy and control.

What if we look at how we can make our businesses, organizations, clubs, and groups better, not just bigger?

Economic growth without investment in human development is unsustainable – and unethical. Amartya Sen

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 and love.

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Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? Hardcover – Apr 16 2019

by Bill McKibben (Author) 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews


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Lessons from a skunk. Getting out of my comfort zone. Fortune favors the brave. When opportunities come along we need to grab them.

When opportunities come along we need to grab them. Fortune favors the brave. Getting out of my comfort zone. Lessons from a skunk.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

In the end, what we regret most are the chances we never took. Frasier Krane       

This morning as I step out my door for my early morning walk it is raining ever so lightly. Should we walk or go back inside? I take Lulu to the boulevard and let her do her thing. The rain is light enough, we won’t even be wet if it doesn’t rain harder. We walk and we are the only hardy souls we see until we get home and a humble soul is on my doorstep, a skunk. We beat a fast retreat and have hardly turned around when my husband comes out of the house to leave for an early morning appointment.

“Did you see the skunk?” I ask.

As I sit down to write I look up Universe of Symbolism and for skunk symbolism it says; if a skunk has come to us in some way today it means that symbolically we need to implement these aspects of a skunk; protection, independence, and self-respect. A skunk creates a line or boundary that no one can cross without a penalty. The spirit of the skunk is gentle but has absolutely effective defense.

The skunk’s power is in a gentle defense that is full of confidence and assertiveness. If the skunk is speaking to us, it is saying to take control, but in a calm, and confident way. It is saying to be assertive about our own power, and our ability to project our protective nature, like the skunk projects its defensive scent.

Skunk symbolism is predominantly the power to see everything in black and white, with perfect clarity. In the ability to do so, it defends those boundaries humbly, yet confidently. The skunk is a creature of humble power, not to be offended, or one will be put to shame in a uniquely unpleasant way.

This is the second recent meeting with a skunk. The first time the skunk was walking up to someone else’s door.

Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you will miss them. William Aurthur Ward

Today I am getting out of my comfort zone. Toastmaster’s is doing online executive training and I am hosting one of the sessions. This is a new experience for me, an experienced trainer is conducting the training session, I am only hosting. When I press start at 11:45 hopefully all will unfold as it should.

We get pulled kicking and screaming into the present. After we do things we didn’t think we could do, we don’t see what the big deal was. We were getting out of our comfort zone; we didn’t want to look like we didn’t know what we were doing. What’s the worst that can happen? It doesn’t work and no one gets trained today. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. The other thing is I don’t like how I look on the webcam. Time to get over myself.

I’m feeling a little excited at trying something new. I’ve set up a free account with Webex which is good for a month. Today is a learning experience and I’ll have to thank my District Director for pushing me to grow when I speak to her tonight. We get calls to action and we either take the challenge or often regret the missed opportunity.

When opportunity knocks will we answer, or pretend we didn’t hear the knock? Is it true that opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor? Do we need to get on the dance floor of life?

Can we be humble, yet confident and assertive? Can we be independent and have self-respect, yet be gentle and kind with firm boundaries? Can we implement the lessons from a skunk into our lives?

Opportunity favors the bold. Unknown

Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity. Unknown

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Animal Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great and Small Paperback – Sep 8 2002

by Ted Andrews (Author) 4.8 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews


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Inspired by Oprah and Jordan B. Peterson. It’s never too late to learn something.

It's never too late to learn something. Inspired by Oprah and Jordan B. Peterson.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

You don’t inspire others by being perfect. You inspire them by how you deal with imperfections. Unknown

Last night I listened to a Podcast by Oprah she talked about her early life. How one day at four years old her Grandmother was hanging clothes on the line and her Grandmother said. “You need to watch and learn you’ll be doing this someday.”

Oprah said it was like there was a voice in her head that said, “No Grandma, I won’t.” When I listen to Oprah’s story it seems like she is a child of destiny.  When her baby died she was fourteen and her father said, “You got a second chance; I don’t know why you got a second chance but make the best of it.”

She says she doesn’t believe in luck, she believes in preparation for the opportunity. When we are prepared and the opportunity arises, if we take the opportunity presented, and we find our passion and purpose we are off to doing and becoming what we are meant to do and become.

I’ve always felt a kinship with Oprah. She was starting the Oprah show and I was starting my marriage. This is the magic of Oprah, she made a lot of us feel she understood the challenges, questions, and insecurities we have. She talked about the things we wanted to talk about. She has faith and she’s willing to talk about it, but not too much, she doesn’t hammer it over our heads.

But a role model in the flesh provides more than inspiration; his or her very existence is confirmation of possibilities one may have every reason to doubt, saying, “Yes, someone like me can do this.” Sonia Sotomayor

It seems to me she’s never allowed anyone to hold anything over on her. When people pried into her life and found things she might not be proud of she owned them and we loved her for it. We too have things we aren’t proud of, maybe we wouldn’t own them as she did, but she gave us the courage to think we might.

I picked up a book called The Speed of Trust and this is what Oprah has. We trust her to be her best and to help us be our best. Has Oprah ever whined about anything? I can’t remember once. She broke through so many stereotypes to be who she is. Many of us have probably wondered how do we become an Oprah? The answer of course is we can’t. She realized early on she couldn’t be a copycat Barbara Walters even though Barbara inspired her greatly. She could be the best Oprah she could be.

It seems Oprah took all the good advice given to her and built her life around it. The Podcast last night ended I think when she was twenty-two. I will continue listening. Podcasts are great because unlike TV we can do something else while we listen and learn.

I listened to Jordan B. Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life as I gardened last year. There are many great podcasts we can listen to while we do some of the things we need to in our life. If we watch TV there goes our night of exercise, pulling weeds, creating art, or any number of valuable pursuits.

Our life is what we make it. Each day we have twenty-four hours. Over forty years we see what we’ve done with those days. More days spread before us, what will we do with them? What will the next five, ten, twenty, or forty years look like?

It seems Oprah has never stopped learning; she isn’t just rehashing what she has always done. Her journey continues and that might be what inspires us the most.

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more. You are a leader. John Quincy Adams

True leadership must be for the benefit of the followers, not to enrich the leader. John C. Maxwell

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, hope, and love.

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Inspiration: Your Ultimate Calling by [Dyer, Wayne W.]
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Inspiration: Your Ultimate Calling Kindle Edition

by Wayne W. Dyer (Author)

5.0 out of 5 stars    12 customer reviews

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Perseverance, challenges, and choices shape our lives. Perseverance is not one long straight race; it is getting through the peaks and valley of life.

Perseverance is not one long straight race; it is getting through the peaks and valleys of life. Perseverance, challenges, and choices shape our lives.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

When the world says “Give up,” Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.” Unknown

The mornings are getting cooler. A jacket or sweater in the morning is no longer optional for me. Some hardy souls I’m sure are still wearing short sleeves. My husband is already out on appointments it isn’t 7:00 am yet.

One of the things true of life is the importance of perseverance.  It doesn’t matter what we undertake there will be a point when persevering is what is most important. We have a morning routine we don’t feel like doing, but if we persevere we will feel glad we did.

How many people look back on relationships they wish they’d persevered with? There is always stuff to deal with, and things rarely go in straight lines. The path to success can be so slow that sometimes we aren’t sure if we are going down or up, but if we persevere it becomes clear.

Perseverance is required to achieve any degree of success. We don’t need to be perfect but we do need to persevere. There are perks to persevering. If we’ve persevered at one thing we have confidence we can persevere at another. We can trust ourselves, and others can trust us. When we persevere through the valleys of life we can enjoy the peaks. No one gets to hop from peak to peak. Some people handle the valleys so well we don’t realize what they are going through, that doesn’t mean they don’t get their share of challenges and questioning if it’s worth it.

We will need the patience to persevere, we will need to make sacrifices to persevere, but most of all we need to realize when we want to give up we must dig deep to keep going. As we get over our hurdles we will know we can handle the next one as well.

Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. Newt Gingrich

If we listen to anyone’s story of achievement it always seems they had many times when they could have given up.  They kept going and they achieved success. Many of us achieve success in one area but perhaps we gave up in another. Maybe we had to choose between two goods, a good marriage, or a good career. The time given to one would take from the other. We made a choice. These choices shape our lives.

Maybe we gave up a career to stay at home and raise our children. There are moments when we may think we made a mistake. When we look at happy, well-adjusted adults we feel we made the right choice. When we look at our retirement plan we might think we should have made a different choice.

Life is full of choices. My daughter wonders when having a baby fits into her schedule. I tell her a baby will fit into her life. There will be new choices to make, new challenges to face, and new paths to persevere with. Everything we want in life means something else may go by the wayside. Some choices we make consciously some not so consciously. Other choices we make not knowing everything that comes with it.

Having a baby is like that, we choose to become a family but often we are only seeing the tip of that iceberg. There is so much more that comes with it, so much of our life becomes dedicated to this most important facet of our lives. It becomes the only facet we can manage. That too passes and we have time for a more balanced life.

We will make mistakes; we will not always make the right choice. We may have to pick up balls we have dropped. We may have to try and repair balls that have cracked; we may have to move on from balls that are broken beyond repair.

Knowing when to hold and when to fold in life is a skill we hope we have. We may think we know what the best choice is and overtime may wish we’d made a different choice. Sometimes no matter how well one thing turns out, we still think of the other choice. Sometimes we can go forward and pick up that ball we left behind, sometimes we can’t.

To get through life with “no regrets” sounds like an impossibility, but can we aspire to have few regrets? Are there choices we have to make that we’ve been putting off? Is there something we need to persevere with? Is there a challenge we need to face?

Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. Joshua J. Marine

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, joy, and love.

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Grit Hardcover – May 3 2016

by Angela Duckworth (Author, Contributor) 4.5 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews#1 Best Sellerin Geology


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