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Siobhan Kelleher Kukolic

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

The price of security is insecurity

Who knows what will happen tomorrow?  I mean, just a year ago we were doing wild things when greeting others including shaking hands and hugging.   How things have changed.

I was listening to Dan Harris, author and past news anchor, on The Tim Ferriss Show.  He spoke about having a panic attack on-air on Good Morning America in 2004 and how that changed his path and helped him find meditation and life balance.  He grew up living with a mantra that his father taught him which was, “The price of security is insecurity.”  So, he believed that you had to be stressed to climb to the top of the mountain.  That was the price. Continue reading

Desiderata

As I sit in uncertainty during these strange times, I came across Desiderata by Max Ehrmann and it reminded me to maintain focus on the good, the possibilities, and the hope for things to come. Desiderata means ‘something that is needed or wanted.’

Ehrmann wrote, “Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”

It is a still a beautiful world.  May we hold on to that thought and live accordingly.

Continue reading

Dan Hill

I read a powerful opinion editorial in the Globe and Mail this weekend.   Penned by Toronto-born Grammy-award-winning singer-songwriter Dan Hill.  He wrote the book I Am My Father’s Son:  A Memoir of Love and Forgiveness.  He has been inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.  His brother Lawrence Hill wrote the award-winning novel The Book of NegroesContinue reading

Irish dance family

We’ve been an Irish dance family for 12 years.  Before that, I competed on an adult Irish dance team.  And I also did a few classes and competitions years back when I was 7 or 8 years old.  It’s woven deep into the fabric of our story.

On the Irish dance journey, we have met amazing friends, travelled around the world to leave it all on the dance floor for international judges, and learned about grit, perseverance, teamwork and winning and losing with grace.

And then, the pandemic happened.  The 50th anniversary of the World Irish Dance Championships in Dublin was cancelled.  The North American Championships was cancelled.  Everything shut down.  But our school, and others, quickly pivoted to Zoom classes and our dancers were still able to learn new steps, perfect the ones they had, and burn off some of the uncertainty through a good workout.

Then this past weekend we did something that would have been unthinkable before.  We had a virtual Irish dance feis (competition) with our sister school in Britain!  Judges from England and Ireland, comments and results within the hour.  Breakout rooms, kids running their own music, and wonderful dancing.  All highlighting that plywood is the new hardwood since 2020 and it’s not about the space you have, it’s about what you do with it.

It was music to all our ears.  This resilient group offered us a new rhythm to go with the beats unveiled by COVID-19 and gave us that feeling back.  The feeling of community and dreams and the idea that anything is possible.

Because it is.

We don’t know what will come next.  We will follow the rules and do everything we can to work together until we reach the light at the end of the tunnel.  But while we’re waiting, we will dance.

Stanford Prison Experiment

I was listening to The Tim Ferriss Show and I heard Dr. Philip Zimbardo.  He is a past professor from Stanford University, was president of the American Psychology Association and wrote The Lucifer Effect and The Time Paradox among other books.  He is well-known for his 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment, in which students took on the roles of prisoners and guards for a 24-hour-a-day experiment.  It only lasted six days instead of two weeks due to the psychological trauma on the participants.  Most recently, he is studying heroism by asking what makes some people turn to evil things and others act like heroes and help others?  Continue reading

Dr. BJ Miller

Dr. BJ Miller is a palliative care physician at Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco.  He lost three of his limbs in an electrocution accident as a college student.  When he was a guest on The Tim Ferriss Show he shared some amazing inspirational nuggets about being in the moment and what he has learned from those who are at the end of their journey on earth.  He talked about how fresh baked cookies or looking at art brings us back to the moment and helps us remember what makes us happy. Continue reading

America is an idea

When I drove my two sons from Canada to North Carolina in 2019 for the World Irish Dance Championships, we took a detour on the way home and stopped in Washington D.C.  We toured the Capitol and all the monuments and were so impressed with the history.  As Bono once said, “America is an idea.  Ireland is a great country, but it’s not an idea.  Great Britain is a great country, but it’s not an idea.  That’s how we see you around the world, as one of the greatest ideas in human history.” Continue reading

Jerrod Carmichael

I was listening to comedian Jerrod Carmichael on The Tim Ferriss Show this week.  He grew up in North Carolina and was selling shoes when he decided he wanted to become a comedian.  So, he moved to LA to try it out there.  He wanted to compete against the best.  He wanted to jump into the deep end and see if he could swim.

Sounds scary.  But he ended up with a show on NBC, an HBO special and a strong career. Continue reading

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