Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dare to Live Your Life Today

Today I attended a birthday party and had the privilege of sitting beside 70 year old Peter, a friend of the birthday "boy." Peter is a real conversationalist, a former teacher and full of life.  He lives north of Montreal on a tree farm and taps maple trees in the spring for maple syrup. We talked about work and travel and a shared love for Mexico. I asked him where he was still hoping to visit, and he said he would like to go back to Bali and would also love to take a couple of cruises (to Alaska being one of them) with a group of friends.

Peter said that in past few years he had not travelled, as his wife had been diagnosed with a form of dementia.  I asked him how old his wife was, and he replied that she was 69 years old.  "So young," I said and he nodded in agreement.  He went on to tell me that she was diagnosed on the very day she retired from her job. "We had so many plans," he said.  So sad.

My conversation with Peter was brief, but he made an impression on me.  We ended our talk with him telling me two things.  First, "don't ever settle for second best," referring to the work we choose to do (although this could be applied to many different areas of life).  And second, "live your life today, because you never know what is going to happen." He knew this too well.

This seems to be a reoccurring message for me over the past few months and I am listening. I have been making the changes I need to make to ensure I am living the life I want.  His message was yet another reminder.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Dare to be a Butterfly

As we got into the car this morning, my daughter was telling me about all the caterpillars she saw while camping with her dad, and how when they took the tent down, they were all over the tent.

I asked her if she knew if all caterpillars turned into butterflies and she said that she didn't know, but suspected that not all did.

Which got me thinking - how many of us transform into something else, and how many of us don't?  Of course, even caterpillars who stay caterpillars would have their place in the world, but if they had the opportunity to turn into a beautiful butterfly, to transform and grow wings to fly, why wouldn't they?  I've been thinking lately about what holds me back from moving forward and transforming into that butterfly.

I can look back at times when I surpassed fear and changed my life, but I think it is an ongoing process.  We can find ourselves in the caterpillar stage again and again.  It's never finished.

I realized that I don't want to stay a caterpillar.. I want to keep going, progressing and becoming the person I am meant to be.  I want to be a butterfly. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Dare to Explore: Bruce County, Part Two

Continuing from part one, my daughter and I used our destination of Summer House Park at Miller Lake as a base to explore the Bruce County area. After kayaking on Miller Lake after breakfast one morning, we took the drive up highway #6 to Litle Cove Adventures where I had read about a ropes course we could do. Well, it turns out we couldn't do it after all, because I had only packed flip flops and they require you wear running shoes.  We put it on our list to do next year.

So on to Tobermory we went. Tobermory is a town at the northern peak of the Bruce Peninsula.  From there you have your choice of cruises to see the area, or to get over to Manitoulin Island, on the Chi-Cheemaun ferry, vehicle and all.  The little town itself has many little shops, cafes and restaurants that sit along a road that bends around a marina.

One of our favourite places to eat was Sharky's Grill, located just outside the main tourist marina area.

We loved the homemade veggie burgers and the whitefish sandwiches. 

The Grille is connected to store that covers different levels, full of eclectic and bohemian-inspired clothes, jewellry and garden items, while Bob Marley music plays in the background. A really special place. We would place our order with the friendly owner at what looks like a take-out window located on the second level, spend some time looking around and them come back to a table to eat.

One night we took the sunset cruise from Tobermory, a two hour boat ride along the coast of Georgian Bay. The boat left the dock at 7:40pm, with a sunset scheduled for 8:10pm.  I took so many photos, here are a few of them.

We saw some people here, jumping off the rocks into the water below.  I'm told that it's possible to hike to this spot (the "Grotto") from Highway 6.  Another thing to add to our list of things to do next time.

Do you see the Inukshuk?

And then, as the name of the cruise suggests, the sunset.

Other cruises are available, the most popular being the one to Flower Pot Island.  This too we added to our list of things to do next year (we're going to be busy!). We spent our last night back in Port Elgin, and took in the annual Bruce Nuclear Beach Party the next day before heading home.

I would have to say, the best part of our vacation was: the time we spent together having fun without a schedule, the nice local people we met, the new road signs (thank you!), the perfect beach weather, daring to explore new areas and leaving with some great memories.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dare to Press "Play"

Last night I was reading an exerpt from Roger Ebert's autobiography on his 20 year marriage to Chaz Hammelsmith Ebert.  It is a really a great love story and I enjoyed reading about their vacations to Venice in the winter, as well as her continued love and support towards him during his cancer treatment. But something else he said stuck with me: meeting his wife gave him the ability to move forward, as he had been in a state of "pause" for too long.


It got me thinking - how many of us are living in a state of "pause?" Maybe we were moving forward at one time, and then for whatever reason, we have stopped and have been standing still for far too long.  Maybe we feel stuck, and bound by circumstances or other's opinions of where we should be. Maybe it's a fear of change. Whatever the reason, we are in this state of "pause" with a need to press "play" and keep moving forward.

I know for myself, there have been times when I have pressed the "pause" button and sat.  I have done it in relationships and in jobs. I have found myself stuck, knowing I wanted to go, needed a change, but something has kept me in the same spot. Sometimes it is simply a matter of figuring out how to press the "play" button that keeps us from moving on.

As I contemplate today where I am sitting in "pause," I would encourage you to do the same.  And then, visualize what life would look like if you dared to press "play."  Think about it, daydream about it, fantasize about it. That's a start. Because really, there is nothing good about living in a state of "pause" except to finally dare to press "play" and take off towards what is next.  That's when things get exciting.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dare to Explore: Bruce County, Ontario, Part One

One of the great things about having an eleven-year-old is that they love adventure.  As a parent, you can at times find yourself doing things outside of what you would normally do alone.  Last week my daughter and I embarked on an adventure through Bruce County, an area of Ontario, Canada, located about three hours northwest of Toronto.  Summer is the season we look forward to and every year we spend a week in Port Elgin, on the shores of Lake Huron, but this year, my girl was wanting something a little different and adventurous. She wanted to explore some new terrain.We decided to leave Port Elgin, our first stop, after enjoying three days of pretty much living on the beach.  After packing up the car, we visited the beach one last time, to take in Port Elgin's weekly beach flea market.  With a 25 cent entry fee, there are always interesting things to look at.

Next stop was Wiarton for lunch and then on to Lion's Head, to spend the afternoon by the water. After passing through Wiarton, we made a stop at a handicraft store I remember loving to visit as a child.  I was excited to share it with my little girl and she loved it just as I had all those years ago.  We decided we would stop again on our way back to purchase a few things.

Arriving at Lion's Head, I don't remember seeing a freshwater bay as clear as Georgian Bay was that day.  Forgoing the beach, we decided to walk over to the lighthouse on the other side of the marina and lay out our towels on the large rocks below.  A couple of dips in the cold water were refreshing (and brrrrr!).

From Lion's Head, we were on on way again, travelling north on Highway #6 to Miller Lake, where we were stay at Summer House Park, 84 acres of camping, cottaging and a bed and breakfast house. The weather looked promising for the next few days.

We used as a base, and spent the next day at Singing Sands Beach on Lake Huron, a really interesting beach.  Lake Huron has receded so much in this area, I realized as I was taking the long walk from the car to the lake that I was actually walking on what was once the bottom of the lake.  Once we got to the water, it was another ten minute walk or so to get into the water past our waists.  This beach is perfect for families with small children, since such a huge area of the lake is really shallow.  But walking across the sand felt a bit like what I imagine walking through a desert would be like.

In the second part of this blog, we'll look at Tobermory, and then it's back to Port Elgin.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Having Courage

It's a word I have been thinking about a lot lately.  Tony Robbins says that courage is not the absence of fear.  I get what he means - fear is natural and necessary in certain situations.  Fear catapults us to action in the event of an emergency.  It gets the heart pumping and the adrenaline flowing and is the fuel we need at times to make things happen.

Sometimes though, fear works overtime and keeps us from doing the things we want to do.  It can be such a block that it causes us to become frozen and we can even become convinced we no longer want what we once thought we did.  Courage on the other hand, is what we use to accomplish a goal in spite of the fear.  Courage and fear are never really far apart - i think of them as feuding brothers.  Fear says, "you can't do that, you will fail, you're not good enough, you don't have enough experience, what will people think?"  Courage says, "you can do it, you are awesome, you know what you want, trust yourself, go for it!"  Being courageous is when we are so scared to do something.. but do it anyway because it is the right thing to do.  Courage kicks in when the pain of not doing what we want becomes greater than the fear of doing it.  Courage is not the absence of fear, but works in spite of fear, pushing it to the background.

I've often thought I'd like a tattoo similar to the one pictured above, but mine would start with a capital "C" because for me, the things that matter often start with courage.  I remember being asked, "will you let fear decide for you?" and that question comes up in my mind time and time again.  I have let fear make many of my decisions in the past - too many really.  But I have also found the courage to push ahead and face fear, going for what I wanted in spite of it.  Courage is always there.

If our purpose in this life is to just be ourselves without fear, than finding courage in spite of fear will reveal us at our best.  To me, a life filled with courage is a life lived on purpose, a life of freedom and of choice and a life filled with doing exactly what I want to do.  I often wonder how different my life would be today if I had never pushed fear aside and mustered the courage to say or do what was needed.

What about you?  What would having more courage mean in your life?  Tell me in the comments below, I'd love to know.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Finding Inspiration

Flipping through the channels on the tv last night, I saw someone that caught my eye. Wayne Dyer. Have you heard of him? I thought he might be a preacher at first, but as I listened I realized he was an author and an inspirational speaker. I've discovered quite a few of these types lately, and feel as though there is a reason for it. Each time I hear an inspirational talk, I'm able to take something from it that helps me along my path. I think I have mentioned before how it's funny how the universe sends us what we need when we need it. This was no exception.

Lately I have not been feeling very inspired. Circumstances have changed for me over the past couple of weeks and it would appear, not for the better. I say "it would appear" because I do believe that although I'm feeling a little blue (okay, well, alot blue, miserable, exhausted, waaaa!), I need to trust the process and believe that this too is all part of the bigger picture for me and where I am supposed to be. And I'm trying to trust the process, but I've not been doing a good job at it at times, to be honest.

So Wayne Dyer - one thing I liked about his is that he quoted some Bible verses but he had a different way of interpreting them than what I was accustomed to. Having a Christian background, I've often suspected the Bible is full of amazing wisdom, if we could just separate it from how we are told to interpret it by the church. So this piqued my interest. He talked about using our imagination to create our future, and how this is an area that we should not let anyone tamper with. I found this encouraging. Decide what I want and where I want to be and don't let anyone tell me I can't do it.

Wayne Dyer spoke about beginning from the end, which is really similar to Stephen Covey's message of beginning with the end in mind, and worth repeating. He said that when he feels inspired to write a new book, he decides on the title, has the art department create the jacket, places the completed jacket over any book, and keeps it in front of him as he begins writing. He sees the book sitting in front of him and asks himself what the book is about. Then he writes the book. Again, this goes back to using your imagination to create the finished product and then work towards it. It puts the intention out there, and gives the universe something to bring to you. It may only be in your imagination, but you will be drawn towards that end if it is there.

This reminded me to consider again, and I will ask you - where do you want to be? What does you living your life on purpose look like? It's a good question to ask yourself every once in a while. Because when you know what you want and where you want to be, you can take that picture (either a literal picture or an imagined one) and hold it up high and proud. And then you have something to work towards.

A final great message I got from last night's talk was from a woman on the show who had had a near-death experience. Her message at the end of her story was that her life purpose was to be herself and live fearlessly. She was not to continually search for a life purpose out there, but to just be herself, and in doing so, she would be exactly what the world needed. That for me, was one of those "a-ha" moments Oprah talks about. We are all creative, resourceful and whole, just as we are. And our divine purpose is to show the world by just being ourself.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Sign Posts

While in Mexico, I often look for new photo opportunities. But this last trip being my eleventh time visiting Playa del Carmen and Tulum, I thought finding original photos would be a bit of a challenge. On this particular trip, my sister and I came across various quotes and sayings. A lover of inspirational quotes, I found it interesting I had never noticed these before. Were these sign posts new or had they always been there? As I took a photo of one, and then another, I realized this was what this trip was going to be about - inspiration. Here are a few I captured.
I spotted this first sign as my sister and I left La Azotea's rooftop bar, located on Playa del Carmen's busy 5th Avenue. It speaks of love, laughter, fun and freedom. I had taken my sister to this fabulous bar and we spent the warm night talking, laughing and sharing as we enjoyed our newfound discovery of flavoured vodka with Sprite cocktails. The words of this sign made me smile, as God is portrayed as something at our level that we can relate to. The message reminded me to get into the rhythm of love and fun more often. I often need this reminder!
This sign was also from the same bar. It's the words below La Azotea that caught my attention- "It's not about the cards, it's about how you play with them." We are all dealt certain cards throughout our lives- some good; some bad. What we do with our circumstances and opportunities is how we create the life we want to live. It's a reminder to me to continually be in a state of creating the life that is best for me. It's a work in progress for sure.
We came across this sign during a walk on the beach at Tulum. That was our day of ultimate relaxation as we lounged on beds at El Bistro (Ziggy's Beach), on the beautiful white-sand beach, beneath a coconut tree for shade. This sign reminds me of the power of our thoughts in creating the life we want. Feel thoughts of love, joy and hope more often and watch how your path is shaped into something magnificent. I see this played out in my life every day.

Footprints in the Sand

As we walked along the beach in Tulum, Mexico one warm and sunny afternoon, my sister said how she liked it when the waves would come in and wash away any footprints left in the sand. She said it was if the ocean was saying "your life is temporary; but i will be here forever."

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Back to School - Part 1

It has been over a month since my last blog post, so I am happy to be back here, writing. The last month has been a busy one, especially with school, but things are winding down for this term and soon I will be taking off to Mexico for a break before my summer term begins. One more year of school and I will be done! I hope to come back from Mexico rested and inspired and overflowing with posts for my Mexico blog.

The path to continue my education has been a long, winding one. Definitely not a straight line. It began about eight years ago, when a friend encouraged me to take an "Academic Bridging Program" at the University of Toronto - an amazing course that introduced me to the world of university and one that I can't speak highly enough about. It was at that course I learned how to craft a proper essay, as it was hammered into our heads at every class until we knew it (and an invaluable tool I have used over and over in subsequent courses). I was terrified at the thought of that course, but it proved to be the beginning of what would be many more years of learning. I'm no longer terrified.

For about six years following that first course, I took one course per term. My challenge as a single parent was that I wanted to study communications, but I needed to do it through distance learning. Because of the parenting schedule I share with my daughter's father, I don't have a consistent free night each week, so online learning was my only option. Plus, I had a full-time job, so attending classes during the day was out of the question. I finally found a different university that could somewhat accommodate my needs - I could pursue a general degree through distance education. I figured that eventually the university might start offering more communications courses online, and I would be able to obtain a communications degree after all. All in all, it would take me about 10 years - I would be nearly 50 years old.

I will stop my story here and continue with a second part soon - there is much more to this story I'd like to share. I know there are people who consider continuing their education, but because of obstacles - very real obstacles, give up on their dream. I am hoping my story will inspire you to pursue it anyway, if it is something you want to do.

Don't confuse what you want to do with what you think is possible.

There are usually more options than what we first think there are. The first step is deciding what you want, and holding on to that thought - feeling it and believing it. Don't dismiss what you want because you can't immediately see a way to accomplish it. That will come later. I can't really explain it scientifically, but life has a way of bringing us what we want when we focus on it and muster up enough faith to believe it will happen. It doesn't always happen on our timetable, or in the way we imagine. That's the fascinating part. Don't become attached to how it will happen, just focus on it happening. Start with knowing what you want and believing.

To be continued..

Friday, March 2, 2012


The other day I read an article about the five top regrets of the dying. Worth a read if you haven't seen it yet. It got me thinking about how I wanted to be remembered and what living without regrets would mean for me.

For the world

I want to world to remember me as someone who surpassed what was expected. Raised by a single mom with no help from my father, my childhood was not exactly filled with the finer things in life. My brother and I had what we needed, and as a mom I am amazed how good my mom did and how well she coped with our circumstances which were hard at times. Considering my start in life, I'm quite proud of where I am. Both my brother and I own houses, have travelled, and I will be the first person in my family (that I'm aware of) to get a degree - I'll be 44 years old when I do. As parents, we want our children to have a better time of growing up and more opportunities than we ever did, and I know that this has been true for me. I've had some really good opportunities to do well, and I am proud to have embraced them. One of the best compliments my mom ever gave me was that she said I was ambitious. I want the world to see that.

For me

I would like to think that at the end of my life, I have lived an existence that was all mine. Hand-crafted and specifically to my liking. I know my decisions have not always been popular, but I can say they have been what I thought at the time was best for me. I am drawn to people who dare to live, who are different and who live the life they were meant to live and want to live! I want to know at the end that I did the very same.

For my girl

I want my girl to remember me as someone who loved her "more than all the sand on the beach." Watching her grow up has been the highlight of my life and I have enjoyed every moment. I want my girl to see me as someone who was an individual, with my own thoughts and ideas and who offered an alternate opinion that gave her something to think about. I want her to remember me as the person who supported who she was and always encouraged her to listen to that still, small, voice inside when faced with decisions. And a mom who was happy to "just be" with her whenever possible.

So that's it! I must say, this was one weird post to write. It's not often I think about not being here, but then I thought of it like writing an eulogy.. it's not a bad idea.

So what about you? What impression would you like to leave behind - to the world and for yourself?

Friday, February 24, 2012


Lately I've been fascinated with the ego. I've picked up Eckhart Tolle's book, A New Earth, for the second time (the first time I couldn't understand anything I was reading) and read about a page every night (it's all my brain can hold!). I think the reason why the ego interests me so much is because anything that helps me understand myself and others, I generally find interesting. It's probably behind my quest to be a life coach, and my interest in DISC assessment at work and my love for Oprah. Like the Tolle's book, it's another tool that is helping me understand why I think or react to situations the way I do, and why other's behave they way they do.

This is what I have learned so far:

1. If you think you are superior or inferior to others, that is ego.

2. It is the ego that wants to be recognized and feel appreciated.

3. If you are shy by nature (like me), the ego is in fact at work. The difference is, your fear of negative judgement from others is greater than your desire to be noticed and appreciated and that is what makes you fear things like public speaking.

4. If you find yourself saying or thinking things like, "how could they do this to me?" "this is so unfair," etc., that is usually ego.

5. People who talk about how great they are carry within them the fear of the possibility of not being so great.

6. Ego is not us. This is the deep part. Being aware of the ego at work and seeing it separate from us is living consciously. Who you really are is in fact, apart from ego.

I know I still have lots to learn about ego, and something Oprah said has come back to me time and again - be careful what you wish for. As part of my New Year's resolutions, I committed to learning more about creativity and ego. And when you ask the universe (or God) to teach you, it often means going through some crap to learn it best. Although I have used many tools to learn about ego, the best tool has been life. It hasn't always been fun, but I have been learning.

Bring on creativity!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Finding Inspiration

Last week was one of the hardest at work. And this week, things aren't much better, but in spite of it all, I am feeling pretty good. Once the dust had settled somewhat, what I discovered was that immersing myself in some areas where I find inspiration helped me to feel better. And although it didn't change my circumstances right away, it was a good first step. Here's what helped me.

Finding my inspiration.

A big source of inspiration for me is always my daughter. She is so happy and full of energy; I can't help but be drawn in. This past weekend we visited the Ontario Science Centre and I did my best to put my work issues aside for the afternoon and enjoy discovering with her. A film on Jane Goodall and her work in Africa with the chimpanzees didn't hurt either. Seeing what others are doing in the world to make a positive difference has a way of putting everything into a new perspective. My girl and I had an amazing weekend together, filled with much laughter and a few cool memories to look back on.

Another place I found inspiration during my quiet times alone was on Pinterest, a newish social site that's kind of a bulletin board of sorts, where images of fabulousness can be "pinned" onto your own personal boards. Once I got into the site and started looking around, it wasn't long before I was hooked. I found outfits, jewellery, recipes, home decor ideas and projects, travel images - many things I love, and just looking at these images stirred something within me and made me feel good.

Going for long walks is also a way to clear the cobwebs of the mind, breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the benefits of exercise. I went for a couple of long walks in the cold winter sunshine, bundled up warm and listening to tunes on my ipod. I enjoyed passing by cats (and the odd dog) sleeping on window sills in the sun, the colour of the sky and the refreshing, cool, winter air.

My final place of inspiration is of course, Mexico, when the time permits (no, I didn't go this weekend!). I have spent much time in the Riviera Maya over the past few years, and it always has a way of bringing me back to who I am at my best. You can read my stories here. From the moment I exit the Cancun airport and breathe in that familiar, ocean air, to the time I'm checking my bag at the airport on my way home, I am in a good place.

What inspires you? What are the things that bring a smile to your face or make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? When are you at your best? Next time you are in need of a little inspiration, remember what those things are, and reach for them. They may not cure your problem or change your situation right away, but they will help you feel a little better. And changing what's going on outside begins with changing what is going on inside.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pep Talk

After feeling as though I've been under a cloud for the past four days, I finally had the energy and motivation this morning to give myself a little pep talk. I'm not one to feel "down" very often, in fact, hardly ever. But here I've been, really sad, a little resentful and just plain "blah." Here is what I wrote to myself this morning, and now to you I share the same messages. Let me know if this resonates with you too:

1. Don't question the decisions you made in the past. They were all the right decisions, based on what you needed then.

2. You are on your own path - don't compare it to anyone else's.

3. You are strong, complete and whole.

4. You are exactly where you are meant to be on your path. Trust the process.

5. Don't let laziness keep you from reaching your fitness goals - you have so much potential.

6. You are brave and steady.

7. This too shall pass. Be confident in what is to come!

8. Plan both small and big adventures. Don't deny that curious part of you.

9. This is just a "down" time, which means "up" is next!

10. Just "be."

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Being Relevant

It is what we all want, isn't it? To be relevant. To matter. It's the reason so many of us women find the aging process daunting, to say the least. So many millions of dollars are spent on anti-aging products, plastic surgery and hair dye. Our obsession with preserving our face and body is directly linked to our desire of preserving our relevance. This is especially true for women who have felt their worth as young women, through their physical beauty. Which is probably many of us, I mean, society pretty much tells us every day that our relevance is connected to how we look.

For others of us, relevance comes into question when we don't get that promotion we thought we deserved and knew would be perfect, or when we fail at losing those ten pounds we promised would be gone by the end of January. Betrayal or rejection from friends or family, another area that makes us question, "do I matter?" We allow others to determine how we see ourselves. But why?

What if we were to change the way we thought about ourselves and realized that we are relevant - simply because we exist? What if we cultivated a feeling of relevance that comes from deep within us and is based upon... simply being? Imagine if nothing external determined whether we mattered or not, but we were here with a unique purpose and calling and that was reason enough to make us relevant. What would happen if we began to realize, we matter as much as anyone else? What would that look like?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What do you Value?

Recently I was confronted with this question about values. Actually, it was me confronting myself. It's a question I ask myself quite often - especially when I'm faced with a decision, or when I'm trying to make sense of a situation. I find myself asking, "What in all of this is important to me?" "What do I value?"

What I've learned about myself is that what I value is not always what other people value. Sounds simple enough, but what surprised me recently is discovering that even some values I assume are pretty much standard in society, are not necessarily values I personally hold.

It's funny - I was raised in a religious environment (brought on by myself) and as a result, was pretty much told what my values were. After leaving religion, I've had to figure out what my values really are. Of course my religious experiences have contributed to who I am today, but it has been a long process in figuring out who I am apart from that life.

Why are knowing your values important?

Your values act as your guide. They are the things from your very core you believe to be true. They are the things that feel right. When I'm struggling over a situation, my values help me understand my response to the struggle. When I'm agonizing over a decision, they help me reach the best answer for me, as I ask myself, "Is what I want to do in line with my values?" I have heard it said that our values never change - they are formed very early and stay the same throughout our life. I'm not sure about that at this point - I think they may stay close to the same, but possibly change slightly as we grow older and experience new things.

How do you identify your values?

If you're not sure what you value, it's okay. It takes time, and hey, I'm still uncovering mine! A life coach can assist you in discovering your unique values, however, here are a couple of exercises you can do on your own to start you on the road to discovery:

Recall a time in your life when things were fabulous. Where were you? Who was there? How did you feel? What were you doing? What was going on around you? Thinking back to a fabulous life experience can help you mine for values by uncovering themes. For example, the first time I did this exercise I remembered being eight years old and spending summer vacation rollerskating outside, on my own. What I identified from recalling the experience was that that I value independence, summer, travel, activity, freedom. These are values I still hold dear today.

Another exercise is to think of three things that make you angry. What are the values associated with the opposite of those things? One thing I detest is cruelty to children and animals. The values I associate with the opposite of this are fairness, goodness, kindness, protection, freedom.

How about you - are you living in harmony with your values? What small steps can you take today that would bring you closer to living in line with what is important? I know, a lot of questions, but I think knowing your values is something worth thinking about. What do you value? I would love to hear your input in the comments below.