11 Dec 2021

Your Mindset: Friend or Foe?

Your mindset can be your best friend or your worst enemy.

This what I know: Your mindset matters! It determines what you are willing to experience, ideas you are open to and who you see when you look in the mirror. Changing your mindset doesn’t happen by chance. It happens by choice.

Here are 4 simple effective ways to train your mindset to be your friend:

1) Add the word YET at the end of a thought to give Hope and Growth. Ex: ‘I’m not good at that … yet.’ The simple word YET reminds you that your efforts will pay off and that there is room to learn and grow.

2) Mind over Matter. Instead of choosing to focus on the obstacles that are in your way – focus on what you want to achieve. Acknowledge the obstacles and then choose to focus on your desired end result to keep you motivated.

3) Affirmations. What you tell yourself and repeat, over time will be what you believe. Choose your thoughts wisely. ‘I’m not enough’ will create a very different feeling than repeating ‘I am enough’. Only you have the power to choose what you tell yourself.

4) Gratitude. Choosing to focus on something you are grateful for is a powerful mindset shift that boosts happiness and helps you bounce back from challenging times and move though tough emotions. Since your brain can only focus on one thought at a time – choosing to look at what you are grateful for (especially during difficult times and mistakes made) is a powerful practice that strengthens resilience.

Until next time…

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23 Nov 2021

Are You as Courageous as This Kid?

My friend Jenn wrote a post on Facebook which really resonated with me. I think it will do the same for you, your kids and students.

‘Today, I was inspired by someone I love. A key member of their team was unable to be present for an important moment. He stepped up to fill a role he hasn’t played, and the rest of his team stepped up to ensure success. He stepped out of his comfort zone.

This person is my 10-year-old son and his team is their hockey team.  John is a defender, but tonight he played goalie for his team. And his team stepped up to defend him.

Yeah, it’s just a game. But they taught me tonight. The whole team inspired me. And that’s parenting – we teach them, they teach us. Comfort zones are boundaries we create, and that we can break.

So proud of this kid and his courage!

And yes, they won – as a team.’

This is what I know: Stepping outside your comfort zone isn’t easy, especially if it’s accompanied with the fear of ‘what if I can’t do this’ or ‘what if I make a mistake’. Choosing to make courage greater than your fear will not only feel incredible, but also open the door to so many possibilities.

Until next time…

10 Nov 2021

What If They Don’t Like Me?

If you were to ask me what one of my biggest worries was as a teen, it would be ‘what if people don’t like me?’ I can remember having sleepless nights worrying about things I said and did – wondering if I offended anyone or looked silly.

While the desire to be liked is normal, believing that it’s necessary for everyone to like you is unreasonable. Having that belief started to impact my self-esteem and confidence. I started to base my self-worth on what others thought instead of what I thought. I was becoming more concerned with others liking me instead of me liking myself.

One day I realized the only person I needed to impress was the person I saw when I looked in the mirror – ME!

An activity that really helped me let go and allow my unique qualities to grow and shine was creating mindful thoughts. (an activity that works for all ages)

Take a piece of paper and write: ‘I CHOOSE ______’ and fill in the blank with what it is that you want to say to yourself. Create as many as you need.

Examples:
I choose to believe I am enough.
I choose to believe I am courageous & talented.
I choose to believe I am perfect just the way I am.

Place the paper(s) where you can see them as a reminder of what you are choosing to say to yourself. The more you repeat it, the more you will believe it.

Place the paper(s) where you can see them as a reminder of what you are choosing to say to yourself. The more you repeat it, the more you will believe it.

This is what I know: When you choose to let go of worrying and choose to start accepting that not everyone will like you, not only will you be able to focus on the people who are in your cheering section, you will also find yourself much happier.

Until next time…

26 Oct 2021

Are you feeling discouraged and want to give up?

When times are tough and emotions run high, it can be easy to feel discouraged and want to give up.

In those times try this:

1. Be aware of the emotions you are feeling (name them). Honour them by reminding yourself it’s OK to feel them.

2. Take some deep breaths and reflect back on how far you have actually come. The challenges you have overcome to get you to where you are today, use this as strength to keep moving forward.

3. Remind yourself that the journey isn’t supposed to be perfect and that you have the tools to dig deep and keep going.

This is What I Know: Challenges are chapters of your life not your whole story! You Are Enough! You Matter! You’ve got this!

P.S. These strategies also work for your children/students.

Until next time…

14 Oct 2021

Kids want to know They Are Enough!

I want kids to know it’s possible to face adversity and still choose to believe in yourself! That is why, in my presentations to youth, I share stories about two dreams I had growing up and the challenges I encountered along the way.

My first dream was singing the national anthem at a Blue Jays game. Despite being told NO multiple times, and feeling frustrated and embarrassed each time, I chose to keep asking. My persistence and belief in myself turned that dream into a reality.

The second was auditioning on Canadian Idol. I made it past two rounds of judges only to hear from the celebrity judges, ‘You can’t sing, give up and do something else!’ When I left the competition that day, I felt sad, frustrated, angry and disappointed. I wanted to give up! But then I realized, if I chose to give up, I wouldn’t be respecting myself nor my dreams. So, I chose to keep singing and recorded multiple songs.

Even though I encountered many challenges, I’m so glad I decided to learn the important lessons those challenges were teaching me – lessons of determination, putting in the effort, and most importantly – bouncing back from disappointment so that I could move forward with even more motivation to pursue my dreams.

his is What I Know: We can’t save our children/students from challenges and tough emotions, but we can support them, share with them, and teach them ways to keep going. Reminding them that it’s not as much about the challenges and emotions they face, as it is about who they choose to become and how they choose to bounce back. Challenges are chapters of life, not the whole story and when life gets tough, I want them to know…They Are Enough!

Until next time…


29 Sep 2021

Do you know what makes you happy?

Do you put your happiness on hold?

Do you wait for a special occasion or a goal to be achieved?

This is what I know… Looking for ways to bring happiness into your life is very important to your emotional and mental well-being.

Think of everything you could do to create happiness. It might be talking to a friend/family member, going for nature walks, writing in a journal or watching/playing sports. It could be as simple as starting your day with your favourite breakfast food, song or cup of coffee/tea.

Write your happiness list on a big piece of paper and put it where you can see it.

You have now created your guide to HAPPINESS – a guide that will remind you how to tap into your happy place when you are feeling stressed, anxious or ‘blue’.

I forgot to add…your happiness list should not include ‘I’m only happy when_____ is happy.’ Never let your happiness depend on someone else’s happiness.

You deserve to be HAPPY! Make it a conscious choice!

P.S. Have your children/students create their own list.

Until next time…

29 Jun 2021

It’s been one tough school year!

Even though amusement parks have been closed, I have felt like I have been riding a roller coaster with lots of ups and downs. School opened, school closed, school opened, school closed…causing my emotions to be all over the place – sad, happy, frustrated, disappointed, excited, upset – you get the picture.

That’s why I decided it was more important than ever to focus on gratitude – to focus on what meant a lot to me – what I valued most. I realized that ‘the practice of gratitude’ benefitted me, not only mentally and physically, but also emotionally. Focusing on what I appreciated shifted my mood and mind to a happier state.

With that in mind I want to give a HUGE round of applause to:

Educators (in all capacities): Connecting with students through a screen is tough. Even though you had to quickly adjust and adapt to a new way of interacting, you stayed committed to keeping students interested and engaged. You made a difference for so many kids. You handled their silliness, their emotions & their interruptions with grace.

Parents/Guardians: Being home with your children 24/7 was a test of your patience, endurance and ingenuity. You had to take a more active role in your child’s education, even though you may have been working at the same time. You survived your kids constantly reminding you, ‘I’m hungry. I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m hungry.’

Students (including my son Kai): It was a tough go. They had to give up so many routines they looked forward to, like recess, taking the school bus, after school activities, socializing with friends and for some, the before and after school programs. My son told me, even though he could see his teachers and friends virtually, it wasn’t the same as in-person, making it more difficult to stay motivated.  I thank our children for being brave, determined, tolerant and patient (a difficult one for all of us).

I believe that no matter what is happening in your life, it is possible to focus on what you are grateful for, even if it’s the tiniest ‘gratitude’. Sometimes, for me, it was simply the thought of sitting quietly for five minutes sipping a coffee.

Wishing you Joy, Fun & Laughter!

Until next time…

10 Jun 2021

Why did you say that/do that?

We tell our kids ‘Be Kind!’

We tell them kindness matters, that being kind makes a difference not only for others, but also for themselves.

Here’s the thing…our kids want to be kind. Whenever I do a presentation for students, they always tell me that kindness matters.

When we see our kids making choices that show kindness we feel proud. When we see a choice that isn’t kind, we immediately ask, ‘WHY did you say that/do that?’  

While it is helpful to know the answer to that question – I believe there is a more important question to ask.

Please watch my video for the answer.

Until next time…

26 May 2021

It is a BIG Deal to a Child

Children come to us with what seems like an overwhelming reaction to something we see as ‘no big deal’. To them, it is a ‘BIG deal’.

It can be easy to dismiss the distress your child is experiencing, not because you don’t care, but because you want to add logic, ‘everyone else is experiencing the same thing’ or ‘it will pass’.  You may even think, ‘compared to what I’m going through or what’s going on in the world, it’s not a big deal’ and then shrug off their feelings.

It’s important to let kids know that you see their sadness, frustration, upset, anger and worry and that you are going to help them
through it.

A few weeks ago my son started crying and then sobbing. He missed his friends so much. My heart was breaking seeing his sadness.
Initially my brain wanted to use logic with him, ‘There’s nothing we can do about it. All your friends are probably feeling the same way.’

I wanted to fix it, but I knew I needed to let him release his emotions. So I sat beside him & let him cry. When I saw he had gotten all
his tears out, we talked about what we could do together to help him through his ‘big deal’.

When our children are in an emotional state, our job is not to problem-solve. It is to support, comfort and listen with empathy.

Until next time…

13 May 2021

Let Go of the Guilt

You know it’s important to take care of yourself.  You know it will help with your emotional, mental & physical well-being. You know
it will boost your happiness and you know by nurturing yourself, it will put you in a better place to help those you love.

Knowing isn’t enough. You actually have to put your knowledge into action.

And beyond that… you have to make self-care a necessity – a MUST do!

Have you made it your top priority?

If not, do you by chance feel guilty when you do something for yourself?

If you answered yes – please watch this video

Until next time…