Thursday, April 19, 2012


Okay, let me start by saying, "I don't get out much." So when I heard on the radio that Neil Pasricha was going to be signing books and announcing his number one most awesome thing- after four years of blogging and two international best selling books - at Chapters, I immediately thought, 'I can give him some dakbands', followed by, '...and wear my new shoes.' Okay, it might have been the other way around.......when a girl finds a $400 pair of shoes for $50 (yes, this is awesome!), any excuse will do.

However, I didn't consider the ramifications of standing in line for two and half hours in these babies. Let's just say that if my daughter hadn't come to my rescue with a pair of flats, so I could walk to the car, I might have become a permanent fixture at the store, unable to move. As it is, a day later I'm still limping. Taking them off was AWESOME!

And despite the pain, even the wait in line was awesome because I met some great, interesting people. Adam - who went to school with Neil's sister Nina - and I had a wonderful chat about everything from work to Belgian chocolate. I don't know the name of the young woman who in empathy offered me her chair while saying, " your shoes are beautiful"; but, I hope the shoe gods bless her. Yes, I gave her a dakband.

When I finally got to meet Neil, I was a bit delirious. I think it was a combination of the screaming pain in my feet, the fact that I hadn't eaten in about 8 hours and the arrhythmias (probably due to the previous two). I think I babbled. However, it was all worth it. I gave him two dakbands and he seemed genuinely impressed. I think that is what struck me most about him, his ability to sincerely, and generously, take a moment to connect with every person that approached his table. Picture after picture he smiled leaving each fan feeling a little more awesome than when they arrived.

 So what was Neil's 1000th most awesome thing........ check it out here

Saturday, April 14, 2012

What Caine has taught me

Usually, I am one of the last to jump on the band wagon of any kind - due primarily to the fact that I often don't even know there is a band wagon until the ride is over. However, in this case I think I'm an early adopter thanks to Karma Tube and their weekly video. I recommend you hop on because this 11 minute video deserves your attention.

Caine, the gentle, innocent, and unwitting, nine year old star of this short documentary has changed the direction of his life, and perhaps the lives of many others with some cardboard boxes, imagination and the simple faith of childhood. Watching him commit so completely to his project and vision, and then waiting expectantly, hopefully,  for customers,  is almost painful.........until Nirvan arrives. I won't reveal anymore. It might diminish the joy you are certain to experience.

Caine's arcade reminds me of the power of creativity and imagination, of what can happen when children put down technology and play. And Nirvan is an astute, and wise arcade authority, who has shared a beautiful story through his film. In recognition I am sending Nirvan some dakbands registered to Caine's Arcade. I hope that maybe Caine will even use some dakbands for his arcade prizes.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012


 Today is International Day of Pink. And it has nothing to do breast cancer. Wearing pink today is about encouraging tolerance and compassion in an effort to stop bullying. Why pink? Well it's a wonderful story and warrants re-telling, even if you've heard it before. The condensed version goes like this:

A grade nine student wore a pink polo shirt on his first day of high-school at Central Kings High School, in Cambridge, Nova Scotia. The significance of that simple fashion choice would have profound consequences that no one could have predicted. The young man, who has never been identified, was bullied mercilessly and threatened with a beating. But, two young men in grade 12, heard about the incident and responded with an attack of their own - Ghandi style. They went into town, bought every pink shirt they could find and then rallied as many friends as possible through Facebook. Hundreds of students came to school the next day in PINK. Needless to say, the bullying stopped. (the original story can be found here)

As a mother of a son who was the victim of a scandalous bullying incident, at FIVE years old, I cannot even express the emotion I feel when I think of this story. Such courage, such wisdom and such's no wonder it inspired an international movement. Bullying is a cultural problem, and requires a cultural response. Pink day worked because there was strength in numbers, compassion, and empathy.

Equally inspiring is Lady Gaga's recently founded organization called, Born This Way: "The Foundation is dedicated to creating a safe community that helps connect young people with the skills and opportunities they need to build a braver, kinder world."

Their mission is based on three pillars: 

Safety: creating a safe place to celebrate individuality

Skills: teaching advocacy, promoting civic engagement and encouraging self-expression

Opportunity: providing ways to implement solutions and impact local communities.

A braver, kinder world. That sounds like a conscious decision.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Toot, Toot...

That's the sound of my own horn, in case you're wondering. Under most circumstances I wouldn't blow it, but this is about the dakbands, and I'm really proud of the recognition.

On March 31st, along with 34 other recipients, I received the Brock Alumni of Distinction award. It was a fabulous event and we were all  lavishly feted. To be truthful, compared to the accomplishments of some of my colleagues, I had no idea why I was a recipient. Except, as you can see in the photo below (which was broadcast on an incredibly large screen for everyone to see), that the dakband project was partly responsible for my selection. Now that's exciting.

I was inspired to share about receiving the award after reading about a concept called self-compassion. As someone who is generally quite demanding of herself, I'm coming to a new understanding of what it means to be kind - to myself. A novel idea for sure. Yet, as research indicates, people who are self-compassionate are kinder, more giving, and more supportive within their relationships. Christine Neff, an expert on self-compassion, sums it up like this: Self-esteem is present when we succeed. Self-compassion is a way of relating to ourselves kindly when we fail. So, although the award is certainly a boost to my self-esteem, as I explained earlier, I was overly focused on the achievements of my colleagues, and in comparison I didn't feel as worthy. However, self-compassion teaches that the judgement and comparison are not necessary. The success, accomplishments, the light, the beauty - whatever it is - of others, does not diminish my light, my success. It seems simple, but requires practice. I think I'll give myself a dakband.