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

Category: Article (Page 1 of 67)

Twenty-one years ago this week I became a mom

Twenty-one years ago this week I became a mom. Nothing prepares you for the adventure. It is the hardest and most beautiful job I have ever done.

A few lessons I learned along the way are that the days are long, but the years are short. You have sixteen summers to build a memory bank that earns the most valuable, lifelong dividends. Choose your battles. Each child has a unique journey intertwined with interests and fears and gifts. They arrive that way and it is an honour to travel alongside them as they become what they always were. One of a kind. Continue reading

The most consequential teacher

What a year it’s been. Graduations, milestones, new jobs and fresh starts. As with every year that came before it, change was the only guarantee. It was the most consequential teacher. The strongest stimulus for growth. And it happened in tiny increments – one step and one page and one day at a time.

Over the past 365 days I walked daily. I read 46 books. I tried Pilates. I drank lemon water. I woke up at the same time seven days a week. I went to bed early. I ate things that fueled my mind, body and soul ranging from chocolate croissants to chicken broth.

I shared my thoughts and I listened while others shared theirs.

I changed my mind. Continue reading

Imaginary tales

For as long as I can remember, I loved the library. In elementary school, my mom, peeking out from behind the book stacks, would watch me follow the librarian around from section to section, asking for one more story for this week’s haul. I would leave with a pile of books taller than me, and I couldn’t wait to flip through those pages and travel through time and space to land in the heart and soul of someone’s journey. Always learning something about them, and often learning something about myself in the process too.

Although I read non-fiction as an adult, I adore fiction. Those imaginary tales take you to places you’ve never been and introduce you to lives you’ve never lived. Gaining empathy and self-awareness and emotional intelligence along the way. Continue reading

What is possible

There is something about the start of a school year that intensifies the idea of what is possible. Fresh chapters and blank pages. Crisp notebooks and new friendships.

This year my middle son headed out to start university away from home and it was overwhelming and beautiful. He’s been ready since birth to spread his wings, so the excitement outweighed any anxious thoughts.

As I moved him in and watched my oldest son work welcome week at his school and my youngest prepare her bag and books, I realized that the whole journey is about one thing. Continue reading

The great lie that tells the truth

I just finished reading The Covenant of Water by Dr. Abraham Verghese and it was a powerful story. One line that stood out for me was when he wrote, “Fiction is the great lie that tells the truth about how the world lives.”

Fiction is so important in increasing our emotional intelligence as it allows us to live lives we haven’t lived and visit places we’ve never been. With that knowledge comes empathy and the understanding that we are all more alike than different. Continue reading

Endings and beginnings

June is a month of endings and of beginnings. Graduations, proms, the last exam of the year, and the dreaming of things to come. I was listening to Julia Louis-Dreyfus on her podcast Wiser Than Me and she mentioned a poem that her mom, also a poet, shared with her. She said it gives her goosebumps and it did the same for me. It is called First Fall by Maggie Smith. She wrote: Continue reading

Courage

I was listening to Julia Louis Dreyfus on her podcast Wiser Than Me and her guest, chef and food writer, Ruth Reichl said something that hit me. She said, “The best advice I have to give anyone. It’s the things that frighten you. Those are the things that you have to do. When something really scares you, you know, you have to do it.”

And that got me thinking about courage. In David Whyte’s book Consolations he writes about courage, “The French philosopher Camus used to tell himself quietly to live to the point of tears, not as a call for maudlin sentimentality, but as an invitation to the deep privilege of belonging, and the way belonging affects us, shapes and breaks our heart at a fundamental level. It is a fundamental dynamic of human incarnation to be moved by what we feel, as if surprised by the actuality and privilege of love and affection and its possible loss. Courage is what love looks like when tested by the simple everyday necessities of being alive.” Continue reading

The Good Life

I’m currently reading The Good Life, a book about the longest longitudinal study on happiness. Eight-four years long and still has an 84% participation rate. And what does the research uncover as the biggest predictor of happiness? Relationships. Of any type. Because connection is everything.

But was that what we thought?

Waldinger and Schultz write, “… for the sake of illustration let’s take a closer look at one emblematic keystone, a persistent cultural assumption, shared among many cultures all over the world, that is not only old but ancient and shows no signs of going anywhere: The foundation of a good life is money.” Continue reading

We drive them away

In Ryan Holiday’s Courage is Calling, he writes, “It’d be wonderful if we cherished our heroes, if we rolled out the red carpet for our creative geniuses. Instead, we put them through the gauntlet. We torture them. We drive them away. Churchill was not only a prisoner of war in his youth, but at the height of his political career he was driven out of public life. His crime? In part, he was right about Germany. No one wanted another war. No one wanted him to be correct about Hitler’s menace. So it was easier to make him go away than to prove him wrong. For nearly ten years Churchill languished at his estate outside London. Or so his enemies thought. In fact, he was reading. He was writing. He was resting. He was making valuable contacts. He was waiting for his moment. ‘Every prophet has to come from civilization,’ Churchill would explain, ‘but every prophet has to go into the wilderness. He must have a strong impression of a complex society… and he must serve periods of isolation and meditation. This is the process by which psychic dynamite is made.’ Continue reading

The mean

In Ryan Holiday’s book Courage is Calling he writes, “If we only did what we were sure of, if we only proceeded when things were favourable, then history would never be made. The averages have been against everything that ever happened — that’s why we call it the mean.

We have to remember that these polls, these estimations, these statistical models — these things are static. What they cannot predict for, what they cannot account for, is the individual with agency, the human being who makes events happen rather than simply sitting back and waiting for things to happen to them. Continue reading

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