This is an archived blog from when I ran Conscious Public Relations Inc. from 2008-2018. Excuse the potential outdated-ness!
10 Questions inspired by Paulina Cameron
I’ve loosely been doing an end of year recap for the last few years, and planned on doing one this year, but I like that Paulina (SVI cohort) posed 10 questions that she used to look back on her 2014. So we will roll with her guideline this time around!
1. Where did I thrive?
Business. Conscious PR Inc. increased its revenues by 60% this year and (for the first time since incorporating) is turning a profit. I completed both of my goals for Conscious PR in 2014, one being bringing on interns throughout the year who were a major help with a lot of our campaigns. This allowed me to really see the potential of our company and solidify my vision for it.
Above: Sola Fiedler and her Vancouver Tapestry (sold in November 2014)
2. Where did I struggle?
Probably my biggest a-ha of this year is realizing that much of my happiness in life has come from the outside world. It sounds like a very common and obvious thing, but finding inner joy just for the sake of it is a struggle for me, and a muscle I feel I am just starting to build. Being successful this year was a good test of this for me, because despite the success I should still feel content anyway. It’s something I’m still working on.
3. Who was important in my life and why?
With the loss of my paternal grandfather, I realized how important he was not just to me but to the rest of my family members. In the process of creating an heirloom book of his life, I was able to hear and read stories from distant relatives and family friends about how he impacted them. It made me realize that Scott Adams’ quote is true. There are no small acts of kindness. Every small act has a ripple effect with no logical end.
Leo was also such an important part of my life because he acted as a mirror for me to see how I have continued to change as a person, compared to when we were first dating. Just in the last few weeks I realized that he loves me even in my evolution, which is so heartwarming to know.
4. What lesson am I grateful to have learned?
As Michael E. Gerber repeatedly says in his E-Myth series, it is difficult to do business alone. It’s not impossible, but if you have big goals (like ours, changing what we see in the media), you need a bigger team. It’s as simple as that.
5. Where & how was I courageous?
With the help of my self-improvement tools, I reacted a lot less to e-mails and on social media when I really wanted to bring the hammer down on some people. Fighting emotional messages with emotional responses is equal to kids slapping each other around in the playground: it doesn’t make a situation any better. I ignored some messages, while responding respectfully to others, in hopes that it would not escalate emotions of the person on the other end. I feel that this form of courage – self-restraint – is the hardest to practice but I am proud of executing it.
6. What brought me joy?
Aaliyah; spending time with friends and family on my birthday; grieving with family during my grandfather’s death; watching TV series Orange is The New Black, The Walking Dead, Homeland, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and True Detective with Leo and my family; amazing local food; outstanding films like the ones shown at this year’s Vancouver Short Film Festival, X-Men Days of Future Past, and Interstellar.
7. How did I treat my body, heart, spirit, and mind?
I finally took a Food Sensitivity test and went off a good number of foods for 90 days. I found that my stomach reacts the most to sugar, dairy (mostly cheese), white rice, and chickpeas, so I limit these to only on weekends (sugar is still the hardest!). So I think my body has been thankful for that rest, even though being a better vegan cook would help more too.
The list in #6 helps with feeling good about myself, but funny enough, I found dancing to be the most heart-opening. As I blogged about yesterday, I am just beginning to tap into my inner performer again. Doing things like dance walking with Tree and like no one is watching helps with loving myself as I am and therefore being able to love others too. It’d be much harder to change the world if I couldn’t love and accept myself as I am.
I also found the most spiritual fulfillment through beginning my Transcendental Meditation practice. Since I only started the second half of the year, it’ll be great to continue it into 2015 and see if it’s the time of year that has an effect on my stress, or whether the TM can really help to combat it year-round.
I felt that lots of things challenged my mind this year. I am continually in awe of the business people who are doing amazing things for the world. I am also continually disheartened by some of the things that go on. It’s a fine balance of humility and acceptance.
8. How did I show up for the people I care about?
I feel that through spearheading the soon-to-come completion of my grandfather’s life story and volunteering to do a eulogy and reading at his funeral services, that I helped my family deal with a sensitive time. His health deteriorated just in the course of two years, so for the people who knew him in their lifetimes, I can only imagine the emotional impact that time had on them. It’s still something we’re going to deal with as a family for a while.
9. What situations triggered fear or discomfort? Did I move through them? If so, how? If not, why not?
CRAVEfuel with Daphne Chan, Brooke Milne, and Cathy Milne, June 2014
Public speaking continued to be a challenge when I spoke at TELUS’s 20×20 event in January and then the June CRAVEfuel. I could have done more coaching prior to my longest live TV gig on CTV in November, but I just wanted to see how I would do on my own, and I found out that I am much more comfortable on TV than ever before. I just wish I would sweat less.
10. Which rituals and habits served me well and which ones didn’t?
What served me well: Running, yoga, TM, eating vegan on weekdays, Netflix Sundays at Sarah’s, reading daily, giving my interns the freedom to try new things, and the tenacity to take on my Vancouver Short Film Festival duties, my grandfather’s life story, and Rescued Clothing Company all on the side of running Conscious PR.
What didn’t serve me well: Stubbornness and wanting to be right; wanting to control all aspects of my business; choosing not to express myself so that I wouldn’t have to be judged.
Bonus #11: What moments stand out the most for me from the year?
I love this question.
- G Day April & November 2014 (Photo Social City Networking)
- SVI Hollyhock September 2014
- Portland in September 2014 with Leo
- Dance walking with Tree, November 2014
- 5th annual Vancouver Short Film Festival, November 2014
Hoping you look back on your year with a sense of wonder and purpose for 2015.