Category: Family

A Note to the Angry People…

I am tired of angry people.

You know that grumpy person in your family or friend circle that is always upset or on edge about something?  I think this behaviour has gone on long enough, and I am speaking out about it today. There is this uncomfortable undercurrent of prickliness that some of us live with day in and day out, within our families and our workplaces, and no matter how drawn we are to peace, there is the angry person watching from the sidelines, just waiting for a chance to explode, or to make a sarcastic comment, or to huff and puff like a little child throwing a tantrum.

Well, this is my tantrum!

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Do you understand the power of the youth?

I was asked a question today about how to engage young people. They are so vibrant, so creative, so full of potential, yet some of us who are a bit older feel disconnected from the youth in our families, neighborhoods, and cities. Years ago, I sat on the board for a not-for-profit agency dedicated to engaging youth through volunteering. The caliber of ideas, suggestions, and programming initiated by the youth that were discussed at our board meetings put our city hall’s program providers to shame. They were coming up with ways to include even the most disengaged, disadvantaged, and disillusioned amongst them. And they were doing it in fun, creative, and out-of-the-box ways. Young people have the ability to think innovatively and to challenge what the rest of us take for granted. And yet so often, we shut them up or shut them out. Below are my thoughts on how to engage the young people in your life, not only for their sake, but for yours. You will be amazed at how deeply your life will be enriched once you really give them a chance.

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Have you cleaned up your messes?

We all have them – the chores we hate. For some, it will be taking out the garbage, for others, sorting through the junk drawer, or my personal favorite, cleaning the bathroom. A Zen master once said: “How you do anything is how you do everything.” I experienced this philosophy first-hand today as I was cleaning my bathroom. Let me explain. I want to be a person who approaches life with enthusiasm, and tackles challenges with an open mind. I am willing to learn from my mistakes, and I am willing to change as my life requires. Yet, when it comes to cleaning the bathroom, something in me freezes up. Don’t get me wrong – I love a clean bathroom. There’s nothing like the first shower after the tub has been scrubbed down, or the feeling of fresh bathmats under my toes. But thinking about all that nasty stuck around the toilet bowl, the dead skin lodged in the ring around the tub, and the stray hairs left over from brisk towel action, it all makes me cringe.

I have tried various approaches to deal with my aversion to cleaning the bathroom – hiring someone else to do it, guilting my husband into doing it, even making it a game for my two year old and I to play together (that’s right, honey, we scrub the floor with this vapourous rag, not the lazy-mom’s Swiffer). But there is something I forget when I am scheming to have someone else literally do my dirty work for me: the way we do anything is the way we do everything. So while I am looking for shortcuts in the cleaning department, I have to ask myself, what other short-cuts are happening in my life?

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How to drop the top five excuses

If I were to ask you why your life isn’t exactly as you want, what would you say? You would probably give me a “good reason” for why you don’t have the career, partner, home, finances, or family life that you are striving for. I have met a lot of people over the years who have a lot of good reasons for why things can’t be done. These people have perfected the art of making excuses, though they don’t see their reasons as excuses. What I have learned is that any excuse can be overcome, and that for most of us, life always gives us another choice.

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Be willing to commit

Commitment isn’t easy, but it is required. For the life you really want, you must commit. I see the impact of commitment on the people I work with. For years, they say they want something, a new job, a better relationship with their kids, a happier marriage. Yet when it comes time to commit to their changes required, they get scared.

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Healing Relationships

You are a naturally social creature. But you are also a private being that needs time alone to reflect and re-charge. You will have a personal balance point of how much you want to be around others and how much alone-time you need. But whether you are a social butterfly or a wall-flower, how you interact with the people around you tells you something important about your belief system.


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