How I got here

Last week, I facilitated a team meeting at TakingITGlobal on the theme of “looking back”. I asked the group to reflect on the events, steps, and choices they made to arrive at this point in their lives, careers, etc… The question was: “How did you get here?”

A crooked path is how I got here. One full of surprise road blocks and intentional detours.  I am working on a beautifully animated presentation to tell the story of how I got here but before I do, I have some serious gratitude to share.

Today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada and although I have recently picked up the weekly habit of documenting and expressing gratitude , today is still a perfect opportunity to unleash it on the world.

I am grateful for…

Laugh lines and silly stories: As I turned over in bed this morning, I watched my husband’s adorable face as he woke up from his snooze. I noticed for the first time that he has barely-there laugh lines. Mike is the one who brings into my life all of the silly stories and big laughs. I can’t imagine my days without his goofiness and smile. He is one of two amazing men in my life who help me achieve my greatest ambition: to laugh.

Good genes and restored health: I have been under the weather lately and that is one of my personal pet peeves but it is also an important reminder of my own physical and mental resilience. I am conscious to keep it all in perspective. There are many others right now who are struggling and battling with worse and it humbles me.

Solitude and personal space: I love being alone. Not all the time but often. It helps me to reconnect with myself and dulls all of the noise and chaos inside and outside of me. I learned to love being alone in my early 20s. I gifted a full 2 years to myself to learn who I was and who I wanted to become. It remains one of the best things I have ever done. When you pledge your whole life to be with someone else and find yourself on a daily basis surrounded by 4 million people, you can get lost. But my “me” time is all mine and I cherish it. I firmly believe that if you can love being just with yourself – alone – you will seal your fate as a happy and fulfilled person. True happiness can only be found within. Wondering how to do it? This is an awesome visual tutorial on how to be alone.

Siblings and big families: “The more the merrier” – as they say – is an absolute truth. I am so thankful to be one member of an enormous clan that spans place and time. My family is comprised of a plethora of  histories, cultures, talents and faces. Both individually and as a whole, we are quite formidable. Naturally. This year, I was officially indoctrinated into another family and for the first time in my life found myself with a trio of new siblings. I continue to learn from new understandings of what family means. As for my own sibling, I have been blessed with the opportunity to bear witness to his amazing evolution as a young adult. In recent months, he has come into his own with such confidence and enthusiasm that makes me speechless (which I’m sure he prefers) and totally in awe. Every fibre of my being is grateful for him – always.

Change from within: I count the ability to change and adapt as one of my constant blessings. Sometimes I fall into a rut but it doesn’t last because I know that the moment I get stuck, is the moment I will stop learning and growing as a person. Ghandi said: “Live each day as if it is your last. Learn as if you will live forever.”

Hugs and kisses: I come from a family (and culture) with few qualms about affection. We give it. We take it. It’s second nature. In a world of handshaking and a whole lot of physical awkwardness, I am very fortunate to never be starved for affection.

Strong and inspiring women: Among my blessings, I count the strong women in my life. Strong women are not impervious or stoic. They are resilient and imperfectly beautiful. They are compassionate and ambitious. They are of every age, generation, personality and cultural background. They are deeply inspiring and we are all fortunate to know them.

Faith and trust: Everyday I am entrusted with extraordinary responsibility in the work I undertake. I am so honoured to be given glorious opportunities to shine and cultivate success for myself and others. As I lead initiatives or build new ventures, I am constantly reminded to have faith in myself as others do. There is nothing so powerful and liberating as someone’s belief in you. Thank you to all the believers out there – you know who you are.

Wishing you continued happiness and thankfulness as you begin the week.

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