Life Is Not a Dress Rehearsal

Happy New Year!

Earlier this month my grandma, one of the most special people in my life, passed away at the age of 96. Even though she was almost 97 years old, it was still a shock to hear that she was gone. I was filled with a combination of sadness (knowing that I would never again receive one of her big hugs) and gratitude that I was so blessed to have this amazing woman in my life for almost 50 years! 

When we are faced with losing someone close to us, it is a good opportunity to remind us just how precious life really is. We need to remember that life is not a dress rehearsal and that our time is the most valuable resource we have. Each day we wake up we are given the gift of 1440 minutes and at the end of the day all those moments are gone (forever).

I think children are great at living in the moment, but sometimes as adults as we get caught up in the responsibilities and worries of daily life and as a result often find it difficult to live fully in the here and now. That’s why I am so grateful for the mindfulness teachings and my regular meditation practice, because they help me to live more in the present moment. 

As you can see by this photo above of my Grandma and I that was taken at my wedding when she was 92, she knew how to live in and enjoy the present moment. However, what I also learned from my Grandma is that it isn’t just about how much we enjoy each day of our lives, but it's also important to consider what kind of positive impact we are having on the lives of people around us.

When Grandma and I talked about death this Summer she told me that when she died she hoped that people would remember her for the love and kindness she shared. As I started to gather information from family and friends for my Grandma’s eulogy, it became very clear that love and kindness was indeed the legacy that she was leaving behind. 

It was incredible how many people’s lives she touched in a positive and loving way. My cousin Deb summed it up best when she said, “The world is a better place, because of having Grandma in it”.

My wish for you is that 2018 is a year where you slow down a bit, live more in the present moment and carry on my Grandma’s legacy of spreading more love and kindness to everyone around you. 

I invite you to begin each day in 2018 with this mantra from my Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh… “Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.”

If you want to learn how to live more in the present moment in 2018 then I invite you to check out my Balance Quest website all of my upcoming mindfulness retreats and classes. 
Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year! 

Until next time...
Be mindful and happy,


PS. Share if inspired. 


Do one thing at a time and finish it before you move on to the next thing. You will be more effective and less stressed.

When your start to feel overwhelmed, notice it and then take a few deep breaths. This calms down your nervous system and helps prevent Christmas outbursts and meltdowns.

Tip #3 - GET OUTSIDE - 
One of the best ways you can de-stress over the holidays is to get outside and go for a walk. Enjoying the fresh air, the snow and the beautiful Christmas lights.

Focus on what it is you’re doing, whether you’re decorating the tree, cooking breakfast for your family or simply doing the washing up. You can bring meaning to these everyday tasks that you usually zone out while doing if you just pay attention to the intricacies of the job, like the feeling of the warm water on your hands while doing the pots and pans.

Tip #5 - GRATITUDE - 
Over the holidays make sure to focus on what's right in your life and not on what's wrong. Focusing on gratitude changes your whole physiology - decreasing stress hormones and increasing the feel good hormones such as endorphines. Over the holidays every night before you go to sleep think about a couple of things that you are grateful for from your day.




Change, Technology and Happiness! 

Welcome to my first blog on my new website! As I write this blog I am just wrapping up a couple of weeks of very intense focused work completing my brand new website Creating this website has been a great opportunity for me to reflect on how much I’ve changed, my Balance Quest business has changed and how the World has changed since I created my first website fifteen years ago.

The biggest changes in my life over the last fifteen years is I got married and moved to Calgary where I started my new life with Dave. I have also changed at a personal level where I can honestly say I feel much more contentment, inner peace and true inner happiness. I believe I can contribute these positive changes to my daily meditation, mindfulness and yoga practice, surrounding myself with supportive people that bring me joy and being in a career of service where I get to make a positive impact in people’s lives on a daily basis.

Changes to my Balance Quest business since I did my last website include: becoming a Life Coach, HeartMath™ Trainer, leading over 40 mindfulness, meditation and yoga retreats and bringing mindfulness and meditation into more workplaces in Calgary. My next project is creating 'The Mindful Living Academy' - an online program teaching 'how' to live a more mindful life. This program will be a combination of all the different things I teach and will include live internet meditation classes and group coaching calls.  It’s been fun to observe how my business has organically changed and grown over the years, often mirroring the changes I’ve made in my own life. As I write this I feel super grateful to have chosen a career where I have the opportunity to teach people a number of different skills to improve their lives.

There has also been a lot of changes in our World and in society over the last fifteen years. Economic and political challenges, environmental disasters and in increase in technology. With all of these changes I have observed that as a society in general it seems that people’s stress levels have significantly increased, people seem more overwhelmed and people generally not as happy.

I can’t change the World’s economy, I can do my own part to help support the environment, but one thing I can do is teach people how to deal with the overwhelm and stress of the constant distractions of technology. Mindfulness, meditation and HeartMath™ are all great tools that people can incorporate into their life and increase their resilience to the challenges of life and technology and increase their levels of true happiness. 

When it comes to technology, we are living in a world of constant distraction and I think we have become somewhat addicted to our smartphones, social media and the black hole of the internet. We need to remember that we own our ‘smart phones’ and that they don’t own us. At the bottom of this email I have a list of 10 tips on how to decrease distractions and our addiction to smartphones, social media and the internet

In summary, when I reflect on how much my life, my business and the World have all changed over the last fifteen years it makes me super curious to see what will unfold over the next fifteen years. One thing I do know is that the way we create a good future is by creating a good day today. Our future is a result of all the little choices we make and the thoughts we are thinking each and every moment of our lives. Be mindful of what you are thinking, the choices you make and how you choose to spend each of the 1440 minutes that you are given everyday of your life!  

Until the next time, my wish for you is that your Spring and Summer are filled with many 'happy moments'.  Just like the photo that I’ve have chosen as the banner photo on my Blog Page on my new website. This photo is my favourite photo that I took in Nepal and is of  a Llama and a little girl filled with laughter. Still to this day whenever I see this photo it fills my heart with joy! 

In Mindfulness, 


10 tips on how to decrease distractions and our addiction to smartphones, social media and the internet:

  1. Break the habit of checking you phone or emails first thing in the morning. Instead have a bit of time for you to mediate or have a mindful breakfast or coffee. 
  2. Start using silence or airplane mode more often on your phone and disable the email notification pop-ups on your computer. This will decrease you distractions and increase your ability to focus and be more productive.
  3. Stop multi-tasking and work on one project for a chunk of time. This will decrease your stress, allow you to get into a 'flow state', which results in increased productivity and enjoyment of whatever you are working on. 
  4. Set time limits for the amount of time you will spend on social media everyday, for example maximum of 15 minutes daily on Face Book (actually set a timer).
  5. Have one day a week where you take a 'technology cleanse' — where you don't’ check any emails or go on the internet for a whole day (Yes - a whole day!).
  6. Stop wexting (walking and texting). Two people have died in Calgary over this last year as a result of wexting and stepping out into traffic. 
  7. Turn off all of your screens (computer, TV and phone) an at least one hour before bed. The blue light from these screens impacts the production of your serotonin levels and can result in you poor quality sleep
  8. Don’t sleep with your phone in your bedroom! Electromagnetic frequencies have a negative impact on your sleep and health.
  9. Leave your phone behind and get outside and enjoy Spring! Without being distracted constantly distract by text and other messages coming in you will be able become more present and really immerse yourself in nature. 
  10. Unplug from your technology and start plugging into your life. Leave you phone behind and get outside to enjoy Spring, allowing you to become more present with nature. and with the people that are really important to you in your life.
  11.  Bonus tip: Start a daily meditation practice! To help increase your awareness of how to navigate through a World of distraction. Along with increasing your level of peace, presence and happiness that you experience in your daily life.