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Mar 15, 2010
Final in a 17-part series By DEKYI-LEE OLDERSHAW “We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us,” wrote American mythologist Joseph Campbell. The quality Campbell speaks of — courage — is the final of The 16 Guidelines For Life. Courage fuels our motivation to act upon what we care deeply about with a strength we perhaps didn’t know was there. VIDEO: What is courage? It is about stretching, realizing that something more or different can be done — and doing it despite fear or obstacles.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2010 at Live Happy: Learning by example
The 15th of the 16 Guidelines for Life — service – is our full expression of love. Service means recognizing one another and what is needed, and then mobilizing our caring into action. Our efforts toward others’ happiness results in our own. VIDEO: What is service? It took Mark Checkley of Hamilton three years to get help after a work injury that left him depressed and fighting with workers’ compensation officials, lawyers, MPs and doctors. “By getting out into the world and seeing others’ suffering, you have two choices: to embrace your pain or come out of it by helping... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2010 at Live Happy: Learning by example
What do you care about so much that when you see it being jeopardized, your passion arises and you want to do something about it? The 14th of the 16 Guidelines For Life — principles – are the foundation for the power to take a stand about things that matter to us. Doing this makes our lives meaningful.Your principles may be easier to identify by checking what gets the fire churning in your gut. Getting upset about a persistent issue is the sign that a principle you hold strongly has been breached. It is niggling and uncomfortable to act in... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2010 at Live Happy: Learning by example
Change is all around us. It is a law of nature. If everything is changing, then anything is possible. The 13th of the 16 Guidelines For Life — aspiration – is a profound longing for purpose and fulfillment that lies deep in our hearts and urges us to use our lives well. It is the fuel for positive change. VIDEO: What others say about aspiration Craig Keilburger started his organization, Free The Children, when he was 12 after reading a newspaper clipping about a 12-year-old boy who was murdered in the street in Pakistan for speaking out against child labour.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2010 at Live Happy: Learning by example
“Peace is caring for those who depend on us and trusting those we depend on,” says the Dalai Lama. The 11th of the 16 Guidelines For Life — loyalty – creates strength and stability in our lives. VIDEO: Live Happy through LoyaltyTaking responsibility for each other is often the glue that holds our friendships and families together. It’s a lifeline that helps us function well and feel safe and supported through times of change “Loyalty is standing by someone when they are at their weakest and worst, and having faith that their strongest and best will transcend,” says Oakville’s Wendy... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2010 at Live Happy: Learning by example
As much as we would like to be, we are neither independent nor self-sufficient. Instead we are part of an extraordinary continuum of events and beings on this planet. The 11th of the 16 Guidelines For Life — gratitude — celebrates our connections with other beings and our capacity to support each other. VIDEO: Views of Gratitude Burlington’s Kayte Cleary retired from the Toronto police force and has been involved with The Centre for Compassion and Wisdom for four years. “When feeling grateful, I find it impossible to feel unhappy. It is as if the two feelings cannot co-exist,” she... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2010 at Live Happy: Learning by example
How we relate to others changes when we realize that we need each other. Our happiness is dependent on caring as much for others as we do for ourselves, perhaps more. The 10th of the 16 Guidelines for Life — forgiveness — sets you free. In essence, it is a shift of mind that helps us let go and make a new start. VIDEO: TAKES ON FORGIVENESSEveryone makes mistakes; it’s part of life and the only way to learn. Yet it can be so difficult to get past our defensiveness and admit our vulnerability and hurt. Forgiveness demands great courage... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2010 at Live Happy: Learning by example
The happiest people we know nurture warm and appreciative relations with the people around them, sincerely wishing for them to be happy. The ninth of the 16 Guidelines For Life — respect — warms our heart, strengthens our sense of self and lifts our spirits when it is both given and received. VIDEO: LIVE HAPPY THROUGH RESPECT Scientist Albert Einstein’s investigation into the nature of the universe convinced him that human beings are interdependent rather than independent. So mutual respect and co-operation are necessary for all of us to thrive. “Respect can be neglected in our society, especially with our... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2009 at Live Happy: Learning by example
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will make me go in a corner and cry by myself for hours,” Monty Python comic Eric Idle once said, highlighting that speech really can hurt. The eighth of the 16 Guidelines For Life — right speech — takes away fear, brings hope, and makes people laugh and feel closer to one another. VIDEO: RIGHT SPEECH“To change my speech, I have to control my thoughts first,” says fundraiser Cristian Cowan, from Brazil. “Skillfully thinking of the words that match what the person needs to hear, as well as expressing what we... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2009 at Live Happy: Learning by example
Certain actions bring about a greater sense of well-being, while others just create unhappiness. Paying attention to this helps us to take responsibility instead of simply blaming the world and feeling out of control. The seventh of the 16 Guidelines For Life — generosity — offers the subtle pleasure of letting go and is a powerful, fundamental shift from the limited world of “me” and “mine.” VIDEO: GENEROSITY Joy comes in the love and kindness of doing something for someone. It is natural to give to special people in our lives. What about those we don’t know? How far will... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2009 at Live Happy: Learning by example
We received a letter from a reader who pointed out that in our monthly budget items for our four families we left out money set aside for charitable giving. Kate's family is on a tight budget but they've decided as a family to always give to others and this is how: 1) Family chooses 12 organizations they wish to support. 2) Write a letter explaining you will support them once a year each year and ask them to only contact you once annually. Make 12 copies. 3) Send the letters out to the charities. 4) Buy a folder with a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2009 at The Way We Spend
It's hard to believe, but tomorrow marks the end of the Way We Spend. It's been a fantastic experience for everyone here at The Spectator who worked on the series and our families and experts have said they don't regret a single second of their involvement. The families, all four of them, are better off financially thanks to the guidance they've received. There is plenty of work ahead for them, but that's true of any real lifestyle change. Lisa and I really believe our families are committed to the sacrifices and tough choices that lie ahead. We had a great... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2009 at The Way We Spend
Our lives are comprised of billions of actions. How we choose to act colours the quality of our life and experiences. The sixth of the 16 Guidelines For Life — honesty — helps us to rest in ourselves and deepens our relationships. VIDEO: Honesty “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act,” says author George Orwell. Yoga teacher Mark Smichaud of Redding, Conn., says he quit his last job because “I kept having to compromise myself, saying things that were half truths. We give up a part of ourselves doing that. (Honesty is) people being... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2009 at Live Happy: Learning by example
I'm just going through some of the more than 50 letters we received from readers in May and June when we started this series as we prepare for a talk tomorrow night about the series at Melrose United Church. The one emotion that is the common thread through all of these letters is anxiety. There is just so much worry tied up in money. Some examples: "I pray that there is someone out there who can help us better our lives. It will be a big challenge." "We live pay-to-pay, never able to save money, pay bills on time or... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2009 at The Way We Spend
Melrose United Church, located on Homewood, just off Locke Street is inviting the public to their screening of Maxed Out - an American documentary film taking a close look at the finance industry. The church is asking for a $5 donation for free trade coffee. Meredith MacLeod and I will be offering up a discussion of our journey in producing the series The Way We Spend after the film. Melrose United often offers screenings of topical films. Looking forward to the discussion. - Lisa Grace Marr Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2009 at The Way We Spend
Just as a seed is the cause of a great tree, our actions today create our future. By making our actions positive now, we are creating the cause for a happier future. The fifth of the 16 Guidelines For Life — kindness — is an exquisite wisdom that knows the appropriate thing to say or do to generate happiness for others. Watch the video segment It is all the little things that people take for granted, says Josh Furman of Grimsby: “For example, my grandma is a gentle, kind soul and puts love into simple things in life that some... Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2009 at Live Happy: Learning by example
RBC Wealth Management just issued a press release today about giving in a recession. OK, so some of these ideas seem to be lacking glitz and glimmer that we all love at Christmas, but hey in the end, charities benefit. Check out these ideas: 1. Plan your giving as a family – Some families agree on a vision and make a long-term commitment to support selected causes. Asking your kids to help choose the causes can be a great way to teach them about giving. 2. Give to a worthy cause in lieu of Christmas presents for adult family members... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2009 at The Way We Spend
Hello, We hope you were all able to catch the Spectator's Way We Spend Open Forum, either live here the paper last week or during several broadcasts on Cable 14. The final broadcast is tomorrow (Wednesday) at noon. The event offered some great advice and knowledge from experts on our panel and in our audience. Thursday is the last instalment of the tale of John Butler and Diane Morris as they save for their wedding and plan to set off in their new life together. The series is quickly wrapping up. The last week is Dec. 10. We've been meeting... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2009 at The Way We Spend
The fourth of the 16 Guidelines For Life — delight — is like fresh air. Delight is celebrating when good things happen. It opens our hearts and lifts us up when we notice the positive things around us. Watch the video segmentWhen we rejoice for others having wonderful things happen to them — instead of allowing “what about me?” to tighten us up — our friendships become more genuine. And we feel better about ourselves. “I find delight by taking a minute when I am working to look at the colours around me. Then I notice simple things that brighten... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2009 at Live Happy: Learning by example
Our minds are powerful. Everything we say and do arises from our thoughts. If you can change your thoughts, you can explore a way of living that is more peaceful. Contentment is the third of the 16 Guidelines For Life. When we feel no need to reach for something more, it frees us to direct our energy in fresh, flexible and creative ways. Watch video segment Relentless hoping for more will never bring happiness. Contentment is being at peace with who we are and a quiet, settled feeling within regardless of the situation. Then we have no need to hurt... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2009 at Live Happy: Learning by example
If you've got money questions, bring them to The Spectator’s Way We Spend Open Forum Wednesday, Nov. 18. Learn how to save wisely, how to tackle debt and tips to make your dollars stretch further. The event will feature financial experts Alison Griffiths and Suzanne Schultz. Best known as the host of Maxed Out on the W Network and Dollars and Sense on Viva, Griffiths teaches stressed out people how to turn their financial lives around. She also writes the popular Me and My Money column in the Toronto Star and hosts House Calls, a seminar series on investing and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2009 at The Way We Spend
This comment came in from a reader: It's a pleasure reading your articles in the Spec. The one about the thrift stores, October 8th, was great. I volunteer at a Bibles for Missions thrift store in Dundas. We have about 35 of these across Canada right now and 20 in Ontario alone. All the proceeds go to the Bible League of Canada. This organization provides literacy programs for women in countries where they seldom get opportunity to learn how to read. This dramatically changes their whole life and that of the village where they live. They also have programs for... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2009 at The Way We Spend
By Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw Watch video segment Patience, the second of the 16 Guidelines For Life, gives you the flexibility and strength not to be a victim of circumstance. It helps you respond to life skillfully because you can think more clearly. “When you are patient with others, they open up and share their life and stories” says nurse Vanessa Novello from Grimsby. When you have cultivated patience, others around you feel safe, valued and supported. You can share and enjoy each other’s company without fear of being abused or attacked. This is an essential foundation for happiness. “If a situation... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2009 at Live Happy: Learning by example
Hi! We were just reading today’s article regarding The Way We Spend. We noticed that the Lepp’s have an envelope set aside with $60 in it for movie rentals. Our suggestion is that they get their movies – dvd or blueray – from the library and that $60 can go toward something else. Valley Park Library staff A similar letter from a Sherwood staff member: The family featured yesterday spends $60 a month on movie rentals (or ($720 a year). You can get a library card for FREE and borrow DVD's for FREE at your local library. I work at... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2009 at The Way We Spend