What Matters Most

At this time of year, as autumn turns into winter, I try to create a little space and time for myself to slow down, reflect on the year, plan for the next one and think about what matters most in life.

It’s been a tradition for years and I love the opportunity to wrap up in a blanket and get cozy on the couch, think about the past and ponder the future. With the cooler temperatures and the holiday season upon us, it’s the perfect time to grab a steaming mug of your favourite beverage or a glass of wine, a journal and your thoughts.

This year, one of the questions that’s pulling at my heart pertains to what matters most in life and how am I going to make the next year better* than the current one?

*Better = More meaningful. More fulfilling.  More connected with family, friends and loved ones. Less stressful. More intentional. More joyful and joy-filled. Less distraction. Much more laughter. And more impactful to the community and world. 

So, how are we going to make next year better? To make it easy, start with the questions, “What do I want more of in my life?” and “What do I want less of?”

Kindness and connection are two things I’d like more of in the coming year. Over the past year, with the impact of the global situation, I’ve been feeling a little isolated. Disconnected from family, friends and loved ones.  And even though I’m actually a total introvert, I am missing the feeling of connection with my community. To help feel more connected, not just with the world around me but also within myself, I created a little project to fill the void, called 10 Million Acts of Kindness.

Kindness is something we could all use a little more of right now.  Not the sort of kindness that requires money but the sort of kindness that costs nothing, yet is invaluable. Unforgettable. Priceless.

What matters most in life are the things that cannot be bought.  The things that cost nothing yet mean everything. These are the things I want more of in my life and the things that I would like to give more of this holiday season and through the coming year.

I think the best place to start sharing a little kindness is with ourselves.  Three gestures of kindness I’d like to bestow upon myself – and maybe you would consider joining me – are forgiveness, patience and self-care. Imagine what it would feel like if we gave ourselves these three gifts through the holiday season and the coming year. How good would that feel?

Sharing a little kindness with others is also a wonderful idea. Sharing the gift of time with those we love and care about would be a treasured and extremely meaningful act of kindness.

I hope this holiday season and the coming year are filled with what matters most to you, along with a little more kindness for yourself and for others… and, of course, if you’re like me, a little chocolate, too. 😉

If you would like to share a little random (or not so random) acts of kindness with others, you might enjoy these gorgeous little Random Acts Of Kindness cards. They are to pass along to the recipient of your gesture, for them to continue the ripple effect and create a gesture of kindness of their own.  They are available in tins (local or bulk orders only b/c of high shipping costs) or soft white satchels with drawstring top. There are 52 in each pack – one to share every week of the year and are $10. They would make a great stocking stuffer or Christmas gift for family and friends. You can find them here:10 Million Acts of Kindness

   

This post was written for Kelowna Community Resources last week, for their annual Okanagan Holiday Activities Guide.  Please check out the amazing things that KCR is up to and all the great work they do in our community here:   KCR   Special thanks to Ezra and Dorothee for the invitation and opportunity to contribute to your publication.

PS: One of my goals for the coming year is to write more.  With that in mind, I’m starting early and will see you here next week for another post.  Until then, I hope you’ll think of one or two of your goals and allow them a little space in your mind and heart. 2022 is coming soon and I can hardly wait for all of us to dream big, set some lofty goals and bring them to life together!

Crystal Flaman is an international keynote speaker and social entrepreneur, inspiring you to discover your dreams and the difference you can create in the world. Anything is possible. Everything is possible. Believe in your dreams. Do what you love and be fearlessly you. 

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 basis during the current global situation, please contact Crystal.  Thank you.

 

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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