Monday, January 26, 2015

Beat the Winter Blues With a Stick

Although the days are technically getting longer, if you're anywhere where winter is winter, we are definitely in the "real winter months". The end of January and beginning of February seem to be the doldrums days when the short and cloudy days start to get to you. 

Here are 3 fun and silly ways to beat the winter blues away with a stick! 

  1. Throw a luau party. That's right! Grab your favorite sundress or Hawaiian shirt and board shorts and bite the bullet with the gas company. Crank your heat up to 80 or more and invite a few friends over. Serve umbrella drinks and play the Beach Boys, Bob Marley or Jimmy Bufffet.
  2. Turn your big screen TV into a virtual get-away. Rent Under the Tuscan Sun, The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio or Motorcycle Diaries.
  3. Create your own spa escape. Pull out that face mask and waste a couple of slices of cucumber. Play some water sounds and lay back on your couch in your robe or in a hot bubble bath. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Isn't it funny how we see exactly what we're looking at?

Isn't it amazing how you can listen to the same thing over and over again, and each time you can hear something completely different? Or read the same words over and over and learn something completely different? 
how you hear what you need to hear when you need to hear it? 

Now, I've gone to Tony Robbins live 3 day event Ultimate Power Within and walked on fire. I have his Ultimate Edge program and I've completed it fully twice before. 

Recently, my situation changed at my day job and I now have a long commute two days a week. To combat the negative energy I was creating, I pulled out my Ultimate Edge program and have been listening to it on my commute time. It definitely has been serving the purpose of improving my attitude, my focus and my outlook.

My little back story on focus and clarity...

I was with a direct sales company for 8 years and had greatly varying degrees of success and failure. In the end, I could focus on nothing but the problem of getting in front of more of the right people. 

Through working with a coach, (this is the SUPER readers digest version) I started a women's networking group in early 2013. (Gather those "right people" in front of me).

Almost a whole year goes by, and although my networking group is thriving, my direct sales business has not gained one inch of traction. 

In the late fall of 2013, I shifted gears and changed from the direct sales business I had been building for almost 9 years and started a network marketing business. Similar business model, but not the same and definitely much more strongly aligned with my values and mission from the core of the company to the leadership to the products. I had a strong start and gained some momentum quickly, but then hit a bit of a stall. Over the next year, things were going OK, I was, and am earning a consistent income but my business is just not growing.

I started asking myself why success and confidence had come fairly easily to me
in the business of running the networking organization, where I had very little experience, and why I was struggling to build my network marketing business, especially in the area of confidence. 

I know I have a rock solid belief in the company and in the industry. 

So, this week, I was listening to the section of Personal Power on Driving Force. (Now, we're back to my point from the beginning - how you can hear the same thing multiple times but you don't *hear* it until you are ready to hear it)

So Tony is talking about our human needs of Certainty, Uncertainty, Significance, Love and Connection, Growth and Contribution, and he's explaining how the things that we LOVE to do, that seem effortless, that we excel at, those things meet all or most of those needs at near a level 10.

I start doing the exercise and going through my experience with my networking group, and darned if he isn't right! 

Then he talks about things that we don't enjoy doing, that we struggle to do, and how they don't meet those needs and how this makes us not want to do them and not enjoy doing them when we do.

Again, as I do the exercise, I see holy COW this is where it is, this is where my discomfort is coming from! 

And, of course, the best part is that he shares how we can take these experiences, and by changing our perspective, our outlook or our procedure, we can shift them into those same types of experiences we absolutely love and excel at. 

So, today I share the questions (not my original ideas, mind you - these are courtesy of Mr. Tony Robbins) to ponder so you can take a look at one of the areas in your life where you are struggling, but can't figure out why and see if a perspective change might make the difference for you as well.  

On a 0-10 scale, how much does this activity make you feel...

1. Certain / Comfortable
Ask yourself: What could I do or believe to make thinking about this activity feel not only comfortable but pleasurable? What skill could I improve ?

2. Uncertain / Variety
Ask yourself: How could I bring more variety or surprise to this activity? 

3. Significance / Importance
Ask yourself: How can I appreciate how important this is? 

4. Love and Connection
Ask yourself: How can I feel more love while I'm doing this? 

5. Growth and Contribution
Ask yourself: How can I feel like I'm growing and contributing? 

You get what you focus on, and when you ask better questions, you get better answers. 

When we are struggling in an area of our lives, especially when it comes to business, I think we focus on the forces outside of ourselves and we try to improve them even when we try to improve ourselves to affect them. Sometimes, we need to change our point of view, and focus on the forces inside of ourselves and the world around us will shift naturally.

I'd love to hear your experience. Where are you struggling and what change in focus do you think would cause a shift in your perspective?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

How are your 40s treating you so far?

When you were a little girl, and you looked at your mom, didn't you think she had all the answers? That she had it all figured out? 

As you went into college, didn't you just assume that when you hit 40, life would kind of be all buttoned up? When I look back at my Mom in her 40s her life was on total auto pilot, or at least that's how it seemed to me.

So how is it, that almost every 40 something woman I know is going through or has gone through an enormous life transition? 

Kids move out, or family just getting started. 
Laid off or just decided you've had enough of the grind and want to do something you're passionate about.
Found the love of your life, or gone through a separation or divorce.
Experienced the loss of your parents or significant family member.

Sometimes all of the above.

In the past few years, I've been laid off, failed as an entrepreneur, had to go back to a corporate job, still kept plugging away at my entrepreneurial venture part time, started 2 new entrepreneurial ventures, completely re-branded, lost both my maternal grandparents, my only maternal uncle and my paternal grandmother, and my parents moved across the country. 

If you are anything like me, you have found that your 40's are not the kick back and take it easy time of your life that you imagined them to be as a young girl.

You've grown up, you've wised up and you've decided you're not going to live with the status quo any longer. 

And you're doing something about it.

Chances are, you're also experiencing a bit of resistance from those who know and love you the most. Maybe they don't get what "all the fuss is about". Maybe they don't understand why average just isn't good enough for you any more. Maybe they think you need to "serve your time" until you "get to retire", because that is what they see as the goal. 

I suggest you thank them for their opinion and let them know you respect their option to feel that way asking that they return the favor, respecting your option to feel the way you do. Let them know you're not asking them to even support you, just not actively dissuade you, and offer not to share about it unless they ask. (It's likely they'll ask, especially when you start rockin' it out!)

Times are different than they were 20 or 30 years ago when our moms were in their 40's. The world is a much smaller, more accessible place. We see our options and our possibilities in ways that our moms didn't. 

Many of us, decided that we wanted something different, something more, something better. Something that makes us feel full of passion. Something that gives us a sense of purpose. Something that gives us security. Something that makes us feel like we are making a difference, making an impact, making the world a better place even if that's just for the people we touch.

Know that you are not alone. Know that there are plenty of us going through the same things you are, or who already have. We are here, willing to support, champion, mentor and stand shoulder to shoulder with you.

Let's Connect! 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Insulation and Reception

Most of the time, in my life, I am surrounded by amazing, uplifting, inspiring, authentic people (sorry guys, mostly it's women). A lot of this is certainly by design. Years ago, after I started my entrepreneurial journey, I embarked as many of you have, on a personal development journey as well. As I'm sure you have, as part of that journey, I have broken away from habits, places and people that don't serve me, and distanced myself from most negativity. 

I don't watch the TV news, or listen to the radio news. Heck, we've been using a digital video recorder for so long, I have barely seen a commercial in the past 5 years. 

I don't participate in gossip if I can help it (we're all human, and it does happen to me on occasion too).

I had a very bad experience with a destructive supervisor (at my day job) and I took steps and removed myself from that situation, changing jobs and moving into an environment that serves me much better (for as long as I'm still holding on to that day job).

As a result, I have become a person that is incredibly receptive to others. Just last night, at one of my monthly networking events with my group of Chicago Over 40 Females, we had an amazing discussion around some challenges one of our members is working through in re-inventing her business model. It was one of those really deep, engaging conversations and we all tapped into the positive energy of one another on an amazing level and really all learned a LOT about ourselves and one another. 

As with most things, there's a rub. The more open and receptive you become, the more you open yourself up to being vulnerable and raw when you do become exposed to the negative and destructive forces in the world. 

This morning, I found myself on the periphery of some unprofessional, immature social media brew haha. I found that it bothered me a great deal more than it should have and I think it is because of being so open and receptive to the amazing good energy I am normally surrounded by. 

My pondering for the day is ... how do you properly insulate yourself from the negativity while remaining receptive to the positive influences around you? 

Luckily for me, that very group of amazing ladies gave me a fantastic gift of a beautiful jar filled with heart felt notes of thanks, and I was able to fend off the negative energy by going to that beautiful jar and reading some amazing words letting me know that I am, in fact, making a positive impact on the world around me.

I'd love to hear your thoughts! 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Small Nourishments

Have you ever noticed this? 

Some days, you get in the shower, and it's an item to get through as quickly as possible. 

Other days, you get in, and the warm water hits you and you feel like you could stand there forever. It's soothing and feels amazing. The warm water pounding on your back, the steam, the solitude. 

It's these tiny moments that we must recognize and capitalize on to nourish ourselves in spirit and body.

Though it may feel small, the simple act of allowing yourself to enjoy that time can return volumes in terms of your self-nourishment. 


When that feeling hits you, allow yourself the extra 5 or 10 maybe even 15 minutes in the shower. If you're tight on time, I'm sure there is someplace you can make it up, skip the coffee shop run or telephone time.

Keep a couple of great products in or near the shower so you can make the most of those moments. I have a great salt scrub that I don't use every day and even a pack of body mud if I really want to treat myself. 

Embrace the experience. Just allow yourself the space to enjoy it without judgement or criticism. 

My hope for you in the coming week, is that if that moment hits you, you enjoy it. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts!  

Thursday, January 8, 2015

When do buzz words become a turn off?

Having been a self-care advocate for going on 10 years now, I feel like the buzz word has lost its shine, and perhaps even turned the corner to become a bit of a turn off. 

This definitely impacted my recent re-branding efforts as I not only wanted to make my message clear and authentic, but obviously attractive as well. 

I think the best word I can come up with to encompass the change I feel has occurred with the phrasing is glib. 

Having spent almost 15 years in a very standard corporate environment, I was subjected to plenty of stereotypical managers who throw the latest buzz words out in every email and at every meeting, sometimes not even knowing the meaning. 

I look at the phenomenon of copyright loss with brands like Kleenex and Xerox where the brand name becomes so commonplace it replaces the original generic words (tissue and copier).

So, while I still feel there is extreme importance and value in taking time to care for yourself, I have changed my phraseology from self-care to self nourish.

I'd love to hear your thoughts? What do you think of when you hear "self-care"? Are there buzz words in your business or industry that have lost their shine?  

Friday, January 2, 2015

Don't let your past dictate your future

So many of us find ourselves looking back at 2014 having not reached the goals we set for ourselves. One of my favorite a ha moments from my first Jack Canfield live training was his story about his goal to earn his first million dollars, how he didn't reach it, but he got close and was very happy with his results. 

So how are you feeling about your goals from 2014? Do you feel exhilarated because you got close or reached them, or do you perhaps feel defeated because you didn't get close? 

Even if you were nowhere near reaching your goals, focus on the progress you made. Focus on how you are changed today from who you were in January 2 2014. Focus on how much better capable and ready you are on January 2 2015 to achieve and receive all the success you have mapped out ahead. 

Release the past, but don't let go of your dreams. Don't lose sight of your goals. Remember, the road to success is not a straight line, it is filled with many detours, and paths which look like dead ends may actually be secret doors that lead you to outstanding rewards. 

Set your plans and your goals for 2015 with a mind for what worked and what didn't but with a fresh perspective and renewed hope for tomorrow is ahead of us and anything is possible! 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

It's OK not to have goals

It is the beginning of a new year. A time for reflection, and for dreaming and for setting goals and resolutions. 

If you are an entrepreneur, or hope to become one, you have goals, you have a vision. You look at your surroundings and envision something bigger, something better. 

You probably also have people in your life, family and friends, people you love deeply and care for with all your heart, who don't. They wish for "a dream life" in some way, like a winning the lottery kind of way, but they don't have a big vision, they don't have big goals. When you share your goals with these people, you are sometimes met with derision and negativity. They completely accept their current life and job and TV evenings and Friday night family time with the Wii. 

Here's the thing. It's OK. They are allowed to have goals, they are allowed to accept mediocrity. They are allowed. Often these are people for whom you can envision a better life, a healthier life, a happier life. But, if they don't care, you can't wish it for them and you can't make them want it. 

One of my daily struggles is the suspension of judgement. It is something I pray for guidance with every night of my life. Those who I love, for whom I see something better who don't see it for themselves. It is so easy to fall into a place of judgement, a place where you believe they are wrong to not want more, not see more. 

But that's not our job. Our job is to love them. Without condition or cause. You can wish them the best, the happiest, the healthiest day or week or month or year or life.