Here we are in June. It is the end of the school year and for many there will be a graduation to celebrate. The celebration of a new level of a journey. Excitement, apprehension and relief is flooding in to all those new graduates.
Last year I had the honour of attending my great-nephew's 8th grade graduation.
The year his elementary school opened it’s brand new doors I walked through them as a grade 6 student myself. It made me smile as I looked around and had special memories flooding in.
As the ceremony unfolded I watched and listened as the students came up to receive their awards. The teachers shared the students special qualities as they gave out the awards.
My training in Soul Genesis™ gave me insights on some of the recipients and their special qualities that are part of their soul blueprint.
One student was applauded for their curiosity to ask the question, “why, what, how come”. The teacher remarked on how insightful this was as a 6th grader. This ability to ask questions to find solutions was out of the norm, for many of this age. Meanwhile, I am doing an imaginary fist pump. I am thinking how that child is embracing their eternal pattern of curiosity to the fullest.
Another student was applauded for having tremendous organization skills. It was mentioned this skill is not always clear in middle school. That made my heart sing a kindred spirit song, as organization is my eternal pattern. I was thinking this child is being celebrated for their strengths and will now remember it as a gift.
There was a shy young girl who stood on the stage, waiting quietly with a smile. The comment was 'although shy she could stand strong’ and was helpful to others. I often remark to those who have this in their blueprint - “quiet does not mean lack of strength. It means you go about taking action in a softer manner that is very effective.”
There was the stubborn learner. One who was resistant to new ideas but became the most enthusiastic learner in the grade. Communication was another award to which a middle school student excelled. Again the comment was this was beyond the normal behaviour of this age. It was interesting to see what is viewed as resistant or out of the norm, was in fact a wonderful coping strategy. This strategy is part of their blueprint and will serve these children throughout their lives.
My nephew earned an athletic award. The teacher remarked “he knew how to have fun and let go of the competition” and yet managed to excel at the sport. I observed how his humour and ability relaxes those around him.
The valedictorian speech was given by my great nephew and another student. They spoke about what they had learned and that in 30 years from now it won’t matter the clothes they wore. They talked about what is important, is the friends they surround themselves with.
The principal then spoke directly to the grade 8 students. He talked about how grade 9 will require new levels of learning and commitment. And they may feel it is hard to be confident. He encouraged them to take the positive opportunities when they come their way.
I marvelled at these young 8th grade graduates. Stepping up to take their position as part of the global transition team. Ready to be leaders, players, influencers, and game changers. I believe the planet is in good hands!
I sat there and thought, "Wow, here I am 50+ years later and some things stay the same. Could that principal be speaking to me, Barbara the grownup?"
As adults are we not fearful when we are asked to step into the unknown like those 8th graders?
Our higher grade may be a new position in our career, taking more responsibility in our life.
Our decisions, behaviour and choices are influenced by family, friends and community. We will make different choices or hold to set patterns through these experiences. Either way knowledge is gained.
This grade 8 graduation was a lovely trip down memory lane. There were lots of insights about my growth over the many decades. How at that age I would never have imagined all the learnings I have experienced. I am so grateful that I have learned about my soul design. This understanding explains what I choose to learn, and what I choose to do with that knowledge. All to express myself in an authentic manner.
So my friend, have you had the opportunity to sit in an auditorium this graduation season? Whether you have or haven’t can you imagine your 8th grader self?
Are you still curious or have you become less so over the years?
Are you a resistant learner or have you become the person who will jump in and say “let’s do this?”
Are you worried about what others think?
Have you surrounded yourself with people who are lifting you up and celebrating your wins?
Have you taken those positive opportunities that have been presented? If not, why not?
Are you familiar with your built in coping strategies for life?
Or, are you curious and would like to learn more?
Let’s travel down the 8th grade memory lane together.
If you would like to explore the wonderful unique grown up 8th grader who has passion, plans and purpose - I would love to chat with you about blueprints, patterns, coping strategies and all the wonderful facets that make you, YOU! Check your schedule and then hop on over to my digital calendar to schedule a discovery call.
I look forward to speaking with you soon and travelling down memory lane!
Until next time,
Well, Mercury, is all everyone is talking about these days.
I don't mean Freddie Mercury although he is a hot topic. What I am referring to is Mercury retrograde (RX)! About 3 times a year the planet Mercury takes center stage. Planets can not go backward. Mercury retrograde refers to the relative positions of the planet and Earth. And how they are moving around the Sun which gives it the appearance of a retrograde.
Mercury RX gets the bad rap for our computers getting flaky. The email that was misinterpreted and when our systems go awry. We are warned not to sign contracts or start new businesses during this time.
Seriously how can one planet transit get such a bad rap! And what can we do about it other than taking to our beds?
I am not interested in debating the existence of retrogrades. But, I happened to get curious about the energy of a planet transit and how it affected me. It was my current relationship to the Mercury RX and wondered if it was affecting you too?
During a Mercury RX it often appears that things come to a complete stop.
When you have had previous success in something and now it's stalled, you scratch your head and ask why?
What is different?
Nothing seems to have changed.
The project was running so well last week and now it seems one delay after another.
It may be you are experiencing challenges around a relationship that is blossoming. Both individuals feel excited about the possibilities of where this could lead. And then, all of a sudden miscommunication have you arguing about what was said. And what was meant? Perhaps you want to connect with someone. And you know that connecting with that person would be such a benefit to both of you. Yet your calendars just don't match.
This past while I have been really focusing on systems. Oh yes, those who know me will say "I know...your eternal pattern of organization is activated yet again." And you would be partially right.
It is different in this instance as I do not want to get more organized.
But rather, I am looking for deeper meaning in certain aspects of how I am currently navigating life. I am journaling questions that have popped into my head. Which leads me to do deep healing and clearing of past traumas and wounds.
All to get to the bottom of why!
Behold the Mercury RX!
The energy around a retrograde has us wanting to go more inward. We find ourselves internalizing everything.
To me, a retrograde means the perfect time for review, reflect and rethink!
The systems I am looking at is not necessarily business steps, like the ones I will follow to finish my taxes. Or those I will I use to engage with my community to share knowledge.
I am exploring systems (or adaptation patterns) I have created to help my soul express itself. This, of course, shows up in both my business and my personal world.
Since March 5 I have been reviewing these aspects. I have been going over my business systems to tweak them for more consistency. While my coping pattern for change gets activated as I make lists.
I take a step back from list building to reflect what is working and what is not. The systems that are not working will need to go. I am required to rethink how to move forward with new plans in place.
Lately, I have noticed my energy is laced with frustration, anxiety, and self-criticism. With a good sprinkling of self-doubt. Can you relate?
As an entrepreneur, our businesses are an extension of who we are. What shows up in our personal life is mirrored back in our business and vs versa.
The current retrograde prepares us for a huge energy shift happening later on this month.
We can use the opportunity of this slow-paced retrograde to do the inner work in preparation.
During the retrograde time we often see the patterns appearing.
We will think to ourselves "I thought I dealt with that". And you may have on one level. The fact you see it again says that only part of it was healed. When we are releasing or purging the stuff from our past, we are unpacking the trauma. Did we heal it completely? Or was there some self-sabotage involved that kept it from being completely dealt with.
We only heal what we can consciously deal with at that specific time. So the wound appears again for us to process it and heal layer by layer. When we physically, emotionally or mentally experience past pain, trauma or wound, we can with a full intent release and heal them.
A Mercury retrograde creates the energetic supportive environment to:
- REVIEW what is needed to be released.
- REFLECT on what have been healed in the past and what is left to address now.
- RETHINK our methods moving forward - allow time to integrate the wisdom gained.
I now have a different view on all things Mercury!
While Freddie Mercury shone a light on hidden topics and brought people together with his music. Mercury Retrograde shines a light on hidden aspects of ourselves to reflect and heal so we can continue to move forward.
Either way, I would say "We are the Champions!"
I am happy to help,
I can’t join you at the Freddie Mercury Karaoke night!
I CAN help you with gaining clarity and focus during this Mercury Retrograde.
Until next time,
Your Guide Through Life Transitions
A few short years ago I was in a place in my life that was a transition. The hallway of this transition felt like my darkest hour.
My husband and I were getting ready to move across the country when he ended up in a hospital having his leg amputated. That was not the darkest hour. After his surgery, he had a near-death experience and no; that too, was not the darkest hour. I was in the middle of selling our home, packing up our belongings and literally had no place to live. Nope - that too was not my darkest hour.
So you are asking "for the love of God what was my darkest hour?"
It was being so overwhelmed of all that was coming at me where I was literally frozen with fear and indecision. I was, however, thankful my husband did not die. I was thankful our house was sold. I was thankful I was organized and could pack a home by myself.
But to feel the gratitude, now that was a stretch. The only thing I could feel was my energy collapsing, my vitality for life diminishing.
One morning I realized I wanted to be grateful for my life and to live with joy again. That is when I decided to get out a journal and start writing about everything I WAS grateful for in my life......
There are 2 things you may not think you would find in a hallway of darkness. Gratitude, and a way to express it which can be accomplished through journaling.
Did you know gratitude and journaling are “get out of the dark free cards”?
I know, I accept when you are really stuck you may not have the energy to actually write anything down. And don't even get me started on the fuzzy brain to look around and see anything to be thankful for. I would like to invite you to open your mind to a possibility; perhaps it is not as difficult as you may think.
A gratitude journal is a way to focus on positive actions in your life. Especially when you are feeling the positive train just left you standing at the station.
Your journal can be written in a lovely book, it can be an audio recording or typing on a device. If you don't like the sound of your voice or seeing yourself in a video then writing your gratitude moments is probably the better choice. If you like to do things on the go then using an app on your phone may be the ticket.
Choose the method which feels appropriate for you so you can remain engaged and committed.
This is your journey of joy so pick the one that makes your heart flutter with excitement.
You may be asking, but how exactly does keeping a gratitude journal help move me out of the hallway of no thanks?
I started by jotting down anything in the day I felt grateful for. My grateful list varied from having a dispenser for packing tape that worked properly to seeing my husband healing quickly after his surgery.
I decided I would journal before I went to bed each evening. This action was like a mind dump. Instead of laying my head down on the pillow to rehash what didn't work through the day, I was able to smile and see all the positive things I had experienced. I felt calmer and slept soundly.
My gratitude list grew. In the beginning, I would struggle to see 5 items to write down but soon I could have a page full of thankful moments. As my day unfolded I would find myself swapping a "what now?" to "now what!"...with positive curious anticipation of the opportunity to practice a moment of thanks.
Some evenings I would flip through the pages and I would read all my grateful moments. I could feel my energy brighten as I relived all those wonderful times.
I am able to read over past entries when I need a boost, to be able to see the many times I have been grateful.
I acknowledge situations can turn out better than expected. And when something didn't show up that I was anticipating, I had a record of something better that did!
One important thing I learned along the way was not to judge the length of the list. It did not matter if I could fill a page or only write down one thing. It was focusing on the feeling that was activated in me in the particular moment. The feeling was happiness, joy, and love.
I began to realize what was truly important in my life and what was not. It certainly prepared me for letting go, when I acknowledged areas in my life that were not working for my highest good. I knew when I released anything, something better came to fill the void.
And you know why I understood that?
Because I had written proof time and time again. That was so empowering!
What do you write in a gratitude journal if you are not seeing much to be thankful for?
Do you need a little jump start?
Let me shine a light in your dark hallway so you can see some grateful moments. Click on the button below to receive your jump start. There is no opt-in required.
I am happy to help!
I can't help pick out your new journal.
I can help you jump start what to write in it.
Until next time,
Your Guide Through Life Transitions
Giving thanks when all you see is darkness ahead.
October is the month that we in Canada celebrate Thanksgiving. Families and friends gather to eat together. This is a huge time that focuses on family, friendship, togetherness and giving thanks. It is the dream holiday for the greeting card and travel industries.
The reality is that many people are not feeling the gratitude. They may be standing in a hallway that is not feeling too cheerful. Some may be in the hallway alienated from family, experiencing job loss or financial difficulties. This may be the first major holiday without a loved one.
When I have been standing in a dark hallway, my thought might be why bother?
Why bother to give thanks if I am not feeling like anything I have asked for, attempted to manifest or dreamed about is here?
Have you ever felt that way too?
The hallway of no thanks is one I like to exit quickly.
Just as I have experienced the feeling of no gratitude, I have also had the joy in what is created when I am feeling thankful.
Making a slight pivot can create the energy of seeing more in my life to be thankful for than what I first thought.
I use the time in the hallway for some reflection.
Let’s face it when you are in the hallway you aren’t really not moving, so might as well use the downtime for some good old pondering as to the why. Right?
One way to reflect is to see how areas of your life can be impacted with gratitude.
In your emotional body gratitude helps you to be more relaxed. You begin to feel much better and more hopeful. Your resilience becomes stronger to see that you have the stamina to walk through your hallway. Self-esteem builds with strength and often just taking the breath to make a tiny step will lead to larger steps.
Your health will improve with gratitude. Your sleep improves, your mood is elevated and of course, your energy is higher. You find that you are not becoming ill as often and can actually fulfill your daily duties with more grace and ease.
With your vitality supercharged you will see improvements in your career and relationships. Your confidence will be aligned to make clear, focused decisions that will improve your managing of projects or co-working in a team.
The first small step is to reach out to a hallway partner. The secret to that is to choose only the people who will be your cheerleader. A close friend, a family member, or mentor who is not trying to “fix” anything but is going to be holding space for as you get your bearings.
Holding space can mean just listening, being a sounding board and will only provide advice or comments when asked. When we give thanks to those people in our life our relationships deepen. They are thankful to be able to be of support and you are thankful that you have someone in the hallway with you.
Yes, it may be that you cannot actually see the gratitude in all of your life areas at the moment. The consideration is then to observe if there is even one area in your life that gratitude may be applied and give thanks for it.
It may be as simple as “I am grateful for each breath I take”.
Another technique I have used during my most challenging time in the hallway of no thanks is to get my energy moving.
As my energy starts to move, I begin to gain stamina and calmness that allows me to pay attention to the positive actions in my life.
I am happy to help!
I can’t help you with your Thanksgiving turkey.
I can help you step out of the hallway of no thanks,
with a positive energy flow that you can be thankful for.
As my personal thank you,
I have made a little something to help you get your energy moving.
Go ahead and watch no opt-in is required.
Until next time,
Your Guide Through Life Transitions
Summer is over and everyone is getting back to schedules and routines. This year is a biggie as you may be having a child entering into the school system for the first time, or, it could prompt a walk down memory lane of past years.
The excitement of the shiny new backpack, lunch kit and outfit soon turns into crying and resistance…and that is just you! Your child may be having the easier time.
It is a huge life transition that first time we see out little precious child off to school. Having the anxiety of will they be ok? Who will they sit with at lunch? Will they make friends? Are they prepared enough to be without our help? (aka hovering) And if they have to take a school bus, well that is just a full blown parent meltdown right there.
Does any of this ring a bell? (No school bell pun intended.)
Well, let me tell you a true story about the resilience of a child, the strategy of a parent and the success during change.
Despite my helicopter parenting our child did manage to grow up and have a well adjusted life. Our son is now 34 years old. He has a great career, lovely partner and lots of friends. He is our first born and like most first borns a cautious child. Yes as a first time parent I hovered, I did enjoy seeing him play in the park but I was always on high alert for something that might harm him.
And then it became THAT DAY.
In our area they had just introduced Junior Kindergarten and so at the tender age of 5 he would be attending morning school. I was a stay at home mom which meant he did not have any daycare experience. I did go out and have babysitters however it was not all day every day. We began the introduction of school. The chats about how amazing school is, the fun and friends that would be experienced, all of this to alleviate my anxiety more than his.
Then the unspeakable happened.
Three weeks before the start of school he fell ill. I rushed him off to the hospital one morning, my husband remaining at home with our younger daughter. I stood in a sterile room with a young intern who announced our son had diabetes.
It felt like someone kicked me in the stomach. The room felt devoid of any oxygen and the voices seemed far away. My mother had been diagnosed with terminal cancer several weeks earlier and I had just returned from spending time with her. I announced I can only deal with one disease at the time so no I don’t think I can do this. In that moment the Paediatric Endocrinologist entered took one look at the wild eyed woman and announced find this woman a seat and a cup of tea!
In that moment I began to breathe, I sat down, drank the tea and waited for my husband to arrive. It was quite the whirlwind of activity that day. Our son was admitted to hospital for about a week. In a blink of an eye we were to transition from being parents to become experts on diabetes, nutrition, psychology and every medical practice known to man. Well...it felt like that!
As we met in the Paediatrician’s office to discuss all things diabetes. She started to discuss schedules, routines and the importance of eating on time, preplanning outings and the list got longer and longer. My husband starts to laugh at which the Dr. says in a rather stern voice, “Mr Ptak, this is a very serious situation you know.” The chuckle gets louder as my hubby wraps his arm around me in a hug and replies “Ya Doc, meet the Queen of Routine, nothing in our house is about to change.”
Yes I am that woman. I love being organized and planning and schedules… lists, and routines, and colourful sticky notes everywhere till everyone around me is driven mad.
Yup, a truth bomb right there folks!
Well, our son came home and we did settle into a new norm. It was not without challenges, tears, frustration, bouts of overwhelm and waves of fear. But as time went on it did get easier and as I said earlier he did grow up and is healthy and happy.
The school year started and that first day was mixed emotions, happy, fear, anxiety, joy, excitement and it cycled to each one several times. Now remember it is only the morning school so from 9:00 till 11:30 and he was in the awesome care of a seasoned Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Cooper. We had met before hand to come up with a strategy that we could all agree upon and our main objective was kid first, diabetes second. It was in that moment in the hospital when our son asked was this forever and I replied “yes and you can control your diabetes it does not control you.” (in a more kid friendly way I recall.) It must have worked because he has always managed his diabetes in a balanced way (somewhat like a cautious first child he is) while not letting it stop him from having a full life..
I did not know then what I know now, but it is my stress pattern of being organized that helped me through one of the most difficult times in my life. The routines and schedules that I loved was actually helping me parent a diabetic child through one of his most difficult life transitions.
I could see it was helpful. It became my barometer as to how overwhelmed I was when I only wanted to make lists and organize stuff….the busy work so I could stuff down any emotions that were bubbling to the surface. When a situation that was not planned (or on the list) I could either go into a tailspin of trying to control it or allow it to unfold. Sometimes it flowed sometimes I held on so tight my hands hurt, either way I got new understanding from it. That new understanding helped propel me forward and take action.
We all have a pattern that we default to during stress time.
Stress can be sending a child off to school for the first time. It can be a parent deciding which lunch kit will be easier for them to manage. It can be standing in a room having the air sucked out of you as life altering news is delivered. It can be choosing which sticky notes will look best as you design and plan your month.
It is all about how we view stress, deal with it or choose to ignore it. The truth is that stress is there for a purpose. It will propel you into taking action and even not taking action. Which is still an action! Ponder that one for a while. (insert large smile)
I would invite you to ask yourself:
If you seem to have a “pattern” to your stress times in the questions you ask, and the behaviour in the response you may benefit from learning how stress helps you. How it motivates you, or, how it can prompt resistance that will create more opportunities for understanding your stress strategy.
I am happy to help!
I can’t help you pick out the coolest lunch bag.
I can help you understand your strategy pattern for stressful times.
Until next time,
Your Guide Through Life Transitions