What is Paradise???

Life can be painful at times. No doubt about it. I see it all the time when working through the process of healing. People often say “I can’t take this amount of pain” or “How can I get away from this pain and return my life to a more peaceful state”. What occurs to me is that we live in a world that gives us the message that pain is something we avoid and when it occurs, which it does across our entire lives, the first thought is get rid of it. I am not saying that experiencing life’s painful moments is such a wonderful thing and in fact when it hits, its certainly horrible. Someone we love lets us down or betrays our trust or doesn’t care about us (one of our greatest fears is that we don’t matter) and when that moment hits, our first thought from the over thinking brain is to make sense of the pain by wanting to know “why” did this happen.

Whether we realize it or not, we humans are meaning makers. Whenever we are stuck in traffic or someone hurts us, our first question is why is this happening and whatever thought we come up with is an attempt to restore that ground under our feet. Our frantic brain scrambles around seeking answers (oh there was an accident that’s why traffic is so jammed). We might also even come up with an answer such as this happened because (see the meaning making) I am unworthy of love and respect and the list goes on and on. The problem is that when we leave this important work of seeking meaning to a brain that has constant chatter and takes both sides of any argument, we tend to get more confused and overwhelmed.

Alas!!! There is also an opportunity here to change a situation of pain to one that includes pain but changes the meaning of that pain. What if you don’t need the answer right now? What if for just a moment you suppose that all wisdom is born from painful situations and that every time a painful moment hits, you are on the cusp of learning something new? How might his change your reaction to painful experiences? What might happen? Oh the fearful ego brain with its constant chatter will try to tell you, “WTF, you have to have an answer for this or something bad might happen” or “you don’t know how to handle this situation but I am here as your ever present servant to assist you by telling you to read his/her emails, find out who they are texting so you can be sure this won’t happen again, or try to change your bosses mind about you so you feel more secure in your job” and on and on and on it goes spinning you down a path that creates even more chaos and confusion. FEAR!!!

Getting to paradise means that you stop listening to the constant chatter and when pain hits, you create space for it by being compassionate with yourself in that moment of pain. Learning to realize that you can in fact rise above the pain and grow as a person (notice I said learning) as a result of the pain. This gives us confidence in our ability to know that no matter what life throws at us (and it will time and time again) that we can in fact be compassionate with ourselves and begin to grow as a human as a result of painful moments.

Submitted By: Donna Murphy

Donna Murphy holds a Master’s degree in Social Work and is registered with the Alberta College of Social Workers. She is a therapist who specializes in individual/couples and family counselling, a Certified Meditation Instructor, and is Certified in Adult Education. Her approach is to use a combination of spiritual and various counselling techniques.

Donna’s private practice involves working with couples, co-parenting, blended families, parenting issues, stress/anxiety and healing from trauma. Her approach to therapy integrates her meditation, spirituality, mind/body connection and cognitive reshaping. She has been practicing for 11 years in a variety of settings such as government, employee assistance programs, lunch and learn sessions and working for non-profit organizations .


The Word and the Womb

How much should you tell other people about what is really important to you? Should you broadcast your dreams to everyone in hopes that others will honor your intentions and support you? Or would you be wiser to keep your visions to yourself and avoid debilitating criticism?

You have probably had the experience of sharing a fresh insight, experience, or project with someone, only to be met with an icy, insensitive response. “I tried that and it didn’t work.” “You will put yourself at risk.” “That would cost too much to produce and nobody would buy it.” Nothing is more daunting than someone throwing cold water on your hot dreams. Then you walk away from the conversation feeling deflated and defeated.

I am amazed at how obtuse people can be when offered an opportunity to support someone. I visited a friend in the hospital who had had a very minor surgery. A relative in the room said, “I know someone who died of what you have.” One of my coaching clients told her husband she wanted to take a yoga class. He laughed and told her she was on her way to Jonestown. When I self-published my first book using my mother’s life savings, the publisher’s agent told me, “They say you don’t make any money until your third book.” (The book went on to be a bestseller.)

Jesus was a master metaphysician who understood the power of thoughts and words. He instructed, “Cast not pearls before swine,” meaning to not offer sensitive, lofty ideas to people who will not understand, and gobble them up. After he performed a certain healing, he told the recipient, “Tell no man.” Jesus understood that if that man broadcast his experience publicly before the healing was solidified, negative observers would cast doubts and skepticism upon him so as to weaken or undo the healing. Better to wait until the healing was gelled in his subconscious; then the opinions of others could not unstitch his advancement.

A yogi told me, “When you plant a seedling in a field where cows are grazing, set a fence around the little plant to protect it from cows eating or trampling it. Later, when the seedling has grown large and sturdy, you can remove the fence, and the cows will have a magnificent tree they can rub up against and rest under its shade.”

Does the injunction to safeguard sensitive projects mean we should be neurotically secretive about what is important to us? No, it just means we should be discerning when choosing the people we share our visions with. If you know that someone loves and supports you, that would be a good person to include in your vision. Some people attend mastermind groups in which they meet weekly with a few positive friends to share exciting ideas and get behind each other for success. Cultivate and fertilize the soil in which you plant your valued seeds.

Let’s say you share a sensitive project at an early stage and someone throws a dagger of negation at it. Does that mean the project has been killed? Not at all. You can use the experience to make your project stronger. Use the criticism as motivation to go within and affirm the value, power, and potential of your project. In homeopathy and immunization, patients take small doses of viruses that would kill them in larger doses. The body then develops antibodies that prevent the disease from overcoming them should it return. “What does not kill me makes me stronger.”

No person, no matter how negative or virulent they are, has the power to thwart your project or remove your good. That power belongs only to you. If someone judges or attacks you, consider them an angel reflecting to you your own beliefs, doubts, or fears so you can recognize and heal them. If you get upset or cave in when someone criticizes you, you must agree with that person. If you didn’t, the criticism would not disturb you. Your issue is not with the other person. It is with yourself. Find the hidden self-doubt or judgment, confront it, hold it up to the light, and heal it with a greater truth. Because light is more powerful than darkness, you must succeed.

As we enter the holiday season, you may have some juicy opportunities to discern who to share your sensitive truth with, and how to deal with people who judge or criticize you. Don’t shy away from these opportunities. Use each one to practice remembering your beauty, power, and worth, and that of your valued projects.

Motivational master Jim Rohn said, “If you really want something, you will find a way. If you don’t, you will find an excuse.” Don’t use fear or others’ negative opinions as an excuse to not move ahead. Don’t let people into your visions if they don’t match your intention. Love and support your visions like a pregnant woman would diligently protect and care for the soul in her womb. Then your progeny will grow into powerful, mature, successful adults.

Submitted By: Alan Cohen

Everyone is your teacher. Some teach through loving support, and others teach through challenge. Become a spiritual master by using the power of the word to your highest advantage.
Alan Cohen is the author of A Course in Miracles Made Easy; mastering the Journey from Fear to Love. Join Alan and friends in Hawaii, Feb 26 – March 2 for a rare retreat, Unplugged. Put your devices aside for a few days, liberate yourself from technology, and reconnect with yourself and your life. For more information about this program, Alan’s books and videos, free daily inspirational quotes, online courses, and weekly radio show, visit


6 Key Reasons to Exhibit at a Trade Show

6 Key Reasons to Exhibit at a Trade Show

If you an entrepreneur, you need to know that promoting your business is a steady job. You need to get in all marketing activities to project your business and position it before your target audience. Though there are many marketing activities; trade show marketing has its unique place in the realm of business promotion.

It can be tempting to want to overlook this important area if you are currently enjoying the influx of new customers to your business through advertising or other means. But sometimes, getting more customers is not the end of your marketing effort. What type and class of clients are you attracting?

Every business regardless of size needs to invest resources in trade show marketing to build their brand. And Businesses that understand the importance of this resourceful medium will not miss out on the opportunity to attend trade exhibitions. Study on trade shows attests to the fact that ROI from trade shows far exceeds income from any other form of outbound marketing. Therefore, here are 6 great reasons to help you decide on investing in live event marketing.

  1. Fresh faces; meet and connect with prospective customers

Every customer feels secure and happy when dealing with a seller face to face. I think most marketers feel that way. It can be frustrating when you try to follow up on a lead only to end up with unanswered calls and with an email message not replied. But it is not the case when you attend a live marketing event where you have your customers, new prospects walking up to you and make inquiries and engage with you one-on-one in discussing business.

Evidently, statistics show that more than 75% of prospects at a trade shows are not people you have personally contacted, but the show helps to bring them to you. According to Exhibit Surveys, among the traffic that visits an exhibitor’s stand during an exhibition, not more than 12% are called by the exhibitors, others are new prospected who are there because they saw an opportunity to meet new exhibitors and have their needs discussed.

  1. Getting close to your customers and competitors and learn what works

Trade show marketing brings both services seekers and providers together. It presents an opportunity for the two most influential people in commerce to meet in an atmosphere where the purpose for gathering is to discuss business. You are not cold calling or bumping into anyone whose objective is at variance with yours. People who will walk into your stand are those needing what you offer. Likewise, very close to you are your competitors that you can walk up to them to ask questions and get answers. This opportunity is rare to come by without attending the exhibition.

While prospective clients may be seeing you for the first time, you have the opportunity to get close to them and learn about their needs and preferences. Some customers will even educate you on what to change or adjust in your offering to meet a market need and reposition you for success.

Competition is not war and meeting your competitor gives you the opportunity to solve a business puzzle or get new insights about how to tweak certain aspects of your business for optimum result. Again, you can use the opportunity to increase your business contact database and for starting a possible business alliance that benefits both of you.

  1. Develop and strengthen your brand

Learning what works is an opportunity to develop your business offering and enhance your brand positioning. Your manner of attending to prospects and using the opportunity to explain the uniqueness of your brand compared to competition gives the customer food for thought, build your reputation and gives the prospect the confidence to trust you and have you in mind as the first option among equals in your industry.

Imagine offering the best spa services and attending a trade show with a popular manufacturer of wellness products in attendance and you happen to have your stand next to them. You have great sales pitch and compelling offer, and you have prospects coming into your stand in droves to have a feel of you. The first thing is status elevation; your company will move from a startup to being part of a niche in the wellness industry.

It also creates a psychological image as prospects will see you as a valuable member of the industry, equating you with the blue-chip company. It is not what some advertising in electronic or print media will ever give to you on a platter of gold like this. There and then, if you have a business proposition for the wellness company, you will have them listening and be treated with respect.

  1. Close deals with new customers with ease at the live event

Using our earlier example, you are the CEO of your XYZ SPA services with a strong proposition for a spa getaway for busy business executives. You have prospects from different organizations and they are decision makers walking into your stand for inquiries. Now face to face with the CEO of prospects’ companies. These are people you would be queuing to meet if you happen to approach them in their offices. It’s not your marketing executive meeting them, and you aren’t meeting the prospects human resource managers either. When two people who have the final say on a business transaction meet, the negotiating environment becomes more relaxed as you know the other person is not fooling around.

Trade show marketing gives you more opportunities of meeting decision-makers coming into your stand in droves. You have a chance for more contacts to open up more sale proposals than you can ever have if you were to market them through other marketing channels.

  1. Competitive edge

There is no small or inconsequential trade exhibition. Attending live marketing events tell prospective clients you are not a pushover in your industry. It also sends a powerful signal to the competition you are a valuable member of the industry. Authority in your industry stems from your participation and contribution in industry matters.

Trade show marketing gives you the needed confidence because you know major industry players and your marketing and business profile will attest to the fact that you have paid your dues in the sector, therefore, establishing your competitive edge standing shoulder high among your competition.

  1. More bang for your buck

A qualified audience is a prospect likely to buy your product. No guess work! Prospect A would need to treat their best performing staff to a week spa in a getaway location every month ending as an employee incentive package. You know this because you already discussed this at the exhibition and you are following up on the prospect to close deals and make money. Now back in your office, you spend less time looking for new prospects, in fact, you are preparing for another trade show coming up midyear to make an even grander appearance.

As a parting talk on this discussion, I hope you now see more reasons to attend trade show marketing for your business. Attending a live sales event needn’t be a problem if you work with the right people who will offer help on how you can benefit more from your participation. If you are in doubt what could be in it for you, we’re happy to help you get started and redefine your business marketing for more profit, today.