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HAPPIFIED Highlights

Did you get HAPPIFIED? I had the honour of speaking at the ONLINE HAPPIFIED event hosted by Karen Judge at the Dose of Happiness which helped to raise awareness for the Thumbs Up Foundation.

Karen had 23 different speakers come in and share the incredible work that they are doing to make a difference in the world, and I was honoured to be featured among them.  She wrapped up the event with Amy Bishop singing fun as well as touching songs with her incredibly POWERFUL voice.  I want to highlight the key messages that I took away from each of the speakers.

Dietrich Desmarais –

Dietrich focuses on Emotional Health Management. He talked about how 93% of all communication is non-verbal. Take that in for a moment and think about how hard Zoom calls make our brain work when we cannot see a lot of the non-verbal cues! He asked this question which is a powerful one to consider. Are you more committed to being “right” or being “relational“? He also reinforced the importance of not suffering alone, but instead, suffering well. He finished with this beautiful quote by Martin Luther King, “A tree does not bear fruit for its own consumption.”

Paul Rigby

Paul starts his workshops with management saying, “You have got to pay people more………….attention!” He believes that you need to treat people the way THEY want to be treated. He had some interesting phrases:
  1. Bounce Forward instead of Bounce Back
  2. Feed Forward NOT Feedback

His hope for everyone is that they find their Ikigia: Love what you do/Do what the world needs/Do what you are good at/Get paid for what you do.

Orsha Magyar –

Orsha was originally in neuroscience and switched into becoming a nutritionist when she found out just how important the gut brain health is to our overall well-being. She believes in looking at the root causes of illness and not doing a Band-Aid solution. She gave some great hacks. For example, when you get a sugar craving, pair it with some protein like almonds, etc. She believes in an empowered approach to wellness and knows that nutrition is one piece of the whole puzzle.

Calgary Reads with Steacy Pinney-

Steacy Pinney, a former Grade 1 school teacher, formed Calgary Reads and is now the head of this wonderful organization that champions the importance of reading. They have created a Comfort Collection bundle to help children to name their feelings. They have the Little Red Reading House in Inglewood and invite you to stop by.

Steacy is currently reading the book, Joyful, by Ingrid Fetell Lee. In it, Ingrid challenges people to go out on a joy spotting mission each and every day to recognize how the small things can bring so much happiness. Steacy recommended this Ted Talk with Ingrid and suggested that each of us go out and look for Joy to see the shift that it has for us:

Lee Horbachewski –

Lee shared her struggles with mental health and depression and how the camera her husband gifted her woke her up to a new world of possibilities. By shifting the focus on her lens, she realized that she could also shift the focus on various issues in her life. Lee loves to photograph wildlife and nature. She is now offering immersive photography retreats whether it is on your phone or high end camera. By being mindful through photography, Lee is able to stay more grounded, healthy and whole.

Jennifer Buchanan:

Jennifer first saw the power of music by playing her guitar and signing to her grumpy grandfather in the hospital who she had not been close to. As she played, she watched in amazement as her grandpa had tears stream down his face and other patients were drawn into the room. Jennifer, now a music therapist, has launched her book, Wellness, Wellplayed. She encourages each of us to find the soundtracks that go with our life and to have deep, meaningful discussions with one another about them. What would you have in your soundtrack repertoire?

Mark Deeks:

Mark teaches piano online. I took piano lessons myself and hated scales. Mark stated that if you can easily learn piano through broken chords. That is the first time I have ever heard that used and it makes so much sense! He guarantees that you will be able to start playing songs that you love within 90 days. He also powerfully shared how music helped him through the loss of daughter at 21 weeks. His wife is pregnant again and we are all sending out the positive vibes for a healthy, happy baby.

Corey and Liz Deacon:

Corey and Liz are so committed to finding the root cause of illness. Just one of the tips they shared was how important it was for our circadian rhythm to watch the sunrise in the morning (not through a window, but outdoors) and to watch a sunset at night. With us in the northern hemisphere going into much darker days, we can actually use cold first thing in the morning and then a hot bath in the evening which will help our circadian rhythm and sleep. There was so much incredible information shared. Please visit their website to see all the incredible areas that they focus on.

Gayle & Tim :

Gayle and Tim walked us through the importance of sound healing and shared a beautiful sample sound bath. They own Amaryllis Crystal Garden in Cochrane, Alberta. I have been to their store and to one of their sound baths and it is an incredible experience all around.

Jarod Judge

It was wonderful to see the relationship that Karen has with her son Jarod. Jarod is a wealth of wisdom and believes that we are all deeply connected. He finds that his music helps him express what he cannot in words. For real, for real!!

Tara McCool :

Tara McCool is a huge advocate for compassionate leadership. She stresses that this type of leadership is not always easy, in fact, sometimes it is about having the courage to have the difficult discussions. She shared a quick sports analogy. If someone on your team, is going in the wrong direction of scoring, would the coach still let him go that way, or stop him and tell him the right direction to go? With the Great Resignation happening, compassionate leadership is needed more now, than ever before.

Steve Brierly :

Steve has written books on Being better at work and at home as well as creating challenge cards. The Challenge that Karen picked that each of us could think about, went along the lines of… instead of getting angry at a person, instead to find grace and compassion. What a great reminder.

Clifford Wessel:

Clifford has studied so many different cultures and therapies. He walked us through a guided meditation. He shared that there are 4 ways to meditate.

  1. Lying down – he finds he falls asleep in this state!
  2. Sitting
  3. Standing
  4. Moving – example was doing Tai Chi

The whole idea of meditation is to become mindful to the moment and to our thoughts. What thoughts are you thinking?

Susanne Heaton –

Yes, that is me! I shared just a few of the healing benefits of getting out in nature that are scientifically backed for our overall health and well-being. I shared a challenge for everyone to replicate the Duke University study of getting outdoors 3 times/week for a 30 minute brisk walk to see the difference it made on your overall well-being. The challenge is on FB:

Tony Esteves:

Tony shared his struggle through mental health and how he decided to do a challenge for 30 days to go and talk to a complete stranger. His business coach challenged him to do it for a full year. The results were that not only was he able to get off his medication, he ended up meeting so many incredible people including his wife! His challenge to you is to talk to a stranger for 30 days to see the changes it makes in your life.

Patricia Morgan :

Patricia Morgan calls herself a Seniorpreneur. She is full of so much spunk and feistiness. Just look at her awesome outfit! She has written many books: Two that were discussed were

  1. Love Her As She Is – it is about their adopted daughter who suffered with addictions due to being an FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) baby. Patricia wrote love letters to her and the book also shares her daughter’s side to the story
  2. From Woe to Wow – How Resilient Women Succeed at Work.

Susan Smed:

Susan Smed is a passionate advocate for helping people navigate the maze to safe and healthy aging. Having dealt with this situation first hand, Susan truly wishes she had known about resources that were available while she was dealing with her aging mother. As one of the main caregivers with 4 other siblings, it became evident that each had different ideas of what was best for their mom. She shared that she is now just repairing a relationship with a sibling since her mother passed 4 years ago. It is important to have those difficult discussions now so that the parent’s wishes are granted and that families can fully support one another. With all of us living longer and with dementia on the rise, these decisions need to be made today, to create more ease for the future.

Jordan Tanner:

Jordan Tanner shared how he himself struggled with mental health and how important it was that they had insurance to get through that time. He is most grateful for his wife and children and has such a huge heart. He works with families to ensure that they have a clear vision for what how they want their money to be properly allocated.

Stylists : Shauna & Hakim

Karen interviewed Shawna and Hakim on the importance of Style and feeling good about yourself and how important it is to have the clothes feel good on you.

 Paula Bickford – Dance through Life –

Paula walked us through the moves to doing the Jerusalema Dance. It feels great to get your body moving and grooving. Checking out this catchy tune here:

Amy Bishop:

Amy Bishop wrapped up everything with her powerful voice, lyrics and songs. If you have never heard Amy, you are totally missing out!

TUF Documentary

Thumb’s Up Foundation (TUF) is a partner and charity of choice with HAPPIFIED. This documentary by TUF is an example of why HAPPIFIED wishes no person or family suffers from a mental health challenge.  Thumb’s Up launched Harmonized Health as a pilot project in 2020 which is dedicated to breaking down the current silos that exist for mental health and addiction support. It was designed around four key pillars: knowledge and understanding, standardized comprehensive assessment, integrated treatment services, and connected, holistic recovery. There is a need for change, and HAPPIFIED believes TUF is paving the road, making change happen. Thank you Karen for supporting the Thumbs Up Foundation with this event.

Thank you to Karen Judge of for launching this HAPPIFIED event and for creating such a fun space downtown at Banker’s Hall where she houses a whole lot of happiness and a lot of the books from the guests above. Check out that space and see a frown turn upside down!

Thank you Karen for supporting the Thumbs Up Foundation with this event.

Thank you to all the incredible sponsors that helped to make this a reality:

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