Take Time to Rest and Reflect

© 2019 Brenda Dineen | Reprinting permission with credit to author


The world around us moves at a dizzying pace. At times, it presses in on us with all its demands and its fast pace. The world inside us can get very busy too.  Have you ever noticed how your mind quickly darts from one thing to another?

Many people these days feel overloaded, and need time to sit back and rest.  Sometimes it is important to make a conscious choice to just relax.

Back in the old days (the 50s and 60s) we used to watch many popular shows on our black and white TVs.  No remote controls in those days.  We sat and watched whole programs without changing the channel. Some of these shows were comedies like “I Love Lucy”.  Lucy and her friend Ethel were always getting into mix-ups, and the scenes were so funny. In one episode, Lucy and Ethel are working at a chocolate factory and taking instructions from their supervisor.  The chocolates arrive individually on a conveyor belt in front of them and their job is to wrap each candy in a paper wrapper.  At first this seems simple: one chocolate arrives at a time. But very soon the conveyor belt speeds up. So many chocolates at once. Chocolate overload!  Whoa!  What are Lucy and Ethel going to do with all these excess chocolates?  They start to stuff them in their mouths, in their clothes and in their hats! We all laughed our heads off at this scene. It was so hilarious. Of course, we never thought real life could be anything like this.

But now, years later, our lives don’t look much different from the conveyor belt at the chocolate factory. And we aren’t laughing so much about it.  Everything is speeding up and we feel the need to fit it all in.  We have become a multi-tasker, stuffing our minds with endless data, and filling our daily schedules with too many things to do.

As a result, we may need to take time this summer to deeply rest.  Rest is an important ingredient for your wellbeing.  If you don’t take time to rest, you may pay a price with your health and your relationships.  You can end up exhausted, burned out, or feel that something is lacking. Indeed, something may be missing when you don’t spend any time at all reflecting on how your life is progressing, and tending to your own needs.

Step back. Take a break.  Be kind to yourself.

Years ago I took a personal growth course, and each of us in the group was given assignments designed to challenge us in ways that would force us to learn and grow.  One of my assignments was to stare at a blank wall for 15 minutes a day. Ridiculous!  I thought to myself.  What a waste.  I could be doing something better with my time.  I did however, stare at the wall. But it took me years to experience the value of meditating and focusing on something simple.  I have had to deal with a busy mind and busy schedule all my life. Maybe you have too.

This summer is a great opportunity to rest and reflect.

Give yourself permission to do less. Set boundaries and limits in order to put your self-care first. Let go of ‘must’ and ‘should’.

Times of rest are deeply nourishing for your body and your soul.  Begin to plan time this summer for your rest.  What will that look like?  Where are your favourite places to rest? Take a trip out of town.  Sit by a lake.  Paddle a canoe.  Read a book.  Lie in a hammock.  Water your flowers. Turn off your computer and iPhone.  Walk among trees. Do less.  Say “no” to what you cannot do.

Even better, try meditating regularly, or embrace a practice that enhances stillness and silence. Carve out some time for this, even if it’s just a few minutes a day. Give yourself a break throughout the day this July and August.  You may find these occasions to be precious, as they are an investment in your health and wellbeing. In stillness and silence we begin to experience the calm and peace that we desire.  This inner peace is strengthening and rejuvenating.

Some questions you could contemplate this summer:

 • What do I appreciate most at this stage in my life?

• To what extent do I feel balance in my life?

• Is there something I need to pay more attention to?

• What is my heart calling me to do? Am I living my purpose?

Take notice of the benefits after you pause to rest and reflect on life with no distractions.

Spending time resting and reflecting this summer will pay off. You will be fulfilling a need your soul has: to rest your body and mind.

Take time to be quiet and still.

I wish you a contented and relaxing summer.

Warm wishes,

p.s. To watch the Lucy show, please click: Lucy’s Famous Chocolate Scene. You may find yourself laughing out loud.

2019: Follow Your Heart

© 2019 Brenda Dineen | Reprinting permission with credit to author

2019-Follow Your Heart-Brenda Dineen

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.
What is essential is invisible to the eye.”

– Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince

Let’s welcome the New Year: 2019!

The old has passed away and the new is beckoning, full of possibilities. This is an opportunity to reflect upon where you are on your life path.

Picture doors of opportunity in front of you. See them opening. Step into this year with courage and purpose!

2019 is calling… How do you want to be living? What will make this year a truly memorable one for you?

As you go through your daily life, you are faced with making so many choices. Some of these are easy. Others more challenging. Have you noticed how you make your choices and decisions? Maybe you have a checklist of pros and cons. Sometimes this can work. Sometimes it doesn’t.

A woman once told me she made a major decision by writing a list of pros and cons. After writing the list, an inner voice was telling her what to do, but she ignored that voice. Instead she believed, that because her mind was so strong, she needed to listen to it. However, afterwards she experienced a lot of conflict and began to doubt she made the right decision.

The heart is a place of deep knowing. When you listen to your heart, you know what choice to make. The choice feels right. It feels true and it comes easily, without noise or distraction.

There are so many distractions, so many voices pulling you this way and that. How do you tune all of this out, and listen to the whispers of your heart? Sometimes people suffer with the wrong choice and finally listen to what they really want to do.

I once knew a man, Tom who became a lawyer. Tom went into law because his father told him that was the right choice and he pressured Tom to go to law school, even though the he did not want to go. Tom practiced law for a number of years but he was very unhappy. He had always wanted to be an artist. Eventually he listened to his inner calling and he quit law. Tom became an artist.

Have you made a decision because someone else told you to? How did it feel? How did it turn out?

Develop some practices to tune into your heart. It is often really helpful to become quiet and the answer will come to you.

• Meditate

• Go for a walk in nature

• Take a break from electronics

• Sit in quiet reflection

• Write in your journal

Learn to trust your instincts. If it’s in your heart, go for it. Listen when it speaks to you. It often whispers in your ear. It rarely shouts. Trust this inner guidance system to lead you on the right path. As you practice this, the more it will offer to you. The resources and supports you need begin to show up in your life.

Here is a practical way to support yourself: make a change in your morning routine. For the first hour of your morning, do not reach for your smartphone or check email.

Spend an hour this way:

• Meditate or spend a few minutes in quiet reflection

• Read a passage, or a chapter from an uplifting book

• Spend a few minutes doing yoga or stretching

• Review your plans and intentions for the day

• Make your bed

• Have a shower

Then, notice the difference your new morning routine makes to your day.

Don’t allow the noise and distraction of the world to silence the whispers of your heart. Walk away from something that does not feel right to you.

If you feel lost, confused or uncertain, tune once again into your heart. Notice the message it is giving you. Listening to your heart will become an integral part of your life.

In 2019, make a commitment to follow your heart. You will be glad you did.

Warm wishes,


“Helping you navigate through the second half of life with clarity, vision and purpose”

To contact Brenda directly you can e-mail her at:
or call: (604) 435-9400 for a FREE 20 minute phone consultation.

Good Health: Head to Toe

© 2013 Brenda Dineen | Reprinting permission with credit to author

I have had a recent brush with cancer.  At a scheduled appointment, my dermatologist scanned my body and declared: “Everything is fine but that thing on the bottom of your foot has to go.”  It was a small, dark brown freckle. It seemed completely harmless.  I had never paid attention to it. It was not painful or irritating.  Just a freckle.  How long was it there?  I have no idea.

I was quickly referred to the Skin Care Clinic where a specialist froze the bottom of my foot and cut out the small mole.  I thought that was the end of it.  Two weeks later the same doctor phoned me and said:  “The results came back from the lab and the mole that was removed was melanoma.”  He did add that the lab report found it was very shallow and very low risk (they are much more concerned if the tumour is deeper into the skin and has more aggressive features); however, in this circumstance the practice is to remove further tissue from the surrounding area.

Several weeks later I had a second surgery to remove a circle of tissue on the bottom of my foot and a square of skin from my thigh was grafted onto the bottom of my foot to cover the surgery site.  Then I had a period of three to four weeks recovering at home.  I had excellent care from doctors and nurses, as well as follow-up.

This experience was a total jolt out of the blue.  During these years of the aging journey, I expect some of the health concerns others are facing:  aching joints, problems with eyesight, feet needing support, aging skin, declining flexibility.  But to have a melanoma on the bottom of my foot was a shock.  Also, I discovered this is not uncommon. My surgeon told me:  “You are the third person I have treated this week with the same thing.”

I avoided looking online and reading people’s horror stories with melanoma. Instead, I used healing visualizations, support from wonderful friends, as well as my own self-talk.  I kept saying and feeling that my body was cancer-free.  I found this was extremely helpful. Your thoughts are very powerful and help to create the resonance that you want.

The lab result came back from the second surgery:  no malignant cells were found.

Sometimes you might not be paying attention to all of your skin. Your skin is your largest organ, weighing about 6 to 8 lbs. and covers about two square meters. Your skin performs many important functions and can regenerate and repair itself under most conditions.  It is important to pay attention to your skin and to treat it with care.

Have a good Health Support Team:

It’s important to have a number of specialists whom you trust and who give excellent service to you. In the past I sometimes stayed with doctors who were mediocre and have decided I deserve excellent care. I now have health practitioners I trust and feel really good about.

You might have some of these on your Health Support Team:

  • doctor
  • dentist
  • podiatrist
  • optometrist
  • physiotherapist
  • massage therapist
  • chiropractor
  • dermatologist (yes!)
  • holistic health practitioner

As well, you might have a personal fitness trainer, a yoga instructor, a meditation teacher, a healer, or a therapist.  A lot of women go to an esthetician for facials and pedicures. These are not only cosmetic: they are wonderful for your taking care of your skin and your overall well-being.

Look at your current state of health and ask yourself if you have all the supports you need for optimal health and wellness.

Most people I talk to have not gone to a dermatologist and are very puzzled by my experience.  “A dermatologist?”, they ask. Now that I am talking about this, I hope some of my readers might be encouraged to get a check-up with a dermatologist.  Most likely everything is fine, but it is definitely worth knowing what is happening with your skin.  You also need to avoid tanning beds and to use sunscreen that protects both UVA and UVB rays from the sun.

If you are like me, you probably love the sun. When I found out I had melanoma, my head was swirling with questions like:  Is the sun my friend?  Am I paying a price for lying on the beach? Will I have to stay indoors?  One of the doctors told me that the tumour was not necessarily caused by sun-tanning and it could be genetically linked, although there is no history of skin cancer in my family. I will be followed up at the Cancer Agency for two years, which is a good thing.

It is important to take care of your total health: head to toe.  As you age, there are many things to be paying attention to and getting care for.  One of these is your precious skin.

Warm wishes,


2013: Opening Doors of Possibility

© 2013 Brenda Dineen | Reprinting permission with credit to author

“Sometimes I believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
                                                                                        -Lewis Carroll

Welcome 2013!  Let’s embrace our new year.

The new year signals change:  fresh opportunities, new goals and a vision of what is possible. In the beginning of the year, you may sense you have the motivation to make some changes or to try something new. No matter what has happened in the past, you can make new choices now. You have the chance to start fresh as you experience doors opening before you. Picture doors of opportunity in front of you. See them opening. As you see a door opening, step through the doorway with enthusiasm and purpose.

We often live with limited views of ourselves and what is possible. This can feel like a dark screen over the lens of our life.  If this were removed, we would see endless possibilities. I think about astronaut Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to walk in outer space, who is currently orbiting Earth many times each day. The photos of our planet are stunning and when I look at them, I feel inspired and moved. Chris not only stepped out of the box, he flew up into space and is staying there for months. You can see his photos online by clicking on this link or google Chris Hadfield.

In our essence, we are made of energy. We are radiating these qualities each moment: either expansion or contraction. It is up to us how we direct our thoughts and our energy. When we put restrictions on ourselves and the possibilities of our life, we don’t see what can manifest.

Consciously direct your self-talk

Our thoughts and feelings continually create the reality that is our life.  Notice how you are talking to yourself today.  Are you saying: “I can’t do that. I’m not smart enough.  It will never happen.”  Or are you saying: “I see that possibility in my life.  I’m going for it.” Thinking positively is a way to open yourself to new possibilities.

You may feel some of these obstacles:

* being afraid of making mistakes

* lacking energy or support

* worrying about the steps to get there

* leaving your comfort zone

Let this be the year you dare to dream

Start to picture what you want. Identify things you want in your life now.  Is it better health and wellness?  Is it closer relationships?  Is it simplifying your life and letting go of what no longer serves you? Is it traveling? Contributing to your community?

Picture a door in front of you.  It is opening and on the other side are immense possibilities. Make a concrete plan that you will share with another person. Sharing will help you solidify your direction.

Suggestions if you are feeling a little stuck:

* Get out of your routine and do something new

* Drive a new route or go to a new place

* Spend  time in nature, among trees or close to water

* Get the support you need.  Free 20 minute phone consultation with me by calling 604-435-9400.

Notice when you feel happy, content or when you shift to feeling expansive. Write about this in your journal or share with someone close to you.

 “I am where I am because I believe in all possibilities.”

                                                       -Whoopi Goldberg

May 2013 be a year when you step out of limitation and embrace new possibilities.

Warm wishes


To assist you in finding and opening the doors of Possibility in your life, please enjoy a guided audio meditation “Opening Doors of Possibility ” by clicking on this text.

Time for Rest and Reflection

© 2012 Brenda Dineen | Reprinting permission with credit to author

The afternoon of life is a time to listen deeply to your heart.
– Carl Jung

We are approaching the winter solstice and the end of our auspicious 2012.  After such a tumultuous year, this coming holiday season offers us an opportunity to rest and to reflect, and to deeply nurture ourselves.

We have all been aware of the significance of 2012. We are sensing we are at the beginning of massive changes and shifts in all areas of life. This is also a time of advancement in our spiritual growth. We are releasing old beliefs, ways of being and the sense that we are separate from each other.  I am noticing many people experiencing crisis or significant shifts in all areas: relationships, health, finances, work, and consciousness. As well, we are witnessing crisis in our world in many realms. These momentous shifts are preparing us for the new age we are entering.

Some questions I am asking myself:

  • What has this year brought me?
  • What have I appreciated most in 2012?
  • In what ways have I grown as a person, or learned something new?
  • Am I living my purpose?

As the days are now shorter and darker, many people feel the impulse to hibernate, to pull into themselves. I like to have my fireplace on, the Christmas lights sparkling and a few candles burning. Then I spend some time writing in my journal. This is a season to be reflective and to notice what is happening.  In order to prepare ourselves for what is in store in the coming year, we need to be deeply grounded, and to find the time and space to be quiet.

The holidays are filled with activity and it is easy to get so busy with “doing” that we neglect our self-care.

We need balance, including time for rest and to contemplate the journey our life is taking. When we don’t take time to nurture ourselves this way, we can end up feeling exhausted, burned out or that something is lacking.  Something is missing when we don’t spend any time at all reflecting on how our life is progressing and tending to our personal needs.

It is very important to take some time to be still and quiet.

* Meditate regularly or have a practice that enhances stillness and silence.

Carve out some time for this. A few minutes a day or an afternoon.   An evening.  These occasions are precious and an investment in your growth and awareness.  In stillness and silence we begin to experience calmness and peace.  This inner peace strengthens us.

*Make sure you get enough exercise and sleep.

Some questions you might contemplate:

  • What practices do you have that bring you rest and reflection?
  • What do you notice when you take time for quiet, with no distractions?
  • What do you need to pay more attention to?

When you spend a little time with these questions, you are fulfilling a need your soul has: to know how your journey is progressing and to set your sights on what is best for you. When you bring things into balance, you may be feeling that your life is on track.

Take time to be quiet and still.  Out of stillness comes deeper knowing and the inner strength that fortifies you for the times ahead.

I wish you a contented and nourishing holiday season.

Warm wishes,


Take time to listen to the guided meditation to help you find peace. Click on the title  to start the audio. B-Dineen-Peace_meditation