Posted in Family, Life Purpose, Relationships

“I wonder if it is that emptiness which swallows our spirit for living?”

218a95fa-f347-470b-8496-0de93e89ca27 They spoke for three hours. Something was weighing on his mind. He was devastated by the number of suicides which he had experienced within his community over the last couple of years.  As they shared their experiences, they both realized that between the two of them, they knew of almost twenty people who had committed suicide.

“What makes them do it?” he asked her.

“I don’t know.” she replied.

“Sometimes I think that we have not learnt how to experience emptiness within us.  There are two types of emptiness – one which last for a short period and one which last for a long period which leaves a feeling of hopelessness within.  Both are normal and both should be seen as healthy but sometimes people can’t cope with that feeling of emptiness.” He answered quietly.

They explored the topic from all angles – from people who have everything and seem to have no clear reason to commit suicide, to people who were stressed by financial, emotional or social challenges…but still, at the end of the conversation, he did not have an answer to justify the deliberate end of a life.

“If you had a serious problem, like debt or you had committed a crime or had been in a situation which made you feel ashamed, who would you go to?” she asked.

He bent his head and got in a pensive mood. “I have no one who could support me if I was in a serious crisis.  No one has time and neither do they have the resources to support someone else.  We are all busy trying to hold our own stuff together.” he replied.

The conversation left a heavy feeling in the air. His body shifted uncomfortably. As she looked closer at him, she saw the sadness in his eyes.  She suddenly became alerted to the unspoken message within the room.  He was close to the edge himself. As he pondered on the grief of others, his own grief of trying to hold it together for so long by himself was beginning to crumble. The tears welled in his eyes and as they streamed down his face. His sobbing was unstoppable. “I am sorry.” he apologized between the sheets of tissue. “It is so hard to keep it all in sometimes.  Just having anyone to listen to relieve the emptiness is so important. I don’t have a problem which I can name.  I have an emptiness in me which seems to be going on forever.  I wonder if it is that emptiness which swallows our spirit for living?”

We often think that problems need a diagnosis.  Maybe most do.  But what if it is just this nagging feeling that won’t go away?  What if the only way to get through it, is to talk long enough?  What if the problem may never be fixed? Depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress, stress, inability to cope with life, cannot always be seen on someone’s face. We may not have the answer to why someone commits suicide and there are some things which we may never understand in this lifetime.

My simple explanation is that it is simply their exit point from this lifetime. However, don’t underestimate the power of a conversation today! You may just be that lifeline to someone.  Also, don’t forget to seek support when that feeling of emptiness seems to be taking away your spirit for living fully.

Love,

Magdalene

Posted in Leadership, Motivation, People who inspire others, Work

Can words of affirmation give you the confidence to secure a job, improve your relationship and become more empowered to face challenges?

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“As an Internationally Trained Professional, I faced (for two years) the barriers/challenges that most immigrants face such as lack of Canadian experience, lack of credential assessment, lack of labour market information and the worst – lack of a job. The overwhelming weight of these “lacks” on my back crippled my momentum and obscured my vocational vision. Magdalene’s sterling ability to coach, inspire and empower coupled with her expertise in the field of career development, self-assessment and transitional management led me to develop a compelling value proposition, networking strategy and job search approach which gave me access to employment commensurate with my skills and expertise within one month”  E. Lawel Natufe

This testimonial came up this morning while I was looking for something else through my files.  About two years ago, Lawel expressed his gratitude to me at his farewell party at work.  He said, “What Magdalene  did for me was to affirm me as a person who had what it takes to re-build my career.” He was a young man whom I met about six years ago, who had been unemployed for about two years, completely frustrated and had lost confidence in himself. Looking back at my experience working with him one of my strategies as an employment counselor back then was to re-build his self-confidence.  I saw huge potential in him and believed in his abilities to get back on his feet.  I can truly say that words of affirmation were instrumental in helping him to overcome the obstacles while we also applied some strategies such as mentorship and re-branding his resume and his approach to the job market.  Today, he is a well established professional and an entrepreneur  who is contributing his professional skills to the Canadian economy and internationally. Not only that, he is living his vocation as a minister and contributing to positive changes in the lives of others.

What is it about words of affirmation that inspires and grounds us?

When we speak kindly to others and affirm their superior qualities we give them confidence to face life, regardless of what circumstances they encounter.  More importantly, I have discovered that if words of affirmation are backed up by pure and good intention for the other person, the two become  powerful forces to help move a person forward very quickly.  I can write an inexhaustible list of people who have affirmed me and whom I have affirmed and I can see the difference we have made in each others lives.  One such example is an old man whom I met when I was about 10 years old, who said to me, “You speak English so well, you will go far in your life.” I often think of him when I blog.

You can never forget a person who express sincerity and confidence in you, especially in your darkest moments.

You can also never forget a person who speaks words to diminish your character or belittle you.

A friend has repeatedly  told me, “We must be careful about how we speak to each other. It even determines the level of intimacy which is shared between a couple.  A man or woman who feels ‘small and insignificant’ to his/her partner, cannot perform at an optimal level in the relationship.  It leaves a gap between the couple which can easily be filled by someone else or some other activity.”

A young woman told me that she was always called “ugly” by her parents and grew up to believe that she is an ugly person even when she has grown up to be a strikingly beautiful woman.

How do you affirm those around you?

Here are a few statements you can use to affirm yourself and others.  As you say them, make them even more powerful by adding  good intentions and sincerity as well as believing in each statement completely.

To affirm yourself:

  • I love myself.
  • I trust myself.
  • I believe in my ability to excel.
  • I am beautiful.
  • I can accomplish this task.
  • I have the courage to make …. decisions
  • I am intelligent and creative.  I can find solutions to my challenges.

To affirm others:

  • You are wonderful.
  • I like it when you do…..
  • You make me feel very special when you….
  • You add so much joy and peace to my life…
  • You are an incredible person.
  • Thank you for always being there for me.
  • I love you unconditionally.
  • You did a difficult job well.
  • I appreciate your sincerity.
  • Thank you for looking after me.
  • Thinking of you makes me smile.
  • You are doing a great job.  Don’t give up!
  • Thank you for listening.
  • You look great!
  • I appreciate it when you do…..
  • I admire your courage to face your challenges…

TuneIn today to the absolutely phenomenal person you are!  StepUp and affirm yourself.  Believe in your limitless potential to add goodness and great value to your life.  StepUp even more to affirm those in your life – let them know how much you care and trust in their ability to rise!

Love,

Magdalene

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Stop thinking. Do it. Quickest counselling session…

faith

A colleague shared her first and fastest employment counselling session she had in Canada, which lasted for 15 minutes and moved her from thinking to action.

She told the employment counsellor that she wanted to teach French in the public service and that she had all the qualifications and skills to do it.  The employment counsellor looked at her and said, “Then go and do it.”

At first she was a bit shocked that it was that easy. “Go and do it?”  How easy is that?

She got the job effortlessly.  In that moment of being told to “Go and do it.”  her brain must have connected the dots and made her realize that there was no reason she could not do the job since she had all the requirements. She received an affirmation  that it was possible. Prior to that she had talked herself into this self-defeating syndrome that she was not good enough, she was so new to Canada, why would anyone hire her….the endless reasons we convince ourselves that things will not work out.

Yesterday, a friend called me to  help her decide whether she should move back to her home country.  I listened while she explained all the reasons that she could not go.  She may not get a job if she moved back. She may lose her financial security that she has built here.  She may face sexual harassment.  She may not be able to adjust to her home country after being away for so long…. the list went on and on about things that may never happen.

“Why do you want to go back?” I asked.

“Because when I am there, I feel belonged.  I feel happy. I don’t have to wonder whether I am accepted or not.”

“Then do it.” I said.

I look at my own patterns over the years and realize how often I have sabotaged myself and talked myself out of making soul decisions because of fear or I procrastinate until I drive myself crazy. The fear that I am not good enough, not ready, not qualified enough, not smart enough, not financially able… there can be an bottomless list of reasons why you should not do what your soul truly desire.  The procrastination that I will do it later, it’s not the right time…. always an excuse for not acting.

Very often we discount what we feel because we think too much.  Spend sometime with the feeling and ask yourself:

  •  If I acted on this feeling, how will it change my life in the future?(and/or other lives)
  • How does this feeling align with my soul mission?
  • How will my soul expand if I acted on how I am feeling now, even though I don’t know what the results will be?
  • What is stopping me from doing this now?  Does it involve other people?  Is the risk beyond me?
  • Is this a feeling that will have negative consequences for others?

If the feeling continues to nag at you, then stop thinking and ACT. Through your actions, you will find your way.

TuneIn to what your soul is nudging you to do. Your soul already knows the answer.  StepUp to expand your soul work – feel with your heart and take a step of faith.

Sign up for a TuneIn and StepUp Challenge.  We are looking for participants worldwide!

https://tuneinandstepup2013.wordpress.com/signup-for-a-tunein-and-stepup-challenge-2014/

Love,

Magdalene

Posted in Uncategorized

Do you feel that you have lost your spirt? How do you feed your spirt?

Feed your Spirt

It is not hard to lose the essence of who we are.  It is not hard to lose our souls.  Our lives sometimes feel so busy that we don’t have the time or energy to listen to our spirit, which is really longing for our attention to help us live our best lives.

We hear it in our voices when we say or think:

“I feel lost.”

“I feel tired.”

“I am not feeling fulfilled.”

“I need a challenge.”

“I feel bored.”

“I no longer know what I am doing with this job/partner/relationship.”

“I can’t stand my job any longer.”

When we disconnect from our spirit, everything else begins to crash around us.  When we tune in to those feelings – it is a signal for us to get back on track and honour that essence which sustains us.

For many years, I struggled trying to understand how to be quiet and meditate.   When I tried to sit quietly, my mind seemed to drift to my multitude of challenges. But I never gave up.  In my quest to quieten my mind, I have read lots of books on meditation.  One of them gave me an insight which changed everything completely.  It helped me to understand that my breath is the source of all life. It is the source which feeds my spirit.  As soon as this clicked in my mind, I found that I could lie down quietly and breathe deeply peacefully and let all other things float out of my mind.  I understand how important that my breath is – it is the breath of life.  As I lie down and just simply breathe in and out deeply for 15 minutes, I give my body and spirit, the gift of acknowledging the power of that breath and that life which I have been blessed with through grace. The  oxygen which feeds the cells of my body feel delighted that I take the time to do this.  In my moments of stress, my spirit reminds me to go back to my breath – and as I tune in to breathing and acknowledging that essence of who I am, all things become peaceful again.

TuneIn to your spirit today.  How do you feed it?

A walk?

Laughter?

Charity?

Breathing?

Singing?

Working out?

Slowing down?

A long bath?

Listening to music?

Lighting candles?

Doing the thing that feels right?

StepUp to feed your spirit daily.  It is so longing for you to come home to it – it is the source of our true essence.

Sign up for a TuneIn and StepUp Challenge.  We are looking for participants worldwide!

https://tuneinandstepup2013.wordpress.com/signup-for-a-tunein-and-stepup-challenge-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

Can you live your future in the NOW?

” Do you live your future in the now?”  I asked Mr. Luis on the train while he took a break from attending to the passengers.

Magdalene and Louis - Final

“No.” he said. “My future? I cannot even think about it.  I have to live in the present now, to take care of my wife and children and make sure that they have everything they need.  Having children is a lot of responsibility – I never imagined that it was so much work!”

He shared with me what his single life was like as a flight attendant in Brazil and the thrill of flying all over the world. Settling to having a family, has certainly had an impact on his sense of freedom and adventure although he totally loves his family.  He thinks that one day, he will perhaps have his old life back.  He feels that his life is on pause while he is waiting for the kids to grow up.

But what if there is no pause?

When my kids were younger, I too thought my life was on pause while I raised them.  I could not fully enjoy raising my kids because of the void of not having my previous lifestyle.

However, one day I realized that,  “This is your life.  This family is your future.  There is no pause – you have to find a way to make everything you do now, matter enough so that you can  connect the dots. You can live your future by paying attention to what you do  in the now.”

Years later, I can see that if I had continued to focus on the single lifestyle I no longer had, I would have missed out on the new opportunities that life was presenting to me to grow and invest in my role as a mother and also living in the now with them.

Vietnamese group

Across from my seat on the train,  were three young people, so I seized the opportunity to interview them as well. When I interview people, I actually live my future now, as this is all part of my bigger future and I can feel how right it feels for me.  They were from Vietnam, studying in Toronto and heading to Ottawa for a two-day visit during their study break.

“Do you live your future  in the now?” I asked them.  At first, they looked a bit confused.  Elise tried to explain that the future was something that she was planning for as she is studying Human Resources at school,  Loane said that she plans the future step by step – she needs to have a map of the plans and so far she is on track with the plan;  Will said that he lives fully in the present and enjoys his life in the now, although he has bigger plans for the future. Will shared  his favourite quote by Steve Jobs:

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked  myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am  about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a  row, I know I need to change something.”

Will had only learnt of the trip to Ottawa the night before but he jumped on board because it was aligned with what he likes to do – travelling, exploring, meeting new people. The three shared their life experiences in choosing to study in Canada and I was touched by their motivation to make their lives better, to make sure that their parents were proud of them; to increase their knowledge of life and the world so that they can live better lives.  Will’s contact card. spoke about his own philosophy.  The front was black and gold.

will's card

He designed it himself with the crown symbol at the top and a dot in the center which represents three people.  His belief is that three people makes things better than 2 people when they come together. There is a balance to solve conflict and to create more opportunities. Interestingly enough, he was travelling in a group of three.

The back of his card was black and white and said, “Different is beautiful.”  I think that this says it all!  By just living now from that inner space, does make you live your future now – it is your mental mindset about life.

Will's card 2

The three young people left a few tips to other people to “Live their future now.”

  • Balance your health daily.  Workout, eat right and think positive.
  • Increase your socialization so that you build relationships and not live in isolation.
  • Make a big enough plan as a guide but enjoy your life fully in the present. You need to have an idea of where you are going.
  • Live your life before you die.
  • Increase your knowledge everyday of something which you are interested in. Learn something new – it makes your mind feel fresh.
  • Travel – it makes you see new things.
  • Follow your interest and do what you love.
  • Do good for others because life returns it to you.

Loan shared with me that one way she lives her future now, is by going to various coffee shops and taking notes of how the business  is managed. She is passionately interested in having her own coffee shop in Vietnam one day!

I live my future in the now by consciously creating moments  that naturally leap me into the bigger future. It is all  about the choices were make, moment to moment.

TuneIn today to your conscious choices.  Do these choices feel right for you?  Can you see how each of those small choices are leading to the bigger future?  StepUp to live your future in the NOW, using your imagination and your amazing internal power to create the life you want to live!

Love,

Magdalene

Posted in Uncategorized

I just can’t help myself – falling in love…with you…

40th birthday 600

I have been there helplessly.

I don’t think anyone can give a tutorial on how to fall in love because we simply fall in love.

Some of my friends from various cultures who are reading this are likely thinking, “Magdalene, in my culture, we don’t fall in love.  Our marriages are arranged, we make a commitment and we build a life!  There is nothing like falling in love… this is all crap!” O.K.  got it and I know that this formula works as well!  People who have been married for many years, will also tell you, that staying married and in a long-lasting relationship is about commitment (and sometimes not necessarily happiness).

But if you have experienced falling in love helplessly, you know what I am talking about. It is one of those  things that I find fascinating but which also leaves me feeling a bit baffled because there is something in that experience which is not logical at all but which is exhilarating beautiful and leaves you feeling completely vulnerable.  Worst yet, you can fall in love helplessly with  nothing tangible to glue the relationship together.  Ouch!   My sister Angela, gave some words of wisdom to a young cousin at her 16th birthday.  She said, “You will fall in love but you will need to learn how to use your mind and your heart together!”  WOW, I thought.  How do you train a 16-year-old to do that!

At 16, my parents almost disowned me for falling in love with a man who they would have never considered to be a likely prospect for their daughter. I still remember the day I first saw him, completely intrigued with his hands drumming away at his drums during my first dance class, with a dance group. Did I fall in love with his hands? The drums? His soul rhythm? What happened next had no grounding in anything real – we became entangled in something exhilarating beautiful, led to complete heartbreak a couple of years later but now that I am writing about this almost 30 years later, I know that there was nothing I could have done to stop me or him from having that experience.

What do we fall in love with? A physical look? Touch? Smell? Connection? Achievement? intelligence? Personality?

One person in a powerful position once said to me, “I think the women are falling in love with my position.. not with me.”
Another person said, “Oh they fall in love with my wallet!”

I don’t think that either of these are about falling in love.

Why does one person linger on your mind than any other person?  Even after a relationship breaks off, you still continue to think of that one person who just lighted your life, even for a brief moment.

I wish that falling in love was like traffic lights – tells us when to go, when to slow down and when to stop!

Falling in love does not mean you have a relationship with someone.

Falling in love does not mean that the relationship will last either.

Falling in love does not mean that he will love you back or she will love you back.

Falling in love may mean that you are sharing a past life together and there are still karmic ties that need to be completed.

Falling in love may also lead to everlasting love!

Falling in love is  complicated because we have no control over it!  When we fall… we fall so helplessly.  It makes us so vulnerable! 

Yet, if you have experienced this, you may agree that there is  little more powerful than that indescribable feeling you feel when you are in love…. intoxicated with the sound, smell, taste, feel… of this person, even when you know you can do nothing about making them love you back! If the experience is mutually shared, falling in love is sweet. it is like walking with God where  your energy is so high that  life just becomes more beautiful all around.  You have the ability  right there to invite all kinds of miracles in your life because you vibrate at such a high frequency in the universe.  Just take a look at someone’s face who is in love.  It literally glows!

Why am I writing about falling in love?  Am I in love?

I live in love.  I breathe love. I simply love loving!

But this one is dedicated to my young friend who is in love.  In a recent conversation he shared with me that he is so much in love but does not know what to do. When is the right time to let her know?  How should he let her know?  He said, “I just can’t stop thinking about her!”

My advice – enjoy the feeling.  Tell her. Show her. Take a risk and be vulnerable.  Give it time because she too is vulnerable.

If she returns that feeling, YOU are a winner.  If she does not, YOU are still a winner because you have opened your heart a bit more by allowing yourself to experience such a beautiful emotion.

Now, what if she does not love you back?

Keep on falling in love with yourself!  Keep on meeting new people!  Find a way to love her and let her go because you know that at the end of the day, love is best when it is reciprocated. When two people are not on the same page, it can be quite painful.

When you love yourself, like no one else can… you will be surprised to see how much love you get back in return. You see, you can’t love someone else, without loving yourself first!  And love, is the greatest of all.  By simply finding ways to love and to give love away, you naturally increase your vibration in the universe and attract more love to you.

My friend, have fun falling in love with yourself this weekend! TuneIn to your loving self and Stepup to make every moment of your life, WORTH LIVING!!!!

Love,
Magdalene