Category Archives: Life Reflections

Reflections on life

Hearts Extend To Fort McMurray

The displacement of thousands of people due to wildfires in Fort McMurray is a reminder of how things can change so quickly. One minute we are busy at work, playing in our garden, dining at a favourite restaurant or cuddled up in our cozy bed and the next moment we are escaping from a threat with only the clothes on our backs.

It is truly heartbreaking to think about the toll this has taken on those people. My mind also wanders to the forests and animals that will not be spared. Wildfires happen every year but none as devastating as this.

The fiery embers rain down and through the smoke we witness emergency response teams doing their jobs, without knowledge of their own families safety, without sleep and guaranteed protection. How this fire began is yet to be confirmed but whether it was caused by human or lightening it remains a terrible situation.

Rebuilding Fort McMurray will be years in the making and it is likely that thousands will not be returning to life as they once knew it. That reality can take an emotional toll on individuals and families. Support will be needed for some time to come.

I heard a radio commentator talking about the stupid and cruel remarks made by pundits and others on the internet about this crisis. Some taking the opportunity to blame climate change and others saying Fort McMurray deserves this as pay back for being involved in the oil business. He was incensed and so was I. SHAMEFUL!

If there is one thing you can count on it’s people like that slithering out from dark holes to spew venom before retreating back inside.

There is also no value in the could’ve, should’ve blame that often accompanies these things. Energy must be directed toward pursuits of rebuilding, with communities and individuals rising to the challenge.

To all those former residents of Fort McMurray it is my hope that you know across this country we are keeping you in our thoughts. (At least those of us that have an ounce of compassion, sense and civility left in us)  We hope that donations and goodwill help you rebuild a new life that eventually lessens the pain of today.   Our hearts go out to you.

Wildfire Information Alberta and British Columbia

Wildfire Alberta

Wildfire History BC

Spain’s Got Talent!

Have you ever heard an opera singer belt out AC/DC’s song Highway to Hell? Well, here’s your chance.

Let it be said that good and safe singers might stay in their lane but great and adventurous vocalists aren’t afraid to hit the pedal to the metal and cruise in and out. All they see in their wake are wide eyes and jaws dropping.

Check this out and see what you think?

A Complicated Life

Do you ever feel like your life is getting so complicated you want to pull the covers over your head and not come out of your room. I have days when I feel that way too lately and though I try to pace myself I think aspects of my life are just getting more complicated. I have been feeling like I’m being called in so many directions that my head is spinning.

I have taken on new work contracts where I’m trying to immerse myself in different cultures, expectations, departments and curriculum. It’s not a huge learning curve but there are a lot of people talking at me and I respect them enough to listen and learn.

My mother is not well and there is great concern that she is in grave danger but she refuses to see a doctor. Every day I check in to make sure she is OK or still with us. Late today after singing lessons, which I see as an indulgence in me time, my intuition told me to go visit her. It was a good thing I did.

Then there is the projects that are going on around our home in an effort to prepare it for sale. We are not sure that will we move but we are actively researching options and looking at houses in other communities.

I’m attending a workshop this weekend and beginning coursework for another program which has to be completed by the beginning of July. Amongst all of this is the normal responsibilities associated with life.

I feel guilty when I don’t blog for a while. Silly, isn’t it? It’s not like this is the big time but I know you are out there. I see my stats and so I feel that one way or another I should make sure to write. I often secretly chastise myself for not writing more career related posts but to be honest I feel my industry has very little new to say. So, when I do write it comes from a place of authenticity which again takes energy.

As time passes I’m not sure I have the energy to keep up with demands of home, work, relationships and family. You know what I mean? I’m sure you do. It used to be that I would thrive on a having a full day of stuff to do but now I would love one full day of nothing to do. If I get an hour of nothingness I’m elated!

Some days I’m afraid to answer my phone or open an email. Somebody is bound to want something from me and I’m not sure I have any more to give. With my Mum I feel I have become the parent, with my sister’s I feel like I have become the person who “handles stuff”, with my house I feel like the project manager and there are of course many more roles to play.

It’s someone else’s fault. I doubt that it is. I am notorious for pushing past pain and discomfort to obtain something for me or someone else. There should be no judgement positively or negatively on that, it just is. I have long worked with women and counseled them on the need for some balance, honoring self and all those great things but I’m not living the talk.

I and maybe most women have a hard time believing that people will be OK without us. We can feel a compulsion to solve every problem or manage every project. It’s not healthy but we will likely only find that out after some hardcore self-reflection or the universe will do it for us.

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Losing the Greats of Rock!

We are losing the greats of rock. Glenn Frey of the Eagles passes away at age 67 on January 18, 2016, David Bowie dies at age 69 January 10, 2016 and this past December 2015 it was Ian Kilmister, known as Lemmy by Motörhead fans.

These singers and musicians were part of the most prolific time in music history, the 1970’s, but their success did not end there. Each of these music icons moved through the years and contributed greatly to a body of work that left an imprint on each decade.

Selfishly, I consider that one by one the stars are going out and my sky is changing. I can’t help but wonder how much time I have left to see and hear the performers that bring so much joy to my ears. My connection to my youth is slipping away, my memories are fading and with all of that comes the knowledge that maybe rock is dying too. The question becomes, “How do we keep it alive?”

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Rockers know, live and breathe songs. For a music lover, like myself, it feels like I came into the world searching for something audible and someone plugged into an amp and said, “Feel it all.” It is the life’s blood and most of my life was defined by rock moments.

I rocked myself to sleep as a child with my blue transistor radio stuffed under my pillow. I loved placing the needle on my vinyl records and watch that same needle sit between the grooves. When I wanted to hear the song again, I would pick it up and start all over. I was addicted to rock.

I now understand what my mother feels when she looks for a familiar face, hears a singer’s name mentioned in the news or shares a moment when she first heard their song. She says, “All the greats are gone.” For her that is likely true and for me, it is becoming so.

In memory of Glenn Frey Eagles members and family provided a beautiful tribute.

 

When I think of the band Eagles I have so many songs in my head and it would be hard to choose any particular song as the favourite. Even David Bowie has always mesmerized me by the hundreds of songs he wrote – some of which made radio play and many others that didn’t.

The Glenn Frey’s, David Bowie’s, Lemmy’s and others like they are reminders that talent is a magical combination of all the stars aligning and collective consciousness willing them forward. Their success was once, but a dream and I’m pretty sure none could have foreseen how many in this world would embrace them. So, for all the 70’s rockers out there…. be thankful we grew up when we did.

We grew up in a time when people wrote the best music and lyrics. When DJ’s actually listened to an album and brought to us songs that assumed we were capable of appreciating their complexity and creativity. This was a time when radio music libraries were full of vinyl and fun. Though some of the brightest amongst us are physically leaving now let’s take solace in knowing we can always turn up the volume and hear them one more time.

Here’s my quote for us old rockers:

Old rockers never die they just wait until the chorus comes around and then join in again.

 

The Loss of David Bowie

I was extremely saddened to hear that David Bowie passed away. My sympathy extends to his family and those who knew him well. For the rest of us fans it means that our ticket stubs, concert memories, records, CD’s and DVD’s become our precious way to connect with him.

He was known for his concert stage character Ziggy Stardust but his love of portraying someone other than himself also extended to movies and theatre. He influenced fashion and as a multi-talented man, Mr. Bowie was always light years ahead of many artists, musicians, producers and singers.

I went to see two of his concerts, one of which was the Glass Spider Tour. His shows were perfection! This man clearly was genius and he surrounded himself with talented band members and visionary artists who took the shows to a sensory level unrivalled by most acts.

It would be easy for me to share more and more about how much I loved David Bowie but it’s not necessary. Anyone who followed this creative man and bathed in his artistry knows why today is a sad day.

Even as he left us he did so with the gift of music in his last album Blackstar.

David Bowie Website

This is one of my favourite songs by Bowie but boy is it hard to pick only one to put into this blog post.

 

The Promise of a New Year

Happy New Year Fabulous Readers! Another year begins with promise and I don’t know about you but ideas are already filling my mind. I love to float ideas around and see what is goal worthy. New year’s resolutions are a little too binding for me but goal setting makes sense. I thought I would share a few of my goals for the new year with you:

  1. Have a huge garage sale in the spring and get rid of all the things I really don’t need
  2. Paint my bedroom in some fresh but calming colour
  3. Take additional courses related to my profession
  4. Learn how to paint (Haven’t decided on the type of painting media)
  5. Find even more creative and supportive ways to engage my talented clients
  6. Learn to Salsa dance with my husband
  7. Update this website
  8. Spend more quality time with my family
  9. Adopt two budgies from the animal protection society (In progress, arriving tomorrow)
  10. Continue to be thankful I am here and surrounded by so many wonderful people.

85px-toasting_champagneCheers to you all! May the new year bring good health, happiness and success your way.

 

The Hustle and Bustle of Christmas in Whoville

Did you watch the 2000 film Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas? Remember all the hustle and bustle around Whoville as they prepared for Christmas? Well, that is how I see my world right now – I’m surrounded by Whos. When I imagine each day as if I live in Whoville it becomes less stressful and more comical.

I stood in the line up a the post office poised to send my Happy New Years cards (I gave up trying to hit the Christmas deadline) when I noticed a man place a HUGE box on the counter. My imagination carried me back to the mail room where all the Whos gifts were quickly processed and shot off in all directions.

In the store there was a family with packages and bags in both arms but their faces didn’t look like happy Whos. I followed them out as they went to find their car which isn’t easy to do. Big cars, little cars, cyclist and scooters maneuvered through the parking lot with purpose. It is easy to recognize the fear in someone’s eyes when the realize they can’t remember where they parked.

One of the things I love most about Christmas is all the lights hung with care and what I find funny is those that aren’t. You know what I’m talking about. There is always a home or two on the block that looks like someone was not concerned about competing for Best Christmas Light Display. No, these lights are strewn across buildings, clipped haphazardly to gutters thrown up in trees with the intention that whatever they can hook on is a bonus. You have to admire their untroubled approach.

What was the one thing that Whoville didn’t have? A Liquor Store. Now that’s a place that does business! This is how some non-Whos get through Christmas – one cocktail at a time. If you give the Grinch in your life a little spirits he or she will be singing the Welcome Christmas song around your tree in no time.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

 

Careers – The Best One’s Are Born From Passion

A warm welcome is extended to guest blogger Shelly Stinson. Shelly is a freelance writer based out of Denver, Colorado, who is turning her passion for health & wellness into a career by eventually starting her own website. Here is Shelly’s contribution to Esteem Rising ®.

There’s an old English proverb that says that “necessity is the mother of invention.” While this has certainly been true time and time again, prompting the conception of many life-enhancing products and services, there is also another important quality to consider when it comes to creating something that turns into a wild success—and that is passion.

While passion might seem like a fairly easy concept to nail down, the reality is that some people spend a lifetime searching for it. In fact, if you Google “how do you find your passion?” you wind up with roughly 141 million results, proving that it can be a very elusive concept. So, what exactly is passion?

The Definition of Passion

Passion has been defined as a “powerful or compelling emotion or feeling” or “a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire.” In real life terms, it is the excitement that you get in the pit of your stomach when you’re talking about a specific topic or see a certain person. It is also commonly referred to as the “burning” or “longing” that you feel about something or someone that you know will make your life complete.

But passion is also something a bit more. It is the drive that pushes you to want to spend the rest of your life working in a particular field or doing a specific function. Ultimately, this usually involves leaving your mark on the world by taking whatever it is you feel strongly about and turning it into a long, satisfying, and successful career. Which is exactly what one woman named Jil Larsen did.

Jil’s Story

In 2006, Jil was diagnosed with melasma, a skin condition characterized by grayish-brown patches that appear on various parts of the body. Usually, one of those places is the face (specifically on the cheeks, forehead, and chin); however, it can also appear on other areas of the body as well, especially those that typically get a lot of sun. Either way, these dark spots can really impact a person’s self-esteem, which makes the consequences of this condition as much mental as they are physical.

When using traditional medical methods, melasma treatment usually involves taking corticosteroids or getting chemical peels, yet Jil chose to take a different route. After doing some thorough and in-depth research about what causes this particular condition and the various treatment options that exist, she decided that there was something she could do that didn’t involve taking medication. She had to change her eating habits.

Jil gave up meat and dairy products, cleaned up other areas of her diet and focused on eating healthier and more nutritious foods, and even started juicing. And she did this with one simple goal of clearing her skin and removing the dark patches that had suddenly appeared. Fortunately, within just a few months, her condition started to reverse but, almost better yet, a passion had been ignited.

In fact, Jil became so passionate about the positive benefits that healthy eating and juicing offered for her that she decided to turn it into a career. She obtained her health coach certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and, from there, opened her own healthy-eating business on Fulton Street in New York City called Magic Mix Juicery.

What Is Your Passion?

Many woman like Jil have taken their passion, their twists and turns in life that seemingly started out pretty negative, and turned them into something not only positive for themselves but for others as well. This allows them to live a life that brings them joy, satisfaction, and contentment both personally and in their careers.

So, now the only question that remains is: What is your passion and how can you turn it into a career? In other words, what is the one thing that, when you think about it, makes you smile not only on your face, but also deep down in your soul?

This isn’t an easy question to answer sometimes because we tend to get focused on working for money in order to support ourselves and our families. To help you overcome this way of thinking and find your true passion, ask yourself what you would do to keep busy if you were to win the lottery tomorrow and didn’t have to sweat paying your bills. What areas would you get involved in? What type of job would make you want to get out of bed in the morning, excited about the day ahead?

Even if you can’t just jump into a career that you’re passionate about full-time right now, there are often lots of things you can do on a part-time basis until you’re able to earn enough to make the final leap. Once you take that first step, the final step is often much easier and, before you know it, you’re doing what you love…just like Jil.

 

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(Jennifer Chandler Consulting does not endorse any products, services or health claims)