Monthly Archives: October 2012


Quotes That Make You Go Hmmm…

30-Day Challenge – Day 30!

Pop the Champagne! Strike up the band!
Today is day 30 of the 30-Day Challenge.  I/we made it!

Thirty full days have passed since I started my first-ever 30-Day Challenge. My task: to do yoga every day for 30 days without fail; without missing even a single day.

Did I succeed in my endeavour?

Yes! Yes I did!

So what does this mean? What’s the significance of all of this?

What it means is that I made a commitment to myself to step toward a healthier lifestyle and I kept that commitment. I chose good health over poor. Activity over inactivity. Flexibility over stiffness.

But perhaps more importantly than any of those, I put myself first.

By focussing on what is a change for the betterment of my overall health and fitness, I was in effect saying, I am important; I value myself and I am willing to do what it takes to ensure I remain on the path that I am trying to lay out for myself.

I guess I need to take a step back and realize that in order to have done that, I needed to have had a vision in the first place. There must have been something that I wasn’t happy with or a will to achieve something more for myself, which I guess isn’t unusual or earth-shattering. I would assume most of us, if not all, have desires for things we haven’t done, things we want to achieve, things we would like to be, things we would like to do.

What this 30-Day Challenge did for me was to make me think about those things; evaluate my priorities, but mostly, it made me get my butt in gear and actually do something about it.  

My daily yoga practice lead to another unplanned and positive change. Upon completion of my morning routine, I followed it up by making a healthy smoothie. Good-bye toast and jam, so-long sugary cereal, sayonara fatty muffins.

Did the 30-Day Challenge teach me anything?

Most definitely.

I learned:

  • I can achieve my goals.
  • Flexibility is gained slowly.
  • I have limitations but can work within them.
  • Small daily changes amount to greater gains.
  • It’s never too late to try something.
  • If at first you can’t do something, keep trying. It gets easier.
  • One small change can spur on others.
  • Learn from the masters.
  • Be patient with your progress and you will see results.
  • Those who are stiff in the beginning can limber up over time.
  • Progress takes time.
  • Habits can be formed and unformed.

Some 30-Day Challenges are meant to be executed, completed and checked-off a list; a fulfilment of Bucket List items. Some are meant as a spring-board. Some are meant to instil permanent change. I am intending my yoga to be the latter of these three.

I intend to continue building on the foundation I have begun; adding strength-building and other methods to my repertoire all working toward my goal of healthy living.

Will I attempt another 30-Challenge? You’d better believe it!

Check back on Thursday, November 1st to see what I am doing next. You may want to join me!

In the meantime, start thinking about what you would try for 30 days.  Just imagine, by November 30th, you may have accomplished something you have always meant to try.

Until next time,

Did you complete an October challenge? Share it below!

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Positive Ponderings: Seeing Clearly

Are blind people prejudiced?

Are prejudiced people blind?

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Bright-Side of the Web: Bobby McFerrin plays…the audience

Think you aren’t prone to sugestion? Bobby McFerrin challenges this notion in this week’s Bright-Side of the Web. From the World Science Festival in 2009, he demonstrates this principle.

Watch here.  Don’t worry, you’ll be happy you did!

Happy Friday!

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30-Day Challenge – Day 26

You’re rounding the bend.  The finish-line is in sight. 

4 more days!

This is the last weekend.  You’re almost there! 

Keep up the great work!


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Put One Foot In Front Of The Other

“He who fails to plan is planning to fail” Winston Churchill

Do you have somewhere that you want to be? A career choice? A position in the community? A home in a specific neighbourhood?

How are you going to get there? Win a lottery?

We can all hope for the big freedom-inducing win but for most of us, buying the ticket only sweetens the pot of the winner.

So in the likelihood that your ship never arrives in port, what are you going to do? What’s your plan?

Think about where you want to be in 10 years. Financially. Spiritually. Physically. Socially. Career-wise.

How far are you from attaining that vision?

What are you going to need to get there?  More education? A healthier diet? More exercise?

Now, break it down. What are the steps that you can take now to work toward those goals.

Now break those steps down again. Then again. Until you have easy to manage steps that you can start today and which will steer you in the right direction.

Make some sort of reminder for yourself of your goal that you can carry around with you. For instance, if you want to save up for a special vacation but can’t ever seem to put money aside, carry a photo of the location in your wallet. Each time you reach in to make a purchase, look at the photo. Do you really need that latte now?*

Putting one foot in front of the other, even if they are only baby steps, will get you closer to attaining your goal.

Keeping the goal at the forefront of your mind will keep you walking in the right direction.

Plan for success!

What is the first small step that you will take toward reaching your goal?

*Financial tips like this one can be found on the Smart Cookies website.


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Quotes That Make You Go Hmmm…

Should Preschoolers Rule the World?

You have likely heard the saying ‘All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten’.  It has become a common phrase, thought and concept but do you know who said it?

The author of this wisdom-for-a-modern-age is Robert Fulghum and it is more than a saying. Fulghum has delved into many early lessons and shares them beautifully in his book by the same name; a book of concepts that we all learned in Kindergarten that can be attributed to everyday adult situations.

What first comes to mind, at least to my mind, when I think of such early life-lessons is ‘sharing’ – definitely something acquired in the pits of preschool that affects our daily existence, no matter what our age.

So does Fulghum mean that after Kindergarten we might as well go out into the world since we’ve learned all we need to know? Of course he doesn’t. Or does he? Perhaps we should, because as adults, we seem to have forgotten some of the lessons – some of the important ones – or at least we have forgotten that they still apply to us and not just to our kids.

Why, as adults, do we not live by many of the lessons that we learned at four, five, six years old yet we consistently pass them down to our children generation after generation?

Why do we inherit or inhabit a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ approach to life?

I bought a book once, in a similar vein to Fulghum’s.  It is a small little book, the size you would think to buy a child.  It is filled with the wisdom of children derived from the author’s observances of her own children.  Each lesson on each page is short and sweet – much like children.  Some make you laugh, some bring back memories and some draw a tear.

The book is entitled Really Important Stuff My Kids Have Taught Me by Cynthia Copeland Lewis.  It is filled with wisdom such as:

“If the flowers you draw don’t look like anyone elses, that’s good.” 
“Anybody can skate on smooth ice.” 
and one of my favourites because of its true-idity:
“It’s possible to feel full when it comes to vegetables,
but not full when it comes to a piece of cake.”

Along with writing daily gratitudes on my Buddha Board, perhaps I will make these books my daily wisdom books – my how-am-I-doing check.

So in my journey toward walking on the brighter side of the street, thanks to Robert, I’ll remember to hold hands while I’m crossing, and thanks to Cynthia, I’ll resolve to never pop anyone else’s bubble.

…And of course, many thanks to Mrs. Ormsby, my kindergarten teacher.

As with many things, Robert Fulghum’s essay has been YouTube-ized and I feel it is definitely worth sharing.  A Bright-Side of the Web mid-week treat. Enjoy!

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Positive Ponderings

What are you waiting for?

What are you waiting for?

What are you waiting for?


Think about it. 

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30-Day Challenge – Day 22

How’s your challenging coming along? Are you still going strong?

You’re nearing the finish line. Don’t give up now.  

You’re 3/4 of the way there. 

Only 8 more days!!!

You can do it! I know you can. 

Bright-Side of the Web: Coursera

Free University Education For All!

I mean it.  Everyone.  Everywhere.  No pre-requisites. No matter your income. The only provision is that you have access to a computer.

Coursera is a web-based portal from which to access free online classes offered from universities around the globe.

Have you ever wished you could say that you had a certificate from Stanford, Johns Hopkins, U. of London, or U. of Melbourne?  Well now you can.  Currently there are 33 universities offering a total of 198 courses from eighteen categories, and they continue to add more.

Courses generally range from 4-12 weeks in length and because it’s all online, you can study on your own schedule.

Check it out!  Over 1.6 million people already have!
What have you got to lose? (I’ve already signed up for four!)

Find Coursera’s Course Calendar here. 

Coursera? Definitely a Bright-Side of the Web!

What courses are you going to take?

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Go Ahead, Make My Day!

If not mine, why not someone else’s?

Has anyone ever said something to you that immediately lifted your spirits?  Likely, so you’ll understand how I felt in the following situation.

Twice in as many months, complete strangers have come up to me and said “I love your hair colour!”

I am a 40-something woman and my hair is its natural colour – grey.

These women have gone on to tell me that they have been thinking of letting theirs go grey and after seeing mine, they are convinced that they want to go through with it. I am complimented beyond belief and when we part, I walk away feeling a little bit taller, somewhat proud, definitely happier, which in turn makes me more pleasant to the next people I meet.

I have had a few others strangers over the years say the same thing and it always comes at a time when I am seriously considering dyeing it. Their unprompted comments give me a boost and literally “make my day”.

The kindness of strangers has a particular power that the kindness of friends or family does not.

We are suspicious of compliments from the familiar people in our lives.

They’re only saying that because they feel they have to.

They don’t want to hurt my feelings.

They don’t really mean it.

However, if a completely unknown-to-us person, a random individual, goes out of their way to tell us something, then it must be true and no matter how many others have told us the same thing, we can finally believe it.

How frustrating for all the others! When you tell them that a complete stranger said such-and-such to you, their response is no doubt “I know! I’ve been telling you that for years!”

One day, my mid-teen son and I were in a local sandwich shop and we were served by a young man in his late teens/early twenties – an employee, not the owner. In fact, the owner wasn’t even on-site – I know because I frequented this particular shop. Also, I had never met this young man before.  We received enthusiastic, polite and pleasant service for the entire time that it took him to make our order and cash us out.

Barely outside the door, my son commented on what a nice guy he was and what great service he gave us.  We both remarked that you don’t often get that kind of service and I noted that he should keep that in mind when he begins working. He agreed that it definitely made a difference in our experience.

My son witnessed customer service at its best, we discussed its benefits and I hoped he filed it away for future use. I had done my job.  I could have left it at that – but I didn’t.

The next week when I went in to pick up a sandwich for lunch, the owner was there. I asked to speak to him. He stepped aside with a worried look on his face. This was an unusual request from me. What was I going to say? What was I going to complain about?  I started off by telling him that my son and I had been in and two young men were working the counter and he was not on-site.  The look of worry increased. Then I went on to sing the young man’s praises.  Worry was replaced with relief and then pride. I had made his day – and I hope, reciprocally, the young man’s.

We don’t hesitate to complain about bad service so why don’t we also praise great service? Who knows, the manager may be looking to advance an employee to another level, or it may be review time and your comment could end up meaning a salary increase to someone who desperately needs one.

We don’t realize the power of our words – a stranger’s unbiased, therefore they must have some truth to them, words.

So the next time you get great service, make sure the manager hears about it.  And when you see a stranger in the check-out line, on the bus, or in an elevator and you think “What a beautiful coat”, “Nice shoes” or even “Great hair!”, tell them.

Go ahead. Make their day. 

Share your ‘make my day’ experiences below.

*This post was written before my resent Liebster Award nomination. Talk about making my day!!

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