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Showing posts from October, 2014

Two words.

They are the perfect pairing. 
Sometimes I say them aloud, but mostly I say them silently, but always with a smile.  
They are the perfect pairing for those times when profound ignorance ensues.
 My two words are the perfect words for those who take pleasure in disrespecting others. These words are brief. Succint. Superbly accurate.  
I say these words sometimes five times a day, depending on the circumstances. 
My favourite two words are definitively  . . .

Not speechless, nor silent, but painting the sky.

“On that day, I fell from the sky and began to fade to white.”   I had two choices: to stay on the ground and live on as a wounded bird, or get off the ground and get back in the air where I belong. I decided to fight back, and I won, but I also lost something near and dear to me: my voice.  I had been silenced, a fate worse than falling for a woman who makes her living with words.  
I found my words, and my voice.  Now three years later, I am sitting across from a business woman and community leader whom I respect very much talking about the importance of women having a voice in business and politics.   Where did we lose our voices along the way and how do we get them back, we wondered. 
Business and politics is about having an intention and purpose that serves others and actions that follow. If it is self-serving, it will likely fail.  As a business planner for over 20 years, I can say that with 99% certainty.  I also believe that self-serving people do not deserve success.  
Let m…

A Raven, A Road and a Vison for Freedom

To walk through the doors of Queen V Fashion House in Regina’s Warehouse District is to find oneself in the heart of its creator, Fallon Hu man (Mazurkewich), who possesses the intellect of raven and the heart of a freedom-loving entrepreneur. Clear white walls and a well-appointed silver logo sparkling in the sunlight tell the story of a meticulously polished runway-like retail shopping experience. 
But the details reveal the soul of this entrepreneur’s quest for freedom. Inspired by Jack Kerouac, author of “On the Road”, Queen V is for “the ones who never yearn or say a commonplace thing . . .”. A curious collection of ravens, antlers, metals, denim, sequins, sweaters and dresses is carefully curated for the fearless and the vigilantly independent. 
The lone entrepreneur has held her ground in the local competitive market place formidably and created an online and real time destination shop for those seeking refuge from the noisy mundanity of every day fash…

My Heart. My Awareness.

Sometimes I feel an unmistakable loneliness.  The silence that was once filled with noise, chaos and tears is deafening. And I know now that I wished I would have loved and lived in every single moment of their being instead of working too much and wishing for peace.  This week's practice is dedicated to the practice of awareness and living and loving each moment.

Decorating the Tradition with Karma

I think the holidays is a good time to think about Karma - that is what actions are we taking to create a positive reaction? What are we doing to make a positive difference in the lives of others?

This past weekend, we made the decision not to host the family feed.  For the first time in over 25 years, we spent the weekend alone.   This was not the plan at first. We were going to be hosting the family feed, but then decided to drive to a city five hours away to see our daughter. There was an immediate backlash about our decision to not host and attempted guilt trip that ended with a hissing "Karma is a b....”.

Karma, simply put, is an action that leads to a reaction.  We decided to stay home but we also decided to not participate in the family Thanksgiving madness and it wasn’t that difficult. It occurred to me that this strife is part of our family tradition, and one of the reasons that I secretly dread holidays.

Truthfully, our holiday traditions have never agreed with me.  I…

Book Update: How to be a Pink Flamingo in a Brown Duck Pond

So here I sit with my final proof before the book that I have spent the last two years writing and what seems like a life time living, and it’s go time. Sign off time.  The last edit.

I actually received the final edits from my publisher on August 19, and I procrastinated opening the files until today.  There were many reasons that ranged from business priorities to poolside priorities. But the real reason is this: once I open the book, again, I have to go back there, and open up that part of my soul that created the words on the page.

Let me begin by saying I believe in the power of intention, and that once intention is established, alignment begins to happen.   I began writing How to be a Pink Flamingo in a Brown Duck Pond in July 2012. My intention was to write away a very painful time in my life by attempting to make sense of it through words, since that is how I usually make sense of the world.

Going backward is not my specialty but in the writing process,  I was able to come to…

There is a secret that we keep.

There is a secret that we keep, a secret that protects the guilty and hurts the victims.  I am talking about the bullying secret.   I created the Flamingo Project originally to give voice to the secrets that hold us back from living the best life possible.

Bullying tends to happen between two people.
It is isolated and targeted. Very seldom do bullies publicly attack people except for when the practice of bullying has escaped to outright physical, emotional and mental violence.  Until such time as we see it, we tend to overlook the behaviour.

We do things like listen to them instead of telling them to stop. We make excuses for the behaviour, such as “he or she is just like that”, or “he or she has [insert excuse here].  On the outside bullies tend to be charismatic people but they may have narcissistic underbellies.

"Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. Those with nar…

A practice of defiance.

In 2005, I remember sitting across the desk from my duck boss at the time and telling him that my workload was not sustainable. That something had to change. I realized in that moment that it was me who had to change. I had to learn to say no.

I did so by implementing what I call my defiance strategy, that included committing three acts of defiance, practicing imperfection, learning to listen to myself, and avoiding rooms with no doors. I gave myself one year to change my life, my body, my work and even my hair.  Truthfully everything was on the table at that time, even my relationships.

During that year, I worked a ridiculous amount of hours because the company for which I was working had just implemented a merger.  I was a corporate planner, so my job was to help get the ducks in a row.  Suffice it to say, easier said than done, when nobody really wants to be where they are.

I committed more than three acts of defiance that year, easily.  I started smoking, giving myself a deadline…