Wake Up

Can you imagine a voice, without a body, speaking to you out of nowhere, not once but three separate times? That’s what happened to me the first year after my stroke. The voice, who I am sure was of God, said:

  • You are love

  • Share your story with the world

  • Believe

For a long time I thought that if I spoke too much about this, people would think I’m mad or just another religious fanatic. Plus, I thought, who am I to think God would speak to me. I couldn’t throw Him away, so I subconsciously decided to just bury him as a minor character in my story, Rising Like a Phoenix.

Without fully understanding why, I also had to bury the book until I could understandGodspeaks-cc and accept its true purpose.  This happened just a few weeks ago, when the words in the adjoining poem came out of me. I knew then that for sure I had not written my story but His story.

He woke me up for the first time with the stroke. When I was in the hospital and overwhelmed with love, I was seeing him.  I was seeing my true self. When I was helping other stroke survivors as well as other patients, I was being him (as shown by Jesus). I was being my true self.

I was being my God-self, which is our medicine for healing. This is our path, as believers, for achieving the purpose for which we came here. My journey and that of many others are his testimony to that truth.

I am writing a second edition of Rising Like a Phoenix, with a few modifications to better demonstrate this revelation.  After this, I will get back to A Path to Success, which is all about how we can be Him, be ourselves, and find our success in life.

Thank you for joining me on this journey.


Aiming for What YouLove

You get what you are aiming for. If you have no aim, and you are not aiming, you cannot complain when you do not get what you want. As Corinthians 9:26-27 says:

Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.  No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

aiming-toc-wThe table of contents for the lesson on aiming is presented on the left. You can access this first lesson in the “A Path to Success” series here. It is about learning how to aim for the good we want. I still have some editing and refining to do. Nonetheless, I promised I would deliver something January, so here it is.

Below is the first part on the power of aiming based on Napoleon Hill’s research. The remainder of 12 page document is very practical and results oriented, based on my many years of corporate training. I would appreciate any feedback you may have.


Choose to Defeat the Darkness Inside

A couple weeks ago I was sitting in a room with my 13 year old daughter, my 10 year old nephew, and a group of my daughter’s friends.  My daughter was in a foul mood, sulking like an angry cat. She said her cousin called her fat, and this made her very upset.

Like a big woman, her 13 year old friend decided she needed a serious talking to. She said something like:

“You’re not fat. Look at you, tall, with your nice flowing hair. You should be flicking that hair and showing everyone how good you look, instead of listening to baldy [my nephew just got a short hair cut]. Get rid of that sulk! I wanna see a smile.”

My daughter smiled, and I laughed. Everyone laughed, even my nephew.

The point is, life is too short for us to be making ourselves ugly because of an unkind or silly comment from someone else. We all should be focused on letting the world see the light in us (both our physical appearance and our spirit). That is how we bless the people around us.

Each day, we can choose to keep or to give away the goodness inside of us.  How are you choosing?

Your True Purpose On Earth

front cover -c-blog“Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us.”…Marianne Williamson

We can rise from just about anything if we remember that love is our true road to living our best life and our greatest healer. This is the overwhelming message of my story Rising Like a Phoenix: When Life Cuts You Off at the Knees. Up until Monday you can get a free copy of the kindle version of the book at Amazon.


Sometime You Need to Acknowledge What’s In Front of You In Order To Move Forward

front cover -c-blogIt’s not easy achieving what we want; and not because of the amount of work we have to do. We struggle because we are so focused on the end product, we don’t acknowledge the gifts right in front of us.

I didn’t have the money, people resources or faith required to get the collaboration needed to finish my book. It wasn’t until I began to have faith, opened my mouth and focused my thoughts that a force beyond me interceded, and the right people came. Content, editing, art, and layout support were lovingly contributed by  Melissa, Rob, Alexis, Ashley, Ashante and Scott. I needed to acknowledge these amazing gifts and givers before taking the next step forward.

The book is finally set to be released next week! For now, I am sharing the front cover and a draft of the back cover. I would love to hear your thoughts.


The Hardest Story I Ever Had To Tell

apts-b1-cv4God is good, all the time. But He’s not always nice!

Nice gives us our happy times. However, most of us also need access to the ugly, mean, and painful stuff of life in order to discover and realize the very best of ourselves. At least, I did!

In 1971 my little girl self, stepped off the plane, and into the new world of Canada. Since then, I have been fighting against an emergence of cold, mean and painful forces at home, in the classroom and in the office. It was a battle I thought I could win, until I realized. I was fighting me!

At the age of 46, I had a massive stroke. The doctors said they could find no cause!

My life was stopped, like a swatted mosquito, for no reason! I felt as though I was dying without ever having lived, without giving the world the very best of me……..

Click here to read the entire short introduction. Your feedback is always appreciated.

Finding Good in Situations Disguised as Bad

This morning, like a brewing storm, I approached the mobility van (service for persons with disabilities), enraged that the late driver gave me only an impossible 15 minutes to get me to my yoga class.  After a long-faced, hypocritical hello, I stepped up into the van, to the sound of blasting dance music. As I placed my fuming bottom onto the back seat, I noticed the paraplegic young man, almost motionless beside the driver, in front of me, in his motorized wheelchair.

At first I didn’t take much notice of him or the pouncing music. The negative bickering in my head was so loud that it was deafening my ears and eyes to everything else. Then a voice in my head said:

“You know anger is not going to get you to the class any quicker, or lead to anything good, for that matter. Find the good in what appears to be the worst of situations.”

I then widened my lips into a smile, which then moved like a virus throughout my entire body, and perhaps even into the air beyond me.  The delicious R&B music caressed my ear drums and compelled me to rock my entire body, in my seat.

My gaze was then drawn to the young man. He was bopping his head, and stretching out his left hand as he rhythmically danced to the beat of the music. He was having a ball!

Minutes later the young man reached his destination. With just his head, he powered his chair, slowly backed it up, turned right and travelled out of the van. Afterwards, the driver told me that he is almost completely paralyzed below his neck. Yet every time he picks him up, he insists on moving himself, requests rocking loud music, and dances his head away!

Then the driver took the 407 highway, an express toll road normally not allowed, and got me to my class on time!

Finding Solutions: The Gift of No Cause

I got fired from my job. Management said “there is no cause!” I had a catastrophic stroke. Doctors said “we can find no cause!”

I choose to embrace this wonderful thing called ‘no cause.’ In blocking the reasons for my calamities, it focused me on the solutions which impact the world.

I choose ‘no cause’ as the reason my cousin shot himself; for I could have died, had I searched for the answers which died with him. Instead I commit to opening my heart even wider, so that I can act when my loved-ones are in need.

I choose ‘no cause’ as the reason a sixteen year old member of my church family died of brain cancer, for I could have been immobilized by pain, had I searched for the reason God had to take her. Instead, I commit to living my life so that I can act upon the change that she inspired me to be.

I choose no cause for all the cruelties I see in the world, for I could be overtaken by their darkness, if I try to understand evil that I do not want in me. Instead I commit to shining my light of kindness, even to the meanest in my world. And if I impact just a single soul, I have done more that I could ever do with a world full of causes.

Your Body: Are You Using It Or Losing It

This past winter was the best and worst I remember since my stroke. It was the best because I was able to take on various initiatives, and starting to feel like my old self. It was the worst because I was decreasing the amount of time I was spending on active exercise, and this was causing huge problems with my healing.

The muscles on my right side (leg, arm, but, etc.) were tightening; they were stiffening and causing spasms and increased pain in my leg and but. To avoid the pain, I often had to sit and avoid too much movement.  I found myself falling prey to the popular saying:

A body that stays at rest remains at rest.

Sure I was getting the minimum recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise, for I made myself workout for about 30 minutes each day. However, I was also sitting every chance I got. Moreover, everywhere I went, people were aware of my disability and practically begged me to sit.  I was probably sitting less than 3 hours a day!

The pain was my blessing. It got me to the doctor, and made me see the critical need for increasing moderate to vigorous exercise, general movement, and standing.

meditationI began taking yoga to focus on loosening and strengthening my muscles. And perhaps even more importantly, I committed a good part of my day to standing. I don’t yet have the increasingly populardawn standing desk treadmill or standing desk, so I just put my monitor and keyboard on boxes (as seen on the right), so I can stand up and work.

After just 3 weeks, the pain has seriously diminished, and I see signs of the strengthening of my leg and arms. It was kind of cool to squeeze my butt and feel possible re-emergence of some firmness.

I am doing all I can not to become a statistic in health research, showing how sitting is killing our population. I am committed to using the affected muscles on my right side, for I am not ready to lose them. This body is not about to stay at rest, for I am not ready to remain at rest.

It’s Easter weekend. I am taking the opportunity to stand up and move about every chance I get. What about you?

Have a blessed weekend.

Can Sitting Too Much Be as Dangerous as Smoking?

“…the number of lives lost from being inactive is as great as the lives lost from smoking.”

This was a conclusion of a report co-authored byMin Lee, Harvard Professor, reported on in March-April issue of Harvard Magazine.

Being somewhat of an exercise fanatic, I never would have thought this could relate to me. But it did!

Physical Activity of Canadian Adults

A few weeks ago I was experiencing increased pain and spasms that landed me in the emergency department of Sunnybrooke hospital and in the office of my neurologist. After a few tests, my neurologist concluded that I had no new stroke or seizure. However, I may be experiencing increased spasticity. The resulting symptoms of increased tightness of my muscles, which causes increased pain, spasms, and difficulty with mobility, was exactly what I was experiencing. Furthermore, I had decreased my amount of daily exercise, because I was busy working on things related to work and volunteering. However, If I want to maintain or improve upon what mobility I have been able to get back, I needed to return my focus to exercising and physical therapy!

The problem is that I was sitting too much! Sure I exercise for the minimum federally recommended 30 minutes 5 times a week, but for the rest of the time, I am mostly on the computer! Even if I go to the gym, that only requires about 1.5 hrs of standing. Since I mostly work at home, you can guess that I am rarely standing.

The fact is that is over time, many of us have become increasingly sedentary. That is, we spend too much on behaviours such as sitting for a long time in transit, using computer, watching TV, reading, and in other leisure activity that require minimum energy.

According to Consumer Reports on Heath, March 2012, “Research has found that sitting for long periods of time actually causes a slight increase in the risk of several diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and possibly cancer—even among people who meet recommended levels of daily exercise. The report states that a useful goal is to replace 6 to 7 hours a week of sitting time with standing activities.

I started consciously doing a little more walking, housework, and even cooking! You could do fun things like playing sports, playing with the kids or hobbies around the house. Just get off your butt!

Min Lee and her colleagues conducted research including over 650,000 people older than 40, over a 10 year period. They found that those participants who did about 75 minutes of brisk walking each week, or about 11 minutes a day, lived about 1.8 years longer than those who didn’t exercise at all. Those who did 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week, 0r 22-30 minutes a day for 5 days, live 3.4 years longer.

Are many people choosing not to take seriously the caution against sedentary behaviour, as well as the 150 minutes of weekly exercise, recommended by most countries and the World Health Organization (WHO)? Are we really too busy for our health?

According to the above chart only 15.4 % of Canadians get the recommended minimum amount of exercise. Do you? Why or why not.