Celebrate Life—Enjoy everything!

“Not how long, but how well you have lived is the main thing.”—Seneca

In life, we go through a series of seasons some dark some offering hope. We also have the privilege of experiencing the change in seasons. Are you a lover of the warmer seasons maybe you enjoy and worship the sun, or you are more of a snow worshiper embracing the cold and beauty of snowfall? The variations of seasons are a result of change in weather, ecology, and sunlight or lack thereof. Similarly, the seasons of our life experiences are also affected by the many changes we go through brought on by our emotions, environment, affecting our many perspectives. We also celebrate the many festive seasons; some we love, some not so much—all offering us the opportunity to create lifelong memories. Success, however, is a season in our lives offering much reward inward and out. When we meet our goals in life, when we move ahead in our respective professional career paths, we certainly feel the need to celebrate and why not? we certainly earned it! It seems to me for most, that is where the celebration ends. We celebrate our successes, our ‘rights’ in life but we forget to celebrate the little things, the everyday mundane, the everyday laughter, joys, love, beauty!  Celebrate it all—this is living a purposeful life, seeing the beauty in everything. Each new day holds a wonderful new surprise for you, all you must do is be ready to receive it. It may not always come in the form of joy (or in the form you expect it), but it will certainly expand you and open your heart making room for more beauty.

Hello my beautiful souls!  November has arrived bringing with it the spirit we all need as we head towards the most celebrated season of all: Christmas! It most certainly is my favorite time of the year! It is a time to reflect, to write in my journal of what was, what hopes I have for the New Year, and what gives me the most joy, my heart fills with love as I write what I am most grateful for while celebrating the highs and lows of the year gone by.  I have many things to be grateful for, my family is priority of course, but I am extremely grateful for the friendships I have the great privilege to be in company with—they are a blessing in my life! The start of this month has been a moment of great reflection for me, and a moment of expressing gratitude having had the good fortune of meeting up with my friends in a safe manner of course, to simply enjoy a good meal, a good laugh, excellent company; it certainly helps heal the soul!

Nothing gives me more pleasure than, spending time with dear friends whether for a small birthday lunch, or a simple brunch to catch up, or perhaps a couple’s night with two of my dearest oldest friends—my heart is filled knowing that I have such wonderful kind-hearted friends. I came across some beautiful quotes on friendships as I wrote this article, here is one by Paramahansa Yogananda: “There is a magnet in your heart that will attract true friends. That magnet is unselfishness, thinking of other first; when you learn to live for others, they will live for you.” These difficult times has shown me just how truly special my friends are; I am humbled in experiencing the fine balance of giving and receiving, sharing great love and support for one another, ready to lift each other up, to provide kindness and support during a time of healing, during a time of loneliness, a time of simply reaching out for company and warmth—I celebrate and value good friendships.

So, celebrate your achievements, applaud your triumphs, but be mindful that the most beautiful things in life are not associated with money or fame or the things we see with our physical eyes—but rather the sweet memories of the little moments in life that make us feel special, that make us feel love. I have made it a point in life to always be myself around others never compromising my authenticity. I love who I am, and every day I discover something new. Discovering who I am, is and has been the most important adventure of my life. I discover myself in the friendships I make, the relationships I have, the experiences I choose to participate in—I embrace it all! I celebrate my uniqueness, my true authentic being, flaws and all, I celebrate the challenges that come my way, by facing fear head-on and I have the humbleness of celebrating my failures, and imperfections, allowing me to appreciate the world with eyes wide-open—I open my heart and embrace all that it is, I become more compassionate of the world around me.

As we move from what was the most perfect fall weather here in Toronto, with its beautiful fall colors, bountiful harvest and warmth of the holiday and traditions, we now move to the “hustle and bustle” of the Christmas season and cheer, perhaps a quieter tone less hustle due to restrictions, but a bustle of a season no-less. There will be plenty to do, baking, decorating, wrapping, and spending time with our loved ones. Since the pandemic, I find that things have slowed down, which is a plus; yes, service is slower because of limited help and limited capacity (I hope everyone is conscious of this, so please be calm on your outings), but due to this down time, it has also made more time for family and if you are like me, I love having my little family at home with me, watching movies, ordering in, and just enjoying good conversations. Less “hustle” is better. I now decorate with purpose and intention—no rush, it is all about how I wish to decorate, how I wish to organize—I am no longer consumed with how fast it needs to get done. It is beautiful to go about life being deliberate with your intentions do you agree? I celebrate, my time and space, to be able to appreciate every thought, every movement—time is our most precious gift. There is no “right time” to start existing. There is no “right time” to learn the lessons that needed to be learned to create better futures—the right time is always the present. The pandemic may have brought a lot of dark moments to many, but it also brought moments of simplicity—slowing down time allowing us to truly appreciate every moment, every experience and everyone in it. I celebrate experiences, memories, and the precious time necessary to make them!

What the world needs to celebrate more of:

  1. Celebrate FAMILY– Making memories is the best movie experience in life, the best past time, anyone could ask for. Yes, we all have our quirks, our differences, our highs and low—make the most of it!  LOVE is the key to everything! When you smother love to everything, it all falls into place and memories is the precious result. So, hug, call, virtual call, a loved one and let them know just home much you appreciate them in your life because in the end, family and love is all that matters.
  2. Celebrate your TRIUMPHS and your LOSSES—everything is necessary to make who you are and where you want to be in life. Embrace darkness, embrace challenge, embrace change just keep moving. Losses and darkness are meant to be experienced for growth, just be sure to stay in awareness, shift, evolve and commit to your own growth—don’t live in regret, resentment, fear—know there is life after loss.
  3. Celebrate ALL SEASONS; those we have the pleasure of enjoying outwardly by showcasing fabulous fashion wear, blessings, and good cheer, and the moments in life responsible for shifting our perspectives.
  4. Celebrate KINDNESS. Every morning I get up, I wish kindness on this world. It is the magic that makes life, gentler, more enjoyable. It is wonderful to visit an establishment and receive a smile; a kind soul opening the door for me—it lets me know all is OK in their world and it is wonderful they are passing along that kind vibration on to me.
  5. Celebrate PEACE. My wish for everyone is to experience peace always, it is always at the top of my prayers because it is everything to have peaceful moments in life. It is right up there with optimal health. I read somewhere that: the way to peace is through radical acceptance. Celebrating our differences is not only pivotal in our growth as humans but it helps us understand and learn to accept and co-operate with one another, reminding us how committed we are to progress and evolve as ONE in harmony. Peace is what I strive for in my personal life all day, every day. Having peace in my life; in my household, let’s me know I have the right partner in life, excellent children, a loving family—all is well in my world. I invite it always with open arms.
  6. Celebrate GOOD FOOD. We should also add celebrate good conversations because where there is good food, good company always follows which invites good conversations. My daughter and I will search up new recipes and try one at least once a week.  It is wonderful looking up our favorite chefs; some pros, some simply gifted following their passion and love for food, and we try to recreate these mouth-watering recipes in our little kitchen. Since the beginning of time, the sharing of food, has and always will be part of human history. “To break bread together,” captures the deliciousness that is food, that is as powerful to forge relationships, bury our sorrows and provoke nothing but good laughter.
  7. Celebrate CULTURAL DIVERSITY. Enjoying good food, becomes even more delicious as we allow our palates to savor the wonderful flavors from many parts of the world. That is the beauty of living in Canada, there is so much culture to be savored. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to expand our knowledge and experience the diversity in cultures; to find out more about what we have in common rather than what separates us and to enjoy all the beauty in our differences as well! Understand, welcome and celebrate different traditions, beliefs, cultures, and histories—they help shape society.  
  8. Celebrate LOVE. There is something about this beautiful feeling that we generate, so profound, so intimate, so magical, letting us know that all is well in the world. There is no single way to practice love—every relationship has its uniqueness. When we experience LOVE, it is to have faith, and when we have faith, we learn to trust. To invite love into your world is to know GOD, to know Source, the Universe, to believe in something greater than you. And from this place of love, inspiration flows—allowing you to see a future without obstacles, trusting all will work out for you. When we LOVE our perspectives shift from a lack mentality to an abundant one, we begin to look for more wonderful things, more wonderful experiences—see the world the way it is meant to be, full of beauty.

As Tom Peter says: “Celebrate what you want to see more of.”  Celebrate Life! If you believe in a higher good, Source, God, The Universe—ask yourself: why have we been put on this earth?  Are we here to only feel fear, sorrow, losses and hide in a corner; to limit ourselves to what we want to see and feel in this world or are we here to experience the joys, to live life to the absolute fullest? We were given eyes, and senses to feel—see and feel the beauty in everything; like an artist respects every line, every detail, every curvature, so too, must you learn to see the beauty in everything you do, in everything you experience. You are the architect of your life, create all the beauty you wish to see in it; see and feel your way, attract that which you wish to see in your outer world.

It seems to me that most, sit on the side lines, looking through the window watching life go by, always looking through a lens, when you could be out there participating, taking the life and world around us, experiencing it wholeheartedly, being fully present in the excitement of creativity! Stop looking at the world, stop looking at life, through the lens of your life experiences—your old hurts, personality, and conditioning—this only keeps your world limited. Life has taught me that every situation, person, place, thing, in our lives may be seen through one of two lenses: fear or love. Which do you choose? Recognizing that nothing in your outer world must change to begin to see the life you wish to participate in—by simply changing your perception of what you are currently seeing, refocusing the lens of your inner world; learning to view life through the eyes of LOVE, you will begin to attract more of what you wish to see in your outer world. The lens of kindness and love are key to your future successes! I am a believer in kindness—I always offer it.

Since we are on the topic of kindness; to offer an update on my basement fiasco (Read my blog on the Path of Least Resistance): yes, kindness prevailed! The wonderful independent insurance adjuster, that took over my claim came through for me with loads of kindness. Everything has been approved, mold removal and all! I will trust that the restoration process will go well, and I will have my basement back in time for Christmas (fingers crossed)! I must trust and have faith because everything always works out for me. What did I do to shift my perspective? Although I suffered a significant setback, with damage to my basement, going through the headache of dealing with insurers, contractors, etc. I could have easily set myself further on a downward spiral for a series of events leading to more disappointment, instead, I contemplated, looked for kindness in everyone, looked for the good in every experience (even if it looked bleak at the time☹) and I allowed the flow, I did not allow worry or anger block my path of least resistance and all lead to a positive resolution! I stepped into the flow, allowed it to take me where it needed to, I took the path of least resistance, listened to my inner knowing, letting me know that all will be taken care of and I allowed the people that presented in my life resulting from this event; this experience, to do what they needed to do. For now, I may not understand the reason why this happened, but I don’t get caught up in the “why’s”, I am sure the answer will come to me, if not perhaps for my writing process and share with you my little miracles! Let’s celebrate a shift in perspective and most importantly let’s celebrate kindness!

I am beginning to appreciate the month of November a little more—as a Canadian, not really having any holidays to celebrate during this month; a quiet month sandwiched between Halloween and Thanksgiving celebrations and of course Christmas ahead—our final celebration of the year, November has quietly snuck up and has become a month of reflection. It is there to allow time to draw up lists for things that need to get done in the upcoming weeks, it allows me to journal and gather my thoughts, reflecting on gratitude of the months gone by, it also allows me to take a breather and simply be without any pressure.  I will celebrate November as a month to get my thoughts together, enjoy activities with purpose that will allow me to be purposeful in my actions and be more present in enjoying the season ahead. Thank you, November, I celebrate you and welcome you with open arms!

As you embrace November, and you work on wrapping things up for the year, and as you safely go out shopping or gather with friends to celebrate the season, take in life with a different perspective—live it intentionally! It is wonderful to celebrate the seasons gone by but be present in everything you do—the now is all that is available to you—trust that everything happens for you, that it happens in a timely manner and learn to enjoy the synchronicities in life happening for you in the highest good.

As Christmas closes in, my wish for you is that you embrace the weeks ahead with good cheer, no stress, no worries, just the simple feeling of love in your heart and have fun at it because that is what life is meant for! To enjoy everything, to celebrate every moment, help each other out, and have loads and loads of fun! I sit here on my kitchen counter, writing, hoping you will enjoy reading the tidbits I share from my journey, while enjoying the Christmas music in the background because it warms my heart, it inspires me, and I celebrate Christmas music/songs in every language. Say goodbye to seasons past, old hurts and never lose your sense of adventure, discover new ways to view the beauty of our everyday life experiences those we share with our families, friends, strangers and most importantly those we share with ourselves, while discovering who we are. So, dance, laugh, enjoy the deliciousness that is food, that is love, and go out there and share your best self with the world. As the song says: “Give Love On Christmas Day.” Except, find it in your heart to give LOVE everyday—the world needs more love. Celebrate the beautiful wonderful you because you have a lot to celebrate for!

My wish is that you enjoy the remainder of November and the joyful season ahead! Be sure to be safe in everything you plan to do, but most importantly feel joy and happiness in whatever you do!  Feel the spirit of the season with great amazing vibes!

Keep yourself vibrationally in tuned with who you are, always giving yourself the utmost unconditional love! You deserve to live a brilliant abundant life! Remember to stay humble and offer kindness, elevate everyone in your life, and those you have the opportunity and great privilege to meet today. Offer much love to your family and friends, give love and more love always, including your loyal and faithful pets!

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

Celebrating the beautiful powerful you always,

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, I would be incredibly grateful if you would help it spread by forwarding it to a friend or sharing it on Twitter or LinkedIn. I am now on IG, come join me there @anaspanowriter! Thank you!

Energy Vampires

“People inspire you, or they drain you—pick them wisely. ”—Hans F. Hansen

In the spirit of Ghoul season, let us discuss these pesky Energy Vampires that leave us feeling drained, often keeping us from enjoying our work or more importantly, our personal time in the most positive way. I refer to these Energy Vampires as ‘energy suckers’ or ‘sucking-all-that-is-fun-out-of-life’ suckers!  What is going on with these people? What is the frame of mind that drives them daily? It is important to be aware of your energy, always value your emotion as it plays a vital role in your well-being. It is not necessary to cut all ties from these energy sucking vampires but simply be aware; never allow yourself to get caught up in the drama of their perception of disappointment with events occurring in their lives. Always know Source; the Universe, has your back, spinning beautiful synchronicities and serendipitous events sometimes leading you to difficult events, difficult relationships; the highs and the lows that let you know that you are not necessarily away from your path but learning important life lessons before experiencing the ‘magic’, the wonderous and beautiful silver linings of a current darkness. Embrace everything.

Hello my beautiful souls! Halloween is here and my wish is that your mood is not as dark as your seasonal Halloween decorations with all its intended creepiness. So, what is your mood with your fellow co-workers, family, and close relationships? Do they suck the life out of you? Do certain events in life drain you?  We must always be ware of these energy vampires because when we allow ourselves to get too deep in a situation or circumstance, we might have a tough time shaking it off, leaving us feeling down about ourselves for days to come. I have always somehow subconsciously created a personal energy shield around me for protection from these energy vampires.

Energy is everywhere; we are the ultimate gatekeepers of our own energy. As co-creators on this planet, we have the power to choose how we want to feel on our journey and the experience we wish to have. There are times, however, when we might be a bit pre-occupied, and we let our guard down unintentionally, or intentionally allowing these nasty low energy critters to take hold of our mood! I read somewhere that our thoughts and actions are constantly shaping and reshaping neural pathways in our brain. In fact, there are studies that suggest that much of our behaviour is contagious. Imagine a web of energy brain patterns from those we spend a significant amount of time with, ignite and take hold of our energy space; these waves of information, or patterns of emotions, infiltrate and we become synchronized. Yikes!  That is spooky! However, if the individual you are surging power from has natural high energy or is high powered with positivity, that may be a wonderful experience (depending on the time-of-day😊) but not so fun when the other is low, low in their thoughts, their emotions, leaving you spent at the end of your visit. I also read however, that when it comes to negative energy; it is by choice. Something to think about. Higher energy prevails as higher energy always converts the lower energy—it is wonderfully contagious and very much welcomed! I am very familiar with high energy; my daughters will tell you, I was horrible at putting them to sleep when they were younger because of my high-strung energy. I would overwhelm them with high energy, and it would be hours before I could sneak back to my room and get my 2hr. sleep (☹).  My husband on the other hand—knocked them right out in seconds! Now why can’t my energy powers be used to jolt my entire family into participating with the house cleaning, errand running and meal prepping? This is a mystery, one that I will devote my time to figuring out.

In his book, ‘The Happiness Advantage’, Shawn Achor, author, and researcher, shares how much our habits, attitudes, actions are quite contagious. In his words, his research illustrates how; “actions spread through a complicated web of connections to infect those around us.” His research has led to support that everyone’s influence extends to people within three degrees—our influence is powerful! Shawn refers to involuntary actions or mimic actions to ‘mirror neurons’ which effect not only our physical actions, such as when witnessing a pin prick and our bodies react as if we are physically feeling the pain, but also affecting our emotions. We are constantly assessing the mood around us and acting accordingly, such as a contagious smile. Our brains are constantly processing the feelings of those around us. When I walk into a room, I immediately scan the room for the vibe, what is the general mood? I take in the body language observe those having conversations, to sense the tone, the expression, etc. When we do this, when we scan the room, our bodies are subconsciously absorbing and mimicking what we see. I do not know about you, but I cannot watch a fight seen on the screen without immediately reacting to a hit or impact as if I am physically feeling the pain, my body jerks into motion.

“Don’t let people pull you into their storm. Pull them into your peace.”

Emotions have impact, so does overt negativity which can infect a group of people—so mind your precious energy! If you are particularly in a low mood, or anxious, a negative mindset—it will have a ripple effect to your well-being (hence my fall of June 2021 and my leaky basement also in the same month, coincidence? I think not) and we all know ‘negativity ‘does not work to anyone’s benefit so why allow it to take over you? As Eckhart Tolle describes it: “Negativity is the psychic pollutant.” We have all experienced such pollution from relationships, our work colleagues, our bosses. Have you ever attended an office meeting optimistic to grow your potential and your boss decides to bring his low energy ‘pep talk’ to the meeting, bashing whoever is in their path, bringing all moral to its lowest? Why do individuals in leadership roles choose to sabotage their businesses this way? Are they not aware that the more they feed employees with negativity, a negative environment—one that does not offer support, one that does not offer growth, one that does not allow for potential growth by an individual in their team, only attracts undesirable outcomes? Refrain from poisoning your environment! Through the power of emotional contagion: overt negativity can infect a group of people almost instantly. For you on the receiving end: change your level of consciousness by becoming more present in your life, be accountable for what you allow in your energy space, it is your life!  What do you wish to experience? Know that your environment, conversations, relationships are purely cosmetic, hold yourself accountable, learn the lesson and move on. It is not about you but about what you need to learn.

Do not bite from the poisonous apple loaded with anger and fear. These are the disruptors of our emotional well-being.  Are you aware that these disruptors trigger or influence us physiologically and not always on a positive? The intensity of pain that you feel, depends on the level of degree in resistance to what is currently being experienced, now, in the present. Choose to change the movie you see in front of you each day. Are you choosing to feed your mind positive messages, watch beautiful images, that offer motivation, letting you know that all things are possible, thrusting you forward in the most positive way? When we choose to model high-performance habits, everyone around us benefits. Workdays will be smoother, more enjoyable, staff and colleagues more at ease in the workplace, more importantly the result is always a more productive scene.  Here is how to invite more positive light to your soul:

  1. Awareness – Be aware of your actions and mindset—all have a ripple effect. There are no limits to how powerful our behaviour, mood, actions, affect others—be the light.
  2. You must Be Present – recognize that NOT all negativity is bad but perhaps a lesson, a message for you to work on “you”.
  3. Choose Happy – when you choose to surround yourself with things, people, events, that make your soul happy, the positivity is quite contagious, your vibration is lifted, and success is a by-product. Everyone benefits from a positive culture.
  4. Meditation – if you find you have had a particularly uncomfortable situation / experience that has left you drained, feeling fearful, anxious—Mediate!  I cannot stress enough how important mediation is to your well-being.
  5. Spend time being Proactive than being reactive. STOP resisting life and focus on how you wish to feel your way through life.
  6. Keep Active – physical activity and fitness protect our health, boosts our immune system, and creates healthy brain waves that keep us energized and elevates our vibration. A healthy and positive mindset keeps low energies out!
  7. Music / dance – movement is always amazing for the spirit such as listening to uplifting music whatever that is for you! And with fun music there must be dance. Dance to your heart’s content!
  8. Gratitude – I cannot stress the importance of gratitude- being grateful for every moment, experience, relationships—it is truly the perfect antidote to keeping low energies out!

As I write this post, I choose to shift your mindset in what started a topic on energy vampires to lifting your light, to lifting your spirits. Even your Halloween Spirits! You see every fiber of my being is about supporting well-being. I take a proactive approach to life in everything I do, it helps with inviting healthy cells in my body and in my relationships. I am not living my truth if I write on how to resist something that you perceive is not good for you, for we are all here to experience everything, by embracing contrast we learn to grow, we learn something about ourselves and we choose whether to be light or darkness in this world. It is important that you be aware of the environment you choose, the conversations you hold physically and mentally because their intensity on either side of the emotional spectrum will materialize in the pleasantness and unpleasantness that you are currently living today. Our behaviours significantly influence others—be responsible in what you choose to allow in your experience—all is predetermined. When we choose high-energy emotions and desires, we will solve all our problems, build worlds together and co-create a magical magnificent world! Let us give praise for the Spirit of light-heartedness and happiness and plant the seeds for success!

Energy vampires is not only about other people’s energy but the vibration you intentionally create resulting in your experience. What thoughts are you choosing to give energy to? What we choose to focus on or give our attention to is very important. Be present in your actions and allow the joy of simply being in all that you do, flow effortless.

I have observed that photographers are in a unique position to view any given object or living thing from many different perspectives by simply switching out a lens, lighting, or the angle in which they choose to shoot from—how fascinating!  As humans, so too, do we have that ability to switch our many lenses from compassion, to fear, to beauty and sometimes annoyance—but it is all good, we are just participating and sharing space in this beautiful experience called life.  If you wish to be and feel beautiful, choose to see the beauty in everything! If you choose to be in constant joy, offer a joyful experience, a light heart to everything you do! Focus on the action you wish to experience not the destination or result. Like a photographer you must only see what is directly in front of you to enjoy the view with every ounce of your being, adding adjustments to when you need it. Each time you choose to step out your front door with a clear, calm, and peaceful mind—nothing will enter your space that does not match that vibration. When our minds are clouded by hatred, selfishness, jealousy, anger, frustration—nothing good may come from this, your hopes, dreams, wishes will not reveal themselves to you until you are in the right frequency, the right high positive light!  Stop blaming others for your misfortunes, your low mood, you might be surprised that you might be the one putting out bad vibes to others—sometimes we are our own worst enemy. A simple mediation might be just what you need.

We have a strong knowing that guides us—learn to listen to it! Patience is the largest lesson to learn in life, in my opinion.  Learning to wait and see what Source; the Universe, has in store for you and watch all the beauty unfold. I recovered from my fall completely and as for my basement, I know it will be taken care of because I have faith and a knowing that humans desire kindness most of the time, I just wait for that good vibe to kick in and allow the flow of kindness and goodness to all involved.  My experience this summer taught me I had to refocus, recalibrate my vibration, tap into the right energy, and invite all the wonderful synchronicities that will work their magic to ensure that I am feeling who I am and what I want to see in my world! For now, while my basement undergoes restoration, (and I temporarily have no access to my washer and dryer) I take my high spirits and lovely smile to the nearest coin laundry and spread good vibes. (If you have no context in reference to my leaky basement, read my last blog on ‘Taking The Path Of Least Resistance’.)  I patiently drive with my load of laundry, to the appropriate tune of the season: “I Always Feel Like Somebody Is Watching Me” because someone always is—so be watchful of what vibe or action you put out there! My wish is that you enjoy your Halloween season and be sure to be safe but most importantly feel joy and happiness in whatever you do!  Feel the spirit of the season with great amazing vibes—keep watch from those pesky energy vampires unless it is the little vampires showing up at your front door with their hungry excited eyes—be sure to give out the best candy and your best smiles always! Keep yourself vibrationally in tuned with who you are, always giving yourself the utmost unconditional love! You deserve to live a brilliant abundant life! Remember to stay humble and offer kindness, elevate everyone in your life, and those you have the opportunity and great privilege to meet today. Offer much love to your family and friends, give love and more love always, including your loyal and faithful pets!

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

To the beautiful, powerful you,

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, I would be incredibly grateful if you would help it spread by forwarding it to a friend or sharing it on Twitter or LinkedIn. I am now on IG, come join me there @anaspanowriter! Thank you!

Align With Your Desires By Taking The Path Of Least Resistance And Focus On The Joy That Already Is!

“If you have learnt enjoying life without purpose, like a flowing river, you have learnt the art of living.”—Girdhar Joshi

It takes discipline, focus, determination, commitment when you make the choice to take the road least taken or the road least traveled (whatever floats your boat).  The road full of challenges with all its obstacles, rocky bumps, scrapes, delays, might make you think the reward is that much sweeter, so much more deserving, or is it? There is research that suggests that everything ‘takes the path of least resistance’ such as water, electricity, and yes humans.  As humans we have many choices in life, many decisions to make that could forever alter our lives; do we take this path or that? From choosing our academic paths, our career choices, relationships, choices in our everyday environment from diet to what we choose to feed our minds. The question is: When is taking the path of least resistance—a good choice? One that will ease your already hectic and challenge-filled life?

Hello my beautiful souls!  I hope you had a safe, wonderful, and fun-filled summer because you deserve it! As for me, still doing a lot of inner work, always learning; it is what keeps me humble. I learn from all experiences and from everyone I meet. It is wonderful to view life this way—never feeling, “I am more” than anyone. Sure, this pandemic is giving my soul a little beating, and that is because I care so much about the world, the people in it, that of course includes my family and friends. We are all in this together and knowing this makes it a little easier, very humbling to know that we are sharing this pain, this life-altering set-back with all those we have the enormous privilege of sharing this beautiful planet with; to know that one day soon we will get through this darkness and my wish is that we all come out: kinder, with a lot more clarity, wiser, stronger and a whole lot of humbleness. This current situation has certainly put a lot of things into perspective from understanding that we are NOT alone, that there is always someone willing to help, to learning to trust and rely on others in keeping each other safe and healthy with a whole lot of love—that is the bottom line.  That we are on the planet together, sharing our failures and success, that each of us has a mission to help the other succeed. Money is wonderful to have, but love, support, a kind word, a helping hand certainly goes along further. As for me, I recovered from my nasty fall; if you haven’t yet read my July post: “The Classic Do-Over’ be sure to read the details there, the universe had additional challenges to add my way with a leaky basement that will cost me upwards of $20,000 in renovations, talk about adding salt to the wound! So, why is my riverbed; my path in life, turning out to be such a rocky terrain and not as smooth as I once perceived it to be, when I was in the flow, earning excellent income, getting all the green lights? Why is life insisting on throwing me these challenges when I am in the least mind-space to tackle such challenges, such rocky paths.

My entire being, the reason I am here today, my achievements till now, successes, have been a result of these key attributes:

  • Discipline
  • Focus
  • Dedication
  • Determination

If the above actions resonate with you, then you will agree the common thread is all about hard work. To succeed at life, you must have a formula that works for you, that keeps you aiming high to hit your goal, hit your target; the key is: aim at something. I have been in the work force since the young age of thirteen and it did not matter that I may have started flipping burgers or being a birthday hostess—my discipline, dedication, determination and focus to being the best at whatever job came my way, I made sure I walked through the doors that opened for me and gave my 1000% every time. I was always early when starting my shifts and when I arrived, I was deep into whatever work related tasks / challenge came my way, offering support, rolling up my sleeves and learning the ropes—there was nothing I could not learn.  My attitude was never: “This is not my job, so I will not participate”, instead it was: “I will participate to make things easier for you and all involved that will help make the day better.” I had a: “I will learn everything attitude” and I was determined to teach myself no matter how many hours it took.

This discipline carried me through my entire career path in the corporate world that was my life for thirty years. While these attributes kept me moving, as I look through the lens of thirty years of wisdom and spiritual awareness, I have come to an understanding that those very same attributes clouded my path; my path to discovering my purpose and in some way acted as a resistance to what is rightfully mine—my power, my effortless flow of abundance.  Whereas, working hard at what you aim, will certainly deliver success; I am discovering that getting out of my own way, and allowing that which I focus on, flow to me easily and freely with limited resistance, with minimal effort is just as fun and better welcomed in my current path. What do I mean? Well, my friends this is the lesson I learned while licking my wounds from that nasty fall of July 2021, and from the occurrences of my leaky basement. You see, when experiencing or going through a challenge in life, most will react in a negative way, and might take on a: “why always me” attitude which will then lead to more lessons needed to be learned and it could be several spirals downward, heartaches and headaches, before you get to your ‘a-ha’ moment and then the light bulb turns “on” and you say, “yes”, I get it. My awareness, brings forth clarity that all that I experience in life, was necessary for me to come to the same conclusion, the same success but I arrived a little later—but I arrived, nonetheless. And yes, we are taught that challenges are essential for growth, although some of you take it to next level; you aim too high to quickly without taking anything in, without appreciating the moments, appreciating the journey that may lead to some pricey lessons, and I am here to tell you that you can avoid all that suffering! Awareness is where it is at!

As I went through life, taking on all challenges, putting my best foot forward, climbing all the ladders that needed to be climbed—fast forward 40 years, I did what was expected of me. To learn, to work, to succeed, to make money, to make others, money. I did my job—I was the job. I AM NOT DEFINED BY MY POSITION, MY JOB, TITLES, etc. So, who am I? and what is my purpose? You see, when you start asking these questions, the beautiful attributes you spent your entire life living by, no longer hold meaning because you now ask yourself: Who was I doing all this for? This might especially hit home if you are working for someone else and you do not have your own business at the age of forty, fifty or even sixty. (And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that if your soul is happy.) And even then, the answer to who you are doing all this for? might still be an astonishing: “don’t know”. Maybe you were talked into doing it for many reasons not necessarily monetary, perhaps you had a vision you pursued at a very young age and family followed suit, so it became your family income, but was it about you? The purpose of this article is not to discourage you from pursuing your dreams, your goals—we need those to do life. That you have something along the way, that keeps you moving forward, learning lessons, keeping active but what I propose is: that when doing life that you do it from a space of inspiration, a space of humility, that you always continue learning, that you do it for you with the least resistance, that you might have fun along the way.  I will say, I have always been an individual who was very much aware of my experiences as they happened, so whether negative or positive, I always kept my head up high, knowing I was learning from every experience—never taking the bad as a defeat, but as a period of growth and nurturing my soul. Looking back however, I will say I might have done better at getting out of my own way and allowing the flow when it came to making more money quicker and with ease. You see where I am going with this? If I am wired to thinking that everything I want comes with hard work, discipline, focus, determination—all the hard work, then money will flow in that same riverbed, hard flow, with many rubbles keeping the flow from being a smooth one with of course resistance along the way, from not accepting the path. This is the hard lesson I was learning this summer.

I was beating myself up, because I am currently switching careers and shifting to a more self-employed, entrepreneurial career path that is more of who I am. And although, yes, it is imperative, that as an entrepreneur you need the attributes I discussed above, and possibly more, to be successful, it should not come with the amount of stress that it does as when you are working for someone else. These attributes are a part of you and should not be used to define who you are, or where you fall on the Forbes line-up but more about discovering your path to your true self. When you are on a path of self-discovery, you should not be beating yourself up, instead you should be loving yourself, embracing all moments, loving every inch, embracing all the perfections and imperfections that make who you are in this vast wonderful planet! You see, while I had no reason to feel panicked for money, my mind (my ego) was feeding my brain old truths about how “I make money”, which is “work hard” and as I was not attending a place of work due to COVID and other reasons, it sure played a number on me, and blocked my path for financial wealth and continue the flow as it once did—easily and freely (except without the 12hr. shifts of course and the unappreciative boss)—this is how we resist the flow. Creating a mental path of lack, and need, which puts us on the hamster wheel of life; a repeated path of events that keep you trapped into thinking I need to do this to “get”, or I need to acquire this to be successful—this is the lie we feed ourselves, we feed our families.  Instead, we need nothing…we simply need to be. To accept and allow opportunities as they come; and they come effortless, all you must do is think about what you desire. When are you most happy? What fills you?  Inspiration is the vehicle that drives all possibilities transforming the way we perceive our own capabilities. An openness to experience, mastering whatever small gifts you hold (and we all do), living an inspired life, will only thrust you to your desired life, awakening your soul, that only being ‘in the flow’ allows—no resistance. When living in this flow, it only leads to happiness.

So here is my discovery, I mentioned earlier that in addition to my nasty fall earlier this year, I also had to go through this set-back of experiencing a leaky basement. No, it was not a flood, just a leak in one of the pipes that had burst but not in the normal standard, burst-pipe flooding way, but a “burst” resulting in a small leak-kind of way.  This time around, I decided to call on my insurance, because why not—that is why they are there to give me a piece of mind, right?  The answer to that is a big fat NO! Apparently, insurers have their ‘wording’ they look for when accepting or denying liability, that IF a contractor’s description of causation (literally play on words) to describe cause of damage, does not fall under the wording of the policy—it gets denied! Can you believe that? I have had my share of dealing with all sorts of insurers when representing clients in the past in assisting these poor souls involved in significant accidents leaving them catastrophically injured so I had an idea of what I would be up against but because I always have faith in that all will resolve and because I always gave my 1000% by providing insurers all the goods, I thought smooth sailing for me as well—but NO. So, I am still battling it out, it is just so disappointing to say the least that we pay so much of our hard-earned money over the years, NEVER put in a claim for over thirty years, and because things are tough since COVID, you think, “I am insured all is good”—but NO. I pray that all will resolve for the highest good of all and all in good intention.

So here is the deal, here is why I am sharing this with you and my discovery of the “path of least resistance’, when the contractor, came out to inspect the area, he gave me a sermon and educated me on the flow of water taking the “path of least resistance” as it moved away from the tiled flooring and climbed up my walls leaving the lovely mold that now decorates my walls. To which I said “huh”.  And guess what my sweet souls: insurers DO NOT PAY FOR MOLD. What I do know is that with water damage, mold is inevitable regardless of how many hours, days, weeks—but our lovely insurers have somehow snuck a clause that clears them from any mold damage—how do they get away with this?  How do they sleep at night knowing they are taking millions of dollars from hard working people knowing that water damage and mold are part and parcel and somehow, they refuse to be liable for such damage? Well, my friends, this is my life right now, I know it could be worse—to which I am thankful that I am only dealing with materials and nothing else, but I could do without the frustration. So, my story continues with a lovely independent adjuster attending my home, who continued his inspection and repeated the sermon to me, of “water flow” and “the path of least resistance”.  I noted it, screenshotted in my brain, and continued with my argument as to why this damage should be paid. This dispute led to a second contractor attending my home, this time a plumber. I told him that the previous contractor, who is an expert in mold removal, inspected the damage and this plumber quoted verbatim what the previous contractor would have said to me: blah, blah, blah…” path of least resistance”. So here I was, standing in the middle of my basement, just trying to get this resolved and hopefully have insurers consider payment seeing that it is water damage, and that they should pay, but most importantly I stood there thinking maybe I am going about life all wrong? Why am I placing obstacles where I should not? The universe is trying to reveal a life lesson to me, easy flow of money, and I am insisting on resisting it because I am wired this way, because it is the way I know how to make money, because it is the way it has always been. Work hard and you will get a cheque!  But is this the way to true wealth? There are not enough hours in the day to make the amount of wealth I wish to make! Surely it is not possible? And then a light bulb sparks: water will flow in the path of least resistance. No, literally a light bulb did spark, as I changed my mom’s refrigerator bulb 😊. The light switch came on! My ‘aha’ moment. I get the lesson universe! What I choose to focus on, is exactly what I will attract to into reality. In other words, what I focus on, expands—flow.

As we know everything is energy. Guess what? Money is energy too. If we know money is energy, then money will flow in the path of least resistance. If I am busy worrying about money or wondering HOW I can get from here to there financially, I am blocking my flow of money. I am creating all these obstacles with my whys? who’s? how’s? The “why me?” Just as I trusted in healing my body after my nasty fall which I did quickly and effortless, so too, I began easing my trust about money flow. Money has never been my worry, I have always worked, spent, and it flowed. I do believe however, that more of it could have flowed, I just never put the focus on money more than I did the actual “working hard” part. To do and be my best. It was important to me—a promise I made to myself. What I discovered however, is that all the hard work, I put in was not for myself, but for others, and it earned others darn good money. The discipline, the focus, the hard work, help shape the person I am today, but it did not put extra cash in my pocket. So now, my focus is on me and who I am in this vast planet, my legacy, my being and how I want to feel, always with humility and a little more cash…why not? I deserve it! It is my birth right.  The truth is: it is equally hard work letting go of resistance—to train your logical mind to stop creating obstacles where there are none. Feeling good must be the priority regardless of what is happening around you—what is happening for you and NOT at you.

As I was worked on my healing, I turned to a few meditation videos and some motivational videos all not surprisingly enough discussing “the path of least resistance”.  It seems that every show I watched mentioned this phrase. The universe was doing its best to get my attention. One of the videos of course clarified for me “the path of least resistance” when it came to finances. (Now you are talking!) As I understand it: we are energy. We are magnets, we will attract that which we put focus on. When we focus on our desires, Source energy immediately creates it in our vortex—our energy field.  To manifest our desires in the material world, we must align with Source energy and how do we do that? By following the path of least resistance. So, if we go around asking for more wealth it will only elude us when we start thinking thoughts of worry, fear, doubt—”how will I make this vast amount of money?” When we start placing doubt and question if we deserve this wealth? Judgment is another block—when we say things like: “No one should make that much money, it is not natural?” We must learn to hold ourselves accountable for our own “damns” in our water flow, our blocks, our rubble, that make our flow; choppy, hard, and sometime seem like an eternity to reach its destination—you =wealth.

To allow flow or get in the flow, you must shift your perspective. Forget your old views on how to earn an excellent income and replace it with this principle:  manifesting money starts with the mind and belief system concerning wealth and money. We have created limited beliefs about money (and how we earn it) that we have internalized over time and accepted to be true in our lives, in what we see. If we accept money as energy and energy is accessible, unlimited supply of source energy that we can use as desired—this is a much easier way to form a healthy mindset necessary to acquire wealth. If you are stuck in the mindset that money is hard to come by and you must work extra hard to make loads of it, (which is limiting because of our beliefs and perception of linear time) that is not fun now, is it? Not only have you convinced yourself that it is hard to make money (not enough hours in the world could earn you the amount of wealth you wish), but you are also of the belief that when you earn it, you must save it and protect it because of how hard you worked to earn it. This keeps you trapped (in that hamster wheel) and blocking “the flow”. Whereas the wealthy have no problem in visualizing wealth; money they don’t yet have, they look at money they do have as a tool to acquire more wealth. So, while the rest of are squirreling away our money for a “rainy day”, the wealthy see their money pour down by the buckets, to more acquired wealth on rainy and sunny days.

The way I see it, we are headed towards an abundant world. Think of the speed technology has evolved and continues to evolve, each time, faster and faster.  I read that every 18 months or so, computer processing speed doubles—as a result ecommerce has grown exponentially and will continue its massive growth over the next two decades. Everything is energy. We ask and we receive (with great speed at might add), so will our bodies and minds do the same: Ask and you will attract to your world that which you focus on at great speed. So, be careful what you focus on.

So how do I rewire what I already have put to work for me in the past?

  • Discipline – A disciplined mindset is the true formula to becoming a leader in every aspect of life.
  • Focus – I am the focus of my journey. I work on me, my mind, body, and soul—create a mantra to stay focused.
  • Dedication – Just as I devoted endless hours at a job while working for someone else, I will devote endless hours on myself to reveal a better version of me.
  • Determination – Always remain determined to learn.  
  • Gratitude – Never underestimate the power of gratitude.  Being grateful ignites passion, inspiration, it will make you more receptive to new opportunities.

Being in the flow, is surrendering to source energy. It is spending less time resisting, debating whether to indulge in behaviours and activities that don’t align with your values and goals.  Whereas I once walked through the doors that opened for me with great determination, making things happen with great focus and discipline, I recognize that I am now the architect of my life, dreaming up worlds that I once thought impossible, I will now make possible—no matter what the universe decides should come my way (always for the better, even if I many not think so at the time). I will ride the wave of life, allowing and accepting the flow, allowing it to take me where it needs to just as long as I focus on me, that I am inspired each day, ensuring that I am experiencing joy every step of the way, always being grateful and loving me, loving life.

When you eliminate your abundance blocks, passion is what flows. Inspiration is the result, and this is not only in your professional life but in all aspects of life, it is not only about attracting financial wealth but what you most desire in all areas of your life. You will begin to experience sudden rushes of creative ideas and as creative ideas start to flow, you experience optimal work and life balance. You begin to see your life with clarity. As you start relaxing in the flow of success, you begin to attract financial abundance without resistance. You allow yourself to shift your perspective by embracing the mindset of “unlimited” power and “abundance” and your focus and discipline will be your drive to your optimal success in whatever you choose to focus on. Whether it be a loving relationship(s), optimal health and fitness, success in what you are passionate about.  With dedication and determination anyone can push the boundaries of their comfort zone. By getting out of your own way and removing the subconscious obstacles that kept you from flying, from allowing the flow, you will attract easily and freely that which you so desire into your physical world. By becoming aware and eliminating old beliefs, emotions, practices that no longer serve us, will ease the flow—isn’t ‘easy’ what we all dream of, but fail at? If you have done the hard inner work of discipline, focus, determination and have dedicated your life to honoring yourself and being the best at what you do, then all you need going forward is the motivation to connecting to all the things you want, recognizing what each step, along the path, will ultimately give you: happiness.  By taking the path of least resistance, removing, doubt, guilt, anger, fear and allowing yourself the experiences that better serve who you are will ultimately support the best version of yourself.

Stop the self-sabotage, as you surrender and experience these mind-shifts, and you become aware of the coincidences and opportunities that will continue to show up in your world effortless. As you accept your new reality that all things including financial abundance come easily and freely, you will feel empowered so too, will the people around you, friends, family will reap the rewards of such empowerment. This uplifting energy creates a wonderful ripple effect of prosperity and positivity and is this not what we wish in the world? So, my friends, as you align yourselves with source energy, and you are true to yourself, follow your path, listen to your inner voice, it will never steer you wrong—it will only bring you moments of happiness, joy and yes, abundance in the most peaceful and loving way!

There is a beautiful Sanskrit word I learned: Jyoti which means Light, Spiritual Force. While ignorance through resistance takes us through periods of darkness, and suffering, when we align ourselves with Source, Divine light, moves us beyond darkness with humility. Love, passion, inspiration is all we need to be in the “flow.”

You deserve to live a brilliant abundant life! Remember to stay humble and offer kindness, elevate everyone in your life, and those you have the opportunity and great privilege to meet today. Offer much love to your family and friends, give love and more love always, including your loyal and faithful pets!

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

To the beautiful, powerful you,

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, I would be incredibly grateful if you would help it spread by forwarding it to a friend or sharing it on Twitter or LinkedIn. I am now on IG, come join me there @anaspanowriter! Thank you!

The Classic Do-over

“I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.”—J. B. Priestly

When we are young, we are so full of energy, we are invincible, we think we have all the time in the world, our skin is supple—we thrive! We run carefree, convincing ourselves we can do anything, the world is our playground (or at least our back and front yards were😊). We dream worlds but somewhere along, as responsibility sets in, we tell ourselves a different story and we eject the wings that once had us flying and forget to dream. As we get into our forties it hits us: “I ‘shoulda’, ‘coulda’, ‘woulda’. But why didn’t I?” It seems life has a way of playing a cruel joke on us, giving us all the energy and vibrancy, early on in our lives when we do not know what we want for ourselves. Our stories may even take away our confidence early on, so we now have loads of energy and no confidence—bummer☹. I would say, it is around ‘forty’, and we have lived a few years, that we shift our perspectives, we gain our confidence—or we simply don’t care at this point what others think and we begin to speak our mind, and go after the things we should have when we were younger; except for most, we lack the energy or we convince ourselves “our ship has long since sailed”, we talk ourselves once again out of that ‘dream’ that must only remain…a dream buried in the ashes of the past. Life would be perfect if we could meet somewhere in the middle. To have our youthful looks, vibrant youthful energy—where there is no room for awkward and embarrassing, to relive a day, that pivotal moment in our life, where we choose different, we choose to fix problems steering our current life in a different direction. But is different better? Will it change what we see in the mirror?

Hello my beautiful souls! Welcome back! I hope you are continuing to keep safe, soon this will all be behind us, and I cannot wait to finally see beautiful smiles once more—something I deeply miss, for now we continue to do our part and keep practicing safety. So how about it? Would you welcome a do-over in your life? I do not know why this theme, kept popping up for me these past few weeks, so I decided to write about it—perhaps it may be a reoccurring theme in our collective minds, born from the darkness that is our present, these unusual times, having us locked up for too long and our wheels on overdrive, thinking, wondering, daydreaming—”what if”? I have no regrets in life. I was student council president, I was quite outgoing (and still am), I spoke my mind, always. I have always been playful, but life has a way of pausing you. OK, the personality was there, the confidence was there, but I chose to marry young, so life took my dreams in a different direction. As my perspectives shift, I see my narrative starting from the end and working my way backwards—to catch up to my past and continue where I left of—does this make sense? I did not marry young to have kids, I married my high school sweetheart and managed to get that check mark, together we worked hard and paid off our mortgage at a young age ✅ check. I eventually had the kids; two beautiful intelligent young women ✅check, I did the career thing ✅check but what is missing? Perhaps it is the fulfillment thing…that is missing. Life will have you believe, you missed out, that perhaps you messed up along the way, or if you had chosen a different path, it might have been better, but that is not always true, is it? It all depends on your expectations and your perception of what that “perfect ideal” life looked like from the perspective of your adolescent mind. What picture did you hold for yourself? How did you view your life unfolding? Is the current mundane, stagnancy in life getting you down? And you know what I think of expectations—they do not do us any good, so toss it! This is when we should get in touch with our goals once again, to offer a little inspiration and much needed motivation. Yes, we might have to rethink our goals as they might have changed since our priorities are constantly changing as we ride the wave of life, our perspectives change so we replace what no longer serves us and find a new dream! It is time to get out of our heads and think with our hearts just like we did when we were kids—only participating in those activities that bring us joy. We did not waste time thinking how we were going to spend time; we just ran towards our joyful moment only following our heart. The important thing is to work on how we wish to feel the next thirty, forty, fifty years from now. Forget your old hurts, pains, regrets and open your heart—live there for awhile. Just feel LOVE in a new kind of way, the way you dreamed it would feel. Feel JOY, be in its constant state of childish play, carefree, vibrant energy.

Life may not offer us a do-over, and as for a reset button we can only keep looking, but it certainly offers us plenty of opportunities to make better tomorrows. That is the beauty of life—you get one!  There is no wrong or right way, you are meant to experience it all! Mistakes, embarrassing moments, moments of sadness, failures, joys, laughter, success to experience it fully! As we participate, as we embrace, we learn, we grow, with each experience, we become a little wiser, knowing what we like or don’t. When we experience it fully, we learn to embrace the moment, embrace change, learn from it, and move on—this is how emotions come to be. As our perspectives shift, we start inviting into our world different things, different experiences, stirring up different emotions. By nature, I am an individual who rarely tries new products, I am a: “Why fix what ain’t broke”, kinda person.  Do not get me wrong, I am very open-minded to experiences and things, but when it comes to products, maybe it is something I cannot bother to try the alternative. Maybe some things are meant to remain, and that is my thing—my version of permanence in my life. I am ready to go off into the world and experience it all but leave my products alone😊.  My husband on the other hand loves trying new products and on the rare occasion he goes grocery shopping, he will come home with a new product…what?? In most cases, I will like the product, but I will continue to buy my old brand and combine the two—that’s me 😜. Is it the familiar thing? Is my mind not ready to let go of the old? My husband, will however, have a hard time inviting new experiences in his life, he has difficulty with change in that respect—do not invite new emotions it does not go well with his anxiety, but he is learning to allow and accept change and understands that it is good. So maybe, it is a good thing that for most of us, we get to make the bigger decisions later in life, when we know better (at least we think we do). There is that contradiction (in life) I talked about: “Follow your heart but don’t give into emotion when making a decision;” “Go and make your tomorrows happen but be patient, be still and allow the fates to intervene.” Huh? I know, no wonder the majority feel lost—not knowing which way to go. I guess what I am trying to share with you is that the best decisions are made with an awareness of what you are getting yourself into, patience with yourself and a whole lot of accountability. To tackle life and go into it knowing the repercussions of some of those decisions and be willing to accept them as experiences necessary, be ready to hold yourself accountable for those repercussions so that if something does not turn out, you are not blaming everyone else but yourself. And by “knowing better”, I am not necessarily referring to, intelligent decisions (that’s boring), no what I am referring to is: the feeling behind the task at hand. Think about it: if you have lived forty years of your life and you have engaged in personal, and professional relationships, you have engaged in life in general—you must have a fairly good idea of what you liked or did not like from those experiences—so why repeat it?  Embrace the perfections and imperfections—it is all relevant, it all has a purpose. How would you know to not want relive a moment or want a particulare thing in your life, if you did not already live it, if you did not already experience it?

“The more value you add to the lives of others, the more valuable you become to them.”—Hal Elrod

When you make it your mission in life to fill yourself up of all that is good, a good heart, kindness, love, peace, joy, then your outer world will only reflect that which you have inside. It is not the other way around.  You must never think that once your outer world changes, then you will start feeling better about yourself. Do not fall into that misguided perception that you will only feel good, that you will achieve happiness when your outer world is good. As we get to experience the “good” and “bad” moments in life, the emotions born from those moments and we become a little wiser, we start filling our shopping carts with things that are of more value instead of things that temporarily fix our mood. Our younger selves loved filling our carts with ‘crap’, with senseless ‘stuff’ we thought would fill our hearts and would make us happy. Now we are a little older, much wiser—all that stuff no longer serves us. We begin to understand that materials are wonderful to have but they certainly do not fill us, they keep us wanting and needing more, always. As we acquire our large and small ‘stuff’, we forget to be grateful along the way.  Forgetting this small but impactful practice of expressing gratitude and appreciation for all experiences including the smallest of moments, is what keeps us in the ‘need’ always striving for more in our lives, that is not always on the positive. When we fill ourselves with love, peace, joy and feelings of gratitude, that can only come from loving experiences, family, loving friends, that add value to our lives, then the materials become less significant—your narrative then becomes more of, “How may I serve? How may I bring more value to my life, and those I love?” When you are full of love and gratitude, your heart is open—you become a magnet attracting more of the good that is currently filling you; abundance, love—love for yourself and your loved ones. Many aspects of life can leave us feeling overwhelmed, trapped at times. When we pivot our thoughts, and learn to stay the course, trusting the process, allowing life to do its thing, always participating, embracing the flow, we learn to enjoy doing life, no matter what it has in store for us. Remember life happens for you NOT at you.

Our thoughts have a way of creating an illusion, often fear based—a way ego keeps us from realising our potential, our body soon follows and begins to operate from a survival mode, the body then becomes the mind and emotion. As we live the mundane, the responsible life, we forget to feed our minds new dreams, new thoughts, new emotions—we get stuck, our bodies then work from reaction mode, the subconscious level of whatever emotion you fed it in the past: anger, frustrations, fear, resentment, pain, suffering. If your body continues to function from this subconscious level long enough—this is when illness materialises into your present. Bitterness is what keeps you from flying. It is also, what keeps you living in the past—an illusion you created that was probably your perception of a “better life” than the one you are currently living, or a memory of a made-up future you thought was right for you. When we remove the imaginary constraints, we ourselves create, we no longer feel beaten, we remove the walls around us, we worked so hard to put up because of fear, because we gave a person, place, or a moment (high or low) more credit than ourselves. It is time to break that fictitious ceiling, do not give it power in letting you believe what you do not deserve, what is rightfully yours—that something is beyond your reach, be “the more” in your life. Do the deed, be fully present and detach from outcomes. Instead, let constraints be the force that drives you to your next dream, your next goal.

Allow me to continue with our shopping cart analogy, what shall we fill it with? What will make me happy right now? As I navigate the streets of my little town, I realise I am not driving a ‘G-Wagon’, but I have a car ✅check. I have never been a Mercedes-Benz ‘kinda gal’, but that ‘G-Wagon’ sure looks sweet! No, it will not bring me joy, but it will put a smile on my face as I take a drive around the film district in Toronto, with all their high-end boutiques and fine dining😊. Something to work towards, maybe my taste will change in the next five to ten years.  I mentioned I have a mortgage-free house, that certainly is sweet. I have done some traveling, mostly the Caribbean. I know, I know right…not a bad life. My shopping cart is still empty except for the G-Wagon that is perhaps a maybe, but my heart is full.

Throughout, I have kept my body somewhat fit. I have never made weight an issue, so it is not. My health is optimal because what I put my attention to, I will attract in my life. Whatever I give energy to and attention to will come back to me. Why give what I do not want, energy? My experiences create emotion, and I know emotion is energy in motion, it is fluid—it is energy moving through my body, meant to be felt and released, so I stay focused on the good.  My positive outlook on life takes care of that for me. I am always full of positive energy, and I am convinced that this energy is what keeps me healthy and fit, always burning the excess I do not need in every aspect of my life that includes stress. I exercise in the morning releasing all the good endorphins and dopamine elevating me to my highest good, and I eat what I want. I could enhance my diet with some healthier choices. I am working on it. I recognize that I want this body to last me for many more years to come, so I must do better—accountability ✅ check. My body is my vehicle that keeps me mobile, taking me wherever I need to go, independently, so I must keep it in check. I gain a healthy check mark on health and fitness although I will ensure to do more—there is always room for improvement! Holding yourself accountable for your choices in life is key. Do the deed, recognise it needs to get done, and enjoy doing it! When you learn to view limitations as a driving force, striving for success in whatever you choose to do, giving up is never an option. Let’s not stop at fitness goals, what life goals do you have? Not having money is no excuse—make your miracles, opportunities are always surrounding us to make us better in business, as individuals, you just need to decide that you want them, failure is the opportunity to begin again—reach beyond your grasp—life certainly has a way of rewarding you.

Having a corporate life was fun and I was deep into it for over thirty years. I learned a lot, my bosses were never my mentors as it turned out, but they certainly made work life interesting, and that’s OK, life is my eternal mentor. Always revealing itself to me, teaching me to put in the hard work, keep planting seeds and you will get rewarded, life tells me. Life has taught me and continues to teach me that kindness will open many doors. All you must do is show up every day, support others, surround yourself with good people, and the universe will be kind and generous with you. Never take anything personal, we are all learning here, take the lesson learned and move on. I will say with certainty that I gave my 1000%, always gave more value than my worth, I have no regrets, I stayed in the corporate scene until it no longer brought me joy. Love is the secret. Love for your work, love for your peers and love for yourself, loving what you do, loving life and who you are in it, that is the engine that will keep you going full steam ahead. Working in the legal sector had its challenges but nothing compares to married life. Now marriage is hard work—no one said it would be easy, nurturing your relationship is key, pour a lot of love into it, and it will not disappoint. Life throws many challenges, you must learn to keep your head above water, grow from the punches, face it full force, just learn to breathe and together—enjoy the ride, enjoy the journey! I should know, I have enjoyed thirty wonderful years with my high school sweetheart! Sure, it was hard in the beginning, with our different views, different cultures and it got even messier when we threw kids in the mix. But here we are with two beautiful girls, one graduated ‘with honors and distinction’ and her younger sister, on her way there, having made her way on the Dean’s list already just entering her third year of university. This is our pay off! This is what we put our heart, sweat and tears and the universe has a way of rewarding us! Nice fat check mark under family ✅ check! So, nothing to add to my cart but the G-Wagon so far and my heart continues to be full.

I may not have all the zeros in my bank account as I would hope for, but I have done quite well for myself, and I still have my sanity—that is a big fat ✅ check! So, what is it that most of us look for? Why is it that most think they have missed out on? What are you hoping to find in those finance magazines? An even better question to ask is: “What will you do when you accumulate all the zeros in your bank account?” Do not get me wrong there is nothing wrong in going after financial abundance, heck it is wonderful to attain financial freedom but who do you hope to become? Do you love who you are now? Do you hope to love yourself even more? Do you hope to love more?” So, maybe you do not own a car, but you are able to get around, and maybe you have money for transit or transportation in whatever form (Hey it beats paying for gas, insurance, and maintenance.).  If you wish to join us insurance payers, don’t worry you’ll get there just set the right goals, it is never too late😊.  Maybe you are married, you are busy being mommy, caregiver, balancing a job, and you somehow forgot yourself along the way. You became mommy to everyone including your partner, what happened? Or maybe you married your sweet-heart that stole your heart all those years ago, which is great, you lost your nerve along the way and now you are 40, 50, still sitting in that cubicle—not the expectation you had for yourself, huh? What happened? You both forgot to continue to dream, to re-draft your goals, and map out new ones, but there is still time. There is always time to become more, to add more value to this hurting world. The universe always offers an opportunity to check-in, checking out should never be an option. Familiar is wonderful. To have a life-long partner, someone that knows all your quirks, who makes you laugh, and is there to hold your hand and catch you when you fall. Why would you give that up? Because guess what? when you finally make it—it will all be worth it in the end. The late nights, the tears, the hurts, the sacrifices, the pains, the bumpy roads, all shared together as family—the value of family is priceless! Marriage should never be about losing yourself but becoming more together, it is about finding more of ourselves.  But this is where familiar should end. To live a fulfilled life, different must be your new norm—to think greater than how you feel. You see what I mean about contradictions—you must learn to navigate through them, knowing when to apply, when to sail, when to change course. Stop being addicted to the same emotions, the same experiences because you will only continue to create the same predictable future. Do not wait for tragedy to strike before you decide to begin to make necessary changes, invite wonderful challenges, invite different, to live a joy-filled and inspired life.

So, maybe there is no reset button, but we could all benefit from a little pause, take the time to reflect, inspect our wins, our losses, our triumphs our mishaps, take the lessons learned and look forward to better tomorrows. That is what COVID did to us, it offered us a moment of ‘pause’. To take a moment to think about what you were doing right before the world stopped. What were you doing, where were you headed? What did you think was happening at you? Maybe you were in a dead-end job, hiding behind a pile of paper, never allowing yourself to realise your true potential. Maybe success got all the checks, but you were not allowing for the necessary pauses in life, to check in with yourself, to appreciate the little things, including family. As we go about our lives, we tend to tell many different versions of our stories—those we tell ourselves and those we tell or show others. These pauses in life, show us to embrace all the imperfections in our lives, perfectly woven in our stories that only serve to add more value to our experiences here in this lifetime—to be more than you were. Our losses, our challenges, perfectly placed, divinely timed, to offer us strength, light after dark. Learning to love ‘the you’, after darkness, after challenges, after brokenness. We only gain the gifts of trust, faith, love, humility when we experience life through our authenticity and in this authenticity, we experience life in its truest, rawest, form embracing its imperfections never questioning it. When we learn to live our authentic lives, we experience exponential growth, a growth that only comes from trusting the flow. You stop resisting life, resisting change, taking on the challenges as badges of honor to be worn, unveiling a better version of yourself—one of more value, always.

You get one life, live it fully and completely! We have choices in life, learn to lead with your heart and fill yourself with beauty, love, peace, kindness. Your soul has the map to your destiny it will only reflect to you what you put into it. What was meant for you will always be there until you are ready to tap into it—opportunities will never pass you by. When you look for wonderful things, you will only find more of them. Your inner world must be filled with what you want to see in the world. Learn to let go of the chaos that surrounds you and go within. Learn to let go of illusions placed there by your material mind, by ego, and learn to listen to your heart. Do not go chasing success or a version of success because you feel that is what you should do or because society says so or because of a false perception says it’s the way. Breathe, dig deep connect with your heart and do what you love, success is a by-product of that love, of that force. When I have a pressing question and don’t know which way to go, I will close my eyes, and listen to my heart. I will ask the question and feel what is right for me. If feelings of frustration, anger, feelings of being overwhelmed come forth, then I know that it is not for me. If faced with a new experience and feelings of peace, joy, butterflies, fire in my belly, excitement overtakes me—then it is right. Life gives you plenty of opportunities to re-invent yourself, pivot, and live your best life in the truest form. Live it for you, not for everyone else. Life has taught me that I must like my own company, I like to sleep with the person that I am, no matter who sleeps beside me. I laugh, I love, I give more of myself, always.

Maybe now is the time, you take that leap of faith into that relationship you longed for, or that career opportunity you thought you were not good enough for, maybe today is the day you learn to look past your selfish needs and go after your true desires, that dream that keeps you up at night, learn to let go of needing things into your life and place your focus on your wants, dreams, desires that fill your heart and soul! You see, it is never about a do-over, it is about seizing moments. There is no right or wrong, if it was meant for you and you dreamed it, it is never too late—your dream life is simply waiting for you so step into it! So maybe you did not get to publish your first book at the age of 20 or even 30, perhaps 50 or 60 is more of what the universe had in mind for you. Ronald Reagan best said it in his quote: “There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect.”  Stop spending your days chasing your moments, be in the moment and let your moments, your successes chase you. There is no other place to be, then here and now. Embrace it! Recognise that whatever happened in your life or is happening, needed to happen and unfold in the manner that it did. If you are not feeling joy right now, it is simply time for you to go back to drawing table and re-draft a new dream, shift your perspective, and see what the wizard has in store for you! Enjoy your freedom if you have it, read, write, dance, create! Enjoy your children, partners, pets—it’s all good😊, but the secret to a well lived life is that you enjoy whatever you have the privilege and opportunity in life to do!  Do not get lost in your head, with thoughts of “what-ifs” and “needs” or perceptions of what you think the “perfect” life is; visions placed by your inexperienced mind. You have lived a few moments since then, a few tears, a few joys—so what do you want to feel right now? How has your life experience enhanced that future joy, that future love, has it added value to your life?

In writing this blog, like many writers, you experience moments of enlightenment, that help elevate your writing with that personal touch so that your audience is so much more engaged, intrigued by your personal experiences allowing for that connectedness that I often talk about. When you begin to view the world from this perspective, connecting to person, experiences, places, it is when you learn to act from compassion and empathy, you no longer view yourself as separate. You embrace all moments as experiences necessary for your growth. On this very writing journey, I had a moment of pause, my peace was interrupted with a moment of bringing awareness to my present being. As my town began to re-open businesses that had been shut for a few months, I decided I wanted to venture out of my cave and safely allow myself for what I thought was much needed shopping time (mostly for my girls) having summer upon us it would be nice to embrace it with summer dresses and to also offer my support to the community. It turns out, the universe had something else planned, and what should have been a joyful shopping spree, turned out to be a painful afternoon of licking wounds and an inability to sit, sneeze or laugh.  I suffered a significant fall on my way, knocking the wind out of me and leaving me incapacitated for more than a week. Suffering significant bruises as my patches of honor, on my upper thigh, contusions to my ribs and my entire upper left side including lungs were inflamed and unbearable to touch. Oh yeah, it was pretty bad; a senseless fall, its ramifications begging for my attention.  This was my pause; this was my moment to learn to sit still and allow others for once take care of me—something I seldom accept. To put myself higher on my list of priorities.

Canada is said to have two climates when driving, the challenges of winter driving and construction season☹. Summer is here and construction begins. I may start on one road, but ten minutes in, be told, you must detour. So, I pack a lot of patience, water, and wonderful music to enjoy my unplanned excursions. As I drive along, I notice some beautiful homes I never seen before, maybe some parks and wonderful people walking their pets—a wonderful site. Once you learn to relax and become ONE with life, the unraveling will stop and you will soon realise that all the hiccups, the missteps, the aches, the tears were necessary to bring value, to make you more valuable—a sacred loving nurturing gem, to appreciate moments that much more. You see, it is never about what you think you missed out on, but what you found instead. Choices made by you, a path leading you to more value, more memorable moments. If you had a different vision of what you currently see in the mirror, then pivot your thoughts, change the narrative starting from within, soon your outworld will reflect at you what you wish to see in your physical world. Once you stop the illusion of denial, lacks and limitations—stories told by you, and put on the lens that shows you that wisdom comes at a high price but leaves you empowered ready to take on life with clarity and acceptance, living in joy. If you keep looking down at that half-empty glass, you will miss out what the universe is revealing to you now! Let go of your struggle, stop living in the past and immerse yourself in this experience, be opened to receiving what is yours—you just need faith and trust in the flow!

So where does that leave my cart? Let’s just say the G-Wagon will be on my wish-list under want category and “fun I deserve” in the not-too-distant future because why not? In life, once you have done all the hard work, recognising time is the most precious gift, you allow yourself the gifts of truths, humbleness and yes, you allow your wants to become your needs because you deserve it! I don’t really need a G-Wagon but it will be a fun replacement for my past Toyota and Mazda moments and experiences. They certainly served their purpose, offering space for diapers, baby furniture and endless toys, and yes, babies, they were the smart economic decisions made by two very naïve unsuspecting parents. They housed, the joys, the tears, the “for sures” and bumps and bruises along the way, the “I’m all in” moments. This new dream—I will keep under ‘fun’, exciting, beautifully disguised and dynamic—one of value in my journey of self discovery, a decision made by a very present me.

So, it is not about a do-over or a reset in life, it is about making choices and liking the choices you make because you have to live with it. Never fall for the: “You get one chance in life so make it right”, no, you get one life—live it with all the rights, wrongs, messiness, imperfections and successes—embrace it all! Life is a chaos and amid that chaos and all the randomness; it never fails to surprise you; an unexpected event occurs thrusting you forward, leaving you breathless, just be sure to be present every step of the way—the key is having no regrets. Sometimes life will slow down just enough and remind us we are all connected fate always working its magic letting you know you grew into the individual you were always meant to be. Every morning is the start of a new day, your opportunity for a do-over, to start anew to add more value than the day before. You deserve to live a brilliant abundant life! Go live it! Invite uncondition love into your life, into your world, it will never disapoint!

Remember to stay humble and offer kindness,  elevate everyone in your life, and those you have the opportunity to meet today. Offer much love to yourself, family and friends, give love and more love always, including your loyal and faithful pets!

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

To the beautiful, powerful you,

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, I would be incredibly grateful if you would help it spread by forwarding it to a friend or sharing it on Twitter or LinkedIn. I am now on IG, come join me there @anaspanowriter! Thank you!

Happiness Is Key to Unlocking World-Class Success—Optimism is Everything.

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.—Albert Schweitzer

Success is a matter of interpretation. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Success can take on many forms or mean different things, to many people, personally and professionally. To some, the bigger the better. The expression: “go big or go home”, comes to mind when thinking from an entrepreneurial mindset. For me, personal growth is success. That every day I learn something new, about myself, about life, about how each of us have a purpose in this vast planet, something to contribute and that I, in some small or big way may have a part in the success of a vision in the grand scheme of things.

Hello my beautiful souls! While corporations pride themselves in lifting economies, I will strive myself to lift your spirits, celebrate and elevate the creative genius that is you! This world is full of great thinkers, yet happiness is thought of as the ultimate end goal often the result of external rewards or accolades. Success should not be a noun describing an end-result, an accomplishment of an aim, but a feeling. The feeling you get when you nurture the concept of a book for example and you work hard on it for months, maybe years—you enjoy the highs and lows of writing—the epiphanies along the way and then you write the last sentence, you type that last period on your manuscript—oh what joy that is, what a sense of accomplishment!  Nothing is more rewarding than the hard work put in and the happiness and joy you feel along the way—this is success! Happiness for me, is the beautiful feelings cultivated from the big and small moments, the blood, sweat, tears and love poured on a masterpiece. No titles, no hiding behind large offices, or expensive toys—success is to be empowered by connections made, fueled by passion always offering support, spreading the ultimate enthusiasm—this is what my perception of success should feel like.

The painful reality is that very few have limited themselves to inviting into their world a vision for ‘success’ or a what a potential or level of success would be like; worse yet have denied themselves the capability that success is within us all, that we all have the ability to realize and materialize into our world in achieving optimal success—perhaps they feel underserving of that success. Sadly, most of us operate from a perspective that: Life operates on life’s terms. That we are surrounded by a multitude of realities playing out in our world brought on by others. Circumstances, events, playing on emotion become our superficial realities. The result of these realities becomes what you see in the mirror. Ruthless, hard, drained, deceitful-always trying to stay ahead, hungry, competitive—all drawn from fear. True success relies heavily on what you perceive that success to be for you, success may be having optimal health always, great friendships—a solid marriage, from an entrepreneurial mindset, it might be overcoming challenges and rising above amidst adversity—you hold a strong vision for yourself of possible outcomes—a reflection of your truth. Do you view the world from a face-value perspective—what you see is what you get? Or are you more of let’s imagine it and go after it—the world is full of possibilities kind of visionary—that anything you imagine has the potential to become a reality! And what a wonderful way to view life from a lens that the world is our playground and the life we dream ourselves is ready for the picking as soon as we are ready, as soon as we consciously choose to follow that dream, and begin to take part in that process of joyfully creating a life that reflects our highest value—it will remain dormant until you make the decision to choose it—to follow your path, to follow your truth.

Learning to use your imagination faithfully on any project without the trappings of ego, is essentially the secret to truly creating the ultimate experience you wish to experience in this lifetime. Following your bliss; submitting to your ultimate truth, is the only way one can achieve greatness. It is what makes the Sir Richard Bransons, the Warren Buffets, the Tony Robbins, of the world—these innovators simply tapped into a set of principles—their truth proven time and time again by their personal experiences materializing into immense success. Their start began with an immense desire—a vision. A vision so strong they each assumed it as a ‘wish fulfilled’.  Now let me be clear, to say that these men are geniuses, or anyone out there accomplishing their vision of a dream to a high degree and call them geniuses is simply to place them in a certain category when having a discussion, it is not to say these individuals have a specific gene that makes them geniuses. They are geniuses because they have tapped into an awareness; drawing from personal experience, viewing their successes and failures as tools necessary to navigate life in remarkable ways. Through their heroic efforts, these visionaries, these bold thinkers have managed to ignore critics, have done the unreasonable, they push the envelope and seize glorious opportunities as they show up—not always on their schedule, but they have learned to listen to their gut—their intuition, never steering them wrong. They show up courageous and fearless, speaking their truth from a place of authenticity. Ready to succeed.

So yes, dream, follow your heart and soon your body will follow—always staying true to yourself. But is this enough to feel successful?  Many, go out there, plant their stake, break ground, fill beautiful buildings with active minds and souls from all over the world and they get busy. Anyone can show leadership behaviour, but are they equipped with all the tools to properly navigate the ship? Strong leadership translates into increased performance outcomes. Ineffective leadership can stifle an organization’s ability to reach its full potential for success. So why do many businesses fail when it comes to receiving that health check in leadership scores? We all lead in some form, in our homes, our families, our friendships, our relationships, our workplace—to be effective leaders we need the right perspective. The most successful organizations grow leaders throughout their organizations—know your role. Everyone needs to be accountable for their role within their place of work, their home, their relationships. The word lead in leadership means to guide, to influence other individuals, perhaps in teams, or organizations, or in your personal life, your family, your friendships, and relationships—the success depends largely on approach or the set of leadership principles these ‘leaders’ will choose to successfully navigate their business life and personal life. Research tells us that great leaders are not a hereditary genius but most likely characteristics that can be developed with the proper tools, education, environment, healthy perspectives, often creating opportunities along the way. Successful leaders never miss an opportunity to elevate, give praise often, add value by counting their blessings. Have the awareness to recognize that everything that has happened to you, was necessary to get you where you are today—to become the genius, kind soul you are today. Success is not a popularity contest—enjoy the moment—be present always. Share your success—embrace change and all its mess, and open yourself to the brilliant life you are meant to have—happiness will be sure to kick into high gear and what a beautiful feeling to share.

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.—John C. Maxwell

When discussing success, I feel it equally important to discuss leadership, as we all need to learn to behave as leaders not only in our work environments but in our personal lives as well. In fact, showing up as a leader in your everyday life, will certainly transcend the rest. People want to be a part of an organization that allows them to bring their gifts and talents to work on a daily. To be heard. How pivotal for any organization to have powerful creative conversations from the top CEOs to the youngest freshest minds, sharing visionary insights at all levels, having the boldness to tackle challenges with pure optimism—it is infectious, next level of authentic excellence—it is the formula to exceptional success. With excellent leadership comes excellent relationships. I cannot think of the most satisfying feeling than to feel you are contributing to something big, to feel engaged with your team, to feel that your contribution is worth something. It makes me feel alive and want to produce more. A leader, that promotes this healthy work environment, comes from a mindset of feeling quite successful in their own lives; optimism is infused, and they wish to bring more of that to their place of work—their baby. Interesting choice of word don’t you think? Often, I hear entrepreneurs refer to their projects, their business, as their baby. I wonder, if they are truly taking care of their business(es) like they would an actual baby? I know it is a metaphor but having cared for two babies in my lifetime (I am referring to my daughters of course), I must tell you, there is a lot of nurturing involved. In addition, to all the nurturing and teaching, all is done with a great amount of love. The love you pour into a family, particularly a young child, is like the amount of sun and water and yes love, a flower needs to grow. Without a parent’s love and guidance, a child will have a difficult time growing to its potential. In addition to parenting, I have also been blessed with the opportunity of mentoring, working in supervisory level type positions in the corporate world and I too have poured all my love into my work to ensure that bosses, peers, colleagues, teammates received my personal excellence, always—this is me showing up, this is me loving myself!

So, what are we doing to our businesses are we mass producing? Building for the sake of banging out a quick fix, a product that may or may not last or worse yet, because of rapid growth in technology, are we just mindlessly adding too many options—confusing consumers? What happened to quality and value? Our success comes from creating positive cultures within our establishments knowing we are making a difference not only with our product but in the lives of the individuals who support us, contributing to this planet hoping to leave it a little better than we found it—that is the feeling of success! You see when we lift others, when we inspire, we offer a genius that knows no boundaries, this optimism is infectious, in turn our families (in business and in our homes) conjure this discipline, this immense feeling of remaining brilliantly focused on their endeavors, creating, adding value, dreaming bigger and voilá the whole world gets to experience greatness, separating genius from the rest. Be remarkable at what you do. This is genius at work! This is building success from within!

You might have the right product, the right project or idea but do you have a vision of what that success might look like for you? Do not forget to take your dose of humility wherever you go. You might be making truckloads of money, you might be the number one producer and your confidence is unparallel, but what is your legacy? Nobody likes arrogance. A wonderful quote I came across that sums up humility is: “Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up.”—Jesse Jackson. I think we are too eager to get to the finish line, an idea is born, and we cannot wait for the world to see our creation, but along the way, we forget the ‘our’ in our creation. Oftentimes, leaders of organizations forget that a vision is only a vision until you get an army behind the scenes and with their support, that vision materializes. It is imperative that as visionaries, leaders, consumers, that we become aware, of the brilliance that surrounds us, at home, at work, every establishment that we have the good fortune to visit or do business with. It is easy to get to the end result relying on so many, but how quickly we forget the beautiful souls supporting us along the way, that in the end we only take notice of our pockets; rather than seeing with clarity, the forces helping our dream unfold. Taking notice of such courage, strength, love, kindness is to awaken the hero in you, trusting the course of life and simply unleashing greatness! This togetherness, this feeling of community, building together as a whole is the success I am referring to. It takes a village to raise a child—your child, why not offer security, love, encouragement—breathe life to your passion but raise it, with world class level of care in order to achieve world class level of success!

So, while goal setting is incredibly important in setting yourself up for success, I would like to share with you the following set of principles that will assist you and offer you guidance to feeling accomplished and successful while revolutionizing your life with the people you work with, the loved ones you live with, and with those you get to encounter every single day with whom you share this journey called life:

  1. Self Love. There is nothing you cannot accomplish when you have practiced self-love.
  2. Dream. Visualize. Let it take hold of you and act.
  3. Devote time to your dream—no one else will. What will that end-result look like? Be sure to include how this service will benefit others, will benefit the world? To leave the world a little better than you found it. Schedule time to work on you. Exercise, meditate, affirmation, dream, map out your goals. Journal. What is written, gets done!
  4. How does that success feel? Everyone gets caught up on end results, and outcomes, the materials they wish to acquire, but forget how they wish to feel along the way or when that ‘dream’ is finally realized, how did they intend to feel. Do you wish to feel joy? Do you wish to feel peace? Do you wish to feel love? It is wonderful to achieve the materials success brings with it, but why is it that when all is said and done, why do most not necessarily feel successful once they get there? For most, while building their empire, it is a whole lot of busyness, stress, worry—is this what success feels like? Success is not a destination, it is one of many journeys in life at the end, love is the feeling we all wish.
  5. Always act with kindness. Be optimistic about your vision, your dream, your project, your home and the life in it. Kindness, optimism is infectious—soon others will follow, you cannot fail.
  6. If you feel you are the smartest person in the room—then you need to find new friends, and yes, a new perspective. It is not necessarily that you are the smartest person in the room, perhaps you are not engaging with those around you. Everyone has something to offer—be open to discussion, invite intellectual and fun conversations—all promote healthy environments. We should always strive to learn new things. Become a world-class listener. Soon, the creative juices flow and genius arrives!
  7. Do you! Stop following the crowd. Be bold take action toward your dream, honor your specialness, step into your authenticity regardless of what the critics might think—the world will be a better place once you do.  
  8. Be respectful. Just as you think you earned your respect—so should your colleagues and teammates, be respected. These are mothers, fathers, members of congregations and communities—treat them with respect; I am sure they have earned it. Treat everyone you meet as you wish to be treated. When you bark orders and talk down to people—it makes one wonder how you see yourself and those in your household? It costs nothing to be kind and respectful, yet it will pay dividends manyfold when you trust and believe in your team.
  9. Encourage a safe and positive environment—compliment often. Never miss an opportunity to celebrate and elevate those you get to work with and have relationships with. The universe will often shower you with opportunities to shine—be your exceptional self always!
  10. Create the ultimate product or the ultimate experience. Commit to your craft. Whatever you are selling, whatever the service, whether at home, at work or life—make it world-class. Create the ultimate experience. To do this, you must ask the right question: How can I give more, do more, be more? The focus should be on how to provide more value—this is untapping to unlimited possibilities in creating the life you deserve, the life of your dreams. Lead the field in what you do. Over deliver always. Stay true to your vision.
  11. Embrace failure. Learn to fail fast. The more you do, the more opportunities to fail at, the more growth you will experience, the grander the mastery. You will know happiness once you experience pain and adversity.
  12. Practice gratitude. The daily practice of gratitude cultivates a positive outlook—beneficial for our brain and wellbeing. Compassion and kindness are the benefits we receive when practicing gratitude—it is certainly a great motivator in the workplace.  Expressing gratitude for growth opportunities, including challenges, new experiences, offering positive supportive feedback to colleagues and staff.  Reflect often. Are you aligned with your deepest beliefs? What is a game changer for you?
  13. Unplug. Go back to nature. Excessive media use is not good for us physically, mentally, or emotionally. Unplugging improves quality of life. Reduce (stress), recharge, renew and be present.
  14. Always keep learning. Journal often (if you are not able to daily), listen to podcasts, not just in your field in everything—as you know more you achieve more—you become legendary. Have gorgeous conversations with masters.

I know my list looks very lengthy, but that is because I always have so much, I want to share. Often, I over share but it is because of the love I have for you—I want you to succeed. When you succeed, we all succeed. The world is a better place.

I have touched on some of the points listed already in the paragraphs above, and I will take the opportunity to touch on some of them further in the following paragraphs because I feel they need a little more elaborating—that’s me again over sharing😊.  Above all else, before you can succeed at anything, you must first know and practice the power of selflove. To align to your highest level of excellence self-love must be your starting point. Detecting your authentic values early on is key. Have a relentless devotion to working on your personal mastery, to develop a trust and have faith that you are built for success—ready to accept whatever the universe feels is necessary for growth—always trusting the course, knowing when to let go of situations, circumstances, relationships, that no longer serve you, inviting change necessary for the new and better to take root and rise above. Empires can easily crumble when there is lack of self-love. No 3-step, 5-step or 10-step guide to success will truly work if your world within, is a mess, your foundations are weak, the way you view yourself is from a space of neglect, a place of detest, not loving the skin you are in. I have neatly elaborated on this topic, in my November post: “The More You Clean Up Your Inner World, The More Beautiful Your Outer World Will Be.” Everything begins from within—the doorway to success is inward not outward. I am not referring to being self-absorbed, or narcissistic, viewing the world with a sense of entitlement—this is just acting from fear. When you do nothing for yourself—the world owes you nothing.

As a young girl entering the workforce, I took pride in my image; how I conducted myself in public, at work and with my colleagues and teammates. My morning rituals always start with meditations, affirmations, stretches, a shower and some more feel-good affirmations all the way to my office. I do not leave my home unless I am well put together—it is how I respect myself. I always arrive to work with the right mindset and always early or on time. I am at my desk ready to work, ready to tackle the never-ending demands of my work. Even as a teenager I always made sure I dressed well, looked professional in school and at my part-time jobs—it is how I showed up, ready. Many organizations adapt titles identifying individuals with high level of responsibility running their operations such as a CEO, COO, VP, CIO, CFO, their vision will drive the company’s success and profitability, these are the big weights that strategize, plan, and collaborate to keep an organization operating smoothly and efficiently. But what if their world is running from a mindset of lack? What if their world is running from a space of pain and rejection? Will these big weights produce success? Are they in a position to rise higher than the person they see in the mirror every day and do they have it in them to take that business and its operating mechanism (staff and all tools in it) to an exponential level of success? And when and if they manage to rise, will they stay there long enough, be consistent, are their foundations strong enough to build excellent business relationships, groom excellent leaders within the organization that will see growth amid challenge and conflict? Self-love is the master tool that will help any leader rise above darkness, work through pain, work through challenges—a leverage necessary to rise to astounding success. Love, mistakes, hurts, pains and all, is what you open yourself up to when you practice self-love and become equally accepting of those flaws from your colleagues, teammates, family and friends.  Just as many motivators speak to creating goals, and schedules to get optimal results for success, how many of us think of working on ourselves? Do you love yourself enough to get up early and take care of you? Do you honor yourself, appreciate who you are as a human being? Are you being kind to yourself and in turn are you transcending that kindness to others? If you are not kind to yourself, if you are not loving yourself, expect nothing from anyone else. Be kind. Self-love is such an important part of life—it is how your life and the world reflect on the outside. If you feel deserving of love, of kindness, if you are honoring yourself, taking care of your body, this is self respect—soon others pick up on this and offer you respect. When you love yourself, you offer that love and kindness to others—its what this world needs more of right now. I cannot see the success of any organization if the culture and environment is one without love? The more love you pour into yourself, the more love, you will pour into your work, love tends to overflow and wouldn’t that be a wonderful place to work and produce—this is success.

None is more impoverished than the one who has no gratitude. Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves and spend without fear of bankruptcy.—Fred De Witt Van Amburgh

When reflecting on success as a feeling, the most important principle here is gratitude. Be grateful that you get to practice something you love every day. Remember that what you do positively affects countless people. Being thankful and having a positive attitude allows you to create a better and happier environment—gratitude always comes from a place of love. The way you are in the world is a deep reflection of the way you are with yourself—be grateful. You have worked hard to get here, if we are discussing organizations, it is important to reflect on the collaboration of a team that got you here, that assisted with the execution of your vision. When your love comes from a place of gratitude, to be grateful of all your experiences, the good, the dark, the painful, it cultivates a behaviour that reflects your deepest beliefs. When you take care of yourself and consistently work hard to become a better version of yourself (this takes daily practice and daily work) you will keep self-promises—never disappoint (yourself). By expressing gratitude, we learn to appreciate what we already have instead of always being in search for our happiness; in search for that something we think is missing in our lives; often leaving us feeling unfulfilled. This goodness, this gratitude, will only serve to give you more of that which you find deserving, because you are being true to yourself, true to your heart.

We must go into the world each day and be our best selves, live our best lives—life offers daily opportunities to lead with humility. As you awaken, you free yourself from all attachment while enjoying the pleasures of this world where fear is no longer a source of reaction, love in its place. It is only then, that something infinitely greater starts taking root, with love as your source you can begin to make real contribution towards bringing about a better, safer, kinder world. Your outer world then, becomes the quality of your language, your thoughts, the extraordinary value you hold for yourself—all mirroring your inner world—this is the guide to greatness. Take every opportunity to shine—show up a true leader and success will be at your fingertips!

It is my truest wish that you succeed immensely in every aspect of your life, including your business endeavors, that as we shine inward, planting seeds for success, that we collectively start making real contributions and that as we transform our individual lives and become superstars in our craft, that we stay devoted to making a world of difference in creating a more compassionate world, staying committed to leaving it better than we found it while living a rich purposeful life! You deserve to live a brilliant abundant life—be the light of the world! Remember to offer love and elevate everyone in your life, work life, and those you have the opportunity to meet today. Offer much love to your family and friends (everyone is extra hurting), give love and more love always, including your loyal and faithful pets!

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

To the beautiful powerful you,

Ana Spano

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, I would be incredibly grateful if you would help it spread by forwarding it to a friend or sharing it on Twitter or LinkedIn. I am now on IG, come join me there @anaspanowriter! Thank you!

My Wish…

“The Most fantastic magical things can happen, and it all starts with a wish.”—Pinocchio

I love words just as much as I love wishes. Words have energy and power, they can heal or hinder, we have the choice to use them for encouragement or despair. They can humble us and offer strength in moments when we are most vulnerable. “…Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small…You never need to carry more than you can hold…” These are the beautiful lyrics of a song by Rascal Flatts in a song simply titled: “My Wish”. This entire song holds such beautiful meaning that goes beyond lyrics and a pleasant melody, and if you have not had the pleasure of listening to this gift of a song, I urge you to do so as soon as you have the opportunity. This beautiful song encapsulates the simple wish of love to those we hold dear to our heart. This is the song I dedicated to my beautiful sister-in-law a few months before her passing, it is a song I will always hold dear to my heart and I cannot not think about her and picture her beautiful smile when I hear it. I even found it in one of those musical cards just a few months after her passing (not by coincidence), I am most certain my sister-in-law meant for me to find it, to let me know she was nearby. There is something so comforting knowing that our loved ones who have passed on are always around holding our hand when we need it. This is the gift of faith, to believe in something grander, to engage with Spirit, our ultimate Source, divinely guiding us in some way, helping us regain our awareness of why we exist, what our purpose here on earth is. An awareness that shifts your perspective from blaming your circumstances and blaming others, to holding yourself accountable for your experiences learning to embrace whatever shows up in your life as part of this master plan, this perfection that is you, that is your life, a life you created.

Hello beautiful souls, I wanted to end off the year with one last message before we embark on a new year, one of hope and much promise. This past year has been a hell of a roller coaster to say the least! One that has left us feeling many emotions, unfortunately that might include painful losses for some of us, but here’s the thing about a ‘New Year’, it’s that we get to say good-bye to the past and welcome a brand New Year full of hope, one that includes many more happy moments, and I am here to ensure that cheer carries through to keep your spirit alive and help you see that all that pain you suffered resulting from the disaster that was ‘2020, will only serve to have you appreciate the smallest of joys (that are sure to come your way), that much more.

“A day without laugher is a day wasted.”—Charlie Chaplin

My wish for you is that you laugh more often. There is nothing more beautiful than the sound of a child’s laughter, do you not agree? I absolutely love when I hear my girls laugh out loud as they watch their favorite movie or show or laugh at something they shared. I could be anywhere at home and when I hear that laughter, it is the most beautiful music to my ears, it is so contagious, and I feel my heart stop for a little while just enjoying their good cheer. My girls are now 23 and 19, I will never tire of hearing their sweet laughter. So, my plea here is: no matter what is going on in your life right now, promise yourself to make it a point to laugh—I am sure anyone nearby will certainly appreciate that contagious good vibe. Laughter is so good for the soul!

When you surround yourself with things you love, your life will mirror it.

Surround yourself with beauty. Surround yourself with people and things that inspire you. Look around, there are so many beautiful things to love and appreciate in this world, in your world—the one you create, sometimes you might need to look a little harder, but it is there, I promise. My wish is that you lift your head, look up and see the beauty that currently surrounds you. As I was carefully venturing out in my neighbourhood, buying my groceries during the holidays, I noticed such beautiful flower arrangements, Christmas poinsettia, roses (I bought for a friend), just a lot of beautiful colour; an attempt by our neighbourhood business owners, to put a smile on our faces, if only for a moment allowing us to forget our sorrows. I noticed these beautiful colours and gave my praise of gratitude for my eyes to see. For some, maybe you were recently blessed with the good fortune of seeing the beauty found in the face of a new-born child—oh how sweet it is to look into the eyes and faces of a new-born, and let’s add smells to this as well, a new-born’s scent is so sweet. Perhaps you witnessed a rainbow in your part of the world or the beautiful light snow fall; one that I was so fortunate to witness at midnight on Christmas Eve, while driving around with my youngest just for the heck of it. There is much beauty that surrounds us, we need to learn to celebrate it and be grateful.

Life has a way of coming full circle, every feeling, every emotion, every thought, every spoken word, returns to its intended recipient—you. It is a boomerang ready to be returned to you with astounding accuracy—so give it a lot of love, joy, happiness, hugs, smiles, comfort, support, empathy, compassion, kindness, patience, give life all that is good, and the Universe will do its part in returning it to you many fold! It is my wish that you receive more love, more happiness, more joy…more of all that is beautiful. You see, you only get one life—make it good. Life is not a sprint, take it all in, the good and the bad—sometimes the best things in life take a while, have faith, watch it unfold without judgment, it will not disappoint. Trust that there is plenty of good still in this world, to offer kindness and compassion to a stranger and of course to your loved ones. My wish is that everyone learn the power and the gift that is: ‘forgiveness’ in this lifetime. I believe that when we have ‘unforgiving’ energy it manifests outward in some way into our physical world. When we learn to forgive, we allow the healing to begin, our soul begins the healing on an external level and we begin to witness the many little miracles that surround us, making room for new beginnings. My wish is that you find the gift of forgiveness in your lives, and in your hearts, and make room for passion, faith, hope, inspiration, love; feel the warmth, that is hope—gain a greater sense of freedom. It is in forgiving that we find strength and courage. Do not live, in regret, resentment or fear, instead invite peace, love, joy, let go of selfish demands of ego and look for the good in everything and everyone. I look at the behaviours of others that do not resonate with my wish for peace and I send them love. My experiences have taught me that I cannot get angry enough to end any war on violence, discrimination, social issues, that I cannot feel enough pain and sorrow for all the hurts in the world (it certainly will not offer healing) so I choose to stay in-Spirit because my heart tells me that where I place my attention, my intention will set me on a path of possibilities and openness to a life of miracles! And although it feels we have been at a standstill, I know this is temporary and a better tomorrow awaits, one filled with hope and prosperity and much peace. This is my wish for you.

May you dream yourself a life where you work hard and allow yourself to play even harder, that you do meaningful work, work that gives you joy and gives you purpose. Say yes, often, giggle a lot, sing to your heart’s content (preferably in the shower 😊), keep the sparkle in your eyes, encourage silly, run barefoot on the grass or in the rain (I have done this with my sister!), lie down and watch the clouds or the stars, whichever—they are both equally fascinating. Simply be. Life is meant to be lived, to feel, to be, to experience. Give yourself permission to dream big, love deeply, cry if you must and have the confidence to carry you through—have faith always. My wish is that you live an inspired life, a life of clarity, a passion filled life, surrounded by much kindness and compassion. Nurture the child in you, find people to love unconditionally, may you find friends who make you better, and may love, peace, joy and kindness always find its way into your heart, it’s the ultimate truth, it is your truth, love is what makes all things possible, never underestimate its power. You are here to inspire or be inspired…which do you choose?

This is me on my comfy couch reading a book, enjoying my fireplace

We were all sentenced to one year at home without access to our friends and loved ones for some of us. Hopefully, many of you used that time to reflect, to find time to figure out what makes you—you, what is your story, what makes you shine? For me, it is just this, to spread love through my writing, my words, to speak love and kindness to all those I meet, to those I share space with. Hopefully, you will have spent quality time with those currently in your living space and have learned a lot from one another, building solid and beautiful foundations that will help you when you go off into the world understanding that every word, every touch, every thought has an effect, it impacts all those around you as we are all connected. I know when the world once again opens up, I will make it a point to hug everyone that much tighter, smile even more than ever, laugh at everything, spread love, compassion and kindness at every opportunity. I will say good-bye to my comfy couch that has been my friend and support for seven months (oh who am I kidding, I love my couch!😊) and run the streets with open arms, dance as I did whenever I heard music in a store (if you know me you know this is true for me). I urge you to dance like nobody’s watching—it is so liberating. It is how I spent most of my high school years while roaming the school hallways or in the cafeteria (man, the 80s were fun!😊). It will be the day you get to go and make up time for precious moments lost and spend it with your loved ones, except this time around you will enjoy it that much more, you will love that much deeper. I hope that this is everyone’s plan, I hope that this is a wish we all share for this new world we are about to embark. This New Year’s Eve, it is my hope and faith, that everyone will join in and share their wish for a kinder world, one filled with optimism, confidence, courage, that your days be described with words like: exhilarating, enthusiastic, breathtaking, exciting, hope, humanity and selflessness. Whatever your journey, wherever life takes you or throws at you, know we are all connected, every experience leading us to one path and that is love. My wish is that you live an inspired life (in-Spirit) otherwise you are just living. And in this inspiration, you are awakened, you see things with clarity; with your spiritual lens now intact, you notice the world has forever changed bringing growth, placing you on a path of your heart’s truest desires, compassion and kindness as your guides holding the key to successfully manifesting your dreams. The meaning of life is to have faith, to believe you deserve life’s best gifts, to hope for better tomorrows but enjoy the gifts of today in whatever form simply to love that much more, to laugh that much louder, to have that much more compassion and empathy.

As we enter this new world, our perspectives must shift. Our old ways of thinking and doing things no longer serve us. This new world no longer has room for hate and judgment, instead it is one filled with optimism—which is key to overcoming all obstacles, overcoming anything, but that we do it together. Let us not look at the past, except to learn from our mistakes and to mourn for those we have lost, together let us wish for a beautiful today, one filled with humility, laughter, acceptance, forgiveness, gratitude, compassion, generosity, love, joy, humanity and kindness always. Let us pray for some healing, we are all in need of it. Each of us have the power to choose our thoughts align them with love, peace, harmony and good will. Together, we can create our present and future moments at the highest possible level, your heart is the center—allow yourself to feel peace and harmony. Rejoice, celebrate, be grateful, let the power of a smile melt your heart and influence happiness that has not been around for quite some time. Gratitude connects us all—it is the medicine our world needs today. This is my wish for you.

I would like to a share a prayer with you, a prayer that made its way into my life a few years back and it is a prayer I say every morning or at least once a day. Reminding me that every day is a gift, a gift I get to share with loved ones, another day I get to impact someone’s life in the most positive way. I will share with you a part of this prayer for the sake of this blog, you are welcome to search up the entire prayer online. Its origin is of no importance, there are many versions, many stories of its authentic author, but that’s not the take away here, the message beautifully reflects a message of peace. I ask that you adapt the prayer, more importantly its message, into your life, you may change the language so that it resonates with you and your beliefs, your practices, but its modest message should remain as it is a message of peace, hope and love, one that should be the same in any language, in any corner of the world. Thank you for allowing me to share this message. With great love and respect:

So, my sweet souls say good-bye to what no longer serves you…let it go and make room for exciting new things to come, new hopes, new resolutions, new spirits. Wishing you optimal health always, and may the New Year bring us all much peace, joy, abundance and loads and loads of happiness. January 1st, is the start of a New Year, it is the day you get to write yourself a new chapter in your life—make it remarkable!

Remember to offer love to everyone, and during these holidays especially, be extra kind to all those you meet. Offer much love to your families (everyone is extra hurting this year), give love and more love always, including your loyal and faithful pets!

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

To the beautiful powerful you,

Ana Spano

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

Feel Who You Are—Joy is your Wisdom

Be still and know that you are that which you desire to be, and you will never have to search for it.—Neville Goddard

I hope last month’s blog helped brighten up your life a little more after a season of darkness. As we approach the winter months ahead we can’t help but feel a little anxious not knowing what the sunless months (the wintery stormy days) will bring but perhaps grey solemn skies to match our moods unless you are a winter lover that is. Christmas is around the corner and that should help shift our mood, but oh yeah we are in a pandemic—so life looks a bit bleak☹. This period of uncertainty has  placed us all on a roller coaster of emotions; we feel sad and angry for our losses, fear and anxious brought on by doubt not knowing what our future holds. All expectations of how we thought our immediate future would look like; a glimpse of our success, have gone out the window, we have been robbed of what we thought was our certainty, this along with our hopes and dreams—fear in its place. To this I say: cancel all expectation this year—it was not doing us any good any way. Expectations only cultivate feelings of fear, doubt, sadness, anger—all the un-wants in our lives. Instead, we should work on replacing our expectations with feelings of confidence, compassion, empathy all born from being in a constant state of joy; a joy derived from a consciousness of love. Maybe we should be intending our ‘tomorrows’ (taking action today) and allowing the flow of how that tomorrow should feel and look like rather than expecting things to be grand and then life has a way of disappointing. When we intend things (experiences into our lives), all doubt is banished—we trust. In this trust, in this flow, we have the power to manifest the beautiful life we all deserve!

Hello beautiful souls! May your mind(s) be filled with beautiful thoughts (hopefully quietness) and your heart(s) with nothing but love and joy. Where there is love fear cannot exist. Isn’t it wonderful knowing that when you choose to feel love you will live in the absence of fear? Is it that simple you ask? Yes, you just need to commit to love. It is the difference in choosing to feel secure, confident, you start feeling enthusiastic about life, about your next move. So, what will you choose? Will you choose to feel fear in your life followed by all other negatives that sadly include manifesting illness? Perhaps you will consider choosing joy and receive your daily dose of friendly neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin? Lately, I have noticed a lot of talk of neurotransmitters; chemical messengers and receptors—fancy science terms that help us understand what is happening inside us, particularly what keeps our brain functioning and a variety of psychological functions monitoring levels of fear, mood, pleasure and joy. Neuroscientists have done the lovely work for us and have shared their scientific perspectives on the chemistry affecting our biology that trigger happiness. These neurotransmitters have a wide variety of functions in the human body. Either way both  require work (unless you set it as your default emotion, in which case good for you) I cannot help but wonder however, why it is that choosing to feel ‘joy’ requires work and for some a lot more than others. As I do my research on the  positive impact of joy in my life I discover that serotonin; a chemical produced by nerve cells, is more of a free flowing neurotransmitter triggered by how others value you and the awesome feeling you experience when getting exercise or a massage—it is at times referred to as the happy chemical as it contributes to wellbeing and happiness. Healthy levels of Serotonin regulate anxiety, happiness and mood.  Another famous neurotransmitter I read about that our body also produces is Dopamine and it offers us that ‘feel good’ and happy feeling released as part of a reward system (reaching that goal), upon achieving an objective—often flooding your body with high energy that leads to happiness, even shopping help raise levels of this ‘good feel’ miracle transmitter or sex (whatever brings you joy 😊). It is what helps us to strive, motivate, focus, affecting our physical function.

There is plenty behind the science of happiness resulting in the release of these much needed neurotransmitters and the success of achieving such happiness is finding the right balance (ugh, more work☹) as too much of any one of these chemicals can have a negative impact. Well, how about choosing to be in constant joy instead! This should be easy (no science required), just choose to be in this constant state always. How do we do this? We must start by being honest with ourselves. Ask yourself how do I want to feel? What is my wish, my true desire? That authenticity will follow you everywhere you go. You might try to betray your feelings every now and again to please others, but God, the universe, your higher self, always know what is at the centre and according to the Law of Attraction in order to change your outer world you must change your inner world (your thoughts and feelings) every small action an expression creating beautiful experiences, that weave into this tapestry we call life—and so your mind, body and soul follow, thus manifesting your true desire outward. When we experience joy, love is a byproduct. Accepting ourselves as we are, offering forgiveness and compassion will leave us less vulnerable. Pain and suffering is part of life, and none of us is immune to it, we may not be able to control these negative occurrences, but we could certainly influence their effect in our life by adjusting the attitude we take toward them. Whenever someone comes up to me with a problem or concern, whether it be an illness or discouraging news, my immediate go-to pep talk is: “get out of your head.” So much of our suffering is caused by our wanting or expecting things to be different resulting in feelings of discontent, that lead to frustration and anger.   When my daughter comes down the stairs after a busy morning of meetings and I see her little face full of worry, I immediately tell her: “get out of your head”, we talk, we dissect what is causing the worry and fear, we poke it, we throw it around in many directions, until it no longer scares her. I often finish our talks with: “How does this experience make you feel? How do you want to feel?”  We jot down solutions, on what needs to be done or said to get back to that joyful feeling she desires—the unnecessary worrying is done with. Understand that unnecessary worrying and getting frustrated or upset is not going to give you that peace and joy you crave (if in fact this is the experience you seek in life), so why do it? If your car breaks down, well think of it as the universe protecting you from being somewhere else at that time—rejection is God’s protection.  Be honest, hold yourself accountable and accept that your actions, your words, your thoughts have brought you to where you are today. I say this with great love and respect: Is the life and circumstances currently surrounding you, the life you see for yourself? If not, change it! You have the power to change your thoughts, your view, your words, your actions that will move you towards your view of the life you want, your world, your reality—observe, accept, allow, make your next move. Every experience is an opportunity. Remember to think: Everything happens For you, not To you! The truth is that your state of being creates your circumstances, and not the other way around.

Despite what is currently surrounding your life, your world, your days, you should be in constant joy—this is my wish for you. To be in a constant state of happiness may be difficult as happiness mostly depends on external factors (happens to us). Choosing joy however, is choosing to be present, it is choosing a way of life very much like choosing a ‘healthy lifestyle’ over choosing to be on a ‘diet’. A diet is a temporary fix you can opt out of anytime as it is not permanent; it is choosing not to eat certain items until you talk yourself into doing it. Choosing a healthy lifestyle on the other hand, is a commitment. It is the difference in telling yourself: “I should not eat this,” to “I will not eat it.”  If joy is an attitude of the heart, it will not defy you, it is there to offer comfort during times of difficulty, continuously seizing opportunities with feelings of great accomplishment, vitality and strength no matter what life hands you. It is to be a blessing to others, looking through the eyes of a stranger and seeing that our existence (how we conduct ourselves in this world) affects others by what we give, what we do—so give love. You are the creator of your own life; simply be, focus on your desire and dreams. To be in constant joy, goes beyond cultivating a positive mindset (although it helps), it is to surround yourself with beautiful, kind people that support you, create precious moments and wonderful experiences that ultimately leave you feeling fulfilled. For me it is the tremendous sense of peace I feel every morning after meditation or a session of yoga. To be in a state of joy, is to look forward to and appreciate the little miracles. Enjoy the journey no matter what life throws at you. Your thought should never be: “when my life changes, I will then start to be happy”, be happy now, feel joy always, think happiness and your body and actions will follow—effortlessly.

Taking responsibility for your life is when you start creating the things that you desire rather than focus on the things that you fear. See yourself through the eyes of God (your Infinite Being); your Higher Self, with unconditional love and acceptance. Focus more on loving than on winning love. My experiences have taught me in order to live a fulfilled life it is more about doing for others than receiving. Do not search for joy, be joy. Do not go looking for love, be love. We are all beautiful perfect expressions and deserve all the ‘feel goods’ we choose to surround ourselves with. The value you give yourself is from within, not by the amount or lack of love placed by others. Only you know your self-worth—choose knowing you deserve, and we all deserve love and to be in constant joy. It is not about being good or bad, right or wrong—that is placing judgement, simply be joy, be love. Often, we exhaust ourselves searching for our purpose, we feel confused, not knowing if we belong—this is what brings on feelings of fear. Your purpose is to be where you are, to be love, to be kindness, to be supportive, to be joy! Titles, positions, amounts of money in our bank accounts, should not define who we are, and it most certainly should not measure our level of self-worth. The value a simple stranger gives to an unsuspecting homeless person, or to that disabled individual needing an extra hand opening the door, cannot be measured in dollars, in levels, to that individual you are a hero, you made their day a little easier, a little more enjoyable—and that is priceless! Again, I ask what experience do you seek in this lifetime?

When counseling my clients who have entered my life all broken with shattered spleens, fractured knees, hips, ribs, pelvic fractures (endless list of un-wants in their lives), I carefully with full empathy and compassion assist them with putting the pieces back; not necessarily to the way it once was, but hopefully mending that torn cloth in their world and work on creating a much richer embroidered masterpiece; stitching one piece at a time, a masterpiece cultivated by new found wisdom and a road to self-love. Pieces shattered by false expectations, unfulfilled desires due to mere wishful thinking are now replaced with a desire to be present in their lives, to hold themselves accountable, allowing themselves to experience every little moment with new found enthusiasm to be observers on their road to self-discovery; inviting an awareness in their life, offering much clarity, and many  more peaceful and joyful moments. My purpose in their lives was to simply hold their hand during their season of darkness, offer kindness, empathy, compassion; to make their life a little easier while allowing them to process their setback, offering my expert legal advice and support while ensuring they never lose hope. Joy and happiness should be our constant, it is not something we earn but something we feel, it is the path to self-realization. Joy is what keeps us in a constant state of flow—moving us towards our goals, feeling every step of the way. We do not try to reach our goals with a false sense of expectation, we move, we do—motivation is sparked when we invite joy making that road to success sweeter! With joy we open ourselves up to the outer edges of the unknown we feel, see, hear, things differently and as if by magic we are healed! It is to never doubt that you are where you need to be, trusting all will turn out for the better. Joy cannot be the result of events in your life but a pure commitment in ensuring that every experience is growth, it is not dependent on thought. When we learn to view life in its wider perspective with some degree of humility and simply accept our circumstances and experiences in all its pain, imperfections and beauty—we open ourselves to a life of pure bliss, we allow ourselves to engage with life on its own terms, no judgement, no disappointments—we no longer struggle, we simply be. We experience, we allow, we live when we are in joy.  I believe this is what Tibetan teachings refer to as non-duality. To take every experience without categorizing as pleasurable or difficult, good or bad but simply as an experience. Joy has the ability to take all emotions, experiences, lessons and allow us to power through; happiness and success, is not contingent on our ability to attain it but to feel good going after it, with no attachment to outcome. With joy we learn to see the blessing in everything, the joy in every sorrow—for this reason joy is fearless. We are the protagonist in our own stories, the architects of our lives and it starts with designing our inner world. With joy as your canvas and as your core support you cannot fail at life! Your life and world is yours to direct!

I cannot recall when I first became aware of the presence of joy in my life, it might have been in my early twenties, perhaps even earlier—all my life I was pretty much an observer. I just remember not allowing anything to get me down; like a child, I was resilient to the lacks, disappointments in my life; (except in my non-duality mentality I never labeled them struggles or disappointments) they were simply experiences that helped me grow. Every day I will walk out my front door or walk into an establishment with a permanent smile on my face (granted it is a little harder with masks on, but I still do it 😊), offering a kind hello to whomever is up for it. Yes, of course there are cloudy days, and yes, my heart breaks when my daughters hurt, but we experience the pains, the setbacks, we let go of the need to control our outcomes, wipe off our tears, and let it flow through us, we move on, and accept these experience as necessary for growth. Like an old friend we bid it farewell, thank it for the experience and move on. I teach my girls there is no need to resist, no need to judge, no need to hold onto what no longer serves us. With joy at our core, we conquer all obstacles and untap the reservoir to our unlimited potential!

“Where there is Love, there is Joy.”–Mother Teresa

The season is here to be joyous! What is it about Christmas that offers hope transforming our attitudes instantly if only for a little while. It is silent, it is Spirit; we do not see it, but we certainly feel the magic of Christmas and its beautiful form no matter where we are in the world. We choose to believe in the magic of Christmas that comes around once a year offering hope, cheer and joy, simply to make us feel good if only for one day or two (for a season). It is that tenderness and warmth, courage, love cheer and hope that I wish for you; a warmth only achievable when you commit to joy, not for one season but for always. Pure joy is looking through the eyes of a child at Christmas time, with all the wonderment, excitement and innocence. My beautiful souls I am here to tell you that you have the ability to bask in that magical innocence, when you choose joy, it lives inside you, always. 2020 has been a whirlwind of emotions, and hopefully for most of us; not about alot of losses, but certainly a time for reflection. For those of you having suffered significant losses, my heart goes out to you and I extend the warmest of hugs and my deepest sympathies. But Christmas is a time to be joyous that is every child’s number one rule (or at least it should be), so hug your loved ones and be merry regardless of your surroundings. Like a toddler, run around and feel all emotions at once, wipe off your tears, feel your hurts, your pains, then laugh it out, after-all we are spiritual beings having human experiences, it is inevitable, so if you need to cry…cry, but also be joyous! Hopefully some happiness will seep in your life somehow…and it will. That is the beauty of joy, it shares the space with all emotions, so if you need to be angry…be angry, grief, be sad, but remember to be true to your core and that is to feel Joy always, be Love always. Joy reveals what we need, what we feel, what we want. When we choose to commit to joy based on love and good intentions, the Universe has a way of rearranging itself so that everything will work out fine.

You are a beautiful work in progress. You have everything you need to cultivate an extraordinary life; a life you so, deserve, so let’s focus and start building those foundations. Let’s recap what we need to start allowing Joy in our lives:

  • 1) Decide to feel Joy always. Once you commit, happiness will soon follow. Feel it! And just like that fear is gone!
  • 2) Get out of your head. Eliminate unnecessary worry. Let go of the little things. Rejection is God’s protection!
  • 3) Be present. Only this moment counts. How do you wish to feel now? Let the actions you take today ripple into your future. Create that dream, that desire, now. Own it as if you already have it and it will appear in your material world as if by magic!
  • 4) Be in constant state of allowing. You get to start again. Forgive always, let go, and move on. Closing your heart is not the answer, you have the power to heal all wounds, all illness let go of what no longer serves you, learn from it and bless it out of your life. You may not understand how a certain situation will benefit you at this moment but have faith and trust—all will be well!

Life is gorgeous, learn to embrace it, live it, allow it to flow through you with a sense of urgency—feel that love. A quiet mind, a heart fulfilled—it does not get better than this, be in peaceful harmony with Spirit, your Higher Self. Do not look to the outer world to provide certainty, allow yourself to be free from the shackles of your goals, your lists, your expectations. Be the observer, follow your heart, feel the joy of love here and now—you deserve it!

Remember to offer love to everyone, and for this Christmas be extra kind to all those you meet. Offer much love to your families everyone is extra hurting this year, give love and more love always including your loyal and faithful pets!

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

Let the magical wonders of Christmas fill your hearts with excitement and joy, always remembering to share it with your loved ones and everyone around you!

To the powerful you,

Ana Spano

The more you clean up your inner world, the more beautiful your outer world will be.

” In order to see the light, we must first experience the darkness.” — C. G. Jung

To savor success you must first taste failure, to understand and appreciate the value of love, you must expose yourself to rejection and pain. By expanding our consciousness, we open ourselves to a better understanding of the teaching tool our experiences hold for us, by allowing the flow of life and accepting that things need to happen in order to learn, we are in a better position to become more appreciative for the life that is unfolding—we are better open to a life of harmony.

Hello beautiful souls! I wish you many bright days and if you are currently experiencing darkness, I pray that it will be short lived, for it is in moments of profound darkness that our souls find the light once more. When we mourn our losses, it is when we struggle to find peace once again, we become vulnerable, uncomfortable, at times powerless. The pain might be so unbearable, making us feel immense fear; our mood darkened—life becomes a struggle. But why must it be so? Why struggle, why not allow? Why not accept the flow of life, trust, know that this too shall pass; learn the lesson and move on—this is a one way to view life. To succeed at achieving a state of gratitude and appreciation (for all that life holds for us) we must be open to experiencing by first comparing and fully understanding the opposing side (we cannot have one without the other).

To live in this conscious awareness and understanding that we live in ‘duality’; we accept a deeper understanding of life and its balance interaction of opposite and competing forces. When we live in duality, we learn to experience opposing sides by comparing the opposing counterpart—giving that (opposing) experience value.  Examples of duality that come to mind are peace and war, love and hate, companionship and solitude. The concept of duality can prove to be quite instrumental in answering scientific questions and even prove to be inspirational in the concept of mythology and religion:

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”—Lao Tzu

When you are living the darkness, it is difficult sometimes impossible even, to see even a flicker of light at the end of the long treacherous tunnel—but it is there. Just as you are assured that after daylight there is nightfall (depending on where you live), you must know that light always follows darkness—it does not matter whether you are religious or not—it has been engrained in you that this is the case. So why resist? Why not embrace the flow—difficulties and all! Contradictions, truths, non-truths all are relational, everything has its purpose—together an expression of each other. These experiences or perception of experiences determine how we show up in the world.

As the winter months near, I think about running into my warm beautifully lit home with fireplace running, grabbing my blanket and hot cocoa—love this, feeling of warmth and coziness! I recognize that I wouldn’t be able to grasp the concept of ‘warmth’ and appreciate it as much as I do, until I have experienced the cold treacherous weather (remembering waiting for the bus during -20°C), walking in damp socks after stepping in slushy snow—not fun☹. When we manage to travel to sunny destinations for a week or two, we certainly appreciate the beautiful warm Caribbean weather, the ocean breeze, don’t we? I think all of us wish we could fly off anywhere that is near the sea right now after living this world-wide lock-down, to experience that luscious freedom of running across the sand, taking in the sea breeze, taking in the sun (a symbol of light dispelling darkness), that will once again restore my calmness, making me feel relaxed and renewed. For the folks living near the sea, think of us living up north having no access to beaches—please appreciate your natural environment that much more. Right now, I am enjoying my hot cocoa as it is currently 8°C here in Toronto. So, yes, we understand that we first must live uncomfortable scenarios, experience a form of darkness to understand and appreciate the light that much more, that we know will soon come to pass and what a beautiful sweet spot to be in.

I am extremely grateful for all my experiences in life, I embrace them all! Having experienced times of turmoil, violence, chaos early on in my life, that season of darkness, taught me to appreciate the peace and love that much more, that is very much a part of my life now. I embrace it wholeheartedly and it gives me great comfort knowing that I could not understand the extent of such peace and love, were it not for that period of darkness—and for this I am grateful. I forgive myself for having allowed such darkness, I forgive my teachers that took part in it—I am grateful for my lessons.

We need to embrace the opposite in order to achieve wholeness—a life of harmony. We can only continue our personal growth when we open ourselves to many more painful and uncomfortable moments. Be mindful of what you are putting out into the universe when designing your map to what you perceive success should be. If we are the architects of our own lives and we know that our experiences shape us, then why choose to see life from a negative lens? What type of foundation are you building for yourself? Are you choosing to draw these perceptions from ego; what your mind has been fed by society, or will choose to view your circumstance and live your experiences by following your heart—living from wholeness rather than from lack. This is what our seasons of darkness teach us. Choose to see the light in everything, choose to move on and walk into the beautiful life that awaits you, now that you are wiser, but choose and hold yourself accountable for those choices. To choose or not choose are also opposing examples, however not making a choice in life, is also ‘choosing’ not to choose (huh?). I think my point here is: don’t let life happen to you, make a decision and move with the flow—it will certainly move you in the direction you need to go in order to achieve greater success!

For approximately thirty years, I was humbled with the opportunity to represent some beautiful souls that for whatever reason in their lives had to go through a period of darkness, some recovered fully, took their season of darkness as a period of reflection, took the lesson(s) learned and moved on. Some however remain on the repeat soundtrack: ”Why Me?” It is their inability to forgive these moments and feelings of anger, that kept them reliving these painful experiences, taking them deeper and deeper into darkness. They do no realize that they are allowing this pain, this lack, to take hold of them. They do not see that their suffering spills over to their loved ones who are trying their best to keep it together for them—do not do this to yourself and your loved ones. Do not allow this period of darkness take you down, instead reflect.

I will give you an example of one such case of success. I had just started with this law firm, and I was thrown to a workload of 600 cases—as you can imagine I felt overwhelmed and I could not breathe as I drove home that evening after my first day. I cried in my car thinking I made the biggest mistake, but after that good cry, I held my head up, I prayed (as I often do), I felt a calmness and was ready for what the day brought me. My mornings were busy with never ending phone calls of poor souls seeking guidance, seeking answers and solutions to their cases that had been neglected for some time (seeing that there was a recent shift in management). I tackled each case, one a time, making no promises just applying what I know. With great confidence, I organized a team and began as my very own version of ‘Dear Abby’, (yup that’s how young I am! Yikes!) to resolve and provide answers to these poor souls, one heartbeat at a time. This led me to a gentleman (in fact he was my very first call and case on the job) who called quite frantic, seeking resolution to his case immediately (by then it was already 6yrs old and no resolution in sight). I later discovered that he did not just have one case but five cases pending—for which I was instrumental in seeing through the successful resolution of all his cases and gave him that much needed closure in his personal life. The success of this story was not so much that his cases resolved, with great monetary value, but that along the way this client; (let’s call him Mr. X for the sake of this blog), began to see the value of the lesson learned. As this client had a few cases pending, naturally it would take a few years to see the resolution of all cases and during that time, we had plenty of opportunity to talk. I am quite open with my clients and encourage them to be open about how they are feeling not just physically, but emotionally as well. I become an active participant, as they welcome me on their journey, I ensure to hold their hand every step of the way, along with the help of a magnificent rehabilitation team, to ensure that not only their rehabilitation goals are met, but also their goals at becoming a better version of themselves. As their representative I have access to their medical file, I become quite familiar with their health patterns and come to an understanding of the events leading to their misfortunate accidents, an understanding stemming from a spiritual perspective. Two cars colliding or a pedestrian crossing and getting seriously injured—that’s obvious; no, my thinking goes beyond my physical lens.

My conversation with Mr. X led to what was going in his life, right before the accident. I cannot tell you how many times clients start to realize and question, how they fell into the lie that their lives were wonderful, they were making money, their life at home was good, blah, blah, blah. But was it? No, I ask my clients to dig deep. Cases aside; if you are going through a period of darkness, and if in fact you and your family were living your ‘best lives’, then you might conclude that your talents must have been called to action and you must figure out what you are called to do in order to realize your true potential (your life’s purpose), in this life time.

For Mr. X, his revelation was so profound, by examining every aspect of his life, he concluded that the first accident (that caused several fractures including his vertebrae and several internal injuries) which was the most severe, and was a near death experience, leaving him with a multitude of impairments; in fact, saved his life. Prior to his first accident, Mr. X, was quite successful, was making more than a decent salary, his job called for him to be on the road often, but he thought he was content and living the life—this however,  was not reflected on his medical file, mind you. He was obese, had an enormous amount of health issues and he was refusing to see the many lacks in his personal family life due to traveling. As I began working with him and we began having our conversations, and as he learned to ‘keep his cool’ when things did not get done as quickly as he hoped, he started allowing more peace in his life. As his legal cases began to come to a resolution one-at-a-time, he learned to relax. He came to terms that the life he had before was not for him, an in fact he was on his way to no good with all his underlying health issues. As I put together a rehabilitation team to work with him on his physical injuries, I also made sure he had access to some wonderful practitioners qualified to address all his emotional and psychological needs. He grew quite fond of the care he received from his team (including my care and advice) and chose to only look at the positives going for him and that goodness he was experiencing; despite his near-death experience. He no longer dwelled on what was, focused on himself and on getting stronger physically, understanding that this season of darkness while only momentarily, ‘too shall pass’, I began to notice a shift in his mindset, in his mood, on his outlook. He learned to trust. He embraced the lesson it brought him, learning to love himself again. He repaired his relationship with his son (that was non-existent before his accident due to spending it entirely on the road and in hotels), he worked on self-love, and began to open himself up to opportunities once more. When he began the healing process, he began to shed all those unnecessary pounds and the last time I spoke to him he had lost half his weight (being close to 360lbs. prior to his accident). Whenever he called me, he was no longer frustrated, no longer yelling, (as he often did at reception) it was because of his foul mood that my entire office came to know him. When he attended my office for his last and final visit, he was unrecognizable, surely my colleagues would not have pegged him for someone that weighed 360lbs at some point, and they were certainly shocked to hear that this was the gentleman who often yelled at anyone who would lend an ear to his misery. I empathize for his pain, I showed compassion, offered him support where needed, and it was because he was open to letting go of this old pain, because he was willing to accept the flow of life, and allowed this new-found perspective that he was able to see the light once more. God bless!      

We need to learn to use the paradoxes in our lives to expand our consciousness, to learn to create our future successes. Trust the flow and learn to recognize how moments of darkness teach us appreciation and gratitude for life. There is life after loss, more happy moments, after moments of darkness, laughter after moments of sadness—take comfort in knowing that ‘it too shall pass’ and embrace your brighter and wiser self! Know that there is more to this universe, this space. Think about what you are putting out there and how that thought that action materializes in your outer world. You have everything in your power to handle what is going on in your life today, tomorrow has not yet come, so why worry about what you cannot control? Yesterday cannot return so why dwell on it? Today, is what is available to you—own it! Release your desired outcome, what you think now becomes your reality, let go of fear, let got of ego—stay present. Feel your desirable outcome, visualize with full intention what that prosperous outcome looks like, despite the temporary outer conditions (this is to practice non-duality). You have one life, live it!

Now, my dear readers, to experience ultimate joy, contentment, peace always, you must open your mind to a mind of ‘non-duality’ to simply feeling; the ability to live with what is happening within your day without separating yourself from it (That is a double huh?). Be sure to keep a look out for this very informative segment on non-duality in future posts. But for now my sweet souls, simply understanding ‘duality’ is a good starting point to finding your purpose, to help you reach a level of awareness that offers you the ability to be alive in this moment; to take on all experiences as teaching tools for brighter tomorrows.

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

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