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Lost Your Creative Mojo??

Lost your creative mojo? Painter's block, writer's block....designer's lethargy.....artist's woes. So many words for the ...

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Changing State


Trying to get yourself motivated and just can't?
Try one of Tony Robbin's fave coins of advice, which he calls "changing your state".

It isn't something complicated. For me, I can change my state with
my own personalized prescription of 41 minutes of walking on the electric treadmill.
Why 41 minutes? Just 'cause over the years, I've realize that that's all that it takes for
me to change my frame of mind, my perspective and my physiology.

Sometimes, we just get stuck in proverbial inertia...
Wikipedia describes inertia in these words:
  1. Inertia is the resistance of any physical object to any change in its state of motion, including changes to its speed and direction. It is the tendency of objects to keep moving in a straight line at constant velocity.
That's a pretty accurate description of "stuck humans". We resist any change in speed or direction because we are comfortable with what path we have been on for any length of time.
We instinctively resist change, because it is new and unfamiliar. 

Even when we know that we are really ready for something new to come about in our lives, we still have that natural draw to cling to what is our personal "comfort zone".

So, one of the ways that Tony Robbins helps empower his "students" is by teaching them how to "change their state". When we change state, we have a new emotional condition and a new set of physical circumstances. We mentally prepare ourselves for good new things.

So, before you hedge your bets on some enormous New Year's Resolution, consider
allowing yourself a change in state first, to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for whatever new idea that you have in store for this coming year.

Blessings, empowerment and peace.

Carla









Sunday, December 28, 2014

Blissful Creative Exile

Yesterday I tweeted about a cool review by Katherine Monk of Tim Burton's new movie
"Big Eyes". What stood out in my mind in the review were Katherine's two epic
words "Creative Exile".

While, for some, that phrase may evoke a lonely period of time, when you'd rather be huddled away in the clay stained art department in high school than out with the cheerleaders or in the lunch room.
Creative folks sometimes just long for a get-away where they can completely "zone in" to hone their craft and figure it out just what it is, after all, that their art is trying to express.

So when I started reading and learning about Tim Ferriss and the specific methods he uses to completely focus and zone in , without distraction, my artistic ears perked up and I find myself re-reading those parts of his Blog over and over.

One of the coolest things, other than that he puts Casino Royale on a loop on mute playing in the background while he's zoning in to write....,  is that he drinks epic proportions of Yerba Mate tea virtually all night long when he's on a tight writing deadline.

There's just something so "college cool" about Tim. He's steadily increasing his circle of influence, hobknobbing with folks like Sir Richard Branson, Tony Robbins and the like. But when he talks, you get the idea that you're just talking to the kid who sat beside you in math class, never wore matching sox and could never sit still.  Come to think of it....that actually sounds more like me.

Anywho, what does it take for you to zone in?  A fave cd? A fave playlist? Certain lighting?
Or do you have to leave your house and rent a room like Maya Angelou? Her fave writing haunt was at a hotel toting a bible, a bottle of sherry, and her famous yellow legal pads. Maya didn't write on computers.....  real pen on paper was her chosen route for creation. What is your fave creative media? Online? Or a word doc. or speaking into some "speech-to-text" app that transcribes your brilliant verbage into prose?

Carve it out folks, your niche can only be created by you. Make it yours, make it quirky, and let your family know not to bug you when you're in your zone.

Peace and productivity this week, friends.
Carla

Valley Of Decision

There is gentleness here in the "Valley of Decision".. although many would try to sabotage my peace.

When we have some decisions to make, whether large or small, there are those who sense that vulnerability and try to coerce your thoughtfulness into something that is more about their goals than yours.

I want to encourage you to walk peacefully when you are going through a season of decision making.
It needn't be a loud and brash time. You needn't manically hop from book to book to activity to person to blog to site and back again. If you have any kind of relationship with God, He is going to help you walk calmly and purposely. A hasty decision is made when we don't allow our valley of decision to bear
RIPE fruit. Don't pluck those fruits until they've had a chance to mature and grow into a sweet juicy peach of any idea. Any idea worth having or choice worth choosing isn't going to disintegrate into thin air if you don't act on it in the next 30 seconds.

If I might add my two cents worth....take the time just to journal out your thought processing while you are in the Valley of Decision. If you prefer to write on paper with pen/pencil, then go for it. If you prefer just to blab with your computer onto a clean fresh open Word doc, then so be. Enjoy this process. It is yours. It belongs only to you. It matters not whether you save your journals or you save the computer file of your ramblings. The point of the journaling is to help you make a choice. Stay clear. Stay humble, Stay calm. Keep your heart open to nudges from the Spirit of God....Avoid folks who are chaotic or the ones that speak before listening.

Blessed and peaceful this amazing sunday afternoon.


Friday, December 26, 2014

Oy Vey Money Versus Proud Mary Money

Most of us have some sort of income... Income from a job, from rental real estate, or from royalties from something that we have invented or created like a book or a witty invention.

Then there's money that comes just because we are a citizen of a certain country...a government refund.
Although I appreciate it, no matter what it's label....it's just "Oy vey" money....because I did nothing to deserve it or earn it. "Oy vey" money is useful, but not inspiring..... utilitarian, but not fulfilling.

I've noticed that the source of the money really strongly affects how I feel about a certain chunk of change....and the size of that chunk matters very little in terms of how it makes me feel.

For example, there's a writer I follow who has created a homespun fishing lure business on the side.
It is his love and passion to create lures and find the best places to sell them. At this point, the business is not enough to entirely carry his household expenses, but the joy and fulfillment he is getting from seeing the progress of his homemade creations is inspiring. He's at the stage where he is considering great expansion in marketing his goods. Whatever nickels, dimes and dollars he earns from this venture...I would be tempted to call his "Proud Mary Money".

I have upon occasion celebrated this kinda money too. I can assert, that "Proud Mary Money"
has a lot going for it. It contains within it's DNA all sorts of good stuff....momentum, hope, fulfillment of a life's dream, and hint of a better tomorrow. "Proud Mary Money" has my sweat, focus and artistic bent written all over it. This kinda money is gutsy and has a pioneering spirit. "Proud Mary Money" goes where no man has gone before.

Do you have some of each? Does that five bucks you earned selling one of your homemade treasures on Etsy make you grin for 5 hours straight? Did that Youtube video you created that's earning you 3 cents per day, make you chuckle while you're driving to your "day job" ?

Even if your "Proud Mary" fund is so teeny tiny as to not even deserve a bank account of it's own, I'll bet that you are already bragging about that new book you wrote, video you created, item you sold on line, etc....because you created it with your own sheer will, curiosity, artistry, and pioneering spirit.

When push comes to shove, my goal is to focus on creating more in 2015. I am so pumped! It's gonna work...it's gonna bring increase....more Proud Mary Moments.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Tony Robbins on Basket Brigade





You just have to watch this video. It is Tony's retelling of the story of one of his Thanksgiving experiences

with his parents when there was no food ....and then the miracle of the man at the door.

If any of you have ever experienced some kind of hunger, you will understand his story.

Also, if you have ever entertained the notion of feeding the hungry, this story will most certainly inspire you to action. Incredible story. Bring some tissues.

Peace.

Name That Blog

Years back when I first started this ole Blogger blog, I was on a thought bender.
My bent was towards empowerment and I felt so totally empowered to realize that everything I ever wanted or wished to know was certainly within my grasp. My months in college and university had filled me with a fresh zeal for the power of "access". Knowing the right professors, experts and connections gives you access to folks who can answer some of your most pressing questions. Then when you get your first question answered to your own satisfaction, you are able to move on to another brilliant inquiry. As the scriptures say "Line by Line, precept upon precept".(isaiah 28:13)

I fell in love with the notion that not only was I powerful because I valued my own questions and the process of inquiry, but I realized that I was powerful because I discovered I had learned how to
find out anything I wanted to know.

It wasn't just a spiritual process, although that remains a vitally important part of my personal learning process. Prayer is part and parcel of the learning and inquiry process. I ask God to help me continue to grow and to lead me into the knowledge and fields of inquiry that He wants me to pursue. I ask God to help me to retain the knowledge that I glean. I ask God for access to more teachers and mentors as the time is right.

I have found that women in particular don't necessarily take their own quest for knowledge very seriously, especially if they are mothers. The needs of their children and their spouse often cloud their inquiries or dull them into apathetic science. But, after reading this post, you won't fall for that mistake will you ?

But I have found that a woman who comprehends and respects her own capacity to learn and gain knowledge is a better and happier mom. Don't lose sight of your curiosity. Let it lead you into more data...more factual information. Women who gain mastery of a subject became capable of accomplishing anything they set their minds to. ( for more on this idea, read the book called "The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman)

So, permit me to wrap up this post....merely by repeating what I came to believe when I started this humble blog. Ladies and gentlemen, elders and students, rich and poor and everybody inbetween....let me roar and empower you today....because it is still true... YOU really CAN Know ANYTHING. May 2015 show you that the access to knowledge you long for is right there waiting for you to chase down and make it your own!


Monday, December 22, 2014

Mutual Funds and those Pesky M.E.R.'s

Sometimes I think the whole mutual fund industry is based upon the premise that very few North Americans trust themselves to invest their own money. They'd rather hedge their bets with someone who has a few letters behind their name than do their own research and pick their own stocks.

Now the rage is all for ETF's which , in my mind, is the same thingy majiggy as mutual funds except with a facelift. It's those M.E.R.'s which annoy me. (management expense ratios)
The "professional" fund managers are permitted to take a cut of all the investment into the fund, whether or not the fund is performing well or not. Talk about a gurantee! But the guarantee operates in the best interests of the fund managers, not necessarily in yours or my best interests.

Those who buy mutual funds keep being sold the story of the "safety of buying the basket" instead of stock picking individual shares.

But what about picking stocs in a similar fashion to the institutions that you admire? If you admire the Provincial or state wide teacher's pension fund, then it's not going to be impossible for you to find out which shares they own. Yes, you can copy them....it's perfectly legal. You just might not get the same deals as they get because their huge chunks of buying power sometimes negotiate a better price for their cuts of stock, as opposed to an individual "retail" investor.

Warren Buffet has a stream of folks following his every stock purchase. I recently learned that many of his stock purchases are now hidden from the public for a certain period of time, just because there is such a huge following behind his every transaction. When someone's investing is considered an "institution" it is like they've graduated into playing the big leagues. That doesn't mean that you can't make money as an individual....is just that it's a pretty different game we play. Individual investors just don't have those economies of scale that institutional investors have.

Another thing to consider is that individual investors are often concerned about transaction/commission fees for their every stock sale/purchase. But institutional investors carry such large portfolios, that I would assume they are given a free ride when it comes to charges for commission fees and the like.

Don't be discouraged....just learn the rules for the game you want to play. Outsmart them, by being observant, teachable, well connected and persistent. Time is on your side.

Peace.


Investing Secret

I've come to a conclusion...after reading a plethora of finance authors and doing my own real time real life research......that the simple key to excellent investing can be summed up in one seemingly
humble word, but permit me to say it anyway.....it's called "discipline".

The famous investor/author/teacher Robert Kiyosaki talks often about how folks come up to him and ask him for a tip on the next big investment idea, or for a stock tip, or some secret investment product that is sure to turn their fortunes around. Robert K. always responds tactfully by asking them a question such as "Well,  what kind of investor are you?"

Are you a good investor? That's a better question to ask, than to simply ask someone for a stock tip. Are you able to carry out financial plans? Are you disciplined with your money? Or do you need to give the financial decision making power over to someone more disciplined than you are? Do you trust yourself with money? Do you give away money too freely? Do you overspend and wind up up to your ears in consumer debt? Have you figured out how to maintain a constant influx of cash into your life?

How folks handle money is a good way to measure where they are on the "wise vs foolish" scale.When it comes to investing...the results can be even more devastating. Folly has a way of infecting even the best investment ideas. Therefore, never share a great idea with someone who is foolish. Test out someone's character before you share anything of financial value with them.

Anyway, I realize too, that most investment plans are based upon the assumption that humans, if given access to a large lump sum of cash, will spend it wildly and at top speed, thereby causing their lives to out-survive their money. That's why financial advisors who focus on providing/selling retirement "income" products rarely talk about the necessity or benefit of fiscal discipline. They would rather sell you something like an annuity, so that you, in essence, as a very old adult will be given an "allowance" every month of your retirement. The large lump sum of cash is handed over to the financial "professional" because we have been sold that line that
says we can't handle a large chunk of cash if we have access to it.

But I don't appreciate it when folks undermine my capabilities or any one else's for that matter.
What's wrong with having a large chunk of cheese and just sawing off a modest chunk of it each week?
Money doesn't spoil. It's not perishable. If you can train yourself to only utilize modest chunks of your own savings throughout your retirement, then you won't need to turn your cash over to the "professionals".
You'll have mastered yourself and your own spending and thereby conquered the world.
You can even set up your own system of giving yourself your own "allowance" by having automatic transfers set up from your investment accounts to your "spending" account in modest weekly or monthly portions. You can follow the crazy bootstrapper Alan Corey's example, by simply making your money "hard to get to" by NOT having a bank card and putting it in a bank that is located really inconveniently far away and have no internet access to the account. Yes, you can discipline yourself, without having to pay a professional top dollar to do this for you. You are disciplined. You can control yourself. The future belongs to the disciplined.

Peace and good will.

Carla



This is Probably Not Your Last Christmas

Just a quick thought for those of you heading out to finish up your christmas shopping list. I just wanted to mention....that if you are tempted to consider this Christmas as the absolute end-all and be-all Maximus Christmas of all time....please remember that as long as you  are breathing( and Jesus hasn't returned) , Christmas will surely come around again next year.

Therefore, if you've burnt the short bread cookies and bought generic sox for your nephew instead of brand name.....don't worry....be happy, because you'll most certainly have another chance next year to get it right.

I spent years hyping up every single stat holiday, and finally realized that my world wasn't going to end if everything wasn't uber perfect for every celebration. Life continues. Family continues and God's plans for us all most certainly continue on into eternity.

Peace and good will.
Carla



Saturday, December 20, 2014

Two Dollars Off a Bottle of Clorox Bleach

If you're not a coupon fan, just skip this blog post.
But if you like high value coupons, then check out the
$2.00 off coupon from Clorox Canada.
Click Here for $2 off coupon

Note that it expires at the end of this month.
Merry Christmas.

Peace.



Why Are You Ignoring Garlic?

Good Afternoon,

I just wanted to blog a wee bit before the Christmas rush overtakes me. I know that with the advent of the chilly weather in many northern parts of the world, there is a rush to start stocking up on many cold and flu remedies. I see long line ups at the store for folks trying to get their hands on so many "over the counter" cold remedies and items to soothe their coughs and colds.

What I am not seeing is an embracing of my dear old friend...."raw garlic". Yes, my friend is a smelly but powerful natural wonder.  I'm not advocating that you take raw garlic when you are about to go out on a date or when you have any public social activities to engage in . I am advocating that you consider getting into the habit of taking one raw peeled/chopped garlic clover per day/night when you know you won't be in close contact with anyone for at least a five hour period.

So now that we've dealt with the pungent odor of garlic issue, let's celebrate all the good things that garlic will do for many of us humans. One of my most popular blog posts is about how the government of Japan officially recognized raw garlic as a potent aid to lower blood pressure. It has been proven.
If you have ever tuned into your own body just 10 minutes after you have ingested a clove of chopped raw garlic, you will notice that a certain calmness pervades the inner workings of your body.

So what else does garlic do? It fights germs and bacteria. I have even read about a study done in which they measured a certain number of bacteria in an open petri dish. Then they put crushed raw garlic near, but not in, the petri dish. To their great surprise, the bacteria that was NEAR the raw crushed garlic actually started to die! Very cool indeed. So, the innate natural germ fighting qualities of raw garlic are not be ignored or downplayed as "old wives tales". There is much scientific evidence of the efficacy of a raw garlic health regimen. If you want to learn more from someone "professional" just take a gander at some of Dr. Stephen Fulder's books such as "The Garlic Book".

Garlic is no longer just an "old fashioned homemade remedy"... It has come into the limelight for it's powerful properties to help fight illness, and boost immunity. Raw garlic has another wonderful side effect, and that is namely that it provides and almost instant boost of internal energy. So if you are feeling sluggish and lethargic, you may want to investigate raw garlic's ability to give you a boost of inspiration.


Peace and good will.
Carla

Disclaimer: This blog post and all other posts on this blog are intended for conversational purposes only.
It is not intended as medical advice. All medical advice should be obtained from a licensed medical practitioner. The blog author and publisher does not accept any liability for the idea and contents of this post or any other post contained within this blog.



  • Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    Heating Your Home With A Magnifying Glass-ish Roof

    Ok, friends if you're getting used to some of my more quirky yet inventive ideas....prepare yourself for another doozy.

    Ok, permit me to think aloud here.... In Arizona and other hot spots in America, there are massive solar farms that use focused sunlight to produce heated oil/steam in order to operate generators that produce electricity.

    Now, what if the roof of a house was built out of small yet very thick glass bricks that were concave or convex only to a certain degree. Remember how we used to see how one could use a simple magnifying glass to start a fire on a hot summer day? All you needed was a hot sunny day, a magnifying glass and something like dry dry tiny bits of wood and in no time the whole bits would start to smoke and eventually catch flame.

    Well, what if the whole roof of a home was outfitted in very thick glass brick "magnifying glasses" ?
    The designers would study just how to tweak the convex/concave dimensions of the bricks just so that these
    brick "lenses" focused just enough sunlight to produce a warm beam of light flow directly into the home. The beam could not be focused too sharply or else it would produce a dangerous amount of fire-provoking light/heat streaming into the home. But the architects/designers/scientists could work on just that precise issue to regulate the streaming strength of the focused light beams.

    What I'm talking about is directly heating a home in this manner, NOT by using the sun to produce solar energy to be converted into electricity. I'm  talking about warming your home in the same way that a cat loves to bask in the sunlight that streams in through the windows on a sunny day.

    So permit me to put this out to you? Do you think this would work? Would it not be possible to
    create roof top glass bricks that transposed sunlight into direct heat pouring into our homes through our roofs? To my limited scientific mind, it surely sounds possible. The focused beams of light would heat the air and the floors as the beams of light stream down from the transparent glass roof. I'm not talking about one large piece of glass as a roof, but rather....many hundreds of convex/concave thick yet transparent glass bricks joined together to form a heat generating roof. I'm guessing that the bricks would not need to be more than maybe 7 inches by 7 inches in size.

    Your comments and thoughts are most welcome. My readers are a vital part of this blogging phenom.
    Peace.

    Carla

    Disclaimer: There is a fire hazard when working with magnifying glasses.Please don't try this at home unless you are using a qualified professional for supervision/design. Parents, don't permit your children to use magnifying glasses without adequate supervision. This blog is intended for conversational purposes only. The author of this blog as well as it's publisher do not accept any liability for the ideas discussed in this post or any other post on this blog. Thank you for your time.

    Tuesday, December 16, 2014

    Praying with Intelligence

    Yes, I admit it...I'm a big fan of Napoleon Hill books. I've read them and reread them just to remind myself of their truths.

    I think that Napoleon Hill's teachings are one the few styles and philosophies of success and wealth accumulation that can be described as both humble and strong. Mr. Hill, as well as preserving our intellectual integrity, does not bash religious folks, but helps us to take our faith along with us through our life journey. Our life journey includes career decisions as well as a multitude of financial and investment decisions.

    Napoleon Hill proved that it is possible to be a Christian and retain your intelligence and ambition as well.
    He snuffed out that silly false movement that still rears it's ugly head in modern churches which is simply this          " that faith in God must require humans to dispose of all their hard won knowledge and intelligence in order to humbly worship God sincerely".

    The longer I spend studying God's Word, i discover, to my great relief that God is a great fan of knowledge, intellect and accumulated learning. He does not endorse ignorance and foolish emotional decision making. Too long have religious folks  pretended that financial "ignorance" was just their way of applying "blind faith". In reality, those who choose to stay in ignorance, are just too lazy and spoiled to apply their minds and hearts to learn any new information. Then they cry and ask for handouts from other hardworking folks and ministries who have figured out how to have their needs met with God's help and wisdom.

    Therefore, I just wanted to encourage all my readers, to consider, when you take the time to go into your fave place to pray that you take your knowledge and plans and skills with you. You don't have to dumb down in front of God to get your needs met. God is delighted that you have developed skills and professional levels of knowledge and competencies. We give Him glory for the opportunities we have found to increase our learning and skills.

    Peace and prosperity with Christ. Retain your knowledge.....it is good.

    Carla



    Sunday, December 14, 2014

    You Don't Need Everyone to Like You

    You don't need everyone to like you....just the right people in the right season.

    It's a colossal waste of time and integrity to chase approval. If folks don't like you.....their loss.
    Your gain....no wasted time on their turf.

    I believe that God has a plan for each of us...if we want it.
    I also believe that God helps us and assists us in a myriad of methods and strategies in order to help us accomplish His will for our lives. Therefore, it is God himself who will give you favor with the right people at the right time.

    I don't waste time being a people pleaser. I keep my eye and mind on my goals and aspirations. Those who want to bless my journey are a part of my inner circle. Those who don't .....aren't.

    I've spent way too much time thinking about what other people want, to the point of forgetting what I wanted....and I found that distraction to be a most evil ploy of the enemy of our soul.
    We need desperately to stay on track....so we can take regular daily steps towards our goals. We don't need to get sidetracked by chasing popularity or anyone's approval.

    Be content, my friends, to pursue your goals and dreams. Those who belong with you on your travels, will stick with you, because they were meant to be with you for the long haul. There are those who are destined to learn from your journey and you from theirs. Those are the folks that you will bless and they will bless you with their time and attention.

    Thank you God, for the best humans in the right seasons, so that we may accomplish what You have so freely given to me with joy.

    Peace.





    Now's the Time to Buy Canadian Oil Stocks

    Time to do some bargain shopping on the TSX if you like  oil stocks. You know that they aren't going to stay at these battered down prices for long. If "peak oil" is real and there is a measurable and decreasing worldwide stock pile of oil available in our globe, then most certainly, oil will demand a premium price as the stock pile dwindles down over the next decades.

    Yes, I'm not talking about quick money. I'm talking about buying low now and holding them for the long term....like at least 5-10 years.

    What are some names? Well how about Suncor? It's an integrated oil and gas company that has a corner, not only on the recovery of oil from the ground, but also on refining and it's retail operations through Petro Canada stations. It's priced as of 12/12/2014 at only $32.07 per share.
    Back in November 21 2014 Suncor on the TSX was trading at a healthy 40$ per share of common stock.

    And that is just one oil company...one of the better and more solid oil companies in Canada. Warren Buffet chose Suncor for significant chunks of Berkshire's cash over the past couple years. If it's good enough for Warren.....

    Peace and prosperity.





    Monday, December 8, 2014

    Gotta Sing

    Are you a singer? Well then you jus' gotta sing. I don't care if it's to your dogs, cats, or your distant relatives gathered around a piano during the christmas holidays. But if God gave you a gift of music that simply stirs your heart, you really have no reason to let it go.

    Not all of us are going to get hit records, or get multimillion dollar recording contracts. But that doesn't mean we should fulfill the artistic and musical callings and gifts that God has given to us.

    I have often thought that mankind is too obsessed with extreme sensationalism rather than simply celebrating the gifts that God gives.

    As the bible says '
    "Give and it shall be given unto you."
    Therefore, maybe what God has given you to give to the world is your simple song. Don't be stingy with your beautiful voice, your cool guitar picking, or your other musical adventures. The world needs more beautiful music.
    Blessed to be blessing.

    Press on.


    Hold The Bun Please--- Gluten Free Dining

    Well I suppose, it's not unlike any other health concern, when one has something that requires changing your lifestyle, it is assumed that the individual is going to cherish their own health to the degree that they are willing to overcome whatever shyness they might have in creating a healthier lifestyle.

    Therefore, I just wanted to say, that if you intend on living a gluten free lifestyle, you are going to have to get over the shyness you may feel about requesting gluten free foods when you dine out.....as well as requesting that restaurants "hold the bun" when you are ordering a "bun-less" burger or a breakfast meal without toast.

    It's about deciding to honor your own self- care even if you might face a few confused stares and raised eyebrows or rolled eyes along the way. Yes, for the record, eating a gluten free lifestyle is certainly going to inconvenience a few folks along the way. But yes, you are worth it.

    Get over that shyness and the temptation to "just have what everyone else is having" and determine that you will still socialize but on your own dietary terms. If friends tend to avoid going out with you because they
    don't know how to deal with your dietary restrictions, then they really aren't worthy of your own social time...are they?

    Be blessed this day, my gluten free friends, in all you do and in all you eat.
    Peace.




    Sunday, December 7, 2014

    High Value Coupons from Johnson and Johnson

    For those of you who love high value coupons...(no nickling and diming)
    you can know that Johnson and johnson is one of the few companies that still snail mails high value coupons straight to your mail box at no charge. all you need to do is send them an email and include your snail mail address. You can request one set of coupons to be mailed to your home once per month.
    Some examples of the brands that they carry coupons for are Neutrogena skin care products, and Bandaid first aid products.


    For Canadians their contact page is
    http://www.jnjcanada.com/explore-our-contacts

    For Americans their contact page is

    https://www.ccc-consumercarecenter.com/universal-contact-us/us-jnj-ucu/www.jnj.com

    Happy couponing.

    Saturday, December 6, 2014

    The Father Sees You Blessed

    Those of you who have been happening upon my blog for a couple years have probably figured out that i am a christian. Therefore this post won't come as a surprise. There are times when I am more cerebral about what I write and then there are other times when I just write what comes to mind.....this is one of those days.

    Today I just wanted to give a message from the Father's heart....as in God the Father....the father of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. As cliche as this may sound...the Father loves you. He sees all that you have done and He just wants you to know how impressed and touched He is with your trials and your struggles. He is encouraged to see that you have not given up, and that you have not given in to the peer pressure that surrounds you. Take heart this day and know that Jesus paid a very dear price to give you access to all that is Mine, the Father's.

    Take heart and know that I still believe in you. Even when you yourself, are not too sure about the future and what it holds, I want you to be still and know that "I am God"...that I am not yelling at you. I am at peace and I want you to walk with me by the still waters of my love...trusting that I am present with you even in the midst of your trials and tribulations.

    There will always be more growing to do...more maturing and stabilizing of your faith in Me, but I want you to never doubt my love and faithfulness to you. For you are my heart, my joy , my Son's crown and the reason for His Joy. The Supernatural strength that He is giving to you is from Me.
    I am Joy, from Beyond and it is your Hope and your Future.

    Know that I am in charge and that I mean you no harm. Those who despise you will not be able to
    stop My plan from unfolding in your life. You are Mine, and I will not allow them to slow you down nor hinder your progress in My Kingdom. For I own the cattle upon a thousand hills and it is well with My Soul as well as with Yours.


    Sit down today and know that all is right with Me, and because of this...all is right with you as well. You belong to Me, my sons and daughters, and I hold you close. You have chosen well to seclude yourself and be apart from those who chase fleeting things. I hold you close for a purpose. It is my Joy.

    Believe and say "This is the day that the Lord has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it".
    Peace.


    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

    Yes, Fries from McDonald's Are Wheat Free

    It seems like folks are hesitant to assign a "gluten free" label onto certain products, by the slim chance that something containing gluten bumps into that menu item while it is being prepared in restaurants. So I suppose the general idea is "Consumers beware and dine at your own risk".

    If you are trying to live a gluten free lifestyle there are a limited number of choices for you if you are going to eat at fast food places in Ontario Canada. Almost every popular food item comes wrapped in a bun or wrap
    that has been made from wheat. Therefore, to find gluten free items, you usually have to select
    items that are not one of their mainstream popular meals.

    One great exception is Wendy's which serves a great little gluten free snack known as their
    "chili cheese nacho" dish. But again, if you have any other ingredients that you are allergic or sensitive to, you are going to want to do your own research. Call the toll free numbers for the places that you want to eat and see what you can find out. Don't be afraid to let your needs be known. The more requests that fast food places receive for gluten free foods, the more likely they are to carry more gluten free menu items.

    As of my last conversation with McDonald's in Canada, it appears that there are currently at least three items that do not contain wheat which are the following:
    French Fries
    Chocolate sundaes
    Hot Caramel Sundaes

    If you want to find out more and do your own research....just check out their website:
    McDonalds has a menu on their website called the "Nutrition Center" which has PDF files you can download to find out the precise ingredients of each menu item. Their website is located on the web at:

    http://www.mcdonalds.ca/ca/en/food/nutrition_centre.html#/

    Wendy's has a Section called Nutrition Landing which can be found at the following website:

    http://www.wendys.ca/food/NutritionLanding.jsp


    Remember that restaurants don't want to accept the liability for guaranteeing that their foods are 100% gluten free, because they know that a mistake could be very costly. Use your licensed medical practitioner's advice in selecting the best and most nutritious foods. Also be aware that ingredient lists can change at a moment's notice, so be sure to check regularly to see if your favorite fast food outlet has changed the ingredients of your favorite foods. They will provide you with the ingredient lists if you request it.

    Be bold yet courteous and may your food sensitivities or allergies not hinder you from living a full and abundant life.

     Peace.




    Disclaimer: This blog is intended for conversational purposes only. This blog is not intended to provide any medical or health advice. All medical and health related advice should be obtained from a licensed medical practitioner. The author of this blog as well as the publisher accepts no liability for any of the ideas discussed in this blog post as well as any other blog posts contained within this blog.

    Tuesday, December 2, 2014

    Success Strategies, Gurus, New Age and Idolatry

    Yes, perhaps that is a much too heavy title for a simple blog post.
    But somehow I want to convey something about all of those four things listed.

    First of all, I just want to say out loud, that I love success, and I am determined and have been for many years to be increasingly successful. What I learn today is the foundation upon which I will build my tomorrow's school of thought.

    But that being said.....  in my many years of studying success "gurus", success "strategists", and after having read a boat load of their books, I have come to a few firm convictions.

    First of all, we all have to have the courage to throw out the teachings of folks which are simply promoting the opposite of what we value most. For example, when I was given the recordings of the teachings called "The Secret".... I listened patiently for a while and appreciated some of the teaching. But then the alarm bells started going off when I realized that there were some portions of the teaching which were completely opposite of what the Bible teaches about Heaven and Hell. Therefore, when friends or coworkers or clients talk about "The Secret" I can appreciate certain aspects of the principles being taught, but I can also say confidently that not everything that is taught in "The Secret" is scripturally accurate.

    And so, I had a similar experience again this week, when I had received a reading suggestion from a blogger that I follow regularly. Therefore I leaped to the library to find a couple of the specific author's books to drag them home and begin to greedily consume the contents. But again, lo and behold, I found again more teachings that were blatantly idolatrous and against the teachings of Christianity. Big sigh....ugh....and disappointment.

    I must say that I personally don't find any moral contradiction between studying the principles of success and I find it to be in keeping with my Christian values. However, when I, who am no expert, can easily discern when a teaching is not biblical, I know when I need to stop reading. With my faith in Jesus Christ,  my guard goes back up tall and strong and I have a personal recognition that when I can not trust a certain author to respect my christian world or life view.

    The "New Age" has brought a refreshing hunger for ALL things spiritual. But just because a teaching is "spiritual" doesn't mean that it is biblically accurate or trustworthy. Well, you might be saying to yourself....how do we then know if a book or author or teaching is biblically accurate?  Well , my simple answer is this.....we all need to get regularly tanked up on the reading and speaking of the Holy Bible. Read the bible often, or listen to it on line or on your smart phone. Bible gateway has a great Audio Bible app that is free to download. When we fill up our brains with His word, we become more sensitive to be able to discern when something sounds off kilter. We become better able to guard our hearts and minds from false teachings and half-truths.

    So, I am not going to recommend that you throw out all your "self help" or "success strategy" books or cd's or tapes. I  am just going to say, that you have the duty to yourself to not submit to every teaching that comes up on the radar as trendy or popular. Use your common sense, prayer and your own understanding of the Scriptures to glean the goodies from the baddies. Don't fall into the temptation to become a "book burner"
    and don't become fearful of bookstores or audio teachings. Just pray and ask your Heavenly Father to honor your quest as you seek to learn more and become more. God wants to bring you success even more than you want to achieve it. Let's just not be so gullible as to fall for every spoken or written word that comes our way.

    Peace and prosperity.
    Carla



    Monday, December 1, 2014

    Assessing Your Own Work

    Yes,yes, as talented as we all are, there are times when we have to get frank...not Frank, but frank.... with ourselves and what we are trying to create.

    Time to ask ourselves....is what we are making or writing or molding or painting or designing really good?
    Better yet....is it good enough?

    Well 'tis a tough question. Really.. are we qualified to even assess our own works?
    Or is it smarter to hire an outsider with a critical eye to give us the real goods on our own work?

    Well, as Ecclesiastes reminds us, there is a time and a season for every activity under the sun.
    Therefore, I do recommend one thing, don't apply a critical eye to your own work when it is in it's infancy stages. Nobody criticizes a toddler for wobbling when he/she takes their first steps from the couch to the coffee table. Nobody argues with a baby for missing their mouth and smearing strained peas onto their cheeks the first time they handle a spoon.

    Therefore, you must be gentle to yourself, especially if your work has not yet ripened to maturity. Perhaps you need to read one of my older posts "Your First Try Isn't Going to Be Your Best Work" and give yourself a break. You might, after all,  have the extra sensitive soul of an artist.
    We don't take criticism lightly...in fact we are more likely to sob into our pillows for nights on end over one harsh comment. Even if our work is brilliant our hearts remain soft and vulnerable.....because that is simply what it takes to stay good at what we do. Crusty hard hearted folks are rarely creative and when they are, it comes out in vicious ugliness. Therefore learn to guard your sensitive creative soul. It thrives only when protected.

    Let me just say rather mystically, that you yourself will know when you need to take a more critical look at your own work. Maybe the page views are down, maybe the online sales have stalled. Maybe your banker is not returning your calls. Time to take a second look.

    On a final note, when you've bitten the bullet and decided it's time to assess the merits of your own work, don't be too harsh on yourself unless of course your ego can handle it. Be just honest enough to be able to make the changes that are going to usher in your newer better work. Give yourself that courage to make clever changes by allowing yourself to note what is no longer working and what can be let go of.

    Some ambitions are temporary  occupations. Other ambitions deserve your years of faithful persistence and
    determined efforts. But know the time and the season that you are in. Is it time to tweak your strategy? Is it time to acknowledge that you are actually a better artist than your family thinks you are?

    Self assessments can go both ways. They can either convince you to stay the course and build momentum and stick-to-it-ive-ness....OR.....it can challenge you to accept that something you're doing was an unfortunate mistake in judgment and needs to be let go of. Have the strength to say a firm YES or an equally firm NO to yourself once in a while. Trust me, it's easier to hear it from yourself than from an outsider.

    You be the judge. Your eyes and ears and heart will know what to say..

    Peace.



    Wednesday, November 26, 2014

    Update on Soylent

    I blogged some months ago about the creation of a new
    food replacement system named "Soylent" which was invented by Rob Rhinehart.
    I'm still intrigued, but must admit I haven't yet tried it out.
    Perhaps I'm waiting for it's big release into Canada.
    That's the big new update. Soylent is going to soon be available in Canada according to the latest gossip.

    So that's good.
    There's something so wonderfully geeky and straight forward, to be able to cut out at least one meal a day and replace it with something chemically designed to replace all the major food groups.

    Now, since I am a natural girl and prefer earthy whole foods, one might be thinking....why on earth would someone like me be attracted to a powdery chemically blended product such as Soylent?
    Well, as much as I am a gluten free granola, organic, wild berry picking cotton wearing earth loving gal, I also happen to be a bit of science geek,and proudly so.

    What is equally as interesting as the product Soylent, is the story of it's development by a twenty something start up who raised much of his over million bucks via crowdfunding online and started mixing it up
    in a nondescript warehouse straight from the bags of supplies he ordered online. It is truly synonymous with every other geeky breakthrough in that the creator, Rob Rhinehart, just went ahead and did it, without waiting for permission and without asking everyone and their cousin for their approval of his grand idea.

    Perhaps there's a wee bit of computer nerd in all of us, that prefers to chill infront of our laptops and sip a meal in a bottle instead of cooking up yet another uninspiring meal.

    Well, nuff about me. What do y'all think about Soylent?
    To glean more data straight from the horse's mouth click here straight to Soylent's website: http://www.soylent.me


    Living Gluten Free in Canada

    Just wanted to chat today about what it's like to try to live gluten free in Canada. I'd appreciate it if you add your feedback. It is a national discussion....one whose parameters are expanding across many nation's lines and into mainstream culinary logistics.

    All the best chefs are now very much aware that if they prepare some of their specialty dishes, that their guests may very well insist upon being served a gluten free rendition of their specialty. For all those in the culinary arts, it will pay off to be prepared in advance to serve your gluten-avoiding customers. Some customers will fall into the "gluten intolerant" category, which for me, means that consuming foods or beverages that contain gluten can cause digestive pain and discomfort but is not life threatening. But then there are the official "Celiacs" for whom the issue is a lot more crucial and can be life threatening.

    If you are forming a restaurant of any kind or even a coffee shop, it will be in your best interests to have something completely sealed off and separate from your regular gluten containing menu items. Speaking from experience, I would rather eat something gluten free that has been commercially sealed in plastic and
    is guaranteed to be gluten free, than something that folks "hope" is gluten free.

    So what is it like to chase down a gluten free lifestyle in your home country? do you find it difficult....or inconvenient or embarrassing or too expensive?
    I have found it to be all those things and more. But it is something that I have to deal with, and has become a part of my daily routine.

    I do with that more fast food outlets had more gluten free menu items, as I am often on the go and don't want to have to sift through hundreds of choices before finally finding something that is gluten free. In Canada, Tim Hortons sells a great bowl of chili, that is gluten free. But sadly, Tim Hortons has discontinued selling the coconut macaroons that were their "claim to fame" in the gluten free world. Alas, not everyone likes coconut I presume.

    I'm still waiting for KFC to produce a gluten free fried chicken option. Do you think my wish will come true?
    Do tell!

    Talk to you soon.
    Carla






    Sunday, November 23, 2014

    Mindfulness? I Think It Depends on What is On Your Mind

    Yes, yes I know it's trendy.... everyone and their cousins are preaching some "gospel" of mindfulness.
    But hey it's supposed to be uncool to ask actually "What" we are supposed to be mindful of.

    But let's get real ok? Mindfulness is a little bit sketchy. Some folks talk about mindfulness as the next great teaching tool. But I want to say it again....just WHAT are we supposed to be mindful of?

    As a Christian, I find this mindfulness idea to be rather grievous to a Christian's mindset.
    We are taught to have the mind of Christ....not to just simply be "mindful".

    If your mind is full, what really is it full of?

    If you want to renew your mind, it's time to get in deep up to your elbows into the good ole bible, not some new age wonky unclear mystical teaching.

    If you can find "mindfulness" in the bible, then please send me the verse from scriptures into the comment section below. I'm all ears.....

    Peace.



    Wednesday, November 19, 2014

    There's Never Been A Better Time to Be a Writer.....

    It used to be an exclusive club....something for college professors in corduroy blazers with fashionable patches on the elbows....to be able to say that they are an "author".

    But the inner self of Indie Artists of today won't stay for that obligatory purgatory any more. They simply must write, in any form and fashion they want to....and write they will.

    It's not that suddenly it has become ultra lucrative to be a writer, more so than before, it's just that the
    opportunity to be heard in a multitude of different platforms has exploded.

    Yes, after reading Stephen Baker's book "The Numerati" I realize that many of the content farms of the net, are simply being used by bigger forces to gather data, precious consumer and personal data that will be shaped and molded into something that can be sold to a bank or an ISP or credit card company.

    But after all the worries about Big Brother fade away, there still remains my joyful conclusion
    that it's simply the very best time in humanity to be a writer. Write on!

    Choose any platform and choose your focus.... blog with Wordpress or Blogger, make elaborate Facebooks pages for your field, and carve out a niche with your Twitter account. If you are really obsessive about it, you might even start writing socially for Hub Pages, Helium or Bubblews.

    The world is your oyster folks. Be discerning. Be discriminating. Let your platform reflect a part of what you want to say. But please don't ever be silent again. The human race is awakening..... awakening to the power of their own words .....and I for one, couldn't be happier.

    Write on, dear friends....write on.




    Sunday, November 16, 2014

    Thank you for Your Patience...

    Tis a time of changes, not huge changes, just little tweaks and nips and tucks so that my blog can better reflect what I'm celebrating. So, I appreciate your patience, dear readers, who have surfed the blog over the past couple weeks to find it arranged in a multitude of different formats and configurations.
    By the way, if you have some suggestions as to your favorites, I'm all ears.
    I'm trying to format the blog in such a way as to not only please the appearance on PC's but also on Mobile.
    Wish me luck!

    Carla



    Friday, November 14, 2014

    Oh Lord, You're beautiful lyrics - Keith Green







    If any of you like Karaoke and you feel like worshipping...there's nothing that beats singing with the original Keith Green. Be blessed.

    Carla


    I Still Believe

    I still believe in dreams. I hope when I am over 90 years young that I will still be toting that party line.
    It isn't just a romantic notion for me, it is a part of who I am.

    If folks give up on their dreams, they become a shell of who they were meant to be.
    Sometimes church folk get too spooky about life and act like we have to lay down our dreams to God and just give them all up. But I don't agree with that philosophy.

    I believe that God works through our dreams and then nips and tucks us so that we stay on track to serve Him. We don't have to throw out our ambitions just because we have received salvation in Jesus.

    I not only want to achieve my own dreams and to bring them step by step into reality, but I also want to be that one who will be able to teach others how to do the same. The goals can be very very different, but that foundational structure of setting goals and then putting steps into place to achieve one's ultimate goals are universal and can be achieved by anyone. Same playbook....different goal.

    I am grateful for the examples of many brilliant men and women who have shown through the example of their lives, that yes indeedy, dreams can still come true. I am not sure why there seems to be so few
    female role models in the field of success and motivation. There are oodles of successful women....why do so few teach other women how to do so?

    I have found that  most of my mentors have to be male, just because I can not find the ferocious few women who are capable of leading and teaching others to do what they have done.....except of course for Barbara Corcoran , the real estate tycoon/author.

    How about you?
    Looking forward to reading your comments in the section below.
    Peace.





    Thursday, November 13, 2014

    Obtaining Funding For Your New Business

    I was reading in Nov 10ths, 2014 edition of the Globe and Mail, about how Robert Rhinehart, the creator
    of the "instant" meal powder named "Soylent"......how he raised up the capital to launch his venture.
    One of his sources of capital came from using a site called.Tilt  .
    I was amazed that he raised over a million dollars just through that site.

    The new age of funding is certainly developing. From sites like Patreon for artists like me, and Tilt for business people, it never ceases to amaze me how quickly ambitious folks are bring their dreams to reality.

    Would you consider using a crowdfunding site to launch your next creative venture? Or would you only consider it if the banks turn you down?
    Looking forward to your input  in the comment section below.

    Peace.

    Tuesday, November 11, 2014

    Supporting Artists

    Crowd funding seems to be one of the greater inventions of my generation.
    It helped support the campaign that got President Obama elected and has also been the vehicle by which folks raise thousands and sometimes millions of dollars for other humans who have experienced a tragedy.

    The whole paradigm shift in securing funding from a multitude of smaller donors at modest sums instead of
    seeking out large chunks of cash from a few select and wealthy individuals is turning the industry of fund raising on it's head.

    It is a welcome relief. When push comes to shove we really do want personal choices when it comes to who and what we support with our hard earned dollars. We want to support people and causes that we can relate to, and those that touch our hearts.

    It's amazing what a click here and a link there can bring about in changing someone's life. Support for
    quirky artists via the site Patreon is bringing much needed financial support to struggling artists around the globe.

    Then of course, there are the folks who wind up gaining a windfall of cash for epically absurd adventures (such as making a potato salad) but hey a person can do whatever they want with their own money,.

    I am thrilled that sites like Patreon exist, because it makes artists like me believe again in our dreams and hopes and ambitions.

    Remember when that middle aged lady, Susan Boyle was discovered on Britain's Got Talent in 2009? Her voice turned her world upside down in one brief performance. That is the same concept that brings speedy rescue to struggling artists who post quick blurbs about their creative adventures on the crowd funding site called Patreon. If you are at all curious as what Patreon is all about, it's definitely worth a gander.

    Be blessed and say creative.

    Peace.

    Patreon






    Monday, November 10, 2014

    Marketing Your Products as an Artisan

    So truth be told, I'm back on the market selling stuff I have made from earthy materials and up-cycling.

    What are earthy materials? What is up-cycling.

    Earthy materials are as raw as possible, and preferably not dyed or painted with any kind of toxic substance.
    They are raw materials such as jute, cotton yard, soy bean based yarns, hemp string, fabric made from bamboo etc. They are usually bio-degradable. They blend in well with any kind of
    "Back to Nature" theme.


    So perhaps you are still wondering what up-cycling is.....Well, in my humble opinion, up-cycling is when you take a product that already exists that might be ready for recycling or the landfill, and you fashion it and rework it until it becomes something totally new, more valuable and precious. It is recycling with a moneyed twist.

    For example, I have a fondness for gathering those ole wooden skids/pallets and hacking them up and using them for firewood. But I've noticed that some creative folks have taken to making incredible
    household furniture out of these very same wooden skids/pallets. I've seen whole walls make out of them, along with every conceivable style of coffee table, bookshelf and even chairs. That is genuine up-cycling.

    Have you ever up-cycled something? By the way, if you want to see how I've up-cycled some ole blue jeans
    check out my Etsy page at  http://etsy.me/1xDNiWV
    Carla's Etsy

    Sunday, November 9, 2014

    Lifestyle Hacker Ex·tra·or·di·naire

    My heroes are bootstrappers in all their uncut glory. The more gritty and awkward their experience as they clawed their way from obscurity to success, the more I am compelled to read anything they've written or said.

    To me, the most compelling part of an artist's life is the time before they rose to fame, how they survived and how they made a way through all the struggle and the folks who told them to give it up and get a real job.

    Once folks reach that "slick" time when their shoes are now shiny and they don't worry about getting the electricity turned off...I kind of lose interest.

    Success is kind of boring...it's too easy. It's that journey from invisibility to prominence that beguiles me and appears worthy of my study time. Once someone has become a best seller and they don't answer their own phones anymore, I am really not that interested.

    Ok, so who are those folks who have fought their way to the top with sheer will power and a touch from God's grace? Folks like Tim Ferris...folks like Tony Robbins, folks like Alan Corey and Alanis Morissette and Annie Jean Brewer (aka Annienygma).
    Nobody handed them their fame on a sweet silver platter. They dodged and weaved until their success was the only thing left chasing them.

    So maybe some of you are gettin' tired of the chase. I want you to remember, that this is the best part. The rest is just boring smooth sailing. This rough and rugged terrain is going to be the most interesting part of your life story, the gravy that makes the mashed potatoes. You will look back on this time with great pride some day, knowing that you gave it your all, and in doing so....overcame the world.

    Hang tight sisters. Keep the faith brothers.








    Friday, November 7, 2014

    Ten for Ten-- Top 10 Tips to Make Cash

    Tis sweet to be able to make a short and sweet announcement. I've published a new Kindle Book!
    Woot woot. Way to get things done, Carla.

    So if you're interested just type in Carla O in the search box of your local Amazon site and it'll lead you right to where the book is selling for your own country's Amazon site.
    It's is published by Kindle. You can also download a free Kindle reader from the same site.
    Enjoy and please do leave your review of the book on Amazon to spread the good news.
    Peace.

    Ten for Ten --Top 10 Tips to Make Cash



    Monday, November 3, 2014

    Time to Nudge Ya

    I know I know.....it isn't polite to nudge someone....hey I'm Canadian after all....The last thing I want to do is offend anyone or make them feel like I'm putting them on the spot.

    But it's my blog and I'll nudge if I want to ")

    I'm just going to come right out with it. Where is your written list of goals?
    If you can answer that in three seconds, you have failed the test.

    I can not overemphasize how important it is for you to make written goals and to have them in a handy place that you can review them daily or several times daily if necessary.

    Human nature dictates that we are so easily distracted...by minutia, by news, by fashion, by bills, by drama, and gossip and the list goes on.  But if you won't stick to your goals who is going to get you back on track?
    It is up to you. If you can't find a pen, use a crayon from your child's coloring box. If you can't find anything to write with, then type it into your cell phone as a new contact on your list of stored contacts.

    You might be rolling your eyes right now....is it really that important to clutter up my slick cell phone with
    a motley bunch of written goals that might not come true? Hey there, I caught ya...you already have given up on your goals even before writing them down. That is the real reason you don't want to write them down. The fear of failure is preventing you from setting any goals at all.

    Well, mister or missy, it's time to get over yourself and how your emotions might be screaming for more coffee this Monday morning. I am just going to tell you nice and quietly but firmly......you still HAVE to write down those goals, even if your confidence in yourself has wavered. Emotions come and go, but your goals can remain. Confidence can be fickle. Winning comes when you ignore your feelings and take steps towards your goals anyway!

    That is all I am asking from you this cloudy quiet Monday morning. Take that step today and write down those goals. And when you do, send me a quick comment in the section below to let me know you did it! You DID IT!
    We are here to cheer you on. Now go find that pencil.

    Peaceful productivity.

    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

    REstoring Life to the Classrooms of America

    I stumbled across an interesting read last week...
    "Third World America" by Ariana Huffington...

    Normally, I'm not enthused when I read a socialist-bent rant on capitalism, but there are a few gems in this book that make it worth the read.....and hopefully you'll still believe in free enterprise when you're done readin' it..

    Permit me to quote:

    pg 121 2nd paragraph
    "But if we are to survive---and avoid turning into Third World America----it's essential that we make it easier for creativity and fresh thinking to flourish in our classrooms, We need to start looking at things in bold and different ways."

    Now isn't that portion something we can all agree on? Right and Left? Capitalists, Socialists, Independents and everything in between and beyond?

    Jus' thinking aloud here....
    When push comes to shove we are all going to wind up living with the countries that we create today. We will watch our descendants either thrive and prosper in what we create, or struggle and suffer for our stodgy old fashioned ways.

    One of my pet peeves which I have yet to reconcile in my brain is that I get so upset whenever I see how new thinkers are viewed and rejected particularly in Christian church circles, I am horribly disappointed. I hear sermons on how to "not rebel" which these young thinkers interpret as a stern admonition to  "stick with the status quo, or you might just upset someone".

    I believe that if good changes are going to come to our educational systems we must EMPOWER radical thinkers. We MUST empower those rebels who dare to color outside of the lines...for they look at life in new and fresh ways. We can not stick to what is comfortable and traditional if we are going to pioneer new breakthroughs for America.

    You see, other countries don't have this hang up. They welcome unusual unique thinkers and they sponsor inventors to go beyond what has always been done.

    We can not be afraid of change. CHANGE is our very best friend.
    With the information age, being able to ADAPT to change is a crucial skill that not only
    sports figures must possess to excel in their chosen sport. We ALL must learn how to bob and weave and
    change how we think about what is possible for life in our towns, cities, countries and globally.

    The world is indeed our marketplace, our school yard, our library, our fellowship hall, and our church.
    Our friends and cohorts should not just be found in our own backyards. WE must be able to fellowship with
    radical thinkers around the globe for the purposes of free enterprise, scientific breakthroughs and educational partnerships.

    If most of the large cap businesses are, of necessity, globally competitive....we must educate our children also emotionally and socially to be able to socialize with people from other countries with other cultures, foods, and language. We must pass on an ability to participate on this global stage.

    If we hesitate and run backwards with our tail between our legs, our countries will simply NOT be able to compete on the world stage. Our North American society will not be the envy of the world any more, and even our own citizens will flee to other countries where change and invention are welcomed and encouraged.

    If our churches figure out how to love inventors and scientists and free thinkers, we will be harboring the best up and coming leaders of the next generation. But if we make them feel unwelcome for thinking in new ways, we will have kicked creativity out of the church.

    Christendom, used to be the Mother of higher education. We still have a chance to reclaim that opportunity to incubate great thinkers and inventors,creative artists, educators and business people. We must learn to not be easily offended and offer our listening ears and welcoming homes to all, especially those who show an ability to pioneer something that is new and untried.

    Churches can be the leaders in times of change, or they can become the unwilling mule that stubbornly refuses to go where it needs to. Love the new, test the new and escort the new into your churches, so that these precious entrepreneurs and creative folks will stay and flourish INSIDE the safety of the fold instead of outside of it.

    Friday, October 24, 2014

    How Badly Do You Want That?

    I was perusing Tim Ferriss's blog again today. It's not for the faint of heart.
    It brought to my mind that nagging question:
    How Badly Do I Want what I Want?

    Maybe you've started something new lately....started a new work out, or are thinking about applying
    for some new college course. Perhaps it's something much more urgent and intense that involves uprooting yourself to a new city or a new job.

    Well, let's chat a bit. How badly do you want what you have set your sights on?
    How badly do you want this new job? Are you willing to move to a new town? A new province, another country? Your first response is usually the most accurate. Don't over-think it....just jot down your answers on a clean sheet of paper or on a your notepad on your phone.

    Fill in the blanks:  .I want __________ so badly that I am willing to change my ___________
    in order to achieve or get ______________. But I am  not willing to give up _________ to achieve or get __________.

    This simple self assessment tool will help you see what might be holding you back. Maybe your desire for that new job is not yet strong enough to warrant uprooting yourself or your family. Maybe there are other conflicting priorities that are more important at this specific point in time.

    Never feel like it's a crime to change your mind about a goal that you have set for yourself. I am merely encouraging you to "KNOW WHAT YOU WANT" before you put the wheels into motion making a huge change in your life. The sacrifice you are going to make must be WORTH it! The end result must be worth the phase of upheaval.

    I am not one of those people who encourage "change" just for the sake of "change". There MUST be rhyme and reason to making a drastic life change. Some folks are just hyper and they enjoy making any kind of change just because they can't sit still. Don't be one of those people.

    Measure your goals, and pick the ones that really fuel your passion . Let the rest flutter to the ground in the sea of forgetfulness. Your close friends and family will appreciate your "levelheadedness" because you have proverbially "looked" before "leaping".

    Peace and productivity.


    Thursday, October 23, 2014

    Your First Try Isn't Going to Be Your Best Work

    There's just some folks whom God has given a special insight into humans.....what makes us tick and precisely what it takes that brings some of us that upper cut of accomplishment.

    The legendary human I am referring to is Seth Godin. His books are so rich with profound meaning I find that i need to take it in in small doses or I will just implode with insight.

    One of the great insights that Seth Godin has gleaned from his own journey to "success" is the essential need to continue to believe in your work even when it sucks. It's when you know the quality of your work is really bad, that it is most tempting to give up. But it is right at that moment that we are also most teachable.
    When we have the sense to realize that our work, our product, our service or our art is of poor quality, is the time that we begin our search for what will make it great.......really great.

    Some artists go on painting naively for decades and never really admit that their work stinks.
    Now, wait a minute, I'm not being cruel. I'm just saying that recognizing poor quality is an urgently important part of eventually producing something of incredible quality. Do you want folks to ooh and ahhh over something you have made? Be willing to accept your own criticisms and then DON"T quit.

    Just keep going, and yes, power through that season of "yikes ...what was I thinking" to where you are able to make a change. Being willing to make a change because of something that you have noticed is 100 times better than being forced out of the game because of something someone else has noticed. Criticism is best self-served.

    Do you agree? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

    Peace.




    Sunday, October 5, 2014

    What I Appreciate About Timothy Ferriss

    today I'm just gonna write a short blurb about the famed author and lifestyle "hacker" named
    Timothy Ferriss. If his name doesn't ring a bell, you may recognize his work more so by his book entitled
    "The Four Hour Work Week".

    I suppose there are just some things that I can really relate to when it comes to appreciating Timothy's
    attitude towards life. First of all, he really wants to live life on his own terms. He's not afraid to be labeled eccentric or unusual, as he is probably proud of those kind of labels. If being labeled unusual or eccentric is the price I have to pay for creating my own best life, then I will happily pay it")

    I recently watched an episode of Morgan Spurlock's show "A Day in the Life of Tim Ferriss"
    here's the link on Vimeo
    http://vimeo.com/47614661

    The episode showed just what the title entails, just precisely what Tim does in a typical day. It isn't that I'm spell bound by watching other people's lives, it's more that I am always on the lookout for people that I can relate to.
    So, in my own wonderfully quirky way, I saw a few more similarities.

    Tim has an incredibly short attention span, and has figured out his own self labelled "OCD" by making sure his projects generally don't last for more than 3 months. He simply gets bored out of his mind if his projects last longer than this. Therefore his consulting gigs are a perfect match, because he likes to work in short and intense bursts of energy, rather than long arduous hauls.  He also demonstrated how he sets himself up to write on this blogs and websites, with a movie running on his laptop on mute, music playing in his ears via earphones and him typing away on his sites. When I found myself reading two or three books or magazines at the same time, I realized that I might also have this propensity, to have to have a lot of things going at the same time in order to prevent boredom and still remain in control and stay productive.

    Tim also has a unique interest in managing his own health.....just like me. He recently signed up with a private blood testing company that is doing an in depth analysis of Tim's blood in order to diagnose any areas for potential concern, so that Tim can start now to make the lifestyle or dietary changes now before any diseases develop. I too, aim to be ahead of the game in prevention of disease and illness by tweaking how I live and by what I eat/drink.

    Thirdly I just appreciate the "bootstrappiness" of Tim Ferriss. He actually used that beautiful word "bootstrapping" in the video. He just isn't afraid to work hard and make changes on his own terms. He's not looking for everyone's approval. He is looking for his own approval by creating a lifestyle that satisfies his own priorities and prescription for a great life. I think that's just simply raw courageous genius.

    Have you read any of his books? Looking forward to reading your thoughts in the comment section below.
    Peace and wellness.

    Check out Tim's website: http://fourhourworkweek.com

    Wednesday, September 24, 2014

    Access is Everything

    One of the reasons I started this blog so many years ago, was simply because I was struck by the incredible power of access. Huh? What ya talkin' 'bout? Well, let me put it this way.
    If you have been facing a roadblock in your career, it just may be an issue of access.

    You see, relationships bring about access to new realms of influence and information and networking. And of course most of us know that having the best and most accurate information is absolutely essential. "Knowledge is power" as they say....

    But what if you just don't know anybody? What if you are isolated and not mingling with anyone in your field of interest? Well, there's no time like the present. Figure out where your ideal network of colleagues hangs out, and go there. Is it really that simple? Yes....it actually is.

    When you get there, make sure you know why you are there. Don't just hang out without a purpose.
    Successful people always value the imminent power of time. Career minded individuals count their time as more valuable than gold. And no, this doesn't make them cocky, it just makes them efficient and effective. They won't let you into their inner circle if you don't value their time.

    Show a little humility. Yes, that "h" word. Folks seem to squirm when I use it. But there is much to be said about the power of a humble heart. By "humble" I merely mean, that you have to have a demeanor that shows that you realize you need what someone else has in order to move ahead. Don't act like you don't need anybody. Don't act like you've got it made in the shade....or no one will spend any time at all with you.
    Act like you know what you want, but that you are willing to do as advised to get where you want to be.
    Stay teachable. Stay reachable. Keep your cell phone on, even if it's with your last dollar. If folks can't find you, they can't connect you to their network of contacts and colleagues. Access is Everything.

    So, in summary, if you feel like you're facing an impenetrable grey brick wall and you don't see any way through it nor over it...it just might be time to meet and greet someone with greater access. Meeting the right person at the right time, may pluck you out of obscurity into the limelight where those walls no longer exist.

    Peace and prosperity.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014

    School of Discipleship - One Year to a Radical Life

    School of Discipleship - One Year to a Radical Life







    Have a year to spare? and aged under 28? Have a love for Jesus that wants to grow?

    Maybe it would bless you to check out the School of Discipleship that is hosted by Gospel for Asia ministries.



    If you have never heard of Gospel for Asia, it is a group of committed christians who are reaching those who don't know Jesus in Asia. Their approach is refreshingly simple. Their approach to fund raising raises the bar of integrity in standards of  modesty and transparency. They make sure that the funds go 100% to the causes that you have directed your funds toward. They also have a "no frills" flavor to their ministry which is so wonderful.

    Folks are tired of giving to ministries that use the funds to live lavishly.



    Gospel for Asia missionaries are well prepared to live modestly and on an equal par with the people to whom they are ministering. They ride bikes from village to village and wear the clothing of the local culture.

    I am delighted to learn more about Gospel for Asia as time goes on.





    Peace in Christ.






    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

    The Dream - Gospel for Asia

    Are you interested in missions but just can't go?

    I encourage you to take the time to listen to K.P. Yohannan's work in India.

    His ministry is also very generous in that they will send you a great book to read ABSOLUTELY Free!

    K.P.'s life story is very compelling. His ministry to the people of  India is filled with love and devotion to Christ. He teaches his workers to not be afraid of personal sacrifice, and he leads by example.

    The link below will lead you to his website where you can watch a video about his work.

    Peace and God bless.





    The Dream - Gospel for Asia

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

    Dallas Stands with Israel Rally







    I stand with Israel. God's promises to His Jewish People will stand forever, for God can not lie.

    Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.



    Peace.

    Thursday, July 31, 2014

    Top 10 tips to learn a language


    Matthew Youlden speaks 9 languages fluently and has developed several excellent tips to help us understand how to focus on a new language, and how not to give up too soon before reaching fluency.

    Let me know what you think of this article written about Matthew Youlden.

    Peace and knowledge.
    To read the article click here---- Top 10 tips to learn a language


    Monday, July 21, 2014

    One Person One Tree -- As Wangari Maathai Would Say

    I've been getting thoughtful again, rereading and re-reading again the literary works of the late
    environmentalist and human rights activist Wangari Maathai.

    Have you read any of her books? Some of her most well known titles are:

    Unbowed: A Memoir
    The Challenge for Africa
    Replenishing the Earth

    I continue to be humbled...literally to the ground when I spend any significant amount of time studying the writings of this legendary figure.

    Her good will towards mankind seemed to know no bounds. Her willingness of sacrifice and
    give up a life of leisure indicated her commitment to protecting the environment and helping bring empowerment to impoverished women across the world, starting in her own native country of Kenya.

    One of Wangari's statements was her aim to have  one tree planted in Kenya for each person of the population....hence the mission statement arose from her writings: One Person One Tree.

    I believe it is not an impossible mission, but rather something that is quite practical and do-able.

    I live in Canada. I love my Country and all of it's incredible natural resources. We pride ourselves  here in Ontario, in the many green belts of prime agricultural land that lies across our province. We savor the ripe fruits and local vegetables that grace our tables.

    However, the idea of planting just one tree to represent our existence in this land of plenty is a nouveau thought.

    It will take some effort to accomplish this task. If you are a landowner then it will not be too difficult to accomplish this goal. Simply find out from your municipality where you are allowed to dig and plant trees, so as to avoid hitting any buried gas or other utilities underground. Then locate a tree nursery and buy and then plant one precious healthy seedling into healthy rich dark soil. Give the new seedling plenty of water especially for the first 30-60 days until it gets the chance to establish it's roots into it's new home of soil.

    Then enjoy and watch the tree continue to grow and blossom and eventually become large enough to house a local bird family, the occasional squirrel and become shade for man and beast.

    What do you think of Wangari's mission? Is One tree planted per person a possibility in your  country?
    Is it something that you can see yourself doing?

    Looking forward to reading your comments and discussion in the section below.

    Peace.