I did not

I did not see you cry 
behind your beautiful smile.

I did not hear you scream
behind your joyful belly laugh.

I did not help you lift your load
though you stopped to lighten mine. 

I did not see the demons you fought
while you were busy helping them fight theirs.

I failed you
when I did not see.

I’m awake now

but…

You’re gone.

Resilience. Humility. Success.

We wrapped another amazing two-day Summit for Investment Planning Counsel – this time amidst the stunning views of Whistler, British Columbia.

For me, one core message rang loud throughout the event: the power of resilience plus the courage of humility adds up to living life successfully on ALL fronts.

Jon Montgomery – 2010 Skeleton Gold Medalist at the Whistler Games, and Amanda Lindhout – kidnap survivor and author of A House in the Sky – wore their hearts on their sleeves when they told their stories. Their life stories could not be more different, but they both proved that with dogged determination and hard work, an insatiable sense of curiosity and the grace to remain humble, we can break through any challenge, transform our personal stories, and achieve the success we each hold in our mind’s eye.

A few highlights from Jon:

  • There are some things in life or things about yourself that you cannot change. Don’t let that limit you. But, approach fear head on and live so far outside your comfort zone by doing just one thing each day that stretches you.

“Things are only truly out of our reach if we put them there.” – Jon Montgomery

  • Celebrate small victories along the way because if you’re not careful you might quit just before the miracle.
  • Give your dreams some legs – let yourself be inspired by those around you.
  • Help others improve. It’s impossible not to get better at what you do when you help others achieve their potential.

Some nuggets from Amanda:

  • You will never truly know or understand what you have until it’s taken away from you.

“I’m grateful for the sky, because it was taken away from me. I hug my mother with more gratitude because she was taken away from me.” – Amanda Lindhout

  • Find the seed of compassion, touch it, and look at things from the other person’s point of view. You’ll understand more and it can make a difference in how you choose to react.

 

Jon Montgomery_Amanda Lindhout_Evelyn Fernandez2018

 

These are two people who reminded us that our dreams are worth fighting for, no matter the odds. How we achieve or survive the odds, and what we do with our success for our community is ultimately what matters.

PS: If you’ve yet to read Amanda’s, book, I recommend it. It will put you on an emotional rollercoaster.

We Said Goodbye Today

We said goodbye today.

We’re weren’t planning to, not for a long while yet.

We thought there would be time to mend what had broken… to one day set it all aside and go back to the way it was when we were kids. To go back to a time when we ran free in the playground playing catch, or when we built tents using all the blankets on our bunks and imagined a secret world of adventure – in ways only children knew how to do – or when we gathered boisterously for meals at the long table.  They were the best.

But we said goodbye today…never having gone back to what it once was.

You had led our pack, growing up. You inspired us when you were the first among us to take flight and explore boundaries beyond the shores we grew up on. You were generous to a fault. There was always a glint in your eye along with a shy smile, as if you knew something the rest of us didn’t. Until one day, when we no longer saw that smile or the glint in your eye.

sunflowers2

Windblown Sunflowers

I sat today and watched the rain as it beat down against the window. The day seemed so heavy. Then I lost myself in memories of a more beautiful time, a simpler time when we were children…

Goodbye for now. We will miss you.

Happiness is…

…shedding your inhibitions and trying something different…and being happy with the results.

I was playing with oil pastels this evening – for the first time – and this happened. It was satisfying.

Sometimes, that’s all you need.

Roses in bloom

Roses in bloom

Happiness is…

Losing yourself in doodle art and playing with acrylics, even when you don’t know what you’re doing, to wipe away the stress of the week you’ve wrapped up.

sunflowers_ef

Windblown sunflower