Recharge, Refuel, Refocus: 5 Tips on Expanding Your Capacity

Susan-Sohn-PromoIf there is one question I get asked on a regular basis it is this, “How do you do all that you do?” My question back is always, “What is it that you see me do that you want to know about?”

This question always results in the conversation of capacity and capacity is something that never ceases to fascinate me. Why is it that some people seem to have greater capacity than others?

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When Dreams Conflict and Collide

she-1I’m 44 and I feel like my life has just begun. How is that possible? I have three children, I have been married for 20 years and I have had a fulfilling career. However, the excitement, the desire and the drive that I find within feels more like it did in my twenties. What is this and where does this come from?

Allow me to reflect. I am a dreamer and I believe that, in the seemingly impossible, the possible can be found. I know that small steps will always lead to big steps and achievements. I’m a perpetual optimist and choose to dig deep and pull out the gold within, whether it be personally or in relation to others. I’m not afraid of hard work, nor rejection, for both are part of life and understanding that at an early age promises to rid one of burdens that can tend to hold us back. I choose to let challenging things like, rejection and hard work, fuel me rather than rule me.

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The Ordinary into the Extraordinary

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At the end of this month, Philip and I will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. I can hardly believe it’s been two decades since we said ‘I do’, and if you include the on-and-off dating before that, we’ve pretty much been together for 25 years. We met when I was 19 and he was 21.Read More


A Cup of Warm Milk

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So I’m sharing this article today simply because one of my readers had remembered this article and she shared how it had touched her. She asked if I would repost it so here we go…. I hope you enjoy!

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Everyone Has a Story

This a story that has made its way around the globe. I’ve talked about it countless times on my radio show and to family and friends. I’ve been reminded of it countless times. Why? Because we all desire wholeness in our lives.  And personally,  I think all of us can see a piece of ourselves in these events. After sharing this, I was asked to write my story, so I hope it makes its way into the right places.

The story is simply about a day in my life. A day that I know will stay with me forever.

I was at the supermarket doing my weekly shop. Normally, I am a very interactive shopper. I like to know what’s going on around me and I truly enjoy the supermarket experience. I go down every aisle because it is a time and space in a busy day to simply roam perhaps a little aimlessly. I love it! Today was slightly different for me, I was extremely focused on the job at hand. I was stepping outside of my culinary safety box and cooking something new for our dinner guests. So, with cookbook in hand I was charging through the shops focusing on my recipe and my trolley. Normally I would greet my fellow shoppers with a friendly ‘hello’ and a smile. Not today.

After making tracks through the supermarket, I made it to the checkout.

As I began to place my purchases on the sliding belt and the cashier scanned each item, I felt a sense of satisfaction. I had found almost everything I needed. I had completed my shop in record time which meant time for a relaxing coffee before the cooking began. I stood patiently, waiting for my transaction to end, smiling at the man who was doing his best to pack my groceries. Whilst I was at the checkout and daydreaming about my coffee and thinking about my impending culinary extravaganza. I turned to discover someone had joined my line. It was a man who appeared to be homeless, he would have been in his late 30s or early 40s.

His hair was matted, his clothes were very dirty and he carried a horrible stench. Sadly, his smell was so strong that it invaded almost the entire front of the store. As my groceries came to an end he began to delicately place his purchases on the sliding belt.  I can’t remember exactly what he was buying but I do recall it surprised me. His groceries, would have probably cost around $10. I stood, riveted to the floor, my feet wouldn’t move. My heart began to beat a little faster, my internal temperature increased. It was that feeling that maybe some of you get when you’re about to hear that ‘small voice inside’ speak loud and clear. That’s exactly what happened.

I heard that voice say, ‘pay for his groceries’.

I know many, if not most of you reading this story are familiar with that voice. We all hear it. Call it your conscience, call it the Universe but I call it God and I know that voice. It’s the voice that can warn me, caution me, motivate me…. so many moments I have heard that voice. Anyway, back to the story. I immediately began a debate in my head that went something like this: “What if he gets offended? What if he freaks out on me? How embarrassing, what if, what if.” I argued with myself for so long that others had joined the line. Again, I heard the voice say, “Will you not humble yourself to do something that will change a life? Have you not asked to be my hands and feet? Pay for his groceries.”

Being stubborn, I attempted to ignore the voice and my instincts.

I was becoming more uncomfortable. My internal temperature was raging like hot molten lava and my heart was beating faster. I was shifting from side-to-side. I knew what to do but I couldn’t step over my pride or fear to do the right thing.

My transaction was complete. As the kind cashier put my last bag into the trolley,  he said, “thank you miss, you have saved $16.00 today.”  I quickly realized that my savings (thanks to my supermarket club card) were greater than the homeless man’s entire bill. My heart sank. I had missed the moment. My internal temperature began to cool down, my heartbeat began to slow down and my head hung low.

Offering to pay for his groceries now would be awkward. I couldn’t add it onto my bill. I would have to stand and wait and there would be an uncomfortable silence. The excuses stacked up and I began to convinced myself that maybe I didn’t hear that voice,. Maybe I made it all up. I knew better, I knew I had missed a chance to ‘be the change I want to see in the world today’!

I wheeled my well-packed trolley to the exit and left with a horrible sense of sadness.

The sadness of walking away from a missed opportunity, is also associated with letting your pride stand in the way of the good we are offered to do. As I walked toward the exit, consoling myself I heard a well-spoken man calling out after me. “Excuse me Miss, excuse me Miss”. I turned around expecting the friendly cashier but found the homeless man with the matted hair and dirty clothes. He handed me my supermarket club card, explaining I had dropped it and he wanted to make sure it was returned.

Now, take a moment and allow me to paint a picture for you. This man had captured everyone’s attention through his looks, stench and the concern of him  generally perusing the shelves. Now he was following and calling out to me as I exited the store. Imagine, the fellow shoppers looking on, the store security almost ‘at the ready’. Can you see it? Can you hear the gasps and the looks of concern?

At that moment, I heard the voice again say, “here’s another chance.”

I ignored it and stood at the entrance saddened by my weakness. The well-spoken homeless man returned to the cashier to complete his transaction. I stood, once again, riveted to the spot. I was scared but desperate to BE in the moment, desperate to step over ME.  I was the only thing that stood between doing the good and the right and walking away and missing the opportunity to be a blessing. Finally, something within me broke and I began to rise up on the inside. What was happening, courage was taking the place of fear. Pushing it out like a storm within.

I began to hope that the man would take the same exit as me and silently prayed for a third chance to make a difference. I prayed that this courage I felt, this strength within would help me live beyond myself at that very moment.

Before I knew it, the homeless man was behind me ~ he had chosen the same exit!

He said, “I hope you don’t mind that I chased after you with your card.”
I looked at him and said, “No, thank you so much.” I paused and then continued the conversation, “How is your day going?”
He locked eyes with me and replied, “Not very good, it’s hard being homeless.” The conversation continued as we walked to the car park.
“You took a risk in there running after me to give my card back and now it’s my turn to take a risk with you,” I said.
“When we were standing in line I believe God spoke to me and told me to pay for your groceries. I ignored him because I was scared.”
His eyes remained locked on mine. He told me, “Everyday I ask God for direction, I wasn’t always homeless you know. I used to live in a nice area, I grew up there, I had a good job, life was great. Things just went wrong and life changed very quickly but I know I won’t always be homeless.”

I listened to him and was moved with compassion.

Our conversation continued and I said, “You’re in this space right now but God wants you to know that this isn’t how your life will end, that there is more and this isn’t forever.”
He replied, “It’s Angels like you that give me hope and today I needed hope. I just spent my last dollars on those groceries.”
I asked him if I could help him and he replied, “If you would like to – I want you to know that I’m homeless but I don’t do drugs, a lot of homeless people do but I’m just not one of those.”
At that moment, I believed him about the drugs but you know even if that isn’t the truth, God is in control and He orchestrated the entire encounter.

I asked him his name and introduced myself to him. I told him I would pray for him, that I knew God was going to do something great in his life and that he needed to hold onto hope and have faith. He extended his hand to shake mine and I was thinking, “Oh no, I don’t want to shake.” Again I heard the voice say, “Shake his hand well, place value on him.” I extended my hand and said, “God bless you and have the best day today.” He said the same and we parted ways.

When I made my way to my car and instantly began praying for him, I almost buckled over in tears. I felt such a huge burden for him. I cannot claim that I know how his story ends or how his life will change. But I know through God’s creativity this homeless man’s life can become what it was meant to be.

Today, I walked away from an opportunity to make a difference. But I believe I was given a second and third chance and I chose to do what was right.

I ended up giving him all that was in my wallet. Not a lot to most, but a fortune to him. Who knows what will happen in his life. All I know is that I’ve asked to be God’s hands and feet on this earth. Today I had the opportunity to speak into a hurting life. I realise now more than ever that on either side of our obedience there are people who will be affected forever.

My friends can attest to the fact that I always say EVERYONE HAS A STORY. I learned that from a great man … my dad. I believe that as we walk through life it is our responsibility to pull back the layers of our stories. When we do this we discover the gold that is within each one of us. Try to look beyond what you see. There is a why behind every what. Thank you for reading this simple story. I ask today that you say a prayer for this homeless man, my friend whose name is Sean.

Susan

Original date January 14, 2010. 


Parenting Tips | Separate the Truth from the Lie

parenting-tipTo my fellow parents….. Have you ever found yourself wishing that when you left the hospital with your newborn babe in your arms the Doctor or Nurse would have handed you a book saying, ‘Read this and your ride will be smooth – it has all the answers to every question you’ll ever have hidden in these pages.’ Not sure about you but there were times and still are when I find myself reaching for such a book but alas it’s never to be found.

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Kimchee Fried Rice

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As most of you know our family loves food…. We love to cook, create, eat and entertain. In our home, there is truly nothing like a table full of people, enjoying food, laughing and all the while creating incredible memories in our home.

This past weekend, my teenage daughter had a group of friends over for a relaxing, poolside day. We all know teenagers know how to eat and let me tell you, they did not disappoint. I made them our GetRealLive famous Chicken Burgers that have been generously shared with us by our great friend, Barry Crocker. His Chicken burgers are the best and the teenagers agreed. One of them actually asked me if I was a chef…. love that compliment 🙂

Anyway… moving on!! Today’s post has been spurred on by something I shared on Instagram & Facebook yesterday. I posted a picture of our Kimchee Fried Rice that I made for lunch. Now, having never made this before I was a big worried that it wouldn’t work out. And, to be honest this was inspired by the fact that I had nothing left in the cupboard after 2 weeks of school holidays. After multiple days of my daughters entertaining plus kids and families coming and going, Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard was truly bare… When the cupboard is bare, there is nothing better than dazzling your family with a creative Fried Rice and that’s exactly what I did. So, as with any recipe we share through this site, this has been ‘Tried and True’ in one of our GetRealLive kitchen’s and in this case, it was mine.  My hubby and children gobbled it up and, in fact, both my son and daughter have taken leftovers for lunch at school. Two meals solved in one go….. YES!

Here we go…..

Kimchee Fried Rice

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons sesame oil (or if you want to be a little extravagant you can use 2 tablespoons of butter… this suggestion from my beautiful sister-in-law, Angie)

1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 small garlic clove, minced or chopped (whatever is easiest… this meal is all about the easy!)
A pinch of coarse salt (if you like…. in our kitchen I use pink Himalayan Salt but for this recipe I skip the salt because Kimchee is salty enough. I’ve included it tho because for some palates you might need a dash to make it great. Personal taste here!)
1 cup sour kimchi (use old Kimchee if you have it’s best and I like the big pieces of it so I don’t chop it up. If you want smaller pieces then by all means chop it up. If you’re buying Kimchee for the first time ask your Asian/Korean grocer for Mat Kimchee)
1 teaspoon/a Splash of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of sesame seeds (not needed but I add these only because I love them!)

1 cup day-old cooked rice, at room temperature (If you have, if not, just pop some rice in the rice cooker and use fresh….that’s what I do but it’s a great dish to use up left over rice as well)
1 very good egg
1 scallion, white and light green parts only, very thinly sliced (you can either cook these through or I use them more as a sprinkle on top before serving)
1 generous pinch coarse Korean chili powder

Directions

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring now and then, until the onions begin to soften and become just brown. Turn up the heat to high and add the kimchi and cook for approx 5 minutes. Cook until the Kimchee starts to crisp on the edges basically like it’s being fried. Add the soy sauce and rice and stir thoroughly to combine. Cook until the rice is warmed through and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. To serve I like shallow individual serving bowls

This is so yum and the flavours will permeate through your house. It’s a super quick meal that is absolutely moorish! NOTE: Kimchee is spicy and can be an acquired taste. In saying that, some of the heat seems to be taken out during the cooking process additionally, the strong flavour that may need some getting used to softens whilst cooking. For those who are familiar with Kimchee and have come to love it like my family (obviously my hubby, being Korean, grew up on this…. but I’ve acquired a taste as have our children) then go for it… You will love this dish and it’s seriously easy.

Now…. if you want to dress the dish up a bit and add a bit of SWAG to it (according to my  kids SWAG is…. Swhat We Asians Got!) you can add the Fried Egg on top…

If you have removed your rice from your pan you can simply wipe the pan clean and use it for your egg. Cook your egg as per usual (a fried egg) and cook just until the yoke is done, you want some of the gooey, runny yoke to melt through the rice adding to the flavour and texture of the dish. So, take your rice and delicately place your egg on top, sprinkle with your green onions/shallots even drizzle a tiny bit of sesame oil over the top and a dash of red pepper if you want and go ahead and savour the goodness you have created!

Enjoy….. Now that I have written this out, my mouth is watering and I’m ready for more…. A perfect 1 dish meal that is ready in under 10mins.

Susan xx


#grlpower Turn Up the Volume Stories

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This week we are sharing stories from some of the organisations we have chosen to partner with. This one comes from Fiji via ‘A Girl and Her World‘…. We hope you enjoy and that through these experiences you are inspired to help us 1) Create Awareness and 2) Mobilise so that we are able to make a difference.

Last week, Kym and I travelled to rural Fiji to visit the gorgeous girls we support there, check in on their families’ income generating projects and meet and train the newly formed team that our Coordinator Urmila has gathered around her this year.
As always, we came away richer with full hearts and excitement about all that is possible when a group of people come together to make a difference in their community.
There was sincere and grateful thanks for your support and the reality is that we wouldn’t be able to do what we do without it. Here are some pics to connect you to what we are doing…

This sweet girl peeks out at us from her front door in a village not far from RakiRaki town. She has 4 siblings and we support her older sister to go to school as she is in high school. The younger girls will no doubt be supported as they get older too, and we are looking into setting mum up with a chicken coup so she can begin to earn a living.Fiji-009-650x487

wallThis mum showed us the new wall she was able to put up with a grant from our Emergency Fund early this year as her family recovered from the impact of TC Evan that tore her house apart. Thanks to your generosity she has been able to rebuild, put in a concrete floor to one room and install new shutters to let some light in as they have no electricity.

freezerThis happy dad has been talking with us since last year about his business plan to sell fish. This trip we were able to help him purchase this freezer so he can buy fish from his brother’s trawler, freeze it to keep and sell to his community and bring any left over into town to sell at the market. He will also be able to provide good nutrition for his family and as his business grows, take back some of the ownership of supporting his daughter’s education. She was one of the first girls we supported…she is very happy to be back at school and is doing well.

And last but most definitely not least, one of our favourites the beautiful Kajul! She is Urmila’s daughter and the inspiration behind ‘a Girl & her world’. In this pic she is laughing at Kym’s attempt to make roti.roti Kym and I couldn’t see the problem, but when you make hundreds of these things every week, before school for the day’s meals, you learn to roll them perfectly. We loved eating dinner made from this kitchen every night!


#grlpower Turn Up The Volume!!

Welcome to GetRealLive…. We are so glad you’ve connected with us!

YOU MAY HAVE ARRIVED HERE BECAUSE YOU’VE SEEN SOME OF YOUR FRIENDS CHANGE THEIR FACEBOOK COVERS TO SUPPORT #grlpower Turn Up the Volume AND YOU WANT TO DO THE SAME… IF THAT’S THE CASE THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU….

Step 1: To start you on this journey we would love it if you would watch this short video by Rebecca Barry – Award Winning Documentary Writer, Director and Producer who is an upcoming guest on GetRealLive Radio in support of #grlpower Turn Up the Volume. 

Step 2: Here is the image we have created for your Facebook Cover. Please, please take it and upload it and show your support for girls across the world TURN UP THE VOLUME!

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Step 3: More information: GetRealLive is supporting INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL and we have not only chosen to partner with a few organisations we would like to highlight plus we are donating our collective Social Media Influence. We have all reached into our communities and invited friends | family | followers | fans and everyone else we are connected with to donate their influence as well. We have decided to use the hashtag #grlpower Turn Up The Volume (you can also us #turnupthevolume) to use our voice and GET LOUD about issues that matter! We believe that on the other end of our YES (to be involved) are countless girls across the planet who are saying Thank You!

Here are some of the amazing organisations we are partnering with. These are organisations are doing extraordinary work and not only are they partnering with us in terms of Social Media but they are sharing some of their stories through GetRealLive {the on the ground stuff that only they see) plus they are coming on GetRealLive Radio to tell us about their experiences (hear Jane Kennedy Founder of A Girl & Her World HERE and listen to Esther Davidson from Hope Helicopters tell us about the tribes in Papua New Guinea HERE}… ExtraORDINARY people choosing to live out loud and make a difference in the lives of those who need our hands, our feet, our influence and yes… our money!

We are so excited to be partnering with

A GIRL & HER WORLD, PLAN CANADA, TRANSFORMATION TEXTILES, and VILLAGE ARTISAN

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Here is a video from Village Artisan… Part of the beauty of what we are presenting through GetRealLive is that these organisations we have chosen to partner with, we know them and we know them well. The beautiful blonde girl in this video is a friend of mine and her life has been dedicated to bringing hope to women in India. I love that through her & her families life work, we have the opportunity to partner with them and hopefully see you engaging with them on a deeper, more meaningful level.

HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED? 

1) EDUCATE

We need to educate OURSELVES, so during the next few weeks, we will be bringing stories of amazing of girls whose lives have been transformed through the work of our partners. These organisations are on the ground making things happen every day! Take a moment to read our posts here, share them, talk about them and visit our partners’ websites to fully engage.

2) DONATE

Your Social Influence – This means going old school and simply talking with friends over coffee or a glass of wine and bringing the reality of what girls across the planet have to deal with into our worlds. TURN UP THE VOLUME on social media! We need your updates on Facebook | Instagram | Linkedin | Twitter | Tumblr. Whatever your preferred platform, please copy and paste, follow us and re-tweet. Do whatever you can to to help us spread the message. Don’t EVER believe that you can’t make a difference. In our empowered and connected world, we all have great influence.

Your Finances – Did you know that it costs $300 to send a girl in the Pacific Islands to school for a year? Did you know that for less than $1 per day Plan Canada’s Because I’m a Girl Project helps to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing young girls in developing countries? That’s LESS THAN $1!

During the next few weeks, we’ll be offering suggestions on how you can donate your finances and how to go beyond just asking for money. We want this conversation to be very real and totally authentic so we will help you facilitate: Coffee Mornings | Wine Nights | Dinner Parties  | Garage Sales | Pink Lemonade Stands |Book Swaps |Lunch Money Matters | Christmas Cause Gifts | Fund Raiser Celebrations | and more ….

We want to Get Loud and Get Busy helping in any way that we can. Every cent makes a difference and every voice added to the mix helps TURN UP THE VOLUME!

3) GET INVOLVED

Stay connected to this journey … Email us at events@getreallive.com so that we can keep you can informed about all that’s happening. We want to use this space so that together we CAN make a difference.

‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.’  Margaret Mead