Feature Friday With Nora Nivens-President of Nortec Alberta

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Nora Nivens

Tell me About your business?

Aye, which one?

I own and am currently president of an Interior and Exterior Renovations Company
known as Nortec Alberta alongside my husband. This is a company we have created and established within two years allowing him to stop “working” in the field and has helped me in my recovery from a
Mild Brain Injury to not have to go back to my “career” as a Social Worker with the Government of Alberta. I also have developed and have begun the journey to my soul’s path which is my Blog and
Holistic Healing and Mentorship Journey humbly named “Silas Rises”.

What fueled the desire to start your business?

I think as a young girl often being left alone to my own free will I was always very creative.
Creativity has opened up a new pathway of leadership skills and as a single Mom for many years, I had an “entrepreneurial” mindset which supported me in implementing and multi-tasking my way into own and establishing these Corporations. I now have four children and if I wanted to offer them everything I DIDN’T have in this life time I had to step it up or stay stagnant in a 9-5 with a “comfortable salary” position that wasn’t fueling my passion for business it was simply paying the bills.

What does owning and running your own business do for your confidence?

haha, this made me laugh. Some days I feel like I don’t have any confidence because I am a woman in the Construction world always having to pave the way for myself and then some days I
am filled with confidence because… I do know what I am doing and I do have what it takes to be a successful Entrepreneur because I am not only doing it, I mentor others in starting and developing their
businesses and life’s purpose/plan. Being able to buy my children something as they need it rather than “waiting” for “pay day” has been one of the best feelings. There have been times in my motherhood
life where I couldn’t afford a bag of bread or gas for my car …and now.. now I don’t have those worries; that has been the greatest confidence booster of all.

What challenges did you face and continue to face as a woman in
business?

Where can I start. From providing estimates to big contractors in the city to finding new work with established men who have been running multi million dollar companies for decades I have
my fair share of challenges. I am always a student and humbly so. Although I share many of my talents in building businesses and success, aligning your purpose with your career and mental health
and well being, I still am faced with adversity in the work place when
it comes to our construction company.

With my blog, this is my flow. This is my place where I can be me…soft, fluid, confident, transparent and full of light. It is here I don’t have to play hardball to get a contract, I can partner with people because of universal alignment, frequency and resonance. Now finding the balance in between these two as I am pushing further into both paths of business is going to be another challenge, but one I am looking forward too.

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Who are your biggest allies, and what can people do more of to
support other women in business?

My biggest allies are my children, my family, my friends and my TEAM! It’s interesting that in the Construction world, it can be a dog-eat-dog kind of day every day. It has taken about two years solid for to develop a solid, loyal working team. Not only does our company employ family, it employs my son, his friends, Adrian’s family, newcomers to Canada and some amazing men from the Maritimes that stick it out in the crazy Alberta weather for our company to build and expand; it has come down to loyalty in the Construction world and I truly feel as a woman I have a softer approach and to my dismay a mother approach with our workers, but it adds a special touch to the company dynamic I think lol. Within my blog, healing and business development services my allies are my
girls. I have a tribe of amazing women behind me that include you, and my circle of career oriented, creative healers that will change the world for the better. I think it’s important we always lift each other up in live, supporting each other in our purpose and our unique journeys. Everyone has such special gifts to offer and if we can continue to support each other with an open heart and settled mind, us women, we can change the world; we already are. Rise, Phoenix Rise!

How do you define your Big P***y Energy?

Oh dear lol. I think my energy in itself is big in light and life. The Prana life force I carry with
me in everything I do allows me to be transparent, humble, and full of laughter and love. I think with laughter and love BPE can be within anyone.

How do people contact you and where are you located?

Silasrises.com is where you will find my Blog, Healing, Metaphysical Tools and Business
Development and Holistic Mentorship Services. I have some big things happening in that realm in the next 6 weeks with a private mediation and healing studio accessible to my customers and am going to be developing a Holistic Real Estate Approach to incorporate into our Construction Company. You can find our Construction Services at http://www.nortecroofers.com . We are also on IG @nortecexteriors and @elanora.madelynne where you will find tidbits of what I have to offer as a healer and writer.

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You Gotta Know When To Fold’Em

I’m not one to talk about the past too often unless it brings fond memories, which for the most part I have many. The topic is not that far in the past that it doesn’t still give me residual pangs of hurt that feel as recent as yesterday at times. But I wouldn’t be willing to discuss it openly if it didn’t offer some level of experiential wisdom for anyone who may be facing similar circumstances.

You see it would be approximately 5 years ago that I made the decision to leave my marriage. The marriage was a result of a very long relationship in which it seemed just natural and right to transition to the next step. There is no real love story behind it, rather quite the opposite. In fact if you were to have only had the experience of knowing me more recently, the idea that I would have consorted with the mundane would seem absurd. However, let us return to the Cece of Christmas’s past. Proposals, marriage and the filling of new homes with children is what everyone was doing at that time. It’s what everyone was doing around us. I’m unclear why my mother’s voice wasn’t piping in at this time saying “If all your friends were jumping off a bridge, would you?” But in the case of marriage and settling down, the world around you is giving you a life jacket and pushing you off the ledge. I admit its easy to blame societal pressures to conform; I don’t deny that at that time I was all in. And when I say “all in,” I mean I wasn’t able to foresee my life being anything different than what it was. My vision was exceptionally narrow and reinforced by the baggage I had brought with me from my previous abusive relationship.

Often when marriages and relationships dissolve its only natural in many instances to look at the other person and place the blame on them and their shortcomings. That’s not to say that many partners are 100% to blame and do terribly selfish and hurtful things in which the other played no role other than love someone who didn’t deserve them. And in my case, it went both ways, however its never fair to dive into the details without the other’s ability to share their perspective. And I’d be open to that but he hasn’t answered my calls in three years.

I’m sorry to disappoint you and advise this post is not about my shitty marriage that didn’t work out. In all likelihood, I may devote a whole wine fuelled podcast on the subject, but until then I’ll uphold some integrity. I’m grateful that I am alive and well today living my life in the most authentic and honest way. What a difference 5 years can do for you when you make the best decision of your life.

Which leads me to the topic of how I reclaimed my life when it began to gain momentum in a direction that wasn’t a genuine path for who I am as a person. I believe for many people there are “tells” just like in a game of poker. You see just like the game of poker we often bluff when we aren’t holding a good hand; getting caught up in the risk taking and potentially losing it all. Often when the momentum has us pulled in, there is no consideration for the long game. The more we begin to lose, the more our “tells” come out as the anxiety and desperation begins to build. You see, when you keep seeking the rush of winning and ignore the consequences of losing, we’re left in the emotional poor house. At the tail end of my losing streak, I admittedly had lots of tells, but I also gave the illusion that I had lots of chips in my pocket.

Poker-playing AI threatens to unseat a raft of Texas Hold'em champions -  ExtremeTech

So its no surprise that when I landed on my ass, my emotional poor house was located on the corner of Despair avenue and Hopeless Street. I found myself in a deep, destructive depression that I could not for the life of me dig myself out of. I was erratic in my choices and behavior, and admittedly had considered running my car into bridge barrier one evening as I was screaming at the top of my lungs at the universe in anger. That event haunts me until this day because while it was over 5 years ago, the emotions, my surroundings, what I was wearing, the car indicator lights are as clear as if I was there right now in this moment.

Bridge Underpass Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

You ask what could have brought me to such a place of despair?

I can trace it all the way to the beginning when I first met my ex-husband. I was a single mother at that time with a one and a half year old. I was fresh out of an extremely horrifically abusive relationship with her biological father that left me in ruins emotionally, physically and psychologically. I was 22 years old and I was not equipped with the self awareness and emotional maturity to tackle the damage- in fact I was oblivious to it. I ended up settling after a year with the first real boyfriend I had since leaving my abusive relationship. When I say anyone that was nice to me and wasn’t physically abusive towards me was my standard at that time. The relationship brought many good things regardless of my basic standards whereby I returned to University and got my Social Work Degree from the University of Victoria. My daughter grew a close and loving relationship with a man who accepted her as his daughter whereby they remain very close. I couldn’t have asked for a better father for her and for that I will be forever grateful. He provided us with an extended family and sense of belonging that I had not experienced coming from such a small family myself. He remained committed to our little family and moved to where I got my first Social Work Job in Northern Alberta, leaving his family behind and beginning a life as a unit in a strange small town. Life was looking up as it was during the Alberta Oil Boom and Fort McMurray promised wealth and stability for us as a family. The momentum of my life appeared to be moving in the right direction. I was adequately distracted by my own ambitions and self actualizing a life that was ultimately the way it’s supposed to be in the naively idealistic sense.

Then one day his vision began to blur which quickly turned into vertigo, precipitating what we thought was a stomach flu. We went weeks attending the hospital and trying to treat his stomach flu. I knew something was terribly wrong, and finally demanded he be admitted to hospital otherwise I was approaching the media. Through further testing he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at the age of 25. He left Fort McMurray to recover with his family thousands of miles away, where I ultimately decided that I would help him get through this and we would make it work.

It was a devastating blow in every aspect.

This wasn’t part of the plan. In fact it shattered all our plans, and dreams which were left in pieces at our feet. Despite my rage and the unfairness of it all, I quickly resorted back to what I knew best. I had been here before and did what I thought was best in crisis; which was to ignore the emotional impact and take care of those who weren’t as seemingly strong as I.

And there you have it. Mistake #1-Believing others don’t possess strength without you.

Poor Self-Esteem and Confidence can make the human spirit rely on others to validate importance and purpose where others who are in pain can fulfill these voids for us. The experiences/traumas responsible for planting those weeds of doubt in ourselves can be vast and complex. In my circumstances, it would be the trauma from domestic violence, the psychological and verbal abuse. I strongly believe that there is a strong sense of co-dependency created within these dynamics, whereby one enables the other. When done improperly, assuming the role as the “rock” can also perpetuate maladaptive inferiority roles for those who feel powerless with their diagnosis. And in regards to my marriage- I take accountability for succumbing to depending on being needed then feeling stifled years later by creating the culture of dependency.

How do we remedy this? Well I can’t say I was successful in doing it in my marriage otherwise I wouldn’t be speaking about a husband that is now an ex. But over the last 5 years since starting over, I have successfully committed to putting my physical and emotional health ahead of others. This often means, setting firm boundaries and expectations with loved ones and communicating my bottom line. At times it can appear intolerant, or lack empathy, however when our reasonings are given context it can be the most admirable lesson ever. Not everyone will understand this- but know it is for us as individuals to actualize our strengths, and I see no better way than to demonstrate it by walking the walk.

So this leads me to my second mistake.

Mistake #2- Using others crisis as a distraction to avoid my own shit.

I feel like I take the cake with this one, because I could have picked a more appropriate career as a social worker to enable me in doing this. Nonetheless, do you ever find yourself immersed in others lives, being over involved in problems that aren’t your own, and coming to the rescue of some damsel in distress. I was this person, and counted on filling my world with a plethora of noise to avoid the loneliness and pain I was feeling. My bucket continued to run empty as the fruits of my perceived “strength” went unacknowledged or appreciated by my partner, and overutilized by others. I had created the norm and the illusion that I was the “Rock,” someone who had their shit in a pile. That was my doing, because if I eluded to otherwise people would stop running to me with their noise and I’d really be alone. You see, he was increasingly declining in health and struggling with the neurological complications of Multiple Sclerosis. He was angrier, moodier, and more depressed. Intimacy or signs of romantic connection were not reciprocated and I found other ways to appease my needs to feel a connection and needed.

It wasn’t until I left my marriage that I truly felt what it was like to be alone as my home was loaded up and squished into a small 2 bedroom condo. You see at that time I had nothing available to give therefore the noise stopped and the distractions saw no value in what I had to offer during this period. There were few calls or invitations to reach out and help me move or keep me company. It was then that I saw the value in standing alone in the deafening silence and appreciating the space required in order to redirect all my focus inwards. Often we look at isolation or being seemingly forgotten as a reflection of not being worthy or loved- when in fact its Solitude that is being given to us. So the next time you are feeling lonely or overlooked, take the silence as an opportunity to give your soul some good advice and leave the unnecessary distractions at the door.

Mistake #3-Believing that others opinions mattered

I was completely debilitated by what I thought people would think if I made the decision to leave. Never mind that the circumstance were making me suicidal, but with no success in reaching out for extended family support, I was still left with an enormous amount of guilt. What kind of wife was I leaving her husband when he had MS. The only thing worse than me was the husband who left his dying wife with cancer for the cute blonde nurse that was hired to do the home care. I was worried about what they would say about me and how I would be perceived by choosing a chance at life again. What would my daughter think of me, who couldn’t even begin to understand what I was feeling. And why would she, I had managed to shield her from the majority of my unravelling. I was terrified by all the hurt that I would be placing on everyone around me.

Do you see Mistake #1 weaseling its way in here again?

What I realized in this process is that not one person who’s opinion I was worried about ever took the time to listen or ask if I needed support. I can’t believe I was worried about what this would mean for them and concerned that they would have to take over the responsibility of his care. I was actually worried that this would burden them and they would be angry with me that I had not tried hard enough or just endured longer. In the end it all worked itself out, which is a testament that when we walk away people have the ability to find a solution with or without us.

In hindsight, I wish I had been more kind to myself during this time. It doesn’t take a genius to recognize that the challenges we were facing could be tackled in isolation yet we were left with no other option. The marriage counseling along with the long list of personal coping strategies and personal sacrifice at the expense of my mental health had fallen flat. The fact that I’m explaining this further is my lingering “tell” that perhaps I still have some feelings of guilt to work through.

What awaited me on the other side of it all was the overwhelming support from my own family and close friends who knew there was a life out there for me. You see they had boundaries with regards to where they were willing to rejoin me again and even my daughter stood by my decision and me throughout it all.

Mistake #4- Not Doing it Sooner

I wish I had conjured the courage and wisdom it took to commence the decision to move ahead quicker that had been overdue. My days of bluffing no longer held a strategic purpose in my life and with a sense of relief, happily folded the cards I was dealt. Perhaps that ominous bridge barrier that originally symbolized an end for me, alternatively was the beacon of hope that life was worth living if I just changed the direction of my wheel.

Amen to that.

And while I don’t intend on stewing to much more on the mistakes of the past, I hope that in sharing them provoked some fruitful “What if’s” for you if you are facing a need for change. Whether you are facing a decision to get sober, ending a toxic friendship or leaving an abusive relationship-know that you always have choice to change the direction.

Begin to free yourself at once by doing all that is possible with the means you have, and as you proceed in this spirit the way will open for you to do more.
~ Robert Collier

Please go follow my Instagram @cece_a_broadtalez

Aerial Adventures

Admittedly I have some serious writers block this week. Perhaps its less writers block and more indifference as I’ve cocooned myself from the world with the arrival of my new American Akita Pup, Geisha. I have taken the role as her “Momager” very seriously since her Instagram @Geishatheakitaguida is literally a full time job. My puppy has more Instagram followers in 2 weeks than I have had in 7 years. I can’t even even lie, I’m a bit envious of her popularity. And she is even getting legitimate collaboration offers, which requires wardrobe and daily photo shoots. So forgive me, I’ve turned into THAT kind of fur mama.

Nonetheless I haven’t been completely idle with the remainder of my time. When I’m not finding reasons to drive to Pet Smart, I’ve been looking at installing some new fun projects in our man cave/home theatre. Since Covid has started we have begun to open our home up a bit more to a small group of friends, where we will host game day or a night of cocktails at the bar. We have collectively begun to get somewhat bored with those options so have been considering adding more to the mix.

One idea stemmed from a visit at a mutual friends home where upon entering the master bedroom there was a Sex Swing…ahem…Aerial Yoga Swing. As I squealed with excitement, said friend hopped on, flipped upside down, and spread eagled like she was born on this contraption.

Immediately I knew I needed one.

The Health Benefits Of Aerial Yoga That Make It So Special - Fitneass

Was this even real? I needed someone to pinch me. Wait, someone to pinch me while I’m hanging up side down spread eagle on sex swing and call it S&M….ahem, I mean Aerial Yoga Swing.

In fact I got on Amazon that second and started shopping for this one way street to upside down paradise. And there it was 115.99… I couldn’t believe it. I had purchased a sex restraint that wasn’t even half as fun for 179.00 and it now sits covered in dust with my lingerie and desire.

Yoga Swing Hammock, Aerial Yoga Hammock Mounting Kit, Antigravity Ceiling Hanging Yoga Sling with Three Different Lengths of Handle for Professional and Beginners Purple

But in all seriousness that is what it is. I had been wanting to try Aerial Yoga for some time now given my back and neck issues and do love a good stretch. In March I had begun doing Yoga at home through the Peleton App when it was free during our lockdown. I found it challenging but I also found it hard on my back and neck which had been injured.

So aside from spicing up your bedroom, or in our case “the man cave,” I looked further into the Benefits of Arial Yoga.

According to Desert Sun Yoga

1. Total Body Work Out

     Aerial yoga puts a new spin on your favorite yoga, dance, and Pilates’ exercises. No matter what your fitness level or experience, aerial yoga challenges you to engage every muscle in your body to remain  balanced in different movements and poses like  never before. The possibilities to advance and explore are endless!

2. Full Body Stretch

     From the moment you step into the swing until the  moment you step out your body is getting a total work over. With the assistance of the aerial silk it is more accessible to stretch the spine, shoulders, chest, hips, hamstrings, feet, and ankles.

3. Alleviates Pain in Back and Hips

    Many postures explored in aerial yoga takes up to 80% of your body weight off of your bones and joints.  For many practitioners this relieves pain in the back and hips immediately with the effects lasting for hours. Consistent practice may even heal certain problems.

4. Makes Inversions Accessible 

     Always wanted to nail that perfect handstand but something holds you back? The aerial swing offers numerous ways to get into classic yoga inversions. Whether your goal is to do a headstand in the middle of the room but need a small assist, you want to do a fully supported handstand so you can focus on finer details of alignment, or you just hang out in a downward facing dog with a little less pressure, the aerial swing has something for everyone.

5. Improves Circulation

    As with any exercise regimen, aerial yoga improves      circulation and that comes with a multitude of health   benefits. Unlike most other fitness programs, aerial yoga uses inversions to help drain  lymph from the limbs. Many wraps in the aerial swing loosens knots and helps release toxins from deep tissue.

6. Boosts mood

     The first thing you do in every aerial yoga class is take all of your weight off the floor and sit Buddha style in the swing. Some people jump in like the swing was made for them, others get a little caught up in the technical details, and still others have to take a deep breath and trust that the swing will hold them up. No matter what your constitution is this first step takes you out of your usual element and that gets the endorphin’s rolling. Add the common relaxation of a yoga class with the joy of nailing your first inversion and you have 75 minutes of natural ‘happy’ hormone release.

7. Improves Balance

    While upper body strength seems to be the MVP in most aerial yoga classes, that is only true at the  surface level. Many poses require you to stand on one  leg while the other balances in the silk, forcing you to engage your core muscles and strengthen the standing leg. 

8. Deep Tissue Massage

    Who doesn’t love a deep tissue massage? You will    typically put 20-80% of your body weight on the aerial  swing during class. But you’re not just pressing your    weight down onto the silk with no love coming to you in return! In many postures the silk very lovingly presses back. While for some people who are new to aerial yoga this pressure can be quite a sensation and may be a bit uncomfortable, the silk is able to work into deep knots and connective tissue to relieve aches and sores from your daily routine. Over time most people crave the pressure of the aerial swing! As you advance your practice into more advanced tricks and wraps the pressure becomes more intense and your muscles loosen up.

So there you have it!

Stay tuned for photos of me hanging upside down spread eagle, smack in the middle of game day Sunday. And not that it will require any convincing to get one, but I can almost guarantee there will be a few curious beer guzzling Eagles Fans giving it a go.

He says sex swing, I say Aerial Yoga Hammock- We all say “Hello Amazon, When can we expect delivery?”

You can look up all kinds of classes and tutorials on Youtube!

If you aren’t interested in setting one up in your home but want to try a class out here are a couple of Calgary Studios that offer drop in classes.

R.Song Studios

Pole Junkies

Fall Date Nights in YYC

Date nights are always a fun opportunity for me to get dressed up a, throw on a Burgundy Jewel Toned Lipstick and venture out to a new eating establishment we haven’t been to yet. I get nostalgic thinking of when my mom and dad used to go out for dinner which was often saved for special occasions like a birthdays or anniversaries. My mother always had a flair for rich vibrant colors, and would accessorize her long royal blue coat with a ruby or emerald broach pinning her silk scarf against the lapel. Her cheeks freshly rouged as she shuffled me into my black patent dress shoes smelling of Shalimar and Oil of Olay.

It’s only to be expected that I’ve followed a similar pattern of pomp and circumstance on date nights. My boyfriend Tony is well programmed in his responses to my questions around appropriate dress attire where he’ll simply say:

“Wear whatever it is you’d like to wear!”-Smart Boy

It should also come as no surprise that I’ve been extremely overdressed on multiple occasions, but chalked it up to sometimes Truck Stop Diners with world famous pie deserve the opulence.

According to its Website:

We’ve had a couple of mentionable dinner dates in the last several weeks. We finally had made it out to Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant, located in a historical site in Fish Creek Park, Calgary Alberta.

According to its Website:

“The story of the Bow Valley Ranche is nearly twelve decades long. Throughout its many years, the house has always had a reputation for holding unforgettable parties. It began with a few characters who were critical to the development of Alberta’s cattle industry, the Big Four. In fact, the idea of the Calgary Stampede may very well have been conceived within the walls of the house.

In 1896, cattle rancher and businessman William Roper Hull purchased property along the Bow River and built a sprawling ranch house. The ranch became a centre for refined social activities, as he entertained many local and foreign visitors there. Among the activities popular with the guests, tennis and the outdoor pool were crowd favourites, as you can see from the pictures below.

Hull owned the house and property until 1902, when it was purchased by Patrick Burns, a successful cattle rancher who eventually became a senator. Almost a century later, local residents Mitzie and Larry Wasyliw created the Fish Creek Restoration Society in 1995 for the purpose of restoring the Hull residence. In the summer of 1999, the ranch house was opened as a fine dining restaurant.”

Bow Valley Ranche is a fine dining resteraunt and we were celebrating our common-law anniversary, which is a thing for some of us fearful of marriage!

September 28, 2020 gave us an abnormally warm evening and looked forward to clutching on to the last few days, hours and minutes of outdoor dining we could. We had also been aware that they were hosting the Foodies in the Park Series : Wonderland Dome Dining which we will return to experience on October 23rd, 2020. Stay tuned for that!

We strolled along the pathway leading up to the impressive farmhouse, lined with old fashioned street lanterns. It reminded me of the scene in Mary Poppins, Bert and the children went to the park and broke into song singing:

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious !

Amazon.com: Mary Poppins 50th Anniversary Edition: Julie Andrews, Dick Van  Dyke, David Tomlinson, Glynis Johns

A quaint little fountain in the middle of the Ranch House’s garden marked its way before we arrived at the steps leading us onto a porch that wrapped its way around the house. I knew that was where I wanted to sit for dinner, and we were led to a discreetly placed table

We started our dining experience with a hearty helping of Oysters on the half shell, fresh grated horseradish, lemon and mignonette du jour. On our first date, we had worked our way down 17th Ave, Bar and resteraunt hopping with our last stop being Market. There we drank cognac and ate Oysters until we ended up taking the party back to my place *wink *wink- So it only made sense to indulge.

For dinner I had the Smoked Gouda & Wild Mushroom Stuffed Chicken with macaire potatoes, asparagus, tomato confit and roasted peppers. Tony had the Rougie Duck a L’Orange, with Russian Blue mashed potatoes, green beans, baby carrot vichy. Both entrees were delicious, however we had a little giggle over the plating of his food, specifically his Russian Blue Mashed Potatoes.

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We ended our evening of with a dessert of truffles that were on the house. Our waiter was so excellent and quite charming, ensuring our glasses remained full or if we needed anything in the most cordial of ways.

It was a beautiful way to finish up a gorgeous September.

Last night we ventured North of the bow River to SS106 Aperitivo Bar, and Italian Kitchen nestled in the heart of Crescent Heights on Edmonton Trail.

According to their Website:

“SS106’s name derives from the SS106 which is a 491-kilometre highway on the Ionian coast in southern Italy, stretching between the towns of Reggio Calabria in the west to Taranto in the east. While the highway offers incredibly scenic views of beaches, ancient coastal towns and the sea, it is also known as one of Italy’s most dangerous roads, due to tight turns. However, Domenico (the owner) wanted to change the highway’s reputation right here in their hometown of Calgary.

SS106 Aperitivo Bar was opened to create the Italian lifestyle here in Calgary. The Italian lifestyle is very social and every Italian visits their local bar daily even if it’s just for a quick espresso. Many people who have not traveled to Italy have a perception that Italian restaurants are only quiet and candle lit. In Italy many Italian restaurants & bars are very social, happy and louder. SS106 Aperitivo Bar has brought a piece of Italy to YYC.”-Website

And loud it was! It made me long for my girl gang and a time during pre-pandemic days where we’d sit for hours, drinking, laughing and taking no particular notice of the other diners around us regardless of how racey the topic was.I could see the owners vision at work as small groups of diners grazed over plates of Charctuterie, Olives and Pasta.

SS106 makes all their pasta in house and lived up to its charm of not trying to be anything else but just that. A perfect spot to drop in, fill your belly, and try one of their craft cocktails. I enjoyed an Apertivo called the Busted Negroni-Cinzano | Campari | Prosecco | Soda.

We ordered the TAGLIERE (BOARDS) Fromaggio and Calamari to start which were pretty standard and tasty. For our entree’s I had ordered the Gnocchi ai Funghi which is their House-made gnocchi served in a gorgonzola cheese fondue with seared mushrooms. Tony ordered the Fusilli Calabresi pasta served in a tomato sauce with parmesan cheese, which I ended up wishing I had ordered with its nicely spiced, well balanced sauce.Alternatively they have pizza’s as well that perhaps I will try next time. It was a nice time and I was happy Tony had come across this place for our date night. The service was awesome and quick, and very Italian!

Stay tuned for our next date nights in YYC : FoodiesintheparkWonderland Edition

Don’t forget to follow my Instagram @BPEYYC & my Facebook Page:@shegotthatBPE

A Blind Date with Success:

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” -Socrates, Greek Philosopher

I was reading an article by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook the other day and she said something that reminded me of a very respected and loved family member of mine. She stated “If you are offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on.” This couldn’t have been more of an accurate description for cousin Dan Duval, of Duval Consulting Ltd. It’s nearing almost a decade ago that I remember learning about his new business ventures in commercial development and construction. We often laugh about his humble beginnings in the field as he had no actual experience in at all, and half joked about learning how to pave a parking lot via YouTube.

It wasn’t even a half Joke in all honesty.

Today he now has his hands in almost everything, fearless and open to taking on new challenges which has led him to general contracting, project management and commercial construction services specializing in quick service restaurants throughout Western Canada. Him and his teams work can be seen in commercial chains such as Tim Hortons, Wendy’s, Starbucks and various other high volume establishments. In addition, Duval Consulting Ltd. offers a full range of high-bandwidth managed web-hosting for medium to large scale businesses.

Time waits for no one, and neither does investment opportunities. His company has employed some of the best trades people in the business, aggressively competing in a market and upholding a position at the top of the food chain.

And while I can’t discuss the details of him and his partner’s new project just yet, I’m overcome with excitement because its such an inspiring testament for other entrepreneurs to follow closely.

So with that grand introduction, you can understand how I too have been inspired to break into strengthening my writing and its capacity to become a career in Freelance Writing and Blogging. Interviewing and diving into the personal and traumatic depths of peoples lives has been something I’ve been doing for 15 years in the social work capacity. Applying this skill outside my professional role within child welfare is truly my real passion that I’m ready to realize. My goal is to actualize and execute it in a way that highlights success stories equipped with powerful learning tools for others to absorb. Emphasizing the focus on connecting people on a personal level to the sometimes dry and impersonal faces behind the world of business and finance. I’m ready to step out of the darkness of the child welfare world and bring light back into my life and others.

So here lies my opportunity to not only stand behind and support the success of those I care for and admire, but an OPPORTUNITY to build on my own road to success.

Do I know what I’m doing?

Absolutely not.

Will I slay this chance at doing something remarkably unique?

I guarantee it.

However by no means have I always embraced such a fierce air of confidence. I used to set goals but would often find it challenging to stay on track to finish them. Distractions would often derail my ability to focus and stay engaged, often losing interest quickly. I’d feel discouraged and think, why even bother setting goals if they’re too difficult to reach? In hindsight, I can reflect back recognizing it was my lack of commitment and involvement in unproductive and unfulfilling personal and professional relationships. It took some significant soul searching and honest personal critiquing to acknowledge that I was my biggest barrier. I could no longer stand by knowing that tragedy is when you have the potential and a gift and don’t utilize it to the benefit of yourself and others around you.

If any of this is hitting home for you, I imagine you require some diligent organizational tools like myself to stay the course. Below is a list of helpful ways I set out prior to bulldozing my way into anything I commit to taking on.

1.Be Clear About What You Want

Clarity is key. Before you begin to take action, make sure your goals are clear. What do you really want, and what does it look like? Write your goals down where you will see them and track them on a regular basis. A great system for creating supportive goals is using the SMART goals model. S = Specific. Get as specific as you can. M = Measurable. Define how you will know it’s complete? A = Attainable. Small steps are best. R = Relevant. Does it support your purpose, values or big picture goals? T = Time-frame. When will you complete it by?

2. Make a Strong Commitment

Commitment is a vital ingredient. When you commit, you’re telling yourself this is important to me and you’re ready to take action. It requires you to be honest with your self about what you’re really willing to do. Commitment is the inner drive that connects you to why you are passionate about your goal, and gives you the motivation and energy to take consistent action. Peter Drucker says it well, “Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes, but no plans.”

3. Mini Movements = Major Impact

Creating small consistent steps to move yourself forward is a practical and powerful way to support your success. Your big success is a result of many little victories. Every week take your goals and break them down into even smaller doable action steps. Each accomplishment will encourage you to keep moving forward. Like the Peruvian proverb states, , we succeed when we keep moving forward, regardless the size of the step.Subscribe to The Morning Email.Wake up to the day’s most important news.

4. Create a Support System

One of the best ways to ensure staying on track is having a strong support system. Whether you enlist a friend, join a class or group, or hire a coach, having someone else to check in with is a smart way to stay accountable. Accountability is the glue that keeps us sticking with doing what we say we’re going to do. I recently enlisted a friend to support me with my daily meditation goal, and it worked wonders! I’m now on day 30. It’s a fun way to support each other in reaching our goals and deepen our connection as friends.

5. Visualize Your Success

As we’ve learned from many professional and Olympic athletes, visualizing your desired outcome can highly increase the odds of reaching your goal. A study shared in Psychology Today examining brain patterns in weightlifters discovered that the patterns activated when a weightlifter lifted hundreds of pounds were similarly activated when the athletes only imagined lifting. Using our creative imagination to ‘see ourselves’ accomplishing what we’ve set out to do is a tool that most of us can easily apply to our benefit.

Once you’ve clarified your goal, imagine you’ve already reached your desired outcome. Hold a mental ‘picture’ of it as if it were happening right now. Imagine the scene in as much detail as possible. What do you, see, hear and feel as you experience yourself living your vision. Who is you with? What are you wearing? What does your environment look like? Bring it to life and have fun with it. A daily (or regular) practice of visualizing your goal is a powerful way to support your success.

6. Set up a Tracking and Reminder System

You may have heard the saying, – what gets measured, gets done. It’s definitely been my experience. When you track your progress it keeps you focused on what you’re doing consistently, while being aware of the results you’re achieving. There are numerous options for low and high tech tracking systems. Including, using a written calendar or smart phone app, etc. Find a system that works best for you.

7. Celebrate

Enjoy and celebrate your wins. You deserve it. It may feel odd at first, but acknowledging yourself and all you accomplish is a way for you to be a good friend to yourself and cheerleader along the way. You can use creative ways to reward your wins and add an element of fun to reaching your goals. You could schedule a day to visit a park or museum with a friend, treat yourself to a meal at your favorite restaurant, or a massage at your local spa.

Appreciating yourself also encourages you to keep going and builds your confidence. Remember to also thank and appreciate the people who contribute and support you to succeed.

These keys may not be new, but sometimes we need a good reminder or a little kick in the butt to get us back on track. Whatever your dreams or goals may be, begin taking action today. Set yourself up for success by using these keys to support you.

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” –Goethe

As I go onto to tackle a new set of goals whereby I may just have to YouTube my way through it. I definitely will be completing the above steps to ensure that the quality of my work reflects a level of professionalism and experience of someone who’s been doing this all their life-my dreams are banking on it. I look forward to sharing in the coming months this special project with you all with the hopes that more opportunities alike will present themselves so that I can keep stacking my goals and displaying them for the world to see.

Stay Tuned for the Release!

For other articles like this one:

Facing Our Wrongs: Fostering a “Hand up Mentality” as Women in Business.

Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing: The Power Of a Woman Pack

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