I Am Enjoying The Journey To There…

“To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.”—Robert Louis Stevenson

What a gorgeous sunny day it is here in Toronto (at least it was when I started drafting this post)! The sky is filled with beautiful clouds resembling fluffy cotton balls and birds are helping themselves to freshly laid seeds on my grass (sweet). The air is a crisp 12°C but my heart is warm with the love I feel for myself and those around me.

Hello my sweet souls! I wish you all a glorious day and may you find your path to your dreams and your successes, whatever that might mean for you. I am finding it quite liberating to living a life that reflects my authenticity and just being in the present…a life of peace, joy, smiles, good hearts, and loads and loads of LOVE—that is who I am.

I am here to tell you I survived the corporate world…shockingly there is life after the late night lattes, wasting away in that expensive leather chair that did nothing for your posture wondering: is this life? Words like ambition, innovating, leverage, influential, performance, promotion, personal growth, setback, fortune and opportunity, have taken on a different meaning in my life—they no longer own me and my corporate ways. Instead, they serve a more meaningful purpose as I now navigate through life designing a new map of the kind of world I would love to live in as I learn to not think n’or view life with my analytical mind (let go of ego) but start viewing life through my spiritual lens, follow my heart, and allow myself to step into a reality that is true to me.

Life throws at you what you throw in it. Luckily for me it seems, I have sown seeds of beauty, peace, friendships and love as it continues to show up in my world. Kindness, has always been a priority for me growing up, it was especially present during my years in what was an unforgiving corporate world.  As my awareness deepened, it became evident that I no longer belonged in a space designed to hold endless meetings that suck up valuable time, where passion is never praised or rewarded, but a means to compete for titles and the amount of zeros your paycheck will reflect. As egos grow so does the toxic air and I soon came to realize that what once gave me joy, was no longer working for me, it became clear that I was not being true to myself…and so I left in search of recapturing joy, passion and to grow a deeper relationship with myself and strengthen my spirituality.

I am grateful for all my past experiences, each serving me as lessons in life that needed to be learned preparing me for what will follow. Right now I am in that sweet spot in life, taking in all the highs and lows, experiencing life with clarity, embracing challenges that help me move forward—taking charge of my destiny. I am reminded each day to maintain my humility, always, think first of others and place with intention every action and service that must come from a place of love—this is my authenticity. I can see clearly now, that everyone that I have met, have served as mentors in my life, all my experiences as guidance to a path of self-discovery. I choose to no longer cave into the demands or expectations of others. Like my dog (currently sprawled on my floor snoring away) teaches me unconditional love each time I open the front door, or the snail crawling across my garden bricks teaches me patience and to be appreciative of nature, and that toilet that keeps getting clogged in my daughters’ bathroom (that keeps me wondering what the f**k is going on?), never relenting, perhaps added humor to my current peaceful pace.  I take all the beauty around me as teaching tools and welcome them with open arms and accept them as my teachers.

Ambition once related to power and rank, is now my drive to achieve my ultimate accomplishment in self-realization, it will be my major drive for personal growth and development.  To always be innovating never complacent, always learning, to outdo my last performance while tapping into a higher vibration bringing on a contagious enthusiasm that will inspire all those around me. While in this higher vibration, I am able to leverage myself to a higher level of awareness, I hope to someday have the opportunity to be influential by inspiring and motivating others to be and do better—to live a life of compassion while remaining true to themselves. My promotion will be to successfully lift others; that they succeed in achieving their life’s purpose, to elevate, support and cultivate courage in them so that they achieve their goals, their dreams. I now learn to view setbacks as life lessons, embrace all the lows and sweet moments in my life that bring me good fortune, and acknowledge with excitement the doors that open to many more opportunities that help me accomplish great things while remaining humble and kind.   

I find myself happier now, experiencing every moment with a joyful heart. I learn now that this is the way life is intended to be lived.  These days, I find myself drinking from the cup of love, peace, joy and a whole lot of gratitude and I am enjoying this journey.

This world needs a lot of love and if we could all just do our part, by spreading it one person at a time with a simple smile, a kind word, a generous act—what a bright inspired world this would be. Let’s keep evolving and become better version of ourselves!

Remember to offer love to everyone, be kind always including your loyal and faithful pets!

Until our next visit together, stay kind and true to yourself.

To the powerful you,

Ana Spano

Experiences Shape Us: Fear stops us from growing and evolving -Together we conquer.

It seems that all we read and hear about these days is news on COVID-19, numbers of significant loss, the infected, the affected – it is simply grim all around.  So, what have we learned? When all of this is said and done, after this soon fades away where does it leave you?

Our respective heads of government are doing their best to create a plan of action, one that will hopefully keep us all afloat financially during these difficult times. Beyond finances, they each cleverly have come up with slogans and hashtags to help communities get through this safely such as: #StayingHomeSavesLives #StrongerTogether2020, We can do this #AloneTogether, it is our hope that this assistance will last until such time that we are able to leave our caves and back to some normalcy – they offer us tools: wash your hands, maintain physical distancing and of course stay home – but that’s just it they are survival tools.  Do you want to be surviving or do you want to be excelling? Do you want to stay afloat or do you want to come out on top? It seems that social media is consumed with reprimanding their respective government(s) demanding details on how each will be assisting communities and nations financially and yes, this is extremely important and in some cases whatever your circumstance, this assistance may be detrimental. It may be inevitable in certain circumstances to seek financial support to survive, but for most; is this where you want to be? Is this how you want to live; always looking for handouts (for lack of a better word), to have to rely on someone or an entity to provide you financial freedom? I often find myself giving advice to couples, my daughter, friends and family that they must depend on themselves – to never have to rely on anyone else but themselves. This must come from watching my single mother while growing up, and just observing how she tackled life all on her own –having no surviving parents from a very young age, she literally had to do it all on her own; a quality I believe, I acquired and for which I am most grateful.

It would have been very easy for me to make excuses for myself as to why I should fail financially at life, having been raised by a single mother not having access to that extra financial support –but instead, my life although not extravagant, was definitely not a deprived life.  Despite the lacks in my life – it was from lack that I learned to go after and create for myself the outcomes and successes in my life as a career woman, as a mother, as a wife – no crutches, no excuses.

Now, here we are experiencing and being witnesses to some unprecedented moments that for some, its outcome has left them with much sorrow and significant losses – this has definitely affected us all worldwide and continues to affect us in the most negative and profound way; its aftermath never to be forgotten. It is difficult to find a silver lining during these challenging times, especially while we are still living it, not knowing its final outcome, my mind constantly racing with thoughts of where will it leave me? What must I prepare for if not for myself, for my family, for my children? So I dig deep, I pray for guidance, strength, and that my family and I come out on top in the face of this storm.

In my previous blog on “Your Success Depends on How Well You Organize Your Thoughts”, I wrote about how world leaders have to organize a plan and share with us on a daily basis the details of this plan, how we, as a whole will best execute this plan.  They share with us tools to survive whether it is how we must wash and sanitize our hands, avoid touching our faces and the importance of social distancing; to avoid going out except for essential needs – these are just survival tools so that we simply survive this pandemic. My apologies if it I am being repetitive with my message – this is intentional, it’s a matter of life and death that something as simple as washing and sanitizing your hands consistently and social distancing, saves lives. After all the washing and all the sanitizing, once this black cloud clears up, where does it leave you?  What have you done for yourself to prepare for its aftermath? Did you sit in fear? Did you spend endless hours on social media making friends you will never actually get to meet? While connecting through social media, might play an essential role for your mental health and well-being (an abundance of caution as the opposite may occur) ,what connections have you made that will help you successfully come out on top or that will leave you better than where you were right before this mess started?

As we live through this moment of crisis and learn to navigate through these rough times, it is expected that we look to our leaders for answers on how to survive, how to keep ourselves and our families safe. Through their well-organized plan, our respective leaders will lead us to safety, and hopefully that horizon won’t be too far. But, that’s just it, that’s as far as that relationship and obligation from our leaders goes – we must do the rest of our living ourselves. What will you do for yourself or better yet when was the last time you did something for yourself – unsupported, all on your own? We must not look to our leaders to get ourselves out of this financial mess. We have a responsibility to ourselves and to our families to do this on our own, to lead our families out of our financial mess, granted in some cases probably out of circumstance, you might be limited to what you can do (although I was not taught this) but turning to your government to make all the wrongs in your life right, is not the most fireproof plan there is and if this is your plan then, you must dig a little deeper. We all have gifts, unexplored talents –we are unique individuals with limitless gifts and I am confident that when push comes to shove, we can all independently and successfully get out of this mess. The most poignant message in all of this that is uttered by every leader and the media is; “what we do now affects the numbers on where we are in flattening the curve tomorrow.” “What we do now …“– such profound words on so many levels, don’t you think?

Where is the silver lining you ask? That once you come out of this, you treat this circumstance as an opportunity to reshape your life or maybe you’re already taking action and are using this time in isolation to organize your life – that you view this as entering the second act in your life, to a more successful you. I say this with the utmost love and respect, (acknowledging that so many have suffered significant losses and my heart goes out to you) but after you have mourned your losses that you give yourself permission to not stay in that darkness – you deserve so much more. Ever since news of the pandemic broke out, I have been making it a point to watch the Prime Minister and Premier of my country and city come out and share the devastating numbers affecting my country of the significant losses, they also share important messages on what we can do as a society to keep each other safe, and they make it a point to mention all community heroes making a difference in our daily lives helping us in this battle. The message is always #TOGETHER.

Some of us have been in quarantine or in voluntary isolation for weeks now and although some of us get to work from home, most of us are just sitting in fear it seems. Listen, I get that we are living in uncertain times – not knowing how we will come out of this on the other end, certainly is scary, especially if you are going at it alone. If there is one obvious positive in all this is that we are more united than ever; it is, in the worst of times that the best in us comes out it seems, and that is beautiful. We must meet our fear together, with courage and heaping spoons of kindness. The funny thing about fear after all this, (if anything at all) is that you will either be desensitized from fear or you will become more fearful. I hope you choose the former. The common denominator for all of us going through this crisis is, fear. Are you prepared to invite more of it in your life or less? It is my experience with fear that one eventually tires of it – there comes a point in your life where you will say; “I’m done with fear”, you then, surrender to your calmness, surrender to faith and win your power back.

Given these challenging times, I can’t help but to have my message intertwine with what is happening around the world today; the title and quote I chose for this blog would seem to be an oxymoron, that despite this current crisis affecting us all economically, physically, emotionally, psychologically; a moment where our faith is tested, that we come out strong, that we use this time to organize and shape our lives, our future; to have a second chance at life and it’s success solely depending on how hard we work together. I’d like to share a wonderful quote by Deepak Chopra that says; “Even when you think you have your life all mapped out, things happen that shape your destiny in ways you might never have imagined;” such a fitting quote, for the derailment and disruption many of us have suffered and are currently suffering as a result of this crisis. It’s all about perspective isn’t? Will you rise to the occasion and embrace the challenge despite the current crisis, or will you view the challenge as defeat and accept failure. Do you use this time as a time to innovate and find a new dream? I know it is especially hard to think you will come out of this financially successful when you are merely trying to survive and stay alive. My message is simple: make the necessary adjustments, view challenges as opportunities, embrace change, get organized and stay focused – in the end it’s your decision and what you choose to do that will shape your life, tomorrow.        

Proper health and preparedness will get us through and keep us healthy during this pandemic crisis. My daily routine particularly if I must go out for essential needs is: I sanitize my hands when entering my car, I sanitize again before entering any building, wipe down surfaces such as carts, ATM machines, return to my car and sanitize my hands again before entering my car. If I bring purchases – I do not bring them in my home on the same day except for items that need to be refrigerated which get wiped and left in my garage fridge to be consumed in later days. I leave all other items in bins outside my veranda to be wiped off with disinfectant wipes outside (items will remain outside in bins for days before bringing them inside my home.) I then, enter my home, take my shoes off right outside, go straight to the sink and thoroughly wash my hands.  I also sanitize my hands. And then there is the change of clothes. What once was a 20 minute trip to the grocery store now takes me 2 hours (I timed it) no exaggeration. I wipe counters as many times throughout the day and wash and rewash my hands because I have simply lost track of when and if I missed washing my hands. Neurotic – a little perhaps? This is my new norm. I don’t see an end to this madness any time soon so I must accept it as my life now. Am I tired? Sure. Am I bored spending days at home at a time? Of course, but this boredom, this inconvenience pales in comparison when I think of the risks our frontline workers are faced with on a daily basis, my “inconvenience” in all this is quite small – but it definitely plays a big part as a whole in keeping those front line workers safe. My being responsible and choosing to stay home while boring and neurotic saves lives. And no, this will not be forever, but I must do my share now so that tomorrow won’t be too far.

When I think about all that is happening around us, the significant losses suffered, I also think about witnessing the coming together of so many people from all walks of life, risking their lives for strangers, the whole experience minus the losses, has been nothing short of inspiring and quite frankly something this planet has needed in a long time. To see, business leaders, innovators, front line workers team together, work around the clock to get us through the dark days is quite beautiful to watch and to know that I belong to such a world where we all care for one another regardless of race, colour, religion, economic status, to be able to place faith in the hands of strangers for the safety of all is beautiful – an experience that will forever be remembered.  Yes, many businesses have suffered but it is wonderful to see communities doing their best to continue to safely support them in some way as a thank you as they risk their lives to serve us to better weather the storm.  

My message today, was not meant to instill any more fear than what you must already be feeling right now. Many of us are feeling the early effects of what this pandemic has brought with it; losses, fear, isolation – grim all around. Aside from the significant losses suffered, what will this crisis leave in it’s path? What’s on the other side? I will share with you what my wish is in all this:

That on the day the earth stood still, we all learned;

That from a world full of narcissists and selfishness;

We now, have a world full of philanthropists; a world filled with empathy and compassion for one another;

That our leaders have learned to be more caring more compassionate; true visionaries offering inspiration in the worst of times;

In a world that was once filled with hate, there is now an overflow of love;

Where entertainers and athletes were once worshiped as heroes;

We now celebrate our front line workers particularly those in our health sector that have risked everything to keep us safe when me most needed them and helped us win the war– the true heroes;

In a world where most were so self-involved, we now recognize that we love to connect and reach out to simply say hi and;

Show our love for one another; recognizing that small gestures are everything;

That we allow the fear that is currently driving us, guide us and help us see and understand that;

It is the small things that matter, no amount of money will get you out of this;

That we realize we are in it together, that we must learn to rely on others for the safety of;

Our families, the young and old, for me and for you;

 It is this common fear that unites us;

Despite distancing, we learn to work together to keep each other safe;

That in all this, we learn to be more caring towards our planet rather than destroy it;

That the time spent together has perhaps taught us to become caring parents; thoughtful children; compassionate employers, and all around better human beings;

That once we shed the cloak of fear and;

We put on the new lens of hope, courage, love, kindness, empathy, compassion; we will have learned that;

We can accomplish a lot together – all while the world stood still.

What will you remember about the year 2020? For me, it was the year that the world came to a halt, all moments big and small came to a complete stop. When birthday parties could not be celebrated with friends and family; wedding anniversaries, weddings for that matter and those once-in-a-lifetime moments missed, cancelled, replaced with a great deal of uncertainty, a year special holidays were non-existent. It was the year that we all had to learn to live without the things we took for granted. The year we learned the value of family and love – never to be taken for granted. The year 2020, will forever be a connection you hold with people across miles with whom you currently share this vast planet with, a scar that although may slightly fade with time, will forever hold your memory captive. It is a year that has made its mark for sure, not through our hearts but for the many connections made, the losses suffered and the unity witnessed. A moment in history best described as extraordinary times, in which we saw people at their best.

As we adjust our lifestyles and brace ourselves for more uncomfortable days, weeks, months ahead, let’s think about moments in history when the suffering was a whole lot more than having to stay at home and share space with loved ones for an extended period of time (time spent reconnecting), a time spent watching TV on our comfy couches for long hours, a time being plugged in to social media for an unhealthy amount of time, and maybe  time spent sleeping in or staying up later than normal whatever that normal was. Through this journey, this inconvenience, we  learn to recognize that perhaps it was time necessary to mend relationships that needed mending this includes relationships with yourself, with God;  the universe – whatever you refer to as your higher-self, it was a time when the planet healed as we all stay indoors and mourned our losses.

Today, every time I walk out my front door to run a simple errand I know what I will be up against, the risk I take to ensure my family’s safety and welfare – so I am careful. I also think about the front line workers and the risks they take for all of us – so I am careful. For those of you having to run out for your quick short survival errand, I ask that you pack a lot of patience, empathy, compassion for those suffering losses daily, and for those risking their lives for us and our loved ones all over the world, so that we might have a little comfort while we stay at home, all the while these heroes help ease this universal crisis during these unprecedented and challenging times – be grateful. 

 The next time you are free to walk out your front door recognize and appreciate that, that very freedom, was provided to you by the coming together of folks around the world who cared enough to risk their lives for you; a freedom provided to you with a whole lot of kindness, compassion and empathy.  No, our current circumstance is not easy, but it’s not for always – be kind.

Today is Easter Monday, and for most, it is especially tough not being able to spend time with family especially for those of us who are not able to see our parents due to social distancing. It is out of love, that we make these painful sacrifices to not be able to physically spend time together, something we will forever remember as a painful moment in time that put things in perspective. For those of you fortunate enough to have your parents live with you, please hug them extra hard this Easter and every day on behalf of the rest of us who wish we could. Whether you celebrate Easter, Passover or whatever wonderful holiday you might be fortunate to celebrate, embrace it, hug your loved ones dear and express how grateful you are to have them in your life. Life is meant to be lived, it is meant to be experienced, more importantly it is meant to be loved – let’s not ever forget that again.

It is my wish that we all come out strong, safe and healthy. If you are currently in a place of darkness, I extend my hand to you and ask that you not stay there for long as nothing is to be gained from a place of worry or fear. If you are done living in fear, if you are done, with being a victim in all this, then shake off the grimness of the past and embrace the brightness of your tomorrow. Hey, look, we are all in this mess together. None of us escaped the harshness of this darkness – this has affected us all. So, let us extend a hand to our fellow friends, our fellow colleagues, family and yes to our neighbours. I would like to express my sincere and heartfelt thanks to the innovators from a vast variety of industries and all front line workers from our grocery stores owners and clerks, restaurants bringing our favorite meals to our front doors, farmers, bakers, delivery services, police officers, public transit workers and of course, to all our medical front line workers risking their lives every day who find themselves in the unique position as being the heart; the machine, that keeps the world in motion when the world had to stop. Your act of bravery and kindness will forever bind us together, thank you, thank you, thank you.

We are facing the greatest challenge yet and I know we will overcome it, we will do it together. That this experience while tragic, has served to restore our faith in each other, ourselves, the universe and God. With love, kindness and compassion, we learn we can conquer the world, supporting one another –together we win. Each and every one of us has a responsibility and a role to play in keeping our families, our loved ones and each other safe, we each have a responsibility in protecting our front line workers, so I ask a simple thing from all of you right now for your safety and for the safety of those around you, and that is that you stay home, we will survive this, we will succeed #AloneTogether.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your families during these uncertain and difficult times, my hope is that you remain safe and healthy, remembering that love and togetherness conquers all .

Remember to offer love to everyone, be kind always including your loyal and faithful pets!

Until our next visit together, remember to stay kind and true to yourself.

To the powerful you,

Ana Spano

If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or LinkedIn. Thank you!

Your Success Depends On How Well You Organize Your Thoughts

It takes much energy to wish as it does to plan.

– Eleanor Roosevelt

Hello beautiful souls! Welcome Back! What happened? This year is flying by, we have entered March the month of clearing the old and preparing for beautiful spring already?  My apologies I cannot seem to get into the swing of banging these blogs out quick-enough – but eh, I try.  I will work towards making more of an effort. I hope this year has already brought you beautiful souls much love, peace, success and lots and lots of fun and good times. May you be blessed with everything you want in life, hoping excellent health is at the top of your list, because ultimately that’s the one wish that will make all the rest of your wishes a success. Excellent health and peace for all!

When writing out cards for any occasion, it is my standard practice to wish the intended recipient: peace, love and excellent health! Every now and again I remember to write ‘financial abundance’, but my top three are always peace, love and excellent health.  This is my wish for the entire universe – that everyone be granted Peace, that we all be surround by Love and experience Love and always be in excellent Health! As I am sure, you must already suspect I am a journal loving soul!  Journaling is my life! So, when I reflect on my journal, these are my popular three items I put most emphasis on as my wish for the coming year. Equally important, as you move your thoughts to the future and what you hope for the New Year, it is great practice to reflect on your successes and failures of the past year and most importantly what you are most grateful for?  This is not necessarily for the past year alone – but what are you grateful for, in general?

As you enter a new year and start tweaking all that needs tweaking to set yourself up for more successes, remember all the lows of years past that help you get to where you are today. The challenges in life are even more meaningful and if not the most crucial lessons because they help shape who we are today, our mistakes and our failures is what helps us grow. Without the lows, without the challenges, without the losses –we are simply just being with no set direction, we are not growing because everything is smooth sailing, we are not working towards anything leaving us with a sense of emptiness, no growth and what have we learned at the end? When we experience moments of sorrow, failures, challenges – that is when we kick it up in high gear and we learn to excel, we learn to look at things differently, our perspectives change with every challenge – more often than not in a positive direction.

Upon reflecting, I have a tendency to write these headers on my journal: Gratitude, Peace, Spiritual, Relationships, Mental / Health and Financial. These are the areas in my life, I most want to be in a continuous change, and it is most where I want to succeed. My wish or mission is always: how can I achieve more love, more peace? How can I grow spiritually and grow my relationship with God?  I begin by being grateful not only for my successes, but also for the challenges faced throughout the year that has helped me in becoming a little wiser, a little more caring, more loving – to live with more passion.

I cannot stress enough the importance of reflecting on the past as well as setting in motion of what you picture an ideal year will look like for you. I should say, that it is important to no forget to reflect on what brings you pleasure?  What is it that you would like to accomplish, what activity you would like to do, or an act of kindness perhaps that would absolutely bring you pleasure? It is imperative that you not only write it down on your journal but actually go out there and do it! We must never forget to do the things that bring us pleasure – no matter how busy we are in life. Things that bring me pleasure include: carving out some much needed time to write.  How I would love to press the pause button in my life and  be able to enjoy a week of writing straight through – no interruptions – just writing my heart and soul, out! There is something about writing that is so therapeutic – it challenges me in so many ways. There is the actual writing, to be able to put your thoughts down on paper, express yourself in the most meaningful and captivating way. Then, there is the editing process – the part that is most challenging for most – helping you grow as a writer as you carefully start trimming your work discarding what is no longer needed and then there is the final written project ready to be posted or published – allowing yourself to be vulnerable in front of others exposing yourself to be judged – this is growth and I love it!

As I write this article on my kitchen counter, I take breaks in between as I fix dinner. For most, this might be a distraction, perhaps an excuse to not finish a project – but as I navigate myself through my very organized kitchen, I put no thought to the cooking process it kind of just falls into place. My organized meal is basically cooking itself and I’m just the conduit or the mechanical process that manages to place all the ingredients together at the right time, the gas stove and well picked fresh ingredients is what determines how well this meal will be received by my family. Through this analogy, I realize that organization is key to success. Organizing, planning, setting in motion what you want to realize in your life is necessary to be successful. If January is the month you choose to set goals; a time to reflect, I urge you to make March the month to not only organize your space, but to organize your thoughts as well as your goals – your successful life depends on it!

If you decide to skip the process of organizing and just jump in to goal setting, hoping that your wishes for the year will come true, yet you are currently living in this disorganized chaos – your space is a mess, guess what will happen to your goal setting – it too will be a mess, they will certainly not come to pass as quick as you might intended. As you begin to tackle your goals, with the many challenges life throws your way in between, you will be better equipped to handle these challenges and you will have a better chance at succeeding if you take the time to organize, ditch the unnecessary and focus on what matters, focus on what will help you succeed – because you have already set a plan in motion and any derailment will only slow you down a bit, but back on track you go once the challenge is dealt with. Declutter your lifestyle and focus on the important, remember next year is just around the corner – make sure you are doing what matters now! Say no to distractions and continue to focus on what’s really important. Go back and read your organized list and do it!

I joined a wonderful writing community not long ago on Twitter and I love it! This wonderful community not only offers writing tips but they offer such wonderful support for all those on a writing journey. The best tips I have read on writing is to write. Get your first draft written and then do the hard work of editing, but write. I no longer dream about writing – I write! I no longer call myself an aspiring writer – I am writer. I love my writing community, I have learned a lot and it’s the support that gives me that push I need that will help me realize my dream of becoming a published author.

As I began writing this article (late February), I, like everyone else worldwide, got derailed with all the dark news of our Global crisis, so of course, my writing was put at a pause while I processed what me, my family, and everyone else had to deal with and do, in order to deal with this worldwide crisis. Understandably, this crisis has many worried, feeling helpless, scared, and have left us all with a fair amount of uncertainty for our future worldwide. We are relying on heads of government to create the plan of action that will keep us and our loved ones safe and get us through this black cloud. It is a moment that calls upon our faith and trust. To be able to trust and place our lives at the hands of people we hope have our best interest at hand and trust that they will keep themselves safe while keeping the rest of us safe as well. We all have to do our part to conjure our faith and trust that better days are ahead – this is the message that needs to be out there constantly, especially now. If you have the opportunity to help someone, then let that be your purpose today – to spread love, kindness, not fear.

We hope that our leaders are tirelessly drawing up an organized plan to lead us to safety once again to hopefully regain order in the not too distant future – but they need organization don’t they?  They are doing everything possible to obtain the necessary information from all levels of government enabling each of them to draw up a plan that will work for their respective countries to keep their nations safe – they are not going into it blindly, they are drawing up graphs, and consulting with the necessary governing bodies and experts in order to execute the best plan.  I say this respectfully: the only thing that appeals to me about this whole crisis, if anything, is that we are all working together. For a while, it seemed that everyone was out for themselves, with technology so accessible, the world seemingly at their fingertips – but no real connection, no sympathy, no understanding, no lending a hand to those vulnerable or those who need it – this especially from our world leaders. Given today’s crisis and unprecedented circumstances, our world finds itself vulnerable including its leaders , it is incumbent upon every nation to consult with one another, keep each other informed of their progress, their plan to how best resolve and combat this current global crisis .

If you look at history, humans have survived a great deal haven’t we? Global crisis dating so far back when technology was not available as it is today both on the medical front and as lines of communication – but we survived didn’t we? We must be grateful today that we have the resources available to us to manage and combat this current crisis however, it must be done globally. We are relying on everyone’s participation – not just front line workers – everyone! Trust and faith are, key. To trust our leaders while they organize the best plan of action to keep us safe, that we have faith in them, that they in turn have faith in their fellow constituents to execute their orders and assist with the best plan of action. In turn, our leaders must also have faith in us to ensure we follow through with orders in order to maintain safety. It is to have faith (period). To have come to a point in our lives that the circumstances have left us feeling that our lives are in peril; a time of darkness and uncertainty – that is when we must muster faith.

The word ‘faith’ alone conjures feelings of positivity even if currently there is no concise set plan – but we have faith in our leaders that one is being procured. That faith, allows our leaders to lead, knowing that there is this trust that when we needed it most, they will step up to the plate and protect us from harm and lead us to safety, thereby restoring all that is needed to be restored, to give our lives purpose once more. My faith is with my God, the laws of the universe, my higher being, and our current leader in government. My book on ‘Perspectives’ currently being edited, offers a chapter on faith and the importance of such a powerful noun that should exist in your everyday life. What are you currently doing that keeps you grounded and on purpose? What generally keeps you in good spirits and offers you that peace of mind that: “It too, shall pass?”    

It is important that during times of crisis, that we keep focused, that we all share in the responsibility and work together to help one another especially those who are more vulnerable. Now, is not the time to start pointing fingers, to critique, and there is certainly no room for unkindness. We must all be respectful of our neighbours; those with whom we share this planet, to  be kind to one another and yes, we must roll up our sleeves, support and help one another in whatever form that may be – time is of the essence, let’s do our part.

Now, that we have been involuntarily summoned to self-isolate and/or quarantine let’s go back to the organizing I talked about earlier in the opening of my blog. It seems, life often gets in the way with all of our responsibilities and we never give ourselves the much needed time to put together a plan that will enable us to better succeed or simply put – achieve our goals. Now, we have that time. Stop sitting in fear and put a list together of the future you! And not just your future you – but the ideal you! What have you come to realize about yourself or your life now that you have had the time to reflect? If you are a business owner – how have these recent events affected you and what do you see yourself doing now to better succeed? How will you innovate to withstand any future crisis? I challenge you to pull yourself away from whatever mindless activity this current circumstance has put you in and start organizing, start trimming, start innovating, what will be your strategy, what does your end result look like? We live in a very different historical moment – having access to so much at our fingertips, don’t let the opportunity to rise to the occasion slip through your fingers – now is the time to shine! Put into action what you, hope to create and what will help you realize that new and successful you!   

 So as you reflect, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. Have I grown as a person?
  2. Have I embraced the challenges I was faced with and have I grown despite the challenges or have I grown in spite of these challenges?
  3. What specific action can I take today to get me a little closer to my goal?
  4. Have I done my share as a humanitarian? Who can I help today?
  5. How can I be more loving? How can I be more compassionate?

My list of questions and reflection is endless but I shared a smaller version with you to help you get started on yours. As you begin to reflect and implement this practice of reflection and organizing your thoughts and goals you will soon start adding to your list what is important to you of course and what resonates with you and your being.

I also, always end my daily journaling with affirmations because it is the most powerful way of ensuring that your list of wishes or goal setting becomes reality – it is a powerful tool that improves your quality of life!  By being deliberate in our intentions we can certainly guarantee ourselves success!

I would like to share some examples:

  1. I know that the universe always provides for me and I am extremely grateful
  2. I know that everything always works out for me in the most positive way
  3. I know that God (the universe, whatever higher being you look to for guidance) has a bigger plan for me  and although I may currently not see a way I know God; the universe, knows what is best for me and I am open to its guidance
  4. I am success – I allow myself to feel successful

We can choose to sit on the sidelines while we wait for daily instructions to be given to us by our nations’ leaders and for the most part we must listen to what those instructions are from a safety perspective, but we must also step up to the plate and shine as leaders, in our own organizations, in our families – to keep them safe. Stop thinking for yourself – that is not caring, it is certainly not leading, you must take yourself out of the equation and start putting others first if we are going to slowly get ourselves out of this mess! There is no room for blame, no room for chaos and certainly no room for political agendas – just solutions.  Everyone must certainly do their part.  

It was my initial vision for this blog to provide a message on the importance of organization from a goal setting perspective, but instead as life often does, I was thrown a curve ball; a harsh one at that, so I re-organized and got a little derailed but my message remains: get organized and stay focused. Leaders; lead, but they do it with a plan – start yours!  I wish nothing more than for you to succeed at whatever you choose, whatever journey, but you need to first have a vision of where you see that journey taking you, make a plan and then go for it – I promise you, you will better enjoy it or at least you will definitely see it through and if you change your vision along the way, then hey, you re-organize and execute your new plan – you owe it to yourself!  

My priority during this difficult time and time of uncertainty is to offer my support to those most vulnerable, I hope it will be yours as well. Whether it is to physically assist or simply stay indoors and do our part to help “flatten the curve” of this COVID-19 public health crisis we all have an obligation to be good humanitarians.

We are currently living this unprecedented crisis, it’s outcome filled with uncertainty but know and have faith that this is temporary, we will survive this and it’s conclusion although uncertain will hopefully leave each and every one of us personally a little better than how we started going into this crisis, of course I am not referring to financial perspective, but your internal being. That despite a global recession, despite losses suffered during these dark times, that you perhaps if nothing else, have learned to view life through a new lens, a lens that has opened doors to a new world filled with compassion, a world filled with love, kindness and peace. Yes, the economy will have taken a hit, it’s set-back a temporary derailment, despite the upset soon enough we will be taken on a new path, new trends, new ways of conducting our businesses perhaps – it is inevitable. It is my wish that as we enter this new way of life that Peace fill our minds, Love for one another, and that we experience more closeness and togetherness with our families and in general. That we of course come out of this healthy because in the end it was not the money that got us through this it was our health, it was how healthy we maintained ourselves, mind and body! So, it is my wish for you that you be blessed with much Peace, Love and excellent Health!

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your families during this uncertain and difficult time, my hope is that you remain safe and healthy .

Remember to offer love to everyone, be kind always including your loyal and faithful pets!

Until our next visit together, remember to stay kind and true to yourself.

To the powerful you,

Ana Spano

If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or LinkedIn. Thank you!

“Embrace change, It is the only constant in our lives” – Ana Spano

Hello beautiful souls, my apologies for taking a little break in between. Sometimes in life, we need to recognize that a break is in order, to take a breather, to allow the little things happen around us that enable us to gain a new perspective; a time to reflect; a time to develop a relationship with the inevitable changes around us.  Are you being? Or are you doing? What is your relationship with change? Are you embracing it or do you dread change? Do you associate fear with change? In the end, know change is going to happen – so embrace it, your best life depends on it!

                My message today, comes from a quote by the great Greek philosopher, Heraclitus who said: “change is the only constant in life.” With its twists and turns, life has a tendency to shake us; life happens, it is full of experiences, some negative, some positive, some a little sad, but they are experiences nonetheless that are subject to change. We each have choices in life that take us on different journeys, a path ultimately leading us to where we need to be – our destination. It is how we react to change that will determine how well we reach the next level of understanding of such experiences; each time making the experience(s) a little less painful, a little less disappointing. In accepting change, as part of life, we gain strength and inner peace.

                I am quickly recognizing that as I commit to writing more and more, allowing this shift in my life, I will attract more of the situations; or experiences rather, that I need to attract in my life, in order to write from a place of the heart – from a place of living. If we are not out there living our experiences then what are we doing? As writers, how can we effectively engage our readers, if we are not writing from experience? It is from experience that words are born from a place of love, a place of passion.

                The past few months, my thoughts and experiences come from a place of conflict; do I go this way or that way? I have been asking myself: what brings me passion? For those of you who follow me on twitter or perhaps have read My First Blog, you will know a bit about my background in that I am currently working in the legal field slowly making my transition from legal to hopefully becoming a full-time writer and published author. Whereas my current work, once upon a time brought me full joy, with time and life experiences, I can honestly say it is no longer my passion.

                I was quite young when I entered my current field, having only been married a few months, I threw myself into my work, embraced the long hours, making very little time to smell the roses and look up at the sky every now and again. I carved very little to no-time, to nurture the child in me that was filled with passions and dreams. Now looking back 28 years, I realize that it was the path my life needed to take in order to become the individual I am today. In fact, it is the path that allows me to explore this new found passion of one day becoming a published author. As a young adult getting her feet wet in the legal field, many changes had to occur. There were long hours that had to be endured early on, that taught me responsibility, determination, and dedication that groomed me to the experienced devoted professional I am today – qualities I apply in my personal life as well.

                I married quite young, fresh out of school another happy yet very life altering experience; a change that taught me patience, love, and selflessness. You see, as you go about life on your own, as a kid, and as a young adult, it is all about ‘me’; it’s about what ‘I’ can get out of it. But when you find your true partner in life, and you make a commitment, there is a shift that occurs in that little ‘selfish’ you, and you now learn to make time for others, you learn to see things from others’ point of view because you wish to re-experience all those moments as you once did at some point in your life, except  you now wish to experience it through their eyes – which is often a very different more fulfilling experience. It is in doing so, that you learn to love, that you learn to be selfless – a beautiful gift.

                As we live out our experiences in life, we are often changing. Our experiences shift our thoughts, shift our paths, and direction in life, it is what makes us grow as human beings – embrace it! As I enter a new phase in my life, now older and hopefully wiser I invite change, I no longer fear it because I have come to recognize that it is the only constant in my life and with it I continue to grow.

With change…

I realize I am no longer that little girl second guessing herself filled with doubt,

I am no longer the teenager full of big dreams and unanswered prayers,

I realize I am no longer that newlywed filled with insecurity, self-doubt, fear of what the future might hold,

I am no longer that professional questioning her place in the corporate world too eager to measure my success by the check-marks acquired  on an unrealistic set of goals that don’t even reflect who I am,

I realize I am no longer that ‘newbie’ parent too afraid to try unconventional remedies, who thinks outside the box when disciplining her family to ensure her family is healthy, safe and well loved,

It is with change that I have learned that in order to succeed at life, I must first learn to love myself and believe in myself,

It is with change that I embrace my mistakes and my failures and find my personal fulfillment.

                Life experiences and the constant change have been my true education in life. I recognize that change is an opportunity to grow – always. Change has allowed me to evolve into this well-rounded individual and it has taught me to truly analyze and accept myself, acknowledging the good moments, the bad and the growth that comes from how well I react to it. In embracing change, it enables me to live my truth, to live my purpose and what a wonderful place to be.

                The shift in change for me lately is ‘to live my best life now.’ This is my current ‘mantra’ and so… it is. It is to live my best life now, not tomorrow, not when I have more money, not when the moment is right, not when I have met the right people, not when I am feeling better. It is to live it now! This is the way life is intended to be lived. Allow change to take you to your intended purpose. Stop creating obstacles by procrastinating, or generating unnecessary fear and doubt. With change you learn to view all disappointments as blessings, ease yourself into the course of your natural being and allow yourself to love and be loved, thus allowing you to not only realize your full potential but to realize your true potential – the very core of who you were meant to be, not the product of circumstance.

                Change is an inevitable part of life. Focus on what is working for you and do away with the people and circumstances that are keeping you from being the best version of you. Believe in yourself and the experiences that got you where you are today. Value the journey, face your failures with courage, your mistakes with persistence, and love with humility and you will achieve personal fulfillment because in the end that is what will allow you to live YOUR best life NOT the life others want for you.

                I go through life not knowing what my future holds, many outside influential elements offering much uncertainty in areas of health, finance, relationships, spirituality and faith. With each path I choose, change is to be expected. People have come and gone in my life, there is never a shortage of disappointments; experiences are forever altering my thoughts and my very being; but the one thing I can always rely on is change, it is a constant – so I embrace it, I accept it as my teacher in life.

  No one in life is exempted from change; it slips in and out of our lives at any age when you least or most expect it. It may be small, it may be life altering, know that change is very much a part of life, offering an opportunity for growth. Always pay attention to what is going on around you, experience every moment, fully, no matter how painful, for it is in the face of pain that your life will have deeper meaning unlocking your full potential. Learning to embrace the impermanence in life, calmly navigating through the changes that often bring with it challenges, will ultimately catapult you to true success in creating and living your ideal life!

Until our next visit together, remember to stay kind and true to yourself.

To the powerful you,

Ana Spano

If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or LinkedIn. Thank you!


Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.

– Michael J. Fox

Welcome back! I hope you enjoyed my first blog. I am having fun embracing this writing venture – truly, a long-time passion of mine.  This Blog is a tribute to family and the importance of family values. Today, we are celebrating Family Day, here in Canada, we are given an opportunity to enjoy Family Day; a statutory holiday recognized by our government, created to spend more time with family – precious loved ones in our lives.

When we think of family, hopefully we all visualize harmony, love, bonding, and all the beautiful loving feelings that are deep rooted within us that fill us when we have the opportunity of getting together with our immediate families and our extended families as well.

Today, it seems that we have lost the value of what family signifies.  Gone are the days of getting together with grandparents for Sunday lunch or brunch, now being replaced with dance, soccer, hockey and whatever sport is up for the season. We no longer connect with our families in a way that is meaningful, through conversation, through touch, that makes us feel the inevitable- love. Instead, we spend most of our free time being plugged into our devices, always distracted, distancing ourselves from the ones we love.

Where have our traditions gone?  Life today has us on such a whirlwind with all the toys and whistles that we have forgotten the true meaning of what being a family is truly about.  Have you ever heard the expression: “a family that eats together, stays together? Or is it a family that prays together stays together,” whatever the phrase is, the operative word is together.  What happened to sit down dinners?  Are the tables in our kitchens and dining rooms just space fillers? 

As society gives in to the ever growing technological day-to-day demands, we have simply forgotten to make family time.  Sure, there has been a rise in family vacations. Families are now working harder to be able to afford that family trip at the end of the year.  But are you really bonding as a family when you get to your sunny destinations?  Or are you simply taking a trip because it is the trendy thing to do all the while fulfilling your thirst for envy by those around you? While you are out there working on your tan and shopping for that expensive bag or jewelry are you truly bonding with your children and partner?

Reading today’s media, we read articles filled with these young larger than life idols but where have they gone wrong?   What is truly keeping these young idols from achieving their true dream of family, and staying grounded, after all isn’t that what we all dream of achieving anyway?  Fame is wonderful as long as you have your family supporting you every step of the way.  It is your family that will catch you when you fall, not the paparazzi or the box office.

Putting it in perspective, a family is the bonding of a group of people whether blood related or not who will go to bat for you when things are just not going well.  A family will hold you when you need to be held, they will, more often than not, get on your nerves, but that is what makes us grow closer together once we have ironed out our differences.   They will make you laugh when you need a little cheering and they make you shed tears when things are said and done that are close to the heart—that is what makes family so sacred and truly special.   Therefore, don’t families need celebration?  Perhaps, some gratitude for all that they put forth as a unit?  So why not celebrate by spending some time together to really truly bond and show the respect it deserves.

Some few years back, pop idols: the “Jonas Brothers”, created a media frenzy with their innovative sound and talent, writing and producing their own music and lyrics, this was a band composed of three brothers all with a talent that had girls as young as 4 to age 20 and their mothers, enjoying their talents on stage and off.  Their secret: a strong family bond.  They are in fact, four brothers, one of which was too young to join the band at the time, but either way, received some recognition in many interviews—this shows a great value for all members in this particular family.  They show a tremendous amount of respect for one another, each holding an important role in the band and this is truly what sets them apart; in my opinion, from other performers.  What really stood out in this particular group were their family values.  In the end when the mania wears off, these young men will continue to be brothers sharing the same bond they always shared on and off stage. That’s how dated this paragraph is as this was some time ago, back in 2008. My husband and I joined our girls during their fan frenzy era if this boy-band, attending concerts, watching them on the Disney Channel, but that’s what you do, you enjoy, you support, you create memories together. My girls are now age 21 and 17, their flavor for this year, Rock Band: Greta Van Fleet; a talented Rock Bank composed of a family bond: three brothers and a childhood friend – here we go again!

It is the family values having been instilled in us from a tender age; the unbreakable bond, that is going to make a difference on how our children will raise their families and commit to long term marriage.    It is the families that truly enjoy each other’s company, quirks and all, that can talk about everything from daily events, politics, music to what’s on the Disney /Family or Netflix channel, or sometimes just chilling together, that will succeed in achieving a true harmonious family bond.

My immediate family, consist of my husband of 28 years, my two beautiful daughters, and my dog – because yes, she participates in family occasions, she gives the most awesome cuddles and loves us unconditionally, so of course she is very much a part of this family unit. Like my children, my dog knows when she has done something wrong; she will do anything to get our attention, to make us laugh. She understands I like to keep a clean house, so she will try very hard to keep her area clean although at time fails, just like my girls and that’s ok – she adds a certain element of responsibility to this very tight family unit, we cannot remember a day when she was not part of our lives!

Regardless of how you choose to define your family unit, when an opportunity for a get together with your loved one arises, whether it be for a summer barbecue, or a quaint popcorn and a movie for 4 or 5, maybe 10 on the comfy couch, just remember that aside from creating memories, it is these moments that make an impression for the younger generation and help mold their values, set a solid foundation on what a true family should be and that is: a sense of closeness, love, compassion, empathy, respect and lots and lots of good times. Set your technological devices aside, enjoy the outdoors or cozy up by the fireplace and enjoy family time, perhaps play a game board – too back in time? Then, just do what your family does best and enjoy making memories together!

Being part of a family is the ultimate gift in life because it is to experience love, to be a part of something truly wonderful, to be love and forever be loved. You can do anything and be anything knowing your family has your back!

Enjoy your family today and every day, enjoy your OHANA!  Cherish your family, it is truly the greatest blessing in life!

Life can be challenging, people are most definitely challenging, how can we learn to look at these challenges as positives, it all depends on your perspective! I hope you join me on my next blog as it will give you a sneak peek to my almost finished book on perspectives that I hope will serve as a tool teaching us that we grow in times of adversity, to embrace your failures and be the light after a moment of darkness.

Until then, be kind and true to yourself.

To the powerful you,

Ana Spano

If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or LinkedIn. Thank you!