Archive for Freedom Posts

published in Achieving Your Dreams, Change, Dreams/Goals, Freedom, Inspiration by Maryanne | May 16, 2017 | 2 Comments

Courage is Contagious – The Power of Story

 

“Stand ON your story, not in it. Standing in our stories is another way so many of us stay stuck. But we can use our stories in a completely different way. When we climb up out of our stories and stand on them, instead of keeping us stuck, our stories support us.”

– Jo Dibblee, From Best Kept Secret to Success in Life, Love and Business

In late April, I was honoured to be one of the speakers at the Best Kept Secret to Success in Life, Love and Business two-day event in Parksville, BC – a “Frock-alicious life series event.”

Wow! It was a very powerful experience…transformational.

Jo Dibblee, the founder of the Frock-alicious life events, is also the author of the memoir, Frock-Off; Living Undisguised, as well as the book, From Best Kept Secret to Success in Life, Love and Business.

Jo is passionate about creating systemic change in lives, communities and the world by tapping into true purpose and calling. She celebrates joy, growth and success.

Best Kept Secret to Success in Life, Love & Business events are designed to move women from best kept secret to success in life, love and business. Over the two days, participants are given relevant tools, tips and strategies to see immediate impact and results. Jo hand-selects speakers to provide mini-workshops that will empower people with the resources to begin living Frock-aliciously.

All the sessions are interactive, engaging, and give women the momentum to move FORWARD. Each presentation helps allow people to assess their life as it is…and to dig deep and face whatever may be holding them back. The events are designed to help people identify and cut through any obstacles and get inspired again…enough to take ACTION!

As I mentioned in a previous blog, to “frock-off” means to shed whatever it is that might be holding us back in life. Our “frocks” can be the lies we tell ourselves – or they can be the truths from our past that are no longer serving us. Our frocks can be our stories, our excuses, our embarrassments, our habits, our coping mechanisms, our fears, our circumstances, our limiting beliefs.

The presentation I delivered in Parksville was entitled, “Courage is Courageous – Why Wait for a Wake Up Call?”

My key message was this: when we find the courage to share our stories – and what we’ve learned from our experience – our courage can inspire others to find their own courage.

Courage can be contagious…in a good way 😊

I spoke about the difference between staying stuck IN our stories versus standing ON our stories by choosing to learn and grow from our experiences, instead of getting trapped in a victim-mindset.

Our stories can have tremendous power that help propel us forward. But they can also act as anchors that hold us back and keep us from making the changes we know we need to make.

I have observed, over and over again, how our stories – the good, the bad, the ugly and the many lessons learned – can also encourage, inspire and empower others to reach down deep within themselves and find the strength and courage needed to make the changes they need to make in their own lives.

After delivering my presentation in Parksville, I asked the audience if anyone would like to share with the group about a change they know they need to make in their lives?

You should have seen how many hands shot up…but that’s the magic of a Frock-alicious event!

One woman came up to the front of the room, picked up the microphone, took a deep breath – and proceeded to tell us that she had come way too close to nearly taking her own life a month earlier.

She went on to say she knew she had a powerful message to share with others about mental health…and this event was the catalyst she needed to take the necessary steps forward to the life she knew she was capable of living.

Courage IS contagious. Sometimes when we lose our way, we also lose our courage. Or maybe we lose our way because we lost our courage somewhere along the way?

Or maybe it doesn’t matter which was lost first. Maybe what matters is that we find our courage again…through whatever story speaks to us.

I will be delivering my Courage is Contagious presentation at the Best Kept Secret to Success in Life, Love and Business event in Sylvan Lake, AB on Sept 15th and 16th, 2017.

Please click here for details.

At the Parksville event in April, I was absolutely blown away by the calibre of the other speakers. I will share some of what I learned from those powerhouse women in an upcoming blog 🙂

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here.

published in Animals, Beauty, Dogs, Freedom, Inspiration, Pets, Travel by Maryanne | March 22, 2016 | 6 Comments

Road Trip Warriors Rock Kingfisher Resort

 

MA and Sadie selfie with suspicious Sadie

Selfie of MA & Sadie (looking rather suspicious about this road trip business) in CRV, 2016

 “There’s no way around it, you need a car – ideally, one that runs faster than you do. But anything that moves forward will do.”

Cameron Tuttle, The Bad Girl’s Guide to the Open Road

Ball-obsessed retriever? Check.

Ball for ball-obsessed retriever? Check.

Swimsuit for owner of ball-obsessed retriever? Check.

Old, dirty, smelly but super-reliable and recently serviced dog-mobile CRV? Check.

Laptop? Not on your life.

Good to go. Ahhhh…there’s nothing quite like hitting the open road with a canine companion.

A few weeks ago, Sadie and I headed up-island to the lovely Kingfisher Resort & Spa in Courtenay, BC for a girl’s getaway. We had a blast!

Kingfisher Pool

Pool at Kingfisher, Courtenay, BC

“A road trip is about leaving it all behind – physically and mentally. You can’t escape the trappings of your life if you haul it all with you.”

Cameron Tuttle, The Bad Girl’s Guide to the Open Road

But there were rules (for me)…yes, that’s right: road trip RULES. And these were they:

#1 NO CHECKING E-MAIL

#2 NO CHECKING SOCIAL MEDIA

#3 NO GOING ANYWHERE NEAR CELL PHONE EXCEPT TO TAKE PHOTOS AND POST ON SOCIAL MEDIA TO SHOW PEOPLE HOW MUCH FUN WE’RE HAVING AMID SUCH BEAUTY

Seriously. Is this what we’ve come to? Sigh…it is what it is.

“After getting over the initial withdrawal of disconnecting from the internet, the calm and productivity you’ll experience will be unlike anything else.”

– Chris Bailey, The Productivity Project; Accomplishing More By Managing Your Time, Attention, And Energy

And I am pleased to report that, other than posting photos on social media, I did succeed at unplugging from technology for 3 whole days…and loved every second of it.

Mind you, the healing hydropath, delightful massage and soothing dips in the hot tub and pool didn’t hurt 🙂

“In reality, almost everything can wait.”

Richard Carlson, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Here are a few more pics:

Morning walk at KF

Morning walk at the Kingfisher

 

Sadie with ball at Kitty Coleman

Sadie with ball, Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens, Courtenay, BC

Unfortunately, shortly after this photo was taken, Sadie LOST her beloved ball in the river – which is when I realized I did not have a suitable (as in Sadie-approved) back-up ball for my ball-obsessed retriever. So in essence, Sadie (through no choice of her own) unplugged from her addiction, too.

At first, she seemed fine, perhaps even relieved to be free from the shackles of her obsession:

sadie without ball at Kitty Coleman

Later on, not so much:

Sadie with tiger stuffie

Sadie survived – but I wouldn’t say she thrived. A tiger stuffie is no substitute for a chuck-it ball.

Sadie with bamboo in back of car

And then, to add insult to injury, Sadie had to take the backseat to a hitchhiking bamboo plant we picked up on the way home.

“Whatever you do, do not clean the inside of your car along the way. The crap that accumulates on the floor – lottery tickets, bottle caps, cigarette butts, receipts, stale onion rings, ketchup packets, tacky souvenirs, ticket stubs, matchbooks with phone numbers – will be little treasures when you get home. Just holding a winning bingo card or sniffing a fossilized French fry can give you a quick hit of freedom, enough to prevent a mental meltdown when you’re back in the grind.”

Cameron Tuttle, The Bad Girl’s Guide to the Open Road

Hah! Ya gotta love a road trip…even when some bossy-boots makes up rules 🙂

Do you have a road trip story (that you’re allowed to share)? If so, I’d love to hear it!

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and the Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive Maryanne’s weekly blog, please sign up here. To subscribe to The Watering Hole e-zine (goes out about every 6 weeks), you can sign up here.

published in Freedom, Peace by Maryanne | November 10, 2015 | No Comment

 Reflections on Remembrance Day

 

poppies a

“We are the dead. Short days ago, we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow.”

– Major John McCrae, 1915

Since moving to Vancouver Island in 2010, my friend, Heather, and I and her girl’s – Taylor, Paige and Ella (and sometimes our friend, Holly, comes along, too!) – have created a bit of a Remembrance Day tradition.

We all dress up warmly and go to the cenotaph outside the legislature building in downtown Victoria for the 10:00am service. Afterwards we hoof over to our favourite restaurant, Pag’s, to devour a basket or two of their delicious bread and feast on pasta and Shirley Temple’s. Then we either head back to their place to drink tea and read by the fire – or I go home and do that on my own.

Either way, I really try to make sure Remembrance Day is a somewhat quiet day of rest and reflection.

“Remembrance Day,” writes journalist Pedro Arrais in the Times Columnist, “is a time to honour those who have served, and those who continue to serve, and to reflect on the horrors of war and the hope of lasting peace. While the focus in the past has been on members who served in the First and Second World Wars, Canadians have served and died in other conflicts since then, most recently in Afghanistan.”

I am extremely grateful for my peaceful life in Canada but I know the freedom that I enjoy on a daily basis didn’t come for free. It came at great cost – and still does. And the horrors of war aren’t just on the battlefield.

The Canadian armed forces have lost more personnel to suicide than those killed in combat in Afghanistan.

160 personnel have committed suicide between 2004 and March 2014. 138 were killed in combat during the 13-year Afghan mission.

In Flanders Fields poem

On this Remembrance Day, I will be taking a moment to send out a prayer of thanks to our Canadian soldiers – living and dead – and their families.

If you have a Remembrance Day tradition, I’d love to hear about it.

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and the Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive Maryanne’s weekly blog, please sign up here.