Category Archives: Life

What does death tell about life? Live don’t just exist!

When driving to our cottage today, I heard on the CBC radio the passing of Maya Angelou.  According to her son, Guy Johnson, Angeloulived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being.  She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace”.  Her death made me think about other people’s deaths and the meaning of life.

Angelou is certainly a person who will not be easily forgotten.  She was a poet, author and civil rights activist who changed the life of many people in North America, particularly women and African Americans.  Recently, we also lost Nelson Mandela; another person who is now part of the history of humanity.  Although these two people had lives that were filled with all kind of obstacles and challenges, somehow, they were still able to live their lives fully.  In my opinion, they are two examples of what it means to live life. 

Death and life
The death of Angelou may me reflect about life and this amazing chance that we have to live.  I believe that life keeps us so many surprises.  To be honest, we don’t know when our existence in this planet will end. When saying this, I am thinking about this colleague who died during his early fifties and never had the chance to retire.  Or, the baby of a friend who died last year and never had the chance to know what life was about.  He died from an extremely rare disease just a few months after he turned a year old.  Or, this young teenager (son of some friends) who died last week and never had the chance to fall in love or drive a car.

When I heard about Maya Angelou this morning, I thought about death and its meaning.  I don’t know you, but I don’t think that I have really ever thought too much about my death until I got married and had my son; more importantly until I started to get old.  I am not saying that we should always be thinking about our death; it will certainly be depressing and not good for the morale if we do that.  I just say that from time to time, we should actually think about not so much death, but its opposite, life.  In particular, I feel that we should take “death” as a reminder that we are still alive and that we only have one chance to live; so, what are we waiting for, let’s take this chance!

Only one chance to live…what does it mean?
It is common knowledge that North Americans are stressed, overworked and don’t know anymore how to relax.  So, are we really living?  NO!  We don’t even know how to laugh and enjoy the small experiences and moments that life brings to us every single day.  We tend to over-analyze everything and don’t just live the moment.  Yes, we have so many excuses for this, including my number one:  “I don’t have” time”.  But, is that really true? What are your excuses?  In my case, I have to admit is that I just have trouble prioritizing what is really important in life.  Sometimes it takes a crisis for people to make major changes, but do we really need to wait until that time? It may be too late? As it is often said, we don’t know when we would be called? 

I know that this is not always realistic, but don’t you think that it would be amazing if we could wake up every morning and tell ourselves “remember, this is your only one chance to live, so, live this day fully.. don’t over-analyze things, don’t just exist…LIVE”!

Past Emotional Experiences can Influence how you Parent your Children — A Solution

One of the things that I have realized since I am a parent and a step-parent is that there are many, sometimes too many, factors affecting or influencing the relationship with my children.  On one hand, every child is different, with unique combinations of abilities and needs that certainly affect our relationship with them.  On the other hand, the way we were parented also significantly influences the way we view the world and how we come to parent our children.  According to Drs. Tina Payne Bryson and Daniel J. Siegel, research has repeatedly shown that when parents offer repeated, predictable experiences in which they see and sensitively respond to their children’s emotions and needs, their children will prosper —socially, emotionally, relationally, and even academically. But, what is the secret for this?

Using your Past Experiences to Construct a New Future for Yourself and your Children
According to Drs. Bryson and Siegel, “The most important factor when it comes to how you relate with your kids and give them all those advantages, is how well you’ve made sense of your experiences with your own parents”.  In my opinion, this is a very powerful sentence because although many of us are determined to avoid the mistakes that our own parents made, we often times follow in the same trap.  How many times, did you tell yourself, “I don’t want to make the same mistakes that my parents made when I was a child” or “I am sounding like my mother (or my father) now”.  According to the above mentioned authors, if you can make sense of the past experiences with your parents as well as understand your father’ or mother’s wounded nature, you can break the cycle of inherited non-desired parental behaviours.  Of course, this may require hard work on your part, possibly even some help from a therapist.  You will most likely need to deal with hidden or implicit memories that are doing their work on you without you even realizing it.  Clearly, it will not be an easy or short process.  But, if you can make sense of your memories and understand how they have influenced you in the present, you may be able to use this information to construct a new future for yourself, and for how you parent your children.  As the authors said in their article, it is by understanding our own experiences and learning to tell the story of our childhood, the joys as well as the pain, we can become the kind of parent whose children are securely attached and connected to us in strong and healthy ways.


Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.” ~ Benjamin Disraeli
Your happiness is your responsibility.  That may sound a little like tough love, but it’s actually just a reminder to you that your happiness depends on you, or if you prefer, is within your control.  If you are struggling with your own happiness, I recommend a few things that can help you create happiness in your life today, starting with reading the book “TheHappiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin.
12 Ways to Create Happiness
The list below is a compilation of ways and ideas that people have found, or used to create or improve their happiness.  Know that Life is nothing, but a story, a flowing river, a life’s meaning with you as the key character.  
1.           Abandon self-judgement and develop self worth
2.           Put yourself first – Decide to make yourself a priority
3.           Write your achievements  – Create visuals of your awesomeness
4.           Abandon the judgment of others
5.           Try everything once – Fill your day with tiny things you love
6.           Try something you have never tried before – Don’t get stuck in routines
7.           Beware the highlight reel
8.           Choose gratitude
9.           Share your wisdom
10.        Do not live in regrets – Allow yourself to make mistakes
11.        Discover your passions and follow them
12.        Live in the Moment