Connecting The Dots

Discussing the threads of my own passions which have culminated in my work as coach, mentor, presenter in my own business.

Just for the fun of it!

Mary Johnson - Monday, November 03, 2014

One of the (many!!) things I've realized these last 6+ years I've worked on my own is I have become somewhat humourless. Oh don't get me wrong, I love to have fun. Seems though my never ending 'do's' of being an entrepreneur is rather fierce about keeping me moving - all the time. I find myself being waayyy more serious than I used to be. Telling myself to lighten up is just one more to-do. Sometimes you need to do something you haven't done for a long while.

So on Saturday 6 of us gals went to the Fabulous @ 50 event at the River Cree Casino. Now I must admit there was a piece of me had the 'serious' thought of seeing what other women entrepreneurs are up to. But once I donned my gorgeous red boa and beads (yes the theme was Mardi Gra), it passed quickly. The place was humming at 10:30 in the morning. Most women indulged the theme to some degree - others went all out. Tons of great booths and talks to take in.

It was delightful to do something that had no particular purpose, no SMART goal, not about 'networking' or being seen to be part of anything. The time flew. It was just fun!

The rest of my day felt a breeze for putting some joy in it. I'll be doing this again. Soon!  

My great nephew's world

Mary Johnson - Friday, October 24, 2014

Yesterday I became a great Aunt. Pretty darn excited to have another wee one in the family. My thought process surrounding this little guy is different than for my 2 grandchildren. This surprises me though I suspect the events of recent days and weeks have fashioned this.

Ebola, terrorism, killing of our soldiers on our soil have dominated the headlines. It's easy to be overwhelmed with the repeating loops of T.V. footage on any of these topics and endless opinions of anyone who can get their face onto camera or print, of a world that's gone to hell in a hand basket. Fear, anger and intolerance gets ratcheted up. This is only part of the world he inherits. 

Then there are the equal images of the unfailing heroism of those who did everything they could for the young soldier on Parliament Hill, those who travel to 3rd world countries to assist the poorest and most sick; those who stand up for what they believe in - democracy, climate change, feeding and clothing our poor, better distribution of wealth, the many who create beauty and inspiration through their art and creativity, and on and on.

Most of our world ticks along with good people doing good work, raising great kids, contributing in ways big and small. He will have opportunities as well as challenges. So without in any way discounting our troubles, it is the kinder, determined and inspired world view I hope we show and encourage in this lad.


Mary Johnson - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Getting back to work yesterday was tough. It was a busy, albeit most enjoyable weekend with family dinner, some yard and house work. As I think about it, the last few weeks and months have been busy too. Also realizing many mornings begin with a sense of reluctance and a lot of sighing. Looking ahead my world, well all of ours, will get nothing but busier with all things Fall plus our big holidays soon arriving. Yup! another sigh, ....

Appears I've gotten caught up in my vortex of doing. An entrepreneur's life can get like that. Just 1 more, wait a quick another, well 1 more thing off my list of 'to-do's' and it'll be enough. Ha! Except my old nemesis - Ms. Not-Enough is always hungry. Never satisfied. Appears I've caught her red handed - again!

Sooo, .... with the crazy lady screaming, "ARE YOU KIDDING!!?? You have wayyyy to much to do", I've given myself permission to take Friday afternoon off. 

Coffee anyone? 

Brilliant viewpoint from a winning team skip

Mary Johnson - Thursday, October 09, 2014

Jennifer Jones and Mary Johnson at WXN breakfast Edmonton Had the privilege to hear Jennifer Jones, winning skip of our women's gold medal curling team, speak yesterday. The event was the WXN (Women's Executive Network breakfast meeting. Jennifer is energetic, enthusiastic and very grounded considering her commitments as a lawyer, the curling training, international travel schedule, speaking and last but not least mom to young daughter Isabella. (Phew I was feeling tired just listening!!)

Her talk focused on a number of aspects of being part of a team. Much was familiar territory. There was something though that caught my ear. There was a lot of buzz a few years back when she made a decision to let go one of the team members in favour of someone young, lots of potential but essentially untried. She spoke about making this criticized change for their future.

Then she said "Bring in someone new (to the team) and you create a whole new team. Don't ask someone to fit into the 'old' mold team. Let someone bring who they are to the dynamic."

I thought this was unique and not how we usually receive new team members. When this new member joined, the team saw themselves as a brand new team. Deliberately took time to discover who they were now in this new dynamic and drew upon the resultant cross skills and capabilities to go onto win gold in Sochi - the only women's team to do so undefeated.

She's onto something! What if we didn't look to see how a new member on a team 'fits in'. Rather look at how they make a team new. Brilliant!

Postscript to my technology issue

Mary Johnson - Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Felt pretty confident about doing a post to my blog on my brand spanking new website, when my dear friend and website guru Dave Haggblad ( went away for his son's wedding. He patiently walked me through what needed doing. I had even written the instructions down! Perfect.

Then the post wouldn't publish, didn't save, and I lost my post entirely at one point (now save to a pages document just in case!). Continue to try. Logged out, soft and hard booted. Notta. Must have missed something!! The impatient me didn't take this well and really, what do you do?! .... I had to wait til Dave returned. When he did we got onto a screen shared program. I did a test and an actual blog. No problem. 

So I beat my mental critic back into the closet. I had done it right! 

 It as a system glitch after all. Yes!

When some things are no longer a walk in the park

Mary Johnson - Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The other day I went for a walk in the river valley with my niece. While we talked about all manner of things, the conversation came around to technology. She expressed her frustration at older folks she knew who didn't seem to catch onto technology or just barely. (Present company excluded of course!!) I had a laugh as I can clearly remember not 'getting' the old nurses I worked with and how they resisted the new way of doing things.

My mind also remembered the headiness of those days when you had the 'bring 'er on' attitude and little fazed or daunted you. Life was like a buffet. Wow! it all looked good and heck you'll be going back for seconds AND dessert. 35 years later the buffet is still pretty good though you know that snazzy names and bright offerings aren't all they are cracked up to be. Seconds aren't on the program, though maybe a small dessert.

Going back to my walk/talk with my niece, I attempted to explain this. That she and her generation have known nothing but technology. Not so me and my cohort. Then lovingly assured her that she would one day experience difficulty with change too. I asked her to remember this conversation when her soon to be born nephew grumps about her generation and their unwillingness around certain issues. And to be easy on we older ones. We miss feeling competent. Be easy on herself when her time comes and in the meantime partake of life with gusto! 

PS I have had some difficulty (the computer or me!) getting this posted. I can see my niece laughing.

36 years

Mary Johnson - Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Neil Long Beach 36 years ago today Neil and I married. Unlike today, it was cold, windy and rainy. A sign of luck people said (though what else do folks say on your special day?!) Perhaps they were right. It's been an interesting ride. Lots of challenges, 3 amazing boys, lots of fun. Neil snorts at the expression of 'soulmate' - a word that suggests goodness and light in all things relationship. We are good partners on this journey called marriage. 

For me, relationship is where you learn the most about yourself and how you relate with others. It hasn't always been pretty. In fact some of me could be darn ugly. Same with my date. Still we hung in, knowing somewhere we are good people wanting similar things, cutting each other slack albeit at times an uneasy one. Those times shaped us far more than the good times - though I'd be a fool if I didn't say I preferred the good. We had lots of fun too!!  

So here's to a fellow that's been my soft (and not so soft) place to land for 36 years. I am so much better for our time together.  

Hello world!

Mary Johnson - Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Hello world! Finally here, in my *NEW* website with a blog that is connected. Wow this feels good! Been telling people the last number of years that in my work it has at times felt like an ill fitting suit. Tired of pulling at the hem and adjusting the jacket, I went out an got me a new one!

My dear friend and website guru Dave surprised me last night saying - “You’re Live.” No! I’m not ready! Was scrambling despite the last couple of weeks eating, sleeping (well not much) and breathing the ‘new’ me with website design, content, pictures, my new cards. I apparently had the wrong ‘dinner date’. Ha! So now I am caught up - am fulling wearing BridgeWorks Coaching.

This journey of blogging began 4 years ago. Your comments (on and off the blog) and support have kept me inspired. Hope you’ll continue to journey with me while I connect the dots. :-)

Who Knew....

Mary Johnson - Wednesday, August 27, 2014

that picking a new website was so complicated! My website platform has reached the end of what it can do. I’ve decided on my new logo. So it makes sense to change ‘er all up. Well websites come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes; capabilities and complexities; and options, options, options. You have to picture yourself and your content while someone else’s creativity and message is capturing your attention.

Not long ago I listened to my niece as she was required to chose the paint color, taps, handles, cabinets, doors, finishes etc in her new home. Of course! I thought it’s a house! Well heads up! – websites come with that many bells and whistles too. I just about caved as I wanted the process over. Luckily I hung in and found something I quite like. Dear David, my web guru, is delighted I’ve finally landed too.

Enjoying the Ride

Mary Johnson - Thursday, August 14, 2014

Last time I wrote about riding a small wave of energy. Be darned if that energy has hung in and in and in. Experiencing shades of a former self as I get caught up in the energy of reinventing myself, in my business, in my life. Is it getting clearer on who I am, and what I want to do? Or examining beliefs that have held me fast. Or our fabulous summer weather? In the end the why is irrelevant.

I’ve been asking for some inspiration/ momentum. In the words of Mark Nepo,

“We are all continually asked to learn how to ask for what we need, only to practice accepting what we are given.”

I’m running with this one!