WANDERLUSTING IN TREMBLANT

By Marie-Piere Belisle-Kennedy, lifestyle journalist & owner of 5 Star Communications www.5starcom.ca Copyright 2015.


The yoga mats are rolled away, the friendly hugs, the smiling nods in Namaste… But what do we take really away? Still on a mountain air high from spending the last three days as a reporter at the world-acclaimed Wanderlust Festival in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, I feel centered, happy, and even hopeful the feeling will last.

Finding my inner mountain warrior

Finding my inner mountain warrior

Wanderlust is a very strong and irresistible impulse or desire to discover the world. Fittingly, these sought-after festivals take place in all corners of North America, stopping at the foot of Tremblant mountain and lake August 20-23 this year with thousands of yoga lovers and peaceful warriors. Organized by Sean Hoess with spokesperson Geneviève Guérard, these events are in a league of their own.

Acclaimed teacher/presenter Lyne St-Roch

Acclaimed teacher/presenter Lyne St-Roch

Arriving on Thursday, we noticed the colourful pedestrian village was turned into a giant yogi commune with domes, sponsor and event tents, soothing music, and welcoming faces. I made my way over to the Wanderlust base camp to pick-up my official bracelet, the only passport you need to access the countless yoga classes, meditation sessions, conferences and concerts through the weekend. My first experience was a meditation session to feel less overwhelmed, then a life changing 90-minute yoga class with the inspiring Lyne St-Roch, whom I had heard so much about. Her class was about being truly rooted on your mat and throughout life. Not pushing so hard against the ground, but being gently but firmly planted through all poses. Her voice is like a soft breeze, I could listen for hours. Then despite the rain after a sumptuous dinner at Hotel Quintessence, we all fully enjoyed the outdoor concerts and acrobatic yoga on the outdoor stages into the moonlit hours.

Friday was an early rise for many, either greeting the sun on the mountain or on the water. Others, more adventurous festival-goers, even laced their trail running shoes for a long group meditative run across the hilly forest. But I slept in.

Cosmic yogis - indoor class

Cosmic yogis – indoor class

Blissfully, restoratively, guilt-free. Long stretches, rich coffee, smoothies from Fluide Juice bar followed by stand-up paddle boarding fueled the reflective morning. By noon a crowd gathered around Place St-Bernard for a truly unique Beyoncé (or shall I say Sasha Fierce) inspired yoga class with live Dj Taz called Soulscape with Janet Stone. What an empowering feminine energy concept! I had to giggle watching the giant Tremblant mascot, Toufou, twirling his furry hips along with us and some spectators trying to follow along the bouncing downward dogs and accelerated cat-cows.  Click on link for funny short Video from class

Next stop was a soothing ten-minute group Om chant at le D’Om to reconnect, then straight to an energizing session on how to reduce mental and physical fatigue with Lyne St-Roch. How perfect for many of us dealing with hectic schedules and also for those who were on their fourth or fifth activity in a row! Friday evening was filled with more laughter, music, scenic beauty and mind opening discussions with old and new friends alike.

Aquayoga class on lake Tremblant

Aquayoga class on lake Tremblant

Saturday morning included SUP yoga, a challenging but Zen-inducing floating class growing in popularity everywhere across the country. Yes, a few fell in the lake, but that is the point. Releasing our desire to be perfect, to drop all expectations, and let go. As in life, you shake yourself off and get back on board! The day continued with hiking, mountaintop yoga and “mindful” shopping of course. Everyone is free to take part in as many or as few classes as they’d like from the hundreds of options, and as it was a warm sunny day it was normal for attendees to want to enjoy the outdoor activities. I wish I could have listened to the masters at Speakeasy, and basked in author/speaker/meditation teacher/yogi Nicole Bordeleau’s glow but many sessions were already full. The Bateau Uncorked was a hit with its wine tasting yoginis cruising across lake Tremblant Friday and Saturday evenings! The festival is still hopping as I write this on Sunday morning, so more fun to be had until late tonight. If you are blessed to be here, Namaste, and if not, perhaps we will cross path at a future event.

10 key lessons to take away:

  1. Come with an open mind, try new styles of yoga, let go of all inhibitions.
  2. The true spirit of Wanderlust is to carry the peace acquired into your day-to-day world, not just to experience it for yourself.
  3. The wilder your leggings, the better (I loved seeing the rainbow of prints across the mats from the usual sea of black in local studios!)
  4. It is totally OK to attend the festival alone and strike up a conversation with strangers in between classes. Some even shared accommodations and rides!
  5. It is physically impossible to attend everything on the schedule, but you are guaranteed to find something you love.
  6. Accept yourself, where you are now, your hopes and your dreams. Tune inward.
  7. Turn off your darn smartphones or at least the sound notifications, please. Nothing says: “I am present in the moment”’ like a ding from across the class. Pavlovian dogs we are, a quiet mindful practice yields more zen benefits.
  8. Yes, you can attend Wanderlust whatever your shape, age, gender or yoga experience. Yoga means union, and the best time to try is now. You are safe.
  9. It is easy to enjoy a getaway even with non-festival-goers. The resort offers something for everyone, including spouses, kids, and grandmas.
  10. Mont-Tremblant is a breathtaking region. Explore, enjoy, and vow to come back any season.

 

Wanderlust Beyoncé class Tremblant

Wanderlust Beyoncé class Tremblant

 

Top speakers on Canadian soil, thanks to I am Genie foundation

It is not every day that we are given the opportunity to attend world-class inspirational speakers’ presentations right here in Ottawa. With the mission to change the world one granted wish at a time, the people behind the I am Genie foundation, Joshua Dawson and his crew, are setting out to do just that. When Dawson’s dad died of cancer, he decided he wanted to make a difference so he started to surprise people with cancer and dress up as a blue genie character to grant wishes. The desire to inspire people and shed light in a dark situation shows people another way to live, that there is magic in the world. More information on the numerous wonderful wishes granted can be found on the www.experiencegenie.com page. To help fund these wishes for patients all over the world, the I am genie foundation is  organizing some impressive evenings with best-selling spiritual and inspirational authors/speakers on the who’s who of Oprah’s speed dial; Marianne Williamson, Dr Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra and James Van Praagh for 2015 alone.  Towns vary by speakers, but Canadians can enjoy these magical events from Edmonton all the way to St-John’s. Mrs. Genie (the beautiful Ingrid Thornhill) is also designing T-shirts and all proceeds go to granting more wishes for cancer patients. We look forward to their new TV show as well, as a pilot was just picked up!

After finding out that best-selling author, spiritual guru, US congress runner-up, Oprah guest regular, and all around amazing woman on a mission Marianne Williamson was coming to Ottawa on April 30th for an event, I put it out there to the Universe that it would be amazing to meet her. Since my own wish was granted, I thought the very least I can do is to pay it forward by sharing a few highlights of this wonderful night with others who would very much love her message and attend such a live life-changing event. I also wanted to make sure every Canadian she met was being very gracious to her so far (she was speaking in Montreal the next night then St-John) and she assured me she was having a wonderful time, thank God. Once on stage, the seasoned speaker was simply mesmerizing, making it hard to take notes with countless quotable moments. Love as a global force was her topic, inspired by her Course in Miracles and her few recent books (Return to love, the Law of Divine Compensation, and so on). Best known for her famous quotes, notably:  “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure…” Marianne challenges her audience at every corner, launching a mass awakening in order to avoid the next iceberg and turn this world aka Titanic around. “It may be the 11th hour, but it is not yet midnight” we can still make a change in direction and focus on love instead of fear, the only two real emotions in life. “When we think and act with love, our lives work better”. Even those who seemingly have achieved the most have not even achieved a fraction of what we humans are capable of. In the course in miracles we learn that the Universe is intentional. The same energy that turns acorns and embryos into majestic oak trees and human beings can certainly guide us. We are reassured knowing that most of the people on this planet are good and want good for others. But since conviction is a force that is rapidly multiplying and those who truly hate, hate with conviction, we have no choice but to address solutions. The love that will save the world is not the love that stems from the ego, but the love that includes the poor children across the world. “We must realize that we are not in fact just here for ourselves” Hence the goal is to shift the perception from deep fear to boundless love. To wake up each day asking ‘How can I serve today”? instead of what do I want. To those who tell Marianne she is naive to think this way, she says there is no other way to survive as a species. What is the alternative, she asks? The status quo may be working for the status quo, but hopefully we work together to come up with much better ideas. Either way, the universe will re-calibrate itself. It may throw us off for 25,000 years if we do not correct the course we are on, but it will be OK (as the audience laughs). She closed her presentation in prayers and recommended a regular practice of meditation. We train the body with physical exercise to be able to move better, as we should train our mind and spirits to be able to better stand still.

Thank you Marianne, and coming up this Thursday May 21st, Ottawa welcomes Dr Wayne Dyer. I’ll be ready, pen and notepad in hand so look forward to highlights form Thursday as well!  For more information follow the Facebook page I am genie or the event page and for tickets http://www.eventbee.com/v/waynedyerottawa

A special Thank you to the people I met: There are no coincidences they say, just the universe conspiring to plant a few clues in front of you to send you on the right path. Indeed. I went to find my seat, a wide church bench. I introduce myself to the guests beside me, who just so happened to be Casey Grey (cgreycontruction.com) and his beautiful wife Natasha, the lovely angels who paid for my parking hours earlier ( they saw me park while the attendant was away and I had left a note on my windshield that I would be back but they had covered it how grand). I thanked them profusely and we chatted about their own amazing journey as well. To my left, I met more great people, Lindsey Marie and her friend Samantha Michael, a published author who offered me her memoir “The Beauty of my shadow” where she shares her own life story of strength and survival. Inspired by all these good deeds, I donated to her charity called An Aid to Help Foundation from Ottawa. This all happened before Marianne even stepped on stage! I truly understand that I was just meant to be right there, right then. A special thank you goes out to event organizing Goddess Samantha Moonsammy, and team Genie Christa Steeves, Teresa Bryant-Park, the many other volunteers and to videographer Sophie Renaud of SCphotography.  You all made this first event a night to remember. Here’s to the next presentations and many more wishes fulfilled!

 

We’re off the see the wizards, the wonderful wizards of O…

“We are LIVE in 30 seconds around the world!” said the deep manly voice on the intercom, to our frenzied crowd of 8500 Oprah disciples. Immediately erupted the loudest cheers, screams and applause not heard since Elvis sang All shook up. Wooooohoooo! Talk about a Big O in Toronto last Monday April 16, 2012 and we were so lucky to be there and breathe the same air a few feet away from O and her divine who’s who of guest speakers. The OWN network had decided to answer the call of countless petitions and finally come to Canada for a live show of Oprah’s Lifeclass goes on tour. Ms. Winfrey often describes over the moon moments with “JOY RISING”! in her quintessential tone, but in this precise minute, O come meet your long awaited messiah was more appropriate to describe the joy steaming from the roof of the Toronto Convention Centre.

For so many around the world, this would be a pivotal bucket list event; so the least I can do is entertain you with what went on behind the scenes of this momentous day.

First of all, the early bird does get the worm. As soon as the Canadian stop on the Lifeclass tour was announced, I happened to be online ready to click tickets, order now, confirm in less than 1 minute to secure 2 Executive seating tickets, a few feet away from the stage to the left. I warned a few friends to do the same but a few hours later tickets were all gone. Organized in collaboration with the Power Within group in Toronto, this event was held in the giant room on the convention floor but with no assigned seat numbers, which meant you had to show up early and get ready to run in and beat the stampede to our coveted aisle seats. The line ups were so long and endless I had to remind my fellow attendees how blessed we all were to live in a free country since these line ups are common just to go vote or get water in parts of the world. The Oprah effect of seeing the glass half full was already taking shape.

Now many women there chose to invite their best girlfriends or mothers to the show. Looking across in the line-up I would say 85% were women age 30-70.  I never hesitated one second to invite my husband of 20 years, whom is a proud self-declared M’Oprah (the Men who love Oprah). How exciting! We were going to fly into Toronto from Ottawa the day before the show, book 2 nights in a suite downtown, and celebrate my birthday with this once in a lifetime experience. Both my husband and I have read many books of guest speaker Tony Robbins since the days of Awaken the Giant within, Get the edge audio tapes, and attended some of his leadership seminars. Same for Deepak Chopra, read his books, did the Chopra Centre 21-day meditation challenge, bought the yoga DVDs… We had also carefully watched the last few Lifeclasses and Oprah shows and learned so much about the wonderful Bishop TD Jakes and Ms. Iyanla Vanzant. We had done all the homework online, assigned by Oprah herself. We came prepared. The speakers would all take the stage one at a time before the live taping of Lifeclass and share their wisdom, educate, enlighten, impregnate with possibilities…

Now those that were there will know what this was a running gag throughout the pre live show event… We were told we were all pregnant, with possibilities, both by Iyanla and the Bishop. To never give up as we are just about to give birth to our dreams, to buckle down and Puuuuush! Great concept we all understood. Nurture your dreams, plant the seed, let them grow, protect them until delivery… Then raise them and feed them right, until you can let them fly!

Goal setting this week: Giving back and not giving up!

For many of us today, trying to manage our online life with our real time life can create a case of multiple personalities. Should I be wittier on Twitter to get retweeted more or is replying to everyone enough? Should I show more face time on Facebook for my friends and their friends of friends? Should I link to more proof of my actual work on LinkedIn? Should I instantly share more photos and acknowledge everyone who likes them on Instagram?  Should I ask friends to give a thumb’s up and comment on my latest YouTube video? Hootsuite all social media accounts at once tout de suite? Oh and yes, how often should I update my blog so that is still considered a live blog? What topics should I address next? Aaaah the all-important existential questions of the average entrepreneur and modern “social” worker these days! More importantly, my question is, how do we make a difference by adding content? What could generate a good healthy conversation among worldwide avatars for your brand of just for fun?

As a professional freelance writer and translator, I get a lot of requests from companies who wish to grow their ‘relevant’ presence on the web, and also to write for magazines who wish to include some #hashtag worthy newsworthy updates. I also receive over 500 emails a week, and I manage a few different accounts, a company, colleagues, a husband and a dog who all require my undivided attention. Yesterday :-).

After all this time spent reading and writing online, are we any more plugged in? At the end of this beautiful fall weekend pondering these questions, I came up with this conclusion:

Our life purpose should be about giving back more, and never giving up.

Feature others who you admire or work in the background, give a public nod of approval to people and businesses that go the extra mile. Find ways to encourage someone to follow their dreams or who has overcome a lot; talk about hard working charities and a cause that is close to your heart, not just trending up. If we all consciously chose to give back a little more, miracles could happen every day. More selfless acts of generosity and kindness, less selfies ;-).

Let that influence all your choices and words and watch your energy and those around you soar!  Thanks for your feedback and comments.

 

OPRAH SHOWERS BRING MAY FLOWERS – AN EVENING WITH O IN OTTAWA

Wearing my Oprah shirt feeling the excitement

That perfect purple sparkly dress and shoes, Oprah shines on

-by Marie-Piere Belisle Kennedy, writer and owner of 5 Star Communications.

LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE

“I just love saying I am in Ottawaaaaa! Oprah in Ottawa sounds good, no?” said the queen of all media, as she sparkled on the Scotia Bank Place stage in her stunning purple dress and heels in front of a packed house of 15,000 admirers all uplifted by her sheer energy. Currently on a cross-Canada tour including her stop in Montreal tonight and in Hamilton this Saturday, Oprah wows and inspires to “Live your best life” wherever she goes, stopping to connect one on one along the way with everyone, ready to receive the love.

I was one of those lucky ticket holders, wearing my blue Oprah Winfrey show shirt bought when Harpo studios still had an Oprah store in Chicago. I eagerly took notes as the evening progressed, aware that there would be more A-has than my Ipad would allow me to write in shorthand or videotape while remaining fully present. What everyone attending a live event with Oprah has to know, is that she just owns the stage, her voice soothing as if she was just sitting around the fire telling her story as girlfriends do. By far the best communicator on this planet, she opened up about her own life, success, lessons and tragedies, to inspire attendees to follow their own truth and find their life’s purpose. First she connected with everyone by telling a few stories about her experience in the region and some of the people she met. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson gave her a warm welcome with special “Oprah cookies” from the same bakery that greeted President Obama back in 2008, the Moulin de Provence in the Byward market, some tulips that happen to be her favorite flowers and emblem of the Ottawa tulip festival, as well as a personalized Sens jersey with a big O on the front…she likely won’t be wearing it in Montreal. Ha!

But before I can tell you about all the great words of wisdom of the evening, I must provide a bit of background on my personal connection to Oprah, how I became such a devoted fan to all things O. When the Oprah show went on the air, I was about 12 years old and remember rushing home from school and watching the show at 4 pm. I was drawn to her outlook on life, the possibilities, the inspiring success stories featured, her love of animals, her fight for human rights and all things right in the world. She would not partake in sensationalist journalism so popular to this day, where people would use her media platform unless it was for the greater good. I respect her so much for that alone in a sea of rating sharks; she swam masterfully to Paradise Island and ran it her way. Since then, I keep visualizing getting an article published in O magazine, the most coveted publication of all for us writers. I was one of the very first subscribers to the OWN network in Canada, and have been an OWN ambassador with fellow devotees on Twitter these past few years. Last year at this same period, my husband (also a loyal M’Oprah, or men who love Oprah) and I attended the taping of the Oprah Lifeclass in Toronto, with world class spiritual speakers Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, Bishop TD Jake and Iyanla Vanzant. That was a pivotal life changing moment on its own! So needless to say when I heard about another chance to see her right here in Ottawa, my heart screamed out Yes in a flash. I went online and ordered the best seat in the house available. I sat so close to the side I could read her teleprompter! I have to say thank you to my neighbours for joining me and to MC and TV host George Strombolopoulos for stopping by to chat before going on stage, what a great memory.

Here are some the highlights and memorable quotes from her presentation last night. Pardon the quick delivery as I wish I had more time to edit and condense, but I hope you agree these are messages worth sharing right away!   

What is your story? Who are you, really?

To illustrate the power of a life’s purpose, Oprah started off sharing her personal story, how she came to be with parents who only were together that ‘one time’ by the oak tree with a poodle skirt. Every life has a meaning! “To understand your story, you have to know who you are and where you come from” she says. When Deepak Chopra asks the fundamental question “Who are you?” she says it would be easy to respond with the various roles we master (I am a worker, wife, mother, TV host, daughter, friend, etc.) but that is NOT who we are. Our soul is who we are, not what we do.

Oprah defines herself this way today: “I am the whisper on the breath of God. I aspire to be something greater with divine intervention”

Never lose sight of where you come from; in the realm of the universe, the billions of stars, you are a cup of water within the ocean…  You have access to that power, yet you are not the power.

“My feet were always on the ground. I am now just wearing better shoes!”

(“foot”note on the shoes – Oprah gave away her gorgeous but painful stiletto designer shoes to a lucky audience member wearing the same size 10.5 at the end of the night. Talk about big shoes to fill!)

What is purpose? A few answers:

It is Spirit – seeking expression.

It is not a goal you set for yourself.

Purpose is revealed through your existence.

It is the essential thread that defines all of our life’s experiences

For Oprah the idea of becoming a journalist or TV newsperson simply popped in her head when she was asked what she would like to be at a pageant in her teens, after other girls had already answered a teacher or a nurse… She had seen Barbara Walters on TV that day and she knew she liked speaking to large audiences, helping people. This is what it felt like to be ‘called’ for her. After hearing the words out loud she started to believe the possibility of it all. A calling can take on many forms. Oprah shared the various early childhood experiences that would later define what inspired her hairdresser André Walker who was styling his sisters’ doll hair, her facialist who started doing extractions on her family members and later sold her beauty business for millions, and her office producer who requested a filing cabinet at the age of 8. Each one had followed their heart, performed with excellence and passion, which lead to much greater successes in their lives. Oprah’s advice is simple and to the point. Take what you love, find that thing that lights you up! Your job is to share your purpose… and if possible get paid for it! The key to how you can fulfill your purpose is to share and be of service to others. Martin Luther King said: “Not everyone can be famous, but all can be great!”

Share in service to others. Greatness is determined by service. Oprah had to shift her paradigm for service with the early years of the Oprah Winfrey Show to avoid the traps of confrontational television and live TV. There were different pivotal moments that enlightened her path at that point: a) Your life must be used for a purpose of a greater good. B) Every human being’s contribution to the micro of this universe matters. You become what you believe, you attract your consciousness, and it can work for little things… as she shared the experience of Sheri the waitress at the Brookstreet hotel she met that morning. We attract what we believe is possible. Raised by her black servant grandma in the segregated south, Oprah knew her own life would not be about finding some “good white folks” as her nana advised, although Oprah joked she did end up finding a lot of good white folks just on a larger scale, as the entire audience laughed along with her, realizing her grandmother would not believe all this was possible for the little girl at the time.

What are your beliefs?

I believed in a Power greater than myself.

Your beliefs are the lenses from which you see the world.

You are co creating your life.

Do unto others as you would want it done unto you. “All you have done to me as already been done unto you” as quoted from the movie the Color Purple. The energy that you are putting out creates the dust over your life, based on Newton’s 3rd law of motion: To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction. Open that light space with the proper intention in your heart, as explained in the Seed of the soul book by Gary Zukav.

And simply put: Intention = cause and effects

We do have power in our own energy field – we are in control of it.

Your truth is your love

Author and speaker Marianne Williamson has said there are only two emotions: Love and fear – everything else is a derivative of either of them.  Each failure in your life is just telling your stubborn self to move in a new direction. As Oprah humbly shared her OWN network woes and how it felt to face the criticism, she admitted nothing was as harsh as her self–criticism at the time. She learned to practice what she preaches. The difference, she explained, is “I have a big life. Every one of you here in business can relate to making mistakes, yet be relieved that yours don’t make the evening news!” The truth is that your energetic state of being co-creates the forces around you. So, she changed the way she saw her struggle with the network to a climb and just with this attitudes around her shifted, now she uses words like I am building a network, emphasis on build and climb.  The new mantra for the network and for every decision going forward is The next best thing. We will do the next best thing at every step. When you know better, do better.

Is it all about luck?

On the topic of luck, Oprah believes there is no such thing – even for lottery winners, as 80% of them end up unhappy because they were not ready or unable to cope with the windfall. “Luck is preparation meeting the opportunity”. When you prepare, you expect, getting ready to meet the moment. So make yourself ready for what you want.

Some hard earned lessons came in the eighties when a dream was not materializing, everything seemed to turn against her, plus some cruel jokes were made on late-night talk shows. “I surrender all” she sang in desperation running in the rain trying to shed the weight in more ways than one, asking God to help her release it all. From that moment on, everything changed. You learn to just do it, do the best you can, then let it go. What is for you will come to you.  Trials force you to go deeper into what you need to be.  Life will bring hard challenges, make you lose friends, and people you trusted will betray you. No matter what happens in life, a divorce, an illness, a trauma, remember that you are not the things that happen to you. Work on being whole. That is the real work of our lives – everything else is just passing time… Maya Angelou was a very important mentor for Oprah and still is at age 85. The key lesson from her was “When somebody shows you who they are, believe them, the first time.”

Listening to whispers

Learning the importance of listening to your gut, to your instinct in life can make or break the outcome. Whispers (the feeling of a little voice saying “hum, that’s odd”) turn into pebbles (the lesson) or a brick upside the head (a problem) then if ignored a real crisis or tsunami in your life. That is why it is so crucial to be still and pay attention to all the whispers. The big question is: What is whispering to you right now?

What has been your proudest achievement?

Featuring onscreen some of her 25-year TV show highlights, for Oprah it was not all about the celebrities she met or the free cars, but seeing the 300 grown black men she helped put through college walking down to the stage holding a candle for her wrap up party which brought her to tears, or seeing the girls graduate in white dresses from her leadership academy in South Africa…those were the most meaningful moments, empowering signs that her life had meaning. When Oprah was asked why she and Stedman never married, she just said that for her every day was like a wedding, the loving gatherings, the hoopla, the dress-up, so she does not feel the need to make it official in that sense with a celebration.

Importance of gratitude

Gratitude is our biggest force – Life is so precious.  It is the privilege of a lifetime.

Listen to all your life is telling you. Your dreams are possible if you are willing to align yourself with the power of Source, to follow your calling and let your deepest spiritual practice every day be GRATITUDE. “I artfully, thoughtfully, physically practice gratitude with a gratitude journal and when you think you have nothing to be grateful, be grateful you are still here! Think of everything you have been through, yet you are still here.  There is a collective energy in this place; along with our strengths, victories and joys, our failures, which make us all the same. Only the space inside your heart knows what you have been through. The reason you are still here is because you have a purpose and still so much to offer.”  Look at the thread that connected all the dots in your life, your purpose will come to you with time. Oprah’s dream is to be able to continue to use her life, to use the words that touch yours.

Whatever is going on in your life right now, it is possible to achieve what is meant for you. Allow that force to work through you. In the same way she writes the last page in O magazine every month, she left us with her ‘What I know for sure’: Having come the long road from Mississippi to here, I know for sure that it is possible for you to be lifted up to higher ground, it is not only possible, but probable and achievable. The life that you want awaits you when you start moving in the direction of LOVE.  Then she went on to read a moving poem hanging in her home to wrap up this perfect night. I captured it on video to remember and hear it often.

How can one not be moved by Oprah’s presence and simply be grateful to hear these words? Thank you Ottawa for welcoming all that positivity and allowing it to flow freely! Blessings for great events to all attending the next few shows in Canada.

Oprah’s poem (small excerpt) from Ottawa

Oprah in Ottawaaa

 

Pay close attention, your life is speaking to you in whispers

Words to live by and the energy they carry

Speaking of energy we bring forward as we interact with the world, our words often represent our best ambassadors especially in this digital age where thousands of messages are fired off instantly without meaningful intention. I thought it was perfect that today’s DailyOM arrived in my inbox discussing this very topic so I wanted to share their wisdom with you here.

(Copyright granted courtesy of DailyOM – no part of this text can be copied or reproduced without the author’s and publisher’s permission)

March 22, 2012
The Music of Language
Words Are Energy

 

Each word we speak has a life of its own, a vibratory signature that creates waves into the expanse of the universe.
When we speak or write, we use the vehicles of words to carry meaning, as well as energy, from ourselves to another person or group of people. We may be speaking to our baby, our boss, or to an audience of 500 people. We may be writing a love letter, a work-related memo, or an entry in our own diary. Whatever the case, each word we speak or write has a life of its own, a vibratory signature that creates waves in the same way that a note of music creates waves. And like musical notes, our words live in communities of other words and change in relation to the words that surround them. When we are conscious of the energy behind our words, we become capable of making beautiful music in the world. If we are unconscious of the power of words, we run the risk of creating a noisy disturbance.

Some of us know this instinctively, while others come to this understanding slowly. Most of us, though, speak without thinking at least some of the time, blurting out our feelings and thoughts without much regard for the words we choose to express them. When we remind ourselves that our words have an impact on the world at the level of energy, we may find within ourselves the desire to be more aware of our use of language.

A fun way to increase our sensitivity to the power of words is to simply make a list of our favorite words and notice the energy they contain. We can write them down and post them where we can see them, or we can speak them aloud, feeling them reverberate in our bodies and in the air around us. This is like learning to consciously play an instrument that we have been playing unconsciously for most of our lives, and the effect can be startling and delightful. As we grow more comfortable and confident playing the instrument of language, we will begin to compose beautiful messages, creating positive energy every time we write or speak.

Dust yourself off and get back in the saddle

If I had forecasted all that would happen since this same time last year, I would have strapped on parachute, ha ha! Yet here we are, so grateful for all the joyful moments and achievements this year brought us all, and the latest lessons as well. We are here, we made it! Let’s take a moment to take a deep breath together… Aaaaah. We skied, we apres-skied but also worked hard at being proactive to anticipate our client’s increasing demands. When I look at all the efforts made to meet my goals and keep my resolutions, there’s enough to write a funny skit in there. The bottom line is I never gave up, never quit, and kept trying new things, talking to new people and experts, reading new books, listening to other businesspeople more, asking them better questions and taking it all in. The idea now is to analyse what actually did not work and discard that approach from my new set of goals for 2012, and doing more of what works! A major lesson this year has been the effect of our energy on others, what we bring to the table has a proven impact on any outcome. We are responsible for the intentions we set forth to the universe. The difference between a wish and an intention is a wish would be a head goal, while a true intention stems from the soul and can hence vibrate to attract similar positive energy and experiences. Ever noticed how when you slow down and project kindness on someone who’s having a bad day instead of mirroring their negative energy, the whole interaction can change? The key is to be conscious of what we are receiving and staying present long enough to decide how we will act, not simply react. A smile and a helpful comment in business situations can really make a difference and set the tone for future collaborations. As Ghandi recommended, “Be the change you want to see in the world” and I would like to add See the change you want to be in the world, grabbing every opportunity to be our best self.

Just like starting over…

Hello, hope you are having a great day! I am back on the blogosphere and planning to post on a few great lifestyle and health topics over the next few months. The last little while has been challenging and some great research and material erupted from this turmoil. I first started working with a wonderful “success coach” I had met at a conference . The weekly phone sessions woke me up on many levels and certainly pushed me beyond my comfort zone; topics covered were as varied as the issues we face on a daily basis when managing a growing business, how to balance professional and other personal goals, and as a business owner this was the hardest, learning to delegate, automate or eliminate tasks. It was amazing to discover how much busy work actually clutters productivity in a typical week. Now I can actually take a whole day off away from checking in, usually Saturday, which had not occurred in many years. Bingo. Work smarter, get better results, enjoy life more. Next step was revisiting the gym, so I enrolled in a few months of bi-weekly intense private training in a small studio downtown with nowhere to hide, and kept a journal of other workouts on alternate days such as hiking with the dogs and biking. Things were looking up! Then by end of July, the ultimate A-ha moment hit: life does not always go as planned and no level of planning can prevent you from experiencing hardship – whether it is on the health front or in your loved ones’ lives. However, I found with the right support network of coaches, specialists, true friends, and unshakable belief that everything will be all right, getting trough each day in a calm serene state became easier and easier, until full acceptance settled in. This challenge had come to teach me patience. The power to adapt has proven to be the most essential tool in the shed. Knowing when to shift the ship’s original course to ensure everyone is secure on-board and not be so stubborn to stick to an original plan and pace at all cost, that lesson is truly crucial when navigating through life. Here we are now right back on track, wiser, stronger, with so much respect for life and for everyone who shows resilience in the face of adversity. Strategic improvements to our work-life balance were made, and focus on quality of life is no longer wishful thinking – it is life saving. Learning to go with the flow, never settling for less than what you stand for, without getting so carried away that your core is shattered by blinding light. Learn to turn this new energy to power up the rest of your journey, remaining grateful for this second chance and letting it enlighten you as you reach out to others going through similar life changes, paying it forward. That’s what life is all about.

Work less… for more success!

The irony of this blogpost title versus keeping your nose to the grindstone may cause a few to scratch their head and tilt it ever so gently sideways… Most of our generation was brought up to believe in the “Rise early, work hard, strike gold…” mentality. Yet the unsung key to entrepreneurial success is growing your core business and focusing on delivering high quality products and services, on time, every time. Business owners who know the traps of growing pains too well will tell you it is quite dangerous to reach the breaking point where essential tasks are delegated to less experienced personnel and expecting them to keep up with the mad pace; all it takes is one error, one bad day, and your customer can be hard to recover. We have seen this many times in the service sector, and it ain’t pretty at the customer service counter. That is why from many successful entrepreneurs’ experience I would highly recommend slowing down and ensuring quality control at every step, even if it means affecting the bottom line in the short term and turning away a percentage of business. What you will end up with is your top clients or the cream out of the 80/20 rule, which you can focus on and meet the needs consistently or at the very least, make that your ultimate goal and corporate culture. Then, as your capacity to handle higher volume develops, this core will refer you quality business with similar expectations, an elastic demand based on reliability willing to ensure your profitability and sustainability. Establish win-win relationships and never drop the ball or stop caring. Even when business is good and lined up at the door, in this day of consumer feedback blogs and surveys you will always be rewarded for honouring your promises and staying true to your original business values. In the end, what we leave behind is more important than a checkbook; the gold is a spotless name.

A few quotes you may also appreciate on this topic:

-A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him. – David Brinkley.

-I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody. -Bill Cosby.

-Pray that success will not come any faster than you are able to endure it. -Elbert Hubbard

– The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is the same problem you had last year. – John Foster Dulles

Another year over…

Eckart Tolle once wrote: ” Time is an illusion. The more you are focused on time – past and future- the more you miss the Now. The eternal present is the space within which your whole life unfolds. Life is now.” There’s something about the approaching year-end that makes me ponder if my time was used wisely this year. Did I get closer to my  goals set 12 months ago? Were there unforeseen challenges thrown on the course? Definitely. But 10 days until Christmas, 2 weeks until we ring in the New Year, I like to take stock of the wonderful moments and events that shaped this past year, including the Winter Olympics on home soil and the hot summer we finally got to enjoy. New friends we made and opened our worlds to new perspective, old friends that appeared on our doorsteps and made us laugh, life lessons learned, meaningful work and charitable causes, efforts worth their weight in gold, going the extra mile to then look back with pride. Now it’s time to set new goals, reevaluate our resolutions. Certainly for many of us, technological revolutions are de rigueur. Spending more time working smarter, focused, with heart, without multitasking with 8 tabs going at once on the screen. Spending less time worrying about the future, knowing that each day fully lived counts for 100 spent aimlessly at the wheel. Each hour counts. Life is happening as we speak.  The mind always adheres to what we know, what is known. The unknown is dangerous because it has no control over it. That’s why our mind dislikes the present moment, yet our conscious can only manifest if fully present. The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not your mind.  Step out of your own shadow and let the light you were meant to seek find you. Effortlessly. Be here now. WISHING YOU THE MOST WONDERFUL, MEANINGFUL AND JOYFUL HOLIDAY SEASON. Make it count.

Congratulations also to everyone who took part in the 24 hours of Tremblant, skiing non stop relay-style from noon Saturday Dec 11 to noon Sunday Dec. 12th (and those on the bikes), to raise funds and awareness to those less fortunate. The most memorable quote of the event came from a very young girl with leukemia who spoke to the crowd, reminding participants that as their bodies grow tired and they feel alone on the hill in the middle of the night, picture carrying a sick child on your shoulders to give you the strength and motivation to carry on… wonderful motivation to accomplish what a moment ago seemed impossible.