Optimizing Yourself – Week 13 – Nurturing Your Body Each Day in a BIG Way

Nurturing the body

Nurturing the body keeps it healthy

For this week’s optimizing yourself exercise, I am going to nurture my body each day.

Feeling your breath going in and out is the easiest way to connect with your body. Focusing on breath makes you present, and rids your mind of obsessive thinking, as your thoughts transfer into your body. This creates peace and relaxation, and helps you to fall asleep at night.

Getting your body moving more, even if it is walking or gardening, pumps blood and oxygen through your body, and the sweat cleans the impurities and toxins out of your skin. You sleep better when your body is tired, and eight hours of sleep at night restores your energy.

Eating nutritious food and taking vitamins energizes your body, and taking a bubble bath re-juvenates you, and putting lotion on your skin afterward makes your skin soft.

Drinking warm herbal tea also calms the body.

I will let you know how it goes next week.

photo credit: Alex Dram via photopin cc

Review of Week 12 – Going BIG with Creating Positive Self-Talk

Changing to positive self-talk

Do is better than try

For this week’s optimizing yourself exercise, I changed to using positive self-talk words like: do, choose, proud, make, and when, on my to-do list, to motivate me to get tasks accomplished.

Using decisive words left no doubt in my mind that I was going to accomplish tasks, helped me tackle little tasks easily, and the big ones didn’t seem as intimidating.

Do – ask for help to lift up a king size wooden futon frame and clean under it.

Choose – to eat meals at regular intervals and not skip meals

Proud – feeling proud and reflecting on the things I have worked hard to achieve instead of downplaying them.

Making time instead of not having time – By leaving no doubt that I was going to get a lot done, I completed a big sewing project this week, mailed items at the post office, ordered flowers for someone, bought computer software that I needed, wrapped items, had a celebration, printed off applications and helped fill them out, provided transportation to outings, and sorted through cupboards, drawers and closets.

photo credit: timoni via photopin cc

Week 12 – Optimizing Yourself – Go BIG With Creating Positive Self-Talk

creating positive self-talk

Reprogramming the brain for positive self-talk


Behavioral researchers describe the human brain as the most powerful computer there is. We think up to 50,000 thoughts a day, but many of them are negative, and those thoughts are the basis of our self-talk dialogue that we all have throughout the day.

Old programming from our past gets stored in our subconscious mind, and needs to be re-programmed, or updated to support our current reality, or our goals.

The exciting news is that we can re-program our minds to think positive thoughts and create a new self-dialogue.

This week I am going to create positive self-talk to motivate myself to achieve my current goals.

Brain researchers tell us that our brain pays attention to what we tell it to do, so we need to use supportive words.

I am going to swap the following words in my self-vocabulary this week, to add more awareness, certainty and resolve to what I am telling myself: I am going to use decisive words like “do” instead of “try”, and “choose” instead of “should”, and I’m “proud”, instead of I’m “only”, and I’ll “make” time instead of saying I “don’t have” time, and not “if” this happens, but “when” it happens.

These words give positive direction to my brain and remove doubt, and help re-program the old thoughts that are no longer useful. I will let you know how it goes next week.

photo credit: g.p.macklin via photopin cc

http://frederiquemurphy.com/blog/

Review of Week 11 – Go BIG with Eating 6 Small Meals a Day

For this week’s optimizing yourself exercise, I ate six small regularly scheduled meals a day instead of three big meals. For the first four days, it felt like an inconvenience to stop and prepare so many small meals when I didn’t feel hungry, but as I continued to follow the schedule, by the fifth day, I felt the difference.

I started to feel more energy, and was able to take my dog on longer walks, and I didn’t feel dizzy once, yet I didn’t need to snack because I never got hungry. I also ate healthier food, like eggs and vegetables and fruit, instead of getting hungry and eating heavy food.

After only one week of establishing this routine, I was feeling better and more balanced, and I am going to continue on with this new routine and make it a habit.

Life is Short, Buy The Shoes

It’s the first day of spring, and my Mom beckons me to visit her in ‘The Gardens’ where she peacefully rests. I enter the driveway under the shade of the huge cedar tree, until the warming spring sun meets me, and I circle around beside the lake, and pass by the Chinese pagoda on the right, and the chapel on the left.

I arrive at The Garden of The Good Shepherd, with a statue of a shepherd in the center, his eyes watching over my Mom’s headstone. The only sound comes from two enormous Canada geese who are sipping water running from a hose on the path nearby.

There are more flowers in ‘The Gardens’ than the golf course and all the big lawns of the houses beside it combined, and the blooms are ablaze in pots and bouquets and wreaths in every shade of cheerful red, yellow and orange, creating a peaceful and beautiful spot.

life infusing flowers

Flowers are life infusing

Words matter, and I prefer the euphemism ‘garden’ over cemetery. Gardens are grown, cultivated and nurtured, while cemeteries are maintained.

I do not feel grief, but I feel nature rejuvenating my senses, and infusing me with life honoring energy.

A small miracle occurs each time I visit. On one occasion, my sister felt as if someone was watching us, and there was a beautiful coyote standing as still as a statue, staring at us from the distance. Another time, my brother said it seemed as if all the song birds in the area had gathered to sing for us.

On my first visit after Mom died, I drove out the exit and traffic was stopped. Then a mother duck jumped off the curb, and trailed three wee ducklings behind her across the street, in front of my car. The ducklings were so tiny, they made a few attempts before getting up the curb on the other side. What symbolism! Three of us had helped Mom a lot around the time of her passing, and it might sound weird, but this felt like she was giving a little gift to us.

I place a pot of pink flowers into the holder on her headstone, and sweep debris off her stone with my hand, and remember a verse from her favorite song, Danny Boy, that she used to sing to me:

And I shall hear, though soft, your tread above me
And all my grave shall warmer, sweeter be
For you will bend and tell me that you love me
And I will sleep in peace until you come to me.

Visiting here helps me cherish the gift of life.

I think about the frivolous sign I saw in the store where I bought her the flowers earlier:

“Life is Short, Buy the Shoes”.

It is a metaphor for going after what makes us happy in life, like buying the shoes we long for, and to softly tread along the sweet path of our lives in them.

photo credit: Vietnam Plants & The USA. plants via photopin cc

Tom Jackson’s Love of Music and People

Canadians Changing The World:

Over the next few months, I will continue to take my blog out to meet people in my community who are taking action to change the world. Like a snail pulling myself off my rock, I am getting out and interacting with the people in the community to get to know them. I am also embarking on an on-line virtual road trip, to recognize Canadians who are finding ways to make our world a better place.

In December 1973, I rode the CP Rail train from Vancouver to Montreal. On the 5,000 kilometre, four day train ride, I had a front row seat to the landscape of my homeland, and along the journey, I enjoyed the dense snow covered forest of The Rocky mountains in Banff and Jasper, and the tall, wind whistled trees that partitioned the forever golden prairies in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, and stopovers in many of the nation’s capital cities, before I reached my destination of Montreal.

Canadian Train Trip

Experience the temperature, the landscape and the people of Canada

Like a train ride, life is about embracing the journey, wherever the train takes you, and appreciating and engaging with the people you meet or learn about along the way..

Tom Jackson

This week’s extraordinary Canadian is Tom Jackson, recording artist, actor, and humanitarian. Tom combines his artistic skills, his first-hand knowledge of homelessness and drug addiction, with community leadership in his Aboriginal community to inspire others to overcome obstacles and turn their lives around as he has done.

Since 1987, Tom has used his musical talent to raise millions of dollars for food banks with his “Sing For Your Supper Program”, becoming a role model for Canadians who live in poverty. He continues to entertain and perform his music across the country to benefit community organizations, and this month he is the featured artist at The Badlands Tourism Expo in Alberta with keynote speaker Brett Wilson, another extraordinary Canadian, on March 26, 2014.

Watch George Stroumboulopoulos, interviewing Tom Jackson on the video below.

I saw Strombo on stage interviewing Oprah when she came to Vancouver, doing a spontaneous Q & A on stage and impressing both the audience and Oprah herself with the quality of his questions. His latest gig is announcing Hockey Night in Canada when Rogers takes over the broadcast, where he will commit grand larceny of the announcer’s chair with his laser beam skills at connecting with Canadians and their favorite game, hockey. He has spent his career celebrating Canadians, and now he serendipitously brings us together with our game. #GOHABSGO

Tom is appearing at Badlands Tourism expo in Lethbridge Alberta with keynote speaker Brett Wilson,

The Conference is March 25 -27, 2014. You can register online at:

copy and paste this link: https://www.canadianbadlands.org/cbl/conference/

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/how-a-homeless-man-saved-tom-jackson-70262477.html

52 Weeks To Optimizing Yourself – Week 11 – Bo BIG With Eating Small Meals Frequently

Eat small meals frequently

Eating small meals frequently creates balance

I met a friend this week at a coffee shop and she looked really good, and said she changed to eating six small meals throughout the day, instead of three large meals.

She said by distributing her food evenly throughout the day, and not allowing herself to get hungry, she doesn’t end up overeating.

I am going to take her advice and schedule six small meals a day instead of three large ones, so I can avoid feeling lightheaded before my meals and tired after them.

She said if you wait until you are hungry to eat, your body stores fat, as it thinks you are starving it.

This week I am going to form a new eating schedule so I will feel better. I will let you know how it goes next week.

photo credit: Renée S. Suen via photopin cc

Review of Week 10 – Go Big Recording Family History

Lynch's Castle City of Galway

Lynch’s Castle from 1320 is now The Allied Bank Building.


This week I took the family history information my brother gave me and started connecting the puzzle pieces together, only to discover it was one of those 5,000 piece puzzles!

But simply writing down the stories gave me enormous insight to the contributions, success and struggles of my ancestors, and getting to know them better explained why I have certain tendencies or characteristics that connect me to them.

I began with the ladies first – my two grandmothers.

My maternal Grandmother descended from The De Linch Family of Normandy in the 12th Century, who immigrated to Galway, Ireland, and their name was changed to Lynch. They built The Lynch Castle in Galway in 1320, and the first mayor of Galway in 1484, Pyerce Lynch, lived in it.

The Castle is where the term “lynch mob” originated, as the mayor’s son was hung from the castle.

Trade and commerce continued to thrive in Galway for the next 150 years, until The Reformation and Oliver Cromwell’s invasion caused Galway to surrender in 1652 and all Catholics were expelled from the city. Most of the fine houses and castles of the prominent tribes were confiscated and fell into disrepair, trade declined and the greatness of Galway came to an end.

Lynch Castle/Allied Bank, Galway

Lynch Castle/Allied Bank, Galway


The Lynch Castle is the current home to The Allied Irish Bank on Shop Street in the city centre of Galway.

The Lynch Family moved to County Derry.

My paternal Grandmother descended from The Wilkinsons of Danelaw in England. The Danes invaded York during the Viking Invasion of the Anglo Saxons beginning in 876, and eventually gained control of 15 shires over the next hundred years, instilling Danish rule over them, and taking over one third of England.

Her family name was shortened to Wilkins, but there was a fire in 1823, and it disrupted a claim against the crown for land in London, and the trail stopped there. Her family emigrated to Quebec, Connecticut and New Hampshire.

It was fun discovering some new facts about my ancestry, and I realized there are many more that I have yet to discover.

http://motherearthtravel.com/ireland/galway/history.htm
photo credit: bawoodvine via photopin cc
photo credit: stepmn818 via photopin cc

Battle of The Spoons – Happy St. Paddy’s Day Newfoundland!

I imagine spoon playing is becoming a lost art, but apparently it is alive and well in Newfoundland! My Irish Mom played the spoons for us.

The Irish are great improvisers. When my mom’s family and friends would go to the cottage in Donegal, Ireland, they would make their own band. They used washboards and ‘ugly sticks’ (mops with boots on the end to hit the floor with for the stomping bass), and they played the spoons to add percussion.

Try gripping two spoons back to back between the knuckles of your index finger and middle finger and rattle them together. Warning – it’s harder than it looks!

Charlie and Gary are awesome in the video below! Gary also plays the Bodran (Irish drum). Before the advent of metal spoons, the Irish used bones.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

Happy

Happy St Patrick’s Day – Niagra Falls

Niagara Falls on both the Canadian and American sides will be flooded in green lights for Tourism Irelands’ “Saint Patrick’s Day Global Greening Campaign” this year. It is a way to say, ‘One Hundred Thousand Welcomes’, or C’ead Mile Failte, to all the Irish who have emigrated to Canada and the United States over the years, and to attract travellers and investors to Ireland.

In all, sixty nine famous locations and monuments in twenty countries around the globe will be lit in green lights to celebrate Irish friendship everywhere and to lure travellers to visit and invest in Ireland.

A few other notable locations getting the green light are: The Taj Mahal in India, Trump tower in Chicago, Disneyland Paris, The Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, and the Empire State Building in New York. UNESCO World Heritage site Petra, in Jordan, and Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disneyland. The London Eye, the welcome sign in Las Vegas and the Prince’s Palace in Monaco.

HNEWS@HERALD.IE
Photo handout by Tourism Ireland

Philanthropy For Lunch

The winners of Brett Wilson’s Vancouver Lunch Contest, do not need introductions to Brett, all ten of us recognize him instantly from The Dragon’s Den tv show, as he arrives at The Cibo Trattoria on Feb 28, 2014, wearing an animated Robert Graham designer shirt, accompanied by his lovely daughter.

Cibo Trattoria

Cibo Trattoria

He sits at the head of the table, entertaining us with anecdotes from his life, and sprinkles in highlights from the business conference he attended in L.A. the previous day. His enthusiasm energizes our eclectic group, in the stylish secluded room of the restaurant.

In his book, Redefining Success, Still Making Mistakes, Brett shares his story, and at Cibo, he invites us to share our stories, and gives us his full attention when we speak. The stories of our journeys go deep at times, and include “laughter and tears”, as Brett said.

Brett responds with a generous helping of wisdom, gleaned from years of experience working in the stratosphere of the Canadian investment banking scene, his role on The Dragon’s Den, and from his experiences with his family.

Sharing our stories is a cathartic release of emotion that bonds the group, despite our varied ages, genders, and professions.

It quickly establishes a rapport, which creates common ground between twelve people that were previously strangers.

Brett conducts the tempo of the luncheon like an expert, guiding the ensemble, as we enjoy a delicious lunch and friendship, and chat like a big family.

I feel grateful to be here, aware that tables for Brett’s fundraisers, like the one he organized under the sails at Canada Place in Vancouver go for $25,000.00 each, and high profile stars, like Gene Simmons from KISS, and wife Shannon Tweed are in attendance.

Ann with Brett Wilson

Ann with Brett Wilson

The lunch meeting was orchestrated so smoothly, as if Brett has been conducting luncheons his whole life. Witnessing that level of leadership will take me a while to process.

Before we head home to our various cities and communities, he autographs our books, and poses for pictures with us.

As I walk over to Richards Street, I try to figure out the meaning of the lunch for me, and the ingredient that bonded the lunch guests together.

As I walk in front of The Holy Rosary Cathedral on Richards Street, I have an epiphany.

The French Gothic style heritage building reveals the meaining of the luncheon.

art on Canadian stamp

Guido Nincheri art on Canadian stamp 1997 Holy Rosary Cathedral

This was my Mom’s church in the 1990’s, and when they needed a new roof, she donated $5,000.00 to the roof fund, which was a large sum for her.

Aha! It was about philanthropy. He did not preach to the congregation, he connected us, informed and entertained us, rewarded us with lunch, and empowered us to go change the world, by stepping up and spreading the seeds of philanthropy in the community.

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing” – Albert Schweitzer

I had never realized that my mom was my original philanthropy mentor, when she took me on The Mother’s March as a child to raise money for the charity. Or, when I saw her giving bus fare to every hitchhiker she saw, so they would take a bus instead of getting in a car with a stranger. Sometimes small acts can change the course of someone’s life.

She gave either her time, or her talent, or her treasure, the three t’s, to express her gratitude for the gifts she was given.

To her, philanthropy would have seemed like a big word to describe it , but it takes a big heart to “love all of mankind”. I think she would have called it caring for others, or in a word ‘love’.

Copy this link to Read My Review of Brett’s book: http://annhoy.com/redefining-success-still-making-mistakes-book-review-by-ann-hoy/

http://www.holyrosarycathedral.org/stewardship/

photo by Clayton
photo of Cibo by Ann