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Posts Tagged ‘change’

“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 …

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I was reading a book lately and came across a question that helped me shift my perspective. Like many people, I tend to take life too seriously. I get caught up in stress and worry about money and deadlines. I find myself trying to squeeze just a few more hours into the work day. And when something happens to change my plans, it can throw my whole day off.

Then I saw this question.

“Will it matter a year from now?”

Such a simple question. Yet each time I say it, I pause.

A year is a long time. It’s made up of 365 days. Each day has 24 hours.

Will this stressful situation matter 8760 hours from now? I doubt it very much. In fact, I probably won’t even remember it in a week, let alone a year from now.

Sure, some of the decisions I make now will have an impact on what I’m doing in a year’s time. Since that’s true, I’d better make sure that those decisions are based on what brings me joy rather than worry.

So how can I take this situation and shift it?

First, by realizing that it’s not as important or serious as I might think initially.

Second, by asking myself, what is needed to bring more joy into this moment?

And then taking action based on that.

It’s all about living with joy and ease – the Dream Bigger life.

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Over the past year, I’ve been giving periodic updates on the adventures of Peter Brother, the Canadian cyclist travelling from the Yukon to the southern tip of Argentina by bike. Since my last post, he’s journeyed through all of Central America and is now in South America. In Peru, to be exact.

He’s had some incredible experiences, met lots of interesting people, and continues to post updates and photos on his blog.

He recently celebrated his 70th birthday, and has no intention of slowing down. In his words,

“I’ve already done a lot in my life and could sit back and be satisfied. But in a sense I feel like I am a caterpillar about to burst out of the cocoon. I hope that my journey inspires people of all ages, to not assume any limitations, to discover what our true limitations are, our weaknesses and our strengths. It takes courage to do what you want to do, because there will be pain, disappointment, but there will also be more joy and happiness. The journey of life is to rediscover the heart, moving toward our heart’s unfolding.”

Peter recently had a first-hand experience of the pain and disappointment he mentions in this quote. He had spent the day exploring the sacred site of Machu Picchu with a group. When he returned to his hotel, he discovered that his bike was missing. He checked to see if it had been moved to the garage behind the building, but it wasn’t there. It had been stolen.

That bike had been his constant companion for over a year. It had taken him through city streets and mountain roads, along coastlines and across continents. It was a specialized bike, chosen because it was both lightweight and durable, able to carry him as well as his packs.

There he was, in Peru, three-quarters of the way through his dream cycling journey and … without a bike.

What would you do? Would you be able to dream bigger?

Later this week, I’ll let you know how Peter approached this. For now, I’m curious to hear what you’d do under those circumstances.

 

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As children head back to school, September is a great month for all of us to look at how we’re doing in terms of the goals we set for ourselves this year. Are you where you hoped to be by this point in 2012? If you were to set new goals, where would you like to be by December?

This is your opportunity to end the year on a positive note. Here are a few basic tips to help you get there.

  1. Prioritize one or two areas that you’d like to focus on in the next three months. Why are these areas important to you? What will improving these areas bring into your life?
  2. Set achievable goals. Be specific about what you intend to achieve and set a deadline (December 1, Christmas, December 31).
  3. Create an action plan. Look at your goals and make a list of steps you can take to get there. Break the list down into steps you’ll take each week.
  4. Include some fun time in your plan. If you’re going to work hard at achieving your goals, make sure you have some fun along the way.
  5. Ask for support from a friend, family member or colleague. Be sure to choose someone who is truly supportive and will provide positive reinforcement of your plans.
  6. Get started! Pick one step you can take today. Each day take another step. Track your progress and celebrate each mini-goal that you reach and pass.

Believe that you can make positive changes in your life and then, just do it!

*****

I’ll be discussing this in more detail on KW Magazine with John Maciel on CKWR FM 98.5 on Wednesday, September 12 at 6:30 p.m. (EDT). Do listen in!

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The idea for this post emerged as I sat out on my balcony one afternoon. The day had dawned bright and clear, not a cloud in the sky. The air was warm, the sun was bright, all felt right with the world.

By mid-day, I was heading home under the ominous threat of an enormous black cloud. Along the edge, I could see the telltale wisps trailing down indicating rain was falling in the distance. Thunder rumbled as I rushed in the front door of my building.

All afternoon, the sky danced back and forth between bright blue and dark grey. One minute the sun was blazing brightly. The next, the rain was pouring down.

I went out on the balcony during an “intermission” in the thunder and lightning show. The sun was shining again, but I could see the next storm front approaching like a runaway freight train.

It occurred to me that the day’s weather was a good reminder of the ups and downs of life. We sail on calm seas under blue skies for a while, and are lulled into believing that this is how life is. Suddenly, the winds come up, the water gets rough and choppy and we lose sight of shore. It’s hard to remember in the thick of the storm that the sun is still shining behind the clouds. Sometimes it feels like the storm will last forever.

In our lives, the rainy days can seem to last a very long time. Much longer than we want. Remembering that rain is a part of the natural cycle of life helps me to put things into perspective. The sun will shine again. Days of joy and peace will return. In fact, if you look around, even on rainy days, it’s possible to experience the joy of a sunny day – the taste of a fresh orange, the warmth of a comforting hug, the laughter of a moment shared.

The next time that life seems to be offering more rain than sun, try closing your eyes, stretching your arms upward and imagining the sun shining down upon your face. Take some deep breaths and allow the light and warmth to flow through your whole being. The world might seem a bit brighter and your heart a little happier knowing that it’s only a matter of time until the sun appears again.

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I have just two words for you today …

TRY EASY!

What does that mean to you, and how might it apply today (or this week) in your life? I’m curious. 🙂

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Sixteen-year old Doa’a Mheissin has a dream. She wants to become a famous author and journalist. She began blogging five years ago at the suggestion of one of her teachers.

To many of my readers, that dream may not seem unusual. However, for Doa’a, it’s a challenging one indeed.

You see, Doa’a lives in the Gaza Strip. Her house does not have electricity for 8-10 hours a day, and she has to borrow her father’s computer to post to her blog. And she is female, in a culture and society which, as she says, renders women faceless and nameless.

She is involved in a school program called Girls for Change. It’s a program designed to empower girls ages 12 to 18 through developing leadership skills and training them how to address social issues. The girls attend workshops to discuss gender roles and what empowerment means to them, and they develop action plans for addressing community issues.

A key component is learning how to use technology like blogging and Twitter to express their views and gain community support. Through Girls for Change, Doa’a is learning how to write about the social issues facing her community. The results are not necessarily popular with everyone, but the girls are excited to finally have a voice. The program is apparently receiving high praise from school officials, parents and community associations.

The determination of young women like Doa’a, their dedication to their dreams (no matter the odds), and the support they receive from visionary organizations like Girls for Change gives me hope that the future of our world is in good hands.

If she can dream bigger, so can we all!

*****

Thanks to Craig and Marc Kielburger for bringing this story to my attention on the Huffington Post. Craig is one of the DreamMakers I interviewed for Dream BIGGER: Reclaiming a Life of Joy and Ease. He and Marc are co-founders of Free The Children and the Me to We .

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