Super Charged Monday…yes I know it’s raining!

Good Monday Morning to you all!

The weather is dismal, however we DO need the rain.  My husband and I went canoeing  the Grand River yesterday *20 kilometers!!  I say that, to say, we NEED rain.  There were parts of the river that are flowing quite shallow.  So it’s evident that we need the rain!

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I have this really amazing bush in my front yard that whenever it rains, it holds the raindrops so perfectly on its leaves.  This always cheers me up on a rainy day because I can look at it.  Every time I see fresh raindrops on the leaves, I am grateful for the rain!

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Question of the morning … are you beginning your week super-charged?  Many of you will read this and think, “yeah, right!” Trust me, I know that feeling as well.  For my Monday Motivation today I want to challenge you to re-train your thinking!  It’s true, how we begin our day affects our whole day.  Taking that into consideration, it follows to say that how we begin our WEEK can affect our whole week.  First of all, life is too short to go messing up a whole week! Secondly, it does wonders for you to start your week on a positive footing.  This is the reason that I have committed to always writing on Mondays!  I believe strongly  in starting off on the right foot.  Instead of dreading Monday’s you can actually begin to look forward to the prospects of a bright new week ahead.

Sometimes you never know what a week has in store for you. Several weeks ago, I was going about my business, writing, blogging, researching things and spending time using Social Networks to promote my new business.  Out of the blue, I was invited to attend a webinar, hosted by Jack Canfield, on becoming “unstoppable.”  This fit into my schedule and I was happy for the opportunity to listen to the co-author of “Chicken Soup For the Soul” series, and extremely famous, Jack Canfield. This man is number one in the Coaching World. He is highly influential and very knowledgeable.  I also was interested in seeing the “how’s” of webinars, as I plan to incorporate this into my own business. All in all, I felt this was a win-win situation for me. I could be encouraged and motivated by watching this event and I could glean some insight of webinars.  I spent an hour and a half listening to him speak on the subject of Becoming Unstoppable. He was amazing!  I was so encouraged and empowered after hearing him.  My motivation level was lifted and I was soaring.  After the webinar, I went back to writing an article that I was working on.  About a hourish later, my phone rang.  When I answered they asked to speak to me. The woman then said, “I am Jack Canfield’s assistant and he asked that I call everyone from today’s webinar.” (yes, my head was swimming, trying to take in the fact that Jack Canfield asked her to call me..) She asked me how I enjoyed the session and then she went on to say that Jack was scouting for some people for a program that he could mentor and teach.  She felt that I would be a good candidate. She scheduled an interview for the next evening for both my husband and I to attend via phone conference.  I hung up the phone and felt like I was dreaming!  How could all of this be taking place in my life?  I know that I have been pursuing different arenas to assist in my business building. But seriously, I never dreamed of an opportunity to be trained and mentored by someone of this caliber.  Well you can imagine that my husband and I did our homework to prepare for the next nights interview session!  We were excited and nervous. The next night we interviewed for over an hour. Before the phone call ended, I was accepted to be in Jack Canfield’s Mastermind Coaching Program!  This was unbelievable news  What a turn of events in my life!  This will empower me to be an incredible coach and open doors in so many areas. I am humbled and extremely grateful.

I share this news with you for the reason that first of all, I am extremely happy, excited, amazed, honored, thrilled, out of my mind with joy over this opportunity. Secondly, I share this news with  you for the reason that you never know what is coming up next on your path. As you begin to write out your goals and focus on what you really want in life, it is amazing what doors open up in front of you. If you had told me a month ago that I would be mentored by Jack Canfield, I most likely would have chuckled at the prospect of that. Yet, in two hours from now I will be sitting in my second session! Already the principles that he has instilled into my thinking has propelled me to a deeper level.  I can only imagine who I will become after an entire year under his tutelage!

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(Me, while canoeing the Grand River)

Begin this week by being super charged! Don’t drag through week after week without a vision for you life. Live your purpose! If you don’t know what your life purpose is, discover it! I would love to hear from some of you on what’s going on in your life. Feel free to send me comments! I love the interaction. Always, remember if there is any way I can assist you, feel free to email me at:  charlene@topsspot.ca

Love and empowerment ,

Charlene

Bald for Brenda

Hello everyone, I was thinking, hmmmm, what should I post?  What can I share?  What’s running through my mind?  Well to be brutally honest I have so much running through my mind currently.  I have just started Top’s Spot Life Coaching.  Learning  how to build websites, social network, get my writings published, set up speaking engagements, learn to webinar and of course scouting for clients to Coach and so much more has kept my mind flowing for the past 4 months.  I have loved every minute of it yet I think my mind is totally on “overload.”  I go to bed at night but there is this switch on the side of my head that as soon as it touches the pillow,  generates a million more thoughts.  Ideas, concepts, writings, people, places, and every other imaginable thing .  So while I was contemplating what to write, I asked myself, “what experiences have you had that were meaningful or taught you a lesson; share one of those!  Which brings me to this post

.  Have you ever stopped to think about your hair?  I mean really thought about it!  Have you thought about how your hair makes you feel,?  Your hair is a characteristic that people know you by. Hair can be like your own “branding” to the world.  I know sometimes if I am feeling lousy and just seem in a funk, if I go get my haircut and styled, I come out of that salon like a brand new ME.  And we have all experienced seeing the man that is balding trying desperately to cover that bald spot.

Why?  Because quite frankly, we are attached to our hair!  I never really thought much about it until I shaved my head bald.  What I learned through the xperience of shaving my head has literally changed my perspective on life. Brenda and I are cousins, but we actually felt more like sisters.  We grew up together, went to school together, got married around the same time, had our children close together.  I can barely think of my younger days without her being a part of it.  Well Brenda got cancer.  ( I know you probably were already reaching that conclusion)   Brenda had gorgeous hair!  She loved her long curly locks.  Most people hate when they have curly hair, but not Brenda, she rocked that hair!

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To go through a terminal illness with someone that you love is one of the most difficult things.  At first I struggled with my interactions with her.  Every time we spoke or were together, Cancer, was the pink elephant in the room.  ALL I could think about was her cancer.  I started not knowing what to say.  It felt mean to discuss future plans and events knowing she wouldn’t be here to see them.  Yet it wasn’t right not talking about regular life.  There would be intervals of silence on the phone while I would come up with something to say.  It took me awhile to just be natural.  You feel  the pain and the struggle all the while feeling so helpless.  Brenda was a remarkable person.  She never lost her sense of humor.  She was dying of cancer and joined Weight Watchers!  This was so funny.  She said, ” I think I am the only person in the world who is dying and I am on Weight Watchers!” Her strength and joy lasted up till her last hours with us.

The time came when she started losing her hair.  She called me up and said,” I am just going to shave it off…it will look better than chunks missing.”  I heard the bravado in her voice but sensed the great sorrow in her statement.  I couldn’t do anything for her.  She was in pain and suffering and I was not able to do a thing to help her.  So I decided to do the only thing I could.  I would shave my head bald and relate to her that way.  I live in Canada now and she was living in the US.  So I did some video/ pictures of my journey of Bald for Brenda!  I posted them and sent them to her.  Brenda was deeply moved by my gesture to identify with her.  We discussed it quite often.

6332_264923310610_3218104_n        Me, before shaving my head.

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The shaving process!

My family stood behind my decision and helped shave my head. They seemed pretty shocked at first but got on board as soon as they saw I was serious.  Everyone got into the process.

I did this to identify with Brenda, to share in her time of hardship yet what it did for me was incredible!  I don’t know how to put into words the transformation that occurred within me.  This was the most liberating experience I have ever had.  Suddenly I no longer had an “image” to hide behind.  I had no hair.  My true self had to be the beauty that became visible.

Going out in public with a bald head changes the way people react to you.  Silently, they question what”s wrong with you.  People view you differently.  I started to understand the depths of what others go through that have visible physical ailments.  I learned about prejudices in a fresh way.  The countless lessons I learned from this will go on with me throughout the remainder of my life.  Brenda and I would phone and talk about all these things.  It deepened our already strong bonds.  She told me how greatly affected she was by my gesture of going bald with her.  My only reply was that I could not do anything to help her or to take the pain away, however I could at least identify with some of what she was facing.

My husband and I had a big fancy wedding coming up and I was bald. I went out and got a wig for this event.  I dressed up and put that wig on and went to the church.  I felt extremely uncomfortable in this wig.  It was like I was playing some role in a stage play.  My friends didn’t even recognize me at first glance.  Between the wedding and the reception, I went home and changed and took that wig off. I went to this elegant reception totally bald.    I walked into that fancy place without anything to hide behind.  For the first time in my life I realized I was comfortable in my own skin.  I didn’t have to look a certain way, feel a certain way or dress a certain way, to be who I am. I had so much pleasure that evening at the wedding.  I later found out people had been asking about the bald lady “living it up” on the dance floor.  As the story spread, people were refreshed in my ability to be free.

The next “big” event I had was an interview for a job that I really wanted.  It took me almost 9 months to pin down this interview.  Once again, I was almost bald.  I did not allow this to intimidate me at all.  I knew that if I was my true authentic self I would give them every reason to hire me.  That was one of the best interviews I have ever had.  I can’t explain why, other than the fact that I was ME.  I didn’t have anything to camouflage.  I didn’t have a “social image” I was trying to attain.  I was, simply, me. and a very strong and vivacious me at that!  I got the job that I had wanted for so long.  It was exhilarating!

Originally, I did this for Brenda…but in turn it ended up being the best thing I ever could have done for myself.  I left my comfort zone.  I no longer needed to look, act or think like everyone else.  I discovered the strength of who I am.  I am not advocating that you all go out and shave your head bald; all I know is that it was a life changing event for me.  I miss Brenda daily, but she lives on in the things I do each day. She taught me so much about life and what really matters during her illness.  She motivated me to continue to step out of my comfort zone and to pursue the life that I wanted.  She made me promise that I would allow my life make a difference in this world.  I promised her that I would and each day that I live, I aim to make a difference in the circle of influence that I have.

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It’s all in the Plan

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Happy Monday Motivational!  All weekend I was contemplating what to share for motivation today.  I was asked last week what the vision for my life is.  Hey…that’s a BIG question.  Fortunately, I am in a place that I do have a vision for my life.  Sadly to say, I haven’t always had a vision .  I guess I was somewhat assuming that “things” just kinda happen while you live.”  While it is true, things do just happen while you are living ; the truth is, unless you have a vision or plan for your life so much time and effort is wasted and you set yourself up for failure.  If you don’t have a PLAN,  you are planning to fail.  I started going over this concept again and again in my mind this weekend.  I thought how many,really great people,are just aimlessly living their lives?

The other day I was walking through my neighborhood and came to an area where a bunch of carpenters were.  They all had their tools and were conversing about building a complex.  Quite interesting.  So there they were with tools and just decided to put up random pieces of boards and doors and a window or two…obviously this is a bizarre story.  We all know that this is not what really happens.  The carpenters at this site all have a blueprint for the project they are building.  Every single detail is listed and thought out before the ground is even broken.  They have a “plan” and they will succeed at building the complex as long as they follow the blueprint.

Have you ever watched a chef as he prepares a gourmet meal?  It isn’t some arbitrary throwing together of ingredients.  Each step along the way is built into the recipe.  The chef knows that when he has finished, he can expect a certain end result.  If he were to just throw in” a bit of this and some more of that ” there would be no guarantee of the finished product.

When you get on a train in NYC and have the destination of Disney in Florida, obviously the conductor of that train has a route to follow.  You don’t purchase your ticket in hopes to arrive at the destination.  The conductor has a path to follow.  You can rest assured that the train you are on will arrive exactly where you desire to go.  There isn’t any guessing work because he has the route already mapped out.

So it is with our most precious commodity, our lives.  Unless we have a vision for our lives, then we will not get the desired effect that we are hoping for.  The time we have to live is limited.  It is really important for us to examine what it is that we want to accomplish in this life .  Make it happen!  Set up some goals, make some action plans, and become accountable for what you desire to happen in your own life.  This may sound like a lot of extra work but honestly in the long run it actually causes you to have a better quality of life.

Have a great Monday!

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Monday, Monday….

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To be honest, ever since I was 7 years old, I pictured myself as a “world changer!” Not sure why…just that is how I was wired I guess!  I wanted to be a writer, traveler, speaker or anything that would help other people.  In my small little mind, I only saw potential.  I didn’t think of the million of reasons why I couldn’t.  I had a child-like faith that I just knew I would make it happen.  I felt as though this was my mission in life.  I remember when I was 15 I saw an advertisement for a  trip overseas to help in a developing Nation .  As I looked at that article, I could picture myself right there.  Then I saw how much it cost to participate.  I was 15, didn’t even have a job yet, and needed a lot of money to go on this trip.  Even then I wasn’t deterred.  I went to my mother and told her, “Mom, I am going on this trip to help  this community that needs help!”  First of all, my mom was in shock!  Secondly, she did what every mother would do and told me it was impossible!  “Get it out of your mind, Charlene” she said.  She listed all the reasons why I couldn’t go including cost, distance, and even my age.  Seriously, I don’t know where my resolve  came from but I just looked at her and said calmly, ” I am supposed to go, so it will work out!”  I am not certain how this news even “leaked out” but several days later I was approached by a man in my church who inquired about this trip I felt I was to go on.  I was full of purpose and enthusiasm as I related to him all the details.  He asked me to attend a meeting with a few other people slated for a couple of nights away.  The night  of the meeting I stood before 5-6 men and women and poured out all the details of this trip and how I felt I needed to go there.  By the end of that meeting, I had my plane ticket in hand and all arrangements had already been taken care of by these amazing people!  I don’t even remember going home that night, my mind was overjoyed!  What an opportunity this was.  This first visit to an overseas country only stimulated my desire for traveling, writing ,speaking and helping others at home and abroad.  In fact all of those dreams came true for me through this first trip, to a small degree.  I was chosen out of a team of 25 others upon return to stand in front of a crowd of thousands of people and relate my experiences.  Needless to say, this trip was a life-changing event for ME.  Here I went to help others and yet I believe I took home far more than I gave! ( Thankfully, I have been able to go on other trips.  )

I relate this story as a source of encouragement .  No matter how small you feel or how seemingly impossible something appears, you can make it happen!  Happy Monday!

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In the Shadows of the Night

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In the Shadows of the Night        by Charlene Tops

In the shadows of the night, I peer out my window.

Across the street I see perched on the neighbor’s roof, a man looking like a leftover elf from Christmas Eve.

Wait, no, it’s an evil man lurking in the darkness!  Could he be waiting till all are asleep, so that he can climb into their window and rob and destroy them?

No, it’s a witch on a broom , riding through the neighborhood, cursing the house she has landed on.

No, as I gaze closer, I see the head has turned; it is now a wolf; sneering and baring teeth ready to lurch on someone aware.

My heart races, as I see each fallacy as truth, in the shadows of the night.

In the shadows of the night, my mind peers out the window of my world.

I see perched on the ledge of my thoughts, someone appearing as a leftover elf from Christmas Eve, sprinkling joy into my world.

Wait, no, it’s an evil man!  Could he be waiting till I am asleep to rob me of my dreams and destroy my world?

No, it’s a witch on a broom, riding through my mind, cursing and despising my vision and passions for life.

No, as I gaze closer, I see the head has turned, it is now a wolf; sneering and baring teeth ready to lurch on my life and tear me to shreds while I am unaware.

My heart races, as I see each fallacy as truth, in the shadows of the night.

History of Poem:  One night I was having trouble sleeping, so I went outside to my front porch.  While sitting there I was gazing around.  Across the street, the shadows began to play tricks on my eyes…the image I first saw switched several times. The next morning when I went out to the porch in the daylight, I could clearly see.  I began to think how true it is, that in the dark stillness of the night we can imagine all kinds of things.  I was contemplating a life path change and was doubting whether or not I really could do it.  So, of course, at night I was plagued with doubts and fears but in the daylight that morning I realized that sometimes the things we see are just false.  I made my decision that morning to go out of my comfort zone and pursue what I have always desired to do.  So thankful I did!

Monday’s Motivational is being presented as a Tuesday Tidbit!

Hello Everyone!

Monday’s can be the toughest day of the week!  Agreed??  Well this past Monday (yesterday) was a holiday here in Ontario, so I decided to post Monday’s Motivation today, as many are just going back to work today.  That is even rougher than an ordinary Monday.  You have had 3 wonderful days of “whatever you wanted.”  So it’s kinda rough going back into to the office…and for me, well I am just finishing a week-long vacation at the ocean with my entire family.  All 5 daughters and son-in-law and grandchildren and a host of friends which we consider extended family.  So getting back into the swing of the work week has been a bit brutal!  That being said….Tomorrow is my birthday!  I don’t say that to attract any attention to my birthday ,  However, over the past few years, I have come to cherish the celebration of my birthday.  It gives me a special time and place to see how far I have come and to calculate all the amazing things that have happened over the past year in my life.  This year has been quite an eventful one in my life.  First of all, I turned 50 last year…which is a big deal all the way around!  In the course of 7 months, I lost my job, due to economic pressures in the company and was laid off, I lost 2 close relatives to cancer and a brother due to a heart attack.  Despite,or more precisely due to, these great losses I have been able to reach a place in my life where I have left my comfort zone to pursue my life dreams.  I am thrilled beyond words to be pursuing this.  There are times that I get stuck between the fear of failure and the hope of success, yet in those times I believe that I will succeed.  I believe I am exactly where I should be in my life It is past time to put aside the fears and doubts that have kept me stagnant.  What an adventure!  I am sure as the days unfold I will have so much to share with you on my journey.

My words of encouragement to you today are…Do you have dreams that have been tossed?  Are you so busy rushing through this life and waiting for a perfect time to pause and to begin something that your heart has been begging you to do?  Not all of us feel the need to start a new career or move to some exotic place, but yet deep inside there is that yearning for the one thing you always wanted to do?  Perhaps it’s a hobby, or visiting another country, or planting a garden for the first time, or you can fill in the blank with whatever it is.  I suggest to you that life is way too short NOT to be following your dreams!  There is so much more fulfillment that can be had in this life if we slow down a bit and take time to really enjoy our lives.  It was a huge eye opener for me having so many losses this past year.  I decided that I couldn’t afford to wait any longer.  I needed to get in touch with my mission for this life and finish my days being fulfilled and happy.

 

Let today be the day of new beginnings for you!

hugs to all!

Charlene