Tap that JOY Baby

My XG Tip for today got kiboshed and replaced by an even more Mad-Awesome one … thanks to our soulful SuperHero Nathaniel. Here’s our 2 minute flick to ignite you on your journey to Xtraordinary. InJOY… j

p.s. As we expand our vids and programs, we’d love you to #SuitUp with us, so if you haven’t already, claim your Mad Hero’s Manifesto and tap our On a YES! Note.

Up up up and awwwway friends. And BTW, nice cape!

 

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Transform Holiday Madness into Miracle-Making

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‘Tis the season of good cheer, warm fuzzies, special prezzies and undeniable, escalating crazy. You know what I mean: holiday shopping that sadly turns sour after umpteen scowls and subtle shoves in the mayhem; the joy of finding the perfect gift transforms into anxiety as the ‘day’ looms closer and impulse buying sky-rockets credit card debit; and, the glow of the Christmas lights appear to dim as we experience utter exhaustion setting in.

As dazzling and magical as it begins, seems we head in each year in sweet anticipation, and end up wishing somehow it had all rolled out a little easier, less taxing, slower and more serenely so that we could have engaged in the moments and memories more, and found some rejuvenation in it all.

Well, the first step to healing, is recognizing there is a pattern and mapping out a way for change.

As a young girl, I experienced the joy, traditions, delights and pressures of it all. And while I carry forth the trimming of the tree, listening to Bing and let the memories of my family gathered for skating, hot chocolate sipping, baking and sampling Nana’s famous treats, warm me, in reflection I had always longed for something deeper.  When I moved overseas at 25, alone, I came to understand the season in a different way. We couldn’t afford gifts or mailing packages back home, and I soon realized my family still loved me even if I didn’t go in to debt to deliver. I found that homemade gifts are richer in the making and the offering, holidays are best experienced just being together with kindred souls and strangers-come-friends and above all, the most precious blessings come from seeing how and where we can serve those who find this time of year most difficult and daunting.

And so, new traditions were born and ease and grace discovered, and they continue to offer us all we could ever hope to know. Perhaps some of our ideas will fill you with your own and leave you transforming some of the holiday madness into mindful miracles that will enrich you beyond your imaginings.

Mad Ideas for Miracle-Making:

  • Set yourself a small budget for the season and stick to it. Find creative ways to give, as most of those receiving presents truly have all they need, and what they ultimately want is to know you thought of them with love. Some of the items we have made are: wind-chimes of wood, dangling washers spray-painted bright colors and tied with hemp string; ornaments of painted pine-cones; acrylic-painted drinking glasses; framed poem; or, a precious picture of a moment shared, framed with a poem etched on it or a poem or story of the event included within the frame or with the card. There are numerous ideas on Pinterest or within you mind and heart.
  • Take one of those ideas, create and give to a charity of your choice. Each year our company Project YES! Life, through our Phone Booth Project initiative, engages families and community members in making and delivering creative gifts to those in need. Some of these ideas include: bracelet and book-mark making kits (includes beads, hemp string or necklace string and how-to instructions) for children in the hospital at Christmas so they have something fun to make; warm socks, mitts and hats delivered to places that serve the homeless; and, this year we made Star Intention Wands from natural items, inspired by nature artist Andrea Merredew, for Highbanks Society of Calgary, a shelter for teen-moms. The wand will be included in their educational programs, used as a fun way to make wishes, set goals and manifest their best life.
  • Develop simple traditions for your family and include the hearts’ desires of each member. One evening sit by candlelight, before the holidays set in, and ask each person to share what makes the holiday special for them. You may be surprised that this list often shines with ‘time’ requests – skating, singing carols, sipping hot chocolate, sledding, walks, sharing Christmas stories or playing games.

Whatever brings peace and joy to the season is what we all ultimately desire.

Ask yourself, “What would this season look like, if I were to choose what I truly want for myself and those around me?” Whatever the answer, this is where to begin.

Wishing you and yours a time of reflection, connection, limitless love and pure joy!

jennifer

Want some more fun ideas on how to channel your Mad-Passion into Miracle-Making? Connect with a whole tribe of wanna-be Xtraordinary Game-Changers by downloading The Mad Hero’s Manifesto. In this free connect, you will gain access to our Star Intention Wand Mission Video & learn how to make your own.
We are always better Suiting Up and Soaring Together!

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A Call to Wander & Find YOU

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I have a necklace with this quote on it. “Not all who wander are lost.” by J.R.R. Tolkein from his poem ‘All That Is Gold Does Not Glitter’.

The amount of times I get stopped at parties, events, on the street or in coffee shops, so that people can comment and discuss, is astounding. What is it about this freeing phrase that causes perfect strangers to connect and dive in to stimulating conversation?
I think it is because we all, on some level, either desire, dream of or divinely remember a time of, wandering.

What does this wandering mean? To listlessly live, embrace what is free and freeing, allow for wonder, for possibility, and release the dreary, mundane and all that depicts the ‘neat box’ of conformity.

We all long to draw from living the juice, the wow, the joy, knowing somewhere deep within us that time is fleeting and ours for such a wisp of existence.

If you feel a draw to this, if you would in fact stop me in the street or desire to, then perhaps, just perhaps, that is the Universe calling you to wander, to dive in to the unrealized hopes and decide to step to the edge of potential.

To be #XtraordinaryGameChangers we must not be complacent. The world truly needs each and every one of us to light up sky, tread new paths and consider the magic that is yet to be experienced and offered up.

I ask you, “Where in body, spirit or mind, will you venture today to explore, discover and live your greatness?”

Ask, listen and then… #SuitUp my friend.
jenni

If you would like to take to the skies with those intent of co-creating the Xtraordinary, visit us at http://www.jennifermaki.com and download your copy of The Mad Hero’s Manifesto. The Mad Hero’s Handbook to be published later this year, featuring the missions we as a family have been taking out for over 10 years and featuring game-changers from around the world and their tidbits of heroic wisdom!

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Mission: Conscious Conversation

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If I had to identify the single most significant experience I offer my children, (my relationship with my hubby too in fact), the thing I know is empowering them to: explore and know self; understand the intricacies of people, places and spirit; consider the convoluted and glorious workings of heart and mind; and, set their sights on the co-creation of a world we can be infinitely proud of –

it is conversation.

(*Now, if you think this post is just for parents, hold fast, it’s for ALL, as it’s not just mentors who need to up their ante on conscious connection, is it?).

As parents who have also chosen to LifeSchool our boys, communication, profound and simple, is what dazzles us daily. We are the confidants, the guides, the listeners when they have something silly or delightful, perplexing or daring to share. Seemingly insignificant chit-chat can lead to the most illuminating considerations and insights, from how we regard others, practice compassion for all living things, what it means to be derogatory or considerate, what we value as a family and deem appropriate and not, and how we as adults consider conflict, sorrow and challenges and face our humanity, our worry and rise above in a conscious choice for peace with a focus on our profound gratitude.

I wondered in my initial years of parenting if I shared too much, if they understood half, or any, of what I said. But I couldn’t and didn’t want to be anyone other than who I am, for them. Parenting books had tried-and-true tricks-of-the-trade, and I just wanted to show up as me, to let them see and know me the way I wish I’d been able to know my parents. To have this, I had to let them in.

I want to, at all costs,
through all ebbs and flows,
delve into the juice of life with our kids.

There is a common discussion among friends now about the shift in our society and the ways of parenting of the past versus now. “Today, our generation seeks counselling because their parents rarely shared. The next generation, our kids, will have to pay for TMI Therapy (Too Much Information Therapy).” We all bust out in hysterics.

But if we are to shift statistics in our favor, for ourselves and others, social capital, weaving that essential fabric of a connected society, begins at home with a conversation and I’d rather have too much of it than too little, wouldn’t you?

This mission does not require you to have children to participate. As adults we can become complacent, feel like we know our partner or our friends intimately after years of sharing space. But do we, really? Ever have the experience when your significant other or friend answers a question with a tidbit you had no clue about and you feel slightly cheated that you didn’t know, that they didn’t tell you? Well, consider this… Did you ask?

We need to get creative if we want the depth of our relationships overtime to expand, and of course we do.

Your Mission (should you choose to accept it!)

Find ways to consciously, creatively and compassionately connect with others – ask questions, listen, ask more, and allow the relationships to genuinely bloom and expand. Move out into your day and see the world and its people and be curious to know more about them and then take action.

Xtraordinary Game-Changer Convo Tip from our World to Yours

  • Heroic Reflection, Connection Questions. Every night we go around the table (yes, this requires a commitment to eat together every night) and each one of us is asked and answers these questions:
    • What was your YES! Moment today? (This is a moment that was fabulous, something that made you feel amazing, made you feel content. It can be simple or grand, but every day there is something that happened that you can reflect on and say “YES! that was a great moment!”)
    • What lesson did you learn? (Here we reflect on what happened during the day that taught us something, what we learned about another, ourselves, life.)
    • What are you grateful for? (This allows us to come back to what is truly important in our lives, what we are blessed with during a day.)
    • Prepare to be Ahhhhh-mazed with what flows!

In awe and celebration of the life you embrace with heroic intent, the example you are to all those who are privy to your WoW and the adventure you make of your life.
Up, up, up and awwwway…
jennifer

** Please note that this is an excerpt from our book The Mad Hero’s Handbook – Due out early 2017. We don’t want you to wait to embark of the Missions to drive your YES!, Xtraordinary life, so we’re giving tidbits here to inspire. To get your free copy of The Mad Hero’s Manifesto & join our League of XGers, click away. We’ll love to #SuitUp with you!**

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Mission – rrRadical Release

 

Release

We all know when something’s got its hooks into us, when the limits we face are those self-imposed. And when that familiar gnawing wakes us in the wee hours, relentlessly wills us, winds us up with whisperings of truth that we can no longer drown out or escape in the space between our busy, we also know it is time to take action.

The shape, size and weight of our vice matters not; it could be television, video games, our beverage of choice, chocolate, food in any form, shopping, a steamy love affair with our smart phone etc. These subtle (or not so subtle) distractions from a deeper life, may not be anonymous-meeting-and-sponsor-worthy (until they are), but regardless, they are robbing us of the life we deserve and so most assuredly require intervention.

The telltale is the grip it has on our freedom. When we realize avoidance has become our modus-operandi, it is essential to wake from the slumber of resistance and radically rise up.

Do you wake feeling called to action and then take it? Do you vibrate with joy or hum with deep abiding peace? Or do you ache with overwhelm? Do the tasks at hand make you want to throw the covers over your head or lose yourself in a pail of Haagen-Dazs or vat of vino?

Why wait a second to do that which will enlighten and enliven every experience you have yet to tap?

Ready or not, it’s time to take on…

Your XG Mission – rrRadical Release

Engage in the 3 Rs of Radical Release, Reflect, Release and Rejuvenate, to reconnect with and reclaim self-control, conscious decision making and the brilliant future you deserve, living the life you are called to embrace.

The 3 Rs of rrRadical Release:

1. Reflect

Take time and space to become still and silent and simply consider your life and how you feel about it. Clear your mind of the daily dribbles and menial to-dos. Breathe long and slow and revel in the peace that flows. And then ask and answer the following questions:

  1. What distracts me from being present (rewards you think about, that you believe at this point get you through life’s challenges day-to-day (tv, a drink, a cigarette, a chocolate bar)? *Take note, rewards aren’t ‘bad’, but when we use them to escape from the life we’re living, they’re hiding a bigger shift that is required. You’ll know this by the emptiness you feel once you’ve finished the ‘reward’.
  2. What element of my life has control over me?
  3. What will my life look like if I release this habit, extreme behavior, addiction?
  4. What if I do nothing?

Release –

The answer(s) that rose to the top from the above questions, this is what you need to release. Maybe this is something you need to release for a lifetime or perhaps for a short time just to reign in control. Begin, simply begin.

  • If it makes sense, give yourself a time frame, like one month.
  • Create a plan for execution. Will you wean yourself off or go cold turkey? Whatever the ground rules you layout, stick to them.
  • In some cases, you may want to reward yourself as a means of celebrating your success. (i.e. if you’ve gone sugar-free for 2-weeks, then maybe you indulge in a dessert (1) and then return to your regime the next day)

Rejuvenate –

Through the process it is essential to benchmark success, journal at the beginning and throughout to be able to evaluate the journey and the outcome. So often, once we’ve fixed an aliment we can hardly remember that it was an issue in the first place and this is how we slip back into old patterns again and again.

Enjoy (externally) and InJoy (internally) the adventure to freedom that you have embarked on. Feel the rejuvenation of your body, brain and being. Envision and embrace your revitalized life and share your experience with others.

This is the way of the Mad Hero,
who enters in knowing that a passionate desire for more drives from within,
is called to remember the magnificence that exists and
claims the missions and life of an Xtraordinary Game-Changer
bound to shift the world for WoW!

Up up up and away my fellow XGer!
jennifer

**This post is an excerpt from the book The Mad Hero’s Handbook, to be released Christmas 2016 ** If you’d like the pre-amble to ignite you on your XG Way, please click to receive your free copy of The Mad Hero’s Manifesto

 

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My Hero and the Lessons of Parkinson’s

For 10 years he felt he was going a little crazy, okay maybe a lot, in moments.

Let us never negate our intuition, because some 10-odd years, countless conversations with GPs, a 6-month wait for a neurologist and literally 5 minutes of testing with him, later, sanity was offered up.

“I’m not going to beat around the bush Charles, you have Parkinson’s.” Dr. Jogg said.

As a loving daughter who had embarked on this intensive journey 2 1/2 years earlier, after noticing a slight tremor in his left hand, I was stunned. No where along the line had anyone even offered up this concept; I’d been at every doctor visit. The countless tests had been clear. His memory was above par for a man in his 80s, he swam 5-days a week and loved his bike rides.

But no matter, we journeyed for answers, because regardless of what they ever said, my dad knew something wasn’t right.
As a kindred friend and loved one you don’t question, you just get busy delving in, asking, recording, digging deeper and demanding that this healthcare system not chalk any ailments up to ‘simply old age’ and offer up the less-than-adequate prescription of ‘live with it’.

For me, the diagnosis brought on skepticism. How could this be so simple, assessed and diagnosed so quickly by one doctor when countless others hadn’t even recognized a hit of it? Dr. Jogg, with less than a reputable bedside manner, but certainly a reputation for successfully supporting patients with varied neurological anomalies, put me in my place.

“I assure you Jennifer, this is what it is. It is casebook. Just because you don’t understand it, does not mean that it isn’t so.”

Even so, on top of indignation (which was the easiest go-to in the moment), I was filled with wonder, concern and a frightening flashback to a book I’d once read by Michael J. Fox about his dance with this particular split-personality villain (half blessing/half curse).

For my father, the diagnosis brought on a long slow out-breath that I couldn’t read, amidst the information flowing our way and the influx of experts offering up pamphlets and support systems.

As we walked back to the car, I gathered my thoughts, swallowed my fears and remembered, this truly wasn’t about me. As we belted in, I couldn’t help notice the calm of the air.

“Daddy, how are you? How do you feel about what Dr. Jogg said?”

There was a deep silence, not surprising as my dad has never been one for dramatics and one certainly for the blessings that all of life brings to call us forth to greater knowing and action.

“Jenny, I can’t tell you how relieved I am.”

I suppose if I thought about it, I wouldn’t have been surprised with this answer knowing my daddy, but I wasn’t there yet so I simply listened.

“I’m not crazy Jenny. I’m not.
I’ve always known there was something wrong and everyone just kept trying to convince me otherwise. I am happy to know. Now I can see my way forward, no matter what may come. This is a gift.”

Moments define us, don’t they?
Right here, this second, wrapped up with a conscientious bow, was the essence, strength, courage, sweet simplicity and profound wisdom of my father.

Four years later at 86, Charles is a beautiful enigma for Dr. Jogg.
He still swims, 6-days a week now,
bikes as soon as the snow melts, and
tucks in each night at 9 p.m. to count his blessings and settle his mind on all that matters most.

He flows with life.
He does not entertain angst or worry.
He surrenders to the perfection in it all, no matter how imperfect it may be.

And always in response to, “How are you feeling Daddy?” he predictably answers,”I have my ups and downs and my memory bothers me a little, but Jenny, honestly I am so grateful to have the health I do and the love of my blessed family.”

Looks like the another villain is discovered to be
not so treacherous after all and
a Hero’s valiant qualities enlighten yet another day,
setting an example for us all.

In honor of your CAPEabilities
and the qualities you cultivate to inspire others in your midst,
Jennifer

Posted in Musings from The Booth, Typical Traits to Hone | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Lessons in Perseverance from a Precocious River

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Sparked by an I AM Mindful Meditation, I’ve recently added to our repertoire…
I AM the River ~ A guided meditation for Xtraordinarily Changing the World from Within ~ this quote comes. This gem will be available in our book The Mad Hero’s Handbook for Life, launching Sept 2016 and with our online program The 30-day XG Adventure. But until that time comes, felt compelled to share this Musing from The Booth with you.

All that is around us is within us, the capacities of creation
are ours to tap and use for our divine designs.

Water shifts, stills, carves, churns, chides in rumbling-murmur boulders in her wake, but is ever undaunted by the mission born of necessity and instinct.

There is nothing this liquid power cannot endure or overcome.

Overtime her mark is made, sometimes by roaring and thrashing, but more oft by gentle yet tenacious acts, slow, sure, determined, undeterred.

Take heed my fellow Xtraordinary Game-Changers, wisdom whispers as we watch, bubbling brook, steady stream and listless lake, to torrent river rush and finally the vastness of the sea.

  • Take each day in stride, clear of the path that calls, unrelenting in your desires expressed in action

  • Moment by moment, ride the waves of time, knowing that the impact that appears before you in the now is merely a glimpse of what can be when you create and carve and deliver your visions over days, weeks, years.

  • Understand that as you look back over your life, that it will become abundantly obvious, that it was your commitment over, under, through all the adversity faced, that made all the difference.

To your life of legacy, however unintentional but achieved none-the-less because you began, persevered and flowed with, even thrived because of, all life’s test.

Your reward is a canyon of achievements etched
with the love you expressed and offered to the world.

Up up up, in, over, through my #XtraordinaryGameChanging friends,
jennifer

 

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