Thursday, August 26, 2010

Planning ~ It's where you're going

“Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning.” ~ Thomas Edison

In a recent coaching session, I brought back one of my favorite old tools; mind mapping. This particular client was feeling frustrated with the progress and direction of her business. She is very creative and has a lot of great ideas, and after talking a bit, we discovered that she was attempting to go in too many directions at one time. She felt like she was going and going and going...nowhere. She is immensely talented and has a great line of products. Together, we decided that what she needed was a road map. I took out a piece of poster board (I'll let her show it too you at a later date.) and began with a drawing of her logo in the center. Then we drew branches out from the center and began labeling them with the different aspects of her business. At this point, she was beginning to see the scope of her business. We decided to focus on one aspect of the business in that session. This gave her a clear direction and set of action steps for the next week. I received a call from her this morning exclaiming how excited she is about the plan and that she can see where she's taking her business now.

I love those kinds of calls! :-) She inspired me to take out my first mind map and take a look at how far I've come since I created it. Wow! Amazing! It is such a testimony to visualization and planning.

If you feel stuck in life, or have a project in mind you would like some direction with...mind mapping is a great tool.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Obstacles ~ Go around, under, over...just keep moving

"Obstacles are opportunities to express creativity." ~ I'm sure someone thought of this before me :-)

Oh my goodness! This picture reminds me of the sheep that spread across the road up in Window Rock, AZ as we were on our way to Durango for our vacation. We didn't have to get too creative to drive around them, but it w
as fun to watch them meander around seemingly oblivious to our presence. They had a goal, the grass was greener on the other side and they found a way to get to it. It was satisfying to witness them enjoying the their feast and thinking about their determination to get there :-)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

You-nique ~ Doing It Your Way

"There is no prescribed Way for everyone. There is just your Way for NOW -- until you choose another." ~ Rusty Berkus

I had such a delightful brunch with my sweet friend Copper this morning. During the course of our Queen Creek Olive Mill adventure our discussion got a little philosophical (as discussions tend to do with
me :-). We were talking about our journey through life and how it is okay to follow our own path, to stop for awhile, to go back down the same road, and to turn around again. It is all part of OUR OWN experience. On our way back to her house, we reminisced about our friendship and how it transcends time. I love that I have friends that I can be away from for years and then back together feeling no separation at all. You know those are the friends that love you for who you are. The ones who love you while you do it your way :-).

I am blessed to have many friends and family members who love me while I do it my way...even when others may not consider it the "right way." ~ May we all be blessed in such a way :-)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Gratitude ~ It looks good on you

“Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you.” ~ Eileen Caddy

So I tweaked my back pretty good over the weekend. All I had done was lift my arm above my head and move it in a wide circle to allow Micheal's leash to unwind. I felt the twinge...and it continued to get worse and worse as we strolled along. I thought that perhaps I could just "walk it off." I had so much planned for the weekend and I wasn't ready to accept not being able to accomplish what I had set out to. When we arrived home from our walk, I put a quilt on the floor and thought that if I lied down flat, it would work it self out...not a chance, it got worse. So much so that I was afraid a trip to the ER was in my near future. I was able to make it to a chair and the pain subsided a long as I did not turn to the right or to the left. So what does any of this have to do with gratitude?

Well, first, I was grateful that I could sit still and not be in pain :-). Then I was grateful for good friends who would be there to play with when I was better (thanks Dana :-). Then I was grateful that we have On Demand and I actually had a really good excuse for watching some movies I'd been wanting to see. I was grateful for the popcorn Rick made for me. I was grateful that our two adorable cocker spaniels felt like having a lazy day. I was grateful that I had the luxury to surrender to my body and allow it to heal. Today I still feel the twinge, but I am grateful that it is better. I am grateful for a really good weekend.

What are you grateful for?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Focus ~ Keep your eye on the ball


“Most people have no idea of the giant capacity we can immediately command when we focus all of our resources on mastering a single area of our lives.” ~ Anthony Robbins

We all know of those people we would call masters of their craft ~ the domestic goddess, the spiritual guru, the magnificent musician, the perfect gardener, the hilarious speaker, the favorite teacher. But do we know their secret to getting there? Other than the obvious passion they have for their craft...they spend a great deal of their resources honing their skills. They seek out mentors, take classes, read books, acquire just the right tools...and they practice, and practice, and practice. Is there an area in your life that you would like to master? What will be your first step?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Self-Care ~ You're the only you we've got

"Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous." ~ Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

I was never a huge Sex and the City fan, however, I love this quote because it is so relevant to our lives. People come into and go out of our lives, whether by choice or by circumstance. When we get heartbroken, we often go off on a manic tangent to find our next true love. Too often we don't take the time to truly spend genuine, lovely time with ourselves, enjoying our own senses and our own lives, apart from another. The best relationships occur between people to genuinely know and love themselves. They spend time taking care of themselves. They spend time doing the things that they love to do. They have more to bring to the relationship and don't expect the other to make them happy. They are already happy!

Monday, August 16, 2010


“Those who lead disciplined and orderly lifestyles they achieve all their goals and progress.” ~ Yajur Veda

I've said it before, I crave order. To me, organized books, towels, shoes, files, drawers, etc. are a beautiful thing. I like knowing that when I need my tweezers, I will find them on the third shelf in my bath room vanity cabinet, right in front of the nail clippers. I find it stressful to work in an unorganized kitchen or with a cluttered desk. I just feel better when things are neat and orderly. Not in an OCD kind of way, but in that calm, relaxed sort of way. I better serve my clients when I can immediately access their information or a relevant book from my shelves when they call. Everyday living seems to put so many demands on us already it just seems that creating order makes life easier and more enjoyable.

Years ago, like 2 decades, a story in the Bible had a huge impact on me. It was about the building of the first temple. I was amazed at the detail that went into describing the materials they used. Not only the type of material, but the exact quantity and measured cuts of lumber. At that point in my life, I really didn't see the point in the minute detail, and it wasn't until years later I recalled that passage and it actually meant something to me. Now it represented the importance of discipline and order in our lives. The Temple was truly magnificent.

When we live orderly and disciplined lifestyles we free ourselves from wading through clutter and chaos. We can spend more time on the activities and relationships that matter the most in our lives. We make a bigger more significant impact not only in our own lives but also in the world. What one thing in your life creates chaos on a daily basis. Lost keys, cell phones, unpaid bills, forgotten dates? How might you make a permanent change so that you will free yourself from that stress?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Assumptions ~ I know what your thinking. Really?

"Don't make assumptions." (The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz)

Boy can that one get you in trouble. :-) Recently I lost who I thought was a loyal follower of my work. She just dropped off my page. Now, normally I would just assume that I just wasn't their cup of tea. That's fine with me, as I really believe that we
...all have something to offer, but we don't necessarily like the same stuff. I was only surprised because I had received a lovely message from this lovely women about the impact my work was having in her day. Of course, when she left I jumped to an assumption that somehow, something I had written had offended her. I spent a good amount of time going through my content looking for the culprit entry. Since it is never my intention to offend anything, it isn't surprising that I did not readily identify anything offensive. Still, I wondered.

Today, I had a conversation with a wonderful friend that cleared it up for me...and drove the lesson home. We were talking about the impact that social media is having on my daughter's new thriving business Tweedle Dee Designs. I shared with her that I was working on having more of an online presence in my business as I felt I could add some value for my clients. Then she shared with me why this person had dropped out of my network. (She works with her) She hadn't only dropped out of my network, but off the the site altogether for her own reasons I don't need to go into here. She then added, "She's missing Janet." Wow, I could have cried. I also felt bit silly having ASSUMED it was something I did or said. 

The lesson here, is to not make assumptions on why people do things or about what they are thinking. Usually our assumptions are incorrect, cause a good bit of unnecessary heartache, and can harm relationships. It would be far better to simply ask them and get a clear understanding of where they are coming from. We won't always get the gift of clarity from a chance conversation and you won't end up feeling like a Fruit Loop :-) ~ Blessings, Janet

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Believe in Yourself

“Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn't have it in the beginning.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

When I was younger, I didn't believe that I had what it took to complete a college degree. I felt that my lack of math and science aptitude would prevent me from doing the one thing I felt would be the biggest accomplishment of my life. And I felt that way for over 25 years! It wasn't that I didn't have a ton of people who believed in me; I just didn't believe in myself. Then, one day, about 2 years after the death of my sister, Barb, and after throwing myself into every hobby and interest I could in order to fill the great chasm left by her loss, I decided to go back to school. Still, I felt inadequate, but perhaps I felt like I had nothing else to lose. I had also gone through a pretty devastating divorce and had lost some pretty important friends. I really had no where to go but up, so I enrolled in a psychology 101 course. I loved it, and earning an A gave me a tiny boost of confidence, so I enrolled in my first math class. It was just the basics (I figured I'd guarantee myself success by starting at the beginning) and I earned an A. So, I enrolled in the next math class, and a science class and so on...earning all As. About two months before graduating from Chandler Gilbert Community College, I received a letter informing me that I was selected to receive the Emerging Math and Science Award! In addition, I was also honored with the title Who's Who in American Junior Colleges. What? Get Out! Seriously!? Seriously. Here I come ASU.

I found myself sitting in an auditorium sized classroom with a Professor who could be my son! In my notebook; I wrote, "We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto." To make a long story short, I graduated from ASU with a 4.05 gpa and a lifetime membership in PSI CHI (Psychology Students Honor Society).

My point here is not to brag about accomplishment; but to encourage you to take the baby steps that will lead you to your greatness. For me, I had to start back at the beginning to build my confidence. For you, it might just mean doing it through your fear. What do you have to lose?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Creativity ~ There's an artist in you

“True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist.” ~ Albert Einstein

Art is the expression of emotion, a sharing of experience, a quest for connection. I love to take my colored markers and pencils on vacation with me. Because we always leave space for a little down time, a little decompression time, it gives me an excuse to break out "the artist" in me. A huge stretch...but she's in there, I just know it. 

I so admire the true artist who is able to connect so deeply with her environment and herself and then to share herself with the world. I am far, far, far from being "that artist," but as my friend Candace says; "There are no mistakes in art." Still, I think I'll take a class. Here are a few of my attempts to capture some of the flowers we experienced on vacation...some purposefully planted by humans...some purposefully planted by God. ~ Have a beautiful day! ~ Blessings, Janet

Monday, August 9, 2010

Memories ~ The time of your life

“I'd rather have a moment of wonderful than a lifetime of
nothing special.” ~ Steel Magnolias

Whir...whir...whir...whir...Does your mind ever make that sound? Mine does and it was doing it this morning. It is amazing that I could even hear it through all the busyness in my mind. As I settled into my meditation, there it... was, whir...whir...whir...whir...and I thought; how am I going to tame this? So I began by acknowledging the noise and became aware that it was about getting on with the day. Now, I've come to realize that getting on with the day without meditation is like driving a car with the wheels in the air. You'll make lots of noise, use lots of energy, but you won't get anywhere. I acknowledged the whirring and thanked it for bringing me this awareness, and then I sent it on its way. The awareness was that all the noise was about creating the perfect moment…later in the day, or week, or month, or year. As I allowed my mind to clear, another thought rose up…

”Do it now.”

“Do what?”

“Create the perfect moment, now.”

So I closed my eyes and drew in a nice, cool, deep breath…and as I did, I realized how perfect that felt.

The I opened my eyes, picked up my pencil, and began to write.

Savor this moment. See how many perfect moments you can string together today. When an unwanted thought knocks on the door of your mind, acknowledge it and let it know that it cannot stay. Then gently and
lovingly close the door. Then, open the window and allow the light and love of a positive thought to stream into your mind. Do this often.

Wow. This post is not about meditation, but look what it can do for you. Enjoy your day. Create perfect moments. Blessings, Janet

Friday, August 6, 2010

Facebook | In Her Peace

"As specific, clear, and pure as your intention is, just that clear will be the result brought back to you." ~ Deepak Chopra

Dr. Chopra's tweet this morning really put me in a reflective mood. I thought about the end of those days when I have felt a zero sense of accomplishment. I also thought about those days when I felt the world was my oyster and everything I touched turned to gold...or pearls...or at least something really great :-). As I continued my reflection, I was reminded that on those days, I always started with a clear intention...and on chaotic days, not so much.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Facebook | In Her Peace

"I have enjoyed greatly the second blooming... suddenly you find - at the age of 50, say - that a whole new life has opened before you." ~ Agatha Christie

When I was 47 I couldn't wait for my 50th birthday. Oprah was celebrating turning 50. It seemed to be the time in life when I could just let go of what I perceived as everyone's expectations for my life. What I've learned in this year since turning 50, is that I didn't have to wait to turn 50. I could have quit worrying about it at any point in my life. It isn't that I don't care, but I see life as a more genuine and authentic pursuit. And now, of course, my relationships are more honest, more genuine, more authentic, and more rewarding. I could have done this at any point in my life...and so can you. Embrace life now...your way.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Connection ~ Are you yearning? I am.

"Our lives disconnect and reconnect, we move on, and later we may again touch one another, again bounce away. This is the felt shape of a human life, neither simply linear nor wholly disjunctive nor endlessly bifurcating, but rather this bouncey-castle sequence of bumpings-into and tumblings-apart." ~ Salman Rushdie ...(The Ground Beneath Her Feet)

Most of us fashion our lives around activities; work, sports, dance, children's activities and not around really nurturing relationships, really connecting with those we live our lives with. In the busyness of our lives we often lose connections to friends, extended family, those who make up the memories of our childhood, high school, young adulthood. Reconnecting, maintaining, and sustaining those relationships can make life so much richer. Is there someone in your past whom you miss? Don't wait another minute, call her or him...and reconnect. People do not know that you are thinking about them unless you let them know.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Shhhh........just listen

"Our bodies communicate to us clearly and specifically, if we are willing to listen." ~ Shakti Gawain

I love that our bodies are this sort of innate wise woman that resides with us that so accurately measures our state of balance in the world. My every ache and pain points to some obsessive behavior or neglected duty. If I have a headache, I may be working on the computer too much or not drinking enough water. If I feel anxiety, I may be taking on someone else's burden. Feeling sluggish...too much sugar...and so it goes. We can use our body's language as a companion and guide for living. It is amazing how God so perfectly ordered our existence.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Faith ~ What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

“When you have come to the edge Of all light that you know And are about to drop off into the darkness Of the unknown, Faith is knowing One of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or You will be taught to fly” ~ Patrick Overton

If you have a burning desire to create something in your life, create a vision for it, believe in your ability, let no obstacle hold you back, and have faith that you will learn to fly!