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Financial Planning

Working with a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) will help you develop an effective financial plan.

Personal financial planning focuses on you as an individual – bringing together all the financial and psychological factors that have an impact on your life.

A well-designed financial plan will help you reach your personal financial goals and objectives, and give you a greater sense of security.

Many people call themselves financial planners, but the true professional financial planning practitioner uses the Total Financial Planning Process, which is made up of six distinct steps.

  1. Helps you clarify your present situation by collecting and assessing all relevant financial data – assets and liabilities, tax returns, records of securities transactions, insurance policies, wills and pension plans.
  2. Helps you to identify financial and personal goals and objectives, and also to clarify your financial and personal values and attitudes.
  3. Helps you to identify financial problems that can create barriers to your financial independence.
  4. Provides you with written recommendations and alternative solutions. These should be structured to meet your needs without undue emphasis on purchasing specific products.
  5. Assists you to implement the right strategy to ensure that you reach your goals and objectives.
  6. Provides a review and revision of your plan to ensure that you achieve your goals.

How do you know if you need to work with a Certified Financial Planner?

People hire financial planners for many reasons. These questions may help you decide if you need professional financial advice.

  • Do you have the time to attend to your personal financial affairs?
  • Are you confused about conflicting financial advice from several sources?
  • Do you feel you are paying too much tax?
  • Are you confused about where to invest your money?
  • Do you feel that you can’t make ends meet?
  • Do you feel that you can’t save any money?
  • Has there been a recent change in your life that could affect your financial future, such as retirement, job loss, an inheritance, an addition to your family, or loss of your spouse?

For more information on our Financial Planning Strategy contact our office.

0 comments on “The Journey Begins – A New Identity”

The Journey Begins – A New Identity

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton


Sageview Strategies Inc. took root when Bev and Dwayne realized that their own definition of meaningful wealth had become misaligned.

After nearly 30 years of working within the financial services industry, and counselling clients on wealth creation and wealth preservation, they realized that the focus and direction of the traditional financial planning platform was misaligned.  It’s focus was entirely on the growth of a person’s worth in one area – their finances.  This focus created imbalance, or emptiness within other areas of an individual’s life.  Areas that money cannot buy.  Areas that the vast majority of people would not give up under any circumstances.  Areas that are more meaningful than money alone.

As a result of this realization, a new seed was planted, and Sageview Strategies Inc. was created.  While Finances and Wealth are important, we must not forget to keep it balanced with our Personal Well-Being and our Wisdom.  Achieving balance and growth within our WealthWell-being and Wisdom is the ‘Why’ of Sageview Strategies Inc.  It’s the reason we were created.  It’s the reason we ask that you grow your wisdom and learn more about our strategies.  You can decide if our realizations are in line with your future vision of success.

The Sageview Strategies website is a collection of thoughts and ideas of how to live a good and balanced life.  We hope you find value in what is shared.   

 


“Wealth should not be measured by big investment accounts, big homes and big suits alone.  Meaningful wealth is a result of self recognition of the true value of oneself.  Meaningful wealth is valuing, investing in and growing your well-being, your wisdom and your financial assets in a balanced way.  –  Bev & Dwayne Fedoriuk


0 comments on “The Message Board of Love”

The Message Board of Love


I hate how out of shape I am – I wish someone would make me in better shape.  I hate how fat I am – I wish someone would make me less fat.  I hate how poor my marks in school are – I wish someone would make me smarter.  I hate how slow I read – I wish someone would make me read faster.  I hate that I am so broke – I wish someone would make me rich.  I hate how lonely I am – I wish someone would make me less lonely.  I hate how much I hate myself – I wish someone would make me love me more.  

I hate, I hate, I hate.  Is that what’s on your message board?  If it is, you must really hate that!!!  

The reality is that we all have messages of hatred from time to time.  The voices in your head can drag you down if you let them.  We all have times in our lives when things aren’t really the way they should be.  Life can be horrible at times.  But depending on someone else to change it makes you irresponsible.  Take responsibility.  Stand up for what you believe in.  

Standing up for what you believe in is difficult when you don’t love yourself.  Loving yourself is a key ingredient in stopping the ‘I hate’ feeling that comes with insecurity.  

Love is the most powerful thing on this planet.  Love is able to overpower all hatred.  Hatred exists only in an environment where love does not exist.  Hatred does not grow where there is love.

Love is one of the six primary human needs.  In fact it is number one of the six.  Being loved is a need that is necessary for our survival.  Being loved starts with loving yourself.  Being able to love yourself is key to being able to love without expectations. 

For so many of us, loving ourselves is a challenge when you grow up in an environment without love.  As a child, we continually ask for love because we need it to survive and grow.  But what happens when you don’t receive it?  Or when you are continually told that what you are doing is not good enough and you should do better.  For some, that treatment happens often during childhood, but it also happens during adulthood.  

Living in a relationship where your partner continually tells you, in whatever way, that you’re not good enough.  Or that what you are doing is not good enough.  Perhaps it’s the way you cook, or the way you  dress or the the whatever you suck at.  This form of abuse is not acceptable. Most people associate abuse with something physical, but mental abuse can be so much worse.  In part, because its difficult to understand.  There are no visible bruises or scars.  The continuous beating down of a person on the mental side brings down the morality of the individual.  The mental beatings can bring an individual down to a breaking point where it can become impossible to love yourself, let alone love someone else.  

The result is that you begin to show love in some very strange ways.  Ways that would not be acceptable to an person who is truly loved.  Despair turns to desperation, which turns to reactions and  behaviors that would not be acceptable to yourself if you hadn’t suffered the abuse.  Hatred grows of yourself because of the unacceptable behavior.  We see this in the form of addictions or other irrational behavior.  The spiral continues within the individual and around them.  Like a tornado that continually grows in power.

When we are born, we are born with the gift of pure love.  There is also belief that that pure love actually begins at conception.  Love, especially of oneself, is a God given gift that we each were granted.  Love is within us, it’s a part of our spirit.  If you believe in the life after, love is a part of our soul.  Hatred is a learned behavior.  A baby does not hate.  

Hate can become so learned that love seizes to exist within oneself.  We see this in so many people with the challenges of addictions or criminal behavior.  Not loving yourself results in activities that a loving person does not understand.  That is why so many are challenged with the dismal way some choose to live. 

Because love is and always will be within us, the only person that is responsible for loving yourself is who?  You guessed it – it’s you.  Loving yourself is your responsibility.  The first step to growing the love within yourself is to accept and admit that it is your responsibility.  But you also need to accept and admit that it is not your responsibility alone to grow that love.  The God that you believe in gave you the ability to love yourself at conception.  If you have been beaten up in life, and are finding it difficult to love yourself again, then ask the one who originally gave you that gift for help.  That higher power was there for you when it was given and will be there for you when you want to love yourself again.  

Loving yourself is the key to the gate to loving others.  We can only love others to the extent that we love ourselves.  True inspiration or evidence of this comes from exploring the lives of others.  Especially those who have experienced extreme hatred in their lives and have risen out of that hatred by loving themselves.  Then growing to love those that caused the hatred in the first place.  Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela are names we are all familiar with.  Each of those people were able to love others only because they loved themselves.  Each of those individuals believed in a power higher than that of themselves. Each of them took the responsibility upon themselves to love themselves.  It was not someone else’s responsibility to love them.  But as a result they are loved by many.  

True love is humble in nature but powerful in effect.  Look around you, and you will find the inspiration you need to love yourself more and to hate yourself or things about you less.  

What are you writing on your personal message board?  I hope that in some way this message is a message of love.  And when others challenge that message, allow those challenges to strengthen your message instead of weakening it.

There is no power greater than love.


It is not a coincidence that True Happiness comes from within – the same place True Love comes from.

 

 

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Jesus Christ the Most Famous Non-Conformist?


Rules, Rules Rules.  How tired do you get of hearing someone tell you the rule for this is this and the rule for that is that.  Governments are always making new rules.  There’s even new rules on how much pot you can own without breaking the rules.  Do you ever just get tired of the rules?

Or are you the good little sheep that follows the shepherd and does exactly as he says.  Drink this water, eat grass over here, NO, not there, over here.  If you don’t listen to the shepherd, he sends a dog out to nip at your heals until you give in and run back in the direction that the shepherd told his good little sheep to run.  Is it always safest to stick with the herd, or flock in this case, and make sure you listen to the rules of the shepherd? 

There’s even rules when you spend your hard earned money on an airplane ticket so that you can get home to your family and your business.  But the airline company can take that away from you because they have a rule.  And when you don’t get off the plane, they can send in their dogs to nip you in the heal, or beat you up, and haul you off the plane.  And it’s their so called “rule”, so they are right and you are wrong.  

Don’t be a NON-CONFORMIST. Stick with the rules and you will do just fine son.  Don’t turn left when the world goes right.  Don’t sail the ocean blue because you will fall off the edge.  Don’t think you’re ‘Wright’ and want to fly like the birds.  Don’t create an assembly line and create efficiency in the building of automobiles so that everyone can ‘afFord’ to drive one.  And don’t create a website that people can put their faces on and socialize with people that they don’t want to pick up the phone and call.  

How about the most famous non-conformist of all time – Jesus Christ.  Even if you are a non-believer, you probably heard of the guy.  He’s the one that came into the world to save sinners like you and I.  He’s the one that turned water into wine (I like wine) and told us that the bread represented the body of Christ.  He’s the one that taught love and respect through the use of parables or stories to allow us to learn in a way that was never heard of in his day.  At that point in humanity, people were taught to listen or be beheaded.  If you were daring enough to want to use your own head, the emperor’s dogs would take it from you.  Conform to what your emperor tells you, or you will be dealt with as an example to others who might think of being a non-conformist.  

Yet there was this one, unarmed, loving, hippy kind of guy going from village to village talking about the love of his Father.  Talking about how each of us was created in the vision of his Father.  Each of us bringing something special to his kingdom.  Each in our own unique and special way.  To utilize the gifts that have been given to us in the most genuine and special ways we can.  

The Easter story tells us that Jesus was crucified on Good Friday and he rose on Easter Sunday.  Easter is the most important celebration within the Christian calendar.  The resurrection story is what all is based upon.  A few thousand years later, Christians celebrate this very important time.  The resurrection provides evidence to believers that, if you live a life that follows Jesus Christ, you to will some day live eternally.

So when did the beliefs and lifestyle of the most famous non-conformist of all time become so structured.  Humans got in the way.  Organized religion, of all kinds, have written rule books on how their followers, the sheep, are to respond to the leader of the religious right.  Jesus taught us to think freely.  To believe in the greater powers of his Father.  Not to fear his Father, but to love him.  Not to be fearful of doing wrong, but to admit when we have wronged, ask for forgiveness and then move on and not do the wrong again.  He also taught us to accept and forgive.  Forgiving is not easy when the hurt is deep, but forgiveness is necessary for the hurt to heal.  

Non-conformity moves ahead while the righteous make rules to control and limit the growth of individuals.  

As you celebrate this Easter season, ask yourself a question, “if I was Jesus, what would I do to step away from the herd to create greatness for myself, or my family, or my community or my ‘whatever’ is important to me.”    


      

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Disgust is a Powerful Motivator


Disgust is a Powerful Motivator

Have you ever had one of those ‘look in the mirror moments’ and became disgusted with what you see?  Maybe it’s not an actual mirror. Maybe it happens in a moment of deep thought.  A moment when you realize something isn’t the way it should be.  Or during some physical activity when you realize you can’t do something that you used to be able to do when you were younger and in better shape.  Maybe it’s a realization that your job, or career path, no longer brings you the punch it used to.  Maybe it’s a relationship that you’ve had with an old friend or a spouse that is not heading in the direction that it needs to in order to be successful.  Or maybe it really is that image that you see when you step out of the shower and look in the mirror and wonder what the heck happened to you.

When one of these moments of disgust or profound disapproval happens – what do you do?  Does it bring you down?  Does it make you reach for another beer to further enhance that beer belly that you have worked so hard at developing over the past number of years?  Do you just say screw it and head down the same road in the same vehicle and park in the same parking spot you have used for the past 20 years.  Then sit at the same cubicle for eight hours and then drive home on the same roadway.  Then when you get home you put up with the relationship that continues to head in the wrong direction.  Doesn’t a continuation of this performance pretty much guarantee that the results will be the same?  Results that will continue to provide you with additional disgust.

In the investment world we often see the phrase ‘past performance is not indicative of future results’.  That is in the investment world.  In your world, the real world that we all live in – past performance is totally indicative of future results.  If you are disgusted and not make changes to your own ‘personal portfolio’ – the portfolio that makes you you – then the disgust of the future will not all of a sudden disappear.  It doesn’t matter how many times you tell the universe to make it go away!  It doesn’t work that way.  

One other term that is used in the investment world is compound interest.  Compound interest is the growth that happens on your investment growth.  The compounding effect is like a snowball that you make by hand at the top of the hill.  Then you roll the snowball down the hill and allow the force of gravity to do what it does.  In the right conditions that snowball will grow with each revolution as it rolls.  You don’t add any more snow to the ball it just grows on it’s own.  And with each revolution the snowball gets bigger and as it gets bigger with each revolution the snowball grows larger and larger, you get the picture right!  If you don’t go find some snow and a hill and try it out.  

Well the same thing happens in life.  If you envision the disgust that you are experiencing as a snowball at the top of the hill.  Then let it go and not do anything about it the disgust begins to compound.  It gets larger and larger.  Just like your beer belly!  Or whatever else is disgusting you.  And with each revolution the disgust grows and grows.

So how do you stop the compounding effect of disgust.  Well it doesn’t happen over night.  It may have taken you several years to get to the point of disgust that you are at.  Whatever the disgust may be.  

As the title of this blog states – disgust is a powerful motivator – you can either let it motivate you with a greater compounding of that disgust. Or you can decide to allow it to motivate you in a positive way.  Remember choosing between either positive motivation or negative motivation is a choice that you make, no one makes it for you.  Only the dude looking back at you in the mirror can choose. 

It takes courage to choose to allow disgust to motivate you in a positive way.  Building that courage is huge.  Sometimes though the really challenging part is making that commitment to yourself.  Then the really tough part is sticking with that commitment.  After all – you’ve probably been very successful in the past with breaking that commitment to yourself.  Who would know if you break the commitment to yourself.  As long as you quit looking in that mirror it won’t matter anyway.  It’s looking in that stupid mirror that got you disgusted in the first place!  

The good old stick your head in the sand and watch this beautiful gift of life that has been given to you pass you by.  What a waste.  Could you imagine getting to the Pearly Gates and all you could say upon checking in was – ‘Hey by the way St. Peter – say thanks to God for me for the life that I was given but just wasted’.  Bet that would get you far!  You might be even more disgusted when St. Peter sends you in the other direction.  

When you make that commitment to yourself stick with it.  Even if you have to try several times before you finally pull your head out of the sand, or wherever else you have it shoved.  Allowing disgust to motivate you in a positive way may be like trying to push that snowball up that hill again.  It may not be easy.  In fact the more disgusting it is the tougher it will be to push.  But with each push and with each revolution of that snowball up that hill it does get easier to push.  And as it gets easier to push the progress gets quicker.  

Develop the capabilities that are required for you to succeed with your commitment.  If it’s a new waste line change your eating habits first, then add more physical movement to your day.  Allot of people do the opposite, they go work out hard and then have beer and pizza to celebrate.  The intake is more important than the out-took.  

If it’s a new job or career what will it take for you to do it.  Do you have to grow your knowledge in a different field?  Or maybe you just need to grow your knowledge in the field that you are in.  

If it’s a relationship that is is bringing you disgust then decide if the intake is perhaps greater than the out-took and if it is then make changes.

If you need help work with a personal coach.  Personal coaches exist in all areas of life – not just the gym.  Find one that is qualified and that you can really connect with.  Whatever it takes allow the positive motivation of disgust to move you towards creating a game plan and make the changes to remove that disgust from your life.  And the results will become gratifying to the dude in the mirror.

As those results become more gratifying your confidence will grow.  The disgust that you experienced will be replaced with confidence.  The confidence of achievement.  And the confidence of learning that the disgust that you have been experiencing in the past has helped you grow into the strong and successful person of the today.  

Be Grateful for experiencing that disgust.  And also be Grateful for taking action in a positive manner to remove it from your life.  So that when you arrive at those Pearly Gates you can tell St. Peter that you need to have a meeting with God so that you can fill him in with how you fulfilled the life that was given to you. 


Disgust is the result of extreme dissatisfaction – use that dissatisfaction to light a fire within and turn that dissatisfaction into satisfaction.

— Dwayne Fedoriuk


 

 

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The Burden of Darkness

There are some secrets we try not to share because they hurt too much or perhaps are too embarrassing.  Painful memories that cause hurt deep within creates a darkness in our lives that can create a need to strike out at the ones closest to us.  This reaction to those that are closest to you is not to cause pain in their lives, but to keep them from feeling the pain within yours.  Allowing them to become to close may somehow burden them with the darkness that you suffer.

But when the darkness reaches the deepest of darkness, the only way to find our way to the light again is to ask.  Asking for help to gain light though shows our weakness, a weakness that causes embarrassment.  Embarrassment will only cause more pain and more darkness, at least that is what is believed. The reality is that without help the darkness get darker and the pain gets deeper.  

Help can be received by asking, but help can also be received by guiding.  Guiding those that you care about that are in a world of darkness in a way that does not cause embarrassment.  It takes awareness by others, by yourself, of situations to know when that help is required.  An awareness that comes when you take time to sincerely pay attention to others.  An awareness of when the darkness hits hardest.  An awareness of when the ‘monsters’ in the other persons head are silently screaming the loudest, and causing the most darkness.  

At the time when you love yourself the least – reach out to someone you love the most…the courage it takes to do this will be great…but the love they return will give you strength…the strength you need to overcome the monsters in your head.

The ‘Let’s Talk’ Campaign is bringing awareness and open discussion to depression.  It is making positive progress in defeating the stigma that has been around too long.  It’s great to see the role that so many famous Canadians have taken in defeating the stigma and bringing awareness to this problem.  Olympian Clara Hughes has lead the charge.  She is winning a gold medal every time she speaks on the topic of depression. The website http://letstalk.bell.ca/en/ provides information and guidance on this topic.  

Let’s all work together to defeat the monsters.  And create a healthier and happier society. 


Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength. while loving someone gives you courage

— Lao Tzu
0 comments on “Are you Living Your Life Exactly as Planned?”

Are you Living Your Life Exactly as Planned?


If you are living your life exactly as planned then you’re probably pretty boring!  In fact you’re probably a Chicken!

Ya I know you’re supposed to set goals and measure your progress and all that – but every once in a while you just have to stop being so darn boring – and live on the edge!

  • If your great passion in life is to live your life on a cautious path that will more or less just work out – does that get the most out of your life?  
  • If you have never experienced failure does that mean your life has been a success?  Aren’t failures and setbacks how we grow?
  • Don’t we learn to walk by falling down a bunch of times?  
  • Wrapping ourselves in bubble wrap and tip toeing our way across the finish line – is that how we succeed in life?  

As parents what are we teaching our children when we say ‘just go out there and have fun and you will get a beautiful participation ribbon no matter what the results are’!  I’m all for doing stuff for the fun.  In fact I believe we should try hard to only do things that we enjoy most of the time.  But why do you need a participation ribbon for having fun?  Isn’t having fun fun enough?  Kind of seems like all we are doing is encouraging mediocrity in that formula.  Are we teaching a lack of appreciation which results in a lack of understanding of the true meaning of Gratitude.  Does it teach that the only way we can appreciate something is if someone gives us a ribbon.  Doesn’t having a misunderstanding of the true meaning of Gratitude result in a life that is no fun.  Always wanting more but never being Grateful for what you have achieved because you never got another ribbon.  Does the ribbon attempt to fill the void that is left as a result of the lack of Gratitude for what is meaningful.  The meaning of fun.  The meaning of success.  

If you are not applying yourself to your maximum God given talent.  If you are not trying to excel at whatever you are Blessed with.  Then that expresses a lack of Gratitude for the life that you have been given.  If you aren’t truly Grateful for the life that you are given how can you possibly be grateful for things of less importance than your own life, or in other peoples lives.  Or other people’s possessions.  Things that are less important than your own life is pretty much everything else that evolves around your life.  We should be encouraging Gratitude, not taking it away.    

You are lying to yourself if you are not becoming the best possible you that you should be. Being the best you that you should be is what is expected from you when you were put on this earth.  The initial expectation was never any less than that.  Why would you allow that expectation to change?

Stop being a chicken and start experiencing new things.  The first step is to make a commitment.  Commit to something that you have never done before.  Commit to something that someone else has done, or is doing, and you always wished that was you.  Stop the excuses like ‘I don’t know enough about it’ or ‘I’m not good enough’ or ‘I can’t afford it’ or the worst excuse ever ‘I don’t have the time’.  The unfortunate fact is you don’t have the time not to experience life to the fullest.

If you live each day with fear in it then at some point you end the day where you began the start of the day – back in bed with your covers pulled up over your head.    

Life is supposed to be a continuous hurdle race.  The steps you take after each hurdle prepares you for the next hurdle.  The difference between life and a hurdle race is that the distance between each hurdle and the height of each hurdle varies, unlike in a race.  And we are each running a different length of race.  

Is it best to stop and whine or take self-pity on ourselves every time we knock down a hurdle. Does that give us the momentum to make it over the next hurdle?  Of course not.  It does the complete opposite.  Instead you get stopped in your tracks and hurry back to the start line so you can watch the others finish with their arms in the air.  And as you stand there you wonder why you didn’t get a ribbon.   

This does not mean that you run through life in reckless abandonment.  It means that you continuously challenging yourself to grow your well-being, your knowledge and your financial successes.  Overcoming hurdles in each of these three areas of your life will reward you with a life that is a success.  Success in the way that you measure it.  The success that your life was meant to have.  

Stop living your life exactly as planned.  Stop flapping your wings and back peddling every time you come close to the next hurdle.  Stop continually circling back to the start line because you were too chicken to jump the next hurdle.

Stop living your life exactly as planned.

And rest assured – your life will not be boring! 


Whatever we are doing in life we are giving our life for it – Life is extraordinary – make your investment in it extraordinary – Lee Brower

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What’s in your jar?

With Valentine’s day behind us by a couple weeks I am assuming that the roses are no longer red and the violets are no longer blue.  And the box of chocolates from the pretty heart shaped box are showing their love by the extra notch we now need in our belts.  Maybe that’s how the body part above the belt got the name ‘Love Handles’.  

Valentines after all is ‘the’ day to express your love.  Usually by spending money on things that don’t last too long.  Unfortunately, all too often it seems like it’s ‘thee’ only day some people take a moment to express their love.  

This past week I asked a close personal friend of mine a question.  The question was – what color of rose and how many roses does it take to tell someone that you love them.  Without a moments thought she replied ‘NONE’!  She continued to say that ‘roses are a nice gesture, almost everyone loves getting roses, but the real way to express your love is how you give of yourself, not how many roses you give, or what color they are’.  

She also jokingly said ‘besides her favorite flower is Orchids, not roses’!  At least that’s what I think she said, like a typical man I don’t always hear what someone else is saying!

The definition of love is an intense feeling of deep affection.  If your intense feeling of affection for someone is real, then the reality is the roses must be given everyday.  The roses in this case are not of the flower kind – but of the gesture kind.  It’s the way in which you treat those you love.  The priority that you place on those that you love compared to the things you may or may not love.  Things like work, chores or day to day life.  Sometimes life does get in the way of truly expressing your love on a daily basis.  We’ve all been guilty of this.  But this really shouldn’t be.  Making time for the expression of love shouldn’t be an exercise that you have to go through each day.  You shouldn’t have to place a booking in your smart phone calendar with a fancy reminder sound so that you don’t forget to follow up on that love thing!     

This past week I was staying in a motel room in a small Saskatchewan town.  It was the standard highway motel with a bathroom, a place to hang a few clothes and an old cube television.  Like most it had a space heater because the old boiler doesn’t always keep up with the heat demands of a cold prairie evening. And most grateful as always a clean bed!  This room, like most, was big enough to turn around in without bumping my elbows on anything. Definitely not the Hilton, but really it is everything a person needs for a night away from home. 

In the corner of the room sat a jar with some rocks and some ugly plastic roses in it.  Placed as a decoration or an ornament at one point in time and probably never thought of much since. The picture attached to this blog shows their ‘beauty’!  I didn’t even notice it the evening that I got there.    It was the next morning when I was doing my headspace exercise that they caught my eye and reminded me of an old story … the story goes something like this.

Imagine your life as a jar.  It begins empty and as we grow we add different experiences to our jar of life.  Those experiences will also include relationships.  And each of those experiences and relationships affect each other and they affect our jar.  

Now think about your relationships in a way that they are either big rocks, medium sized rocks, small rocks or pebbles.  You need to decide for yourself, but I would hope that those closest to you, your spouse, children, parents are the big rocks.  And then as the relationships get more distant they slowly become smaller rocks and then pebbles.  

The difficulty we humans have is that we spend too much time filling our jar of life with things other than rocks.  ‘Things’ like our jobs or professions, our chores, the demands we artificially put on ourselves, those expectations of all the so called really important things in our life.  Take a moment to think about those things in your life that get in the way of the gesture of love to the rocks in your life.  You know what they are.  Let’s imagine that those ‘things’ are sand.

Where we tend to run into trouble is we fill our jars of life with sand and then we try to squeeze our rocks into it.  And if the rock doesn’t fit we try to grind through the sand to make room for the rock.  Then in time the sand pushes the rock out of the way. Perhaps because there was no room for the big rock in the first place, or maybe you kept adding more sand.  Even though there was no more room for the big rock.  

And you keep doing that over and over and over, until the rock is tired of being pushed out of your jar by your sand and the rock finds another jar.  If the big rock was your child, maybe they begin hanging out with jars you don’t like, jars that lead them down the wrong path in life.  If the big rock that gets pushed out is your spouse – well you know you won’t like the jar that replaces your’s.  Of course none of this should concern you, after all now you have more room in your jar for more sand, just what you wanted – right?  

Let’s take this one step further.  The sand is extremely abrasive and after a while the sand will grind your jar thin.  It starts slowly but as it continues to grind your jar gets thinner and thinner until a grain of sand is able to pass through your jar through a hole.  Then two grains and then three grains.  Let’s imagine the hole in you jar as illness.  Or maybe old age.  Or some other time of importance in your life.  

Let’s say that the sand is your job.  And you become ill to the point where your jar can no longer hold the sand and the result is that you loose that job.  Or maybe you become the old man in a rocking chair that no one comes to visit.  Or the old lady in the kitchen always waiting for her children to come home for Sunday supper, the Sunday supper she never had time for while those rocks were in her jar.  

As the sand is emptying from your jar you realize that there are no rocks in you jar.  It’s not because they didn’t want to be there – it’s because you never made room for them.  And now they have another jar.  

Perhaps the best gesture of love that we can make is to place what is important to you in the jar first.  There should always be room for the big rocks.  Then there will be room for the small rocks.  And for the pebbles.  And the sand will always fit around the rocks, there is always room for the sand.  But there isn’t always room for the rocks.

And now let’s imagine that you are the rose in this picture … and maybe, just maybe – as the rose gets older and is not as vibrant anymore the rocks will still be with the rose, long after the sand is gone.  

        

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Are You Growing Among Trees or Mushrooms?

As human beings we all want strong relationships.  Relationships that grow over time with people that we can become close to.  Those that we are close to become our ‘community’. People within that community may consist of your parents, your spouse, your children, your friends and your business relationships.  

Similar in some ways to the prehistoric days when humans had to develop packs to be strong to fight and survive.  In modern days belonging to a strong community, or pack, allows us to live longer.  We become healthier if our community grows our happiness.  We grow stronger and live longer when our communities bring us happiness. 

Your community is where you find strength in bonding with others.  A strong community will allow you to grow your knowledge of your profession, or of your well-being.  Your overall life will be better and the end result will likely also be a higher financial worth. 

Your community will be there to support you when you well-being is being brought down as a result of illness or perhaps of a death of someone within your community.  

Your community will also be there to celebrate with you when you achieve new successes.  When you’ve worked hard and studied hard to complete a challenge in your life.  A challenge like attaining a higher level of education.  Moving up in your profession.  Entering into a life long relationship.  Or the amazing fulfillment of becoming a parent.  Having a community to celebrate the successes in our life are a key part of desire to grow and achieve new wins.  It’s no fun to party alone!  

Do the communities that you belong to bring you happiness.  Do they grow your well-being, or do they decrease it.  If the goal of belonging to a community is to bring you strength, does it?  If it doesn’t then is it a community to belong to?  The outcome of wallowing within a community that is not bringing you the positive results that you are looking for will always result in a ‘you’ that cannot grow.  Moving on though is scary, especially when you’ve belonged to that community for a long time, maybe even your whole life.

 In order for a tree to grow it needs the sun to shine – mushrooms need darkness.  Trees live for a long time – mushrooms only survive for a few days.  Do you want your life to be a life of a mushroom?  Or that of a tree?