To See What is Not

If I could give you a gift today, it would be the gift of Vision.  This one is of a particular challenge for me:  Creating my own vision of what I want for my business and my life doesn’t come easily. After reading Joni’s blog on “Horizons” and Brett’s blog on “Projects” I have a better understanding of why.  Never-the-less, without a pretty clear vision of what we want to reach, accomplish, create – how will we ever know if we’ve reached, accomplished, or created what we want?  AND how can we then rejoice and savor the sense of accomplishment before charging on to the next one?  From my conversation with Gerald Grinter came the question he was asked, “What if you get to the top of the ladder only to discover you leaned it up against the wrong wall?”  It’s important to have a vision for your business – and your life! 

Doug Firebaugh once said, “Vision is the ability to see what is not yet – So you can create what never was.”

The power to Transform  would be wasted on someone who has no vision of what they want to create.  Our nation’s founding fathers knew what they wanted, in part because it was very clear to them what they did not want (an oppressive government).  Thomas Edison knew what he wanted in part because he knew what he did not want (light instead of dark).  John F Kennedy and Ronald Reagan are both said to have given us a vision of what we could be as a nation.  Inventors and leaders have vision: that inexplicable ability to see what does not yet exist.

What’s your vision: for business and life?  Did you envision working 80 hours a week or a lot less?  Did you envision yourself and your honey on a beach sipping Mai Tai’s while others make your money work for you?  Do you have a vision?  Do you have a plan for making that vision a reality?  If not, let’s chat!  If I can’t help you – I know people who can!

Also posted at Simply Effective Coaching Blog here:

Is it a Problem or a Promise?

If I could give you a gift today, it would be “A Problem”.  “What?” you say, “I’ve got enough problems.  I don’t need another one!”  But what if what I gave you was different?   What if I also gave you different eyes

Duke Ellington, musician, composer of over 1,000 jazz pieces, and leader of his own Big Band, once said, “A problem is your chance to do your best.”  

What if you saw the problem not as an obstacle, but an opportunity?  What if you saw the problem not as a stumbling block, but a stepping stone?   

What if today the gift I could give you was the power to Transform any Problem into a Promise waiting to be fulfilled?  Would that be a gift worth receiving?  

My friend Laurie Fournier is into Transformation. ordinary walls, windows, doors, and even electronics into unique places to remind teens and adults of the greater values in life.  She’s taken an ordinary word like “Transform” and with her vinyl decorations transforms walls, windows, doors, mirrors and even electronics into unique ways to reaffirm the greater values in life – like Transformation

Remember:  You already have that power within you.  It’s a matter of perspective – of seeing things differently.  If you’re having trouble with your perspective give me call or send an email.  Let’s chat.


To Stimulate by Assistance and Approval

If I could give you a gift today it would be Encouragement.

The caption to this picture is entitled “Rescuing Hug”.  The article describes the first week of a set of twins.  Apparently the hospital rules dictated that each infant was to be in his or her own incubator.  One was not expected to live.  A nurse fought against the rule and placed the babies in one incubator.  Placed together, the healthier of the two threw an arm over her sister in an endearing embrace.  The smaller baby’s heart rate stabilized and her temperature rose to normal.

This afternoon I sat in a room with a group of former reticent, begrudging writers who like myself took on the challenge of writing several blog posts for November.  When we started some of us who were inexperienced struggled with the “Beginner Woes”:  those statements that run around in our heads when we start something new.

  • “I don’t know what to write about.”
  • “When I start to write my mind goes blank!” or the dreaded
  • “I don’t have anything to write about that anyone would want to read!”

Others of us were more experienced some having written from early childhood.  For these folks it was facing the challenges of

  • “I’m running out of things to say”
  • “I’m bored with writing
  • “I’m bored with my writing” or the dreaded
  • “How do I make WordPress work????”

For one month we journeyed together learning from each other, inspired and encouraged by each other, but especially by Deborah Drake our facilitator.  Today we celebrated the end of one beginning and the continuing journey.  Some chose to read one of our own blogs or the blogs of others who inspired us.  As I listened, I was in awe.  There was such quality and diversity and respect for those who made any attempt.  But most of all, I was awed by the power of Encouragement.

I found myself asking, “What might happen if in our schools, in the education of our future generations, these future leaders were encouraged to try something they were afraid to try, to not worry about grades or peer pressure or the humiliation of not being ‘perfect’?  What are we doing to our kids in school and home that this sense of adventure and experimentation is squelched not guided?”   I worked with teens for awhile and saw it.

Today I saw that “as we let our own light shine we [do indeed] unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”  It was amazing to behold.  It was a gift we gave each other, a gift we gave ourselves and it all started with Deborah and her gift of Encouragement.

Yes, if I could give you a gift today, it would be the gift of Encouragement.  Pursue your dreams, make manifest the glory of God that is within you.  Live your life as only you can, for only you can.  You are a gift to the universe.


What’s Your Bridge over Troubled Waters?

Bridges are amazing!  Just think of it – you are standing on one side of the river or canyon and want to get to the other side without getting wet.  You might take a boat – if there’s one handy (and you know how to work it).  However someone came up with the idea of getting across the uncross-able expanse on this thing we now call “a bridge”.  Some say it was during the 7th Century in Latin America (the Inca’s) and others say in Europe in the 1500’s.  I’m betting it was the Inca’s, but I digress. 

You might be asking, “What in the world does all this have to do with Perseverance – and how to maximize it, which was the promised topic from Friday’s post?   What could building bridges have to do with Perseverance?”  

What keeps a bridge that spans an otherwise difficult or impossible expanse of water up?  Support!  As you look at the pictures of the various bridges, notice, that while the basic concept is the same, how it manifests is different.  For some it’s the power of the arc, for others the strength of suspension.  Either way, it’s support and support structures. 

If I could give you a gift is “Support”.  It might look like a network of people who value you and your dream: like guide wires holding you up when everything looks like it’s going to fall into the chasm below.  It might be like the arc: solid structures and systems upholding you from underneath and with the upward thrust of the arc at its pinnacle sustains your movement above the abyss.  Whatever your dream is, if you want to maximize Perseverance, create a support structure and/or network.  When the going gets tough and everything in you wants to quit – draw on your support. 

Tori Murden, the first woman to row solo across the Pacific, in her darkest hour when everything inside her wanted to call it quits, when all she had to do was make the call and the pain, agony, isolation would end, was greeted by a pod of dolphins.  They played with her and kept her company for several hours.  Her support came when she least expected it in exactly what was surrounding her.  She said the memory of playing with the dolphins kept her going until she finished the row, weeks later. 

If I could give you a gift, it would be the Support to Persevere.

Don’t Look Back!

If I could give you a gift today it would be “Perseverance”. defines Perseverance as “steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement”

It takes Courage to have Perseverance:  to keep on when all around you say, “Quit!” when things aren’t going the way you planned and the results are delayed or seemingly nonexistent.

How do you know when it’s perseverance and not obstinacy?  I know someone who’s been basically unemployed or underemployed for 8 years, yet he continues to look for work, talk with recruiters, go on interviews and do the work he’s offered.  He was offered the opportunity to live on Social Security Disability Insurance and could have taken it easy for the rest of his working years, but chose not to.  When challenged about his disability he replied, “I’m not disabled!  I can do everything anyone else in here can do!”   So he perseveres in the face of opposition, age, and illness.  He is courageous and persevering. 

 Henry Ward Beecher (1813 – 1887) said,“The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one often comes from a strong will and the other from a strong won’t”.   

Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784) wrote, “Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance.” 

  • Is your business faltering? 
  • Do you wonder sometimes if you should quit? 
  • Been through or going through rough times? 
  • Is your dream worth the effort?  

Then if I could give you a gift it would be Perseverance

Want to know ways to maximize this gift?  Check in tomorrow for Perseverance – Part 2

Gifts Santa Can’t Give

December is the month for giving and I’d like to focus on giving – the gifts I’d like to give you my readers.   Today, if I could I’d give you Courage:  Courage in the face of misfortune for sure, but even more so, courage in the face of success. 

Let’s look first at “Courage in the face of misfortune”.  I have two quotes on my wall about courage.  First, Michael de Montaigne is credited with saying, “My life has been full of terrible misfortune, most of which never happened”.   I like that!   The seond is from a friend who said, “90% of the things we worry about never happen.  If we would choose to not worry we would have the time, money, and energy to handle the 10% that does.”  Boy, is he right!!!

Courage in the face of misfortune can be to choose to not worry.  That takes courage when you’ve just lost your job or your business and your homeis next.  People are witing watching for you to crack.  Lots of people don’t understand when you don’t worry.  “Don’t you care?”  “Her head’s buried int he sand!” are just a few of the comments or questions you’ll hear.  However, what does worrying really get you?  It’s a distraction from action!  It blocks creative thinking and problem solving!

If I could give you a gift it woud be the Courage to not worry.

Another way to face misfortune is to consider it your teacher.  I heard a woman describe how she got breast cancer four times.  The first time she did everything she could and what the doctors said to do to fight it even visualizing those cancer cells being defeated by her body.  Two more times she “fought it”.  When it came back the fourth time she decided it was there to teach her.  She asked her body and her inner voice her intuition “What am I to learn?” She began to listen with new ears changed her diet, her life-style, her entire approach.  She’s been cancer free for 20+ years. 

If I could give you a gift it would be the courage to embrace your misfortune as a teacher.

Someone whose writings have influenced me is Viktor Frankl.  From his life as a Jewish prisoner of war in Auschwitz he developed an entirely new approach to psychotherapy that has helped millions named “Logotherapy”.  Radical in its time, today it still provides resources for healing for seriously traumatized individuals who want something more than living Life as a victim.

If I could give you a gift it would be the courage to find meaning and purpose in the midst of misfortune.

Of course, courage in the face of misfortune makes sense.  But courage in the face of success? 

Courage  to stay true to your values and principles as you gain riches,

  •  to refuse to take on the persona of success – drive the newest car, buy the biggest house, follow the newest trends.  
  • to say “No” or “Not yet”. 

 Courage to make changes in your business,

  • to let go of some of the details,
  • to take on the new role as employer if you haven’t been before,
    • to let others develop their thoughts skills, and working styles,
    • to hold on to the dream in the face of the unexpected
    • to choose who is getting on your bus and who you’re going to turn down 
    •  or tell to get off the bus. 

 Courage to say “no” when others expect you to say “yes” –

  •  to live up to your own expectations and not give in to others. 

It takes courage to succeed and to maintain success. 

Nelson Mandela made this statement from Marianne Williamson famous when he said, “Our worst fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us….”

So, if I could give you all a gift this the first day of December, it would be courage:  courage to be true to yourself, courage to embrace Life’s lessons, and courage to let your own magnificence shine.

 Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!



Are We There Yet?

November, gratefully closing the Blogorama
Minds filled with awe
As words fill pages
Reticent writers coming forth
In courageous efforts
Overcome fear, doubt, procrastination and overwhelm
Discover anew
Nothing like learning how to
Share thoughts, show up, and speak up.
This “Thanks” is to Deborah for Making the Challenge
Encouraging the efforts
Acknowledging the strides
“Thanks” to those who read my blogs
“Thanks” to those who commented
“Thanks” to those who participated by writing
In whatever way they could.
Nothing like November and all its Thanksgivings
To give way to December and all its Bounty.
Now on to December 6th and the Blogorama Party!

Does it have to rhyme to be a poem?

‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving
And all through the house
Not a scent of cooking or cleaning for I and my spouse.
All is quiet and peaceful and I’m giving thanks
My sister’s family doesn’t like how I cook
So you know what that means
Why –  I’m off the hook! 
Tomorrow my sister will cook ham and turkey
And all those side dishes that are really quite tasty
While I cut the veggies, and the guys watch TV,  
Set the table, fold the napkins, and stay out of her way
Then after a great meal – and cleaning up too
It’s off to the hot tub and perhaps a snooze. 
My hope for you all
Everyday of this Fall
The year ‘round as well
Is awareness of what to be grateful for
And the good sense to say “Thank You” to all.


Enlightened Warrior: Lessons in the Journey

As promised, more about keeping my word:  One of the first changes I noticed in this journey to 100% Keeping my Commitments is that I am being much more careful about what I commit to.  Knowing that I am NOT going to NOT do something means I have to think twice about my schedule, where I’m going to fit this new commitment, my energy, my willingness to set aside time – which means foregoing something else.  Of course, the ramifications of that is that I am

  •   More diligent about keeping my planner up to date – no more relying upon my memory!
  •   Practice saying “No” so I don’t over commit
  •   Be more conscious of the conversations going on inside my head 

Another change of which I am suddenly conscious of  and which has been longer in developing – I am embracing this as a journey – I’m not down on myself if I slip up and am less than 100% today.  Instead of being a playground for CHUCKY, this has been a time for getting to know Charlie better – and hearing her voice as a reminder.  WHEW!  Is that sweet or what? 

One other thing I noticed – boy does it feel good to have every commitment for the day checked off!  It’s almost becoming a contest to see what I can get checked off before the end of the work day.  I never thought I could have fun with a TO DO LIST! 

How about you?  What have you noticed? 

Until tomorrow!

Enlightened Warrior in Business

I’ve been listening to T. Harve Ecker and his series “The Enlightened Warrior”.  One of the first lessons is about keeping my word – to myself as well as to others.  I started observing myself as a practice this week:  “what am I saying I will do and what am I doing?”  HUMPF – It’s the little things that trip me up – punctuality, making sure I finish my Top 3 Priorities for the day, showing up when I’d rather stay home than go out into the rain…little things that won’t turn the universe upside down if I mess up. 

However, Ecker talks about how low self-confidence comes from not keeping my word to myself not even mention the good opinion of others!  As I started this journey of keeping my commitments I’ve noticed a change happening on the inside.  It’s small, but it’s growing.  My image of myself as a person who keeps her word even to herself causes a ripple effect as that image is supported by action.  Today I made a call that I wouldn’t have made a few weeks ago – I was too afraid then.  Today, it was just something to get done.  Today I spoke up in a group meeting, shared my experience in the face of possible criticism and instead heard everyone at the table say “I’m so glad you said that!” 

There is something powerful about the spoken word, something powerful about keeping our agreements – likewise, something dreadfully powerful about not.  It’s a matter of little choices made daily. 

Have you ever taken the time to observe yourself and how well you keep your word, your commitments to yourself?  To others?  Have you given yourself permission to “slide” (like I’ll stick with the diet tomorrow)?  How might your life and your business be altered as a result of the practice of keeping your commitments? 

Here’s my invitation:  join me on a journey to 100% commitment keeping, 100% “my word is my law in the universe” and share here what happens in your world.  I’d love to hear. 

One of the first things I noticed is I’m much more careful about what I’m committing to – big or little.  Tomorrow I’ll write about this AND that’s a commitment!