Stop Whining and Start Winning

Every sunset is a chance to appreciate and enjoy another day of being alive

Sometimes life isn’t fair. No one ever promised anyone that it would be. The breaks go your way, then you can’t catch a lucky break for what seems like forever.

First things first – get real with yourself. You know that there have been times in your life when you didn’t deserve to win and you did. And there are times when it was yours for the taking and something unbelievable happened and you lost.

The important thing is not to allow the tough beats to consume you. When you put that losing energy out there, more of it is likely to come to you.

So what to do when it seems like the lucky stars are shining everywhere but on you? It’s easy. Follow these steps to get back on the winning path.

Five Steps to Get Back on Track

  1. Stop Whining – Take a couple of minutes to wallow in pity, but after that put an end to it. You can never move forward when you are stuck in neutral. Do what it takes to get going again.
  2. Analyze – Learn from what went wrong. There is a lesson in every defeat, and if you don’t find it you are missing a perfect opportunity to advance your skills. Figure out what needed to happen for you to win, and then work on that if possible. Remember, sometimes bad beats are just that. If there is nothing to learn, move on, knowing that these things even out in the long run.
  3. Regroup – Take time to remember why you are doing this. Whatever it is, it should be important enough to you that when you aren’t getting the results you want, you still can’t imagine giving up. There is no such thing as failure. Sometimes you just produce unintended results. If you want it bad enough, figure out how you can get better so you can accomplish it.
  4. Take Action – Don’t wait too long before you try again. Inertia is the enemy. Once you have learned as much as you can from the setback, get back at it. Don’t wait for the perfect moment, because it gets more difficult to start again as time goes by. Take a small step towards getting back in the game.
  5. Focus on the Wins – Any progress forward is a win. Even if you still aren’t getting the ultimate prize, if you get a little closer every time then that is a win. Keep the momentum going and stay focused on the outcome.

What to do after these five steps? Repeat them until you get what you want. Don’t give up. You might be one try away from winning it all, and if you give up now you will never know what could have been.

Believing in Yourself

Believe in yourself, and accept support from others

I remember doing a motivational talk to a group of young girls, all from impoverished homes, some not having families at all. Most of what I was saying was falling on deaf ears – they just weren’t resonating with me.

Then I said this and every one of them stopped and stared.

I said, “If you don’t believe in you, why would anyone else?”

Something about that simple sentence sunk through, ringing like a bell in their disillusioned young minds. It had an impact because it is true.

Whatever you choose to do in life, you need to have the conviction that you can do it. It’s far beyond “Fake it until you make it”.

It’s more like, “The reason I want to do this is because deep within I have the skills and talent to pull it off. I know I can and I know I will”.

To have that clarity of conviction puts you in unstoppable mode. And that is what it takes to succeed – the decision to keep working until you get there.

I firmly believe that failure doesn’t exist. You can produce results which were not originally intended, but then you learn from that and make adjustments. And repeat. And repeat.

Failure only happens when you stop trying.

Sometimes you get into the journey and decide that you want to try something different. Nothing goes to waste – you are clarifying and adjusting your intention. This is how you discover exactly what it is that you do want.

By believing in yourself and doing what is necessary, the talents and skills that only you possess will shine through.

That is the best way to make a living, and the best way to live a life.

Being Vegan

100% fuelled by plants – well, and vegan ice cream and donuts sometimes too!

I wasn’t going to write this, because to me the way you eat is a personal thing, influenced by culture, where you live, and even how old you are.

But as more and more people become “vegan curious”, I thought I would share my thoughts about a plant-based diet.

First off, let me say that it is a much different environment than the one I entered ten years ago when I decided to stop eating eggs and cheese. Those two items, as for many new vegans, were the last animal products in my diet. I had been vegetarian for another two years before that, and on and off many times throughout my life starting as a teenager.

Why the lifelong struggle with meat? Well, mostly because I never did digest it very well. I always found that I felt better when I wasn’t eating it.

For me, it eventually became an ethical concern as well, as I became unwilling to support an industry that doesn’t treat slaughter animals well. But that’s a discussion for another day.

After a decade of plants, almond milk, and tofu, I can honestly say that there is nothing that would make me want to switch back to animal products.

I feel too good to even want to consider it! And there are tons of benefits. It’s easy to stay at my ideal weight, my body is strong and lean, my digestion is no longer an issue as it was my entire life, and my skin is clear and glowing.

It wasn’t difficult to leave the meat off my plate. I just expanded all of the other things I was already eating, like potatoes, salads, beans, grains, fruits, nuts and seeds.

Things are so much easier now! Even fast-food chains are getting in on the action with burgers made from plants. But be careful – if health is your main goal, then being a vegan who lives on French fries and Oreos and cashew ice cream is not going to be ideal.

The question I get asked the most is, “Where do you get your protein?” Honestly, look at giraffes and horses and gorillas and even rhinoceroses. They seem to get along quite fine eating plants.

I have built more muscle on a diet of plants than I did as a meat-eater. I also suffer less bloating, digestive upset, and have massive amounts of energy too.

A well-rounded diet of plant-based whole foods covers all of the bases in terms of nutrient requirements. The only thing I supplement is vitamin B12, and that is easy to get in plant milks that are fortified with this vital vitamin.

This is still a personal decision though. We all need to make it ourselves, and the purpose of this blog is just to present my thoughts behind a decision I made and how it has worked for me.

I didn’t go vegan because someone told me to. Actually, I quite dislike when people tell me what to do!

But I did do my own research and my own experimentation, and this lifestyle works for me. An informed decision of your own making will always be the right decision for you.

Coffee – Yes or No?

If I can’t have you, I don’t want nobody baby…

If you are reading this, it’s probably because you are a coffee drinker and you want to know if it’s a yes or a no.

The answer seems to be – it depends.

Vague, I know, but it honestly looks to be an individual thing.

There is such a thing as caffeine intolerance. It’s a DNA issue – some people are fast caffeine metabolizers and some are not.

The slow metabolizers will have issues with the side effects of caffeine and are unlikely to receive the benefits. And the benefits of coffee can be numerous.

Full of antioxidants, coffee can lower blood pressure, protect the heart, benefit Parkinson’s sufferers, and be protective to the liver,

It is a bean after all – well, actually a seed but those are healthy too!

If you don’t metabolize caffeine quickly, you will likely feel all of the nasty side effects, such as anxiety, upset stomach , and nausea. You probably already steer clear of caffeine, because you know it doesn’t make you feel good.

Listen to your body and don’t force something on it if it makes you feel bad. There are many other ways to get antioxidants, including delicious fruits and vegetables, garlic and onions, and even red wine.

But for those of you who enjoy your coffee, rejoice in knowing that it is actually good for you! Just don’t overdo it. Anything more than 4 cups a day might be getting a little excessive.

Leaving, Changing, Growing

Lake Ontario – I loved jogging past here when I lived downtown

It’s a fantasy of so many people – to quit your job, do only what you want to do, and start your own thing. I did exactly that. And so far it is everything I hoped for and more.

Of course, planning well in advance of making the final leap is important. Acting impulsively and telling your boss you are quitting without having a plan will make the journey a lot more challenging.

It’s best to be running towards something and not away from something else. I knew what I wanted to do, got the necessary education to be able to do it, and even then I waited until I could wait no longer.

So what does it feel like?

It starts with a sense of excitement. No more obligations, no more having to do what other people tell you to do, only following your heart and chasing your dreams.

But it takes a special kind of discipline to be able to work for yourself, especially in the beginning. Remember, there is no security of a paycheck. Yes there is freedom, yes there is a sense of excitement, but there are also times when fear can creep in.

How will I pay the bills? What am I going to do today? Am I ever going to be successful? These types of questions can undermine your confidence, and make you question whether or not you made the right decision.

The key is to remain focused. Know what you want to accomplish, and then make strides every day to reach those goals.

What To Do Before and After You Make the Leap

1) Have a plan. It’s important to know where you want to go and what you want to achieve. It doesn’t have to be completely mapped out, but having goals is important. 

2) Have some security. You need to have a contingency plan. At least six months to a year of living expenses is crucial. This gives you the first few weeks to figure out which direction you want to move in, while still allowing you lots of time to adjust course or find supplementary income. The worst thing is to be unprepared and to start to panic due to lack of resources.

3) Schedule your time. You don’t need to schedule every minute of every day, but it is important to know what you would like to accomplish. Things don’t get done by themselves. You need to work the plan and plan the work.

4) Be disciplined. It’s easy to fill your days with busywork that doesn’t move you in the direction of your goals. Having coffee with friends, getting tasks done around the house, and other time stealers can make you feel as though you are accomplishing something, when in reality you’re just avoiding what needs to be done. Use your time wisely.

5) Stay focused on exactly what it is that you want. By having a clear image in your mind, it is much simpler to move forward in the direction of those dreams. Stay focused, stay disciplined, and stay motivated.

So far my plan is working exactly as I had hoped. My business is expanding, I am generating income, and I know what I need to accomplish each day to continue moving towards my goals.

By keeping your goal in sight, you will avoid falling into the trap of thinking you have all of the time in the world. If you aren’t using that time wisely, it will disappear and it could take your dream with it.

Relief From Life

Costa Rica – the ultimate place to lose and then find yourself again

Relief – switch the ‘f’ and the ‘e’ around at the end of the word and you get re-life. Have you ever wished that you could have a do-over, the ultimate mulligan as it were and go back and change a few things? Or maybe change everything?

Youth is wasted on the young. I’m sure that you have heard that one before, but there is some truth that our perspectives change as we grow older, and hopefully wiser. Things that once appealed to us don’t seem like such great choices anymore.

Let’s face it – we have all done things we regret! Whether it was something that now affects your current state of health, or a mistake that altered the path of your life forever, you can linger on thoughts of, “What if…?” or “If only I had (hadn’t)…”.

Nothing productive comes from dwelling in the past. But in this moment, you have the power to alter the course of your life forever.

Look around you. If you aren’t happy with the current state of your life situation, and you are about to live today exactly like you did yesterday and the day before, then your tomorrows are going to be filled with much of the same.

Fear of change can keep us rooted exactly where we are, unhappy but unwilling to take steps to move towards living a new normal.

I found for myself that when I changed the way I looked at things, everything around me began to change. In reality everything was probably still the same at first but it was what I was noticing that changed.

I started to see beauty everywhere, from a magnificent sunset to the flowers in bloom. I stopped being too busy to take the time to really see what was going on around me.

The most important thing to remember is that happiness comes from within. Just changing jobs, or careers, or relationships doesn’t guarantee happiness on the other side.

Remember , wherever you go, there you are. If you have a misery consciousness, outside circumstances will support that.

Through the gift of being more present and mindful, I found little ways every day to feel happy. It was addictive too – the happier I felt the more I wanted to feel that way all of the time.

Then I found out that it was contagious! As I became happier, I shared that with the people around me and discovered that when I was pleasant, everyone I encountered seemed more pleasant as well.

Is it as simple as being a “Pollyanna” and just walking around happy all of the time?

If the alternative is to walk around being miserable, then it doesn’t seem like a bad thing to try.

If you know that you need to change something, then change it. But first find the peace inside of you and live from that space. From there you will know exactly what you need to do.

Embracing the Simple Life

Smile because you are beautiful!

They say that life is a journey. I disagree.

A journey implies that there is a destination. I am living with the hope that I will never arrive.

Because honestly, the finish line is the one ending we all have in common.

Along the way, and before the final goodbye, I hope to laugh, to love, to embrace every day as the precious gift that it is. The reality is that it could be the final goodbye at any time, and we never know when exactly that day will come.

I’m going to live today like it’s never happened before and will never happen again. Because, that’s exactly what it is!

Five Ways to Enjoy the Life You Have

  1. Be grateful – We forget how fortunate we truly are. As long as there is breath still in you, then there is the opportunity to be grateful. No matter how bad it may seem, remember that everything is temporary. Including you.
  2. Laugh – Whatever puts a smile on your face, do more of that. Watch a funny movie, look at cat videos, or spend time with people who appreciate the lighter side of life. Research has shown that an upbeat attitude can change your physiology and assist the body to heal and recover from serious health issues. Laugh out loud like no one is watching.
  3. Give – Give freely of yourself, whether it is your time, your expertise, or your companionship. By giving to others, we forget how needy we can be sometimes. Those who give always receive far more in exchange. Do it because it feels good.
  4. Dream – Never stop believing that you can achieve anything you want. Strive to improve yourself by learning and doing things that challenge you. Don’t always look for the path of least resistance.
  5. Learn – School is where we are told what to learn. Life is when you get to learn what your heart leads you towards. As long as that heart is still beating, fill it with the joy of discovery and the more you learn, the more you will realize that you truly know nothing.

Dance, live, love and laugh. Take the gift of life and cherish it like your most valuable possession in the world.

It really is, isn’t it?


Hiding from life is a crime against yourself!

The mind is an interesting thing. Because it is such a good movie maker, the mind can propel us towards our goals or prevent us from even starting. Fear of change is often to blame for why we stop before we even get started.

In my experience, I can get excited about a new idea or project but within two minutes I can think of multiple ways in which it won’t work. This can sometimes stop me from even trying.

But what if the movie played differently? What if my time was spent thinking about all of the ways it could work and then go from there?

For example, I wanted to write a book. I was excited about the idea, but then I thought about how much work it was going to be, and what was I going to write about, and who was going to read it anyways!

I stopped and looked at what was holding me back, and it was the fear of failure. This tends to be at the root of most of our insecurities. We stop before we even start because we are afraid to fail.

I thought about what my life would look like if I allowed this fear to rule me. I was just going to get older and then eventually die, all without even attempting to pursue something that I really wanted to do.

When you think about it, failure doesn’t even exist. You may produce an unintended result but it doesn’t need to be labelled a failure. It is like following a map. Sometimes you veer off course, but you make adjustments and get back on the path and continue in the direction of your destination.

It doesn’t matter how many times you veer off, as long as you make corrections and continue to steadily advance. That is progress, and that is the way to accomplish anything you desire.

Sometimes as you travel along the path, you find out that the original destination isn’t where you want to go anymore. That’s called life! It’s moving through each day and living and experimenting that is the purpose.

Bring joy and love to everything you do, and continually create and follow your dreams. The doing itself isn’t important, it is the feelings you generate through the act of doing.

We are human beings, after all, not human doings. Enjoy the process, live with joy and bliss in your heart, and move gracefully through the world in every way. Regret nothing and enjoy everything, and see how things unfold!

Do Less to Accomplish More

Slow and steady wins the race

Never in history has there been more doing and less being than there is now.

Between work, getting ahead, improving yourself, going to the gym, dealing with children, trying to have a social life, and binge-watching Netflix, you are busy. And you are stressed.

How is that working for you?

We were told that multi-tasking was the way to go, but research suggests that isn’t true. Doing multiple things at once often results in multiple things being done poorly.

So what to do? What if you were to give yourself the luxury of doing less, while feeling that you are getting more done?

It’s all about taking time to decide what is truly important. Although we feel like we should be able to do everything, sometimes you need to admit that it just isn’t working. It’s time to take back your life and do things that make your soul sing!

Five Ways to Find Time

  1. Analyze your calendar – Determine what takes up most of your free time outside of work and obligations. Figure out if there are a few of these things that aren’t all that important right now.
  2. Learn to say no – This is likely the most challenging thing on this list. If you say yes to everything, you are saying no to yourself. If it isn’t important to you, say no.
  3. Spend time alone – It is during these moments that you can reconnect with what you want in life, and remember what is truly important to you.
  4. Think from the end – Meaning, go to the end of your life. I have talked to many senior citizens, and not one told me they wish they had spent more time at work. Not one.
  5. Stop taking everything so seriously! – Sometimes you need to get real with yourself. Is what you are doing really that important? Will it matter to you ten years from now? If you were told you were going to die in a month, would it matter then?

“The trouble is you think you have time.” Although this quote may or may not actually be from the Buddha, it rings true nonetheless. Do what is necessary and do what is important to you. Figure out what is the difference between the two.

Use your time as though it were the most valuable thing you have. Because, after all, isn’t it?

Have a beautiful, peace-filled day.

Your Body Needs You!

Teaching yoga in Costa Rica – breathing and checking in with the body

If you saw someone close to you being mistreated, you would step up in a heartbeat and do whatever was necessary to help them out. We are amazingly heroic in times of need, performing feats of strength and courage that we didn’t even know were in us.

So where are you when your body is crying to you for help?

I honestly see people treat their cars better than they do their bodies. We take things for granted, assuming that our bodies will just figure it out, never paying much attention to the little signs that creep up.

I implore you – start paying attention!

It’s so much simpler to deal with issues when they are small, whether it’s seeing a doctor, watching your diet, losing a little weight or getting more exercise.

Don’t wait until your body is screaming for help and you are forced to do something. Sometimes by then, it’s too late.

Five Signs Your Body Needs You

  1. Something is different – It could be your sleep patterns, your appetite, gaining or losing weight for no reason, or a pain somewhere that lingers and had no cause that you remember. Change is not always good.
  2. You are tired all the time – We lead busy lives. Sleep is usually the first thing we neglect when life gets crazy. But sleep is when your body heals and repairs itself. If you are tired, your body is sending a message. This is one you need to listen to.
  3. You are angry, or sad, or depressed – If you spend most of your days experiencing these strong emotions, your body is feeling it too. Your emotions affect your physical well-being more than you realize. Reach out for help to deal with whatever you are dealing with.
  4. You just don’t feel good – It’s nothing you can pinpoint, but you know that something isn’t right. Overall soreness, fatigue, brain fog and a lack of interest in doing anything could be a sign that something is up. Pay attention and maybe schedule that trip to the doctor sooner rather than later.
  5. Pain – This is the body’s ultimate alarm system. Something is wrong. Do not ignore pain, as it is there for a reason and you need to find out why.

Your body is depending on you to take care of it. It is like a helpless child, having to deal with a tough environment and being neglected at the same time.

Step up and be the loving parent your body needs you to be!