Today a story of how betterness has to win! Not a bad story just my facts and ways to build strength. Forgiveness does not have to mean you accept what has happened in your life that has been bad- to me it means learning to let go of things that do not serve my purpose well and being okay with my decisions.
Over the years I have put considerable thought into what “Living my best Life” means, when I started in the business world after College one of the first books that was recommended was the words and theories of Sun Tzu in the Art of War, So I read it and filed it away in my memory and balanced out my learning with life experience and adding the works of Nelson Mandela into my library of learning.
Nothing in life has challenged me like the last 5 years – I will explain further in a moment. The works of Tzu, Mandela and Brene Brown who is a researcher of Shame, Courage and Bravery top her well rounded literature works.
This is my opinion-To fall in love with life- you are one of the lucky few who unlocked the secret of happiness and can catapult yourself into the life you want. This you will not read in any book- it simply is the day in and out grind of getting things right sometimes and wrong others. A series of risks to uncover diamonds in the rough.
To explain my 5 years comment, Tzu has a famous saying “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”! Sounds dark and intimidating, but I was reminded of this when I read “Mr. Wonderful’s” aka Kevin O’Leary’s post last week- “You must understand- Business is WAR”! This time I could easily apply this learning to my life experience.
In 2015 I had to fold a business, which I am sure many others have had too as well during the pandemic- it is heartbreaking when this happens. The reasons for the fold were something that small businesses everyday succumb to. I was very much a person who lived for the moment putting every last penny into keeping the business operational and living life on the road, there were trade offs all the time to make things work. Darren and I were busy raising our daughter and I was doing water sport every waking moment I could get to keep up my training. My main supplier of my business called me one day when I was getting home from a training camp for sprint kayaking letting me know they were in trouble when the import market shifted and their largest contracts were lost. Trouble actually meant bankruptcy protection and all assets frozen- financially. I was not given any advance warning – like most people are not- thats just business.
As a very private person – I did not talk much about what shit what hitting the fan- I just dug in and looked for other contracts. Well this is where the “Art of War” came in. My competitors were very quick to let all my customers know of my supplier trouble and it was not long before I could no longer bid any contracts without being thrown out. The federal government was 80 percent of my portfolio. So, in a nutshell (enough said) I hung on too long to transition from my own business to working for another company, it was an extensive bleed. The Art of War, allowed me to unravel and see what was happening in a make sense way.
When I did finally get my head wrapped around finding a new company, things stabilised briefly. I personally trusted the executive team, knowing them from years of previous business. This was a family business grown into a multi million, multi branched Global enterprise- with a grass root success story. An owner with beautiful intention – to pass on legacy to his family. However with anything big comes lots of politics.
It was not long before I made the decision to take a leave of absence from this company (2017) when my mother was diagnosed with aggressive Acute Myeloid Leukaemia and my sister was 8 months pregnant with her first child. There are just the two of us girls and both my sister and mother were residents of Ontario and I lived in Nova Scotia. To make a decision to give up a salary, risk removing yourself from the market was not something I had the power to consider. My own daughter, mother and sister had to take priority-Darren held the fort down in Nova Scotia while we went all over doing what needed to be done on the medical side. My mother lived 4 months after the diagnosis. She was not a lady with much by material means but a women who got life- through lived experiences and she revealed in giving people things.
This was when Brene Brown came into my life, my mother gave my daughter the book “Gifts of Imperfection”. Brooklyn was choosing her University and it just so happens it was in the same city mom’s hospital was. The campus of Queens University and Kingston General Hospital are in the same vicinity. It is hard to believe we are now heading into Brooklyn’s graduating year at Queen’s . As parents we are proud of her accomplishments and look forward to seeing her progression in life. We travelled Brooklyn many places in the world and she has been exposed to so many cultures so I have no doubt we gave her wings to fly!
As much as Brene Brown has helped me understand a few things-it was not long before my learning of Sun Tzu was reinforced when I returned home to try and return to work. Remember I said I am a private person, my love of water and knowing what frees me has been both self discovery (a key to unlocking who i am) and keeping my sanity during times of despair. Keeping my work life, seperate from my private life was very important to me.
Upon returning to my normal life, dynamics changed dramatically at work and it was not long before I was no longer part of a team equation. When companies are very large -head offices are very different from local branch locations. I had just come out of the fight of my life with mom and my decision making processes had been redesigned by my life experiences.
The thing about politics and the design of your success- is it is not 100 percent about your effort- Sun Tzu-the weapon chart identifies rationale on how and why Sarcasm/Rudeness/Lying/Insincerity/Truth and influencing your personal circle of friends and family can all be used against you to gain advantage or advance you in life to strengthen your reputation. Unfortunately- if you have someone in a position of authority introduce the seed of doubt and it has been planted deep enough – lies can become truth to the masses. Have you ever put a group of small children in a circle to play the game secret – about 12 of them? The first child 🧒 is given a secret and they must share it with one other child. By the time it goes through everyone, its wild what the secret has turned into.
Still recovering from the loss of my company in 2015 financially, loss of my mother in 2017 and leaving a corporate career in 2018, I started Live Blue Consulting in 2019 and spent my remaining resources on retraining to take me into a planned career transition. Water, self discipline of getting up every day early mornings to condition myself further- I put some weight on while taking care of my life situations. 2019, 2020 and 2021 I had very dedicated self discipline routines, I did not feel the need to share everything I did because this is a self journey towards a greater plan and I do not have the type of personality where everyone has to like me or approve of what I am doing. Some may view me as “rogue”. I will never be bored because I have too many loves. If I have to justify why I love to take care of myself or spend time with myself, as Mya Angelo put it- you don’t belong in my kitchen cupboard of people for my future.
Shortly after I started my new business- the pandemic hit! As a career transitioner I have taken a mud bath “sort of speak” – Art of War again. I took on a business contract in 2019 where i gave 100 percent and in return ended up in a situation where my reputation was muddied and I learned more lessons. Never do anything in business unless you have it in writing…….. Whatever sink hole I stepped in – the last couple years I have had my water gear stolen repeatedly, hang up phone calls at my house non stop, police involved because of stalking, dehumanizing behavior you cannot even imagine- you can equate it to – if a picture does not exist, neither do you! Someone at Tim Hortons actually slammed the door in my face locally and held it shut- while looking through the glass door at me (an older man I do not know) Shame on every level for loosing a business has been pushed in my face, when this happens you cannot trust the environment around you. My business files were all deleted off my computer, and my computer hijacked while in the process of me using it. Yes this hard to believe- so as people did not believe me when I was asking for help – I resorted to trusting myself and making sure I was doing the things I love. All things. Training and Water…….. Time with family when I can get it, as they live far away.
Through the shit storm those diamonds in the rough you uncover about yourself, is what will save you. Just like I will survive so will you if you are experiencing hardship.
Brene and my mother taught me- what someone else thinks of me in non of my business. Sun Tzu taught me to have wide open eyes and the power an enemy can have, Mandela taught me no matter how hard it gets – have conviction in your beliefs and do not back down. These people have all led very different lives then I have but we are all the same in the sense that knowledge is power and understanding there is love and growth in every moment you are alive.
Today is Sunday as I write this, I will watch the last F1 race of the season and tonight’s Grey Cup. F1 I am addicted too, Grey Cup is I just love to watch people compete no matter the sport. Sports can propel you into something much larger and global- moments in the training build grit, perserverance and knowledge. Mostly self awareness and integrity to create your best self. I am not bitter for the things that have made me grow in life- I am just more aware of what things I can control and things I cannot control.
Live your best life and uncover your diamonds in the rough- they will help you when you hit a hard day.
Live well and embrace life- don’t be the victim by wanting more!
MAX Verstappen ……. World Champion in F1 2021- amazing race. I cried for you in happiness. serious grit………
PEREZ-Showed the best teamwork skills of the year in my opinion. A symphony of moves to slow Hamilton played beautifully.
LEWIS Hamilton- A winner in anyone’s book – all around great to watch and listen to.
Personal Trainer, Diabetes Exercise Specialist, Advanced Natural Nutrition and Women’s Health Coach
Live Blue Consulting
Helping people with Diabetes connect to “Their Best Life”