Here We Go Again!

And I’m back! Dreaming bigger again, only this time my focus is on joy. Kind of appropriate since the subtitle of my book is Reclaiming a Life of Joy and Ease!

I’m writing a new blog now at Jules for Joy. It’s my journey toward joy, through creativity, play and beauty. I’m exploring what brings joy into my life, and then sharing it.

I’d love to hear where you find joy. Perhaps we can inspire each other!


Beginning at the End

“What we call the beginning is often the end

and to make an end is to make a beginning.

The end is where we start from.”

~ T. S. Eliot

It’s been quite a ride! I started this blog in August 2010 as a way of encouraging readers to pursue their dreams. I thought that if I shared stories of people who were making their dreams a reality, it would inspire others to do the same.

This blog has done this and so much more. And I have you, my readers, to thank for that.

Knowing you’re there, waiting for the next installment, has motivated me to show up at the page twice a week (nearly 250 posts to date!).  Your comments remind me that I’m not writing into the Void – you really are enjoying the stories, tips and ideas, and making them your own.

Thanks to you, Dream Bigger has had over 8,000 views from 60 different countries. Wow!

And my book, Dream BIGGER: Reclaiming a Life of Joy and Ease continues to sell well all over the world (again, thank you!)

It’s now time for me to dream bigger myself. I’m not sure what that dream looks like yet. I know that writing will always be a part of my life, however I don’t know what the next chapter holds. In order to find out, I need to start by bringing this one to a close. You see, it’s only in letting go of the old that you can make room for the new.

This will, therefore, be my last blog post here, although the archives remain available for you to enjoy for now.

I am continuing to offer coaching on life, relationship and money issues (by skype and phone) so if you’ve enjoyed my approach in this blog and in my book, you can always reach me through my website for one-to-one coaching.

Here’s to you! May your dreams entice you ever forward!

As for me, I’ll be exploring the possibilities that await. And you never know, another blog may emerge from my meanderings!

along the path

Taking the path less travelled …

A Compliment A Day …

How do you feel when someone gives you a compliment? How does it feel when someone puts you down?

A year and a half ago, a high school student in Iowa set up a Twitter account to focus on the good qualities in everyone at his school. Jeremiah Anthony recognized that social media is often used by bullies to make people feel bad about themselves. His approach does just the opposite. He posts sincere compliments about students and teachers.

He started by posting positive comments about friends and people he knew personally. They told other people and the movement grew.

The account description for @westhighbros reads, “Breathe in, breathe out. The original positive account.” And it has over 4800 followers. The tweets are always personalized to the individual, focusing on the person’s achievements, qualities and capabilities.

video was recently posted that provides more background about his initiative.

Isn’t it amazing how easy it is to change someone’s day for the better? What if each of us chose to give one compliment a day to people we know? How might that affect your home life? Your work place? Your community?

20,000 Kms and Still Going!

“On January 1st I hit a significant milestone on this journey – 10,000 kilometers of bike riding. I have travelled about 20,000 so far, half on the bike and the rest by bus, boat and 1 plane ride from Panama City to Bogota.”

That was Peter Brother’s first blog entry for 2013. Pretty impressive! His cycling journey began in August 2011 in the Yukon, Canada and has taken him along the western coast of Canada, the United States, through Mexico, Central America and into South America.

His bike was stolen while he was in Peru, and he spent a couple of weeks trying to decide what to do next. It was too expensive to get another bike shipped from Canada, and he couldn’t find what he wanted in Peru. Initially, he decided to continue the trip by bus and hiking, but eventually his longing for wheels led him to a bike shop in Iquique, Chile.

So he’s back on the road again, about to start exploring the Lake District in Argentina. After that, his plan is to head to Chile and either ride or take a boat down the inland passage through lakes and glaciers to the southern tip of South America.

Oh, did I mention he recently turned 70?

Kinda raises the bar for the rest of us, doesn’t it?

Ode To Joy

The term “flash mob” was first coined in 2003. It refers to a group of people who suddenly gather in a public place, perform an unusual act for a set period of time, and then disappear into the crowd again as if nothing happened. They happen all over the world now, and are often filmed and posted on the internet.

A friend recently sent me this video. This flash mob was organized by the Banco Sabadell in Spain in recognition of its 130th anniversary. Watch for the little girl conducting from the lamp post!

I bet you’ll be smiling by the end. Music truly is the universal language of the heart.

Playing The Hand You’re Dealt

When I wrote Dream BIGGER: Reclaiming a Life of Joy and Ease, I had the delightful task of interviewing six inspiring people whose dreams had a powerful impact on their community (and in some cases, the world). They came from different backgrounds and countries. Their ages and passions were different. But the one thing they all had in common was the belief that everything is possible.

One of the DreamMakers I feature in the book is Derek Lucas from South Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. When Derek retired, he had a dream – to give away sports equipment to children in need so that everyone could have a healthy, active and fun childhood regardless of income. With the support of his local Rotary Club, the police and a number of community agencies, the dream became a reality in 2007. Since then, hundreds of children have been able to play hockey, ride bikes and enjoy other sports. All because Derek followed his dream.

Recently, the community found a way to say thank you to the tireless 75-year old. At the Rotary Club of White Rock Christmas party on December 8, the mayor proclaimed the day “Derek Lucas Day”. How many of us will ever have a day named in our honour?

While working so hard on behalf of others, Derek has been facing a few challenges of his own. He was diagnosed with leukemia in April 2011. His chemotherapy treatments have now ended, and doctors feel they have nothing else to offer. Rather than becoming discouraged, he continues to approach each day with a sense of humour. As he says, his health issue has made him less of a procrastinator!

His positive attitude is infectious. As he says in this newspaper interview, “You can’t roll over and play dead. There’s a card that’s been dealt to you. Deal with it.”

When I contacted him last week to see if I could include an update about him in this blog, he was happy to oblige. He wished me a happy and successful year and added, “Incidentally, I still feel it’s important to keep following your dream and planning ahead.”

Thanks for the inspiration, Derek!!

Visit www.recforkids.com for more information about Rec for Kids.

Snow Magic!

Here’s yet another story of someone who knows how to dream bigger. Simon Beck found that he was no longer able to run because of problems with his feet. He still wanted a way to get regular exercise. Now you or I might choose to go to a gym or take up swimming. Not Simon.

He decided to start snowshoeing and … create enormous geometric patterns in the snow near Savoie, France. These patterns (some resembling giant snowflakes) cover the equivalent of three soccer fields. He plods along for 5-9 hours a day, and has to start all over when there’s a fresh snowfall.

One man’s need for exercise results in spectacular beauty for the world to enjoy. Imagine that!

Yep, you heard me. Those resolutions that you set on January 1 and you’re struggling so hard to achieve, toss them out!

According to statistics recently published in Journal of Clinical Psychology, 45% of Americans usually make New Year’s resolutions. And only 8% are successful at achieving them.  The top three resolutions for 2012 were

  • losing weight
  • getting organized
  • spending less and saving more

Sound familiar?

If you want 2013 to be the year you finally make it happen, here’s some simple tips to get you started.

1. Identify one goal you want to accomplish and set a reasonable timeline.

By setting just one goal and focusing on it, you are likely to experience more success (and feel less overwhelmed!) It’s also important to be reasonable in setting your timeline. Trying to lose 30 lbs. in 7 days is not healthy, let alone manageable, so be willing to take small consistent steps toward your goal.

2. Take time to understand why this goal matters to you. 

What will it bring into your life that you don’t have now? Envision the moment when you achieve your goal. How will you feel? Who will you share your accomplishment with? Picture it in vivid detail. Having a strong sense of purpose will help you stay motivated during the times of challenge.

3. Find your own personal cheerleader, someone who will help you stay focused.

Your cheerleader is someone who believes in you and your dream, and who is willing to be there for you. It’s someone you will listen to (and believe) when they say, “Yes, you can!” This person may be a friend or colleague, perhaps someone you can provide cheerleading support for in return. It may also be a coach or other professional you meet with regularly to stay on track.

4. Develop an action plan, and break it down into simple steps.

Once you know your goal and timeline, write down some of the steps you can take toward it. Break it down into weekly or even daily goals and steps. By taking one step each day, you will make steady progress toward your goal.

5. Share your plan with your cheerleader and … take the first step!

Check in regularly with your cheerleader to give updates and ask for help as needed. You don’t have to do this alone. In fact, it’s a lot more fun to work together.

Are there any other tips that have worked for you? Leave a comment so we all can benefit from your experience!

Calling All Dreamers!

As we enter the first full week of 2013, I’ve been developing my dreams for the coming year. For me, the first step is the most fun – the dreaming part. This is where I get to spend time envisioning what might be possible. There are no limits here, no editing to be done. Gradually, the vision will become more clearly defined, and that’s when I’ll focus on steps to take toward that dream.

Until then, I’m very selective about who I talk to about the dream. If I mention it too soon, well-meaning friends and family may trample all over my emerging ideas with comments like, “you’ve got to be practical.” Or “how can you make any money at that?”

Once I have a plan, then I’ll seek the support of someone who believes in me and my dreams. But until then, I’ll keep the magical visions to myself as they dance, swirl, merge and morph into my dream for 2013.

Apparently I’m not the only one. As I discovered today, there’s another dreamer out there just like me. Tonight, Shannon Skinner will debut her Extraordinary Women television show on Rogers TV Cable 10 and 63 in Scarborough/Toronto. She describes her journey to achieving this dream in her recent blog in the HuffingtonPost.

So dream on, all you dreamers! There’s strength in numbers, and there’s no telling what we can accomplish this year!

Wishing You Blessings

Xmas 2010 004

May the blessings of the season be yours!