Friday, July 11, 2014

Never too late to take the plunge...

Last weekend I was hiking in the mountains with our newly adopted four-year-old Newfoundlander, Tony Soprano. 
He waded into a lake, walked off a ledge...and sunk. Tony didn't know how to swim, nor did he have instincts to doggy paddle. I pulled him up and two days later he was enrolled in his first swimming lesson (that's his instructor below) proving it's never too late to take the plunge. 

Turn up the music and watch Tony crush his fear of the water. Watch till the end because the grand finale is his swan song.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Play with a Lion's Testicles, a.k.a. Take A Chance!

All you need is twenty seconds of insane courage, and I promise you something great will come of it.
-Matt Damon in We Bought A Zoo

*Pick up the phone
*Ask for what you want
*Submit that manuscript
*Start that manuscript
*Hit 'send'
*Say yes
*Say no
*Say I love you
*Ask her out
*Ask him out
*Book the ticket
*Lace up your runners
*Take the first step
*Put down the soda
*Pick up where you left off
*Speak up
*Show up
*Surprise someone
*Say hi to the stranger on the subway
*Apply for the dream job you don't think you're worthy of
*Dance your butt off...wherever you are
*Sing your heart out...whenever you feel like it

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Got a Minute? Great! We need you :-)

If you're pressed for time, click here to send your signature in support of a conservation plan for the Great Bear Sea. This is not just for Canadians, we are all affected by this.
White Spirit Bear, Photo courtesy Marine Planning Partnership, Great Bear Sea 

British Columbia is home to the Great Bear Sea - the name says it all doesn't it? This is one of the last remaining rich, non-polluted, untouched marine ecosystems On. The. Planet. 

It is a world treasure on par with the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon Rainforest.

Stretching from the northern tip of Vancouver Island to the Alaskan Border, the Great Bear Sea is home to an incredible bounty of life: 400 species of fish, including wild Pacific salmon; 29 species of mammals, like orcas, humpback whales and sea otters; and more than three million nesting seabirds.

The rare white spirit bear seen above is found no where else on earth. Either is the Pacific coast wolf, also only found in this area.

Our coastal waters are under threat and British Columbia hasn’t committed to a plan to properly protect them. While Australia, the United States and New Zealand expand safeguards for marine ecosystems, Canada has protected less than three per cent of the Great Bear Sea.
Photo courtesy Marine Planning Partnership, Great Bear Sea

We need a plan that will leave the Great Bear Sea healthy and productive for our children and families, before it is too late.

The Province of B.C. and 18 First Nations worked together in an innovative partnership and made plans to protect the Great Bear Sea and the people and economies it supports. Now, we need to call on the provincial government to commit to those plans.

The plans are state-of-the-art in Canada. They will create zones for wildlife and ecosystem protection, and for ecotourism, renewable energy and aquaculture.

This summer, B.C. will decide whether to adopt these plans to protect our ocean. Join us in seizing this historic opportunity. Send a message to our leaders by clicking here - 30 seconds and you're done. EVERY signature matters - especially yours.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Thursday, May 22, 2014

If I had my life to live over, Nadine Stair, 85 years of age

If I had my life to live over again,
I’d dare to make more mistakes next time.

I’d relax.

I’d limber up.

I’d be sillier than I’ve been this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances. (a.k.a. Play with a Lion's Testicles!)
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.

I would, perhaps, have more actual troubles but fewer imaginary ones.
you see, I’m one of those people who was sensible and sane,
hour after hour,
day after day.
Oh, I’ve had my moments.

If I had to do it over again,
I’d have more of them.

In fact, I’d try to have nothing else- just moments,
one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day.

I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot-water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute.
If I could do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.
If I had to live my life over,
I would start barefoot earlier in the spring
and stay that way later in the fall.

I would go to more dances,
I would ride more merry-go-rounds,
I would pick more daisies.

How would you like to live your life differently? Would you like to take more chances? Live in the present instead of worrying about the future or regretting the past? What would you love to do? And...when is a good time to do it?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Acceptance. Exhale. Acceptance. Let Go. Acceptance.

Acceptance is what takes over when we stop asking the questions that have no answers. It is what eases the suffering. It is the answer we seek, yet resist. Acceptance.

From the tiniest crack to the blackest hole, acceptance will attempt to fill the void, if we let it. Acceptance.

Acceptance stands alone. It cannot exist with judgment, bargaining or emotion. It does not need recognition for it already is. Acceptance. 

We need not embrace acceptance, we need not rejoice in it, we need merely invite it in to the space that needs occupying. Acceptance.

Acceptance is strength. Acceptance foreshadows solace, and, the courage to move forward albeit changed, to become unstuck. Acceptance.

Acceptance. Exhale. Acceptance. Let Go. Acceptance.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Thank you Rotary Women's Association

Today I had the honor of presenting the keynote at the Point Grey Women's Rotary Association. First order of business: explain the title of my book so they wouldn't think this was the next '50 Shades of Khaki!'

Learning to play with a lion's testicles is a South African expression that means learning to take chances.

What a spectacular group of inspiring and courageous women. I feel so fortunate to have spent some time with a powerhouse room full of women the day after Mother's Day! The Rotarians do so much work around the globe and have for 101 years! I have so much respect and admiration for you, ladies. Hats off to you. They are always looking for members so if you want to be inspired, if you want to serve - then check them out here.

There was a lovely table of gorgeous South African ladies there as well - ahhhh such warm and kind women. Such a pleasure to meet you!

At my table were my Latina friends, such strong and passionate women whose strength is contagious. I love you ALL.

And my bright light who always shines the way, my dear friend and speaking mentor, Gwen Gnazdownsky was there to support me and I am so grateful Gwenny - I love you to bits! Gwen is the Vancouver version of Oprah - yep, she's just that cool. And Olga was there too - a friend whose stories inspire me.

Everyone in the room was well versed in the art of playing with a lion's testicles, I wasn't there to teach them anything new. My hope was that my presentation would remind them to 'keep playing' when fear and self doubt push back as they always do when we're taking chances.

I was sharing my volunteering adventure and the four main gifts that volunteering gave me.
1.     Meaning and Perspective
To cultivate meaning and
perspective in our lives,
we need to let go of self-doubt
and the ‘supposed-to’s’
– Dr. Brene Brown

2.     A sense of purpose and aliveness
Don't ask what the world needs.
Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
- Howard Thurman

3.     The courage to confront a lifelong phobia and turn that phobia into LOVE
Thinking will not
overcome fear,
but action will
– W. Clement Stone

4.     Acceptance of the circle of life
We are all connected
in the great
circle of life
– The Lion King

Thank you ladies, such an honour and a pleasure connecting with you today and hearing your stories. Keep playing and keep serving because in doing so you inspire the rest of us to. Not only do we need you, but now, more than ever, the world needs you.

Happy Mother's Day