Posted in Leadership, Life Purpose, People who inspire others, Work

Could this be my next new career? Thumbs up to all the great men and women in the Canadian Armed Forces

20160225_064124Every year, I set a theme for the new year. One fine day in November 2015, I decided that the theme for 2016 would be travelling.  Thirty minutes later, I received an email from a friend to invite me to a Diversity Recruitment Event, with the Canadian Armed Forces, in Gauge Town, New Brunswick.  The invitation also said that ALL your expenses would be covered! It did not take me much time to make the decision to go.

Coincidence?  If you have been following me long enough, you know that  I love it when synchronicity happens and dreams manifest right before my eyes.  I call them my miracles and for me, this was certainly a sign from the universe to say – GO GIRL!

The Diversity Recruitment Event happened from February 24th-26th, and a group of us from across Ottawa, Montreal and British Colombia had the opportunity to learn more about the Canadian Armed Forces.  It was educational, informative, life changing and inspirational. Prior to this, I never thought much about the Canadian Armed Forces – as a matter of fact, I thought that that the Canadian Armed Forces was just the military  and their work was about wars and using guns. I thought that  people joined the Canadian Armed Forces when they were desperate and had perhaps run out of choices.  I was so WRONG.

We met with some of the most amazing people who serve in the military from a wide range of professional backgrounds. Every single uniformed person was respectful, well-spoken, excited to work for the CAF and spoke very highly of the integrity of their jobs nad the CAF.  Members of the group kept on expressing amazement about the career opportunities which exist within the armed forces and best yet, the fact that education can be subsidized and that there is career progression through professional development. We met men and women who joined right out of high school, mid-career professionals who made a career change in their late thirties and people who joined in their forties.  Very importantly we met newcomers who chose to have a career with the Canadian Armed Forces.

Here are some of my inspirational moments:

Meeting with great community leaders, guidance counsellors and people in influential positions to help others make informed career decisions.

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Meeting with CORPORAL NADINE WAITR.  She is the only female combat engineer in Canada and only female heavy equipment operator.  She joined the CAF at 33 and spoke highly of the interesting work which she has done as an engineer and also of her experience in assisting with the earthquake in Nepal.  The machinery below was what she used to clear the roads in Nepal after the earthquake!

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We tried some elements of the physical training test and realized that it was not as hard as it sounds.  If you are a woman and you are wondering about it… worry no more.  You can do it.

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THE CAF held a formal dinner for us where we heard some very inspirational stories from CAF members.  All of them reinforced that joining CAF was a decision which they have not regretted because they love the job, they feel financially stabled and the many other benefits which CAF offers, including paid education!

 Captian Verge Charlery was one of the main organizers for the event. She was a former teacher in Ottawa. She joined the armed forces a few years ago and she is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Social Work.  I was doubly proud to know that we are from the same island – St. Lucia.

Here are some more photos to enjoy.

20160225_182251 Captain Ann Chamberlain and I.

We had an interesting discussion with two of the corporals who are trained to get inside of this robot.  The robot is used to detect explosives and it is made of a very special technology  which will protect the person who is inside of it, if there is an explosion.

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 One of my most surprising moments – discovering that there are collapsible bathrooms with showers, sinks and toilets!  It takes 2 hours to mount it all up on location!  The young woman who gave us the tour is a plumber and she is so proud of her work.  There are great opportunties in the trades area for both men and women.

 

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I had some great conversations with the young men who work with the LAVS and in the infantry.  This face to face interaction with them created a huge shift in my perception of infantry soldiers.  I experienced humour, intelligence and a great spirit of calmness around them.  They take their responsibilities quite seriously.

We experienced the training room where new recruits are taught how to use the various guns and rifles.  The training is set up  like a video game. The aim is to shoot at targets on the screen.  The process has been specifically designed for this type of training.  I am very anti-gun yet I found myself quite immersed in the experience of trying to hit a target. 20160225_144039

If you are a looking for a career change or starting a new career, consider CAF.

With love,

Mags

You can support my work of bringing positive messages to the world, creating more awareness of opportunities and encouraging us to live our dreams.  Every positive thought and action counts towards reclaiming our Earth and our World into the beautiful place it was meant to be.

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Mags

Purchase Soulful Encounters – Mags 2nd Publication.

 

 

Posted in Inspiration, Leadership, Living with purpose, Motivation, Women, Work

An awesome networking event – ConnectOtt

20160331_185003 This year I set a goal to have 10 speaking engagements where I could hopefully inspire or motivate or help others to reach their goals.  Within days of setting this goal, I started receiving opportunities to speak.  I am a strong believer that we must put out what we want to achieve to the great universe.  We must be clear about our intentions.  I know that and I try to practice it regularly.
So I got this invitation to participate at the ConnnectOtt event. I had never heard about it before.  As soon as I read more about what the intention was for the event, I said YES.  Why?  Because it matched with my personal goal. (It is important to set goals so that you can see the opportunity when it arrives!)
 I have attended many networking events in Ottawa but I must say that this one which I attended on March 31st, was pretty AMAZING. ConnectOtt deserves a great deal of praise for gathering such a powerful group of industry leaders and young professionals in the same space to have some pretty powerful conversations over dinner. The dinner part, at Chauteau Laurier – well, you can’t beat that! How else to get people to relax and connect effortlessly?  Add a bit of wine to it… everything gets easier!
 So what is ConnnectOtt?  I had never heard about it until I was invited as an industry professional.  It is quite interesting how much we don’t know about what is available in Ottawa- which is why it is important to network!
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ConnectOTT is a dinner and networking event that creates strategic opportunities to meet inspiring people in the city of Ottawa.

The event bridges the gap between emerging professionals looking to progress in their careers and grow their networks and well-established community and industry leaders who have been there and done that and are looking to give back.

Throughout a three-course dinner, participants are matched with leaders in industries of their choice. Each course is spent with 2 leaders and 6 young professionals, a format which maximizes face time and allows for both mentorship and network opportunities to develop in an intimate setting.

This year’s event was attended by over 240 participants including 60 leaders in 13 different industries.

You can learn more about ConnectOtt.

I met new people and reconnected with some others whom I had not seen for a long time. What particularly struck me at that event was the enthusiasm and open-mindedness of everyone I met.  Everyone seemed open to learning, open to meeting new people and open to possibilities.  Imagine the possibilities when a room is full of such great and positive energy.
A great thank you to the ConnectOtt team.  Your work is very important in building community. Count on me for next year if you need me.
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If you don’t know this yet – there is POWER in networking. Sometimes, the events are free and sometimes they cost money… either way, you got to show up for your life… and go out and meet real people who can connect with you in a real way. #ConnectOtt
It was a pleasure getting photos with the two lovely co-chairs of ConnectOtt and to listen to their personal stories with ConnectOtt and their enthusiasm.

Leigh-Ann Redmond – it was nice to meet again after so many years!

Alison Sochasky it was a pleasure to meet you in person after the Facebook interactions.

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 A few things which I have learnt about networking:
– Show up with a positive attitude and show  enthusiasm
– Although you may have some expectations, try to put them aside and enjoy meeting other people  on a human level.
– If someone asks you, “How can I help you?” be prepared to say what you are looking for.
– Share the conversation.  Ask questions to get the other person to talk about themselves.  Don’t be too caught up  with yourself.
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This was the group at our third table.  Michelle, HR Director at Carleton University and I were hosting the group and this group had a blast!  They were about fun and sharing their life experiences and I found out that there is such a job title called a Social Media Director!
Who knows what you will learn about at a networking event!
My final point on this blog – you never know who you will run into!  I met some great people I worked with before, including Michele Kosh, who disappeared for a couple of years!  She went off to study and is now back in the working world, in a different capacity.
So… my point today… go and network.  Meet people. Set networking goals.  Keep working at starting new conversations.  There is a whole new world waiting for you… you just got to make the right connections!
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 Follow me on FB, LinkedIn or on Twitter.  Support my writing and blogging by getting your copy of Mags Magazine – Soulful Encounters!
Tune In and Step Up to live your amazing life.
Love,
Magalene
Posted in Inspiration, Leadership, Motivation, People who inspire others

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” Plato

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” Plato

Play

 

I enjoy listening to children’s perspectives on life. Adults make lots of rules for kids but kids also have opinions on some of those rules – most times, they can’t express those opinions!  I have raised three kids and taught elementary school kids and to be honest, for the most part, I simply applied the rules to keep order.  Who wouldn’t when you are trying to manage your life, their lives and get things under control, including getting them to learn skills to be a successful adult?  However, as an older adult now, I find myself intrigued by children’s views and perspectives (because I don’t have to manage them anymore!) but also, I have had many questioning moments about, “who is a successful adult, anyway?”

On Easter Sunday, I had an interesting conversation with my son’s friend who is eight years old.  He is very bright little boy who has always questioned the things around him. Here is the conversation:

Me:  So B, how is school?

B: I don’t like school.  It is boring.

Me: What would make school more interesting for you?

B:  I wish it were like Daycare.

Me:  What about Daycare that is interesting?

B:  We play at Daycare.

Me: Don’t you play at your school?

B:  The problem is that the school gives 15 minutes of break.  15 minutes is not enough time to play.  For example, my friends and I want to play tag during break.  But it takes 5 minutes to set up the game, 20 minutes to play it properly and then we need to eat, then use the washroom before we can get back in the class.  We need at least 30 minutes.  Every day I get frustrated that we cannot finish the game. We don’t have enough time to play. If I had more time to play, school would be more interesting.

He was very clear and logical about his explanation. When I asked about how he could take this matter to the attention of his school principal, he responded and said: “That would require a ‘riot’.  A riot is when a mass of people get together to defend the same view point!”  However, he was not quite willing to lead the ‘riot’ as it would draw too much attention to him and would require too much ‘work’ to get the other kids on board.

At eight years old, I don’t think that I was that knowledgeable nor did I apply that high level of reasoning!

For all the years that I have taught, I have never considered a longer break-play time for elementary school kids.   I am not sure who instituted it to be about 15 – 20 minutes but after listening to B’s reasoning, I could not help but wonder whether children do need a longer break to play.  I think that when kids get into elementary school, we largely undermine the use of play as we focus on learning outcomes.  There are many, many advantages to play including building leadership skills, team work, negotiating, problem-solving etc.

When I think about it more seriously, even as an adult, I have discovered more useful things about my co-workers through play and just hanging around with casual conversations.

What is your take on this?  Should kids be allowed more play time?  Could it be used to build healthier relationships that could lead to more balanced adults?  Should adults be allowed more playtime?

Have an awesome Tuesday!

Love,

Magdalene

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Great Initiatives, Inspiration, Leadership, Life Purpose, Mags Magazine - Soulful Encounters, Meet Ordinary People Doing Great Things!, People who inspire others, Uncategorized, Women, Work

She started with one student – today, she has taught over 500 students to dance!

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A few weeks ago, I met Sanchita Chakraborty, founder and artistic director of Bollywood Jig, at the Diversity Recruitment Event which I attended with the Canadian Armed Forces in New Brunswick. In between the sessions with the Armed Forces, we chatted about our passions and journeys to Canada and I was inspired by what she has been able to achieve as a newcomer, who arrived here only a few years ago.  She used her passion for dance to  add cultural diversity and integration to the shores of St. John’s.

Isn’t this great?

“We were founded in 2004 and we’ve been making audiences cheer, clap and tap their toes ever since. Our choreography is as diverse as our dancers. We range in age from 10 to 35, hail from South Asia to Salmonier, and have training in everything from traditional Chinese dance to salsa to hip hop. Like ballet and bungara, it’s dance that unites us. And the costumes. Can’t argue with the threads.” Bollywood Jig

 Her words, which inspired me the most were: “When I started, two students registered. Only one showed up but I decided to work with this one student, and together we created a masterpiece choreography.”
Today, she has taught over  500 students and lives her passion of dancing and teaching others to dance.  She works with various groups of individuals – from kids to youth and women who have retire from the workforce and who finally have the chance to live their passion of dancing.
What inspires her? “The tremendous amount of talent which the youth bring to the dance classes.”
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a first step.” Tao Te Ching,
Whatever your dreams are, take a risk on them. Do not be discouraged. When passion and soul comes together, life cannot help but nod in approval.
What inspires you?
Get your copy of Mags Magazine – Soulful Encounters.  There are lots of inspirational stories to show that passion fuels dreams… and dreams do come true!
Mags
Do you enjoy travelling?
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Love,
Magdalene
Posted in Health and Wellness, Inspiration, Leadership, Life Purpose, Living from the soul, Mags Magazine - Soulful Encounters, Motivation, Overcoming fear, People who inspire others, Uncategorized, Women, Work

Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself.

Last week I posted on my new program, ‘Coaching through Transitions’, which I implement mainly on the evenings or weekends. It has been such a pleasure working with two young women who are already making progress after a couple of weeks. Last night, when I walked in, the Director of the organization said: “I don’t know what you are doing with these two ladies but everyone on the staff wants to be part of the training. Tell me what I need to do to get training for everyone!”

This made me feel so happy – to know that I am making a difference in the lives of other women and helping them to develop new skills, gain new knowledge and insights, and to have the confidence to say: “Now I know what to do when I am facing this type of situation!” At the class, they bubbly shared how they are already putting their new tools and knowledge into practice.  The excitement in their voices is enough reward.

How do you get from one point to the next? How do you get a job promotion? How do you position yourself strategically for an opportunity? How do you maintain a positive attitude when things are falling apart?  How do you build confidence?  How do you develop a powerful network of people who can support you?  How do you work with others to create a happy environment?  How do you handle social media?

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It is amazing what a few hours with some blank paper, an open mind and a guided discussion can do for your soul.

Some of us are lucky and have been blessed with almost perfect lives and great opportunities.  However, the majority of people who I meet are struggling with one issue or another. Over the last two decades, my work with adults have proved several small but important things:

  • Sometimes, we simply do not know what to do to take the next step.
  • Sometimes, we don’t know what we don’t know.
  • Sometimes, we don’t realize that our attitude about life is keeping us back.
  • Sometimes, we don’t realize that we are simply in the wrong job.
  • Sometimes, we don’t realize that we are holding on to some pain which has drowned our joy and happiness for life.
  • Sometimes, we are afraid of our success.
  • Sometimes, we are afraid to fail and would prefer to remain motionless.
  • Sometimes, we don’t know how to ask for what we want.
  • Sometimes, we don’t realize that we need to breakthrough some very small habits in order to create major breakthroughs.
  • Sometime, we don’t know someone who can help us.
  • Sometimes, we believe that there is nothing more or nothing better than where we are stuck.

What if I told you that all of the barriers above can be turned into opportunities?

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  • Sometimes, we have to work at developing skills, knowledge and even learn new attitudes to help us break through our transitions.
  •  Sometimes, we have to learn courage by taking small risks to step out of our comfort zone.
  • Sometimes, we need to feel inspired by a vision which is more powerful than our fears.
  • Sometimes, we need someone to work with us and help us to navigate through the processes which we are afraid to tackle on our own.

If you feel that you are struggling more than you should in living a fulfilled life ,or feeling less satisfied with your job or not getting through the goals which you set for yourself, you could be in need of someone to coach you. Sometimes, breaking through may require a change in perspective, some new tools to give help you get organized, some new content to help you have a greater understanding of the subject matter. That is what coaching is all about.

Today, life is moving faster than ever. This calls for major shifts in managing both our work and personal life as well as managing our thought patterns.

I am grateful for the amazing people in my life. I am grateful for the opportunities of living my passion and knowing THAT feeling of living purposefully and of sharing my gifts with others.

I am still work in progress… such a lot of learning to do and the world is such a beautiful training school.

Love,

Magdalene

Mags

 

Posted in Celebrations, Great Initiatives, Health and Wellness, Inspiration, Kenya, Leadership, Living from the soul, Mags Magazine - Soulful Encounters, Meet Ordinary People Doing Great Things!, People who inspire others, Travel Inspiration, Uncategorized, Women, Work

New Release: Soulful Encounters, 2nd Edition of Mags Magazine

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Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another. George Eliot

Dear friends,

All of us have dreams but unless we take action, dreams remain to be just dreams.

The 2nd Edition of Mags Magazine is here after many months of hard work and it is indeed a beautiful dream come true.  What makes it more special, is that many of you who are reading this newsletter today, have been great supporters of my work in helping me to live my soul mission.  I am very grateful for this support.  Some of you have come as total strangers in my life but through kindness, love and soul connections, everyday moments have become soulful encounters to celebrate.

Soulful Encounters  is a very special edition which features inspiring people with a special feature on Gems of Kenya.  It even highlights an encounter with George Eliot, an 18th century writer and life lessons from four year old Sid St. Catherine!

This year, we will be printing 200 copies of Soulful Encounters – be one of the first to pre-order our special copy which I will autograph with a special message for you!

Click on the photo below to pre-order and remember you can also give one as a special gift to a special friend. Help me to spread the word and inspire more people to reach their own goals.

Mags

I want to express my gratitude  to my partner Wilson Jn Baptiste who is also the editor in chief for the many hours which he has dedicated towards this magazine. His faith in me and my ability to rise each time I want to give up, is priceless and I am grateful to him for being that light and strength for me. Our graphic designer Mila Gertsenchtein – your touch …is golden. Thank you for your endless hours of work. Our photographer, Nyamulola Chiboli Kambanji – thank you for your endless hours of photography and doing such a fabulous job with the cover photo. Kores Musuni thank you for the photos from Kenya – it has added much delight to the magazine. To my readers and reviewers – I cannot thank you all enough. Celene Gyles, Laura Traplin, Wendy R Pilgrim-Michael, Priscilla Lucien, Mengistab Tsegaye,  Rima Aristocrat, Doina Tibu, Ghebre Issac, Hani Rached, Myrner Schmitt, Trevor and Dale Stevenson, Emily Cattelan-Legace,Christina Sang,Jane Adam, Laurie Jaeger – your contribution towards this issue has been priceless.

Thanks to our sponsors: Willis College, Auto Paradise Repair, World Skills Employment Centre, Phresh, Piton Vacation Villa, Sea Spray Cruises and Nature Expeditions.
Lastly, I  want to thank my children: Jelan, Ohri, Dawn and Kim – thank you all for your support.

Take small actions today and steer your dreams!  YOU can do it.  YOU too can live your soul mission.

Love,

Magdalene

 

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

 

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