Friday, October 03, 2008

LIVE October 24th - Time Management and Overcoming Conflict

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On October 24th, 2008, join international speaker and author, Julie Christiansen for two dynamic interactive workshops: Time Management for Real People, and Overcoming Conflict and Negativity. Both workshops will take place at the Holiday Inn St. Catharines, 2 South Service Road, near the QEW and Lake Street. You may register for one session only ($99 each includes refreshments, workbook, and a free E-Book), or attend both and pay only $180. Click on the image at the left to see a full-sized registration form - you may print, complete and fax it to the number provided to reserve your spot. Space is limited to the first 15 registrants, so don't miss out!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ahhhhh - Time to Breathe

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It was Steve's and my great privilege to spend 4 glorious days in Sault Ste. Marie this past weekend with my dear friend and colleague, Tom Caswell and his beautiful wife, Sandy. I couldn't possibly list all the details of the trip here - but I will say this... there is nothing like a good dose of raw nature to help you put your life in perspective. This past weekend was one of FIRSTS. I facilitated my first workshop under the banner of Transform[ED] for professionals in the human services field in the Sault. I also had the great honour of sitting down with some of the Canadian Mental Health Association's Anger Solutions graduates to hear first hand how the program has impacted their lives, and to share additional insights with them about how they can continue their personal transformation process.

I can't tell you the range of emotions I have experienced this weekend - but just in those two events, I must say that I am continually humbled by the effect that this work (Anger Solutions, Stress Busters, Getting Past Your Past - aka Transform[ED]) has on those who come in contact with it. My husband Steve asked me how it felt to have "celebrity status"... my only reply is that I couldn't care less about it. What is most important to me is the fact that in some small way, I am helping others to help themselves. If being somewhat of a celebrity helps that along - so be it... however, my passion is the work itself - and I am honoured to be gifted with the ability to serve others.
Another emotion or state of being that I experienced this weekend was that of "letting go". It is something that I encourage people to do via our various programs; however, I have been "holding on" to too much for far too long. This weekend away in the bush was as much about de-compressing my mind as it was relaxing my body. The "letting go" occured in stages - first just sitting on the dock in the quiet with my honey, admiring the serene beauty of Devil's Lake; then, canoeing around the pristine waters as the sun ducked low behind the horizon... Then, standing on the shores of a rocky point, lithely casting a lure out into the lake, hoping for a catch - and then again as I experienced the euphoric thrill of barrelling through the forest on the back of a 4-wheeler for the first time in my life... Every aspect of the experience was fantastic - and as I took in everything around me, I found that the burdens and cares I had carried to camp were quietly slipping away.

At the beginning of September at the CAASP retreat, I was given an "inspiration card", which encouraged me to "pray in solitude" in order to quiet the myriad of thoughts constantly running through my over-active brain. The weekend in the Sault allowed me to do just that - to get back in touch with who I am (without celebrity status, parenting responsibilities, business obligations, new programs being created in my head, and all of that). It was my opportunity to just breathe.

I am sure that in the days to come, as I review the hundreds of photos that were taken, and as I think about the many adventures we packed into one short weekend, that there will be some key lessons learned that I can share with you. But for today, please indulge me as I just bask in the after-effects of a wonderful time away from the everyday...

Our many thanks to the Canadian Mental Health Association of Sault Ste. Marie for inviting me to come and share my vision with their community. And of course, Steve and I cannot thank Sandy and Tom enough for their kind hospitality. Finally, I would be remiss if I did not say a special thank you to Taz (pictured here with Steve) and Wiley for making our stay at camp a warm and friendly time. With a little help from your friends, it is possible to slow down and catch your breath.