Above and Beyond

I have had an extraordinary day! After a fabulous day of work earlier in the week, I posted a blog called Thrilled and Fulfilled.

Turns out, thrilled and fulfilled was just the beginning!

Great JobI got an e-mail this morning to inform me that one of the participants in my workshop had submitted an ‘Achiever; Above and Beyond’ to recognize my work in his organization. And not only did he take the time to write a beautiful description of how I went above and beyond, he also took the time to forward it to some big names in the organization.

Wow!

I have spent the day just basking in the glow of being so wonderfully acknowledged. And also celebrating the fact that the work I LOVE is having an impact.

It also reminds me just how important it is to acknowledge those people who have an impact on me. How often do I think that I should make a call, send an e-mail, or send a card and do not get around to it? Today, I have been utterly delighted by a thoughtful individual going above and beyond for me.

And now I can’t wait to do the same the next time someone inspires, delights and moves me! 🙂

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The Mini Lab

I absolutely love working for myself!

I love running my business, meeting new clients, designing workshops, running workshops, coaching, marketing, and managing my time. And, I have finally come to grips with the fact that I also love sales (and am really good at it too!)

FlyThe only fly in the ointment of my entrepreneurial bliss is proposal writing.

Writing proposals hearkens back to exam studying in high school. And, unfortunately, I have had thirty more years to perfect my procrastination practice!

I have had a proposal hanging over me all week. And, the crazy thing is, it is a project I am super excited about and work that I really want.

Mini CooperSimon and I have had a very busy week and decided that we would go to the Lettuce Love Cafe for lunch to have a catch-up. As we were driving in our cute little red Mini Cooper to Burlington, I told Simon I was struggling with my proposal. He asked for a few details and in about two minutes picked out the salient points and, basically, had the proposal written.

When we got to Lettuce Love I cracked open my computer and finished the proposal before lunch even arrived.

Yay Simon!

I have such a deep appreciation for idea people!

It is as if their brains are just wired for ingenious creativity and thinking outside of the box. And, they seem to miraculously manage to stay out of the weeds of all the details that the rest of us just can’t seem to avoid.

So, next time I have a proposal to write, all I need to do is drive somewhere in the Mini Idea Lab with my incredibly innovative and out-of-the-box husband!Out of the Box

PA Day Blues

FrustratedIt is a PA Day for Michael and Zachary today. It is also a work day for both Simon and me so we are playing an awkward kind of parenting tag to get through the day.

I think my lowest point came when I got off a two-hour coaching call early this afternoon and just needed some time and space to process. Unfortunately for the kids, I was ‘it’ on the parenting tag and they were stuck with my impatient mothering. Just second to that was trying to rope the two boys into helping me with some weeding.

Oh dear!

Helping Michael with his two projects that are due Monday and not completely losing it has been the highlight.

I will not win any awards for my parenting today.

Oh well, there’s always tomorrow…!

 

 

Gong Show

As I mentioned in last night’s blog post, I am having a super-duper-crazy-busy-work-week and Simon is out of town on business. The past four mornings have started at 4:00am because, frankly, the workshop needs to be designed before I can go out to deliver it.

I am between workshops at the moment and am sitting in a Starbuck’s on the University of Toronto campus. And, with this morning’s slam-dunk of a workshop behind me, my mind has turned to the Gong Show of last night and I just have to share…

Sleepy CommuterI am always amazed, as I ride the buses, trains, and subways that get me to and from work, that people can sleep on public transit. And, I don’t mean a light cat nap. I mean drooling, snoring, sleep talking, and, my personal favourite, the shoulder lean. Really, there’s nothing quite like a fellow commuter asleep on your shoulder!

I am not a transit sleeper. I just don’t ever feel tired enough, I am not relaxed enough, and, it is not that comfortable. However, last night, on my way home from Toronto on the GoBus, I was so tired that I drifted in and out of fitful sleep.

When the bus pulled in to Hamilton at 7:00pm all I could think was; ‘In 90 minutes, after getting Zachary and Michael settled into bed, I can climb into my own comfy nest and get a good night’s sleep. Only 90 minutes, only 90 minutes…!’ I could feel the comforting mantra playing in my head as I made my way home from the bus stop.

Well, the Universe had other plans for me…

When I arrived home at 7:15, the kids were just heading off to the park to play lacrosse with my mom so I had a few minutes to empty the dishwasher, tidy the kitchen, clean out lunch bags, pack lunches for tomorrow and unpack and start repacking my own lunch bag. I debated putting in a load of laundry but decided I wouldn’t be up long enough to see it through.

When the boys got home from the park at 8:00, I told them it was snack time and then teeth. Michael told me that he could not eat his snack until he told me about a bullying incident that had happened after school (part of a larger issue that has been ongoing through the winter).

Baby BunnyMichael and I were on the couch in the living room when Zachary, who was sitting at the kitchen table, let out an ear-splitting scream.

Zachary tore out of his seat and ran to the back door yelling; ‘Mommy, mommy, hurry…Prana has a baby bunny!’ Our cat had caught a baby rabbit in the backyard and was proceeding to torture it at the back door. Zachary’s screaming scared her away from it so that when I arrived on the scene, I had a full view of an adorable little brown bunny lying on its side and twitching helplessly.

I am usually vey calm in an emergency. I can keep my head, be rational and I know what needs to be done. I don’t know whether it was just sheer fatigue or the upset of Michael’s bullying story, but the sight of this poor little injured baby bunny just undid me.

And, at 8:45 at night, all I wanted to be dealing with was the effort of brushing my teeth in preparation for bed, not dealing with frantic kids and an injured animal.

So I didn’t. I sent the boys across the street to get my neighbour, John.

John arrived all calm and in charge. He asked me to get a box and sat with the bunny and the five worried kids surrounding it (at this point, Max had come home and John’s kids had come over to join in on the excitement). When I procured the requested box, John suggested I call Animal Control, which I did. Animal Control told me they would send someone out as soon as possible. Seeing that we were all settled, John left the rabbit in my care and took his own kids home for bed.

At this point it was 9:30. My kids were totally wired, I still hadn’t heard the bullying incident and I had adopted an injured bunny for an undefined amount of time. I sent Zach to bed and sat down with Michael to help him. It was 10:00 by the time I got to the bottom of the story.

Animal ControlI had just settled the kids when Animal Control arrived and everyone came flying down the stairs to witness the handing-over of our furry little charge.

I had visions of a big, burly man who was going to grab the bunny and head for his truck to put the poor little thing out of its misery. However, what we got was absolutely the opposite!

The Animal Control guy was wam, nurturing and so gentle. He told us that the bunny looked good and that he was going to take it to his truck so that he could keep it warm in a little incubator. He also told us the bunny had a good chance and that, most likely, he would recuperate and be set free in a few days.

We had barely shut the door behind Animal Control when I burst into tears! I just felt completely overwhelmed with the bullying, the bunny, the late hour, the long week, and my partner out-of-town that I just dissolved. The kids, being so comfortable with my outward displays of emotion, just hugged me and told me that everything was okay.

All I could think was; shouldn’t I be the one comforting them?

It was well after 10:30 by the time I re-settled the kids. At that point I needed to craft a lengthy e-mail to Michael’s principal about the bullying and tidy up some work e-mail before shutting down.

I was just finishing up when Max produced a five-page trip form that was due the next morning!

Good NeighbourSeriously?!?!

It was 11:30 by the time I got into bed…and as I reflected on my extraordinary evening, I realized that my wonderful neighbour had swept in with his cape flying when I really needed him. It’s funny, when you are a mom, you are supposed to just innately know what to do in any situation that should arise.

Well…last night all I could think of was asking for help.

And, not only did help arrive, it arrived with a smile, a laugh and the warmth that I needed. Isn’t it amazing to know that we live in these incredible communities with extraordinary people who don’t even think twice about lending a hand?

And that all we need to do is ask.

I think that is truly extraordinary! 🙂

Carolina in my Mind

I know I am at risk of sounding like a broken record but…I love my work! I absolutely love delivering workshops, designing workshops, coaching and running the day-to-day of my business. On a workshop delivery day, I bounce out of bed at 4:50am, delight in donning my ‘big girl clothes’ and board the 6:20am GoBus with a smile in my heart.

This morning, however, was a different story. This morning I dragged myself out of bed after a restless night of sleep and pulled myself through my morning routine. When Simon dropped me at the bus in the cold and dark morning, all I could think was; ‘I just want to be at home.’ When I got on the bus I felt deflated and kind of sad and it wasn’t long before I realized that I was feeling homesick. I wanted to be tucked up at home having a quiet morning with my family. I did not want to be on a dark and quiet bus with a bunch of sleeping strangers heading into the Big Smoke.

By the time I got off the bus at Union Station the sun, thankfully, had risen, so life was starting to look a little brighter. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI was heading to College and Bay and decided the walk would do me good so I headed down into the PATH. I coached myself as I walked and reminded myself that I love what I do and that I feel privileged to be living such a rewarding and exhilarating professional life. And as I walked I began to feel the homesickness releasing its grip and my day beginning to unfold.

Just as I was starting to feel better I hit the Eaton Centre and as I walked by the Food Court I was met with the melodious magic of James Taylor’s ‘Carolina in my Mind’. I absolutely love James Taylor’s voice, his music and his lyrics and as I walked I just couldn’t help but sing along. And I didn’t just sing under my breath, I really sang out with gusto. And as I sang I felt as if James was walking right there beside me with a smile in his heart as he serenaded my morning blues away.

I sang all the way to College and Bay and by the time I arrived at my destination I feel utterly transformed. I had a wonderful day of training at CIBC. I connected, I played, I laughed and I lived the work I love so thoroughly. And I was able to do that because James Taylor had been sent with such exquisite serendipity for me this morning.

I am always amazed at the power of music to transform mood, to shape space, to warm the soul and to remind me of the sheer power of love.

And so, a big and loving thank you goes out to all the brilliant musicians out there who make the music that transforms me, inspires me and makes my heart sing out so loudly and so resonantly!

Ain’t no doubt in noone’s mind that love’s the finest thing around…’