Wednesday, January 13, 2016

New Year, New Choice

I am delighted to welcome Kathy Irwin as a guest blogger this month, as we ring in a new year and she reflects on the power of making new choices.

“I don’t want to go.” That was the chatter inside my mind the moment that I woke up on New Years Day.

I went into the Fall MagicMind* series with the bud of desire to start taking care of myself. One small piece of that includes reconnecting with the freedom that I once felt while running and one wet Sunday afternoon, I found myself looking at a pair of my mother’s runners, putting them on and walking out the door. My mother had been an avid walker and it was as though her spirit was with me in those runners on that day in a cold, wet rain.

I posted about that walk in Facebook and the next day received an e-mail with three links along with one very simple question from fellow MagicMinder, Catherine. “Are you ready to take the next step?” The links were to a 5k run, a 10k run and an interval training program. I didn’t think; I simply responded, “Deal”.

Catherine very generously went out with me three times per week and re-introduced me to interval training. I didn’t have to think, I didn’t have to time anything, I just had to, as Nordina and Kim once said to me, “put one foot in front of the other”.

Fast forward to January 1, 2016 with a few stops and stutters along the way and I woke up to my first goal – the 5K Resolution Run. It was cold outside, warm and cozy inside and my resistance was showing up big time. “I don’t want to go.”

As I was laying in bed, a powerful realization formed. If I didn’t go, I would carry this choice with me for the rest of the year. I wasn’t not going because of injury or illness. I wasn’t not going because I was feeling scared. Who was I kidding? I can’t run 5k.

After I quick text to Catherine to say that my resistance was showing up big time, I got dressed in my running gear.

One way or another I was doing this; I wanted my first choice of 2016 to set my year up to be a positive one. 

Good thing. Catherine’s response, quoting Star Trek: “Resistance is futile.”

It was a stretch for me. Post by post, tree by tree, I walked and “shuffled” my way around the course and participated my first 5k in 30 years.

As I was out there, two things struck me:
1) I must stand up to myself and resist the desire to hang on to the old patterns and beliefs that no longer serve me; and
2) that, as Raylene said in our last Fall MagicMind session, “we can’t do this alone”.

The power of being part of MagicMind, mindfulness retreats and workshops like SoulSetting is intentionally creating relationships with people who are like-minded and want to support you in being the best that you can be. And that, my very dear friends, is priceless.

- by Kathy Irwin

*MagicMind is a twice-yearly series of facilitated group coaching sessions designed to create a powerful system of accountability and support to take meaningful action every day. If you are interested email us!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

When Too Much Information is Just Enough

The one where Vicki gets real. Really real. 

It's been a rough couple of weeks in multipreneurship land.  After 'hiding out' in the challenges I  faced, laying low, withdrawing (sound familiar?), I felt what I can only describe as a sudden pull to disclose what I was feeling - publicly.

Not usually a fan of TMI (Too Much Information) being posted on social media, I am a fan of the #thisisreal perspective promoted by authors Christina Crook, Anne Lamott and others. It proposes that we go behind the ubiquitous pretty pictures and share our real struggles.

So last Friday, I followed the strange pull, and I did. 

Here is the post:

Warning: contains self-disclosure.

I’ve been a little quiet online, lately. Partly I think it is the result of having been on extended holiday in Europe recently, traveling to different time zones and being filled with bright, shiny, amazing new experiences every day and wanting to give that experience lots of breathing space - lots of time to reflect and savor. Not wanting to let go of that feeling of being anonymous in the big world.

Then I returned home to head off on a retreat, taking myself completely off-line for three days and leading a group in the discovery process around the JOY of missing out. I always come back from these retreats more thoughtful, reflective, and grounded. But there’s something else going on here too. Life feels difficult at the moment.

My work has gotten really hard. Partly, it is that I am taking on new clients with different edges, and stretching myself into work of a larger and more national scope. I’m kind of used to stretching, but I’m feeling the aches and pains of it this time around. Usually, I feel super competent and have a lot of confidence that I can take on and deal with whatever is brought to me in terms of client work or new opportunities.

Right now, though, I don’t feel very confident. I feel kind of small.

I’m grateful for the people who work with me, all of who regularly check in, offer to help, take things off my plate, but I know this is not about them. There is a way that being in business for yourself can feel lonely. You can get isolated, and when you’re leading in your work, it can feel like you just need to put up or shut up when things start to go sideways.

I’m not even sure things are going sideways. From the outside, it probably looks like a great period of expansion and growth. And that’s true. It’s also true that it’s really hard. Harder than I thought when I took it on. Does this ever happen to you? You find yourself in the middle of something saying to yourself: “Why did I ever think this was a good idea?”

While I’m in the middle of this turbulent trip down the crazy river, people I dearly love are going through really difficult times in their personal lives. This brings with it for me a mix of feelings that is a combination of helplessness and frustration - and big sadness.

This place I’m in may also be ‘time of life’. I’m heading toward 60, and the water I’m swimming in has gotten tricky. I don’t have the same resilience I had when I was twenty years younger. I don’t even have the same resilience I had when I was ten years younger, or even five for that matter. My friends and family are all aging. Shit's happening. It really sucks.

I don’t mean to sound crass or heartless, in fact the opposite is true. I’m heartbroken. Fragile. Tiny. The world is too big for me this week. Thank god it’s Friday.

The reaction? Listen in to this week's podcast to find out....

Additional Warning: Contains outpourings of love.

Everyday Happiness: The Pajama Podcasts, Episode 15-46

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Stress: How Zoning Out Can Help You Tune In

The one where getting overwhelmed gives Vicki a headache...


For many, overwhelm triggers a series of stress responses: anxiety, anger, illness or a feeling of absolute paralysis are common. Fun, right?

For me, feeling overwhelmed can create migraine headaches, clumsiness, confusion and an irresistible desire to shut down in a dark room, and let the world pass me by. How about you?

Do you sometimes find yourself too far over the edge, flaked on the couch and unable to take any meaningful action?

Yep, me too.

We call that a realm state, and when you are in a realm, it feels like you can't get out.

And, basically, you can't.

That's the bad news. The good news is realms are self-releasing, and you will regain your get up and go, when the realm is good and ready to release.

Meanwhile, you can take a few steps to avoid realming-out.
  • Know and notice your stress points
  • When you notice a stress trigger, move toward what you actually need: slow down.
  • Literally, take a break, rest, and go into stillness. Here's a prevous post on how.

Go down gracefully. 

This week's Everyday Happiness podcast encourages you to zone out to tune in. Just hit that couch consciously.  Maybe with ear buds, listening to the podcast...

Special thanks to Greg Stuart of Grene Genes Productions for tech support. The beautiful theme music is 'Before and Again' composed and recorded by GJR Stuart at Grene Genes Productions, Maple Ridge BC. Those seamless transitions and magic flourishes are all his.

Tell us how YOU manage stress? Couch potato or chronic cleaner?

Show Notes:

Choose Yourself  by James Altucher
Give Me a Break by Hugh D Culver

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

How To Kiss Your Excuses Goodbye and Make Your Big Fat Dreams Come True

The one where The Motherpreneur goes commando, and teaches us to kiss our excuses goodbye.

Do you have a big fat dream? Something you are longing to do?

Maybe it is a trip you want to take or a business you’d love to start?

Do any of these *ahem, koff, koff* excuses sound familiar?

  • I don't have enough time.
  • I don't have enough money.
  • My partner doesn't support me.
  • My children are too small.
  • I don't have any experience.
  • I don't want to embarrass myself.
  • It Is not the right time yet.
  • I am too old.
  • I am too young.

If so, tune in to this week’s Everyday Happiness Pajama Podcast, where a no-nonsense Christina Waschko tells the story of how she overcame her fears and self-doubts, and opened the very successful Strawberry Lounge, an American-style coffee shop, in Holland.

Her story is filled with thrills and chills - including the perils of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and raising three energetic boys.

Oh, and she wrote a book about it, too.

Today, Christina is a high-energy Take Action Consultant, (Okay, she’s always been high-energy) and she tells us about her upcoming Adventure Day and how physical challenges can help us bust through fear and get into action. Eeeeek!

Tune in here for 30m. of podcast inspiration and adventure, The Motherpreneur way.

Special thanks to Greg Stuart of Grene Genes Productions for tech support. The beautiful theme music is 'Before and Again' composed and recorded by GJR Stuart at Grene Genes Productions, Maple Ridge BC. Those seamless transitions and magic flourishes are all his.

Show Notes:

Ronald Alexander and Wise Mind, Open Mind

Christina’s book: The Strawberry Lounge Story

Christina on Youtube: Motherpreneur TV

Adventure Day in Maple Ridge B.C., Canada

What are your favourite excuses? How do you kiss them goodbye?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Wholesale Happiness - Mike Vardy on Having it All.

The one where Mike’s story illustrates how to have it all, while making it all happen. 

In this week’s Everyday Happiness podcast, Productivityist Mike Vardy tells us the story of how he became one of North America’s leading experts on productivity by leaning into the experiences he had and the lessons he learned as a manager at the Costco chain. That, and how being a comedian helps, too.

Yep, Mike is multipreneur too - and oh, so kindred.

After Costco, and before founding Productivityist, Mike served as Managing Editor of the popular productivity blog Lifehack, and as an editor at The Next Web and WorkAwesome. He is the author of The Front Nine: How to Start the Year You Want Anytime You Want, published by Diversion Books, and has also released two self-published works, The Productivityist Workbook, and Beyond Trying.

In this episode, Mike tells us his personal story. Multipotentialites take heart! It’s an inspiring tale of building the plane while flying it (metaphorically speaking). Mike also offers up a special bonus for listening in.

If you are building a dream, tune into 30 minutes of how to make it possible and keep yourself happy at the same time.

Find the podcast by clicking here.

With Thanks:

Special thanks to Greg Stuart of Grene Genes Productions for tech support. The beautiful theme music is 'Before and Again' composed and recorded by GJR Stuart at Grene Genes Productions, Maple Ridge BC. Those seamless transitions and magic flourishes are all his.

And guess what? Greg is next week’s interview. Yippee!

How about you? How did you build your dream? Share your story here. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Getting Personal: Social Media with Rebecca Coleman

The one where Rebecca dishes on social media and relationships. Yummy.

How is technology changing the way we form friendships, conduct romance, and connect? What are the risks in ‘putting it out there’ online?

Or are we just hiding behind a mask, cropping and filtering our ‘real’ lives and faking it to look good online?

In this week’s Everyday Happiness episode, I interview Rebecca Coleman of the Art of the Business

I must admit, I’m a fangirl of Rebecca’s. I think she offers some of the sanest and most credible information available on navigating social media and the digital highway. 

Rebecca teaches Social Media at the B.C. Institute of Technology and is well known as a social media strategist, blogger, and food and travel writer

We’re in our PJ’s exploring the world of relationships and social media.  

Grab a coffee and join the conversation. Just click here for 30 minutes of #everydayhappiness.

Me, Rebecca, Kemp Edmonds and Michael Zipursky at CIMC 2015. A real selfie. 

With Thanks:

As always, special thanks to Greg Stuart of Grene Genes Productions for tech support. The beautiful theme music is 'Before and Again' composed and recorded by GJR Stuart at Grene Genes Productions, Maple Ridge BC. Those seamless transitions and magic flourishes are all his.

Would love to hear your thoughts on managing relationships in the digital space. Comment below!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

How to Turn a Passion Into Purpose

The one where we find out what is really in your heart and how to express it in the world.

In this week’s Everyday Happiness podcast, we're trying to figure out how to take passion and turn it into a purpose. We can get very passionate about stuff, right?

We care.

We care about our businesses, we care about our customers, we care about the world at large, we care about causes,  we care about our kids. The list is almost endless. This month,  I've been interviewing people who are passionate about what they do in the world, and trying to figure what makes them tick.

Or should I say what makes us tick? I'm passionate too.

It's been kind of the lifelong mission to figure out how to take my passion(s) and turn them into a purpose that has meaning, and a way of living, (or even better, earning a living).

This kind of mission requires a really deep dive. We have to be willing to get in there and figure out what it is that lies our hearts to do. We have to be rigorous, and willing to cut through the layers of social conditioning and expectations and really show up in who we are. Fully. This is not easy.

It also means changing our behavior, or our perception of ourselves or of others in relationship to ourselves.

In this month's podcast I quote from Oriah Mountain Dreamer.  In her book, The Invitation, she makes a pretty compelling call for us to step into our own brilliance. What I know is that stepping into our own brilliance brings with it it's opposites:  confusion, fear, and failure.

Can we be with our own brilliance? Can we be with our own failure?

I’m passionate about finding out. Join me for 30:00 minutes on the PLV Radio Network where passion meets purpose and they figure out how to get along. Includes a handy-dandy exercise at about the 20:00 min mark you can do at home :)

With Thanks:

As always, special thanks to Greg Stuart of Grene Genes Productions for tech support. The beautiful theme music is 'Before and Again' composed and recorded by GJR Stuart at Grene Genes Productions, Maple Ridge BC. Those seamless transitions and magic flourishes are all his.

So, how about it? What are you passionate about?