Archive for January, 2012

Life can be a rotten stinker you know?

Just when you think you have it all figured out, plans are made, the i’s dotted, the t’s crossed…LIFE throws in a twist you never expected.

Sound about right?

Honestly, I wonder if the universe does this sometimes just to prove that we never really have total control over what is going to happen next. 

Of course there is another way to look at it.  (But you knew that right?)

The problem with life is that too many people are focused on the destination instead of the journey.  We are missing out doing that…BIG TIME. 

Take a moment and think about this.  We all have the same destination at the end of it all don’t we?  Do you really want to live life focused on getting to the end of it faster?  Goodness that sounds depressing.

So, here’s the other way to look at it.  Life steps in not to thwart our perfectly laid plans, but to remind us that we have a life to live today.

The universe is not out to ‘get’ us but instead out to move us back onto our divine path, to remind us to live fully and to offer up opportunities we otherwise would have passed by without a second look.

Consider this little story that I’ve heard so many places lately.

One day, a Student walks up to her Master and asks:  “Master, how long will it take for my training?”

The Master folds his arms across his chest and meditates.  After several seconds, he replies:  “Ten years at least.”

The Student frowns, and then asks:  “What if I study twice as hard as the other students?”

The Master waits several more seconds before he replies:  “Twenty years, at least.”

The Student scowls, and then asks:  “What if I work at it night and day, and spend all my free time studying?”

The Master smiles as he replies:  “Thirty years, at least.”

Frustrated, the student then asks her master:  “Master, how come whenever I say I will study harder, you say it will take longer to learn?”

The Master replies simply:  “When one has both eyes fixed on the destination, then no eyes are left to see the path.”

I am sure some of you have heard my life’s motto  “Life is short, eat dessert first”  Now I, on occasion, feel the need to take this literally of course.  However, the underlying point of  that saying is to find the joy in every day, in every thing you do. 


Life IS short and too many of us waste in anger, resentment, jealousy and negativity.  Those items are always kicking around and willing to be our main course, but I seriously doubt that anyone at the end of life looks back and wishes they had just one more day to spend on those things. 

Nope.  We wish for more time for saying I love you (dessert), more hugs (dessert), more laughter and dancing in the rain (dessert). 

Stop waiting to wish.  Move your eyes onto the path, into the life you are living right now.  Perhaps you finally realize you have a freakin buffet of desserts sitting all around you!  (Gosh I LOVE that metaphor).

So, stop being so hard on life.  Shift to an attitude of wonder and gratefulness. 

Life can have difficult times, but even then you can find the good, the opportunity and the joy and focus on those things.



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Sometimes when I’m feeling frustrated I simply take off for a nice long walk with my dog.  He doesn’t put up with any nonsense like dwelling on a problem! He gets right down to finding all sorts of fun and mischief, so I have to really watch what he’s up to. 

By the time I return, I am not only generally in a much better mood, I have this amazing new super power. 

My power?  Fresh eyes!  It allows me to see things differently than before!   To solve problems I could only minutes earlier not quite grasp!

True Story!

Oh wait, perhaps the super power is really the dog’s? I don’t know, but I do know he could care less and I relish the idea of having a super power so there…my blog, my super power!

Okay, I know I’m being a bit silly about it all but honestly sometimes it feels that way.

Taking a break from a stressful situation, problem or whatever can make with the magic!  We come back less stressed, so we think better.  We have the amazing ability to suddenly see solutions that have been previously staring us in the face unseen.   Stress, anger, frustration actually cause physical reactions that reduce our abilities to think well.  Go figure…perhaps that is where the idiom blind rage comes from?  A  lack of  fresh eyes! (You see what I did there? Nice right?)

The thing is it really can make a world of difference in many places in our day-to-day life.  We often let frustrations or upset drag on so long we hardly remember what we were doing . I mean, how many times have you been having a pointless argument only to actually forget what you were really arguing about?  It degraded and dragged on way too long.  Both parties needed to take a break, calm down and take time to consider all sides. 

Need to perk up the creative brain but feeling stuck?  Take a break. Focus on something else for a bit and then come back to it.  It can be as short a time as 10 -15 mins!

So, take a break.  It isn’t lazy or silly.

It’s science and smart.

And the dog approved this message so you KNOW I’m right.

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Have you ever heard of the Jack Pine?  You probably have seen one somewhere if you live in North America.  Odd question right?  Well stay with me here okay? 

In school I got ‘stuck’ doing a project on Pine Trees.  Oh yes…how exciting right?  Actually once I got into doing a little research I found out that these trees are pretty freakin

This is the amazing Jack Pine

amazing.  One, in particular, fascinated me.  Yes, yes…I was fascinated by a tree.  Honest..stay with me and you’ll understand.

The Jack Pine.

This tree defies the norms.  It is a tough guy too.  In fact, sometimes I thought this tree was kind of awesome in how it just sort of said ‘screw it, I’m following my own path thanks.’

Sound like anyone you know?  *grin*

Let’s start with some cool facts.  The Jack Pine can grow in rocky and sandy places..tough places for a plant of any kind to grow.  It just hunkers down and spreads its roots where it can.   Later on in life, the mature trees often end up with things like blueberry bushes because they freakin change the soil to be more acidic and beneficial.  It doesn’t wait for optimal conditions to start growing…it starts with what it has and works to make it even better

Wow…sounds like we could learn a thing or two here right?  Start with what you have, change what you can when you can.  Practice patience and lo and behold you’ve got some yummy blueberries and the world around you is better.  Nice.

You know what else? They don’t often grow straight and tall.  They grow to suit the area they are in. Often growing crooked as they look for the sun and defy the winds. 

Part of their simple beauty is the fact that they are not perfect and that they have their own life and character.  This is why sonnets have been written about them and why so many people love to paint them.  Their imperfection is what makes them so pleasing and interesting.

Get that?  People love to see them, talk about them and enjoy them because they are not perfect.  Awesome.

One of the coolest things (and this is what got me thinking about them again) is how they reproduce.  Their pine cones, which hold the seeds are serotinous.  That means they need heat (fire) to open and spread.  (I remember in my report thinking that this is just like the freakin phoenix of legend; so cool!)  This means they not only like to be unusual but have found a way to make a devastating wildfire work for them.  Talk about finding opportunity right?

The Jack Pine grows to any shape that suits the light, suits the winds and suits itself.  ~Milton Acorn

Imagine. A tree that follows it’s own path.  That’s so inspiring to me because that is what I strive to do in my own life.  Just try to tell me you aren’t able to follow your own path now!  🙂

The Jack Pine is a bit of symbol for me since I found all this out.  In fact, in high school art class we had to design our own coat of arms for a project.  Guess what I included. My own symbol of rebirth, strength and independence.  Yup, the Jack Pine. 

Do you find it odd that I have a tree for inspiration? lol I do and I love it!

What do you use to find inspiration?  The ones that remind you of who you are when you start feeling a bit stuck or lost?

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It’s been a busy month already.  I enjoy that, but still it is nice to have down day.  It got me to thinking about what a perfect day might look like.

It too would be a busy day yes? 

Oh yes.  A perfect day could be the day they discover how to make zero calorie chocolate that tastes like regular!  It would be partly spent at the beach, partly deep in the wood hiking. I’d have my pup with me and the weather would be hot, low humidity with a good breeze.  Oh..and we’d have ice-cream somewhere in there too.  And every meal would be delectable and full of my favourite things. Most importantly I would not be the one cooking or cleaning up!

Hmmm, maybe I should finish my breakfast before I write more. I’m sensing a theme 😉

You know what I noticed?  All of the stuff I’ve thought about so far is all about me.  There is nothing in there that reaches out to the rest of the world. 

Ouch.  What is that saying?

I actually lay awake last night contemplating this.  It was really bothering me.  Somewhere in there I was missing something really important.  I suppose I could reason out that the perfect day would be about indulging in all my favorite pleasures right?  But that seemed like a childish way to create a perfect day.  I want to live my life bigger than that.

So I realized at some point that my day of pure focus on me-me-me and indulgence doesn’t make sense because I get a great deal of pleasure, joy and elation when I help a person with a breakthrough.  I love knowing that I created something or caused someone else to have a better day.  My heart needs to feel that I have been compassionate and done something to assist those who cannot speak for themselves and who are vulnerable in order to be at peace with itself. I know this.  How are these things not in my perfect day?

So, the universe heard me. This morning as I sat down to write I came across this quote quite by accident.

You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you. ~John Wooden

Yes.  The universe is not always super subtle is it?  The thing is, I needed to hear that. I was correct in where I was going with this thought process.  Even a made-up, perfect day would need to fall in line with my values in order to really be perfect.

Shoot, this stuff runs deep doesn’t it?  I am always being amazed at where I discover my values making my life run its true course.

In all truth, this wasn’t what I had planned to write about today.  The realization of how important living in your truth is and how it touches every single aspect of life really made me sit up and take notice today.  When my heart and soul gets a message like this I have to share it.  It’s bigger than me and I need to let it out.

My truth.  My joy, my peace comes from right there. 

Have you experienced a deep movement like this? How did it change your life?

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Failure is an option.  A perfectly valid one.

Doing nothing is also an option and so is staying so completely stagnant you end up bored to tears with your own self.

In fact, I would say that these are the easiest ways to live your life. And a great deal of people choose this easier route.


Why?  Failing is sooooo easy!  Sheesh I do it all the freakin time.  Mind you I’ve yet to stay down.  I guess I’m missing the easy path?

Now success…that sucker is hard! 

Ya, success is a really tough task master.  You’ve got to really work at that you know? 

There is a high price for success if you really stop to think about it.  You have to struggle through many failures instead of just giving up and saying ‘at least I tried’.   You pay for success with dedication and working your butt off.  Often it requires real sacrifice in the form of time and energy.

Gosh, you are going to have to use a ton of willpower and learn loads of new things if you want to be successful.  You’re going to have to mind your mindset and watch that self esteem. You are most definitely going to have to face many of your own fears and look them dead in the eyes.  Courage must be dug up from the depths of your soul to feed your determination. 

Why do we do all this when staying stuck, failing and falling into a rut is so much easier?

Passion. It pulls us, it pushes us and it whispers in our ear when we sleep creating big, beautiful dreams that must be answered.

Great leaders, successful winners are not born.  They just heed the call.  They understand that they must grow as a person if they want to improve they rest of their life be it career, family or whatever.  Then they sweat, toil and then reap rewards.

They don’t give up easily and they listen to the divine whispers that tell them they are here for a purpose.

What are you listening to?


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Today I have a lovely surprise for you. It’s the very first guest post here on My Rivendell!  Farouk Radwin has offered to share with us his thoughts on reaching your goals. He provided some interesting questions to ask yourself when you are feeling like you need to really start reaching your goals and meeting your own personal needs.  His tips are straight shooting and to the point. 

What do you think? Do you have anything to add?

7 steps to reach your goals

Each and every person living on this planet has certain un-met needs. A poor man might need more money, an ambitious man might need more success, while a lonely man might need more friends.

Whether you know your goals or whether you don’t have any idea about them, this doesn’t mean that you don’t have important un-met needs.

Learning how to find and reach your goals could be the best thing that you could ever do to yourself in order to live a happier life.

In this post I will tell you how to find out your goals and how to reach them.

How to find your goals-ask questions!

A friend of mine told me once that he doesn’t know what he wants out of life so I asked him these questions:

Do you want to be poor? He told me, no he doesn’t.

Do you want to marry a person you are not happy with? He told me of course not.

Do you want to be unknown? He told me he’d rather be famous.

I then replied by telling him: in a way, you just stated that your goals are making more money, marrying your soul mate and to become famous. Sometimes knowing what you don’t want in life can be enough to make you aware of what you want in life.

The same goes for you, in order to find out your important un-met needs you just need to ask yourself similar questions. You don’t have to do it in a day or two, just take your time until you find out exactly what you want.

How to reach your goals-Learn and keep Moving!

I have interviewed many successful people, talked with self made millionaires, successful business men and there was one common tip that they all gave.

They all said that you must keep trying and failing while learning in order to reach what you want. They all agreed that the best approach to reach any goal in the world is:

1)      To first be brave enough to give it a try even if you think that you are ready.

2)      After that you need to evaluate your attempt and see if you were successful or not.

3)      Most probably you will not  succeed from the first attempt, so don’t feel bad.  Understand that success doesn’t happen overnight.

4)      Learn about the mistakes you made to understand why you failed.

5)      Fix your mistakes and try once again.

6)      Don’t stay down or broken between failed attempts, but instead get back on your feet as fast you can.

7)      Repeat the same steps over and over until you become successful.

If you followed these seven steps and committed to them then you will certainly become successful. Yes it might not happen fast, but it will happen one day if you kept trying.

 Written by M.Farouk Radwan

The founder of http://www.2knowmyself.com

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So here we are in 2012!  2011 was a tough year for many people.  However I have openly decided to call 2012 the Year of Possibilities

Why?  It just make sense.  This past few months I have opened the door to learning how to graciously accept the possibilities that have come my way as the universe answered my calls for direction. I want this to continue.  I want to be open to all possibilities and not tied to one outcome.  That is where frustration enters.

If you’ve been one of my long time readers you may remember last year I talked about throwing resolutions out the door.  Instead I offer you this suggestion.  Decide what your intentions are for your life this year.  What do you intend to do with your career, your family, relationships, spirituality etc.  Write these down. There is something about putting thoughts into a permanent place like a journal or list that helps call it into reality. 

Once you have intentions you can begin to set goals around making these things happen for you.

Let me give you an example.

One of my intentions is to take my Coaching to the next level.  My intention in no way sets out how this will look. It is time for me to decide that when I set my next goal around this intention.  So, to honor that intention I will set a goal for January of speaking to 5 new people a week (no repeats allowed) about coaching.  I also may set some goals longer term or include different aspects of what this will look like. I may also include asking those I already know to share my website or blog with 3 people they know. (hint hint)

Words have power.  They do.  Proclaiming New Year resolutions have become a bit of a sad joke. We fully expect that we will fail at them and so set ourselves up to do so.  However if we take time to decide what we want and intend to do overall this coming year we then can regain focus and set wise goals.  I will have a terrific quest post coming up (whohoo!) by Farouk Radwan of  www.2knowmyself.com  that will talk about setting goals.  Look for that and more posts around starting this year off well.

When you list your intentions don’t forget to look at all aspect of your life.   Make sure you feel them deep in your heart.  Try to examine if this is something YOU want or something you think you should want.  These intentions can be also about what you no longer want in your life.  What you intend to let go of. In fact, sometimes I find these are more powerful intentions.

  • family
  • relationships
  • work
  • career
  • spirituality
  • personal growth
  • love
  • health
  • values
  • finances
  • truth

The possibilities for your life are endless.  Set out what you want and then make a plan to get there.  Remember what I always say “if you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there?”

Instead of making resolutions this year, why not join me in setting intentions around what you want to bring into your life, and what you want to let go of?

What are some of your intentions for this year?  Is there any way I can help?

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