Are Women Finding Mentors to Model Their Success On?


Success gurus like Tony Robbins say you need to find a mentor who did what you want to do in life and model what they did.

It’s a way of short-cutting the process to success by not trying to re-invent the wheel yourself.mentor-2063045_1920.png

There are some outstanding female mentors like J.K. Rowling and Oprah Winfrey, but there are way more male mentors to model career success on.

Men can be mentors to women to a degree, but there are unique aspects to being a successful woman that relate to biology that men haven’t experienced so women are better at teaching us about those things.

Tony Robbins says you need to immerse yourself in the lives of your mentors on-line and find out what they did, because success leaves clues. By reading their books and listening to their interviews you can see and feel what makes them masters at what they do in all the little details, and you can model your behavior on that.

One ‘mentoress’ I have in the field of media and publishing is Ariana Huffington.


Say what you want about the tactics of Ariana Huffington, she is one of my mentoresses.

She is one of the most influential people in the media – male or female. She launched The Huffington Post, one of the most popular websites on the internet, She transformed journalism into engaging, personality driven entertainment. She was guilty of playing favorites with people like the exiled Dalai Lama, but to be fair all the male news-moguls likely had a code to protect their friends in the past as well.

Leadership is tough for everyone, and she is one tough female cookie, who has been burned many times.

She is now 66 years old and makes me forget about the worship of youth in our culture, as she rocks her age and combines it with the eye of experience.

She gives me hope to carry on with blogging in middle age.

After she resigned from ‘The Huffington Post’, she headed up ‘Thrive Global’, a wellness media company focusing on helping people get enough sleep, and sells pillows with the quote: “sleep your way to the top”.

What I most admire about Ariana is her style. Mixing the vulnerability of a woman and a mother, with a warrior role in the competitive ring with the big boys takes balls.

Her curiosity helps her grow, and her determination to turn her failures into a part of her future success is why she continues to thrive.

Some of her quotes resonate with me and likely the other 50 percent of the female population that she speaks to:

“Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.”

“Trying to be Supermom is as futile as trying to be Perfect Mom. Not going to happen.”

“I think while all mothers deal with feelings of guilt, working mothers are plagued by guilt on steroids!”

Thanks for reading!

Please follow me@annhoyblog

Images pixabay, giphy, and google free images

Two EE’s Farm Market In Surrey BC

Did you know that there are 2 EE’s in Surrey BC?

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I am so grateful that The Two EE’s Farm Market in Surrey is a ten minute drive from my house. Organic produce and fruit, grown on the farm without sprays or chemicals are sold at reasonable prices, along with food from mostly local growers. dutchcoffee&2es 012.JPG

I arrive near closing time and a young man on the roof is packing away the Dutch and Canadian flags for the evening.

The market’s name comes from the initials of the two original owners prior to World War II – Emil and Elizabeth Kowalski. A Dutchman bought the land from them in 1960. His son-in-law, Henk Shoen from The Netherlands, worked the land along with his family, and now his son Mike and his family continue to work the land and sell the produce, along with many long term employees.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates

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The farm has maintained the original aura of a roadside fruit stand for 57 years. Upscale farm markets are cropping up in the surrounding area faster than townhouse developments, but their produce doesn’t compare to The Two EE’s.

They have a photo wall of the family history of the market.dutchcoffee&2es 028.JPG

The market is a throwback. It is still closed on Sundays, as were all of BC’s major stores until the early 1980’s. British Columbians would cross the US border to shop on Sundays in those days. America is a ten minute drive in the opposite direction from my house.

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(You can see Mount Baker near Bellingham, Washington USA, peeking out above the greehouse).

Note – (not a rendering of Canada’s view if Trump builds his wall.)

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In the summer, cool water mists down from the outside vegetable and flower bin areas to cool the produce and the crowd of shoppers.dutchcoffee&2es 016.JPG

Crops like carrots and swiss chard are grown outside the market and in greenhouses as far as the eye can see.dutchcoffee&2es 051.JPGdutchcoffee&2es 052.JPG

Then they are freshly picked and sold insidedutchcoffee&2es 021.JPG

I buy fresh local strawberries at the market.
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Winona kindly rings them up at the till.

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I ask her if she is a member of the family, and she says “no, but a lot of people ask me that”.

That’s the family atmosphere at The Two EE’s.

The market is a labour of love.

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Love for:



the air

the land


and future generations.

I have a garden at home in case I can’t make it to my beloved farm market.

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It’s a lot smaller than the 25 acre farm, but it’s a start.

The more people grow and buy organic, the more organic growers there will be.

How Tony Robbins Made Good Morning America Great Again

On March 23, 2016, this tweet from Tony strikes panic into my heart!

Are You An @TonyRobbins Super-fan and in New York  next Tues? Get Tix to see him live

I am flying from Vancouver to New York the next day, my itinerary is full, and now I want tickets to see Tony live on March 29th!

But wait! I’ve never been to New York! I don’t know my way around, and I am staying in Brooklyn, not Manhattan, and “GMA” sets up before sunrise.

Focus on Where You Want to Go, Not on What You Fear

~ Anthony Robbins

Every day I do something that scares me, so I email Good Morning America for tickets.

“DECIDE!” I can hear Tony say in my mind.

A while back, I wrote down the five people I would most like to meet, and Tony Robbins was one of them. Tony always advises to take massive action and pursue your dreams.

I admire his work because he refused to let his pain define him, turned his life around, and used his knowledge to help so many others, including me and my son.

In the 1990’s I bought his cassette tapes at a library book sale and I wore them out listening to them. By association, I also wore out my youngest son’s tender ears. He has been listening to Tony unleash the power since age 3, during the long trips in my mini-van to visit his Nana. He turned 20 today.

“GMA” replies and asks me why I want to be in the audience. I write that I am a blogger, and my son and I have been Tony super-fans since the 1990’s, and it is my son’s 20th birthday today. They email me two tickets (the maximum)to print off! We are in! I am soooo excited!

But wait! The fine print says we are not guaranteed to get in. I don’t care! Even the chance of getting in is so exciting! I tell da birthday boy he has a chance to see da man himself! He is more excited about seeing Tony than The Lion King on Broadway later that evening.

This son started his own business at age eleven, teaching fourteen year old kids how to play drums. He began negotiating business deals with adults to produce music shows by the age of sixteen. I am convinced his confidence and ability came from all those hours of listening to Tony Robbins on cassette. Tony instilled an entrepreneurial mindset in him. We joke that he was raised by Tony Robbins.

“The only person holding you back is YOU. No more excuses. It’s time to change and take your life to the next level.” Tony Robbins

It feels like Tony is on the 102nd floor view deck of The Empire State Building of self-actualization, extending a hand down to me, on the ground floor, to pull me up to learn how to live my dreams like him.

We arrive in Times Square to scout out GMA’s location a few days ahead of the show so we are prepared.

“The meeting of preparation with opportunity generates the offspring we call luck.” — Tony Robbins

We find a door marked stage door on 44th Street, but there is no Toys ‘R’ Us nearby.

At the Wax Museum, I ask where Toys ‘R’ Us is located and nobody knows, then I ask an employee at The Star Wars Exhibit, who says the store has moved, and there is construction where it used to be. My best guess is that we line up at the stage door across from the construction. I wonder why GMA hasn’t updated their tickets.

To look sharp for the show, I buy pants and a top at The Loft in Times Square and new make-up at Sephora. I will wear the sweater and shoes I have in my suitcase, and my son will wear the clothes in his luggage.

On March 29, we wake up at 4 am, shower, and catch the subway train to Times Square. We arrive at 6:30 am and are relieved to find a small line-up outside the stage door. Last check in for the show is 7:15 am. Nobody greets us, or checks us in, or asks to see our tickets or passports. We stand in line for two hours until 8:30 am.

In the shade of the high rises, it was 46 degrees Fahrenheit, but it was freezing in the narrow wind chill tunnel. My hands turn white from the cold. I push past the cold and imagine Tony immersing himself in freezing cold water. His morning ritual is to plunge into a cool 57-degree Fahrenheit pool of water upon waking. But I am dreaming of going to a Tony Robbins firewalk instead.

After an hour or so, the production assistant, I think her name is Julie, announces that anyone who received a special email from her can step to the side. I hear “What the?!” muffled in the crowd, as she ushers the VIPs into the studio.

Julie comes back out and says they are reducing the filming space and only half of those with tickets in line will get in. “If anyone wants to leave now, they can” she says. Her blasé tone, prompts the guy behind me to call out: “Welcome to New York!” He was wearing a long wool coat and ear muffs. My son and I name him the heckler. He told us he was from New York. Some people leave the line at this point.

The Assistant comes back out about 20 minutes later and says 20 people of the 40 who remain in line will get in, and we are mid-line. She leaves us dangling, however, when she says she might take the first 20 people in line or she may do a draw, she hasn’t decided. What??? This is a fast paced New York live television production where snap decisions are made faster than a ball can drop in Times Square. I imagine Tony in his deep voice, gone hoarse from talking, telling her to “Decide!” We take a leap of faith and stay.

A security guard with a K9 sniffer dog walks past the line and asks us to open our purses and empty the contents of our pockets into our hands. The dog sniffs all of us and finds nothing.

Another twenty minutes pass, and a black SUV pulls up, and David Hasselhoff steps out! The line erupts into cheers and my son takes a selfie with “The Hoff.” David signs autographs, chats to the crowd, and poses for photos. He is super nice, tanned and flashes a big white smile. My son will gloat later about seeing The Baywatch star to the four people back at our apartment in Brooklyn who are asleep.

Then Geraldo Rivera’s black SUV drives by, and he waves at us from the passenger’s seat! I watched him so many times on the show 20/20! My son doesn’t know who he is. He was on GMA talking about getting ousted from Dancing With the Stars. My adrenaline is pumping so fast I want to dance, but like Bob Dylan’s Tamborine Man: my toes too numb to step.

Then Tony Robbins steps out of a silver SUV, and criss-crosses the sidewalk towards us. Some Wall Street types brush him off their shoulders as if he is a pest. Tony is unfazed. He seems humbled by the little scream that erupts from the line-up. He smiles warmly, and bows his head almost bashfully. Then all 6 foot 7 inches of him confidently enters the studio wearing a sharp blue suit. No time for a selfie with him, but great to see him.

Tony’s humble presence and warm smile deliver up the essence of why he does what he does — he cares about the people he helps. The little guys like us, braving the cold, leaving home in the dark to stand on the sidewalk to see him. Helping people fires up his soul more than fire walking. I saw it all on his face. He loves the people in line with all his heart. And, they love him back ten times more.

I am so happy we came! We have already seen Tony and the show is going to be great!


I am showing my bloodless fingers to my son, when the heckler gives me a hand warmer. He is friendly and engaging, and asks us to play Tony Robbins trivia.

His first question is: “what is Tony’s wife’s name?” “Sage!” I say, and then share my own trivia that she is from Langley, BC, next to Cloverdale, where we live.

Then the heckler answers that Tony’s step dad was a semi-professional baseball player. In a New York nano second, my excitement about the show turns to a sinking feeling in my stomach. I remember the quote: “never mistake an at-bat for a hit.” We are only “at bat” to see Tony on the show, no guarantees.

I can’t put a numb finger on it, but something is wrong. GMA’s ratings are down this year, and I see the desperation from ratings pressure in Julie’s eyes. I Google GMA’s target audience, and it is measured by AGE. It is age 25–54, much younger than what I suspect is their actual audience of 45–65 yrs old. Their actual audience is nostalgic for the good old GMA days when they got their children up for school, and sat them down to eat a bowl of Fruit Loops in front of the TV to watch GMA.

Fox News Reports:

“Television’s top morning show is in its first prolonged slump since overtaking NBC’s “Today” in popularity three years ago. “GMA” is losing viewers, most rapidly among a younger demographic that advertisers eagerly seek, where NBC has wrested back the lead from its rival.”

They have 3 great guests on the show today, all baby boomers. Tony is 57, The Hoff is 63, and Geraldo is 72. The Production Assistant is 30 ish, and she picked a studio audience aged 35–40 years old. No one in the studio audience is even as old as the average age of the guests.

25–35 year old millennials watch their phones more than their televisions. The generation that watched GMA since 1975, is aging faster than their marketers know. They are bucking the headwind of the aging baby boomers in search of younger fans. Their actual fans are now grandparents who are retiring, and tuning back in to the show more regularly.

The Assistant comes out again: “I’m picking some really CALM people to go in,” she says.

I feel like my frozen hands were slapped with a wooden stick. We are all calm, we have been sedated by the cold. She chooses 20 people between 30 and 40 years old — ten from in front of us, then she passes right by us, and picks another ten from behind us, including the heckler, and a lady who recently cut in line beside us from the back of the line. They all go into the studio.

Then in a glacial tone the Assistant says: “The rest of you don’t get in. That’s it!”

I observe that GMA issued 80 tickets for 40 spots, picked 20 local media/bloggers, then cherry picked from the line-up.

I feel like a giant ice sculpture of a fist has punched me in the face. It stings doubly as a parent, because it is a one two punch, one for my son and one for me.

My son is an adult, but a mother’s love doesn’t age.

His disappointment amplifies mine. I am supposed to bandage his wounds, not salt them, especially for his birthday! I am sorry for getting his hopes up to see Tony on the show, and I hope he doesn’t get bronchitis from exposure to the unrelenting cold.

Then I imagine what Tony would say to us if he were walking beside the line:

“Give me a break — You’re not in Somalia — Get over it already!”

I scramble for something to be grateful for, to instantly change my emotions.

“We saw Tony!” I say.

“Seeing ‘The Hoff’ was a total bonus for me,” my son says.

“We learned how to do a live TV show,” I say.

Then my son speaks the truth, as always: “we learned how NOT to do a live tv show”, he says.

Then we bust our guts laughing!

But our laughter is silenced by loud shouting ahead in the line-up. A couple in their 60’s who were first place in line, didn’t take Julie’s news delivered coldly as well as we did.

They are shouting at her in British accents: “We’ve been standing here since 6 am!” said the lady.

“We were the first in line! And you pick people from the back of the line!!!?” she said loudly.

Julie’s face started turning as red as the rest of ours. I felt bad for her. She was only doing her job, the way she has always done it, and getting the same results and not understanding why. GMA wants to improve their ratings, but they are “too busy sawing to sharpen the saw” as Steven Covey would say.

I feel worse for the British people than I do for anyone, including my son or myself. They are older than us, colder than us, and have stood outside longerthan us. As Tony says: “pick someone who is ten times worse off than you and help them.” I wonder how I can help them. The couple are part of GMA’s global audience, and Tony’s global audience. The show airs in Canada, so it likely airs in Britain too. They aren’t GMA’s target audience, they are theiractual audience. This is too weird.

New York is not only an American city, it is a global city, where 171 languages are spoken. The guests on GMA are global stars. Back in 1984, when I was in Ireland, I bought a ‘Knight Rider’ car for my young nephew in Ireland who was a huge fan of the show ‘Knight Rider’ (starring David Hasselhoff).

Nobody cares about your little problem in the BIG APPLE. Everyone is moving forward. Stop on the sidewalk to salt your wounds and you will get trampled.

But we learned in kindergarten how to treat people better than this.

A girl on The Brooklyn Bridge yesterday was wearing a donut t-shirt that said:

I Donut Care

We traveled 3800 miles from Canada, and the Brits traveled further, and lined up in the dark, but they donut care that we braved the wind and didn’t get in.

To Be #1 You Gotta Care

I learned how resilient my son is. He waved me over to the front window of the studio. We are stunned that we can see the show being filmed from the front window in Times Square.

Tony Robbins and David Hasselhoff are being interviewed 20 feet in front of us. I hear Tony say:

“I have failed a million times, but it’s not failure if you ask — what can I learn from this experience?”

On the subway back to the Airbnb, we discuss what we learned from the experience. We think of ways GMA could improve:

  • They could omit the Toys ‘R’ Us reference from their tickets.
  • If they ask people to arrive early and line up, they shouldn’t surprise them by picking people from the back of the line. The people at the back aren’t expecting to get in, the people at the front are.
  • Pick the audience members once the deadline to line up has passed. Don’t drag out the suspense for two hours. It isn’t wise to release frustrated customers into the world to tell their friends about their bad experience.
  • This is show business, not the justice system, and life isn’t always fair, but in the race to the top, GMA is missing out on marketing opportunities. They could connect with their fans and the line-up on social media. Tweeting Tony trivia would have equaled ratings gold. They could have held a draw for Tony’s new book ‘Money-Master The Game’(see link here:, or handed out swag bags to be photographed for Instagram, or offered cups of coffee with a GMA logo on them.

As Seth Godin says: “your best customer is your best marketer.” He also says: “People don’t like surprises…if you give them your word, keep it.”

I wonder what Tony would say to us about the experience?

I think he would chunk it down into parts. We took action and were prepared. We planned our trip from Brooklyn and arrived early. We dressed as sharply as we could from a suitcase, and we didn’t give up.

We did our best, and found something to be grateful for and learned something.

We saw Times Square at dawn.

My son got a picture of David Hasselhoff. I saw Geraldo Rivera.

We both saw Tony Robbins up close and he smiled at us.

We stuck it out despite the odds. We committed, and we learned something about ourselves.

And as always, my son got an education from this Tony experience. He dreams of one day being interviewed by a show like GMA as a music producer. The experience crystallized for him: the goal is not to line up outside the arena, but to work so hard that people line up outside the arena to see you. “Well said, Tony Jr.”

My son and I have a great amount of respect for those who are in the arena — whatever their arena is. They have faced a million disappointing experiences, and they keep rising higher and higher above them, and set a better example.

I was proud to be part of the line-up to show Tony our gratitude. He has given so much of himself to so many for so many years, that showing up, and showing our appreciation is the least we could do to thank him. We are the reason he does what he does.

Tony says to find someone worse off than you and help them. To honor that, I dedicate this story to the couple who were first place in line. I hope it makes them feel better, whoever and wherever they are.

They were true Tony fans. Tony says: “you get what you tolerate,” and they refused to tolerate what happened in line. They bravely expressed what twenty other people were feeling, but didn’t express. “If you want something better than what you are getting, you have to raise your standards,” says Tony.

Tony’s fans were exactly what GMA needed. He has taught his fans to expect something better, and to take massive action to make the change. The Brit’s actions may lead to changes in the way they treat their future line-ups. If Good Morning America can put down the saw for long enough to listen.

  • Go to the profile of AnnHoy


    Welcome to my blog — #loveyourself. Writer for The Writing Cooperative and BeYourself on

  • A Job Interview Doesn’t Have to Be Nerve-Racking

    A Job Interview doesn't have to be nerve-racking

    View the job interview as a conversation to market yourself

    How to Ace The Job Interview

    Job Interviews 101:

    You have sent your resume and cover letter, and you have been asked to come for a job interview – now what?

    Preparation is the key to making a good impression quickly.  Arrive early, and dress appropriately for the position you are applying for.  It is a safe bet to dress conservatively and business-like.  Your appearance is one of the ways to market yourself to the employer.

    Bring a copy of your resume to the interview, so you have the dates of your work experience at your fingertips.  Also, bring a copy of your references, in case the employer asks for them.

    While an interview can be nerve-racking, it is only a conversation, albeit one that you must prepare for.  A tough question, such as: “what is your greatest weakness”? can be answered honestly, but try to turn it into a positive.  For example, you can say that you are a perfectionist, but you have learned that your best work is good enough.

    Let the employer lead the discussion, and don’t talk too much. Tell the employer why you want to work for his or her company, and a little bit about your background and achievements and your future goals.  Research the company beforehand to establish some common ground, and prepare a few questions to ask the interviewer, if time permits.

    By listening to the interviewer, and observing the work environment, you will gain clues about why you want to work for the company, or in some cases, why the company wouldn’t be a good fit for you. You are interviewing them in a way too.

    At the end of the interview, thank the interviewer for his or her time.  You may either be contacted for a second interview, or you might not be contacted at all, or, you may be offered the job on the spot.  Decide ahead of time when you are available to start.  It is a courtesy to give your present employer two weeks notice, but you can negotiate employment start date depending on the circumstances.  You can send an email or thank you card after the interview expressing how you enjoyed meeting the person and that you look forward to hearing from them soon.

    photo credit: <a href=””>North Carolina National Guard</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>cc</a>


    A Resume Is About What You Have To Give

    A resume is about your skills

    photo credit: Jeremy Wilburn via photopin cc
    a resume highlights your abilities

    Resumes 101:

    As graduation season approaches, many young people begin their job search.  Perhaps you are seeking a seasonal job before heading to college, or are applying for your first full-time job in the workforce. The following are some tricks to help you stand out from the crowd on your job search.  Congratulations and good luck!

    A resume is a short read for a time strapped employer, it is 1 or 2 pages long, detailing what you have to offer this employer to help their business, in a clear, neat, easy to read, and error free document.  It is not only about what job you want to get, it is also about what you can give, and you show this on your resume by demonstrated skills and accomplishments that are transferable to a new job.

    1. Contains a sentence that says what your job objective is – what position you are applying for, and why they need to hire you, rather than the other 100 people who emailed resumes to their inbox.
    2. It is constructed with descriptive action words and adjectives showing your enthusiasm and skills for getting the job done. If your employment experience is limited, use transferrable skills acquired from babysitting, paper routes, hockey teams or volunteer work.
    3. A quality resume alone won’t get you noticed, you need to send out quantities of resumes to increase your odds of landing a job interview.  On average, for each 10 resumes you send out, two employers will respond.
    4. Tailor the resume to which job you are applying for, and in some cases, send in a different resume for each job.  For example, if you have a lot of experience in a field of work you are applying for, list your work experience first, and education second.  However, if you have limited experience in your field of study, and need relevant work experience to match your educational qualifications, list education first, and work history second.  Your goal is to make an impression in the first 30 seconds of an employer considering your resume, to make him or her want to continue reading, so you have to grab them with the skills or education that are most desirable to that employer.
    5. If you do get called to come in for an interview, remember to dress appropriately for the job you are applying for.  Wear clean clothes similar to what the current employees at that workplace wear, have neat hair, turn off your mobile device and remember to thank the employer for their time at the close of the interview.    A follow-up thank you email with a “looking forward to hearing from you soon” comment is also a nice touch.

    Blog Road Trip – Change Is The Journey

    Blog road trip

    Your are changed by the journey

    For a successful road trip, it is best to pack light, because the most essential items, such as: curiosity, open mindedness, and willingness to learn, are not found in your suitcase.  These tools enable you to stumble upon surprises on your journey that are so exquisite, they transform you, and upon your return home, you feel compelled to share the wealth of your experience with others.

    By attending seminars, panel discussions, workshops, and community events during the past month, I have met people who are working to make a difference in the world, by giving their time, their talent, their leadership, and their money.  Many are also doing fulfilling work and making money.

    At institute B in Vancouver, I attended the screening of “Not Business as Usual”, and the panel discussion that followed, and had a guest blog posted on the Institute B website.  Here is the link to my blog:  You can watch the film on their website as well.  This is an organization that is changing capitalism, and creating a culture where business for profit is also purpose driven.

    Dj's Deth Klown at Clayton Fest

    DJ’s Deth Klown at Clayton Community Festival

    At ‘The Surrey Steps Up Youth Awards’, I met the youth space group, who are fundraising to create a safe, sober, space for teens in the White Rock/ South Surrey.  The blog post was published in The Semi-Ahmoo Straight newsmagazine. Here is the link to the blog post –

    With stops at the brand new Surrey City Hall, The Clayton Festival for families, The Cloverdale Rodeo, with a 68 year tradition of community pride, and entertainment, and The Louise Hay ‘I Can Do It’ Conference in Vancouver, with keynote speaker Wayne Dyer, it has been an interesting and informative journey.

    Blog Road Trip

    Learning at The I Can Do It Conference, Vancouver

    In addition, I have been following media personalities on Twitter, at  @AnnHoyBlog, who use their influence to make the world better.  It only takes one person to make a change,and it is more about how the journey changes you than the destination you reach. After 242 blog posts, and 200,000 page views on, I am taking a break from sawing to sharpen the saw.  As Burton Rascoe said, “A writer is working even when he is staring out the window”.  Your observations are translated onto the page when you meet like-minded people, like the alchemy that turns base metals into gold.

    Taking time to reflect, has helped me plan how to transform my blog to one that raises business consciousness up, as we spend a large part of our lives at work.  More about the blog makeover will follow. Have a great day!

    photo: flickr/photo pin creative commons/road trip other photos: Ann Hoy

    It’s Mother’s Day, Give Generously!

    • Be generous to mom

      Be Generous to Mom Today

      Be generous with:

    • time,
    • attention,
    • food,
    • drinks,
    • flowers,
    • phone calls,
    • visits,
    • chocolates,
    • hugs,
    • kisses,
    • and gratitude!

    Make Today the Most Amazing Mother’s Day Ever!!!

    photo credit: <a href=””>fabíola lourenço</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>cc</a>

    Working to Create a Safe, Sober, Space for Teens in Their Community

    Teenagers need to belong and feel accepted, and they need to know that someone cares for them, or better yet, that the entire community cares for them.

    The City of Surrey hosted the ‘Surrey Steps Up Awards’, on May 2, 2014, at the brand new Surrey City Hall, where Mayor Diane Watts honored Surrey teens who are making a positive difference in their community.

    A group of teens at the awards from “The Youth Space Project”, is making a difference in the White Rock/South Surrey area.  The group set up a mini youth space in the lobby of Surrey City Hall, complete with cozy couches, fun games, and snacks, and invited people to come and hang out with them.

    Youth collective building a space for youth at Surrey Steps Up 2014

    Their dream is to create a badly needed ‘youth space’ in their own community, and they are reaching out to the larger community to make their dream a reality.  Tayla, one of the teens says: “there’s nothing for teens to do in our area”.  She is looking for sponsorship for a youth space, where teens can participate in fun activities together.  Grace is also working on the youth space project, but she looked more solemn, saying:  “a lot of our friends have died from drugs”.  “We need a safe, sober place to hangout, where we feel accepted and can express ourselves in a positive way” she says.

    youth space project

    Example of what a youth space would look like

    The group is currently accepting donations to create an environment where teens can get together after school. Alexandra Neighborhood House, and the local RCMP, agree with the need for a youth space, and are encouraging the teens to ask individuals and businesses in the community to take the opportunity to invest in them, show they care, spread some goodwill in the community, and receive a tax deduction at the same time.

    With so many new families moving into the area, the demographic trend is toward a younger population, and they need a safe place to work on their resumes for their job search, meet new friends, or explore volunteer opportunities in their community, that would aid in keeping youth off the streets and away from harm.

    Their goal is to secure a space by this fall.  The ideal location for the youth space is the vicinity of 152nd St and 18th Ave.   If you can help them by providing a building (approx. 2500 square feet), that can be converted into a youth space, please contact Jessie Kergan – Youth and Family worker at Alexandra House.  Alexandra House will process all donations and issue a tax receipt to businesses or individuals who sponsor the project.

    Top Photo: Surrey Youth

    Bottom Photo: photo pin/creative commons.

    Optimizing Yourself – Week 17 – Setting Constraints as Big as Dr. Seuss

    working with constraints

    Working With Constraints

    Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel) was the master of setting constraints. He once made a bet with a publisher at Random House that he could write a book using 50 words or less.

    His power to set limits paid off when Green Eggs and Ham sold more than 200 million copies and was Seuss’s best- selling book

    Cat in The Hat was written using only a first grade vocabulary

    Limitations inspire creativity by making you find a way to make it work, and setting a schedule helps you get things done whether you feel like it or not, and adds to your productivity.

    Everybody has a limited set of tools to work with, but you can work with your tools to maximize what you have.

    For this week’s optimizing yourself exercise, I am going to challenge myself to set constraints and make myself work within limits, and find a creative way to make it work. I will let you know how it goes next week.

    photo credit: ladybugbkt via photopin cc

    Review of Week 16 – Open Space In My Heart For Blessings

    Blessings Cupboard

    Making Space in My Blessings Cupboard

    For this week’s optimizing yourself exercise, I cleaned out the cupboard in the laundry room where I put everything that I don’t know what to do with. I call it my procrastination cupboard, full of stuff I haven’t decided to throw out yet. It is where I look, if someone asks me where that thing-a-ma-gig is. As the old saying goes “if Mom can’t find it no-one can”.

    It is one of the last vestiges of disorder in my house, and clinging to the stuff, feels like I am holding on to the past.

    So when Pablo Coelho said that by purging what isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful, we will open space in our hearts for blessings, this was the perfect place for me to start.

    I found a marionette puppet of Woody from Toy Story, which would be joyful to a small child, but not my adult children. I found a black plastic holder for je ne sais quoi, that is also getting the deep six. That blue plastic basket that was never beautiful, useful, or joyful, has also gotta go. There were two empty boxes, and a box of pencil crayons, and as soon as I throw them out, someone will ask me for them, but even if I have to buy new pencil crayons, I can’t hang on to stuff in case someone someday might need it.

    I felt so good cleaning out the cupboard that I am going to rename it a more positive name – the blessings cupboard, as Pablo said blessings will come if I make space for them. <3 photo credit: -PinkFarasha.* via photopin cc

    Optimizing Yourself – Week 15 – Spring Yard Cleanup in a BIG Way

    going to the landfill

    Going to the landfill

    I am going to pack away the snow shovels and ladders and bring out the weed eater and garden lights. I am going to clean up the grass and weeds that are growing again, and mulch up any lingering leaves.

    I will make a trip to the landfill with any rubble that has gathered in the yard over the winter, and set up the outdoor chairs and tables and get the yard ready for barbecue season.

    I am going to power-wash the outdoor patio stones and clean the windows I can reach.

    As I replant flowers in the planters to create a colorful summer garden, I will also sprinkle grass seed on the sparse areas of the grass, so new grass will fill in the holes. I am also going to buy some topsoil for the garden beds and plant some flowers like bacopa to attract butterflies to the garden.

    I will let you know how it goes next week.

    photo credit: <a href=””>Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL)</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>cc</a>