As Geordie and I are creating our global movement--I Just Showed Up--
and sharing Love Your Life to Death with the world, we decided that as we transform our lives, we’d transform our home as well. Our kids went to camp,
and instead of relaxing and enjoying our time we ripped our house apart.
But it’s all good!
We have found wonderful painters and we’re going to have a new floor installed. We’ve spent our time unscrewing thing like switch covers with power tools
(they are fun!). We ripped out our carpet and it’s been a whole lot of work.
And of course, when you start really looking and seeing how awful the
doorknobs and hinges are, there’s so much more to do than we anticipated.
Isn’t that always the way?
But for the first time—we’ve renovated three houses before—we have actually
hired help and we are loving it!! They are Just Showing Up and doing a great job. It’s amazing!
We’ve shared every part of our journey with you, so we wanted to
share our home renovation too. We’ve posted the “before” pictures and we’ll
post “after” as well. And please just tell us you love it, even if you don’t. haha.
We love it and we want you to love it too so we’re excited to share.
We’re into renovations! Renovating our lives and our homes and everything!
Wish us luck!
And if you’re in a renovation project,
tell us all about it.
And good luck to you!
Thank you for being part of our community!
Purchase your copy of Love Your Life to Death here,
our Audio, From Avoidance to Resilience or your
I am so excited today, because I went to have coffee with my dear friend
Sandra Holdsworth. She shared that she had been to the Transplant Games
in Vancouver, BC, in July (2018) and excuse me… she came home with not
one but two medals and a beautiful trophy!!
“Sandra, I’m so proud of you. Tell us the story!”
S: The medals are from table tennis. It was a special day for me because
it was my 54th birthday. I received the gold for women over 50 and the silver
for mixed doubles! It was a lot of fun to participate with everyone. It’s my 9th Transplant Games. I think I’m the only athlete to compete in all nine!
The trophy, I was the recipient of was at the Gala. It is in memory of Gloria,
one of the founders of the Canadian Transplant Association. And what is
special to me is that previous recipients are past friends of mine—mentors.
So it’s a real honour to receive and help promote awareness.
Y: You are so passionate about creating awareness and you are an organ
recipient—a liver transplant almost 22 years ago. You’ve always been grateful, sharing the message; “Let’s all be organ donors!” Because it saves families
and it saves lives.
S: It’s my way of giving back and it’s a way of saying thank you to my donor family, and to give people the opportunity to become part of the transplant community and attend the games where you make friends for life.
Y: Amazing! I attended the Transplant Games two years ago in Toronto and
it was magical! I loved every minute of it. Sandra, thank you for everything that you do to raise awareness. Congratulations on your medals and trophy.
And what does everyone need to do?
S: Please register your intention to be a donor (here)
and discuss your wishes with your family!
Organ donation saves families, saves lives
and it is an incredible gift!
We should all be registered organ donors.
I’m am. Are you?
Thank you for being part of our community!
Purchase your copy of Love Your Life to Death here,
our Audio, From Avoidance to Resilience or your
I’ve just arrived home from the grocery store and I have all kinds
of wonderful food to unpack. And I realized as I’ve done many times in
the past—I had been complaining:
“Oh I have to go grocery shopping. I don’t feel like shopping.
I’ll have to put all this stuff away and I have SO much to do.”
Then I stopped myself, and felt ashamed. I thought of all the people
who don’t have enough to eat, do not have food in the world—even in my
own community! Possibly in the same block as the wonderful grocery
store packed with food, so many things to choose from, anything and
everything you could want.
I stopped myself and decided to be very grateful—grateful for groceries--
because it is a privilege to be able to go into a grocery store and come home
with an abundance of food. How many people wish they could do that?
So, if you’ve ever complained about shopping, forgive yourself, and choose
to be grateful each and every time you unpack groceries and pack your fridge.
Are you grateful for groceries?
I certainly am!
Thank you for being part of our community!
Purchase your copy of Love Your Life to Death here,
our Audio, From Avoidance to Resilience or your
Together we are creating a culture of change!
I was so delighted to interview Carolyn Vandyken on my
Hunters Bay Radio Show. I thanked her for Just Showing Up
and creating change in the world and educating people about
pelvic floor health. Here’s what she shared:
Most of us ignore our pelvic floor throughout our life span. It’s not that we
want to, we’re just not told about pelvic health. It’s a bit of a taboo subject,
but it shouldn’t be. We all own pelvic floors—men and women—and we are all affected by what is happening with those muscles.
They can be too tight and cause painful periods, intercourse and all sorts
of problems. They may be too weak and cause incontinence (leaking urine
or bowel issues). Statistically at this point, 1 in 2 of us end our life in diapers.
I must repeat: If you don’t think this is important information;
1 in 2 people, in their senior years, end up in diapers.
I personally would like to avoid that if possible!
And there are things we can do throughout our lives to change that!
Carolyn agrees: Completely avoidable!! 90% of incontinence can be easily
cured with some simple exercises. They’re not all kegels. Remember I said
tension is a problem, so often we have to learn to relax those muscles.
I want to share this information with everyone everywhere.
I also interviewed Carolyn on my ROGERStv Show. So many issues teens,
women and men have are avoidable or curable!
I encourage everyone with issues or learn prevention. Your pelvic floor
is very important and needs attention. Did you know it has five functions?
Learn and be healthy!
Take good care of your pelvic floor!
A couple of years ago, we were visiting these four fabulous ladies (Right to Left):
Elyse (age 7, little sister), Gia, Viv and Brielle (8 year old triplets).
We talked about the fact that we can all Just Show Up and they really
understood. We did a vlog on 7/13/17. So I asked them if in the last couple
of years, there was a time they Just Showed Up and this is what they shared:
Elyse: I hugged my mom when Papa died.
That is one of the most amazing ways to Just Show Up. Thank you!
Giavanna: I Facetimed Daddy when he was away.
When Daddy is traveling he is lonely and of course he misses you.
Facetime is a wonderful way to Just Show Up. Thank you.
Vivienne: I give the guinea pigs food and love.
You really know how to Just Show Up for all animals,
and people too. Thank you!
Brielle: I became friends with a girl when she was new at our school.
She was probably nervous and then she became your BFF.
Your really Just Showed Up for her. Thank you!
These four ladies really know how to Just Show Up
They certainly have for me many times! and I love them SO much.
Let’s tell people… when you don’t know what to do
and you don’t know what to say…
Just Show Up!
Gerry Croteau (with the great bow tie!) is the Executive Director for the
Gilbert Centre in Barrie, ON. Gerry shares:
For the LGBTQ community, there is programming, information,
parenting support, HIV teaching—the whole gamut! There is a website,
people to call and talk to and a variety of programs. There is important information that parents and teachers may not have!
We also network and partner with other organizations such as CMHA
(Canadian Mental Health Association) and public health. We are entrenched in
the Simcoe/Muskoka community.
Gerry and I had a fun and spicy conversation on my ROGERStv show,
“Real Life Talks.” Tune in here:
The Gilbert Centre takes a broad, social determinants approach to our
work that is based in social justice, health equity and human rights. We see
to engage individuals, families, organizations, institutions and communities as partners and collaborators in the work we undertake.
We are committed to the greater involvement and meaningful engagement of people living with HIV/AIDS (GIPA/MIPA). We engage all
those who live, work with and are affected by HIV/AIDS and their allies in a culture of inclusivity intended to foster an expanding and inclusive approach
that embraces those living with HIV in all their diversity and circumstances.
The Gilbert Centre recognizes and respects all human rights, identities, and experiences. People who identify as lesbian, gay, bi, trans, two spirit, and all
queer and trans people are welcomed and supported.
Gerry, Thank you for all that you do to empower and educate people!
Regardless of age, race, ability/disability, sexual orientation...
we can make a difference. No matter how small it (or you) may be.
Thank you, Austin!
You are a Superhero!!
(to watch this amazing video of Austin!)
I am at the Hunter’s Bay Radio studio with my mom.
I asked her to be on my show because she has led me on my spiritual path
and shared part of her story in my book, Love Your Life to Death, in my chapter
for I Bared My Chest and in my chapter for Anxiety Warrior. She is a gift to
others too! I asked her to share information about Waves of Healing:
I am a Wholistic Practioner and my practice is called Waves of Healing.
I work out of a wonderful space called, More Than Just Art. I use different methods to help people be healthy physically, emotionally and spiritually;
Reiki, Acupressure, pattern work (a verbal exchange) and energy work.
It helps people look at patterns they’ve repeated in their lives and how
they want to do things differently.
As I mentioned, my mom led me on my spiritual path and changing my
patterns from the past. I was her greatest skeptic. But it helped me so much
in my life. That’s why I share her message, (and not just because she’s my mom!)
We also talked about Finding Your Post, that internal or
permanent something that you can hang onto—no matter what--
in times of despair. She shares:
My Post is knowing that I can turn to love instead of fear anytime I
choose to do that. To be loving toward myself first—sometimes difficult
for most people—then love others. No matter what the situation,
I believe that love is always the answer.
Love and Gratitude are always the answer,
no matter what the question.
I believe we can be lighthouses for each other, if we choose.
We can shine the light for ourselves first,
then be the light for everyone in the world.
We never know where our light ends up or how many people we help.
Thank you, mom, for everything you are.
You have helped me to become a better person.
And you say I’ve inspired you?
Guess we are lighthouses for each other! xo
Many times in life, when we are really busy we reach milestones
and things that we should celebrate. But we often say, “Ok we accomplished
that” and just jump to the next thing, and move on.
Well today, I’m going to stop and say that I am really proud, happy and celebrating. Last week, I was a keynote speaker at a hospice/palliative care conference. I had attended the same conference four years ago and loved the closing keynote speaker and thought, “I want to be her.” Well guess what?
Last Monday, I was!
Then on Friday, we were invited to Centennial College (in Toronto)
where I received the Alumnus of Distinction, 2018 Award. I was given a
beautiful trophy, roses, wonderful lunch; was treated like royalty and the faculty
was amazing. I was also able to say a few words to 500 graduates
and their families. It was magical.
So I am celebrating my accomplishments today. We’ve given our hearts
and souls to “Love Your Life to Death” for the last four years
(and we’re not stopping!). It is nice to be validated and recognized!
Good for us!
I encourage you to celebrate your milestones
along the way--big and small.
What are you going to celebrate you today? :)
And we care.
You are never alone.
Here is a panel discussion of people who are here for you.
As I sit in my lovely office looking at the beautiful trees that surround me,
I am thinking about the many broken hearted people who are grieving, including myself. As we share our I Just Showed Up movement—teaching people of all
ages how to show up for themselves and each other so they are empowered and resilient when grief arrives—I want to share a few more tidbits.
When there is a funeral, celebration of life or tragedy, people Just Show Up.
Then life goes on for them. But for that grieving person, life is never the
same and they have to adjust to a new normal. And it’s hard. So I want to remind everyone to keep showing up for that person. Their grief journey has only just begun. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:
Acknowledge and allow all feelings;
Sad, mad, depressed…whatever they are. If they want to talk, listening and allowing is the greatest gift you can give.
Don’t minimize or “at least” people.
“At least you can do this or that…” it is not helpful.
Don’t start telling your story as soon as they finish telling theirs.
In that grieving moment they just need to be heard.
Create that space for them. Be a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear.
Forget the Golden Rule.
Don’t treat people as you want to be treated, treat people as they want to be treated. We are all different, so… ASK! What is the most helpful thing I could
do right now? Maybe offer a choice; can I cut the grass, pick up the kids, bring you dinner, grocery shop for you. Doing something is better than doing nothing.
And if they really don’t know, just do something nice!
Forget the polite conversation.
“How are you?” “Fine thanks.” Let’s not say we’re fine if we are not,
or hope others do the same. Let’s allow our humanness and be real.
We all have very busy lives. It’s easy for the weeks to slip by and you feel
terribly that you didn’t connect with someone who has had a tremendous loss.
So…put reminders in your phone (or calendar). Call once a week and encourage others to do the same on different days. Of course grieving people need
space to grieve. But we need to keep checking in… for the first year. Then
re-evaluate after that! There’s not timeline!
So, Just Show Up for Yourself First,
and Just Show Up for the grieving.
Together we can help heal people’s broken hearts.
I am in the Hunter’s Bay Radio studio with Eva Zachary and Jody North.
Two wonderful ladies from Muskoka Victim Services. I asked Eva what the
greatest message we could share with our community would be. She replied,
Just Be There. Be Human.
If someone is in crisis, struggling in any traumatic situation, you don’t have
to fix it. And you can’t fix it. You can’t change what happened! But, you can…
Just Show Up. Just Be There. Be Yourself.
You don’t have to walk in like you have a PhD (even if you do!) and have all the answers. It’s much better to say, I don’t know what to do or say, but I’m here! Both ladies agree and Eva adds, That’s the best thing. Jody says,
that’s how real connections are made.
Just Showing Up, and being human.
That’s how real connections are made.
We can also have these conversations BEFORE a crisis.
What should I do or say? Seek out information!
Victim Services volunteers Just Show Up in the deepest and greatest crisis of someone’s life. Eva says it is usually one of the worst days of someone’s life.
I can’t express how grateful I am for Victim Services staff and volunteers.
I have met people who have been supported by them, and it made all the difference. We want our volunteers there, but we also need our community to
have the courage to Just Show Up.
(and keep in mind, volunteers need their village too!)
Being the Program Coordinator, Jody adds that they are always accepting new volunteers on their team. (Even if you’re not in Muskoka, I have no doubt your local Victim Services needs volunteers too!)
Showing up on someone’s worst day, a very difficult thing to do.
But so rewarding, know you made the difference on someone’s’ worst day!
Thank you ladies. You are Queens of Just Showing Up.
And thank you to every Victim Services organization.
You make the difference!
My friend Minnie was admitted to hospital, and when Geordie saw her,
she was sitting in the chair eating a meatball sub. I decided I would visit her the
next day. But that night, shortly after her sons visited,
Minnie died peacefully.
Minnie lived and died the way she wanted. She spent her last years at
Castle Peaks Retirement Home in Bracebridge; a place she loved. Thankfully,
she was not in hospital for long. She was my beautiful friend.
I am sad that I didn’t know our last visit was going to be our last visit,
and that I wasn’t able to attend her funeral. That was hard. I lit our special
candle with her picture and wrote this:
My Friend Minnie
I had the easy part. I didn’t have to make medical decisions,
drive Minnie anywhere or attend doctor’s appointments. I just got to be Minnie’s friend. When I was writing my book, Love Your Life to Death, I was writing
Take Aways on Living Well, Grieving Well and Dying Well. But something was missing. My mother-in-law, Nancy Heath, suggested I visited Minnie.
She was 101 at the time. The rest is history.
Minnie and I shared many wonderful moments and deep conversations over
the last four years. I learned about her entire life and was in awe of her quiet wisdom—although she didn’t think she was wise. She knew she was opinionated though, and we laughed about that. When I would visit I would often have to
wait until she was done carpet bowling or playing bridge. But, it was always
worth it! Geordie and the twins, Jadyn and Tanner, visited sometimes too.
Minnie watched my new career evolve and was delighted when my book was complete. Her response; “It’s really is more about living well, isn’t it!” She
really got it. I am honoured to share of glimpse of Minnie in my book and she
is part of my every presentation. I share my 7 Take Aways everywhere I go.
She gave me Take Away #6:
We all need a post; something to hang onto in times of despair,
something that will be there for us, no matter what.
So, Find Your Post, and Hold Onto It.
Thank you, Minnie, for being my friend.
I already miss you!
Love Yvonne xo
We always want to be sorry that someone died, but don’t be.
Of course I’d love a hug and the people who miss Minnie need to be supported
in their grief, but Minnie lived her life well and had a good death.
So let’s celebrate my friend Minnie who lived 105 years!
(But feel free to send me a hug!)
p.s. When I told my daughter Jadyn about Minnie she hugged me,
then brought me my self-care toolbox!
I’ve been sharing my Take Aways for the last several months.
Today is the last one; Take Away #7—What Will Your Legacy Be?
So often people nearing the end of life are trying to figure out what their legacy will be? The truth? I believe we create our legacy each and every day of our lives. Are we kind? Helpful? Miserable? What will people remember about us?
Create your legacy everyday with every interaction.
I aspire to have a legacy of laughter, love and being the change I want to
see in the world. So when people think back (there are a lot of things I hope
they don’t remember; I’m not perfect), I sure hope they remember when I was
a nurse and tried to make them laugh or smile and I was really silly. And of
course the wonderful family that Geordie and I created—my greatest accomplishment. I am also so proud of my Love Your Life to Death book and
the I Just Showed Up movement.
We all have different journeys, different purpose. So I ask you;
What will your legacy be?
What will people remember most about you?
If you don’t like the answer, what can you do to change that, today?
It’s been wonderful sharing my 7 Take Aways with you. I hope that just maybe,
you had an Aha Moment and feel empowered to change some things so
you can Love Your Life to Death.
Join our community, as we continue to
support and learn from each other along the way.
Together we can create a culture of change!
Imagine facing the greatest loss of your life, and not being able to talk about it.
This is what Karen Litchfield—and her siblings—went through.
I shared a glimpse of Karen’s story in my book, Love Your Life to Death (pg. 113) and
interviewed her on my Hunters Bay Radio Show. (tune in May 5th at 8am or on HBR’s Podcast). https://www.huntersbayradio.com
Karen: We talked about my mom’s tragic death in a car accident, when she was 31 years old.
Her name, Joan Marie Sanders (nee Heard).
My dad was left with five children; 7 year old twins, and a 6, 5 and 4 year old.
He has never been able to talk about it. After she died we weren’t allowed to ask questions
about her, see photos or talk about her at all. He has never talked about her and even later in
life when we have our own children we’d say, “What can you tell us about mom?”
His response “There’s nothing to say.”
I shared: It is so hard when we don’t talk about grief or allow children to grieve.
Your dad didn’t know how to grieve. Sharing this story in my book was life-changing for me; realizing the impact of unresolved grief. I cried for a really really long time.
This is a beautiful but hard part of Karen’s story. Big grief but being a voice for change-
Encourage people to have “The Talk” and allow grief!
A wonderful part of Karen’s story is what she is doing at our local high school;
something every high school should do:
Karen: We’ve started “The Clothes Closet” where students can “shop” for all kinds of clothing.
And if we don’t have an item they need, we buy it for them!
I love it! I am SO excited! Karen, you accept gently-used clothing, new clothing
and of course... cash donations!
If you are in the Huntsville area and have a donation for this amazing cause,
call Karen at 705-788-9698 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or on Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/theclothesclosetHHS/
Wouldn’t this be great to start at your local high school?
Thank you, Karen, for sharing your story and for all that you do
to make the world a better place!
We came back from San Diego where we saw sea lions, lemon and lime trees
and thousands of blooms everywhere. We had the most incredible time. We
came back to Ontario in a fantasy; it was going to be Spring and the snow would
be gone. We set ourselves up for failure, because that was not the case. We have
even had two snow days in April! Then, Jadyn our daughter had a fever and was miserable and I broke my toe (2nd broken toe in 5 months!).
It seemed like nothing was going our way and I will confess; I had a pity party.
It took a few days to get out of that until I finally decided… ENOUGH! It was
time to accept—acknowledge and allow my feelings—but then get out there
and enjoy what is!
I put on my big winter boots, the only ones I could wear with my broken toe.
I had a beautiful walk with squirrels scurrying around and birds everywhere.
I could hear the water in the creek running and the sounds of Spring coming.
It reminded me: Sometimes we do have to acknowledge and allow our feelings
and have a little pity party. But then we have a choice to move forward. There
are not going to be lemon and lime trees in Muskoka, but the change of the
seasons is certainly a magical time!
I’m going to enjoy every moment I can; broken toes, snow days… all of it.
I am just going to keep loving my life—no matter what—or at least keep trying! May you have the courage to do the same!
I met Stacey Canfield while I was in San Diego, and quickly realized we were kindred spirits. She has embarked on a beautiful journey. Stacey shares:
Back in 2010, I started a movement called, Being a Soul Sitter.
It is a comforting community for people facing the loss of a loved one. It really gives that extra support—in the dying process—for the loved ones who are in the awkward position of having to say goodbye.
The book helps guide you through with a lot of practical tools.
By reading her book, “The Soul Sitter’s Handbook; What to do when a loved
one is dying”, and the wealth of information from her website (excerpt):
You can feel confident as a Soul Sitter.
You can learn to build a bridge that will help you cross each
challenging experience effectively.
You can learn to receive help and support using Soul Sitter tools.
There is a path to peace with each challenging or sorrowful experience In our lives we will have the opportunity to be Soul Sitters.
This will help us to understand the privilege and give you the tools
to be present, to Just Show Up.
The Soul Sitters Handbook
Once a month I share one of my 7 Take Aways, the culmination of my
learning of how to live life to the fullest, learning to grieve and support others
and having “The Talk” about end of life, long before it arrives and diffusing the fear. Today I am sharing Take Away #6; Find Your Post.
As I was going through and figuring out how I wanted to empower myself
and others—I’m learning as I go along just like everyone else—I was developing
the Take Aways; having “The Talk”, being that village for everyone, just showing up for others, showing up for yourself first and structuring your life in such a
way that you were self-reliant. But I felt like something was missing.
So I went to visit 101-year-old Minnie Boyes (Minnie turned 105, March 24th 2018!!). I absolutely love Minnie. She is so wise, although she doesn’t think so.
I asked, “Minnie, what else can I share with people? How can I empower them
in life, grief and death? What is missing?” We talked for a while longer, then
she sat back and casually said, “You know, we all need a post, something we
can hang onto, no matter what, in times of despair!”
I was so excited, because that was my missing piece. We all need a Post. We all have loved ones we can rely on in times of grief (well, hopefully!), but you know, sometimes you can have a Grief Attack in the middle of the night, or five years later or just sometimes when you are alone. You need something internally
or permanent that you can hang onto.
For some people, it is religion, spirituality, yoga, meditation, music or art; something you can rely on, go to, no matter what else is going on, no
matter when, to help you in times of despair. Nature is a wonderful post that
you can visit anytime. It’s what soothes my heart and soul. I go to Nature when
I’m happy, sad or grieving. I feel connected to something wonderful.
I encourage you to sit back and take the time to find your post,
if you haven’t already.
Find Your Post, and Hold Onto It.
I love chatting with Suzanne Witt-Foley. We were talking about mental health first aid…
and ALGEE! I asked Suzanne to explain; (full description of ALGEE below)
Suzanne: In mental health first aid, we learn a set of action steps, a "toolkit" for helping people to feel confident, comfortable and to be successful in supporting someone else.
Yvonne: In supporting you don’t have to fix it, you don’t have to be a professional!
It’s about being that community, that village for people! I think it’s just as important
as learning CPR or first aid.
Suzanne: One in three people will struggle with a mental health issue at some
point in their lives. So if it’s not you, it’s a loved one, a friend, someone close to you or
a colleague. We take CPR and value it because we might save a life. With Mental Health
First Aid you use it all the time and you could also save a life!
Yvonne: Very powerful! I’m honoured to share the following information to
learn more about Suzanne:
Hunters Bay Radio show I Just Showed Up on April 7th (then available on podcast).
Anxiety Warrior Event on April 8th in Bracebridge.
*Elke Scholz wrote Anxiety Warrior and Anxiety Warrior 2.
Suzanne and I each contributed a chapter in the first book.
Suzanne will be sharing information on MHFA at the event.
Suzanne was a guest on my Roger’s TV Show, Real Life Talks
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is the help provided to a person developing
a mental health problem, experiencing the worsening of an existing mental
health problem or in a mental health crisis. Just like physical first aid is
provided until medical treatment can be obtained, MHFA is given until appropriate support is found or until the crisis is resolved.
You can make a difference!
I had the absolute honour of meeting Brandon Steppe while attending the
Global Influence Summit in San Diego, CA. He spoke about the incredible
David’s Harp Foundation, which he created and the founders of the summit
had chosen to support. I asked Brandon to tell me about it:
Brandon: The David’s Harp Foundation is a non-profit whose mission is to inspire,
educate and empower at-risk and homeless youth. We re-define “at-risk” to mean full of potential, but just lacking mentorship. We bring kids into this beautiful studio, and this is their home, where they get to create and learn. But they also meet influential people and mentors who can guide them in other areas of life.
Yvonne: Incredible! So what do they get to create here?
Brandon: They are having so much fun. They do a lot of hip hop, but we also
have multi-media production, photography and they’re learning post-production audio.
It’s really what they want it to be.
Yvonne: You have state-of-the-art, beautiful equipment here—which always needs funding,
of course. Tell me, what changes have you seen in the kids who come here?
Brandon: It’s crazy. You can throw a rock and hit a story around here,
because this is a place where people come to be transformed. But there are a couple
that are close to my heart; one in particular:
My “Little Sister”, I call her Livey, she was on the street 3 years ago,
refused to stay in her group home (foster care youth), continuously ran away
and refused to go to school. Her court-appointed advocate brought her here.
Within 6 months, she had a 3.87 GPA (awesome grades!), and was trading good grades
for extra studio time.
We went through ups and downs, highs and lows and going back to court.
We were there with her.
Yvonne: You just showed up. You stood by her. You don’t give up on these kids.
You give them a safe space and allow their creative genius. I love this, and thank you
so much for what you do!
We are all responsible for everyone. The more we give our at-risk youth a chance, the better off we all are. Brandon would love to see this in every community. What a wonderful movement to support and follow!
Thank you, Brandon, for loving these kids and giving them a chance!
You have Just Showed Up. You are changing lives!
*Create a life you love everyday!
*Follow your passion and purpose-It knows the way!
*Never ever ever give up!
*You never really know what you can create!
I have finished my Rogers show with my good friend Nancy Osborne.
You are an incredible person. It was such a great show. Stars were born! You are someone who does workshops and helps others to unlock their instincts, and I will share your website www.igotthis.space.
We spoke about your important message. What would you like to share?
Nancy: We hear so much about empowering women everywhere; government slogans,
#MeToo #Times. We need to stop and think. Wait a minute…Don’t we already have power?
I think about all the things I have done, I am a powerful woman! That power is already
inside each one of us. When we talk about empowering women, we are saying we don’t
have it, but we do. Why are men born with power and women have to BE empowered?
We need to change the culture around power.
Yvonne: We need to find our own voice, and our own power within us. It is a phenomenal
way to re-frame that thought, tapping into it an owning it, and finding our voice.
Thank you Nancy for all that you do, I have shared your website, please take a look-
You will not be disappointed!
I interviewed my friend, Rob Alldred-Hughes, on my radio show where he shared
his personal journey of growing up in Muskoka, having a wonderful family and friends--
but feeling like he was different. With that often comes fear of rejection and uncertainty.
He endured bullying and kept his true self hidden until he was in his 20s.
That was when he revealed that he was gay, there were mixed reactions; some knew,
others were fearful or did not want to discuss it. I have no doubt this would be a
challenging time for anyone! Rob says he now leads a wonderful life here in Muskoka.
I add, “That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it. Once you become your true authentic self, there’s hope for a good life. Because it’s about #inclusion, #acceptance and #respect.”
Rob: “It’s about living every day for yourself and what matters is how you feel inside.
It’s about taking that time and saying, ‘this is who I am, like it or love it, here I am.’”
I agree and add that it’s about loving who you are and creating a life you love.
Rob: “And have some laughs along the way! Why not!!”
Rob and Jeremy are happily married with the most beautiful daughter Gemma,
whose life is filled with love, happiness, friends, a family who adores her, a beautiful
home and an awesome dog. What more could you ask for??
Be Who You Are and Love Who You Love
I am here to proudly say that on Feb 16th, 2018, I turned 53!
I am 53 years old and I am very grateful to have been here on this earth this long.
I am grateful for the things in my life. As I celebrated it occurred to me, how often people say, “Oh don’t ask their age, that’s impolite" or people are embarrassed to say
how old they are. Why is that???
Why can’t we celebrate how old we are, whether we are 53, 63, 83 or 93?
Should we not be saying, “Wow! That’s incredible! Good for you, you’ve been here this long.” Because we all know someone who has died young and they would be more than happy to
be 53 and have a few more wrinkles and grey hair.
Shouldn’t we be celebrating our age, no matter what it may be?
Shouldn’t we proudly announce, “I’m 53 years old, or whatever age?
So I challenge you to re-frame this thought and feel like it’s something to be proud of,
to be grateful, to celebrate each and every day. And just maybe, when you read this blog
or watch the video…why don’t you share with us, how old you are, how many years you
get to celebrate that you have been here and you are living your life. And hopefully you are living your life to the fullest at any age!
I am 53! And I am going to be piz-zazier and blingy-er (yes, those are words) with every decade, so look out!
I encourage you to share your age and celebrate your age,
whatever it may be!!
Yvonne Heath is a Canadian leader, Transformational Speaker, Blogger, Television Host, Author and Creator of the #IJustShowedUp movement.
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