The Collective

I have been super excited to take the PR certificate courses at UofT this year. If you asked any of my friends and family they would probably tell you that this program has been one of the key factors that would lead me to discuss my dreams, future plans, and growing ideas this past winter. My course has been more than an educational experience, it has been creatively therapeutic, intellectually engaging and most of all, socially enjoyable! In one of the 12 classes when I had posed the question of how to get involved in the PR world our instructor opened the discussion to the class and I was positively surprised how helpful a group of individuals who met me a few weeks ago could be. I was given on the spot advise, contact information, hot-topic books, forums, website and organization names to research. It made me realize that as a collective we can place our knowledge, expertise and networks to help one another. As a collective we can positively change each other and I am thankful for being given this opportunity to experience such a movement of help and positive energy. So, I will make sure to keep the energy going, pay it forward and help whenever I can as we are all out here in this world trying to make an impact and I hope I will make a good one. Thank you, it’s been a beautiful experience!

Berry Bliss

As much as we attend to the kales, spinach, lean proteins and chia seeds of the hundreds of healthy programs and dietary plans we need to take a breather and gorge on some scrumptious no-no’s once in a while. So, I took my own advise and dived into a pancake breakfast dish a Wildberry Cafe in Chicago. But, not just any fluffy pancakes stacked on a oversized plate, this magical dish was exceptional! It was a moment in berry heaven coupled with vanilla anglaise, blackberry coulis, berry mascarpone sauce, and fresh berries. One word that could capture the emotion of one bite…’DIVINE.’ If you happen to drop by down town Chicago make sure to check out Wildberry Cafe…rated one of the top breakfast joints in Chicago, I can guarantee you will have a 30 minute to 1 hour wait time before you are able to snatch yourself a seat. But, trust me the wait is very much worth it. So, take a meal break from all your super greens this one time and enjoy!

Wildberry Pancakes

Happiness is a Choice?

I have always wondered how much we control of our happiness and how much the world, the circumstances we find ourselves in, and the people we socialize with effect our degree of happiness. Is our state of sunshine and rainbows something we have complete control over and can increase or decrease as much as we please?

A recent article in the Hawaii Huffington Post states that there is scientific proof that happiness is in fact a choice. Carolyn Gregoire explains that “Although our general mood levels and well-being are partially determined by factors like genetics and upbringing, roughly 40 percent of our happiness is within our control, according to some experts, and a large body of research in the field of positive psychology has shown that happiness is a choice that anyone can make.”

She continues with listing in depth that there are 8 ways we can try to control our happiness by trying the following

  1. Make happiness your number-one goal
  2. Linger on those little, positive moments
  3. Choose mindfulness
  4. Smile your way to happiness
  5. Practice gratitude
  6. Pursue happiness, find happiness — and success
  7. Let yourself be happy
  8. Practice compassion

Ms.Gregoire notes that Rick Hanson who is a neuropsychologist and author of Hardwiring Happiness maintains that “our brains are wired to scout for all that’s bad — as he puts it, the brain is like velcro for negative experiences and teflon for positive ones. This ‘negativity bias’ causes the brain to react intensely to bad news, compared to how it responds to good news. But we can counter the brain’s negativity bias — which triggers us to form stronger bad memories than good ones — by appreciating and lingering on those tiny, positive moments.”

So if we are able control about 40% of our happiness we should start as soon as possible! As the saying goes…’where this is a will, there is a way.’

For the full article This Is Scientific Proof That Happiness Is A choice please see the link: 

A Canadian Treasure

By now you may get the understanding that I adore to travel…I live to travel really as much as I am a homebody as odd as that can be. In any case, to me traveling represents freedom, adventure, education, culture, self-growth and socialization. I must say I am very thankful for all the traveling I have done thus far but, do dream of seeing far away lands, emerald coloured rain forests, vast deserts and exotic islands in the future.

I also hope that I will one day re-visit one of my favorite places in Canada and share it with my loved ones. When I think of Canada I do not only think of our beautiful multicultural cities and diverse landscapes but, the overwhelming beauty that lives within the nature of this country. The video below is a travel and tourism advertisement that I treasure! I am proud to say I live in Canada and have experienced visiting the exquisite National Parks of Alberta whose Rocky Mountains and crystal lakes have drawn the entire world’s attention. Enjoy…and remember to breath:)

Wellness Metrics to make a Breakthrough

When thinking of how much we love our job and how happy our occupations make us I must say I do not have very many friends who can directly state that they have attained their dream jobs. Then again we are at the beginning of our careers and still searching for that moment when you instantaneously click with a profession so, maybe the expectations are set too high. However, overall wellness metrics are a huge component of measuring the state of a business and its culture.

Jim Clifton, the CEO of Gallup (research-based, global performance-management consulting company) and a Virgin Disruptors Panelist advised in a current interview that “wellbeing metrics for nations and cities and organizations will become as or more important than traditional economic measures such as GDP or company stock prices within two decades – simply because they predict better”. He goes on to state that “worldwide, employee engagement is a devastating 13 per cent.”

As much as we try to have a work/life balance I believe it must also be initiated by our employers. Mr. Clifton set out to discover what factors relate to employee wellbeing and had discovered the following as “Gallup and Healthways have together spent more than $100 million to discover the secret ingredients of wellbeing. There are five key elements: Financial, purpose (i.e.: your career), social, physical and community. When individuals have high scores on all five elements of wellbeing, they’re truly leading lives that money can’t buy.” So, based on the research how would you rate your five elements in your current occupation or job place?

For the full interview please see the link:

Young at Heart

I recently visited Chicago and stumbled upon the sweetest of art displays…The Art of Dr. Seuss Gallery located at Water Tower Place 835 N. Michigan Ave. Among the portraits of the ultra vibrant imaginary characters of Dr. Seuss children’s literature stood out one in particular. The painting titled “Gosh, Do I Look as Old as All That?”

Do I really look old as all that

It reminded me of how we get so absorbed in our daily lives that we forget to nourish our selves and before you know it we end up tragically mimicking the lady in the painting. I think we need to spend more time understanding what makes us happy, how to keep our selves healthy and apply theses findings to our routine. Make some room and time for yourself and catch up with you!

As I finally peeled away from the painting I thought to myself….may I one day age with grace, with wisdom and with comfort…for reversing the aging process is a never ending search which catches up to us in the end as our grey hairs turn greyer and our smile lines get bolder. Finally, I walked away and promised myself to always strive to be young at heart no matter my age!

Young at Heart

For more information on the Gallery please see the link:

Cat with Green Lights, Dr. Seuss Painting GREEN CAT IN ULEÅBORG FINLAND SUBWAY, Dr. Seuss Painting

A life long balancing act…

Sheena Lyonnais

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Dan Cavanagh blogging from downtown Toronto