The Game Changer

Every now and then, something happens in our lives, and we are changed forever.  It can be the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, a divorce, the birth of a child…It seems like we constantly come across things that challenge our very existence as human beings.

Yet, isn’t that what life is made of?  Isn’t life made up of the birth of children, the graduation from college, the marriages, the divorces, loss of jobs, and finally death?  Why, then, are we so unable to deal with life?  Or is it that some events affect us more than others, and knock us over the head like a two-by-four?

I deduce that it is the latter.  I believe that sometimes an event affects us so deeply that it becomes a Game Changer in our life.  Game Changer is defined as: an event, idea, or procedure that effects a significant shift in the current way of doing or thinking about something.  Say that three times fast!  Sometimes, I believe that Game Changers don’t even have to be huge.  It can just be the realization that you do not want to do things the same way anymore.  So, how does one get past the Game Changer life event?  I believe that there are many ways, and I’ll touch on a few of them here:

  • Stop, Drop & Roll:  Analyzation can be the first step in getting past the Game Changer event.  What brought you to this place in time?  Was it preventable?  What can you learn from the event?  What are the steps that you now wish to take now to remedy this situation?  Having a plan can often be half the battle won.
  • Gratitude:  Holla!  I know when I am grumpy, what to trace it back to…un*grate*ful*ness!  It seems like such a small thing, but gratitude can bring about a huge change in a person’s life.  I have been journaling for most of my adult life in one form or another.  I have been solidly gratitude journaling for about 5 years.  When I am not grateful, I become critical of my life, as well as other people. I also become lethargic, and I lose my joy.  There are many different ways to do gratitude journaling, but that is not the jist of my writing today.  The idea is to write!  Being grateful for three things each day will start to shift your negative head space.  You may not believe it, but it is very true.  Try it before you go about your day, or if you are morning-challenged like myself, use a few minutes before bed to get your gratitude fix.  Before long, you’ll find things to be grateful for besides your family, food and shelter!  😉
  • Share The Load:  there are people somewhere who have been through what you have.  I am a consummate stuffer.  I keep my feelings to myself, don’t like to talk about my problems, and I’ve grown up with the mantra of “people don’t have to know yer business” ringing in my head.  Although some things need to be kept private (or shared only with trusted close friends), sharing some of the things that you are going through helps lighten the load.  If it is a serious Game Changer, you may wish to reach out to a counselor.  Emotional health is end goal. The best people that I have ever reached out to are coaches (not just because I am one).  When I work with a coach, the accountability factor helps me move forward past the event, and on to accomplishing my goals in record time.  Consider getting a Coach to help you, and if it’s not possible, reach out to an accountability partner or group.
  •  Pursue Passion!  Often, just the event alone will open ones’ eyes up to the fact that you were just going through the motions…doing the same-old same-old, living numb.  Why go to a job if you are not passionate about it, or do anything if we are not putting our all into it?  When given a chance to examine our life, we realize that we have let much of our life slip away without embracing it, without doing what we really wanted, without Living a Legacy or being Passionate.

This is precisely what happened to me, except, I had a series of Game Changers (lucky me!).  I had things that I went through that opened my eyes to the fact that half of my life had passed, and I had not embraced it.  I had not done many of the things on my bucket list.  To top things off, I certainly wasn’t living Passionately, much less Living a Legacy (see previous blog posts).

My Game Changers showed me that a change had to be made.  I decided that life was to be embraced!  I chose to have only good days.  I enjoyed people, food, nature, events~whatever came my way, I found a way to get the good out of it.  Yes, even a car accident!  I started connecting with people through hugs (and became known for them), and mindfully getting past superficial chit-chat to finding out what was their bliss.  Along the way, I researched what made me tick, what made my heart sing, how I wanted to give back to my community, and what I wanted my Legacy to look like.  I discovered that forgiveness is a huge factor in happiness, and I wrote a manual to help my Coaching clients work through their own forgiveness issues.  Over the course of 4 years, I created a program that I now call Passion Posse, and started embarking on my Preferred Passion Path~the final piece of living Passionately.

And it’s a Game Changer!  To show some of the steps that I took to get on the Passion Path, ladies (guys can join, but I am focusing on lady problems!), I invite you to join me on December 11th, 2013, as I present a webinar called:  Dumping the Numb:  7 Steps to a More Passionate Life.  Who is this webinar for?  It’s for the professional woman, either in business or an entrepreneur.  Maybe you have been superwoman for a long time.  Perhaps you have a family, maybe you are single…either way, the passion has gone out of your life.  These 7 Steps will help give you some tools to help put some pep back in your step.

I am releasing details about this webinar today because it is December 6th, a very significant day here in Canada.  I am a survivor of Domestic Abuse.  I want to honour the fallen women from Montreal who died senselessly so many years ago on this date.  I will also be revealing a partnership with three organizations connected to DV~December 6 Fund, hEr VOLUTION and World Vision~ but you’ll have to get on the training call to know the details!

You can register for the webinar here.  If you miss it, you can get it on replay, but you have to be registered to get the replay.

Remember:  Pursue Your Passion & Live a Legacy

Stephanie

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The Sun And The Rain And the Apple Seed

With the sporadic weather that has plagued the earth, and in honour of the US Thanksgiving, I thought I’d re-post this popular blog.  It was originally posted in March, 2012.  Although it doesn’t have to do with a big meal, it has everything to do with an attitude of gratitude.  May you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving Day!

grat-i-tude noun:  the quality or feeling of being thankful

English: Photo showing some of the aspects of ...

English: Photo showing some of the aspects of a traditional US Thanksgiving day dinner. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I live in Canada. Our country is immensely wide and somewhat deep as well. However, from coast to coast, we have one thing in common: We find some way to communicate our displeasure with the weather! It’s almost like an ongoing joke.

If it’s a winter’s day, and it’s -15°C, we will complain that it is a harsh winter. (That is about 5°Farenheit, by the way!) “It’s probably warmer in Nunavut, when will this dreaded winter be done?” If it’s summertime and 30°C+ a humidex factor (91°F), we’ll say that the summer is sooo hot this year.

I’ve decided to take a different approach. I try not to have bad days, so I decided to be thankful for whatever weather that we are having at the time. This winter was incredibly mild, I was thankful that it wasn’t -15°C. We did have some really cold days, I was grateful that the sun was shining. There was one bitterly cold day that it also snowed. I got chilled because I had to run errands that day. When I got home, I made a big pot of soup and went under the covers. That day, I was grateful for a comfortable bed to snuggle up under.

Last week in Southern Ontario, we had a warm spell. The temperatures got up to 25° (77°F). We had to look at the calendar to be reminded that it was the middle of March, and not June. Our normal temperatures are about 9°C (47°F) for this time of year. The magnolias, crocuses and daffodils started blooming. I bared my legs and wore skirts. There were days that it was raining because, after all, it is spring. True to form, I heard people complaining that it was going to rain. IT WAS 25° DEGREES, AFTER ALL! Sigh…

Well, we are now in a “cold snap”, according to the weather forecast. Today I woke up, and the temperature here is not getting any higher than 3°C (37°F). It will be unseasonably COLD today. I took a walk, and the magnolias, which were ready to open last week, have turned an ugly brown colour because of the extreme cold. The flowers that were blooming so beautifully just days ago, are now being covered up for protection. However, it is SUNNY!

Erratic weather is a definite possibility, I do acknowledge that. The weather may bring droughts or tornadoes. Hurricanes and floods may be something that has touched your life. I am in no way minimizing the effects of disasters on you or anyone else’s life. However, I know from experience that, the faster I get out of the victim stage, the faster my recovery.

I spent so many years not being happy because of my difficult marital situation. Now I am embracing all that life has to offer, even rainy days. If it didn’t rain, the daffodils would not look as beautiful. Each day, I find something to be grateful for, and oftentimes, the weather is part of my gratitude journalling. If it’s winter and raining, I’m thankful that it is warm enough not to be snowing. If it’s winter and cold, it is usually sunny, and for that, I am also grateful. If it’s 30°C, it’s definitely not snowing, and for that, I am exceptionally grateful!

What’s the weather like in your neck of the woods? Can you find something for which you are grateful?

May Your Cup Always be full,

Stephanie~Emerging Princess

www.stephanietitusandrews.com

Oh Canada!

Today is my adopted country’s birthday.  It’s only fitting that I celebrate some of the great gifts that fellow “Canadians” gave the world.  Sorry for bragging…

I am Canadian, Eh?

May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

Living Liberally (Part IV)

So far, I’ve talked about Leaving a Legacy and Living Lightly.  The middle part of my speech, as I said before, is Live Liberally.  In addition to being the opposite of “fundamental”, I try to also think of the word Liberal as a synonym of free.

What have you always wanted to try, but your thinking has limited you?  Have you always wanted to jet ski?  What is stopping you?  Is it a secret desire of yours to go to Australia for a vacation?  What is stopping you from setting the plans in motion?  Have you begun to check things off your Bucket List?  Do you have a Bucket List?

For over 20 years, I have not been in a pool, nor have I owned or worn a bathing suit. I was terrified of the water.  This problem began when I was a kid, in the West Indies.  I found myself on a “homemade” glass-bottom boat in the middle of the Atlantic.  Visions of the boat coming apart, and the passengers drowning were very real to me at the time.  And this has lasted through much of my adult life.  As a result of my Bucket List, I was determined to buy a bathing suit, and get into water. I set my plans into motion. On a whim, I volunteered to go on someone’s sailboat to “help” man the sails. It is a good thing that I forgot about my promise until the last minute, or I would have probably backed down. When I told my youngest daughter what I was doing, she reminded me that I was afraid of the water. “Not any more”, I replied and ran off for my adventure. I decided that I could do it. I let go of my inhibitions and I sat~or stood~on the edge of a sailboat at a 45⁰ angle to the water at times. I had a blast! My conclusion: You need to be buff to man a sailboat!  Since then, I have also been able to get into pools, and have even gotten into the ocean several times over the summer (despite my major surgery). I am not a great swimmer, but I got into water, AND I own a bathing suit!

There are so many wonderful things that you can try.  The world is full of interesting places to go and remarkable people to see.  Even the mundane can take on a new spin by changing one or two things.  Going to and from work the same way every day causes creativity to go dormant.  Maybe you could try a different route, if not there, then on the way home.  If that is not possible, try something else that you can change without creating too many problems.  Even getting onto a different car on the public transit system can drastically change the events of your day~and the people that you meet..

Life is so very short.  The mundane can make a person stir crazy (but it is so easy to slip into it)!  When I think of all the things I have yet to try, I wonder how I’m gonna fit it all into my schedule sometimes.  If your life has gotten dull and boring, try pepping it up by injecting a dose of Living Liberally!

May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Emerging Princess☺

Leaving Your Legacy (Part I)

In Toronto, we have a great motivational evening of speeches called Motivational Mondays, affectionately known as MoMondays.  It’s a great practising venue for speakers, and aspiring speakers.  I spoke last night, and the speech I gave reminded me of a few blogs that I did based on that speech almost a year ago.  I am re-blogging them.  The first one is the last part of my speech, but the most important:

I was at my favourite bakery last fall, purchasing a pastry when the phone rang. Apparently, someone who was close to the employees of the store, had passed away. My server became very flustered, and in her shoes, I would have been also.

As I left, I ruminated about one of my keynote speeches, The Power of 36. In that speech, I encourage people to do three things.  “Leave a Legacy” is one of the things I encourage people to do.  The lady who had passed away did so suddenly. What was her legacy I wondered?

I take the public transit to most places in our city. In my area, we have several bus drivers. Most people that take my bus route do not want to get one specific driver because, no matter what you do, she has to find something to complain about when you get on the bus. She has a Legacy of meanness that goes before and after her. Yet, there are drivers who are known for their Legacy of pleasantness and good manners. All the drivers started out with the same options available to them.

Since I started a new life a few years ago, I have been striving to leave a Legacy. We all have the capabilities of writing our life stories. We have the choice to smile or frown, be pleasant or sour. As a Coach, I encourage people to live life to the fullest and learn how to shake off bad situations. If people know me for anything, it’s that: 1. I am a thriving survivor, and: 2. I do not have bad days; I have bad moments. Teaching people that they can turn a “bad day” into “simply a bad moment” in their day is eye-opening to so many! We humans love to say things like “I’m having a bad hair day” or “This is just not a good day for me”. By doing so, we limit the happy moments that may come our way each day.

My Legacy, then, is teaching people to have good days. If I teach 100 people this concept, and they GET IT, and pass it on, so many lives would be touched. That , I believe, would be an amazing Legacy to leave behind!

Next time, I will share with you how to Live Your Legacy.

May Your Cup Always Be Full!

Friday Inspirista

This chart may be very helpful~especially for anyone who is self employed.

Hope you have a fabulous weekend, WordPress Peeps!

May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Emerging Princess  🙂

What’s In a Name?

I have always been very big on what a person‘s name means.  Sometimes people behave in one manner, and people are puzzled by their behaviour.  I usually Google their name and get an answer really quickly.  Names are huge factors in our personality, I believe.

When I had my girls, I gave them each unique names.  My challenge was to find a meaning for these obscure names, or use the meaning of a name that was close to theirs.  I remember spending weeks pouring over name books (internet was not an option at the time) to get information on each one.  I then gave my findings to each of them printed on fine paper and framed.  I’m pleased to know that they have treasured these simple gifts, and it is the first thing to go up in any room that they call theirs.

As I was going through my separation, I knew that I would need to change my name.  I didn’t want to carry around a name from such a past as mine.  However, I loved my married name!  Everyone said it had a nice ring to it.  But, I was no longer that person.  I was also no longer the person that I was when I carried my maiden name, either.  What could I do~based on my penchant for choosing a name?  To add to the problem, when I applied to change my name, the Government informed me that I was not my married name, either.  I had assumed my married name.  Legally, I was still my maiden name.  No wonder I was so confused all the time! 😀

Searching through my genealogy, I looked for a name that would make me into the person that I saw myself becoming.  I decided to take the name of my maternal grandfather.  Now, I carry both sides of my family in my name.  But more importantly, the name reminds me when I am going through “stuff”, that I can get through it.

Tomorrow, I am going to do something that requires me to embrace my name with all the passion I can muster.  I will be on Toronto’s  favourite radio station, CHFI, and the Breakfast Television Show simultaneously.  While there, I shall be talking about Violence Against Women on behalf of the Canadian Women’s Foundation, and sharing my story.  I have been somewhat low-key about the whole thing.  I have not shared that I will be on television to many people…Until now.  Actually, my story has been on both CHFI’s and Breakfast Television’s websites for the past two weeks.  “Quietly”, I have been telling the world about what I’ve been through.  Telling my story is my calling, but as of tomorrow, it will no longer be quiet.

As I go forward as the new me, “the Princess who is a Courageous Giant”, I don’t believe that I won’t have problems.  Far from it!  However, I do know that I will need to stand tall and doubt myself less.  No one runs away from a Giant (except in the case of David and Goliath).  And if she maintains a good public presence, most Princesses are adored.  I can Courageously go forward in that knowledge.

What does your name mean?
I remain, Stephanie Titus-Andrews
Emerging Princess

May Your Cup Always Be Full!

For all the people you know named “Stephanie”…bet you didn’t know that this song existed!  (It may be kinda hokey, but it’s MINE! :D)

The Outsiders

On Friday, I went downtown in my beautiful city. I love venturing to Toronto’s city centre. There is no shortage of beautiful sights, and interesting people! That day had an extra dose, for some reason. There was a myriad of university students smoking marijauna! Not a lover of the smell, I ventured into the Eaton Centre, and found my way to the Indigo bookstore. I love reading, so it was a natural place to settle for a while.

The discount tables often offer some fantastic deals. Besides, I had a gift card that I wanted to spend. Soon after I arrived at the table, a man came up to me and said, “Excuse me Ma’am, could you spare $2 for a cup of coffee?” I proceeded to grill the man as to why he needed MY two dollars.

This isn’t something that I normally do. Most times, I just give the change that I have laying around. If I’m on the ball that week, I would have gone to Tim Horton‘s and gotten a bunch of $5 gift cards. This way, I can be sure that the money won’t go to drugs; although to be quite certain, they won’t be getting proper food, either! But, I wasn’t ready to part with my $2 without some answers.

Why did I decide to engage that particular person is beyond me. He was fairly well-kept. His hair was not nappy, he was clean. However, after asking him why he was begging and not working to pay his way, I got a story that pulled at my heart-strings.

Daniel came to Canada with his mother years ago. From the conversation, his mother is not readily available to interact with her son. He eloquently explained that he is alone, trying to get his life together after being in a hospital for a while. He, however, did not want to be in the hospital. Daniel has schizophrenia.

I stood in the bookstore and thought, “I could feel alarmed, but I don’t”. You see, his problem was that society has ostracized him. He has not been able to find a job because who wants to hire someone with the word “schizophrenia on their resume?

As I listened to Daniel, I realized that I had a lot of negative stereotypes about what a person with schizophrenia looked like. He spoke well. He actually engaged me and made me want to know more. He was intelligent. The bookstore was one of his favourite hang-outs. One of his past times was reading Shakespeare. I don’t even read Shakespeare! Daniel and I talked for at least 20 minutes. I thought that I would like to keep in touch with him, so when he asked me for my number, I gave it to him as we separated.

As I left, I thought, “I just gave a perfect stranger my phone number”. Was I wrong to do so? Only time will tell. I do know that my conversation with him has made me ponder: We as a society are so quick to ostracized someone that doesn’t “fit in”. I know how Daniel feels. I have been shunned by the religious community because I am divorced. I have been pitied because I left an Abusive marriage. Looked-down on because I was larger (I call it fat). He was, and I have been one of “The Outsiders”.  I needed to shed MY hang-ups to let this man into my life, however that may look. I needed to be open to the fact that he may be able to teach me a thing or two about endurance, as he has been through more that I probably could have endured. I need to learn to trust. I have been badly burned by men, so it’s easy to dismiss them. I could dismiss him as being insignificant.

Last night, Daniel called. When I conversed with him again, he expressed to me how grateful he is to God for being alive. He is thankful that he has a place to call home and food to eat. “Life is good”, he said. WOW! I have embraced gratitude, but to be in his predicament, would I be thankful as well? I hope so.

I know that it was risky giving Daniel my phone number, but I think that we sometimes don’t take enough risks in life. I’ve already wasted 23 years in an abusive marriage, what have I got to lose? Oh yeah…”What if Daniel is lying?” I’ve met “normal” people who have disappointed me over and over again. I’ll take the chance on this person!

Have you ever taken a “chance” on someone? Please tell me. I’d love to hear your story.  🙂

May your cup always be full,

Emerging Princess

Related articles

Steel Magnolias

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In a previous post (The Sun and the Rain and the Apple Seed), I talked about being grateful for each day. Today, I’m taking that same teaching, and expanding on it.

A few weeks ago, here in Toronto, the temperature got up to summertime highs. Many plants started to bloom, like tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. Some trees also started to blossom, namely the magnolia. Due to the warmth in the atmosphere, they were fooled into thinking that spring had arrived. They don’t usually bloom until May, just before Mother‘s Day. I was a bit worried for these tulip-trees. They are hardy, but not that hardy! A few days later, the temperature plummeted by 22 C/50 F. Indeed, the overnight temperature went to below 0, or the freezing marker. I knew that a lot of plants would not survive the change in the weather.

Sure enough, I went for a walk with my little charge last week, and much to my dismay, the magnolia trees did not fare well at all. Flowers that had embraced the sunshine the week before, were now brown and shriveled as they had gotten frozen with the sudden change in the temperature. There was no hope for them. They had opened before their time.

Have you ever experienced that? Sometimes you see someone that has gotten something before they are ready? I see it every day. Kids that get gadgets before they know the value of money. They grow up thinking that the world owes them something. How about people who win the lottery? They usually spend it all within 6 months~yes, SIX MONTHS! That is because they get more money than they know how to handle. Or what about a star that is an overnight sensation? Most of them turn to some sort of coping mechanism; they don’t usually choose something good.

Remember the Byrds song, To Everything Turn, Turn, Turn? There is a part of that song that says (and it may sound morbid, but stay with me): “A time to kill, a time to heal…a time to build up, a time to break down”. If you have left a relationship, and are on the mend, stay the course…especially if the relationship was abusive. If you are going through some kind of trauma, take the time necessary to heal. Do not discount the healing time. (By the same token, I am not endorsing the victim mentality!) If your business is struggling, and you can’t see how things are going to get better, stay the course. But prepare for your good.

Why am I writing this blog today? There is someone who is thinking that things won’t get better. I don’t know your situation, but I do know that sometimes our greatest obstacle is between our two ears. I have been working my business for a year now. I have been dangerously close to giving up. I almost did in February. However, during this time, I have kept learning. I have constantly studied and strategized. I constantly kept moving forward despite the external conditions. Now, things are coming together that I could not have even imagined 1 year ago. I also knew that if they did happen 1 year ago, I would have blown it big time! This last year was an incubation stage, a time to really get to know what I wanted. It is now my time to “build up”, or be built up.

There were a lot of ‘hot’ moments throughout this time. I could have been like the magnolia tree and opened up, only to get burned, or frozen due to my lack of preparation. Now is the perfect time, I can fully see it. Sometimes hindsight is 20/20 vision~but usually with a lot of scar tissue to go with it. During this incubation time, whatever you need it for, prepare your mind to win. There is a season for everything.

May your cup always be full,

Emerging Princess

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Water For The Journey

Book Release PartyOctober 25th, 2013
The long-awaited release of Water For The Journey: 156 Days To Freedom. All day givaways and book release party!
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