A Red Mug Mindset

“…a true yoga practice for the mind. A Red Mug Mindset is something that you can
refer to and put into practice at anytime.”
— Anita Kapadia

Master 3 Invisible Keys To Mental Flexibility and Focus.

  • Explore personal events that have created core beliefs, habits and values.
  • Raise awareness of your mental state and thought-patterns.
  • Learn mindfulness techniques to access intuition over impulse.
  • Enhance your impact with actionable advice and thought-provoking reflections.

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A Red Mug Mindset

I like to explore the mysteries of the mind through slowing down and seeing the story of life as it plays out before me. Let me tell you a true story, the origin for A Red Mug Mindset:

I ask him for a cup of water. He smiles as he fills and hands me a mug. And a red mug at that! For a moment, for just a few seconds, I pause. I slow down my breathing.

I reflect.

A mug, not a cup. I am given something other than what I ask for, what I expect, what I assume is right for me. In the breath before I react and default to rejecting what I’m offered, I find myself mentally receptive. I find myself accepting a red mug.

Curious. I thought I knew what I wanted. Yes, and I kinda like the idea of a red mug!

I smile back. I happily accept.

I am inspired by the words of Michael J. Fox: “My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations.”

I believe we know and are given opportunities to challenge what we know. It’s a paradox: we know, and we don’t know. Yes, I know—and yes, I don’t know. We have a whole spectrum of choices from which to build our raw belief about ourselves and our world. There is much to learn in order to live and lead in a global mosaic; to fulfill our deepest wants, needs and potential.

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything,” said George Bernard Shaw.

What is real and what is imagined converge when acceptance and a tolerance for change manifest possibilities beyond our imagination. Being fixed on just one way, one perspective, one choice is limiting.

I choose a change mindset. I choose to seek progress. I choose to accept a Red Mug. A Red Mug Mindset has come to symbolize for me the expanded choices offered in life. The choices I could not possibly anticipate. The unexpected choices.

Living with curiosity, tenacity and creativity opens the possibility of unexpected choices. The choices are both thrilling and chilling! As you expand your perspective, you’ll experience both opportunity and challenge. You’ll experience the expected and the unexpected. Even when you are unprepared, choices will be made. The more present, aware and intentional you are, the more space you’ll create to make the best of the unexpected.

In the pages that follow are the three keys and strategies to mental flexibility and focus. Before you begin with these keys, I invite you to explore your own stories as I have done here. Reflect on the origin of the stories that have led to ingrained beliefs, habits and values that live in you today.


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“A Red Mug Mindset is most needed in today’s harried and busy world. Too often we get caught-up with being very busy at work and life in general, continuously trying to accomplish things, that we forget to ask ourselves if these activities are really of importance and meaningful. I really liked where you draw from the wisdom of others to add to the idea’s meaning, making it more insightful. I will plan and need to read it again, and again, and again. While the book takes a short time to read, the lessons will take a lifetime to remember and master. I highly recommend it to friends and colleagues.”
Abe Patricio, Senior Project Manager, Stantec, Toronto Canada


“A Red Mug Mindset provides valuable ideas and thought provoking questions. It can be read quickly, yet will take time to savor, think and respond to the intriguing questions posed. I also really appreciate Lucy’s use of acronyms like SPARK, ACE and STEP to engage the reader to remember and utilize key points.”
Joanne Schlosser, President, Rising Stars, Arizona USA

“While Lucy Shenouda has approached A Red Mug Mindset as a way to help individuals, I see many ways it can be applied to organizations. Resistance to change is arguably the greatest challenge I have faced in my career working in dynamic industries. It exists at both the employee and company levels. Lucy’s early passages describing the rationale for change is very effective and impactful. A Red Mug Mindset not only spells out the need for change, it provides the reader with ways to embrace it. The three keys are excellent. I really liked SPARK and can see how this practice would work well from a company perspective too.”

Danny Bottoms, Telecommunications CEO, Virginia, USA


“I was immediately pulled into A Red Mug Mindset, it paralleled yoga for me. The push and pull of challenge and opportunity from the unexpected is something we all experience, but when you really think about it – it always comes to practice. I especially appreciated the reminder to think and act outside of your comfort zone because that’s where progress is – and the reminder that creativity and perfection are not partners in crime – to be innovative, letting go of the notion of perfection is so necessary. Lucy does an amazing job of cohesively bringing to life a true yoga practice for the mind – A Red Mug Mindset is something that you can refer to and put into practice at anytime.”

Anita Kapadia, Partnership Director, Pressboard, Toronto Canada


“I love how you have approached [the unexpected] and the way you structured the book. It felt like being in conversation. The ease of the flow between story, content and the reflective questions allowed me to pause and engage. Thank you. You are a gift!”
Susan Neden, Visual Biographer & Founder, Telling Our Stories, BC Canada


“Get a cuppa—a mug even—and give yourself the gift of a pause and conversation with storyteller Lucy Shenouda. Lucy’s stories will ease you into a journey to unfold your own stories. With beautiful images, powerful questions and plenty of places to take pause—expect to be delighted by the unexpected.”

Kerry Woodcock, HR Consultant – Change Specialist, City of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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  • Maintain a calm and poised appearance in confrontation.
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  • Develop an understanding of your “gut instincts”.
  • Learn to shift from impulsive to intuitive behaviour.

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