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Archive for October, 2009

Fresh ideas about book clubs

colourful books in a field

Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, has been doing a series of articles this year on different book clubs from around the country. The articles show up periodically in the Focus and Books section of Saturday’s paper and have profiled clubs from Moncton to Victoria.

As the series has unfolded, one of the most interesting aspects of it has been that every book club profiled has been so different from every other one. What they have in common is that the members love books and reading, after that the commonalities stop.

The latest article features a club in Ontario that meets just three times a year, rather than the more common once-a-month. This group of retirees has created a club schedule that fits into their busy lives.

Another club that we were fascinated to read about was a mother-daughter club, also in Ontario. Founder Karen von Jagow came home from her adult book club a few years ago to find herself peppered with questions from her then-11-year-old daughter. Von Jagow realized that her daughter had observed how important her mother’s club was to her and was, in her own way, expressing a desire to be involved with a group in a similar way.

The idea for a mother-daughter club was born and they’ve been meeting now for three years. One beautiful thing the mothers have noticed is that their girls have transformed from being a bit shy about talking about the books to being more confident about hosting, leading a discussion and creating provocative questions for the group to discuss. The added bonus of keeping conversational doors open between parent and child during the teenage years is one we’re sure these mothers are happy about too!

Do you belong to a book group?
If not, would you like to create one?
Who would you invite to join you on the reading journey?

namaste,

Zoey

Zoey Ryan
life & business coach for women
inspiration * clarity * wisdom * enchantment
www.shaktisage.com
604-323-3700

“Coaching for your heart & soul & the heart and soul of your business.”

Women, Parenting & Gratitude

shannonWe are pleased to share this article by one of our Shakti Sage Life Coaches, Shannon Rosnau, seen here with a kidlet!

Mystic Mama’s Infusion of Inspiration and delight for Conscious Parents….

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
-Melody Beattie

‘Tis the season to give thanks; however, as we all know, a special day is really unnecessary. Every hour of every day is the perfect time to express gratitude.

This month, I would like to reflect upon “thankfulness” and explore ways we, as parents, can foster “attitudes of gratitude” within our families.

So much more than a social nicety, thankfulness is an incredibly powerful

Each word spoken is recorded in our saliva – a vibratory
reflection of the essence of the message. Being nearly
99% water, saliva holds a “memory” of all that passes
through our body/mind/spirit. A healthy human
produces nearly 600 milliliters of saliva each day –
enough to fill a 12 oz. bottle.

Talk about swallowing our own words!

As conscious parents, I know we all recognize the genuine power of gratitude. Many of us keep personal gratitude journals and count our blessings on a daily basis. However, it can be a challenge to incorporate thankfulness into our busy, everyday family lives. Gratitude is admittedly hard to muster when our toddler is having a meltdown in the grocery line or our At times like this it is easy to sink into self pity and ask, “why me?”

When we are thankful

This week, practice making gratitude a natural part of your family life. Write thank you notes to one another. Create a family gratitude jar or journal. Hug your child and tell them, “I am soo thankful for you.” Start a thankfulness ritual that feels perfect for your family. Model thankfulness and talk about all the things you are grateful for. I would love to hear your ideas

Yours in gratitude.

Namaste,
Shannon Rosnau
Mystic mama, Shakti Sage Life Coach, Advocate of love

I hope you enjoyed this article by Shannon. It is a great reminder of the power of families and how important it is to keep the love & gratitude flowing!

peace & namaste,

Zoey – founding hippy at hippy grandma

Zoey Ryan
life, business & leadership coach for women
inspiration * clarity * wisdom * enchantment
www.shaktisage.com
604-323-3700

“Coaching for your heart & soul and the heart & soul of your business”

Are you a heart-centered and “soulful shopper”? Know of a new baby arriving? Keep the heart, soul & hippy love flowing for generations with purchases from Hippy Grandma: an Eco-Boutique selling fair trade, one of a kind, earth friendly treasures.

Through your purchases, you help local artisans, hand-crafting grandmas on a pension, women’s fair trade co-ops and programs designed to support vulnerable mamas & babies. Please share Hippy Grandma widely and wildly with your soul sisters. www.hippygrandma.com

Dogs in Gortex Jackets

Bulldog

Here in coastal British Columbia, we enjoy a pretty mild climate, especially when compared to the rest of Canada. Even so, if you walk anywhere in the Vancouver area in winter you’ll see dogs in gortex (or fleece) jackets.

This sight always brings one word to mind: simplicity. Because a dog in a gortex jacket is such a great metaphor for the things we don’t need but feel we must have.

I sometimes talk about the simplicity of the life in places like Yelapa, Mexico and the desire I feel to be mindful about the choices I make in life, especially around the latest toy or gadget.

As we become fully immersed in our fall schedules, and life gets much busier, perhaps we could try to retain some of the simplicity from summer into our ‘regular’ lives. A simplicity that resembles that of a good vacation; less rushing, more time for conversations with family and friends, less drive to chase those things we think we need.

I invite you to ask yourself:
1. What matters most to me?
2. Where could I invite more simplicity into my life?
3. How could that simplicity improve my relationships with my family and friends?
4. Are there any places in my life where I feel I’ve got a “dog in a gortex jacket”?

namaste,

Zoey

Zoey Ryan
life & business coach for women
inspiration * clarity * wisdom * enchantment
www.shaktisage.com
604-323-3700

“Coaching for your heart & soul & the heart and soul of your business.”

Unique Sustainability Program at a Vancouver Grocer

Recycling world

Choices Market is a locally owned and operated grocery store here in the Vancouver area (they just recently added a new store in the BC Interior town of Kelowna, as well). As Western Canada’s largest retailer of natural and organic foods, Choices has always been a leader in the local business community and have always placed a focus on supporting local growers and producers. They have also led the way in making choices (pun intended) and taking action to ensure that their stores operate in the most sustainable way possible.

And they listen to their customers! (How often do you encounter that in a large retailer these days?) Choices customers have voiced their opinion that less packaging is better, and as usual, Choices is listening. They’ve created the Sustainability Program.

From their web site (choicesmarket.com): The Choices Sustainability Program will allow proactive Brand Owners the opportunity to fully close the recycling loop.

The program is simple.

* Select Brand Owners will approve the return of all their packaging to Choices Recycling Centre
* Shelf signs with the Choices Recycling Centre logo will be placed in front of products that may be returned to Choices Recycling Centre
* Consumers return authorized packaging to the Choices Recycling Centre
* Packaging is collected by the Choices Recycling Centre and sent off to the appropriate recycling depot
* Any revenues for collected materials will be donated to local charities.

Choices Markets strives to take responsibility for the full life cycle of the products we sell. We are proud to incorporate this program into our store and we are excited to be an integral part of the solution.

From everyone here at Shakti Sage, congratulations once again to a community leader, Choices Market, for a great idea and for taking one more step toward a fully sustainable future.

namaste,
Zoey

Zoey Ryan
life & business coach for women
inspiration * clarity * wisdom * enchantment
www.shaktisage.com
604-323-3700

“Coaching for your heart & soul & the heart and soul of your business.”

Art + Yoga = Community support

Yoga pose
Georgina Varveris is part owner of Open Door Yoga studios, which operate on Commercial Drive and Main Street in Vancouver. She recently began what she calls The Bag Project to help artists and those struggling with homelessness in her community.

The Bag Project works like this: Varveris has sourced hemp/cotton bags, appropriate for groceries or other purchases, and produced locally at HT Basics. She commissioned struggling artist Jason Bouchard to provide the artwork for the outside of each bag. The bags are sold by Roger Wilson, a man who lives on the streets around Commercial Drive. (Bags can also be purchased at the Open Door Yoga studio Commercial Drive location.) Profits from the sale of each $13 bag are then divided between Jason and Roger.

Varveris explained to the Vancouver Courier newspaper that she was inspired by Pivot Legal Society (who we’ve written about on this blog) and their work in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Pivot’s Hope In Shadows project distributes cameras in the Downtown Eastside community and holds a contest with the resulting photographs. The 12 winning entries are then used to produce a calendar, which community members sell on the streets of Vancouver in the late part of each year. The sellers receive 50% of the sale price of each calendar. In 2008 the calendars sold out.

Each one of us can make a difference in our community. Georgina Varveris and Pivot Legal Society know this intimately.

We leave you today with this quote:

Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
– Margaret Mead

namaste,

Zoey

Zoey Ryan
life & business coach for women
inspiration * clarity * wisdom * enchantment
www.shaktisage.com
604-323-3700

“Coaching for your heart & soul & the heart and soul of your business.”

Pivot Legal Society

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There is a non-profit legal society in Vancouver that has been working to improve the lives of some of the most marginalized people in society.

Pivot Legal Society works to use the law to achieve social change, addressing the root causes that undermine the quality of life for those on the margins. They practice strategic legal advocacy, meaning they are not a legal aid society, but one that focuses on the causes of problems rather than the symptoms and tries to find ways that the law can address those causes.

For example, a few years ago a hotel in the Downtown Eastside (Canada’s poorest neighborhood) was closed due to long-standing maintenance issues. The City of Vancouver had the power to rectify those issues through the Standards of Maintenance By-law but had not done so. Pivot took up this issue on behalf of the residents of the closed hotel, and on behalf of all those in the neighborhood who rely on single room occupancy hotels for housing, and sued the City for not enforcing the bylaw. In March of 2009, Vancouver City Council resolved to enforce the bylaw, following presentations by Pivot and others; with the support of the council behind it the bylaw is now working.

Based on the premise that everyone deserves a safe, secure place to live, Pivot has once again used the law to enact positive change in a desperately poor and drug-ravaged neighborhood. Go to Pivot’s web site (pivotlegal.org) to find out more about all the amazing projects and initiatives that they have going on in the name of a healthy, inclusive community.

namaste,

Zoey

Zoey Ryan
life & business coach for women
inspiration * clarity * wisdom * enchantment
www.shaktisage.com
604-323-3700

“Coaching for your heart & soul & the heart and soul of your business.”

When is a car like a library book?

iStock_000006919708XSmall

Have you heard of the concept of car sharing? This is an idea that was born in Europe in the 1970s and has finally made its way to North America.

Car sharing works a lot like having a library card (to quote the Cooperative Auto Network’s web site). When you have a library card you have access to a large number of books and have a deadline for when you need to return the books you’ve borrowed. With car sharing you have access to a fleet of cars and a deadline for when you need to return the car you’ve borrowed.

And just like the library, car sharing does a number of great things for the environment. Those who car share drive between 5000 and 10,000 fewer kilometres each year. This reduces carbon emissions and improves air quality for everyone. Fewer cars on the roads means less dependence on oil and safer, quieter and less crowded streets.

Car sharing has lots of personal benefits for its participants as well. One of our employees here at Shakti Sage belongs to a car sharing network, and she finds that not owning her own car encourages her to walk more and to make an effort to car pool when she is using a car. She reports that at first it made her a little nervous to think of letting go of her car, but now that she’s done it and has joined a car sharing network, she loves it. She’s saving money (several hundred dollars a month!), doing her part for the environment and getting to know her neighbors a little better because she has slowed down to walk to the shops in her area.

Learn more about car sharing here.

Namaste,

Zoey – founding hippy at hippy grandma

Zoey Ryan
life, business & leadership coach for women
inspiration * clarity * wisdom * enchantment
www.shaktisage.com
604-323-3700

“Coaching for your heart & soul and the heart & soul of your business”

Are you a heart-centered and “soulful shopper”? Know of a new baby arriving? Keep the heart, soul & hippy love flowing for generations with purchases from Hippy Grandma: an Eco-Boutique selling fair trade, earth friendly treasures.

Through your purchases, you help local artisans, hand-crafting grandmas on a pension, women’s fair trade co-ops and programs designed to support vulnerable mamas & babies. Please share Hippy Grandma widely and wildly with your soul sisters. www.hippygrandma.com

Life Lessons From The Heart – A Great Story About Slowing Down and Helping Others

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A story for your heart, thanks Virginia for passing this on!

“A few years ago, at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all
physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the
100-yard dash. At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash,
but with a relish to run the race to the finish and win.

All, that is, except one little boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled
over a couple of times, and began to cry. The other eight heard the boy
cry. They slowed down and looked back. Then they all turned around and went
back…..every one of them.

One girl with Down’s Syndrome bent down and kissed him and said, “This will
make it better.” Then all nine linked arms and walked together to the
finish line.

Everyone in the stadium stood, and the cheering went on for several minutes.
People who were there are still telling the story. Why? Because deep down
we know this one thing:

What matters in this life is more than just winning for ourselves. What
matters is helping others win, even if it means slowing down and changing
our course.”

As we move on past Canadian Thanksgiving day, let’s all remember the moral of this story. “What matters is helping others win, even if it means slowing down and changing our course!”

peace & namaste,

Zoey – founding hippy at hippy grandma

Zoey Ryan
life, business & leadership coach for women
inspiration * clarity * wisdom * enchantment
www.shaktisage.com
604-323-3700

“Coaching for your heart & soul and the heart & soul of your business”

Are you a heart-centered and “soulful shopper”? Know of a new baby arriving? Keep the heart, soul & hippy love flowing for generations with purchases from Hippy Grandma: an Eco-Boutique selling fair trade, earth friendly treasures.

Through your purchases, you help local artisans, hand-crafting grandmas on a pension, women’s fair trade co-ops and programs designed to support vulnerable mamas & babies. Please share Hippy Grandma widely and wildly with your soul sisters. www.hippygrandma.com

Have you heard about Quinoa?

iStock_000008678054XSmall
More often these days when we see articles about the so-called “Super Foods” that are good for us and provide excellent health benefits (walnuts for their omega-3 fatty acid, avocados for their good fats and vitamin E, dark chocolate (yeah!) for its antioxidant flavonoids, which reduce the inflammation associated with cardiovascular disease etc.) we see Quinoa mentioned. But until recently we were a little intimidated to pronounce the word, let alone cook with it.

Thankfully we got over that. The word is pronounced keen-wa, and it is a pseudocereal closely related to beets and spinach. The Incas referred to quinoa as the “mother of all grains”, and we wonder if that is because of its nutritional benefits. The good news is that mainstream grocery stores have caught on to the benefits and popularity of quinoa and are stocking in on their shelves. You won’t have to go too far afield to find it.

Quinoa is a great source of protein, and contains a balanced set of amino acids (unlike wheat and rice, which are low in lysine). It’s a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free, which makes it a great alternative food source for those with wheat or gluten allergies.

So now, what do you do with quinoa?

Well, first of all, it’s a great substitute for rice. Anytime you’re planning to have rice on the side of a meal, try some quinoa instead. It’s easy to prepare too:
• simply bring 2/3 cup water to boil
• add 1/3 cup quinoa
• turn off the heat under the pot
• stir the quinoa in the water briefly
• put the lid on the pot and leave stand for 30 minutes.

(If you increase the recipe, simply always use double the amount of water to the amount of quinoa you’re using.)

One of our favorite ways to eat quinoa is to prepare what we call “Quinoa Salad”, which is essentially a tabouleh recipe that uses quinoa instead of bulgar wheat. (Google ‘tabouleh’ and find a recipe that you like.) It keeps well in the fridge and can be eaten cold as a side salad. We often top it just before eating with slivered almonds and a bit of feta cheese.

Yum! Healthy eating never tasted so good.

namaste,

Zoey

Zoey Ryan
life & business coach for women
inspiration * clarity * wisdom * enchantment
www.shaktisage.com
604-323-3700

“Coaching for your heart & soul & the heart and soul of your business.”

Women & Integrity: Self-Care Tips and Life Enchantments

womenscircleWomen, Self-Care Tips and Life Enchantments: “Being a Shakti Sage & Integrity”!

Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.” — Janis Joplin

We tend, through life, to be confronted with many ethical dilemmas where we need to draw on our personal codes and guiding principles. These dilemmas may feel small or large, depending on the circumstance. Part of “life coaching” is helping folks develop clarity about their personal guiding principles and values. I often suggest that clients ask themselves the following question; “can you live with yourself, with your integrity intact, if you make that decision”?

I found the following definitions of the word “integrity” to be very interesting

(from: http://www.merriamwebster.com/dictionary/integrity)
1 : firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : incorruptibility ?2 : an unimpaired condition : soundness ?3 : the quality or state of being complete or undivided : completeness

Most folks I talk with are familiar with the first definition, however, it is the third definition that I find fascinating, especially if one applies this to people not cell membranes! In ancient traditions one often hears about each person’s aura or “egg” of energy. In psychological and mind/body terms, one talks about “containment” and the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts.

What if we placed the emphasis on first “getting whole” and then making decisions; would that automatically mean we make integral decisions?

Now I know this discussion may seem airy fairy to some, yet, it is a serious question. If we design a practice and actions so that we have a “felt experience” of being whole, complete and contained, with all parts of us, mind, body, spirit and emotions connecting and integrated, then, I would say, we can’t help but function with integrity.

In our Western culture, we are encouraged to use primarily our mind in making decisions. What if we also asked “what would my heart say about this”, or ”how does gut feel” with that decision?

In previous postings, I have discussed a variety of qualities from wisdom to power, from courage to gentleness; with incorporating the word “integrity” we add in both meanings of the word and draw on the concept of wholeness or completeness as well as a personal code of ethics.

So, you see, living with integrity may encompass so much more than just being true to oneself. Janis Joplin has half the equation! Imagine a world where we all make decisions with both our head and our hearts for the purposes of deeper connection!

This week, luscious ladies, play around with the following questions

“Self-care Tips and Life Enchantments”:
1. When have you experienced a challenge to your personal code of ethics? How did you respond?

2. Do you or how do you experience a sense of wholeness or containment?

3. This week, when making a decision, run it through your head, your heart and your gut and see if the process feels different.

Please share your comments!

Namaste,

Zoey – founding hippy at hippy grandma

Zoey Ryan
life, business & leadership coach for women
inspiration * clarity * wisdom * enchantment
604-323-3700

“Coaching for your heart & soul and the heart & soul of your business”

 

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