Seahawks Progress to Super Bowl Despite Lackluster Passing Game

Courtesy Flickr.com nojuanshome
Courtesy Flickr.com nojuanshome

“Whoa…that was a little too close for comfort,” was the collective sigh of relief for thousands of Seattle Seahawks fans across the Pacific Northwest. Seattle rallied back from a 16-0 first half deficit to beat the Green Bay Packers 28-22 in overtime and return the defending Super Bowl Champions to back to back championship games.

The Seahawks won the game on a 35-yard touchdown reception in overtime by Jermaine Kearse. In each of the four previous quarters of regulation football, Kearse had been targeted by quarterback Russell Wilson, and the University of Washington product was picked off on each occasion, including two perfectly thrown balls, which were tipped by Kearse into waiting defenders hands.

Also, in the first half of Sunday’s NFC Championship, the Seattle return game was equally inept as the offence was, with Seattle’s top receiver, Doug Baldwin, turning over the ball on the kick-off return after the Packers put their first field goal points on the board.

The Seattle offence, as was the case in the regular season goes through Marshawn Lynch. Lynch ran for 157 yards and tallied one touchdown to give Seattle their first lead in the game in the fourth quarter.

Seattle has been without a top receiver since trading Percy Harvin to the New York Jets back in October. Harvin was dealt as result of mediocre performance on the field and  reports of altercations including fights with Doug Baldwin and former teammate Golden Tate. Harvin was used as the primary kick returner during his short stint with the Seahawks and scored a beautiful touchdown on the opening second half kickoff in Super Bowl XLXIII. After the trade, the team did not replace the former pro-bowler with another top receiver. The Seahawks elected to have Russell Wilson use a myriad of receivers for the remainder of the season, but with no main threat coming to the forefront.

The Seahawks receiving corp has been very green this season. The team was using rookie receivers Paul Richardson(suffered season ending knee injury in divisional playoff win vs Carolina), Kevin Norwood and Ricardo Lockette regularly in the receiving corp, second-year wideout Chris Matthews, fifth-year Bryan Walters, third-year receiver Jermaine Kearse playing every down as well as being lead by fourth-year man Doug Baldwin. Combined in the Seahawks lineup is 14-years of experience in the wide out position.

Baldwin was arguably the third receiver last year behind Sidney Rice(he was injured after Week 6 and retired before this season) and Golden Tate who lead the team in receiving yards with 898. Baldwin had 788 receiving yards last year, and 825 this year. His nearest team mate, Jermaine Kearse had 537 yards receiving this season.

They’ve been able to win by committee, but will the existing committee be enough to beat a very experienced New England Patriots defence? “Y’all didn’t believe in us,” said Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin, “16-0, in the first half, how many of y’all counted us out? How many of y’all doubted us? It’s indicative of our entire season. Y’all don’t want to believe in us, it’s okay. You ain’t gotta believe in us because we’re going to believe in ourselves.”

But people’s belief certainly wavered after that 16-0 first half deficit. Many may have been thinking that this inexperienced group just got beat by the Packer’s stronger receiving corps led by Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. But Baldwin and his Seahawk teammates weren’t phased by the hold they had dug themselves, “You don’t win the game in the first half, you win in the second half, and what do we do? We come out and we do what we do, we play Seahawks football! We got an opportunity to do what we love, and we’ll see y’all in the Super Bowl!”

The real saviour for the Seahawks offensively has been the running game led by  Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson. Lynch racked up 1,306 yards on the ground while the starting QB tallied 849 yards.

The Hawks defence has also followed up last year’s Super Bowl win with an equally stingy defence this year, keeping teams to the fewest yards against(267.1 YPG during regular season) in the league. The defence did manage two takeaways, but gave up 306 yards of offence to Green Bay on Sunday.

Fans of the team can only hope that the team’s defence and run game can lead them past New England in Super Bowl XLIX February 1st.


 

By Zameer Karim

The Royal Horoscope: January

Are you curious to find out what’s in store for you this month? Look no further…

Aquarius: January 20 – February 18

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, Aquarius. The full moon on the 4th will help you to feel more comfortable with opening up and asking others for help. Once you ask for help, you will be ready for the New Year and a new you.

Pieces: February 19 – March 20

You are a very mellow person, Pieces, but you are not afraid to show your every emotion: good and bad. This will be no exception when Mars and Neptune meet on the 19th. Before then, try not to get flustered and aggravated when you get in a sticky situation between friends.

Aries: March 21 – April 19

January has many good things in store for you, Aries. The full moon on the 4th will bring you luck in the New Year. Your New Years resolution will be easy to achieve, as long as you stay patient, my ambitious Ram. This will bring you confidence as the Sun moves into Capricorn on the 20th.

Taurus: April 20 – May 20

You are a very private person Taurus—and you prefer to keep it that way—but you have been dying to get something off of your chest. Mars will help to give you courage to be open about your feelings towards a special someone until the 12th. Your ruling planet, Venus, is moving into Aquarius making this your powerhouse month for communication.

Gemini: May 21 – June 20

Gemini’s are always ready for anything. You expect the unexpected, which will be very important this month when the moon moves into Gemini on the 1st. You will be ready for anything and everything, making you the life of the party. It is important to keep this momentum as Mercury will try to slow you down on the 21st. 

Cancer: June 21 – July 22

Balance is a key aspect of a Cancer’s everyday life. When the full moon moves into Gemini on the 4th, you will feel rejuvenated and ready for the New Year. With your newfound peace of mind, you will be able to focus on developing new friendships and building on old ones. 

Leo: July 23 – August 22

The cosmos are aligning in your favour, Leo. The sun will help you focus on taking care of yourself this New Year—something that you have not done in a while. It is time to relax and look back on your year, while setting goals for the New Year. This reflection will bring you newfound knowledge about yourself when Venus is in Aquarius from the 3rd to the 27th.

Virgo: August 23 – September 22

You are a social and outgoing individual, Virgo. These traits will be enhanced when the sun moves into Aquarius on the 20th, making you very flexible and ready for a fresh start this New Year. With a fresh start comes a new opportunity to communicate and enhance your friend list.

Libra: September 23 – October 22

It is time for you to relax, Libra. It has been a very stressful year for you, but that is behind you now. Venus will bring you comfort this month, starting your year off with a good mindset. This feeling will be enhanced when Mars is in Aquarius on the 12th.

Scorpio: October 23- November 21

Luck is on your side this month, Scorpio. You can do anything and everything you want. This truth will bring you positive energy and enthusiasm starting on the 12th. Try to keep this energy as the sun moves into Aquarius and slows you down on the 20th.

Sagittarius: November 22 – December 21

Your family and friends are extremely important to you, Sagittarius. The moon is colliding with Gemini and is helping you to focus on your relationships. Mars will bring you the chance to spend more time with your loved ones until the 12th—use this time wisely.

Capricorn: December 22 – January 19 

It is very rare that you are at a loss for words, Capricorn. This month you will have to work on your communication skills when the sun is in Capricorn until the 20th. This practice will help you to rekindle with a blast from a past this New Year.


Horoscopes brought to you by BAPC’s resident “astrologist”, Kate Church.

A Very Newd Experience at “Big Fun”

We stood there completely naked.

It was 2 a.m. in Tokyo and we were in a bathhouse with 100 Japanese women—fully nude. If this isn’t stepping outside of one’s comfort zone, I don’t know what is. How did we end up here? Let’s rewind two hours and I’ll explain.

The women at the information desk giggled as if we should have booked this hotel five years in advance, “No, sorry, hotel full,” she said in her broken English. “Are you sure, totally full?” I pleaded, my eyes full of sleep and my body begging to be horizontal. We had been traveling for 24 hours and there we were standing in the Tokyo airport at midnight, with no place to stay. The trains were done for the day and a taxi to anywhere would cost us about the same as a kidney sold on the black market. We wanted so badly to bite the bullet and go to the nearest plushy airport hotel, but refrained as we could already hear our credit cards screaming. We eyed up the white tile floor and single metal bench that made up the arrivals area, before deciding this was not an option.

The sweet woman at the information desk—bless her heart—suggested we go to Big Fun. She proceeded to rummage through a pile of papers and pulled out a pamphlet that was 99.9% in Japanese aside from “STAY 3300¥”. I did the quick math in my sleepy brain and realized that was only $33 Canadian. Now we’re talking! All we needed to know was what exactly was Big Fun?  Due to the confused look on our faces, she tried her best to explain in English what it was, “Nice reclining chairs, big bath, free shuttle”. We liked those words and decided the Big Fun option was really our only option. I waved the Big Fun pamphlet at anyone who would look at me and attempted to find where this alleged shuttle bus was hiding. We finally found it—only God knows how—and piled on the bus at 1 a.m. with 50 Japanese people; they looked at us like we were from another planet and we kind of felt like we were.

Skip forward 30 minutes and we were at Big Fun: a building that looked like a mall. We followed the crowd of people and did what they did, having no idea where to go nor a clue what to do. We locked our shoes in individual shoe lockers, paid the nightly fee, and we were given bags that contained two towels and a set of pajamas. We were on our own, aside from the sweet Japanese front desk staff trying their best to use charades to tell us where to go. The signs around the building were thankfully in English and Japanese so between the charade attempts and the signs that said “relaxation room” and “women’s change” we kind of got the idea. We slowly realized that this was a bathhouse, or an onsen: something we later realized is very common in Japan. I had a distant memory that these onsens are to be entered completely nude.

Shay Daviau and Kristin Arneson
Shay Daviau and Kristin Arneson

To avoid being the odd ones out who went in naked when others were clothed, I attempted to peer into the onsen to see if everyone else was naked. Upon feeling creepy, we tried our best at charades and asked two young Japanese girls what to wear; they managed to explain that we needed to take everything off. We gasped at each other, shocked that we were about to go into a bathhouse, nude, with 100 other Japanese woman. The Japanese girls giggled and attempted to show us how to use the towel as some sort of a loincloth. We thanked them and stripped down to nothing but a towel that was the size of a face cloth.

There we were, amidst 100 Japanese women, completely nude. I think some people have nightmares about this kind of thing: being completely naked in a room full of strangers.

For us it was a large step, or rather a leap—straight out of our comfort zones and right into Japan.

We didn’t slowly ease into Japan like we thought we would, we had suddenly jumped in with two feet (literally). We sat there in the indoor hot spring baths, tried out the different types of saunas, and felt increasingly obese as we compared ourselves to the tiny Japanese woman. It was surprisingly relaxing after so many hours of travel, regardless of how far away from home we felt at that moment. Later on we found an actual—and much needed—shower, which luckily came with all the fixings: shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and even disposable razors. Unfortunately and unluckily, the showers were two glass walled cubicles smack dab in the center of the whole hot springs area. It felt like we were on display, and although slightly unsettling, we went for it anyways.

After our very public showers, we changed into our pajamas and went to the “relaxation room”. Picture this: a large dark room full of 200 leather reclining chairs, full of snoring Japanese folks. While we couldn’t find any chairs beside each other, we settled for two on either side of a snoring 80-year-old Japanese man. We were lulled to sleep by the buzz of snores around us.

I was told when traveling to “expect the unexpected”. Cliché as that might be, in my experience it has rang true more often than not. As unsettling and weird as something may be in the moment, I can assure you that a week later it will be hilarious.

A good story always comes from an experience that has a few quirks.

Stepping way out of your comfort zone is the only way to have interesting experiences, even if those turn out to be newd experiences.


By Shay Daviau
Royal Roads University Student

Ten Strategies To Embrace Change

A new year, a new you: The attraction of reinvention is understandably alluring.

But what if the “old you” wasn’t so bad?

Change Ahead
Image: Stuart Miles | FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Fickle change is fine, but meaningful change is usually more of a process of day-to-day refinement. Let’s take a look at what it takes to create, carry out, and maintain meaningful change.

Imagine you are holding an elastic band. There is a picture of a sunny, warm Hawaii taped to the wall in front of you. You stand. You want to shoot the elastic at Hawaii. And now you’re ready to shoot the elastic at Hawaii.

You pull the elastic backward, creating necessary tension and—here’s the critical part—only in pulling back and letting go, can you launch the elastic forward. Newton’s third law of motion holds as true for elastic bands as it does for life.

In moving forward it is necessary to leave something behind.

If we want to launch far and forward, we must look back in order to inform our reality in the present.

Major and minor life changes are rarely easy. These ten strategies are a catalyst for deeper conversations with yourself and with those who know best about what you want. The hope is to narrow the gap between who you are now and who you want to be.

1.  START WITH “WHY” 

Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, suggests all behaviour is driven by our limbic brains and rationalized by our neocortex. In essence, emotion drives behaviour stronger than thought.

When a problem exists, try to work out why it exists. Doing this will allow you to see barriers and will help clarify the source of frustration, fear, or disappointment.

Answering why you want to change will provide the necessary clarity, focus, and motivation to accomplish your goals.

2.  CLARIFY THOUGHTS, BELIEFS, and IDEAS 

Before you can change your future, you must be brutally honest about your present. Knowing why you want ____ is as important as knowing what thoughts, beliefs and ideas have previously prevented you from getting _____.

What beliefs, thoughts, and ideas have reinforced your patterns of behaviour in the past? Would changing or letting go of those beliefs, thoughts, and ideas help you get to where you want to go?

3.  SET REALISTIC and ACHIEVABLE GOALS 

When approaching change, psychologist Mira Kirshenbaum asks two questions: Are you able to change? And are you willing to change?

SMART goals are a mnemonic acronym that can help shape goals into achievable objectives. Is your goal Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, and Time-related?

4.  TAKE ACTION 

You’ve completed the necessary preparation; now it’s time to try it out.

5.  PLANT MANY SEEDS 

While we may not be able to accurately predict the details of our future, we can remain active in areas where possibility exists.

6.  SNOWBALL YOUR BEHAVIOURS TO SUCCESS 

The key is to approach change from an incremental perspective and do many small actions over time. By creating little victories you accumulate momentum. Increasing the time, difficulty, or complexity of your daily actions will naturally result in small changes growing into bigger changes.

7.  EXPECT BARRIERS and SETBACKS 

New behaviours and incremental change is imperative to avoiding inertia because our brains are hardwired to react to the present. Given our limitations in energy, time, and resources each day, sometimes putting out fires takes precedence over long-term goals. To keep morale high and maintain motivation, seek ways to track your successes as you go.

8.  PAY ATTENTION TO REINFORCING FACTORS 

What and who will support you in moving toward your goal? Using an application that tracks your progress, logging your daily accomplishments, or staying in touch with a friend can reinforce the hard work you’re doing in forging this new path forward.

9.  CONTINUALLY REASSESS and EVALUATE 

  • How is this going for you?
  • Do you still like or want the goal that you initially set out for yourself?
  • What’s not working well?
  • What’s working well?

10.  CELEBRATE PERSONAL WINS 

When we successfully accomplish what we set out to achieve, we feel good because we’re rewarded with a sense of accomplishment, self-worth, and satisfaction. Whether it’s a step towards your goal today, or the attainment of the goal itself, celebrate both your small and big personal wins.

You’ve looked back and know why you want to change.

You are committed to doing the hard work and persevering when setbacks arise. And here’s the critical part: if you’re ready to let go and launch in the direction you want, you just might hit your mark.


Article by Yiely Ho

Yiely Ho
MA in Leadership Student, RRU

Use a Recruiter for Your Next Job Search

Recruiting: The Answer to Your Job Search?It is estimated that up to 80 per cent of open jobs are not advertised using traditional methods (i.e. job boards, company websites, newspaper classifieds, etc.). Therefore, recruiting firms often have leads on positions you might never hear about, including confidential job searches. Whether you are searching for a temporary, contract or permanent opportunity, there are many reasons why you, as a job seeker, would benefit from partnering with a recruiting firm.

You will be better prepared
Recruiting firms can help hone your resumé, assist with interview techniques, and provide you with more insight into the company, the job, the interview, the culture, the environment and, sometimes, even your competition.

Your resumé will stand out
Your recruiter will personally represent you to the hiring manager. It is not uncommon for hiring managers or Human Resource (HR) departments to receive hundreds of applicants for advertised positions; many qualified candidates’ resumés go unnoticed.

You can negotiate the highest compensation package
Your recruiter can provide advice on how to secure a higher income and better benefits and, in many cases, handle the negotiation for you when it comes to your new employment contract.

It’s free!

It is against British Columbia law for any worker to be charged money or a “placement fee” by a recruitment or employment agency.

Tips for getting the most out of your recruiting firm

Build a good rapport with the recruiting firm. Whether you’re meeting with a recruiter to discuss possible employment opportunities or a specific opportunity with one of their clients, the old standard “dress for success” still applies; you need to present yourself to the recruiter as a professional so he/she is comfortable recommending you to his/her clients.

Don’t underestimate the power of a recruiter. Many clients without an internal HR department develop a strategic business partnership with a recruiting firm. They trust their recruiters to present a shortlist of qualified candidates based on technical and cultural fit.

Work quickly. If a recruiter contacts you with an opportunity, respond as soon as possible. Recruiting firms pride themselves on being able to offer their clients a quick turnaround on filling open positions. So, if they do not hear back from you they may move on to other qualified candidates.

Keep control of your resumé. Make it clear you want to make decisions about who sees your resumé, especially if your job search is confidential. Some less professional agencies may flood the market with your resumé.

Use their knowledge. Particularly true of specialist consultants who work exclusively within your chosen profession or industry, recruiting firms can offer you salary advice based on benchmarking within the industry.

When to apply directly

• If you know the hiring manager, it’s almost always best to apply directly.

• If you have a professional (not personal) relationship with an employee at your target company, it may be advantageous to have him or her pass your resumé along for you. Keep in mind your resumé will likely be judged based on the quality of your referrer; “B” players are thought to attract “C” players.

• If you do not have the requisite experience, skills or current employment history specifically requested by the client, but want to “throw your hat in the ring” via the company’s website.

Given the benefits mentioned above, why not take advantage of the free services a professional recruiter provides when contemplating your next career move?


Article by Jacqueline Gallagher

Jacqueline is the Managing Consultant at the David Alpin Group, one of Canada’s largest recruiting firms, and a MBA candidate at Royal Roads. 

Connect with her on Twitter @recruiterjax 

Concert Review: Mother Mother

There is no question what happened at the Royal MacPherson theatre in downtown Victoria on December 10th. Mother Mother came home, and an exuberant homecoming it was.

The band is now referred to as a ‘Vancouver band’ in the music press; their rabid Island fan-base knows otherwise. Originally hailing from Quadra Island, this band found their legs in Victoria’s vibrant music scene and built a strong following here.

They are in the middle of a run of three sold out shows at the theatre. One show had to be added when the first two sold out in a matter of days. This is a massive achievement for any band, let alone one who doesn’t sell out venues this size in far larger cities.

Toronto band Ubiquitous Synergy Seekers (USS), kicked off the festivities with a frenetic energy that carried their entire forty-five minute set. Ash Buchholz may have provided the vocals, but the undisputed frontman of the group was turntablist, backup vocalist, tiger onesie-clad, human clusterfuck Jason Parsons. I mean this in a loving way—the dude was everywhere. During the band’s biggest hit Shipwreck he whipped the crowd into a frenzied dance party sing-a-long that had all the kids losing their minds—the high point of their set.

USS has always been an exercise in style over substance. The batshit craziness of their live sets compensate for a somewhat banal brand of song-writing accentuated by the stereotypically aggro, modern-rock styling of Bucholz’s vocals. That being said, if you want a band to get a room of people ready to rock, USS is definitely the opener for you.

With USS’s priming, the anticipation was palpable as the house lights went down and the roadies got to work setting the stage for the headliners. The room exploded as the band walked out under cover of shadows and the first notes of Have it Out reverberated through the theatre. Lead singer Ryan Guldemond need not have sung the lyrics, the crowd would’ve had that covered. The relentless, driving keyboard and guitar riffs of hit single Get out the Way followed seamlessly. “I’m not antisocial, I’m just tired of the people,” Guldemond laments during the bridge of that song. He and the band seemed anything but tired of these people dancing at their feet.

In presiding over the crowd, the band did not forget about their long-time fans. There were healthy doses of fan-favourites peppered amongst the new material. The pacing of this was fantastic and demonstrated the evolution of the band since Touch Up. The fact that the crowd sung about disliking life in a ‘dirty town’ with equivalent zeal as living in a monkey tree showed their fans had come along for that ride.

The undeniable highlight of the night came when backup vocalist and keyboardist Jasmin Parkin emerged from behind her instrument to deliver a rousing, soulful cover of Lana Del Rey’s Video Games. Her voice was breathtaking—you could almost see the crowd’s mouths collectively fall agape. Talented frontman Guldemond’s step back from the spotlight, while unexpected, was ultimately thrilling—the element of surprise only adding to the brilliance of the moment.

The show was not without its flaws. While the band seems to be gaining confidence in their technical prowess, there were certain moments where this manifested itself in overzealous instrumental wanking. This detracted from the tight structuring that the band is known for on their studio albums. While this diminished the impact of certain songs, it’s not as if they went all Phish on us.

Petty grievances aside, the show wound up just as it started. The crowd remained ecstatic through the encore. Guldemond stopped for a moment; seemingly making eye contact with everyone in the theatre, and said “All the drugs are right here in this room;” words of thanks the crowd enthusiastically accepted.

As the band dove into Simply Simple, their final song, friends and lovers embraced and sang along. “I just want it to unfold, simply simple,” the chorus goes. This ode to simplicity was a fitting end to the night; seldom is a homecoming as uncomplicated and triumphant as this.


 

By Mike Westwick

Mike is a founding editor of The Royal and a student in the Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communication program. 

Connect with him on Twitter @westwick_m

NYE: A Catalyst To Create An Effectual, Rewarding Life?

Think Big Dream Bigger

 

It’s New Year’s Eve and you’re making plans for the “special occasion”.

Would you rather attend an expensive, crowded soirée, only to find yourself regurgitating your party fare into a Porcelain God the next day, while worrying about what you might have said or done in the midst of your drunken stupor? Or, would you rather spend the night in a quiet and relaxing environment, determining how you want to live for the next 365 days, and then wake up feeling inspired, motivated, and ready to tackle the world?

Why do so many people choose the first option?

Is it to commemorate our ability to survive another year of living in a world full of violence, abuse, political corruption, poverty, injustice, and discrimination—to name a few? Or, is it just another excuse to let loose and blow off steam with friends?

Legendary journalist Hunter S. Thompson wrote, Buy the ticket, take the ride.” If we are afraid to embrace positive people and experiences in our life, then we are actively choosing a “ride” of acceptance; we remain complacent with the unsatisfactory life that we have and believe we deserve. On the other hand, if we spend time with people we care about and set clear goals for ourselves, then we are more likely to achieve the “ride,” and life, that we truly desire. In short, we get back what we put in.

As the CEO of my life, I choose the latter.

Despite there being a lot of wrong in the world, I’ve decided to focus on what’s right, and more importantly, do what I can to create positive change through community work. Having overcome poverty and horrific trauma, I find it especially empowering to make a fresh start each year with a clear plan for success. Undoubtedly, my resilience, ambition, and ability to focus have played a significant role in any success that I have achieved over the years. However, I believe that my annual New Year’s Eve ritual has played a huge role in ensuring that my goals were aligned with the person I was at the time, and who I aspired to be.

So, while people are busy drinking and having fun, I spend quality time on my own on this momentous night, reflecting and journaling about the year that is drawing near, by documenting my successes, challenges, key learnings, and even regrets.

To create my SMART goals for the next twelve months, I ask myself the following important questions:

  • What do I want?
  • Why do I want it?
  • What possible barriers can get in my way?
  • What tools do I have to overcome these barriers?

This magical process is simple, really.

I create ambiance by filling a dimly lit room with a dozen candles and make space for my favorite pen and a beautiful new notebook, which is used to plan and curate my dreams that evening, and throughout the coming year.

If you haven’t guessed it, I LOVE New Year’s Eve because it’s an ideal time to reaffirm and reinvent myself. Sure, I can do this at any time of the year, but I find the symbolic freshness of embarking on a new year to be a great motivator for change. If we are fortunate to be already living the life that we truly want, it’s also the perfect time to celebrate and practice gratitude.

That, my friends, is why New Year’s Eve is the perfect impetus for embarking on a life-changing transformation!


Article by Christine Morrell
BAPC Distant Ed. Student

Bringing My Whole Self

Accomplished orchestral conductors dance an amazing dance. They have an ear on the purity of each note and the capacity to ensure each piece of music unfolds in splendour. They enliven each score with a vision of all it can be for each listener. As students and developing professionals, we can learn something from these maestros.

The past year has been a growing one for folks enrolled at Royal Roads. Juggling work, learning, and family is rich and challenging. Shifting from course work to integrating this learning is just as exciting.

It is, however, no small feat. Putting our best selves forward, applying all of our new learning, and integrating authenticity in all aspects of our lives requires the same intricacy, attention, and poise as the orchestra conductor.

In my experience, it is always difficult to maintain the balancing act. I have had success in integrating my professional experience, personal skills, and aspirations in my busy life; yet I sometimes still feel inept in my journey.

As a graduate of the Executive Coaching program at Royal Roads University, I would like to share some of the ways I’ve had success in putting my best self forward and some reflections on the results in my own life since I left Royal Roads one year ago.

What Helps?

  • Knowing who I am. And reminding myself that authenticity matters.
  • Clearly defining where I want to be.
  • Paying attention to what works. Letting it evolve.
  • Putting service to others as a priority.
  • Finding my path forward.
  • Support. Accountability. And pushing reset when it isn’t working.
  • Again and again. And again.

And, as I strive to honour the melody and the dynamics, the crescendos and the diminuendos…

Self-care! Self-care! Self-care!

Reflecting on 2014 allowed me to look back and see what a difference a year has made in my life since Royal Roads.

Some Wins:

  • Wild Goat Executive Coaching, my business, is growing, and satisfying
  • I am combining my coaching experience with fiction writing in my blog Daring Imagination
  • I work with colleagues from Royal Roads who challenge and support me
  • I have time and means to head to the ocean and be in awe
  • I love getting up in the morning and being of service

I am grateful for my teachers – even the unexpected ones. For my peers – who continue to encourage and challenge. And most importantly, for my clients, who have trusted me to make a difference. Reflection will allow you to put your accomplishments in perspective.

Royal Roads University has encouraged me to bring all of myself on this amazing, and challenging journey. I have been changed on this journey, which I am grateful for. I would recommend the experiences I have had to anyone and hope that sharing my experiences will help you bring your best self to the table.

Some Final Questions to Think About:

  • What changes do you want to reflect on in January 2016?
  • What are you willing to do to create those changes?

 

Article by Dr. Meredith Egan, ACC CEC PharmD

Meredith Egan

Executive Coach

Who Are You Spending Your Time With?

Right before 2014 ended my aunt and dear friend Marguita passed away. I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye despite her illness having lasted months. It was devastating. I felt regret and deep sadness as I came to the realization that she was gone and I hadn’t had the chance to make my own peace with her.

This brought me new perspective on the fragility of life. I knew I had to change something and, as 2015 begins, it is a good time to reflect how I am spending my time, or to be more precise, who am I spending my time with.

Life is unexpected. We never know what is going to happen next. I have realized in the wake of my loss how important it is to understand who is important in my life.  How much time, energy, and effort dedicate to those friends, family members, and significant people who accompany me through this life journey will make all the difference.

I learned I should never take for granted a hug, a kiss, an opportunity to share the impact someone has made on me. Seize every moment

You may want to ask yourself, as the year begins anew, who might be waiting for your words, your kisses, and your love. I know I wish I realized this sooner.

Don’t wait until it’s too late.


By Yvette Mucharraz

Yvette is a Master’s student at Royal Roads. She is the author of A Life in Eight Words.
Connect with her on Twitter @ymucharraz

 

The Cider Diaries: Tales of Cycling, Travel, and a Quest to Realize the Apple’s Deepest Purpose

Volume 1: An Unexpected Meeting
“So you’re with the…um…?”

“US Secret Service.”

‘Well, that explains the earpiece, stone cold expression, sunglasses, and poorly-fitting suit’ I thought to myself as I pressed shoulder to shoulder with the crowd, staring into the unflinching face of the United States’ finest.  Without intending to do so, myself and my cycling companions had found ourselves mere feet from Zoran Milanovic, Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia.  My fellow cyclist Tyler, clearly unnerved by the presence of secret service, tried to determine if his hands belonged in or out of his pockets by moving them in and out in furtive succession, prompting some cold stares from the watchful men with guns and little sense of humour.

We had woken up in tents nearby and cycled into downtown Gig Harbour, Washington on a cloudy late September morning to find the quintessential American chicken-fried steak breakfast experience.  Instead, we had unwittingly plunged ourselves into a throng of police, US Secret Service, the entire population of Gig Harbour Croatian enclave (all senior citizens), the political cabinet of Croatia, and ol’ Roarin’ Zoran himself.  Suddenly, we were unsure of how to proceed.  Seek out our greasy breakfast, or attempt to pull off the greatest unplanned group photo of all time?!  It’s not every day you come face to face with a head of state, after all.

The decision was quickly made for us, as Zoran was whisked through the crowd and into a waiting motorcade. Apparently the mid-morning mingle was over, and Mr. Milanovic was off to continue his tech tour across the U.S. Our window of opportunity over, we made our way to Kelly’s Cafe, the Gig Harbour breakfast spot, which was teeming with the Sunday morning breakfast crowd.

Our excellent XL-sized breakfast aside, our journey to the far reaches of Washington’s Puget Sound region had a purpose aside from an impromptu political meet-and-greet.  We had travelled 200 km by car, and 65 km by bicycle across land and sea, to attend The Greater Peninsula Cider Swig the previous afternoon, a family-friendly celebration of ‘hard apple cider’, as our American friends put it.   The reason for this trip deserves an diary entry all to itself, but in short, myself and my friends were, are, and will continue to be, working professionals moonlighting as cider makers, and striving to develop a commercial product to meet BC’s growing thirst for cider.  Our trip to Gig Harbor, and other forays into Washington and Oregon States, have served as reconnaissance, competitive intelligence gathering, learning, and heck, some cider-fueled good times.

In The Cider Diaries, I will share some stories relating to the trials and tribulations of making cider, regional cycle tourism in BC and Washington State, and other tales associated with learning the craft.  Hopefully, you the reader can learn a thing or two about the Pacific Northwest’s burgeoning craft cider industry, and have a few laughs at the expense of me and my companions along the way.  In the words of ye olde cyder lovers: Wassail!  And welcome to The Cider Diaries.

Yours in fermentation and long-haul rides,

Eric D.

ericdouglas
Eric Douglas is a Royal Roads graduate and entrepreneur. His serialized column will explore the beauty in cycling, travel, and cider production in the Pacific Northwest.