A glimpse into the women’s retreat.

Do you know that the coaching and learning at the women’s retreat, if held in a corporate setting, would have a price tage of $1800? It’s true! Do you know what it was really worth? Priceless, actually! Here’s just a little of our learning from our speaker Wendy Pauls, who works with Possibilities International and is a life coach and a fitness trainer.

When we are trying to change something in our lives, we tend to focus on the behaviour or results; this is like trying to trying to change the fruit on a tree from lemons to cherries. Instead, we need to get at the root. If you want to grow something different, you must plant something different. We must change what is below the ground to change what is above the ground.

All that exists (like a chair, a building, or whatever) began with an idea. Everything begins with a thought. So, change the thoughts that create the reality of your life.

The physical is a print-out of what’s going on in the mental, emotional and spiritual. Can you imagine erasing a typo on the page after it’s printed, and being frustrated that the typo remains when you print it again? To change the print-out, we must first fix the typo in the computer program. To change the fruit, we must change the root. To change the visible, we must change the invisible.

In other words, to get different results, we must change our attitudes, beliefs, and what we focus on.

One example of changing what we focus on is to celebrate progress at milestones along your way toward accomplishing your goal instead of dreading how much work you have to do before you reach your destination. The goal of losing 10 pounds is broken into smaller chunks and celebrated at points along the way. Progess is motivating, so celebrate it!

Another way to get different results is by changing the lens through which we are looking – the perspective or paradigm we have of the situation. For instance, a situation can be viewed through a lens of anger, fear, indifference or hope. All emotions have value, but if your perspective is not serving you well, change it.

When we
↓ See differently (changing our beliefs/filters/lens), we will:
↓ Think differently, and then we will:
↓ Feel differently, and then we will:
↓ Behave/respond differently

Often we hack at the “leaves” of behaviour, when we would be more effective looking at the roots: the perspectives, the beliefs.

“…be transformed by the renewing of your mind” Romans 12:2

Ask yourself “What perspective do I have right now? What lens am I looking through? Question your perspective and ask, “Is this perspective serving me right now?” Ask, “Is there another way I can view this?”


God renamed people in the Bible to change their view of themselves (Abram to Abraham, Saul to Paul and others). Beliefs are powerful! What labels do you give yourself?  What words do you use to describe yourself and your situation?

The four minute mile was broken by Roger Bannister on a windy day. Previously thought impossible, over the next four years, 16 other runners also ran a mile in less than four minutes. So, was the barrier physical or mental????

Just like a lightning rod attracts lightning, our beliefs attract evidence. (eg. “People are mean” makes you notice the frowns on others faces and interpret things that way. Believing that “People are friendly” makes you notice smiles and kindness.) Hold up a different lightning rod – a different belief – and you will attract the evidence to support it.

Another way to change the results you are getting is by changing your mental “picture” of your life. For instance, see the impact of your life not as a drop in the bucket, but as a drop of water with ripples of impact you cannot measure!

Like making a new path through the forest, our new beliefs require time and effort to create a well-beaten path, a new mental habit for our brain, a mental short-cut. Every habit begins with a thought, and requires persistence in reinforcing it.

Thoughts are seeds we plant. What do you want to grow?

What goals do you want to accomplish? What habits do you want to overcome? What dreams do you have? Write them in your calendar, share them with someone else, and follow-up with each other.

For more on Wendy Pauls or the organization she is a part of, see

This is only a little of the valuable content covered. I could have also told you about BRANDING, DIAMONDS, or using SCISSORS vs. a SPOON… I could have told you about NEWSPAPER SEARCHING, SLEEPLESSNESS, WILDERNESS WALKING, or TABOO…

To all you women of Westheights, thank you for your friendship and for sharing your weekend with me. I was struck by the caliber of women that you are and God’s love over our community.