Tag Archives: Brett Bingham


Andrew's Christmas Gift to Me

From what I understand, the term “BEING PRESENT” refers to focussing your awareness on what is happening right here and now.

The trick is not to think about what happened yesterday or what may happen tomorrow.

In his book, “The Power of Now”, Eckhardt Tolle explains that the simple act of being present will help REDUCE or ELIMINATE anxiety.

It works because most of what you worry about isn’t actually happening in THIS moment.

Tolle also says that being present INCREASES your ability to be GRATEFUL for what you have.

That makes sense. You can’t be grateful for things you don’t NOTICE.

It is this aspect of being present that I want to talk about.

In the first days of 2012, I had a really powerful lesson in being present, and it quite aptly centres around a Zen waterfall.

My son and I were fortunate enough to spend Christmas Day with my family this year.

My brother David, his wife Young Oak, and my seven-year-old nephew Brett hosted Christmas in their new home.

It was a GREAT day! My mom, my niece Candace, my nephew Andrew, and his girlfriend Shannon were also there.

I was PRESENT (pun intended) every moment of Christmas Day – from waking up to the sound of Brett yelling “It’s Christmas morning!!!!”, to helping my mom stuff the turkey, to laughing all the way through dinner and dessert.

As if that wasn’t good enough – after dinner, I saved over $120 by ordering a replacement Dell laptop battery through eBay!

Between Andrew and his girlfriend, they know ALL the great places to order computer hardware and get FREE SHIPPING all the way from Hong Kong! Woohooo!

It sure is HANDY to have a nephew who owns a mobile computer repair company! The PC Buds is in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada – feel free to Like his company on Facebook (says his proud Auntie Colleen.)

Yes, I definitely managed to be present on Christmas Day. Unfortunately, my state of being faltered slightly very early in the New Year.

Here’s what happened…..

Andrew, that same wonderful nephew who is the computer whiz, gave me a Zen waterfall for Christmas. It’s the one pictured on this page.

I was really excited about his gift but I didn’t get a chance to set it up. I drove back from Toronto on Boxing Day, threw my dirty clothes in the laundry, packed clean clothes, and headed to Ottawa for the CTV Morning Live interview that aired on Wednesday, December 28th, 2011.

(You can see that on my Media TV page or on YouTube under My Chick Night).

The interview went really well! Laurie, my BFF from high school, met me in Ottawa for a couple of days and then we drove back here. She stayed over for New Year’s – the SECOND year in a ROW, thank you very much!

We had a blast!

The day Laurie had to fly back to Toronto, I was definitely not being present. I was sad she was leaving and concentrating on when I’d see her again – instead of focussing on the fact that she was STILL HERE.

In doing so, I wasted the time we were together that day by concentrating on the fact that she WOULDN’T be here the NEXT day.

Do YOU do silly things like that?

On that day, in order to keep from openly moping, I offered to help her pack. Oh, I HELPED allright. Without realizing it, I packed her stuff – and some of MY STUFF – into her suitcase.

The next day, I TRIED to set up my brand new Zen waterfall. It’s a really simple arrangement of parts that I had already taken out of the box BEFORE leaving for Ottawa and set in a jumbled pile on my kitchen table.

Surprise, surprise – now on January 3rd, I couldn’t find the adapter cord.

I searched everywhere.

It was ridiculous. It HAD to be here. Or did it? That’s when I clearly remembered scooping up EVERY adapter cord I could find and “helping” Laurie pack by shoving them all in her computer bag.


The Universe has a great sense of humour, doesn’t it? While NOT being present, I did the one thing to ensure that I COULDN’T use my ZEN waterfall.

Fortunately, I have since been to Toronto and retrieved the adapter cord. Thank you very much, Andrew. I LOVE IT!

The waterfall is sitting on my kitchen counter as a TANGIBLE REMINDER of the importance of BEING PRESENT at all times.

Let’s see how well it works.

Talk soon.




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CTV Morning Live in Ottawa

Left to right, Author Colleen Kleven, CTV Morning Live in Ottawa Hosts Kurt Stoodley, Lianne Laing, and Jeff Hopper

I’ve always been FASCINATED by the patterns created on the surface of water when something breaks through that first layer of water tension.

I’m talking about those CONCENTRIC CIRCLES that form when you drop a pebble into a pond.

LIFE works the SAME WAY. One single action or event will begin a pattern that ripples outward.

For example, in early December of 2011 (yes, that would be LAST YEAR), I received a call from John Kretzschmar, Founder/Publisher/Editor of The Valley Meteor (www.valleymeteor.com), a locally owned and operated paper for the community of Valley East.

Kretzschmar interviewed me for the December issue of the paper. In the article, he graciously recommended my book, The Beginner’s Guide to Chick Night, as a gift for out-of-town friends and family members.

We had a great conversation. In addition to the interview, Kretzschmar and I discussed the career paths that had led him to start a newspaper and me to write my first book.

Don’t you LOVE finding out HOW people got from “there” to “here”?

One week later, I took a call from Tamara Ischenko, Reporter for CTV Sudbury. (www.northernontario.ctv.ca)

She wanted to do an interview in my home. When she and her videographer, Terry arrived, we sat in my kitchen and talked about ways for women to enjoy the holiday season – even if they are HOSTING the “main event”.

Off-camera, we had a great chat about Christmas prep and about our children. What a nice way to spend a morning!

The very NEXT day, I received a call from Charlene Peck, Special Publications Editor with the Parry Sound North Star. (www.cottagecountrynow.ca)

She was interested in doing a story on my book. We talked about it and about ways for moms to reduce holiday stress.

While we were chatting, Peck mentioned that she was originally from Stoney Creek and had chosen to live in Parry Sound. I told her that I had moved to Northern Ontario after growing up in Toronto.

In comparing our experiences, we discovered HOW MUCH we have in common.

Within two weeks, the ripple effect had moved from LOCAL community paper to MUNICIPAL tv station to REGIONAL newspaper.

Just like the surface of a pond, it didn’t stop there…

One week after VERY EXCITEDLY (I distinctly recall jumping for joy) opening an email from Kent Mannen, Producer of CTV Morning Live in Ottawa, I found myself sitting in their George Street studio on Wednesday, December 28th being interviewed by Host, Lianne Laing.

What a FABULOUS experience! Hosts Lianne Laing, Kurt Stoodley and Jeff Hopper went out of their way to make me feel welcome. For that, I am equally grateful!

By the way, under the “It’s a Small World” category…not only did Jeff Hopper and I take the same Radio Broadcasting course at Humber College in Toronto (he was there a “few” years after I was) but one of the women in MY class, Louann Nicholson, was later one of HIS instructors!

CTV Morning Live in Ottawa was my first PROVINCIAL (and thanks to the wonders of satellite tv) also NATIONAL tv interview.

How fitting that it took place in Ottawa, our nation’s capital.

Prior to the interview, Laing and I had a chance to talk about our children and the ways in which we make sure to stay connected with our girlfriends.

I was “preaching to the choir” with Laing. She GETS it!

Since that interview found its way to YouTube, I’ve had lots of great feedback. Of all the comments, perhaps my favourite was from my seven-year-old nephew, Brett.

He asked me why I “didn’t look at him” during the interview. I will tell you the same thing I told him. Just before the interview started, the host very politely asked me to look at HER instead of at the camera – a perfectly logical request considering the fact that we were having a conversation.

As I sit here on Day Three of 2012, I wonder where the ripple will go NEXT.

It’s a brand new year. I’m aiming for the ELLEN Show and the OPRAH Network. What are you going to do with YOURS?

What are YOU planning to ACCOMPLISH?

What do YOU want to EXPERIENCE?

Who do YOU want to MEET?

Make your plans and follow your dreams.

If you need any coaxing, DOWNLOAD a FREE chapter of my book. The link is in the top right-hand corner of this page.


Talk soon.


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