Wednesday, April 5, 2017 2 comments

Why Fat Is My Comfort Zone

For as long as I can remember I have been fat. Before I could remember I was born a preemie at 4 pounds, 7 ounces.  Then one summer, as the story goes, I went to stay with my grandparents in Texas.  I left a skinny kid and came back fat.  I was 5.  

Throughout my adolescence - that amazing time of growing - my peers began to have input into my life as much as family.  My first recollection of a comment about how I looked was from a boy in 2nd Grade, "You are fat."  I told my teacher, she blew me off.  I was 6.

Fast forward to 6th grade.  I had been to a handful of schools by then, plenty of input from family and classmates and others about how I looked.  How I was "fat."  But at least by then I would also get, "beautiful eyes" once in awhile.

I learned very early on that being fat was neither popular or positive.  Funny thing though - I didn't eat all day and never move.  I ate normal and was plenty active.  My behaviors did not lean toward "fat."  I participated in every activity I could get a ride to in high school:  tennis, volleyball, marching band, dance team, drama, academic team, and probably a few other things I've forgotten.  

Looking back through my early days pictures NOW...I was certainly not fat.  Not SKINNY, but not FAT either.  But the label of "fat" is what stuck.  Even when I worked a summer job as a clerk in a law firm, a teenage girl from the country in the "big city" wearing a DRESS...and the Sr. Partner looked at me one day and said, "You'd be pretty if you weren't so fat."  Yes.  Said that to me.  I was 16.

My relationships with men was influenced by having this fat.  I adopted a belief that any man that really loved me would love ME regardless of the fat.  So any man that said I was fat was dismissed, and the ones that swore to me that I was beautiful regardless of my size were the ones I gave myself to.  And each one was a learning lesson to put it nicely.  My "first" left me, my ex-husband was abusive, and so on.  That belief that I could be beautiful regardless of my size was replaced with "I can be beautiful, fat, and useful."  Useful to men one way, and the rest of the world through the work I can accomplish.

I poured myself into doing good work, providing value to the world, discovering  and developing myself.  Through it all, I have kept my fat.  I have done some really cool things:  traveled to other countries doing mission work, spoke with high-ranking government officials about changing the world, and had dinner with Fortune 500 CEOs.  My fat came with me.  I have been to the proverbial hell and back with relationships of all kinds, and my fat came with me.

Why do I say fat is my comfort zone?  It's always been the buffer between the vulnerable me and what I can be for the world that needs what I can do in it.  It's been my protective force field to ward off negative.  My body literally goes into protective mode.  I can eat healthy, exercise, and watch what I do, and  yet...the fat is still there.

My fat is my comfort zone because it's all I've ever known.  I don't know how NOT to be fat.

My word for 2017 is"Beyond."  I now have to decide if I'm ready to go beyond that.  To take the mental and emotional steps necessary to live like I'm "fit" not "fat."  What will that look like?  Not sure, but I'm ready to design a new label for myself.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016 0 comments

The Beauty of the Moment

The past few months have just been...indescribable.  It still amazes me how much can happen in such a short amount of time.

Since August...another birthday come and gone, yet one more guy to disappear on me, a change of housing situations, two new websites, a few more clients, two awards, one bad sinus infection...and through it all, only three extra pounds.

In addition to MY little world, the rest of the world has also seen a ton of crazy:  a new President, Britain to exit, lots of lives lost, new technology created, protesting to save the earth and protesting to destroy "the establishment," worldwide disasters with hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunami, tornadoes, and wildfires, and through it all, people are still showing love for their fellow man, standing up for what is right, cherishing family, and believing in hope.

That's the amazing thing about the human spirit.  Through all the tragedy of life, we are strengthened by it.  We learn to appreciate the fragility of it.  The beauty of moments.

Regardless of what happens in my little world, I believe in the Magic of it - the beauty of moments whether I am alone soaking up the quiet sunrise, chatting on the phone with friends that I don't get to see, sharing time at a business function with new people to discover, or investing time into great friends over a pizza and drinks - I will enjoy the beauty of the moment.
Saturday, August 20, 2016 0 comments

Story of the Week

No, it's not about the award I won, or the two new clients I signed on, or even the fact that the guy I've been dating still thinks I'm adorable.  THIS story came from a wonderful client at the salon that made me tear up and have a sense of hope in true love.

The client, we'll call her Ruby, and her husband have been married for 46 years.  She was recently home with a hurt back - which she has dealt with since youth - and watching The Newlywed Game.  She decided to write down some of the questions to ask her husband when he got home, knowing they SHOULD know each other with ease.

Her husband comes home, and she asks the first question, "If you could give the gift of a body makeover for your spouse, which part of the body would you have redone?"

Ruby told him, "I picked your belly.  You have gained a little weight and I know you don't like having the belly.  So I would want you to have less of it again."  Then she asked him, "What would YOU choose?"  His response, "Honey, that's easy.  Your back.  You've been in such pain for years, I would want you to be pain free again."

THAT my real love.  Ruby even teared up telling me the story because she knew how much she was loved by that man and how awesome he was for her.  And THAT is the hope I have for a relationship.
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 0 comments

Movie Magic...Those Moments When God Whispers So Loud You Can't Hear Yourself Think

Have you ever had "one of those days" (or weeks or months or years) and just needed SOMETHING good to touch your soul and give you peace?  Yeah, same here.

It's been interesting lately.  Business is moving slowly which makes everything tense.  I am running behind from a deficit.  AND, the guy thing.  Don't get me started there.

I pray and talk to God on a constant basis.  He's my confidant and comfort even though it's hard to feel a hug from Him.  And I have learned and know for sure that if I can get my mind set in a positive way, I can get through hard stuff quicker and be productive.  The trick is getting my mind set in a positive way.  What to do?  Well, I ask myself "What am I putting INTO me?"  Not just food, but sensory:  what I read, what I see, what I smell, what I touch, what I hear.  My first go-to is music.  I have some strong favorites that can help turn me around.  But the past few days I added movies.

From Little Boy, my faith was strengthened in having FAITH, believing in myself and my partnership with God, and putting it all into action.  When that lines up...miracles happen and you can move mountains.  Plan on feeling the earth move...

And today, Kung Fu Panda 3.  If you haven't seen it yet - DO IT!  Po's path to maturity teaches him who he really is and what it means to be the Dragon Warrior.  And love works like ch' strengthens and grows as you GIVE...not as you TAKE.  So even if my feelings are hurt, even if I feel like I'm not successful...I DO know who I am and I choose to show love regardless of the other person.

I could have chose to drown my sorrows, or go off-radar.  But I'm happy with how I've chosen to reset my mind today. God whispered LOUD to me this week.  Believe - have Faith - give Love - put it all in action...and Magic will happen!  

Friday, January 15, 2016 4 comments

Why I Do A Word Of The Year

I love using a word of the year.  For years now I have used a single word as a theme for the year.  Believe was my first one.

At first, it was weird.  I didn't know what to do with it.  I got some post-it notes and wrote "Believe" on a few and posted them in places I would see throughout the day.  Somedays I didn't even notice the word, but others.  Oh my...

On "those" days - you know the ones.  I clung to "Believe."  Throughout the year my beliefs got tested. By the end of the year I was amazed how relevant that word was to me.

I've used other words and had the same outcome:  Preparation, Simplify, Focus, etc.

Last year when I chose "Advance" I added some things to really bring it to life.  Books and Bible Studies.  I really thought through what "Advance" meant to me.  Advance was a battle term for me - to move forward and take on the challenges. So I chose books that spoke to that theme and biographies! To learn from those that have gone on before and advanced - like Joseph in the Old Testament.  And I learned a lot. It strengthened me for the year and some amazing stuff happened!

So I'm doing it again.  THIS year, I chose "Magic."  I wanted to have a word that would encourage big-out-of-the-box-take-chances thanking.  Magic takes belief, imagination, expertise, and lots of work to produce.  And I am SOOOOOOOOO ready for some magic!  I have some books to get me started - studying Disney of course - and I'm returning to my journaling.  And I found THIS journal...what do you see?  Doves? Or a Face?  Almost like "Magic," don't ya think?

Using a word of the year really brings the theme alive in my life.  So if you're thinking of using a word of the year - choose wisely.

Thursday, January 14, 2016 0 comments

It's About Time

We are already 3 weeks into 2016. It feels like the days speed up every year. It's crazy.

And 2015...that was a heck of a year. Lots of things happened.
  • Right off the bat - my mom got married...on January 1!
  • I met a new friend that I affectionately call "recess" because he makes me feel that everything in life can be fun.
  • Another fun Gear-Up event.
  • Had an interesting history-making meeting in Frankfort with Senators and lawmakers that resulted in a bill being submitted for vote to legalize cannabis in Kentucky.
  • My involvement with Executive Women International was showing signs of movement throughout the organization. Numbers were turning around and our time in Tulsa was productively positive.
  • A close friend of mine from college passed away.  The blessing was that I got to see him a few times before he passed.  He was still giving me advice when I saw him last. And I chose to honor that advice.
  • I got a vacation for the first time in years - with my bestie - to DISNEY....couldn't have been better!
  • Another friend of mine, Vicki, passed away after losing her long-time battle with cancer. She was a spiritual mentor of mine just by her example of handling life.  Her whole family is precious to me.  And she also gave me advice the last time I saw her.  And I chose to honor that advice.
  • I was not only nominated, but was one of three finalists for Professional of the Year Award in Southern Indiana.  
  • A bittersweet experience came when I left Arkham Executive.  I love my clients and all they were accomplishing.  It was a financial decision and it's worked out for the best for everyone involved.

I have been hesitant to write a posting lately.  First of all, there's been a TON going on.    And with all the business changes, I did everything I knew to make sure each step of the transition was respectful of my ex-business partner, and helpful for me...a win-win for everybody.  

So - here's the deal.  When I left Arkham, I got a job.  That job turned into a consulting position and I just helped out with the day-to-day.  THEN, I had a couple other people contact me to help on a part-time basis.  So those are now consulting clients as well.  I had PLANNED on staying on the down-low ... but "Recess," as well as a handful of others that I highly respect, became very vocal "Don't wait to start something new for yourself!"  Thus, all the new stuff getting launched.

I have worked tirelessly to create everything from scratch...but I have it up and ready! my friend Kevin would have sung to me, "keep moving forward."  And so I will.  Because time feels so short, and I don't know when my last breath is, or that of my loved ones.  I will use my energy to serve well, laugh much, and love deeply.  Every. Day.

Monday, September 7, 2015 0 comments

What Code Do You Live By?

To anyone who has been around me and felt that I've been "off," my sincere apologies.

I have been in a weird place the last couple weeks.  I have over-analyzed others and second-guessed myself.  I have been lonely in a crowd and it showed.  I have been lazy with sadness and it hurts my productivity.  I have been frustrated with negative results of positive effort.  I have been disconnected from me.  And why?  Hell if I know.  But hey, that's the good thing about doing a post.  It can sometimes be cathartic.  So bear with me and maybe it'll be helpful for you too someday.

I've taken my jumbled thoughts and feelings and got back to journaling the past few days.  I used to write about everything everyday.  Then life blew up and I got away from it.  Focused on business and growing people around me in their businesses.  One thing I've come to realize.  There's a reason God took a day off.  Not because HE needed it - He IS God.  But because WE need it.  He led by example.  One that I felt I just didn't need.  And now it's catching up with me in a big way.  I've become my own worst nightmare - bitchy and unproductive.

Now, before any of you try to shower me with "you're Wonder Woman, you got this" kind of stuff, know that I have been telling myself that for days now.  But I'm here to tell ya', even Wonder Woman got her ass kicked every once in awhile.  She had to re-group on Paradise Island to heal, gather an army of Amazon warriors, and head back into battle another day.  THAT's where I am now.  Healing.  As best I know how. One step at a time.

The first step for me was to get to the root of my issue.  I know what that is, to prove I'm even worthy to exist.  That's why getting ignored is so hurtful and not accomplishing things is unacceptable.  Being responsible for myself is a big deal too, not to be reliant on others as a charity case.  The next was to do some simple self-assessing.  Using the same tools I use with my clients: personality, core values, life wheel, and others, I wrote it all out and compared to the same assessments I did at the first of the year.  Not much had changed.  Good in the sense I was still confident in who I was and what I was about, but not good in the sense of not seeing positive forward-moving results for myself in my life wheel vision.  I'm bummed.  And I've been second-guessing myself all week.  But here's another thing I realized.  I've not been living by the code.

This was from Jesus (Luke 10:27).  It's also in the Old Testament in Deuteronomy.  Notice - love GOD with everything, love your neighbor AS YOURSELF.  That "as yourself" part is harder than it sounds for someone like me.  I'm confident in who I am, what I can do, and that I can get shit done --- for everyone else.  I do love God.  I do love people.  But I don't really love myself.  That has to change.  If I change that, my life wheel vision will come true.  Love is action, it's a code to live by.  

Then I got to thinking about another other codes that is just extensions of this:

The Cowboy Code

THEN...I thought of one of my favorites on my virtual "cabinet of advisers."  Gibbs.  Not necessarily an extension of Luke 10:27, but some pretty darn good things to think about.

And now I'm coming to a realization that I will always have a fight on my hands BECAUSE I have a code to live by.  There will always be those who want to stand in the way of peace.  Peace in the world around me, peace in others' minds and hearts, and peace in my own self.  I will fight on. I know who I am, what I stand for, and there are others counting on me to live that out. That's what I'm going to believe anyway, so just go with me on 

If you've gotten this far in my ramblings, thank you.  Thank you for sharing your time with me :-).  NOW it's ok to tell me "You're Wonder Woman, you got this!"

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 0 comments

Something To Live For

A friend of mine, Kevin, has been in the hospital for over 100 days now.  I visited last week when he was still in ICU and again today in a real room.  I'm proud of him.  In his own words, "I'm a warrior."  Yes.  He is.  The hospital stay isn't the only thing he's overcoming.  His wife passed away right before all the hospital adventure began.  He didn't even get to go to her funeral.  But he's fighting on.  When I saw him today, all wired-up with IVs and the trach and monitors and dialysis machine, holding up his hand, the first finger and thumb an inch apart, he tells me he's "this far" from getting to the rehab center.  He's a warrior.

When I leave him I think, "What makes him fight so much?  Why keep going?"  Then I remember his face lit up when he talked about his kids and how amazing his mom and aunt have been.  He's got plans to do great things with them.  His life has changed in a heartbeat - literally.  And he's ready to be changed.  I'm super proud of my friend.

He has something to live for.  His something isn't some's a few SOMEONEs...  

Do you have something or someone to live for?  I'm asking myself that question right now.

Monday, August 24, 2015 1 comments

41 ... Now What

Sunday was my birthday, my 41st birthday.  Yep.  I'm OVER 40.  And honestly, proud of it.  I earned my way here.  The weekend itself was anticlimactic (was sick all weekend); however, my life is anything but.  I am taking a few moments to reflect...

In my 41 years I have:
  • taught myself to read music and play instruments,
  • earned a perfect score trophy as drum major,
  • drove cross-country,
  • traveled to other countries,
  • served under high-level executives of big companies,
  • gotten my radio broadcasting license, 
  • been backstage at the Grand Ole Opry during a performance,
  • met country music legends,
  • owned my own house,
  • finished a bachelor's degree in marketing and multiple certifications in music business and executive coaching,
  • been lost in the woods at Ashford Castle in Ireland,
  • held an owl on my arm,
  • rode a horse in the Grand Canyon,
  • rode a helicopter over the Grand Canyon,
  • sang to church groups in the Philippines,
  • held Gypsy babies in Romania,
  • taught award-winning marching bands performing in the Lucas Oil Stadium,
  • sang with a southern gospel group,
  • served on the worship team of a church for 20 years,
  • started a tech ministry,
  • produced many entertaining events,
  • led women's ministry,
  • worked with youth groups,
  • wrote and published a book, 
  • landscaped my own property,
  • helped friends move - a lot,
  • held dying loved ones hands,
  • lost friendships,
  • made new friends,
  • been a jewelry lady and still love those shiny objects,
  • learned to drive on a stick-shift,
  • plucked feathers off a dead chicken,
  • bottle fed a calf that slept next to me in the house at grandpa's,
  • worked in a greenhouse,
  • worked as a marketing manager and bid-taker/clerk for an auctioneer,
  • been on the radio,
  • been on TV,
  • done some recording of songs,
  • started my own business,
  • sat and talked with Senators and a former Governor about industrial hemp uses,
  • helped connect hundreds of people,
  • wrote speeches for convention speakers,
  • produced videos,
  • led teams, groups, and organizations,
  • and so much more....
I almost felt sad for what I haven't gotten accomplished yet this year and the gaps I feel are in my own life.  But the year isn't over yet :-).  And each day I get to wake up, I'm given the opportunity to do something good with it.  It's not always easy.  I work hard and stay involved in life.  I've always been that way.  But today I took a moment to write out a short list of things I've done in my 41 years. I'm certainly not sad anymore.  I know who I am, who I'm still becoming.  

It seems almost surreal that I'VE done those things.  And I know I'm not done.  Lots of ideas, lots of people to help, lots of roles to play in harmony. So, now what?

I have a few things in the hopper...
  • Arkham Executive (as partner and co-founder - growing!!!)
  • Little Tree Publishing (bringing all my projects in-house to my own company)
  • Cherokee Alternative Energy (as Project Development Director to help develop 300 acres in Eastern Kentucky)
  • Executive Women International (another year as Chapter President, and possibility of national program)
  • Being Super book release
  • Gear-Up business conference in October (be prepared to see my face
  • Business In A  Box online training
  • Super Power Women Retreats 
  • Land development projects (helping a friend)
  • And more ideas to add all the time...(plus bucket list items like travel to Greece and own a Jeep Wrangler designed grand Wonder Woman style).

I am truly blessed to have made it this far in life.  I am super excited about what lays ahead.  My word this year is ADVANCE.  And my daily prayer is this:

"Help me, Lord, be the person I need to be to do the things you have set before me to do.  Help me to be a blessing, not a curse - a help, not a hindrance.  Guide me in all things. And thank you for loving me in spite of me and my own stubbornness."

Thanks for reading my post.  How will you reflect on YOUR life?  You might surprise yourself all the cool things you've done! And if you need help with that...let's have tea (or coffee, or whatever) and chat.  
Sunday, July 19, 2015 0 comments

Slaying The Double-Headed Dragon

I wrote a blog post recently about 5 Ways to Conquer The Deadly D's to help give readers some action items to get out of their "pit."  But I wanted to share here in my personal blog some deeper insight.

I have been plagued my whole life with a feeling of "not good enough."  I know where it stems from, and I recognize it daily.  It affects everything I do, in both positive and negative ways.  When I get distracted and let my guard down, I can feel the attack of "you're a failure, nothing's going to work, why even try," coming on.  That's negative.  When I am more focused, driven, energetic, committed, and confident, I hear in my spirit, "Bring it!"  That's positive. That's why dealing with the distractions that open the door to doubt is the first key in conquering that negative pit of despair. For me, anyway.

But when I hear a friend tell me, "I feel like I can't do anything right anymore, I've lost faith in myself." I go into protective warrior mode for them.  I want to help attack those thoughts and feelings.  To shield my friend from the distracting messages that inundate us all daily.  I want to battle the enemy head-on and slay the double-headed dragon of doubt and discouragement from their heart.  Because that dragon will scorch everything in it's path to destruction.  This warrior queen will fight for her friend.  This protective friend will stand in the gap when they can't stand for themselves.

If you are one that has those same kinds of messages roaming your mind, know I am willing to be in the battle with you.  To fight for you.  To swing the lasso of truth and the sword of strength to bring the dragon into submission.  You are not alone.