Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

I am all about starting, launching and getting going. Propulsion thrills me. Velocity thrills me. “Your best you. Starting now”, remember?

So, while I’m a big starter, I’m also pretty fascinated by those who are big FINISHERS. Enter the fabulous, inspiring and über-cool Dyana Valentine. Her motto? “Helping self-starters self-finish: one project at a time”.Picture-15-150x150

She’s been on my radar for a while, though it wasn’t until she issued a challenge that I decided to say “howdy”. Her challenge : 40 Days of Our Bodies – a commitment to tending to our bodies for 40 days and noticing the shifts that arise.

I decided to jump on in with committing to 40 days of yoga. No small feat, right? Hatha = hard. Here’s the kicker though. I LOVE yoga. Making room for a daily practice is a challenge, yes, but I started to feel that I was cheating myself out of the substance of this exercise…kinda like a vegan giving up liver and onions for Lent. So I looked a little deeper and I didn’t much care for what I saw…which is precisely when I discovered what I had to do.

On October 3rd, I decided to give up the smokes. FOR GOOD. Yup…that’s right. I had been smoking “socially” for the past two years (again). It pains me to type those words: inner monologue goes something like “you should have known better”; “how can you coach people towards self-care if you weren’t walking the talk”; “yucky stinky” and so on.

But self-imposed judgment doesn’t ever work too well with me (which is why I hadn’t managed to REALLY quit before). Here’s what does work for me:

  1. A good and resonant reason…love. I am 37. My mother died at 59. I am madly in love with my family…and I do not want to cheat them out of ME and what I bring to this life. Ain’t nothing more resonant for me than love.
  2. A good challenge…with accountabilities built in. I shared with Dyana and she’s been a valued source of support, inspiration and giggles. I knew she wouldn’t let me fall. And she won’t.

Am on Day 20. Half-way through Ms D’s  challenge…and 20 days into a new and freer chapter in my blessed life.

What do you need to be finished with so that you can get started on your new path?


Read Full Post »

It’s been oft-quoted that Lao Tzu said “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”

What’s the first step in a 1,100 km trek in Antarctica? (more…)

Read Full Post »

We spend a lot of our time being told what to do and what not to do. And then we have children and get to be on the other end (then they hit 5 years old and we’re back on the receiving end again… but I digress).

I have a ton of respect for those who “do”. I live in an amazing neighbourhood in Toronto (Danforth East). It is culturally diverse, eclectic and some would say “up and coming” (though others suggest that this gentrification is unwelcome). Call it what you will, but this it ain’t no cookie-cutter ‘hood.

A source of frustration for residents has been the categorization of the area as being a mere sum of its parts. Where the media seems to see only vacant store fronts and thrift shops, residents see a gold mine of finds (John’s Hobbies, Royal Beef, Relish, Seb’s Cappuccino). Where some see unkempt houses, others see tree-lined streets, beautiful parks and helpful neighbours.

While many people tend to get frustrated and bemoan circumstances, others DO. I have the great pleasure of knowing a group of individuals who’ve said: “Enough. Let’s stop talking about what this neighbourhood doesn’t have and DO something about it”. Over coffees and wine in each others’ homes, bit by bit, the neighbourhood has mobilized…thanks to the Danforth East Community Association.

The results? A Farmer’s Market, revitalized storefronts, and a sense of civic pride.

These things don’t just happen because we want them to…it goes without saying that it takes a LOT of work. Case in point…two days ago (in the dreary days of February), a group of neighbourhood women carpooled their way to St. Catharine’s to attend a conference on organic fruits and vegetables, leaving kids and businesses behind in other people’s capable hands.

What of revitalized storefronts? Last fall a group of residents got together to help out a floundering shop…check out this article…it takes a village to raise a store.

And as for the aforementioned civic pride, please read DECA Diaries…the love child of Natasha Granatstein, a very very busy woman who chairs DECA and wants the world to know what can be done…if everyone just stops talking and DOES.

Many thanks for the inspiration.

No one’s interested in something you didn’t do.
– Gord Downey (Tragically Hip)

Read Full Post »