Today is Blue Monday

Today is Blue Monday!  January 16th, 2023. For those of you who may not know what exactly Blue Monday is…it’s the third Monday of January and is said to be the gloomiest, most depressing day of the year. Why, you ask? Well, the festivities and parties surrounding Christmas, the holiday season and New Year’s Eve are over. Winter, cold weather and the lack of sunlight add to the gloom on top of debt from Christmas that needs to be paid. And new year’s resolutions (for those of us that even made them on January 1st) are almost always forgotten or abandoned by today.

Yes, Blue Monday is a day of reckoning and I can identify with the rationale….But I’ve got a different perspective!

Could this day (and every day) also be a day of awakening? A day of acknowledging? A day of recognizing what has, and has not, proven effective in helping you (and me) create the life we’re dreaming of and wanting – And an opportunity to reignite our passion and refocus our commitment to something greater?  I’d like to reframe Blue Monday...and I hope you will, too!

  • Blessed Monday –  Life is so incredibly finite and if our eyes opened to the dawning of a new day, we are truly blessed.
  • Blissful Monday – Any day that includes a little more awareness, personal growth, introspection & refocusing towards creating your most fulfilling future could be called blissful!
  • Brilliant Monday – Bright, remarkable & beyond our greatest expectations for what is possible! I’ll wake up early for this day!

Not just Mondays…every day really has the potential to be blessed, blissful and brilliant! Truly, we’ve got every thing we need to make it so.

Let’s get one thing straight though – I can absolutely identify with Blue Monday.  I had a Blue Autumn & start to winter this past year. My mom passed away in the middle of October, unexpectedly and suddenly. My partner and I bought a rental property in Sicamous that we were rapidly (and stressfully) renovating for new tenants to move in. If that wasn’t enough, I injured my back when we hauled up the washer and dryer from the basement in the new place to the upstairs and could not even stand up straight for over 3 weeks. And the insomnia – I had not been sleeping well for months, worried about everything from the state of the world to rising food costs, the national debt and the clutter in my garage. Anxiety was running high for a number of reasons (mostly fear – false evidence appearing real) and I was at the breaking point.

I knew things needed to change. I knew I needed to change I didn’t know how but I knew I had to find a way to stop the habitual high-stress anxiousness that had become normal. A phone call with my GP put it in black and white when he said, “You are experiencing grief and burn-out. You need to reevaluate what is going on in your life and make some changes.”

So, during that blue season, I stopped. I took some time to reevaluate and make a plan to change. Sometimes, we’ve just got to just stop. Reevaluate and reflect a little. And then make a plan.

I laid out my concerns and looked inside my own knowledge and skillset to create a plan to harness the innate power within me and give my life a shake-up and a wake-up! Some things were not within my ability to change.  My Mom would not be coming back. Other things, however, were definitely up to me to deal with. I also came to a conclusion that I wanted some external influence to create a greater shake-up – or, more accurately, a greater wake-up in my life!

And that’s how it happened.  In a flash of insight, fate, serendipity or Divine Intervention – Dr. Joe Dispenza came to mind. He holds meditation retreats where up to 2000 attendees meditate together for up to 7-8 hours per day…for six days! I’m not a meditator.  Or, at least – I wasn’t. But I knew I was supposed to be there and even though it was a sold-out retreat, I saw myself there. I felt myself there. And either Got took pity on me or I manifested that sh*t. Perhaps a little of both. Within a week – I was registered for the retreat, flights booked and accommodation sorted. Less than two weeks later, my toes touched the sand, the sun shone on my face and warm ocean breeze lifted my grief-filled heart and burnt out spirit.

What happened in the retreat is nothing short of a miracle.  It was part zen monastery, part all-night-rave-dance-party and part quantum physics. For those of you who know me, you know how much I love thinking, dreaming up epic ideas and dancing. I can handle a 7 hour bike ride easily b/c it’s like a long, introspective conversation with God for me.  Meditation turned out to be the same sort of thing. I loved it! I usually cannot sit still for 5 minutes, let alone 5 hours! One meditation was 4 1/2 hours – from 4:00am to 8:30am. Every day, there were several meditations, lots of great lectures and lots of dancing!  I loved every second of the retreat and returned home very different from the person who departed the week prior. There’s so much that I learned and experienced – too much to be able to write down here – but here’s what I can tell you:

  • We have absolutely everything we need within us – to bring most any and every dream to life!
  • We can learn to harness the infinite power and ability of our minds – and train it to accomplish great things.
  • If we keep showing up for ourselves, life will show up for us!
  • Meditation disrupts the brain’s neural networks responsible for subconsciously creating the future based on a known past.
  • The power of thought is more powerful than we ever imagined. If a bunch of baby chicks can influence a robot* (like a mini-roomba vacuum), what is the potential for ourselves?  *See below for experiment.
  • The power of thought or focused intention has the power to heal the body and change our world & the world. It really does.
  • Be passionately curious – about amazing, fabulous things that are possible in the future.
  • When anything is the hardest – it matters the most.
  • Our habits are entirely responsible for most every aspect of our lives. What habits are serving us? What habits are sabotaging our health, joy and/or success?

Returning home, I was met with the same familiar stressors, anxiety and life. I’ve not been able to meditate as much as I would like, but things are different. My perspective is different. Once you see something, it’s impossible to un-see or un-learn it.  And what I saw and learned at this retreat will forever change me in amazing, fabulous and immeasurable ways.

We are divine in nature and we possess incredible possibility to create and bring to life, all that we’re wanting, wishing and yearning for.

I found a renewed sense of hope, freedom and empowerment while at the retreat and a path to awaken the best of my potential, acknowledgement of responsibility (that I am entirely responsible for how I respond to all the +/- in my life) and a healthy recognition for what has been (and has not been) working/serving me best in life.

May today, on Blue Monday, and every day, be an opportunity for each of us to cherish moments of awakening, acknowledging and recognizing certain things in our own lives and may every day be an opportunity for us to reignite our passion and refocus our commitment to something greater, something even more fulfilling, than we are currently experiencing in life!

I leave you with a question – in the words of Mary Oliver, “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”   Whatever your answer, let’s live today and every day with an open heart, a mind awake, a spirit filled with hope and a body refreshed and energized by the vision of your greatest dreams!

If you would like to make 2023 your best year yet, let’s connect! There’s nothing better than supporting and empowering one another and elevating each other to reach our highest potential! The time is now – to think bigger, to connect & to harness the power that is within each of us, to make the world better and brighter! The time is now. The world needs you…and it’s waiting.

Photos: Imagine 2000 people meditating together! The energy was electric! * The Caribbean was gorgeous. * The dance party during the breaks was just what my spirit was seeking! * Gotta love feeling your toes in the sand. * Walking on the white-sand beach was incredible. * Basking in the present moment is what life’s about.


Tiny segment from the retreat: Discussion of the baby chick and robot experiment:

Dr. René Peoc’h, Ph.D., demonstrated the power of intention with newly hatched baby chicks. When chicks hatch, they usually imprint on their mother, bonding with her and following her around. But if the mother isn’t there when the chicks hatch, they’ll imprint on the first moving object they encounter. For example, if a chick first sees a human, it will follow the human around in the same way.

For his study, Peoc’h built a special type of random event generator: a computerized robot that would turn randomly as it moved around an arena, going right 50 percent of the time and going left 50 percent of the time. As a control, he first recorded the robot’s path in the arena with no chicks present. He found that over time, the robot covered most of the arena equally. Next, Peoc’h exposed newly hatched chicks to the robot. As expected, they imprinted on the robot as if it was their mother and followed it all over the arena. After the chicks had imprinted on the robot, he removed them from the arena and put them in a cage on one side, where they could see the robot but not move toward it.

What happened next was astonishing—the intention of the baby chicks to be near to what they believed to be their mother (in this case, the robot) actually influenced the random movements of the robot. It no longer moved all over the arena but instead remained in the half of the arena closest to the chicks. The intentions of baby chicks influenced the movements of a computerized robot.

(If baby chicks can influence a robot – what could the power of our own thoughts and intentions create and do towards making 2023 our best year yet?)

Crystal Flaman is an international keynote speaker and social entrepreneur, inspiring audiences to discover their dreams and the difference we can create in the world. If you or your team are seeking to make 2023 your best year yet, personally or within your organization, Crystal can help you to do just that with solid tools, tangible tips and creative ideas to help bring your vision and goals to life! It’s time to be fearlessly you, to think bigger and turn up the volume on your greatness, potential and results!

If you would like to learn more information about this topic or to have Crystal share this message with your team, in person or on a virtual platform, please contact Crystal.  Thank you.  phone: 250-215-2903 (cell) or 778-477-0100 (on the rotary dial land-line)


Rave Reviews

“All I can say is WOW! Crystal Flaman you were on fire at the recent Vernon Women in Business Leadership Conference. Your ability to tie the conference theme into your inspirational messaging. You had the entire room captivated with the interactive activities you brought to help solidify your messages. As the MC, it is my job to mind the room and the time slot. Your expert storytelling had us all captivated from beginning to end. Thank you! I would highly recommend you for any event where the group is looking to elevate their team and individual performances.”
Faith Wood, Inspiring Minds Consulting Ltd, Owner
“Crystal was invited to kick-off and set the tone for our Professional Development conference. She delivered an interesting and engaging presentation, and inspired us through her passion and leadership, focusing on creating significance in our successes. Feedback after the session was incredibly positive, appreciating the relevance to both work and home life. Crystal even left us with parting gifts – a crystal prism and rings with encouraging words on them…and I still have them hanging at my desk as a reminder of what she taught us.  I would highly recommend Crystal to speak at your next engagement if you’re looking for a moving, honest and successful woman to ignite passion and inspiration for your team.”
Caren Leinwant, Green Shield Canada, Individual Business Services Manager
“I have known and worked with Crystal for the past 20 years.  She is an amazing person!  Crystal is a great speaker – engaging, humourous, and has the ability to appeal to many different audiences – young and old.   She is always prepared and willing to be flexible depending on the needs of her clients.  She has worked with many start up businesses over the years to provide information and guidance.   I would not hesitate to hire or refer Crystal for any speaking, mentoring or coaching opportunities for businesses in my community.  I know you won’t be disappointed.”
Wendy McCulloch, Community Futures Boundary, General Manager
“Crystal is creative, innovative, passionate, and inspirational. She planned special, memorable, and meaningful activities for our students that helped them to recognize their talents, boost their self-esteem, and prepare them for their transition to middle school. Both staff and students were so impressed by Crystal. The students were excited about the gifts they received and these special tokens will forever remind them of the lessons learned during their time with Crystal.  It truly was an honour to work with Crystal and experience all that she has to teach and offer. Our students are better, more confident people because of the time spent with Crystal.”
Mrs Lara Davies, Teacher, North Glenmore Elementary School
“Her physical and mental strength is only matched by the kindness of her heart. Crystal Flaman is a talented entrepreneur and athlete who has combined her passion for humanity with sport. Every opportunity is used to promote the well-being of her fellow man whether it be at home or abroad. A gifted speaker who can inspire you to tears, or better yet action, uses her magnetic energy to promote positive change. Crystal is hard working, committed and her tenacity is evident in many of her successful projects. Working with Crystal will be one of the best decisions you have ever made. “
Laura Thurnheer, Associate Dean, Okanagan College
“The Diva retreat was the most amazing week of my year. I am new to yoga, so was worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up but Amelie was an amazing instructor and paced the class to include all abilities. It was a beautiful way to start the day! Crystal guided the workshops in her bright and positive way. Each day we meet for a workshop in a safe and supportive environment, with great materials to take away. She created a warm and welcoming place to talk and share experiences. The group of ladies – new to me – became friends I am still in contact with.  We each were able to laugh, share and feel validated.

The location was gorgeous and we had ample free time to explore the village, head to the beach or hang out at the resort. I loved the balance of yoga, workshops and free time.

I would highly recommend the retreat to give yourself time to pause, reflect and refocus.”
Dianne Bondaroff, DIVA Retreat 2018 participant, Artist, Entrepreneur, Change Maker
“I have known Crystal for over 15 years as a colleague and good friend. She is a key component of the instruction team for the Leisure Development Course, a unique three-year professional development program for parks, recreation and community development personnel. Crystal’s presentations are always inspirational, sensitive, insightful and tailored to the needs of the respective students. She is one of the most passionate and enthusiastic individuals I have had the pleasure of working with and would not hesitate in recommending Crystal for whatever endeavor she wishes to undertake.”
Chris Nelson, Coordinator, Leisure Development Course
“I am not sure how to compact my gratitude for what DIVA Retreats really has done for me. My first DIVA Retreat was in 2014. I was seeking exactly what it stands for: Discover my Inner Voice and Adventure through body,  mind, and spirit. I was so blessed to have spent the week with such amazing women and it was the start of a great personal journey since then. My second experience in 2018 was equally amazing and an opportunity to hold the space for someone else’s transformation experience.  At the same time, in the end I was newly inspired again!  I wanted to give back and, instead, got so much more in return. I recommend this retreat for anyone. You are safe and instantly welcomed if you come alone or bring your BFF's. I loved it all! Yoga, laughing, learning, hiking, biking, creating, trying healthy foods, humanitarian contribution.... and most of all making connections with amazing women from all over Canada.  I don’t think there is another retreat like this anywhere that is this affordable.
Louise Sarauer, Administrative Professional, Saskatoon, SK
“I have known Crystal for over 10 years and in that time I have had the pleasure of being a participant in her workshops and presentations as well as being a fellow presenter. Her unwavering enthusiasm for her topics and her sincere, heartfelt messages for her participants, makes her presentations exciting and meaningful to her audiences. She uses her own life challenges and successes as the back-drop for her messages allowing her to use humour to engage and connect with those in the room. Often using a variety of props and techniques, participants are continuously engaged in her presentations. As a result, Crystal is an effective speaker, focused on sharing her passion and beliefs to motivate participants to take action in their own lives, towards their goals and aspirations.”
Deb Comfort, Facilities Supervisor, Dept. of Recreation, Parks and Culture, Red Deer, AB

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