The fourth day of the I CAN DO IT! Toronto conference took place on Sunday April 5, 2009. It was a full day session and the speakers that we chose to see were John Holland and Cheryl Richardson.

John was the morning speaker, and his lecture focused on the work in his latest book Power of the Soul: Inside Wisdom for an Outside World. As on Friday’s lecture (Day 2 of the conference), John was not just an entertaining pleasure to listen to, but also a moving, wisdom filled presence that moved our inner being deeply.

Cheryl was the afternoon speaker and her lecture focused on her latest book called The Art of Extreme Self-Care: Transform Your Life One Month at a Time. In one word Cheryl was phenomenal! Her vibrant energy, her radiant spirit and genuine care for her audience was unmistakable.

Hence, in today’s review, I will be sharing with you John’s and Cheryl’s messages and my experiences of learning and growth from these two wonderful teachers.

As for the conference series, this is finally the last part of the 4-day “I CAN DO IT!” conference. It was an amazing experience, and one that I not only highly recommend attending for the growth of one’s spirit, but also one which I would eagerly attend myself again!

John Holland – Power of the Soul

This was our second time seeing John Holland in the conference, as his first lecture took place on the second day of the conference. You can read more about it in my review of Day 2 of the “I CAN DO IT!” conference.

However, for those of you who have never heard of John, he is currently one of the most sought after psychic mediums. He has been providing stunningly accurate readings for more than 15 years and is today also a famous speaker and author of several books.

In this lecture entitled Power of the Soul – Messages From the Other Side, John enlightened the audience by teaching them how to discover their own innate intuitive abilities, fine-tune our own connection to the other side and as well, he did a few spontaneous readings throughout the audience.

John began by explaining that as each of us have a soul, each of us has a psychic ability. This is also called our intuition. Our soul communicates in this way, and it is not that some people have “it” and some don’t. We all have the ability to communicate with the other side as well as to communicate telepathically here. It is just that some of us are open to it and some are not.

John also mentioned to start that when many people first hear and learn how to connect on a more intuitive level, whether here or beyond, they neglect their physical side. It is however important to remember that even though we are spiritual beings, we are currently in the physical and it is very important to honor and respect both the physical and spiritual, while we are in this existence.

John then took the audience through a thorough analysis of the Chakras, as these are our sacred energy centers, which can connect us deeper with our true and deeper selves. Here is a quick review, according to John:

1st Chakra

Everything starts here, as we open up our energy centers from the bottom up. This includes high ordered creations, as well as low energy states such as diseases. This is the place which reminds us of the importance of being grounded. This Chakra John explained, is also tied to feeling sluggish, financial issues and life balance.

2nd Chakra

This is the Chakra that is most tied to our sexual and creative nature. This Chakra is very active in many artists and creative people. However, it is also lacking in balance in people who do not exhibit any creativity in their life.

3rd Chakra

This is the place of the solar plexus. This is the place from where we are most able to “feel” and hence be intuitive. If we are not careful however, this area is also prone to taking on other people’s problems, and we can often know it is not in balance when we are left tired or drained after certain interactions or conversations. People who identify strongly with this Chakra are known to be clairsentient - that is have the ability to hold an object or touch someone and sense the energy surrounding that person, place or thing. A clairsentient is an individual who is empathetic and easily senses energies.

4th Chakra

This is the heart Chakra and the place from where we are drawn to live with others and help people. It is also a place that holds a lot of past hurts, hence we need to be able to clear past hurts, if we are to move towards our own deeper intuition. There is a clue of this when something moves us to tears, in which case we should cry freely and clear the heart Chakra of any energy that is blocking it.

5th Chakra

This is the throat Chakra. Often people who regularly need to clear their throats have a lot bottled up inside of them that they are not expressing. Sore throats can also be a sign of a blocked throat Chakra. Hence, let out what is inside of you – do not be afraid to express your truth. People who have an active throat Chakra can be called clairaudient- individuals who have the keen ability to perceive sounds or words from outside sources, such as spirits. Being a clairaudient brings one to engaging in a form of channeling messages through audible thought patterns. Clairaudients can sometimes actually “hear” spirits conversing or even singing in their heads and this is where most of John’s gift lies.

6th Chakra

This is also known as the 3rdeye. Strong association with this Chakra brings forth the gift of clarivoyence – the ability to gain information about an object, person, location or physical event through means other than our known senses. Many clairvoyents “see” messages, events and people. Again with this Chakra, it is important to remember to respect the current physical world and be able to take in the surroundings, events and people of the physical dimension before embarking on the other dimensions.

7th Chakra

This is also called the crown Chakra. This is the place from where we can tap into higher realities, the Akashic records, our dreams, etc. This is also the place which is tied into the ideas of the entire universe. We must know that wonderful ideas are circulating within the Universe, John stated, and that when we tap into some “out of this world idea”, other people have tapped into it as well.

John then went on to talk a bit about dreams. He stated that many people get caught up in literal interpretations of dreams, when dreams are highly symbolic. Whenever we dream of a certain person for example, we should focus more on what that person means to us, what symbolic meaning they have in our life, rather than on the person specifically.

John also talked a bit about the Law of Attraction and how our thoughts create our reality. This is a concept of course that is now very universal to all of the modern day teachers, as it was to the ancient masters and sages. What you put out, you attract. If we feel or think we are “lucky”, then we are and vice-versa.

John then took some questions from the audience. One person asked: Do the ones of the “other” side feel betrayal or hurt?

To this John replied that, once we get back to our originating spiritual form, we have a very different view of things. There are no more negative emotions, but instead everything revolves around love and forgiveness. Having said this though, there can be some “lost” spirits that “refuse” to tap into that.

Another question was, if there is any protection needed before the spirits come through a medium or psychic? John answered that we must remember that we attract, what we put out. Hence, no evil or “dark” entities can come through a being of love – the vibrational energy is just not compatible for that. Also, all of us are naturally protected by our angels and guides.

Another person asked John if there are any illnesses or deformities on the other side? To this John answered a simple no. Here, we manifest these things to learn different lessons. However, there we get to be however and with whom ever we want.

John’s lecture also included a very soothing meditation and for the second half of his lecture, John did random audience readings, based on what came to him, not by voluntary means. His readings shocked, entertained and deeply touched the people with whom John conversed. Parts of the readings were funny, parts were sad, but they all had the common element of love being expressed and coming through to the different members from their deceased loved ones.

All in all, it was great to see and hear John speak one more time! To learn more about John, visit him on his web site

Cheryl Richardson – The Art of Extreme Self Care

In the afternoon was the last speaker of the event and for us, that was Cheryl Richardson. I have suprisingly never heard of Cheryl before this event, and we picked her lecture as it seemed like a very valuable topic – self care.

Cheryl is a life coach, speaker and author of several books. She has also been featured on Oprah Show. Cheryl’s lecture was based on her latest book The Art of Extreme Self-Care: Transform Your Life One Month at a Time. I personally felt very drawn to this topic because self-care has never been an issue for me, and something that I took great pride in and wanted to teach the world about to help improve their life and well-being. This is true especially today, when most of us put a wall of excuses that hinder us from having time for ourselves in the deeper sense of the word. I have lived with people and seen too many people around me, who truly do not take proper care of themselves, and then negative things happen and they wonder why life is so hard. Unfortunately most of the time, women are more guilty of this than men. First come kids, then husbands, houses and jobs, leaving very little if anything left for the woman herself.

When it comes to taking care of oneself, we are not talking here about buying yourself a new pair of shoes, but about proper sleep, eating, thinking and time for yourself, etc.

As soon as Cheryl started to talk, I have to tell you I was mesmerized by her energy, vibrancy and genuine spirit. Her talk was the amazing finale anyone could have asked for to an amazing 4-day session of growth and rejuvenation!

Cheryl began by sharing her story of how she got to be where she is today. In summary, she explained that she was a very sensitive person and this was in part ruining her life, as she would take everything very personally and take on the problems of the world on her shoulders. She explained however that as she went on, she learned that it is not the sensitivity that is “bad”, but how we channel it. In fact we need more sensitive people today more than ever, and it is our greatest gift. One cannot argue with that I think, as we know that we live in a very disconnected world today, where many hearts are hardened and empathy is not a strong point.

So how do we use our sensitivity to help ourselves and others, while not being destroyed in the process? The first step is to stop saying “yes” to people, when our intuition is saying “no”. And we all know that feeling very well, when we have said “yes” while inside we are dreading what we got ourselves into.

The second step that Cheryl gave is to become a master at disappointing people. Now upon first reading this, you may think “how harsh!” but it is not intended to be so at all. In fact if you understand the deeper nature of the universe in terms of why we are here and what is our relationship with others, then you will have no problem understanding that you cannot help another, at the price of hurting yourself. This is something that our society has yet to learn, as even most religions to this day instill martyrdom and self-sacrifice as the ultimate salvation of our being.

Cheryl explained all these concepts so beautifully. She said it took her many years to discover these ideas, but when she finally did, her life took on a whole new meaning. The same is true for so many of us. We think that we need to play the “good girl/boy” card, but that is only going to rob us of our own lives. The key point here, before we move any further is that no one is saying to go around and be a nasty, selfish person. Instead always be compassionate, but understand that when you begin to care more for yourself, than others, you actually make a greater contribution to the planet. As Cheryl said selfishness leads to selflessness.

Now, while I completely understand this concept and know where she is coming from, I know that for many people in our society this is perhaps “backwards thinking” or as I said above, going to lead to selfish, egocentric people. If you allow yourself to open your mind to this however, I assure you it isn’t.

See, from the time we are little we are constantly taught to do things for others and while this is wonderful and I am the first to promote being a steward to the Earth and others. We are taught this in a way that makes us neglect ourselves and forget about our own purpose, needs, experiences or desires, as it is most often done based out of obligations and fear.

So many people I know, live life for others and think this is the right thing to do. But if we take any of these situations apart, we will quickly see that no one is benefiting from such acts. Take the wife who only wants to please her husband by doing everything he likes. Is she ever herself? Does her husband even know who she is? I would say, definitely no, as she doesn’t even know who she is herself. Now is that fair to her, and even to him? The examples are countless, and I am sure we can pull out many out of our own lives.

Cheryl next explained the concept of close relationships and how so many people “do” things for others out of guilt. She explained that doing stuff out of guilt or obligation, does not make for a relationship, but for an arrangement. Take for example the mother who thinks she needs to make her teenagers lunches for school, drive them around everywhere they please, exhausted at the end of the day and in the middle of all this not having one moment for herself, to do what she needs, never mind wants. This is so typical in our society as many women get caught in the “but it’s my job” and “I want to be a good mother” act. Cheryl talked a lot about this and explained that to be a good mother, first and foremost we have to be present for ourselves and our kids, as human beings, not as simply doers of tasks.

She exclaimed that the goal of life is get better and better at living authentically. How many of us do that? How many of us really know who we are? Not who our parents or spouses or kids want us to be.

Next Cheryl went on to a fascinating topic that is so applicable again to so many of us and that is letting other people “dump” their problems on us. Think of a family member or friend perhaps that you have who loves to dump their problems onto you. You know the one who loves to call and complain, complain, complain! Well one of the next steps of the art of extreme self-care is to put an end to people who drain your energy and actually do nothing about changing their own situations. Think about this, how much are you helping your friend who constantly complains about his wife and how bad the marriage is by just listening?

When we let people unload on us, or as Cheryl expressed “puke” on us, we have to understand that this gives them a chance empty their garbage and reload for more. It continues the cycle of toxicity for both them and you. If we really want to be a loving, compassionate person we need to be open and honest and state that talking about negative situations is not helping anyone and that you will be there for them if they want to change their circumstances, but until they do, you can no longer be a “dumping ground” for them. This applies to setting your own personal boundaries when it comes to gossip or any other type of negative talk. If you are familiar with the way the ego works, then you know that in the end all of this, is just fuel for the ego, as drama and negativity is what it lives off of.

At this point Cheryl got an excellent question from the audience, “but what do you do when it is your own mother who demands things of you, no matter how old you are?”

To this Cheryl replied, that the closer you are to someone, the harder it is to break the boundaries and set new ones for what you can and cannot tolerate. The problem is that most parents never dealt properly with their own parents, so they grow old and bitter and expect the same of their children. She also mentioned that most women get typically caught up in toxic relationships with their mothers and this can also apply to most in-laws. Some mothers have a way of making a daughter feel like she is a little girl, who needs her approval for the rest of her life. This of course is in no way a healthy situation, or relationship for that matter and actually stops the woman from expressing her full potential in all other areas of her life, as she is constantly sitting on a pile of unresolved feelings or even bitter rage.

We have to understand Cheryl said, that our souls cannot be held hostage, doesn’t matter by who. To heal ourselves and start taking proper care of ourselves, when it comes to interacting with a close family member who is “toxic” to our well-being, she suggested 2 steps:

  1. Limit the time spent with this person. Most importantly stop seeing them out of obligation as you are only robbing yourself of your own life. In some cases that may be extreme, all contact may have to be cut off, even if it is a close family member for the sake of your own life and health, either temporarily or permanently.

  2. Find a common hobby or topic and only stick to that. If you know that you clash on most topics and bring out the worst in each other in most times, find something you can both agree on or do and focus only on that, avoiding situations which will only bring up negative, past habits.

Most importantly Cheryl said, is to remember that no one has the right to rob you of your life, even if it is your own mother or father. Hence, if you know that you and your parents are worlds apart, it is best to face it, instead of denying it and pretending like everything is okay, opening the same old wounds over and over. Grieve the loss of what you cannot have with your parents and move on in a new type of relationship that is adult, not parental based – if that is even possible for some.

Next Cheryl went on to explain that to get to a place of happiness and acceptance of oneself, some people will require some therapy or coaching. Hence, Cheryl explained the difference between coaching and therapy, and to know whether one may need a therapist or simply benefit from a coach.


  • is action oriented
  • is client oriented
  • focuses on where you are today
  • focuses on where you want to be


  • is process oriented
  • focuses on past influences
  • focuses on how your history and biography affected who you are today
  • focuses on working on present

Cheryl took a few more questions from the audience and gave a few people a chance to be coached through an “issue” they have in their life. Her compassion was astounding!

Cheryl then shared a few tips of taking care of oneself from her new book “The Art of Extreme Self-Care: Transform Your Life One Month at a Time:

  1. Eliminate clutter from your life (physical and mental)
  2. Create a soul nurturing environment, both at home and at work
  3. Know what “yes’s” and “no’s” are and what they mean
  4. No compromising your needs
  5. No rushing in your day to day tasks
  6. No arguing with people who treat a debate like a sport
  7. No hiring of people who do not respect you
  8. No more junk mail
  9. No eating when not hungry
  10. No more investing time in relationships that drain you
  11. No more doing stuff you do not enjoy
  12. Accept that some people are just not going to like you
  13. No ringing phones in the house
  14. Start each day with positive affirmations

She quoted the wonderful Louise Hay and stated that at her ripe age of being in her 80′s she has discovered one great truth to life, if it doesn’t feel good, I don’t do it!

Cheryl finished off by saying that no matter what family we chose to come through or what relationships we chose along our path, these are all here to help us learn, grow and expand. But the goal is not to get stuck. We simply cannot live the life we came here to live by not honoring our souls because we are stuck pleasing other people.

I could say so much more about her lecture and give you many more examples as I am sure some of us may need, in order to really get the gist of what Cheryl’s message is all about. As I told you, I am personally a huge proponent of this in my own life. I am not sure how and when exactly this came to be, but I have been this way – meaning have no problem honoring my soul, at least since I was a teen. It was then that I tuned into the way my soul responded when I was in situations that I just didn’t like and I started to move away from them. As I got into my 20′s and my confidence grew, taking extreme care of myself just became easier and easier.

Not everyone understood me, especially in my own family, but that was okay. Something inside of me kept saying be true to yourself, and I have been ever since, and that is probably the biggest reason why today I can honestly say I am happier, more fulfilled, satisfied and sure of who I am, than I ever could have asked for, and I definitely do not let anyone “puke” their stuff on me. At the same time, I totally understand what Cheryl is talking about when she said “selfishness leads to selflessness”, as the more I cared about myself, the more I began to care about others, animals and the environment, to the point of being fully present for them all and holding them sacred in my life today.

For more information about Cheryl, visit her on her web site:


So that is it as far as all the highlights go for the I CAN DO IT! Toronto conference. As I have stated many times already, this was an amazing experience, which I highly recommend for anyone who is interested in their own growth and development. It is an absolutely amazing experience to be in a room with hundreds or thousands of like minded people, listening to one of the amazing speakers and teachers of our modern day.

I learned so much, I affirmed so much and I grew so much thanks to the amazing speakers and topics presented and hence am so thrilled that I was able to pass on the wisdom and learning to all of you through these write-ups. You may be thinking, if they were so good, why did it take me over a month to write them… well I could give you an excuse of how busy I have been, but Wayne Dyer taught me to get rid of all those, I could say it was because of a past life, but Brian Weiss taught me better than that, so I guess it boils down to just plain old making priorities in life and making sure to not forget to take care of yourself and infuse balance into your life as Cheryl Richardson and most of the other teachers constantly remind.