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!

May I Be Kind?

Together we change the world, just one random act of kindness at a time.

– Ron Hall

Welcome back!  I hope you enjoyed my blog on Family! This post was originally meant to be published for the month of April but as things happen in life that were beyond my control, my thoughts had to be placed on a slight pause thereby delaying my post by a bit. As they say: C’est la vie! April sprung, May is now here and I thought what should I write about?  Depending on where you live, you might be entering into warmer weather, a little more sunshine bringing with it warm smiles and happy times ahead.  Why is that? Why do we wait for good weather to become kinder humans, more approachable human-beings? There are studies on how weather affects our mood, the benefits of sunshine, the downside of grey weather, and dampness that dampen our mood. A variety of metaphors may be applied when discussing weather and the effects to our ever changing moods vs. our changeable minds. Does your blood boil when temperatures reach an ultimate high during heat waves showing the aggressive you? Do grey skies cloud your mind? See what I mean…sorry don’t mean to make you cringe at the writing –just wanted to get my message across! Haha!  My message is simple: be the human being you were meant to be regardless of your circumstance, regardless of weather, regardless of…(you fill in the blank). How about we make a better effort to just be? To be kinder, be more soulful, be more joyful, and perhaps be more peaceful. It really is all about the type of experience you wish to have here on earth. Only you have full control of how that will unfold in your life over the years.

The trick to materializing the experience you wish is what you are willing to put emphasis on. Either we choose to make ourselves miserable or we choose to make ourselves happy. Simple? Not really depending on your perspective. I feel that a lot of our hurts, how hard we are on ourselves, have a lot to do with our disappointments in life, our endless search for our purpose, our fear of being left behind. Listen, life will throw a few curve balls every now and again and for some of you, you might feel that you have gotten more than your share, I get it. After you have processed the hurts, the painful experiences, connect with your soul, it will feed your mind the right message that in turn will have your body moving in the right direction that will ultimately have you reclaiming your power. Everyone is on their individual journey – no one is left out. This is the one guarantee in life!  If you have not yet found your purpose in life then help your fellow friends on theirs – be a constant cheerleader! Perhaps that is your journey, your path, to cheer for those that need cheering, to lift those who need lifting. Measure your success not by income but by how many you helped along the way in achieving their goals, their dreams, and you too shall realize yours. An important key – surround yourself with good people, people that lift you not tear you down.  Who have you made smile today?

As I write this blog, the sun is peering through my window calling me to go out and perhaps do a little damage on the credit card, to buy things I more than likely do not need. Instead, I choose to stay indoors typing away in my lovely kitchen hoping to reach to as many people that will take interest in my little blog just so that I perhaps make their day. Even if I only reach one reader, it may be someone who may be feeling alone today, someone who just received terrible news and needs a little pick me up, someone who has been in a slump for some time and today is the day I make an impact with my words, my cheer, spreading a little motivation, a little love. This is my wish – this is my journey. Some time ago, I created my LinkedIn account; being in the legal field, to better network with business professionals in my field. To be honest, I did not really mind the account, as initially intended, due to my extremely busy schedule at the time. I did visit my account not too long ago however, only to notice my profile byline that read: “a consummate professional dedicated to making the lives of busy executives easier.”  In life, this too is my endeavor: always to making the lives of others easier. Give of yourself so you may lessen the burdens of others – this is who I aspire to be everyday . This could be a simple smile that could go a long way, a kind word, a small gesture – that is all that is needed to help someone achieve their goal, their purpose, to hopefully assist that individual on their journey perhaps.

If you are having a hard time finding the silver lining in your own life then do your best to offer kind words or support to those you encounter during your daily interactions. Rain or shine, sunny or gloomy, whether performing a simple transaction at your local food store, or picking up your favorite cup of java at the corner coffee house, by always offering your best and leaving someone better than you found them –this in itself is a purpose!  While writing this blog, I came across a quote from actor, Denzel Washington: ”At the end of the day it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished…it’s about what you’ve given back.” Excellent words to live by.

As you reach for the umbrella to take cover from rain or sun for that matter, look beyond your discomfort, look beyond the physiological effects weather, climate, environment, circumstance may have on your mood. Rather than allowing gloomy weather or your circumstance affect your mood in a negative way, why not choose to be happy instead; choose to be kind, perhaps the person standing beside you might need that smile, that kind word, kind gesture more than you. You never know, that kind small gesture in whatever form, might just be paid forward to someone’s else 10x fold making an immense impact that you may never know and how nicer will our planet be for it?

May has arrived, bringing with it, new life, blooming flowers, perhaps a new you; a you, that will commit to being thoughtful, kind, appreciative of the little things, making room for opportunities yet to come. As you sit in traffic remember to be courteous, it will only move along if you are kind enough to let it. If you are too busy blocking everyone from getting into your lane, you are only causing yourself more aggravation and if you take the time to notice (by law of attraction) others are only doing the same to you, so let it flow. If you are waiting in line to cash out, be patient look around everyone else has schedules to meet as well, be smooth, don’t be the problem, the delay – be appreciative of the poor cashier who is only trying to do his or her best. If everyone would just take a moment to be courteous to the people around them, and be a little more understanding and compassionate, life would flow so much easier – trust the universe. Let May be the month you take notice of the little things. Although, our friend winter, seems to be stubbornly sticking around a bit longer in some parts of the world, it will soon pass, and as you begin to peel away the extra layers of clothing, look up and notice how beautiful this planet truly is and ask yourself: How may I serve? What can I do today to make this planet a little better? Who can I help today? Who can I offer a simple smile to? Who might need that cheer or that support today?

As you immerse yourself into your spring cleaning and start purging items you no longer need, de-cluttering areas in your home of items that have piled up from holiday seasons past, you must also turn your attention inward, to old habits, routines that no longer serve you. I find that when juggling marriage, parenthood, careers, we fall into automaticity simply to ensure that our ‘its’ get done, but as the years pass us by, we forget to purge some of the activities that no longer serve us, including our affected moods, leaving no room to explore new ones. This can be daunting often draining and perhaps the reason why nasty grouch peeps its ugly green head every now and again. In order to ease the task of decluttering your home, it is imperative to go to the root of why you have accumulated some items and why you insist on hanging on to them. I have observed that the longer an item ( ladies that includes clothing items, handbags and / or shoes) stays with you, the harder it becomes in letting it go even if it serves no purpose in your life other than to take up space in your already congested closet. Once you identify the root of how it remained in your closet all those years and why it would be detrimental for it to remain in your closet indefinitely, this will enable you to purge the items a little easier. It is equally necessary to do the same when decluttering your mind or doing inner-work. By identifying the root of what is currently burdening or clouding your mind that generally is the cause of stress and aggravation that in turn affects your mood, this will certainly help lighten your mood, purge old thoughts, old patterns that no longer serve you and will no longer weigh you down. Instead, put a spring in your step by changing your approach to life which starts with offering a simple smile; a gesture so small yet infectious, the benefits of which are immense to both giver and receiver.

We hope that May brings more sunshine perhaps warmer weather, although it is my perspective for this blog that we start making a conscious effort to making a shift in our mood and change our current outlook in order to have more pleasant and happy days regardless of the environment around us that includes weather and/or climate to simply be more pleasant human beings. I know, easier said than done. Do you find that you have to put a lot more effort at being kind rather than be miserable? What is more natural to you? It’s a little sad to think that greater effort is needed in spreading kindness. Studies show that the sun is an excellent source of Vitamin ‘D’ very much needed to combat a slew of diseases and symptoms including fatigue and depression. Although the sun may contribute to the reason why most of us show our smiles allowing others to see our beautiful shiny, hopefully well-kept teeth, it should however, not be the only source for our good nature or the reason to be kind to one another n’or should rain or cloudy days for that matter, be the reason why most of us walk around grumpy barking at everyone in our path. Let the freshness of the month of May be the month to not only do a little spring cleaning around the house; giving your space an uplift, but perhaps introduce the exercise of also conducting inner work thus making some adjustments on how you view yourself and those around you. Introduce a new outlook, allow good vibes fill you by spreading more kindness and more cheer to those you encounter as a daily practice, offer a smile whenever possible, and simply be kind it will only be returned to you 10x fold and the results – exponential, I promise!

As I give this blog its final tweak and decide to post, it is raining here in Toronto and I sit again in my lovely kitchen once again, blinds drawn up, deep in thought about what my purpose is today. I hear my doggy’s little paws on my wood floor as she curiously strolls around every corner of my home looking for someone to play, looking for some love, looking for some cuddles. The world in its diversity too, is in need of some love, in need of some kindness. There are parts of the world suffering from scarcity, violence, and just all sorts of ugly and I don’t think it’s important that I name the source of their suffering but it is sad that in today’s age – this is still a thing. We live in the age of technology, such advancement has led us to accessibility of all sorts of information at lighting speed and you would think that together we would be able to conquer these deficiencies (for lack of a better word) and be able to progress to a more prosperous planet, a united planet, instead there are communities falling even farther behind. No, instead, our planet has a surplus of political drama; political parties lacking vision, a surplus and rise in health related concerns quite possibly brought on from the stress and worry we see around the world that very much affect home. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were a surplus in kindness instead? Let’s visualize what that planet might be like. Let’s work towards taking that vision to the next level through our technologies that are so accessible, so part of our daily routine. Let’s teach leaders that this is possible. This vision begins with the tone you set for yourself and those you encounter the minute you walk out your front door by offering that hello, that smile.

The title for my Blog may not have been my most creative work, but hey it fit the message. Maybe it will serve to stick in your mind every time the month of May rolls around prompting you of such changes, if you need a little reminding. May could be the month you apply that ‘checklist’ I wrote about back in ‘My First Blog‘ post. There are certain months that have an ‘awareness’ attached to it, why not make the month of May, the month you remember to declutter, purge negative moods that have set up camp within you for some time and allow the goodness of the spring air, the blossoming of new flowers bring with it positive shifts in your mood, that help grow an awareness to nourishing a kinder you. There are many things that may be beyond our control but the one thing we as humans actually have a handle on is: being kind. What a better planet this would be if we all chose to be kind – why not a surplus of kindness?

I could write all day on this topic of kindness, but I want you to visit me again. So off I go to cuddle with my furry friend and spread some love as I run some errands. How May I serve the planet today?  How will you? May I be kind?   

Stay humble, be kind always,

Ana Spano

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

Welcome to my first Blog post

Hello everyone, I finally made some time from being busy to dabble at writing. I am currently working on a book and I hope to share some of my thoughts, experiences, opinions through my Blog and hope some of these pieces will make it on my book. Coming from a legal background I am embracing this literary world which is totally new and foreign to me.

Law is very black and white I have learned, but it all heavily relies on interpretation – a perspective, if you will. This is how I view life. It is all about perspective isn’t it? A medical perspective, a legal perspective, an artistic perspective, a political perspective – the list is endless. When  an opinion is asked of me on a legal matter or case, I cannot just give you a superficial response one that is on the surface only – I must go deep. My colleagues are fully aware that there is no quick answer or simple question. When they come into my office for a consultation – they must have many facts on hand before they can even approach me for an opinion. You see, when contemplating the facts of a case and before I can even begin to process an opinion or an assessment of a case – there is a checklist that must be satisfied. I will require to know, details of the accident, damage to vehicle, injuries reported from the outset, occupation of the victim, family life, medical history, etc.Why you ask is this so important? It allows me to have a better understanding of the victim involved.I will have a better understanding of the damages already visible and the damages that might arise in the future based on past case analysis and just simple experience in the field.

I have the same approach to life. Whether I am meeting someone new or going through new phases in life – I apply a checklist.  I will always ask myself a series of questions that might go something like this:

  1. Why am I meeting this person?
  2. Why is my meeting this individual imperative in my life right now?
  3. Why is this happening to me right now?
  4. What am I learning from this experience or from this person?
  5. Why might I have attracted this person or experience in my life right now?
  6. If I think with my heart, what might my next step be? Is knowing this person good for me? Is this experience good for me?

The above are samples of some of the questions. You might say – well Ana that is quite annoying if you have to analyze everything but I assure you the experience is so much more pleasant for me when I go through this analytical process, rather than just going through the motions, an experience that might leave you unsatisfied or uninterested in that someone you just encountered simply because of lack of understanding or an unwillingness to want to understand the experience, the person or whatever the situation is.When meeting someone new, I always embrace the experience knowing that we are interacting with so many different people with different backgrounds and from so many different walks of life on a daily basis – which is why every day should be different and beautiful! As soon as you step outside your front door you must be ready to embrace whatever the day holds for you. Keep in mind that everything has a cause and effect. Just like you want to be understood, so does the individual you just met.

This is just a small taste of the type of blog conversations I hope to hold with my readers. Listen, life is already complicated and quite frankly it shouldn’t be – we make it complicated. If life has thrown something at you that you currently don’t understand, sit down and apply the questions I shared in the paragraph above. We all need to understand that life is a series of adjustments. It’s the recipe to keeping alive! Without these adjustments – life is dormant, no growth – slowly dying. If you feel that perhaps the people you have surrounded yourself are bringing you down, you must as Robin Sharma puts it: “Let go of the relationships in your inner-circle that steal your joy. Your highest life depends on this one winning move.”

I have a library of books that are my absolute treasure. I will share with you what I have learned from these beautiful brilliant minds. If there is a topic you wish to discuss it could be work related or simply your view on any given topic, I definitely would like to hear about it. It will give me material to future posts and we can certainly tackle together what might be troubling you or if it is simply a positive thought that everyone should hear about – I am most certainly open to that.

Listen, you get one chance at life. Whether it be short or a long life – make it count. Fill your mind with the richness of beautiful words, your days with positive experiences, filled with adventure, be the type of person you would want to meet – create the ultimate you! Make all this possible, while keeping true to yourself!


With Family Day around the corner, I hope to share my thoughts on the importance of showing up when it comes to family, setting differences aside, or at least learn to look past your differences, to simply enjoy precious moments with those who count in your life. No compromise just simple compassion and empathy.

Until then, be kind and true to yourself.

To the powerful you,

Ana Spano

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