Tuesday, October 29, 2013 0 comments

Just Out Of Reach

     Earlier tonight I started my annual routine of bringing out the winter clothes.  I was pleasantly surprised to find some really nice slacks someone had given me.  The style and material was designer-level.  Dry-clean only fancy pants.  The ironed crease was still in perfect placement down the front of the legs.  Very sharp slacks.  At the time I received them, I wasn't able to get them over my thighs, but how could I possibly get rid of them?!  Luckily, it was time to rotate seasonal attire, so in the tub they went to be found again tonight.

     I tried them on.  They fit over my thighs!  My butt even!  They looked fabulous, slimming even.  Awesome for a someone like me who's very conscious of her size.  I like my clothes to flatter and strengthen my attributes.  These slacks were looking like they had potential.  One final step...the button.  And that's when I felt like this...

     I couldn't even get the two ends to meet!  How in the hell does that happen?  The rest of the slacks are PERFECT!  And it hit me.  This was a great illustration of the rest of my life right now. I had to rush downstairs in the slacks, with a t-shirt to cover the lack of connectivity, to share with my roommate, Kim.  I asked her, "How do you like my slacks?"  "Those are really nice, you look good," was her reply.  I followed with, "You know how my life has been frustrating lately?  Well, these slacks look and feel great, but here's the kicker."  I lifted my shirt to show the open space showing my skivvies and she said it well, "That does suck.  It's just out of reach."
    I am in a season of my where there is a LOT going on, which is fabulous.  Hope it stays that way.  The frustrating part, it that there is still so much that is just out of reach.  Honestly, it's all part of the process in accomplishing big things.  I have a business (along with my business partner) that will be going national, but we need to test out a few things in this market first.  I have a book that is getting ready to be released as a revised edition, but it won't be ready for another month or two - and I need to take some to a conference this weekend.  We're coordinating a big business event for February, but I need sponsors and speakers first. We are going to be offering online trainings, but the videographer needs to be scheduled.  And on and on and on.

    I LOVE what I do, and I LOVE getting through all I need to for learning and growing.  But those moments when it hits me that it's just out of reach is a test of how I will respond.  How I respond to those slacks will be my secret. Because I would HATE for anyone to know that I just might find a long bulky sweater to cover up the gap.  I would never do that...although I've HAD to when a zipper broke.  Thus, the recycled designer slacks from a friend.  Beside the point.  The point?  Keep reaching.  That's active.  And I will keep reaching to accomplish all God has planned for me to do.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 0 comments

A Great Coach Makes All The Difference

I've seen this clip many times.  I had the privilege of seeing it again this morning as part of the New York Life training we did at Arkham Executive.  Watch it, then read on.

Now that you've seen it, are you inspired?  Inspired to keep your head down and plow past the point YOU think you can go?  Inspired to help others get past their point to reach their ultimate potential? Watching this clip I'm reminded that having a coach - not just cheerleaders - can make all the difference.

You see, cheerleaders are great encouragers that can keep your ego fueled.  But a COACH.  That's the one that motivates you, keeps you focused, makes you go farther than you ever thought possible, but dreamed about.

Who are your cheerleaders?  But more importantly, who is your Coach? I am honored to be the Coach for many people, and am very thankful for the Coaches in my life.
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 0 comments

Buyer Beware...Don't Pay That "Invoice"

I received this in the mail yesterday...

Looks like an invoice, right?  It's not.  It's an advertisement for a website listing service that puts your website listing on search engines.

 This kind of manipulative schiestering really makes me mad.  I see this kind of stuff in advertising all the time.  It's playing to people's brain sections that is labeled "naive" or "clueless."  This kind of advertising is just plain manipulative, lazy, and non-trustworthy.  Manipulative because  it just is.  Lazy because there's no room for interaction except "give me your check."  Non-trustworthy because there's no evidence they would even do what the "invoice" suggests I would be paying for.  Where's the testimonials?  Where's the case studies?  Where's the proof?  Where's the credibility I could trust them to do the job?

The flip side?  It's genius for the bottom-line in revenue.  It DOES play to most people's natural tendency to put the invoice in their file to be paid without a second guess as to what it is.  When you do take the time to read the whole thing you'll see it does state "This is not a bill.  This is a solicitation..."  But my first response upon opening was, "What do I owe now?"  Thank goodness I'm in a place in my life where I scrutinize every piece of paper that looks like there's money involved.  I don't know about you, but I don't have enough money to just throw it to the wind.

Why am I writing this posting?  One, to vent.  Another to caution you to read everything before committing to something that would just be a money-sucker.  

Sunday, July 28, 2013 0 comments

Words Are Like Glue

I'm watching a Joel Osteen message this morning.  He's talking about expressing love to your spouse/family/significant people DAILY.  The words we use are like glue - it sticks.  I talk about this in our Arkham Executive training, Messaging By The First Power.  All the messages we receive are an element to our "WHO" - the who we are.

Admit it, you like to hear good things about you from your spouse.  It's like cold clear water on a hot day when a wife hears, "Honey, you're beautiful."  When a husband hears, "I'm proud of you," it fuels his tank to keep going.

Women - don't withhold the blessing of good words to life up your man! Tell him you are proud of him, that he's handsome, that you appreciate and love him.  He NEEDS it!

Men - be intentional with your wife!  Tell her daily how beautiful she is to you, how much she is worth to you, how you admire her.  She NEEDS it!

Being intentionally positive with your words to each other can transform your marriage.  Be consistent.  Daily.  You will be surprised to find even more treasure in each other.

Why am I sharing these thoughts?  Because I LOVE to hear the good things.  I don't have a husband or even a boyfriend, so when I get that from people who aren't in my inner circle, I try to cling to it as long as possible. I don't hear it on a daily basis unless I tell myself. And the cats aren't much help.  I have seen many relationships fall apart because of lack of good communication.  I don't want that for you.  Be intentionally positive and daily with your words.  It takes practice.  NOW is the best time to start.  Go.  Tell your wife how beautiful and valuable she is.  Go.  Tell your husband how amazing and handsome he is.  Go. Glue some glitter into your words!

Thursday, May 23, 2013 0 comments

The Tug On Your Heart Moves Your Wallet To Action

     I attended a great fundraising gala last night for the Zoom Group in Louisville, KY. The Zoom Group provides enrichment services and employment for adults with developmental disabilities in the Louisville area.  The event was full of food tasting, silent auction items, music, fun, and an incredible live auction to finish it out.  Now, we all know during a fundraising event, the whole idea is to contribute to the cause.  What made it amazing was there were more than a handful of people who had no hesitation in throwing in anywhere from $50-$2,500 at a time!!!  The $2,500 amounts go for an annual dance, $1,800 goes for a Smart board, $400 goes for chairs, $50 for outings to local attractions.  The purpose was clear for the amount.  It was a no-brainer to give.  I'm positive anyone who gave any amount that night felt like a million bucks walking out with being able to contribute to an organization with purpose.
    I have the distinct pleasure and honor of working with other groups around the community on fundraising events.  It never ceases to amazing and delight me how much people are willing to give to something that has a great purpose in the world.  And not just for a non-profit organization, but for those unique projects that could spark a movement in a community that grows beyond wildest imaginations.  I'm working with one of those projects right now!!!

     A dear friend of mine, Kathryn Furrow, is a local "girl" that I admire.  Her life story is amazing by itself, but when I discovered all that she has accomplished realizing she is in MY "backyard" blows my mind!  Her passion is working in the creative community - actors, artists - helping them have well-balanced lives and careers through her service and podcast that reaches 50,000 listeners, Acting For Your Life.  She herself is a distinguished actress, singer, and writer.  She has written a story that has been 20 years in the making.  She is FILMING that story HERE - LOCALLY.  ALL OF IT. I can't get more all-caps than that.  She and her business partner, Herschel Zahnd, own FYL Entertainment.  It's a full-service acting/production/training business.  They are doing all the amazing stuff normally done elsewhere - right here.  Check out the Breath of Heaven movie site to learn all the details of the movie.  

    Here's the thing. The more I realize all they are accomplishing with this movie, the more I realize what this means for New Albany, Louisville, and all of Kentuckiana.  They are leading the way.  Bringing international exposure through film is an accomplishment that will open the doors for more locals to bring their creativity to life!  How awesome is that!  PLUS, I LOVE the history aspect.  It's a period piece.  They are using sites like New Albany's Culbertson Mansion, and streets of Old Louisville to create the environment. They are being intentional in this!  To me, this movie and the creative forces behind it is PURPOSE.  It's more than just a movie, this could be a movement for a whole new wave of creativity in the Kentuckiana area.  If you agree with all this - give $1, or more - go to http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/breath-of-heaven--2 to get this kicked off in style!  AND Kathryn will give a shout-out on her podcast as well as facebook.  Please share, too!!!

Sunday, May 19, 2013 2 comments

Look Inside Another's Heart

     At church this morning Pastor Michael talked about Greenville Christian Church being a church on a mission.  Part of that message included the teaching from Jesus recorded in Matthew 6:19-21, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  Pastor Michael posed a question, "What are the treasures in heaven?"  He went on to share that people hardly ever say they can't wait to drive that old Ford Pinto they had in high school, but rather they talk about the people they can't wait to see again. The treasure in heaven is people.  So how do you store up your treasures in heaven?  Building relationships.  

     This is what I've been actively doing for years now.  In the business realm it's commonly referred to as networking.  It's easier to start business relationships that way - give it a business label.  But the concept is the same - build relationship with others.  

     I came across this great video from a hospital that show's a glimpse as to what is going on inside someone's heart and mind.  Watch it - and then think about those moments when you are at a ballgame, work, or church.  Picture the tags next to people of all the things that could be going on.  There's some common bonds there.  Reach out.  Have conversation.  Don't be afraid to let down your own guard to show your tag.  The world is made stronger through  passion for others and life.

Saturday, May 11, 2013 0 comments

Negativity Isn't Acceptable

Recent events have encouraged me to really analyze my words, thinking, and actions.  I've discovered a hidden rule that negativity isn't acceptable.  Let me try to explain.

Even though we as a society see all kinds of negative moments through the news media, reality shows, soap operas, action movies, political campaigns, etc., negativity is not the element that fuels our inner values.  The desire for something BETTER is.  If that desire is attacked, we want to fight for it.  Examples are

  • fighting for a cure for cancer because we desire a healthy long life,
  • fighting against the abuse of children because we desire a world where children can be kids in a safe environment,
  • fighting for whatever, because we want it to be better.
I had posted a comment on my facebook personal page this week about how I was feeling during a lunch with an individual who was not a prospective client, but was driving me crazy because my business partner and I were not treated as valuable.  My posting was received in the manner it was sent by many of my friends; however, one began to voice her opposite opinion in a harsh way.  She considered me unprofessional among other things.  I took the time to do an honest gut check.

This was not the only recent example of my "negative" approach being unacceptable.  The other was a moment of expressing frustration, it was received as something deeper going on in my life that needed to be addressed. No.  I was simply frustrated in that moment.  But the result was if I continued to show moments of frustration, I would no longer asked to be involved.  I took the time to do an honest gut check.

What I've experienced is negativity is not acceptable.  Now.  I am generally a positive person.  I can motivate others to change perspective to get out of their own "stinkin' thinkin.'"  And I can have patience and cordial tolerance in any situation.  But every once in awhile, I show my flawed human side and it comes out in one of two ways, negative on myself, or negative on others. I believe we all do that.  

My personal gut checks took me back to a time when a boss told me, "You will not be successful if you show emotion."  (This coming from the same man that would scream obscenities at every football/basketball game that he watched in the office.) Still.  That message left an impression.  

I am still in the middle of gut check weekend.  What is coming from it is that I KNOW who I am, what I stand for, where I'm going, and why I do it.  NO ONE is going to change that for me.  

So in the future when I post something that has a hint of negativity, receive it as if it's a "what not to" kind of thing.  Like "What Not To Wear."  Fighting the negative to find the positive.  Because for all my will power to put nothing out there but positive messages, there will be that every once in awhile to let you know I'm just as flawed as the next person.  Even Wonder Woman has her bad days.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 0 comments

Insignificant Remarks Made By Significant People

     I had the honor of attending an Executive Women International Spring Conference in Chattanooga last weekend.  The experience of meeting new people, making strong connections, gaining new knowledge, and being inspired to be the best me I can be is exciting.  And I was due for an experience like that outside of my own efforts of self-motivation.
     There was a Leadership Academy training day that focused on Emotional Intelligence.  Emotional Intelligence is basically being aware of what's going on with internal thinking and the outward expression.  My words.  Being aware of your own "stuff" as well as others' "stuff" and how to manage it all.  All this falls in line with what I train and coach on regularly - the messages we've been given and the messages we give ourselves.  Lori Giovannani was our amazingly fabulous trainer - I want to be like her!  She was hilarious and engaging, had us all totally hanging on her every word and contributing to the conversation.  During the training she made a statement that has really stuck with me that I will use, "Insignificant remarks made by significant people."
     How many times in your life have you suddenly become aware of the same negative thought in your head?  Where did it originate?  Who said something that made you think that way?  Let me give you an example. When I was 16, I worked as a clerk in a Louisville law firm where my mom did administrative work. It was a great Summer job in the "big city" for a simple, but smart, country girl.  To this 16 year-old the attorneys in the office were a big deal.  The title partner was a bigger deal.  If he talked to you, if felt like rubbing elbows with the city's big wigs. A significant person.  I dressed as professionally as I could - dresses even.  One day he made an insignificant remark (to him), "You would be pretty if you didn't look so fat."  I think at the time he may have thought he had good intentions.  But half a life later, that comment still sticks with me every time I bloat past the threshold of my "fat pants."  I remind myself that beauty is made of more than just outward appearance.  It's my personality, my values, my serving of others with a healthy attitude, my confidence in knowing who I am and living that out to inspire and motivate others.  That example is not the only insignificant remark that has stuck with me and molded the way I have responded to situations, planned for the future, worked at a career, loved in a relationship, or seen myself internally.
   You have your own examples of messages that have stuck with you for years that a significant person in your life spoke without even thinking of the effect it would have.
     We do it to others, too.
     Being aware of those off-handed remarks that became big deals to me, I am more intentional about what I say to others.  Even if I'm hormonal, I will at least warn when the filter is off.  But when I am being intentional with my words, fully engaged in the conversation with the person across from me, the impact it can have on them is incredible.  They not only take my words to heart, they live it out in positive ways.  I want to make sure my insignificant remarks have a positive entry in their mental file cabinets.
Monday, March 25, 2013 0 comments

On A Mini Not-Quite-But-Close-Enough Vacation

This week I am house-sitting for a friend.  They have a log home just like you would find in the Smokies.  It's off the beaten path, quiet, and of course surrounded by trees.  It's very peaceful.  Just the change of environment I've needed.

I've been itching for a vacation for a few years now.  This is not a real vacation, but moments feel like a mini-vacation.  She's also hired me to organize their garage.  I've hung pegboard, cleaned up trash, gone through boxes, and put things in a usable order for their lifestyle.  There are teenagers involved.  I've built in the "throw crap here" box by the door.  Saturday's cooperative Spring weather was perfect to get most of it done.  Now I just have to put all the tools on the wall and hang the wire shelving.

And, I have companionship.  This is Ruby.  She's under 2 years old.  She's a lab and basset mix!  And she is such a good girl.  So I've taken the liberty of spoiling her a little more.  Right now, all my work is spread out, Ruby laying on the couch only to jump up barking to let me know the neighbors are passing by. I have cartoons on the TV and dinner ready.  A different pace than I normally keep.  That's why it feels like a mini-vacation.

But I am SO READY for a real one.  A vacation that is so impactful that I come back feeling like the Wonder Woman I know is in me somewhere.  Any good ideas for a vacation on a micro-budget?

Sunday, February 3, 2013 0 comments

Va Va Vixens - a Review

    A friend posted she was going to see a local burlesque troupe, the Va Va Vixens, last night.  I know this may come as a surprise, but I've been wanting to see that show. I'm a fan of pin-up girl art, Moulin Rouge, Chicago, and my friend who owns a lingerie business with a heart to help cancer survivors feel beautiful and sexy.  Well, my friend going to the show added me to her list of guests and I went!  I am so glad I did. 
     I honestly didn't know what to expect when I walked into Headliners Music Hall, but I knew it would be interesting.  And I wasn't disappointed when the first sight was a young woman in a corset and tutu on stilts!  The night was filled with beautiful ladies in costume, talent that was above & beyond, an engaging crowd, and sights I will never forget.  

     There were many moments that I would come back for:
  • The pre-show singers.  Amazing voices. 
  • The cheeky themed songs like the ball and chain song.
  • The aerial stunts.  The girl in the flying cube.  Unbelievably cool.
  • The empowering number that shows there's a little vixen in every girl regardless of what they look like during the day.
     When I talked with some of the actresses after the show it was interesting to find out that many of these ladies had unassuming regular day jobs.  A professor, an attorney, a teacher, and others.  That made the show even better for me.  These ladies come together to entertain others showing off their inner vixen.  Makes me want to be one.  
     Last night was the first of five shows they have scheduled for Valentine's Day.  If you get a chance, go see them!  Check out the schedule here:  Headliners Music Hall.

Sunday, January 27, 2013 0 comments

How To Spot The Sign To Move Ahead

     Have you ever felt like you were in a rut?  Ever said to yourself in a moment of frustration, "Nothing will ever change!" But once you look back over your life you can see all the changes that have taken place.  And the ruts you thought were there, were only bends in the path you were on.

     I could have written many books about my experiences in life thus far.  Each book would have been representative of a different era:  childhood, adolescence, early career, later career, first house, college and so many other experiences like the one I'm living now as an entrepreneur.  Making that leap of faith to enter into this era of my life was a hard decision to make and stick with.  I absolutely LOVE what I do.  As an owner of Arkham Executive I get to help businesses of all sizes and industries be strategic and grow.  As a representative of Premier Designs Jewelry, I get to help women feel beautiful, be strategic in their personal economies and grow into their potential.  This path is not easy at times.  But anything that has ever been worth it in the end was never easy.  Sticking with the decision I made a couple years ago is helped by seeing some signs along the way to encourage me that I'm on the right path.

    Signs come in all forms and carry messages that you need at just the right time.  Messages that give you an  array of "atta boy," "Enjoy," "Celebrate the small victories," or "It's ok to let it go."  When you get these signs believe them.  Live in them.  Let the messages the signs bring strengthen you to move ahead toward the dream you want to see become reality.

   My latest sign came in the form of a dying jade bonsai tree.  The picture above is a representation of what the tree looked like when I received it as a gift from a friend when my bio-dad died in 2007.  This is what it looks like today.

     This poor little tree has been through a lot since 2007.  Just like me.  It's been moved to new areas.  It's not adjusted quickly, or well.  And according to some message boards I've looked at, I may have really been over watering it thinking it needed more when it was fine with minimal.  This tree has been a reflection of me in this transition era.  The message I'm receiving is that it's time to let go of everything that's holding me back from real growth.  This tree is getting cut to the trunk today to get a fresh start.  That's what I'm doing with a lot of my life now.  I've let go of some relationships I thought I needed.  I'm letting go of limiting beliefs that have kept me grounded for too long.  My word for 2013 is Limitless.  It only makes sense to let go of whatever gives me limits.  Thank you little jade bonsai for encouraging me to move ahead in this journey! And I promise to not over-water you again.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013 0 comments

My Word for 2013

     For the past few years I have done a single word for the year.  In 2010 it was PREPARATION, 2011 was SIMPLIFY, 2012 was FOCUS.  It has amazed me how that one word became a central theme each year.

     When I talked to a friend about choosing a word for 2013, he teased me, "Why limit yourself to one word?"  I thought about it.  I found a cool site that puts words into cloud shapes.  So I looked at choosing a LOT of words and focus on the shape - a star!  Goes with the whole Wonder Woman theme.  As much as I like the outcome, I still wanted my one word. 

     It's taken me 22 days into January, but I've been marinating on a word for a couple of weeks and I've decided.  LIMITLESS.  

   I'm excited to see what 2013 will bring:  limitless opportunity, limitless potential, limitless vision.  I encourage you to think LIMITLESS with me!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013 0 comments

Begin 2013 Strong

  1. I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore, choose life...
  2. ...forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
  3. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
  4. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and perfect will of God.
  5. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
  6. Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
  7. ...I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
  8. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
  9. being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
  10. and my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
  11. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
  12. ...for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move.
  13. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
  14. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.
  15. ...But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
  16. ...He delivered me because He delighted in me.
  17. May He grant you according to your heart's desire, and fulfill all your purpose.
  18. Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave your nor forsake you.

(1) Deuteronomy 30:19
(2) Philippians 3:13,14
(3) Joshua 1:9
(4) Romans 12:2
(5) Jeremiah 29:11
(6) Matthew 6:25
(7) John 10:10
(8) John 10:28
(9) Philippians 4:19
(10) Hebrews 11:1
(12) Matthew 17:20
(13) Ephesians 1:10
(14) Psalm 2:12
(15) Psalm 3:3
(16) Psalm 18:19
(17) Psalm 20:4
(18) Deuteronomy 31:6