Are you a Happy Resource?

Be a happy resource

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.

Last week, I met with  two human resources professionals who teased about calling themselves ‘Happy Resources’ instead of ‘Human Resources”.   They take on their role quite seriously in the organization but have consciously decided to create a happy space at work.  I thought this was quite cool.  In addition to recruitment, staff training and general work place processes, Human Resources play an instrumental role in boosting staff morale and it even adds to job retention. To decide to be ‘Happy Resources’ sets a friendly, warm and engaging environment.

I left the meeting and asked myself, ‘Are you a happy resource?’  I am a happy resource. I love being a happy resource. I may have sad and disappointing moments but these moment don’t overpower my life as a person.  I choose to be happy and to engage in things which make me feel happy.  I choose to radiate happiness when I connect with others and to be someone who can add to their happiness through both small and big acts of love, kindness, compassion and inspiration. Maybe some of us are born happy, but I think that happiness also comes from our own conscious actions.

Interestingly enough, work places also like to have happy, positive people around.  It reduces stress and adds to an overall happy space.  Whether you are applying for a job, being interviewed for one or you already have a job, be mindful of the happiness factor.

Are you a happy resource?  The energy in the world is a collective mass of all of our energies.  Choose to be happy and add joy to the world!

Inspiration 2015!

Live your future now… step into your happiness.

Love,

Magdalene

 

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

Transformation through life’s most difficult challenges – how Marie Claudine, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide is using her tragic experience to help orphans in Rwanda

IMAG3821(Magdalene with Marie Claudine Mukamambana, New York)

Yesterday, I had the pleasure and privilege to meet with multiple award winner, Marie Claudine Mukamambana who lost her parents, sister, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, loved ones, friends, classmates, and fellow countrymen during the Rwandan Genocide, when she was only a teenager. What touched me the most was that she has used this tragedy to find meaning in life and to give back to the orphans of Rwanda through her non-for profit organization  Whydoiexisit.org.

Her Catholic faith inspired her to seek the answer to the question of KUKI NDIHO? (Why do I exist?-Pourquoi J’existe?). This question now serves as the name of her organization, which has an extensive fundraising program in New York, as well as a presence in Belgium and South Africa. The thousands of dollars raised thus far continue to support hundreds of orphans in Rwanda.  You can read more of Marie Claudine’s work on her website and also download her book – the Power of Social Media. She is also working on her second book, ‘Forgiveness:  A Transformation Power from Pain to a Joyful Lifestyle.’  Please do look up her website to read more of her work.

Over the years I have met several survivors of the Rwandan Genocide and who have shared their heartbreaking stories with me, long before I ever thought of blogging. I remember feeling emotionally paralyzed  by the first man shared his story and told me that he had no blood family left but was so grateful to the Canadian family who had accepted him as a refuge and had treated him with the greatest kindness he could have wished for. Although I knew of the genocide, it was impersonal to me until I met a real human being who was able to share his experience with me. At that particular time in my life, I was going through my own personal challenges but after listening to his story, I had much less sympathy for myself and started being more grateful for the opportunities I had to solve my problems and not lament over them.  This man who had lost everyone in his life,  found a way to accept and to be happy.  In comparison to what he had gone through, my problems were insignificant.

Sometimes the difficulties and challenges we go through in life can leave us broken with a great feeling of despair. When we meet people like Marie, who have risen above such horrific challenges and who still has love and joy in her life, it inspires us to do the little that we can do to uplift humanity and to find a way out of our own pain.

What is your deep sorrow?

  • Feeling that no one is listening to you?
  • Losing your job?
  • No money?
  • Lack of sleep?
  • A divorce?
  • No money to buy this great brand name bag?

How are you supporting life?  What are you grateful for in your life?

From my experience, I know that by helping others in whatever capacity I can, life blesses me bountifully and provides the tools, resources, inspiration and help which I need to heal my pain.  When one person is hurt, we all hurt.  When one person is healed, we are all healed.

TuneIn to those whispers of your heart and StepUp to do something which will truly add value to your earthly home.

Ref: http://www.whydoiexist.org/

Ref: http://www.borgenmagazine.com/10-facts-rwandan-genocide/

Love,

Magdalene

We are never too old to play – it is good for the soul.

We are never too old to play

“I had no childhood.” he told me.  “I became a man without ever playing.  I had to take care of the family as the eldest son.” It was a heart-breaking conversation listening to this older gentleman relate his life experiences to me.


“How can you make up for this now?” 
I asked himIt is sad because we can’t make up for the childhood we have lost.
“I wish to sit and watch Sesame Street.” he said.


“That is not hard to fix.” I said.  “We can make this happen.”


We spoke about many of the things which he never did as a child like playing soccer with the other kids on the street or just hanging out until his mom called him in. Until this conversation, I never thought of what I missed as a child.  I enjoyed most of my childhood and I am grateful that I was born at a time, in a country where ‘play’ was a great thing… not structured and within a safe environment.  My favourite play memories were playing hide and seek on moonlight when all the neighbouring kids gathered and our parents sat outside chatting amongst themselves while we pranked each other  under the shadows of the full moon.  Many of us take play for granted but there are still many places around the world where children are put to work, sold into slavery and live in stricken poverty which denies them a safe and a beautiful, memorable childhood.
However, for those who did not have a good childhood, while you may not be able to go back and fix it, you could perhaps indulge in a few things which you may still be able to do – like watch the Sesame Street movies.

We are never too old to play.  It is good for the soul.

Love,

Magdalene

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.”

Next to the beach 2

“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

Are you aging gracefully?

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My friend Sharon stopped by my office a few weeks ago and I could not help but admire her clear flawless complexion and her youthful energy. She is a great role model of a woman who is aging gracefully.  (I won’t tell you her age!) I met her eleven  years ago and was instantly drawn to her lovely, long silver hair and her very positive energy. She exudes a beautiful, zen presence and makes others feel completely welcomed in her space, wherever that space is.  Coincidentally, I met her around the same time when I was in a dilemma about whether I should dye my hair as a few strands were turning grey.  Looking at her hair made me decide not to dye mine – why not just keep in natural?  Eleven years later, I am glad that I kept all my greys because I am enjoying them completely.  It makes me feel wiser – maybe one day my hair will look like Sharon’s hair.

Women and men become more mindful of aging after the age of 40.  For me, my 40’s are amazing years in my life. I had several conversations with women from  different parts of the world who use different strategies to age gracefully.  Here are some of their secrets for aging gracefully:

– Make decisions based on your values and your visions for your life.  You will never please everyone but make sure that you are happy or can genuinely live with whatever decisions you make in  life.

– Forgive quickly.  Don’t hold on to anger and resentment.  It kills your spirit slowly.  Find a way to let go of things and people which has caused you grief.

– Do something positive for yourself and someone else or for the environment every day.  Doing good and positive things make you feel good about yourself.  When you feel good, it naturally boost your immune system, reduces stress and relaxes your body. Stress causes your heart rate  to go up and causes other illnesses such as digestive problems, ulcers and even cancer.

– Live simply that others may simply live. Sharon told me that she lives her life by this motto – as she grows older, there is a need to have less things in her own life.  She is a great example of reaching out to others in a soft, compassionate and heartfelt way.

– Eat lots of greens, vegetables and fruit. Stay away from sugar.  Sugar creates yeast in the body. Yeast causes havoc.  Greens, fruits and vegetables provides nutrients which makes our skin glow, keeps our hair healthy and helps our organs to function at their optimal capacity.

– Exercise daily. Walk, swim, do crunches, cycle,  run, aerobics, weights, jumping jacks, ski – physical exercise produces endorphins which makes us feel good.  Find out what your ideal weight should be and try to stay within in.

– Meditate and pray.  A few quiet  moments each day does wonders for our souls.  It reconnects us to our spirit and makes us feel the “awe” of life.

– Create moments to simply give thanks for all the good things in your life. Give thanks for all the bad things too.  A heart full of gratitude brings abundance to us.

– Choose your battles. No need to fight with everyone and everything.  Some things are best left alone.  Karma deals with everything…. the good, the bad and the ugly.

– Smile.  It is that simple.  It keeps your face looking relaxed and invites others into your space.

– Be genuine with others.  There is no need to hang around people whom you really do not care about.  We don’t have to like everyone but we need to be genuine. Not being genuine drains our good energy.

– Enjoy the presence of others by being in the present moment. Enjoy good company.  Plan moments for you to get away with others whom you really genuinely care about.

– Work at a job you love.  If you don’t have a job you love, start adjusting your attitude towards it, find another job or create a job for yourself.  Work stress negatively impacts our emotional and spiritual health.  This causes us to age rapidly.

– Be in a happy relationship which gives you the opportunity to grow and share in an intimate and “heart connecting” way.

– Enjoy physical touch.  Hug.  Kiss. Make love. Massage. Touch others with love and embrace the touch of others with love.

– Try new experiences.  Your brain need stimulation and has the ability to build neural connections throughout life.

– Spend time in nature.  Nature takes us back to balance.

– Plan events/occasions/opportunities to look forward to.

My own special tip – stay away from people and situations which cause unnecessary anxiety and stress.

Love fully. Laugh loudly. Live with abandon.

What are your tips for aging gracefully?

TuneIn and StepUp to create  your own mindset that this is YOUR life…not a dress rehearsal.  So live it up and age gracefully!

Love,

Magdalene

 

 

 

 

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.
group photo
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