Tag Archives: business

Be Living a radical sabbatical

What does this radical sabbatical actually look like and is Sexy Neck working? Are we divorced? Where are you? What are we doing? These have been the pervasive questions over the last month as we have lived this radical sabbatical. Some people have been inspired, some people have thought we are crazy and others have just looked at us with wide eyes as we explain how we are living.

5 people.

Yes, Sexy Neck and I are 100% in this together. (And not divorced)

900 square feet.

Condo living.

8 months.

On the top of a mountain.

At a ski hill.

With the cows.

Travelling to Europe and Asia.

Homeschooling.

Not volunteering for anything.

Taking a radical sabbatical from the life we previously knew in the city.

What does this radical sabbatical actually look like for our family of five?

The boys do formal schooling Monday thru Friday from 9:00am to Noon. This formal schooling involves the 3 R’s – reading, writing and math! And I am hitting them hard. Going over basic facts, teaching them grammar and helping them understand the basics of the english language. They are writing in a journal, writing stories and doing research. Our 12 year old is researching Ancient Rome and Tesla. Our 10 year old is immersed in simple/complex machines and robots. Our 8 year old learned everything he could about Bobcats. Did you know they pee in the water so that they don’t leave a scent? Previously, the boys have been in French immersion, so the older boys have been doing their math in french and our youngest continues to write in french. But, I haven’t been stressed about it. If we decide to dive back into french next year, we will do a bootcamp in the summer to help them get back up to speed. This year is all about filling in some educational gaps that I see and having fun learning about what they are interested in.

Now, to talk about Sexy Neck! Right now, he is in Mexico City sitting at a fair, promoting his school district to families considering international education. And he LOVES it! Sexy Neck isn’t taking a radical sabbatical this year, but we are one hour closer to his work, so he does have a shorter commute! We are looking forward to joining him on a few trips that he is going to be taking for work. Sexy Neck LOVES his job and couldn’t imagine leaving it. It is truly what he was meant to be doing: a combination of education, business, travel and working with people. His dream life! We are happy that our radical sabbatical works alongside his dreams and brings him freedom from his commute and a more relaxed mountain life. He also loves backcountry skiing, which he can do every day after work in the winter. Truly his dream life!

Everyone who knows us, knows our backgrounds in Kinesiology and our love for physical literacy. All of our boys have done gymnastics from very young to eight years old. After eight they could choose to continue in gymnastics and our two older boys have. They love the community of boys, their coach and being able to achieve their personal goals through gymnastics. Thus, our radical sabbatical involves two days per week commuting one and a half hours each way back to the city so that the boys can practice with their team. Other than gymnastics, our sporting life will involve exploring the ski hill we are living on and embracing every day of winter. The boys have a goal of skiing every single day of the ski season. We know it will be “Canntastic”!


Lots of people have been wondering about our daily routines. To recap, here are a few of our routines that we have established for this radical sabbatical:

The 3R’s Monday thru Friday from 9:00am to Noon. And yes the boys say it is hard. And yes, we do have a lot of fun and flexibility. The boys take a recess break when they choose and they also choose where they work within our 900 square feet. Sometimes it’s on the floor, on our bed, at the kitchen table and often it’s at their desk. Sexy Neck is teaching them guitar and I am doing the rest with their teacher and our friend, Michelle, from Traditional Learning Academy.

Sexy Neck is fully involved in his work as a Principal of International Programs. He continues to embrace his role working with his students, the homestay families, his amazing staff and of course travelling to promote his program.

The boys are continuing with gymnastics and loving every minute of it. It is very motivating and they love the goals they have set: our ten year old wants to do an 8 second handstand and our twelve year old wants to do a giant on the high bar all by himself. WOW!

Outside of these routines, I have been personally surprised by four different pieces of this radical sabbatical:

1. Our garbage and recycling has reduced significantly. From one large black bin of garbage per week, to one medium-sized black bag. To one large blue recycling bin every two weeks, to one medium blue Tupperware per week that I will sort at the recycling depot in about five minutes. This surprise feels pretty amazing.

2. It’s outstanding to see the people who have stepped up to support us on this journey. We know that it truly does take a village to educate our children. Not only did we take the boys to Barkerville, a town from the 1800’s to kick off the school year, we took them to Science World and the boys got a welding lesson from their beloved Papa in his beautiful garage. The two older boys learned to weld, drill, grind, sand, paint and create a rebar coat hook with their initial on it. This was really incredible to see!

3. Living in a condo with no balcony and no private outside space, I was worried about what our outside time would look like. If you know us, we spend a ton of time outside during a day, even when the boys were in brick and mortar school. The boys and I have LOVED the mountain life. We love the exploring on foot and by bike. We love the terrain. Sexy Neck has loved climbing to the top of the ski hill. Bring on the snow! I cannot wait to see what that life will be like covered in white!

4. As the daughter of a teacher and a teacher myself, believe it or not, schooling has always been a thoughtful, somewhat worrysome process. The interesting thing about homeschooling is that I am being more intuitive: watching the boys learn, seeing what lights them up and letting them lead. No yearly plans, just living in the moment and finding resources as I need them. No stress of the September startup: Wondering which friends they would be with and which teacher they would have. Throughout the boys schooling, I known the importance of a teacher and their influence on their students. We have been fortunate to have incredible teachers and we have grown through some excruciatingly inflexible and mediocre ones. I am incredibly proud and honoured to be my boys’ teacher this year for grades three, five and seven. We don’t know if we will continue homeschooling next year, but for this month, it has been magical. I have learned that my boys LOVE to learn. They have embraced all the new skills I have thrown their way, including making a meal (spaghetti and meatballs), taking them to my health and wellness conference (anyone need more energy, want to sleep better, perform better or get rid of your fluffy tummy I am your girl) and learning to sew (curtains for their triple bunk!) alongside those 3 R’s that I talked about. I have seen where my boys have gaps in their learning and I have been able to fill them: capitalization, divisibility rules, number patterns, phonics, oh my! My heart is full. And only two pencils have been thrown in the process by my ten year old! A boy after my own heart with his emotions right at the forefront. I feel very grateful for this time together. I am not surprised at how much I truly LOVE being their teacher.

On September 26th, we celebrate our youngest’s eighth birthday.

We celebrate one month of this radical sabbatical.

We sit atop this peaceful mountain and ponder the adventure to Europe in November.

The projects that we want to learn about and where our questions will take us.

I have always believed that the beginning of all knowledge is asking a question.

And I wonder where this radical sabbatical will take our family.

A band of brothers.

Sexy Neck.

A homeschooling entrepreneurial Mama

Walking on this path.

Every day into the unknown.

With routines, that are flexible.

With surprises along the way.

Watching who shows up.

What lights them up.

And what this radical sabbatical will look like.

I pray for more days like today.

Love.

Joy.

Peace.

Patience.

Kindness.

Goodness.

Dignity.

Grace.

Living our best days.

On this radical sabbatical.

xoxo Joanna

Be a Grower or a Grumbler

Last night, I was talking to an old student of mine about her new job working in a retirement home for the local health authority. I used to work full time in education. Both of these union jobs are where wages are not determined by your performance but dependant on how long you have worked there and what level of education or specific job title you have. Again, how much you are paid is not dependent on how well you do your job.

In this type of occupation where the monetary value is not determined by performance, I have personally witnessed that we end up with two types of employees: Growers and Grumblers.

Growers have their focus on always learning first and growing themselves then they have their eyes focused on exactly who they are there to serve. They embrace visionary leadership that may be different to how they do things. If they see problems, they have solutions to go along with them, plus they take action to solve those problems. Growers live in a constant state of being able to adapt, see the change and be the change. They overflow with gratitude and enjoy 99% of their time in their position.

Grumblers have their focus solely on how things “used to be” or how things “ought to be”. They love talking about what’s wrong. That’s it, they just love talking about what’s wrong. Leadership that involves any type of vision, change or growth is not embraced, but rather seen as another thing to add to the “what’s wrong” list. They live in a constant state of stress, worry and fear. Grumblers clearly do not enjoy most things about their jobs and they are sure to let everyone know when it’s almost Friday. I have been both a Grower and a Grumbler so I speak these words from personal experience.

Three things I discovered reflecting on these two types of employees were:

~ Grumblers tend to stick together. Growers seems to stick together. It appears they don’t often have a high tolerance for each other.

~ Inside this type of employee structure, the Grumblers are often the loudest and have the largest amount of influence.

~ Outside of this employee culture, Growers prevail. The Growers are the ones that most people gravitate towards, even the Grumblers. Where performance matters, Growers shine. Grumblers fall behind.

Since leaving the education world full time, I have full embraced and now thrive in the performance-based structure of creating income. As an entrepreneur, I know, with certainty, that my business will only grow to the rate that I grow myself. As an entrepreneur, I am paid by the value that I provide to my customers and the world around me. I don’t have a set income. I can choose who to surround myself with. Truly the opportunities are endless.

I loved education. I was passionate about learning alongside my students. And I still use the skills and knowledge that I received in that profession, but I am very happy to be outside that environment and surrounded by Master Growers every. Single. Day.

Growers.

Planting.

Looking.

Open.

Seeking.

Finding.

Grumblers.

Harvesting.

Talking.

Closed.

Sitting.

Found.

Take a look around you today and see who you are surrounded by. Are they Growers or Grumblers? This will tell you exactly where you are. Believe I know. I have been surrounded by both and lived as both. And like I said, now that I am surrounded by Master Growers. I can never go back into the Grumbler culture.

Find freedom my friends.

Exactly as you are.

Exactly where you are.

Never stop growing.

Surround yourself with Growers.

Be.

Enough.

Joanna 😘

<come hangout with me on Instagram @cannjoanna)

Dedicated to all the growers that surround me, inspire me, share what they are learning about and what they are grateful for.

Be Celebrating

Cancer teaches you how to celebrate.

Each drink of water.

Every step from the bed to the couch.

Celebrating a rub on my hand.

A nuzzle.

A twinkle in her eye.

A smile and a kiss from her lips.

Yes, cancer is the great teacher of celebration!

I have learned the lesson well.

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Now I celebrate each conversation.

Send a card to celebrate a landmark in people’s lives.

Every night when my boys lie down to bed, I celebrate their days with them, nuzzle their necks, show them my twinkle for them and leave them with a smile and a kiss.

This last Saturday, we celebrated.

As a couple, as a family and as a business team!

Reaching a “Crystal” position.

We have put ourselves out there to share solutions we love.

Solutions around energy, performance, weight loss, healthy aging and wealth creation.

Solutions we believe can change lives.

Starting with us!

My boys told me that I am skinnier, kinder and that I have less vibration in my tummy!

My Sexy Neck told me that he can see my determination to reach my goals of helping people and that this is happening!

My CC told me that my pouchee tummy is gone!

I celebrate that I have something to give to the world!

I am no longer striving, I am just being.

Being me.

Doing what I love every day.

Connecting.

Coaching.

Conversing.

Being authentic.

Allowing people to be.

Celebrating!

Life!

Being!

Me!

Being who I have always dreamed that I could be!

 

 

 

 

Be in Massive ‘Inaction’! 

I had a breakthrough weekend at a business conference last Saturday.  It was truly incredible for the inspiration for action that it provided.  I realized that when you go to conferences, you need to create an action plan to help follow through and to stop from becoming adrenal junkie conference hoppers. Just hopping from conference to conference looking for that next ‘high’ or breakthrough.  

Conferences in Las Vegas.  

90 Day Game Plans. 

Massive Action.  

Goal setting and vision creating.  

I was so inspired that I decided to create a plan of ‘Inaction’! 

Less action.  

More Focus. 

Less doing.  

More being.  

My phone now sits on the fridge between 2:30pm and 7:00pm EVERY day.  

My computer is off unless I decide to sit down for 15 minutes and give ‘er with focused, concrete goals to be achieved.  

My ‘work’ is done in chunks of time lumped  together and spread throughout  the day when it works for me.  

My life is back in balance and MASSIVE action is coming from my ‘Inaction’. 

I am connecting with people on a deeper, less interrupted level. 

My boys and I are reading more, hanging out more and I am more present.  

I own my own schedule again. 

My calendar doesn’t run me and my technology doesn’t suck my time away into a vortex of nothingness. 

And the most ironic thing, my business is flourishing! 

Stop.  

Look at your time.  

Do you need to create some space for some massive ‘inaction’? 

Stop doing.  

Just be.  

You. 

Be Restored

Have you ever had a weekend experience that created such a personal breakthrough that you knew your life nor anyone you loved lives would ever be the same again?  

  
I was at a business event, but it was more like a personal development course personally for me and my business partner, ‘Ned’. 

The truths that poured into me went a little something like this:

Be a professional encourager whose hands can drip hope.  

Create a culture of honour.  

Be ‘unreasonable’.  Do NOT let anyone or anything reason you out of your core values or vision. 

Successful people have healthy boundaries.  They know time is valuable.  

Lies make us shrink.  

It is time to shine like a diamond in your own way. 

Be vulnerable.  

Be open.  

Be learning.  

And growing.  

The best investments is ourselves, our health and our personal growth.  This is even better than real estate. 

Hope.  

Freedom.  

Favour.  

Let go of your expectations.  They don’t serve you.  

Redemption.  

Sevenfold.  

Restored.  

A river rushes to the lowest point. This is the place to be.  

Unforced rhythms of grace.  

Follow the fruit.  

Joy and judgement can’t live on the same street.  

You only earn what you are.  Income rarely exceeds personal growth. 

You get what you give.  

Have gratitude.  

Don’t blame.  

Nor  justify.  

Just lie humbly on the ground and see who stumbles by.  

Offer hope.  

And encouragement. 

And be.  

Just be.  

Me.  

(What words or sentences resonated or popped of the blog reel for you? 

Notice. 

Ponder. 

Be.) 

Be Networking 

WARNING: It has become very clear, I may need to put a caveat at the top of this post, but I am not going to because I truly feel I don’t need one.  

You be the judge…

Three weeks ago, I didn’t know that network marketing was a dirty word for some people.  

A trigger. 

Words that make you turn and run. 

A type of business that makes people start to ignore you. 

My family and friends are very supportive of me and my goal to help others succeed in life, but many people aren’t a fan of the type of company I am choosing to partner with. 

Growing up, I didn’t know anyone involved in network marketing.  I became exposed to it in University through my husband’s volleyball coach and Sexy Neck’s aunt and uncle but I didn’t really hear or know much about it!  

I NEVER had a negative experience.  

I NEVER had anyone harass me. 

When I started my business five months after starting to use the products and the day after my mom’s birthday, I felt privileged to serve and help people with a product I loved.  I knew the product would sell itself.   

My goals were simple with my new adventure: 

Invest in myself. 

Be vulnerable and share my journey. 

Share tools that the company provides.  

Create a connection between one of the many experts on my team. 

 See if this incredible solution based company that helps people have more energy, perform at a higher level, age well, lose weight or create wealth was for each UNIQUE human ‘being’ that crossed my path.  

The VERY best thing about this company is that I got to stick in my heart because the company does all the ‘head’ stuff. 

Connecting with people. 

Listening to goals.  

Walking with my ‘network’.  

Letting the company do the ‘business stuff’. 

Building websites for each associate.  

Providing research. 

Creating movies and podcasts.  

Educating myself and anyone who wants to be. 

I have the great privilege to CHOOSE who I work with every day.  And, if someone chooses to buy a product, I get a referral payment added onto a prepaid Visa.  Then, drum roll please, if that person refers someone, we both get a referral payment.  

It is an incredible gift to be able to watch people reach their personal goals with this amazing company.  

I am overwhelmed with gratitude for this opportunity. 

Network marketing is a tool to support  myself and others, not harass.  

Working on myself. 

Helping others.  

Working with incredible people on my ever growing team. 

Serving not selling.  

Creating freedom income through products I love.  

  

Be Wondering About Your Why 

This week I launched myself into the deep end by sharing a new business venture with some very close friends. 

My mentor and teammate, TC, encouraged me to really question what my ‘why’ is. Why am I starting a business now? 

Why?  

Why? 

Why? 

My husband, Sexy Neck, loves his amazing job working in schools, but is very busy.   

 

Being his supporting partner and wife is a gift.  I love it! 

My three wee, active boys are eight, five and three.    

 

Being their mom is a blessing,  my most fulfilling role and ‘job’.   I love my boys! 

I have just returned to teaching after a five year hiatus, working with incredible families who school at home.  

Being a teacher is sharing my passion for learning, finding fun resources and being able to help students grow in depth of knowledge and spirit.  I love my profession.  

About ten months ago, I started distributing my friend’s product called GreenTeaHawaii.  

 

Being able to connect with people and sell a product you love is pure joy for me.   I love selling tea.  

And now I am launched.  

At ground zero of a new business. 

I am sharing my story and building a team of like-minded people focused on health that want to create residual income for their families. 

BUT why am I really doing this right now?  

It is because of the life my mom lived and the lessons her life and death taught me.  Ah man, I love my Mama.  

I feel that it isn’t a coincidence all these opportunities are coming my way.  

Her death has set me free.  

It has allowed me to ponder life, live my days and find my why’s. 

My ‘Why’ for this new business venture I discovered in my mom’s obituary that we wrote in December of 2013.   

“Gwen, in her home, profession and community never stopped teaching and learning.  Her servant heart complimented her active adventurous spirit.  In her finest role, Super Nana created magical memories.  Her exemplary life inspires us to love deeply, serve others and live fully.”

Loving deeply.  

Serving others.  

Creating magical memories for my boys, family and friends. 

Launching myself fully into a business that promotes health, builds people up and provides income to those who want to take the opportunity.  

Living my why.  

Loving my peeps.  

Loving these products.  

Loving this business. 

Loving how I feel.  

Being enough.