Tag Archives: Teaching Kids

Superb Resilience – DoWoo #249/365

Walter reminded me to look to our almost 10 year old son and observe how HE was handling this evenings news…to emulate all that he exudes based upon the environment and teachings we have shared with him.

CaptureFor those who are following our journey, you will know that we have been on a roller coaster ride for some time as it relates to taking our dog Mya with us to Costa Rica.  A quick recap for those who have not…We thought we were able to bring her with us on a flight with AA to Liberia only to find out (after spending $1,000) that they do not take that large of a crate. Then we confirmed with Air Canada only to find out that they have an embargo on – and no cargo animals for the balance of this year (nothing to do with Costa Rica – strictly Air Canada). Then we confirmed with Delta for September because from mid May to mid September there is a flight restriction due to heat.

TODAY I found out that Delta does not ship live animals from Canada as Cargo.  While we personally spoke to Delta – supposedly they only do this out of the US and not Canada.  AND we cannot drive down to the US and hop on a plane there because the paperwork has to match from country of departure and in order to get US paperwork, we would need to live in the US for 6 months.

After explaining this to both Walter and Gregory this evening, the 3 of us were all wearing sad faces.  We always do our best to explain to our little man what is going on – allowing him to experience and learn to work with the ups and downs  life throws our way. We explained that it did not look promising anymore. However, there are loads of dogs in Costa Rica and once we find a new home for Mya maybe we can be the new home for a dog down there.

Not 5 minutes later, Gregory asks me “What will we name our dog in Costa Rica?”

We discussed waiting to meet the dog to determine his or her personality. I then explained what I knew about Costa Rica and dogs – and the differences in how each country treats different animals. I explained there were lots of dogs who needed help in Costa Rica and if this is what ends up happening – we will have a good selection.  He immediately asked if we could adopt 2.

I explained we would wait till we knew for sure about Mya before we make any firm decisions on adopting there – especially coming back in September – we should wait till we are there more permanently before we commit – otherwise we will have the same issue we are having now.

He turned to me and explained that he just wanted to get excited about the new possibilities in order to deal with the sadness of not having Mya with us.   My son’s resilience is a reminder of the Law of Substitution. Once replaced with another thought, the first thought no longer has centre stage.  


Sane for the Day! – DoWoo #244/365

We had our garage sale today….and it was a success!  Had so many people at one point, I felt like I was being pulled in a variety of directions. Our friends who came to help did an amazing job of keeping me sane for the day.  Gracias! 

I was surprised that someone commented they had witnessed another person taking off without paying for something.  While a part of me is not impressed with this type of behaviour, another part of me tells myself…maybe they truly needed it!   The last thought ended on the possibility of karma being their due. 

karma2 karmaThis is when Gregory piped up and asked what Karma is.  I reminded him about Walter having explained that all things have a good and a not so good side. Well, people wake up every day and they have a glass.  If they put good stuff in their glass, what are they able to do? Pour good stuff out to everyone else.  However, if they put the not-so-good stuff in their glass, what are THEY able to do? Pour not-so-good stuff out. What you put in is what you can share. So…Karma is like this.  If you do good, you will see good.  If you do not-so-good…well, not-so-good follows. You get what you sow. 

What did you put in your glass today? 

School Is In – DoWoo #224/365

schoolWe are about 2 months away from embarking on our adventure to live in another country. Since we are planning to supplement local schooling with home schooling, life – the twists and turns we are experiencing and are yet to experience – are ALL learning opportunities readily at our disposal.

We’ve already discussed the difference in costs to run a house with Gregory – why not give him the whole picture? During our 1-1/2 hour car ride today I decided to chat with him about the Cost of Living and generalities of how it works.

There are aspects of our life which are considered “costs”.  Each aspect is calculated using a base:  Housing; Transportation; Taxes; Health Care; Consumables…etc.  Estimates are provided based upon samples – as an example how much gas the average car uses, with an average commute distance to work, with average extra curricular travel in the car considered.  The person looking at these figures has to consider whether they are choosing to drive an economy car or a gas guzzler (that would be choice).  But there is always a base line calculated using an average or median place. Most programs are then able to provide you with a direct dollar-for-dollar comparison between one location and another.  

There is more to it, but I’m talking to an almost 10 year old – while I wish to expand his knowledge I wish to maintain a maximum level of interest.  

Between the 3 of us we talked it through until we had named off each of the aspects we spend money on in order to function here on a monthly basis.   Then…since we had already discussed housing…I figured we could move onto food; something our growing little man is always interested in “consuming”. 

Before we started though…he pulled out the Spanish book we are working with and asked about the Costa Rica colon. Woo Hoo! Another opportunity. We chatted about the difference in currency exchange.  How it may say a high number but it depends on what it buys – so we tend to start out by converting to what we are familiar with to understand what the amount represents. In this case 100 colon is worth approximately 25 cents.


Back to food! I started out by explaining how the same grocery items may cost a different amount in each country. It depends on local produce available versus where they need to bring food in from – how far and at what premium, if any.  For cost of living, there would typically be a “shopping” list of specific items which are then tallied and compared. 

2-composition-with-variety-of-grocery-products-t-monticelloGregory has agreed to work together with me on an exercise. We will put together our list of products we like to eat, and then we can enter it into a spreadsheet on the computer (had to pause and explain this is just a computerized version of columns of information like he does in math – he got it – YEAH!).  Once we get to Costa Rica we will then have a document to fill in and compare what it cost to get similar food items (if available). computer badgeWe will then have our own comparison for cost of living.  

The additional bonus is Gregory now has a project to do for his Cub Scouts “computer” badge . Love multi-tasking while doing one task!

Play on Words – DoWoo #221/365

In our house we like to concentrate on the positive, removing negative words from our vocabulary and embracing the positive spin which we all have the choice to take on everyday activities.  Gregory is a fast learner and I’ve blogged before about his adeptness on this family objective.  

Gregory received homework today which needs to be handed in on Monday and he chose to work on it this evening – before dinner – in order to get it done.  Love that kid!   I’m reminded of being employed by a company who said they would send you away with “home-fun” (as compared to home-work).   

As a treat, for being the diligent child that he is, we offered him the opportunity to watch an episode of King Julian while we ate our dinner.  He jumped at it and immediately ran down to set up the TV trays. 


If you’ve ever had the joy of watching Madagascar, this is a spin off of the lemur story line from the movie. Gregory giggles through the entire thing which is always entertaining in itself.  As with many cartoon movies or shows, there usually is some form of “adult” understood humour thrown in to keep us amused.  This evening King Julian fired his adviser. When she questioned him, he said that she should consider it her “fire-tunity”. 

lemur2Walter and I looked at each other and laughed out loud.  Had not heard THAT one before.

Cute play on words and great philosophy…as long as (Walter commented) it stays away from being an oper-tastrophe ! 

What words can you play around with in order to turn a potentially negative situation into a positive?  Please feel free to expand our discussion down below.  Have a blessed day! 


Inquiring Minds – DoWoo #217/365

last-word-laughing-ag2It appears our son has reached a new stage in his life…where everything we say is responded to with some form of additional verbiage. Sometimes it’s a clarifying statement. Occasionally it’s a statement which does not seem add any benefit to the conversation. And a few times it’s a statement which he believes adds a humourous twist.   If you have ever interacted with someone who must get in the “last word”, you may know what I’m referring to.  

building-wordsThis evening we chatted with him and explained the concept of words being the ‘highest form of architecture’ and that everything we say shows others who we are.  And because our words are a reflection of our thoughts and our thoughts create our world – our reality – how he communicates with us and others is important.  We provided a few examples and asked him to let us know what he thought of his words – did they add benefit, did they expand the conversation, were they a good indication of what he wanted to send out? 

After a bit of conversation on this matter, he then opened up a totally different can of apples by asking “If a tree falls in the woods and no-one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” Apparently he also has learned how to deflect.  

When I commented during our evening cuddle that while I like our silly conversations, I also really enjoy our serious conversations…up popped the tree question. I thoroughly enjoy asking him what he thinks and then guiding him to observe additional possibilities.  


On the surface he understood you need to have ears listening for what falls to make a sound to be heard. He even said if a machine was recording the event, it is for us to eventually listen to it. When I asked him about the other trees in the woods being alive, whether they could feel the vibration of the fall, he grasped the concept that sound is connected with action. We explored those who are considered deaf, and their ability to feel sound. He then changed the question to a lone tree, where there are no living animals or other plants, and just the ground, then it falls – does it make a sound?  He decided it was a deep question and could be answered yes and no.  

How would you answer this question from an inquiring mind?


Do you have an open mind?  Do you wish to hear more about an environment which shows you how to tap into your best you?  If so, add your name and email below? 

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If you change how you look at things – the things you look at change! – Wayne Dyer

Your results are TOTALLY up to you!

Powerful Moment – DoWoo #212/365

I did not know what I planned to write about this evening until I remembered that today is my 212th post in 212 days!  I will consider today as my tipping point!  To what or over what…that remains to be identified.  

Anyone know the significance of the # 212? 

212212° F happens to be the point at which water boils (assuming you are at sea level).  Today Gregory stayed home from school because of a fever.  Not quite boiling but hot nonetheless.

Yesterday Gregory stayed home because he was sneezing and blowing his nose.  Today…his fever spiked up to and hovered around 102° F – just a tad over the body’s optimum 98.6° F.  In addition to the fever, he experienced chills, tummy aches, eyes burning, nose itching, dizziness, blurred vision…in general, it could easily have been a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day!

Our little man was a trooper.  He rested, drank loads of water (counting how many bottles he drank as they appeared to have a direct correlation to the number of times he had to pee), ate reasonably well, and managed to keep me informed on each of his symptoms.  We’ve encouraged him to describe what’s going on so we can make sure he is taken care of properly.  

Today I recognized that everything we’ve done up till now allowed us to be home with our son. If he needed a cuddle we were able to give it to him.  If he needed Walter to help him meditate himself to sleep, Walter was there to assist.  If he needed someone to remind him to breathe rather than tense up with the chills, he breathed because we were here to guide him.

I held him in my arms just now. After I explained how the body tenses up with pain and discomfort, which results in more aches and pain, suggesting he breathe – he did so.  I felt his whole body relax.  It was a powerful moment for me.  

I am grateful I was given this time to be a mom.  I am grateful Gregory is who he is and chose us as his parents.  I am also very grateful he listens to us.   I wonder….do kids end up listening to their parents because we listen to them?  Hmmm…something else to consider. 

Observations May Be Illusions – DoWoo #198/365

BrainGamesThis Brain Games show is really turning out to be a seriously cool thing to watch with Gregory.  I’m learning so much and for him to be learning this now – at his young age – all I can say is wow! I can only imagine the tilt this younger generation has on us – what information they have at their finger tips so much earlier than we have.  

This evening we watched the episode “What You Don’t Know” (Netflix Season 2 Episode 6). It’s about our brain and all the things we don’t know.  There are a series of test and experiments “designed to show how surprisingly little (our) brain understands about how the world works.” 

The first test was a short video of this bus.  It was vibrating slightly as if idling, there were geese flying to the right, a plane taking off and flying to the left.  The audience were asked to decide which way the bus would move if it were to go forward.  


The host explained almost every child under 10 would be able to answer this question correctly. Turns out I answered this based upon what I perceived to be the external clues I thought were included to point us in the proper direction (plane and geese).  I was incorrect.  

Here is what caught my mind…no pun intended (actually on second thought, pun intended): 

“We constantly come across problems we can’t solve and if we were honest with ourselves we’d admit it.  Psychologist have a term for this: Illusion of Knowledge.”  Shankar Vedantam – NPR Science Correspondent

“Our brains are wired to try and provide an answer. It’s a basic survival mechanism to make you feel more in control. After all nobody likes to walk around feeling lost and clueless; especially about things we think we should know.”

OK – is anyone else going where I am going here?? 

brain foodAfter watching all the ways we are so assured of our responses, filling in the blanks…well, now I’m thinking that even my intent to observe (rather than have opinions) may be moot if my brain is working within the Illusion of Knowledge. Then, how many of those we interact with are also working within the same illusion?  Hmmm….

Any thoughts? 

I wrote this while listing to Spotify (now available in Canada!). The station? Brain Food of course! 


Do you want to look at things differently?  Enjoy change? Embrace challenges? Live in a way which allows you to become all that you want to be…and more?  Yes?  Then…enter your name and email below and I will ensure you are one of the first to know when the next Master Key opportunity (fall 2015) is available.  Each year this becomes exponentially larger. This year we are breaking all the records.  

Do you want to be part of the 2% who do something to make a change and an even smaller % of those who will learn the “how”?   Join us on this journey and truly see, live, be everything that you imagined.  You may even decide to join Walter and I in Costa Rica!

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If you change how you look at things – the things you look at change! – Wayne Dyer

The choice is TOTALLY up to you!

My Sponge – DoWoo #197/365

spongeAfter dinner we decided to watch an episode of “Brain Games”. The episode was about the “Power of Persuasion.”  It was fascinating to watch Gregory learning and grasping theories. Who ever coined the phrase about children being sponges…so very true!

It was fascinating. Showing us how recognition of what we consider to be “trustable” facial features will influence who we choose to vote for.  How altering a visual slightly and suggesting what we are to see each time, can lead us where the director wants us to go.  

We stopped it. Replayed it. Paused it. Discussed it. My most enjoyable moment was when Gregory explained his rationale for why he chose who he chose. Allow me to explain. 

gameDuring the episode they show you examples of what they are talking about, allowing you to play the game along with the team on the show.  This particular example included four interviewers, each tasked with interviewing two candidates using the same questions.  The 2 candidates just happened to be identical twins. The difference in the interview were the 2 ladies used a different order of the same words.  Each described herself using 4 positive traits and 4 less than desirable traits.  

We were asked to choose which candidate we would hire – which one presented herself better. Interestingly enough all 4 interviewers chose the candidate who listed off the 4 positive traits first even though she included the same 4 less desirable traits afterwards. 

Gregory piped up and said he picked the candidate who had chosen to state her less desirable traits first.  He reasoned that most people don’t like to point out what they are not good at, so they would typically hide them or leave them to the end. However, someone who puts them out first is not afraid. 


While I’m not sure how much he understands about “hiring” and “interviewing”, as in anything he reviews…it is from his perspective with what skills and knowledge he has at his disposal. First –  I rejoiced in his ability to choose and then share his rationale. More important though I loved that he wanted to work with someone who was not afraid to admit their foibles – did not hide them to last like everyone else.  I wonder what life lesson this may lead to. 

I-am-grateful-for3I am grateful every day for who I am becoming. I am grateful every day for my husband and our son.  I am grateful every day for the people in my life who make this such a glorious ride. I am most grateful to the Master Key Experience for leading me on this path of discovery.

Do you want to look at things differently?  Enjoy change? Embrace challenges? Live in a way which allows you to become all that you want to be…and more?  Yes?  Then…enter your name and email below and I will ensure you are one of the first  offered the next Master Key opportunity (fall 2015).  Each year this becomes exponentially larger. This year we are breaking all the records.  

Do you want to be part of the 2% who do something to make a change and an even smaller % of those who will learn the “how”?   Join us on this journey and truly see, live, be everything that you imagined.  You may even decide to join Walter and I in Costa Rica!

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If you change how you look at things – the things you look at change!

To be first on the list to receive information about the NEXT Master Key Experience…before everyone else…please, sign up below. 

The choice is TOTALLY up to you!

9 Year Old’s Perspective on Bullying – DoWoo #168/365

As a parent in today’s society I find it distressing the amount of “bullying” which goes on and the number of practices are in place which address this…but to what extent?

Allow me to bring you up to speed on this.  When Gregory was a year old we placed him in a private school day care which was close to our home. When he transferred into grade 1, the same organization had a grade school located at the other end of town which ran up to grade 9 at the time. While it was the same group overseeing the 2 schools the differences were immediately noticed when it came to bullying.

images (20)Gregory was coming home, more often than not, with stories about a particular child who was aggressively acting out towards he and a number of the other children. This particular schools response was to “keep an eye out” for this particular bully but as parents we did not witness much in the way of actively  responding to the matter.

Within 2 months we made the choice to remove Gregory from this private school and place him into the local public school system.   When bullying came up again, we were impressed the school had a specific counsellor who would work with the children (on both sides) and parents of the child who was bullying were brought into the discussion almost immediately.

bullyingGregory is currently participating with a sports club who teaches kids about how to be strong and responsible without negative behaviour.  AND last Friday Gregory graduated from a Karate Kids lunch time program run through the school.  Last week when Gregory was shoved down onto the snow by one of the bullies in the school yard, and then his face was ground into the snow, Walter asked whether he used any of his Karate techniques. He was unable to defend as the perpetrator came up from behind before he knew it and “Karate is not to be used to fight” he responded.

Gregory came to us and said he understood why bullies do what they do.  He explained they are not happy, or they are angry about something, and when they bully someone, for a moment they get a feeling of happiness but then it goes away. Then they feel they have to do it again in order to get that feeling of happiness. That’s why they continue to do it. But they are just unhappy inside.

Walter piped up and said “Bullying Peptides”.

We’ve learned in the Master Key Experience that what we do by habit is feeding the peptides our body craves.  For those who are miserable, they tend to seek out what makes them miserable in order to feel that feeling they are used to – they crave the negative.  It’s like the book about quitting smoking. Smokers don’t smoke because the like to smoke, they smoke because they want to feel the non-craving feeling which they get when they smoke.

While smoking can be stopped by understanding the feeling of being a non-smoker can come from not smoking – as well as smoking…and we learn we can change our outcome by creating desire for alternate peptides….what do we do about bullies?

images (21)All I know at this moment is my kid gets it, he is a non-bully and he, and his choices in friends, stick up for each other when it happens.

The Master Key Experience is not a magic pill. It is not a self-help solution.  It is not the answer to all your prayers. However, it is what you choose to make it.   We are given the tools to look at ourselves differently, the world differently and to teach our kids how to go forward without some of the misunderstandings we may have.  I for one, am feeling truly blessed today.  

If you want to see a change…be the change. It’s totally up to you! 

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If you change how you look at things – the things you look at change!

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Suck it where? – DoWoo #162/365

Gregory received his report card today and while he does well academically, and he has some great friends, he can be overly sensitive. We’ve coached him in a variety of ways over the years trying to get him to recognize there is a time and place for being upset and when you tie that into the “boy who cried wolf” lesson, we had hoped by now he would have figured it out.  Not so much! 

images (19)When Gregory was little, and he did a “wah wah” about a small bump or someone not wanting to play with him, we gave him the “wah wah finger” which basically is your pointing finger making funny twisty, turny, pokey, bendy movements in their general direction while asking him if he needs to have the wah wah finger tickle him?   It always made him laugh, the moment of distress would be gone and he would completely move on within a few minutes.  

As Gregory has gotten older this tactic no longer seemed to work.  We tried a variety of different solutions but none have seemed to work.  I became a bit perplexed the other day and rather than try to sugar coat it or logi-size it, I decided to be blunt. The next time he did the “wah way” I told him he needed to “suck it up”.  I then had to explain what this meant. 

images (18)So when something is not going the way you expected, or people are not treating you the way you would treat them, or you fall down and bump something (but you aren’t bleeding), then you take a deep breath, realize that crying and feeling sad are not going to change anything, so get back in the game, you continue on, you find something else to do.  Adjust to the situation, treat the person well, pick yourself up – brush yourself off – and SUCK IT UP!! 

Gregory’s report card today included comments on these areas of “wah”, aspects we had discussed throughout the school year as they arose.  Turns out he had not done much with the coaching we’d provided thus far.  

His report card requests the Student expand on two sentences: 1) My best work is; and 2) My goal for improvement is:.  


Parenthood did not come with instructions. We do what we can based upon what we know. He’s a great kid with a kind heart and an abundance of the ability to adjust.  Gracias for allowing me to share! 


Choose Happy – DoWoo #152/365

Was speaking to a colleague today about our journey – in that we have less than 145 days until we are to be living in Costa Rica. She commented that we had “balls” to make such a change and so many people would like to do what we are doing but so few actually do.  

Why is that?

Why are people not following their bliss? Living their dreams? Taking giant risks which will allow for an equal or greater return? 


I’ve always thought it was because they just didn’t have the gumption or the financial wherewithal to do so. While this may be the case, I’ve learned something even more profound – and sad at the same time – many people do not have a dream to set their sites on.  

Interestingly in typing what I just did…I recalled our “Loud Smiles” main landing page…so I flipped over and read what I wrote over 8 years ago:

Our Parents taught us the basics of life and structure of family dynamics.
School taught us to learn, apply, memorize and reiterate to obtain graduating grades.
Higher Education expanded our knowledge, the goal to provide a “career”.
Work provided compensation for our time, in exchange for vacation and benefits.


Who taught us to dream?
spacerHow to envision what we really want out of life?
spacerTo question what we plan to offer life in return?
spacerHow to make our dreams a reality?
spacerHow to ensure our kids have the chance to dream?

lucidityThis was prior to The Master Key class which expanded my thinking.  Before I understood the true power of our mind.  Prior to recognizing my world without (my external reality) is a direct reflection of my world within (my internal reality). 

I originally wrote this landing page with the intent to inspire others to think outside of their ‘proverbial’ box, keep an open mind so they too could reach their dreams – ultimately leading them to our network marketing concept. Upon reflection this evening I realize I may have wrote this for a different vehicle – the Master Key Experience.   I just did not know it at the time but it is possible the Universe conspired to provide me an opportunity to experience what I needed in order to fulfill my words – providing me with the tools to understand so I could then reach out to others, allowing them to benefit from this knowledge. 

How far back do the connections and re-directions go which created what we now have in front of us – whatever we imagined fulfilled? Was it when I was 9 and wished upon the first star at night asking for happiness? Was it when I was 14 and started to consider what I wanted to do for a living…and all I could think of was that it did not matter,as long as I was happy? Today, I am of a similar bent, and it’s still all about being happy. 

I now know – all I have to do to be happy, is choose happy!

Imagine teaching our kids that lesson now?
First…we need to embrace it ourselves. 

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If you change how you look at things – the things you look at change!

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Choose What Emotion You Attach – DoWoo #145/365

embrace-your-emotionsIn the Master Key Experience we are taught you are able to choose what emotion / feeling you attach to a thought and THEN you can choose your thoughts. While I know this in theory and I’ve seen inklings of this peeping through our lives since we immersed ourselves in this class, not until today did I really witness it, think it and feel it.

Walter is such an amazing man. That is a true shout out.  We had discussed how we would deal with the situation of either of our parents passing and while we came up with what we anticipated we would do, how we would react…you just never know till you are actually in the situation itself.   This is when your choices become your reality.  He rocked this.  He explained he is sad and recognizes he will miss her. However, he is happy she is no longer in pain and has moved on. The gathering which will happen in a few days time, to honour his mom, is a celebration of her life.  Here! Here!

We explained to Gregory this evening that his grandmother was no longer with us in her body but her spirit was free to move on.  There was a bit more discussion and then we explained it was OK to feel whatever he was feeling.  It’s all part of someone no longer being with us.  But we also explained we choose to remember all the amazing moments we spent together. We encouraged him to feel comfortable in voicing how he was feeling at any time throughout the next few days as he may experience new things and we can help him understand.

sadnessHe said that he was feeling something in his chest but not in his throat or in his tummy like when he is excited to go to school.  Then later he explained he had an all over sad feeling, still in his chest, a bit in his tummy, some in his throat and his face – not tears but dampness.

So…here is my little man who when he started having what may have been anxiety about going to school (not all of the kids are kind) we had encouraged him to label that feeling as excitement.  In referencing this body reaction and feeling and attaching a label to it of something positive rather than negative, he has adopted that understanding.  He was then able to articulate that it was different than other emotions and then when his body changed, he recognized it again.

Now some people tease me about how I try to turn phrases and situations into positive things. While I do, and I would love to encourage our son to have a similar outlook, there is a time and space for everything. And sometimes you have to feel sad in order to more thoroughly appreciate feeling happy.

This is new to us all.  We are making our way through it.  We have chosen to celebrate and rejoice and that feels good. What other option do we have?

If you are unsure of your answer. Or you believe there is an option. Or you agree with our outlook. Then the Master Key Class is something which may be of interest to you.  If you would like to receive more information on the next class, please provide your details below.  I will make sure you are one of the first in the world to know. IMAGINE being in a calmer, more kinder and gentler space for yourself.  

the master key experience

If you change how you look at things – the things you look at change!

Haanel, Picasso & Minecraft? – DoWoo #142/365

During my read of the Master Keys Week 17 (Charles Haanel) this morning the end quote struck me more than it has previously “Thought is the property of those only who can entertain it.” Ralph Waldo Emerson. 

Stay with me here! 

indy.jpegWe have recently started watching the series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.  The show follows a young Indy who experiences adventures around the world, with the current show centered around a young boy about our son’s age.  Adventures are right in line with Greg’s preferences – and as a bonus for us parents, they typically include some form of life lesson for the young viewer to learn from (which is every parent’s joy when watching a show with your impressionable child – right?).

2249290310_895d7943d7_oThe 2nd episode we watched had Indy and his friend (a young Norman Rockwell) traversing the streets of Paris during the period of Degas and Picasso.  A follower of the artist explained Picasso’s style of painting was called “Cubism” where “all form can be broken down into cubes”. Wiki references “In Cubist artwork, objects are analyzed, broken up and reassembled in an abstracted form—instead of depicting objects from one viewpoint, the artist depicts the subject from a multitude of viewpoints to represent the subject in a greater context.”

Pablo Picasso was roaming the streets of Paris during the early 20th century. Charles Haanel published The Master Key System in 1912.  Coincidence?

Master Key 17:32 “This is because the Spirit of a thing is the thing itself, the vital part of it, the real substance. The form is simply the outward manifestation of the spiritual activity within.”

Now, jump a 100 years into our current time and consider what our young men are creating with: Minecraft – a world made up of small squares – cubes – everything is cubes!   And don’t forget everything you are looking at here – on your screen – are made up of pixels – little tiny cubes. 

I wonder…what would Picasso have made of/with Minecraft? 



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Conversations with a Little Man – DoWoo #131/365

Neutral-signWas attempting to explain the word neutral to Gregory tonight. I asked him if he understood what war was. You mean the thing with the guns?  Yes. OK – so if one country chooses not to go to war and does not take sides, allowing the war to go on around them, they would consider themselves to be neutral. He clarified this by asking; You mean they did not choose the bad or the good side? I pondered this and figured this could be a good time to explain that war does not have to be about one being good and the other bad….so I responded: Well, it could be that neither side is good or bad – they just don’t see something the same way – they disagree. 

He was adamant that one side was bad and the other good and asked to explain his reasoning: He said the people on the one side think they are good and the people on the other side are bad. Then the people on the other side they think they are good and the people on the first side is bad.  So it can be both but not. 


I asked him whether he knew what this was called and he did not know.  It’s called Perspective!  

I truly love my having conversations with our little man. He does inspire so much reflection within me.  I recall when the 3 of us were in Kauai, Mark J commented that Walter and I lit up about different things: Walter about Costa Rica and me about our son Gregory. 

I understand Mark’s observation and I also observe we are interchangeable.  The same way Gregory has always mixed us up – calling one of us Daddy or Mommy – depending on what is going on….sometimes without any distinction between us until he occasionally realizes we are the other one. 

Feeling-Good-About-Yourself-Is-Essential-For-Success-And-HappinessEarlier this week Gregory was explaining a challenging thing which happened at school and how it upset him.  After getting the full story, I reminded him that only he can choose to feel bad or upset, no one else can do this to him.  He allows it to be this way.  It’s his choice.  To which he replied “That’s what Daddy said.”  

Turns out Walter and I are on the same page in yet another aspect. 

Branding & Stuffies – DoWoo #124/365

board-of-directorsWe had our Loud Smiles International BOD meeting. Gregory rolled in his desk chair from his room to our office. He came with small pieces of paper and a pen. He sat so proudly at the office desk beside  Walter all prepared to forge ahead with whatever was on the agenda.  

f196_lego_ultimate_building_set_partsFirst we explained what the purpose of the Board is – in that they determine the direction we take the business, how we do things, when we do things and where we do them.  His first question, said very seriously, was “So what exactly is Loud Smiles? Is it a restaurant? A bar? A business?” Walter explained branding – using Lego as the example.  First it was a building block toy, then it was made into games, then it was a movie…so it can be many things. 

Loud Smiles originated as the name of the piano bar Walter and I envisioned. Then we chose to call our registered business Loud Smiles International as these aspects will get us to where we have the bar.  Now it is a brand, representing our philosophy and our vision. The restaurant…well, that is something Gregory envisions for us. 

making-list-0808-lg-5041854We then made a list of things we will need to do before we can depart. Creating sections and subsections, discussing all the aspects of things we need to think about.  I showed him the various rental properties and explained the what it costs per month here to live in a house and what it will cost there to live in a house.  His eyes bugged as he has a good comprehension of money and #s (it’s his favourite subject besides art).  I also pointed out that it may not look like what we are used to here…the furniture, the walls, the kitchen…but that we will also have views which are totally different than here. 

We spoke about reducing what we have so we can travel lightly. He asked about saving stuff for his little sister…stuff he may not need anymore but that she may like.  He figures a few of his stuffies need to be saved and passed along as they cannot be replaced easily.  

Good-Attitude-Job-SearchHe listened well, raised his hand when he had something to say, added when he felt he had something to add, kept notes on what his ideas were as well as the key points he felt were of relevance and summarized these points to us at the end of our session. 

I observe: Our little man brought one key aspect to the meeting we did not ask to him to bring – a good attitude.  

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Sugar Plums with Wine? – DoWoo #123/365

37528_0652383227286 Sugar+Plums+01Was putting away the champagne and wine glasses from our New Years celebration and asked Gregory to bring them back out to the dining room so I could put them away. As they are crystal I asked him carry only two at a time.  However, as my little man loves to make music, he still managed to clink them all the way there each trip.

I explained to him my reasoning for asking him to only carry two at time and why we would prefer his caution – in that crystal glasses are more easily broken than regular glass. That’s when I remembered what else crystal glasses do that make them so unique.

They can SING!

We brought one back out to the kitchen and I filled partially with water and showed him how it sings. He then tried it himself and asked how. While I know it works – I’m not sure how – so…(you guessed it!) we “googled” it.   What we found was really cool!

The Mechanics (I had no idea – but now I do):

  • The principle at work here is a “slip-stick” form of friction. It is also called “dry-damping.” When the fingertip circles the rim of the glass, it excites the glass molecules. They follow the motion of the finger around the glass, in effect “stretching” in the direction of the moving finger. The frictional force is high as the molecules stretch.
  • The elastic forces within the glass pull the molecules back into place, but because of inertia they overshoot and go too far. At this point, the molecules are moving in the opposite direction of the finger. The frictional force is low. The stretching and returning action of the molecules becomes a cycle. An imbalance in the frictional forces is created, causing the vibration that makes the sound.
  • This illustrates the fundamental natural frequency of the glass. Different glasses have different frequencies, which depend on factors such as the size of the glass, the position of the glass and the volume of liquid in the glass.
  • Regular glass is “soft” glass. It has high internal friction (molecular) so that sound waves produce a dull sound. Crystal contains lead, which makes it “harder,” with very little internal molecular friction: molecules are freer to follow the fingertip. This creates the clearer sound in crystal.
  • Regular glass can make a rim sound, although with more difficulty, and the tone has less quality.

What was even better than the description on how and why was finding videos on people creating amazing sound using these techniques. Here’s my favourite of the day….

Just think: wine glasses + water +a wet finger + friction = beautiful ethereal music.  What else do we have so easily at our finger tips which could create something totally different than what we currently use it for?  

REMEMBER: If we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.

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Virtual Mastermind – DoWoo #121/365

Was sourcing accommodation in our preferred Norther Region of Costa Rica and came across one home which showed this quote – “Live your dream – don’t dream your life.”  How very true! 

board-of-directorsThis evening I explained to Gregory we were having a meeting of the Loud Smiles International Board of Directors and he was invited as one of the board members.  He asked me what a board of directors was. I explained these are typically the people who have a say in the direction the company is taking – they are there to discuss and agree on action, timing and overall method. We would be discussing our plans for Costa Rica and we need his input.  He is excited and wanted to know what we would be discussing and what to bring.  

I mentioned I had gone online today to look at places we may rent and even sent an email to the rental group to inquire as to pet-friendly locations.  He nodded and smiled saying of course they have to allow dogs – Mya must be with us  I second that motion!

The great news is the location we are looking around has a good number of furnished homes to rent. The views are all magnificent. I am truly realizing that what is important is not what I have placed value on. I’ve always known family is important but now that we have a time frame, I see everything differently. 

Wayne Dyer stated “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”  

images (5)I used to be a shopaholic.  Actually I still probably am, I just have something else to focus on which steers me clear from shopping for things.  Every since the foot came down and we gave ourselves the definitive date, my shopping “self-talk” is quite different.  The wonderful thing about someone who likes to shop is they can pretty well talk themselves into anything, rationalizing any purchase. Recently, I find myself asking whether I really need to have this right now or is it more of a ‘nice-to-have’?  Is this something I don’t already have anything even remotely similar?  Will I be packing it up to take it with us to Costa Rica? If the answer is not an emphatic ‘yes’ to all of the above 3 questions, I keep walking.  It’s been quite liberating. 

bill.dan.balancing.rocks2So – by changing how I look at things – now everything needs to be immediately useful, uniquely required and important enough to be taken with us when we relocate….everything I see at the store looks so completely different. AMAZING! When looking at possible accommodation there, it is completely different to how I would look at accommodation here.  I AM BLESSED!

I realize we must look at our board of directors differently too.  We will be adding depth to our meeting tomorrow – inviting 5 others to fill the red chairs above. People who have a wealth of experience. They don’t pull any punches – telling us the rock solid truth, even when we may not want to hear it.  They will not only help us attain our vision but will keep us on track. They are our Virtual Mastermind.

Childhood Recollection – DoWoo #111/365

Watched the Jim Carey version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” tonight as a family. I have fond memories of sitting on my dad’s knee, when I was about Greg’s age, to watch the original cartoon version when it came on the boob-tube!

I asked Greg at the beginning to figure out the lesson and explain at the end for us. They were at the point of singing when Greg said “It’s not about the presents, it’s about family.” How true my little man…how very true! 

Interestingly though, today Gregory asked Walter if they could go out to purchase presents.  He came back with a present for his friend, toys for his dog and a present for Walter – to which he said “Daddy said he would forget”. 

Earlier this week Gregory was going on and on about the holidays. I asked him what he liked better: Halloween or Christmas. After a few moments to ponder he answered Christmas because you only get candy at Halloween but at Christmas you get candy AND family!

This is the first year Gregory has not wanted to write a letter to Santa – and in actual fact has not brought the big guy up once.  He has however no such qualms about the tooth fairy – she still rocks when it comes to replacing his tooth with moola!   The house understanding is the cleaner the teeth then paper money but if not as clean as it could be…coin money! This past week the smallest denomination we had was $10 so we gave him $6 to have a bit of fun with him.  When he came down from his room he held out the tooney with a sad face and said this is all he got. Really? Whoa! And it looked so pristine!  How could this be?  He immediately held out his other hand with the 2 $2 coins and exclaimed he tricked us. 

By my calculations there are 20 teeth which fall out for adult replacement – so at $5 per that’s only a $100.  Much more reasonably priced then the dentist!   What do you think?

Multi-Squirreling – DoWoo #88/365

Woo Hoo DoWoo – my favourite #!  I remember seeing a cartoon on the television when I was little all about the #8.  It is my first recollection of choosing a favourite # and why.

It’s an interesting exercise in memory.  I sat here and tried to think how to search for this and what came to mind was “Conjunction Junction…what’s your function…hooking up words and phrases and clauses.”  From this I was able to find out that this series was called “Schoolhouse Rock” which allowed me to search for Schoolhouse Rock 8 and find…you guessed it!  This is what started it all!  (including my vehicle license plate 888 YOJ – joy spelled backwards!)

Carolynn Sokil 2So what does this have to do with multi-squirreling? Absolutely nothing other than being distracted in multiple ways in multiple directions was what I chose to write about and then THIS is where it all ended up. SQUIRRELED….to infinity and beyond!!

What’s your favourite # and why?

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Who’s teaching Whom? – DoWoo #78/365

I love how every day either I am able to personally observe something which resonates or if I don’t, one of my men do!  Greg talks about “dowoo-ing” regularly.  Walter is a close second. 

This evening I was just about to get on the Master Key Digital Connections call when Walter bounces into the office – literally vibrating with excitement about something. He then shares the following story. 

6e11d5fe9e6a318258292da907963c3914e40f6cHe and Greg were finishing up their dinner while I was getting ready for the call. Greg asked Walter to play Mario Kart. Walter explained that he needed to wrap everything up in the kitchen and then get on the call and…  He then looked at Gregory and said “No. We are going to go play Mario Kart.” 

Greg's PhrasesGregory put his fork down on the table, looked straight at his father and solemnly counseled. “Don’t waste your time making your life better: Use what you’ve got already.”  Walter quickly wrote it down to ensure he could share with me. 

Upon reflection he turned to Gregory and said “This is the Law of Gratitude. Do you know what it means to be grateful?” No.  So Walter went on to explain that it means to be thankful for what you have. Gregory proceeded to discuss and give personal examples of his understanding of the discussion (something we encourage him to do which has now become second nature). One example was that he does not think about having Wii-U – he has a Wii-Mini and he is grateful he has this. 

20141117_190605Gregory explained he had the definition in one of his books.  He ran upstairs and grabbed one of his Geronimo Stilton books “The Volcano of Fire” (These are just about all he reads right now and will rake leaves for hours to earn $ to purchase them.)  He flipped to page 81 where he shows his father the definition of Gratitude.  

Both are phenomenal aspects of gratitude to incorporate into one’s life.  I am personally grateful our son appreciates what he has, is able to clearly articulate this aspect of his understanding and belief system and has the ability to associate what he reads to how we are living our life with him.  

thank youWhat a beautiful way to wrap up my day.
I am grateful you stopped by and allowed me to share.  

Please remember