Round Table with Premier Christy Clark & Pamela Martin!

When I walked into Premier’s Office to attend an intimate round table discussion I saw two chairs in the hall with the word hope inscribed on the pillows in bright pink. I knew this was to be the picture for my post immediately!

Let me rewind…A couple of weeks ago I was delighted to receive a personal invitation from Pamela Martin, Director of Outreach from the Office of the Premier, asking me to join a special round table discussion. When I arrived to the Premiers office I was pleasantly surprised it was an intimate group, which translated to my voice being heard. In attendance was Pamela Martin, Premier Christy Clark, Christine Pilkington of Vancouver Mom.ca and a group of Vancouver based Mom Bloggers. My name was recommended by the lovely Christine for being someone who is actively involved in the BC Mom blogging community. I was honoured to be invited! Thank you Christine and Pamela for extending this invitation!!!

When Premier Christy Clark arrived she went slowly around the room shaking everyone’s hand and thanking each one of us personally for attending. The Premier wanted to meet with other working Moms and discuss what support we felt BC families needed from government. I think by connecting with the female blogging community the Premier is indirectly addressing the recent concern of not having a huge female following. We are a vehicle that the Premier is able to use to get her word out. We are connected by a network that extends globally! We regularly share, relate to one another, stand up for what we believe in and create change where we can. We all have a voice to be reckoned with. Brilliant strategy!

Women generally view our gender as nurturing, soft motherly types so when a women takes a position that requires strength and power, some women perceive that as hard and aggressive. Women who are willing to go head to head with our male counterparts have a confidence that not everyone is comfortable with. Mix that demeanour with politics and you get some heat. Regardless if you agree with or like Premier Christy Clark her position in government should either inspire you to join forces or stand up and oppose her, both will help facilitate or influence change. I admire any women who has the courage, confidence and perseverance to use her voice to create change whether it be in government or a community circle. You have a voice…use it!!

Down to business…

The Premier extended her concern right away in regards to the death of Amanda Todd. She has always had a strong platform against Bullying and hopes that this tragic loss can be the instigator of dramatic change in every community, helping kids feel safe at school and on the internet. She recently spoke at We Day in Vancouver and expressed her concern to thousands of young leaders all wanting to be the change. A tough task we have all been reminded of lately!

Childcare was brought up several times as it is such a difficult issue to find a resolution to. There are not enough regulated childcare services available in the city and waiting lists don’t allow part time care because of the demand for full service. The consensus was we needed more before and after school care within schools so parents didn’t have to worry about the safety of their kids. Families who required childcare were concerned about the cost taking a good portion of their wage. The Premier didn’t feel government would move toward a National Childcare Program.

Tax breaks for stay at home Moms were suggested. I joined the conversation here having been a stay at home Mom for 10 years. My family moved from the North Shore to the Fraser Valley so I could stay home with my kids and we could afford a home for our growing family. I didn’t want someone else raising my family and I wasn’t willing to miss out on milestones from working outside of my home. I made the choice to leave a career in film and television to be an at home mom. I have never regretted my choice but face a different problem now wanting to re-enter the work force. I believe kids need even more guidance as they enter into Middle and High School so my issue is finding a challenging creative job with flexible hours so I can continue to be present in my kids lives. I was given the link to Women’s Enterprise Centre which looks very helpful. Micro-loans were a suggestion by the Premier to get women back into the work force which I am a strong supporter of through Kiva.

Housing was a hot topic! The general consensus was that it was not possible for a family to buy a home in the greater Vancouver area if one parent stays home. Even with both parents working full time it was a difficult task to do anything but eat and sleep.

GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) were brought to our attention. The point was made that buying Organic was simply out of the question for most families because of the expenses. Buying local was becoming a stretch for the everyday budget as well. It doesn’t make sense with obesity growing each year that feeding kids fast food is cheaper than buying fresh healthy food. However the school systems do have a program where kids are getting fresh produce and vegetables in school at no extra cost. Labelling our food in Canada was also brought up and the importance of being able to make the choice to buy a product that is genetically modified. The Premier wasn’t concerned about GMO’s but did agree it should be our choice with proper labelling.

Exploitation of women was a topic touched on briefly because it was the passion of one of the bloggers. She felt connected to our ‘sisters’ who are not as fortunate as each of us sitting around the table with the Premier. She was a voice for formerly prostituted women and women who were in the process of exiting prostitution. Women taking care of women, regardless of where they stand in our community! I love it!

Job Sharing was also touched on. Women are wanting to be present in their kids lives but also want to work part time and find it difficult to find an employer who would allow it. I job shared in the film industry which was generally not done, but with the right employer I do believe it is possible.

Autism was also discussed, cutting programs for kids with special needs was brought to the Premiers attention and how it affects working parents. A struggle I am aware of having a friend who has been fighting that fight for many years!

Women working together finding solutions to key issues was what this discussion was all about. Having the voice of government was an added bonus, we can only hope. We banded together listening to one another brainstorming and connecting as women do.

One voice can make a difference! Whether you use your voice to inspire, provoke thought, stimulate conversation, create change, be relatable, or try to influence your government, it is your duty to stand up for what you believe in.

To conclude my post I will say that although I have never been passionate about politics I feel as though I have the desire to get more involved after this discussion. It piqued my interest and by meeting Premier Christy Clark and Pamela Martin it made me want to become more aware of what government in general is doing to make our Province and Country a more affordable place to live. By using your voice and exercising your right to vote for who you believe will move the change we need forward is a great way to be the change!

Hope…we can never give up hope, even in our government!

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.” ~ John Lennon

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.”
~ Emily Dickinson

Hope is a waking dream.” ~ Aristotle

quick tweet before the Premier arrives!

 

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The Evolution of the Butterfly ~

Hope. It allows us to stay connected to our dreams. Without dreams we have nothing. Life as we all know can get crazy which sometimes makes me question why we’re here, what’s our purpose? We are tiny little specs all moving about doing what we think is important. Are you just plodding along with the masses, going with the flow or do you question your existence? In the big picture when you look at what we are, compared to the vast Universe, does it ever make you wonder if the little things you do are making a difference?

For years I have had in-depth intellectual conversations with my Dad which always leave me intrigued and questioning pretty much everything in life. That is just who he is, a knowledge seeker, a man who wonders and questions everything. I love that he and I can sit for hours and just talk about writing, love, politics, religion, UFO’s, health, kids, art…the list is endless. I recently met another amazing man who challenges and stimulates my intellect in the very same way my Dad does. He has inspired me as a writer helping me find my flow. My ‘read-list’ is growing, there simply isn’t enough time in the day to indulge myself with everything we talk about…but I’m trying! I am grateful to have met you Kevin!

Here is an example of something he shared that really fit into how I have been feeling lately! Take a look and tell me what you think!

If you would like more information about this video with Dr Bruce Lipton renowned cellular biologist here is a great link. I don’t know about you but I want to be an Imaginal Cell!

We have the ability no matter how small we feel to make change in the world, we are all a cell in humanity!

We are all part of the evolution to where our planet is heading!

Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future And A Way To Get There From Here –

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Plastic Bird of Love

There was just the hint of a warm breeze in the late afternoon. But who could know that? Everyone had the windows of their vehicles up to block out the noise of the traffic and fumes.  And who could notice the trees gently waving to them when they were concentrating on keeping a safe distance from the car in front of them.  The traffic was stop and go; all eyes were straight ahead and glazed over.

Sherry parked her shopping cart beside her car and dug in her purse for her keys.  She noticed the traffic building up on the highway beside the mall and realized how late it was.  She pulled half the contents out of her bag but could not find her keys.  A prickle of panic was setting in when she remembered her daughter was sucking on them.  She had given them to her when she started to fuss in the check out line.

“Sweetie, I’m gonna have to take those back now.”

The baby started to cry when she gently pulled them from her.

“It’s ok, I’ll give you something better” she tried to say soothingly but it came out sounding a little short tempered.

She was so tired.  She couldn’t remember the last time she had a full nights sleep. Her nerves were frayed.

The baby cried on while she rooted through the plastic grocery bags for something brightly coloured but soft enough for her daughter to teethe on.  The only thing she could see that might work was a package of  red and gold paper napkins.

“Look! Look what mommy has for you!”  She waved the package playfully.

Her daughters little hands reached forward and as quickly as it began, the crying stopped. She gave her mother a big gummy grin.  In that moment Sherry was overwhelmed by how much love she felt for daughter; her child.  They were alone in the world, they only had each other but suddenly she knew they were going to be just fine.  Her weariness fell away and now all she felt was love.  She was so grateful for this beautiful child.

The empty plastic grocery bag she had taken the napkins out of slipped from her hand then and lifted into the air. It floated, suspended above them, swirled for a moment and then disappeared high over the trees that lined the parking lot.  The sight of it made them both giggle.

Roger waited at the light.  He was going over the conversation in his mind.  The one he wished he’d had the guts to have.  The one that went unsaid because he was afraid he’d lose his job if he spoke up.  How could he blame me for the screw up?  I was the one that caught the mistake and brought it to everyone’s attention, and yet somehow it’s my fault? What the hell is that?  I work hard for this company but no one ever mentions that do they?  I put in more hours and have more experience than most of management combined!  I’d like to see how they’d get along without me! If I didn’t show up tomorrow all hell would break loose.  They wouldn’t know what hit them.  I should just quit and see how they crumble without me.

He sighed deeply. Oh sure. Quit?  I can barely make the payments now, especially since Carol was laid off.  I have to put our kids through college and my savings are shrinking instead of growing.  Can things get any worse? His chest felt tight and he found it hard to get any air past his already loosened collar and tie.

A wispy whiteness caught his attention then.  Something was floating above and just ahead of his SUV.  As he watched the plastic bag dance in the breeze he felt a peaceful calm wash over him.  He relaxed and smiled.  He thought about his family and how much he loved them.  He thought of all the laughter they shared together.  He felt grateful for how they supported and cared for one another and suddenly all that mattered was getting home to see them again. Before the light changed green for him he caught the eye of a woman in a car adjacent to him.  The white plastic bag rolled and dipped and then dashed high above them.  It was beautiful. He saw her look up and watched her face soften and a smile begin to form just before he rolled away.

Diane was relieved to be able to stop at the light, to just sit there without having to move or think.  Today was the first day without any sedatives in her system and so she was allowed to drive.  One of her daughters had stayed after the service to watch over her, to make sure she was able to cope.  Cope. Rhymes with dope.  And hope.  She had felt doped from all the drugs the doctor prescribed to help her sleep, but hope? Well hope was more elusive to her.  She felt relieved though to be out of the house and on her own, away from the sickly scent of too many bouquets of flowers, away from the concern and sorrow in everyone’s eyes.  And relief felt better than anything else she’d felt since he died. The day he died the world had turned heavy and grey and ugly.

Relief is a step beyond sorrow, she thought.  Could the heaviness lift a little, could the world brighten one day?  She glanced to her right then and saw…him.  She gasped.  She could actually see him.  It was him…only a younger version of him.  He was sitting in an SUV and he was looking right at her.  She couldn’t breathe.  This is impossible, she thought.  Of course it can’t really be him.  She couldn’t take her eyes off him.  His features started to focus then and slowly she realized that she was mistaken.  Of course, she chastised herself; it could not have been him.  He’s gone.  He’s gone forever!

Still, she couldn’t take her eyes off of him.  He was looking up at something.  What was he looking at?  She followed his gaze.  Then she saw it too.  It was only an empty plastic bag floating above the intersection but there was something very playful about it.  It was twirling, and then collapsing down on itself as if the life had been taken out of it.  Just when she thought it would disappear under the wheels of a vehicle and be lost forever, suddenly it was flying again.  It flew with exuberance, with joy!  It was hope.  It was her hope.  I’m going to be ok, she thought.  I’m going to find joy again one day.  I will float and dance and feel love again.  One day.

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The Angel in the Clock ~

I was visiting my friend Tim via Facebook the other day and saw a post on his page with the words; The Angel in the Clock…A Fairytale about Time. How could I not click on that. Life doesn’t always give us a fairytale ending but when we do believe in childhood dreams, romance or everyday miracles of life, it gives us hope. It’s the pure innocence of believing which makes us all smile from deep within. When we stop believing in things that make our life rich and full, we stop living.

I visited The Angel in the Clock blog and loved what I read. I instantly wanted to share it on Tara Cronica. I connected with Mike Uriegas the Producer/Director and here we are! “Looking to give a stronger meaning to his work, Mike is currently developing a not-for-profit business model dedicated exclusively in sourcing funds to produce advertising for charities around the world as a mean to promote the work of thousands of people that are trying to make this world a better place.” My kinda guy!

The Angel in the Clock team is a group of outstanding, talented, passionate individuals all with a common purpose of making a difference in the lives of others. It doesn’t get much better than that!

The AngeL in the Clock

“This story follows the adventure of Amelia, an infirm girl that wants to stop time as a way to solve her delicate condition. While doing so, she meets the angel Malachi.

Malachi draws Amelia to the Fields of Time, a place beyond the mortal realm where hundreds upon hundreds of clock-castles float in the sky. In a quest to discover why time cannot be stopped, why life is worth fighting for, Amelia’s life will change forever.

A story about faith and dreams that will take your breath away.”

Enjoy the teaser…

The Angel in the Clock is a visually beautiful and audibly intriguing 4-minute animated short film promoting the cause of Childhood Cancer Canada, the country’s leading foundation dedicated to funding national research while delivering critical education, community, and connectivity programs to children with cancer and their families.

Take a moment to check out their site, you will be inspired just as I was to spread the word! It only takes one person to make a difference, it’s your turn!

The Angel in the Clock.

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What’s Happening Out There?

It seems more often than not when I watch the News I feel sad and wonder what’s happening out there? Beautiful young girls are being beaten to death in broad daylight, gang raped while others just standing by and watch, boys are bullied at school and forced to fight so some jackass can post the video on YouTube, there is political unrest around the world, and it seems innocent lives are being lost everywhere you look. Human beings are coming unglued. There are those who are creating negative behaviour and those who are reacting to it. The human race needs help and guidance desperately! Its craziness that is so disturbing at times it makes you wonder if its even safe to bring a child into this world! At times our future seems anything but bright, but I think we have to stay focused on the good that is all around us. If you look hard enough, it’s there, just hard to see some days!

When I sit and think about all the negative things going on in the world I think about what my part in all this is? Where do I fit in? What am I doing to create the change that is needed to stop the mayhem? There’s always hope, you can never give up or you lose before you even begin. Even one person can create enough change to make a difference!

When people visit Tara Cronica for the first time they often wonder what it is we’re selling. Its made me question why I’m doing this, more than once. What are we giving those who drop by for a visit? We sell our line of Jewelry and T-shirts, but the bulk of our site is our written word. What’s that worth? I use my voice because I feel passionate about sharing my life with others hoping to help in some way with theirs. I try to live by example of what you can achieve through perseverance and hard work. My hope when you leave Tara Cronica is that you don’t feel alone. There’s always someone out there who can relate. I hope to put a smile on your face, show you a different point of view and stir you somehow inside, which makes you use your voice in return. We are not just selling Jewelry and Tee’s, they have our message of Inspiration which I think is really important in the world today, you can’t put a price on Inspiration!

We created this space in the blogosphere to “Find Lyrical Beauty in Everyday Happenings” where we try to focus our attention on the upside of ‘everyday happenings’. We want you to leave inspired, so you can carry on your day and inspire others, and come back more grounded having creating positive change. We are trying to create a feeling, a warm sense of belonging, a safe place in a world that is trying desperately to change for the good. We are real women sharing real stories. We all have our own reasons for walking down this path, for me it just feels right. It’s a way of giving back, joining a social network to make my difference, as small as it may be.

I happen to think we are part of a very important movement which is picking up momentum as we speak! What’s happening in the world is not all negative, there is a lot of positive as well and that is what we are trying to share with you!

Thoughts become things….chose the good ones!

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Red Flags…Why do we ignore them?

Red flags are a warning sign that something’s just not quite right. It’s more obvious than intuition. Intuition keeps us safe (if we listen to it), red flags warn us of a situation that is about to lead us astray. Intuition we feel, red flags we see…but not always! When we do get a glimpse of that little red unsuspecting piece of cloth waving ever so delicately, we tend to turn a blind eye and forget what it stands for. Lets face it, we don’t want to see red flags because they pop our bubble, sending us spinning back to reality! We see them when we don’t listen to our intuition. We are in complete denial at that point. We’ve all seen and ignored a few red flags in our existence, I know I have.

That ominous red flag waves right behind his head but we get mesmerized by his charming smile and seductive eyes, like a dog does when it sees a squirrel, or a child by something shiny! It takes all of a minute to forget about what it stands for. Why do we do this? I’m an intelligent woman but I too have ignored a few red flags in my time! I think sometimes we are enticed by the challenge or blinded by the possibilities. I see the good in people and give them the benefit of the doubt more often than not. Gullible? I’d like to think of myself as trusting, and honest. My motto “Be honest…and hope for the best”, so far it’s working for me. You can’t be faulted for speaking the truth, think of it as character building. Or that it just feels right! (not that I haven’t told a few outright blatant lies in my time, or done a few things I am not particularly proud of (Bonnie shhhhh), I am no angel (cough *wink) but I like to think I am evolving with each life experience!) See “Be honest and hope for the best” it’s liberating really!

When you don’t know someone’s history, you’re playing Russian Roulette when it comes to red flags. I think most women need to see a few red flags in order to pay-attention to them, seeing one just doesn’t seem cut it for most of us! I apparently need to see a few! 🙂

Another reason I think women ignore red flags is because we allow our ego to get in the way of common sense. Ego is a hard thing to keep in check, especially when it comes to the opposite sex. A flash of those pearly whites over the shoulder of another woman...red flag! But he’s sooooo handsome in his uniform! Chances are it’s NOT his sister! Texting you only while he’s at work…red flag! How come it’s not as obvious in the moment, but when you look back it’s so blatant. It sucks when you come to the realization that your first impression isn’t what you thought it was because you ignored the now obvious red flags.

What you have to keep in mind is, we are only in control of our own behaviour and actions, we learn from every situation we enter (hopefully), we should never judge the path that someone else is walking, the truth will set you free (most times lol), try to find humour in everyday happenings, and timing in life is crucial!

I happened upon a site called Heartless Bitches International that has a slew of red flags under their RANTS page if anyone’s interested!

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Artist ~ Kathy Kromer

I googled ‘soulmates’ trying to find a great photo to add to a post I was writing and came across the artwork of Kathy Kromer. Kathy’s artwork spoke to me! I don’t usually do posts on art, that’s Jacquie’s expertise, but Kathy paints hearts and you all know how I feel about hearts being born on Valentine’s Day. Kathy’s use of intense colour mixed with the individual message of each piece is the perfect combination to me! If you’ve ever been in my house you know that I love art that comes with a message, maybe too much! Each room has a sort of affirmation on the wall somewhere! Freedom, Laugh, No Skinny Dipping, Inspire, Love, Life Needs More Green Lights, No Welcome Beatniks, see what I mean!

Kathy never really considered herself a born artist, art was never the driving force in her life. Kathy describes herself as entering through the door of perseverance and practise to get to where she is at today! Thank goodness for perseverance and practise! I love that, it gives me hope that if I wanted to paint I could with just that! I’m inspired! I will let Kathy’s art speak to you, visit her website too this is just a sliver of what she creates!

kathykromer.com

Where there is no Path, follow your Heart ~

Key Ingredients ~ Cherish, Romance, Desire.

Soulmates III

The Daughter ~ She is fragile. Innocence bursting with infinite possibility.

The Mother ~ She delivers life. She teaches love.

The Angel ~ She is the guardian of your soul.

Heart of a Woman ~

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Two Wolves

Happy Birthday Jacquie !

Happy Birthday Jacquie! We wish you a day filled with laughter and love with family and friends.  Well finally we three are all on even ground !!  Your such a beautiful woman inside and out who is filled with creative soul.  We celebrate you today being a unique, strong, artistic, confident women who is capable of surpassing any goal that is set before you.  You shine a light in areas of life we might not have ventured not having met you!  We love you BFF!  Happy Birthday Beautiful ! Tracy & Bonnie Muah Muah !!
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Two Wolves.

One evening an old Cherokee Chief told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority,and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Wolves 2

Tracy

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