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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Building Courage

My life has taken a turn for the stressful recently. Stressful, you say? What's stressful about raising 3 kids, going to school and taking care of a household? LOL! If that were all then I'd be a happy camper but ... when it rains, it pours. Isn't that the saying?

Paige's preschool is a Parent Participation Preschool and we have been having problems finding the motivation amongst our parents to participate! Kind of makes things fall apart quickly when noone is willing to stand up and say "Me! I'll do it!!" Long story short (and despite my best efforts) I have agreed to step up and be President. Yikes! There are a few "conditions" though that are going to be tough to implement but truly are in the best interest of the future of the preschool.

Another stressor at the moment is my Aunt's health. She is battling cancer and things are not looking good for her. She is my Mum's cousin and she and her husband were so close to my Mum and Dad that they were named guardians to Andrew and I. I'm not sure that any parent actually expects to have to call on the people they name in their wills - at least they HOPE to never have to test that relationship! Well, my parents couldn't have picked a better couple to care for my brother and I after their deaths. Even though we didn't move to England to live with them, they stayed in constant contact and became to mean so much more than "first cousins once removed"!!! Needless to say, my heart is heavy. I wish I could be closer to her - not that I'd know what to do and would probably just be in the way. But I just wish I could be closer.

And the final stressor (new one that is) is my last class for my Interior Design course at BCIT. It is called Directed Studies and is our final project. We get 8 weeks to fulfill the requirements of the design project handed out. At the end of those 8 weeks we have to present our project and 100% of our mark is based on this presentation. This time around we have been given the ground floor of a downtown hotel. Our job is to plan and design a high end retail space (ala BCBG or Gucci) in the space provided (including coming up with a store name and signage) PLUS a gourmet coffee/pastry cafe PLUS the 650 sq.ft. apartment of the hotel manager. We must manually draft the floor plan (with furniture and fixtures), 4 elevations, a reflected ceiling plan, a section, a perspective, a materials board and a furniture board. Yikes!!!

Somewhere in all that Greg turned 40 and we are having about 50 people over on Saturday to celebrate. Marley, Paige and LC still have to be taken to school, gymnastics, soccer, field hockey, you name it; they still have to be fed 3 meals plus about a million snacks a day; they still need to have clean clothes and clean bodies and a (relatively) clean house to live in; and my vegetable garden and flower beds have to be planted; and ... and ... and ... the list goes on! I tend to eat when I'm stressed out this much so I've already put things into place to try and curb the inevitable weight gain over the next 8 weeks - ie. joined a gym.

I titled this post "Building Courage" and you're probably wondering when I'm going to addess that. Here goes ... I receive motivational emails from Christine Kane at Live Creative. They are pretty much all relevant to my life in some way or an0ther but none so much as the one I read this morning entitled "52 ways to Build Your Courage". I was saying to Greg, after a fairly disastrous preschool meeting on Monday night, that it was time I stepped up to live my own life as I felt that I'd been drifting too much lately. Like I wasn't in control of my own destiny. This is quite true and a whole other rant I'm sure!! I'm attaching the entire article for you to read and maybe you'll see what I mean about it being timely!!

52 Ways to Build Your Courage

by Christine Kane

“Excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.” - Aristotle

Courage is a muscle. Just as you wouldn’t go into the gym for the first time and lift a 100-pound dumbbell - you don’t have to begin building courage by running for President.
People often think that courage has to be big. Like sky-diving. Or giving a speech to a stadium.
Those things do require courage, yes. But in some ways, that’s baby courage. It’s obvious courage. I call it Bungee-Jumping Courage.

Bungee-Jumping Courage is convenient because it lets us define ourselves as “not courageous.” When you set the stakes that high, then you never have to approach it. You simply get to say, “Hmm, I must not have courage.”
I’m not letting you get off that easy.
Because there’s a deeper level of courage. It makes you strong. It makes you fall in love with yourself. It makes you fall in love with your life.
At its core, courage is about strengthening your relationship with yourself.
Here are 52 ways - little and big - to build your courage. Some of them seem completely foolish. But they’re not. They’re just uncomfortable. And that’s the whole point! Success in life is directly related to how uncomfortable you’re willing get. Now, get uncomfortable and go be courageous!


1 - Paint your nails green. (Guys get extra credit for this one!) [Maybe I won't try THIS one!]
2 - Begin to live your life as an “experiment.” [Isn't it already one giant experiment called Parenthood?!]
3 - If you’re always spontaneous, plan something in advance and stick with it. If you’re a meticulous planner, do something spontaneous.
4 - Quit your job. [Ummm ... don't think I can actually do this one either!]
5 - Start a blog. [Check!]
6 - Take a drawing class. [Check.]
7 - Learn a new language.
8 - Begin yoga.
9 - Do something tourist-y in your own town.
10 - Get up in the morning after having a bad day yesterday. Encourage yourself to begin again.
11 - Give money away.
12 - Look into people’s eyes when you’re in public - on the street, buying groceries, etc.
13 - Hire someone to do a regular task you can’t stand doing. (i.e., mowing the lawn.) [Would LOVE to!! You paying?]
14 - Play music more. Watch TV less.
15 - Get rid of everything in your home that’s not an Absolute Yes.
16 - Put on a goofy smile and look at other drivers when you stop at lights.
17 - Go vegan.
18 - If you never host parties or dinners - invite friends over for dinner.
19 - Teach a workshop.
20 - Start a mastermind group.
21 - Be bad at something. Do it anyway.
22 - Make requests. Don’t complain.
23 - Join a writer’s group.
24 - Hire a life coach.
25 - In social situations, allow people to talk with you instead of running around the room “networking.”
26 - Worry less. Act more.
27 - Enter a writing contest.
28 - Start your own business.
29 - Ask someone out on a date.
30 - Make a business card for yourself.
31 - Eat at an ethnic restaurant you’ve never considered.
32 - Respond. Don’t react.
33 - Get some music from another culture. Sit down and really listen.
34 - Listen more. Talk less. Especially to your kids.
35 - Take a swing dance class.
36 - Hire a physical trainer.
37 - Start a book club.
38 - Test-drive a luxury car.
39 - End a relationship that drains you or hurts you.
40 - Pray.
41 - Quit smoking.
42 - Take different routes to work each day.
43 - Drive around and get lost on purpose.
44 - Wake up at 5am and write.
45 - Assumptions are the enemy of success. Question them often.
46 - Excuses are the enemy of action. Stop making them.
47 - Admit when you are wrong.
 48 - Write a fan letter to someone who’s not famous - a teacher, a grocery store clerk - anyone who delights you or touches you.
49 - Pick one incomplete in your life. (A cluttered garage, for instance.) Tackle it for 15 minutes a day.
50 - Do an open-mic night.
51 - Pay the toll of the person behind you.
52 - Run for President. [Check again!]


Please do! Just be sure to include this complete blurb with it:
Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her 'LiveCreative' weekly ezine with more than 11,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to LiveCreative at
See Christine's blog – Be Creative. Be Conscious. Be Courageous – at
While Christine Kane is best known for her hip and catchy songs, and the down-to-earth wit of her live performances, her fans and students share that they are inspired most by her message of living authentically, courageously, and successfully.
Christine's philosophy is that you are the artist and your life is your work of art. That, she says, is what it means to "Live Creative." From her years of touring the country to her wildly successful "Unstoppable Power of Intention" retreats and "Uplevel" coaching programs, her message is clear:
You can create your life exactly as you want it.
 Christine has mentored and coached over 500 people in her Uplevel Your Life Mastery Program and Uplevel Your Business Program & Blueprint in addition to live events and weekend programs.
She has released 7 CDs and an award-winning DVD in her career as a performer and songwriter. Border's Books & Music named Christine one of the Top Five Recordings of 2003, the Washington Post called her "a petite powerhouse of a singer." Her new CD is called Wide Awake. You can order your copy now by clicking here.
Christine Kane, Inc.
Firepink Inc.
PO Box 842
Asheville, NC 28802
For Booking & Customer Service: 800.837.1332

I was originally going to add "smart" little comments beside each point but I guess that kind of goes against the spirit of her work ... Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I'm off to listen more to my kids!!

See you around ... sometime ... when I resurface!

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