Category : Christmas

'Tis the Season, Blog post, Christmas, SHIFT Happens, Social Exchange, Winter in Canada

Small Steps

It is that time of year again when we look back to examine what we have accomplished and set some goals for the New Year.  I always marvel at how much I have accomplished in just one year.  I have initiated my relationship with UVI.  I have travelled to The US Virgin Islands and the BVI by many long and circuitous routes.  I have danced and curled and spent time with family and friends.  I have read books and finished writing one.  I have visited Italy and Scotland.  I have spent time at Lac St Anne and in St Albert and I have written morning pages almost everyday.

There are of course many things I have promissed myself that I would do that I have not been able to add to a daily repertoire.  For Example… I always admired the way my mother went for a daily walk.  It kept her slim, and happier and healthy … or at least we thought she was healthy.  I really do want to add it to my routine.  There always seems to be a great reason to NOT walk today.  It’s too cold.  It’s too hot.  The wind is blowing.  The snow or rain is falling.  Its too dark.  There’s too much traffic.  Beyond weather there are the multitude of distractions in side … dishes, floors, dusting, books to read, garbage to take out, phone calls to make, emails to send … the list goes on … have a shower, get dressed, find warm clothes until there is suddenly not enough time left before work to walk for twenty minutes.  And after work… forget it.  The busy evening schedule which may or may not include favourite tv shows.

I am so good at avoiding it that I am starting to wonder what deep seated, psychological reasons are keeping me from walking.  When I do convince myself to go I usually enjoy the experience. But obviously not enough to do it again the next day.  Since I started thinking about establishing this routine in 1990… 25 years ago… I have NEVER gone two days in a row.  I have enrolled the help of partners… some willing and others indebted to me because I gave birth to them. Buddy or not I have not succeeded.

This is a dire circumstance that I want to change.  Enter the self coaching tools of the certified coach.  Remember Kaizen and one small step.  Remember mind sculpting.  Remember how thinking about doing something and enjoying it can help you want to ACTUALLY do it.  If I can commit to small steps I may be able to short circuit my brain’s built in resistance to the new behaviour. The trick is for me to imagine ENJOYING the walk and how it makes me feel.

I’ll let you know how it goes…..

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'Tis the Season, Christmas, Social Exchange

Christmas Lists … Don’t Forget to Wish Your Friends Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas everyone.  You are all on my nice list and I have been meaning to tell you so for a while now.  It has been a great year and on my list of to do’s in January is to review it for myself and for those who might be interested.

Today I want to talk about lists.  We all carry so many lists in our head, in our pockets, on our phones and computers.  It seems like everything we do we do so that we can tick off the box beside that thing on our list.  It could be physically or virtually.  It could be our “getting up in the morning routine” list. It could be our “grocery” list.  It could be our Christmas baking, shopping, wrapping, budgeting or dinner preparation list.

There is not just one list at Christmas.  There’s the naughty and nice lists, and the list of presents that need to be purchased and wrapped and tagged. And just when you think you have everything under control your second cousin on your father’s side invites her new beau to the family Christmas gathering and you are off to the pick up “some small thing” for him to open with us.

Christmas Day is like a wedding day.  You plan and plan and carefully make lists and arrange seating and buy groceries and wine and then cross your fingers.   The Day comes.  You all have a wonderful time.  You share time together, food and drink, laughter and conversation. You leave with great stories and a warm feeling and a full stomach and all will be well in the world.

Then it will be time to start making next year’s lists.  ENJOY.

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Christmas, PULSE Conversations

St Albert Chamber of Commerce

I had a chance to do an introduction of myself as a representative of the St Albert Mediation Office at the Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting this morning.  I used my new line.

“Giving people the courage to make a change and the confidence to make a difference.”

The giving part is iffy.  I don’t really give anyone anything.  I help them look for the power to change inside of themselves, in their own history and in their own values.  I did that today too.  I listened and asked questions today.  I was the consumer instead of the sales person and I learned a lot as we did the speed networking.  There are wonderful people running businesses in St Albert and I am happy to be in their company.

“What is the best experience you have had doing what you do?”  That was my question.  The answers were thoughtful and thought-provoking and I felt honoured to hear honest, heartfelt and “off script” responses.  People come prepared to talk about their businesses but not necessarily their own experiences within it.  It was great.

“What’s one thing you would change about what you do?”  That was my second question. Some interesting takes on how to improve things.  My final challenge to them … “What one thing could you do this week to make things better for you?”  This one usually invokes a quizzical look that says “I have the power to change things???” Really? … hmmmmm, let me think…”

As we move in to SOAR (Season of Added Responsibility), I know you will be chatting with people at Christmas Parties and family gatherings.  Add theses three little questions to your conversations starters.  You will be amazed.  Everybody has a story.  Some of them could break your heart.  Others will lift it to new heights. These questions let people identify for themselves what brings them joy, what they value and what is within their power to change. Just asking the question makes a difference.

“What is the best experience you have had doing what you do?”

“What’s one thing you would change about what you do?”

“What one thing could you do this week to make things better for you?”

Merry Christmas

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BEACHs, Christmas

To everything there is a season…

It’s getting busy again.  The season of added responsibility is upon us.

How do you handle the pressure of Christmas?  Making lists and lists and lists and working to complete the shopping and the baking etc can be overwhelming.  And then there is the loneliness felt by many who are missing loved ones or who are measuring themselves against a standard of involvement in other people’s lives that may or may not be realistic.

I have to admit that Christmas and all of the activity that goes with it is not really my favourite time of year.  I do feel the pressure to do the right thing, be in the right place, attend the right events, give the right gifts, cook the right food, entertain the right people.  It has always been stressful for me, especially with all of the in-laws and out-laws I have gathered over the years.  Preparations are hectic and sometimes overwhelming.  Decisions about who will be where and when also cause me a lot of grief.

Once the actual festivities begin I calm down and I know that things will all work out fine.  Christmas will come and go whether or not I am ready for it.  Others will be thrilled with their gifts or not.  Really I will likely never know because they will always politely say that it is wonderful.  Meals will turn out well or not.  Again I will likely never know because everyone will rave either way.  I will see my good friends and my wonderful family and enjoy their company tremendously as I always do.

I am really very lucky to have wonderful people in my life.  They would not want me to stress over the preparations for Christmas.  Maybe that’s why I do.  I never want to let these wonderful people down. The stress is self-imposed.  I know that and I will make my lists and do what I can knowing that the important people in my life will love me whether or not Christmas is perfect.  They are kind and forgiving and I love them.

So bring on the madness of the season and enjoy it.  January will bring the wonderful healing Aloha of Hawaii for me.  Anyone else feel the need for a rejuvenating vacation??

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