At this point in my career, I’ve been asked to speak publicly quite a number of times. It’s not easy still, but with some reflection on this subject matter, I wanted to offer a few tips since I recognize people rank public speaking as one of their greatest fears of all!
Remember Your Audience
Simon Sinek very eloquently articulates here that the best public speakers are the ones who come to give.
We are not who we were yesterday. I mean, we are. But we’re not.
As I sat in my graduate school classroom and heard my cohort discuss their frustrations with their students, this back and forth about identity is all I could contemplate. For context, my cohort was filled with school teachers. I was earning my Masters in Education from a renowned institution that was known for training teachers and guidance counsellors.
It All Comes Together
Say what you will, but I love puzzles! Most people I tell this to think this is odd – especially since I prefer to do them by myself. Family and friends marvel at the pieces before me when I first dump them out and usually comment about how they would not have the patience. And of course, there are the friends who think I belong in a retirement home. But I love puzzles for so many reasons.
Why I Love When Harry Met Sally
I’m coming up on an anniversary and it’s a big one! This February will be ten years of me spending Valentine’s Day cuddled up in a big blanket watching When Harry Met Sally.
In a previous post (or two), I’ve referenced this film as being my favourite rom-com, and I’ve been thinking lately about whether or not I should dedicate a whole post to this movie and why I love it so much.
For so much of our lives, we’re bombarded with messages about dreaming big. We’re encouraged to travel to some paradise location, get married, have children, land a stellar six-figure job, etc.
While all of these things can illicit a feeling of happiness, I’d like to make the case that what we all need more of in this life is an appreciation for what the little moments can mean.
Watch Your Language
Loving language as someone who is trying to be spiritually aware is a funny thing. Many gurus will try to remind you that like with so much else in this life, language is just a construct. It’s hard to dispute that. And even people who love literature can attest to the famous Shakespearean quote, “a rose by any other name will still smell just as sweet.” So, is language just a system created by people to communicate? Yes. And is there any meaning behind these words? Also yes!
What I Hate About The Spiritual Community
This one is kind of a hard post to write if I’m being honest. I already feel as if I’ve been outcast from Feminist groups for asking too many questions, so it’s kind of scary to “take on” a new group. Yet, here I go… A few years ago, I really made an effort to lean into myself a bit more and allow myself to be open to new experiences. As part of that process, I admitted I didn’t know it all. I started experimenting with new schools of thought, and I let go of a lot of structure—some of my closest friends can attest to how I’ve changed over the years.
All About The Music
Music is a powerful tool. For me, I find so much healing through a good song. Whether the lyrics literally speak to me and give me something to ponder, or the beat just uplifts my spirit, it is something I can always rely on. And I know I’m not alone—there’s so much science behind music and its impact on us; but for me, I’m all about the stories.
Travel Guide – Kayla Style
This summer, I promised myself to say “yes” to new opportunities to travel. I definitely am not someone who needs to do this as a regular habit, but having never really explored other places during childhood, I knew this could be a transformative experience that would also give me a much needed break away from routine.
Just Quirky Enough
Driving with me is super fun, I swear! But parking with me… well, bring some snacks. I am definitely one to strategize in this department. I’m astounded at people who can effortlessly pull their vehicle into an empty spot and then just…like… leave it. I have preferences!
Let’s Talk About Sex
I’ve recently been reading City of Girls by Liz Gilbert. The book focuses heavily on female sexuality in the 1940s, and sadly, so many statements expressed in the novel continue to be uttered today. Needless to say, I’ve been pondering a few of those messages and wondering what I would prefer to share with my daughter instead.
A Daughter of the Island
“I’ve never left Canada.” For years, that has been my favourite line to say during icebreaker games of Two Truths and a Lie. Most people can’t fathom the possibility that someone has been born and raised in a country without ever having ventured somewhere else. But as of very recently, my go-to line for the icebreaker is no longer something I can use.
Ready to Run
I’ve always been a person to believe that you can tell a lot about someone’s character when times are tough. It’s easy to be kind and positive when things are going well in life. To maintain that energy, however, when things are stormy is a whole other question. It’s easy and more gratifying to fly off the handle, project problems onto someone else, or run away to something “fun.”
Gardens – A sequel: Let it Bloom
I suppose it’s the season – I just can’t get flower imagery out of my head. So, as a follow-up to my last post, I thought I would talk about the need to let things bloom in their own time.
As someone who is very much a “late bloomer” in life, the idea of being odd or weird has certainly plagued me from time to time. Very often, I felt left behind because of my anxieties.
Years ago, I heard a relationship and sex therapist talk about the importance of treating people like gardens. He said that in our interactions with others, we should always aspire to leave things better than how we found them.
That’s really stuck with me over the years. Imagine how life would be if we entered into each other’s spaces with a sense of awe and appreciation?
Try Something New
When I was in graduate school, I befriended a lot of “different” people. They practiced yoga, ate vegan food, and played with tarot cards. I, on the other hand, read books and enjoyed quiet movie nights in with my family while enjoying a delicious carnivorous dinner. So, it was a shock to my system when I found myself suddenly surrounded by people who had such different interests.
We Are It All
For a very long time, I have been mistaken for what many would call an extrovert. As a person who often breaks the silence in groups and can be fairly animated, I can’t say I’m surprised for the misperception. To be honest, I even tried to convince myself of this identity for many years.
People were always complimenting me for being so gregarious and having seen first-hand how in the workplace, louder voices often appear more esteemed, it made sense to go along with that false identity.
People often tell me I have a calming presence. My most anxious family members and friends say that they enjoy speaking with me because I put things in perspective. I remind them that as complicated or stressful as things may seem, the world will continue to turn. Problems aren’t usually that big, after all, and in the grand scheme of things, what we worry about today won’t even be remembered 5 days from now, much less 5 years from now.
How many times a day does your mind wander to fixate on something you could have done better? Many of us will often have that experience of doubting ourselves and our capabilities. So, what’s the solution? Well, that’s actually a deep question and I’m not going to address the entirety of it here… but I’ll present a band-aid that can still work wonders.
Talk Nerdy to Me, Ted!
Learning is not something that’s limited to some building with one solitary teacher. In my opinion, the best learning is so often self-directed and comes from natural curiosity. Thanks to technology, we can access so much more information than ever before, and there are fewer limitations surrounding us.
Totally Healed and Everything’s Fine
When I was a little girl, my father worked in construction. Every day, the alarm would sound at 4:30am and he would groggily make his way downstairs to the kitchen. My mother would trail behind him. As he set his coffee to brew, he’d run into the shower while she made and packed his lunch for the day.
Follow with Grace
“Leadership” has become a buzz word in recent times. It really doesn’t take much searching before a person can find themselves bombarded with self-development talks and blogs. Whether it’s Simon Sinek highlighting the importance of finding your “why” or Tony Robbins…well… being Tony Robbins.
Lessons From Recess
When I was a child, I can vividly remember staring at the clock, eagerly awaiting the recess bell to ring. We had three a day; two 15-minute breaks and one half-hour after lunch. As adults, I think it’s interesting to think back to this time and ponder why so many of us loved those periods so much.
The holidays are a strange time… For anyone who has lost a loved one, lacks a stable family life, or is just simply single at this time of year, it can be especially tough to be surrounded by so much cultural emphasis on love, especially romantic love.
Weight Loss – No Secrets
As a small child, I didn’t struggle with weight. Thanks to a fast metabolism and rambunctious activity, I was pretty trim. But my family didn’t exactly make healthy choices. I was the product of a household that had bottles of soda delivered to the door.
New Year, New Moon
It’s that time of year again. People are committing to dropping pounds, buying flashy cars, and signing up for dating apps to find their soulmates. However, as a person who has quite some reservation around the notion of New Year’s Resolutions, I’ve decided to take a slightly different approach.
You Don’t Own Them
If it hasn’t happened yet, someone may cheat on you. They might abandon you. They could betray you. And there’s nothing you can do about it.
Where am I going with this depressing insight?
Space and Solitude
For years, I’ve taken refuge in quiet moments sitting in darkness.
We live in such a fast-paced world. Between the traffic, newsfeeds, and text messages, it sometimes feels like we’re surrounded by everyone except ourselves.
Workshop, Don’t Dictate
Over the years, I have had the incredible privilege to work alongside many young adults. One thing that has always astounded me is how much they are able to teach me with their creativity, ideas, and resilience.
Not too long ago, I was riding the subway into High Park. There was an elderly woman who couldn’t get a seat and was struggling to keep her balance while standing. As a fairly competent subway surfer – and a decent human being – I offered her my seat. Once we traded places, I felt good about myself.
Declutter Your Space, Declutter Your Mind
Several years ago, I began a journey of decluttering. This was before Marie Kondo took the world by storm, or at least before I knew she was on that path of tidy revolution. My own process sparked from something as simple as just not wanting to dust.
The last couple of weeks have gone by in a blur. I’ve switched jobs, seen a dear friend marry the love of her life, and parted ways with an old friend.
In the midst of so much transition, I’ve been a flurry of emotions.
Hike This Way
Serious question: how do you walk?
As a person who loves to hike and go on nature walks, I’ve been trying to observe how my personality makes itself apparent while outdoors. And I’ve been paying special attention to the patterns that show themselves with my friends and family.
For the Love of Books
“She loves books!” my mother called out to my aunt as a one-year-old me tore open a Christmas gift. As I think back to watching old home videos, that moment is still etched in my mind. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved the sight, feel, and experience of a book.
In Defense of the Suburbs
In the last year, I feel as if I’ve met a record number of people who want to leave the city. Some talk about retiring young in South America, others want to make new lives for themselves in Europe. The reasons are the same. It’s boring here. Our way of living is backwards. We work too much. I’ll admit that I’ve certainly had these thoughts cross my own mind in the past.
Cool Cats – Conscious Humans (Female Edition)
About a year ago, this article was posted for the Be Human, Not a Zombie community to help you find some interesting thought leaders. While that first post highlighted some great male voices that could help enrich one’s spiritual journey, female voices were saved for a later date… Surprise!! Today is that date 🙂
Must Drive Stick
“He likes too many pictures of girls in bikinis,” my friend lamented one afternoon, as we walked through the park. Feeling disheartened from what her social media stalking had turned up about her most recent OKcupid find, she needed a vent-session. It seemed that her suitor’s interest in beach bodies was not the only thing upsetting her.
When I was a little girl, my brother and I used to play in our front yard. Often, we would throw a tennis ball against the brick of our house and caught it when it bounced back towards us. We didn’t have much room to work with, but some days, our neighbours would go out and we stood on their driveway; this allowed us to have more distance from the wall.
From Pain to Forgiveness
“Do you have a list of people who you feel anger towards?” This was the question that my conflict resolution instructor asked, as we started the day’s class. I had been in a bit of a professional rut, so deciding to take career growth into my own hands, I signed up for a leadership certification program and this was a required course.