Sunday, April 23, 2017

What are the odds?

You are a WORTHY, magnificent and adventurous soul.
Your chances of being here, on earth, at this time in history are 1 in 400 Trillion.
1 in 400 trillion.
You were chosen to experience this gift called life. 
By who or what doesn't matter, just that you're here now and you agreed to this adventure, you who thought you weren't adventurous!
What could be more adventurous than being 1 in 400 trillion who took the plunge into this thing called life on this rock called Earth.
Keep that number front of mind next time you question your worth, your abilities or the small stuff starts weighing you down. 

1 in 400,000,000,000,000. That's YOU!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

How to be more Creative by 29-Time Emmy Award Winner Bill Stainton

The sources for creativity, compassion, solutions and meaning from this crazy thing called life, are, well, right beside you.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Lucky is an Understatement

When you hit an obstacle, or a bad chapter in your life, here's someone who has found the resilience to keep turning the pages and reminds us all that 'lucky' is the strength to turn the chapters on life's tough chapters.

I've met Mary-Jo Dionne and she's about the most selfless person there is. 
She encourages and applauds everyone she encounters and her internal light is so bright it can be seen from galaxies far away.
And, she's a gifted writer and story-teller.

If you need a dose of positivity, or some encouragement to turn a difficult page, head over here to read her most recent article on Huffington Post.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Tea with a Titan Podcast Interview with Mary-Jo Dionne

Last week I had the honor of having tea (and being interviewed) with a delightful, talented and hilariously funny woman named Mary-Jo Dionne on her podcast, Tea with a Titan.

She is a talented writer, interviewer, one-woman show performer, TED talker and mom.

 We met shortly after my TEDx talk, Playingwith a Lions Testicles,can be viewed here.
Here is a link to the interview.
What book do we recommend you download for free? Right here, right now? The War of Art or Do The Work by Steven Pressfield

Monday, March 13, 2017

Perception is Reality - Mary-Jo Dionne TEDx Talk

This empowering talk by award-winning writer, performer, speaker and interviewer Mary-Jo Dionne proves that perception IS reality and the glass is always half full.

In a couple of weeks I'll be joining Mary-Jo for tea on her podcast, Tea with a Titan, can't wait!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Thank you Fellow Lions at TEDx Stanley Park

Thank you for coming out on Saturday to the majestic Queen Elizabeth Theatre to celebrate a day of big ideas, story-telling, and playing with a lion's testicles.

It can be a little daunting to walk out onto a stage and see nearly 2700 people, but not this past Saturday.

You were all so kind, gracious, fun and the positive energy could no doubt be felt on Venus!
What a beautiful audience!

My only regret was that we didn’t have more time together post-show to share ghost stories and laughs and, even a few tears.

Thank you for reaching out and sharing your powerful stories.

Our ghosts are always looking for opportunities to get those shackles back on us - but we always have a choice if we let them or not.

You are a LION. Time to stand up and roar and break free from those chains. 
This is our one and only precious life (maybe?) - and we are here in this little parenthesis of time and space together, right here, right now.

Have the courage to have the courage.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Playing with a Lion's Testicles by Life Story Artist, Deborah LeFrank

Deborah is the owner of Visual Life Stories.
She attending a talk I gave in Victoria last month and created a beautiful picture story of the talk.
A little more about Deborah’s company:
At Visual Life Stories, our graphic journalists, are passionate about using beautiful words and captivating images to tell stories that create powerful, engaging, precious legacies in the form of beautifully crafted accordion style books. The perfect gift idea for your loved one.
This write-up from ‘Your Life Story’ graphic journalist, Deborah LeFrank.
I can take no credit for this intriguing title but I’m pretty sure it caught your attention. It comes from an African saying prompting you to face your fears. Author Melissa Haynes learned this expression when she decided to challenge her personal fears and head to Africa to answer an inner calling.
Have you ever had one of those inner calling kind of conversations with yourself where you think it might be a fun thing to do something but your logical brain says hell no, that’s way too over the top, too complicated, too scary, too whatever? And so you stay in the tried and true path of life. Hey and why not it’s a comfortable place.
In Africa, there are animals that can kill you pretty damn quickly, in particular the lion. Fear can be sensed by animals (and humans). This can get you into trouble if you are feeling scared and vulnerable. Melissa was struck with how facing the fear of a lion in the jungle speaks to facing our fears of living a passionate life.  The fear has you feeling like a chicken so you’re frozen from moving forward. In the jungle that will get you killed, in modern life it kills your dreams. So how do you go from feeling like a chicken to thinking like a lion?
Africans say that if you “Learn to Play with the Lion’s Testicles” you are facing your fears, remembering and showing how strong and powerful you are. When you choose change you can let go of fear and answer your life’s calling.    
Last month at an Inspired Victoria speaker night Melissa shared her story with us. She gave us a preview of the talk she will do March 4th in Vancouver at TEDx Stanley ParkHer website gives you an enlightening time line on the TED process, and it is in a word, daunting.

Playing with a Lions Testicles in Hawaii

Playing with a lion's testicles: A South African saying that means, 'have the courage to have the courage'.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Become a Lion

Need a Sign? Look up.

It’s five weeks until my TEDx talk titled, Playing with a Lion’s Testicles at the historic Queen Elizabeth theatre in Vancouver.

It’s been a long selection process: six months so far.
They started out with dozens of awesome and inspiring speakers, speakers who deserve the stage more than me, seriously.
Then they narrowed it down to 13 of us.

The process looked something like this:
1)    July, 2016: Written proposal outlining the tough, tangible, universal problem you are addressing.
2)    August 2016: TEDx Panel Interview, in the ‘hot seat’.
3)    September 2016: Draft 1 speech submission.
4)    Late-September 2016: Draft 2 speech submission (which was really draft 200).
5)    October 2016: Live reading before the panel.
6)    Late-October 2016: Notification that I have been selected (Holy Snap!).
7)    Late October – Now: 1,763,248 drafts of script written, stomped on, cried on and shredded. A marshmallow addiction is born (wtf?), they are gluten-free!
8)    November and December: Two live rehearsals before the panel. Coaching by three talented and tough TEDx coaches. (This made it worth every tear, the coaching was first-class and a huge learning curve).
9)    January 1: New Year’s Resolution to lose the extra ten pounds of ‘marshmallow’ weight before March 4.
10) January 23: Deadline to submit FINAL speech script and Power Point slides after seven months of eating, breathing and sleeping TED.
11) January 24: Still haven’t lost an ounce of marshmallow weight.
12) January 24: Doubt and Public Humiliation ‘ghosts’ start to surface.
I want to write draft 2,345,971 of my script but it’s too late. It’s been submitted to the producer, deadline has passed.
Butterflies have overtaken my stomach and while I am sitting at a red light having a wee-bit of a panic nervous attack. I look over and see the billboard pictured above. It’s HUGE. There are no words. Just a lion (remember my speech title?). I don’t know if he’s saying,
“Come, play with my testicles.” (Which means have COURAGE) or if he’s just saying, “Roar”.
Either way, I take it as sign, a reminder to have the courage to have the courage, to remember that this talk is not about me. That I’m not perfect and that’s OK, but I do have courage to battle my ghosts.
I’ve spent the last seven months writing this talk for the person who is in the dark and lonely valley battling their ghosts, who is perhaps on the verge of giving up on their dreams because it’s too hard, or they have ghosts haunting them: public humiliation, doubt, failure, or even success.
We’ve all stood in the shadow of ghosts, but the problem with ghosts is no matter the type, they all eventually become ghosts of regret.
This is a universal problem.

Have the courage to have the courage, play with a lion’s testicles and ROAR – I’m right here with you, we all are.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

I was Inspired by the Inspired Victoria Group on January 5th, 2017

On January 5th I presented a 'Sneak Preview' of my TEDx talk titled, Playing with a Lion's Testicles, to the wonderful people at Inspired Victoria in the beautiful downtown Victoria harbor at the Coast hotel.

The best part of the night was connecting with everyone afterwards and hearing their stories of courage and change.

Thank you for welcoming me to your town and event my soul sisters and brothers at Inspired Victoria. 

Deborah LeFrank created a gorgeous visual story of my speech. She is a sketch artist and owner of 
Deborah LeFrank and David Knapp-Fisher

View all the photos and commentary here.
All photos courtesy of Andrew Kielbowicz. 

Hope you bring in the new year with a R-O-A-R and play with a lion's testicles every day in 2017.

Judy holding a Lions Testicles

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Playing with a Lion's Testicles at TEDx Stanley Park

Join me (and 2600 others) on March 4, 2017 at the Queen Elizabeth theatre in Vancouver, BC to play with a lion's testicles.

View the trailer here.

Happy Holidays!

Let's all make a new year's resolution to play with a lion's testicles every day!


Saturday, December 3, 2016


Playing with a lion's testicles: The ability to summon the courage to do something that scares and thrills one.

Courage: the ability to do something that you know is right or good, even though it’s dangerous, frightening, or very difficult.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Remembering New Moms who Suffer in Silence

In mid-October, a young, new mother named Florence Leung left her home in New Westminster and never returned.

Her family made pleas to the public for help in finding her as she was suffering from Post-Partum Depression. Her husband said,
“Please come home Florence, let me hold you again, everything will be alright.”

The next day footage emerged of Florence buying a banana and Gatorade from a convenience store on Denman street, downtown Vancouver and the family was hopeful asking the public to look for Florence in the area.

When I saw this footage it told me that Florence was utterly exhausted because of what she was buying. It also told me there was hope.

PPD and PPA reportedly effects 10% of women. Bullshit. The truth is, it effects a lot more women than that – some informal reports say as high as 80% of women are effected but only 10% ever ask for help.
The rest suffer in silence for a number of reasons, but the biggest being that they feel guilty for what should be one of the happiest moments in life but it isn’t.

When in reality having a baby is the most difficult thing a women’s body and mind will ever go through. Physically, emotionally, hormonally, mentally – it’s chaotic yet we have these beliefs that if we’re not beaming with gratitude and have bouncy, perfect hair and can get back into our pre-pregnancy jeans by the time we leave the hospital (if we don’t home birth), then we must be monsters. 
A retired maternity nurse told me that 50 years ago they use to tell women it takes two years to recover from having a baby: one year to recover from pregnancy and another year to recover from the first year having a baby.
Imagine if we were still told this today how much less pressure we may feel?

Florence did everything right, she was a nurse actually and she told her doctor she was suffering and started taking anti-depressants.

The day after the convenience store footage appeared, Florence’s car was found at Prospect Point in Stanley Park, a well-known lookout point that stands over 300 feet above the sea below.
Inside her car the banana and Gatorade untouched.

Opened on July 27th, 1939, the Prospect Point Signal Station helped alert vessels about tide conditions, winds, and other potential hazards, it was a beacon, that would help lost souls find their way safely home and that’s what it did for the strong, beautiful yet fragile young mother named Florence Leung, it helped her find her way back home.

Two weeks later her body was found off the shores of Bowen Island where presumably the current had carried her from Prospect Point.

I went to Prospect Point today to leave purple carnations for Florence and there still remained a tattered sign from the family, pleading for help to find their Florence, the young mother who was suffering from Post-Partum depression. The tragic ending to the story now written.

May her soul rest in peace, may her family, her husband and her baby boy find peace and solace. There are no words for such a tragic and heart-breaking loss.

So what can we do? How can we help new mothers who are suffering? Well, I know what we can’t do. We can’t let this be another tragic story that ends here.

But what we can do, is let Florence’s story change the way we view new moms and how we treat them.

First, if we know the new mom, drop off food: a prepared meal, and easy-to-eat healthy snacks. New moms are energy deprived and often don’t have time to eat, grocery shop, let alone prepare a meal for their family. So forget that baby-sized Tuxedo you bought for her four-week-old, drop her off a meal instead.
Ask her to go for a walk, walk with her, let her talk. You don't have to have answers, just an ear.

Second, acknowledge new mothers, especially the ones you don’t know but see on the street. When you see a new mother, look in her eyes and ask her,
“How are you?”
You don’t need to ask about the baby – trust me, the baby is well looked after. But the mom probably isn’t. She’s just trying to make it through the day. Just being able to get out the door with a baby was a huge accomplishment and she never takes a second to check-in with herself.

And when she laughs and says,
“I’m fine,” you say,

“It’s OK not to be fine when you’re doing the toughest job there is but one-day you will feel like yourself again.”

View from Prospect Point