“Until death do we part” is etched in my mind as a popular wedding vow. Lately, however, I’ve been thinking about how death or tragedy brings people together. The sharing of loss, grief and compassion has family members dropping the things that would normally keep them too busy to connect so that they can show up to support one another. The deeper question I have is why do we wait? Why does it take a tragedy to put the first things first in our lives, which—for most people—are relationships?
Even a minor shift in a relationship piques my interest in this subject. I recently heard news of a talented businessman leaving our community and felt an urgent need to connect with him. I wanted to ensure that our relationship doesn’t end. He’s valuable to me. I feel I have as much to offer him as he has to offer me. “Why did I wait?” I asked myself.
If you took your last breath upon retiring to bed tonight, would it all be said? Would those you love and care about know how you feel? Would the strained relationships in your life become resolved? More importantly, would you feel complete with those who really matter to you?
My partner Matt received a phone call about a month ago with sad news of his step-father’s passing. Matt’s mom had left his stepfather at home while she ran a daily errand, only to come home 45 minutes later to find him laying on the floor. He had passed away very suddenly and with no warning. Matt spent a few hours with his mom and the body of his stepdad before the coroner took him away. It was in those moments that Matt was able to say a few things that he’d been wanting to say for many years.
When we see someone, we never know if it will be for the last time; yet if we think about how we’d leave things with that person—just in case it is the last time—we’d respond and communicate from a deeper place of love and acceptance instead of judgment and criticism. It’s not just the person we’re losing that we connect with in a time of tragedy. We rekindle, resolve and reconnect with other members of our family or community with whom we’ve grown apart from because we realize that the human needs of support and compassion that we can give far outweigh our own selfish battles of ego, being right, being accepted, or being treated a certain way. Why don’t we just default to love, support and compassion?
Things that matter most shouldn’t be at the mercy of things that matter least. In the end, relationships matter most, so why wait? We’re not too busy when there is a tragedy to drop everything and go to support the people that matter, so why don’t we make time to nurture the needs of relationships that matter even in the absence of tragedy?
I’m sharing this personal experience to help in the healing of mothers and children, as we celebrate Mother’s Day.
Early this morning I sat in a deep meditation, inviting wisdom from spiritual sources; some who are alive and some that have passed. In the center of my circle of wisdom keepers and seekers, a fire burned and the intention was set for healing, clarity and wisdom about being a Mom, and/or a daughter/son.
It was known that we can be called to duty because we’ve got gifts to give. The Creator, God, has a divine plan for us, and the duties sometimes seem unfair, but we’re given tasks because of our capabilities to perform them best.
Sometimes as Mother’s, we need to make difficult choices to save ourselves that seem to interrupt the flow or the comfort of our children or families. Being a Mom / child is just a part of who we are, and taking care of the other parts of who we are critical to our inner peace. These choices can cause upset for our children or parents, they will grow through the struggles. The bond of love between a mother and child is unbreakable at a soul level. Our job as Mother’s is to love our children. It is not their job to love us back. It is their job to find their way amidst the obstacles of life, and we must allow them to explore. There is a lot of time in the future to allow the bonds of love between parent and child to be fulfilling.
I was reminded that well beyond this lifetime, there are many other lives to live out, and we choose people long before we came into this life to live with and learn some of our toughest lessons, which strengthen us for this and future lives.
We have choices to make about the company we keep. At times, those choices divide families, where alternatively, we could continue a life of stifling our own spirit, to maintain the connection. Either way, there’s a cost. The question is, what result do we seek, and are we willing to pay the appropriate price.
It was suggested to love our partners, for the relationship long outlives the term we are parents. Children pass through our lives, partnerships are something we crave long-term, and shouldn’t be at the mercy of parenting. There’s always a regret when we’ve lost a partner, that we could have invested more love, more time.
Although the search for true happiness and completion will never end, we must enjoy the journey while we continue to live curiously through each day, soaking up every moment with a sense of gratitude for what each moment brings. This is possible and amplified with a Spiritual connection. With a connection to our higher power that we truly believe in and nurture daily, we realize that life is far more than our role as mothers or children. Spiritually connected and in tune, we know that the core of our being we are loved through all our imperfections, we are enough and that we are never ever alone.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Being among family can be more demanding of our emotional capacity than anything else. You can choose your friends, but family is chosen for us, and the bond runs deep whether relations are good or not good. Tolerance is an asset.
Be the Gift this year. Be tolerant of others. Be the one who can mingle in family time without judgment. Accept people for who they are, or who they are not.
Be aware of your intolerant thoughts about people, places or things. If thoughts of resentment, jealousy, judgment or self pity back come up, redirect them back toward your own peace as if they are light beams that are yours, and being chosen to keep for their brilliant energy. Call it back to you, and convert it to light, bright goodness so that it can be medicine for your own mind, body and spirit.
Other people’s issues aren’t our problem to solve. They’ve got their own struggles and we have ours. If we were supposed to be dealing with their struggles, it would feel right. But it feels off, which is our internal guidance system telling us to focus elsewhere.
This is a very short Holiday greeting, because I know you’re busy and heading into the most intensive seasons of the year. A time when you’ll be with family, and those that matter most to you, and for some, a time when you can only wish you could be with someone special who isn’t there. Be Tolerant – and Be Rich in peace, love and joy.
Are you ‘living the dream’? Do you jump out of bed to dive into your awesome day? We’re just one thought away from living at the top of our game. The thought of believing you can, believing you’re able, capable and deserving. You’re never to old to recreate yourself. Have you ever thought ‘I need a new me’? … you can create a new you.
I love nature’s lessons. Here is one I came across that I thought was amazing. It’s about the Eagle, and how it transforms itself later in life, to be new again.
When eagles get older and weak because of worn out feathers, which slow down flight speed and manoeuvres, the eagles retire away in the rocks and will pluck all their old feathers until it is completely bare. It waits until a new set of feather grows and comes out of his body. It stays in the hiding place until all the new feathers comes back to make it fly dynamically and royally again without much effort or toil. This happens at about the age of 30. What happens is that when the eagles reach the age of 30, their physical body condition deteriorates fast making it difficult for them to survive. What is really interesting is that the eagle never gives up living, instead retreats to a mountain top and over a five month period goes through a metamorphosis. It knocks off its own beak by banging it against a rock, plucks out its talons and then feathers. Each stage produces a regrowth of the removed body parts, allowing the eagle to live for another 30 – 40 years, regaining its full potential. Source
We can decide to reinvent ourselves and return to our full potential, or create a whole new life. Transformation is within our reach, and similar to the five months that the mature eagle spends, can happen quickly. Who would you be if you could reinvent your career or personal life? Eagles symbolize power, freedom, beauty, bravery, courage, honour, pride, determination and grace. Let their ways be an inspiration to you.
Another remarkable story is Jenni Byrne, a young woman from Eastern Ontario, recognized today as Ottawa’s most powerful woman, who left nursing school without graduating to rise to become the ultimate alpha in a political environment dominated by middle aged men with advanced degrees.
As I pack my suitcase and briefcase for Harvard Law School’s program Advanced Mediation, I am including my own beauty, bravery, courage, honour, pride, determination and grace. I’m reinventing myself, but I’m keeping all my feathers of Workplace Relationships training, because they’re still young, current, awesome and shifting lives. I’m just adding to the toolbox.
Wishing you lots of great thoughts, especially the thought of believing in yourself.
It’s human nature to want to come out big—to present ourselves as larger-than-life in conversations, relationships, and success. However, in order to come out big, we have to go in first, even though our instincts tell us otherwise.
In one of my keynotes, I talk about going in big before you can come out big, and the concept of expanding on the inside first before you can become big on the outside. The lesson of inner expansion in leadership came to me by watching my favorite golfer swing, over and over again. Dig In and Be Rich – Leadership Tip
It’s human nature to want to come out big—to present ourselves as larger-than-life in conversations, relationships, and success.
However, in order to come out big, we have to go in first, even though our instincts tell us otherwise.
In one of my keynotes, I talk about going in big before you can come out big, and the concept of expanding on the inside first before you can become big on the outside.
Take, for example, my favorite golfer—my son—who wants to send the golf ball as far as possible down the fairway and into the hole with the least number of strokes. To do this, he needs to come out big off the tee. His first motion, however, is not toward the hole. Instead, he draws his club into a full backswing, only then bringing it forward in a more powerful way to connect with the ball and drive it much further than if he’d just teed up and swung forward.
Those of you who play the game of golf will also agree that the toughest six inches of the course are between your ears. It’s your mental game that holds your physical game together.
Regardless of what you wish to become better at, before you can come out in full swing, you need to consider the ways that you need to go in first.
Let’s say you want to come out big during a workplace meeting. You’d naturally think that you have to come out with the right words that appeal to the meeting’s audience. But what if you shifted your approach to go in first? What if you started by listening to what people want, taking in their thoughts and feelings, and then coming out with something relevant to their input? Do you see how you’d engage their interests more effectively and have more influence?
Going in before coming out can also resolve conflict. When dealing with conflict, our natural instinct is to win—to place blame or find fault with the other party involved. That’s your ego wanting to be right and to protect you, but it’s not always the shortest path to resolve. Rather than coming right out with your need to place blame and find fault, you could go in the opposite direction: you could go in and take responsibility for yourself. What did you bring to the conflict? If the conflict within you was triggered by someone else’s actions, it could be a mirror for you to see something within yourself that is unresolved.
Dig in, get messy, and find out for yourself. Explore the connection between what’s happening today and how it relates to something in your past. See what you need to see, own what’s yours, and come out with cleaner hands, bigger and more powerful on the outside than had you not challenged your natural instincts first.
Going inward to develop first on the inside is the only way to come out with your full swing in life. What would happen if you used this strategy to gain more inner expansion, power, and clarity for yourself before coming out swinging?
Dig in, and be rich in all the ways that really matter.
p.s. I’d like to dedicate this article to Henry Brunton, for his dedication to Jr. Golf Coaching
I have a silent partner. She’s my dog. She stands by me whatever business decision I make, but one decision she makes for both of us on the days I’m in the home office is to get outside. I’ve just completed a seminar delivery on Time Management, or what I title “Effectiveness Beyond Time”, and so as we hit the bush trail today, I had been asking myself one question that I prompt my students to ask about how they’re spending their time. “Is this the best possible use of my time at this particular minute?”.
I struggle with my answer, considering many to-do’s and my quest for good balance. Just looking at my silent partner running ahead with a wagging tail, I new I was on the right path. But things were different today. It’s almost spring here in North Bay, and the snow is crusty, so for the first time, I could walk anywhere with my snow shoes, without sinking in snow. The possibilities were endless. I could go this way or that way, or anyway at all, and so there in lies my teaching for today, direct from Mother Nature through me, to you.
How many times do we follow the same path, the path we’ve decided was good a while back, the path that others create for us, or the path that tradition sets in our patterning early in life? Sometimes, the conditions are perfect for venturing off the ‘normal’ or ‘usual’ path to find new territory, to discover new potential, or just to experience that we have a world of opportunity just waiting for us to show up.
For me, this nature walk off trail taught me that each day is a new day, with new conditions, to see and feel and know what there is for me to see, feel and know on that given day. The world is a playground just waiting to be discovered, and today, with no leaves or foliage in the forest yet, and the ability to walk anywhere, I could explore things I’ve been passing by for months and really get a different perspective of them.
The conditions are perfect for exploring, but you have to get off the normal path to find out what else is possible.
What conditions would you need to lead yourself to at least explore new possibilities?
Lately I’ve been feeling ‘less than’.
Less than I’ve been in the past,
Less than I’ve been to my kids,
Less than I’ve been in self-motivation,
Just plain ‘less than’.
In reflection and prayer of this place of ‘less than’, I’ve labeled it with feeling ‘insignificance’. But why? (I’m always asking myself and my peers the deeper questions.) Why am I feeling insignificant?
Is it because I’ve reached a peak in my career and there’s no more?
Is it because my two beautiful teen-aged kids don’t need me like they used to?
Is it because I’ve met a man who shares the love with me that I’ve always wanted?
Is it because I’ve become so comfortable with who I’ve shifted into that I’m not motivated to keep on shifting?
As I look back on the past year, I’ve made some life changing decisions. These decisions have taken me out of ‘story’. The ‘story’ that has run in me for so many years was complex. My story read like this … I’m not enough. I’m not lovable. Love is painful. I cannot trust. People don’t have time for me. etc.
The decisions I’ve made recently have forced me to shift my thinking because I’ve intended to, and because there’s been so much evidence against my past thinking that I’ve just kept on receiving, like a buffet of the opposite of my story, where I’ve eaten and devoured it all because my soul has been starving for it for so long and now the Universe has provided it, and I’ve learned how to receive the unlimited abundance.
So why am I feeling insignificant? Instead of full and beaming with goodness? Because I’m just learning how to ‘BE’ without my story.
Who am I without my story? I am just in a place of empty and meaningless trying to figure that out. It’s like I have a huge white canvass, and I can paint whatever I want, but I think I don’t know what to paint, or how to paint, or what colour, or how to hold the brush, or how it should look in the end.
So I’m floating in nothingness right now, just being where I am each and every day. When I do show up to write, speak, teach, parent or love, the result is more meaningful and magnificent than it’s ever been.
I prayed for an answer to why I feel insignificant yesterday, on the top floor of our beautiful apartment overlooking the Coral Sea on Hamilton Island, Australia. The message came quickly and clearly. “It’s in your insignificance, that you’ll find huge significance”. With this inspiration, I feel like my life is right on schedule, and I’m going to keep on moving forward, being someone new, without my old story.
Preparing for a late-night walk in the rain with my dog Joy, my coat, hood and headband flashlight had made the dark, damp night feel safe.
I had been walking for almost 45 minutes before I realized that my head was dully aching. The guiding light of my headband’s light had been bright enough to help me find my way along the dirt road and choose secure and solid steps over the uneven ground, rocks and mud puddles, but once over the rough terrain, it became a burden. Had I been more tuned into the feeling of my skull being compressed by the headband, I would have removed it sooner. As soon as I realized and acted upon this, I instantly regretted my earlier lack of attention; the release of the taught elastic band that secured the lamp to my forehead loosened, and I felt immediate relief, expansion and freedom.
I then removed my hood and felt a natural high as the cool breeze blew through my hair. I began to think about how clinging to something—or someone—else’s guiding light and protection might end up sheltering me in the long run.
In my past, I held onto a guiding light: a teacher whom I felt compelled to follow along with, step by step. Following my teacher’s light, I felt safe and protected, but it was only after our time together ended that I discovered my own way. Without the teacher’s light, I was forced to find my own. Without their protection, I had to be brave; to stumble, get back up, and find my own groove. The chance to do things my own way gave me a new freedom that I had never known. This, too, was a natural high that felt just like the sudden cool breeze blowing through my hair: refreshing, liberating, proud and abundant.
Why do we remain under the wings of those who’ve led us, rather than take flight on our own journey with what we’ve learned?
Where have we allowed overprotection in our lives, and how has that stifled our freedom?
What are we clinging to for safety which only holds us back from being who we really are?
When will we allow our own guiding lights to shine brighter than those without whom we thought we’d be blind?
The brilliance of others can be helpful to us when balanced with our own guidance. The protection of others can be a safe place while we strengthen ourselves, but it’s not meant to be a place to curl up and hide from our own potential.
As I walked without the guiding light and hooded protection, I saw the night sky, the moon and the stars and realized that unsheltered and untethered is where my true freedom is.
Best wishes for your steps to freedom,
Penny Tremblay is the Director of the Tremblay Leadership Center, an international speaker, author, trainer and mentor with more than 20 years experience on the subject of business relationships. Her work has been published internationally for over ten years in online and offline publications, books and audio products. Her new book, Give and Be Rich will help you tap the circle of abundance in early 2014. Penny lives in Northern Ontario where she loves to balance family, career and time for spiritual self-mastery. www.PennyTremblay.com
Last week I was eating Chinese food in a little restaurant on Spadina Avenue in Toronto with my good friend and fellow author, Barry Spilchuk. I was speaking to him about being snagged (previous article explains how to best deal with snags) in my personal development because I realized that I was hooked onto something massive. I had received some uncomfortable feedback which had created a huge disturbance within me. Because of it I was contracted, uptight and upset, and just really wanted to get through it.
Being the great friend he is, he listened, understood, and could relate my situation to similar times in his life. We all need friends like this—people we can lean on when we’re not seeing clearly. Barry suggested a book to me by writing on a napkin: “The Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer. I bought it the very next day, an am in the process of reading it.
The inspiration for my article this month came from the realization of my snag this summer, my encounter with Barry, and the first few chapters of this book; implementing the amazing work of my journey towards inner freedom by staying open to everything.
I’ve realized that a snag is stored energy, no matter what kind of snag it is, and that it’s very hard work to continue to fight against it, work around it, or keep it locked down inside.
I know for sure that being open has made this the absolute best summer of my life.
I encourage you to take some time to read and contemplate my latest article, Are you open for business?, and remove what’s closing off your ability to receive the abundance that life has to offer.
Invest in this rich information, and be fully open for business.