blogging because.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I will

do one thing that scares you daily. breathe deeply. sweat once a day. dance, sing, floss and travel.

These antidotes, among others, comprise the lululemon athletica manifesto. Simple phrases that are intended to inspire healthy living, balance, unite communities and entrench feelings of genuine happiness within us all.

Since its inception in the late 1990s, lululemon has been a powerful force in the athletic apparel industry. However, it was not until I joined the team this fall (as a part time educator), that I witnessed the unwavering commitment, at all levels of leadership, to the pursuit of this manifesto. It did not take long for me to realize that this kind of loyalty is a byproduct of environment, one in which people, regardless of their affiliation to the brand, want to be apart of.
Although lululemon attracts like minded people, I am constantly learning from my team. Recently, all the Toronto lemons were invited to a screening of  'The Happy Movie', a documentary that brings us on a journey in search of answers to one of life's greatest emotions, happiness. Not only did this event mark the beginning of a larger community initiative (more details to come in the new year) but propelled me to look at my own education differently. International development seeks to appease the gap between the developed and the developing world and provide resources to better equip floundering economies to curb the cycle of dependency. Ironically, the scenes I found most moving were those that illustrated stories from the communities in so-called 'need'. Riddled with optimism, their stories shed perspective on my personal worldview and highlighted the importance of understanding. Not only in the context of development but in how we interact with our surroundings on a daily basis.

I think the underlying message of 'The Happy Movie' and lululemon's manifesto are one in the same, and together, will guide us to our own peace...whatever form that may come in.

I could sing lulu's praises until there were no more lemons left to squeeze, instead, why don't you join the conversation too at:!/lululemon or @lululemon on Twitter.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

forget regret or life is yours to miss

Today was a strange sort of day.

Walking home from the subway I got to thinking about how all too often we define ourselves by what we aren't/don't have/can't afford/can't fit - whatever. This veil of negativity (likely brought on by the driver that made me get off the 44 South when I failed to present my student ID card with my metro pass... HELLO I AM ON CAMPUS NOW, CLEARLY I AM A STUDENT), like those before it, it managed to overshadow the great elements of my day. Why is that and what can I do to quell future rage blackouts? Be SMART.


This acronym, derived from my management strategies class, breaks down the framework for effective goal setting. At a glance this methodology seems quite straightforward, but in practice we are all dreamers and usually spend more time than we should fantasizing about greener pastures.
So instead of what if-ing until we are blue in the face, lets be realistic. Be pro active. Utilize the resources and capabilities of our existing environment to ensure success and growth. To know where you are going, you need to know where you have been...and when you know this, you will see how far you have come.

Be your best self.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

girl power

Development can wear many different hats. From immediate relief, to long term aspect that is consistent is the hope to facilitate positive and sustainable change among communities in need. Perhaps the most important thing to understand before launching any development campaign is the issue. Although seemingly obvious, misdiagnosing the problem will undermine the projects success from day one. Therefore, as outsiders, we should seek to empower and utilize existing capacities and then teach the practical skills to curb the poverty cycle.

At the onset of the year, I was keen to explore development through education, and ideally work with an organizations like the Institute of International Education that subsidizes projects to bring quality education to the most dire corners of the world. All too often women and girls are left as the collateral damage of failed education systems and so began my curiosity in development byway of advocacy.

Feeling heavy and rather bogged down by the worlds laundry list of social injustices, I looked for guidance among other liked minded young women. Dr. Samantha Nutt's book 'Damned Nations', chronicles two decades of her work delivering aid and her vision for Canada as a leader in future peacekeeping pursuits. Enthralled by her personal testimonials, it has never been more clear to me how important an accurate needs assessment and the establishment of measurable and achievable goals are. For a further commentary, listen to her interview with the CBC.

"Be the change you want to see in the world." - Gandhi