Sunday, May 29, 2016

Perspective, good or bad, Your Choice


Earlier this year, I took on a challenge to express my gratitude over the course of one hundred days.  The fact that I finished the challenge is no surprise to me because I knew I would complete it. What surprised me was how this challenge impacted and changed me.
I think you'd agree that social platforms are flooded with overwhelming negative information, drama, and not enough positive stories. We spend more time on the Internet than any previous time, this information is bound to impact us .  And it takes a concerted effort every day to see the positive impact around us because we are bombarded with so much negativity.  For example, if you read ten positive comments on your newsfeeds and one negative comment, it is the negative comment, which stands out and stays with you longer, right? 
Well, this challenge made me more aware of how I was responding to everyday situations. It provided an opportunity to challenge my thinking. Taking on the challenge flipped my thinking around because I found that the more I saw things is a positive light the more positive I became. It is not about just seeing the good but seeing what is happening through compassionate eyes. Moreover, I found myself creating more positive moments if I saw the day being overburdened with negativity.  I made a decision to see create the positive I wanted to see and to be grateful for the smallest thing.
However, I've experienced the darkest days of my life during this challenge. The death of my mother hit me especially hard. It is difficult to comprehend how someone so important in my life in no longer in my world. Then in May 2016, I watched my family and friends lose everything to a wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alberta.  

My world was changing and not everything was sunshine and roses.  The occurrence in Fort McMurray cemented how different it was going to be without my mom.  I am certain some family will be setting up home elsewhere in the Province.  No more impromptu family gatherings.  
Yet, I turned my mind and my heart to the brighter side of those darker days. It is not about forcing myself to be delusional or to be an optimist but more about seeing the good in spite of the bad. As I see it, we have a choice in how we react to situations.  You can either see the positive influences around you or you can be a victim of your circumstances. 

The power and strength are within each of us.  Create those positive moments for yourself and others around you.  Be an architect of your life, create the best life you can dream, and be thankful for each day. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Fort McMurray on Fire!



Words can't express what it feels like to watch your hometown burn.  I watch in horror from the safety of my home in Ottawa, trying desperately to get confirmation that family and friends made it to safety. Thankfully, all family members and friends have been accounted for and are safe. They may have lost their home but they have their life. I was finally able to get some sleep late last night.

Once the reality sets in, they will have to turn their mind to the aftermath of the wildfires that have destroyed their homes, personal possessions and their lives.  I worry too that this crisis will have an everlasting mental and physical impact on them as they struggle to rebuild.

How do you get over your home where you believe is your sanctuary, is now gone.  I spoke with my sister who said, it is now sinking in that they lost everything. She said, that morning the sky was blue and it appeared to be like any normal day, but she was so wrong.  When she saw the flames behind her house she didn't have a moment to pack and left without packing.  I am sure from that moment everything was a blur.  Over 1600 homes were destroyed in the fire, and it is not over yet.  Many of my immediate family members lost everything but the clothes on their back in the fire.

I never thought I would see such devastation but I am glad there has been no reports of any fatalities. The only main road out was closed for several hours and everyone headed North. Soon they will have to head south and drive through the burnt city.  I pray that they make it.

My home town, gone!


The Province is prepared to help out in the affected areas.

How do you rebuild from this?  But knowing my family's tenacity, they will regroup and rebuild.

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