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published in Uncategorized by Maryanne | November 13, 2019 | No Comment

The Merits of Setting an Intention

 

My star sales associate, Ella

“By setting our motivation strongly in the morning when our mind is fresh and clear, we are much more likely to remember it during the day and act with that intention.”

– Dalai Lama

Ahhh…the things we learn from experience

For this year’s First Chance Christmas Craft Show in Sidney, BC (Nov 9th & 10th), I set up my “Pink Gazelle Cards & Creations” display table on Friday night (with help from my tiny but mighty friend, Terri) instead of Saturday morning, before the show began. This turned out to be a brilliant move because it made Saturday less tiring and more enjoyable.

Another thing I did differently this past weekend was to set an intention on Saturday morning. I did this while I was relaxed and drinking my coffee by the fire. Truth be told, I hadn’t intended on setting an intention 🙂 but my yoga instructor’s voice popped into my head (he always suggests we set an intention at the beginning of class…mind you, he’s kinda hot so that might also be why he popped into my head). Anyway, I thought I’d give it a try for the craft show. And the one-word intention that bubbled to the surface was…

Connection. 

Okay, that’s kind of a lie. The first word that actually popped into my pea brain was SALES. As in…I wanna sell lots of stuff this weekend!

But then my higher self (or whatever you want to call that part of our psyche who cares about making the world a better place) gently reminded me that maybe, just maybe, what’s also important this weekend (based on past craft show experience) is to connect with people…by saying hello, asking them how they are doing, listening to their answer, and (if applicable) taking the time to explain what our products are, why they exist and who they are suitable for.

And if sales come from those connections, great. But I know from past experience it’s often the people who don’t buy a single item from me who are the ones that most need to make some sort of meaningful connection.

In other words, I released (sort of…I mean, I’m still an entrepreneur and sales are kinda necessary) the expectation of sales coming as the result of my primary intention of connecting with the people who stopped by my booth.

But by putting the intention of connecting first and sales second, this seemed to shift something because we ended up selling an awful lot more product than past shows.

I think another reason for this was an e-mail sent out by Jantina, the show organizer, to all vendors a few days before. She had written something to the effect of: “YOU are your best advertising for your table. A smile and saying hello can go a long way. And stay off your phone unless absolutely necessary.”

I took all three suggestions to heart (okay, my star sales gazelle Ella, 11, may have had to physically remove the phone from my hand once or twice) and what a difference. More meaningful connections happened, the days went by much faster and our sales more than doubled.

Ella in action

Here’s an example of a connection made…

To display our “A Wolf Called Nakoda” story (about the wolf John and I sponsored, who was shot the week before John died…it’s a fundraiser for the JPMF & Wolf Awareness), I used this beautiful photo of a wolf (I don’t have a photo of Nakoda):

I had forgotten that I’d bought this print from a vendor (a wildlife photographer) at the same craft show a few years ago. And low and behold, that wildlife photographer was at the show this past weekend and came over, introduced herself and told me the story of the wolf in the print (a sea wolf who lives on an island just off Oak Bay in Victoria, BC).

You can check out her stunning wildlife photographs on her Facebook page: Photos in Nature by Nancy

Wildlife Photographer: Photos in Nature by Nancy

“A Wolf Called Nakoda” story sells for $9.95 ($2 to JPMF & $2 to Wolf Awareness) and can be ordered through our Etsy store. If you know a wolf-lover, this is a thoughtful gift. Yes, it’s a sad story…unfortunately that’s often what it takes for change to come about.

Saucy Mrs Claus Photo Shoot

Just to follow-up on something I mentioned in last week’s blog: the professional photographer, Roxanne Low, did in fact photograph me & my wares on Saturday morning. Those photos aren’t ready yet but I think it fair to warn you that the snaps of me in my Mrs Claus outfit are…well, let’s just say our photo shoot was an awfully fun way to start the day 🙂

“How you start your day is how you live your day. How you live your day is how you live your life.”

– Louise Hay

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

 

published in Uncategorized by Maryanne | May 28, 2019 | 7 Comments

Tuckered in Toronto

 

MA & Phyl at Chelsea Hotel in Toronto, ON

“Let’s start by taking a smallish nap or two.

– Winnie the Pooh

I made my annual trek to take my Aunt Phyl from Guelph to Toronto last week…

And spent a significant amount of time sound asleep in one bed or another.

What a concept…to rest before one gets sick! But I dare say it worked. I am feeling more relaxed and rested than I have in a long time.

Phyl technically isn’t my Aunt. She’s one of my Mom’s dearest friends. They graduated together from Nursing School at the Ottawa Civic Hospital in 1949. So although I don’t have my Mom to hang around with anymore, I do still have her BFF…and how cool is that?!

Phyl is sharp as a tack. We chatted for hours on end about life, love, family, politics, climate change, religion, healthy eating…you name it, we probably touched on it.

My eldest brother, Pat, and his partner, Mary (who flew in from Finland where she is working as a geologist), met up with us at the Chelsea Hotel in Toronto. Over three days, the four of us chatted, drank coffee, relaxed, drank more coffee, ate, went to see the Come From Away musical at the Elgin Theatre (it was excellent), met up for dinner with a few other friends, ate some more…and, of course, slept.

Phyl & her Hummer of a walker…it was an adventure walking THAT down Yonge Street at lunch hour 🙂

 

Pat, Mary & Phyl in the Distillery District

 

Pat & Mary

Meanwhile back at the ranch (the acreage belonging to my brother, George, and his wife, Donna, near Strathmore, Alberta), Sadie was happy as a clam under their care, relentlessly squeaking her new Lambchop toy, nibbling the tops off their brand new peony plants (sigh) and waking them up at 5:30 a.m. just…because. This might explain why I was actually able to sleep in, while in Toronto.

Sadie slightly tired after training a new household

As for why I was so exhausted in Toronto, it was the wise & wonderful 93-year-old Phyl who put her finger on it. Our conversation went something like this:

“Gee,” I said after yet another 2-hour mid-afternoon nap in the middle of downtown Toronto, “I can’t figure out why I’m so tired.”

To which Phyl looked at me, incredulous, raised one eyebrow and said, “Well…let’s recap. After seven years of constant noise, you finally sold your home in Sidney, packed up all your belongings, put them in storage and then proceeded to travel and live here, there and everywhere for 18 months with an elderly dog. Then you bought a new house, are still trying to unpack AND get rid of excess stuff, whipping a new garden into shape and hosting out-of-town visitors every weekend…all the while working full-time on mentally demanding projects.”

“Well, when you put it like that,” I said, “maybe I have been trying to do too much.”

Up went the other eyebrow.

“My head does feel a bit fuzzy,” I confessed. “I can’t seem to think as sharply. It’s like my brain is tired.”

“You,” she said, “need to learn how to RELAX! You know how to have fun, I’ll give you that. But I think you would really benefit from taking things a bit more slowly. In the long run, you’ll get a lot more done.”

I reckon you don’t get to 93 without learning a thing or two about life. As such, I am going to take Phyl’s advice and try and chillax a little more often.

Now if I could just get my Retriever to sleep in once in awhile 🙂

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is 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. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life.

 

 

published in Uncategorized by Maryanne | April 3, 2019 | 16 Comments

This Eagle Has Landed

 

MA & Sadie on possession day

“All I have is all I need.”

– Sarah Ban Breathnach

Actually, I have WAY more than I need…or could ever hope to use.

So…Sadie and I (and our 9000 pounds of stuff) have officially landed in our new home in French Creek (between Parksville and Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island, BC). It is AWESOME (and dare I say incredibly quiet)!

Thankfully, my friend Heather and two of her girls, Paige (17) and Ella (10), were on hand to get the unpacking process started.

“Auntie Pope,” advised Ella, during a quiet moment in the backyard, “I think we need to be strategic about this. Let’s focus on the kitchen first, then your bedroom and bathroom. Then you can chip away at everything else.”

I kid you not…that’s how this kid talks. She is SMART!

So that’s exactly what we did.

Five hours later, Paige could tell I was getting overwhelmed at the enormity of the task.

“Attitude is key,” said Paige. “You need to face each unpacking session with a positive mindset. This is your stuff. If you don’t want something, don’t keep it.”

She was right. She was also an unpacking machine. Paige pretty much put together my entire kitchen in a single afternoon – supervised, of course, by Ella.

Heather, in true mom-fashion, got stuck picking up the mountains of discarded wrapping paper and breaking down boxes for recycling.

Slowly but surely, my new home started to emerge…

But then there’s the garage…oh boy.

The office and living room are also still packed with boxes. But hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day. For there are also blogs to write, plays to rewrite and dogs to play with.

Smiling Sadie in her new back yard

Have a wonderful week…I will post more photos as more rooms take shape!

“You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?”

– Ann Landers

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Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is 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. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life.