Monday, June 10, 2013

What’s Your Story?

These three words permeate my mind ever since I saw Anthony Robbins discussing the topic, as a part of his strategy for creating a personal breakthrough, on a Dr Oz show recently (May 2013).

It’s amazing how we may not even realize we’re stuck, until we’re prompted to think about something as simple as the story we’re telling others and ourselves about our lives.

And as Anthony briefly spoke about his life before success, he also mentioned a point where he realized that he had so much more potential than where he was.

And I could relate. Being someone who has grieved the loss of seven family members (including both parents) over the recent years, for a while my story wasn’t the greatest, as you can probably imagine. However, as important as it is to acknowledge and give a voice to our experiences, I realized I just didn’t want it or any other challenges to define me.

I would rather my mind be filled with my goals, dreams, successes and the many wonderful things in my life that I’m thankful for each day. We have a choice about what we want to ruminate about.

Coincidently, there was a discussion in a group on Linked In by someone that was doubtful about the Law of Attraction theory, and prompted others for their views. Mine was as follows:

"I can't say I've gone by any particular laws intentionally, but am realizing that I have in my own way without fully knowing it.

In line with what [member name] said, in the past I've found that when I can see and almost feel myself in a position I want to be (i.e. a job promotion or future goal, etc), it happens. It seems to stem from confidently believing it can be a reality.

I also recently heard Tony Robbins on Dr. Oz the other day talking about changing your story... What's your story about yourself? Is your description about yourself positive or negative (i.e. a lady on the show had weight issues, and that was the story she told herself and others about herself, and that became the theme of her life - being overweight defined who she was)?

Sometimes we get into a rut, and we have to remind ourselves about where we want to be, and really visualize and feel what it would be like. I also love visual action maps (a collage of your goals).

I believe that what you tell yourself about your beliefs about who you are or "your story" has a direct impact on your life in terms of what you achieve or limit yourself from achieving."

I genuinely believe we can achieve our dreams. And the more we believe and persevere (graciously), the more they become a reality.

It’s also interesting how when we’re ready to move forward we start noticing information in support of just that.

In addition to feeling blessed with having many inspiring people in my life, I’ve come across some equally inspiring reading (and free downloads) that I’d like to share with you.

For those of you that may be going through struggles, Paul Wittwer could probably relate, as he’s been at both ends of the pendulum in the face of many challenges, and has written a book called One Degree that has inspired thousands of people with his exceptional story.

And for the success minded, The Science of Success is another inspirational read.

The Master Key, which is apparently one of the original books The Secret was derived from, may also inspire you.

Finally, an oldie (1910), but apparently very influential, How to Live on 24 Hours a Day.

As a friend of mine says, “Onward and Upward!” Wishing all the best to you and your story. Happy Reading!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

What to do About the Prevalence of Abuse Towards Women

This is an ironic topic to write about, in light of Mother’s Day just passing. However, the prevalence of men and boys being disrespectful and abusive to their female counterparts astounds me. I’ve seen so much of it lately.

A Teens Only’s photo against domestic violence was posted on Facebook recently, that said, “Real men don’t hit women.” And the one comment about it said, “Real women aren’t whores.” I was stunned. I wanted to respond to it but held back, thinking it wasn’t worth feeding into this guy’s anger.

Then I saw a post on Linked In about a male lawyer that approached a woman at a business convention and asked, “Who’s taking care of the baby at home?” Talk about trying to undermine a person’s sense of integrity. That one prompted a never-ending thread of responses!

On Dr. Phil, “Whore!” and “Garbage!” seemed one man’s favorite references to a woman he’d been in a long-term relationship with (May 1, 2013). I was surprised the good Dr. allowed this man to berate his partner outwardly like that on his show. Good ratings, perhaps. Although, telling this guy straight out that abuse toward women is not accepted on his show would have sent a clear message to the guy and other men watching.

And sadly, upon completing a three part series on bullying (“Strong Communities: A Buffer Against Bullying, Healthy Living Magazine, Spring 2013), I learned of the rape, bullying and resulting self-hanging of Rehtaeh Parsons. No charges were laid for the “alleged” rape and the case was dropped. What kind of message does this send? Is it really ok to rape someone, take pictures of it, and then pass them around the school for over a year, until she takes her life? And what’s wrong with the kids that think this is funny or that know about it and don’t do or say anything? This is wrong on so many levels.

And as a mother of a little girl, compassion can only begin to describe my feelings for what Rehtaeh suffered, and for what her mother must be going through.

And if these stories weren’t enough in a short time period, W5 featured a story about women in Delhi, India being at a huge risk for getting raped if they’re out after dark (“Rapes and assaults against women paint an ugly picture of India,” April, 2013).

One 23-year-old woman’s death sparked public outrage and international attention. “Gang-raped, she was punched, bitten and tortured with a metal rod. Her internal injuries were so severe, her intestines had been torn apart,” according to W5. This is what it took for India to start to change its laws.

It’s sad that such a horrific crime has to happen before people really take notice and act. Why aren’t we acting before women are brutally harmed?

The more we stand by and allow harm to come, the more it will. At the other end of the spectrum, the more we stand up to it, the more we prevent it. Action is critical.

We can refuse to be bystanders to disrespect toward women – on any level, volunteer with organizations that support this cause, and model empathy, compassion and provide positive role models for our children (in this case, especially boys), and help them express their emotions constructively (or get support where needed), so they don’t escalate as they get older.

And we can instill self-worth in our girls. According to Dr. Sears, M.D.:
  •  Being responsive and listening, says, “You’re worthwhile.”
  •  Quality time together, sends the message, “You’re worth my time.”
  •  Setting her up for success, by helping her develop her talents and skills, teaches her, “I can.”
  •  Loving her for who she is (regardless of her achievements), tells her, I am valued.”
The following is also a great link - for men, kids and teens (girls and boys), women and concerned friends - with tips for information regarding ending violence against women.

The more we reach out and support each other the healthier we’ll all be.

Related Articles

1. “The Family Stress of Bullying,” Healthy Living Magazine (Volume 10, Issue 1).
2. “How to Combat the Stress of Bullying” Healthy Living Magazine (Volume 9, Issue 4).
3. “Social Connections: People Fare Better When They Flock Together,” Alive Magazine (July 2010). 
4. “I Hate You!” Patterson, C. A., Syndicated Column, (May, 2013).    


1. CTV News, “N.S. teen took her own life after rape, bullying, mother says,” (April, 2013).
2. Frayer, J. M., W5, “Rapes and assaults against women paint an ugly picture of India,” (April, 2013).  
3. Public Safety Canada, “Bullying Prevention in Schools,” A study by the National Crime Prevention    Center (NCPC), (2011).  
4. Sears, B., M.D., “12 Ways to Help Your Child Build Self-Confidence,” (2013).  
5. Government of Ontario, “November: Woman Abuse Prevention Month – Tips,” (2013).

Sunday, March 3, 2013

International Women’s Day / Week

“Strong women…strong world.”

I can’t imagine writing about anything more important right now (except my daughter—but that’s a given).

March 8th is our day (and week) women! It’s “a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future,” as described by the IWD organization, at: The first IWD was 1911, and has maintained it’s significance ever since.

It was proclaimed a day for our rights and international peace, according to Status of Women Canada (SWC). They describe it as an opportunity to “celebrate progress toward equality for women and their full participation, reflect on the challenges and barriers that remain, and consider future steps to achieving equality for all women, in all aspects of their lives.”

Personally, I think it would be a great tribute to connect with each other—fellow genders—on that day (through FB, Twitter, and other mediums) to discuss things such as what this day means to us, people that have inspired us, and to share and learn about anything relating to it, in an attempt to acknowledge this important event.

Just as we reach out to loved-ones on birthdays and other special occasions, we can reach out to each other, to embrace and show our appreciation for one another in society. We really have “come along way baby” in many regards. Why not embrace it?

If this day has meaning for you, mark it on your calendar, and plan a way you can celebrate it with other women. Is there a way you can support your fellow gender—drop an email to say hello, comment on a blog, send a tweet, join a site… We’ve earned this day. It’s only fitting to own it.

I can’t think of a better way to show our appreciation for those who persevered before us—and made it possible for us to be where we are today—than to rise to occasion, and be supportive of each other.

I hope you’re as excited about this day (and week) as I am. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this—ideas, comments, anything. After all, for once it’s all about us!

The following are some links FYI:

International Womens Day site:
Women Watch:
Status of Women Canada:
(note: you can copy the IWD logo above, from this site)