You don’t have to see the whole staircase just take the first step ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Emerald Lake
Emerald Lake – British Columbia

For a long time I have had a dream on my heart but had no idea what to do with it. I think this is common of many people. We have dreams, we know WHAT they are but have no idea HOW to make them a reality. And that’s usually where it ends and why people stop short of achieving their dreams, especially the big scary, messy ones. The ones that we don’t fully understand.

It has always bothered me that people struggle with money. Personal finance isn’t taught in school, it’s a topic that just isn’t talked about and people are left to struggle silently. I worked in Finance for many years. My job was to create budgets. I have always thought I have this knowledge and interest, I should do something to help people. I wanted to do something but I had no idea what to do. 

The crazy thing about dreams is, once they are put on your heart, they never go away. Months would go by and I wouldn’t really think about this dream to help people but it would always come back. A few years ago I started talking about it. I started telling people about this dream. I would tell them that I wished there was some way I could help people. This knowledge to improve their financial stewardship would save people’s lives, it would make their lives better. 

 Despite the fact that I had NO idea how to make this happen I would talk about it and think about it. Last year I even put it on my vision board.

If you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop working for it

And the beauty of acknowledging my dreams is that once I am mindful of them, the opportunities appear. The timing is never known and the opportunity may look entirely different from what I had imagined but the opportunities do appear.

Last year, my brother, who I had talked to about this dream, called me to tell me about a program new to our church – a Money Course. As I was very mindful of wanting to educate others on personal finance I saw this as my opportunity and jumped on it.

After a year of meetings, planning and training. Our first Money Course happened last weekend!

To be honest, as much as this is something that I have always wanted to do, as the days approached I didn’t want to do it. I was hoping it would be cancelled, I was hoping something would happen so that I wouldn’t have to go. That’s the thing about working towards dreams, it’s not easy. It’s called a comfort zone for a reason. But I know that I need to step out of it to make great things happen and so I showed up on Saturday morning and the day was amazing!

I don’t know what the next step is but I am grateful that the opportunity appeared and more importantly that I took action!

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world ~ Harriet Tubman

 

Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” C.S. Lewis

This past Sunday I ran my 6th half marathon in Ottawa. As I was running I was writing this post in my head. The weather was great, much cooler and less humid than what I had trained in this summer. I felt strong and my first 5K was faster than I expected. The story was going really well and I couldn’t wait to write it… and then I hit kilometre 16! In all of the runs I have done I have never “hit the wall” like I did at kilometre 16, and it was literally in front of the kilometre marker sign. My head was telling me I only had 5K left but my legs were telling a much different story. My hip flexors stopped working, the forward motion of my legs was barely happening. I had no idea how I was going to finish those 5 kilometres. I did finish but it was S L O W. 

So, as much as I couldn’t wait to write this post at the beginning of the race, by the time I finished I had zero interest in writing it. Why? It wasn’t because I had a tough race or because I hit the wall. The reason I didn’t want to write about this – EGO. I was very unhappy with my time and I didn’t want to talk about it, I didn’t want you to know. I knew going in that it wasn’t going to be a personal best but this run was significantly slower than any other half that I have done. My ego didn’t want me to write this post because people would know how slow I really was. I thought, if I just don’t write about it I can just forget about it. 

The other night I was putting my nephew Alexander to bed. He did really well in his recent cross country meet. As I was leaving his room I said “Good Night Mr. Third Place” and his response… “Good Night Miss Half Marathon”. 

As the week has gone on, I have been a little kinder to myself about the run, thanks in part to Alexander.

I RAN 21.1 kms.

I pushed my body when it resisted.

I had a difficult run and got through it.

I know most people have tough runs at some point. I’ve witnessed others go through it and thought more of them for facing the adversity than I might have if they had an “easy” run. And so I’ve decided to be proud of myself and stop beating myself up. 

So what was my time? 2 hours and 23 minutes.

When you run the marathon you run against the distance, not against the other runners and not against the time. ~ Haile Gebrselasie

Thank you to everyone who is reading this. Having this avenue to express myself helps push me out of my comfort zone. I would have much preferred to ignore how I felt about this run, it would have been easier. But the result of being uncomfortable and writing this is that I gain better perspective, I am less angry and I realize I can run another one anytime and the next one WILL be better.

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” Mahatma Gandhi

Don’t let uncertainty talk you into pursuing a back up plan instead of your purpose ~ Bob Goff

IMG_1215
Saranac Lake, NY

I was at a transformative coaching seminar this past weekend. Removing myself from my daily routine for a few days and spending time in a beautiful setting allowed me to think differently and more creatively. Add to that being surrounded by incredible people and great things happen.

In a conversation with a friend this weekend I was reminded of my vision and realized that while I had been working towards it, in the past year I have slipped back into my comfort zone and have not been pushing forward. Why? Because it’s easy to sit in my comfort zone… it’s well… comfortable. I am really good at planning, and I even execute the first couple of steps, but then I stop. The next couple of steps are hard. I don’t like hard. I don’t like the idea of failing. As much progress as I have made on it, I still worry about what people will think. I don’t know exactly what I am supposed to be doing. And so I stop.

I like things neat and organized. I like tangibles. Ideas in theory don’t resonate with me as I am task oriented. I struggle with taking those really big ideas and breaking them down into action. It’s not that I don’t work towards my goals and dreams but what I am good at, is taking tangible goals and dreams and accomplishing them. Running a half marathon – buy running shoes, register for the race, follow a training schedule, run – all of that I can do, I understand it. The big intangible goals are my struggle. The dreams that I don’t quite understand.

I complete a coaching form every month and one of the questions is “what are your fears?” Every month I have the same answer – I am afraid that I will quit before I achieve greatness because there will be some failures along the way.  In the past year this fear is real, I have quit on the vision. 

So here we are – day 1 post seminar and I am putting it out there. I am being real and vulnerable. I am telling all of you to hold me accountable to continue on this journey.  This post is my first step.

You’re going to feel uncomfortable in your new world for a bit. It always does feel strange to be knocked out of your comfort zone. ~ Jojo Moyes