Posted in Family, Inspiration, Living from the soul, Motivation

Memories of Mom Living her Passion.

IMAG3216“Come and look at the sewing machine with me.” My mom beckoned me to follow her to the dark corner where the old singer sewing machine had been stored for several years since she became blind.

She uncovered the sewing machine.  The cloth over it was a heavy linen which had covered it for decades. She pulled out the small wooden draws on the side and took out a small brush to dust it. She gently pulled it out from the dark corner to the light and then started to test the peddles which seemed to be stuck and made a funny creaking sound.  She found an old bottle of  machine oil, safely tucked inside the drawer and applied it to the various small machine parts while she tested the peddles over and over until it rolled with ease. Her numb hands fumbled with the parts and they dropped from her hands occasionally. She bent her head and strained her eyes as much as she could but she did not stop  until she felt that she had given the sewing machine the proper care and touch which it needed.  It seemed to me that at the end of that experience she looked exhilarated.

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My tears flowed nonstop as I helped her with the sewing machine and observed the pensive and thoughtful look on her face.  I know how much this sewing machine meant to her and I am sure that if she was right here with me, she would tell me that it was her lifeline. Back in 1929, women like my mom did not have the fair advantage to go to school.  She was denied an education because she was the eldest child and had to stay home to help her mother with the house work.  I believe that she must have been about fifteen when she learnt how to sew with one of the top seamstresses from the neighbouring village of Laborie.  To get to her sewing classes, she had to walk almost an hour to and from the class.  She got married about fifteen years as well and her father, who had been physically absent from most of her life,  gave her  the sewing machine – I believe as a wedding gift. She smartly invested her time in mastering the art and developed her small business in sewing tailored made clothing for  the people in the community.  She was one of the few seamstresses in the community.   Many people came to our home with bags of cloth and styles of clothes from catalogues and gave countless instructions to my mom so that she could turn their visions into wearable garments.

Looking back, I can see what a great mom and entrepreneur she was!  She kept everything in balance by waking up early, getting us all ready for school, cooking meals, doing all the house chores and creating the time to live her passion for sewing as well as earning an income. She sewed all of our clothes and uniforms as well as my dad’s pants and shirts and even the undergarments. Just before his death, he showed me some of the pants which she had made for him and which we still wore up to 2012!   All of my three sisters and I learnt how to sew by watching her.  However, she never wanted us to  sew as a means of earning an income. She believed that we could do more than that and ensured that we had the support which we needed to have a good education.

As an adult, I appreciate all what my mom did a million times more now than I did while I was growing up.  She had a lot less to work with – no education, less money, less opportunity, no management training, no marriage counselling, no parenting classes, no brands, no luxuries… but she had courage, faith, vision, great time management skills and knew how to prioritize her time to get things done. She lived her passion for sewing.  I can only imagine the devastation she felt when she became blind and could no longer live her passion.  Yet, she courageously accepted her fate and one of her favourite lines were “It is not my will but if God wills it for my life, I accept. ”

Those photos were taken in 2007 on my first visit to Saint Lucia after migrating to Canada in 2003. She crossed over in 2011.  I will always hold on to those memories and I am glad that I captured those moments with those photos.

Live your future now.  Do what matters to you and don’t wait for perfect circumstances.

Love,

Magdalene

Posted in Uncategorized

Niece and Aunt Facing the Fear of Horses Courageously!

Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.

Keisha and NaeKeysha’s fear of heights and riding horses started when she was very young and she knows that it has impacted her living her life fully in many ways.  She is now on a mission to overcome some of her fears and the result is that she feels less shy, more in control and more open to trying new things. She believes that even her behaviour is less passive aggressive.

She knew that her niece was also afraid of horses so grabbed the opportunity over the weekend to face their fears together.

“I told her mom what I was going to do and she was o.k. with it.” Keisha said. “When we got to the site my niece looked a little frightened. She was teary eyed so I had to calm her by introducing her to the tour guides and her horse while I needed that speech myself too!” Keysha makes fun of herself and laughs about her experience of trying to be courageous for her niece while she too needs support!

“We got on the horses comfortably but I had to make sure she knew it was O.K. to say ‘stop’ or ask for what she wanted like water or to go at a slower pace. I was a little scared when my horse started galloping downhill but I did not want to exhibit that fear so I quietly asked the tour guide to put me down & I proposed to walk the tour! However, to walk the tour would take two hours.  I gathered my courage and thought that if my niece is now facing her fear of horses, we could do it together.”

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“We talked, had fun and completed the tour.  I even stood on top of my horse! After the tour I told her that I was a little scared too! Now she is super excited and is claiming that she will be doing it again next weekend!”

Keysha standing

At the end of the tour Keysha expressed that she felt grateful for life and for nature and most of all overcoming both the fear for heights and horses with her niece.  This experience will be etched in their memories forever!

Think of your fears.  Are they real or do they simply exist in your mind? Both rational and irrational elements contribute towards fear which interferes with our quality of life which can even affect our self esteem and confidence. Individuals who have overcome fear are consistent with one key message ” do the thing you fear and the fear will disappear!” I have tried it myself and it was worked wonders in my life. It requires tuning in and stepping up with courage.

Live your future NOW… face your fears with courage.

Like / Share this blog and Like us on FB! We are growing a community of like-minded people who have the courage to live their soul mission! Do you have a story to share?  Contact me!

Love,

Magdalene

Photo credits;  Keisha St. Catherine, Saint Lucia.

Saint Lucia is one of the most beautiful places in the world! Want to travel to Saint Lucia?  Visit us at

www.gemsofsaintlucia.com

Posted in Health and Wellness, Inspiration, Motivation, Work

Would you try one more time?

action changes things concept

“What do people mean ‘to try one more time?'” he asked me.  He was an older gentleman, a journalist, philosopher and writer. I looked at him more closely.  Was the question really the question he wanted to ask?  His body language and the expression on his face revealed to me a man who was desperately trying to hold on but was beginning to lose his grip. His self-confidence was diminishing.  I could feel the spirit of a man who was once happy with a fulfilling career and who had also held positions of seniority.

“Exactly what it means.” I said. “Try one more time.”

“But I have tried,” he responded.

“What is the opposite of trying?” I asked. “What would happen if you did not try one more time?”

“Well, I would give up.” he shrugged.

We continued the discussion about this notion of “trying one more time.”  It is difficult.  It is heart wrenching  to see another human being experience failure after failure for reasons which they do not understand and to be quite honest, sometimes do not even make sense.  Most of us  plan our lives in a logical way and with proper planning, we would expect a good result – which is normally good earnings to support our families and live our dreams.

I see the self-confidence of amazing human beings diminish because they lost something which grounded them – loss of family, marriage, job, money, children, power, control, friendships etc.  Some give up and never recover. Some give up their fight for life.  Some settle for much less.

However, I  have also seen individuals who have used all those losses as a spring-board to grow wings and have challenged themselves to get out of their comfort zone by seeking new networks, leveraging their talent, taking a different approach to living, deconstructing their belief system, creating new initiatives – sometimes even changing environments by moving home, city or country to get a new start.

I once asked a friend who had gone through a very difficult period and lost millions of dollars and his family how he  managed to get back on his feet.  He said to me, “I am not extra ordinary.  I am just an ordinary man with persistence.”

My  small piece of advice on that day, after realizing that he had made so many attempts, was to help him restore some joy in his own soul. “Stop thinking about you.  Let us turn this around… let us practise some acts of kindness each day.  Do something for someone else – however little.”  Usually, when we are desperate, we don’t realize that we are also giving desperate energy to those around us.  Each time we engage in doing something positive, we uplift our energy which extends beyond us and add light to the world.  I also encouraged him to take action.  Action changes everything – sometimes it even leads to chaos but with more action, the chaos gets sorted out.

To try one more time, means not to give up on yourself. From a spiritual perspective, I believe that when we experience great loss, it is perhaps that the universe is teaching us  the law of detachment and to grow some of our spiritual muscles like courage, strength and being completely non-judgemental.   To find peace in our soul when everything else is gone from our lives, is one of the greatest test which a human being can go through.

Would you try one more time? Your life is a gift.  YOU are a gift. Let us try one more time.

Love,

Magdalene

Posted in Uncategorized

Would you give this man a hug?

Since moving to Ottawa 10 years ago, the number of people on the streets with signs asking for something or the other have grown tremendously. “Help me get home” “Coffee please” “I am looking for a home” “Need change for travelling”. Sometimes I walk past, other times I give a donation. There are times I feel quite conflicted between wanting to help and thinking that they need to get a life and get off the streets.

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Yesterday morning, I saw a different sign “Free Hugs”. It was a young man maybe in his mid-twenties. A woman ahead of me had just given him a hug. Being a huger myself, I opened my arms and gave him a hug.

“Why are you giving free hugs this morning?” I asked.

“Oh…I got up this morning and was not feeling good. I feel I need hugs and I am here asking for them. Hugs will make me feel better.” He replied with a bit of stammering.

“So have you been getting lots of hugs today?” I asked.

“Yes” He replied. “I met a woman this morning who hugged me and cried because her husband had just left her and she does not know what to do. She needed a hug too.”

We chatted for a while and he told me a bit more about his life. He gave me permission to publish our photo.

My kids think I am crazy talking to people that they call “strange” people. However, I am constantly humbled by other people’s life experiences and how unfortunate circumstances can make a person go from “having it all” to “having nothing”. A few years ago, at the end of a workshop a woman from the class fell into my arms and started sobbing. I remember holding her for several minutes quite confused about what had brought on this strong emotion. At the end, she said something to this effect: “I am so lonely here. I have been here for so many years and have no close contact with anyone. I needed to be held.” The sense of touch and connection is so important in our lives… it is hard to imagine a life without close physical contact with others.

My main reflection after speaking with this man, was that he had the courage to ASK for what he wanted or needed. How many of us can get up on a morning and ASK for what we need? Watching my own little mind whirl around with its thousand thoughts, I realize that I don’t ask for what I need… I just go around in circles, sometimes not feeling worthy to ASK. Kudos to this young man who needed to be hugged and asked for hugs!

TuneIn to what you need in your life. StepUp and have the courage to ASK. The universe is there to provide all things to us. We need to do our part. ASK!!!

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

Posted in Anticipation, Beyond logic!, Connecting with the spirt world, Dreams and Intuition, Dreams come true, Living from the soul

Have The Courage To Ask For What You Desire – Every Small Request Can Be Manifested

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Have you ever thought of something and it manifests right away – even when it was a fleeting wish and there was no real possibility for it to happen? I love those magic moments of divine synchronicity.

“I wish a taxi would come along” I thought wishfully. It was bitterly cold and I had underestimated the walking distance to get to my destination. At that very moment a taxi turned around the corner and stopped right at my feet. Someone got out of the taxi and I jumped in. A feeling of deep gratitude settled over me. I thanked God and the universe over and over and over for always taking such amazing care of me. It sounds too good to be true – but this type of situation is a common reality for me which is hard to explain.

It affirms the infinite possibilities that exist and the mystical realm of life that is unexplainable and in some cases completely illogical. My first real experience of manifesting something big in my life happened when I was thirteen. At that age, I started to test God’s power since “God knew all things and could do all things!” So, I gave God two challenges. One was to get a camera for me for my 13th birthday and the other was to travel to England before I was 18. Both looked impossible because we came from a poor family and I could not see any logical way that I would have those two things. I barely had books to go to school or shoes to walk with, so to think of a camera was like living in dreamland. And as for England – well, I did not have a faint idea of how that would be done.

Both of my requests were heard.

On the evening of my 13th birthday, as I walked along to road to buy bread from the local bakery – a usual routine, I met a doctor who volunteered in the local hospital. We had met each other a few times before. She stopped on her bicycle and we chatted. I told her that it was my birthday and right away she said “Why don’t you come up to the hospital? I have a gift for you!” Low and behold, she gave me a camera! I stood there shocked! (I can still remember the feeling!). God really heard me! No one else knew of my secret wish – it was only between God and I! For an entire year, I took photos in abundance. I loved my camera and best of all, after Dr. Michele completed her volunteering and went back to the USA, she developed all my films and posted the photos to me.

This event in my life was a MAJOR affirmation that I could ask for anything I wanted. God and the universe would hear me. Before my 18th birthday I continued to experience big and small miracles. The next challenge was met in another unexplainable way. At 17, I was attending Teacher’s Training College in St.Lucia. One day as I walked in the corridor, my English teacher, Mr. Allan Weeks, stopped me and asked, “How would you like to go to England?”
“What?” I asked, completely baffled. “Why would I go to England?” I asked.
“I am producing a play and you are the perfect match for the part. The play will be produced in England.”
Six months later, I was in England performing at the Commonwealth Institute with a great group of actors/actresses from St.Lucia. It was six months before my 18th birthday!

I have experienced so many, many manifestations of my thoughts and I like to call them “miracles”. They are all unexplainable and I am convinced that there is a formula unique to each of us that make things happen faster or slower. I believe that the formula is a combination of the mind and soul merging together. I have experienced manifestations / miracles at the speed of light – immediately from thought to manifestation. I have also experienced manifestations over a longer period and when I look back I can only thank the universe that what I asked for before did not happen earlier. When we trust in the great wisdom of the universe, we know that all things will happen as it should.

One thing I know without any uncertainty is that we need to ASK for what we want and don’t worry about when it will happen. Although we have to work towards what we want, I believe that if we are clear, then the universe arranges things in front of us to help our desires manifest. When we are not clear, it is hard to us to grab the opportunities, no matter how obvious they may be. Sometimes we ask for something and feel frustrated when it does not happen. It is not our job to worry about timing. The important thing is to ask and let it go. In time, all things work out for the best. The more we have that trust, more we invite miracles to happen in our lives.

TuneIn today to those things you secretly desire. Have the courage to ask for what you want, need or desire. Write them in a journal and keep checking with yourself now and then. As small miracles start manifesting in your life you will automatically StepUp to attract more and more of what you need to live an amazing life. Above all, keep on expressing gratitude each day, throughout the day, for all what you are blessed with. Abundance begins with a seed of gratitude.

Love,
Magdalene

Posted in Motivation, Overcoming fear, Work

Are you being treated as a door mat?

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“I feel overworked most of the time. I need to find a strategy to make my supervisor realize that I am not a doormat.” Sheila said quietly.

By that she meant the everything was being dumped on her – she had become a welcome place for all types of problems. She did not know how to say NO and could never prioritize. She felt undervalued and “taken advantage of”. She could feel the mental and emotional toll it had taken on her over the last year.

In my 20+ years of managing programs/people plus what research shows, this type of feeling from a staff manifest itself in various forms which can create hostile work environments. It is manifested in passive-agressive behaviours, low performance, constant “unspoken” battles, resentment, gossip, and lots of frustration. I have allowed others to treat me as a door mat and I learnt how to be more self-assertive. I coach people to discuss it instead of avoiding it because the problem is not just about you being treated like a door mat in the work environment. You are probably being treated as a door mat in your other relationships as well and most of it stems from a need to please others and to be liked. You can’t change your manager or team but you can take ownership for the situation and approach it sensitively.

Note that there is a difference between working hard and being treated as a door mat. Hard work which is aligned with your belief system fuels you to excel even greater!

Here is one approach that you can use if you feel overworked and feel treated as a door mat.

Try this:

Have a conversation with your manager about setting a list of priorities for a week/month/year. Be calm, smile through the conversation and go prepared with a list of items that are already on your plate. At the end of your discussion, type it up, share it with your manager and put it where you can see it to keep you focused.

Try this script: (Use the word “I” and NOT “YOU”)

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“I feel  bit overworked over the last few months and my objective is to reduce my stress level so I can work more efficiently. I would like to work with you to help me identify our priorities over the next little while, so that I can be more effective with how I use my time and support you in meeting our team goals.”

By using this strategy, you are taking ownership. You demonstrate professionalism and can measure your progress based on your priorities. If new tasks pop up, you can negotiate what to give priority to, seek support from your manager in re-assigning some of your tasks and be in charge of your workload. You will gain respect and feel that you are taking control of the situation and not the situation controlling you. You can also take some other courses in self-assertiveness or try a sports program like kick boxing that help you bring out the assertive side of you.

TuneIn to what you have control over and have the courage to Stepup to create a good work/life balance. The first time you do this will be hard but eventually, you will master it and it will become second nature to you.

Love,
Magdalene