December 31, 2011

Unleash Your Dreams for 2012

New Year’s resolutions can be frustrating and in my experience the inability to keep those resolutions is often the source of frustration and negative energy.  So instead I bypass resolutions and choose to think in terms of dreams and vision where I want to be in life.

As boomers or busy moms many of us seem to be trying to find our personal balance (work, family, fitness, fun....) and we often forget about ourselves in this equation! Some have this figured out but for me, I admit that balance is still a work in progress (sometimes feeling guilty to put myself first before my family).  Just like a good compass, when we get lost we need to know where we are going!  I remind myself that before you can even think of taking good care of others (family or aging parents), you need to take care of yourself and the question we need to ask ourselves is “what are we becoming?
Setting dreams allows us to create a vision of where we want to go and structure our steps so we will get there. We can dream at any age without discrimination and they might be the fix we need to get out of a slump or to lead one outside their boundaries or comfort zone perhaps to a new job or to follow their passions through volunteering.
I am a dreamer and I push the boundaries and reach for the stars in life and proudly I encourage family and friends to do the same.  I want to continue to have a young playful mind as I go into my 50's.  Having the ability to dream and act on our dreams is one of the most amazing abilities we have and the greatest gift we can give ourselves.   We are in control of creating happiness and success in our own life and I know firsthand that the journey to make this happen is as exciting as achieving an individual dream itself.  The personal change will affect your family, your work and help you to discover your passions or unleash your real character traits! Most people have forgotten how to dream, given up or think their dreams will never become a reality.

My dreams are in pictures and I have used vision boarding to help as my reminders.  Simple words can act as reminders to me.

Vision boarding is like a storyboard to map out or keep your goals top of mind.  Your vision board reinforces your positive images and a process that helps identify areas in your life that are important to you.  It’s like replacing negative self talk with positive self talk or highlighting the positive.
So, as the new year unfolds why not unleash those dreams and whether you consider them resolutions or not, make a list using pictures and figure out the steps you need to get there. 

I want to be the support and the strength to help others as they embark on this journey or at least help others see the possibilities!  Thank you to those who have allowed me to help them become more as they prepare to re-enter the work force and create their own businesses encompassing their own dreams.

Check out or pick up The Vision Board – Joyce Schwarz.  Our team at Unleashdreams share a vision of helping others see their possibilities and to help them shape their future.

December 22, 2011

Cutting the Kelly Christmas Tree

Traditions in our family are incredibly important and something we treasure as a family with everything we have.  As a mom of two grown teens, for me these special rituals were shared with my own family growing up, incorporated later with those from my husband's family resulting in new traditions we created as our own family. 

Cutting down our own christmas tree is but one of those traditions.

Christmas for the Kelly's is not complete without a trek to Langley's Dogwood Christmas Tree Farm - a tradition that we have been enjoying for 14 years.  Thank you to our friends who shared this idea with us. 
Year after year, it varied as to what weekend in December we would be able to go. Despite juggling kids' soccer and hockey games, it was our kids who reminded and encouraged us to set the date. The first year Briana went off to university and wasn't able to be with us was hard; I actually felt a hole, but soon learned what being there in spirit really meant.  You see, they too in their own way adopt a sense of tradition, and this year she appreciated the decorations we sent for her own university house (a stuffed santa similar to the one we have, couple of homemade decorations she made and The Night Before Christmas were well received and displayed on her mantle proudly alongside the homemade advent calendar my mom made for her:)

I remember one year we waited so late in the month that we arrived to a "Trees Sold Out" sign. 
I remember one year they stopped allowing dogs in the farm.
I remember one year it was so muddy that the car stunk like a pig pen on the way home.
My favorite year was when it snowed.

Every year we would arrive and wander the fields looking for the perfect tree. It was my husband and son who are meticulous about which is the perfect specimen.  They share this sense of righteousness and we would analyze all prospects until it stood out to us all like a bright star.  The real test then was who got to cut it down - who had earned the right of passage to handle the saw that year?

The day wouldn't be complete without lunch at the Elvis Diner.

It is these types of treasures that we hold onto as a family. I learn more and more each year that the spirit of Christmas isn't in the gift, but in the memories, the warmth, and the love that a family can share together regardless of distance.  It is my wish for every family to share this same special bond that I treasure every day of my life.
Ho Ho Ho!

December 03, 2011

I first had the honour of meeting this inspiring woman of 80+ years when I was doing research for a healthy aging event looking for a motivational speaker, who like me, had a passion for living. Since that meeting a couple of years ago when I first spoke with BJ McHugh I believe that our meeting has affected my life and influenced many decisions that I have made on this journey into my next 50 years. She is an outstanding healthy living ambassador and I am proud to call her my friend.

BJ McHugh and Denise 2010

 BJ McHugh, an octogenarian and according to her facebook page is the fastest senior marathoner on earth.  For almost a quarter century she has set  dozens of world age based world records and I often see her out running near my home or enjoying a post run coffee with her running mates at our local village coffee shop.  

BJ always finds time to say hello and to chat and during our last visit she was bubbling with joy about her new book.  You see she has just co- authored a book with Bob Nixon CBC Producer called My Road To Rome which tells her incredible story of life. 
"My Road to Rome tells the story of my life, of how I made the transition from housewife, mother and smoker to world champion. I might be a force of nature, but I do not think I am a freak of nature. Most people over 50 can also enjoy amazing health, fitness and happiness. I tell you how I did it and how other women and men can do it too" states BJ in her book. 

Thank you BJ for making this journey of aging look so manageable and for showing us that age is no barrier.  You see I was involved in gathering some local community Mom's age 45+ to start a female hockey team called the Stanley Cupcakes and continue to empower other Boomers to become more. By sharing your story, I hope to inspire others to lead a more healthy aging lifestyle and to feel encouraged that the new road is worth taking.

A final quote from BJ's book... 
"Everybody is getting older at the same time and everybody always has a new potential.  If you missed being your best when you were young, then remember that every fleeting moment in the future provides you with another opportunity."
Learn more about Betty Jean McHugh's inspiring story at or follow her on facebook at Fans Of Betty Jean McHugh.
Your fan, Denise