Wednesday, May 30, 2018 1 comments

According to the Quiz, I'm Depressed

So my friend gives me her extra copy of Good Housekeeping.  I'm thumbing through all the ads to get to an article that caught my eye, "No One Would Ever Call Me Depressed."  

The article had a feature picture of a laughing, happy, full-of-life Meg D'Incecco of New York City that makes you just want to hang out with her and get her to laugh more.  She shares her story that sounded very familiar to my own.  Lots of great things going on, nothing that should CAUSE depression, but on the inside the dark moods are always lingering.  Meg tells the interviewer, "A mean voice played loudly in my head telling me that I wasn't worthy, that I didn't know what I was doing professionally, that I was as fat as a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon...I'd chat with someone and then be immediately filled with self-doubt, picturing the other person walking away thinking I was an overbearing freak."

I've said almost exactly the same things to myself, and worse.

Then I get to the quiz.  

And I'll be damned, I checked off most of these.  Should I be worried?  No.  For me, this is nothing new.  I know how to manage and I have already been working on incorporating more self-care in my life to break some bad habits and negative cycles to live a life that energizes ME.

If you're reading this, and you have checked most of the symptoms - consult a therapist.  And then interview a good one for YOU to work through any issues that can help lighten your load.  If medication is necessary, do it.  Medication does not define you, neither does depression.  YOU determine what defines you.  And know, it's a process that takes time.

My own dark moods do not define me, it's just an experience I go through. Too often for my liking. And it takes me allowing myself the time necessary to shut down for a spell, stay away from situations I know will affect me negatively, to put myself in environments that energize me, and I'm still learning to do it all regardless of what other people think.  Even if I need to take a nap in the middle of the day to give my body what it needs.

So as I move forward with growing my business, my darkness may be there with me.  But I know over time through work, change, and patience, my light will be so bright there will no more room for darkness.  
Tuesday, January 9, 2018 0 comments

Egypt Is My Poverty

My biggest client and I decided to part ways this month.  A year early.  Which means, slight financial panic mode about to be engaged.  I'm nervous,  but not terrified.  The strange thing is, I get this feeling that I should just keep moving forward as normal.  Focused on my business and growing it this year.  And just stay calm.

I stayed calm on New Year's Eve when my car had a flat tire in Cedar Key, Florida.  One gas station.  New Year's Eve.  And the plan was to drive to Jacksonville on the other side of Florida to watch the sunrise on New Year's Day.  Flat tire on the opposite coast...but I stayed calm and a solution presented itself in the form of a couple riding their golf cart past the gas station.  Sonny quickly found the hole, the station had A plug kit, he patched the hole, filled the tire with air, and I was good-to-go all while I chatted with his wife, Amanda, about which beach I should visit in their home town of Jacksonville...

One adversity-filled moment. Calm peace. Quick solution appeared.

I remember a time when I could feel this calm in the midst of adversity-filled moments.  2009 I lost a decent corporate job (it was the fashionable thing to do from 2008-2010).  I cashed out.  I recreated myself. I started a business and began a whole new string of adversity-filled moments related to business.  But in those days, my habit was to go to the kitchen table, watch the sunrise, and read the Bible till I got something out of it.  Meaning. A Message.  Something. And it was always a positive feeling.  The calm.

So tonight after figuring the money isn't going to be there if I don't do something big and soon, I decided to read the Bible until I got something out of it.  I didn't know where to begin.  "At the beginning," I hear in my mind (some would say spirit here).  So, I open up to Genesis and notice I already have a pencil toward the beginning of the book.  I flip to the pencil at Exodus 13:21 where I highlighted: 

"And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night..."

I keep reading how God positioned the people of Israel by the sea away from Egypt.  God also hardened Pharaoh's heart to be instigated to chase after them.  The pillar of cloud was between them.  The Israelites of course were in panic. It seemed to be the end. Nowhere to go. No options. Everything lost. They cry to Moses. Moses replies (Exodus 14:13),

"Do not be afraid.  Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today.  For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever."

Then it hit me.  Egypt is my poverty.  Or at least fear of poverty.  I've been in this financial crazy situation before of not having enough coming in to take care of basics, thus living in other people's spaces and relying on faith and kindness of others to help me through.  Which is its own learning and character development.  But this time is different for me.  The FEAR isn't there about my current situation.  And honestly, looking at it from outside it may look like I'm backed up to the sea with no options.  But wait...

Moses finishes his words to Israel, "The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace."


That was it!  I just needed to stay at peace, God's got this.  And I remembered this picture I took of a bird sleeping on a branch beside a waterfall.  Seemed to fit the moment.

Of course the story with Moses plays out with God parting the sea, the Israelites crossing, Eqypt pursuing, God closing the waters, the Egyptians drown, and Israel goes on to new adventures. 

I hope I can stay away from "wilderness moments" while God is working His plan for me.  Stay aligned, at peace, and move forward when the time is right.  And ultimately, it will all work out better than I could have imagined.  No more Egypt for me (until I visit the Sphinx someday).


Wednesday, December 20, 2017 0 comments

Finally Making Progress

I've been on this Dancing With Prospect Stars adventure for 8 weeks today.  Which puts me at roughly the half-way mark to the event. 

Here's the progress:

  • 95% of the dance is choreographed.
  • I can finally dance with a partner.
  • I have incorporated strength training, cardio, and yoga.
  • I have made good nutritional changes I can keep up with for life.
  • I am down a TOTAL of 13.5 inches in my body (4" across my belly button alone). (And just last week I thought I would never get anything off my body. Goes to show how much the mindset affects everything - it was holding me back. Now I release all the weight that needs to go to be the size I want).
  • I have $1,000 in sponsorship raised.
  • I have a handful of people that are going to buy tickets.
  • $100 in donations direct for Camp Quality. 

Still to go:

  • Only :20 seconds or so left to choreograph of the dance.
  • Another 4-6" off my waist.
  • Create a landing page to put all information in one spot for me easy for you to find.
  • $3,000 in sponsorship and ticket sales.
  • $19,900 in direct donations for Camp Quality. (Lofty goal, sure - but if everyone pitches in to help make it happen...it'll happen!)

  • That last one is THE most important.  This whole thing ultimately comes down to raising funds for this amazing organization - that's local.  Below is a quick video from me and Eddie Bobbitt, the Executive Director for Camp Quality Kentuckiana.  

    Go here for the event page:  www.DancingForCampQuality.com, or here to donate or purchase tickets:  www.dancingwithprospectstars.org/2017/10/04/christy-smallwood/ , or contact me at Christy@EagleEyeExecutive.com to sponsor.  Donations are direct to Camp Quality - which means tax deductible!  And Sponsorship goes in your marketing dollars (which is also deductible).  And purchasing tickets...you won't regret any of it!

    Wednesday, November 22, 2017 0 comments

    How To Practice For The Paso...

    As most of you reading this know, I love a good superhero story.  Especially Wonder Woman.



    So when the Dancing With Prospect Stars opportunity came up, I wanted to do something that would "represent."  I picked the Paso.  When people ask me what dance I'm doing and I tell them, I usually get this response:

    via GIPHY

    Yep.  It's an intense dance. Sharp moves. Fierce.  Very warrior-ish.  Total badass. Makes for a great superhero story.  Just what I wanted!  And boy, do I have my work cut out for me.  LOTS of practice is required.  Because, #1 - I want to LOOK fierce, not fluffy, and #2 - The whole point is to raise money for the kids at Camp Quality, and I can't let them down with a bad dance.

    Practice.  Over-and-over-and-over again.  Not just rehearsal with my dance partner to learn routine and technique, but to work so much on my own that it becomes second nature. 

    My home practices are filled with carrying weights while on my tip toes.  Lunges while wearing wedges.  Front kicks, pointing toes, squats, spinning, punching, step lunges while keeping my upper body from bouncing and staying balanced, and a handful of other moves that I will keep quiet for now. ;-) My dance partner, Damian, shows off a few moves for me to practice:



    The other thing about practicing for the Paso is mindset and visualization.  Seriously.  No joke.  I am not only watching the Wonder Woman movie over-and-over, I picture myself as her doing the moves while practicing.  It inspires and motivates me - and scares the hell out of me.  Gal Gadot worked out for 6 hours a day for 6 months to do the Wonder Woman movie.  I have 13 weeks left.

    I have a long way to go and a short time to get there (insert "East Bound and Down" music here). My practices need to be daily, not when I feel like it.  The practices need to be focused and intense.  And make me sweat a lot.  So far so good on that!

    ----------------------------
    Ready to sponsor the event or make a donation?  Go here to do that:  Dancing With Prospect Stars 



    Wednesday, November 8, 2017 0 comments

    And So It Begins...

    I've always loved dancing.  Never been great, but definitely something I enjoyed.  I taught and choreographed marching band for 16 years, I know a move or two and can be fairly coordinated and stay in time with the music.

    But this is different. I'm different.  My body is different.

    I've recently been chosen as one of the dancers for the Dancing With Prospect Stars charity event in February 2018.  Dancing with a partner.  In front of people.  In a skimpy outfit. What the hell am I thinking?!?  Oh yeah....the  kids.

    My chosen charity to dance for is Camp Quality Kentuckiana, a year-round support for kids with cancer to go to camp to get to be kids again.  Seriously.  How could I not do something for that cause? These kids go through hell and back daily fighting for their lives.  Their childhoods consist of hospital stays, quarantines, diets of medicine and IVs, and little energy to even think about playing outside.  So when they get a chance to be around other kids- just like them - and play like "normal" kids do, there is a magical transformation that happens.  Some might even say it's SUPER!

    So, for the next 15 weeks I will find sponsors, sell tickets, and raise money to support Camp Quality Kentuckiana - no question.  But personally...yikes.

    This is me - now. 


    I am roughly 100 pounds more than I should be, or really want to be.  Fitting into a skimpy dancing dress is...well, not a pretty sight NOW.  Please note before you get all, "you're not that fat - you're beautiful regardless" kind of jazz.  I'm very confident that I'm not ugly.  No worries there.  

    This project is just as much a personal adventure of transformation as it is a cool fundraiser for those kids to go to camp. The weight has to come off - it's non-negotiable.  My movement habits are going to change.  I will be putting myself first in this and that means my calendar will change too.  My nutrition is pretty good - just my exercise routine is non-existent.

    But I can't do it alone.  I need your help.  In all of it.  So be prepared to go on this journey with me! 

    "Only those who risk going too far can find out how far they can go."  ~ T.S. Elliot

    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 friends...is 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'i...it 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.




     
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