Wednesday, November 19, 2014 0 comments

Vaude In The Ville - FINALLY Sharing My Thoughts

Why, oh why, did I take so long in getting my thoughts out there about my experience watching 'Vaude in the 'Ville last month?  I could claim alien abduction or failed technology or coma.  But that would not be true.  Funny, but not true.  So, excuses are my thoughts on my creative friend's show, 'Vaude In The 'Ville!

Not everyone remembers the old Vaudeville style shows from "back in the day," but if you've ever seen more contemporary versions through The Carol Burnett Show, The Muppets, Hee Haw, or In Living Color, you kinda get the idea that it's all about the variety.  And Divinity Rose and her cohort, John Cowgell, had that variety aspect covered - in spades!  Everything from singing, dancing, audience participation with nerf guns, live tweeting, comedy, a cool light show, and even a light up "Applause" sign box.  All within the space of the upstairs of The Bards Town in the Highlands.

Now, I'm partial to the singing.  And I love to hear Divinity sing.  John did not disappoint either.  The song selection fit the theme of the night, "If The Stars Were Mine." Even the cool lighting effects joined in the frivolity playing clips of old concession stand commercials during intermission.  There were very few dull moments and improve abounded with the addition of projecting live tweets on the wall. 

When they do this show again (and there's talk of a TV show), I recommend you join in the fun!

Here's a taste of what I got to see...

Monday, June 30, 2014 1 comments

Must There Be A Superman?

     This personal journey of mine can wear me out. I get lonely.  I'll admit it.  I've questioned if I'm having any positive impact on the world. Does the work I do make a difference?  Do I make a difference?  Do the dreams and goals I have matter?  Am I really helping anyone?  Am I needing validation or an ego stroke?  Or do I just need to find a measurement of effectiveness?  Is it negative to think these thoughts? Or do I just need to process where I am and find my direction again?

     As I've posted before, I've been reading the graphic novel, Superman Grounded.  It's very well written. And I have been moved to tears seeing the images and reading the thoughts of the "world's greatest hero."  Those thoughts are a lot like mine have been.  His journey takes him on foot across America.  At one point, Batman shows up to try to convince him that walking to connect to people is not "doing them any favors."  Batman goes on to tell Superman after explaining the middle of Main Street, U.S.A. is not the place for a fight with Brainiac, "The world of suburban streets, and neighborhood diners, and front porches...that isn't our world, Superman.  Not anymore. We can't live there. Not just because it endangers us, but because it puts them at risk. All of them. The isolation we endure is the price we pay for what we do. You can't go home again. Because when we walk into OUR world...we walk out of THEIRS.  Forever."


     I don't think Superman agreed with Batman, because he kept walking.  He continued his journey.  To find his own answers to questions like, "Does it matter?"

     Enter another moment where out of nowhere (a time portal - really) a few heroes clad in Superman-similar costumes greet Superman and convince him to join them.  To get a glimpse of the impact he has in the future.  Where there are "Supermen" and "Superwomen" all over the universe.  There's even a Super Gorilla and a Super Solar System and let's not forget the single-celled SuperCilia. Not only does Superman see what his ideals and actions have inspired, he sees how they all come together.  It's not just a Fortress of Solitude.  It's the Fortress of Solidarity.  No more being alone. No more wondering if what he does makes a difference.  He was given that rare gift of KNOWING.  The question of "must there be a Superman?" was clear...YES.

     I don't have a graphic novelist writing my story to give me a glimpse into the future.  I DO have faith in the One who wrote my story long before I was born.  Superman's story has been inspiring for me.  So has the Old Testament's Shepherd-turned-Warrior-turned-King David.  The Psalms, most of which were written by David, are full of questioning.  Questioning himself, questioning God.  Lamenting situations. Pouring his whole heart out for God to give him a peace that surpasses understanding.  And I do the same on my journey.  

     I don't have all the answers yet.  And my direction is not as clear as I'd like it to be, but I've learned to focus on my most excellent process and let God take care of the results.  I strive to do good in the world - to have a positive effect on the world around me.  And when all is said and done, how could I not believe that matters.   

     I don't suppose you've ever questioned? ...

Sunday, June 22, 2014 0 comments

Being Super - Beginning Thoughts

When I first said I was going to write this book, I was excited and overwhelmed with thoughts of what to include, how to arrange it, how to make it relevant, and write it in such a way the reader WANTS to read it.  Then stuff happens to get in the way of making time to sit and put my thoughts to written word.  Stuff I'm sure you, as the reader, have never been through:
  • Family drama
  • Financial trials
  • Feelings of betrayal
  • Change of residence
  • Loss of loved ones
  • Relationship challenges
  • Being abandoned by friends
  • Health issues
  • Times of depression
  • Technical difficulties
  • Identity crisis
  • Moments when the world just crashes in on you all at once...
     Oh wait, that's right.  You're human, too!  You've had these things happen just like me.  Challenges provide the contrast in our personal painting of life.  But it takes an intentionality on our part to see the beauty that is our lives.  Unless we take a whole picture view, we can sometimes get caught up in the fire that we're trying to put out.  And even in the midst of those moments, we sometimes ask ourselves, "Why can't I get anything accomplished?"  

     I've always wanted to be that person that creates and accomplishes something so unique and great that it changes the world. Like Mother Teresa loving the lepers, Nelson Mandela changing a culture, Steve Jobs leading the movement to mesh creativity with technology, Zig Ziglar motivating the masses to "take it to the top," Condoleeza Rice helping women in the U.S. change the face of modern politics, Stan Lee creating heroes to thrill and inspire generations, Melinda Gates giving billions of dollars to philanthropy efforts, even Queen Elizabeth II who has stood as a pillar of strength, grace, and wisdom through an amazing amount of traumatic events.  The list goes on and on.  I still want to be like them - world changers.  What I've come to realize that is that I am a world changer - by changing the world around me.  Start where I am - with me.  Those small changes have a ripple effect into other people's "worlds."  And one day, it can have an affect across the world.   

     When I decided to make a career out of executive coaching, because I had a knack for it, I decided to get some real training to be truly effective.  The training process included going through a lot of tools that a coach can use to get a client to open up and see the questions - and the answers - from the inside-out of what makes them "tick" or hold back from moving forward on their goals or any number of things. Through that training process, I learned a lot more about myself.  I became stronger in my self identity and learned what I wanted to accept and what I didn't.

     It's mind-blowing how intricately made we are as humans.  The biology alone is fascinating.  But think about how we THINK.  The process our brains go through.  The dreams we have while asleep and awake.  The imagination and creativity.  The memories.  The feelings that happen from moments.  The fact that a smell or song can rush our mind's eye back a point in time we either cherish or hoped we had forgotten.  It's awe-inspiring.  And yet, many of us don't use what we have to our advantage.  Many have never even taken inventory of what they have to know what to do with it.  Thus, the major element of friction in not getting anything accomplished.

     It's in helping people discover their "inventory" and use what they find to accomplish their "great thing" that I find joy and accomplishment.  

     This book, Being Super, was born out of the passion to want to help people do a personal inventory, be strong in who they are, find their "WHY" and passion for their life's purpose, and then inspire and motivate to go out and accomplish their great things.  Now, let's face it, I am not a world political leader, a multi-gazillion-heiress, a selfless guru living off the land in chains, a missionary to cannibals, an evangelist to the masses, a Fortune 10 CEO, or a genius entertainment executive.  I am a God-fearing, strong-willed, knowledge-loving, lesson-sharing, (and a long list of other adjectives), survivor who believes Being Super is not just for the "top 10's."  

     Being Super is about staying true to yourself while in the process of accomplishing your great thing.  That's why the title reads "Being."  Not "been."  Not "going to be."  But "Being."   

     There are times that I agonize about what I would include in this book.  The process of thinking about it rips me to the core enough that I start crying and have to stop writing.  This is one of the most painful projects I have worked on to accomplish.  "Why?" you may ask.  Because, to share with you lessons I've learned, there are some that I would rather not re-live.  Yet if I don't, you won't get a complete picture.  Remember, part of the beauty of the whole picture is the contrast.  And we all have contrast.  

     What will it be like to read Being Super? Imagine yourself the hero of your story, because you are.  It'll be like watching your favorite hero movie with breaking in to see what makes those moments of decision and action so impactful.  Tools will be shared to help you discover your inventory.  There will be Super Snippets of people who are Being Super now that will give you inspiration to dream big.  You'll read moments of motivation to help you take action. And ultimately, you'll BE your own kind of super while accomplishing your great thing. 
Thursday, June 19, 2014 0 comments

What Are You Doing Out There?

     In my last post I talked about getting back to my roots to recharge.  It was a reminder from my reading of Superman: Grounded.  But it doesn't stop there on being spoken to through graphic novels.

     Superman is walking Main Street, U.S.A., to get in touch with humanity again.  Along the way his encounters are everyday people with real issues.  During one encounter Superman comes into a tricky moment - a lady was going to end her life by jumping off a building.  While the police waited below, Superman flew above to meet with her.  And spoke to her not in platitudes that everything would be rosy, but of sharing with her what he's learned about loss.  Then he waited. In silence.  For her to decide.  She chose life.  (whew)

     As he continues to walk a man approaches him in total surprise that he's just out walking and says to Superman,  "Shouldn't you be out saving the world or something?  You're a HERO, right?  Isn't that what heroes do?" Superman's response is deep:

     "To be a hero--and I'm not say I am one, I'm just saying--is to live your life in a small cell whose bars are the principles and rules that define what you will and won't accept.  Injustice.  Cruelty.  Murder.  On the night they threw Henry Thoreau in jail for civil disobedience, a friend cam to see him, saying, 'Henry, what're YOU doing in HERE?' Thoreau said, 'No, the question is, what are You doing OUT THERE?'  If I am lucky enough, privileged enough to live in that cell, to serve in that box with the word HERO written on it--then I say to you, from somewhere deep inside that box -- What are you doing out there?"

     As Superman walked on, the guy was dumbfounded.  I, on the other hand, was sparked.  I got it.  I just needed to define my own small cell.  Back to my core values - the principles to live my life by.  What was important to me?  What could I just not tolerate?  I'm not saying I'm a hero, but I certainly don't want to be "out there."  This moment with Superman reignited a flame inside my "cell."  I hope you see more than a flicker yourself   :-)
Monday, June 9, 2014 0 comments

Rotating the Soil

     One thing I know I can do and do well is work.  I LOVE what I do with my business helping others focus to achieve their goals and dream bigger dreams.  However, lately, I've had some blocks.  It's been hard to write.  It's been hard to sing.  It's been hard to dance.  It's been hard to move.  It's been hard to think.  It's been hard to breathe.  It's been what?

     I don't know about you, but when I have a block of any kind I want to know why.  Why is it there?  Why did it start?  Why am I just focusing on it instead of demolishing it?

     When I can get to that moment of ready to demolish...I suddenly see all the why's.

     I read comics as part of my enjoyment and I always get inspired through the characters and the writers' insights to human nature and overcoming challenges in the form of defeating alien invasions or humbling mythical gods or simply taking down the bad guys before they hurt anyone else.  Recently I've been re-reading Superman Grounded. The story picks up after Superman loses another Kryptonian world.  Losing the first one with his parents dying wasn't enough.  It happened again in a different way losing more friends and family.  While being confronted with the aftermath of losing the "New Krypton," Superman gets slapped in the face with reality (literally) - he had lost touch with people on a real daily life basis.  Superman Grounded takes him from flying above the skies keeping patrol to walking America's main streets and backroads to get in touch with people again.

     So how does this relate to my blocks?

     On one page, he remembers a conversation he had with his Earth dad, Johnathan.  Dad is teaching young Clark about why you have to rotate crops from time to time, "ANYthing that stays in the same soil too long withers and eventually dies.  I think people are the same way. If we stay too long in the same soil, we start to dry up inside.  Soon, there's nothing left but the shell, and after awhile, even that goes.  If we do the same things, in the same way, over and over, in time, we fall asleep in our own lives.  Until something happens to wake us up.  That when, like any living thing, you have to take yourself out of where you ARE and put yourself BACK where you should be, where you started off before you fell asleep.  You have to rotate back to fertile the soil that nourished you...back to the Earth."

     This hit home to me.  I had been losing some of my basics for too long now. I had been dried up because I wasn't refreshing myself.  It was time to return to my own "fertile soil."  It was time to demolish the blocks.  Time to sing because I enjoy it.  Time to write regardless of what people think of it.  Time to dance to simply express my love of life.  Time to dream big again, knowing I'm creative and resourceful enough to make it a reality.  Time to enjoy life for the simple pleasure of enjoying it.  So, I am rotating my soil to find new adventures in my life moving forward that will make me a better person and my business world-renowned.

    I'm not sure where you are on your path of life today.  But I am sure that you have either "been there" or will be soon enough.  Remember, rotate your soil.  Return to those things that put a spark in your eye and fire in your belly.  Your adventure awaits...

Saturday, April 19, 2014 0 comments

The Day In-Between

     It's Saturday - the day in-between.  The day in-between the day we recognize as the day Jesus was crucified, and the day He rose again.  It's the day in-between.  

     What are you doing today?  You may be mowing the yard, enjoying a parade, hunting for eggs, or just enjoying a beautiful sun-filled day.  

     I have been re-arranging my office work area to be better productive.  I will be cleaning, planning, catching up on work, the normal stuff.  In the middle of scrolling my facebook feed, it hit me.  It's the day in-between.  I was sharing a "Happy Easter" greeting with people all day yesterday as is customary for a weekend holiday.  But it HIT me...what was Saturday like for those closest to Jesus?  For Peter who denied Him, His mother who KNEW He was the Son of God, for the Marys who found in Jesus a man who showed them respect and decency.  What was the day in-between like for them?  Hiding from authorities.  Fearing for their future.  Mourning their friend.  A little disillusioned that the one they put their belief in, was now dead.  What was that day in-between like for them?

How can we, now, remember the importance and weight of what happened so long ago?  How can we, now, make it relevant in our own lives.  I found this video again.  One of my favorites.  I hope it gets you fired up to feel what the day in-between can be for us NOW.  


     Short answer is we, NOW, can have HOPE.  There are many out there, you may be one today, that is hurting and feeling like there is no solution to what you're going through.  But there's hope.  Each new day that begins, begins with hope - if you are open to it.  So this Easter, I pray the God of hope fills you to overflowing, so you can share hope with others. Peace & grace y'all.
Sunday, March 23, 2014 0 comments

A Good Thing During A Bad Time

     It's been an interesting part of my path lately.  Lots of changes, frustrations involved, but great things in store ahead if I can keep my head in the game.

     An interesting moment lately was when a former boyfriend of mine gave me some closure about that time in my life.  He told me, "You were a good thing during a bad time."  Hmmm.  I appreciated it.  Really.  Telling me now, after 20 years, has a totally different impact than if he would have said that 20 days afterward.

     I thought about it.  A good thing during a bad time.  Isn't that what a hero is?  A hero comes into someone's story when it's bad - to give protection, guidance, motivation, and hope.  Sometimes, that hero is in the form of a best friend, or a soldier, or a teacher, or a nurse, or a firefighter, or your parent, or even a lover.  But a hero can also be ourselves finding the inner strength it takes to keep pushing on in the right direction, overcoming odds, and being forgiving of ourselves and others.

     Time may aid in the healing of wounds like old break-ups...but heroes take action to overcome the hurt.  Be a hero for yourself and others.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 0 comments

Why Stories Are Important

    I get aha moments from everywhere.  Especially when I read and let my imagination take me to new places.  I was reading the book of Ruth in the Bible.  The Book of Ruth is full of beautiful moments of love, devotion, perseverance, sacrifice, saving grace, and even a touch of falling in love.  Lots to learn from those written about in that book:  Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz.  Short synopsis:  Naomi's husband and two sons died suddenly.  Ruth was Naomi's daughter-in-law.  Naomi wanted to move back to her family home in Bethlehem from Moab. Ruth determined to say with Naomi.  So they went to Bethlehem where Naomi was welcomed back.  I won't ruin the whole story about how Ruth and Boaz hooked up.  That was history in the making since they are King David's grandparents.  
     What stuck out to me most in reading just the first chapter was the one sentence of, "Now the two of them went until they came to Bethlehem."  Have you ever looked at a map of the Middle East?  Find the Dead Sea.  On one side is Moab, the other side Bethlehem.  Those two women had to travel by land or by sea to get there.  A few thousand years ago.  Without cell phones.  Without rest stops.  Without credit cards.  Without shopping centers along the way.  There would have been a nomadic trader caravan or two pass by. But these two women were on their own in a virtual wilderness.  Traveling over mountains, through valleys, in the heat, with wild animals.  This is was not a day trip to the outlet mall.  This was hard.  And let me point out again - two WOMEN.  Which, back in the day, women were not treated all that well in society.  To be traveling alone was not only hard, but dangerous beyond our modern imaginations.  Yet, the writer of the book of Ruth simply put, "Now the two of them went until they came to Bethlehem."  
     How often in our own lives do we look back in the story in our head and summarize to others, "I just did ____"  What about the award winning actor that seemed to appear on the screens overnight?  "I just auditioned."  But they leave out the hours of painstaking practice to learn lines, to open themselves up to being "in character" all the while fighting their own struggles of living paycheck-to-paycheck to support their family.  What about the superstar athlete like Michael Jordan.  He switched from basketball to baseball and back to basketball.  The critics snubbed his baseball career.  But they didn't see he was first on the field and last out.  They didn't see the extra time he had the coaches work with him on getting better.  They didn't see his personal regiment to do what he loved to do in honor of his dad.  And what about a missionary like Rachel Ross, founder of Forget-Me-Not Ministries in Romania?  Not many people know of the inner workings of saving kids from abusive situations on the road to affecting a culture to change.  
     When I recently filled out an award application, I listed things that I had accomplished like writing my firs published book, "The No Rules Way."  No one knew the long nights and tedious editing process, or the research, or  the conversations it took to get the words on paper.  When I wrote down on the application about the growth of my business, Arkham Executive, no one knows about the sacrifices I've made to make it happen.  

All this is why stories are so important.  And why fandoms are so fantastic (saving that for another posting).  The stories we share are vital for growth and connection.  Stories help us to paint a complete picture in our minds. Stories bring someone else's experience to life for us.  Those two women, Naomi & Ruth, faced a lot of hardship through the mountainous terrain to get to Bethlehem shared their story for generations to come.  Who knows, they may have inspired David in some of his own writings.  I know they inspired me to write this thought out ;-).
Tuesday, January 7, 2014 1 comments

My Chaotic Holiday Adventure

    It warms my heart that so many of you have contacted me to give encouragement and prayers through their concern of my recent chaotic postings on Facebook.  Since I have been asked, I thought I would share with everyone a taste of what's been going on.

     On December 23, I was asked to move out of my roommates' (best friends of 20 years) house.  Deadline of NOW.  Nothing I did. Just what they needed while they go through their own personal issues.  What that did was throw me and a handful of others into high alert to find a new living situation for me and my two cats.  Miraculously, another friend graciously opened her home to us.  "No big deal.  I already have two little dogs and a bunny.  My landlord likes animals," she told me with confidence. So we move into her home on December 26.  Only to find out on December 30 that her landlord detests cats.  Thus started another whirlwind to find another living situation.  My now temporary solution is one foot in Indiana to keep the cats settled, and one foot in Louisville to keep my costs down.  Crazy, yes.  But it will work for now.

    On December 23, my truck decided to spit up antifreeze into the cabin all over my windows.  Heating core quit.  It got put into the shop on December 27...after the first move-in.  I got him out in time to move for the second time in two weeks.

    On December 23, the man I had fallen in love with, told me he didn't love me like that. (No worries, no one but me knew about this...and good thing too).

    On December 23, I started what was the worst period of all of 2013.

    2013 did not finish smooth.  And 2014 is off to a crazy start because of it.  But there are things I firmly believe:

  • Others are going through much worse stuff than me
  • God still loves me no matter what is going on
  • I am on the right path
  • I am stronger than I think I am 
  • I am supported by friends who want to see me succeed
  • I am successful in business
  • I am not alone in business
  • I am loved by the right people
  • I have a purpose yet to be fulfilled
  • I dream bigger than me
  • I know what I know and will not falter from that
  • I know what I don't know, and will seek out new knowledge to share with others
  • I can only control my thoughts, emotions, and personal actions - no one else.
  • I can do all things through Christ
  • And plenty of other powerful statements that so many have inspired me to incorporate...
    So as I move forward in 2014, immersing myself in my focus word - FREEDOM, I will think right thoughts, feel through every emotion to put it in its place, and act with decisiveness.  If that's something you share, feel free to contact me.  I'd love to hear your story.