The Treasure You Seek

Words to inspire the belief that we have all we need to be the change we wish to see.

The Invictus Games

An excerpt from my book, The Treasure You Seek, highlighting the Invictus Games happening in Toronto this coming week.  May we cheer on these epic heroes who are inspiring us all.

May 4, 2016

The captain of my soul

Prince Harry was a soldier fighting on the front lines in Afghanistan. When the media got word of this and shared it, he was forced to come home and leave his fellow soldiers behind. It would have made it more dangerous for everyone if he’d stayed. But it devastated him to go.

On the flight home, he saw a soldier’s coffin being loaded onto the plane.

Harry said, “Once in the air, I stuck my head through the curtain to see three British soldiers, really young lads, much younger than me at the time, laid out on stretchers in induced comas. All three wrapped in plastic, missing limbs, with tubes coming out of them everywhere. It struck me that this was just one flight of many carrying home men and women whose lives would be changed forever. And some who had made the ultimate sacrifice.”

It got him thinking. How could he do something to help these heroes live the new life they would be living, to help them feel valued and validated?

And the Invictus Games were born. This is an opportunity for wounded soldiers to find a new meaning in life after being injured. To pour their energy into competing against others just like them. To fuel their soul.

The second annual Invictus Games starts shortly in Orlando, and the third Invictus Games will be in Toronto in 2017.

William Ernest Henley said in his poem “Invictus”: “It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll. I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.”

Being the captain of your soul is the ultimate goal in life: to have a purpose and to put one foot in front of the other with that purpose in mind.

Harry’s creative solution has changed lives and given our heroes their power back. What can we do to make a difference in our own lives and in the lives of those around us? How can we be the master of our own fate?

The Color Purple

In the early 1980s, Oprah Winfrey was a 28-year-old talk show host in Baltimore.  She read a book called The Color Purple and it completely changed her life.  She had been abused as a child and had never told anyone.  A character in the book had the same thing happen to her so Oprah finally felt like she wasn’t alone.  She felt heard and validated.  She went to the book store and bought every available copy of the book.  She carried them around in a backpack and handed them out to friends, colleagues and strangers, urging them to read the story.   Continue reading

A working actor

Ann Dowd is a 61-year-old working actor.  For thirty years she has played under the radar supporting roles in movies including Philadelphia, Marley & Me, Lorenzo’s Oil and Manchurian Candidate and television shows including Law & Order, NYPD Blue, The X-Files and Chicago Hope.  But she never received a prestigious award for her work.

Until last night.  She took home the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for the character she plays in the screen version of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.  She started her acceptance speech with, “Well, I think this is a dream…” Continue reading

Small things brought together

Artist Vincent Van Gogh once said, “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”

Sometimes it may feel like you are taking two steps forward and one step back. But that still means you are moving forward.  No matter how small the increment, moving ahead is always the motion that counts. Continue reading

The art of allowing

Someone mentioned the art of allowing to me yesterday and it got me thinking.   For many of us, we are not comfortable allowing things to happen as they may.  It seems like we are not in control or not working to make things as they should be. If we aren’t satisfied with something at work or on a child’s sports team or in a friendship, we keep gnawing away at it and tying ourselves in knots. Why didn’t it work out this way?  Why didn’t they do this or that?   Continue reading

Lucky or unlucky?

In his book The Happiness Advantage, author Shawn Achor talks about perspective and whether people see themselves as lucky or unlucky.  He often tells a story at speaking events and asks people in the audience what they think. Continue reading

A breath no one thought she would take

I pulled myself out of bed this morning and did a 6am hot yoga class.  As I lay on the studio floor waiting to start, the instructor said something that brought tears to my eyes.  She said, “It’s my seven year old daughter’s birthday today.  Seven years ago she took her first breath.  A breath no one thought she would take.  So in honour of her, can we all remember to be grateful for each breath we take?”   Continue reading

Some other beginning’s end

New beginnings.  Roman philosopher Seneca once said, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

The first day of school always holds a little anxiety for most students, parents and teachers.  Class lists and new shoes.  Fresh notebooks and sharpened pencils.   Continue reading

What makes you come alive?

African-American author and civil rights leader Harold Washington Thurman once said, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs – ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Continue reading

Older or bolder?

Are we getting older or bolder?  Each day we have the opportunity to think we have missed our chance to do something or we can just jump in and do it.

And the bolder we are the younger we feel.

Last weekend I literally leaped right out of my comfort zone and went ziplining with my kids for the first time. Continue reading

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