Shift Your Thinking – Launching a new community!


Susan Schenk and I are about 3 weeks from launching Shift Your Thinking community!  I need to remind myself when you start a new initiative that is a little different it takes TIME.  I need to be patient.  If you build it, they will come? I believe this.  I need to be patient.  I know this community is needed because I need it as a parent.  The many parents and experts we have talked with over the last 6 months have confirmed this for us.  I need to be patient. My hope is that we get to as many people as we can who are looking for this information by word of mouth and support from friends and family.  I need to be patient.

As my friends’ know, Thrive by Design was created to allow me to grow, learn and involve myself in projects that help people thrive.  This Thrive Family project checks off all the requirements. One of my take aways at the Thrive Summit in April, was the convergence concept that Jennifer Beale shared with the audience.  I really took it to heart because time for me is one of the most precious gifts I have.  By combining my family needs, collaborating with some amazing people and curating the latest research and experts to support families allows me to converge my necessity of supporting my family and helping others.  I am very grateful I met Susan Schenk a year and half ago because she helped me understand and support my family better in every way.  Her patience, insight and sincere passion  really helped me gain the confidence and tune into my own intuition to make thoughtful strong decisions for my family.  I want to share with other parents her talent and others like her from the rooftops.  There is no need to suffer, or worry endlessly, or question every decision you make.  I am the parent and I know what is best for my children.

I need to be patient.  This community movement will be across countries, diagnoses, cultures.  I cannot wait to see what this year brings! I need to be patient.  Check us out:

Thrive Summit — My Closing Remarks

ButterfliesYou have made a full day commitment to learn, meet new people, be creative, and have fun! I have been to many events/conferences and truthfully after a full day of amazing speakers, and a charismatic host. I do not recall to many closing remarks.  They usually include many thank yous, gratitude, a few stories about the day maybe it finishes with a quote or question?  There is nothing wrong this but again wanting to shake up things a little bit I was trying to think of some message that would wrap this whole summit up.  What I realized is that this is a good format!  The first section a thankyou, second section a story shared and the third section a call to action.  What could we do to help people remember the feeling in this room?

First Section – Thank you is in a separate blog post right before this one.

Thrive DefinitionSecond Part – Thrive is a word we have been using a lot today and certainly for Leigh and I over the last 2 months.  When I  start a new project or research. I usually start with looking up the definitions — prosper, growth are all words that come to mind when we think of thrive…but in this case the thrive definition does not cut it for me.  If your relationship or marriage is thriving there are images of amazing communication, physicality, passion, humor and joy.  If your business is thriving – you are making money, lots of customers, happy employees etc. The word thrive for me  is one of those words that have a lot of parts to it in order to truly achieve it.  I also love words that sound the way they make you feel when you say them like thrive, joy or gumption.

I was raised in a family where the goal was to have work and play be one and the same.  Removing the division between work and play meant true success.  The base of this Summit was built around the belief that if you can find something to do that you love it will no longer feel like work and it will just be your life. What is the impact of this?  It smudges out the line or division.  You play in your passion. Many naysayers will say it is not possible to make a livelihood with my joy or passion and I wholeheartly disagree. It is not easy, it is hard, it is scary, it is risky but it is possible.

You guys were the brave ones to witness and be part of our life and work fusion.  We have ate, slept, tweeted, posted and lived thrive for the last 2 months.  The summit was a great way for Leigh and I to maintain integrity in our message and live with priorities like self care, being present, connecting, getting out of our comfort zones and all the different tasks someone needs to do to thrive.

BenchHowever, there is one thrive practice that has helped me my entire life that I would like to share with you today.  Our inner clock ticks at a much slower speed than that of society.  Slowing our feet, our minds, our desires our impulses – stilling those things that drive us into faster and faster patterns of living will help open us to the transforming experience of waiting.  That’s right.  That is my pearl of wisdom.  The word waiting even has a negative connotation in today’s society. Such as lazy…My dear friend and mentor when I was sharing what I wanted to say today rightly asked –Do I as the co-creator of Thrive really want to be known for telling people the joy of waiting???  The way I define waiting could be being still or present or mindful.  It takes a lot of courage to wait.  When we are so concerned to keeping the line moving forward on the outside, pushing ahead, keeping up we do not realize that the cost of this frenetic pace and at the expense of inward motion and wellbeing and something deep within us “walks backwards”.

Hope for FlowersI would like to share a story that demonstrates This “internal walking backwards” it is a beautiful story about 2 caterpillars Stripe and Yellow becoming butterflies. Hope for the the Flowers.  By Trina Paulus

Before spinning their cocoon, they spent all their time (as did all the other caterpillars) climbing up a great column of “squirming, pushing caterpillars – a caterpillar pillar.” The point seemed to reach for the top.  No one knew what was up there.  They only hoped that the summit would offer them what they were looking for in life. But their existence was pretty frantic, with lots of rushing and straining. It boiled down to climb or be climbed on.  Sound familiar?

Finally, disenchanted with crawling up, Stripe and Yellow became still.  Soon they were at the bottom of the pile, relieved and comforted by their decision.

Yellow with CocoonYellow had seen another caterpillar spinning a cocoon and asked “if I decide to be a butterfly….what do I do?”  Watch me “ came the reply.  “I’m making a cocoon. It looks like I’m hiding  I know, but a cocoon is no escape. It’s an in-between  house where change takes place…During the change, it will seem…that nothing is happening, but the butterfly is already becoming.  It just takes time.  Yellow had been afraid, but she took the risk and spun her own cocoon later to emerge and unfold her wings.  These words have stuck with me all week – A cocoon is no escape….it just takes time.”

Butterfly PillarStripe has his own journey to figure out that is rightful place is to be a butterfly.  As he heard his own message he realizes that he misread his instinct to get high.  To get to the top he must fly not climb.  Stripe looked at each caterpillar inebriated with joy that there could be a butterfly inside.

To their delight, they found that the wings were the only way to get to the top.

Thus Stripe and Yellow made their deepest progress being still.

When I take the time to think and be quiet, pray or meditate we become in tune with the quiet and our thoughts.

One of the hardest things we found in promoting this Summit was addressing the questions is this a business or lifestyle event.  We are so quick to compartmentalize work and life.  Why is that?  Because for most of the people out there they are not happy with what they do for most of their day “called work”  There are some crazy stats out there and we are wondering why stress, anxiety, depression is growing at an alarming rate.  Just by you being here —our early adopters – you are aware and constantly working on smudging that line out.

3rd Section – Call To Action

Our goal of course was for you to at least come out with one task or tip you can assimilate into your daily life and work tomorrow. I would like to ask you to wait a little tomorrow and here that inward motion.

joyI would like to challenge you to continue to do and work and live your life with joy, no divider. Be the butterflies and share the message that it is possible!   For those that are in the cross roads, I challenge you to consider making a shift and find something that joy becomes a measure of your success.  This may mean having the courage to wait, listen and hear your inward motion.

If I had a glass I would raise it – and Toast.  Here’s to thriving On!

Thrive Summit — Thank you

Thank you ImageIt is hard to believe that a week ago we were knee deep in the Thrive Summit! Leigh and I have been putting back our home, paying bills, sending out thankyous and finishing loose ends.  I have had a vulnerability hangover the last 3 days.  My friend Shelagh finally helped me identify it.  I have been feeling a little blue but feeling much better today!



T – Thrivers who attended the Summit thank you for taking the time out of your busy day.

H – Helpers, Volunteers and Contributors from jewellry to flowers, to 3D Thrive Tips We seriously could not do it without you, literally from registration, to welcoming and directing people to finding my phone to helping us create an unconference for the first time!

A – Artists, Photography, Music and Video  talented people.  Carolyn Ellis and your beautiful graphical notetaking, Haia sharing her art with the group, Joanna Jordan sharing her music, Tina greeting everyone with her ukulele, Lisa sharing her view of Thrive from her camera and Siya capturing our keynote. To Alex sharing his amazing hands for chair massage.

N – Navigators and Nourishers – To all of our mentors, marketing evangelists, family and friends thank you for your guidance and patience as we worked to plan this event.

K – Kecha Pucha speakers, Exhibitors, and Mentors who contributed and supported the event with their expertise and knowledge. To Carol Schulte our host, WOW is all I can say. You did your homework! You embraced everyone in the room and really helped bring joy, laughter and connection to the day.

S – Sponsors – Thank you again for supporting community events like this to help spread the word.


Event – Coworking with WIBN and Shecosystems

WIBN Logo shecoystems

This weekly event is organized by Leigh Mitchell from WIBN and Emily Rose from Shecosystems.  Every week there is a mentor and a wellness activity lead by a wellness expert.  It is in the beautiful Artscape refurbished old school house.  If you want to surround yourself with incredible unique women where health and wellbeing is a priority, who all are looking for an alternative way to make a living but have our time and who are all working hard to figure out that balance between being a home- based entrepreneur and human interaction.  I love this event because I get some guidance, support, a wellness break or learn something and meet great people.  It is an event that converges all the things I love and help me thrive.  It is something I look forward to every week and I miss it when I do not go.  For more information:  We meet Tuesday mornings from 10-12pm.  I hope to see you there!

5 Love Languages – Gary Chapman – The Best Wedding Gift Ever

The_Five_Love_LanguagesThe 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman was given to us as a wedding gift. I started reading it about 4 months into my first year of marriage.  My husband and I had never lived in the same city let alone the same house.  We were figuring things out. I knew he loved me but I was not feeling loved or appreciated.  There were certain actions my husband did that I just did not understand.  For example, I was going away for a week I wanted to just sit and chat where my husband was outside cleaning my car!  There were many examples of this and once I read Chapman’s book I understood why!

Chapman refers to the “emotional love tank” and how if you know you and your partners love language you will understand how to keep that tank full.

There are 5 love languages:

  1. “Acts of Service” – consists of actions that take care of that person such as making the bed, taking the garbage out, cooking dinner or CLEANING MY CAR!
  2. “Physical Love” – This includes head scratches, back rubs, kissing, holding hands, and sex.
  3. “Quality Time” – You are face to face and undivided focused attention on you.  That would be me, need my QT team.
  4. “Gifts” – You must be thinking of someone to give a gift.  A gift is symbol of that thought.  It does not have to cost money.
  5. “Words of Affirmation” – express love emotionally is to use words that build up.  To express verbal appreciation for the things you like about the person.

Discover Your Love Language

You can identify your love language by answering the following questions:

  1. The question you ask yourself to figure out your own love language is the following:  List 4 or 5 things that you would make you feel loved when you walk into the house.
  2. What makes you feel most loved by your spouse? List 4 or 5 things…
  3. What have you most often requested of my spouse?
  4. How do you show your love to your spouse and children?

A couple of tips to discovering your love language:

    • One of the biggest clues – your spouse’s criticism of your behavior (not enough time, pick up your dishes)
    • Seldom does your partner have the same love language.  People speak different languages.
    • We tend to use our primary love language to give love.

I think the Love Languages has helped my marriage thrive.  After 15 years of marriage, looking back this framework has helped me understand my partner, my family and now my children in a way that I could help keep their emotional tanks full.

One of my goals every year is that I try to do an act of service for my husband every day.  There are some days that this is hard for many reasons but it has allowed me to think each day with a view of what can I do each day to feel up his tank.  It is also a way we communicate for example when I am feeling a little empty – I send him a note saying I need a little QT, usually within a day we will be sitting having a coffee, beer or visit with the TV off face to face.

I am off to get some QT with my hubby, let me know how love languages has helped you and your relationships OR if you are just discovering the love languages make sure you take the time to find out your love language.  There is an online quiz you can take to figure it out as well:

Why Thriving By Design

umbrella imagesI thought my first official blog post on my own site needed to be why Thriving by Design?  I love the word thrive.  I love words that sound what they mean.  I always have to start with definitions when I am working on material like this:

  • The definition of Thrive is to prosper or flourish and grow well regardless of circumstance.
  • The definition of Design is purpose, planning, or intention that exists or is thought to exist behind an action, fact, or material object.

To me, when you feel you are thriving you have most of the components of living well, hum with harmony.  In order for me to thrive, there needs to be intention,  planning and preparation and that is why the word design is perfect.  I want to create an umbrella, guidepost, backbone (not sure of the right image but you get my point) that every project I consider getting myself involved in, I know is going to help me and others Thrive.

I am ready for another crazy entrepreneurial ride! I hope you join me!