Change and Circumstance

Written one evening on my way home from work in the spring of 2006

Change and Circumstance by Nancy Fijan, Spring of 2006

I met a fellow today, on my subway ride into work.

Quite an eccentric man, John A Macdonald’s cartoon.

“Can you spare some change for coffee?”, he asked elegantly with toothless grin.

A bright gleam and lost excitement in his eyes, told stories of long ago,

Bourgeois mannerisms from past routines danced with him, round and round.

In his prime, he knew it all, he had it all, he moved and shook the world, in all the right ways

Chards of a riches to rags story fell from his mouth as we exchanged like friends of old.

“Dad told me to get out of Real Estate”, he said needing to justify his misfortune.

I reacted, without hesitation, and reached in my purse.

With clear gaze and gentle grin, I stretched out some coin

“Care to join me for coffee?”, he asserted, his invitation with honest pride and expectation,

Surprise and circumstance made me chuckle, and blush, and politely bid him adieu.

Copper Connecting

When I walked in the Park Hyatt in Zurich last December, the overwhelming beauty of the incredible sculpture in the lobby deeply touched my soul. This gorgeous art installation, called ‘Networking’ created by Swiss artist Martina Vontobel, has thousands of very thin copper wires woven together in unique massive shapes, exposing light and transparency. It is said to represent the connecting of people, bringing them together. The material used, and purpose of design perfectly foreshadowed the intent of my visit – to attend Robin Sharma’s Titan Summit, an annual event drawing scores of fascinating people from around the world in the common pursuit of becoming icons and legends, and making the world a better place with the contribution of their individual gifts. My entire experience in Zurich, the hotel and attending the Titan Summit, changed me in the very best possible way forever, like copper connecting.

Copper is an intriguing element in our planet. It can be used directly in its natural metallic form and has been used by humans, since c. 8,000 BC according to Wikipedia, as building material, decoration, jewelry and currency. Copper has evolved in the significance of its use in modern times, primarily as an electrical or thermal conductor in cars, computers, and microwaves; and it continues to be used in architecture because of its corrosion resistant properties. It is also an essential element to human health, particularly as it is required for normal metabolic processes to occur in the human body. The longevity and complexity of the multifaceted use of copper in our human existence is truly remarkable. It truly is a conductor, of the finest human symphony, keeping things and people functioning, moving forward – quite a powerful distinction to hold, like the effects of the Titan Summit on those in attendance.

Given the powerful properties of copper as a conductor, naming this captivating installation, ‘Networking’, is compelling. Through it flows the energy of like-mined individuals looking to connect and develop mutually beneficial associations or relationships. The copper sculpture allows for human electricity to be generated, fueling personal and professional growth. This connection, this binding or joining together, requires a person to act. Whilst the copper stands still, energy flows only when humans press the button, turn it on, or as implied by its namesake, initiate contact with other humans. Conductors, like copper, are all around us in various forms; it’s the action of connecting through these conductors that we as humans have the capacity to initiate thus unleashing power, or rather, positively charged outcomes.

Have you ever been in a room of people where the vibe was totally electric? Where you felt good energy flowing through all of you? And whilst soaking in the rays of positivity, you realized that you made the best decision of your life? That’s how it felt for me at my first Titan Summit, facilitated by the strongest conductors of human energy in existence today, Robin Sharma and his vibrant faculty. Within four life changing days, I made personal connections with over 30 incredible human beings, and professional associations with many more. This diverse, open-minded, kind hearted group of individuals, or Titans, from all corners of the world, and from all walks of life – business leaders, artists, professionals from all disciplines, humanitarians, and inspiring entrepreneurs – aspire to be the very best human beings possible in their pursuit of leading a giant life.

Titans push and encourage each other to climb individual mountains through discipline, self-love, mastery, and incredible bravery like that found in the upper echelons of the greatest human beings of all time, e.g. Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa. They act and are always in forward motion, looking to improve their performance each year and maximize their contribution to society out of deep love and respect for humankind. Collectively their individual energy is powerful enough to cause significant shifts in how others think, behave and act – quite profound is their force on humanity, and it is growing stronger and more influential each year.

With the spirit of a hero and the heart of a saint, Titans infuse their glowing energy on all who have the joy of being in their presence. You’ll have the very best conversation with any one of them. These beautiful people, through their hard work and discipline, have abundant clarity about their innate talent, strong passions, and what their gift is to the world. Spending four days engaging with this eclectic crowd certainly fires up your game and polishes your perspective on life. More importantly, you will come to understand who you really are and where you need to go, and will have the support of giants to get there.

Sitting in my stylish room at the Park Hyatt Zurich before the event, I was full of fear and doubt, while at the same time I was very excited to be there. I wasn’t sure that I belonged in this high performing world-class group of accomplished and inspiring individuals. Given I’m a Type A personality with a lot of heart, I swallowed hard, took a deep breath, trusted myself and my core social strengths, and plunged right into the fear of the unknown. Wow! I’m forever grateful that I pushed myself forward. At the end of day one, I had a little cry in my room – a happy cry, because I knew that I found my tribe, finally. As soon as I first introduced myself to someone I did not know (which was pretty much everyone!), I knew right away that, based on the verbal exchange and connection that ensued, I belonged.

These glorious conversations will forever be imprinted on my mind and have been a source of light in my life ever since. Conversations full of bigger, richer perspectives about the world, overwhelming compassion and understanding for all, encouragement to pursue your true self, sharing and listening without fear or judgement, acceptance of vulnerability, letting it all out, i.e. whatever is wearing you down, and emptying the darkness in your mind. Talk about copper connecting – just amazing what spending four days with incredible people can do to energize your heart, mind, body and soul to move forward in pursuit of your life’s purpose.

Inspired and moved by the beautiful copper sculpture called ‘Networking’ sitting quietly and elegantly in the lobby of the Park Hyatt in Zurich, I changed the conversation of my life by forging meaningful new life-long relationships with a group of people called Titans, my new tribe. These conductors of all that is great in the human spirit helped unleash my mind, open my heart, invigorate my body, and feed my soul. In connecting with them, I have come to know my own purpose and now have the clarity, relationships and tools I need to leap forward with my life.

Mothers’ Love

Mothers’ Love by Nancy Fijan, December 2017

Warm as the smell of HER cookies baking,
Brave like the rays of our powerful sun,
Generous, selfless, and fearless HER zest,
Mothers’ Love leaps with an arduous heart.

SHE protects us from crashing waves of change,
Pushing potential, confidence builder,
Minimizes bad, maximizes good,
Mothers’ Love forges clever consciousness.

Comforting arms encircle, healing hugs,
Years soothing bruises, cuts, and broken bones,
Nurturing us through our life’s marathon,
Mothers’ Love fortifies this fine framework.

Gentle listener, hums melodic words,
HER affection graces humanity;
SHE sees beauty in everyone – young, old,
Mothers’ Love, inspired soul and humble force.

Anaphora

Welcome to anaphoraonline.com, a blog where I share my writing with you – my verses, my reflections, and what I like to call my snips (brief insights). Although I was hoping to secure anaphora.com as the domain name, anaphoraonline.com resonates better given I will be sharing these pieces, 10 to 11 each month, via the digital world. This work is me on a plate – complex, savoury, and sweet – leaving you glad that you had a chance to experience it and hopefully wanting more. My reflection in the About section explains how I got here – now, let me tell you a little more about me and why I chose this domain name.

I fell in love with words, and the power of words, a very long time ago. After immigrating to Canada from Croatia with my parents in the late 60’s, I started kindergarten a few years later as an English as a Second Language student because I only spoke Croatian. With the support of many wonderful teachers and Sesame Street, I quickly got hold of the language, bringing my parents along with me – and my passion for it has continued ever since.

Those who know me very well, also know that I have this innate desire to master what I don’t know or do very well, particularly when it benefits me and my loved ones. And I’ve learned over time, through many humbling failed attempts, when to step away – for example, I’ll never be a singer or musician – I can’t hold a tune and am an uncoordinated klutz when it comes to counting time.

My BA from the University of Toronto was the result of a four-year journey studying English literature and British and European History – writing on average 15 term papers and essays a year. This mastery drive continued when I completed my MBA at Dalhousie University to better understand the complex ever changing world of business; and brings joy to my family every Christmas when I make a croquembouche for them. Grateful for my Dad, he helped me perfect the construction of this towering delight – in my first couple of attempts, it looked more like an island.

Given my deep and passionate connection with the English language and literature, I wanted the blog name to reflect some aspect of it. While scanning an old literary devices textbook, I came across an unfamiliar term, anaphora. It resonated with me for two reasons – my Mom’s name is Ana, and its definition, essentially, is the use of repetition in writing or speech to emphasize an idea and to evoke emotion – to motivate, to inspire, to persuade, and to encourage. Think of your favourite – chorus of a song, litany in church, powerful speech, piece of literature or daily affirmation – for the most memorable of these, the writer probably used anaphora to amplify this artistic effect.

Let me tell you about my Mom, Ana.

My Mom, Ana, is my biggest supporter, encourager, and influence in my life.
My Mom, Ana, teaches me about love, courage, and how to both leap and move forward.
My Mom, Ana, has raised four daughters, helped my Dad run his small business, and now shares in the delight of sharing her love and wisdom with six grandchildren.
My Mom, Ana, takes care of and makes our home, a home – full of warmth and light, and always with music playing in the background.
My Mom, Ana, will always have something for you to eat and drink, and you will always leave with take away, whether you wanted it or not!
My Mom, Ana, is very well versed in current world events, enjoys engaging with you in amazing conversation about almost any topic, and in highly spirited debates!
My Mom, Ana, has a beautiful soothing soul and loving heart – she will give you all that she has to help you, unconditionally and never wavering.

Through connecting these incredible influences in my life, my Mom and my love of the English language – here I am sharing me with you via anaphoraonline.com.

When you think of meaningful words, repetition, and your Mom or a strong female influencer in your life, what comes to mind? What stays with you in your heart? What drives you forward each day? What makes you think twice before acting? Here is a list of phrases that my Mom has repeated and continues to repeat to all of us throughout our lives:

  • Save your money!
  • Go for it!
  • Things will always work out in the end.
  • Tomorrow is another day.
  • Treat others like how you want to be treated.

Love to hear what you think and look forward to reading your list.