No News is Good News

Contrary to how it may have appeared, I did not die suddenly of a broken wrist. I have not been writing despite all the resistance training–that is the training against resistance.

I am happy to report these many months later that my wrist is doing great. I have a slight bend in my elbow when I do pushups. The hand bone of my middle finger seems to push into the floor and impede the complete flex of my wrist. When holding weights, my wrist does not quite flex the same on the thumb side. And each morning my hand is stiff for flexing and stretching. Other than that, I have the same grip strength in my right arm as my left.

I got back into the gym in early March. It was 7-8 weeks post surgery. I also started playing wallyball with the brace on. As I slowly worked into each activity, I learned just how much wasting away of muscle occurs in a few weeks. 

My arm was very weak. The reason for testing grip strength in seniors, as an indicator of overall health and wellness, is because if you can’t grip something in your hand, you won’t be lifting it. If you aren’t lifting something your arm strength deteriorates quickly. No need to ask how I know. Those first few dates in the gym were interesting. I was able to modify exercises at first and over time let go of the need for modification. 

I have been going to the gym regularly since March and have increased my strength beyond what it was prior to the break. 

I learned that the body heals quickly when we are strong and healthy. I found that my outlook was pretty positive and accepting through the process of healing; it wasn’t always easy and it took a practice to maintain or get back to that place on occasion. I also recognized how tiring it is when the body is healing. I went through a couple of week of being very sleepy. It is a distant memory now.

The two of us at Disney

In other news, we went to Orlando Florida in May. Our daughter lives in the Netherlands and she and her boyfriend were going to Disney and Universal Studios and invited us to meet them there and hang out some. We did a fair amount of walking and even checked out an investment property while we were there. It was great seeing our daughter an meeting her boyfriend.

We welcomed another grandson to our family in mid June. He is healthy and content and growing. His 2 year old brother is excited for him to grow up so they can play.

June also had us working on the yard. After 2 years of not detailing, the flower beds were overgrown. We celebrated my parents’ 60th anniversary in July with a family barbecue at our place.

Our 35th anniversary was mid July and rather than go some place at that time (as we will be going places later in the year), we decided to stay and celebrate over a week which ended up longer. We had family here from out of town so we also went out prior to our anniversary by chance. On the day of we we went for wings with friends. Next day was our regular dinner at the Keg joined by some family. Went to Taste of Edmonton on the next night. Ran into family there. Next was a night at The Mayfield Dinner Theatre. Rib fest followed the next day and a family dinner the following. Night off, then wings with an out of town friend and the next night a dinner with our son and family. We were ready to settle in to a home cooked meal the next evening.

August has been very hot here. I got out for a couple of runs in the mornings. I have been getting up by 6 am and listening to the live REI morning show on Podbean. I have been getting an earlier start on my day and my work outs at the gym have moved to the 8:00 am start time rather than 9:30.

We had a great family time last weekend. We had a wedding celebration for a wedding that happened during covid. We also had our annual family reunion after missing 2 years. It was so wonderful to see family again.

And finally, I got Invisalign this week. I am on a 38 week program. So far they are somewhat irritating at times. I normally graze at the garden when I go to get veggies so that was sad when I went out yesterday and couldn’t snack on peas. Today I went and picked a few raspberries in a bowl before lunch.

We have a couple more weeks of summer and the forecast is for sunny and hot. Going to be taking advantage of that. The mornings are cool and there is that glorious smell that goes with it of dewy composting foliage, the earthy smell as fall approaches.

All caught up. I have been formulating some ideas for blog posts in my mind and felt it might be good to do a bit of a catch up. It also gives me perspective in a year when looking back. Enjoy the rest of your summer.


5 Thoughts On My Unmet Expectations

It is not at all how I planned my January to begin. After all, this is supposed to be my year. That’s what the pastor said in the first sermon of the year. That’s what I said in my first instagram post of the year @abundanthood. How is it my year, if it isn’t off to a good start, or at least the start that I planned in my head. Don’t we all have high expectations at the start of the new year? Shouldn’t we expect things to go the way we planned? I worked so hard to set up my January.

I curated and fought resistance and worked hard in December to hit the ground running in January. I strengthened physically, emotionally, and mindset to knock out my dreams and goals, and to front load my year, like I did with adding distances for running at the beginning of December. Front load the day, the month, the year, to be ahead for when there are speed bumps.

Instead I started January with a pulled hip flexor that disabled me for a few days waiting for the holiday weekend to be done, to have access to our chiropractor. He adjusted my back late afternoon on the 4th; it was out a lot, and my one leg was substantially shorter than the other…or was one substantially longer than the other…hmmm. I was happy to be walking normal again. The pain would increase a bit before it got better.

Five hours after the adjustment, I began feeling a burning in the back of my throat, quite high, close to my sinuses. It progressed the next couple hours, and the next morning I woke with a full-on, extremely painful throat and sinus congestion. I battled that cold for 8 days and tolerated some residual symptoms a few more days. (I tested negative for C twice)

As I worked on a couple of things in my house toward the end of the symptoms, to have my body moving, I was thinking about the lessons learned in this situation. Or perhaps lessons learned in the past that I can apply now. I was listening to Jim Qwik and his questions to ask. “How can I use this information, Why will I use this information and When will I use it.”

I started this blog post a couple of weeks ago and almost finish. Perhaps I didn’t finish because my January lessons were gearing up.

On January 17th, I slipped on the ice outside the postoffice. I think back to moments and hours before. I made the conscious decision to go in the warmest part of the day to avoid the most ice on the roads from the rain, also knowing it would be getting colder after my return. After leaving my appointment I sat at a crossroad, literally and figuratively. “Do I turn and go to the store and get home for my zoom meeting and mail the letter to the lawyer from our super box, or do I go straight, to the postoffice which I can see less than a block away?” Looking at the clock, I decided to take the 2 minutes to mail the envelope from town so it would be one its way sooner. That 2 minutes turned into many more.

I slipped on may way back to my vehicle, at the small handicap ramp, slipping into the slushy water that rested there. My right wrist took all the fall, protecting my back and head from injury. My first thought after annoyance was “I am glad my hand is covered in slush. It was very painful.

I waited in my vehicle for my husband to come take me to the hospital, my hand on my cold wet knee. When I no longer felt like I would pass out, I pulled up my sleeve a bit to assess. I took a photo for fb. I let the pickleball/wallyball ladies know as they were in a discussion about the roads.

I carried my hand in to the hospital on my pickleball paddle I had in my van. I got in right away, x-rays, pain meds and they put me partially out, to give my arm a tug and cast it. I had to go back next day to have cast cut due to swelling.

The 21st I had surgery to put in a plate and screws. I have been on some good pain pills and come off of them in exchange for some OTC pain meds. I have been tired, I have slept more. Almost everything feels like so much work. Taking the lid off my deodorant takes a minute; after a shower, I am already tired by and the lid removal feels like a hard thing.

Still, I am mostly staying positive. An acquaintance/friend lost her son this week. In my tiredness I have shed a few tears for her and I am grateful to feel deeply and to be reminded not to sweat the small stuff. It isn’t about minimizing my experience, it is perspective. This month has really been about perspective and releasing the expectations I had, or at least delaying some.

Unrealized by me, I was preparing for this month. Our biggest disappointments are often found in unmet expectations. Here are a few perspectives on my unmet expectations:

1. That podcast about what I will learn was in my mind from the beginning of the broken wrist, salted with a bit of excitement. Like when someone says, “That moment was hard but it changed everything and I am so grateful it happened.” That is the thing I am excited for. Why not?

2. If December were the beginning of the year, my plan would have worked perfectly. Rather than say I ended last year strong, I can say, “I began the year strong by front loading in the first month (December) in case circumstances beyond my control slowed my progress. What is time anyway? What is the magic date on the calendar from which all things are spun?

3. If December had been an ordinary “It’s eating season for another month and no one else is doing anything anyways, so I will take the month off” or somewhere between that and what I did, then I would not have made the progresses prior to the beginning of this year and not been where I am today.

4. The question may be, “Did the push in December cause my health breakdown in January?” Many things are possible. Another possibility is that the push in December has made my body stronger thus averting worse symptoms or longer symptoms. Perhaps my arm is able to heal more quickly because of the healthy muscles and blood flow as a result of my efforts.

5. Could it be that during my illness, and my arm recovery, had I not strengthened my body, I would be less productive than I have been? Despite not doing as much as I would when I feel good, I have done a lot of seat work and learning and been able to do the computer work I normally would.

What I have learned with my broken arm is that my left hand is capable of a lot of things. I have also learned to let go of some small things…well I am working on that. I am not always sunshine and butterflies, but I am keeping a good outlook overall.

I am very proud of what I did in December and my reasons for doing it. I am very proud of how I have been able to manage this month despite circumstances beyond my control, moving forward with my work, and the big audacious goals that we have for the year. This too shall pass and I will be further down the road. I will be pleased with how I got there.

9 Things I Learned Running 151 km in December

This may not interest you. As someone commented, “I just don’t see the point.” If that’s you, that’s okay. If you read it anyway, consider it an analogy for pretty much anything one sets out to tackle as a goal, for which resistance rears it’s ugly head at many a turn. 

In the month of December I lead a three week mastermind on Resistance. This was the best teacher, test, analysis I could personally ask for. I signed up in November not realizing how serendipitous the challenge would be.

This is the first time I have been running outdoors in December. I usually get the urge to run in February when it is nice out, and I will run a few months until I get on my bike. Not that I have done a lot of running in the last 10 years. I ran more 10 years ago when I did a couple half marathons and a duathlon but very little since. 

I started running in October this year, to increase my fitness level beyond going to Orange Theory twice/week and wallyball once/week. The mild temperatures, and inspiration from a young friend had me continue into November. It was still relatively nice out when I decided to sign up for for the X-Arctic Challenge. Based out of Calgary it is a Canadian Winter challenge to encourage people to run outdoors in December. Just over 100 participants signed up. 

I started wearing my snowboard goggles after this. Everything was new running in December and I had to learn as I went along; what was the best way to dress for each temperature, best direction/route to run, and how to run on the snow and ice.

All runs had to be recorded on Strava to count. Weeks were measured Monday to Sunday with Strava and the first and fifth weeks were part weeks. There was a spreadsheet of participants updated for each week. 

December is cold, dark and busy. People often take time off from their routine due to holiday activities. I wanted to kick start 2022 by overcoming resistance. As it turns out, what better way to set yourself up for resistance?

My original goal was 50 km. I was running 5 km most of the time in the preceding months, as a comfortable run. I calculated my available running days eliminating my two Orange Theory days and 1 wallyball day a week. I realized if I ran 6 km on each of the 17 days I would get 102 km. I had a flex/extra day; the 23rd-no wallyball. 

I also decided to front load my month in case things went sideways at some point. I decided 8 km/run would be a good benchmark distance. The beginning of the month went well stacking km, doing a 10 km run and adding point 2 or point 5 here and there.

It didn’t take me long to calculate that I could feasibly do 150 km; that became my new bold goal, knowing that I would be happy with whatever I could do beyond 100 km. We don’t go beyond our comfortable goals without making an uncomfortable one.

The conditions have been less than ideal the whole month. The roads were somewhat icy to start the month, then week two we had a night of rain creating a skating rink. The strap on one of my cleats broke and I got new ones. 

Then it snowed…a…lot. I had a gym day that day, and the next day the main roads were plowed. Running in even an inch of snow on the side of the road isn’t easy as the feet slip back slightly with each step, and the cleats are not helpful. The cleats work the best on hard pack snow. I run on the country roads looking for the best hard pack for good footing, avoiding the snow on the side and the ice in the middle. 

The weather turned very cold week 4. The coldest temperature I ran in was -29˚C plus wind, making it feel much colder. Snowboard goggles helped the last week.

Each day there was resistance until I got back from the run, then I was happy and excited for my accomplishment. 

Each day I overcame resistance in this way:

  1. Each day I set an intention
  2. I set a time and was only slightly flexible with it. 
  3. As the time drew near, I stopped thinking and moved; I just got ready and went out. 
  4. I didn’t make any decisions about my run in the first kilometre—it sucks! I would have quit every time.
  5. I tacked on a point 1, point 2. km at the halfway mark of a there and back. I tacked on a point 1 to point 5 km at the end. Those add up over a month. 
  6. I ran when I didn’t feel like it, I ran when it was snowy, I ran when it was icy and when it was super cold. Sometimes I ran on days I had Orange Theory or wallyball in the morning. 

At the end of week 4 I had 15 kilometres left to run. The last 15 km were the most difficult, mentally and physically. It was really cold. I didn’t feel well (resistance?) I strained a hip flexor muscle with only 3 km left. I played wallyball to loosen up, then went out and made it through the 3.5 km.

Steven Pressfield says: “The danger is greatest when the finish line is in sight. At this point, Resistance knows we’re about to beat it. It hits the panic button. It marshals one last assault and slams us with everything it’s got.”

What I learned: 

  1. The weekly spreadsheet motivated me. On week 4 they missed inputting my data. I felt deflated. Even though I knew how much I did, I needed to see it on the spreadsheet. How many other things are like that in life?
  2. Front load! The week, the month, the year; if something happens you get further than you would have, and if it all goes smoothly you are ahead of the game. 
  3. I can adapt. I can do more than I thought.
  4. There were sacrifices. It took a lot of time, not just the time to run, but to gear up, to change out of the clothes, showers and scheduling for warmer temperatures and daylight in a day. Add feeling tired after running which affected other activities.
  5. I became stronger. Challenges toughen us up. The more you do something the stronger you become. Five km seemed quicker after running longer distances regularly.
  6. Even though we get stronger, the first kilometre still sucks.
  7. Resistance was there every day before I ran, with greater and lesser pull.
  8. I was stiff and sore each night and morning. I would rather wake up stiff and sore because I worked out than wake up stiff and sore for no reason at all.
  9. Celebrate your wins! Brag about your accomplishments. These are important parts of finding joy in life.

I am glad I did the challenge. I don’t know if I will do it again next year. I do know that I was so very excited to be done. I was so proud of what I did, what I learned and the journey. I enjoyed some of the runs/parts of the runs (not the first kilometre), I enjoyed the podcasts I listened to during my runs. I loved the feeling of accomplishment each time. I loved how warm it was inside. The best part of being out in the cold is the feeling when you come in; you don’t feel that warmth if you are always in it. When it was finished I was giddy knowing I didn’t ‘have’ to run that day or the next; the feeling lasted for days. It is still super cold here. I may feel motivated to run next week when the temperatures mimic those of spring.

Most of all, I have another ‘Kilimanjaro’ item under my belt. It is a big, difficult thing I did, that I can can use as a reference when things become difficult. I add it to cycling the Coquihalla. This run I had the added bonus of knowing my resistance and conquering it daily, and consciously learning the lessons through the month.

Happy New Year. May you be blessed with overcoming resistance and may you find a fun way to do it. May you choose an adventure that can be your ‘Kilimanjaro’ challenge and may you celebrate it fully.

Why Do You Matter?

Why do you matter?”

Many years ago, there was a mom named Pat who I became friends with. Both of us home schooled, both of us had 4 kids about the same ages. We lived about an hour from each other but we connected and we hung out a few times, probably less than 10 times all together before I moved and we were 2 hours from each other. We lost touch.

About 5-8 years later, I was at a home school conference and she came up to talk to me. I couldn’t place her at first but then she reminded me who she was. I was very happy to see her as we caught up on things. We couldn’t talk long in the moment as I was in a booth. She did say one thing to me that impacted me in that moment and each time it crosses my mind.

Pat said to me (paraphrased as it was 15 years ago): ‘I just wanted to tell you, you had a big impact on me when we hung out and even though we haven’t talked in a long time, I wanted you to know that when I have a difficult parenting situation in front of me, I pause and think, “What would Dawn do in this situation?”‘

I was floored. I had no idea I had made that kind of impact. It was flattering and a little scary at the same time. Do I, as such a flawed person, want to have that kind of influence on someone. I mitigated my concerns with knowing that all her answers were just speculations of what I would do, so not actual advice from me. That left ‘flattering’ which has stuck with me.

I had someone else come to me a few years after losing touch with her. She had pulled away for a time and I didn’t know why. When she came to talk to me she opened up that she was upset by something and she had come to me to apologize; after a couple years she had realized that what I had said or done was exactly where she was and what she also believed, and wanted me to know. I admired her willingness to come back to me years later and reveal that, apologize and thank me for planting the seed.

Sometimes we do or say something in a moment or influence someone in a day, and it changes the course of their life. Sometimes we have no idea we have had that impact.

Why do you matter?”

Who just kept reading, without answering the question? Who thought for a second about it, squirmed a little, and moved on? Is it because as humans we often don’t see our own value? We see the value in others. We even value others for their existence. We value our child because they exist. Yet, we struggle at times to find our own value. Should we not value ourselves because we exist?

“Why do you matter?”

This is a question Drew Dudley has been asking over the years. We are reading This is Day One in our book group and, and will be unpacking it in our next seven weeks of mastermind meetings.

I read This is Day One a few years ago and totally loved it and I’m really enjoying it again. It is about everyday leadership. It is about making each day count. It is about the things we do daily that impact the lives of others. It is about planning to matter daily.

It seemed the perfect accompaniment to The Scroll Marked V in The Greatest Salesman in the World. We have been reading the scrolls, one per month with our group for the last, well, 5 months. Those who are participating have been reading the scroll daily or twice a day. I read it first thing in the morning with my hot water with lime. I also read it just before bed, lying on the floor with my legs and feet vertical up the wall, then end with prayer and breath work, before heading to bed. Reading the Scroll daily serves a couple purposes, one, to create the habit, because as we learned in the first scroll, success comes from habit. The second purpose is to have the concepts be part of our conscious and unconscious thoughts.

The Scroll Marked V has the mantra, “I will live this day as if it were my last.” We are reminded to not dwell on yesterday nor tomorrow, and to make the most of today. We are reminded to be grateful for today no matter our circumstances. Thinking of this day as our last may seem a little sad. Thinking of today as our first day incites a little bit of excitement and enthusiasm into our day.

In the beginning of This is Day One, Drew Dudley talks about the inspiration for the title of the book and the topic. His goal is to have us experience each day as a new and beautiful day in which we can impact someone’s life.

We can go through life hoping to matter, hoping to add value to the lives of others and feel like we don’t matter, or we can make a plan to matter, make a daily habit of adding value, and know without a doubt we have made a difference to someone on this day, each and every day.

To join our book group on fb:

If you want to be part of the mastermind conversation, let’s talk and see how we can add value.

Resistance Training

Many years ago we planned a long journey. It would be by bicycle and it would be done in various stages. In the first stage we would travel up a big mountain and down, then go up another and down again. The thoughts of going down were exciting. It is fun going down the mountain and it isn’t a struggle if you are into fast rides and thrills. The up part was another story. I really wanted to do it. I was worried I would fail. I didn’t want to carry extra weight with me so I lost some pounds. I began to train. There was distant training for endurance and there was hill training for endurance. It was all resistance training because it was more than I was used to. Resistance training is not resistance training if you have done it a lot or remain comfortable.

Sometimes I have resistance to the resistance training. Let’s face it, we are often resistant to anything that feels like it has resistance, like it is pushing back. It’s easy to sit on the couch and watch a movie; we don’t often face resistance within ourselves to do the things that we find easy. We also don’t gain muscle from sitting all day.

We upgraded bikes and shoes after that trip. We made it from Whiterock BC to Calgary on the first leg.

I have been sitting a lot this winter and into spring with having covid in November, and some lasting effects, as well as the lockdowns. I have also embarked on more and more seated activities. It makes sitting more acceptable for my mind, but not my body. Gardening has me breaking to be outside and moving my body, and opening this week has me looking forward to pickle ball in a few days. I can combat the resistance to movement.

It is the resistance to other things that had me wallowing in thought and meditation this month. I had to figure things out. I wanted to fix my resistance problem, come to terms with why I was feeling the pushback with in me.

My resistance needed a remedy. As it turns out, it will always be there. However, processing it was helpful; doing it while I read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield was even more beneficial. I read The War of Art in a few hours over a weekend. It is a book about resisting doing the things that we are meant to do, or we know are good for us; the things that will help us grow. We don’t feel resistance to eating too many cookies (until it’s too late), or staying up too late when we are having fun. 

Interestingly, the weekend I read The War of Art, we watched the movie, The boy From Medellin. It follows performer J Balvin for the week before he does a concert in his home city of Medellin. Through the week he faced inner resistance and doubts leading up to the performance. It wasn’t talked about in the movie, but with reading Pressfield’s thoughts on resistance, it was easy to recognize in many instances. I sometimes think that those who have ‘made it’ no longer feel resistance. But alas, it is there throughout every and all journeys, along the way as we grow.

Resistance comes when we are moving to grow and our ego is pushing it down. You’d think we would recognize that growth is good for us. Even if we do realize it, we also know it isn’t easy and we resist that too. Sometimes we have previous experience to allow us to push past the resistance and get to the other side. Other times our resistance holds us back from doing the things we could be doing. We talk ourselves out of a lot.

When I started this blog and my fb page it was to inspire people who were moving into their 50s and 60s to move more, to do more, to know that they are capable. We often use the ‘reasons’ of being too old to do something. Young people often say they are too young for some things. What we are feeling is resistance. Perhaps we can’t do something we could do at 15. Perhaps we are beyond repair. Perhaps we can do more than we expect to.

What if we are making some of that up? What if we believe the thoughts we have that are coming from resistance, but some of it isn’t completely true? What if we can do more than we thought? What if we tried? What if we started?

I did have resistance to going for a bike ride this month. I told myself…that self, who was finding the reasons to not go…that my older self (like 45 minutes older) would appreciate that I went. So I went and my then future self was super happy I went. There was previous experience to draw on.

My big resistance this month came from doing something I have not done in the past. That resistance isn’t as easy to combat. The resistance is strong when it comes to doing video, and audio and putting it into the world. For the two of you who read my blog, I love to put out some good content, but also I don’t feel as exposed to the world as video and audio would have me. Even with sharing this inner turmoil. Because in my mind, both of you are also struggling with that or something similar.

So I spent a few weeks wallowing in my self-pity resistant thoughts and used The War of Art as a guidepost, or maybe an assurance that it was normal. I came to realize yet again, but perhaps with more clarity, that the growth happens going through the resistance and the resistance is there because that is where we need to grow. And deep down, I know that and growing pains are not for the weak in body and spirit. I have come to terms with resistance being ever present as long as I am growing, and that getting through the hard things makes my future self a stronger, more confident and happier person. That is for now. I am sure also that resistance with rear it’s ugly head the next time I am trying something new, expanding in my zone of genius and doing something that pushes me to growth.

What have you been feeling resistance in lately?

At A Loss

What do you do when you feel at a loss? I have been feeling at a loss the last while. I have spent some time in mediation, reading and pushing through some things. I will get past this bump in the road and will feel abundant and light again. Writing this post is part of my way to get to the other side.

When the world shut down just over a year ago, we had completed two purchases, one a flip we financed with private money and we refinanced in July. I stopped actively searching for properties while we went through that process. It all worked out in the end though at the time it felt like it may have been a mistake.

When the world shut down it seemed like a perfect time to settle in and write the book I was inspired to write a short month before. It seemed serendipitous that I was inspired and suddenly had much more time, due to not going out to my many activities. And I did write! I got nine chapters done, over 35,000 words out. I also wrote blog posts regularly.

Setbacks happen. Sometimes what we see as setbacks are bumps in the road and there have been a few of them since last fall, mostly health related. I continued to write, but a bit less. My health improved some. Then as tax season approached, I decided to work on creating/updating systems in book keeping and organizing files. It took more time than I expected, leading me to feel like I was stepping back in other areas.

I have been struggling a bit emotionally/mentally the last couple of months. Some of it is to be expected. We lost a young family member in late March in a vehicle crash, and a month later, long time acquaintances lost their young son in a similar situation. Before our loss, I was keeping a couple other families in prayers in thoughts due to their son’s struggles after vehicle accidents. When things like that happen we take a little time and create space to feel and mourn. It takes time. Sometimes it feels like a lot.

Now I find myself at a bit of a loss. It’s not just the time I feel isn’t there, the crowded schedule and many things pulling at me, it is also the new messages in my head and the point my journey has brought me to in growth.

In our mastermind and our book group for our business we are reading The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. I read it a couple of years ago and it is interesting how when things change, the way you see things changes too. I enjoyed the book then and got much from it. Having gone on the journey I have in the last couple of years, it is speaking to me in a slightly different way. We read Who Not How (Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy) last month. In both books there is reference to our unique abilities or as Hendricks says, our Zone of Genius.

Back in December I had sent out an email to a few friends and family members asking them what they believed to be my unique abilities. It was enlightening in some ways and in other ways, not so much. It was nice to hear the perspective and examples people had for the qualities they see in me. It was with that information I made the decision to go ahead with the mastermind group and book group, when at that time I felt I had too many things on my plate already. It was a great decision because those things bring me the greatest joy in my week.

I have been attending a mastermind on Tuesday mornings for the last year. I went through The Power of Seven program with HomWork last year; it was like drinking through a firehose. The mastermind slows the stream and helps get our bearings what we can and should do to grow and add income streams. I have been pinching the hose and it has been spraying water at me. This has kept me safe. I have felt completely overwhelmed with some of the things and have been progressing slowly. I also realize, I have not been writing as much in the last couple of months. This as me wanting to back off on those things.

And last week I talked to a coach who basically told me to dive in head first in all she has been telling me about. He laid out the process for my book and for my blog (I have one on our website now too) and to go further in media, doing video for youtube, using the audio for podcasts and broadcasting it on all the social media places. And it hit me like a dam breaking…and I was so very resistant…and feeling at a loss.

Resistance, that is what I was feeling. I recognized it right away. I had listened to Steven Pressfield on a podcast last week. I recognized the resistance, and I sat with it awhile…it didn’t leave. It has become less heavy. I am starting to push ever increasingly at the resistance.

Things keep showing up and I have been embracing them and moving forward despite the resistance. The biggest resistance is in taking bigger steps, making bigger moves. Going beyond what feels possible and only slightly difficult in the moment.

I am needing to set some specific hours for writing, editing and doing those other things in batches. This blog post is my first foray back to writing. I am working to get myself back in the process. Today I logged into focusmate hour after hour to tackle some things. I have a list of items to work on one hour at a time, or one hour per week. That is the start. Some things may be reduced to an hour a month (like bookkeeping) while others will perhaps be an hour a day.

When you are feeling at a loss, what do you do to pick up the pieces? Are you able to process things through writing, art, music, meditation or another way? How do you process difficult things?

Habits, Pre-commitments, and Identity

Once upon a time in a far off land, I was a Canadian with a name I could not pronounce. With a name like Dawn, Hispanic people find it a strange name (when they hear it spoken), to be calling a woman. In countries with a stronger ‘British’ English accent my name is not pronounced in a way Hispanic people would find it strange. There I was years ago, in Australia, and people were correcting me on how to say my name.

I will be honest, although it was annoying to be corrected each time I said my name and then had to spell it, then was told how to say it correctly, I didn’t consider it an assault to my identity. I knew who I was.

In February, in both our mastermind and book group we are reading Indistractable by Nyr Eyal and The Scroll Marked 1 (daily for February) in The Greatest Salesman in the World-Og Mandino. Each book talks about identity in obtaining success through habits.

One component of creating a habit is commitment, however we don’t always keep our commitments to ourselves. Section 4 of Indistractable goes through ways to keep us on track. Nir Eyal talks about pre-commitments–making a decision before you have to decide. I have some personal policies that eliminate decision fatigue in some areas. It’s an “If this then that” situation. I wrote about personal policies in my post 3 Reasons to Have Personal Policies.

Making appointments helps too; I have signed up for bootcamps because I know I will show up. I will also show up if someone is meeting me to workout. Pre-commitments to other people may be a stronger motivator for some. This applies to learning activities as well like workshops, conventions and masterminds. I heard a phrase today, “Those who pay, pay attention.” When you money into an activity, you are more likely to show up, to pay attention and to put effort in than if you don’t have skin in the game.

The Scroll Marked 1 starts with: “Today I begin a new life.” It is about not accepting our ‘lot’ in life, not accepting that past failure is who we are. It is about making new habits to become the person we wish to become. We are already slaves to our habits. Knowing we are and will be slaves to our habits empowers us to choose habits we wish to be slave to and be rid of those that don’t serve us.

Reading the scroll daily is a commitment to the habit, but what if you don’t like reading. Is it that you don’t like reading or is it that you have been telling yourself that for years and it is who you are now—your identity. Is it that you don’t have time. Is it true you can’t carve out 7 minutes in the morning to read it, or is it what you have told yourself? Are you not a morning person? Are you a night owl? Is that true or is it the identity you have chosen? We all have them. I am not good at …., I am not smart enough, I am more of a _____ person. What if we desire to do something that doesn’t fall in our current identity? We can accept we are not that person and not do it. Or if we really desire it, we have the capacity to change our identity. We may never be great at some things, but in changing our identity we can become proficient enough to understand it or do it less ‘painfully.’ It’s about our perception of the ‘job.’

We can change our identity in two ways.

1. We can do this through speaking it. When we say “I am…in front of an identity it precludes us to certain actions and activities. Years ago, I decided to lose weight and run some half marathons. I called myself an athlete. There was a funny side story prior to that that also influenced me saying it (I’ll share in comments). If someone in the grocery store asked if I wanted help, I would say, “No I got it, I’m an athlete”. if I was working at something difficult, I would say, “I’m an athlete, I got this”. What we put in our minds, becomes our reality.

2. We can do the actions until we become the identity. A few years before to number 1, I decided to try jogging, then began running regularly. I didn’t ‘feel’ like I could say I was a runner until I was doing it regularly. If I didn’t challenge my identity of ‘non-runner’ by starting, I would not have made it a habit; I would not have become a runner and participated in half marathons and a duathlon. Who are you? Who will you be in five years? Who do you desire to become?

We hold fast to our identity. Sometimes that identity doesn’t serve us. We will become different people in 5 years whether we try or not. We can put effort in to become the person we wish to become. We can create habits and pre-commitments to aid in that effort. Decide who you wish to become and create the habits and identity to become that person. In March we are reading The Scroll Marked 2 in TGSITW and finishing up Indistractable and will start Who Not How by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy. If you are looking for a mastermind group to keep help you become the person you want to become comment below. We have a few spaces left in our small format group. Just want the book group, let me know and I can hook you up.

Virtual Room Etiquette-6 Tips

Have you personally been privy to one of those astonishing situations that have gone viral on Zoom or other meeting platforms? I have not. I am content with that. I have had some frustration on zoom and that likely got me a side gig. I joined the first zoom in March, for a woman’s business group. They scheduled someone to speak on zoom etiquette and explain the buttons on zoom. I am not a technical person but I do retain information pretty well particularly in ‘here, let me show you’ format. I had been on zoom for a mastermind for a good nine months by this time so I was fairly familiar with using it, and knowing more just made me…

…a know it all. Not really. I knew what could be done and when someone struggled to find a mute button, I spoke up. When someone couldn’t see something, I put information in the chat. When people didn’t know how to save the chat, I spoke up.

Because events for ‘that’ email from California went virtual, and I was home all the time, I suddenly could attend. I spoke up, I helped out, I gave a similar ‘let me show you’ talk at the beginning of the zoom. I was asked to be cohost to mute people, because the event was being recorded. I took the job seriously. Oh you just connected to our meeting while also on the phone…..MUTE…bwahahaha…

I added value in the zoom room and learned a few things. I was then invited to be part of a workshop to do the things I was doing and to help the host…and participate, which led to another, which led to a summit and another one and a little bit of monetary compensation and another paid gig.

There are some things I have learned from being a zoom support/host assistant. Many of us have been on zoom for a long time now, some maybe not. When we have been on a long time, even with the same people we can often wonder, “Why is this so difficult to know after 10 months?” Because if you have been on zoom regularly with the same people, it is the same people who just aren’t getting it.

So what things do we hope people will learn and know? What are some points of etiquette? Keep in mind there are many different types of meetings. We have family game nights where some of these things don’t apply, and large gatherings where some things are more or less important, masterminds that are smaller and more intimate, but professional, professional meetings where we are talking to clients or partners. Here are some things to consider while on virtual meetings taking into consideration the purpose of the meeting.

  1. Stay muted unless you are talking. This is particularly important in a large group. The speaker is interrupted and can’t be heard over the background noise of someone not muted. Worse is the person taking a phone call or speaking to someone while the mic is on. Play is safe, mute. You can make brief comments when addressed, by pushing the space key if you are on your desktop. If you are in a small group, 2-6, being unmuted may be more beneficial for the conversation. In that situation, mute to cough, take a call, if suddenly there is background noise. Really, just be polite with your personal noise; it distracts from the event/meeting.
  2. Keep your camera off when you are moving around. This includes multitasking, eating, getting up to do something, blowing your nose, scratching body parts, looking around, talking to someone next to you, when there is activity behind you or not moving, but falling asleep. Movement is distraction for others. In a smaller personal group, some things may not matter and may be more fitting, like when a small child crawls on your lap or the cat crosses your line of vision.
  3. Dress appropriately and cover your butt. No one intentionally spills their hot coffee on their lap. If you are wearing pants, there is definitely not time to turn off the camera before jumping from your seat. Be prepared for the unexpected! No one will know you are wearing sweat pants if something happens that quickly, but they will know if you aren’t wearing pants. Aside from that, dress appropriately; dress how you would if it was an in-person meeting (at least the top of you). Keep in mind, how you show up for yourself is how you show up for others. That may be different for everyone. Consider not only how you feel about yourself, but how that person who you want to work with sees you. The great thing about zoom is the details are not always there, so oily hair and being smelly isn’t as bad on zoom as it is in person. Having said that, if your feel less than wonderful, it can create a wedge in your self-confidence. Again, it depends on what your purpose is for being in the meeting, the size of the meeting and if you need to be confident in what you are saying and presenting.
  4. Lights, camera, action! So much technology, so little practical use. Lighting is great if you are going to be on camera. If you are not a presenter and you are showing up from your living room, perfect lighting is not that important. If you can’t see your face when the camera is on, and you are merely a shadow of yourself it is better to keep your camera off. Being that shadowy figure is uncomfortable for others; they see an image, but they can’t read the expressions. Better to just have your name showing. The camera angle is important too. We often have a camera on the top of the computer screen. Position your camera so people see your face straight on. We may be looking at our screen a lot and that’s okay if we are a participant. If you are the presenter, you should be looking directly at the camera. If you have a separate camera hooked up, it should be where you are looking. If it is below your computer screen, everyone has an ‘up the nose’ view of you, which is rarely flattering. If the remote camera is off to the side, you appear to be talking to someone out of the room while you look at the people on the screen, and if the camera is way above your screen, it may appear you are napping. Finally action. What is in your background; is it distracting to others? Good rule of thumb is to have a wall behind you. This makes it virtually impossible for moving parts coming into play; unless you have a cat–they can be impossible.
  5. Engage in the meeting or event. Virtual activities can be exhausting especially if you have a lot of them or they are long. When in a meeting, and asked a question, answer, or at least put it in the chat if you simply can’t unmute because the blender. If there is a speaker, engage in the chat, comment on things related to what the speaker says, answers to the speaker’s questions, questions for the speaker for the end of the presentation. When on camera, look engaged, nod, lean in every once in awhile, take notes. If you are bored or unengaged, turn off your camera.
  6. Network. We have been isolating and virtual is not the same as in person. Small regular activities like masterminds and weekly meetings with the same people help with connection. Larger events and summits can have you feeling invisible in a room. We often like that; does that comfort serve us in the best way? Networking virtually in a bigger forum is not as difficult as it seems. You don’t even have to be on camera, but like real life and social media, seeing a face increases the know, like trust factor, unless you are a psychopath then it backfires :-). Engaging in the chat has your name pop up, when others engage with you, a connection begins. Put your information in the chat if it’s appropriate to share with all, for the purpose of networking; if not, reach out to someone in a private message and exchange information that way.

Finally, I want to leave you with a couple time savers if you are going to a lot of regular meetings. Use your notes on the device you normally use, putting the recurring meeting links along with passwords, in a note, so you are able to just click from there rather search in emails or other places. Put your contact information in notes as well. Write up a sentence of what you do, your company name and where people can find you on social media as well as websites, emails and phone numbers. This way you can copy and paste in the comments on zoom with little effort. And save the chat and followup on those people who also put their information in the chat.

We talked about showing up, engaging, and not being seen or heard when we are not participating. We talked about lighting and camera angles and background noise. We talked about networking, even though some may hate it. Virtual meeting will be around for awhile. Best to adapt, and while not being rude and intrusive to others, get the most out of it. And for those who have regular meetings, some time savers, because who doesn’t love to save time. What would you add to this list?


Hindsight is 2020. It’s been said for a long time and we can say that literally as well as figuratively, reflecting back on the previous year. Looking back has its uses especially if you have a clearer vision to go forward, from what you learned in the past. We often start a year with resolutions, vision boards, goals or some combinations of them. I have never done resolutions; they always felt contrived and I didn’t want to set them and fail, so I avoided them. Hmmm, I resisted goals for the very same reason, no matter what time of the year. Not that I wandered aimlessly through the wilderness. One can’t accomplish certain things without deciding to do the thing. For instance, getting a degree or finding a job, doing dishes or cleaning the toilet, all noble causes, some more celebrated than others.

Going into this year, I was working on a schedule to time block activities that would get me to my goals, some things I started last year and some new things I am working on. I became overwhelmed. One of the things I have been thinking and talking about for the last six months, is starting and leading a mastermind. The idea has grown and I have had inspiration for it as the time for the year to begin approached. THEN…I was working on my schedule and thought, I have so many things to work on; why would I add something else?

I belong to a mastermind. I joined one with Lorne almost 2 years ago. We were in it for just over a year. It was on zoom for the most part plus a couple of retreats. It was interesting and helped with our growth. We looked at five year goals and when I looked at that paper I wrote a year ago, I am seeing am seeing the progression toward what I set out then. I am now in the alumni group working on going further.

One of the tasks we were giving in the current mastermind subgroup, in which we are focusing on networking, was to write down fifty things we are proud of, from anytime in life. The proud things can be large, like my degree for instance. I also added some smaller things that someone may think are ridiculous, like when I went in the water off the sail boat with a life jacket; my fear of not being able to touch the bottom, had me so afraid, but I did it anyway. The reason for the list for networking, is for confidence in having done some amazing things and being interesting.

I listened to a couple podcasts before Christmas as well that inspired one of the books we will be reading this year. It is Who Not How by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy. In the interview with Dan Sullivan he suggested sending an email to ten of your closest friends/coworkers and ask them what your unique abilities are. I sent out the email to more people, expecting some would not reply. Two weeks in, I have had half of the people reply. That gives me a lot of data. I asked them for three unique abilities that I have, not to think too long, just what comes to mind. Some gave me three words, concise and easy to use as data. Others gave me words and personal examples. It was so nice to see the frame of reference in the answer. Some gave me up to six and others gave me a bonus or two. Most of the answers fall under 6 categories that in some ways are also related. I will be sharing the results in our Abundanthood newsletter which you can subscribe to here.

Within the first day of responses (I had one in 5 minutes and another in 20 minutes), it was apparent that the one thing I should be doing is the mastermind and book group. I realized it is where I can serve people the best.

We are starting off the book group and mastermind with Indistractable by Nyr Eyal. I have set up a reading schedule and we are adding people to the fb group who have asked to be part of it. I have some people for the mastermind group as well. We are keeping the group small and we have a couple spaces open yet.

The other thing we will be doing with the groups is going through The Greatest Secret in the World/Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino. We will be working on one scroll a month from February through November. Further books are/will be chosen with those scrolls in mind, and our Abundanthood newsletter will follow the same themes.

We will be starting the reading for the fb book group and the zoom mastermind next Monday. Let me know if you want more information.

We will have our Abundant Homes website up soon. I am working on my book again, and finally had some inspiration for a title. I have the book mostly written and now I am going back to the beginning and reading it as a reader, editing and filling in details. My goal, plan, vision, is to have this book published this year. I will pin down a date with my mastermind group when we do goal setting the first couple weeks.

What is your vision for 2021? What is your vision for the next few months. Do you have goals set out and actions steps weekly/daily? Do you have accountability? If you are looking for any of those things, send me a message and we can get you set up with the mastermind, and/or the fb book group.

What Is Your Hope?

What do you have hope in at this time? What do you hope for the future? This month our theme for Abundanthood is HOPE and BELIEVE. I sent an email to our newsletter readership last week asking some questions. With the response I received back, I decided it was worth sharing with those who are reading here. Here is the email in full:

“My idea is to give hope, because where there is not hope, there is no vision, and where there is not vision, people will perish.”—Oprah Winfrey

I just wanted to send out a quick pre-newsletter email. A bit of a check in, a little something to having you thinking about this month. How are you doing as we approach the end of the year? How can we help you?

This month you will notice our social media (@abundanthood on instagram and fb) and our newsletter will focus on hope and believe.

As we will be saying good-bye to this strange year at the end of the month, some may have hope for a better year next year, while others may feel a sense of despair, believing things will only get worse or at the minimum stay the same. Are you on one side or the other? Do you go back and forth? I have been up and down lately as my body recovers from illness and my energy bounces like a ball.

When we were choosing our name for our REI business and community, our desire was to communicate our willingness to help and to bring hope. When helping a person who is stuck and needs to sell their home, we can help

For people who want to to invest in real estate while not able or interested in years of education and the work involved to make the best decisions possible, we can help; working with a group of investors means there are more investment opportunities to connect you with.

Our desire in our community Abundanthood, is to bring inspiration and hope to everyone who sometimes struggles with motivation, mindset or getting out of their comfort zone; to help with encouragement and insight, and to inspire growth. An abundant life is more than the house you live in, it is the home you make, your family, the people in your life, the health you improve or maintain, the wealth you build, and the purpose and well-being you desire. 

In our newsletter this month we will talk about how we help sellers who may be feeling hopeless, those who are overwhelmed with the thought of selling, those who don’t have enough equity to sell by regular means.

Starting January we will be featuring local small businesses. Small business drive the community, and we want to help, supporting them through our platform, that is continuing to grow. The businesses will have their own small features. January’s theme will be Vision. 

As we work through this month and all the differences from previous years, let’s remain hopeful and focus on a better future. 

Finally, thank you those who have been reading our newsletter regularly, and those who have sent feedback. Your words have lifted us up. It is our hope that what you read in the newsletter serves you well; that you are inspired and encouraged. We desire for you a hope that leads to vision. 

Live Abundantly, Dawn

If you would like to receive the monthly newsletter, you can subscribe here. Leave a comment about your hopes, answers to any of the questions. Do you have a favourite quote about hope?