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Do you know where your power is?

I had a conversation with someone who was stressing about a number of things including finances as we head into the holidays when businesses shut down but bills are looming and it caused a bit of a spiral mentally for them. They started lamenting about situations that took place long ago that contributed to some challenges over the years and how they should be so much further ahead in life.

Welcome to the club!

Let’s start with the word ‘should.’ Have you ever stopped to acknowledge that ‘should’ implies judgment? We are all best served by leaving that to whatever higher power you ascribe to. Having been on this planet for over half a century, I’ve learned a thing or two from the many mis-takes I’ve made along the way. I write it as mis-take because I don’t like to frame my experiences as errors necessarily, but trying out what works for me and if I didn’t hit the mark on the first take, then perhaps I would hit it on the second, third, fourth, fifth or more takes.

One key lesson that I learned is that life is more likely than not to turn out very different from what you imagined it would be – time and again.

“It” Happens

We are on a planet that is spinning through space with meteors, debris and explosions all around it. A planet that is covered with billions of beings that exercise varying degrees of free will. A planet that is subject to weather occurrences of all extremes of heat, cold, wind, rain, shifting, eruption, drought, famine etc. A planet with birth, death, creation and destruction. Any one of these things can derail our lives in unforgiving and epic proportions.

Let it Go

As I look out my window at the -51C ice fog and wiggle my cold toes inside my thick, cozy socks the Frozen reference seems especially fitting. The point being – if you can’t change it, if it’s over and done with – clear out the clutter. Don’t let it take space in your brain! Acknowledge what sucked, figure out how you will avoid the suck in the future and focus your attention on what you can do today and do that again tomorrow and the next day and the next time you stumble.


The earth is about 4.5 billion years old. Our lifespan is roughly 2 millionths of 1 percent of the age of earth. If one human lifespan of 85 years was the earth’s lifespan, then one human life would last 141 seconds. Basically 2 minutes. And I have 2 points to make on that – one – all of our problems are pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of the universe and two – make your two minutes count!

Are your needs being met?

Whenever I’m worked up about some catastrophe in my life, I remind myself to breathe and recount my blessings starting from the most basic needs to the abundance of luxuries in my humble existence. I have a roof over my head, food in my cupboard, good health, family, friends, talent, skills, opportunities.

Oh Opportunities!

We all have them, like invisible little gifts floating in the air around us. If you can move your body, you have the opportunity to exercise and be strong, strong enough to become an Olympic champion if you choose to make the most of that opportunity to move your body. If you have a modicum of intelligence you can use your mental resources to create anything that you can imagine.

Naked and screaming

One of the sayings that my children have heard many times over the years is “we’re all born naked and screaming.” My logical mind overrules any doubt or fear when I want to accomplish something and I just go about my business and give it a shot. Sometimes I hit the mark, sometimes I learn a lesson and always I gain experience.

The Key

The key is in your thoughts, in your determination and consistency. That driving force of your thoughts that keeps the vision of what you want firmly planted in the forefront of your mind and shields you from the negative distractions. Do not underestimate the power of your mind.

Grow Miracles

Consider the difference in how you frame the following situation:

Ken R. is a middle aged person who was left with four hungry children to care for and very little financial prospects ahead of him

Ken could become depressed and lament about his woes, allow himself to wallow in the role of victim, spending his thoughts, words and energy on recounting the bad things that have happened to him, spiral into a state of self-destruction.

Or Ken could give himself some time to grieve the situation before putting it in the past where it belongs and think of what he can do today that will bring him one step closer to his goals. He could start by being thankful for the friends and family that provided love and support, helped him find a place to stay, a source of income. Opportunities to start anew. This is how I feel about a blank page in my notebook.

A New Year

This time of year I have the habit of becoming reflective. I love the ritual of looking back at the past year and summarizing how I spent my most valuable resource – time. I look at my photos, journals and my day planner, scrolling from January through December, noting whatever stands out to me. I compare what actually happened to what I thought would happen and usually find it’s a mix of making incremental progress toward my goals, getting temporarily sidetracked, and pivoting because external forces caused me to change my course. Those external forces could be positive like opportunities or negative like Ken’s challenges.

I published 11 books this year!

What?! You may have seen my launch posts talking about my children’s books BUT, because of a course that I’ve been working on for quite some time, I learned of a new opportunity that would make great use of some of my paintings, photos, and the skills that I’ve acquired for creating, editing, formatting and publishing on KDP Amazon.

Stationary love affair

Writers love to write and there’s nothing more soothing to my soul than taking pen to actual paper to write a note, a story, do a brain dump, make my never-ending to do lists, plan my week, set my goals, take notes, copy recipes, outline new stories – I could go on and on. I love notebooks, so I created a series of my own.

11 Units in December – WOOOHOOO

I was so tickled to log in to my account this morning to see that I have sold a total of 11 units for all of my books for December, including my notebooks and the guided journal called Design Your Life that I created for those who want to walk through some of the things that I have found useful in sorting out how to set and achieve goals.

Most of these purchases come from family and friends, but one of those purchases of my newly published notebooks came from Japan! I am incredibly grateful to my family and friends for their support, but it’s like breaking a bit of a barrier to generate sales from complete strangers.

I am one more sale on my journey toward my goals.

And in case you want to check out my notebooks, just go onto Amazon and type in Lisa Nantais or visit my author page here. Perhaps my notebooks will be a useful tool for you in moving toward your goals!

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It’s a truck meet wildlife world out there

I live inside a National Park. It’s an amazing privilege to be able to live in a ‘somewhat’ protected habitat. I say ‘somewhat’ because it’s a sliding scale and my naive little mind has been shocked time and again by the contradictions that occur within the framework and ‘purpose’ of our National Parks.

Yesterday afternoon, my partner witnessed a horrifying murder that has my little digits on the keyboard today.

As an avid nature lover, he’s out there day in and day out observing and documenting our natural history. He follows and bears witness to the changes of the seasons and how those changes drive wildlife behaviour from migratory songbirds to courtship and mating behaviours of a wide variety of mammals.

Most recently he’s become quite intimate with a large herd of Big Horn Sheep that are relatively famous here in Jasper National Park. He’s observed the old white-faced ewe whom he’s affectionately named Vera-Lynn who seems to be on the outer edges of the mating rituals. And Linda, another ewe who is so old that her horns are almost worn away, who lets those rams know that she will have none of their antics. Then there is Clarence, who seemed to be the lead ram for a while until Big Red came along and Chief, who thought he might give Big Red a go. The battle scars on Chief one morning proved that to be an unwise decision.

After spending a relatively uneventful morning with the gang, Big Red followed a small group of ewes down the mountainside to where they were licking salt on the highway. My partner was thrilled with a beautiful image that he took when Big Red paused and turned to look back at the herd at the edge of a cliff on his way down, describing it as incredibly majestic.

Five minutes later, the majestic ram was skidding on his back across the highway after being struck by a transport truck.

The driver was audibly angry and aggressive. He honked and yelled out the window, but he did not slow down for the sheep on the road and he did not stop after he killed Big Red and neither did the several trucks and cars that passed following the tragedy.

Don’t delude yourself into thinking that this is a random incident. This behaviour happens all day every day on this highway. We know because, we see it every day while we attempt to peacefully enjoy nature. And the frequent fatalities are quickly swept away.

Is this not especially ironic in the season of love, hope, peace and joy? Or does that only come with a prime membership and free shipping?

Finally a plow driver stopped and two gentlemen got out to move the twitching carcass off the road. Thank you for that.

It wasn’t too long afterward that a Parks vehicle came along and it was ‘business as usual’ to remove the carcass to it’s final resting place at the dump.

Yes, the dump.

Not the forest where it would provide nourishment to a whole host of wild creatures that are also ‘protected’ within the National Park.

Not in the hands of an indigenous community that would give thanks and honour the life that was given to harvest the meat, fur and various parts for survival.

Not in the hands of a wildlife foundation that would ensure the life was not lost in vain.

The dump, where the copious evidence of human existence will linger far longer than the decomposed carcass.

I’m saddened, angry and frustrated with the lack of respect and reverence for our wildlife, not only, but especially within the boundaries of the National Park whose existence is specifically for the purpose of protecting our natural environment and ecosystems.

Why do we allow highways to cut through a National Park? Through vehicles do not pay park fees, yet they use the roads and facilities along the way without care or concern for the wildlife whose home they are racing through. .

I started to research things like “what are the guiding principles for National Parks in Canada” and started reading through the legalese to try to gain a deeper understanding of the answer to that question.

But seriously – you need a law degree (and I would say an unhealthy dose of caffeine) to get through it.

Common sense and politics are like oil and water in this writer’s opinion.

I have many questions in addition to why we allow highways to cut through ‘protected’ areas. But for today, I will honour and revere Big Red.

Thank you for being. Thank you for your majestic beauty. Thank you for the amazing images. Thank you for the experience of being in your presence.

And I hope that Linda or Becky-Sue or several of the ewes of that beautiful herd will give birth to Little Reds that we will see frolicking amongst the cliffs in the spring.