Thursday, June 30, 2011

Two Wolves

I heard a very interesting story a while back that really resonated with me (I first heard it on my friend Kim Weibe's yoga DVD). In my recent yoga/meditation journey, I have been able to take a step back and observe my thoughts and patterns. What I've noticed is that I have a battle going on inside my mind all the time. It's like I have a good version of myself and an evil version of myself and those entities are constantly in a war against each other. 

I thought that I was going a little crazy, but this tale put things into perspective: 

An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life...

"A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.
"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

"One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.

"The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

"This same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,
"Which wolf will win?"

The old chief simply replied,
"The one you feed."

We all have this battle going on inside our mind. Thoughts are powerful, but what I'm discovering is that they are not necessarily real. We have the ability in our lives to take a step back and choose which wolf we feed. 

I have had periods in my life where I consistently feed the good wolf and that is where my momentum, optimism and self-confidence has come from. I feel like I am on fire and I can accomplish anything I set mind to. In these times I feel completely comfortable in my own skin and I trust that I am on the right path. I walk differently, I smile more genuinely, I am more eager to help others and I feel an intense desire to give the world a giant HIGH FIVE! I am more engaging, more committed to my goals…life, in general, is a lot more enjoyable. 

I have also had periods in my life where the evil wolf takes much of my attention and it's like a downward spiral of self-doubt, negativity and judgement. I always feel so drained and negative when I obsess about ego, envy and sorrow and it often feels like I am in a deep hole that seems impossible to climb out of. I convince myself that my ideas are not worth the investment, I constantly let myself down, I feel guilty about every mis-step I make and I become obsessed with everything that's "wrong" in my life. I want to crawl in my bed and have no interaction.  

What I've learned is that at first it's very difficult to start feeding the good wolf, especially when the evil wolf has been so dominant. It can feel awkward and forced. But with consistent acts of positivity and kindness, things start to turn around. Consistent is the key word there - it's not as simple as doing it just once. Making the conscious choice to see the world through an optimistic lens every day leads to amazing opportunity and change. When you feed the good wolf, life starts to unfold in magnificent ways. 

We all have two wolves inside of us. We all experience the battle going on in our minds. A great question to ask yourself is: Which one am I feeding?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Our friends got a beautiful dog just over a year ago. His name is Patch and he rules.

Patch, Kristin and I have become quite good buddies and we often "share" him (that's code for stealing) with his owners ;)

Patch is a super well behaved Brittany Spaniel who loves to run, cuddle and chase squirrels. He brings a lot of joy to my life and I feel really blessed every time I get to hang out with him. There's just something about having a pooch around the house that makes me smile. I like being responsible for him (responsibility is one my greatest strengths according to Strengths Finder 2.0), I like having a running buddy, I love watching him slurp his water all over the place and I don't even mind picking up his poop. I think I've fallen in love a little bit…but how could you not!

"My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am."  ~Author Unknown

"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." ~Roger Caras

"The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog."  ~Ambrose Bierce

Yoga Boga - Jeff Mah is the man!

I have been pretty committed to my yoga practice this past month and I am feeling some really positive benefits stemming from that dedication. My mind seems calmer, my body is feeling fit and my awareness is heightened. I am becoming a great observer of my adventure!

One of the people who inspires me a great deal in this world is my friend and yoga teacher, Jeff Mah. He has a brilliant ability to ask questions that make you explore your world from a different perspective. Jeff shows that yoga can be playful and hardcore all at the same time. He leads a class like no one else I have ever experienced - he makes you want to peel back the layers of yourself and discover something new. Who knew that holding a wall sit for 2 minutes could be so satisfying! 

I always leave Jeff's classes feeling a deeper connection to myself and my purpose. I leave questioning my thoughts and my actions - making sure they are in line with the greatest expression of myself. I also leave feeling the burn! 

One time, while in Vancouver at an amazing Lululemon retreat, Jeff and I went for a cruiser bike ride. During the ride, we had such a rad chat. One of the questions that I brought up was, "Why do you stay in Calgary"? For those of you who have never been here, Calgary is more known for it's Oil and Gas than for it's Yogi's. Jeff thought for a second and then simply answered, "Because a city like Calgary needs people like me". He is completely in service of elevating people and his community and I love that. 

I wanted to give a shout out to Jeff today because I believe he has a very special gift - one that needs to be celebrated. Congratulations Jeff on being amazeballs! Thanks for continually helping me to turn my world upside down, inside out and backwards ;)


Monday, June 27, 2011

Olympic Heights School - Congratulations on Raising $1134.65 for Right To Play!

This morning I did a last minute school visit at Olympic Heights School in Calgary. I was filling in for my buddy, Marathon Man Martin Parnell, who had to be away. My role was to speak to the students about my experience with Right To Play and, most importantly, to congratulate them on raising $1134.65 for the organization!

I love going to schools because it always reminds me of what is possible. Imagine if every child in a school felt empowered enough to raise even $1 for an organization. And what if that child was able to inspire 10 more people around them to raise $1? All of a sudden, a school with 300 children has raised $3000! Holy smokes!

Today when I spoke to the students, I tried to articulate the message that winning gold medals and accomplishing our dreams is amazing and very worthwhile, but the only way to achieve a lasting sense of purpose, joy and happiness is to do good things for other people. Right To Play's motto is "Look After Yourself, Look After One Another". Both are important, but looking after "one another" is the only way to guarantee that positivity will grow exponentially…just like a fundraising campaign ;)

Congratulations to everyone at Olympic Heights on your amazing contribution! Let me know when your next fundraiser is - I'll definitely donate and help promote your efforts!


Students from Olympic Heights School Copyright Jen Schoenberger

A couple of students helped present the cheque for $1134.65 Copyright Jen Schoenberger


And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

- Anais Nin

Friday, June 24, 2011

Awesome Foundation

I am a trustee in a new Calgary Foundation called the Awesome Foundation. Here's how it works: We accept applications online until the 10th of each month. After all of the submissions are in, a group of 10 of us get together (well, a few more than 10 now as interest is growing!) and we each put $100 cash into a pot. We then determine our top 4 from all of that month's applications. The top 4 are invited to come and pitch their idea at the Awesome Pitch Night. At Pitch Night, they each have 90 seconds to convince us that their idea is awesome enough to be awarded the $1000 cash prize. After a Q & A and a short deliberation, we determine the winner. It's a grassroots movement to inject a little more awesome into our City and I am thrilled to be involved.


Last night was the 3rd Awesome Awards where the Calgary Circus Studio came away with the win! They are going to use the funds to aid them in the purchase of a new portable circus rig so they can share their awesomeness with as many Calgarians as possible.

I am so proud to be a part of this Foundation. I love playing a role in making great things happen. 

Check out the Awesome Foundation Calgary website for more info on applying and to learn more about us!

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame - Preview Night

Last night was the preview of the new Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. I went to the event with Kristin and we had a blast catching up with old friends and making some new ones.

I also got to sneak a peek of my exhibit - those are my shoes and singlet from Athens! I really love the determination on my face as I'm holding on to my final landing as well - that was a 'do or die' moment! 

The Hall will be officially opening on July 1st and it is located at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary. The building is absolutely stunning and huge credit goes out to the entire team who dedicated so much of themselves to meet their ambitious opening date.

I couldn't stay for too long last night as I had another event to go to, but I am going to dedicate an entire day to exploring the hall in its entirety sometime very soon!

Still really weird to think that I am a Hall of Famer ;)


ps- Being the perfectionist that I am, I wish I would have squeezed my legs together just a little bit tighter on my twist in that picture!

Optimism always trumps pessimism - Globe and Mail article

Optimism always trumps pessimism. Always.

A great article by Paul McLaughlin.

Right To Play Red Ball Golf Classic - June 23rd

Yesterday, on June 23rd, I played in the 4th Annual Red Ball Golf Classic in support of Right To Play

I emceed the morning introductions which was really fun…and I even raised $45 cash for RTP by doing a backflip! Thanks to the generous donors who helped start the day off right ;)

I played on a really fun team comprised of Gail, Ed and Sue who were representing Banff International Hotel and Ricky's All Day Grill

I had to leave half way through the day in order to get to a Hall Of Fame event, but there was plenty of laughter had in the first 9 holes. At one point, Sue and Gail were going full speed backwards down a hill in their golf cart - and Sue's biggest concern was making sure her Malbec didn't spill! It was hilarious.  

Although I'm not a golfer (AT ALL), I have been having a great time on the course this year. Yesterday, I had a couple of stellar shots that will keep me coming back for more. Funny how that works ;) My right slice is nasty though - anyone have some tips?

Thanks to everyone who was a part of the event and especially to my friend Beckie Scott for creating one of the best tournaments I have had the pleasure of playing in.

From left: Sue, Ed, myself and Gail

KSGF Raises $10,000 for Right To Play!

Me and Ashton Lawrence from RTP
As the dust settled and we were able to look at our final numbers, the Kyle Shewfelt Gymnastics Festival raised an astounding $10,000.00 for Right To Play!

Thank you to everyone who played a role in the fundraising efforts. We are super pumped to raise even more next year! 

Quick fact: It costs $50 to provide RTP programming to one child for an entire year. With this donation, the KSGF will be enriching the lives of 200 children around the world. So Awesome! 

Rihanna - LOUD Tour - Girl's got talent!

We all have a special talent that we are destined to share with the world. I like to think of them as Super Powers

On Tuesday night, I had the pleasure of attending Rihanna's LOUD Tour. It was a pretty awesome show! What struck me the most about the night was how incredibly talented she is and how genuinely happy she seems to be able to perform in front of her fans.

Life as a rock star can't be easy. You do the same show every night, in front of thousands of people, and they all are expecting you to bring the most of yourself on every occasion. It's got to be hard to maintain a sense of balance when your world is all about projecting an image and being something to everyone.

I kept thinking about Rihanna as a little girl and her dreaming of the exact scenario she now finds herself in every day. Is it everything she thought it was going to be? Is it a dream world or does she sometimes feel like she is immersed in a nightmare?

I kept imagining her day in the lead up to a show. Does she have a nap? Who takes care of her emails, phone calls and tweets? Does she get excited about each show or are there days when she is up there performing and thinking about 'that' conversation she had a few hours before? Is she fully engaged in the experience or does she sometimes slip out of it and get into her own head? Does she get nervous? 

Who teaches a celebrity how to manage all of the demands? Or, are they so protected from the "outside" world that they literally only have to think about the big picture details? How large is the team of people who supports them? Do they feel pressure to maintain their image because they have a crew of hundreds relying on them and their stardom for a paycheck?

Rihanna impressed me because she seemed thrilled to be up in front of an audience. She was having a good time! She mentioned on numerous occasions that she was very thankful to her fans for helping her live her dream. I felt the authenticity in her voice when she said it.

I am always inspired when I get to witness someone sharing their talents with the world! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Solstice

Yesterday, June 21st, marked the beginning of summer. Smile.

The weather has been a little sketchy in Calgary and the rain has been slightly depressing. I try not to be a seasonally affected person, but after a prolonged episode of torrential down pour, I tend to lose a little pep in my step.

As of yesterday, the city now has sun and warmth and it's almost as if possibilities are blossoming. The sun is inspiring, invigorating and inviting. It makes you feel alive and it makes you want to do great things! 

My summer goals -

1. I will to practice yoga minimum 4 times a week.
2. I will write my book minimum 2 hours per day.
3. I will rebrand my website.
4. I will help the Canadian men's gymnastics team improve their execution/style and enhance their mental game in the lead up to World Championships so they feel total confidence in their ability to qualify to the London Olympics.
5. I will create 5 new speaking opportunities for the fall through networking and promotion.
6. I will create 2 new clients for my performance coaching through networking and connections.
7. I will co-facilitate 2 Super Hero Strategy workshops. I will also co-create 2 more Super Hero Strategy workshop opportunities for the fall.
8. I will sign up for a new course - still investigating options. To be decided by July 10th.
9. I will go camping once.
10. I will go to the mountains for 3 hikes - minimum.

Wow - there's a lot of stuff I want to accomplish. But that's what summer does; it makes me feel invincible! If I put my mind to something when the sun is shining down, I will find a way to make it happen. 

So, what are your goals for the summer? How does your perspective change when the calendar switches over to the season of sun?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Connecting and Investing

In any profession, it's always important to connect and network with people who are doing similar things. It opens up a whole new world of possibility. Who knows who or what you might know that could elevate their situation (or vice versa).

I read in a book once (I can't remember the name, but it was by Brian Tracy) that you should invest the same amount of money in your personal and professional development per year as you do in your vehicle. Doesn't that make total sense?! I take my car in at least once a year for maintenance. It's often a nice chunk of change to get everything done, yet I don't even bat an eye when I hand over my Visa. You see, in my mind, there's no other option - I have to make the investment or my car won't run at optimum efficiency and I could be left stranded on the side of the road.

I have a different perspective when it comes to investing in my personal and professional development - one that I am looking to squash. I often hum and hah over the smallest amounts of dough being forked over. Isn't this a horrible approach? What happens when we don't stimulate our minds and fuel our ideas? What happens when we don't take care of our bodies? I'll tell ya what happens - we become slow, stale, broken and uninspired versions of ourselves. How does our brain even begin to convince us that we can do without?

Many of us have this voice inside of our mind where we can justify not spending money on ourselves. WE can go without. WE don't need it. There are things that are higher on the priority list. Blah Blah Blah. 

Personal and professional development keeps up fresh, current and able to be competitive in the marketplace. If you don't keep introducing new concepts and ideas in your field then you will eventually become bored, stale and old news. If you don't know what the trends are then you will be left in the dirt. If you don't put yourself in a position to do some deep self reflection and reconnect with who you are and what your mission is then you will start to feel lost among all the clutter. And more often than not, you can't create this learning on your own. You must seek out seminars, coaches, workshops, speakers, courses (and coffee dates) in order to advance your learning and gain some momentum.

I had a chat today with a professional coach in Calgary named Jen Lofgren and she really inspired me. She is taking total ownership of her coaching career and she is being incredibly courageous in her approach. She is starting to gain some massive momentum. I can't wait to see the impact she makes! What inspired me the most was her long list of systems and applications that she has trained in. She's taken the time to implement some really unique processes into her coaching. After the initial investment, she now has a lot of tools at her disposal and she is brilliantly armed for world domination ;) Mad props to her for being willing to take risks and see the value in personal investment.

I have been doing some research as of late about a workshop or a course that I want to take to help push me. Have you taken a course lately that has really inspired you? If yes, I would love to hear about it! I envy those who see the value in investing in themselves. I want to become that type of person - one who makes their own development a higher priority than (or atleast equal to) the upkeep of their car.


ps- I do love my car though and it runs really awesome ;) I assume because I have been treating it like gold for the past 10 years!

Monday, June 20, 2011

It don't mean a thing if you ain't got that swing!

I played in a really great golf tournament today called the Jim Kinnear Golf Classic. It was the 20th Anniversary and they have raised more than $10,000,000 for various equipment and health programs in the Calgary area. It was my first time and I'll be back next year for sure - although I have never walked 18 holes before and my feet are definitely feeling it right now!

A big congrats to Jim and his team for putting on a fun filled day and thanks for having me as a part of the action. The A team (my team) dominated - well, not the score board, but in the 'good times' department. Gentlemen, it was a pleasure!


ps- Check out the form on that swing! My goal at the beginning of every tournament is to have at least one good drive, one good fairway shot, one good chip and one good putt. Mission accomplished today - mostly thanks to good coaching!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011

All Sport One Day

Today I am participating in an awesome event called All Sport One Day. It was created by Sport Calgary and it provides an opportunity for Calgary's youth to experience a new sport for free. 

This is my 3rd year being involved and I love this event because I believe that sport plays a huge role in positively shaping lives. What makes All Sport One Day so great is that all of the participants (1500 of them this year!) get to do so for free. 

In Calgary, 7 different facilities have partnered with the event. They've graciously opened their doors and are putting on different activities through out the day. 

Check out the list of sports being offered here.

Wallyball sounds fun!!!

Congratulations to Sport Calgary and all of the partners for being committed to sport. I'm really excited about being involved!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Do you know any Super Heroes??

It is with great excitement that I announce the inaugural 'Youth Super Hero Leadership Summit' happening in Calgary at the University of Calgary from July 22nd - July 24th! My colleague, Jayson Krause, and I have created this 3 day Summit to inspire the next generation of leaders to take ownership of their excellence and to make an even bigger impact in the world. We have specifically designed the weekend to encourage lasting change and to inspire elevation. Our goal is to provide tools, support and an experience in which participants are ridiculously motivated to drive their missions to the next level.

The weekend will be filled with dynamic activities, daring challenges and intense self-reflection. X-ray vision will be placed on:

Mission (A powerful, resonating and value driven purpose)
Super Powers (unique traits that make you awesome!)
Super chargers (things that help you maintain balance)
Clutter (the things that get in your way)
Villains (The things you tell yourself that prevent you from success)
Kryptonite (Outside factors suck your energy)
Rituals (developing habits for success)
Super Structure (Putting it all together in a plan of action!)

We will also be providing (2) follow up coaching sessions for each participant to encourage continued growth after the weekend is complete.
If you are a 16-19 year old athlete, artist, academic or advocate (or know someone who is) who has a desire for greatness, then this weekend will rock your world! 

Space is limited and the Summit is filling up fast, so early registration is encouraged. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask or leave a comment and I'll get back to you ;)

More info about the weekend can be found here.

The registration package can be found here.



Wednesday, June 15, 2011


On the eve of the Stanley Cup Final, I thought that it would be appropriate to write about the intense sense of urgency that the players must be feeling.

I'll admit, I am not the biggest fan of hockey in the regular season. I find it to be slow and I tend to get frustrated knowing that the worst guys are making $700,000 a year. I go to the games because I like it when the community comes together and I also like the beer ;)

There are 2 hockey games that I love - the final game of the Stanley Cup final and the one for Olympic Gold. I love the do or die attitude. I love that everything is on the line. I love that every person feels the pressure and sense of urgency that comes when you only have one shot.

Players skate faster, goalies focus harder, fans cheer louder - every sense is heightened to the peak. Although every second in life is indeed precious, during these moments of truth we really start to notice the remarkable difference a second can make.

The video below really resonated with me. It makes me feel alive. It makes me want to be in a position where greatness is on the line. 


I wonder who will rise to occasion tonight? Who will go the extra inch? Who will push their limit a little more than the other? Who will skate harder? Who will narrow their focus more? Who's fans will cheer louder?

Like I said before, I am not a big fan of hockey. I am, however, a HUGE fan of seeing people rise to their ultimate potential and push themselves an inch past what they thought their limit was.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Switch it up!

Ever feel the need to make a change in your life? Monotony and old habits can keep us feeling stuck and stagnant. Change can present an injection of newness that makes us feel refreshed! As we grow and move forward in life, we often elevate ourselves to new levels where the 'old' no longer resonates. This is when change becomes essential. 

I, like many people, am very resistant to change. I love comfort and I love routine. Change makes me feel out of control and I hate that feeling of not knowing where to turn next. With that being said, I have always loved the growth that comes from making some changes. I like feeling like I'm moving forward and gaining momentum. I like feeling refreshed and re-energized.

Yesterday at yoga, I tried really hard to enjoy the unknown in my practice. I was trying to completely immerse myself in the now because it made the process of getting to the next pose so much more enjoyable. I didn't necessarily know what was coming next and it was almost as if the pose wasn't even a destination. The process of getting there and being immersed in the observation of change in my body and mind as I moved made the experience enjoyable. 

I think that's the key element to enjoying change - being immersed and present in the process. Then it doesn't feel like change at all; it feels more like an adventure!

I made a change to the banner on this site. I am in the midst of changing up I am changing my company name. I ordered up some new business cards. I have made some new videos to accompany my speaking engagements. I am starting up a new Super Hero Leadership Summit with my friend Jayson. I am in the midst of writing my motivational memoir…change is abundant in my professional life and surprisingly, to me, I am totally loving it. And I know it's because I am really enjoying the process.

Is there something in your life that you've been wanting to change, but have been putting off? Perhaps it's time to take a step and start immersing yourself in the adventure!