Mindfulness, Mindset, self-development

Stuck Living The Same Mediocre Day, Every Day? Get Unstuck With This Transformational Lesson from Einstein!

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.”

– Attributed to Albert Einstein

Here I am, sitting down for lunch in the Staff Room.

The Staff Room is buzzing. Buzzing with people. With conversations.

But, what I really mean by conversations… is complaints

The Staff Room is the place for venting. Apparently.

Here, staff vent about their students. They vent about coworkers. They vent about their families and home life.

I only listen.

I don’t chime in.

I don’t contribute to their complaints.

Because, I just don’t get it..

I See These People Do and Say the Same Things… Every Day…

“Why can’t Kellen just listen?! His personality is too hard to teach…”

But, have they done anything different to help this kid?

Nope.

“Mrs. Bell in the office is always ignoring me.”

Well, have they tried saying ‘Good Morning’? Or asked about her day?

Nope.

“My husband and kids drive me crazy! I’m just too tired to deal with them after work!”

But, have they scheduled any time for self care? Have they done anything proactively?

Nope.

How Can Anyone Expect Anything to Change, If They Don’t Change?

To get different results, we need to do something different.

We can’t rely on our current habits and conversations if we are expecting different results.

Same goes with the staff room table… No one benefits from engaging in the same complaints day after day. And no one has taken any step to change their outcomes.

So… How can they expect the next day to be any different?

What Are Your Goals?

Do you want to have better days at work? Do you want to be happier? Do you want to be healthier? Do you want to make more money?

Whatever your goals, wishes, or dreams are…

Ask yourself:

Do Your Habits Match Your Goals?

Chances are, if you’re stuck in the same cycle of complaints, then they don’t.

You’ve been doing the same thing each day.

Same habits, same you.

Things will never change.

If You Want REAL CHANGE, You Need To Be The Change!

You want less stressful days at work?

Can you change something about your day? Or… go out on a limb and change careers entirely!

You want to be happier?

Can you start looking for joy in each day? Can you start practicing gratitude?

You want to be healthier?

Can you make a step towards healthier habits? Can you eat more vegetables? Or find ways to move your body daily?

You can.

You just need to align your habits – what you say and do – with your goals.

To experience external change, you need to tackle internal change.

Be the change. See the change.

With love,

Miss T.

Education, Mindfulness, Mindset, self-development

How To Learn A Language With Mindfulness In Mind!

I want to share something personal with you all… 

I Struggle With Regrets – Like Anyone.

There’s one thing in particular that has been weighing me down…

It’s that I can’t speak Spanish

Even after 6+ years in grade school taking the language and being part of a Spanish family, I still can’t speak it fluently. Most definitely not comfortably.

Here’s the thing…

My Mom Is From Chile In South America.
My Dad, On The Other Hand, Is Canadian. 

We never spoke the language at home while I was growing up. Except for a few key words like “hola” and “ciao”.

While all my cousins were busy picking up the language that was being spoken around them, I couldn’t put together a single sentence. I couldn’t even have a conversation with my grandparents…

This Past Fall, My Grandfather Suffered a Stroke.

He wasn’t able to recover. 

Just before Christmas, he passed away

My Grandpa – We called him Papi, my Mother and I as a baby!

I thought long and hard about how my entire life I never had a full conversation with him – not unless someone translated for us.

I wish the language had stuck. I wish I could’ve had a real conversation with him.

Because He Had One Heck Of A Story To Tell…

During the 1970’s, Chile was anything but a peaceful place.

The military overthrew the Popular Unity government of President Salvador Allende. This was the start of military rule in the country.

Many Chilean citizens like my Grandfather, supported the efforts of President Salvador Allende. He brought civilian rule, stability and peace to the country.

But all of that ended in 1973 when President Allende was killed and the General of the Military Coup took over.

Dictatorship reigned…

It became illegal to show any support for the old government.

And my grandfather… 

Well… He was an activist who supported the old government. 

My Grandparents together back in Chile
My Grandmother – My Mami – in the middle with all of her daughters – My Tia’s – around her

The military dictatorship would raid homes and look for signs of support.

They found my grandfather. 

He was taken away. He became a prisoner of this war.

I wish I could have asked him about it. I wish I could have gotten more details.

Although, even if I spoke Spanish, I don’t know that he would have been able to tell me everything without crying.

He disappeared for some time… 

And when he returned to his family, they (along with other families who supported the old government) fled to Argentina. 

But in Argentina, things weren’t any easier.

Homes were raided again and again by the military in search of supporters of the old government.

My mom, who was only 5 at the time, tells me how she remembers being forced out of their little temporary home and shuffled down the stairs with her 7 siblings. They would all wait until the search was over and they could return up the stairs.  

I was told that my grandpa carried a picture of the old president and hid it while in Argentina. Luckily, they never found it.

Eventually, my family was able to leave the war-ridden land in search of a new home.

This picture was taken in Winnipeg, Manitoba when my Grandparents and their family first landed in Canada

A New Home In Canada.

A friend of mine in university once wrote a paper on my grandfather. She interviewed him about his time as a prisoner in Chile. 

Sadly, her computer was stolen and I never got the chance to read all that he said.

Another reason this regret of not learning Spanish hung heavily on my shoulders.

But…

This Blog Post Is Not About Regret.

It’s about REFLECTING and LEARNING!

After all this, I realized… I still have one grandparent left – My beautiful Abuela. 

And she has her own story to tell.

I decided that I didn’t want a language barrier to be the reason my grandmother could not tell me her story either.

So…

I Took Action! 

I made the decision to learn Spanish (finally)! For my grandmother and my grandfather.

And… I used the practice of Mindfulness to help me shift into a growth mindset to learn this new language!

My Grandparents and my Parents at my Baptism when I was only a few months old!

Here’s how I’ve been learning Spanish with the help of Mindfulness:

1. Find Calm:

My first step in moving forward in my Spanish journey was to practice forgiveness. I had to forgive myself for not learning Spanish earlier. I had to let go of the past and move forward with the present. I had to find my calm and not let the past control my future. It all began with that mindset shift. To reflect and learn from my mistakes. And to remind myself that it’s never too late to learn something new. 

2. Get Curious:

To learn from my past self and move forward, I had to ask myself a few questions. Questions like “Why hadn’t I been able to retain the language before?” “What can I do differently this time around?” “What can I use to motivate myself?” 

Upon reflecting, I noticed that when I tried to learn Spanish before, it was as an adolescent. I was a kid who didn’t care and a kid who was not self-aware. I’ve changed since then and so has my motivation to learn Spanish. I was able to use these questions to nail down my WHY and HOW I wanted to proceed.

3. Make Connections:

Since I did have some experience being around the Spanish language, I could understand it slightly (only if someone spoke REALLY slowly), but I couldn’t speak it. I knew, to get better at speaking the language, I had to practice speaking the language. 

I made plans to connect with family members and friends where we could have real conversations in Spanish. I even got myself a few penpals, young cousins of mine, who’d help me practice my written Spanish! I am grateful for my family’s patience with me.

4. Get Creative:

Since I was no longer in school, and didn’t have a dedicated time and class to attend Spanish, I had to figure out my own schedule to practice. I had to get creative!! And because speaking is much harder for me, I knew I had to practice any chance I got! 

I live about an hour from most of my Spanish family and being with them all the time is not ideal. 

So… this meant I started speaking to my boyfriend in Spanish (who is definitely NOT Spanish), I started speaking to my pets and even shared some of my thoughts out loud in Spanish. I realize I looked pretty crazy some days, but you gotta do what you gotta do!

5. Make a Commitment:

The final step was to make a commitment. To myself. To this life-long journey. And to not get discouraged when the going gets tough. 

To make this commitment manageable, I broke down my commitments into small attainable goals. Goals that I could work towards every day. I adopted this practice of ‘Kaizen’ (a Japanese word that means continuous improvement through small, incremental steps). I committed to practicing 15 minutes of Spanish everyday through the Duolingo app. This was manageable. This has been something I’ve been able to commit to. 

I also made the commitment to visit my Spanish family more. To speak with them more. I used to be embarrassed to visit them… Because I couldn’t really speak to them. But not anymore. Now, I CHOOSE to visit them to learn from them. Now, I feel like I belong.


Is There Something You’ve Been Wanting To Learn,
But Something Has Been Holding You Back?

Maybe it’s a language too, or maybe you want to learn how to cook. Or maybe you’ve been waiting years to finally pick up that old guitar and learn how to play it.

Whatever your challenge is, I hope you can use this story as inspiration to push through those obstacles. 

To use the power of Mindfulness to move forward in your learning and growth.

With love,

Cassandra (a.k.a Miss T)


Mindset, self-development

Why Are You Wasting Time and Energy  Dealing With The Same Problems Again and Again? Break The Cycle With this Essential Problem Solving Strategy!

Are you struggling with the same recurring problems in your life?

Tired of wasting time, coming back to the same issue again and again…?

Are you the type of person who deals with issues as they come up?

You like bandaid solutions. You put out fires with a quick fix. And you continue on with your day.

The thing is, you can’t bandage a wound that needs stitches…

Eventually, the issue comes back.

You end up wasting more time and more energy on the same task.

Over and over again…

Quick fixes end up being more time consuming.

Is this really the best use of your time?

Well, what if I told you that you can solve a problem once,
Without the chance of it reoccurring?

It’s possible if we can understand the value and adopt the concept of…

“Upstream.”

You might be wondering… “Does it involve swimming…? Because I am not a fish…”

It’s nothing like that at all!

So What Is Upstreaming?

Upstreaming is a concept I learned about in the book ‘Upstream: The Quest to Solving Problems Before They Happen’ by Dan Health.

The author, Mr. Health, explains how we, as humans, have become reactive to problems that come up in our lives. We often get stuck in this cycle of response.

Problem comes up… We respond.

Problem comes up a second time… We respond again.

What we don’t normally do is think about how we can prevent that problem from taking place again.

Look For Patterns

It’s up to us to analyze these patterns of problems in our own lives. As small or big as they may be.

It doesn’t matter the size of the problem. What matters is that you become aware of the problem…

Once you are aware, you can ask yourself this essential question:

“How can I upstream this?”

Or, “What can I do to prevent this problem from returning?”

This question makes all the difference.

You go from responding to problems…

… To preventing them!

Which means you’ll gain back time to focus your energy on other areas of your life!

Don’t waste time and energy solving the same issue time and time again..

Think ‘Upstream!’

With love,

Miss T.


Education, Kids, Mindfulness, Mindset, self-development

Tim Ferriss or Eckhart Tolle? How About Neither! Why Picture Books Are The Best Form of Self-Education.

Self-Education – My favourite kind of education!

If you’re like me, you turn to a good book when you’re looking for answers.

We reach for the newest Self-Development, Spirituality, Finance or Business book on the shelf. Then, down it like a glass of ice-cold water on a hot day.

Books like:

  • The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
  • Daring Greatly by Dr. Brene Brown
  • The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
  • Or the classic: Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill

I’ve read all of these books.

I learned something from each of them.

But let me tell you, none of these books were as impactful as the children’s picture books I’ve read…

Picture Books For Adults.

While picture books are written to entertain children, I am convinced that they are actually designed for adults.

The lessons to be learned in a good picture book are just as important for us to digest.

Why?

The thing is, adults get corrupted by life. We get lost along the way.

We have busy lives, stressful jobs, and needy families.

The magic of simplicity and childhood gets tossed aside.

Forgotten.

We only have time to focus on the “grown up” stuff.

We forget to nourish our inner-child.

Picture Books Pack a Punch.

All it takes is a 5 minute picture book to get whacked in the face with a heart-warming lesson. It hits us right in the feels

We learn about life. We learn about ourselves.

They make us think:

“Oh right… that IS important… I should value that more…I should make more time for that…”

They bring us back to our inner-child.

Our Brains Love Stories.

A human’s brain is wired to digest and break down stories.

We analyze them and search for the meaning behind them.

Kids’ brains do this. Adults’ brains do too.

Think about it…

The hieroglyphics in Ancient Egypt…

… Drawn-out stories!

The tales from Indigenous groups…

… More stories!

Classic moral-inducing fables…

…. All stories!

Stories Are Human Nature.

It’s how we make sense of the world.

So, the next time you’re reaching for the newest self-development or non-fiction book… I challenge you instead… to grab a picture book!

You never know what lessons you’ll find…

Or what lesson will find you!

With love,

Miss T.


Mindful Miss T’s Recommendation of the Day!

Maybe

By Kobi Yamada

A BEAUTIFUL picture book (That I am convinced is written for adults too!) about the endless potential in us all.

I received this book as a birthday gift last week and it reminded me of my purpose and reason for being here on this Earth. It reminded me that everyone has their own purpose. That everyone is here for a reason. Whatever that reason may be. And it is up to us to share our purpose with those around us. That WE are capable of anything.