Posted in Celebrations, Leadership, Motivation, People who inspire others, Relationships, Women

Is living within a supportive family/community structure the key to helping our young women achieve their dreams?

Yesterday, the world observed  International Women’s Day and by mere coincident I was at my son’s girlfriends(KIM) bronze medal final playoff basketball  game  at the Carleton University. She is on the team of Wilfred Laurier University Golden Hawks and they competed against Ravens from the Carleton University.  They won the game – in fact it was an amazing win after a double over time!  Now they will be competing at the National Competition in Windsor!

As I watched the game from the stands, I admired how those two teams of young women competed furiously but also noted that their coaches were males.  Of course it makes me wonder why male coaches – something I will figure out later but it is a wonderful example of how male coaches impact the lives of young women in sports!
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What was the most striking for me though was watching Kim’s 80 + grandmother dance on the stadium bench as she and her husband cheered their granddaughter on.  This lovely woman was entirely present, engaged and completely free in expressing herself.  Now, that is the spirit I want to always have in my life because it is so rare to see people live in the moment and fullness of life!  And even more touching was how her husband supported her – they seem to just mesh together!
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Kim’s entire family, from grandparents to parents to siblings and in-laws and cousins and nieces…. were all there to support her and her team.  As a matter of fact, Kim is the only one from Ottawa on the team (the Laurier University is 5 hours away in Waterloo) but it seems that half the Stadium was there to support her!  Now, imagine the strength of that kind of support in a family.  People could have chosen to be anywhere else but they chose to support Kim and in so doing also supported a community of young women.  What a blessing it is for her grandparents to be able to still enjoy this time with her.
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Kim’s parents make the effort to attend every game she plays.  It was so touching yesterday as I listened to her dad who told me that he would have loved to take the whole team out to dinner to celebrate their victory, if they were not leaving right away to go back to Waterloo.  Her sister Julie told me that she anticipated that they would win so she brought them champagne, which was in her car, so they could celebrate on the bus!  Whether they won or not, they would have still received the champagne!  How sweet!  The treats were not just for Kim – the family ensures that the entire team is supported.
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I reflect on how my son treats her – with the utmost love and respect.  By showing up at her games and ensuring that he is present in what she loves to do is affirming and supporting of her growth and dreams.  Not only does my son go along but he also pulls my daughter and myself along too! Knowing that she was coming to Ottawa, he spent Friday night preparing special BBQ chicken for her to take back with her on Saturday.  Now… what more can I say?  He wore the Laurier cap at the game – this boy is just in love!
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Spending time with my daughter and my son in supporting Kim is important for me just as the rest of all the things I do.  My daughter is beginning to learn how her brother treats his girlfriend, she is being exposed  to another  family who selflessly supports each other – she is seeing the role models all around her and I am sure it will influence her choices in life.
So what is the point of this blog?  It is simply a reflection of how we collectively shape our young women and men within a supportive family and community structure. We all play a vital role in affirming and re-affirming each other in a positive way and the more opportunities we create for such activities, the stronger we grow as a community.  That family structure is what needs to be protected more than anything else to build men and women who can face life fearlessly and contribute meaningfully to society.  Even when a complete family structure  is not present, it is important for us step outside of our comfort zones and find support to develop our skills and talents.
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TuneIn to examine your role in the lives of the women around you.  StepUp to support them to live their fullest potential that allows them to be free in their spirit.  A free spirit  is unstoppable!
Love,
Magdalene
Posted in Beyond logic!, Family, Love, Motivation, People who inspire others, Relationships

Going past the affair – can your love be that strong?

Happy Valentine’s Day! Some of you may celebrate valentine’s and some may not. I celebrate everything which has the power to bring people closer to each other because I believe that love is the greatest of all.

Last night, before going to bed my daughter came to my room and brought me this present. I am yet to find out what is inside of it (I am sure that you can guess!).

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“Just in case I miss you before you leave in the  morning,” she said as she kissed me goodnight. “It is from all three of us.”

Of course I am touched by their gesture – as each one of us will be today when someone acknowledges us and reaffirms that they love us.

Over the last few weeks, I have gathered several love stories from people about their “falling in love” experiences.  I will publish a few of those but what I got to really appreciate is that love is at the core of all of us – waiting to be expressed or waiting for someone  to express it to us.  One of the most touching love experiences I heard  was this story of a wonderful old man in his 90’s who shared with me his intimate love story.

In his old age she cares for him with love, grace and compassion.  The two of them always had that special bond but there was a secret shared only by him and his wife. She was the child from an affair – a child who was not his.   Yet, his love for his wife was more powerful than the affair. She could have left him or he could have left her.  They could have chosen to spend the rest of their lives in an emotional prison but he bravely stuck to her side and never betrayed her.
“You are free to leave, if that is what you want.” he told her.  “But if you stay, I will treat this baby like my own.  No one ever needs to know.”
His love carried her through.  It carried them through.  They created their own story.  The  baby grew up with their other babies.  No one knows that secret.  In all the children, she is the most loyal, the most humble, the most loving.  It is as though their relationship was specially created for them.  He looks at her as a gift from heaven.  His devotion won the heart of his wife even more.  Their bond is unbreakable.  Their secret is divine.
If he had to do it over, he would do the same.
“Love forgives easily.” he says.  “Affairs happen, but what do you do when you truly love that one person? You accept him/her completely.  Your acceptance of the person, makes things right.  A child is a child. Love is the most powerful gift you can give someone.”
TuneIn today to see all the many ways in which love is expressed to you or around you.  StepUp to express love to someone – you will be surprised at how it can create a change in your life and someone else’s life!
Posted in Health and Wellness, Living from the soul, Motivation, Overcoming fear, Relationships, Work

What is the cost of NOT pushing your boundaries?

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“No” is a complete sentence. Anne Lamott

Pushing boundaries (going beyond setting boundaries) is something which I have not always been comfortable with but it is something which I have come to value more as I get older.  It is perhaps because I care less about what other people think of me as I strive to find clarity and real answers to the many questions I have about life. Some people call it bold, as my school principal did when I was four years old.  One day, he called me “Madlene” at the school assembly. I  boldly  walked up to the front of the assembly and corrected him by saying that my name was “Magdalene” and not “Madlene.”  Now, at four years old, I don’t think I knew anything about setting or pushing  my boundaries. I was simply responding from my heart to fix something which did not sound right to me. From that day on, he held huge respect for me and even now (4o years later) we both remember that distinct moment and he never called me “Madlene” again!

As I got older, I noticed patterns in my behaviours where I simply accepted what others did or said because I did not want to step outside my comfort zone, for fear of hurting them or having too much information which could hurt me. It became increasing difficult for me to say “no” and I would actually prefer not to know about some things because knowing would need action on my part or would make me feel uncomfortable. When we look deeper into the issues of why we do not push our boundaries, it is all rooted in fear.  Fear of the unknown.  Fear of being unloved.  Fear of losing control.  Fear of not having enough.  However, as our soul expands and seeks truth and clarity to live our soul mission, those walls begin to crumble. An enlightened soul is no longer afraid of asking questions and pushing against the boundaries because we know whatever the responses are, negative or positive, the universe will provide all that we  need for the next steps of our journey.

A young woman once told me that she was dating a guy whom she was not sure about.  I asked her why and her response was, “I feel that he is not really interested in me.  He takes a long time to ask me out.”

What should she do?  Push the boundaries.  She wanted to stay in the safe zone and wait for him to make the next move.  He was clearly not giving her the green light.  I asked her to invite him out on a date to meet some of her friends.

Reluctantly, she agreed and asked him out.  His first response was, “Can we talk about this?”

“Why?” she asked.

“Because I am not comfortable meeting your friends yet.” he responded.

After six months of “seeing” someone, how can you not want to meet their friends? How can you not want to know more about them?

By pushing her boundaries in asking him to meet her friends, his response brought clarity to her that he was not ready to engage in a serious relationship with her.  She ended the relationship because it was not in alignment with what she needed in a relationship. By not pushing those boundaries, she could have remained in this undefined relationship for a longer time.  Several months later she met someone else who was happy to meet her friends right away.

Here is a list of situations which could be resolved if the boundaries were pushed a bit.

  • You feel stressed all day about not being sure whether you are meeting the expectations of your boss.  Push the  boundaries by asking a question about your performance. It is better for you to know so that you can  take charge of the situation and improve your performance if you need to.
  • You are bored doing the same job.  Push your boundaries by asking for additional responsibilities or a another  position.  You may want to push your boundaries even further by applying to other positions outside of your company.
  • You want to exit  a relationship but you are  afraid that  you will hurt your partner’s feelings. Push your boundaries by speaking about it. For all you know, your partner may also want to leave and be free. Start by saying something like, “I am not feeling happy or fulfilled in our relationship anymore. I would like to get a divorce / separation.” By being clear, you give the other person an opportunity to respond.  It may lead to a divorce but it can also lead to a better relationship.
  • You notice that the decisions being made in your company will have an adverse effect on the business. Your fear  of speaking up and being opposed causes  you to remain silent but you are  furious with yourself  for not speaking up.  Push the boundaries by putting your thoughts  in writing or gathering the courage to speak at the meeting.  Everyone may not agree but what if they did?  You could become a huge asset for this company.
  • Question the cost of things which you pay for regularly.  Most of us accept high insurance rates; we are scared to question our utility bills or afraid to negotiate a better interest rate on our mortgage or credit card. Push your boundaries by asking questions to make sure that you are receiving a fair service and the best price.

What does it cost you NOT to push your boundaries?  Loss of self-worth?  Loss of adding more value to the quality of your life?  Loss of money/income?  Loss of having fulfilled relationships and work?  Loss of living your soul mission?

As one person said to me, the cost of pushing boundaries for him was exorbitant!

“Pushing these boundaries require courage….the costs can also be exorbitant! I have spent my entire life pushing boundaries and have been punished for doing so. However, since I am aware of the consequences, I have also placed a lot of effort in preparing myself  for the consequences….this is what has made me into a better person. I have discovered a new me at all stages.”

When I push my boundaries  I feel that my soul expands. It takes courage to go beyond setting boundaries. It frees my mind, my soul and my heart and creates space for me to grow. Sometimes, we have simply outgrown a boundary  and need to explore beyond.  I have concluded that if people truly love and respect me, they will also love and appreciate my growth when I  push those boundaries.

“Tolerance is nothing more than patience with boundaries.”
― Shannon L. Alder

TuneIn to areas which are not exactly your comfort zone. StepUp and pay attention about what matters to you.

Posted in Uncategorized

Are things just not going right in your life? Is your inner world a reflection of your outside world?

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One of the questions on a dating profile asks:

A good relationship should not require hard work. The answer options are:

a) True b) False

What is your answer?

I think that a good relationship requires that each person does the “right” things for the other person to feel loved and feel valued but I don’t think that it is necessarily hard work, although it requires effort and awareness. But first of all, the basic foundations of a relationship must be in place.

I held some interviews/conversations with various people/couples about those deeper layers in the relationships we attract in our lives and one of my several conclusions is that we attract what is within our inner world – and that inner world is a work in progress – which may explain why we attract various types of people in our lives at different time periods.

How does your partner reflect your inner world? Is your inner world full of turmoil, anger, fear, love, compassion… are you driven by your ego or are you driven to create a beautiful relationship? 

During one interview, here is an example of how this played out:

Woman: “Every time he goes out, he finds some woman to give his phone number to and before you know it, he is texting her all the time and then he has an affair with her!”

Man: “Can’t I just talk to other people? I don’t see anything wrong with that!”

After a more probing discussion, the following things emerged which brought to the surface both of their inner worlds. I asked each of them:

“When you look at your partner, do you see him/her in your future? Can you see yourself waking up with him/her every day and enjoying each other’s company? 

His answer was “No”.  His inner world had not yet made a commitment to himself to be with this woman (then how could he commit to her?.) His inner world was still exploring new relationships and as a result he kept on attracting these other women in his life at both a subconscious level and a conscious level.  He put on a mask of being busy, working hard and providing the financial security that she needs and which feeds his ego as being a good provider.

Her answer was: Not if he continues to behave like this. I don’t trust him!”

“Why don’t you trust him?” I asked.

She explained with bitterness that since she met him, there was always another woman in the relationship. Her inner world does not trust him. Her lack of trust in him makes her keep careful track of his whereabouts, monitors his phone, nags at him and is suspicious of his whereabouts when he is not with her.  Her constant frantic thoughts of him being with someone else actually creates the self-fulfilling prophesy in inviting affairs in  his life as she accuses him of it daily.

Since he cannot commit himself, within his own heart and soul to her and she cannot trust him completely, no matter how hard they work at having a home, having children, building a business…. neither one of them will enjoy the relationship in a holistic and complete way.  The soul will be left thirsty.  They may chose to remain together for financial security and family connections but after years and years of being in this type of relationship, it can take a huge emotional toll on a person’s health.

In another interview, one woman who had just met a new person said, “I feel completely safe and secure in his presence.  I trust him completely with my life.”  Her inner world is one which trusts life and trusts her intuition.  She brings what is good and worthy in her life and sees the good in other people. His inner world is comfortable being in her presence too because he too is trusting of himself.  The merging of those two inner worlds create opportunities to be harmonious together whether in a love relationship or as friends.

TuneIn today to your inner world?  Are your experiences in life mirroring what you deeply believe?  Look at your actions and who you attract in your life… if you feel that you are not happy with the current status quo, take a moment to go deeper into your soul. Do you feel worthy of receiving genuine, sincere love? Are you wearing a mask with a superficial happy attitude, beautiful clothes, parties, lots of friends etc… to cover what is really going on?  StepUp to remove the mask.  Somewhere beneath the mask, your soul is longing for you to have the courage to be authentic and true to yourself.  All that you need to live your soul journey will be provided to you.

Look out for tomorrow’s post on how we can increase the positive energy within our inner world:)

Love,

Magdalene

Posted in Family, Health and Wellness, Motivation, Relationships, Soul Mates

Do you know the difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul?

To know that even too much sunshine can burn and there is a difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul.
Thank you Jorge Luis Borgeshat

You Learn

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,

And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises,

And you begin to accept your defeats

With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,

And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn…
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.

So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure…

That you really are strong…
And you really do have worth…
And you learn and learn…
With every good-bye you learn.

Jorge Luis Borges