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My Top Five list of songs that will make you feel ALIVE!!

Wed, 07 Oct 2015 10:34:28

by Marika Siewert


So as a musician myself, I’m huge on what kind of information you’re putting in your brain and in your soul. Music is a big part of my life, so I make sure I’m surrounding myself with positive and inspiring music to help me in my day to day. Here’s a list of my top 5 songs right now that will inspire you to live your best life!!


Whether you take them to the gym, listen while making breakfast, blast it while taking a shower, or simply singing as loud as you can at the top of your lungs in your car on the way to work, play these songs loud, believe the message in them with all your heart, and carry on living your best life!


Rachel Platten - Fight Song
https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=8&v=xo1VInw-SKc

Tori Kelly - Unbreakable Smile
https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=3&v=CVOvhKCYKAc

Amanda Cook - You Make Me Brave
https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=1&v=6Hi-VMxT6fc

The Script - Hall of Fame
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwpS7mq6QvU

RedLight King - Born To Rise
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIsomh4L-bo

Mandisa - Overcomer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8VoUYtx0kw

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Fri, 02 Oct 2015 16:49:41

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By Marika Siewert

I love to laugh. It’s something I’ve loved to do since i was a kid. And really, who doesn’t love to laugh?

It is a well know fact and statistic that adults are laughing a lot less these days.  With so much going on in the world, the pressures of life, bills to be paid, children to raise, and then some, adults are getting so busy with their schedule, that we are not taking the time out to simply, have joy.

In my own experience I actually had to learn to laugh again the hard way, but I’m sure glad I found my way back. Just after one of the hardest years of my life, I was asked to take part in filming a tv show and participate in helping the life of someone else. We had to simply observe them for a week, and then had to give input into a life changing decision. In my case, we were having to help a single mother decide if she should homeschool her 5 year old boy, or if she should send him to school. It was quite ironic as I was dealing with much of the same thing. Anyway, aside from the weird experience I had doing that, I met some really great people in the process and I ended up meeting a former psychiatric nurse turned Laughter wellness facilitator and Comedy coach. Well, I had never heard of any one being a comedy coach before! It was a divine time for me, because we got to spend a lot of time together. After that season of filming, I had decided that I would do something I’d never done before and take her class. I did. It was several weeks of learning how to do stand up comedy. I really took the class to laugh at everyone else, not be a comic myself! What it turned out to be was therapy for me. To forget for a moment life’s worries, to move forward from a lot of hurt, bitterness, failure from the past, realize I could just enjoy my moments more, and really be confident in who I was, and laugh ALOT!!

I met good people there too who are still friends today. We cheer each other on in our careers, and they still bring me lots of joy and laughter. One thing I loved about my family life was that my Dad knew how to forget about life’s concerns for the moment and he’d take the time to laugh with us. To this day he has an extensive collection of comedy tv show and movies from my childhood, and I can feel myself light up every time I see his collection of my old favourites on his DVD shelf. My most personal favourites were the movies that feature the famous duo of Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. Just good old fashioned talent and comedy.

Laughter helps your mood, your mind, your soul. It allows us to take a break and enjoy the good things. It allows us to remember that we all have joy within us, and ahead of us, and no matter what you go through in life, everything turns out for good. Laughter in many senses can make us well again. Just so you can experience a part of what Im talking about, I’ve attached two video of my experiences. The first is my actual very first comedy showcase ever, and the second is a video ( taken by an audience member ) of a speech I did on “Learning to laugh again! “ Enjoy!

Marika Siewert - Lafflines Comedy Performance
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T–5XrwtRw

Marika Siewert - Learning to Laugh again:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=29&v=-TCZTVIYplQ

Being Available for Your Teens

Fri, 25 Sep 2015 18:50:42

By Marika Siewert

Many parents of young children know that we are constantly bombarded with messages of how important and crucial the first 5 years of a child’s life are, but something I learned a few years ago ( from the experience of a friend ) taught me that being present through the teens years can be just as - if not - perhaps even more important in our children’s lives.

Many changes happen from birth to year 5 before they enter kindergarten. A nurturing environment is important, parent/child interaction, healthy nutrition, character development and discipline are important, as well as staying away from screen time for their brain development. It is in these years that children learn their spoken language, learn how to be part of a family unit and they will also begin their drawing skills which in turn prepare them for writing. Some even begin to learn to read. Basic life skills are taught within these vital early years.

The countless parental guidance books one can read, or conversations parents will have with their peers allow them to recognize that most are in agreement of these truths.

Once the path to school as begun, we as parents then learn to trust a majority of the children’s education to teachers and counsellors often within the school system. As parents, we are told it is time to let go a little and let our children learn to grow up and begin to form their own individual paths.

Now, while I agree with the importance of being present in the early years, one thing I learned through the wisdom of a friend is that while the early years are important, what potentially could be even more vital that is not stressed as much in society today is actually being ever present and available for your teenagers. From my friend’s life experience she made it clear that when your child becomes a teenager, we as parents are often convinced and even encouraged to let our teens figure out life on their own or with their peers, when in fact, what they need is for their parents to stay close, to be available to guide through what can be the most tumultuous time in a person’s life.

I, for one am finding that what society is dictating to our teenagers is actually becoming very toxic, and we as adults step up to the plate to navigate our teens to ensure a positive and confident future for them.
In the midst of negative stigmas, targeted money marketing, cyber bullying, cyber crimes and in general having a generation that has grown up with instant everything, we need to get back to foundational skills of life, as well as just having old school face to face conversations.

I am a huge advocate for real life face time. Our teenagers know they can trust us as parents to listen, not judge, guide and also at times, let go. But we also need to teach our teens character, integrity, the goodness of working hard and being independent and not giving in to what media is dictating as truth.

Here are 5 ways you can connect more with you teens:
1. Go on specific “ dates “ to just have fun one on one, or go to dinner. This serves two purposes: 1. To connect and have real conversation that keeps communication always open for trust and advice. 2. It teaches the teen how to treat themselves and possibly a future relationship. It teaches generosity of time, possibly resources, compassion, listening skills, and communication skills (which are being taken award from our teens because of social media and texting). It really is rewarding one a whole for both the parent/guardian and teen.

2. Begin to teach money management - whether your teen works in your house, or works outside, guide him/her in how to save and invest. If you aren’t that great with you money, that’s ok - learn together. I highly recommend Dave Ramsey’s course - Financial Peace University. It is a process that allows more independence even financially for your teen, but again shows he can be trusted with money.

3. Volunteer together - as a family, volunteer or take part in community events. This creates a great habit of giving back and compassion towards people of all ages, status and walks of life.

4. Set aside family time at least once a week that is purposely for the whole family to get together.

5. Go on family vacations. As our teens get older there is a tendency to “leave the older teen at home” but stress the importance of family time. Or, make your vacations more fun so that they want to come!! Haha. Make it purposeful to plan times to vacate to connect. These memories will stay with your teens for life, and it will also show them the power of connecting and playing together at any age.

We are always learning as we go, but I hope these suggestions encourage you!

Happy teenage parenting!

Book Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese art of decluttering and organizing - Marie Kondo

Wed, 16 Sep 2015 19:19:02

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by Marika Siewert

I recently discovered this book and it has literally changed my life! In this day and age, having maximum physical, emotional, spiritual & mental wellness is at the forefront of my mind, and I never knew such wellness could come with the power of tidying up.  And it’s not just tidying up - it’s the power of de-cluttering!


Many of us live such chaotic lives outside the home, that all we desire is to come home and have peace and relaxation, but some never find it. Could it be that our homes are filled with things that have taken up so much of our hard earned money, are cluttering our minds, taking up our space, and in turn, are taking the time away from us doing the things we love most?


In Marie’s book, she has generously shared her wisdom of taking control of our spaces to allow us to live well, and live simple.  It is a tool book for a dramatic lifestyle change in which she guides the reader to discard first, and then organize. It is a simple mantra of taking each single thing in your household and asking yourself “does this bring me joy?” It is actually amazing how many things we hold in our spaces that do not actually bring any meaning to our lives, but have been accumulated over time without any thought. What can be somewhat of an awakening is realizing how much money we have spent on “stuff” and not on our dreams or the life we have wanted to live.


In my own personal experience, decluttering my life meant also making new goals.  Having a now decluttered home, I was tidying up less because everything had a place, and it left me more time to work on short term goals and long terms dreams. So much of my life was taken up on trying to organize my household of five, that I had pushed the important things to the back of my mind. Now, my kids get the time they need, I get time to focus on my own wellness, my husband and I can thrive in our marriage because we are spending our time just being together. It is very freeing.


I want to encourage you to pick up this book! Take the time to focus on your space.  If you need a reset of your life, Marie Kondo gives you step by step instructions on how to do it. At first is does take time as you discover you have more “stuff” than you knew about, but in the long term it is more than worth it.

To all the single ladies…

Thu, 10 Sep 2015 11:37:47

By Marika Siewert

You are beautiful, you are intelligent, and you don’t need to settle. In my young years I’ve seen too many of my friends rush into relationships and marriages that have not ended well. There are many reasons why people find themselves in the wrong relationships, but mostly I think it is because we may be afraid of being alone. The thing is, who said there was anything wrong with being alone?  From someone who got married quite young (I was 21), I have to say, that it was definitely a divine thing for me. I was not marriage material at all. I had no desire to be married, and was completely content to be single till at least I was 35, travel, go after my career, and only then after all that, maybe find someone that I think could fit, and maybe - but not totally sure - have a couple kids. My life looks a lot different than that for sure. I am 13 years married, with 3 amazing world changing kids, but I think it’s in part because I married a man, who believed in every part of who I am and who I wanted to be. For me, (well I’m a bit of an introvert), therefore most of my conversations consist of “What’s your big dream, and your goals for life? Who do you see yourself like in 10 years, what are your values? "Deep right? No time for messing around, even from the time I was 16 years old. I’m kind of an old soul. So I am happy to report that although my plan changed drastically, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. And - I do have to say, I knew exactly who I was when I was 21 in terms of my values and my goals, and even that hasn’t changed that much. I wanted to be a musician, who empowered women, brought positive images of women in the music industry, as well as made great music with lyrics that inspired, and I’m still doing that today, while helping others do it too. I am surrounded by many friends who are single, on their paths, and feel the need to be married to be validated so they end up feeling very unsatisfied and sad. I just want to tell all the single ladies out there just to chill-ax! Forget about biological clocks, timelines, feeling like the third or sixth wheel. You have a purpose as a single lady, and if you have a desire to be married, the time will come. But till then, take the time to really just be all bout you! Women often end up taking care of everybody else, especially when it comes to marriage and family. Friends of ours who work in third world countries have told us that if you teach and educate the men, they will grow their businesses and take care of themselves, but often times when they teach and educate the women, they transform their entire village. Its not sexist, it’s just how it is. So my female friends, take the time to nurture yourself, your body mind and spirit. Be the best you, take yoga, find great hobbies, serve the community and enjoy your own life. Ask real questions in all your relationships and never settle in those you keep close. You are powerful powerful people, and enjoy the singleness while you can, because when it’s gone, it’s gone and that's a whole different season!

Your Journey Is Your Own

Thu, 03 Sep 2015 11:27:01

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by Marika Siewert

“Comparison is the thief of joy” - Theodore Roosevelt

Our journey is our own. No one else. You were created for something that is completely different than anyone else. It may look similar to someone else’s journey, but it’s never the same.  Comparison can often stifle us, or even stop us from moving forward. Whether it be in creating our dream careers or going after a promotion, or even being great parents and human beings. I often joke that people simply see my “highlight reel” on my Facebook of everything going on in my life. I just choose to only post the highlights. I don’t use social media as an outlet for all things difficult and hard. I have friends and family that I trust to unload on, and love me no matter what. On Facebook, you only get half the facts, and yet people are definitely quick to form an opinion on that. It’s also online, that we formulate our opinions of our looks, our intelligence, our gumption. However, and I am guilty of this too, we must not compare our journey. As hard as it may seem, no journey looks the same. Again, you can have a similar path, but the timing may be different, or the resources may come from a different angle. When we trust in the process, we enjoy the whole season, and we can also celebrate more, because it’s really not about the end result. The end result is definitely a highlight and and a life marker, but we will stay more sane, more rested, and more at peace with ourselves and the path if we stay true to who we are. A few years ago as an artist I was asked to compromise some things in order to launch a music video. I ended up saying no, and eventually left the team I was working with. I watch as they promoted a younger, sexier version of a girl who really was just their puppet, and as her fame and profile grew, I was left hurt, discouraged and not sure I'd ever make music again. Something that I loved, I hated because of people who seemed to dictate what the industry was supposed to be like. I could have stayed in that sad place, and watched as everyone else reached their success, but with the help of a faithful God, and incredible family and friends, I got up, moved on and have seen some of the biggest successes of my life including a Pop album of the year win last year. What got me off track was looking at all my friends and their success and wanting what they had, without realizing my own journey and values. Being integral with my family by my side loving music. It’s definitely a day to day journey, but I think as an artist, it can be a battle of emotions most days. The key, is determine my own path, doing what I set out to do, and doing it with excellence. All this, and I get to bring along my husband and kids too. My journey is going to look very different and that’s ok. And it’s the same for you. I am blessed that I valued marriage and kids amongst the radio singles and music industry drama. They are my adventure, and we’ve been able to do tv shows together, be on set together and they all were even a part of my music video I filmed this past Christmas which was a huge highlight of my career. In the same way, you can also formulate your own way. There is a saying a friend of mine says “Love everyone, partner with few”. We can love everyone, but bring along the people that really believe as well as those that you trust to get you back to your feet when trouble comes. They are all part of the story. You’re definitely entitled to down days, as going after the life you want isn’t necessarily easy, but keep the wallowing time short, and keep moving forward.

The Importance of a Hobby

Thu, 27 Aug 2015 13:41:14

By Marika Siewert

Whether it be fishing, art, pottery, gardening, singing, dancing, being a foodie, blogging, wine tasting :), hobbies keep our minds fresh with fun, something we love, and something we do, just because we love it. Now I know people do have jobs and careers that are really fun, but I still believe there is room for getting outside of that, even in the sense of how it relates to the other relationships we have around us. Not every one is going to be interested in the career we choose, but we can develop great friendships with people who have similar interests that in turn builds a new community and connection of common passions. Take for instance joining a gym, or beach volleyball team.  People come together from all walks of life to do something they love. You never know who you may meet and where that will take you, whether it be a new dinner buddy, or perhaps you find that you have similar goals and end up encouraging one another to reach them. Regardless of what it is, hobbies bring people together, and it’s a great outlet to just get out and meet new people. In a world where our community is very much online, we need to be proactive about getting ourselves outside, and being present in real life. If you can’t think of a hobby, just make a list of things you’ve never done, and try doing one new activity a week. You will narrow down what you like and what you don’t, and you’ll be on your way to even trying things you never thought you would! I know many people who have loved their hobby so much, that it even turned into a full time career for them. I have a friend who became a new dad and wanted to stay him more with his kids as opposed to being overloaded in the business world, and so he started a blog specifically for Dads. He now lives and works as a full time blogger, test driving new cars for a living, eating in great restaurants with his family for free, trying new products, as well as creating communitites of Dads, encouraging one another to be the best he can be. Another friend, she makes cookies, and has turned it into a full fledged business because friends just started asking her to make them for their parties. She now is so booked that she takes orders two months in advance. The possibilities are endless!

Yoga Breathing Techniques (Beginners)

Tue, 28 Jul 2015 13:38:11

camspecialistsconnect:

By Talayna Tremblay

image

I have recently been re-inspired to practice more yoga! I am usually a ‘yoga once a week’ kind of person but lately I’ve gotten caught up in my fast-paced life and forgot to value the practice. Yoga is great for the body, mind and spirit; it allows you to feel the connection between the three and live a more balanced and peaceful life. Breathing technique has always been a confusing challenge for me (it could be because I don’t go to a yoga class with a live instructor, but usually do it myself at home with a youtube video). I started looking at different online sources to see what tips they could offer me as I continue my passion for peace within. If you are like me and struggle with the proper yogi breathing techniques, here’s what I found that could help.

Firstly, there are many breathing techniques used in yoga, but there a few simple techniques that beginners can practice throughout the entire day that could supplement you in your quest to yogi-dom:

1. Breathing Awareness

  • This technique teaches you how to breath consciously and effectively
  • It calms and quiets your entire body
  • To practise:
    1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor
    2. Place one hand on your stomach and notice the quality and pattern of your breath 
    3. Gradually slow your breathing so it is relaxed and smooth
    4. Try a momentary pause after each inhale and exhale
    5. Notice the movement of your hand on your stomach as it gently flows up and down
    6. Gently try to contract your abdomen while exhaling, facilitating the natural contraction of your diaphragm 
    7. Continue for 6-12 breaths

2. Sitali or Sitkari Pranayama: the cooling breath

  • For Sitali, you must be able to curl your tongue so that it resembles a straw, but since this ability is genetic, not everyone can do this
  • if you are unable do this, you can try Sitkari Pranayama
  • Both techniques decrease anger, agitation, anxiety and improve focus
  • To practise:
    • For both Sitali and Sitkari Pranayama:
      • Sit comfortably on the floor or in a chair with shoulders back, spine erect and chin slightly tilted downwards
    • Sitali:
      1. Form the straw with your tongue and stick it out of your mouth, however far is most comfortable
      2. Take a long deep inhale through your tongue and gently lift your chin as high as what’s comfortable for your neck
      3. At the end of the inhale, pause, close your mouth and exhale through your nose as you slowly lower your chin back down
      4. Repeat 8-12 breaths
    • Sitkari Pranayama
      1. Hold your mouth slightly open and keep your tongue slightly behind your upper teeth
      2. Take a long deep inhale, allowing air to pass through your teeth and over your tongue as you gently lift your chin, stopping before your neck feels uncomfortable
      3. At the end of your inhale, pause, close your mouth and exhale through your nose as you slowly lower your chin back down
      4. Repeat 8-12 breaths

3. The Long Exhale

  • Long exhale technique gradually increases the length of your exhale so that it is twice the length of your inhale
  • Reduces insomnia and anxiety
  • To practise:
    1. Lay on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor
    2. Place one hand on your abdomen
    3. Feel your abdomen raise as you inhale and fall as you exhale
    4. Begin to count the length of your breaths (seconds), noticing if your inhale is greater or lesser than your exhale
    5. Slowly adjust your breathing so that your inhale and exhale are equal
    6. Once your inhale/exhale are equal, gradually lengthen your exhale by 1-2 seconds by contracting your abdomen gently
    7. Continue to increase your exhale by 1-2 seconds, as long as your breathing is smooth and relaxed
    8. Increase your exhale until it is twice the length of your inhale, but no more
      1. for example, if your inhale is 3 sec., increase your exhale to no greater than 6 sec.
      2. NOTE: you should not feel strained or uncomfortable for breath, if you do, ease up and increase your inhale slightly
    9. Repeat 8-12 breaths

It’s always nice to end with a few normal breaths after each of these breathing techniques to further decrease stress and anxiety.
If you’re more interested in Ujjayi breath (typically used in many yoga classes by advanced yogis), Mind, Body, Green has written the how-to’s and benefits of this type of Pranayama breathing in yoga practice.

Namaste and have a wonderful day!

Source: The Yoga Journal

Family Friendly and Las Vegas - Do those phrases even go together?

Thu, 23 Jul 2015 11:50:20

By Marika Siewert

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My family and I had the privilege of attending a gifting suite for the Nickalodeon Kids Choice Awards. We had a blast promoting my newest album Unstoppable (www.marikaonline.com), as well as meeting the Nick TV and Disney Stars that we all watched from our TV. It was quite a treat. We spent a few days in Beverly Hills, and then headed off to Las Vegas for some relax time and photography time. Now, I have great memories of Las Vegas a child, because my Dad always made it an adventure, but still when we tell friends we are going there as a family, people look at us like we are strange. Yes, I am well aware of the adult content of Las Vegas, and no child should be exposed to some of what goes on there, but I have been able to see another incredible side, that our kids enjoy too. So, for those families who have been too sheepish to go, here’s some advice as well as some ideas of what to do while you are there. Also - for those parents who are medical and health practitioners who have to go on work trips, consider making it a family getaway next time and check out the sites and sounds at www.lasvegascme.com for all your booking needs.

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Here are the highlights from our trip:

1.We stayed at the Marriott Grand Chateau, which has no casino, but two beautiful pools, poolside cabanas, huge dining lobby, and kid activities. It is a block away from the main strip of Las Vegas, and very family friendly if you want to stay away from all the non family friendly things on the Strip.

2. M&M’s store. Unless you are highly allergic to chocolate, then this is definitely a must see for the family. The store is bright and colourful, you can attend the free showing of the M&M’s 3D movie and you can even make your own personally branded M&M’s. Its a pretty cool building and event for the whole family to go to.

3. Coca-Cola building. This is right next to the M&M’s store, and again is a giant megastore of all things coca-cola. For a small fee you can try coke products from all around the world, as well as have your picture taken with the Coca-Cola polar bear, and experience all the decades of Coca-Cola through the store products.

4. Fashion Show Mall. As well as the amazing shopping, every hour or so there is a full on fashion runway show right in the mall. The runway arises from out of the ground, which is a site in itself, and various stores in the mall are showcased by the professional models. It’s a great experience and completely family friendly.

5. Treasure Island & Bellagio water shows - free outside shows with adventure, music, and water. Best experienced at night!

6. Restaurants - too many to name, but some of our favourites include Gordon Ramsey’s Burgr in Planet Hollywood, Cravings all you can eat buffet at the Mirage, The Sugar Factory restaurant, and Medieval Times.

7. For shows, hands down David Copperfield is the must see show in Las Vegas - completely funny and family friendly!

For more information on conferences that take place in Las Vegas for the medical professionals check out www.lasvegascme.com

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You Can Do Anything You Want!

Wed, 22 Jul 2015 18:00:43

lasvegascme:

I watched with great interest yesterday an interview with Army Veteran, Jack Slotnick, aged 85.  Mr. Slotnick recently completed a Bachelor’s Degree from Lynn University, and is now planning to do his Master’s Degree in Psychology in order to help war veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

The world record for the oldest graduate is held by Mr. Chao Mu-he.  Mr. Mu-he graduated from the Nanhua University in Southern Taiwan.  He received his Master’s Degree in Philosophy at the age of 96 years in June 2009. 

Mr. Slotnick reminded me very much of Ms. Ernestine Shepherd, the 74 year old who is in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the oldest female bodybuilder, having started on this journey at the age of 56 (http://ernestineshepherd.net/?p=4). 

These short vignettes highlight for me that with dedication, inspiration and determination anything is achievable in life.

Don’t look at your age, or what you have or haven’t achieved, look at what you can achieve!  Have dreams and go out and make them a reality! 

The Dream Board

Fri, 17 Jul 2015 12:06:06

camspecialistsconnect:

by Marika Siewert

Have you ever put your dreams in front of you? Statistics show that people are more likely to achieve their goals if they have them written down or placed on a visual that they can see every day.  It keeps people focused, and allows them to purpose their lives, the finances and their daily decisions to meet those goals. So, do you have fitness and nutrition goals, travel goals, or career goals? As “artsy” as this may seem, even for the less inclined artists out there, there is still some sense to this. People place their dream cars, or dream houses on there, or vacations they would like to take as a family. It also allows the people around you to join the journey and perhaps even encourage and assist. I had the experience of releasing an amazing Christmas song to radio this past December, and although I could have done it all on my own, where I saw the most joy and most impact was actually involving a team of family and friends who had basically encouraged me in the whole journey. The goal was actually not to just get to radio, but it was to celebrate with the loved ones around me, which in turn made the entire experience a whole lot richer. The goal was met, but in a way that I never imagined, and the love and support around me was just so good for the soul.  From that point on, I realized how much more I need to surround myself with a great team of people who believe in me, in the crazy dreams I may have, but who also know that myself and my family are out to be world changers.  Whatever your dreams and goals may be, write them down, or make a poster, or even get the apps (they have them now you know!) Put your vision in front of you, and just watch as greatness happens!

Finding the Job we Love

Fri, 27 Feb 2015 13:43:16

by Marika Siewert

As children, we naturally dream big. We want to be astronauts, explorers, race car drivers and princesses, lawyers, teachers, doctors, artists.  

I think that as we get older, reality of especially a North American ideal sets in, and before long, we are fully integrated into a school system that teaches us that our success is measured by our grade stand point. Now, I am not against the public school system at all, but I do believe that there is definitely a lack of nurturing children who think a little, or maybe a lot outside the typical school
boxes. When kids misbehave, we prescribe them with attention fixing medication instead of addressing the thought of: maybe the child just needs to be outdoors, running, playing and being an adventurer. What if that child was made to be a race car driver, or an adventure tour guide, or an inventor? But all too often, these are the children that are labeled as “bad” students, and are made to work harder at the subjects that they aren’t “good” at, as opposed to enhancing the ones they are great at. What if we could take each child and from that young age foster their love for whatever the subject may be - art, music, medicine, teaching, even cooking, or doing taxes (we all need great accountants!). I believe we are made for a purpose and that there is always someone on the other side of that purpose. We are made to create, to think, to invent to help serve our society, and to make the world a better place. The world does not need more stressed out, heavily medicated adults. We need more joy, more love for ourselves and the jobs we choose, and more encouragement to go after our passions and find jobs and careers that suit our values and our interests. My children - after watching a documentary of the widely known animation company Pixar (Toy Story, Monsters Inc., WALL-E ) their wide eyes and excited voices came up to me as they explained a quote from one of Pixar’s directors: “Pick a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life! ”

For them, that was some great news! They received a lifetime’s worth of education in one sentence that will set them on the path of whatever they choose, whether that be teaching, art, medicine or race car driver. I think some of us could also take that advice. Our destiny is not determined by our past, but by what we decide about our future. Live happy, healthy and free to be what we determine.

Wed, 21 Jan 2015 11:11:21

Is it Food, or is it Not Food? That is the Question

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by Marika Siewert

I was noticing recently as I took my kids on a rare trip to the candy store that the candy they were eating tasted more and more like plastic than actually even sugar. Its funny as a mother I would have been happier with full on sugar in my kids mouths that day than the…

Thu, 15 Jan 2015 15:45:06

lasvegascme:

Amazing journey, wow!  Everyone should watch this!

Never, Ever Give Up. Arthur’s Inspirational Transformation! (by Diamond Dallas Page)

Thu, 15 Jan 2015 15:44:59

lasvegascme:

Ernestine Shepherd - World Record Female Bodybuilder (by healthyloverclub)

Finding your Quiet Place

Sat, 20 Dec 2014 13:02:00

by Marika Siewert

As a young child I grew up in the hustle and bustle of the busy streets of England. I loved it. Every minute of it. I enjoyed being surrounded by the noise, the buildings, the people, the dreams to be had, and I really loved traveling around as a family and on school trips to the beaches, the castles and the cathedrals. When I was 12, however, my family up and moved continents to North America. To say I was unhappy would be an understatement, but as a kid you go where your parents go. We moved to a small town that had no big buildings, with limited culture and 3 high schools to choose from (I was used to having about 50 or so choices). Although I loved being in a new country, I found that in order to stay sane I just needed one place I could go that was my own. When I turned 16 I got a car right away and I loved to drive. Sometimes I would drive just to get away, to think, to dream. And I had one spot at the highest part of the small city I lived in that I could see almost the whole city when I was up there. It was there that I talked to God, I sat in silence, and I wondered what would happen next when I graduated. It was really on that hill that I learned to dream for myself. I’m sure part of it was just because I got away from all the noise, all that I knew, and I could really just think. It was truly my happy place.

Part of living out my dream about 10 years later was moving to Vancouver. It feels a lot like England in many ways, and I love the hustle and bustle again. But I still have my 2 favourite places I go to think and dream about the next phases of my life. Also, in this day and age of too much technology, these places allow me to clear my head, be silent and still, and just listen.

However you do this - whether you take nature walks, go on hikes, or walk a seawall, or even just go for a drive, I believe we should all have a place we can “get away” to to simply put it “centre”. For our emotional and mental health we need a place to be still, breathe and focus. I would encourage everyone to find that place. It is truly a happy place for me, as cliche as that sounds, but I believe there is so much good truth to that. (My other happy place is Disneyland, but theres no room for silence there! I take my Vancouver city view of mountains and water everyday for my silent times :)

There is definitely something about finding that space outside and in nature as well. I know there is lots of research out there about becoming close in nature, but for me I just believe in brings us closer to the Creator of it all. One who gives us hope, joy and ultimately love. It’s a great place to be!

Thu, 04 Sep 2014 14:38:32

Friendship is Magic!

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by Marika Siewert

A good friend of mine is the composer for the kids tv show “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic”. As much as kid shows seem just for kids, I genuinely love watching this show with my kids, one - because my friend writes all the music (lol), and two - because the message…

Vacations

Wed, 13 Aug 2014 18:53:25

by Marika Siewert

Majority of people work at jobs that require either one or a combination of much physical, emotional and mental strength, and part of the refreshing and rejuvenating process is being able to step away, take stock of where one is at, and “vacate” for a certain length of time, to enjoy loved ones, travel to new destinations, explore, dream, and just rest.  As a self professed “ workaholic” ( I really do have a career and family that I enjoy and get to dictate my own hours for the most part ), even I - someone who loves my job, still need time to get away, and not think about work.

Sometime this can be for a weekend, sometimes it can be for an extended length of time, but our body and minds need this time to refocus, and also enjoy the fruits of our labour as well.

I encourage you to make a list of places you want to travel, restaurants you’ve always to go and eat at, sites and venues you’ve wanted to visit locally, nationally and internationally. You can do this solo, or with friends and family, and purpose to plan for that vacation time and anticipate it with joy.

Note: Check out the booking links on lasvegascme.com for hotels, travel and even books to read on your vacation at our amazon reading recommendations!

Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:46:26

Staycations

camspecialistsconnect:

by Marika Siewert

Sometimes you either don’t have ample time or even finances to take an extended vacation, which is why I would recommend a “staycation”. Many people don’t take the time to be tourists in their own city, but it’s a great way to get away from the everyday and discover something…

Cooking. Community. Connecting.

Wed, 09 Jul 2014 12:56:03

by Marika Siewert

There is definitely a bond that is shared when we have meal together. The conversations we have bring deeper relationships, and we also find that we are not alone in our journeys. Even the time of day can determine the outcome of your connection. Typically lunch gatherings are busier as they can occur in between the work day or in the hustle and bustle of family events and gatherings, but dinners are more relaxed as they are typically after work when the day is winding down and a more relaxed atmosphere happens. Regardless, these gatherings create community and the feeling that we are not alone, nor do we have to deal with life alone. We can share ideas about life, love, health, wealth, careers, parenting. We can discover new friends with similar interests. We can learn about different cultures, and their cuisine and even invite our friends to engage in our own traditions and unique ways. With all that said, cook together, eat together, invite friends to your place. Don’t just eat out in the middle of strangers. Let’s build a healthier happier community and change the world one person, one family at a time.


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