All posts by janet

About janet

Say goodnite Gracie. Be kind to each other people it's good for your heart. Love you much and even more :) Living fearless dream big!

Generation Y Not

I admit it, there have been days when I have sounded like my parents. “Geez kids today, I just don’t get them.”
Often the reference was about work ethics or a presumed lack thereof.
In this article from the Globe and Mail, the writer points out both the pros and cons of Generation Y as employees.
More notably, in my humble opinion, is the mention that many from Generation Y are starting up their own businesses. I like to call them Generation Y Not.
These young adults are risk takers, change seekers, triers of new things and pretty fearless. They can be big thinkers who seek not just local change but global change. They are on a mission and they’re pretty tough to stop. Thank heavens for tenacity I say.
I think we could take a lesson or two from these kids on change and flow and shift.
As my generation, the boomers, begin to see their jobs disappear, their pensions dwindling and their investment portfolios shrinking, we too are entering the small business arena. According to this article in Business News Daily, the choice to be a solepreneur is often based on wanting something more satisfying to do upon retirement but, in some cases, it’s a financial necessity. There’s just not enough money left at the end of the month,
As Leigh Mitchell, founder of Women in Business Network, points out in this article October is small business month.
I’m thinking Gen Y may just be onto something folks and we boomers could learn a thing or two from them about this whole “small business, network marketing” shift.

The bone pickers

Hi Everybody, We’re Jan’s dogs, Kiera and Kieva. We are sisters, born in May, 5 years ago. We’re part husky and part Carolina Dingo and completely in love with Jan and her family. We’ve decided to stay with them as long as we can even though everybody knows huskies are prone to wandering: a LOT. We know a good thing when we see one.

You know that expression “I have a bone to pick with you” ? We hear it from time to time when we’re out and about and it’s a curious expression but, guess what, we do: have a bone to pick: with you.

Some of you know Jan pretty well, some not at all.

Thanks for taking the time to understand her motives a little better . Here’s what we’ve discovered. She has, for all of her years on this particular life journey, been an advocate for Mama Earth. She cleaned up garbage in creeks long before it was “cool.” She used cloth diapers, I know we thought so too!, yuck and she laundered those cloth diapers with an Earth friendly cleaner. This, at a time when disposable was the way to go and cloth was, well, poo pooed, if you’ll excuse the expression. Cleaning house at Jan’s place was easy: baking soda and vinegar were the basics and her kids were never exposed to harsh chemicals. No plastic wrap over the lunch at school for the kids, they had their lunches packed in containers that were safe and friendly to Mama Earth.

We love the story the kids share about the red wrigglers that the family kept in the kitchen as a natural composter. Worms, in the kitchen…now THAT’S cool!

We really could go on about how much Jan and her family love Mama Earth but we’re bored with that conversation now.

Here’s the part about the bone we’re picking with you. We’re kinda confused about why people buy products that are tested on animals. We don’t really get that.

Why would anybody make a decision to use lotion, or shampoo, or skin care or make up or toothpaste, for example, that had to be tested on a bunny by seeing how fast their eyes would burn from the “kid friendly” shampoos. We would never do that to any of you. That’s the bone picking part.

Get it now? Why would anybody decide to buy products that cause harm to Mama Earth? Why would anybody choose to buy the cheaper stuff that’s full of super bad ingredients that we don’t even know how to pronounce when there are alternatives? There’s that bone again and we’re picking away…

I know you love animals, we hear you talk about them all the time. “Oh look, that puppy is soooo cute.” ” Cat videos go viral” (we totally don’t get THAT!) “Dolphins are totally cool” ” That panda family is awesome…” See we know you love us but, well, we really are confused about the whole ” using chemical, not animal friendly, products” thing. Are y’all practising to be ostriches? Is that it?

So, not only are we cute, we have a solution too. It’s easy. Read ingredient lists, study contents and then make the choice to buy PETA approved products. If you’re not sure where to start ask Jan, she has a lot of knowledge and, if she doesn’t know, she’s happy to do some research for you, for us, for Mama Earth.

Thanks for letting us, you know, pick this bone with you. See ya on the trails!

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New Year Revolution

It’s close to the eve of 2013 shifting into 2014.
Every year people promise themselves this year will be different.
This year
I am going to “get fit” “take better care of me” “make more money” “spend more time with my family” “quit smoking”
The list is endless and so is the frustration when, by the middle of February, those promises have been broken once or twice.
Human nature kicks in at that point and a common response is to justify the broken promises and allow them to occur more frequently until, well you know the rest, those resolutions are collecting dust on a shelf in your heart.
I’m thinking that maybe, just maybe, it’s time for a shift in mental energy.
Let’s forget the New Year Resolutions ….
How about this instead?
A New Year REVOLUTION!!!
Yup, I said it, a REVOLUTION!
Forget the shoulds, the must dos, the have to dos, the gotta do its, forget them all this year.
I can hear y’all gasping, it’s ok, trust me on this one.
I have a question for you to think about. Grab a tea and ponder for a minute or two before you answer….seriously take a minute or two just for yourself.
Here’s the question. What is the most important/valuable gift you have ever received or
given to another person?

So every answer is perfect of course but the one I had in mind was this: the gift of time
Time, The Important Moments Everyday…You know, when somebody takes the time to listen to you deeply, the time you enjoy when your child asks you to read to him/her and you do, the time you take to stop and chat with somebody over coffee or tea, the time you take to go for a walk in the fresh air, to breathe in the beautiful aromas of trees and flowers, to feel the sun on your skin.
Taking time for yourself, for somebody else, validates that person, event.
As my mentor, Oprah Winfrey often says”Because you are here you matter.
People want to know that they matter. Time is the great equalizer for that validation, in my humble opinion.
In my work as a life coach the biggest regret people bring forth is that they had not spent enough time with somebody they loved.
It’s such a common issue and, really, comes with a simple solution.
Here’s the Revolution part: just stop, for real.Stop working so hard, work smarter, not longer.
This is the age when network marketing is coming of age.
Gen Y are looking at their parents and saying ” Uh uh, you didn’t have time for me, you didn’t have time to be fun, you had to work for a company that totally didn’t care about you, I’m not doing that. ”
They’re starting their own businesses, taking responsibility for their finances, yay!, for their future and, most importantly, taking time to have fun!
I met a young woman last month, we talked business and she loved the idea of working with Arbonne Canada as an independent consultant. “I need to be able to have enough money so that I can follow my dream of being an elite skier. I travel around the world competing and am not sponsored. I have a huge network, this is just awesome!”
The important factor for her was the time she could free up to do what her heart called her to do. She didn’t have to wait tables for less than minimum wage: she could hit the hills when she wanted to not when her boss told her it was ok to leave.
Isn’t that what everybody wants? To follow a dream? To live their passion? To spend every #86400 of everyday knowing they’ve done their best, lived their best life and can say, with honesty, ” no regrets.”
Who wants to join in the Revolution? Who is ready to step up, right here, right now, and say “I’m done living for everybody else, it’s my turn now

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Tales from the elephant trunk

Comes a time my beloveds when the ridiculed become the revered. This week the world says goodbye to Nelson Mandela. It is with great sorrow and much regret that his mourners grieve him, including his former prison guards.. Yes, this man, who was jailed for 27 years, who suffered terribly at the hands of his captors, who was ridiculed by many people, is now revered for the path he chose to follow. Forgiveness, compassion, kindness, turning of other cheeks. This is the stuff of leadership that goes beyond the population he led.

There was a time when Oprah Winfrey was considered to be the greatest show host in network television. This after many years of growth, of moving beyond boundaries and glass ceilings and perceptions about women, and black women and women who were not ” svelte” and women who were not married and..well the list is rather endless.
The decision to close her show down after 25 years, to start her OWN network came as a shock to many, including the media. They jumped on her like a wasp jumps onto a honey pot: fast, furious, unrelenting, going for the great sting of ridicule. “She’ll never make it.” What is she thinking?” ” Why walk away from something so successful?”
According to this pr firm, in November 2012, Oprah would not be relevant for much longer. That thinking was more common than not: the haters just had to feed the fury of disbelief.
Um, hey folks, fast forward 13 months and our beloved Oprah has, in fact, done quite well for a poor black girl from Mississippi. #justsayin
Through this process we, a little grass roots group called the OWN ambassadors, were, on occasion, privy to private discussions with Oprah and her staff. The work was hard, the team was tireless in their commitment to making this new network a success. That leadership came right from the top. Oprah seemed to be everywhere: interviewing, starring in movies, supporting charities, traveling around the world interviewing guests for Super Soul Sunday , Next Chapter, Life Class and introducing the very first livestream social media lab with guests like Brene Brown and so many others. She, they, worked hard and then they worked harder.
It was announced this week that Oprah was named one of the people on the Power 100 list in the Hollywood Reporter
That whole ridiculed to revered quote becomes relevant yet again I’d say.
Which brings me to the point of this story. I have a belief that we are all meant to live BIG, HUGE, MASSIVE lives but we get scared out of believing that to be true. It’s why I always sign my stuff with this signature: #livingfearlessdreambig. Honestly, I am talking to you!
Don’t give up on your dreams, never, ever, ever: just don’t. It might be hard, people may ridicule you but that might be because your big dreams remind them that they’ve given up on their dreams. Keep believing, especially when people turn away, when you’re as lonely as hell and wondering why you’re even doing whatever it is you have chosen to do. Especially then: do NOT give up. Some day you’ll look back at all those lessons and be grateful for them, trust me on that.
So, hold on, stay the course, keep believing and, if you feel like you’re sinking, reach out. I’m here, I’ll throw you a life preserver.

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John and Scoobie

I just had to get out out my little house house today despite the weather. The fresh air felt like a long drink of cold water on a hot day.
I got out of the car and treaded carefully into the dog park watching the icy path the whole time.
I so needed a good walk and I know the puppies did too.
I like to take the dogs to this park so that they can see their friends, and, quite frankly, so I can see my friends too. It’s a win/win.
The ice seemed to have kept everybody home and we walked on our own for a while until John and Scoobie showed up.
We’d never met before but, as we stood chatting, John said he liked to walk, ” It’s my hip, I had it replaced, I need to keep walking or I stiffen up.”
He’s a chatty guy, John, and he is a nice guy. Scoobie is not his dog he told me but boy does he ever love this dog. “His owner is super busy and I just offered to watch the dog while he travels. Any money I make from this I’m giving to the hospital. Scoobie’s dad is matching it too so we will have a nice donation by the end of the year.”
John says the dog keeps him happy. I think he keeps the dog happy too judging by how happy Scoobie looked running around with my girls.
John shared more stories. My heart kept getting happier and happier.
Sounds like a perfect candidate for my #oprah60before60 campaign and I told him so.
” Can I take your picture and write a wee bit about our chat today?” I asked.
Turns out Scoobie’s owner is kind of high profile and a little camera shy when not at work, for good reason.
Knowing, just a wee bit, of what it’s like to have a life like Oprah Winfrey, I am honouring John’s request and sharing this little snippet of our story and our walk.
Thanks John, you made my day so much brighter. I hope to bump into you again.
#livingfearlessdreambig

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86,400

Technology is definitely changing the way people interact socially. Online platforms like facebook, skype and twitter allow people around the world to chat, connect and stay in touch.

I admit I browse through my facebook friend’s pages to keep updated and to stay in touch.

Today I read two updates from people I know, not an unusual happening.
They both spoke of losing a loved one, on this day, during the 86,400 seconds that were passing.

Did you know that? Every 24 hours breaks down to 86,400 seconds. That always gives me pause to think of how I’m spending my time.

I had a vision of sorts as I read the two posts today.

Souls leaving their physical bodies, heading to a place of peace and comfort, out of pain and into glory. As those souls are exiting others are hovering, comforting those whose loved one has just passed, angels being present for those left behind to grieve and mourn. Wailing and keening and sobbing and through it all the light leads the soul home, to peace, to comfort, to eternal love.
Tears of sorrow and pain and confusion and through it all the angels follow their light to soothe and comfort, quietly and painlessly.

In the middle, the noise, the sorrow, the loss, the pain, the comfort, the peace, in that place, we may reflect on our own use of every 86,400 we get. In that place we may decide to shift, to love deeper, to be honest, to be vulnerable and truthful.

I’m not certain how many more days, hours, minutes I am getting, nobody does. I suppose that’s the bittersweet living of life isn’t it?

I do know this, I am spending less time reading social media posts, more time actually connecting, face to face, heart to heart and lots more time being present to how I spend my 86,400.

If you’re near by, let’s chat, let’s have a nice hot cup of tea and share stories. If you’re not so close, well, let’s make plans to write letters or cards or visit when we can.

Make it magical beloveds. Keeping it real a second at a time.

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Comes a time.

Comes a time when everybody stops to review  where they’ve been and where they’re headed.

It’s the proverbial fork in the road and, as Robert Frost wrote, “There were two forks in the road. I took the one less travelled and that has made all the difference.”

Comes a time when folks see what they believe their future will look like  and it’s often not a pretty sight.  Do they give up, shrug their  shoulders and accept what is or do they strive to create changes?

Comes a time my friends, is this YOUR time?  Are you looking for a shift? Are you afraid to try something different because it feels way too uncomfortable?

I know..believe me I know that feeling and I thought the same thing. How was I going to start that new business? I don’t know how to run a business but, oh Lord, I could not  spend one more day, in that toxic work environment. My fear of the unknown was not as great as my fear of being stuck in “what if” and thankfully I surrounded myself with like minded folks.

I asked and my prayers were answered. Has this been easy? No. Has this been  simple? No. You know what though? I would never go back into that office environment again, ever. My time has come, has YOUR’S?

 

#livingfearlessdreambig

When ego grabs the mic. A lesson in failing hard.

When you’ve been through some of the stuff I’ve been through, it can be easy to play victim, to blame others for the failures, to not take responsibility for the hurt you’ve placed on others. Fortunately I am not a person who takes the easy route in life.

A case in point though, for times when “easy” seemed to make sense.
Oddly enough those “easy” moments were always clouded by my ego. Not one to sit quietly this ego of mine, there were, and are now, times when it would grab the mic from the saner voices in my head and just take over the entire conversation.
I should have known better.

Picture this: a beautiful timber frame home, set on a backdrop of 100 rolling acres bejewelled with summer blossoms and overlooking a village of chalets and country homes. A space big enough to hold 75 women, their weekend gear, enough equipment for a photo shoot and make up glamour shots for everybody. Busy, hectic, fun! That was my home four years ago. I had offered it out, for free, to a group of women who were working on life skill development and empowerment skills.

When the idea came up to do this my ego immediately grabbed the mic from the rest of the voices, drowning out any doubt, what could go wrong voices, and puffed up like the Good Year zeppelin.

You know that line in Pretty Woman where Julia Roberts goes back to the store clerk who snubbed her and says ” Big mistake, huge!” Yeah that was what my cautious voices were saying but ego voice was louder.
Dam what a lesson I was to learn that weekend.

I won’t share the sordid details, suffice to say that my pocketbook took a 5 k hit, our wild flower meadow never fully recovered and the organizer managed to vanish into thin air a few weeks later without honouring her commitments to the people in the program.

Oprah always quotes Maya Angelou and I love this. “When someone shows you who they are believe them the first time.” Um, yeah, super good lesson to be sure. Apparently my ego missed class that day, just sayin.

Here’s my takeaway from that lesson. Trust your intuition. I knew better and yet I let my ego run the show. Big mistake, huge!

It’s not for me to tell you what to learn and how to learn it, that’s your journey but, if this story helped just a little, if I’ve reached just one person, then the sharing of my lessons was worth it. If your journey was made just a little softer, easier, kinder by this please share with us.

Be love beloveds. #livingfearlessdreambig

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Believe. Living fearless dream big.

If you’d told me ten years ago what my life would be like in my 57th year I would probably have laughed hysterically at you and walked away thinking you were just a tad insane.

 

I had pretty much given up on any of my dreams after a major medical setback, a business break up and the transition into being a mama with no children at home. Life sucked as far as I was concerned.

Have you ever felt like that? I didn’t know how I was ever going to find my way through the muck, to see any hope for the future. I was stuck, frozen in my tracks and ready to give up.

When I was a little girl I had dreams, lots of them, like  most kids do.  Do you remember your dreams? Lying on the warm summer grass watching the clouds floating by  taking shape as they shifted into something new. Those perfect day dreaming days , do you remember those days?

Do you have a dream that you’ve buried? A longing in your heart that just feels like a hole in your soul?  Have you given up?

Please don’t give up, just don’t. I can’t tell you when or how your dream will become a reality but if you believe, really really believe, it will come true. You HAVE to believe even when everything seems to be pointing in the completely opposite direction.

Ten years ago this year one of my dreams was to meet Oprah. I admired her  level of  integrity, her commitment  to continuing to make shifts in the lives of millions of people through her shows , her work ethic and her commitment to living  fearless and dreaming big.

As you can see by the photos my dream did come true. The chain of events that led to this were just small, random acts of kindness. The only common denominator throughout all of this dream journey was my belief in dreaming again.

My message?  Don’t ever give up, never ever ever, just don’t.

Dear Mom. A letter from a boy to his mom.

My son is 27 now, tall, quiet and compassionate. He is a deep thinker and a broad thinker, slow to judge..very very slow. I love that about him.
He wrote me a letter about ten years ago, a card actually, for Mother’s Day. I keep it close by and read it when I miss having him physically close by. Did I also mention he’s somewhat of a wanderer?
I bet every mom has a letter or two they’ve kept around.
Today I decided to share his words with you. It’s rather intimate and I am feeling a little vulnerable putting this out in public but the message is so strong It overrode the decision to keep this to myself.
As many of you know I am an Arbonne Independent Consultant and I believe very strongly in the opportunities this company offers for people who want options in their lives. If you want to be home with your children you can do that with this business. If I had known about Arbonne when my children were little I’d have jumped on board way back then.
Read the letter and perhaps you’ll understand why my choice was to stay home and be with my kids. It’s not everybody’s choice, I get that, but it sure worked for me. Was it easy? No way, I had ten beautiful, busy children in my care. Was it fun? Absolutely. Would I do it again? Nope, I’d pick Arbonne as my choice for financial freedom instead. Arbonne offers trip incentives, holidays, free products, gifts from Tiffany’s…just sayin.

THE LETTER.

Mom!
I read once about a belief in Tibetan buddhism about how to have compassion for strangers, enemies, and insignificant things like bugs or moss.
They say that since we are all reincarnated over and over since the beginning of time, then every living thing must have, at one point, been our mother.
There’s some discrepancy with this teaching because not everyone likes their mom. But, lucky for me, I can use this teaching, because you have shown me that a good mother is someone who will nurture you with affection, and delicious food, who will look after a gaggle of crazy kids to be able to stay home to look after you.
Someone who will encourage you to stand up for yourself, someone who will help you clean up your room even when you’re being rude and whiney…
So, thank you mom, for loving me for who I am. I have so much respect and appreciation for your motherly ways. Maybe in a next lifetime I can return the favour..

Ok, don’t you just love that? I am, indeed, a lucky mama. #mamabliss
My wish for you is this: May you always live your life as was intended for you, #Livingfearlessdreambig beloveds.

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