By Ramona Remesat
The theme of this issue of Trifecta Magazine is Resolve to Be Strong and as I sit down to write about this, I find myself going through a mix of emotions.
You see, the last two weeks have been incredibly difficult for me as we had a sudden loss in our family. If you watched the popular daytime TV show, Steven & Chris, you may have heard that one of the co-hosts, Christopher Hyndman died tragically and unexpectedly at the young age of 49. Chris left behind his co-host and life partner, Steven Sabados, who also happens to be my beloved cousin.
As soon as I heard the news of Christopher’s passing my heart shattered into a million pieces. I was absolutely heart-broken for my cousin Steven who had built an amazing life with Chris over the past 27 years. Together in life, and in business, they were everything to each other.
Resolve to be Strong.
Isn’t it ironic how this is the theme for the Winter issue of Trifecta yet so apropos to me now as I sit to write about it in August.
When we gather in a time of loss, it’s a normal feeling to want to “be strong” for those most deeply affected. Indeed, I thought my role in traveling back to Ontario to be with family would be to stay strong and help support them in their grief. Instead, I learned that sometimes real strength comes from falling apart completely and then slowly putting the pieces back together.
“Without darkness, there can be no light”
I quickly realized that there was no way in hell I was going to be the strong one! And when I stepped back into a place of surrender, I learned that real strength comes from giving yourself permission to be who you are and to ask for what you want.
Here’s what that looked like for me…
Be who you are – No matter how hard I tried to appear strong at all times, it just wasn’t what I was feeling. I was a mess and I knew it and I felt no reason to hide it. That’s because true strength doesn’t come from hiding or repressing your feelings, it comes from being genuine and authentic. In my grief, I found comfort in telling others how much I was hurting and allowing myself to feel what I needed to feel. By allowing myself to cry and grieve in my own way, I allowed the healing process to begin.
Ask for what you need – Grief is an individual process meaning no two people will experience grief in the same way. While one person may need comfort from others, someone else may want to be left alone. Regardless, recognizing what you need in the moment and going ahead and asking for it, is not only okay, but a necessary step in the healing process.
Accepting help from others – I was overwhelmed at the outpouring of support that came to me in the form of phone calls, emails, texts and posts. Many people asked if there was anything I needed and I found it healing and comforting to ask for prayers of healing, love and support for Steven, our family, Christopher’s family, all their friends and also the fans of the show. Keep those prayers coming!
The last several weeks have truly been a learning experience for me. Although grief is incredibly difficult, I am grateful for all the lessons it has revealed to me. And I am grateful because it shows that I love deeply with all of my heart and soul. Without darkness, there can be no light. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Ramona Remesat is an Intuitive Mindset Coach, Angel Therapy Practitioner®, speaker and author. She works with spiritually open-minded women coaches, consultants and entrepreneurs who struggle with fears, stress and self-doubt who want to stop second-guessing themselves, make clear and confident decisions and crush their limiting mind stories. Get started today with The Three Essential Steps to Getting Anything You Want in Life at www.ramonaremesat.com.
100 Women Who Care Calgary is a local grassroots organization that brings women and local causes together in a simple, powerful way.
Being a stay-at-home mom to two little boys, age 18 months and 3 years old, I was run off my feet and rarely got to sleep a night through. I realized that my visions of modelling charity to my kids might have to take the back-burner, because who has the time? But I really did care. And I really did want to help in a way that my kids could be proud of. And, let’s face it, as someone who had left a career six months earlier to stay at home with my kids, I wanted to show my little guys that their mom could be a leader in the community – even though she no longer earned a paycheck.
So, when I walked into a meeting of 100 Women Who Care – Windsor / Essex County (Ontario), having been invited by my mother-in-law, Donna Lapczuk, it lit up a spark inside of me that would soon become a wildfire.
These ladies met just four times per year, for only 1 hour. In that hour, they learned about 3 amazing local charities (spoken for by other members of the group that had put in the nomination), they jointly selected one of those charities and promptly each wrote a cheque – directly to that charity – for $100. When one hundred women get together and each give $100, why that’s a $10,000 donation. In just one hour. I was floored. I knew I had to bring this concept to Calgary. I no longer cared about the time I lacked, nor the sleep I lacked. I loved the power of the group, the voices of the women taking matters into their own hands. This just had to happen in Calgary.
By September, I was buying a domain name, creating a Facebook page and starting the recruiting process. That’s when my co-founder, Christy Parker, came into the picture. It was as if the stars aligned to bring her in at just the right moment! The date was already booked, Nov. 4, 2013 at the Marriott Hotel Downtown Calgary. I was working on the website (something I had never done before). The only thing I had up online was a Facebook page. Christy had heard of the launch of the Kingston chapter of 100 Women Who Care and was similarly inspired to get one going in Calgary. She found my Facebook page and the rest is history. A beautiful partnership ensued and five weeks later, we raised nearly $8000 for the Hera Program at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary.
To date, we have held seven 1-hour meetings and have given Calgary charities a total of over $100,000! Visit our website to view the charities we have supported.
100 Women Who Care Calgary is NOT a charity, we are a vehicle. Donations are 100% direct to charity. We have no bank account or employees because we don’t collect, spend or donate anything – it is our members who make the donations directly to the local charities. The goal of the group is to support the wonderful work that our local charities do in funds, exposure and awareness in a minimal amount of time. We have an amazing team of volunteers along with the assistance of some very generous sponsors. 100 Women Who Care Calgary is proud to say that we were the first chapter of it’s kind in Western Canada. The concept is simple and effective and we encourage members of every city and town to seek out or start a local chapter and make a difference in your community today.
By Alison Lapczuk
Co-Founder, 100 Women Who Care Calgary
Proud to be ‘1 in 100’!
In just a few shorts weeks the kids will be back in school and the frost will arrive. YUCK! As I am NOT a fan of the cold weather, I started daydreaming about my last trip to Maui. While browsing through the shops I saw a cute sign that read:
“If you are lucky enough to live in Hawaii… you are lucky enough.”
I mean how could anyone living in a Hawaiian paradise be anything BUT happy?? And yet, even there, happiness is elusive for some. I started to wonder how that’s even possible and I began to see that there are three common “happiness thieves” that rob people of their joy and keep them from living their lives to the fullest.
Read on to learn how to identify those tricky happiness stealers and three simple strategies to turn frowns upside down.
Worry is probably the biggest happiness stealer out there and it stems from thinking that we are all alone in our problem/ challenge/situation. It’s as if it’s just us and our worries all alone in a dingy room locked in a staring contest with one other. You don’t feel empowered. You don’t feel supported. You feel entirely and utterly alone and vulnerable.
Now instead of that picture, imagine THIS! Envision yourself standing at the head of a table in a flashy, executive boardroom. Seated all around that table is your spiritual team. This team is comprised of your angels, deceased loved ones, Ascended Masters, and guides who are all EXPERTS in providing you with Divine assistance. Now doesn’t THAT picture feel much better?
Here’s how to get it:
Rather than worry about your situation, CHOOSE to turn it over to your team. Just tell them what you need help with. Try something like, “God/Angels/Universe/Divine Mind/Source etc. please help me with (fill in the blank with what you are worried about). Then TRUST that they hear what you have asked for and will get to work on it immediately. The next step for you is to pay attention to your inner guidance and take action on the intuitive thoughts, ideas and gut feelings that you receive. Now don’t worry, be happy!
THE WORK, WORK, WORK MENTALITY
How many times have you heard someone say, “When my work is done, THEN I can have fun or THEN I will relax or THEN I will go on vacation.” This is such a backward way of thinking, yet it’s rampant out there!
Consider this. Every emotion carries a vibration. When you feel excited, happy and joyful your vibration is high. And in THIS state you are highly attractive in the sense that you attract even MORE reasons to be excited, happy and joyful. The right people show up in your life, the right opportunities come along and the money is there to support you and your dreams.
When you regularly take part in joyful activities and surround yourself with people, places, and things that make you happy, you will find that the work almost takes care of itself. Case in point, it seems we all know “those people” who seem to have it all despite not really working that hard for it. How is that possible? It’s because “those people” have figured out that happiness is a must have, not a luxury. And as a result, their high vibration allows them to attract exactly what they need and desire.
Here’s how to get that:
Having fun doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money or a lot of time. Just try to infuse each day with something that makes you happy. Do you love to read? Then pick up a great book and read a few pages. Do you love to create? Then draw, sew, paint, write or garden. Rarely give yourself permission to relax? Then set up a basin with some hot water mixed with sea salt and soak your feet for a few minutes while flipping through a magazine (and why not enjoy a cold beverage at the same time). There are TONS of things you can do. You just have to make the CHOICE to do them.
STUFFING YOUR FEELINGS
These days, it seems to me that people do not have healthy ways of dealing with their feelings. Instead of FEELING them, they stuff them so far down that they never see the light of day. They think that by sweeping their emotions under the proverbial rug they won’t have to deal with them. This may work for a short time, but soon enough there’s a big bump under the carpet and they aren’t fooling anyone. Stuffing your feelings creates dis-ease within the body that, left unchecked, can manifest physically as disease. And you obviously don’t want to go down that road! So please, please, please don’t ignore your feelings.
Crappy things happen in life. The trick though is to let yourself feel your feelings but then make the CHOICE to move forward and not get pulled into the quicksand of despair.
Here’s how to do it:
Journaling is a healthy way to express yourself and a wonderful tool to help you deal with your feelings. Some people prefer to write about what they are feeling in the form of a letter, not with the intent of sending it, but just as a way to release and let go of emotions like anger, resentment, unforgiveness and guilt. You can even address the letter to yourself as most people harbour these feelings against themselves.
Remember, happiness is not something external that we strive for, but rather it’s within us all along. You just have to CHOOSE.
By Ramona Remesat
Ramona Remesat is an Intuitive Mindset Coach, author and speaker. She helps open-minded entrepreneurs, who struggle with fears that hold them back, make clear and confident decisions and crush their limiting mind-stories.
Get started today with The Three Essential Steps to Getting Anything You Want In Life at www.ramonaremesat.com
When I hear the word “happy,” I immediately think of a happy face. That round, yellow, smiley icon is such a positive symbol, intended to spark a feel-good reaction. But it’s not as easy as that, is it? Just because we “see” a happy face doesn’t make us happy. We’re increasingly learning that happiness is about the state of our internal thoughts and feelings, not external appearance or expression.
After all, happy people can cry a lot and sad people –Robin Williams comes to mind – can smile a lot. It’s hard to process that a man who spent his life making other people smile was not smiling for himself. And there are many other people out there just like Robin.
With depression, stress-related disease, suicide, and mental illness on the rise it’s obvious that happiness is not as easy as just turning on a switch. Happiness is a journey, and that becoming happier takes work (it’s true and it’s worth it). The principles of happiness are not complicated, in fact the steps can be considered pretty basic. However people don’t always do the work. Learning skillful ways to navigate life helps us to reach our potential, helps us to thrive. To master the art of happiness takes awareness, education, choice, action, and regular practice.
In life, we are all either in a crisis, coming out of a crisis or about to go into a crisis, and in between we have to navigate a series of challenges. If we don’t find ways to manage the negative mindset that comes with those crises and challenges, we start to rob ourselves of our potential to be happy. Sadness can start to settle in.
But feeling sad can be a good thing. It builds character, and helps us to dig deep and to really feel our feelings. And we need to do that – to understand that our feelings are valid. Happiness is not about the absence of negative feelings; happiness is about believing that there is something you can do about those feelings. Honoring the negative feelings is the first step towards a happier mind. It’s unresolved sadness that is so dangerous because it leads us down a path toward discontent, loneliness, isolation, and illness.
Our brain is naturally programed to believe negative thoughts first – that’s our fight-or-flight response, and it’s the way nature intended us to be hard wired. But unless you’re hunting a saber-tooth tiger or need an adrenaline rush to help lift a car off someone, that wiring is no longer serving us. In fact, it can affect our ability to be happy. To overcome our genetic make-up, to feel happy, we must train our brains to think in new ways.
Work problems, health issues, family struggles, financial challenges and all the other everyday stressors put our mind and body into the flight-or-fight response. That bypasses our rational mind, which is where we create our positive thoughts and feelings. And positive outcomes is where we’ll find our happiness.
The good news is that academic research is now revealing solutions – including that we have more control over our minds than we may think. That we can take steps to stay in a rationally optimistic state, and thus create the right conditions to see possibilities and opportunities instead of challenges and conflicts.
Life can be hard – I get it. Experiencing my own crisis several years ago set me on a journey to learn more about the science of happiness. I lost my mother, my father, and my sister, in a short period of time. I had estates to settle, a business to run, bills to pay, all while trying to raise a teenage son and maintain a marriage.
Add to the mix a serious car accident, lost relationships and managing my grief, there were many days when pulling the covers over my head felt more appealing than getting out of bed. But I never allowed myself to stay in bed (OK, I’ll ‘fess up: maybe once….but that’s human; what you need to avoid is lying in bed day after day).
Finding your new normal, including new ways to live happy, after a crisis, is crucial. Many people get stuck in the overwhelming thoughts that happen during difficult times or struggles. In order to move forward, to continue to grow, and to be able to put the past behind us, we need tools to get us back to life.
The world will go on with or without us. To me, living life to the fullest is about choosing to go on with it. Every one of us has a story, and everyone’s level of happiness is going to be challenged at some point in their lives. When your happiness is challenged, which methods or tools do you have in place to help you move forward?
I have studied Positive Psychology, I’m a Mental Health 1st Aider and Peer Support trained, and have learned from some of the top happiness gurus (Shawn Achor, of The Happiness Advantage, is my top mentor). Through all my education, life experiences and research I have designed a road map to happiness – a road I will drive for the rest of my life. And now I dedicate my work to helping other people create their own road maps to happiness.
Life isn’t always easy, but life is a gift. You matter! And you deserve to live happy.
Please join me in becoming a happy ambassador @ ahappiermind. com; together, we can share a journey toward a healthier and happier life.
***If you have been struggling with your level of happiness lately know my heart goes out to you! Living in isolation, silence, pain is a journey I don’t wish on anyone. Reaching out to someone you trust and letting him or her know you don’t feel like yourself is the place to start. Don’t try to do this alone; getting the proper support is the best step you can take toward living your life happy. Calling 211 is a great resource toward help.
By Karen Judge, Mind Health Specialist
In the year 2001, I was introduced to the practice of singing mantra (chanting) for it’s health and spiritually elevating benefits. Through my practice of Kundalini Yoga (KY), which incorporates chanting into each class, I was exposed to an instructor, who not only did the monotone type chanting as a meditation, that I was used to, but also used melodic mantra music for each posture and invited everyone to sing along! I had never experienced singing in a yoga class before? I found that singing with each challenging exercise, and there are many in KY, really opened up my energy body and it was like I was tapping into an energy reserve I had no idea even existed.
After that experience, I began to experiment with using mantra music in the KY classes that I taught and eventually expanded into offering the experience simply on it’s own as a chant circle. I’ve experienced many benefits over the years from having a chant practice and would love to share some of those with you, as well as some advice on choosing the style of chant practice that will serve you.
How Does it Work and What Are the Benefits?
We have 84 energy meridian points on the roof of our mouth that become stimulated when we chant mantra. The way in which mantra stimulates these points acts as a code for health and wellness in our glandular and nervous systems and aids our immune function.
When our breath slows down to four breathes per minute, a channel opens between the hypothalamus, pituitary and pineal glands. This opening releases a nectar that rains down vitalizing our nervous system and our immune function.
It is said that the effect of chanting becomes exponential with each person that joins in.
Each mantra holds within it the potential for a specific transformational state of being. The more awareness one has, the more ability they will have to recognize when this occurs and to be able to embody that state.
Many people report feeling uplifted and elevated in mood after a chant circle. Within each chant circle, there is a potential to experience a deeper connection with one’s self as well as the community. Singing in general, tends to open one’s heart. Singing mantra, tends to open one’s heart and heal it as well.
Choose a Chant Experience That’s Right for You?
Sometimes a good place to “dip one’s toes in the water” is at a larger chant concert event, such as a Deva Premal or Snatam concert at a venue like The Jack Singer Concert Hall. At events such as this, there will be over 1000 people gathered to chant together. The larger event makes it possible to blend in and maybe not feel so conspicuous with your voice, and also have an experience of how the energy becomes exponential when that many people chant together.
From there you could try a smaller community chant circle, where 15-30 people gather. These events tend to feel more intimate and will usually be geared more towards your specific process with chant. They also tend to be more focused on building and connecting with a community of like-minded people.
Try It Several Times Before You Decide
Either way you go, I suggest trying it several times before you decide if it is right for you or not. Sometimes people who never have had chanting anywhere on their radar before, somehow happen upon a chant circle, and they are blown away by the experience and are instantly onboard for the next one. Others take time to warm up to it and work through some of the resistance that arises if they’ve had parts of their voice shut down in the past. Heightened energy in either direction, yay or nay, can be a signal that a chant practice will be of benefit to you.
Find a Facilitator That You Resonate With
Keep in mind when choosing a chant experience that each facilitator channels something different. Shop around until you find a particular kind of experience that speaks to you. For instance, in the chant circles that I facilitate, there is a focus on opening our heart center, connecting with the innocent and magical aspects of our soul and experiencing both the playful and sacred nature of that through our musical expression. No matter what the intention, each facilitator will have a unique way in which that flows through them to the participants and the space that is evoked.
Once you find an experience that serves your soul, then practice it! Reap the benefits of connecting with your whole self that includes the totality of your voice. Each voice sings a unique tune and when put together we become a world in harmony. And that’s a beautiful world to be a part of!
Owner, Tracy’s Vision