So simple yet so hard. Listen and respond.

Recently, I put in a request for information regarding a rental property I was interested in for a summer vacation. The agent I called was friendly and very eager to please. The problem was, he did not listen to my questions and he never checked in with me to see if he was hitting the mark. Instead, he spent considerable time researching and explaining information that I had not asked for. I took the time to listen to this warm and engaging man. I was not in a hurry and was simply relaxing with a cup of tea when he called. The call lasted approximately 30 minutes, where the man offered his opinion and information. Everything that he told me had nothing to do with my original request. The interesting thing was that he never checked in with me to see if he was covering information that I needed. When he finally hung up, he told me he had been happy to help, even though I would not be going forward with his services. He went as far as to offer assistance in the future if I had other questions.

I am passionate about the importance to really “see” the person you are communicating with, otherwise, we are just spending time talking to ourselves. If you are a hairdresser, ask your clients if the water temperature is just right. If you are a Mom, ask if your child feels understood. If you are rubbing someone’s shoulders, ask if the pressure is too hard or soft.  Check in with the person you are with. Look into their eyes as often as possible, and ask yourself; am I “getting” them? When we are truly engaged with the people we are spending time with, the experiences are enhanced and the opportunities for great expression and possibilities blossom.

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Feed your spirit

Do not neglect the areas in your live that bring you joy, fulfillment, and nourish your spirit simply because they do not carry a deadline expectation from others. Most people do not have any difficulty getting themselves and their families up and ready for the day of school or work. They are able to fill expectations from work, pay bills, answer calls, and emails etc.  However, when it comes to meditation, reflection, prayer, and self-care, there is a lack. These areas of your life are just as important to the success of you and your family—more so even.

Make a list of the items that “feed your spirit”. Schedule them into your daily and weekly schedule by writing them down on your calendar or in your electronic day timer. Make it a priority and watch your efficiency, happiness, patience, and love of life soar.

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Your Story

How often have you thought or heard someone say, “I need to write down my story”? What stops us from sharing our experiences and wisdom with others? I think it is a combination of not having a deadline or any pressing reason to do it now and not knowing where to start. I’ve recently begun helping a dear client get started by putting some of her stories down on paper. Like most things in life, we are not intended to fly solo. We rely on the help and love from others.

I have observed that people find it easier to tell their stories in the form of recounting events and feelings. Think less of writing it like an essay, and just simply get individual events down on paper. If you have wanted to write about your life, try recording yourself as you share with a safe listener. Encourage your facilitator to ask probing questions.  Please avoid the word WHY. The word why often elicits a reaction of defense and or guilt.  Use how and what.

Whether you write for publication or just for your own private reasons, it is a wonderful way to honour, cherish, and heal from your experiences. What a wonderful legacy to pass on to loved ones or for yourself as we age and perhaps our memories are less sharp.

Happy storytelling…

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Our Mothers

Last week I observed a woman in the twilight of her life with her elderly mother standing in line at the Burlington market. They were smiling and clearly enjoying each other’s company. It filled my heart with gratitude and sadness for the mother that I knew, loved and lost. It was a beautiful sight. I wondered if they could feel how fortunate they were.

Hold the ones you love close to you. Take the time to give them your full attention. Your experiences will be held within your heart and spirit for your lifetime. Have patience and give freely. Our mothers were children, teens, and young providers or homekeepers. They too held hopes and dreams, success and disappointment, pleasure and pain. See her with clear, accepting, and grateful eyes for the person she is.

If you have lost your mother and are struggling, remember that she lives within you. You are a part of her and through you, she lives on. Honour the love and teachings she passed on to you, by developing new relationships with others. Teach and bestow onto others the kindness, divine wisdom, and selfless love she taught you. Remember.

To my daughter’s close friend Laura who has just lost her dear grandmother, and Marlene who works with us at Maid of All Work and lost her mother this past week:
Although it is undeniably difficult, it does get easier. I have found, that in time, the pain and loss is replaced by a renewed sense of closeness. My wish for you is that memory and spirit fills your hearts with love and takes over the space that the sadness sits at this time.

All my love,
Caroline

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Open communication protects elders from fraud

I would like to raise an important issue with all of you. At Estate Concierge, we are learning that many seniors are losing a substantial amount of money unnecessarily.

Many service companies are now rolling charges forward unless the clients cancels by written notification. This means that a homeowner may be automatically charged on their credit cards for services they do not need or want. Recently, while helping one of our Estate Concierge customers go through her papers, we discovered that she was paying three different cell phone companies. She thought she had changed companies
and did not realize that she was still paying the former providers.

Things have changed, with increasingly more competitive markets, some companies are adopting practices that are less than ethical, in my opinion.

Talk to your loved ones and elderly friends. Elders are reluctant to discuss money matters because of etiquette. Times have changed and a routine, checkup on service charges is a good practice to do annually for all.

Tax time is a logical time to do this. If anyone needs a great accountant, contact Louise at Rayner Accounting: 905-335-8412.

Warm Regards
Caroline

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Symbols of Hope

Every year at this time, I put boots on and venture to the yard to cut forsythia branches.  I do it faithfully just as my father did through my childhood.  For me it’s an invitation to spring and everything new that is to come our way.  The known and the unknown.  Some years I brave piles of snow and other’s I wade through the mud and puddles.  The sticks stand tall in a vase at my front foyer looking dried and old.  Within days buds swell and within a week little yellow blooms break through.  While it is still cold and sometimes gloomy outside, I see a glimmer of what’s to come from my beautiful forced flowers.

Everywhere I turn lately, people are talking about how stressed or saddened they are for various reasons.  They are either experiencing hard-ships or know someone who is.  Our journey’s are not always easy or pleasant. Remember that everything we go through in our earth walk we need.  Take what is given with patience, trust, love, and optimism and when the time is right (usually unexpectedly) you will see something beautiful emerge.

Please take the time to give a gift that symbolizes hope to yourself or somebody you know.

All my love

Caroline

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