Outpouring of Love

My neighbour died yesterday afternoon. He was taken to hospital by ambulance mid-afternoon. Two hours later, his wife returned home looking ghostly pale and heartbreakingly grief-stricken.

He was 65 years old with a wife and three beautiful children, the youngest of whom is in first year university.

I did not know him well as we just moved onto the street ten months ago. However, whenever I had the chance to speak with him he was warm and friendly and fiercely proud of his three kids. He had an endearingly gentle way about him and always a friendly word for my kids as they played hours of ball hockey outside his house last summer.

Even though I did not know him well, I knew that he was loved by his wife, his children, his family and his friends. And I had the privilge of bearing witness to the depth of that love yesterday afternoon and evening.

Fifteen minutes after being driven away by ambulance, the first of his friends and family started to arrive at their house. They arrived with casserole dishes, hugs and palpable affection for each other.

And as the afternoon wore on, kids, parents, old people, and young people just kept arriving. And when his wife returned from the hospital she would have been enveloped into the warm, welcoming and loving bosom of her friends and family who were waiting to help hold her family in their embrace.

When I went to bed last night at 10:00, the gathering of loved ones was still going strong. And as I settled into sleep I felt absolutely full. Full of the sadness of a loving and gentle life ending, and full of the outpouring of love in which his beloved family was being so tenderly held.


Reaching for the Sun

I woke up this morning to a grey and cold-looking sky. When I came downstairs I noticed that there had been snow in the night and the ground was covered with our much-accustomed white. As I observed my family slowly waking up and making their way downstairs, the feeling was one of despondence and disappointment.

The unspoken plea on all of our lips was; when is spring going to arrive?wordSpring

By 10:00 this morning the sky had cleared and the sun came out to light the morning with all its brilliance. As the morning sun poured through our eastern-facing windows I noticed that the flat of pea sprouts that I have sitting in my dining room were all leaning toward the window. As I noticed this endearing phenomenon, it occurred to me that we are all reaching for the sun at the moment. After the long and very cold winter we have had, we need some sunshine.

And, I am delighted to report, that today we got it.

download (34)By noon, there was not a cloud in the sky and the temperature was in the double digits. Simon and I went out for a walk mid-afternoon and it was absolutely delightful to see the park full of parents, dogs and kids, the streets full of bicycles and the sidewalks and benches full of people in their sunglasses and their ear-to-ear smiles.

As I waved to my neighbour, John, from across the street, he called out to me with an exuberant; ‘we made it.’

Yes, indeed, we made it. We made it through the longest and harshest winter that I can recall. And even if there is another little blast of winter, we have made our way out the other side. The icing on the cake is that the sun is going to stick around and the temperatures are going to stay in the double digits for the next two days to usher in the beautifully verdant month of April.

And so, thanks to the precious gift of a stunningly beautiful spring day, my beloved family will go to bed tonight with a renewed energy of hope, happiness and health. And all it took was a simple dose of sunshine.sunshine

Book, Bed, Blog…

Zachary is sitting at the kitchen table watching the hockey game on my computer. Simon and Michael are in Toronto for dinner. I have just finished a movie marathon with Max and it is almost bedtime.

Do I choose to write a long blog post? Or do I choose to climb into bed with my completely enthralling book?

My Radical Act for today is to choose the book! 🙂

Hockey Night at the Geoghegans

6a00e553ff5b268834019affd214b1970cIt is Friday night at 7:00. I am sitting in my nice quiet living room with a cup of tea and my beeswax candle burning. I have just loaded a new book onto my eReader and I have the whole evening stretched out in front of me to read at my leisure, to watch a movie on my iPad, or to go to bed early if I want to.

And why, with three children and a husband at home on a Friday night, do I have all this time to do my own thing?

Hockey Night in Canada!

One of the advantages of living with four male hockey fans during hockey season is that every weekend I get to spend one night at my leisure. I am not a hockey fan and I have absolutely no interest in joining the men in my family in front of the big screen TV in the Man Cave. Don’t get me wrong…I do love spending time with my boys but hockey just doesn’t do it for me and the lure of my own company is too hard to resist.

And when hockey season ends? I guess I go back to cuddling on the couch with my beloved cherubs and a good old zombie movie!zombie

Glued to the Seat

I was a reluctant student all through elementary and high school. I found school to be tedious and largely irrelevant. Looking back, I now understand that I would have been an honor roll student if only there had been a school for leadership, relationship and emotional intelligence. That’s where both my strength and passion lay back then and, quite obviously, still do today.

Alas, there was no School of Relationship so I had to suffer through years of hum-drum education.hcnyu2

During my high school years, I discovered the exquisitely torturous necessity of exam study. As a highly sociable teenage girl, It was quite a shock to discover that I was required to study, all by myself, at the desk in my bedroom. No one to talk to, no music to sing along with, and a complete lack of interest in what I was meant to be studying.

The one bright spot in all the torturous exam studying was the joy and rapture of creating a study schedule. I could organize my time like nobody’s business. I colour-coded my subjects and made sure that I had given equal attention to each and every one of them as I carefully shaded them in with my freshly sharpened coloured pencils. If I had been marked on it, my study schedule would have been held up by each and every one of my teachers as a shining example of an A+!

download (32)The trouble was, after the beautiful study schedule was ready, I actually had to get down to business and study. My dad, in utter bewilderment of my complete inability to study, used to say; ‘Katie, just glue your bum to the seat and get it done!’  I got the concept but just could not get the application.

Today, thanks to the fabulously fulfilling career I have created for myself, I get to be in Relationship School every day. As a Leadership Coach, I get to develop both my leadership and that of others, I get to stand in the beautiful waters of relationship with self and with my clients, and I get to celebrate and continue to develop my gift of emotional intelligence each and every day.

And, thankfully, as a result of this well-chosen career, there is not a lot of gluing-my-bum-to-the-seat required.

As someone who is highly organised and very structured, the running of a small business is extremely rewarding. I still get to make up those awesomely color-coded schedules but now it is all stuff that I want to do. Well…mostly all stuff I want to do. The only exceptions, which take me back to my lamentable school days, are tax preparation and writing proposals for new clients. Those two things are really the un-sexiest things I get to do on a day-to-day basis.

I certainly understand the need for taxes and proposals. In terms of taxes, if I want to be able to keep running this business that I love so much, I need to cooperate with the Canada Revenue Agency. And, to be able to keep doing the work I love so very much, I need to keep proposing and landing new business.

file4831280358596I have two new client proposals that need to be sent to my clients by end-of-day Friday. And, according to my beautiful weekly schedule, today was the day I was to get them written. Well, needless to say, I have done just about everything I could possibly think of today other than getting down to the writing of my proposals (including vacuuming and cleaning the toilets…boy am I ever desperate!)

By 3:00, I had barely scratched the surface of the first one and it was time to go collect the kids from school. When we got home at about 3:30, they all grabbed their brand new Lacrosse sticks and headed to the park. The house was quiet and I had work to do.

My Radical Act for today was to play a bit of hardball with myself. I decided that I would not allow myself to write my blog post (which is something I love to do) until I had completed a rough draft of both proposals. And guess what? They were both done in under 45 minutes.

I guess that’s what my dad meant by; ‘just glue your bum to the seat and get it done.’

Well dad, it only took twenty-seven years for the penny to drop!download (33)

Back On the Wagon

Our trip to Barcelona was a wonderful break. And not just a break from work, the kids, and our regular routine. It was a break from the squeaky-clean eating habits that I observe in my day-to-day life. Not only did I have red wine with every dinner, but also croissants, chocolate croissants, French fries, cookies, potato chips, sugar, dessert and caffeinated tea.

And you know what? It felt wonderful!download (30)

It felt terrific to eat anything I wanted. I felt kind of rebellious and I felt a freedom that I have not experienced for a long time. I didn’t worry about glycemic index, refined sugar, enzymes, fat, and caloric intake. I didn’t worry about anything. I stepped completely out of my regular routine and my holiday was fabulous!

jucing-greensWhen we got home I simply didn’t have the energy to return to my regular eating style of mostly raw food. However, today I awakened with a craving for greens and for raw food. So, after dropping the kids at school I stocked up on organic produce, a big try of wheatgrass, and a beautifully green tray of pea sprouts.

I had a 4-ounce wheatgrass shot for breakfast followed by my raw plant-based smoothie. And, as I write, I am indulging in a bowl full of organic red pepper, avocado, and pea sprouts with cold-pressed olive oil, the juice of an organic lemon and Celtic sea salt sprinkled over the top…absolutely delicious!

And, truly, I think that today’s raw food tastes that much better because I allowed myself to visit the ‘other side’ of eating and then to return home again.

Next stop…a raw lemon cheesecake!download (31)