Don’t Stop Pedaling!

Self growth doesn’t end until you do.

Sometimes we think when we get everything we want such as the perfect career, amazing spouse, healthy children, loving friends and financial abundance that there isn’t anything else to learn. You’ve got it all! What more could you possibly want?

Perhaps it’s not necessarily what you want, but what you NEED.

Perhaps it’s a better understanding of compassion towards others or yourSELF.

Perhaps it’s a deeper level of patience or a more expansive understanding of LOVE.

Perhaps it’s about CONNECTION.

I don’t have the answer for you because self growth is individual and our learning process is just as unique. What I do know is this: It doesn’t matter if you are a doctor, lawyer, waitress, mechanic, counsellor, dog groomer, teacher, parent or president…

We ALL have our own fears to face, challenges to overcome and lessons to learn. We can all go deeper, it’s just a matter of how deep we’ll allow ourselves to go.

YOU LIVE TO LEARN. 

It’s about EVOLVING as a human being: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually (whatever that means to you).

It’s about consistently peeling back the layers and gaining a deeper level of understanding of yourSELF and the world around you.

LIFE and all the experiences it provides is a GIFT and an HONOUR.

Embrace the process and it becomes easier. You may say to yourself:

That’s great Tina; sounds so simple but how do you EMBRACE financial stress? Health issues? Relationship troubles? Grief?

I’m not saying it’s easy.

It’s like riding a bicycle and you approach a hill, if you stop pedaling you will fall over, crash and injure yourself. It will hurt. If you keep pedaling, one push after another, you will eventually reach the top where you can coast for awhile on the other side.

Both options are difficult but one option has a greater understanding of ‘digging deep’ and not giving up. It is through continuing to move forward that the lessons and rewards reveal themselves.

In basic terms, I believe we are here to experience a greater understanding of LOVE in all forms, to all people, including ourselves.

You are learning at five years old and you are learning at 85 years old; that is my belief. The question is how deep are you willing to go and how far are you willing to pedal?

With a smile,

Tina

 

How Badly Do You Want It?

I heard some incredible stories this weekend.

The more I hear, the more I realize no one has a straight line to success. We all have twists and turns in our relationships, personal growth, physical body, career or finances. We have all been hurt and experienced some sort of loss in our lifetime. The differences amongst us are perhaps, how we deal with those twists and turns and whether we let them define our life NOW.

I’ve certainly had my fair share of bumps and bruises. In my 20’s I read very powerful, enlightening books and went to counselling all of which may have steered me in the right direction but I unfortunately didn’t have the emotional maturity or inner strength to put it into ACTION.

Today my life is different because I understand mySELF better and listen to my INSTINCT.

This weekend, the message I heard was loud and clear regarding my current goals:

HOW BADLY DO YOU WANT IT?

It’s an excellent question, a life defining question.

So, I turn that question to you…

HOW BADLY DO YOU WANT IT?

How badly do you want to lose weight, run a marathon, get out of debt, change your relationship or have the freedom to go on a holiday, spend time with your kids or be able to finish reading a book?

HOW BADLY DO YOU WANT TO __________________ (INSERT YOUR GOAL)?

The next very important question is:

WHAT ARE YOU WILLING TO DO TO GET IT?

Are you really willing to cut out all processed, fast food AND limit portions AND exercise regularly in order to lose weight?

Are you really willing to cut expenses and get an additional job in order to get out of debt?

Are you really willing to go to a counsellor in order to change your relationship?

HOW IMPORTANT ARE YOUR GOALS, RELATIONSHIPS AND QUALITY OF LIFE?

HOW BADLY DO YOU WANT IT?

I think it’s the kind of question that makes you think about your CHOICES and subsequent ACTIONS on a daily basis.

Everything becomes crystal clear because you begin to challenge yourself:

“I just ate a box of crackers while watching a movie; is that really conducive to my goal of losing weight and getting healthy?”

“Is being ‘right’ in this argument really worth the draining, negative energy and division it creates in my relationship?”

“If I purchase this lovely, finely sculptured pair of high heeled shoes is that really part of the get-out-of-debt plan?” (Admittedly, this one kills me but I do abide by my plan).

WE DEFINE OUR LIFE.

WE DECIDE HOW TO THINK AND ACT IN THE WAY OF OUR DREAMS AND GOALS.

We also decide if we are going to give up on our goals.

Obviously there are some life altering exceptions but I think most of us have the ability to follow through…unfortunately we may allow fear, other people’s opinions or negativity to stop us and that is OUR CHOICE.

So, are the CHOICES you make today in line with your greater goal for yourSELF?  Your family?  Your relationship?

I BELIEVE IN YOU.

ALLOW YOUR LIGHT TO SHINE. 

GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO CREATE A LIFESTYLE THAT YOU DREAM, DESIRE AND DESERVE.

With a smile,

Tina

PS. I don’t make any money from this website, so by passing on my book, “The Decision” it helps me while you can help others. Thanks for sharing!

Unconditional Love

Today is a special day.

It’s the birthday of someone who profoundly impacted my life when I was a child.

Her name is Mrs. Kathleen Lawton (Williams). She was my first singing teacher when I was just 8 years old. She taught me much more than singing. She taught me all about UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.

From my experience, I think it’s rare to receive pure unconditional love without any expectations, so I consider myself very blessed.

My singing lessons used to last for hours.

We would begin by first sitting and talking in her small living room. She would tell me wonderful stories as we ate something sweet, usually cookies, off a beautiful china plate. We drank “Chocolata” from china tea cups or sometimes we had juice in crystal glasses. It was lovely.

She was a short, round woman and hugging her was like hugging a soft, sweet marshmallow. I LOVED getting hugs from Mrs. Lawton. I felt safe when I was in her arms. I felt loved in the deepest, kindest and most compassionate way.

In order to support the family, my mom had to work a lot so Mrs. Lawton was a mother, grandmother, teacher, mentor and friend to me. She was FEMININE, STRONG, FUNNY and had an enormous capacity to LOVE. Her house was my safe sanctuary where I could be myself and I wouldn’t be judged, criticized or shamed into being anyone else.

It was a relief to just be me and know I’d be accepted.

She passed away when I was in my early 20’s. I was devastated. At that time she was the one person I knew on this earth that loved me to the moon and back and now she was gone. My heart was shattered and my grief was profound.

Today, she is my guiding light. When it comes to teaching I do my best to give to my students what Mrs. Lawton gave to me. Unconditional love…I don’t know if I come close, but I try.

I use her as an example of DIGNITY, GRACE, STRENGTH, KINDNESS and LOVE.

When people die, their body disappears and you no longer get to make new memories with them…but they never leave your heart. Of course you miss them but don’t underestimate the POWER and DEPTH of LOVE…it’s 20 years later and I can look at a photo and immediately feel her arms around me giving me the biggest hug. In a flash, I can be sitting beside her at the piano, singing “Do Lord” at the top of our lungs. (She loved that song). She guides me. She loves me. She is right beside me.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MRS. LAWTON. I MISS YOU.

I LOVE YOU AND WILL CONTINUE TO LIVE MY LIFE IN A WAY THAT HONOURS YOURS.

With love and gratitude,

Tina

 

Just To Love…

Ever had one of those weekends where you laughed, cried, felt fear and anxiety, love and gratitude and wanted to hug a fireman? It was a weekend full of emotions.

I traveled up to Kamloops, BC to sing at a friend’s funeral. She was such a lovely lady…very vibrant, graceful and fun. She was 85 years old when she passed away but years ago, she’d asked me if I would sing Ave Maria at her funeral. I promised and I was honoured to keep that promise to her and her family.

There was deep sadness for the loss of a loving mother, grandmother, friend and wife. From a performing perspective, singing with the energy of loss and sadness in front of you is very difficult but from a friend perspective, the promise I made to her kept me strong and able to fulfill her wish. I left feeling the family’s deep loss for the woman they loved; the core of the family.

So, how could I leave a funeral and the next day, post a Facebook status that said:

“I feel really, really, really happy and feeling the love…” ?

  • LOVE is what I saw, felt and experienced at the funeral.

  • LOVE is what I saw, felt and experienced when I was blessed to see former students, dear friends and family.

  • LOVE stays within the heart, flows through others and lasts past your lifetime.

  • LOVE is the most powerful, life changing energy in the world.

I was feeling incredible LOVE and GRATITUDE and then I had some car trouble. For some reason when my car gets ‘sick’, I panic. My anxiety begins to creep up and I get emotional. I love giving to others but I’m not always great at receiving…so I get emotional when I receive help. On this particular day, I was emotional for those reasons and then I happened to pass a fire hall with one of my friends.

“SHANNON!!!! FIRE TRUCK!”

She immediately did a legal U-turn and we pulled into the Valleyview Fire Department. Their beautiful, shiny red truck was outside with the proud Canadian flags. I wanted a picture. What I wasn’t expecting was the incredibly KIND firemen who came outside to greet us.

They were so kind and generous giving us information on their gear…letting us try it on…and take photos! The weight those guys carry is incredible! The jacket and hat almost pushed me into the ground…add the tank and tools and it’s around 80+ pounds!

So, what is the link between a friend’s funeral, faulty car and firemen?

Well, I want you to know that you can always find some FUN despite anxiety and fear.

You can always find LOVE and GRATITUDE, KINDNESS and BLESSINGS despite sadness and tears.

With an OPEN HEART, you may be surprised at how COLOURFUL, GENEROUS and KIND people are in the world.

As Nat King Cole sang in Nature Boy (one of my favorite songs):

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn…is just to love…and be loved in return.

I have such a HAPPY, GRATEFUL HEART towards my friends and family for sharing their LOVE and KINDNESS and helping me out in need.

Thanks Valleyview Fire Department for indulging me in my silliness. You brought a smile to my face and gave me a great story…I’d love to return the favour.

With a smile and gratitude,

Tina

 

Finding Opportunities

Opportunity: noun, 1. An appropriate or favorable time or occasion. 2. A condition favorable for attainment of a goal. 3. A good chance, as for success.

OPPORTUNITIES are given to us each and every day. Finding opportunities is as easy as waking up in the morning…if you are reading this right now, it means you have a new day and another opportunity to create the life you desire.

I reflect on my past and recall a few opportunities I let pass by because I was scared, depressed or anxious. I feel sad but I also learned something about mySELF.

OPPORTUNITIES are often overlooked, passed upon or even aggressively thrown away without any investigation. Based on past experiences, fear, other people’s opinions or pre-judgements, perceptions change how we see the opportunity. Instead of positive, we see negative.

LOVE is an opportunity and yet I know of some who have passed on the chance to love and be loved.

Fear and past relationships have created a wall between the opportunity and their heart.

I know of incredible opportunities to make more money, have more time and create FREEDOM in life which have been passed up because of what others have said instead of investigating it for yourSELF.

Opportunities that work for YOU, may not work for others…and that’s okay!

 

Following the crowd doesn’t lead you to your AUTHENTIC SELF. It leads you along everyone else’s dreams, perceptions and beliefs. Following yourSELF, your inner guide, your internal compass, your INSTINCT will lead you to your unique opportunities.

Understandably, sometimes it’s difficult to hear your INSTINCT when there is so much fear in the way. The “What if’s”, “How can I”, “I don’t know how” or the “I can’t” are louder but just because you hear those thoughts doesn’t mean they are true.

Opportunities can disguise themselves as pain, rejection, hard work and sacrifice. Sometimes they are like walls too high to look over, look past or look through but FAITH in yourSELF and TRUSTING your INSTINCT will help you understand that with each ACTION you take, the clearer the opportunity will become.

Every THOUGHT you think is an OPPORTUNITY because it is a chance to think something new instead of repeating old tapes of unworthiness or negativity.

Every ACTION you do is an OPPORTUNITY to create POSITIVE ENERGY towards what you really want in your life.

  • YOU DEFINE YOUR LIFE.

  • YOU CREATE YOUR OPPORTUNITIES.

  • YOU CHOOSE.

Please, don’t miss opportunities for new friendships, healing old wounds, forgiveness, reconnecting, growing, changing, learning, giving love a chance, making more money, balancing your time, seeking freedom of choice, spending time with family, learning a hobby, or finding adventure.

Opportunities are right in front of you…all you have to do is OPEN your eyes, OPEN your heart and OPEN your mind.

With a smile,

Tina

PS. Would love to hear what opportunities you discovered with a new perspective or fresh outlook. Was something fabulous right in front of you and you didn’t see it before? I’d love to hear your story!