I WILL SURVIVE

Choosing Hope: Living Courageously Through Adversity Season 2

It was with much trepidation that I embarked on my journey to become a podcast host during the COVID pandemic. I pored through materials, took a course on what it takes to have a great podcast, talked to people who had experience doing podcasts, and spent a long time coming up with the concept and name of the podcast. Nervously I invited guests, not quite sure why they would want to take a chance on a new podcast. It was a nerve-wrecking, exhilarating time of experimenting and fine-tuning.

The first podcast I did was with a henna artist extraordinaire, Tarquin Singh. The first recording was a colossal fail. After a great conversation with Tarquin, and as we were high-fiving each other, I realized that I had forgotten to press “record” and the interview was lost. I was shame-faced and confessed this to Tarquin. After one minute of pregnant pause, Tarquin said she was okay to be re-interviewed for the podcast. She did and I was floored by her grace and kindness.

I then interviewed some extraordinary people on a variety of topics: Martha Southgate, Dionne Warner, Ana Tajder, Aziz Velji, Ursula Pottinga, Dr. Navaz Habib, Ann Betz, Cherrelle Druppers and Leila Keshavjee. The podcasts have been downloaded over 800 times, which is not a lot but it is more than I had expected. Now I am recording podcasts for Season 2!

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#ChoosingHopeChallenge

Hello everyone!  To herald 2021, I want to invite you to participate in the #ChoosingHopeChallenge. The vision of this challenge is to shift the communal energy towards gratitude and hope to bring in the new year. 

2020 was a year of pause, of reflection, of introspection.  COVID-19 altered life as we knew it and created disruption, confusion and challenges. It was also an epic time of transformation and learning to do things differently. As we begin a brand new year, there is renewed hope and reason to be optimistic with the development of vaccines.

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I Had a Coffee Date with THE Ali Velshi!

It was an improbable item on my 50 Things list:

3. Have a coffee date with Ali Velshi – wishful thinking.

I was inspired by a podcast guest who shared with me her story about 50 things she wanted to do when she turned 50.  And that inspired me to come up with my own 50 list of fun things I wanted to accomplish by the end of this year: learn to play scrabble, ride a bike, and meet Ali Velshi, the renowned news journalist and anchor at MSNBC.

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Cottage Day: The 5 Love Languages

Cottage Day

Each year, my family and I come together in December and have, what we term, a “cottage day” (minus the cottage).  This is when we take the full day, lose our laptops and phones, get into colorful pyjamas, cook together, eat, talk, listen to Christmas music and, just hang out. We talk about the year – our favourite movies, podcasts, books, memories, quotes, food, restaurants, best amazon purchases and what we are grateful for. We talk about our one word for the next year; the word that will define how we want to live in the new year.  Last year my word was energy, this year I am leaning toward fun. We also share our goals for the new year. 

And each year, I introduce a new activity that we do as a family. Alas, this year, we will not be together in the same place due to COVID. The family will be limited to our immediate family. The day will be much shorter. There may be fewer laughs and conversations. We may just order pizza. But we will continue to honour the tradition of “cottage day” – pyjamas and all.    

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50 Things …

I had the pleasure of welcoming to my podcast, Choosing Hope: Ordinary People doing Extraordinary Things, a woman with an enthralling story, Martha Southgate.  Martha lives in Chicago and hosts a podcast called Broken to Brave.  Early in 2018, when she was about to turn 50, all hell broke loose for Martha. She says in her podcast:

To say I reacted strongly would be an understatement. I was in shock. I was devastated. Angry. Scared. Hopeless. I took to my bed. About 6 months later, I forced myself out of bed. I had wasted my adult life hiding in fear. I couldn’t get those years back, but I could try to salvage the years I had left. I challenged myself to do 50 brave things before I turned 51. This is the story of my year of living dangerously.

In my interview with Martha, we explored how she took matters into her own hands and challenged herself to live fully and fearlessly.  She also reveals some of the brave things she has done and what she learnt about herself through this process. 

Martha’s story inspired me to come up with my own list of 50 things I want to accomplish by December 31, 2021 – some fun, some frivolous, some serious.  These are not life goals; they are just “in the moment” stuff that popped into my head after my interview with Martha. I just took out my journal and wrote, without judgement, without discerning and evaluating.  From a place of vulnerability, here is a partial list of what I dared to put on paper.  And in the past couple of months, I have joyfully completed many of the things, and I’m working on adding more things to get to 50 before the start of 2021.

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