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Author: Kallista

Are you a rejector or a reflector?

Are you a rejector or a reflector?

Feedback can be given either to belittle and undermine someone or it can be given with a commitment to bring out the best.  It can be difficult to distinguish where it is coming from.  Regardless of how well we know the source, no one is immune from having an off day where, on a temporary superiority kick, their ego chooses to validate itself by being overly critical and attacking others.  Dealing with rudeness is a discussion for another day.  Here we will explore constructive criticism.
True constructive criticism requires a safe environment and/or strength of character. Typically it requires both.  Thus when someone can be honest with you, even if they are delivering a pill difficult to swallow, take it as a compliment as they have faith in you and your relationship that you can take the feed back for what it is – their humble opinion, which may or may not be accurate.
Honesty reflects a strength of character that many lack.  Good criticism is not shaming or belittling of the individual or team, but stays focused on the event, action or product, and observations of what they see from their biased perspective while focused on enhancing the end result or future outcomes.  The individual committed to your success will also stick around to help you improve and will contribute their time or other resources.
The question is – Do you pause to reflect or is your tendency to reject feedback.  We have all witnessed the rejection of the feedback and at times the individual as well even at the extreme of ending the relationship.
Nothing is inherently bad or wrong, there is just effective or ineffective – depending on goals and desires.  There is nothing wrong or bad about choosing to go out for an evening in contrast to staying in. However does the activity pull us away or closer to our most important goals?  It is not wrong for me to enjoy a longer lie-in, or to start my day reading the gossip blogs but it may be ineffective if my goal is to exercise daily and the only available or consistent time to do so is early morning. Effectiveness is based on the ability to contribute to the end objective.
In reflecting one can pause, try the idea on for size, and then choose.   Trusting one’s own intuition or instincts and explore if there is merit or not.  With bullies, it is usually best to dismiss their feedback as their goal is humiliation not help. Those committed to us, our friends and advisors, may be able to offer up something that enhances our success as they share their observations.
The societal knee jerk reaction is to dismiss and reject anyone who comments on them, as it is easier to reject than to reflect. In rejecting too quickly, due to an unwillingness to explore, one may be dismissing  what our subconscious knows is accurate.  If I reject them then I don’t have to reflect. Gawd forbid if I should have to own my own actions as coming up short in some capacity.  It is easier to continue on without having to learn, grow or change. The less we are at peace in ourselves the more often we reject.
Reflection comes easier when one is at peace with themselves. Cultivating an environment where it is safe to reflect, for yourself and your teams, enhances everyone on multiple levels and has a significant ripple effect.  There is power and wisdom in reflection.

Empowering others creates Self – Empowerment.

Empowering others creates Self – Empowerment.

Empowerment involves expanding our ability to give credit where credit is due, while encouraging hopes and dreams.  We treat others the way we treat ourselves.  Empowering others assists us in gaining more personal power for ourselves.  If we can acknowledge someone else, then we have the rudimentary ability to acknowledge ourselves on similar subject matter.  Through learning to encourage others more, we expand our capacity to encourage ourselves.

Complimenting someone gives us the capacity to compliment ourselves.  Recognizing a job well done enables us to acknowledge our own parallel efforts.  The more we encourage another’s efforts and accomplishments, the more we can encourage our own.  Forgiving or have compassion for others errors and those less than idyllic moments, reflects our abilities to forgive our own mistakes.  Acknowledging someone’s efforts, ideas, or dreams allows us to do the same for ourselves.  Improving our ability to empower others strengthens our ability to empower ourselves, hence enabling us to achieve more.

Focusing on what is possible and the positive, strengthens people.  Empowering others strengthens our sense of self.  As we give to another, a trace of the essence of what we have given remains with us.

Cultivate friendships that bring out the best in you.

Cultivate friendships that bring out the best in you.

For a myriad of reasons our friendships shift ongoingly throughout life.  Many changes occur in stride, others are more conscious. Friendships can become stale, or lose their zest. Occasionally you may want to assess your friendships. If you feel a lacking perhaps it’s time to cultivate things.

If stagnate or drifting relationships cannot be reinvigorated then pursue other friendships. Look for individuals that have common interests or where there is matching intellectual or emotional depth.  Pursue individuals that can have a positive influence on you. Associates through work, sports or other connecting threads may be of a friendly nature, but they are not friendships. Those associates are a good place to start when cultivating new friendships. The extra effort involved in reconnecting with old friends or scheduling time with someone new can be well worth the extra effort.

Good friendships are accepting of your differences and leave you feeling better for having spent time together. Look for friendships where you are left feeling; stronger, at ease, relaxed, inspired or perhaps just more content. Most importantly  – Do you like who you are, when you are with them?

Two wrongs don’t make a right, but three lefts will.

Two wrongs don’t make a right, but three lefts will.

Discovering you have taken a wrong turn somewhere in life, do you know how to rectify the situation.  There are many ways to get yourself back on track.  If you take the above cliché literally – sometimes one action doesn’t correct the situation but several can.

When we err we do not always know how to rectify the situation.  We sit in discomfort at the situation we find ourselves in.  We desire a fairy godmother to come by and make things right.  Lacking a road map we remain lost and perplexed.  Our ego or pride may get the better of us as we look for an easy out.  Exiting may take us out of a sticky situation but the situation may not have been improved by our quick exit.

Explore, what went wrong, how can things be turned around.  Eating humble pie may be needed as you ask for assistance through ‘this mess’.  Dialogue with others.  Sounding boards are extremely valuable.  The majority of times through honest open dialogue the solution can be found.  Use your creativity to rectify and improve the situation.

Is your mind your friend?

Is your mind your friend?

The way some people avoid silence as if it was the plague, I often think that many have yet to make friends with themselves.  Unable to be with the thoughts that flit through their heads.  I’ve seen people prefer bad background noise over turning off the radio or television.

We have heard about the power of positive thinking, and how optimism is better than pessimism, but knowing is not necessarily doing.  Your mind travels with you – always – dispensing thoughts at random.  Would you consider your mind an encouraging friend?  Is it your ally?  Your success depends on it.
Athletes need to be friends with their bodies; the synergy with their body is vital for athletic performance.  Many athletes rely on muscle memory, to carry them through rote actions.  They can trust their muscles to respond as needed.
The traits of good friendship include reliability, dependability, and mutual acceptance.  Are your thoughts, encouraging, supportive, or filled with warmth and kindness?  If your thoughts are derogatory, pessimistic, negative, or involve fear mongering, the relationship you have may be less than ideal.
Good friends see your potential, and remind you of your abilities.  Good friends are honest, with compassion they let you know what you need to learn or remind you to look at the needed steps to create a successful project.  One would not tolerate a condescending personal relationship, do not tolerate it from your mind.  Your mind is trainable; you can teach it to be an encouraging friend.  One day, it may even become your best friend.

Digging at the irritations

Digging at the irritations

When we are irritated we often close down, we attempt to speed ourselves through the annoyance as quickly as possible. Dismiss it and try to forget about it. When I explore my annoyances further I need to own up to that underneath the irritation is a desire, or commitment for a better way. Perhaps something that I was expecting has been unfulfilled. Underneath the irritation lingers a hope or a dream and sometimes a full blown commitment that things can be different.   Irritations are extremely important. Friction is part of life. Friction used well is magical; it creates sparks and fire, it smooths rough edges; it creates openings where there wasn’t one.

The more I understand my irritations the more I can make changes to resolve them. Unresolved they live like a squeaky hinge, haunting me.  My first challenge is to articulate it to myself. As I dig at the layers, the irritation dissolves. Anger dwindles to frustration and then to a gentle annoyance. Clarity is found. As the irritation disappears I am left with a growing understanding, which leads to contentment. I am left with insight and wisdom, and often an action plan.

Violent new beginnings

Violent new beginnings

Beginning stages can be violent or can create an upheaval. There are multiple examples throughout nature; mammals, birds, seeds, butterflies all emerge from a protective shell.  The cocoon that holds must break if birth is to occur.  There is a point in time when the protective womb that contains and nourishes us begins to confine us.  New territories must be pursued or we will be smothered.  Birth occurs when we venture forth.

Snakes perpetually outgrow their old skins.  As humans we too must, continually let go, in order for life to unfold.  When we reach that point of feeling the pressure surround us it does not mean we should stop.  The tension is from pressure that restrains.  Staying confined serves no one, and eventually smothers.  The pressure is indicative of the need to break through to the next level.  Gaining freedom and ease along the way.

After the break through there is the ability to stretch and move in new ways.  We gain freedom and ease of movement. Embracing the rough starts is all part of creating.  Breaking out is critical to release the physical or mental constraints that confine us.  Like any birth in life, tension erupts into calm and tranquility. That which starts in turmoil will find its own rhythm and balance and when it does, one can rest easy.

Travelling through life

Travelling through life

“What sets a canoeing expedition apart is that it purifies you more rapidly and inescapably than any other travel. Travel … in a canoe and you are already a child of nature.”  Pierre Elliott Trudeau

Often when we travel we are oblivious to what is happening around us. Overly focused on our destination and  ‘are we there yet’  – we fail to notice the scenery along the way.   As a canoeist, I can appreciate Trudeau’s sentiments.

Aside from the list of places garnered en route? I know you have probably ” Been there and bought the T-shirt” – But was it  enjoyable? Was the experience enriching? How did you feel about the experience? We may assume the accomplishment of the goal is enough but acheiving the ‘desired’ can leave us feeling as if something is  lacking. It is not the accomplishment alone that is worthwhile, more importantly is is how it was accomplished, and the little treasures we collect enroute.  Those little positive encounters with fellow sojourners. There is always trade offs, nothing is achieved without impacting some other area of your life. What are those consequences? Remember; how you travel is as important as the destination. In life all we really have is a series of journeys, let us be sure to have enjoyable ones.

Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide

Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydration and Oxygenation are VERY important cornerstones for health maintenance and that much more important for healing.

Hydration –
We all know that drinking lots of fluids (ideally water, lemon water, or herbal tea) is a good thing and that ideally our urine should be clear or pale in colour – yellow urine is a sign of dehydration (B vitamins will turn urine yellow – but it is a different shade of yellow)

Oxygenation –
Remembering to take deep breaths throughout the day (my friend Darwin would say hourly.) – deep inhalations brings in more oxygen than shallow breathing. ( deep breathing also helps to move the Lymphatic system)
HP Solution – the focus of this blog
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy – more on that elsewhere

From the book The truth about Hydrogen Peroxide (P 11) – Oxygen rich red blood cells travel through the capillaries single file. If the cell is de-oxygenated or damaged it will clump with other cells blocking blood flow and increasing blood pressure.

HP also helps with Type II diabetes.

The HP Solution will be bringing the body an increased supply of oxygen – that is all it does -( H202 vs H2O. ) The extra oxygen will help the cells function (repair, detoxify, maintenance, etcetera) better thus HP is a useful tool for addressing both inflammation and pain issues related to injury or repetitive strain as well as trauma based injuries.

The goal is to bring the oxygen to the cells – this can be done through oral consumption or external application. As the body circulates the oxygen to the cells it will work its way through and around the body to the required spots – then the cells can do what they know how to do.    I’ve seen inflammation and pain dissipate quickly on more than one occasion.

What I do.
I acquire FOOD GRADE Hydrogen Peroxide from a Health food store. ( Not all stores carry it – so you may have to ask around)
The drug store stuff has stabilizers in it – which is an issue, so not that stuff, the extra effort to go further afield is worth it.

Normally it is sold as 35% Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide
After buying the Hydrogen Peroxide. (HP) I make up some 3% HP Solution

From the 35% food grade HP I dilute it with distilled water at a 1:11 ration. One(1) part 35%HP to eleven(11) parts distilled water – this will create a 3% HP solution.
A two cup measuring cup is perfect, as it will hold 12 (1+11=12) ounces of fluid and has a pour spout for transferring into the smaller bottles or into a jar for storage.

Put this solution into the spray bottles to have on hand and close by at ALL times. The more it is used the better.

Glass bottles are preferred but most dollar stores have travel size plastic bottles – which are great. Either with a spray, pump or simple flip top for dispensing small amounts.

What it does

Hydrogen Peroxide = H202 is 2 parts Hydrogen to 2 parts Oxygen.
Water is H2O 2 parts Hydrogen to 1 part oxygen.

By increasing the amount of Oxygen in the body it will help the body heal, reducing both the pain and inflammation

How to Use it. ( you can;t really use it too much – Ideally a little bit all day long so the body is receiving an increased supply of oxygen all day. Use will be based on taste and remembering to use it – ideally there will be consumption/ application all day long. )

I have done this as a daily practice just for health maintenance and to improve cellular function – so anyone/everyone can do this.
My mentor does this way more than I do, several of my friends have incorporated it into their health regime by using it on the vulnerable spots in their body.

Ways to use it.

Sometimes when I am applying a body lotion I’ll squirt some into my hand and rub them both in together.

The most common is to Spray directly on to the skin – all parts of the body. ( after a shower, when changing, after shaving, down your shirt mid day,, )

Sometimes I’ll pour some in a basin (or into bath water) and use it as a foot bath, letting my feet soak in it while  reading or working at my desk, with or without following up with a pedicure.  Although I”ve never had feet issues, it can help with Athlete’s feet,  gout, fungus, …

One can also  soak the injured body part in HP. This can  either be done with a basin or by soaking a small cloth – (i.e. handkerchief ) and applying directly to the injured/ damaged spots, or any other part of the body needing extra TLC. Secure the cloth into place with safety pins , tensor band clips, or anything else. I did this with my niece.   I took a light hanky sprayed the 3% FGHP all over it until it was nearly saturated and then covered it with a sleeve from a cut up old sweatshirt.  The swelling was gone two hours later when I checked back in and she was ready to do more of the cartwheels and handstands she was doing the night before.

Put 3-5-8-10 drops into beverages consumed. (Max 15-20 drops per glass)
Spray a little bit onto any food consumed
Spray into the air in-front of you while driving so that the air is more oxygenated and you’ll be more alert while driving – particularly useful on long drives.
Spray a little directly into the mouth any time you think of it. (thus the benefit of 4oz travel size bottles that fit in the pocket)

3% FG-HP can be used as a mouth wash, or to take care of athletes feet    Mixing it with baking soda it can also be used as a toothpaste


Other examples of uses.

When a friend (my health mentor)  fell on the ice in the winter, and likely cracked his ribs,  the doctor expected it to take him 4-6 months before he would reach a point of not being in pain.   He was back in the doctors office in under four weeks – pain free.  The pain was gone on the 23rd day – he went through more than a gallon of HP, but given that he couldn’t even lie down in bed the first few days and had to sleep upright in a chair, it made a huge difference., shortening his healing time and letting him return to his active busy life.

When I sprained my ankle, even when I had regained full mobility of it and was walking lots on it, doing my yoga etc. There were times when I could still feel the injury letting me know my ankle was tired. I would take a sock make it wet with HP, put it on and a dry sock on top and crawl into bed for the night.

I would love to hear your success stories and how you’ve used it.


The Caveat of our locus of control

The Caveat of our locus of control

In leadership courses one talks about the difference between those with an internal locus of control as opposed to an external locus of control.   One’s locus of control is the perceived source of one’s outcomes in life.

An internal locus of control is embodied in slogan’s like “just do it”. Our North American culture epitomizes that potential within people who believe “desire + effort = guaranteed success”. The lack of results is a result of inadequate effort and/or belief.  When something good occurs we look to our internal locus of control – we worked for it, we deserved it or we ‘attracted’ it courtesy of those visualizations and affirmations we repeated daily.

Meanwhile those with an external locus of control believe that outcomes are a result of fate, or luck.  Perhaps the answer is in the stars, and one’s horoscope is checked to explain results.  Despite having had the desire and exerting effort the results allude us, remaining as difficult to grasp as one’s own shadow. Consequently when something bad happens we are viewed as inadequate in a world that is internally referenced.  We should just ‘get over it’, pull up our boot straps and ‘carry on’.

The challenge with an internal  locus of control is that it is a very me centered philosophy.  It isn’t  bad or wrong it just has limits.  The problem with an external locus of control is that it also has limits and creates apathy.  After years of life of trying to accomplish xyz and being beaten up, by myself and others, for not accomplishing xyz I’ve realized that we need a balanced locus of control.  We can do what we can do, and when we can’t impact that which is beyond our control, it is healthier to know when to walk away, applauding ourselves for what we could do and moving on.

If you are successful the internal locus of control is a wonderful perspective, but on those days when life takes a down turn and we loose our job,  our relationships flounder, or health issues surface unexpectedly – then the internal locus of control  looses some ground.   Neither my son nor I wanted the cancer diagnosis that came at the age of 21.   However the woe is me of an external locus of control doesn’t put you on the path to recovery, few people want to spend time with a pessimist or a drama queen. Nor does the path of apathy create results.  Pacing is pivotal, to stay on track without feeling overwhelmed.

Many movies reiterate the mentality of “I can do it”.  Hollywood blockbusters abound. There is a whole coaching and personal growth movement with numerous speakers from coast to coast that want you to believe that if you just do the right stuff, think the right stuff – you too can have XYZ  I”m not going to discredit them as I believe that too – but I do believe there is a caveat in there as well. It is this caveat that is rarely mentioned, as it undermines book sales.   XYZ may not arrive as XYZ it may arrive as xyz, xzz, vyz, or xvz,  Variations on a theme perhaps but it doesn’t make it more or less right or wrong.   Can we accept the alternative without beating ourselves up for not having  XYZ.

“ we live in a world that in a strange way discounts itself. If we’re unhappy, unemployed, or broke, we’re encouraged to see the issue as a personal problem and we’re supposed to solve it by focusing on whatever it is about us that might be causing the problem. But there might not be anything about us that’s leaving us unemployed or broke. The problem might be, to use a technical term, structural. – meaning that what feels like a personal shortcoming is actually the result of social or economic conditions, circumstances that you won’t be able to change no matter how much you might change yourself  . . . .   it helps to be aware of these factors, because if you’re not, you can start blaming yourself for a lack of connection [or anything else] when the problem doesn’t have anything to do with you. “

When I read this in Emily White’s book Count me in – the penny dropped.   This is where the shortcomings of those that try to have an internal locus of control and those that keep trying to fix something that can’t be fixed feel as if they are spinning their wheels.  It can be depressing.  Some things – okay many things – are beyond control and cannot be altered.   I’ve spent twenty years exhausted trying to shift a relationship dynamic that won’t budge as I’m only a small portion of the equation and lack sufficient weight to tip the scales in my direction.

Mother Teresa  has a quote – It struck a chord whenI first saw it on a framed print in a friends home back in 1991.  From an article written by Harriet Heyman Mother Teresa states “prayer without action is no prayer at all – You have to do your work as if everything depends on you, then leave the rest to God.”

I like this quote as it balances the intrinsic and extrinsic aspects of our locus of control.  Yes honour the intrinsic- do what you can do.  In my life – I work on gaining the clarity as to what can I impact and to put my energy there and to have compassion for myself and others when results fall short of aspirations as a result of external influences.  Hence relinquishing that driven ‘at all cost’ and surrendering recognizing that there are aspects at play that are far larger than ourselves.



Count me in White, E.  (2015) . Count me in. Toronto, ON: McLelland & Steward.

Harriet Heyman, (July 1980,)  Life Magazine
Philip B. Kunhardt Jr. Managing Editor