Tell Me What I Don’t Want to Hear…Can You Handle That?

January 3rd, 2012

What is it I NEED to hear?"

It’s a brand new year….and a brand new choice….YOURS.  We have all heard a billion positive affirmations about all the things we can do right?!?  I chose something a little bit tougher this year.  I asked my very closest friends one of the toughest questions that you can ask of  people that love you….”What do you need to tell me that I don’t want to hear?”   I have to warn you….it is hard to swallow!!

When making decisions I usually ask myself ‘Is this for my highest and best good?’, yet sometimes I rationalize away what my intuition tells me.  Do you ever do that?   I have a confession to make…Miss Pollyanna isn’t always so positive, there are times that I wanted to say “Screw This! It’s too F!@#$%*& hard!” , then I would hear…Just breathe, 5 minutes, just breathe, 10 minutes…and then I could pull up the proverbial bootstraps and move on.  It has been a year of going through a ‘refiner’s fire’ in all areas of my life.

In trying to do better I took this action.

I asked two different and very dear friends this question, and they bravely answered.  It wasn’t pleasant, and I certainly didn’t like what I heard, yet more importantly I needed to hear what they said.   This new year, if you can’t see the forest for the trees, I would lovingly suggest the same thing for you….What is it you need to hear?  Then join me in the journey of listening and doing it! Shine On! xo

Who’s Got Your Back? Paralyzed Bachelorette Wed One Year Later…

August 8th, 2011

The Love Story of 2011

A year after she was paralyzed in poolside horseplay at her bachelorette party, Rachelle Friedman knows one thing she would change about her life before the injury.

“I wish we had danced together more because I love dancing so much, and we didn’t do it enough,” she says of her soon-to-be husband. “Looking back, I would have done it every night.”

Friedman will finally make it down the aisle on Friday, marrying the man who has waited with her to exchange vows since the accident. She is wearing the same gown she chose for the first ceremony but with her father pushing her wheelchair down the aisle instead of walking her down it, arm in arm.

Also joining her will be the bridesmaid who shoved her into the shallow end of a pool on May 23, 2010 – causing a freak accident that changed their lives. The 25-year-old from Knightdale has stuck with her friend and refused to reveal her identity even as newspapers, television and Internet sites carried the story around the world.

“She was tragically hurt, mentally and emotionally. And I was tragically hurt, physically,” Friedman says on a day that a tailor is altering her strapless, simple wedding dress to fit her new, thinner, less muscular body. “It’s harder to deal with when you’re hurt emotionally sometimes than when you’re hurt physically.”

Even more AMAZING is that her fiancé is still there too!  What an example of unconditional love!

I remember many years ago on a business trip to Honolulu meeting a beautiful young woman that wasn’t so lucky.  She had been in a car accident shortly after marrying and was also paralyzed from the waist down.  Only she didn’t have the ‘happy ending’.  Her young husband was overwhelmed, panicked and bailed.  I was mortified back then, yet with the wisdom of age can even understand his side too.  No, I wouldn’t want to have lived it…none of us would!

Chris and Rachelle ‘s Wedding  WATCH THIS SHORT VIDEO!!!  IT WILL MELT YOUR HEART!!!

Balance of Your Relationships

Are you balanced in your relationships?  If there is an imaginary scale in front of you and the other person in that relationship, is there giving and receiving?  Do you have that special someone you could call no matter what?  If you do, you have riches that money can’t buy and a priceless gift!

I’d say Rachelle Friedman and Chris Chapman have a pretty good chance of beating the odds and being together forever.  I wish them all the luck and love in the world…and for the rest of us….hang on!  You too will have that kind of love in your life…if not now…it’s coming!

In the meantime don’t settle for less.

It’s All In Your Perception, Value

April 16th, 2011

In Washington, DC, at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

About 4 minutes later: The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

At 6 minutes: A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

At 10 minutes: A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent – without exception – forced their children to move on quickly.

At 45 minutes: The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

After 1 hour: He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities.

This experiment raised several questions:
* In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?
* If so, do we stop to appreciate it?
* Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made…how many other things are we missing as we rush through life?

Enjoy life NOW…it has an expiration date

Create Your Life! Leave nothing in the bag, put everything you have out there.

March 4th, 2011

You can defeat feeling overwhelmed, it just takes a little momentum, consider this a loving nudge. The world is about life, join us! As the prayer of St Francis says, “It is in giving of ourselves that we receive.”

What Acres of Diamonds Might You Be Missing?

January 20th, 2011

While traveling from Orlando to Las Vegas the other day for a speaking engagement, I decided to ‘observe’ my adventure with a totally  new set of eyes.  For those of  us that are seasoned travelers sometimes we miss the brilliance of the possibilities that surround us.

Have you ever gotten in so much of a routine in your job or your life that you don’t even notice what has passed you by?

We think there is nothing new to ‘invent’, nothing new to make, been there done that is the motto that becomes routine.  I would challenge each and every one of you for ONE DAY…just ONE, look at every person, place or thing that crosses your path with a new set of eyes!

What normally would have been a 7 hour travel day from door to door turned out to be a 14 hour travel day. Instead of dreading the delay, I jumped at the opportunity to LEARN.

Even at 55 I try to learn something new every day.  My best friend and I love the adventure of finding  a new ‘first’ to try…sometimes that is a good thing, and then others not so good.

When was the last time you tried a new ‘first’?  Don’t forget to add to your bucket list this year.

How can you look at things differently?

Let me share with you what I learned with my new ‘eyesight’ for a day…

1. As I sat in the Orlando airport, my home base, I thought, wow there are only a zillion people that come here every year, I could post something that might help other travelers on my social media… I did.

2. As I panicked about losing power on my electronic devices, and no outlets in sight, I thought of the thousands of travelers that had also been stranded in the airports over the holidays…all experiencing the same problem.  Why don’t I invent a landing pad that is solar generated????  No, I am not a genius to be able to do that, but I am a creative idea maker.  So whoever reads this and makes it happen, I only want a 10% referral fee.  (LOL)

3.  What about child care facilities in airports?  they have massage centers, hair dressers, places to sleep…what about places for children to PLAY?  What about giving the parents a break with long layovers?  Haven’t you ever felt like…Please God, let me just have 30 minutes to sleep?  As a mother of 3 I certainly have!  What would someone be willing to pays after having been on a 14 hour flight and then 3 days strnnded in an airport to have a fresh pair of loving hands to relieve them for awhile?  BIG BUCKS!  Okay, another 10% referral….Delta are you listening?

4.  I was actually flying on Southwest.  BTW, I love this airline, they do one thing (one size plane, one business plan) and they do it well.  Okay, they did screw with their frequent flyer program recently but nobody’s perfect.

As the flight attendant was taking the drink orders as they have always done, and I sat with my IPAD with thousands of new app’s added everyday, I thought “Okay Southwest, surely it would be much more efficient to have one attend use an ‘app’ that goes back to the other attendant that makes up the drink.  Much faster and working smarter instead of harder it seemed to me.  Why write in on paper, then shuffle back, organize and figure it out, and then deliver it to the passengers….

Common sense to me is not always common sense to everyone else.

What will you ‘see’ with your new set of eyes?  There’s a world of opportunity waiting for you!

What’s a Girl to Do? When You Gotta Go…You Gotta Go?

January 11th, 2011

Boy did I learn a lesson the other night!  It’s funny when you look back on it, but not so funny in the moment.  Have you ever had a n experience like that?  Invite me anywhere, I’m cheap entertainment!

Here’s a very important tip for anyone doing any public speaking…be careful how much you drink any type of liquid  before you speak.

Let me explain, my ‘life lesson’ for this week.  I was on the program to speak at the end an executive board meeting. They had served snacks and drinks to all in attendance.  I was not the least bit nervous.  I had on a brand new suit, looking polished and professional and knew my topic.  Most people fear public speaking more than they do dying, I am one of the exception’s to that rule.  I get all pumped up, the adrenalin starts to flow and the excitement seems to just bubble up inside of me.

Well that’s all well and good,but in all that enthusiasm, I made my error in judgement.  I didn’t eat or drink any adult beverages…what I DID do; was drink water. Not one; but two full glasses of water during the course of the evening.  I wasn’t too worried about it as I knew there would be a break before I was supposed to speak.  The President of the Board finallycalls for the break, but not until shortly before I am to speak.

By that time, it felt like my kidneys were floating up to my eyeballs!  I try to tactfully and politely rush to the restroom without it seeming too obvious how desperately I need to be there. I was relieved to be one of the first and luckily got a stall.  For those of you male readers who have never had to wait in line; you probably can’t relate.  If I hurried I would be back in position without anyone really noticing I was gone.

Quickly I pull at the zipper on the pants of this new suit, nope it’s not going anywhere!  Okay, let’s see what the problem is, is it crooked or stuck?  No.  Now pulling with every fiber of my being and the dang thing won’t budge.  Meanwhile, my bladder wants to burst and I am saying two prayers simultanously.

1st “Please God, make this zipper work” and “Thank you, Lord that I practiced those kegel excercises!”  Still, no matter what I did, the pants won’t budge.  What’s a girl to do!?!  I still had to speak, had no scissors, no safety pins and no options that under this state of duress I could think of.

I put a smile on my face,took  a deep breath, and walked back into the meeting.  (I now know a cure for a long winded speaker.)  I delivered my talk, to the point, entertaining and succinct. (Acting like I was on top of the world, thinking in the back of my mind, this is how academy awards are won)  Said my good byes quickly and rushed home!  Safe at last to take care of business.  As I came flying through the door, I quickly explain to my speaker friend that is staying with me what has happened.  She burst out in laughter, which didn’t help my bladder condition, then sharesa story that even tops mine!

So, your tip of the day, don’t drinkANYTHING before you speak...or you too will be a member to this exclusive club I’ve started “Speaker’s Follies and Funnies”! P.S. Can’t share the my friends story, you have to have  initiation to our club.

Catalyst to Happiness; Letting Go of Anger

October 18th, 2010

I saw a bumper sticker on the back of a pick up one day that said “Everybody’s family is dysfunctional, get over it!”. Today I can laugh at that, as a young child it wasn’t so funny. I grew up in an abusive home as many of you did too. I learned to hate, which was just a form of survival really from the hurt. I didn’t understand how someone who is ‘supposed to love you’ could do such mean and painful things to their own daughter. Doesn’t really matter what those things were, it’s not a contest on who’s abusive lives were worse. That is NOT what this is about, I just want to share with you what my journey was and how I moved on to heal. My father it turns out was my greatest teacher. No, not with loving kindness, hugs and kisses…not with laughter and unbridled joy…no, I learned hate. My memories go way back, to when I was such a little girl, that now I don’t understand HOW someone can do that to their own child. So, I was a mean, bitter, confused, rebellious, stubborn child that grew up with that as an adult too. The flip side was; I learned to work hard, save my money, trust in God, survive, be strong, protect others, have a temper, and if it doesn’t bleed you’re not really hurt. I couldn’t possibly fathom the concept of forgiveness; you don’t get mad you get even! I wanted him and anyone else that had ever hurt me to PAY! (BTW, the one that is hardest to love, needs it the most.) Little did I realize how much that was costing me, in life, in love in my relationships and especially with my children. I carried that vengeance for WAY TOO LONG and the ‘price’ it cost me never mind the quality of my life, I can never gt back. I made mistakes as a mother I can’t fix, but yes I have apologized. I have lost friends and family because ‘justice’ had to be served…to what avail?
God, then slowed me down, gave me some enormous grace and taught me how to love. The little girl filled with hate and anger slowly began to thaw, and the angels came into my life and showed me a better way. Funny thing is, some of us still won’t fogive others and realize it is for our own happiness. We hang on to the mountain of pain, refusing to forgive all in the name of justice. We are blind to the gift of grace; so we may see. My Dad did the best he could with what he had. I found that out too late. The book that changed everything for me was a small child’s book by Neale Donald Walsch, “The Little Soul and the Sun”…I read it to him at his funeral. I can only hope he heard me.