Sparkle Time

Today I want to talk about finding your sparkle thru learning. I make my living with teaching English. Yet I really think that I do so much more than just teach the grammar and vocabulary of the language of Shakespeare. As we continue to meet with my clients, week after week, we end up creating a link. We share our thoughts and opinions. We open up questions that need answers and we find the lost or hiding sparkle.

When you decide to learn something new, you decide to open your mind and heart to new ideas and opportunities. You take a brave step into something unknown. Sometimes the stakes aren’t that high. If you don’t like it, you can move onto other adventures. Other times you invest a lot of time, energy and money, and you definitely want your investment’s worth. I see clients who start to open up as you encounters progress. They grow more confident in their English, express themselves better and suggest ways for us to progress together. Amazingly, changes can also be seen in other areas of my clients’ life. Self-confidence comes from repeated experiences of being succesful. Sparkle invites more sparkle.

If you succeed in learning English, why couldn’t you take on other challenging things as well?

Ballet Girl

I can’t wait to be dancing ballet again. I bought a pair of pointe shoes as well as demi pointes. I had lost my poite shoes and my demi pointes were just in a horrible stage.

Ballet is something very dear to me. It was the first time in my life at the age of thirteen that I really felt a passion for something when I wanted to train ballet with a goal of possibly making a career out of it. That didin’t happen but ballet gave me so many life lessons, and will continue to do so as I will again start training with my soon to be installed barre and mirror.

Ballet requires discipline. Ballet pushes your limits. It makes you stronger and flexible. I still remember the specific order of ballet class exercises as if it were yesterday. Ballet will come to complement my exercise routine of cardio training, Pilates and yoga. I can’t wait to see my body adapt to ballet again.

The Alamo – Peaceful Warrior

This is the Alamo. The number one battle of Texas. That’s how the Lone Star State got liberated from Mexico. Visiting the Alamo in San Antonio is a must experience. The Mission gardens are peaceful and majestic. You can find inner calmness and center there.

I love breaking into a yoga pose when the desire hits. My pink sneakers are perfect companions when out and about for extended times. We fueled ourselves with tacos and later on Starbucks. San Antonio treated us to some quality time together, regardless of that day’s somewhat gloomy weather.

Traveling boosts my life for many weeks and months to come. As I explore new places, I gather precious information about myself as well. I learn how to find my peaceful warrior wherever I go. I have kept my travel memories preciously stored and ready to be used, when need be. They are my toolbox to a balanced daily life.

Business Girl

My first week as a full-time entrepreneur is behind me, and I’ve loved every moment of it. As much as I do miss my group lesson students, I’m savoring the opened up schedule. I can start my mornings by focusing on what I really want and need to do – planning and developing new ideas for my business, putting together fun lessons, drafting individualized learning plans, meditate, even get in some sports. There’s a renewed feeling of enthusiasm. I’ve always loved teaching English, but now I’m flying even higher.

I plan to reach out to companies around me to see if there would be opportunities to teach English as a second language there. We do live in the heart of the tourist attractions, high quality hotels and the administrative center buildings of the province of Quebec. I’ve also been doing some French to English translations. I love that. I love languages, and the challenge to convey a specific message from one medium to another.

I’m ready to open up the page to a new week. I’m eager to see where life will take me. I’m open to opportunities and humble to learning. I keep doing my yoga work. The mat is where I train my body and mind.

Yoga for 2018

I love new beginnings. Of course they can happen at any time but the dawn of a new year feels sweet, every time. Maybe also because here in the Northern hemisphere that is when we all need a boost. Parties have been partied, and winter is now really kicking in. Luckily we have the chance to focus on new goals. Focus is what keeps us going. I’ve seen that so many times in my job as an English as a second language teacher. Clients that have a clear goal, and who regularly re-evaluate it, reach the best results, and also stay the longest.

My goals for 2018 are divided into three categories: work, sports and internal growth. This January is a landmark for me as for the first time in my career, I am going full time entrepreneur. My English teaching business Susa English┬áhas been growing steadily since I launched it in 2012. I’ve developed my own method. I have a 10-level study program. My clients learn in environments that suit them the best – be it the classroom but also the cafe, park, taking a walk or visiting the nearby stores. We learn hands-on and everyday vocabulary. My future goals for Susa English are to find a couple more clients and also some more translaing jobs. I greatly enjoy translating (from French to English), or revising (English) text. That gives me a sweet change from teaching.

My second goal is around sports and body image. I’ve had my share of weight shifts within my 43 years. I’ve been too high as well as too low. It’s been a process to find the real, good-for-me weight after all that. I feel that I’m there now. I’ve maintained my current weight without too much effort for a long period. I have energy to do all that I want. I still feel slim and light.

My sports goals are: enjoying the Canadian winter by cross-country skiing and skating. Both of these can be done within a 5-10 minute walk from my place. I have also planned snowshoeing with a friend. I want to continue using my stepper. It’s a great back up when the temperature drops too low outside. Sometimes I get up and head straight to the stepper to get my workout in before breakfast. I plan to continue with my zumba and yoga teaching. I lead a Quebec City fitness community online and the class is connected to that.

I keep enjoying my regalar yoga lessons with Boho Beautiful. I just adore her style. I will also get something new and exciting this year – a ballet barre and a mirror. I can’t wait to reignite the ballerina spark in me. Pointe shoes here I come! I danced ballet from the age of nine thru 22. I got a ballet teacher’s training. It has always remained my love.

My third goal is finding growth and peace within. I’ve struggled with anxiety and panic attacks recently. I’m not enchanted to tell you about them here, yet I’ve never believed in hiding things. Mental challenges aren’t people’s choice, nor do they mean that someone is weird or antisocial. I’m a very bubbly, life-loving person when you meet me. I have a big heart and I feel life strongly. I care. I really want to listen to others. I want to be that one person who brings you a ray of sunshine when you most need it. I’m in the process of learning to deal with anxiety when it takes over me. I need to gather positive evidence on the moments when I acted calmly and enjoyed life without fear. I’m rebuilding my internal me. I’m using two books to accompany me on this journey. I plan to share them later with you.

What about your goals? I’d love to hear from you. Or any other subjects that you’d enjoy reading?

Time to Let Loose

I’m off as of this noon. I taught my last group lessons for a language center I had been working for six years, ever since my arrival to Canada. From now on I’ll be working full time for my company Susa English. I’ll be building on the foundation that I’ve laid these past years. I’ve created my own method and it’s been getting some encouraging responses.

This fall has been busy for me. So much so that at one point I ended up working beyond my limits. That’s when I had to come to terms with needing to change things up for the better. I love what I do – helping people learn how to communicate in English as their second language. My lessons are about the language, and then so much more! I get to accompany my students thru life’s many events. We build friendships. We find inspiration and new ways to look at things as we discuss topics that are important. In a way, I get to coach and guide – and be guided as well – in addition to sharing my knowledge of verb tenses and vocabulary.

Today I’m off. I was actually supposed to arrive in Dallas, Texas tonight. Our flight got delayed and delayed, and then finally canceled. We were sent back home. We will catch an early flight tomorrow. First to Toronto and then to Dallas. It feels good to be on vacation, regardless. I’ve worked hard and now it’s time to let loose for a while. It’s also time to gather up energy and inspiration to come back home refreshed to run my little business with enthousiasm.

These pictures are from the Quebec City Fine Arts Museum. Visiting there loads me up with energy. I love dressing up and making my way over there for a moment sweet art dust.