Life … Look For The Small Things

The smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention

J Burroughs

As each day passes I continue to look for the little things in life because really the little things are the big things.

The way you treat a friend.

The smile that you give someone.

The kindness that you show.

How you interact in the world.

The moments you make matter.

The way you listen.

The time you take.

The way you count your blessings.

The ways you find to live, love and laugh.

Love Leadership and Lacrosse

 I love lacrosse! Thanks to my past team mates Jane Walsh and Elaine McMullin Descoteaux for inviting me to do a keynote for female  national box lacrosse championship players in 2017. It was an opportunity for me to give back and share my love of the sport. Lacrosse always has been my most favourite sport of the many that I have played.

I started playing lacrosse around 47 years ago (yes, females played lacrosse back then) in Shannon Park Wallis Heights with coaches Cliff Friesen and Donald Koharski. I have so many great memories of those days, We were lucky enough to play lacrosse in Ontario ,the CNE and in Vancouver, We went on to win the NS championships in 1973, so many fun memories.

Today I am a registered Psychologist, I was an educator for the past 40 years and I retired as a School Counsellor in a self- directed High School in Calgary three years ago this June.

None of that would have been possible without lacrosse. In 1976 I was awarded a lacrosse Scholarship from Canada Fitness and Amateur Sport . It paid for most of my University Education. I am so, so grateful for that today!

Lacrosse shaped my future. 

I stopped playing lacrosse a year ago, but would play drop in if it were still on today. I  joined again as an adult in 2008 and loved every moment. I am 61 years old and I played for the Calgary Women’s Master Lacrosse league until I was 60. I can’t run …. but boy can I shoot Tracy Klusky past captain of the Calgary Roughnecks once told me I had golden hands! I’m also really good at being a cherry picker …

Here is a video I put together a while back about the love of the game.

I hope all young lacrosse players think about these 5 things

  1. Find your purpose
  2. Play for the love of the sport , play for a lifetime
  3. Be Passionate
  4. Persevere
  5. Pay it Forward

Find your purpose and be the leader you can be. You can be a leader on and off the floor. I would like to encourage young women worldwide to play this great sport!!!! Not only young women, but moms too. Yes, and dad’s too.

If there isn’t a team where you live START ONE . If there isn’t a scholarship to be found CREATE ONE or find someone who can. We live in a world where social media CAN be used for good SO DO IT be a good digital citizen and connect with others who want the best for young women in sports.

Did you know that 44% of girls between the ages of 3-17 don’t participate in sports? 84% of adult women don’t participate in sports at all. WE CAN CHANGE that stat TODAY. For those of you playing, you are the lucky ones because you get to play the greatest game on earth. So get out there PROMOTE this great game. YOU CAN BE A LEADER. According to Anita Franklin of the IOC “When a young woman athlete triumphs, she has become a role model for her family, her community and even her country” I KNOW YOU CAN TOO!

PLAY FOR THE LOVE OF THE SPORT and do it lifelong IF I CAN … YOU CAN TOO! Play fair , play respectfully and play hard.

BE PASSIONATE and always be kind. Life will give you back tenfold what you have given out.  Passionate people according to research are happier and experience greater well being. My passions have afforded me great friendships, lifelong friendships that I treasure to this day. We have had so much fun together because of sport.

PERSEVERE when you persevere in sports and in life you get back up and keep going. Life throws us all challenges. We are all going to make mistakes and that’s OK  that is the way we learn. Lacrosse taught me to never give up!

PAY IT FORWARD you will learn many lessons through lacrosse. You can pay it forward by helping others. Maybe you will coach or volunteer in some capacity or maybe you will find small ways to give back, but make sure you just do it!

ONE PERSON CAN INDEED MAKE A PROFOUND DIFFERENCE that person could be YOU.

OUR NATIONAL SUMMER SPORT IS THE BEST.

I hope you as young women who play lacrosse go out there and make a difference not just in lacrosse, but in life and remember all the things that lacrosse has given you.! Sports helped me become a better human being and i hope some of you who read this will find that sports does that for you too be it lacrosse or any other sport, many of which I have loved and played like lacrosse, ringette, hockey, basketball, volleyball, baseball, and my latest love pickleball.

I hope you just play … it’s great for your overall well being. and it’s just plain fun!

Friendship Lifts Me Up

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If you know me you know how much friendship means to me. I am so fortunate to have walked along with so many friends during this time albeit from a distance. No matter, I have been able to connect and feel during those moments that everything was normal (well sort of) . I don’t know where i would be in life with out my friends. They bring me such great joy Friendships make everything in life look better. Even from a distance i have been able to maintain friendships. Thanks to zoom, facetime, email and phone calls. I miss those friends that I cannot physically be with but I would never want to lose those friendships as they make me a better person.

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One of my best friends lives away and I miss her every day, but when I see her it makes it even more special . I treasure those moments and I will even treasure them more from now on. I said to one of my friends who I saw just before the pandemic if I knew then what I know now ( that would be the last time we would see each other most likely for a long, long time) I would have stayed longer, hugged longer and just be present longer.

Friendships are so vital to my well being and I need to nurture them whether I can physically see the person or not. It’s been a bit tougher to do during the pandemic as I used to get together weekly with a group of friends I treasure, not so much now. As I move about through this pandemic I need to find ways to reconnect knowing that my life is enhanced when I do.

Friendship lifts me up, I hope it does for you too.

10 Ways To Kick Start Your Day Just for Today #2

  1. Just for Today I will make my moments marvellous.
  2. Just for Today I will write messages and jokes in chalk. Carol Stevenson
  3. Just for Today when I take a shower , I will sing my favourite song at the top of my lungs. Neil O’Flaherty
  4. Just for Today I will share my favorite song that reminds me of them with someone I care about. 
  5. Just for Today I will sit quietly and listen to the world around me. Susan Viveiros
  6.  Just for Today I will think before I act. 
  7.  Just for Today I will give up complaining .
  8.  Just for Today I will stop overthinking.
  9.  Just for Today I will enjoy the little things in my day.
  10.   Just for Today I will share my favorite memory of someone with them. Andrea Hecker Cumatz

If you’d like to check out our old posts here they are: 101 Ways To Kickstart Your Day In A Positive Way and 10 Ways to Kickstart Your Day Just for Today .

I shared my music that reminds me of my friend and she shared hers today you can check them out on Twitter @sspellmancann

Erin Luong and I would love to hear how you are using these or please add your Just For Today in the comments …

Who Matters?

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Who matters?

“Everything you do has an impact. Who you are – that you are – actually matters. In an interconnected world (the only kind we have), our actions and the actions of others are inextricably linked- we are always and forever in a dance of mutual influence with those with whom we directly and indirectly participate. It is the unavoidable reality of being social creatures, only magnified by an ever-increasingly complex and interwoven societal structure. We matter to each other.” – Paul Greiner

This sums up my feelings about so many people and about so many things. Today I sobbed as I viewed the faces of all those lost in the Vegas tragedy. They mattered to so many people and today they mattered to me even though I did not know them.

Life is truly fragile and I am ever reminded of this. I try very hard to live every day as if it is my last. Am I always successful ? No, but I really wish to live life as fully as I can, love those I can and let the people in my life that I am closest to know they matter. I don’t want to wait til someone passes away for them to know that they really matter to me.

So if you are one of those precious people in my life reading this , know that you do really matter to me and I am so grateful to have you in my life. So today and every day let others know that they matter and hopefully you too will see as Greiner says that in this complex interwoven societal structure we matter to each other.

Celebrating A Piece Of Me I Did Not Think Existed

Truly before #ETMOOC. I did not even believe I could paint, or draw or really do anything artistically. Now , I know that is not true. I just need to be me and let the fear of making mistakes go and just go with the flow.

This past couple of weeks some very close friends of mine have bought my work. I was very excited to see them in it!!!!

I did not do this for the money.I did it for the fun , the joy of creating!  My son told me about redbubble, (although a friend had told me about it earlier ). I thought if he thought it was cool then it must be and so and it is!

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Redbubble turns your paintings and drawings into dresses, prints, cups, shirts, bags, pillowcases and much more.

I am grateful that people even enjoy my Art . If you happen to be one of those please send me a pic!

 

Relationships Relationships Relationships … Great Leaders Matter

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Having worked in schools for 36 years I absolutely recognize the importance of a great leader. I am grateful to have worked with so many.

Fortunately for me I get to work with an outstanding leader everyday. He is forward thinking, innovative, positive , intelligent , has great sense of humour , cares deeply about students and staff , is extremely supportive of School Counsellors and most importantly kind. He makes a difference. Thanks @neilof12.

On this Canadian thanksgiving day , I think it is very important to tell the people who you care about and are grateful for that you do. Too often people think it , but don’t say it. I try to say it as often as I can because I recognize life is precious.

I make a point of telling those that have impacted me that they have including my students.

As a leader myself , I make every effort to be the kind of leader I want others to be. I gave my principal  The Innovator’s Mindset when it came out knowing that he was already an innovator, but also knowing like me he too is a lifelong learner.

Today most importantly I am grateful for my husband and children who have had the biggest and most positive impact on my life. Because of them I can be the kind of educator,   leader and person I want to be.

I am so… so…  so grateful for the wonderful friendships that I have in my life. They have and still do enrich and transform my life.

I am grateful for #immooc and @gcouros for having the insights and passion to make a difference in students and educators lives including mine. Thanks to all those in #immooc who have connected and shared with me. I am grateful. I believe very strongly when we are excited about learning we pass that on to all those around us and can make a real difference in the life of a child. Isn’t that why we chose this profession?  Yes, George relationships do matter … they are absolutely everything.

 

A Year of Music

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Wow! Last night I not only got to watch amazing performances by young people, I got to be a part of the excitement. In September I jumped into another opportunity to grow, to learn and to have fun. I have had experiences that will remain with me forever thanks to Youth Singers Calgary. Never in my wildess imagination would I say I would be performing at the Jubilee in Calgary at my age. Of course i should know to never say never. One never knows the fabulous experiences you can have at any age #nevertooold . I really can say all of the new , jump out of my box experiences I have been having lead back to #ETMOOC  and all the supportive people who encouraged risk taking and that it is ok to to fail. Failure is seen as a way to learn, not like real failure to me which is giving up, never trying!

If you haven’t heard of #secondchants, now is the time. We get to work with outstanding musicians, choral directors, wardrobe  and choreorgraphers who are talented and funny.

I am so grateful to have been a part of this wonderful celebration of dedication and passion for music.

Thinking about Youth Singers great choice! If you are of a certain age like me join us on the 28th to see what it’s all about. I have always loved music , but this year of music has given me a chance to have experiences like never before.

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How do you thank someone? … You can too …

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Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. It is hard to believe three years has passed since ETMOOC. I personally have learned so much in the last three years thanks to my ETMOOC PLN and especially Alec Couros. How do you thank someone who has made such a difference ? For us in ETMOOC it was by helping to create something that will hopefully make a difference for Alec, his family as well as future educators.

According to Harvard Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy people judge you on two criteria when they first meet you .

  1. Can I trust this person?
  2. Can I respect this person?

Alec Couros  @courosa has earned the  trust and respect of so many , but especially those of us in ETMOOC and as a result we wanted to do something special for him. Thus the Mario Couros Memorial Bursary .

Please take time to read the criteria below and if you feel like you too want to thank Alec by contributing to an award that honours him and his dad who meant the world to him, then please do so. Several of us plan to work hard this year to promote and get others to contribute to this award and we hope YOU will join us.

About the award :

The Mario Couros Memorial Bursary will help newcomers to Canada in reaching their dream of being one of tomorrow’s educators by providing financial assistance to pursue their Education Degree at the University of Regina. Mario came to Canada from Greece on December 14th 1957. He lived, worked and raised his family in Saskatchewan. He wanted to make a life and a difference for his family. Mario was a volunteer, a caring supportive father, grandfather, a loving husband and an extremely hard working man. He was a great role model for his children and others as he continued to be a lifelong learner with a fabulous work ethic until his passing. This award is dedicated in his memory.

It is also a tribute to his son Dr. Alec Couros who continues his father’ s legacy by inspiring and encouraging others to pursue their educational aspirations and follow a path to life-long learning.

The bursary will make a meaningful impact by breaking down the financial barriers to higher education and encouraging outstanding academic achievement. By contributing to this bursary you will enable Education students to focus on what matters most : their education.

The goal is to raise $ 25.000 to create an endowment that will allow for a permanent bursary at the University of Regina ‘s Faculty of Education. Your contribution to the Mario Couros Memorial Bursary will live on in perpetuity in memory and honour of Mario’s legacy. 

To donate online:

  1.                    Go to http://www.uregina.ca/giving
  2.                    Click the Donate Now button on the right side
  3.                    Click the In Honour/In Memory button

Enter your donation information and click add to gift basket.

Please ensure you enter Mario Couros under the second tab and continue to payment

If you would like any assistance with contributing please contact Erin Werner at 1-306-585-5432 or erin.werner@uregina.ca .  Those from other countries may wish to do so if they have difficulty contributing.  If you need a paper copy just email her.

You too can help !  Consider letting other educators know they can contribute to this important fund. Each contribution can and will make a difference. Alec has 99.5k followers . If each person following @courosa donated $ 1.00 we would have more than we need to keep this fund alive and help young people who want to be educators.

A very special thank you to all those in ETMOOC that have volunteered to promote this fund and all those who have already committed to contributing. I am so grateful for you . Kindness flows in ETMOOC ‘ers

I look forward to many more years of connecting , growing and learning with all of you. I think my heart is bigger today because of all of you.

Have you or someone you know been impacted by @courosa or @gcouros ?  You may want to really consider contributing. This post yesterday by @gcouros on “Has twitter changed our view?”  is very thoughtful and thought provoking. Twitter has most certainly changed mine for the positive. #lifechanging #friendshipsIneverwouldhaveimagined #grateful

REMINDER:
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE ! Truly think about donating, even if only a small amount and pass this on to someone who you think would contribute. TOGETHER we are better!

Please consider blogging about this award and sharing on twitter , facebook and google plus . YOU too can help to make a difference. Thanking you in advance. There truly are so many good people in the world and if you have taken time to read this blog post to the end and contribute. I know you are one of them.

Please let us know you have contributed by either DM ing me at @sspellmancann or by posting in the comments section so we can acknowledge YOU!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creativity Courage and Collaboration

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Creativity, courage and collaboration three words that speak loudly to me this year. Allowing yourself to be who you are without fear. That is what International Dot Day is all about. Expressing yourself through the arts is a way to reach the flow state. Learning to let go and not worry about mistakes is part of the process. To be in the moment and to let your creativity flow isn’t always easy and I am working hard at truly letting go this year. That is what I love about Art and the creating of it. It is freeing and helpful for both students and their School Counsellors. It is only in the last three years that I have let go of my fears around creating and openly sharing.

Peter Reynolds is such an inspiration in allowing students to find that special creativity in them and making their mark. He’s also great at encouraging adults.

If you haven’t heard of dot day or his books . Enjoy him reading The Dot below:

What is International Dot Day ? ” A global celebration of creativity, courage and collaboration” They really are three C’s that I like a lot.

So in true collaboration starting with my friends I sent them this message. Please send me a picture that YOU took that YOU love that you don’t mind sharing on the internet for a project I am doing.

I needed to share these in a dot,and I did not know of an app that I could put pictures in a circle, so again I reached out in collaborative style .

A great choice for an app, so helpful thanks for the response Alec. I downloaded the app and love it! It did lead me down memory lane wanting to share some great memories and pics that I have.

So how can you involve a lot of people in a short amount of time? Send them a message and create dots. I love these dots. They are interesting,unique and tell a story. They each speak to my heart because I love these people. Each one of these dots that I have received and connected with I will treasure forever. Those that are still thinking about sending me pics please do I am waiting to create your dot.

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Celebrating Dot Day with MaryBeth Mulligan

According to Alain De Botton, ” we are very vulnerable, fragile creatures in desperate need of support and we generally don’t get it. … Art [can be] a source of help with our problems — our innermost problems — the problems of the soul. . . . Art can be a form of self-help and there is nothing demeaning about the concept of self-help — only the way in which some of self-help has been done so far, but there is nothing wrong with it as a concept. . . There is nothing wrong with [art today]. It’s not the art that’s the problem — it’s the frame around the art. We are simply not encouraged to bring ourselves to works of art. . . . The impact of art is often not what it should be because the frame is wrong.”

These fabulous photos above allow my friends to bring themselves into their works of art.

In the last page of his book Living, Loving and Learning Leo Buscaglia one of my all-time favourite authors so beautifully says wonderful things about risk in love and in life.

“To love is to risk not being loved in return. And that’s alright too. You love to love,not to get something back, or it isn’t love. To hope is to risk pain. And, to try is to risk failure. But risk must be taken,because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing .”

“The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot
learn, feel, change, grow or love.
Chained by his certitude, he is a slave; he has forfeited his freedom.

Only the person who risks is truly free.” and most importantly he says ” To keep you hidden ,to lose you because of self-defeating ideas is to die. Don’t let that happen.

Your greatest responsibility is to become everything that you are,not only for your benefit,but for mine.

Thanks to all of you who took risks today by sharing your pic when you really did not know why you were sharing, You did it for me and I adore that you trusted me to share your fabulous pieces of Art on this special International Dot Day. Who knows of the many ways we are connected? Today we are connected by dots and have each made our mark. Thanks for sharing and I Iook forward to finding out the stories behind the pictures and if some of you meet each other your dots will be a way to connect . Such fun!

I asked my Teacher Advisory group to pick a picture that they love from their phone that they took . Some of their fabulous pics are below. Then I asked them to share their pic and tell the story behind it with their classmates. What a fun way to get to know more about each other.

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The world is already a better place because you have left your mark my friends! Haven’t shared a pic with me please do  anytime. I look forward to seeing your dot!

Love you love your dots! #dotday15

Last but most special … Celebrating the amazing Leena Luong grade 2 daughter of @ehordyskiluong

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