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 Inspiration, Motivation

Everything is just something – until you give it a VALUE

Everything is just something

In one household…

She took all the jewellery away from her daughter because she felt that her daughter did not show any interest in the beautiful collection of gems which were given to her over several years. She was upset that her daughter simply did not connect with the precious, expensive stones. She seemed to find far greater joy in designing colourful beaded bracelets. Twenty years later, she became an art and crafts teacher, a profession which brought great happiness to her.  Her mother is still perplexed about the lack of enthusiasm towards the beautiful gems.

In a big city…

She looked at the handbag in the store which was valued at $750.00. She wondered who would pay that kind of money for a handbag.  A bag is just a bag.  A $20 one is just as good as the $750.00 bag. She consciously chose to move on to the next store. Going to expensive handbag stores suddenly became a no-no for her. It was one less stop when shopping.

In another country..

He visited a small island and fell in love with it.  More than anything else in the world, he wanted to live in this space where he felt rich and free at the same time.  He went back to America, sold everything he had and made a home on the island. The tides that lapped at his feet in the early morning was priceless. He became an island man, married an island girl, had three island children and used his experience to help others understand the importance of choosing a lifestyle which speaks to you from the heart and soul.

Across the world…

The pain from her childhood casted a dark shadow over her life. She lived in fear, paralysed that she would die like her sister did. The nightmares rolled over and over in her mind until she decided to claim her life and use her sister’s death to educate others about drunkard driving. The pain lessened as she gave value to the experience. After many years, she realized that she found purpose in life, through the pain that she suffered.

In the basement…

He lived with the regret of spending much of his hard earned money drinking and partying in his younger days.   He felt that he should have been wiser and saved more money.  One day, he threw the regret out of the window and re-framed the party going days as some of the best days of his life. He got pictures of his friends and wrote a letter to all of them to reconnect and laugh about the past. The rekindling of friendship has made him a happier person. He has given new value to his past.

Everything is just something, until we give it a personal value.  Pain can be transformed. Regret can be healed. Love can be restored. Purpose can be found. Sometimes we have great treasures but we are not aware of their high value.  We can easily lock ourselves in a prison – simply because we cannot re-frame our experiences.   Sometimes, we spend days and nights and years on things which has no value to us simply because we are going along with the crowd.

Be mindful of the moments that create your future… what are you adding value to?  What is adding value to you?

Live your future now… re-define your experience so that it adds value to your life and the lives of others.

Love,

Mags

Posted in Uncategorized

Stepping Up!

Welcome to 2014!

I would like to wish you a happy and successful year!  May all your dreams and wishes come true and may you continue to TuneIn to this amazing person you are and StepUp to having the courage to fulfill your own dreams.  It is all within YOU to develop the courage muscles to do the thing which you are called to do in this lifetime.  Life opens forth the doors for you as soon as you DECIDE.

In January 2013, I started this blog as a personal soul journey to get me out of the rut of procrastination and to do something about my passion for writing.  It is quite funny how one of my ambitions in  life is to be a writer but I hardly devoted any time at all to writing! (A good example of the wishy-washy goals we set and don’t follow-up!) It is like saying you want to lose 10 pounds at the beginning of the year but you don’t do anything about it and get  disappointed when you don’t get the result you desire.

My goal in 2013 was simple – to write one blog a week and get into a writing habit. I am the worst editor for my writing but I consciously did not allow that to intimidate me, knowing that I was really working on a way to express myself, first.  For every blog I re-read, I can easily find typos and small grammatical errors.

I really thought the blog was just going to be about me and my silly thoughts about life.  However, as I wrote more purposefully,  I also started to automatically connect  with things, ideas, people, events which were all so much bigger than my little isolated thoughts.  Half-way through the year, I was doing real interviews with people and was actually capturing their stories!  This actually brought me the greatest satisfaction and I sincerely thank all those who gave me the opportunity to showcase their stories.  It fulfilled one of my fantasies to be a journalist! 🙂

By the end of 2013, I was happily exhausted as I looked at the tangible results of what I and you (readers) have achieved together.

  • I published 90 posts (well over my goal of 56).  Thanks for your encouragement that spurred me on!
  • We have a viewership of 10,000 across 82 countries  through Facebook, LinkedIn( and by you sharing on your timelines and within your own circle).  I have now learnt about countries I had never heard about before!
  • I developed my writing style and my thinking process expanded very quickly as I challenged my thoughts and sought ways for my writing to represent the core of who I am.
  • I made peace with myself.  I finally have accepted my intuitive gifts which God has blessed me with and I have stopped questioning whether I am good enough to be blessed with those gifts.  Embracing myself was half of the battle won and the joy I  feel now, cannot be measured.
  • I gained the courage to say what I needed to say without needing approval from others. I owned my voice and trusted what I felt and it is one of the most exhilarating feelings one can have.
  • I “adopted” a restaurant and with the support of 3 other amazing people (Mengis, Rosie and Eden) and my amazing network in Ottawa, we helped the restaurant owners keep their doors open by bringing in a couple of hundred people  to dine at the restaurant within 3 months.
  • Many people wrote  personal letters to talk about their own TuneIn and StepUp journey which they want to embark on and there were many testimonials about how an article or a subject helped in some way or the other.
  • I travelled to New York – not once but TWICE and met with great people who inspired me even further!
  • My professional and personal network expanded hugely – I have met so many AMAZING human beings along this journey that I know there is hope to see more beautiful things in the world even though it looks so dismal sometimes.

What have I learnt through this blogging experience?

  • We hold the power in OUR hands to decide the kind of life we want to live.  We have the power to  MAKE DESICIONS and to SET GOALS and work at them steadily.  If you make the wrong decision, it is fine to change your mind if you have tried everything within your power to make something work. It is better to fail at trying than not trying at all.  It is also fine to change direction.
  • It is fine to take steps even when you don’t have the whole picture and it is perfectly fine to be less than perfect.  As you work through your journey, clarity will come along the way to help you define it even better!
  • Although my story and thoughts are important, I had greater joy connecting with others and helping to get their story out so their work could expand more into the world.
  • We are all capable of stepping up and making a difference in whatever corner of the world we live.  By giving to life, we receive everything a hundred-fold back into our lives.
  • We don’t need to ask permission from others to do the right thing.  If it feels right, most likely, it is right and the universe will provide all that you need to carry the responsibility.
  • Connecting to our authenticity and DOING what it takes to live an authentic life is the key to living with purpose.
  • There will be days when we just can’t get it right.  We feel frustrated and tired.  It is perfectly fine.  Ride with the waves.

Here are some of my leading stories for 2013:

Brooklyn, New York

Meet Dawta Maloe who is a single mom and feeds hundreds of homeless people each month for eight years.

Carla and Magdalene - on the streets

Read more: https://tuneinandstepup2013.wordpress.com/2013/11/22/meet-dawta-maloe-a-single-mom-who-feeds-200-300-homeless-people-a-month-a-call-to-feed-the-poor-worldwide/

Meet Taj Weeks, an international musician and Wilson Jn. Baptiste who worked together with Jet Blue in giving children in St. Lucia brand new bicycles and toys for Christmas.

bicycles

Read more: https://tuneinandstepup2013.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/a-great-partnership-effort-to-bring-smiles-to-the-faces-of-children-in-st-lucia-children-will-be-receiving-bicycles-and-toys/?relatedposts_exclude=1491

Ottawa, Canada

Meet the Kingdom Culture Ministries. They are creating a bridge between the ministry and the community and supporting many people who are in need all through the year!

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Read more: https://tuneinandstepup2013.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/the-holiday-dream-a-great-christmas-initiative-which-will-bless-500-people-with-over-25000-00-of-gift-cards-and-gifts/

Supporting two entrepreneurs to keep their restaurant going!

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Read more: https://tuneinandstepup2013.wordpress.com/2013/10/05/going-back-to-basics-eating-with-your-hands-a-heart-warming-eritrean-dining-experience/

Meet Sigar, the man who rescues parrots!

DSC07542

Read more: https://tuneinandstepup2013.wordpress.com/2013/08/24/letting-go-of-my-fear-of-feathers-meet-an-incredible-man-with-a-soul-passion-to-rescue-parrots/

Bringing together 10,000 – 15,000 people together from the Caribbean in Ottawa!

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Read more: https://tuneinandstepup2013.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/what-can-bring-10000-15000-caribbean-people-mainly-from-st-vincent-the-grenadines-together-in-canada/

The International Black Summit – the conversation that is so powerful, that your life can be transformed to live your vision!

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Read more: https://tuneinandstepup2013.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/can-a-conversation-be-so-powerful-that-your-life-can-be-transformed-to-live-your-vision/

Meet St. Lucians in the National Capital Region, celebrating a National Festival!

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Read more: https://tuneinandstepup2013.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/st-lucians-celebrating-jounen-kweyol-in-the-national-capital/

Best wishes to you for 2014!  If you are reading this blog for the first time,  you can FOLLOW THE BLOG – see the side bar,  or LIKE the TuneIn and StepUp FB page.

Look out for more information about our TuneIn and StepUp Challenges for 2014.

Love,

Magdalene

Posted in Uncategorized

If you believed in this one thing, you would likely live every moment fully…

DSC07717Death.  Do we choose it or does it choose us?  Some say that we CANNOT die before our time but we don’t know when that time will be.

My sister Anthia died when she was only 27. We can say that she was too young to die.  On the other hand, how can I say that, when I was given the premonition of her death and I had dreams of her death a full year before she died.  I was only 16 at the time and these dreams were quite confusing to me until she died and I was able to put it all  together and realized that life was preparing me for her death.

What I remember most clearly about her life, was that she lived it and enjoyed it.  She loved buying beautiful shoes and clothes. One day, I overheard my mom scolding her about buying too many shoes.  She said to her, “You must save your money.  Why do you keep on buying all these clothes are shoes?”  This did not bother Anthia – she continued shopping for beautiful things.  I can still see the happiness and glow on her when she dressed – she was exquisite.  I am so glad that she shopped for her heart’s desires.

We spent many, many evenings in my parent’s old kitchen talking about books, movies, boys and life.  Being several years older than me, I felt it special that my oldest sister and I could talk for such long hours.  Her best friends became my friends and I still love and adore them because of the gift that they too gave me by accepting me in their lives so completely.  Now, I know why God, in his wisdom, granted me so much time with her, in her short time.

Did her soul know that she had only a short earth life and she needed to make the most of it?

I also know, based on my dreams and connections with the spirit world, that there is also nothing to be afraid of death as the soul only transitions to the other life with a higher dimension. Anthia, my mom, dad and other loved ones continue to communicate with me. They are still very present in my life.

Anthia had high expectations for me and expected me to excel at school.  For every prize and award that I have received, I silently thank her for her confidence in me and always speaking to me in a way that made me think of  using my talent on this earth. She had an aspiration that I would be a writer one day because she loved reading the poems and silly things I wrote about.  Well, so many years later, here I am writing away on this blog.

TuneIn to  LIVE YOUR LIFE FULL. StepUp to listen to that inner voice within you and that calling within your heart even though it means that sometimes you have to take a risk.  Don’t be afraid to say what you need to say to someone or do what you need to do for them.  If you had only the next moment left to live, what would you do or not do?

If you have lost a dear one and you are reading this blog now, I am receiving a message now, to let you know that your loved one is perfectly fine.  They have entered into a spirit dimension which is all love and light.  It was their time to go and nothing could have stopped it – they chose to go back to the spirit world.  All they ask of us is to continue remembering them as loving us.  Don’t be sad for their crossing over – celebrate their life and their spirits.

Here is a video by Steve Jobs which takes the message closer home.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5SMyfbWYyE

Love,

Magdalene

Posted in Uncategorized

“Beautiful Chaos”… Letting go… going with the flow…

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Last weekend, Thanksgiving at my house was a “beautiful chaos”. We had 15 people for dinner – some people whom we planned to have over and some who came over in a spontaneous way. Now, I love entertaining and love having people over but I must admit I did not plan for this one properly. In the middle of people arriving, the food was not all organized and neither was the table! I panicked because I also realized that the table was too small to accommodate all of us. I got even more frazzled trying to entertain as well as continue on with the cooking! After fretting with myself for a while, I decided to let it all go and go with the flow. At one point there were so many of us in the kitchen trying to get the dinner under control, that I got dizzy.

Yet, in all the “chaos” of entertaining guest, getting the food on the table, having little kids squabble and run all over the place, the house suddenly became warm and full of an “aliveness”, which was so joyful! Since there were too many of us to sit around the table, everyone organically moved into the living room, pulled up chairs and sat around in a circle. The sound of laughter, conversations and giggles filled the air. Watching the little kids play and run around, young people busy with their own conversations and older people – all mingling together was priceless.

In the middle of it all, I realized that having all the right cutlery, tableware and set up was not the essence of Thanksgiving. Hearing the joy in their voices, watching how everyone just pitched in to help with serving, cleaning up and generally making sure that others were o.k, was the real essence of celebrating thanksgiving. I could feel this genuine friendship, sense of care and happiness in everyone and that created the warmth in the room.

This experience made me reflect on several things:
– People who genuinely want to spend time with you, don’t really care about all “the other stuff”. They show up and participate in your life and their energy adds beauty to your space.
– Sometimes we try so hard in planning and organizing, that we forgot the “Who” we are really planning for. It is people who bring joy and “aliveness” to our lives. The “other stuff” are add-ons to creating a better experience.
– If we had limited ourselves to having exactly the right number of people over for dinner to fit around the table, I would have missed the opportunity to enjoy the presence of four other people who would have otherwise spent Thanksgiving on their own. They added the extra joy to our household.
– Having people who are multi-generational adds to our experience of life and keeps us connected to both the joys and challenges of various age groups.

TuneIn to some of the chaos you might be experiencing in your life. Can you filter and see some “beautiful” things coming out of it? StepUp to simply go with the flow – let it all go and watch it unfold as it should. Within all the imperfections in life, everything is perfectly fine.

What experiences have you had that seemed to be a bit chaotic but turned out fine in the end? Do share with us.

Have a beautiful day!

Love,
Magdalene

Posted in Uncategorized

Can you live ‘in the bother’ of it all and ‘be with what is’?

“I can live my life now ‘in the bother of it’… I can live in the uncertainty of things and know that uncertainty is not a place of fear and it is o.k to take time to figure things out in that space of uncertainly” Orin Saunders, business man from New York City at the International Black Summit in Ottawa, August 4th, 2013. Part of his life experience is in my previous blog.

I have thought about this and I realize how often we want to fix things,get things right, look perfect, give more than we have, get upset if it does not work out according to how we planned it… But what if we just accepted to live in the bother of it?

Yesterday, I planned to meet a friend after work. On my way to our planned meeting place, I got a text that said something important came up and she could not make it. The first moment left me completely upset because I had rushed through my workout at the gym just to be able to meet with her. Then I reminded myself to “be in the bother of it.” and that everything would be fine.
What triggered my upset? I was looking forward to seeing her and I had given up something important to be with her.
Did I complete my part to be with her? YES
Was there anything more I could do about the situation? NO
Did it make the relationship any less special? NO because even though I was not a priority for some reason now, does not mean it has been like this. Further more, I don’t have all the facts to make a judgement on why she cancelled.

And so a smile broke on my face after I had cleared my head with my feeling of disappointment. Suddenly I heard a squeal and right in front of me was a friend I had not seen for about 8 years whom I had thought of for the longest while. I had lost her contact information and only knew her by her first name. We were so excited to see each other and kept on hugging each other over and over again. We had a lovely spontaneous dinner together…it was a beautiful evening.

Maybe ‘living in the bother’ does not always manifest itself into something that instantaneous but I know that from my own personal experience, “being with what is” and “accepting what is” no matter what is going on in our lives, creates a deep trust within our hearts and souls to be at peace with ourselves. Life speaks to us through all the ups and downs in our lives. If we can live and be perfectly comfortable with ‘the bother’, we will continue to trust life… all will reveal itself in time.

TuneIn today to our own ‘bothers’. What triggers them? Is there something we need to take to completion? Maybe or maybe not. Can you StepUp and be with what is, without needing to fix or solve it?

Love,
Magdalene

Posted in Uncategorized

The Security Blanket of Money or Happiness? Can you have one without the other?

Last spring I was inspired by an unusual sight as I walked home. I saw a black woman with a white dress dancing in the rain with her red shoes in her hand. It was a very hot day and every drop of rain that touched my skin felt wonderful but I would not have the courage to dance in the rain! She radiated with light and her spirit was alive. The happy smile on her face brought an even happier smile to my face. I felt like joining her and dancing with her – how cool that would be! Being able to feel so alive in just that one moment – is a beautiful gift. Unaware to her, she had lifted my spirit tenfold and ignited a deeper feeling of happiness in my soul and at the same time she made me reflect on why most of us cannot simply find that sense of happiness and joy.

That absolute feeling of happiness is not something given to another. That feeling of happiness comes over us when we create a space in our hearts to embrace ourselves lovingly. It is a choice we make consciously regardless of the circumstances around us.

Imagine the magnificence of our lives if we decide to be happy regardless of all that happened around us.

Imagine how our lives can be stuck if we decide that we will only be happy when we win the lottery, pay all the bills, have the perfect body or job or partner and perhaps solve all the injustices which we fight for…

Someone said to me, “People think I am depressed or lonely or sad but all those emotions can change in the blink of an eye, if only I had the money to live the lifestyle I want to live. My problem is not having money…. it is the root of all the other problems”

My response to this was, “Can you be happy without having the money? Can you find things that can make you feel happy that don’t need money?”

He replied, “No… to have the experiences I enjoy, I need to have money. What can I do without money?”

How much of our happiness depends on having money?

Having and not having money is a constant in our lives. I used to worry about not having enough until I learnt that money is only energy and it comes and goes. It provides a superficial security which makes us feel at ease when we have enough of it. Without enough, our brains go crazy and we can easily sink into feelings of worthlessness and scarcity. This vulnerable state can actually lead into depression. Depression leads to low energy, low motivation, low self-esteem…. all of which does not help with the creativity required to draw more abundance to us.

What if our internal security lie in something way beyond having money and it requires us to listen to the still voice of our soul that identifies the things that make us feel happy. Do you know what makes you happy without a reason? Can you feel happiness, joy and gratitude from within? Walking in the rain is one of the things that has always made me feel happy since I was a child…going back to our childhood days can give a good insight into the things that sparked happiness in us and which we lose along the way.

To feel joy is like touching the spirit of life … and when that spirit is in you (the feeling of joy and love) is there anything that will not be provide to you? Have faith that all you need is already provided for you.

Affirm to yourself “I attract love, happiness, money, wealth and peace to my life. All is well in my world and my mind is in perfect peace. I feel blessed to experience this earthly journey and I welcome all the ups and downs as part of my earthly sojourn.”

Love,

Magdalene