Posted in Health and Wellness, Inspiration, Motivation

Can ‘not smiling’ interfere with securing a job?

I woke up this morning thinking about a young man whom I met this week and whose smile left a smile in my heart. I was taken aback because three years ago when I first met him, his face was always so serious that I found it very difficult to relax around him. He was a very qualified individual who secured many interviews but had difficulties in securing a job.

In a nutshell, three years ago he was struggling in adapting to his new environment and also with learning English as a second language. Automatically, it created a high level of stress as he tried to focus on interpreting what was being said to him. This deep focus caused him to lose his smile during his first interactions with anyone at all. His interviewers found him to be ‘too serious’ and ‘lacked interpersonal skills’. As difficult as this may sound, first impressions are very important during interviews and unfortunately employers don’t have the time to analyze why you may have lost your smile.

Three years later, it is so much easier for him to smile freely because the language flows much easier and he is now more comfortable with his environment. He has also been able to secure permanent employment and is now creating a plan for career growth. His interpersonal skills are much more visible now and he creates a great first impression.

Your facial expression, dress and body language are all interconnected.

So, what is it about smiling that connects us with others? Here are two quotes to think about:

“A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.” William Arthur Ward

“A smile is the universal welcome.” Max Eastman

Personally, I love being around people who smile, laugh and bring a positive aura into my space. Research proves that smiling and laughing create physiological changes in our bodies, even when we are not aware of it.

There are several huge benefits to smiling and laughing:

  1. The muscles in our faces relax and makes us look more approachable. It invites others into our presence. Employers and coworkers find that people who smile create a happier work environment. Even at home and with friends, our smiles and laughter enhances our communication.
  2. Endorphins are released into our bodies. Endorphins are happy hormones which has several benefits of lowering our blood pressure and reducing production of cortisol which is a stress hormone.
  3. When smiles break into laughter, it expands our lungs which brings more oxygen into our bodies. This gives the same feeling as though you have exercised!

My tip for this post: Practice smiling. If it does not come naturally to you, fake it until it happens automatically. Find things to smile about and hang around people who inspire smiles and laughter.

Love,

Magdalene

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Posted in Health and Wellness, Inspiration, Motivation, Overcoming fear, Uncategorized

Your sweat is the bond which you have with yourself to follow your heart.

Your sweat is the bond which you have with yourself to follow your heart, believe in yourself and to do the work which is burning in your soul. Don’t be afraid to sweat even though no one else may understand what drives you. The work which your soul is destined to fulfil was not assigned to you loosely but rather, you were trusted to carry it out. This journey is unique to you and only YOU will understand the magnitude of the work of your soul – only when you work from the soul level.

You may wonder then, if it is your soul work, why isn’t it being done faster or without tribulations or trials?  You may wonder why you are being faced with barriers, rejections and lack of support. The answer is simple – the soul needs to grow and experience many emotions across its many lifetimes. This lifetime may not be the one where you will reap the amazing rewards you feel that you should reap.  However, if the dimension which has to be done in this lifetime, is not done, there isn’t a chance that you will ever reap what you are capable of, even though you may live through several lifetimes.

Make this lifetime count.  Don’t worry so much about the outcomes.  Engage in the present.  Make daily choices to support your soul work. Stand proud and tall today for every single bead of sweat which has come from your own inner efforts and whisper a word of gratitude to the Universe, your  Creator, your soul group which holds you in reverence and believes in you.

“Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.” Dan Gable

“Nobody ever drowned in his own sweat.” Ann Landers

Posted in Health and Wellness

Lavender – in my front yard!

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There are some things, after all, that Sally Owens knows for certain: Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.

Alice Hoffman

I touch the blooms every morning before I leave for work and every evening when I return from work. I brush my fingers across my nostrils to inhale the sweet, calming perfume which floods my body with a sense of serenity and pride… that I actually have a little hedge of lavender plants right in my front yard!  Had I known of the deep pleasure from this simple act, I would have planted lavender 10 years ago!

Gardening in Canada has been quite a challenge for me. It took me almost 10 years to understand the difference between annuals and perennials!  It was not the meaning of the words that challenged me but my brain would simply not make the natural connection between planting flowers and vegetables during various seasons, thinking though plants which needed full sunlight, shade and partial sunlight and the illogical sense that delicate plants could survive the freezing winters and pop up the following  year!

I grew up on the island of Saint Lucia where we do not have to ever pay attention to seasons of the year.  There are 365 beautiful sunny days and we don’t have to think about annuals and perennials.  We planted flowers and vegetable and they grew and bloomed – although we did pay attention to the moon! Small things like our approach to  gardening can demonstrate many differences in cross cultural communication.  It took me ten years to make gardening in Canada a natural part of my life and to have a deeper appreciation for what should be planted during the various seasons of the year.

Anyway, I started gardening a bit more purposefully two summers ago and I am pleasantly surprised by some of the plants which I have discovered such as Lavender. I have always loved the fragrance of lavender.  When I planted it, I almost did not expect it to grow – it seemed to be a bit too sophisticated for my yard.  I was so pleasantly surprised to see the plants bloom this spring and even more surprised to learn (by watching many you tube videos), that lavender grows very well in dry soil. It does not require heavy maintenance except for pruning at the right time, to facilitate better growth for the following year.

These photos show the growth for this year.  I am looking forward to pruning the flowers and making little lavender sachets with them!

The journey of a thousand miles begin with a single step! Imagine the possibilities of a lavender hedge…and the beautiful fragrance of lavender all over my yard!

 

Have a blessed day!

Love,

Magdalene

 

Posted in Family, Health and Wellness, Inspiration, Motivation

Does your comfortable sadness almost feel like happiness?

Jelan

Jelan and I have been driving together the last couple of days. It is really a pleasure to drive him to college and to have those extra moments to have some deep conversations about life. This morning, we talked  a little about how we ‘see’ life from our various perspectives, drawing specific reference to the vision which a giraffe has of the world is different when compared to a turtle. Our conclusion was that a person’s vision is unique to them – they can only see as far as their unique level.

The conversation expanded to our general disposition in life and how we perceive others and how others may also perceive us.  He said something which left quite an impact on my mind:

“Comfortable sadness can almost feel like happiness.”

How profound. How true.

It made me realize that sometimes we hold on to sadness because it is comfortable.  We perhaps don’t know what it is like to be happy or may have even decided that we don’t deserve to be happy.  Sometimes, we repeat our unhappy stories until we make them become ‘how’ our lives should be.  Even when opportunities to be happy are begging us to join in the vibrancy of happiness, it is more comfortable to remain in our sadness.  Sadness can even become a way of life and eventually define our personalities, our lives and even the relationships which we share with others.

On the other hand, maybe what we perceive as sadness, may not be sadness at all!

What are your thoughts?

I believe that each time the universe feels our happiness, there is a global shift in human consciousness towards greater love, compassion and kindness… and even with one single breath of happiness… the entire world beams.

I believe that sadness does the same thing… every single moment of sadness, also creates a global shift in human consciousness towards greater despair, and fear.

It is o.k to be sad but don’t let sad moments into a lifetime of sadness.

It is o.k to be happy. Multiply your happy moments over and over again.

My thoughts:  I am happy. I choose happiness as my way of life. I embrace laughter, joy, fun… as much as I can… as I push beyond my boundaries… and I am so delighted with all the wonderful people, great opportunities, amazing places and beautiful moments which this world is blessing me with every day.

Love,

Mags

 

 

 

Posted in Connecting with the spirt world, Health and Wellness, Inspiration, Motivation, Women

Could this be your million dollar gift every night?

foot massageDo you feel that you are always busy with very little time to care for yourself or your partner or even your children for that matter?

Last week, I had some moments when I could hear my spirit whispering  to me, “Magdalene, you have to stop and take care of yourself.  Your Spirit is feeling tired and if you continue like this, your Spirit won’t be able to help you take care of your body.  Your Spirit does not feel welcomed in a tired body.”

The message repeated itself to my inner vortex several times. I took heed.  Thankfully, I have a partner who also understands the need for self-care and enjoys self-care activities too!  We did a few self-care things on the weekend like going to the gym, swimming in the pool, going to a movie and to the Ottawa Travel and Vacation Show and the best part of it all, was a foot massage before going to bed.

Walking through Ottawa

Walking through the City of Ottawa.  Our Spirits welcome movement. We both felt amazing in the cool spring-winter air and soaked the little bit of sunshine that came our way.

Travel show

At the Ottawa Travel and Vacation Show.  Being in this space, inspired new dreams.  Our Spirits are so welcoming of our new dreams.  We need to put ourselves in inspiring environments.

I have always enjoyed getting my feet massaged and I equally like doing it for others as well.  When my kids we younger, I would massage their feet as they watched television or were lying quietly next to me.  The foot massage would somehow put them to sleep and I will always remember that peaceful look that would come over their faces as they drifted off to sleep.

Last night, the deal was that we would massage each others feet for ten minutes while listening to an inspirational video.

The results – my body relaxed.  My feet felt light and my Spirit was whispering, “Thank you, thank you, thank you… this feels so good.”

It was like giving me a million dollar gift and I believe that he too felt that he received the same!

We had a great night sleep.

It is interesting how life keeps us busy and gets us so tired that we struggle to find time to nourish our spirits or our bodies.  Yet, we could perhaps achieve more and do greater things with a nourished spirit and a well cared for body.

Did you know that a foot massage could improve blood circulation, improve sex life, reduce depression, lower cholesterol, alleviate symptoms of PMS… there are lots of benefits to a foot massage.

Try it with your partner and see what happens.

Look out for other tips to welcome your spirit!

Love,

Magdalene

 

 

 

Posted in Celebrations, Family, Health and Wellness, Inspiration, Uncategorized

Happy Easter! Sometimes, it is only our faith which keeps us anchored in sanity.

Happy Easter!

Easter is a very reflective time for me.  I reflect on the life of Christ and the  many other great sages and spiritual masters who have enlightened us but they also endured much suffering.  They held on to their faith in their darkest moments.

What I have learnt is that suffering is a part of our life journey.  We cannot live a lifetime without suffering. Bob Marley, our famous Reggae  artist said, “Truth is everybody is going to hurt you: you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.” 

Our ability to put our suffering into perspective  is the key to getting us through those dark moments.  The following words which Christ uttered during his most difficult suffering on the cross, keeps me grounded  when I go through my personal challenges.

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Gospel of Luke 23:34

“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Gospel of Luke 23:43

“Jesus said to his mother: “Woman, this is your son.”
Then he said to the disciple: “This is your mother.”
Gospel of John 19:26-27

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34

Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”
Gospel of Luke 23:46

Sometimes, our faith is all that keeps us anchored in sanity, regardless of our religion. I seek only to be more Christ-like, more Budha-like, more God-like.  At the end of it all, our behaviour towards each other is the truest reflection of the emotions which are held deep within us.  I pray, for you and I, that this emotion will always be love, in the  most sacred and purest form.

May you have a blessed Easter Celebration.

Love,

Mags

 

Posted in Health and Wellness, Inspiration, Leadership, Motivation, Uncategorized, Women, Work

The huge cost of ingratitude…

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“The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.” William James

 

“I would have felt so much better if he had only acknowledged my contribution.” she said. She shrugged her shoulders with a slight shake of her head.  “I don’t understand why he would treat me like that. Why wouldn’t he simply say ‘thank you?’”

This was a cry for acknowledgement.  A few years later, following this conversation, I found out that she had found another job.  This incident had caused a shift in loyalty and the drive to find an employer who would be appreciative of her efforts.

Ingratitude is a real thing. Sometime,s it is done deliberately to break down another person’s self-esteem. People who use this as a strategy to kill a person’s worth, should be mindful of cost of ingratitude at work, at home or with people in general. It leaves emotional scars which can take a long time to heal.

Ingratitude kills talent and creates unharmonious relationships. An uneasy feeling haunts the person who should be thanked.  When we don’t show gratitude to our co-workers or our loved ones, here is what happens in five words:

“THEY BEGIN TO CHECK OUT.”

They detach from us emotionally. When this happens, it results in:

  • lack of motivation and the desire to perform
  • lack of initiative
  • lack of enthusiasm
  • lack of loyalty
  • lack of joy

When these ‘lacks’ happen regularly, the environment begins to lack ‘soul’. Easy tasks become hard.  The soul begins to search for a place of comfort to restore balance. The result:  we can lose great husbands, wives, partners, children, workers, bosses and even friends.

Just imagine that the quick fix to problems which can cause thousands of dollars in irreparable damage, lies in making the time to SAY simple words like:

“Thank you.”

“I appreciate your efforts.”

“I am grateful for what you did today.”

“What would I do without you?”

Two quotes to think about:

“Silent gratitude isn’t very much to anyone.” Gertrude Stein

“Keep your eyes open and try to catch people in your company doing something right, then praise them for it.” Tom Hopkins

Thank you for making the time to read this blog. I appreciate it.

Love,

Magdalene