Presents or Presence?

As the calendar year ends, we enter the holy season—the holidays—and magically begin to open ourselves to more giving and receiving.  When I stop to think about the gifts that mean the most to people, I think of connection, wisdom, acceptance, understanding, compassion and love.

The other day I was running my fingers through my daughter’s long hair while she laid beside me.  In that precious moment, I realized that having my children close to me is my greatest gift. … Hearing their voices come in the door, …watching my dog whine crazily for them when they walk in and having them present with me, is the greatest gift I could ask for.

You too are valuable.  Be the present that others need.

In your workplace – Can you be more tolerant, more disciplined, more patient or more engaged?

At home?  Can you be more emotionally available? More open minded? Can you listen deeper, and seek to understand?

Think about who you’re a gift to at this very moment in your life, and what is it that these people need and want from you.  The answers to these questions are precisely where your presence makes all the difference in your world.  This is where you are the hope, the miracle, the blessing and the love to those who need you the most.

So this season, don’t look for the gift; be the gift.

Don’t look for the light to shine on you; be the light.

Don’t look for the love; be the love.

Rather than looking for the blessing, be the blessing.

Don’t ask for hope; be the hope.

Don’t expect the miracle; be the miracle.

Give your pure presence to others.  There is no better gift.  Life is short, and relationships are everything!

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays,

inspirational speaker, self help author


Mother’s Day Words

If you are a mom, Happy Mother’s Day.  If not, you definitely have a mom, whether she is with you in body or just in spirit, you can tap into the abundant love that she has or had for you, where you feel unconditionally loved, nurtured and safe.


Motherly love is … affectionate, careful, caretaking, comforting, devoted, fond, gentle, kind, loving, maternal, nurturing, protecting, protective, sheltering, supporting, sympathetic, tender, warm, watchful

Motherly love is energy for both genders to consider balancing.


Read more about how men in positions of power are eager to learn the vocal strategies of women.


“I believe in love at first sight because I’ve been loving my mother since I opened my eyes”


What does International Women’s Day mean for you?

March 8th every year is International Women’s Day, where the focus ranges from generalities of respect, love and appreciation to social, economical and political advancement of women.  What does this mean for YOU?

Gentlemen, today is another day like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day where you can make a special effort to show the women in your life how grateful you are for them.  As well, in the workplace, you can honor the special skill set that women bring.  Consider these points:
•    Women are more intuitive and bring in all points of view, which allows for more collaboration and ultimately, win/win situations: an essential skill in today’s complex working environment.
•    Values are more empathic from a woman’s perspective, especially when conflicts between work and life appear, women tend to be more supportive.
•    Fostering a stronger support system, women tend to be solid networkers who help each other out, assist and support more than men do.

One of the most prevalent weaknesses of women in the workplace is their lack of confidence in their ability.  Gentlemen, here lies your opportunity to leverage the woman power in your life and your workplace.  Compliment them with genuine examples of how their intuition, values or support makes your world a better place.  Be specific with your examples, and celebrate with them.  By doing this, you will be tapping in your own feminine energy, which is an important balance to your masculine self.

Ladies, today is the day to reflect on the special women in your life who have helped you get to where you are today.  Reach out and verbally share your gratitude.  In prayer, in words, in a hand written note, a card, an email, text, blog post, facebook post,  twitter feed … Honor the amazing acts of feminine heroism that has been the wind beneath your wings, and also, honor yourself.

I will never forget the words of my baby nurse, Anne Smith when I delivered my first child.  “Isn’t it amazing how giving birth changes who we are as women?”  From that moment onward, day after day, my feelings of being a woman have grown stronger.

To my Mom, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, friends, sister-in-laws, nieces, daughters, colleagues, coaches, energy healers, mid-wife, nurses and audience … thank you.  I wouldn’t even be one tenth of who I am today without your love, lessons and support.

Happy Women’s Day!!

a)    Our Canadian theme for IWD, 2013 is Working Together: Engaging Men to End Violence against Women 
b)    My charity of choice is the Nipissing Transition House.  Donations are appreciated.  Read more about how you can help.
c)    More research and video from



Letting People Know Who They Are Has a Significant Ripple Effect


I once read a story about a teacher who decided to honor the seniors at her high school by having them come to the front of the class one by one to receive verbal recognition of how they had made a difference. She presented them each with a blue ribbon to acknowledge that who they are made a difference. To see what impact this recognition could have on the community, the teacher gave each student three more ribbons to share with others and asked them to report the results back within a week.

One student honored a junior executive at a local company for his mentorship. He pinned a ribbon to the man’s shirt and told him how he had made a difference. The student then gave the man the two remaining ribbons and asked him to find someone to recognize and ask them to do the same so they could keep the ceremony going.

The junior executive selected his boss, who had a reputation of being rather grumpy. He admired his creativity and told him so, and asked for permission to pin on the ribbon. Then he asked his boss to take a blue ribbon to someone who he thought deserved to be recognized.

That night, the boss went home to his teenage son and told him of this incredible thing that happened earlier in the day. “A junior executive presented me with this ribbon because he admired my creativity,” the man said. “He asked me to honor someone else in the same way to keep the chain of recognition going.”

“On the drive home from work I thought about you,” he continued. “Although I’m very busy with my career, sometimes day and night, and I get upset with you for not performing well enough in school, or not picking up after yourself at home, I really do love you. Who you are makes a difference to me because you’re one of the most important people in my life.”

Tears overwhelmed the boy. He looked at his father, and said, “Dad, I was planning on taking my life because I didn’t believe you loved me. Now that I feel how important I am to you, I can live on.”

The teacher followed up with her students to receive feedback regarding what had happened with the ribbon campaign. They concluded that recognizing who people are makes a significant difference—one that has a long-reaching ripple effect.

Learn more about how a pat on the back pays huge dividends in the workplace, in my latest article.

Love is something you DO

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for lovers.  It’s a day to celebrate your love for all people, including your family and your work family.  Traditionally we buy cards, flowers, chocolate, even dinner in restaurants to show people how special they are to us and how much we appreciate them.

There are other ways to show love, and it only requires taking action.

Love  is something you do.  It’s the small and big things: the random acts of kindness, surprises, extra support, smiles, conversations, pats on the back, compliments, patience, kind thoughts, compassion, and many other acts of doing something for someone else.

Read 10 ways that you can love people and strengthen your team at work this Valentine’s Day week.  I guarantee you that these respectful ways of appreciating others, or working together as a more cohesive team will deliver results long after the occasion has passed.

Forward this to a co-worker and get the whole office on the band wagon of doing good things for each other.  I would love to hear your stories, so please comment on how you’ve used love to enhance your team’s bonding this week.

Sending you all BIG love, and appreciation for your readership, frequent comments and encouragement.


Do You Give & Receive the Gifts that Matter Most?

When I stop to really think about the gifts that mean the most to people, I think of the gifts of connection, wisdom, acceptance, understanding, compassion and love.  For example, when we believe in someone, see them for who they are, and understand them to a point of feeling compassion and unconditional love we are truly giving them the gift of our love.  That is the gift that people seek beneath the materialism of good gestures and presents at this time and any time of year: to be loved, noticed, heard, understood, and felt.

Are you able to truly receive the gifts that other people bring to you, or are you too busy finding their short falls and what they are not giving to you?

Be present with people this year, rather than just giving presents (gifts).  Read my December article, Presence or Presents to find out how.

Be blessed this Holiday season, and treasure the gifts that matter most.


Set Boundaries for Yourself and Others

Are you frustrated about other people not living up to your expectations?  Let’s take that thought of everyone else being the problem, and turn it inward.  Are you frustrated about not living up to your expectations?  This is a common issue that people want resolved.  Start by shifting yourself, and watch others magically fall into line.

Let’s start with boundaries.  For the next few days, observe your compliance to boundaries?

For example, are you wishy-washy when it comes to making decisions or following rules?   When you say ‘no’, does it mean no? or does it mean maybe, we’ll see how I feel at the time?  Do you abide by the speed limit, stop signs and distracted driving laws?  What about time boundaries? Are you consistently late?  Do time boundaries hold firm with you or are they loose?  Does your time-management get away from you often?

After observing your behavior toward how you obey boundaries you will see where the slack is.  Your non-compliance is bothering you, which is why you are seeing examples of it in other people.  Also, those you lead are being improperly influenced by your lack of setting and maintaining firm boundaries.

There are times that we need to be flexible, and times when we need to be firm.  Safety requires tight boundaries, where dealing with the emotions of people could require us to be more flexible.

A perfectly tuned instrument makes beautiful music because it is not too tight and not too loose.  So too can you live with better harmony with a firm but fair balance using boundaries to guide you more beautifully toward your highest self-expectations.

When others see you respecting yourself with boundaries, they instinctively respect you as well. Read my article this month, Set Boundaries and Be Rich.



Accept Others and Be Rich

In the workplace, judgment of others often leads to disharmony because people expect others to behave, speak or interact in a certain way.  The fact is that we can be divided into different ‘personality styles’; each personality type has different strengths and weaknesses.

Hypothetically speaking, the best possible team would have a combined inventory of all types of personalities, combining the largest variety of strengths to achieve its goals.  Members of this team would also need to understand each other’s behavior style in order to better accept each other and maintain positive, productive and profitable relationships.

Accepting others for reasons beyond personality styles, tolerance, and being productive on a team is important because everything is energy.  A team’s energy, like all things, can either be expansive or constricting.  To be rich is to be expanded.

When we judge others, we criticize their moral behavior as inappropriate.  This invites constricting energy into our own being. If we feel that, in order for us to accept and love others unconditionally, they have to be perfect or conform to a certain standard —  height, width, color, race, religion, status, and behaviour are just a few examples — we are resisting them, and therefore resisting our own full potential of receiving abundance in the process.

Judgment is a part of some people’s way of life.  “Did you see her ugly clothes?”, “His yard is a mess”, or  “Her way of communicating is inappropriate” — these fault-finding judgments are negative, waste time, and invite the same negative energy back to you.  What you’re really saying is, “I have something negative and it bothers me, so I need to gather evidence of ugliness externally, rather than finding it within.” It’s easier to see it in others where one cannot fix it; such cycles are continuous.

In thoughts of judging or doubting ourselves, we unconsciously invite in constricting energy that stifles our flow or expanse.  When we judge ourselves, we don’t feel good enough because we fear how we will be judged by others.

judgement vs analysing

Judging people invites constricting energy

Remember when, in kindergarten or grade school, you created artwork by putting paint on one side of a sheet of paper and folded it in half to create an identical image on the other side?  You created a mirror image of your work; similarly, when you judge people for their inadequacies, you create a tainted mirror for yourself.  When you judge someone else, you really aren’t rejecting them — you are rejecting the same things and concepts in yourself.

Lift your judgment of others.  Let them be them, and you focus on being you.

“All judgement is self-judgement.” ―  Paul Richard

Freedom from judgment is peaceful; it is expansive, because it will allow you to be open to giving and receiving your best.  Free yourself by loving people as they are so that you can be loved as you are.

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”  ― Mother Teresa

Group hugs and best wishes for an expansion of abundant energy by accepting others,


p.s.  Personality Styles training is a great way to get your team to accept others instantly.  Find out more in our Workplace Relationships brochure.

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Visit the programs page to learn what my seminars, workshops, keynotes, books, and audio products can bring to you or your organization.

Respectful Email Writing …

One of the challenges with email is that the message sent from one person to another can be misundersood.  Another challenge is that people resort to using email to deal with converstations that they aren’t comfortable having face-to-face.

I have recorded a short video tip to get you pointed in the right direction.  It is about checking your intention first before you send an email that could harm you and the recipient.

I have also dedicated my March 2012 article to this very important subject.  I know it will help many people, becuase the topic is one of the most popular conflict causing issues in organizations.

If you learn something, please send it to someone else.  Of course, with good intentions 😉

Settle Your Own Disputes

Giving and Receiving takes many forms in life.  We give time, money, support and many other efforts to many different people, and by universal law, we receive on some level back in a dynamic exchange.

No matter how good your intentions are, and how hard you try to give your best, sometimes, disputes arise.  Making the time to resolve them is difficult, because it doesn’t feel good to resolve conflict, it re-hashes old wounds and our emotions can get the best of us.  Yesterday I heard a Judge say to a plaintiff and a defendant, after hearing both sides of their case, “If you can settle your own disputes then you can control your own destiny”.  What a powerful statement.  Through making an effort to communicate with those you are in dispute with, to reach a resolution and put the past behind you, you free up energy to move forward, thus achieving more of what you want, rather than being stuck where you don’t want to be.  Take control of your own destiny, and make time to settle your disputes, whatever size they may be, they are holding you back from greener pastures.

Penny Tremblay

Workplace Relations – Building Positive, Productive and Profitable Relationships
with Keynotes, Seminars & Workshops