On January 10, 2013, I was reminded once again NOT to be careful what I wish for! Here is my crazy “little” story.
Our family has 2 vehicles, the “mom wagon” (The Mini Van), and the “fun car” (The Mini). While I was packing for the first part of my Canada book tour, I realized that my husband Ryan would need to keep the van to run the kids around, and I would have to take the Mini on my tour. Taking the Mini to Edmonton was no issue…I was by myself and I only had one book signing to deliver books to. My tour to Western Canada, on the other hand, involved driving from Calgary to various cities in British Columbia, including Kelowna, Vancouver and Victoria. The BC trip would involve myself, my faithful book partner and cousin, Julie, and for a few days, my incredible niece, Brooke. Three high maintenance girls with luggage, twelve boxes of books and eight days of intense road tripping through the Rocky Mountains in winter was not going to work in the Mini. I started freaking out, and wondering what I would do. I discussed my options with my Business Manager, and she cleverly suggested that I try to switch vehicles with one of my family members. I knew I had a bit of time to think about my options (a week!), but I knew I was not satisfied with taking the Mini to BC. I put my “issue” out to the Universe and decided not to worry any longer. Plus, I had my Edmonton trip to worry about first!
While I packed the Mini for my Edmonton trip, I was surprised at how much room there was. I was also surprised at how much luggage one girl could need for two days! My trip to Edmonton was incredible…two tv appearances and two book signings, and then it was time to head home. When I left Edmonton, the weather was beautiful and the roads were clear, but I knew I was headed back home to a blizzard in Calgary. While I drove out of Edmonton, I consciously put my “Invisible Shield” on, cranked the tunes and started singing my heart out. Almost halfway through my drive, I heard a huge **SMASH**, and then heard the sound of wind coming into the car. While trying not to swerve all over the highway, I looked around the car. All of the windows were in tact, so I looked up. There was a huge hole in the roof where the sunroof had once been…and I was alive! The retractable mesh screen on the sunroof saved my life. I was AMAZED that I had survived.
I did not stop the car. I called Ryan (handsfree), and he told me to pull over as soon as possible. Luckily for me, Red Deer was just 10 minutes away. I pulled over and opted for a gas station with bright lights. I got out of the car, looked at the broken glass all over the car and in the sunroof, and I had no idea what to do.
I was about to get back in my car and cry when two guys in a big black truck stopped in front of me and asked if I needed help. At that point, I didn’t know what I needed!
My “Knights in Shining Black Truck”, Chris and Justin, reversed in beside me and assessed the situation. It was freezing outside that night (-15 degrees C). Chris went to work pulling out chunks of glass from the top of the car, while Justin went to ask inside for tape so they could seal the hole. These boys were troopers! There was no tape at the gas station we were at, so they drove to a different gas station, purchased a roll of strong tape and came back to me. They proceeded to tape a black garbage bag down to the top of the Mini. Poor Chris had cut himself on the glass and was bleeding, but that did not stop him from sealing that hole!
We proceeded to exchange contact information. They gave me their business cards, and I gave them each a signed copy of my book. As if what they had done for me was not enough, they said “hey, we’re heading back to Calgary too. Why don’t you follow us?”. So I did.
It was only an hour and a half to home. The roads were still clear when we left Red Deer, but within a half an hour we ran into a blizzard. It was dark, and the snow was coming down so hard it was like a whiteout! I stuck right close to my new friends, and trusted them to get me home. As I drove behind them, I felt protected, safe and happy. I could not stop smiling the whole way home, even though my fingers were gripping the steering wheel and the wind was howling loudly into my car. Once we hit Calgary, I took my
turnoff and I watched my “Knights” go riding off down the Deerfoot. The plastic bag stayed on the whole way home.
The Mini is in the shop awaiting a new sunroof from Germany so I ended up getting a rental Mini Van through my insurance company to take on my trip to British Columbia…so big, so comfortable, and so safe! Just what I wanted.
I contacted my “Knights” to thank them for not only keeping me warm on the way home, but also for ensuring that I made it home on those crazy Alberta roads. Surprisingly, one of them responded to me by saying “I am a believer in Karma, and greater forces in the Universe…was beginning to lose a little faith in the universe lately but meeting you let me know that I should never have doubted anything!”
The “morals” of my story…
- I don’t know what smashed my sunroof, and I will probably never know. Sometimes, the little details don’t matter.
- Ask, and you shall receive.
- Things do not always happen the way you think they will, and that is OK!
- The Universe is ALWAYS watching out for those who ask for, and are grateful, for help.
- Be thankful to be alive!
- “Situations” ARE “Opportunities” when you think positively.
- Don’t be careful what you wish for. Just keep your wishes awesome.
- You never know when you will meet amazing people who have something for you.
- THERE ARE NO COINCIDENCES.
Enjoy your life, smile more, have more fun, relax, laugh, don’t worry, and hug each other. These are the things that really matter. Namaste!
President & CEO
Be That Books Inc.
Publishing the Best Books for Self Help.
Moms are always telling their children what to do and how to do it. Mothers know best! In a perfect world, our children would just listen intently to every word of wisdom that we give them, and they would follow every direction we gave them. If they listened to us, we could prevent their heartaches and headaches.
We tell our children what to do, and what not to do, because we, as adults have had more experiences, and we have learned what happens when we do, or do not do, certain things. We, as adults, understand what consequences are. Yet we would like to shelter our own children from experiencing consequences. Why should they have to go through what we went through? We can prevent it! We can shelter them, shield them and protect them by telling them what they should do.
As much as we would like to keep our children in a bubble of perfectness, we as Mom’s need to start thinking about helping our children progress and learn independence through other means.
Our job as parents is to help our children learn to be independent of us…how to thrive on their own (not really what we moms had in mind… won’t they always need us?). By focusing on making their choices for them (telling them what to do), we end up protecting them. This soothes our motherly souls, but can cause tension between parents and children and is not a great long term solution.
Children need to learn the value of a consequence. “If I do this, then this will happen”. Instead of focusing on telling your kids what to do, focus on helping them learn about results.
Let’s look at an example. It is a freezing cold day, and you need to get your 5 year old to kindergarten on time, and you are already running a bit behind schedule already. Your 5 year old is amazing, sweet, and stubborn, and refuses to put their jacket on. You spend 5 minutes explaining to your child how cold it is outside and that they will surely freeze to death if they do not put their jacket on. Your child spends that 5 minutes screaming “no” to you. In the end, you wrestle your child into that jacket and there are a lot of tears and the stress level is high. But you have won! Your sweet angel has that jacket on, and you know that they are protected and warm. Your child is sobbing and upset that you would not listen to them! But you know what is best for them…your child needs to listen to you.
Let’s look at another way of handling this. Instead of arguing with your child, allow them to experience a consequence. You have told your child once calmly that it is very cold outside and that they need to put their jacket on (be sure you make eye contact with them, get down to their level to ensure that they really hear you…their brains process things quickly and they may have a hard time focusing). When they refuse to put their jacket on, simply say “okay, that is your decision not to put your jacket on”. Then proceed to leave as usual. It won’t take long until they complain about how cold they are. In this situation, you will have brought their jacket with you, and when they complain about the cold, you will put it on them, and say something like “thank goodness for nice, warm jackets! Next time, let’s try putting your jacket on before you get too cold.”
In the second example, both Mom and child are less frustrated. Of course, Mom is still worried about her child, but she would never allow her child to be in a situation that was unsafe. Mom knew that this would be a good learning experience for her child. The child now knows that if they go outside without a jacket, they will be very cold, therefore they need to put their jacket on before.
Your child may also learn over time that what you are telling them is actually true. (“My mom did say that it was going to be freezing cold without my jacket, and it was. Perhaps I should listen to my mom next time!”). No one wants to be told what to do. It can be hard to rationalize with a 2 year old (or a 5 year old, or a 13 year old, or a 40 year old!)
Everyone learns more deeply when they have an opportunity to experience it themselves.
Reduce your own stress, and theirs, by breaking down the walls of protection. Let them make choices, and allow them to deal with the consequences of those choices and actions, and you will immediately create a more positive and respectful relationship.
You are an amazing Mom! Be sure to reward yourself today… Buy yourself some flowers, or give yourself 20 minutes of free time for a bath, shower, or to read a good book. You deserve to feel like a queen for 20 minutes every day. Go GIRL!
Tina O’Connor, BsC Psych.
President & CEO
Whatever you choose to do in your life, do it with passion and focus, and do your best not to get distracted. When you follow your heart, and your gut, you will find the right path.
Once you start walking down your path, you must stay focused on your destination. No need to drop any breadcrumbs, or pebbles. You are not going to need to go back! You’ve got to be all in! See yourself at the end of the path before you get there. Imagine how it feels to be there…to have done it, to have arrived. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
Retain your focus, and remember that there will always be distractions and roadblocks set up intentionally to try and force you off your path. Assess everything as it comes up. Distractions can appear to be very exciting, like randomly meeting a rock star at the airport. Beware! This diversion could cause you to miss out on other opportunities that may have been much more valuable in getting you to your destination. Use your intuition, trod valiantly and confidently towards your goal, and have a little fun along the way.
Small steps taken every day will get you there if you are focused, and dedicated to your own success. Get out there and start taking some little action steps today! Be all in to your life! Namaste.
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Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your opinions with me Hugs and Sunshine from Calgary, Tina O’Connor.
Let me help you find your Successful, Amazing, Unforgettable YOU!
When the going gets tough, take the advice of the Beastie Boys and “Fight for your right to PARTY!”
No matter what your life is filled with right now, add some fun, even if you don’t feel like you can, or should! Fight with yourself and win! Give yourself permission to TAKE the time and enjoy your life, even when you feel like there is just “no time for fun”. All work and no play will add up to a meltdown of unhappiness. Fun is a stress reliever. Smiling and laughing increases your positivity, which will add energy and vitality to your life and propel you forward.
This week, I have been invited to attend an event called “Bull Bustin’” with my Unky. While I am feeling overwhelmed in other areas of my life, I am making time to hang with my Unky and enjoy some good ‘ole Stampede fun. Living in Calgary, we get used to all kinds of “rodeo-themed” events during our world famous Calgary Stampede. This annual event is aptly termed “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”, and is something I think everyone should have on their bucket list to attend. Free pancake breakfasts all around town for 10 days straight, a license to party any time of the day, and a city dressed to the nines in jeans with over-sized belt buckles, cowboy boots and hats will have you shouting “Yee Haw” until the fireworks go off each night.
Let yourself have a little fun each week. (not too much, though, or you’ll regret it!) Let go of any guilt you may have about allowing yourself this time. It is essential for your well-being. Namaste.
Things will happen in your life that upset you. Things will happen that do not feel right, and don’t feel good. Situations will come up that are unexpected, scary, and hard to deal with. One of the hardest things to learn in this life is to let go of your negative feelings about things and situations. Life will get hard and things will always change. You can measure your own success by how quickly you can change the emotion of a situation from negative to positive.
I had the pleasure of meeting an incredible man this weekend. A man who had lost his wife suddenly in the last few weeks. Knowing of his loss, but not knowing him, I expected to meet a broken, sad man. I was wrong. The man I met was a pillar of strength, positivity, and calmness. His smile and his energy said it all. He had made peace with the loss. He had let go of the sadness, and was enjoying every moment of the life that he still vibrantly had, and wanted to shared with everyone around him. His strength made me realize that the recent emotional turmoil I was going through based on a recent change in my own life was simply unnecessary.
Every problem that arises in your life is actually an opportunity. Focus on seeing the positive outcomes of every situation as quickly as possible, and you will be able to turn your negative feelings into positive ones. Do not get stuck in a black hole of self pity. Things happen. You have the ability to control how you react to the situations.
Do not take things personally. EVER. You are amazing. You have the power, the stamina, the strength and the determination to achieve everything you think about. So make sure you think about great things.
Let go of the negative emotion. Grab onto the little threads of positivity all around you and start knitting yourself something. Perhaps you will start with a pair of slippers. Soon, you will have knitted a blanket of positivity that you can wrap yourself and your family in. If you keep pulling in the positive strings, and continue creating positivity, you will be changing the world, one thread at a time.
It’s OK to feel happy, even when bad things happen. Challenge yourself to see the good in EVERY situation. Namaste.