Tips & Truths in Trying Times: What have you discovered about yourself?

These are trippy, weird & confusing times we are ALL in. What a couple weeks we had after our 14 day 100% total isolation.  We hadn’t left our condo at all – no walks, no going anywhere, no nothing.  And we made it……..and we DID NOT call it a prison.  Try to watch your wording … Read moreTips & Truths in Trying Times: What have you discovered about yourself?

Tips & Truths in Trying Times: Everything is weird & unfamiliar right now.

I think it’s ok to not be ok right now.  I mean in the “safest” sense of that statement.  I think it’s ok to not be ok with the feelings of being confused, in the unknown, temporarily stuck in the weirdness zone.  I hope you know what I’m getting at.

 

There is no manual on how to feel right now.  There are definitely “rules” on what TO DO/DO NOT DO right now and I hope you are all strictly adhering to these just as we are.  But those damn feelings!  It’s like a roller coaster.  We are all wired for human connection so that’s been the biggest adjustment for us.  We feel cut off from people and we need that social interaction – more than we realized.  Zipadeedoodah for technology and using it safely and wisely (be educated on the platforms you choose) right now to help keep us all keeping on and somewhat connected.  It’s definitely not a substitute…..we and many others still feel “out of touch” – literally.

 

As we all “learn to be still” in our own unique way and navigate through these feelings of “not ok”, some gifts emerge.  Appreciation, opportunity and human kindness stand out for us.  Celebrate the gifts you are noticing however small they may seem.  Get creative in learning/practicing something you simply had no time for before, many of us have that “time” right now.  In the 21 days it takes to form a “good” habit, you will have totally incorporated it into your routine!

 

As always, please send your heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to those working tirelessly during these challenging times.  Post shout-outs on social media, be a positive force in the world, reach out to people with encouragement, phone people especially those you haven’t spoken to for a while, be informed/be respectful/be responsible/be safe, represent, be mindful and soon your feelings will undoubtedly shift to better than OK.

 

In closing, how about an awkward “Isolation Tale”?  You may recall my story in blog #2 about our 425 sq. ft. cozy living space and how awesome my hubby and I are coping & getting along.  How things change in 3 short days.  Here’s our new time-out space on the lanai……..a cozy tent fort (he was guest #1):

All kidding aside, remember the healing power of laughter…………even if all you do is laugh at yourself!

 

Thank you for reading this to the end and for keeping yourself and others safe.  Together we are so much stronger.

In gratitude,

Caron

 

We’re together in this.

Friendly & safe greetings to each and every one of you:

What better way to restart a blog then during a global pandemic.  I have no excuse for the lack of consistency & communication other then it was maybe time for me to press pause, rethink and reset.  I suppose like many of us right now.

There is no handbook or manual on how to handle the situation we are currently in.  These are certainly unprecedented times.  Filled with a mixture of fear, chaos and of course panic.  Everything changes daily and these struggles are all too real.  Vulnerability, unemployment, economic downturn, uncertainty, rapid changes, new way of doing everything, the list goes on.

Every single one of us has or will react differently to the situation we are all in. In our own family, there have been different reactions and responses to all this – we all cope differently.  What is important is to be honest and transparent with how you are feeling.  We should not be judgmental ever, but especially now when people need to feel safe expressing their fears.  Try to be compassionate and empathetic with others. We are all going to need each other more than we have ever realized.

We all have a duty to be informed, diligently responsible, respectful and SAFE right now.  There are an incredible number of people who are working tirelessly in health care/essential services to help those who need it most.  Not to mention those who are going above and beyond to keep the grocery, fuel, transport, delivery & other necessary services available.  We all need to be grateful daily for these individuals.  If you’re one of them, GRATEFUL FOR YOU!

And as always, amidst all the fear and chaos, something beautiful surfaces.  We see signs of optimism and hope.  There are so many inspiring acts of kindness……people trying their best to cope and along the way, delivering some goodness, fun and joy to the temporary difficult situation we are all in.  We all need to be grateful daily for these individuals too.  If you’re one of them, GRATEFUL FOR YOU!

I do not have big answers to any of this.  I seriously do not.  I can default to being hopeful, grateful  and kind.  That’s what I choose!

Thank you for reading this to the end and for keeping yourself and others safe.  Together we are stronger – we truly are.  I’m very grateful for YOU.

Together & grateful,
Caron

 

The launch of “LIVE ALOHA”!!!

This is it folks……..it is truly happening!!

 

My husband Rob, my sister Lorie and I have joined together and we are ready (as ready as we can be) to launch a business!  In fact, as I type this marketing has begun.  Yes, these are exciting times and the journey to this point has been interesting to say the least.  We are 3 optimistic people who believe in the power of making our dreams come true and inspiring others to do the same.  We are following our passion of making the world a better place, of spreading a message of kindness, love & hope.  We are living aloha.

 

Our business is called Live Aloha!  Our mission is to spread the positive message of aloha globally.  We are doing this through lifestyle products that promote this as well as through events, stories and whatever method we find to “get it out there” (this may or may not involve random dance parties)!

Aloha is one of the most beautiful and powerful words in the world:

Aloha is a Hawaiian word typically associated with greeting another person with hello or good-bye. The literal meaning of aloha is “the presence of breath” or “the breath of life.” It comes from “Alo,” meaning presence, front and face, and “ha,” meaning breath. It also has a deeper impact on the Hawaiian culture. For the Hawaiians, it is “The Aloha Spirit” – a unique way of living, the ultimate lifestyle, and the secret to a full and happy life.

 

Aloha is not only a word, it is a way of living, an attitude and expresses guidelines

to help us in our lives – kindness, patience, compassion, respect, togetherness,

affection, empathy, peace, & love.

 

Aloha means we are able to recognize and appreciate the uniqueness and differences each of us bring into this world. Honor and respect your family, friends, and all the people who pass through your life. Every point of contact with another person teaches us something about life or about ourselves.  Aloha does not pass judgement on others for it always trusts, always hopes and always protects.

 

It is that aloha, caring and spirituality that allows us to build on each others strengths and join together on this magnificent journey we call “Life”.

 

We are choosing to live aloha and here’s why:

 

There are plenty of reasons to be frustrated with the state of the world and life right now.  And there are many people focusing on what’s wrong, what will go wrong and living a fear based life as a result of this.  This mindset perpetuates all facets of people’s experiences and affects thoughts, words and actions.  So the cycle continues.  We are choosing to spread a movement and way of life to change this for ourselves and others. 

 

My husband Rob and I have shared in plenty of experiences during their 34 year adventure together.  Opportunities/challenges, joy/sadness, happiness/heartache, learning/growing, happiness/frustration, abundance/setbacks, things that most people can certainly relate to.  Through everything, we choose to live a life of optimism, of wonder and of believing that goodness prevails.  Our travels have taken us to the Hawaiian Islands several times and we were instantly captivated by not only the beauty but of the mana (energy) that exists.  This mana, the kindness of the people and the breath-taking beauty of this magical place brought us back many times.  We had the privilege of living and working in Hawaii for a year and we made a commitment to submerge ourselves into the culture to gain a deeper understanding of the people and history of Hawaii.  It was then that we discovered the beauty of “living aloha”.  We volunteered; we networked with the locals; I joined Halau Kiuwailehua (hula studio); we supported local businesses, met the hardworking owners and learned of their stories; we went where the locals went; I joined Toastmasters; Rob learned about Hawaiian business; we gained knowledge, understanding and compassion of the Hawaiian history and way of life.

 

Lorie is an entrepreneur at heart who has impacted many with her grace and generosity.  She honors her own stories, experiences and personal growth which have propelled her to new heights of learning.  This new level of learning has excelled Lorie’s skills in business by promoting positive experience in business.  Lorie shares in the passion of “living aloha” and spreading this message globally to create positive change in a world that needs it more than ever.

 

There are plenty of reasons to be hopeful with the state of the world and life right now.  There are many people focusing on what’s good, what will go right and living a love based life as a result of this.  This mindset perpetuates all facets of people’s experiences and affects thoughts, words and actions.  So the cycle continues.  We are choosing to spread a movement and way of life to continue this for ourselves and others.  We are choosing to live aloha!

 

How we are going to do this:

Rob, Lorie and I each have unique talents and gifts, just as everyone on this world of wonder does.  Joining together to “be and do more” is exciting and believing that we can make a good difference in people’s lives is even more exciting.  Together the three of us will spread the beautiful and powerful message of “Live Aloha” globally, wherever people are, through merchandise, stories, adventures and positive actions.

 

The ripple effect of aloha:

Its deep meaning starts by teaching ourselves to love our own beings first and afterwards to spread the love to others.

 

A life of Aloha is one when the heart is so full that it has the power to influence others around you with your spirit. The best part of Aloha is that the more you express your love and compassion for yourself and those around you, the more it comes back to you.

 

Use the word aloha with a pure heart and good intention.
Be guided by aloha and make good choices.
Live aloha wherever you are!

 

Yes, these are exciting times.  As I have mentioned many, many times, a dream forever stays in your head and heart until you take action on it.  I have also mentioned many, many times that it is never too late to launch that business, take that class, join that club, learn something new, do something brave, live out loud, wander and wonder.  Things may not go exactly as you envisioned, but I guarantee you will learn something valuable, you will come out ahead and you just might find that it is the best decision you have ever made!

 

Go on a check us out at www.livealoha.ca (for all of our Canadian friends and family) and www.livealoha.com (for all of our global friends and family).  Follow us on Instagram @livealohaco (we love instagram).  Follow us on Facebook @livealoha (getting better at this).  Look for our “Live Aloha” party bus coming through your area in the near future where there will be bubbles, dancing, rockin’ Live Aloha merchandise so you can “wear good, spread good, live good”, probably some glitter, but most of all a whole lotta LOVE!

 

With aloha,

Caron, Rob and Lorie

Tips to help you keep goin’ and growin’ in your journey….

Have any of you noticed how many people are struggling right now?  Whether it’s dealing with challenges, obstacles, frustration, feeling stuck, financial hardship, anger, regret….you name it.  I have noticed.  I have faced a lot of these things too.  You’ve no doubt heard the saying that when one of us hurts, we all hurt.

 

I’ve had to learn some hard lessons.  I’ve written a lot about celebrating the contrast; we cannot appreciate light without darkness, joy without sorrow, success without failure.  We cannot fix everything or everyone.  At some point in our lives we all make poor choices and decisions and experience “shoulda/woulda/coulda” moments.  We question some relationships and ponder over people’s behaviors.  WHY?  WHY?  WHY!!!

We all have a lot in common don’t we?  Once we engage in honest and authentic conversations with people, we realize how very much alike we are.  We are definitely not alone and that it comforting.  I have discovered some things (FREE things!) that have significantly helped me and continue to help me as I navigate along and make the best of my journey.  Here is what I have learned:

 

  1. We can always learn and grow.  We all stumble, we all fall.  Never stop improving yourself.  EVER.
  2. We have control over something powerful……our thoughts, our words, our actions and our reactions.  Choose wisely and carefully.
  3. Everyone is doing the best they can with what they know and where they are.  Think about that.  We are all together in this journey, YES, but we are all unique.  Do not judge.  Respect one another.
  4. Optimism and gratitude are game-changers and create magic & miracles in transforming our lives.
  5. People are craving to be noticed.  A smile, a gesture, a sincere “hello” can change someone’s day or future.  Again, we cannot fix everything or everyone but we can influence hope and connection with kindness and compassion.   Even to those who we may think deserve it the least.  Again, refer to #3.
  6. People change, relationships change, it’s okay.  Celebrate the good memories, learn from the not so good, bless everyone and carry on.  Regret and resentment serves no one and takes up space in our heads.  Put a reserved sign on that valuable parking spot for goodness and growth.
  7. Celebrate the contrast!  Learn from mistakes and challenges, go forward the best you can through obstacles, grow, be better, be stronger.
  8. Trying new things adds major fun, whimsy and excitement to life.  Take that class, join that group, volunteer for that organization who needs you, learn that instrument, dance in your kitchen, wave to random people, sing in the grocery store…..you get the picture!
  9. Keep dreaming BIG, keep believing BIGGER, and by all means take action (BIGGEST) or that dream forever stays in your head.  Even if things do not go as planned, you tried and you will without a doubt……learn, grow and know!

 

Your journey.  The story of YOU!

 

In celebration, joy and love,

Caron

 

PS – YOU are definitely not alone….

 

Face your fears! My story of “Don’t Hold Back”…….

Today, I am sharing a story with you of how facing our fears can bring about the most unexpected and incredible experiences.

The graphic I have attached may be a bit difficult to read so I’d like to share my story.  Because my story can be anyone’s story.  Of that, I am sure.

I’m sure you have heard the saying that the biggest fears for most people are death and public speaking.   Harsh? Maybe.  Certainly not the case for everyone, but I suspect it is for many, many people.

For a  majority of my life, I was an introvert.  I was rather shy and quiet.  I would certainly be the last one to speak in class while at school (do not make eye contact and you won’t be asked!).  I was always intimidated about what others thought of me and anything remotely associated with speaking in public was as far on the opposite end of my comfort level as one could possibly get.  Even sharing this with you brings back those feelings and emotions.

As an adult, this fear still existed.  As I became more comfortable with my purpose, passion and self, the fear of “speaking up” took more of back seat but it was always lurking around, yes lurking, ugh.  This is why it came as such a surprise to me when I was given the opportunity to present a motivational program to health care employees about 5 years ago and……..I was excited.  The thrill of the opportunity to spread a message of hope, healing and  inspiration to people over-road my fear of speaking.  I had found my calling and something that brought a spark of “what if” to my world.   It was a year after this that I decided to start my own business, A Good & Kind Company, which was in perfect alignment with not only my personal values but also with what I feel the world needs right now.   We need more kindness, compassion, non-judgement, love, peace, gratitude, fun, joy and laughter.   We need it because a lot of the things that we are doing is not working.    We see signs of unhappy people everyday, everywhere we go.

In November 2013, I traveled to Boston to become certified as an Infinite Possibilities trainer, a program developed by Mike Dooley.  Mike is well known as an international best selling author and speaker, from his appearance on “The Secret” as well as his daily “Notes from the Universe”.  While at this event, we were encouraged to sign up for Toastmasters which would provide us with confidence, the ability to connect with an audience and more effectively share our message.  I clearly remember immediately thinking that NO, I was fine and would not need to join.  Thank you anyways!

About a year later, Rob and I secured a one year work visa for Hawaii, yes Hawaii.  This is another story of a life-changing adventure, which I will be sharing.  I worked diligently on my business while there, writing, networking and developing strategies.  I often thought about speaking and that excited me.  Toastmasters popped into my mind one day and by then it was June; our visas expired in October.  I decided to make the call.

The next thing I knew, I was at my first meeting in Waikiki!  I was warmly greeted, got settled in and felt very comfortable.  I wanted to clarify that I would not have to speak and I was assured that  I would be fine.  Things were looking good until…….I was called up to speak during the Table Topics session.   Two things happened after that:  I made them laugh and I won the award for the most “ahs” and “ums”.   I joined Toastmasters then and there.  My next decision surprises me to this day.  I had three months until we would be returning to Canada and I decided to finish my Competent Communicator manual during this time.  That was 13 weeks to finish 10 speeches, which meant I had to speak at almost every meeting!  Don’t hold back Caron.  I presented this to my club and thank them to this day for being flexible and accommodating my goal.  There is no turning back now Caron, let’s get at ‘er!

I did finish my manual, I was nervous giving every speech, I did receive great feedback and support to help me in my speaking journey, and I absolutely did face a huge fear.  Good grief, looking back I would have never thought I would have done this.  The ripple effect of “not holding back” has been incredible.  I was honored last November by receiving the club’s Outstanding Toastmaster award.  I have confidence and continue on my Toastmasters journey in BC.  I have the proof and validation that anyone can face their fears.  No matter our age, our situation, our limiting beliefs or what others think.

Last month, my Waikiki Toastmasters story was featured in the Member Achievements Section of the Toastmasters International magazine.  How exciting, what a journey for me and what a message of hope for absolutely anyone else.  I encourage you to simply believe because the only one holding us back is ourselves.

 

To facing fears, growing and moving forward,

Caron

Happy Aloha Friday – Choose HAPPY.

It’s Aloha Friday today so happy Aloha Friday to YOU and absolutely everyone!

We have fond memories of our year in Hawaii…..the friendships, the experiences, the stunning views, the mana (good energy) and definitely the aloha spirit.  Aloha Friday would be the equivalent to what we refer to as “casual Fridays”.  Typically, people will wear their aloha attire to work and it’s of course a time for many to acknowledge the end of a work week.   Wooohooo!  Aloha Fridays involve “get together’s”, celebrations and all things happy.  This is something that people anywhere and everywhere can do.

 

I invite you to make it a happy Aloha Friday, a happy Friday, a happy day today and any day that you choose.  Choose to see the good, choose optimism, choose gratitude, choose to do good, choose aloha and choose happy wherever you are.  Magical things happen to us and to others when we make that choice……

 

To happy dances and joyful prances,

Caron

 

 

“Wonderful feeling. Wonderful day!”

My, oh my, what a wonderful day……

I love all things Disney.  Anyone who knows our family would confirm we are all huge Disney fans.  We’ve made many tours to Disneyland with not only our own kids but as they got older, with as many of their friends who would fit in our vehicle.  The record was 9 of us!  This will be the subject of another blog post one day……our adventures down to Disneyland.

 

For the purpose of today though, I want to focus on making today a “zip-a-dee-doo-dah” wonderful day.  I love this catchy tune from the Disney 1946 love action and animated movie Song of the South, sung by James Baskett.  For those of you who have been on the awesome ride “Splash Mountain” in Disneyland would recognize this song which plays towards the end of your journey on the water.  Love Love Love!  It’s fun, it’s whimsical, it’s catchy, it’s happy, it’s simple.

 

Wherever you are, whatever you do, try your best to make today a “zip-a-dee-doo-dah” wonderful day.  Quite often this is just a choice to see things differently, to think differently or to feel differently despite your current situation.  What if today, you made that choice?  What if today, you focused on the “good”, on gratitude, on the simple gifts in the world?  Such as “sunshine headed your way”.  What if today, you helped someone else have a wonderful day?  What if today, a song came out every time you opened your mouth?  Yes my friends, I believe we need more of that.

 

Today’s the day.  Wonderful feeling…..Wonderful day!

 

To today, choices and sunshine,

Caron

Listen to someone’s story.

Every week I get excited about all the things I could write about.  I regularly jot down (or text myself) ideas, words, song verses, conversations I’ve had with people, thoughts and situations that provide me with inspiration.  I just never know where or when something will present itself with a story…. and this is exactly what happened a few days ago.

 

One of the jobs I currently have provides me with the privilege of welcoming people into a resort and the opportunity to create a positive experience.  We have our regular coffee crew that starts our day with awesomeness.  Recently, one of these gentlemen came in and he and I had an extended visit that gave me a glimpse into his life and his story.

The exchange started with a cheerful good morning and a quick chat about the crazy amount of snow that had fallen.  Our conversation drifted to the date, that it’s supposed to be SPRING and then he told me about all his children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren that have birthdays in March.  He shared with me how much he loved kids.  “Drove a school bus for 39 years, I loved the kids as though they were my own”.

 

I was intrigued and could see him reflecting back on those times and I felt the love in his heart. 

 

He told me about how the kids loved him just as much.  Of how excited the kindergarten kids were to get on the bus in December after receiving their graduation certificates so they could show him.  They would be clamouring at the bus door to get in first.  Some of them didn’t receive one, so they would be upset and crying.  He would sit them on his knee and console them until they felt just as good as the kids who had received one.  He told me of a family of 5 kids who would get on the bus and every day, their dog would try to come on the bus and latch on to the last child’s clothing and try to pull him off the bus.  That dog would be waiting (by the minute) to greet those kids when they got home!  He told me he loved his job but he loved all the kids even more.  He told me of a young boy who would sometimes fall asleep on the bus ride home and how he would carry him into his house from the bus.

 

Our conversation wasn’t long, but it was meaningful and lovely.  I felt as though I was there.  I thought about how cool it would have been to be on his bus.  I reflect on the amazing difference he made in people’s lives.  I think about life and people, about memories and moments, about slowing down and taking the time to listen, about “seeing the good” and “being the good”, about compassion and kindness, about love and gratitude.

 

What a beautiful way to start a day; despite the snow that was falling heavily when I typed this.  Take the opportunity to listen to someone’s story; be curious; wonder; feel; learn; understand; be connected; grow; enjoy.

 

Cheers to all of you “good” change-makers,

Caron

9 simple ways to start taking action towards living your “what ifs”.

Every single one of us has different “what ifs”, dreams, goals and hopes.  Of course we do – things would be really boring otherwise!  I love hearing about what other people want, wish for and desire.  These discussions allow for a deeper conversation and understanding of one another.  The outcome has always strengthened my feelings of compassion, love and empathy for others.

 

I have had MANY discussions with other people about their “what ifs” over the past few years.  Sometimes people express that these dreams seem so unobtainable, unreachable and cause frustration – I understand.  Truly I do.  But is it the truth?  Are our dreams, goals, hopes and “what ifs” destined to just be something that lingers as an unfulfilled wish?  And are these “what ifs” really so different from one another?  I do not think so.  Truly I do not.

I compiled a list of 9 simple ways that any of us can start taking action towards living our own “what ifs”.  RIGHT NOW.  Let’s get at it:

  1. Change how you think – optimism creates “magic” in our lives.  BELIEVE YOU CAN!
  2. Accept that you are worthy, deserving and awesome (right now).  Tell yourself this daily – say it, hear it, know it and believe it!
  3. Take small steps.  Keep moving forward with any positive action that you can with what you have, where you are and in your current situation.
  4. Keep dreaming, visualizing, journalling, trusting and believing.  Every day, imagine and actually experience the “feelings” associated with your “what ifs”.  Note: this practice may create a change of perspective and you just might realize you are living your “what if” right now. Hmmm, now that’s cool!
  5. Celebrate successes however small you may “think” they are.  Any deliberate and focused action (or thought or belief) about making your “what ifs” a reality is something to celebrate!
  6. Be flexible.  Allow for serendipities, changes, surprises (and remember…..there are no coincidences).
  7. Be patient but persistent.  Live in the present moment with all of its opportunities and challenges, do your best and continue moving forward with focus and passion.
  8. Be grateful.  There is always, always something to be grateful for.  Gratitude creates “magic and happiness” in our lives.  POSITIVELY!
  9. Be brave and confident.  Do not let the “noise”, negativity, disapproval or “disregard” from others to defeat you.  It may temporarily cause frustration, but bless those people, send them love and carry on.

Remember to be respectful, to encourage others and to encourage yourself.  Appreciate that we are each on our own journey of wonder.  When we take action to live our own “what ifs”, we may inspire someone else to do the same.  When we take the time to find out what others dream of, wish for, and hope for, it becomes very clear that our “what ifs” are very similar and connect us more than we realize.  Truly they do.

 

To love, happiness, freedom, health and peace.  TRULY.

Caron