Body-Mind-Spirit Harmony and Joy — Guest post

bird-thread_BGuiledBrenda Guiled has been a kindred spirit friend since 1995 when we started our journeys in Okinawan go-ju (hard-soft) karate. While my life journey took a different path, Brenda continued on. In 2002, she graduated to 3rd-degree black belt and soon after founded the Salt Spring Shorei-Kan dojo on Salt Spring Island, BC, continuing since then as chief instructor. Recently, I found my old belt and recalled the wisdom in the metaphor of a black belt’s transition back to white through dedication and sustained commitment. I asked Brenda to share her journey through karate and its influence in her life. May Brenda’s story nudge your curiosity to discover where your own experiences and perspectives interweave. Thank you, Brenda for your always-curious creativity.

“White Bird” (monoprint) by Brenda Guiled.
© BGuiled/

We talk about “getting it together”, to centre our life and somehow keep it that way. Big ‘somehow’!

There are reliable ways to do this and countless approaches. It comes down to one thing: bringing mind-body-spirit into such harmony and joy that it’s the normal state of being. ‘Mind’ is first in this modern-world arranging of these elements, with the body to carry it around, while the spirit is some ineffable other.   Continue reading Body-Mind-Spirit Harmony and Joy — Guest post


Ten again

Doodle_When I grow upRecently, I discovered (ahem… RE-discovered) a favourite pursuit that I’ve downplayed for way too long: doodling. Far from mindless scribbles of distraction, doodling is actually a memory-enhancer and effective tactic to pay attention.

Once upon a time, a long time ago in a distant place, I used to tell stories through drawing, cartooning, and painting. That door slowly closed over the years. I had let it.

I fully believe that who we were as children – what we created, imagined, played, questioned, and believed – are expressed in different ways when we’re adults.

The image above is one of the results from a doodling weekend: a re-expression of an earlier blog post “When I grow up…” which recounts my top four childhood dreams.

It’s funny how “growing up” can end up looking very different from what we envisioned as children. And, still, I believe we can touch base with the sandbox, playground, grassy field, climbing tree, lakeside swing rope, trail, reading nook, road hockey, barefoot runs, Lego, Play-Do, bike ramps, toy trucks, Hide-and-Seek, Kick-the-Can, campfire story, Truth-or-Dare world of our childhood.

Although still rusty, my doodling is the visual equivalent of running – it has the power to shift my perspective.

So I’ll ask again…
What were your childhood dreams? How are they manifested today?

Rev it up!

The ability to cultivate motivation in the face of personal or professional challenges reflects how we view the world and how we create our own leadership impact. It’s not always easy or straightforward.

Creating your leadership impact isn’t about conquering the world or blasting through obstacles. Your life is sculpted by variable terrain that calls for resilience, awareness, and a readiness to adapt to different opportunities.

As a motorcycle enthusiast, I often call upon the riding experience to refresh, refuel, and redefine my motivational traction when the going gets gooey. Riding a motorcycle shifts my perspective, even when I can’t actually ride. Perspective is everything. It’s clarity. It’s pure momentum that will convey you as far as you dare.

Even if you don’t ride a motorcycle, what is the experience that revs things up for you? When you re-immerse yourself in that peak experience, take another look at whatever challenge or opportunity you face.

From that peak perspective, what does that opportunity look like now?

Pick your line

Years before I learned how to ride a motorcycle, I did cross-country mountain biking. And before that, I cycled on the road. Road biking restricts you to the road (surprise!). Unless you want a flat tire or bent rims, you stay where it’s paved. It’s safer that way.

Mountain biking takes it all to a new level. Anything can be your path – logs, rocks, drops, tree roots, stream beds, trails, curbs, ditches and, yes, the occasional road. The same rock drop that screams to a road bike, “Whoa, don’t go there, can’t do that,” instead tells a mountain bike, “Come play with me!”

The same trail can yield a different ride, every time. At any given moment, you get to “pick your line” because at any given moment there are innumerable opportunities for a great ride. I’ve fallen lots of times – I have the scars to prove it and so does my bike – but then I’d ride it all again until I picked a good line.

There’s something about choosing your own life path, moving forward from a place of choices, and seeing things in new ways. Sure, you’ll make mistakes along the way. Just pick another line the next time. It’s time to play!

What “line” are you choosing today?